***Check comments below for Marc’s rebuttal***
I understand Marc Oesterich’s libertarian policy points, and they are good ones. They hit home for me. I was raised in a union family on the south side of Chicago. My grandfather died in the late 1920s when he was about 40 years old. To my eternal regret, I never knew him.
My father was 12 years old when his father, my grandfather, died. The meat-cutters union trained my father to be a butcher and saved the lives of my father and his mother (and, ultimately, my life) by giving him a job at the Stockyards in Chicago at age 12 (union rules then didn’t prevent child labor). And they gave him meat to take home on Saturday night with him. That fed him, my grandmother, and their neighborhood for the week, and helped them survive the Great Depression. So I literally owe my life to the meat-cutters’ union.
I’ve also read “The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair about conditions in the meat-cutting industry in the early 1900s. They were disgusting. If you have read it, you will never eat sausage again. Formation of unions helped fix all this. So I am certainly not union-averse.
But here’s where we part ways, Marc. I agree with you that government should not ban private sector unions, though I do believe, recently, unions have done more harm than good. Consider the auto workers, for example.
But voting to form private unions by workers is not a bad thing. Though it should be secret and therefore voluntary – no card check. And employers should not be required to deduct dues from employees’ paychecks. Employees should have to write the check every month for union dues. So they understand what they are doing.
But there is a huge problem with public employee unions that does not exist for private sector unions. Public employee unions donate huge amounts of money to Democratic candidates. You can’t deny this. In return, these Democratic legislators and Congressmen are the very ones who negotiate government employee union contracts. And these legislators oblige us the taxpayers to pay for whatever the negotiated wages and benefits are.
This is totally unlike the private sector where the private businesses involved pay whatever their employees negotiate. Fair enough.
But there is a huge conflict-of- interest involved with public employee unions, which I think you are ignoring. I think you can recognize this without demeaning your libertarian opinions. So I hope you re-think your views.