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Held Hostage

 

I had thought that my long hours at work were over, but alas, it's not true. This next week could be the heaviest yet, I learned yesterday. But it will end soon. Two weeks from now there is no way I'll still be on this treadmill. Ah, light at the end of the tunnel.

But speaking of being held hostage, American workers who aren't Democrats got a light at the end of their tunnel yesterday with the fracture of the Teamsters and the Service Employees from the AFL-CIO.

The migration of jobs overseas, technological automation, non-unionized stores like Wal-Mart, and the lack of return on investment in the dollars spent on Democrats who didn't win or keep their office has spurred the dissatisfaction in organized labor.

There was a time when unions served a great purpose: to protect the American from sweatshops and abusive practices in the workplace. But today, most of that no longers exists. Non-management, salaried employees are quite protected in the workplace and enjoy great benefits. Unions helped to bring that about, but how does a union stop outsourcing or technology from upending jobs? It can't. And if businesses can't compete with cheap Chinese labor, the union can't force a company to go bankrupt and bleed money to protect jobs. Unless they control it through legislation/regulation that might tie the hands of business and diddle with trade policy. And so a ton of money went to politicians...

I watched James Hoffa, the Teamsters leader, yesterday during a break a work. He wants less money to go to politics and more to go into organizing. Okay fine, but what will increased numbers bring American workers? How does that solve the problems that they have today? It won't.

In my opinion, money better spent is money that hosts the re-education of these workers to help them move with the times... provide them with skills that make them more mobile in the workplace, and their employment is protected. But to simply have the goal of getting more members and slow time down through legislation and regulation so that change doesn't happen as fast as it might doesn't solve a thing. It's wasted money because they will never succeed. It's money pilfered from American workers who don't have it to give in the first place.

In a few days, I'll have a post about where jobs are headed. The next ten years, I think, will see as rapid a shift in the focus of jobs as what came when computers landed on the desks of millions of American workers. Until then, I'll probably post very little.

 


by Brett Rogers, 7/26/2005 7:52:30 AM
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