Goodbye Barry - Welcome Home AMERICA!

Thursday, June 2, 2011


You don't have to live in Wisconsin to appreciate the financial and physical dangers of forced union membership, which is what Wisconsinites are faced with today - and what the entire nation may be faced with tomorrow.

American labor unions outlived their usefulness decades ago. The original intent of organized labor was good, even though their objectives in those "formative years" were achieved primarily through violence. Employers weren't, as a general rule, paying workers a decent living wage. Some companies did provide "company housing" (substandard), and a company-owned version of a general store which carried basic necessities. But, both were provided at a premium price. By the time the company extracted the employees "rent", and items charged at the store each week, the worker's take-home pay was approximately the equivalent of one of today's dollars.

Today, labor unions function primarily through leveraged "negotiations" - using the implied threat of a production-ending strike to achieve their goals. A strike is essentially a variation on your basic blackmail scheme - "If you don't give us what we want, we will ruin you (financially) by shutting down your business until we get what we want."

In the most recent skirmish in the battle over the right to work in Wisconsin, a Dane County Circuit Court judge ruled in favor of the unions, saying the state legislature violated the state's
open meeting law. Apparently the unions own some judges in Wisconsin. The media are reporting the Wisconsin law as an "anti-union" law, when the proper way to look at it is as a pro-worker law.

The United States Declaration of Independence proclaims "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Nowhere in the Declaration is forced union membership mentioned! Nor is the payment of union dues by non-union workers, which is another desire of the union bosses! True liberty includes the liberty to perform labor under conditions to which the individual freely agrees - not under conditions of coercion by way of threats or acts of violence.

The man you made President of The United States - Barack Obama - during his campaign in 2008, made promises to the big unions that he must keep - or risk losing their support in the 2012 election. Among those promises was the unionization of all government workers, and the implied elimination of those unnecessary right to work laws... which the unions find to be bothersome.

How do the unions benefit their members? Not nearly so well as they benefit the union leadership. Granted, the members are making a "living wage" (and then some), but their wages are paltry compared to the salaries of their bosses. As an example, let's look at just the upper upper-echelon (the top ten officers) of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU - which is also the world's largest union):

Officers and Employees

  • Average Total Compensation: $62,170.21
  • Total Employees: 1,030
  • Employees Making more than $75,000: 321

Top Ten Highest Paid Leaders

NameTitleTotal Compensation
Andrew SternInternational President$306,388.00
David ReganExecutive Vice President$265,488.00
Dennis RiveraVice President$265,216.00
Anna BurgerInternational Sec-Treas$252,724.00
Eliseo MedinaExecutive Vice President$242,286.00
Mary Kay HenryExecutive Vice President$231,348.00
Gerald HudsonExecutive Vice President$230,671.00
Thomas WoodruffExecutive Vice President$218,723.00
Scott CourtneyOrganizing Dir$204,750.00
Kirk AdamsExecutive Board Member$197,939.00
The total compensation of the top ten SEIU officers costs the membership: $2,415,533 per annum

BUT... they have 1,031 employees whose average salary is $62,170.21p/a and that works out to a dues-paying membership cost of $64,035,316p/a just for the big shots. And 32% - almost 1/3 - of those officials make in excess of $75,000 per annum. The total compensation package of the "International President" of the SEIU is 65% (plus what he can steal from the membership) of that of the US President ($469,000 - plus what he can steal from the taxpayers)!

Since the big brouhaha over restricting union organization efforts in Wisconsin began, several months ago, and WI Governor Walker's attempt to keep Wisconsin a right to work state, there have been these developments...

"We will hunt you down . . . slit your throats . . . drink your blood. I will have your decapitated head on a pike in the Madison town square." Those are the words of a union militant aimed directly at a Wisconsin state legislator for daring to vote to restrict Big Labor's forced dues control over Wisconsin state workers.

There were literally dozens of similar death threats, along with acts of vandalism leveled against Wisconsin state legislators and Governor Scott Walker for not toeing the union boss line.

After reporting a timesheet-padding scheme, one of the whistle blowers was beaten so severely by union thugs he suffered two herniated discs and had to undergo knee surgery.

Another whistle blower found a dead rat in his locker, along with a note which said he would, "be taken care of." And another stated he was told: "If I continue to complain about their finances, they would have me killed."

Union bosses consider themselves to be above the law because -- they are -- thanks to the Supreme Court's infamous 1973 Emmons decision, granting union bosses immunity from prosecution for acts of violence and vandalism they orchestrate in the so-called "pursuit of legitimate union objectives." How stupid was that? Essentially it says that union bosses can instruct their minions to go forth and commit mayhem and murder so long as it is in pursuit of legitimate union objectives, and that the bosses themselves cannot be prosecuted for the directed actions of their subordinates.

Organized labor - on an interstate scale - has been with us since 1866, when the "National Labor Union" was formed. But, organized labor had little impact upon society-at-large until 1914, and the passage of the Clayton Anti-trust Act, which limited the use of injunctions in labor disputes and provided that picketing and other union activities are not illegal conspiracies or trusts.

In the mid-to-late 1800's secondary education and literacy among the working class were much less common than today. Perhaps there was a genuine need for organizing the workers back then. Maybe they were just too dumb to form their own independent groups to insure fairness in the workplace. But, in my mind anyway, 150 years later those conditions no longer exist. By comparison today's worker is highly educated, more aware of what constitutes fair working conditions and compensation, and what options are available to him/her should he feel the entity for which he toils is being less than equitable.

Forcing workers to either join a union, or pay dues to a union which one does not belong, makes about as much sense as going to the supermarket and being charged for all the groceries you didn't want!

Thomas Jefferson, the great American statesman, once said, "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." We ALL need to be more vigilant in our observations of the processes of the government... before its unabated appetites allow it to completely consume our beloved Republic.

I'm Gil, (and you're not - be thankful!) and I approve this blog. I am an equal opportunity cynic and iconoclast.

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