Thursday, December 13, 2012

Labor Pains


Today's column for the Daily Banter focuses on Michigan governor Rick Snyder's fast-tracking of legislation that just turned the cradle of organized labor into a "right-to-work" state.

My take on it is personal -- and will probably draw at least a small amount of criticism from the hard-left -- while I hope being reasonable.

Here's an excerpt:

"My biggest issue when it came to the unions at KCBS was always this: workers weren’t really given a choice as to whether or not they wanted to be a part of them. I had been hired on as a 'senior producer,' a muscular-sounding title which belied the fact that the KCBS brain trust had basically just pulled it out of their asses. What they’d done, see, is label me a manager without actually giving me any of the authority of a manager — and they’d done it for no other reason than to ensure that, as a manager-in-name, I wouldn’t be obligated to join the Writers Guild of America, the union that oversaw the station’s producer corps. They likely considered the idea a stroke of inspired genius, but, as expected, the Guild saw through this bit of juvenile misdirection and filed grievance upon grievance against the station for attempting to game the system while simultaneously trying to pressure me to join up and pay them the required union dues. The station management ignored the Guild’s complaints; I threw the angry bi-weekly letters I got from it in the garbage.

Here’s what it came down to: I didn’t want to be forced into paying out part of my salary to a third-party. I had been hired by KCBS and as far as I was concerned, as shitty as it was, it was the only entity I had personally made an agreement with. I wanted the choice to not have any association whatsoever with the union.

I do, in fact, question the fairness of making workers submit, en masse, to the authority of a labor union... The counter-argument against a willingness to debate this is generally of the “well, no one’s forcing you to join, only to pay a diminished due” variety. Sorry, but that isn’t much of a salve for those who literally want nothing at all to do with the union where he or she works or is going to work. "


Read the Rest Here

7 comments:

Anonymouse said...

You know Chez...I really never understood why you support the Huffington Post and how its blatantly steals content, refuses to pay the majority of its employees, and generally fucks over your industry.


Your Daily Banter column really answers a lot.

Chez said...

Always glad to clear things up for you, Anonymouse.

Claude Weaver said...

Ah, I can't wait for the accusations of you being a secret right-winger, and all the other malarkey that comes with people completely ignoring what you wrote simply because it didn't slobber all over the knob of their pet cause.

Look, unions, like everything else made by committee, are not perfect. Far from it. They are constructed to be the best that you can do at the time. Acting like they are sacred cows that cannot be at the very least examined and criticized every once in a while is dangerous and wrong-headed. And it is the same reductionist, us-vs-them mentality that we criticize the Republicans for adopting.

Is the right-to-work declaration bullshit? Good God, yes. Does this mean that the unions are completely faultless? Hell no.

Truth is, if a person doesn't want to be involved with the union, fine. It doesn't make them less of a person, or stupid, or anything else like that. And it doesn't justify harassment and ostracism.

I mean, if people are gonna do that, they should keep it where it belongs: in church.

Anonymouse said...

Claude, I am not accusing Chez for being a closet Republican. That would require actually standing up for something he believes in.

Hell, I don't even like unions as they derail my job as I work to automate port facilities. Pretty much every horror story about shit unions...I have experienced it. You know that we are still required to use the same number of dock handlers to unload cargo ships that were used in the 70's? Its a FUCKING AUTOMATED PROCESS!

But your actual column is a bunch of self serving bull shit. Its the typical American nonsense with zero self reflection. You don't want unions decimated...but you don't want to actually have to participate in one. We need to preserve unions...MAYBE.

Its like reading fucking Peter King column. Grow a fucking set and make a point.

Chez said...

Are you off your meds again? Got a problem with the fact that I approach something with no easy answers by not spoon-feeding you easy answers? Really into absolutist demagoguery? Go read something else.

I generally don't mind what you add to the conversation, even when you're offering dissent, but I'm not your fucking jukebox.

Anonymouse said...

Chez...Why don't you actually cover the major labor crisis that is going to hit the fucking East Coast in January. You're pontificating on unions...yet you can't even mention the International Longshoremen's Association (IJLA) fight with USMX over automation. Since the Longshoremen actually have a decent union and they all participate this is going to make Wisconsin and Chicago look like a walk in the park. Hell, this isn't even a fast moving situation as the strike was planned for just prior to the presidential election but President Obama basically bought off both participants to push negotiations off till after the election.

All shipping on the East Coast is going to grind down to a fucking halt over this labor issue. This is the biggest potential labor strike in close to 30 years as its going to cripple industry and companies up and down 95.

Nah...its just easier to post some bullshit feel good fucking blog post and call it a fucking day. I'm calling you out Chez because that posting you did was fucking lazy crap I expect from the talking heads on cable news networks.

I will stop commenting from now on. Clearly I am taking up space for the countless others lining up to comment on this site.

Chez said...

The amount of commenters notwithstanding, yes, please just go away, Anonymouse. I'm not here to write about your pet issues. I say what I feel like saying. That's the way it's always been and always will be. You want the paper of record, go read the Times.