"Boeing...a huge aerospace corporation that employs directly and indirectly more than 150,000 people..recently announced that it is searching for sites to build another plant. Unfortunately, Kentucky won't be in the running because it's not a right-to-work state. In Seattle, where Boeing is currently building the 787 Dreamliner, it is running about 2 years behind, in part because of a strike by 25,000 members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. Last fall, the machinists union staged a 57-day strike at factories around Seattle. It was the union's 4th strike in 20 years. This is why Boeing is considering a 2nd assembly plant for its 787 to make up for the repeated delays. Boeing is said to be looking at South Carolina and Texas because they are right-to-work states, which means that employees aren't required to join a union if one exists at a company."
So here we have one of the largest aerospace companies in the world, one that was originally founded in Seattle, WA, and it is looking for other places to locate, largely due to problems with its biggest union.
And here is another article taken from The Seattle Times:
"The start of the school is near and so, too, the unfortunate threat of class delays if teachers go on strike in three Western Washington school districts......A state mediator has been called in to negotiations in the Mount Vernon School District and Shoreline teachers are moving toward a strike.
Every year, families face uncertainty because of contract negotiations....
Yes, strikes by teachers ARE ILLEGAL but they occur...State law forbids strikes to prevent a breakdown in critical services such as fire, police and eduction. But they happen....."
Yes, you read that right. Strikes by the teachers union here in Washington is illegal, yet they happen.
Most of the school districts in Western Washington are broke and yet these people are screaming for more money. They are lucky they have a job and don't get their butts fired.
Although I think that teachers are one of those professions that are by and large underpaid, I find myself having no sympathy for these teachers that go on strike, especially in the middle of a recession where unemployment is skyrocketing.
Teachers unions in the Seattle area seem to be constantly going on strike for more money. And it is illegal! It befuddles me why the state does not enforce the laws that are already on the books and allow these strikes to happen.
It is because of things like these that my respect for unions has diminished quite a bit over the last few months, even to a point where I think that unions have outlived their usefulness and they are no longer needed.
There are a few reasons that labor unions got organized to make improvements in their respective workplaces:
(1) They wanted to stop child labor.
There are now child labor laws and putting children to work is illegal. The minimum age to work in most industries in the United States is 16. No need for unions in this regard.
(2) They wanted to establish an 8-hour work day.
This is already commonplace in most industries and those where it is not common, employees get overtime pay for working more than 8 hours. Again, no need for unions to get this established.
(3) They wanted to improve worker safety and health.
OSHA was signed into law in 1970 by President Richard Nixon. No need for the union to help improve worker safety and health.
(4) They wanted to improve wages for workers.
The first minimum wage law in the United States was introduced in 1938 and has risen consistently every few years. Why do we need unions to improve wages?
The fact is, they are obsolete. They enacted some major changes in the country's labor laws and for that they can be applauded. But now, they are not necessary and as I have pointed out, are causing more harm than good.
Because of the machinist labor union here in Seattle, there is a strong chance that thousands of jobs will be lost when Boeing decides to up and move to a right-to-work state. On top of that, the state of Kentucky was thrown out of the running for a brand new plant that would have created hundreds if not thousands of jobs in the Bowling Green area because Kentucky is not a right-to-work state. Boeing is only considering right-to-work states to build their new facilities. Why? Because they are tired of having to deal with union strikes every few years and getting behind in production because of them.
Maybe I am off base here but I really think that the time for unions has come. It is time to make every state in the country a right-to-work state.
If an employee wants to belong to a union for whatever reason, fine, let them join one. But if an employee does not want to belong to a union just to get a job with a particular company, they should have the option not to join.
Most opponents of right-to-work state that making a state right-to-work undermines the union and makes it less attractive to employees to join a union if they are not required to join one. Well I say that is the unions problem. Unless they can come up with a better way to attract employees other than by coercion, then they have no right to complain about it.
I will say it again. The time for the labor movement union has come and gone.
Kudos to the NW Republican for pointing out the Boeing article.