DENNIS SEID: Joining unions won't rebuild middle class

Vice President Joe Biden said last week that the best way to rebuild America’s middle class is to help grow labor unions.
Biden and his boss, President Barack Obama, campaigned successfully on the promise of change. Among the biggest changes they support is the Employee Free Choice Act, also known as “card check.”
The legislation would allow a majority of workers to sign cards to join a union instead of holding secret ballot elections, a rule that has been in place for some 50 years.
But Biden and other proponents of big labor say the EFCA is necessary to “level the playing field.”
Said Biden: “If a union is what you want, then a union is what you should get.”
Backers of the legislation say employers have made it difficult, if not impossible, to join unions. They allege that managers use intimidation to force workers to not join unions.
Business groups, of course, deny the charge and say that union supporters will be intimidating workers into signing cards.
There is no question that rebuilding the middle class should be priority. The middle class pays most of the taxes and buys most of the goods for sale in the country.
And for the middle class to grow, there must be jobs. But is forcing employers to unionize the best way to do that?
Union sympathizers have one core message: Employers are the enemy and are not to be trusted, no matter what.
Biden, according to the Associated Press, said he and President Obama “would not consider their economic recovery efforts a success unless growth creates ‘good, sustainable, livable jobs in the process.”
And he insists that labor unions are the answer.
Certainly, the labor movement in the early part of the 20th century helped resolve critical issues. Overtime, the minimum wage and benefits were championed by organized labor. Unions had their time and place.
However, bloated union bureaucracy and forced membership are no better than unscrupulous employers. Now that their rolls have dwindled, unions are looking for new members.
But would a union have helped the Wall Street banks and brokers avoid this financial crisis? Would organized real estate agents and lenders have helped prevent the housing meltdown? Did the UAW help prevent the implosion of the auto industry in the U.S.?
We are free to join any group or organization we like, whether it’s the PTA, AFA, AMA, or ATA.
Workers should have the same rights, and don’t need intimidation from either their employers or outsiders.
On Thursday, Obama said compromise is needed. But talking from the other side of his mouth he also said at a town hall meeting about the EFCA: “what it would essentially say is that if majority of workers at a company want a union, then they can get a union without delay and some of the monkey business that’s done right now to prevent them from having a union.”
Never mind the monkey business of a so-called “free choice.”
Contact Dennis Seid at (662) 678-1578 or

NEMS Daily Journal

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