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Friday, December 30, 2005

I thought protection rackets were illegal, but don't tell the Washington Federation of State Employees.

According to this report from The Olympian and other news sources, over 300 Washington state employees may lose their job because of their failure or refusal to pay a fee to the union. These union dues are compulsory, regardless of actual union membership status, though a lower fee is being extorted, er, required of those who choose not to join the union. My first thought when I heard about this was that Al Capone and other mafiosi have done this in the past and probably still do this sort of thing. It's called a "protection racket". I find it shamefully predictable that a Democrat governor would sign a collective bargaining agreement that ended up such a sweet deal for the union leadership, and such a bane for the workers. For the remainder of this issue, I defer to Sound Politics, a blog that has covered this issue in greater depth and is far better versed in current events and politics in Seattle and Washington state.

I found another interesting website belonging to the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, a group whose stated purpose is "Defending America's working men and women against the injustices of forced unionism since 1968." I first feel the need to clarify that I am not against unions in abstract. I think that, as long as they genuinely work to better protect their members, and said membership is not compulsory, they can, and occasionally do, have a salutary effect on a workplace. However, like large organizations are often wont to do, the case history is becoming increasingly compelling to the contrary.

Thus endeth the rant. To all, I wish you a happy and safe New Year's holiday, and if you feel the need to consume a bit of alcoholic holiday cheer, please, for everyone's sakes, stay off the roads. Actually, staying off the roads is probably a good idea for anyone insofar as it is possible.


1138 said...

No one is required to work the job, hence no one is required to pay the union.

Your Extortion claims reach a bit further than reality.

Who's your daddy Sean Hannity?

Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

That's a rather specious argument at best. I realize that I went slightly overboard with my comments, but that was exactly what I was trying to achieve. The problem I have with this is that the continued employment of the individuals involved has nothing to do with the quality of their work, but rather, whether or not the union gets their pound of flesh. That, I believe, is wrong.

1138 said...

"the continued employment of the individuals involved "

I dont have enough details to come to the certain conclusions that you have.
I do know that I have seen situations where union work was deliberately moved to non union offices and then this exact situation arises when the unioun gets the wrong overturned.

I think your too quick to come to decisions based on hearsay.

Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

And respectfully, 1138, I think you're too quick to ignore facts that fail to conform to your worldview.

1138 said...

And repectfully you use few if any facts.