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.