Most Americans agree that labor unions have long outlived their usefulness. As such, union membership has seen a steady decline over the last six decades. In the 1950’s one out of every three working Americans belonged to a union and today that number has shrunk to about one in ten working Americans. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, union membership has declined by 1.3 million people since 2010.
Of course it doesn’t help when labor unions take up unpopular causes. Most recently, unions attempted to disrupt Black Friday shopping at Walmart, they created unnecessary Thanksgiving weekend traffic congestion (most notably at the sixth busiest airport in the world – LAX), and led to the demise of an 82-year old American classic… Hostess. It’s no wonder union membership is in decline.
Walmart is not unionized and therefore its employees cannot legally conduct a strike. That doesn’t mean much to the Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart), a disgruntled employees group. They organized protests and illegal walkouts at Walmart on the busiest shopping day of year… Black Friday. Their purpose? To bully Walmart into changing how they treat their employees because working an average of 30 hours per week to receive benefits and the average full-time hourly wage is $12.57 is just not good enough. Walmart has accused OUR Walmart of illegally interfering in the company’s business and filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) last Friday. Good luck with that since the NRLB is stacked with all Democrats unconstitutionally appointed by President Obama.
On the busiest travel day of the year at LAX, the day before Thanksgiving, The Service Employees International Unit (SEIU) – which represents janitors, wheelchair attendants, skycaps, security guards and other service workers – obtained a permit to close down Century Boulevard for 45 minutes. SEIU leaders claimed 400 workers were left without a contract after LAX contractor Aviation Safeguards (AVSG) failed to honor its agreement with the airport earlier this year; however, the truth is that 52 percent of those union workers voted to switch to Aviation Safeguard from SEUI about a year ago and that Aviation Safeguards employees were not in favor of the Thanksgiving-eve demonstration. Most of the SEIU protesters were not even LAX workers. The protest set travelers back about 90-minutes in unnecessary bumper-to-bumper traffic delays (causing who knows how much additional carbon emissions) and dozens were reportedly arrested.
Since 1930 Hostess has employed over 18,500 employees in 36 plants all across the United States and is responsible for making and distributing over 30 brands of baked good including Wonder Bread, Nature’s Pride, Colombo, Dolly Madison, Twinkies, Ho Hos and so on. The problems for this juggernaut began in 1995 when the Atkins diet and competitor Krispy Kreme began to gain popularity which was exasperated by a new Hostess recipe that allowed bread to have a longer shelf life, but changed its taste and texture. A lower sales volume led to a 2004 bankruptcy which would become the longest bankruptcy in history when it ended in 2009. In order to emerge solvent from bankruptcy, the bakery was forced to give equity to the labor unions in exchange for contract concessions. Just a little more than two years later, the bakery found itself on the verge of bankruptcy again. As part of their bankruptcy filing, they stated the company “is not competitive, primarily due to legacy pension and medical benefit obligations and restrictive work rules.” Hostess found itself with more than $860 million in debt. To make matters worse, less than a year later thousands of members of the bakers union went out on strike to protest wage, health care and pension cuts imposed by a court during bankruptcy proceedings. At stake, the bakers objected to a 17 percent increase in their contribution for their health care benefits. Rather than accept the increase for their own long-term welfare, the union forced Hostess to close its doors for good… and the end result is no more jobs for them and no more Wonder Bread, Twinkies, Ding Dongs or the like for you.
As you can see, it’s not the Grinch or Scrooge who are making your holidays miserable, it’s the labor unions and their illegal, unwanted and company-killing strikes and protests. Americans have been saying it for a long time, with the sharp increase in federal and state labor laws over the years, unions have outlived their usefulness. In fact, they’ve just become an unnecessary irritating and painful burden… like a big swollen bump on the side of your foot.
Remember, you can’t spell bunion without union.
#NLRB, #LABOR, @SEIU, @Walmart