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Have unions ruined our country? [Most commented]

September 6, 2011 |  1:24 pm


Unions are the demise of the United States, if you’re to believe the bulk of the people who’ve been commenting on Anne Lamott’s Op-Ed, “Unions and America fit together like … Legos.” In her piece, she professes her “love” of unions, which she calls “sacred.” She elaborates:

When I was growing up, everyone I knew was pro-union, just like everyone used public libraries and everyone in California was proud of the public education system and loved the state's natural beauty. People would fight and rally and protest and donate to help preserve it. […]

I understand why politicians want to see labor as the cause of most of our societal and economic problems. It takes the focus off the banks, the corporations, the military-industrial complex. But public school teachers? I guess they really are sort of greedy and grabby -- not to mention rich. Especially those greedy-grabby public school special ed teachers. My younger brother is one of them, and boy, is he raking it in. Talk about take, take, take.

Here’s some of the debate currently taking place on our discussion board.

Why people support unions

I'm from a union family in one of the few unionized mill towns in the south, and Ms. Lamott is absolutely right. 

I guess all these ignorant union-bashers would like to go back to six 12-hour days, no vacation, no sick leave, child labor...Idiots, the lot of you.


Why people don’t support unions

Hate unions.  The people in them are a bunch of losers.  They need someone else to negotiate for them a cost of living raise?  How pathetic are you if you can't do that on your own.  And if I work harder then the bum next to me why should we all get the same pay?  Makes no sense to me. The quicker they get rid of these unions the better. And why is it that I am forced to join a union? If they are so great shouldn't I be happy and willing to join right away? Complete losers.

-- simont

Support the private-sector worker

The teaching profession and even the nurses, at least in CA, DO deserve some criticism. They are doing quite well (I know of three teachers two are making very close to 7 grand a month, with full benefits, the other much more) yet they always cry "more, more more!" even when the rest of us in the private sector are truly suffering.

Also, they made it very very difficult to fire ANY teacher, no matter how incompetent. This hurts many children. Have you ever thought of that Ms. Lamott?

If you want to truly support the worker WHO NEEDS IT, support the private sector worker, who has no influence in government, yet has to pay for the outrageous benefits salaries of public employee unions because they bought off politicians to do so.


The correlation between the union movement and the shrinking middle class

The demise of the union movement in the United States has led to the demise of the middle class.  America needs to fight for fair trade. America needs to fight for manufacturing jobs. America needs to fight outsourcing of jobs by corporations. America needs to fight union leaders to do a better job of looking out for workers and the corporations they work with instead of just caving in to special interests. Unions need to fight for the basics: a living wage (no extravagant perks for those at the top); modest pensions; healthcare; two-week vacations; and dental insurance. Unions also need to let employers fire unproductive workers. Unions, such as the teachers unions, need to get out of the business of promoting other political goals. 

--California Sun

Whose side are anti-union people on?

I am sure that without labor unions, corporations would treat their employees better, pay them decent salaries and gladly pay for their families to have medical insurance. NOT!!! I did not know the Fox News crowd was reading and commenting on this story. I do not understand whose side you anti-union people are on, the workers who struggle to make ends meet for their families or the billion-dollar corporations and their executives receiving millions of dollars in bonuses for keeping costs (workers’ salaries) low ??????????


Protection comes from the law, not unions, in response to unionworker1

unionworker1 apparently has not a clue about the 23,000 pages of Federal and 14,500 pages of state OSHA, EPA and employment law and regulations. Your "protection" does not come from unions, it comes from law.

Besides, with Obamacare mandates, it appears that the healthcare insurance is no longer the responsibiity or result of being unionized at all.


Unions no longer play a positive role

Unions used to play a positive role. Now, they are used to protect poor performers from being fired and politicize special interest groups to sway/buy elections.

--trust no one

Don’t blame union workers

Labor workers are not unions. It's the union management corruption that is the problem.

--DC Still Doesn't Get

Union bosses are the problem

As a member and former union officer in a voluntary unpaid position, I often wondered what the union activists of Samuel Gompers' day would think of today's union officials who sit at a bargaining table playing with everybody's livelihoods but their own. Only when their own paychecks are in the negotiation mix will I absolutely believe that they cannot become the bought dogs of the corporations and that they are truly representing the members' best interests. This separation has ruined organized labor in the private sector. What has wrecked public sector unionism is the politicians who negotiate extravagant pensions and wages the taxpayers cannot afford in order to buy the union workers' votes.

--Dissident voice


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-- Alexandra Le Tellier

Photo: Union supporters marched through downtown Eau Claire, Wis., to the Greater West Central Area Labor Council's annual Labor Day picnic on Monday. Credit: Steve Kinderman / Eau Claire Leader-Telegram

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