Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Labor Has Little to Be Thankful For in November

Labor is getting noticed, but for all the wrong reasons.

While most Americans celebrated Thanksgiving last week, labor unions pushed what columnist Michelle Malkin called “Strikesgiving.” In a month that began with an election with mixed results for labor, November culminated with a complete failure for unions both at the bargaining table and in the press room. But this hasn’t deterred labor from pushing its agenda.

At this pace, any political capital labor gained on November 6 will be gone before Christmas.

As The Economist noticed, labor stumbled badly with its latest showdowns against Wal-Mart and Hostess. When Center for Union Facts Managing Director J. Justin Wilson appeared on Larry Kudlow’s program on CNBC, Kudlow asked if labor’s recent actions were “some kind of left-wing European-style general strike attempt?” Similarly, Investor’s Business Daily editorialized and asked, “Is the United States becoming another France, with daily strikes not a bug but a feature?” The IBD editors noted that unions’ recent “intransigence” that ignores the historical trends of labor action could lead to a serious problem:

If this is the future of America, it doesn’t work.

With unions leveraging political power instead of their own merit as labor, both accountability and the checks or balances of the marketplace are being thrown out.

Not only will workers lose as unions make it all about themselves, so will voters, taxpayers, and consumers held hostage to unsustainable union demands.

It’s a way to make the U.S. a poorer, less globally competitive backwater economy. Is that what unions want?

Labor’s behavior shows that it is out of touch with reality. Unions are acting as though the economy is booming and their political gains have been resounding and sweeping. But let’s quickly review labor’s November losses.

So is labor thankful for its Strikesgiving actions? The fruits of the unions’ labor add up to a handful of people getting to the Los Angeles airport a little later than expected due to an SEIU march. It’s not exactly a popular uprising.

Unions have succeeded — but only if you actually believe that “any press is good press.” Labor continues to push at the federal level to stop compromise and deny fiscal realities, hoping that its election investment will carry the union agenda. Meanwhile, unions are losing ground in every American home that turned on the news this Thanksgiving — 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue excluded .

Categories: Center for Union Facts