Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Of Capitalists and Carpenters: Why Do Only the Homeless Deserve Merit Pay?

It’s a question we’ve asked before, but it bears repeating: why is merit pay good enough for the homeless but not for union members? A homeless Miami man — already at the center of an amazing story — told reporters that he has a job as an picketer-for-hire, paid by those Capitalist Carpenters. The most interesting point is that the homeless employed by the Carpenters are paid by merit, whereas the union’s own members are only paid based on seniority. According to the Miami New Times a union leader (with our emphasis):

refused to reveal how much paid picketers earned, stating only “it ranges depending on skill level, but it’s more than better than minimum wage.” Darling told the Sun Sentinel that Chapman made about $20 per day.

Great! Pay people based on how well they perform a function. This idea is crazy enough it just might work for carpenters, joiners, electricians, manufacturing employees, restaurant staff, teachers … well, you get the idea.