Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

UFCW Declares Blog War on Union Facts

Looks like LaborPains has hit a nerve with some of the folks over at UFCW. We recently posted on platitudes from UFCW’s top man, Joe Hansen. UFCW apparently called in their Change To Win daddies, and a blogger we’ll dub Jason “Lefty” Lefkowitz, to come to their aid. Fair enough.

Quick rehash: We took umbrage with Hansen’s gross oversimplification of the immigration issue, when he said: “Work is not a crime. Workers are not criminals.” CTW has responded:

What about all the people — U.S. citizens and legal immigrants — who were rounded up and detained by ICE who weren’t undocumented workers? Who were working completely legally and were nonetheless treated with police-state tactics?

That’s an interesting issue, and one that should be dealt with. Some points to ponder:

  1. Our original point — that people aren’t being arrested for the act of working — still stands, and no amount of bitterblogging can change that. Hansen was just flat wrong.
  2. The point about innocent people being detained is worth attention — so much so that it shouldn’t be bogged down in misleading rhetoric.
  3. On a side note, at least it’s good news that Change To Win members will finally use some resources to help UFCW. This isn’t always the case: The unions not only seek to bogart each others’ members, but they try to represent their own allies’ internal staffs.

CTW’s final point is the best. Jason accuses us (well, me) of being blind to truth because I get paid by an organization that acts as a watchdog against his employer. I like the quote he cites, from Upton Sinclair:

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.

That’s a good quote (and it could easily apply to CTW employees). A more apt quote from Sinclair hits at the heart of the modern labor movement:

… what are we to say when we see the formulas of heroic self-deception made use of by unheroic self-indulgence?

That seems to capture the problem for those who believe they serve working Americans, only to find that they serve a money machine that maniacally feeds on its own members. Perhaps that’s the mechanism that blinds idealistic UFCW employees to their union bosses’ exorbitant salaries in the face of declining membership.

Here’s an idea: Each day until we get bored we will dedicate a new fact to Jason and his Change To Win blogger buddies. I promise, our interest will run dry before our powder does: the Center for Union Facts has more than 13 million facts — many of which demonstrate the ridiculous salaries of individual union bosses.