Dead by the Hand of Labor
It's similar in Britain and Australia. John Howard had the unions on a pretty good leash but all bets are off now Julia is in charge. The only thing that has been holding them back would be the knowledge that they could tip Labor out of government by being too aggressive
The long term impact of the labor movement on the U.S. economy is now becoming clearer with each passing day and it can best be described as an ugly blot on our republic. What should be evident to all is that widespread unionization of the workforce has not been a positive influence on our economy or on our political institutions. A quick inventory tells us that labor unions have all but destroyed the steel industry, the auto industry, the movie industry, the teaching profession, the construction trades, and the legal profession and have seriously damaged many others.
It’s time everyone understood that, to interfere with the smooth and efficient operation of an employer’s business is, in the strictest sense of the word, theft; that there are no constitutional protections that allow one man to acquire the property of another through coercion; that there is no right to interfere with or dictate the rules or methods by which an employer conducts his/her business; and that there is no right to cause the property of another to decrease in value through work stoppages or boycotts. If workers are unhappy with their pay or with the conditions of their employment, they do have another right to rely on… they have a right to find work elsewhere.
In his book, And the Wolf Finally Came: The Decline of the American Steel Industry, John Hoerr, of BusinessWeek, describes what happened to the U.S. Steel industry at the hands of I.W. Abel and the United Steelworkers of America. Hoerr tells us, “By the early 1980s, American steelworkers were the best-paid industrial workers in the world. From 1967 to 1979, total hourly employment costs in the steel industry rose 180 percent, or an annual rise of 12.1 percent, while the industry's productivity grew barely 2 percent a year. When this cozy, anticompetitive world was punctured by lower-cost foreign steel, the union had only one answer: import barriers."
Now that once-great industry, the symbol of American economic superiority, is gone, and so are hundreds of thousands of its jobs. It was strangled to death by the steelworkers union.
What steelworkers have done to the steel industry, autoworkers have done to the auto industry. As Robert J. Dewar, a former Ford Motor Company general foreman tells us in his book, A Savage Factory: An Eyewitness Account of the Auto Industry’s Self-Destruction, “the UAW arsenal easily outgunned management. Production was sabotaged. Critical employees were absent when high production was most needed. Tools mysteriously disappeared. Bad quality was run purposely. The weakest, least desirable employees were protected with the full power of the labor contract. When management and the UAW stood eyeball to eyeball, management always backed down – they had to – productivity and profitability hung in the balance.”
The only unionized sectors of our economy that have continued to grow and prosper, through good times and bad, are defense-related industries and government bureaucracy… sectors of our economy that are unaffected by the same economic realities that govern decision-making in other sectors of our economy. But there is little mystery to it.
So long as the world remains a dangerous place for freedom-loving people and the United States must maintain a prohibitive military machine, the amount of money spent to support the defense industry will remain sacrosanct and defense contractors will pay whatever their unions demand.
So long as unions continue to soak their members for hundreds of millions of dollars in dues, they will continue to purchase the loyalty of liberals and Democrats who will support every uneconomic advantage that unions demand.
So long as Democrats continue to expand the size and scope of government, expanding the bloated bureaucracy and creating jobs for hordes of unionized government workers, we have little hope of controlling spending or reducing our national indebtedness.
So long as the unholy alliance between labor unions and the Democrat Party exists, and so long as liberals and Democrats continue to put the interests of union bosses ahead of the national interest, our economy will continue to suffer and our nation will continue on the decline.
So long as the docile American taxpayer remains willing to pick up the tab for this incestuous relationship, and so long as unions are allowed to function as if they have no responsibility for the national interests, we have little chance of leaving anything of value for future generations. Unless we bring labor unions under control, as Governor Haley is attempting to do in South Carolina, the epitaph on our national tombstone will read, “Dead by the hand of labor.”