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November 09, 2008

Benefits of union membership

George Benjamin (11/6, Letters) said that as a teenager working on the docks of Maryland he was threatened by union organizers. I am not familiar with the dockworkers union. But I am sure that most docks in the U.S. are unionized, and that when you go to work on a dock, agreeing to join the union is part of the employment requirements. If Benjamin and his friends were not informed of this or were anti-union, I can see where the problem is.

I am a retired union man with 50 years of membership. I always received fair wages and health and welfare. Part of my hourly wages went into a retirement fund, which I now receive, along with the union health and welfare as my Medicare supplement.

I did have to pay union dues to the members who negotiated our contracts and made sure that the union rules, which included a day’s work for a day’s pay, were followed.

While I am not familiar with the wording of the Employee Free Choice Act, I am sure that the unions would not push an act that is un-American.

Joe Kramps
Lee’s Summit



Joe is either ignorant or intentionally leaves out that to pay for his artificially high wages work is moved outside of the country or never created.

If a company has to pay above the market wage for a given employees skill there is less money for future expansion or the cost is passed on to the consumer. That consumer either does not buy the product and the company has to down size or has less money remaining to invest in future profitable ventures or goods and services.

Although an individuals standard of living can increase if they belong to a union, a countries net standard of living is improved only by increased productivity. Unions are an enormous roadblock to increases in productivity.


"Why should that be a requirement?"

Easy answer. It's a requirement because many "prevailing wage" states allow unions to enforce "union-only" rules in hiring practices. Much like the proposed bill, this helps ensure that union membership levels stay put or increase.

I guess that the "right of every employee to choose union membership" through the easiest method possible only goes one way.

T. Hanson

"...agreeing to join the union is part of the employment requirements..."

Why? Why should that be a requirement? I mean in Missouri you had to be part of the union and could be fired if you weren't (which is why UPS and FedEX moved most of their operations to Kansas). This requirement is one of the worst decisions that I could think of a state to pass in a long time.


"...I am sure that the unions would not push an act that is un-American."

This guy is hilarious. He should add that he's sure a politician wouldn't lie, a student wouldn't cheat, and an employee wouldn't steal. I wonder what color the sky is in his world?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the ability of employees to organize and present a united front to their employers. The government protection of this organization at the expense of the companies rights (extended strike protection, forced binding arbitration, forced wage rules, etc) is where the line is crossed. The latest power grab is nothing more than a giant recruitment tool by the unions, who have seen a drastic decline in their membership.

I'll ask it again, since when are secret ballot elections a bad thing?

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