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Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Right To Work or Unions Suck

There is an online acquaintance of mine who self-identifies as Libertarian.  OK, whatever, I know many people who do. It does not confer any sort of moral superiority on you, just as my being Objectivist confers no special rights or honors on me.  It gives me no further insight into anything more than I have observed and experienced myself.

This person lives in Virginia and has railed against the fact that Virginia does not participate in the Medicaid program.  Again, I mention, she's a self-identified Libertarian.  And then today she said the following, referring to someone moving to Virginia:

it is also a right to work state which means right to screw your employee state.
 Again, I point out the fact that she self-identifies as Libertarian.  Which would imply she does not want a lot of government intrusion in her life, wouldn't it?  Don't get me wrong, I am not ridiculing her, I am merely pointing out that the word Libertarian that she keeps saying doesn't mean what she thinks it means.

So, let's look at what Right to Work really means.  You will note that I have added the obligatory Wiki link as most people think that everything there is truth.

Does Right to Work guarantee you a job?  Nope.  Does right to work mean that you can be fired for no reason whatsoever?  Yes.  However, you can still collect Unemployment Insurance.  Many of the employment problems in Texas stem from employers trying to get out of people they let go collecting unemployment for being let go for a less than virtuous reason.  Trust me, I've been through this more than once, both time I was able to collect unemployment because my employers had acted with less than honorable actions towards my employment.  But, I had to prove it, and I did prove it because the actions of the employers were so blatant, so bad, that there was no defense for it.  The fact that they did it in a very public manner only helped my case.

Does Right to Work mean there is sexual harassment gone wild in the states where it is law?  I can only speak for Texas, I know it does exist, but for the most part I've yet to witness it in decades.  It could just be me, because most men know that I'd begin ripping off protruding parts of their anatomy if they ever tried any physical shit with me, or rip their bleeding psyches from their bodies while they watched if they tried any psychological shit.  However, I don't see my boss telling me that my new hair cut looks nice is sexual harassment.  Seriously though, in Texas, the ONLY women I've ever seen claiming sexual harassment only did so to get attention, because no one was going to tap that.  No way.  No how.  If you're going to scream sexual harassment, at least make it a little believable.  Please.

Does Right to Work mean that there are no Child Labor Laws?  Nope, we've got them.  Since the Federal Government has made it impossible for anyone under 18 to actually get a job, that's pretty much been taken care of by Momma Gubmint.

Does Right to Work mean that the beatings will continue until morale improves?  Nope.  Employees do have a way to address grievances in Right to Work states.  I've personally worked at two places where employees went to the Workforce Commission, aka Labor Board, about their wages and in both instances the company I worked for was forced to pay the employees back pay and come up with a better pay structure and they were both monitored for years afterward.  The employee has to stick up for himself, though.  For many that is not easy.  But, as I've always said, why should I fight for you if you're not willing to fight for yourself?

Does Right to Work mean that you are not paid enough for the job you do?  Oh come on, that's a red herring. As in all things Free Market, you are paid as much as your employer feels the job you do is worth.  There isn't a swinging dick out there that doesn't think he's not paid enough for the job he does.  That's not up to him.  That's up to his employer.  If you are not being paid enough for what you do, quit and get another job.  Improve your skills so you can get a promotion.  But, YOU have to do it.  Again, why should I do anything for you that you're not willing to do for yourself?  Do people get screwed over wage-wise in their jobs in Right to Work states?  Oh hell yes, there are greedy, stupid people everywhere, you can't escape them.  However, like one business in the small town where I live has found out, if you don't pay for quality help, you don't get quality help.  They have three locations here and are literally scraping the bottom of a very stupid barrel.  They only applicants they get are welfare recipients who have run out of benefits.  They are lazy, stupid and have no idea what working means.  They scream and shout, pout and cry when told they can't dress like hookers on the stroll to come into the office.  They are constantly late to work because they have no concept of getting up in the morning, getting themselves and their litter of children ready for the day, hell, most don't even own cars.  You can hear their shrieks when they receive their first paycheck when they get a load of who pays the way for all the malingerers.  Those pieces of street meat get exactly what they are worth.  This company has also lost all of the good people who got a lot of work done correctly because they were not paid what they were worth.  There is hardly anyone there who gets more than $8.50 and hour.  You decide.

Does Right to Work mean there is no Worker's Compensation?  Nope, every employer in every state is required to carry a certain limit of WC, based on the size of their business, type of business and number of employees.  They have to prove they carry that insurance annually.  Do people get hurt on the job in Right to Work states?  Of course they do. 

Does Right to Work mean you get no time off or vacation?  What about working hours?  All of that is contingent on the policies of the company you work for.  In Texas we have laws about work hours, pay for over-time, and number of hours worked in succession.  Time off and vacation is a sticky widget.  I figured out that I had not had one continuous week from my work in eight and a half years.  I took one week off to move into our new home.  Other than that, it's been a day here, day there.  Mainly because my last employer only hired part-time folks and the ones who actually worked and got stuff done never got time off approved.  However, if you barely met your quotas you could easily take a week off from work to take a cruise because hey, you hardly ever did anything anyway and it was very easy for others to pick up your slack.

Does Right to Work mean you don't have to join a union if you don't want to?  Why, yes!  That was it's major selling point and why unions have a hard time making inroads in Right to Work states.  I can't speak for other states, but unions don't do well in Texas.  I've yet to see one that has.  Right here where I live, about 20 years ago the General Tire plant here had a union.  They union decided to strike for more pay, less work time... You know, the usual.  General Tire closed down the plant, moved production to Mexico (that huge sucking sound that was heard by Ross Perot) and all of the workers were out of work.  No plant, no contract, no work.  The plant has now been picked clean by scavengers for the copper wiring in the electrical wires.  Another example?  There are no Safeway grocery stores in Texas.  My sister worked for them during the Union debacle and was forced to pay union dues, even working part time in the bakery.  Safeway folded in Texas and became Apple Tree, a non-union shop and then disappeared, I believe.  I've seen illegal strikers lose their jobs at refineries in Houston.  I've seen how well the attempted unionization of Wal-Mart employees went here.  That dog just ain't gonna hunt. The general consensus in Texas is that you shouldn't have to pay anyone to work anywhere and see unions as a bunch of whiney, lazy malingerers.  Ask anyone working around the GM truck plant up in Arlington.  A bunch of folks got let go when a bunch of union pukes decided to strike back in '98.  They didn't even work for the GM plant and the GM plant wasn't even on strike.  It was the parts producers union who went on strike.  No parts, no assembly line work, no job.

Does Right to Work keep you from getting work if you're fired from your job?  Nope, but then again, neither does being in a union.  You can ask my brother about that. Your employer cannot say anything about you other than dates you worked for them and if you are available for rehire.  That's federal law.  But union brothers talk amongst each other and many have been black balled thanks to it.  You don't toe the union line, you don't get union work.  Period.

Black Balled -
to exclude from a club by adverse votes," 1770, from black + ball (1). Black balls of wood or ivory dropped into an urn during secret ballots.
Right to work is a good idea for many reasons, the biggest being it's necessary in a free market.  I think my friend mixes up Right to Work with At Will Employment.

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