My Quiet Life My Quiet Life

unionize this

Well, the NYC MTA workers are on strike. Cue the hysterical union-bashing and demonizing.

Rich says “Nothing says solidarity like screwing over 7 million commuters on Christmas week because you feel like $55K for sitting in a ticket booth is an insult.” Pink Kitty “our entire society is acting like a 5 year old with a buck in his pocket.”

Nevermind that some of the issues at the heart of the strike include safety – of the workers and, yes, the riders:

Horace Edwards, a subway-car inspector, said he was under pressure to allow cars into service. “With management, it’s all about performance,” he said. “They want the subways cars to be on time. A lot of cars go out with violations. They tell us to overlook it.”

Those lazy bastards – always looking to make a living wage and protect the safety of their customers!! The anti-union rhetoric is very odd. The “how dare they demand more than the pittance they’re allowed for their pathetic job” sort of sentiment is striking in that it usually comes from working schmoes just like you and me. I don’t really think collective bargaining and leveraging power for a decent wage is something deplorable. If you don’t think that “sitting in a ticket booth” is a job worth paying that much for, that’s fine, but you can’t pitch a hissy-fit because labor found a way to leverage their collective power and get a leg-up on the “free” market. Maybe we ought to take a long, hard look at the system that created this demeaning, boring-ass job in which a person is demoted to a mere commodity.

Rich goes on to lament:

Look, there may be some unions out there that are needed and do good work. In fact, I’d bet on it. I know my ex wife’s ex-father-in-law, a man I deeply respect, is a life-long union man. And it could be that the two unions I’ve had personal contact with are not representative of the whole bunch. But man, these yahoos in NYC sure make it hard for me to take unions seriously.

I find myself wondering what he thinks unions exist for. They’re not social clubs – just a bunch of guys getting together to hold meetings and drink coffee. Unions exist to represent organized workers and bargain collectively on their behalf. This includes striking. It’s what they do.

Pink Kitty, in expressing her clucking disapproval of the striker’s impudence, says she “would like to work in a job where I’m guarenteed (sic) a 4% pay increase every year.”

Really? Me too. Consider joining a union. That’s why they exist.