Monday, September 19, 2005

The Little Protection Racket That Couldn't


The Little Protection Racket That Couldn’tThis little card arrived in my mailbox over the weekend. Note the date on it: 2004-2005. Note the number of weeks left in the period, 2004-2005.

Note further that I have been a member of this particular union local since September of 2000. This is the first membership card I have received from them.

Mind you, if unions provided what they said they provide, we could use them where I work. At my worksite, county employees all work 8 ½ hours without a break or lunch. It’s argued that in an emergency room environment---especially one in which we’re allowed to surf the Internet at leisure when things are slow—lunches and breaks are impossible to stagger. Further, we have a boss who fears criticism from his superiors, and thus can’t support us for beans. So yeah, a union steward who could do the job like the UAW guys who advocated for my dad when he sustained a terrible brain injury, somebody who could sit next to us and say, “Sorry, J. Jonah Jameson Look-alike Guy, your employees will have to get paid for that extra half hour if they don’t take a lunch,” or, “Sorry, it’s not OK for the psychiatry residents to call the social workers the n-word and make them wash their feet,” would be great.

Unfortunately, our AFSCME local is not like that. I’m not sure what they do. I’ve been to several meetings, where the board argues over various minutiae; but they cancel many of the meetings at the last minute. They charge us dues (protection money, I call it). Now, you don’t have to pay “dues” if you don’t want to. That’s right. You still have to have the same amount taken out of your paycheck. And it still goes to AFSCME. It’s just not called “Dues” and you can’t use the union for anything (only fair, no?) Of course, the money also goes to whatever AFSCME supports, in a totally non-partisan way. (Now, about that oceanfront property in Arizona…..)

I complained about this once and was assured that I didn’t have to vote for the people AFSCME endorsed.

So we are also represented by people with IQs under 70, as you can see. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. ADA and all that, you know.


1 comment :

Billy D said...

Unions are the worst, absolute worst thing going. They had a place at one time, but now, they really don't. They just drain money and jobs. Thing is, what would a union rep be qualified for?
(I was a member of IUMSWA for quite some time. What a crock)