Ever since labor unions came on the scene well over a century ago, they have fought for higher wages, more benefits and better working conditions. For many years, they were very successful in helping millions of Americans to better support and provide for their families.
However, like many other good things, unions have become more of a problem than a help in recent decades. Their constant demands for higher wages and more benefits have prompted thousands of businesses to look outside the US for their labor force. Many others ended up laying off workers or going out of business because they could not afford the extortionist demands of union leaders.
I always thought it was hypocritical and wrong when union leaders make such unrealistic demands that it causes businesses to downsize or close their doors. Exactly what do they gain by causing thousands of union workers to lose their jobs. Yet, the union leaders at the core of the problem continue to draw their fat paychecks while their former members lose their homes, cars and often their families.
Today, many union leaders around the country have jumped on the $15/hour minimum wage bandwagon. They are also calling for mandatory paid sick time for all workers. Union leaders say that it’s a matter of fairness to pay workers enough to support their families. They are vowing to fight for their members no matter what it takes just like they’ve always done.
But I wonder how many union members realize the traitorous actions of the same union leaders who openly promise to fight for them? How many of the union members are aware of a thing referred to as a ‘union escape clause?’
During many union negotiations with employers, it’s a fairly common practice for union leaders to push to have some form of union escape clause written into the contracts. In most instances, the union escape clause basically allows unionized employers to pay their employees a lower wage and it allows them to not pay sick time.
Some unions are using the union escape clause to entice employers to support the $15/minimum wage. For example, the Seattle Times revealed what has been happening with SeaTac:
“It is revealing that the $15 minimum-wage campaign in SeaTac, considered Ground Zero of the ‘Fight for $15’ movement, initially had nothing to do with winning a higher minimum wage or paid sick leave for workers. It started as an effort to intimidate SeaTac employers into unionizing. Unions tried to strong-arm employers into unionizing by threatening to fund a $15 minimum-wage ballot measure. When employers resisted, union executives made good on their threat, complete with a clause to coerce and incentivize employers to unionize.”
The real loser in all of this are the employees who are then forced to pay union dues to support the union leaders who sold them out using a union escape clause resulting in the employees being paid a lower wage and not receiving any paid sick time. The only real winner in these cases are the union leaders who sit back getting fat while screwing over all of their union members.
I firmly believe that union leaders should be subject to the same wages and benefits that their members are forced to live with. If the union members are paid less because of the union escape clause then union leaders should also be paid less. If the union strikes and the members stop receiving a paycheck, then union leaders should also stop receiving a paycheck. Don’t you think this would change the way union leaders operate when their wallets are affected as much as the workers they represent?