Just as the city begins to recover from the pandemic, union agitators (oops, “organized labor”) arrive to nip the rally in the bud.
Workers at both the Amazon department store in Staten Island and the giant Starbucks “Roastery Reserve” in Chelsea voted to unionize this week – the first two units of the companies in the city charged with “collective bargaining.”
The last thing the still-struggling Big Apple needs is more private-sector unions on top of the ones already undermining the motivation of our city workers — that is, everyone “from accountants to zookeepers,” according to a boast in District Council 37 website.
Unions punish not only the companies that charge them, but also their customers.
What The New York Times reported, “Amazon’s ability to expedite packages to consumers relies on a vast chain of manual labor that is controlled down to the last second. Nobody knows what will happen if the newly organized workers try to change that model or disrupt operations.”
Ever wonder why the Plaza Hotel’s Oak Room and Oak Bar are closed except for private events? Thanks to the unaffordable conditions of contact imposed by Hotel and Motel Trades Council Local 6.
Why are Broadway tickets so expensive? Musicians Local 802 has a historical hold on the orchestra’s staff. There is even a rule that every show must use a minimum number of artists based on the size of a theater, but not on how many performers are actually needed.
Union down bedding was one of the main reasons the Second Avenue Subway was the “the most expensive meter mile in the world” — costing $2.5 billion per mile compared to a similar project in Paris that cost just $450 million per mile.
The Newspaper Guild belonged to the cabal of printing industry unions that bankrupted four New York daily newspapers in the 1960s and came this close to do the same to the New York Post in 1993, a calamity averted only when local unions representing printers, journalists, drivers and other trades wisely decided not to join the Guild’s suicide strike mission.
Unions dry up the economy under the guise of helping provide a living wage for hard-working stiffs. Union contracts for public employees guarantee members pension and medical coverage it is not available to the general public and depletes valuable state and city funds for the benefit of a lucky few. Meanwhile, as a surveillance site Unionfacts.com puts it, “The American labor movement. . . it is still plagued by rampant corruption, embezzlement, extortion and the influence of numerous organized crime organizations.”
But my hatred of unions is mostly based on life experience. Time and time again, I watched union colleagues comb through contract language looking for every loophole to do less work than a job requires. A friend once attended a funeral where, when rain delayed the service, the casket was left exposed to the elements while the gravediggers took their contractual lunch hour.
My father was a shop steward at a Brooklyn factory until he was promoted to manager, and he quickly learned that the very union work rules he once enforced made “management” impossible.
During a job in my college years at a Suffolk County grocery store, union reps did nothing to help workers with genuine complaints, instead pocketing a percentage of our weekly paychecks.
Cafeteria workers at Stony Brook University, where I worked, were inexplicably covered by a health care union. The shop steward was a card-carrying communist party member who sometimes stopped the kitchen just for fun, but did nothing to help employees burned by grease or cheated on overtime.
Ironically, Starbucks founder Howard Schultz has long espoused pro-worker wake-up rhetoric. He pampers employees with stock-sharing “partnerships” and other perks rare in fast-food operations.
It remains to be seen how much more his Roastery workers will demand. Maybe a limit on the amount of Nitro Pepper Jerky Cold Brews they have to serve?
Of course, each revolution eats its own. Pray that these new “bargaining units” don’t gobble up the businesses they raided, or what’s left of our economy.