Friday, January 13, 2006

Why Unions Rock

Why Unions Rock
They don't "hurt the people." They are the people.
by David Faris
Philadelphia City Paper

New York City recently resolved a crippling transit strike, and my sympathies are entirely with the workers. The transit workers might have been wrong—I don't care. Unions are human institutions, and it stands to reason that occasionally they take improper bargaining stances or become corrupt. People who fundamentally sympathize with management against workers like to wave every bad union in your face like it's O.J. Simpson's shrunken glove, but the reality is that unions work and people who aren't in them make less money than people who are.

The New York strike wasn't about pensions. If it was, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) would have demanded larger cuts, or introduced its demands earlier in the process than it did. As it was, the MTA's pension demands came so late in the process that the Transit Workers Union (TWU) could not possibly have compromised. The standoff was about busting unions, and more importantly, about turning the public against the TWU and organized labor in general.


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