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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Black Friday For The Retail Industry

Black Friday, for some reason, is the name for the Friday after Thanksgiving. Stores open early, prices are down and the sheeple are whipped into a frenzy of buying. In order to get the good sale prices on big and small ticket items for Christmas, people line up and mob the store entrances as if they were rabid drug addled fans at a rock concert. It's a mob scene in the classic sense and I've never understood why anyone would do such a thing. Of course, I also never understood the hysterical screaming and crying girls throwing themselves at the fences separating them from the Beatles.

This year, yet another person was trampled, suffocated, pressed to death in the stampede of bovine shoppers at a retail store. Unfortunately, this year it was Wal Mart, the favorite target of the unions, who are salivating at the idea of unionizing and collecting dues from the approximately 2 million employees. Woooeeee!!!. The union dues would be enormous and the union bosses would be able to really give themselves a well earned raise.

Already the Unions are jumping all over this tragic event to stick the shiv into the Wal Mart ribs according to the New York Times. They can't wait to use the death of Mr. Damour as leverage to get their foot in the door or more aptly the camel's nose under the tent. As if the mere presence of the Union would have deterred the mindless stampede.

"Wal-Mart has successfully resisted unionization of its employees. New York State’s largest grocery union, Local 1500 of the United Food and Commercial Workers, called the death of Mr. Damour “avoidable” and demanded investigations."

So far Wal Mart has resisted unionization because the employees have voted down becoming unionized. They are no dummies. Wal Mart, contrary to the propaganda put out by the NYT, the Unions and left leaning liberal media, treats it's employees well. They have a good safety record according to OSHA: better than GM the poster child for the Union's successes in helping business (sarcasm in case you didn't get it). WalMart does provide health insurance for its employees and they get to participate in the $4.00 prescription plan.

Speaking as self employed people who have zero health insurance, the plan linked above sounds pretty good to me. It may not be the 'Cadillac' plan (pun intended) that the unions have forced up GM's butt but still a decent plan. We take advantage of the $4.00 prescription offer as well, saving $76 a month on one of my husband's prescriptions.

Obama, our President Elect (who takes every opportunity to remind us of this fact with his never ending radio addresses and press conferences) is in favor of "Card Check" voting for union organizing. In case you didn't know, this is a way for Union organizers to strong arm people into voting for unionization. It removes the ability of the employees to cast a secret ballot. If you have people hanging over you and haranguing you while you vote and harassing you at home and at work to cast a "Union Ballot", people will be intimidated into voting for the unionization whether they want to or not.

Read the whole thing: Two examples illustrate this problem. During a card-check campaign at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, union organizers threatened that workers who did not sign union cards would lose their jobs when the union was recognized. In 2002, a long-time organizer for the United Steelworkers felt compelled to quit his job after "a senior Steelworkers union official asked me to threaten migrant workers by telling them they would be reported to federal immigration officials if they refused to sign check-off cards." Forcing workers to express their beliefs in public leaves them vulnerable to threats and can discourage them from exercising free choice.

It will get nothing but worse when card check is the law of the land.

How would you like to have your neighbors standing at your elbow when you voted for the President or for any of the Propositions that were just on the ballots in California? How about a crowd of gay rights agitators looming over you if you decided to vote Yes on 8? A secret ballot process is integral to Democracy. When others can coerce your vote or your vote is determined by peer pressure, we will have lost a central freedom in our lives.

If the workers at WalMart or any other industry DO want to unionize, then they should be allowed to hear both sides of the proposition from management and from the unions. They should be allowed to weigh the benefits or pitfalls and then vote in a SECRET BALLOT process.

I'm not completely negative on the place of Unions in the work place. They have a long and distinguished history of protecting people from unfair or unhealthy work conditions. However.....the conditions that brought the Unions to power, no longer exist. We have labor laws up the booyang to keep people safe. Smart businesses today (like Wal Mart) treat their labor force well. The power struggle now between the Union and retail is not so much about the employees as it is a money grab by the Union organizers.

You think our economy is in trouble now? Let the Unions get a strangle hold on retail like they have had on the auto industry, the steel industry, the airline industry and watch retail jobs evaporate. Retail is one of the last places that unskilled workers can have decent jobs in decent environments (instead of working outdoors digging ditches).

Unionize retail? Jobs will be lost, stores will close, prices will go up, no more $4.00 prescriptions, suppliers for the retail giants like Wal Mart will have to shrink their production to accommodate the shrinking demand. Poor people who rely on the bargains now offered will have to cut even further back on their budgets.

Good job Unions. Hey, but at least you get to collect those dues from the workers that are remaining.

1 comment:

  1. Have you seen this article by Pat Buchanan yet? I think he is OTL on this one for sure. Check it out.

    I just got it this morning from Human and wonder just what he has in mind to do with the union contracts of the Big Three along with the rest of his recommendations.

    BTW Love your commenting on Althouse. You seem to nail my thoughts about 9 times out of 10.