I have often said that if private unions do not act in a crony way, they are perfectly legitimate. If a group of people want to come together to collectively bargain and sell their labor in bulk I think this can be OK. A contract can create a sense of stability for both management and workers. But the only moral way to do this is without coercive action from government. Unfortunately unions seem never to stray far from their crony friends in government. (And/or other organizations with the power to compel with force.)
Public sector unions are much worse though. Public employees work for the public. Their salaries and pensions are paid by taxpayers. They should not be able to unionize as public sector unions are fundamentally crony from the get-go. Such unions are tied into government. These unions buy politicians with dues. These politicians are open to fattened contracts. As contracts get fatter, the checks to the politicians get fatter. The public sector unions “negotiate” with these union friendly politicians and the taxpayer ultimately is left holding the bag.
Unions want money. Each union member is an annuity. Members pay their dues and the cash flows back to the bosses. The unions, like the government, prefer to take funds (dues) straight from people’s pay checks. It’s less painful that way and people then don’t actually have to opt-in when they pay.
A new hire is a new annuity. Unions always want a closed shop. Want to work? You have to pay the union. But this only works when special laws are in place which allow unions to basically rob their (forced) members.
However a recent court ruling has made it harder to close the public worker shop. And guess what? When people can work and not be part of a union they often prefer to do just that.
Unions guys always poo poo this of course. These non-union workers are then just “free riding” on the backs of dues paying members.
The thing is unions should always have to make a compelling case to their members and potential members for their existence. If workers see value in the union they’ll opt-in. If they don’t they won’t.
This is what scares many a fat and happy union boss.
(From The Washington Examiner)
A Seattle branch of the Service Employees International Union saw almost half of its members walk away in a single year following a 2014 Supreme Court decision that gave those workers that right for the first time.
The sharp decline underscores why public-sector union leaders opposed the court’s decision in Harris v. Quinn: In many cases, large numbers of their members were not interested in being in a union in the first place.
Local 925’s membership, mainly state-subsidized family child care providers, fell from 6,600 in June 2014 to 3,700 in May 2015, according to Washington State’s Department of Social and Health Services. That followed the court’s ruling in Harris v. Quinn that Illinois state-subsidized in-home caregivers for the disabled were not public-sector employees and therefore not eligible for collective bargaining.