About Those "Union Bosses"
The Capital Times
I am writing today because I finally ran across the one-too-manieth occurrence of the phrase “union bosses” that tipped me over the brink from annoyance to outrage.
Here are things that a real boss can do: hire you, fire you, promote you, demote you, reassign you (including to a different city), tell you when you can or can’t take vacation days you’ve supposedly “earned”, tell you what to do during half of your waking life, make you pee in a cup, change your pay, publicly ridicule or belittle you, tell you what kind of clothes you can or cannot or must wear, order you to work overtime (regardless of what other plans you may have had), make you listen to their jokes (including the racist and sexist ones), and ignore you whenever they feel like it.
How many of those things can a union leader do? None. None of them. Not a one.
As Bob Black wrote in The Libertarian as Conservative (1984), "Your foreman or supervisor gives you more or-else orders in a week than the police do in a decade." Your only recourse? Quit. Conversely, union leaders never give you an or-else order. That’s because they work for you, not the other way around.
Union leaders come from the rank and file, not from on high, are elected by the union’s members, and continue to be responsible to them. Can you imagine the look on the face of a real boss if you were to stroll into his office and announce that you intended to run against him for ownership of the company next year because you thot he was doing a crappy job? Yet that’s exactly how it works with unions. They’re democracies, not monarchies.
In brief, any time you hear some right-wing hack mindlessly parroting the phrase “union bosses”, you can safely assume that either their brain isn’t engaged or they don’t have one to begin with. And feel free to ignore everything else they have to say, too, considering the source.
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A banker, a tea-partier, and a union member are sitting at a table with a plate of a dozen cookies. The banker takes 11 cookies, then turns to the tea-partier and says “You should watch out for that other guy; I think he wants more than half of your cookie.”