Unions are no longer important?
That’s what some say, that unions were important back in the day, but they’ve out-lived their purpose. They won us reasonable work shifts, overtime pay, maternity and family leaves, sick pay, holidays, and other great stuff — but now that that’s all done we don’t really worry about losing any of that, right?
Did anybody ever make that argument when it comes to the U.S. Constitution, or the systems established by our Founding Fathers? The Bill of Rights was a great thing, but we don’t need Congress anymore, our laws are all fine now, we can pretty much rely on momentum to keep everything on course. After all, what could happen?
According to ABC News, Amy Zvovushe, a senior program manager with a marketing company in Connecticut, alleges the Human Resource department asked her to resign rather than providing leave after learning she was pregnant; that’s a form of discrimination that advocates say many women in the progressive, pro-family United States still face, an HR department intent on something other than helping the human resources a company has today.
ABC reported earlier this month that after Zvovushe told a human resources employee at D.L. Ryan Companies, Ltd., that she was pregnant, when she subsequently met with two human resource executives they said that since she had not been with the company, which has over 50 employees, for a full year, her pregnancy meant Amy would have to resign “voluntarily.” Because she was not protected under the federal Family Medical Leave Act due to her relatively recent start date, she was told, “technically if you don’t come to work,” it wouldn’t matter, “whether you’re having your appendix out or you’re having a baby or you’re dealing with a sick person — you didn’t show up for work on Monday.”
Michael Soltis, an attorney for the company, said the company declined to comment on the audio and the situation because they are a pending legal matter.
The first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, known as the “Bill of Rights” specified basic rights such as freedom of religion and speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and the right of individuals to possess weapons. Since these are well-established, should we conclude that the institution of the Bill of Rights is no longer at issue, and roll back the very principles we fought so hard to secure?
If not, why roll back the fruits of laborers bargaining collectively, an exercise of our freedom of assembly that contributes to the pursuit of happiness?
There can be only one motivation for claiming the tactic of union bargaining is no longer necessary: as a prelude to taking these hard-won, time-tested benefits away from the people working under such agreements.
Unions provide the balance to big business CEOs, HR departments that worry more about the quarterly bottom-line than the employees, lobbyists from the Chamber of Commerce, and those elected members of Congress and state legislatures who are pushing back against what unions have won for workers in the U.S. and not working to create jobs. They level the playing field when workers come up against under-handed corporate agents such as those who suggested Amy Zsovushe had no alternative but to resign when she got pregnant.
We all do better when we all do better.
We expect a business owner to control costs. But changing the rules primarily to make sure they have more cash on hand to pay out bonuses, or pay lobbyists to continue tilting the laws in favor of the 1%, when it requires an entire organization to earn that money, isn’t what most people think of when they hear talk about the “American Dream.”
Whining about corporate taxes (currently already at historic lows,) is part of life; changes to fair benefits, including health care and pensions that middle class workers and unions secured while our country developed into a global super power, do nothing but further tip the scales in favor of those who’ve already “made it.” They need the rest of us to not only keep working, but to keep spending — that’s what creates demand, not lower taxes or busting unions so you can roll back the rights won by collective bargaining. What’s next, rolling back the Bill of Rights, too?
In fact, the talk about taxes is just cover for union-busting. Skeptics need to consider these two cold, hard facts. Corporate profits are at a 50-year high, while unemployment is at – you guessed it – a 50-year high. As Venture Capitalist Hanauer said, “If it was true that the rich and business were the job creators, we’d be drowning in jobs. today.” Unions have won a lot from big businesses and wealthy barons of industry, yet the rich are not exactly struggling in the U.S.A.
It’s a partnership between business owners and workers, with opportunities for everybody to earn a fair share, that created the thriving consumer demand that fueled our economy to run faster, hotter, and better than anywhere else on the planet. We can do that again just as soon as the greedy actually return to valuing everybody’s contributions rather than simply pursuing personal wealth far in excess of what they’ll ever spend – just for the sake of having more.