Oh my. Talk about reverse of fortunes. The Unions in Indiana are scrambling to maintain their mafia style grip on members' wallets. Two articles from Indiana Business Journal illustrate just how desperate the unions have become.
But first a little background. The Indiana recently passed a law making it a right-to-work state. Effectively what this law does is end the extortion scheme the unions have enjoyed over the past 70 plus years where union dues are automatically deducted from members' paycheck to the tune of $2,000 to $2,500 a year.
If this sounds familiar it should, it's the same principle as the mafia's 'protection' scheme where local businesses are charged a 'fee' for protection (presumably from an unnamed outside force but in reality it is from the mafia itself). If the businesses didn't pay they would wake up one morning to find a brick thrown through their window or sometimes worse.
Now for the fun. Back in February the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 filed a restraining order in federal court to halt the right-to-work law:
The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 contends in a motion filed Monday afternoon that the law will cause irreparable harm, saying it already has employers actively questioning its ability to sustain itself in the face of a loss of a significant portion of its dues. The union says its members pay on average between $2,000 and $2,500 a year in dues and a loss of just 10 percent in membership would cost it $500,000 a year.
Golly, that's a lot of scratch and I can see why there a bit upset over the new law. But here's what I don't understand, rather than extorting the dues from their members, why not justify the value of union membership so that members are lining up to dole out the $2,000 to $2,500 bucks every year.
Reading between the lines it appears that what the unions are saying is that apparently current membership dues are too high because given a choice some union members would prefer not to pay. In other words, some members just don't see the value of membership (don't you just love the free market system?). So in order for unions to survive they either have to either lower membership dues (not bloody likely) or resort to legalized extortion.
So after they failed to get their way February what's a
Indiana's new right-to-work law should be struck down because it infringes upon unions' free speech rights by depriving them of the dues that fund their political speech..
Attorneys for the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 argue in a court brief that Indiana's new law, which allows workers to not pay union dues even if a union bargains on their behalf, interferes with the union's free speech rights and "impinges on this fundamental right of union membership."
And what precedent did the Union's lawyers use to justify this nonsense?
[t]he union cites the 2010 Citizens United decision, which struck down on free-speech grounds restrictions on corporations' and union spending on advertising endorsing or opposing certain candidates.
I just.. how do they.. SAY WHAT?
First of all the case the union lawyers are citing was struck down not because of where the financing was coming from, but rather, that the law put spending limits on corporations and unions.
So if I follow the unions' logic from their brief, we here at 6079 Smith, W can spend as much as we want and when we run out of money we can sue our advertisers for more money because if they don't payup our first amendment rights are somehow violated?
Um, hope that works out for you guys in Hoosier land..
Realistically the unions would be better off trying to make themselves relevant to their members and less time giving the rest of us a good chuckle at their abject desperation.