Why We Need Unions #351

by A. Jay Adler on February 26, 2011
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I’m in activist mode this week. Later, next week, I’ll offer some deeper reflections. But a curious result of all the activist tweeting I’ve been doing through the week has been the response from conservatives. Mostly, my tweets are retweeted by the generally liberal like-minded. My tweets on the Wisconsin labor standoff, though, making their way through conservative tweet streams, are drawing antagonistic replies. No doubt, in part, it’s because they think they smell blood: unions finally on the ropes. I think it’s a sign, too, though, of how much conservatives and libertarians hate unions. So in my most recent not always kindest self (on this issue) response to the most recent antagonist, unmoved by employees fired by tyrannical bosses, I managed to boil one essential need for unions down to its essence.

“No, actually, I think we need unions because of you,” I tweeted.

At that later point of reflection I’ll write about positions on unions so often being argumentative conclusions predetermined by the political philosophy that seeks to justify those conclusions rather than the end of any genuine thinking. But here is an example, again, from a recent tweet exchange.

Some conservative momma grizzly with a blog and a proud obstreperous attitude – “deal with it” – waded ashore from one of the #tcot streams to say that she’d be more impressed about arguments in favor of unions if liberals had “a clue.” Collective bargaining, she wrote, is not a “right.”

I responded by asking what she meant by “right.”

MG apparently meant legal right. I explained that the reason WI Gov. Walker needs legislation to eliminate collective bargaining for public sector unions is that it is now a legal right. As the National Labor Relations (Wagner) act legalized this right for private sector unions, over several decades individual state laws, (sometime called mini-Wagners) legalized these rights on the state level and for state and other public sector employees. While MG continued to call me a “moonbat” and in her other tweets casually dismiss liberals as emotional, illogical, non-fact-based non-thinkers (the logic of the need for legislation to end collective bargaining “rights” having escaped her), I provided her with a link. It is the Wisconsin State Journal providing a mini-lesson in Wisconsin state labor history.

MG’s tweet stream went silent for about twenty minutes. One might hope she was reading. I never heard back from her, but after the silence she was back to yucking it up with her #tcot pals about what dolts and slacker liberals and union workers are.

Anyone can be wrong, In MG’s case, though, it didn’t matter, because she will believe what she wishes to believe. It is, as they say, a free country. She can believe what she wants. But I wouldn’t want her to be my boss, and if she were, I’d want some united power against her.

Now back to the Los Angeles rally in support of Wisconsin and all labor rights.

AJA

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