The Missouri General Primary Election will be here Tuesday August 2, 2016. There are two opportunities to stop the craziest of the right-wing wanna-bes running for office. The first is to defeat them in the Primary on August 2 and if that is unsuccessful by beating them in the General election in November. Today’s post will be an updated version of Union Schmunion: A Play In 4 Acts…
Act 1,: The day after election day.
Opens on a “union” worker in his car on his way to work hearing the election results.
Announcer: Here are the results of yesterday’s election:
Donald Trump won the race for the White House by a slim margin, defeating Hillary Clinton by less than 5,000 votes in Missouri which was a huge battleground state. In fact, Missouri was the determining factor in the Presidential race. At the state level, Peter Kinder squeaked out a win to take the Governor’s mansion and the House of Representatives and State Senate remain in Republican control. Election officials estimate about a 46% turnout of registered voters in Missouri.
Worker: on cell phone, calling wife.
Hi babe. I just heard on the news that Trump won the election. I guess there are a lot of people who are pro-life after all. Kinder is the new Governor and the Republicans retain majority in the House and Senate. Maybe now they can get by this “bi-partisan crap” and get some real work done!
Wife: So you managed to get to the polls yesterday after work?
Worker: Oh hell no! My vote don’t count anyway, the politicians are just going to do what they want to no matter how many people vote. The shop steward tried to tell us that since we have about 4,000 members and if you take into account the spouses and grown children that we could have a major effect on the election results. Who cares as long as the “baby killer” didn’t get elected. What the politicians do don’t really affect me anyway.
Wife: Wasn’t your shop steward saying something about this becoming a “right-to-work” state if the Republicans got in power?
Worker: Oh, the union doesn’t know what they’re talking about. The state can’t do that. Oh, by the way I’m going to be a little late tonight. I ‘m going to stop off at Sam’s Club and stock up on beer and snacks for the game this weekend.
Wife: OK, I have to go to Wal-Mart later to get some pop-tarts and cereal. I wish they had more grocery items, their prices are so cheap!
Worker: I know what you mean. I love saving money!
Wife: By the way, I have to take the Toyota in for another recall.
Worker: OK, I’ll leave you the Mazda tomorrow and get a ride in with Gary. See ya tonight. I love you!
Wife: I love you too!
A few months later.
Worker is in his car and the news is on:
Announcer: Today in the Missouri House, legislation passed to make the “union security clause” illegal. The bill will be sent to the Senate tomorrow where it is expected to easily pass and will be presented to the Governor next week. If this measure passes, workers will be able to avoid paying for the cost of their union representation.
Worker calls wife on cell phone: Hey honey, they just said on the radio that the house passed a bill to make it a choice to pay the union.
Wife: Wasn’t that what your shop steward was talking about with the “right-to-work” thing?
Worker: I don’t know. She said something about that if this legislation passed we wouldn’t have to pay dues anymore which sounds good to me! The union is always in my pocket. Wish we could get this deal with the Homeowners Association!
Wife: If you don’t pay dues what would happen? You have been written up a few times, could the company fire you?
Worker: Heck no, if I got in trouble they would still have to represent me! I just wouldn’t have to pay dues anymore. What a bargain!
Worker in car, listening to the news.
Announcer: The legislation passed by the House and Senate giving workers the choice to join a union or just receive services for free was signed into law today by Governor Kinder. This measure will make workplaces “open shops” meaning that workers will no longer have to pay for the cost of their representation through union dues. Governor Kinder says that this law will add hundreds of thousands of dollars to the economy that would have been tied up in dues money.
Worker on cell phone with wife: Hey babe, that law about collecting dues passed. I’m not going to pay anymore! I just gave myself a $28.00 a month raise! Order Dominoes Pizza tonight baby, we’re eating out!
Wife: Has anyone else talked about not paying dues?
Worker: Oh, heck yeah! The shop steward was making her rounds again today trying to convince everyone that the amount of protection provided by the small amount of dues paid was a bargain! What a moron! She must be getting a kick-back from the hall or something. If you can get something free, why the heck would you pay for it? The only thing I would be giving up is the right to attend meetings and vote on contracts and our contracts are crap anyway. The only time I attend meetings is when we have a contract coming up. About half the guys at work are planning on not paying dues anymore. Most of us joined the union because we had to. Heck the amount of money I’ll be saving by not paying dues means we can get cheese sticks with our pizza every week!
Wife: You’re sure that you will still be OK if you get into trouble?
Worker: Yeah, that’s the beautiful part of this whole set-up. Legally, the union still has to represent anyone who gets into trouble. We just don’t have to pay dues anymore.
Wife: Isn’t that going to make the union weaker?
Worker: Oh, please! What do those guys do all day anyway? The union never did anything for me. The shop steward was in the room when they wrote me up for being late a couple of times. Big deal! Since we got the new alarm clock from Wal-Mart that hasn’t been a problem, I go in and do my job and they pretty much leave me alone. As long as you don’t make waves, who needs the union? It’s not like our store owners are monsters or anything. They’re reasonable people. All things considered they treat us pretty good, as long as we do our part.
Wife: OK, it sounds like a good deal. I’ll see you tonight.
ACT 4: Fast forward 18 months.
Worker on cell phone: Hey babe, I’ll be late tonight, the owners have called a special “mandatory meeting”. Oh well, I can use a little overtime.
Wife: Any idea what It’s about?
Worker: Not really they just said something about some changes. Maybe we are going to get a raise!
Wife: That would be nice, let me know what happens.
Worker: OK, I’ll call when we get out of the meeting.
After the meeting,
Worker on cell phone: You are not going to believe this!
Wife: What happened?
Worker: The company says that starting next week our new pay scale will be topped out at $8.00 per hour! And they aren’t going to pay any part of our health care anymore! If we want insurance it is going to cost us $250.00 a month just for me, you and the kids will be another $350.00 per month! They said that they were “proud” to be able to offer such a good deal for coverage since we have so many employees in our group! They are also capping vacation time to a maximum of two weeks no matter how many years you have, and the only holiday they are going to close is Christmas Day! They also said that according to the N.L.R.B. they don’t have to pay overtime until we get past 40 hours a week instead of 8 hours a day, so this meeting is going to be paid in straight time! Plus, they are doing away with the pension. They said we have access to a 401k and we better use it because Social Security won’t be there for us. Can you believe this stuff?
Wife: Oh my gosh, what does the union say about all this?
Worker: We asked about that. Since the shop steward got a new job six months ago, nobody has kept up with what was going on over there. Get this, since 70% of the members decided not to pay dues anymore the damn union closed their doors! Our contract is now void and the company lawyer said they can legally do all this stuff. The company says that a new Wal-Mart SuperCener is going to be built on the lot where the union hall is now, so these changes are necessary to be competitive. The company said if we didn’t like the new terms we knew where the door was but be sure it doesn’t hit us in the back when we leave since an injury that happens on company property doesn’t mean it is automatically work-comp! They also said that the new Wal-Mart was going to be paying $7.50 an hour, but they recognized how valuable our experience is to the company so they are going to pay us $8.00! WHAT THE HECK ARE WE GOING TO DO?!!!!!