April 2013

 


Beckerisms
I had a friendly meeting with some representatives from the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 75. They wanted me to understand the benefits of union membership and their opposition to right-to-work. After listening to their arguments, I decided to tell them my history of union engagement:

  1. It was circa 1980. I was a young man working at Rinks and a member of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 75. I didn't know anything about unions but went in with an open mind. I was required to join the union and pay an $80 initiation fee. (I could be wrong on the amount. I'm going from memory.) Regardless, that was a lot of money for a kid working part-time and making $3.10 per hour (minimum wage). Additionally, I was required to pay $35 per month for union dues. (Again, I could be wrong on the amount.) I remember an employee who was not malicious, but couldn't do anything right. He was a dweeb. The store manager attempted to fire him multiple times. The union always got him his job back. My first impression of unions was this: Unless you get caught stealing, you can't get fired. Pay is based on seniority rather than merit. Union employees are a communism style collective. They have no incentive to do more than the minimum required. "What difference does it make? It's not like they can fire us." That was the attitude of some. (Rinks was later purchased by Ontario's and the whole chain went out of business.)
  2. It was also circa 1980 when I worked for a short period of time at the Cincinnati Reds stadium for Sports Service. I can't remember if it was 30 or 60 days, but when my grace period expired, I was required to join the union or not return. That was my last day. The cost of joining the union and paying dues was too much for the pay I was getting for a job that I wasn't too sure I wanted to keep. My second impression of unions was this: They are an inhibition to gainful employment.
  3. In 1983, I was hired by GE to work at the Evendale Aircraft Engine plant as a co-op student. I was non-exempt rather than a union employee. During my time as a co-op, every time I heard the word "union," it was always followed by the word "problem." The "union problem" was the reason I couldn't rearrange my own office furniture. The "union problem" was the reason I couldn't empty my own trash can. The "union problem" was the reason I couldn't carry things around the plant. When I would walk around the shop floor, I consistently saw union employees sitting around doing absolutely nothing. We used to joke about doing time studies on them with a sun dial. After storing up their energy all day, they would form a long line at the time clock, clock out and then literally run through the plant to the parking lot. It was truly a sight to behold. My third impression of unions as a 22-year-old co-op was this: As long as you clock-in and clock-out at the appropriate time, you don't have to do anything.
  4. After getting promoted to a full-time exempt production control specialist position working in the factory (circa 1985), I experienced firsthand and daily a whole lot of the "union problem." If a union employee got busted for illegal drug possession, he would get "fired." Six months later, the union would get him his job back with full back pay. I remember two exempt employees who had some similar problems. They were never seen again.
    I also recall the "grievance parties." That's when a group of union members would simply spend all day doing nothing but inventing grievances to submit. Each one had to be answered by management. I remember another guy who bragged about buying a new car out of the grievance money that he collected. Another union guy that I worked with hurt his ankle playing softball. He limped into work the next day, claimed that he tripped over a skid, and then filed for workman's comp. Another union guy set a daily goal for himself of working an eight hour shift and doing absolutely nothing. I overheard him say. "It's bad enough I have to come in here each day just to get a paycheck, but then they want me to actually work too. Now that's bullsh_ _!" The union guys liked to work overtime. They forced it by doing as little as possible until production got behind schedule. Many of them bragged about making more than $100,000 per year. Those excessive costs got passed on to the taxpayers because of the military engines and the consumers because of the commercial engines. The strike was my favorite. For the first time, I was able to do my job. I could move parts freely and drive a fork lift when necessary. The union was out on the street and production soared. (I also discovered that it takes only one non-union guy to change a light bulb.) Nobody wanted them back. How many union members does it take to change a light bulb? This is not a joke. I'm thinking back a long time, but it seems like it was five separate job classifications: One guy had to drive the truck (golf cart), another had to set up the ladder, a third guy had to carry the new light bulb, a fourth guy had to actually change the bulb, and a fifth guy had to hull the old light bulb away. We all knew that the Evendale plant would eventually shut down. It was grossly inefficient and labor costs were out of control. They gradually moved the work out to non-union plants in right-to-work states. Today, there is very little production at the Evendale plant. My fourth impression of unions after working with UAW members on a daily basis was this: Organized labor equates to organized crime.
  5. And just when I thought they couldn't get any worse, I worked as a supervisor at the Ford Transmission Plant in Batavia (circa 1992). That experience helped me to understand the problems with the US automobile industry. There were no time clocks. The union ran that plant and I was simply there as a babysitter. I was repeatedly told to just look the other way. Therefore, I didn't see the beer. I didn't notice when they would leave during their shift to go up to the bowling alley. I didn't notice when they didn't come back, or came back drunk or high. Management was just as negligent. They would pay union guys to work two different jobs during the same eight hour shift and pay them for 16 hours. The inmates were truly in charge of the asylum. That plant also eventually shut down. My fifth impression of unions after supervising UAW members on a daily basis was this: They're out of control.

All of the above is my honest assessment of unions during the 1980s and 1990s. However, I would be remiss if I didn't point out that I worked with many very good union members. Many of them really did care. They did a good job and were a joy to work with. I must also point out that management let the unions get away with organized crime. They were certainly complicit. I would compare them to a parent that let kids run wild and then wonder why they grew up to be hellions.
So what about unions today? We have many federal and state laws that protect workers. Unions are no longer as necessary as they once were. However, the threat of unionization is a very good thing. That threat creates better work environments. Also, management and labor have to find an equilibrium or the company will go out of business and then everybody loses. I support the right of private sector employees to unionize. I also support right-to-work. Could non-union members be non-exempt and therefore under a separate pay and benefits scale?
Public sector unions are very different. Governmental entities can't go out of business. Often times, the management are union leaders and/or they get union campaign contributions. The fox is watching the hen house. It is not a fair fight and the taxpayers get screwed.

Ohio House of Representatives
The House version of the budget is finished and is being assessed by the Senate. Many people worked very hard on it. The finance committee led by Ron Amstutz deserves the most credit. Chairman Amstutz was the one who sponsored the amendment to pull the Common Core PARCC language out. It was also his committee, in conjunction with leadership, that removed the Medicaid, sales tax, and severance tax expansions. Representative Sears also did a great deal of work looking for better ways to run Ohio's Medicaid program.
I've been meeting with several members of Governor Kasich's staff. They are very good about helping me to understand their departments and getting back to me with additional information. They deserve kudos and that is a direct reflection on the governor.

Video Central
Security footage: Hero thwarts terrorist shooter at Family Research Council (2+ minutes)
Union Violence Exposed (7+ minutes)
God Made a Patriot (5 minutes)
Girls on Fox News (4+ minutes)
Common Core Standards: How States Are Roped In (6+ minutes)
Bill Gates at the National Conference of State Legislatures (1+ minute)
Reality Check: The truth behind 'Common Core' (3+ minutes)



Event Calendar
May 2, 2013
National Day of Prayer at 12 pm at the Batavia Courthouse

May 3, 2013
Government Strategy Group's "First Friday Luncheon"

May 7, 2013
Clermont County Tea Party at the Eastgate Holiday Inn at 7pm

May 22, 2013
Clermont County GOP Central Committee meeting
at the Eastgate Holiday Inn at 7pm

Becker for State Representative
Iíve raised $55,000 and expanded my donor base to over 370 people in six different states! Donation size has ranged from $1 to $1,000 and has averaged $81. You could donate for FREE! You may know that a $50 per taxpayer dollar-for-dollar tax CREDIT (It is $100 on a joint return.) is available every year. The "Ohio political contributions credit" is on line 55 of your Ohio IT 1040. Simply claim it on your state of Ohio tax return and get your money back. Contributions to candidates for State Representative (and other "state offices") qualify for this credit. That is why it will cost you nothing. Iím Pro-Life, Pro-Gun, Pro-Limited Government and Lower Taxes. Please see the following brief videos:

Introduction (38 seconds)

Second Amendment (36 seconds)

Taxes (49 seconds)

Energy (55 seconds)

Pro-Life (42 seconds)

Creation Science and Evolution (42 seconds.)

State Government Spending (45 seconds)

Donate (50 seconds)

State Government (37 seconds)

Did this newsletter get sent to you by someone other than me? If so, please let me know and I will add you to my distribution list. That will ensure that you get it in a timelier manner. You may also forward this to your friends.
Let me know if you would like to unsubscribe. This issue and back issues are available at:
www.BeckerGOP.com/TheBeckerReport.htm.

Disclaimer

This newsletter is not sanctioned by the GOP, ORP, or any organization, or affiliation. I am fully and solely responsible for its content. Although I strive for accuracy, this is not "The Gospel according to John." Additionally, I don't necessarily try to be "fair and balanced." After all, I didn't get into politics to be a news reporter. My agenda is to influence public policy consistent with Southern Ohio conservative values. For more information on my motivations or how to get involved, see:
What is a Central Committee?


Pro-Life | Pro-Gun | Limited Government | Lower Taxes

Paid for by Friends of Becker | John Becker, CTP, MBA, Treasurer | 925 Locust Lane | Cincinnati | Ohio | 45245-1313