The Union Label Is in Orbit Around Jupiter


2016-07-07 – The Republican Party has a number of lies that they hammer over and over and over again until you believe them. Hillary is corrupt. Government is your enemy. Social Security is bankrupt. And on and on. The lie I want to talk about today is:

Unions are corrupt. This is a lie.

There is no more corruption among unions than there is among corporate execs. Probably less, but I’m not going to make that case. Humans are humans. Corrupt humans go everywhere they can find money. They go into corporations. They go into unions. They go into politics. Each of these domains has its share. Each of these domains, however, is predominantly human: there’s good and there’s bad.

Many years ago, I had an opportunity to work with union leaders. They came from a variety of industries. They were food workers and airline workers and government workers and graphic arts workers. These leaders, without exception, were devoted to their members, to improvements in their craft, and to raising their standard of living. All of these things.

A few years ago, as part of my master’s degree in education, I researched apprenticeship and continuing education programs sponsored by unions in the building trades. My conclusion: unions are actually better than employers in improving worker skills and productivity. Why? The unions have a lifelong interest in their member, employers’ interest in their employees ends when the job ends.

When unions tell you (as they used to do) to “look for the union label,” they weren’t asking for an undeserved favor. They were giving you a tip on where to find quality workmanship.

NASA knows this.

The Juno spacecraft, which entered orbit around Jupiter earlier this week (on July 4) was built and launched my machinist union members. International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 44 built the probe and IAMAW Local 610 launched it.

The union label is now in orbit around Jupiter. If we can only end the Republican opposition and bring it back down to earth.

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