Union Clarification

Thursday, November 20, 2003
I light of my stand on the current California labor strikes I have been labeled by some to be "anti-union". I want to clarify my position a little.

I am not anti-union. In fact I believe Unions are a good thing under certain circumstances. If the employer has a monopoly on employment then I believe the workers should have a monopoly on the labor. This is the case in pro sports and in small towns where one factory is the life-blood of a community. I believe that unions have created a strong middle class in America and are responsible for many of the gains that workers now enjoy.

However, my belief is that people need to be somewhat realistic. In this day and age unions make less sense. With people having the ability to find work at a variety of places I believe that if you are unhappy with your employer you should find a new one.

That is not my point. I actually have no problem with Union grocery workers on strike. In fact, I really hope they win because what they are fighting for is health care, and everyone should have health care.

But this is my point. They have to realize that there union drives up prices at their stores. Don't believe it? Go to a Wall-Mart superstore where they don't have unions. The prices there are significantly less.

Now I believe most people if given the choice will shop where there are lower prices. A few people, myself included, refuse to shop at Wal-Mart because of what they stand for. But not everyone has that luxury. I can easily see a scenario where the Grocery Union wins (which by the way I don't think will happen because the grocery chains seem adamant) but they really lose because the Grocery stores will be unable to compete against non-union labor and be forced to close. That will leave everyone unemployed and probably working at Wal-Mart anyway. Worse, it will reduce competition in the market making things worse off for the average consumer.