The Jay Weber Show

The Jay Weber Show

Jay Weber knows what you want to talk about. His show examines the big issues, trends, and events at all levels -- local, state, and national -- from...Full Bio


No, unions are NOT seeing a resurgence

Jay Weber Show transcript 9-6-22 8:10am

Monday was Labor Day, and President Biden flew into Milwaukee to give his big, pro-union, pro-labor speech.

And he, and just about every other left-winger that I heard, or read, over the weekend, was insisting that this is a great time for the labor movement. The unions are seeing a resurgence.

Gen Z and millennials have more interest in labor unions than any generation since the depression era of the 1930s, was the sort of rhetoric I was reading.

Well- then why are the labor unions still struggling to gain members?

And why are those union bosses resorting to dirtier and dirtier extortion schemes to try to gain members and keep their big salaries coming in?

I’ve talked about the way the desperate schemes have changed with these labor unions over the last decade or so.

The truth is that very few Americans want to be in a labor union, anymore and that’s the fault of these unions and their labor leaders.

The truth is that-with today’s thicket of labor laws and worker protections-built right into state and federal law- the need for labor unions has largely evaporated.

They can cling to their collective bargaining power argument, but these unions have no other reason to exist, much less convince the average worker that they are ‘needed’.

And so, after decades and decades of allowing workers to vote on whether they wanted a labor union in a final secret ballot vote-which the unions themselves, initially demanded, so that the company bosses couldn’t threaten and intimidate the voting worker-

Suddenly, about 10 or 15 years ago, the union heads wanted to get rid of that final secret vote.

They did, because they were finding that they could intimidate and bully over 50 percent of a shop into -saying-that they were open to union representation, but then when they got behind that curtain to vote, would vote no.

Because most people don’t want to be in a union. In any given shop. On any given day.

That’s when the desperate ‘card check’ push started: suddenly, the unions didn’t want the secret ballot vote, but instead wanted a law that said-if they could just bully 50 percent of the workers in any given location to sign a card that said they were open to a union-boom- the place was unionized.

And even that campaign failed. Mostly, because they couldn’t get republican, or democrat, states to pass laws allowing it. Instead, it backfired and several red states -banned- union organizing by card check.

Then the leftists moved to the technique that we saw against Palermo’s here in Milwaukee, wherein, union leaders decided- okay- if the workers don’t want a labor union to represent them-we will target the companies and their owners and threaten to destroy the companies-unless the owners-

Get this-

Unless the owners-impose- a union onto their workers.  

Yep. The unions got so desperate that they tried to-force themselves- onto the workers by intimidating and threatening the business owners.

And thank God for Palermo’s workers, and others, that largely didn’t work.

And so now, these unions are attempting to inject themselves into a different layer of the economy, all together, and are trying to insist that they should negotiate for entire sectors of the economy. Or categories of businesses.

This is the European style-and what we are currently seeing in California with the fast-food restaurants: the SEIU and other unions have convinced the leftists in the California legislature to force new min wages and worker demands-onto-the entire fast-food industry out there.

But these are the ‘last gasps’, if you will, of a once-needed- series of labor unions. The truth is that they aren’t needed-nor wanted- anymore. But they just won’t crawl off and die.

And they won’t because they are so inextricably linked to the democrat party. These dying labor unions have been, in several ways, the lifeblood of the democrat party. And their power, influence, and money are waning.

It's one reason that today’s democrat party has become such a party of the white urban elites...and have lost touch with working-class voters.

Joe Biden flew to Wisconsin because, allegedly, the labor movement is strong here.

Ah-not so much- no. Back in 1990....two out of every ten Wisconsin workers was that number is less than one.

About 8 percent of workers in Wisconsin are unionized in 2022. That’s it. Down from 21 percent in 1990.

Nationally-that number is about ten percent. Ten percent of the country is unionized-and of course-most of them are now government workers.

FDR didn’t want to allow government workers to unionize, because he knew it was pitting the taxpayers against themselves...

And now? That’s about the only sort of unionization left in this country: where govt workers are the union members and the democrats and union bosses ‘own’ both sides of the table when it comes to collective bargaining.

And the truth is that they are now -colluding-to keep millions of Americans -govt workers and teachers- trapped in unions that they don’t want to be in.

Mark Mix is the president of the national right to work committee- a group that has been instrumental in pushing ‘right to work’ laws in the states, and in helping trapped union members bust away from their unions...

If Labor Day was about ‘the unions’, we’d have to cancel the holiday.

Because, despite having the game rigged in their favor-and despite having every possible advantage under the outdated federal laws governing union organizing- these unions are failing-big time- in luring in the modern workforce.

No one, anymore, can see the value of being in a union. And that’s why their overall share of the workforce continues to shrink.

And I’ve talked about their biggest hurdle before there’s no longer a need for labor unions.

And that’s a big hurdle.

Sure, in 1910 or 1920, when women and children were working for 13 hours a day in front of industrial looms...and men were working even longer shifts in front of blast furnaces and smelters-yes-

Unions were needed to give a voice to the powerless...and to give them the power of collective bargaining to improve their situations.

But today-most of those workplace guarantees have been baked into state and federal workplace laws. The average workplace is no longer filthy and dangerous, and the average work week is no longer 55 or 60 hours. It’s 34.

The other reality is that the worker mentality has changed dramatically. Most people now want the independence to negotiate their own salaries, or move to different jobs, and have less need-or desire-to just get a good paying job and stay there for 20 or 40 years.

Decades ago-there was great and important security in just ‘getting work’. Knowing you had steady employment and would always be getting that lifeline paycheck.

It’s not that way for most people, anymore.

Especially not in this economy, which has far more jobs than workers.

And so, if Labor Day is a celebration of American workers-well-then the American workers have come a very long way, indeed, over the last 100 years.

And yes, labor and construction unions have played a major role in that. But remember, one measure of our success is whether we ‘need’ labor unions, anymore.

And no, we don’t.

And 9 out of 10 Americans know it, and don’t want to be in a union, anymore.

And then consider that-even among those Americans who make up the one percent who are still under union rules- at least one third to one half of them-don’t want to be. One third if workers-flee immediately- if they are given the choice to get out of their union. One in three flee immediately, and more than half drift away over time.

photo credit: Getty images

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