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There was a time when unions may have served a purpose, such as when they brought attention to unsafe working conditions in coal mines. Today, however, we have the Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) that oversees all mine operations. And for all other workers there is the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).

One would be hard pressed to say unions helped the steel industry. American steel manufacturing used to be huge; today most manufacturing has ceased and operations moved overseas due to high union labor and benefit costs.

Who can forget that high union labor and benefit costs forced GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy – after dwindling profits forced numerous layoffs and plant closures?

And if you are into the news, you know Hostess, makers of Twinkies and other sweets, is presently in the process of shutting down all operations after negotiations between management and workers failed. Already in Chapter 11 due to expenses eating up all profits, management requested union concessions including a small pay cut so the company could stay afloat. The union said no!

For record, one of the ridiculous union labor rules called for separate drivers for cake and bread, even when both products were being delivered to the same location.

On Black Friday, unions paid people and bused them to WalMart stores across the nation to protest what they called low wages and poor working conditions. They said they wanted to hurt the company. Why would workers wish to injure any company that provides jobs and pays wages?

By the way, one Hostess worker said she preferred drawing unemployment benefits to giving concessions to the company.

Have unions outlived their usefulness? And is it also possible unemployment benefits have become too attractive?


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