The Pen is mightier than the sword, but the Pen must sometimes move the sword against corruption if the corrupt are not moved by the pen.. An idea without an implementer is useless. "The Rulers do not carry the sword in vain"Rom 13:4

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Portrait of a Brutal Trade Union.

Keeping in mind the previous "Portrait" of a brutal Capitalist...here is another glance at the grim world of Industrial relations from the other side...the 'Union'. In this case it was the

Remington Rand Strike. 

Worker anger had built high by May 1936, when the company spread rumors that its plants were being bought by an unknown firm that would no longer recognize the union. Remington Rand then announced it had purchased a typewriter plant in nearby Elmira and might close the Tonawanda and Syracuse facilities. The union demanded information on possible plant closures, which the company refused.
The union then threatened a strike. In retaliation, the company distributed its own strike ballots and claimed that it alone could speak for workers. Outraged union officials seized and destroyed the company's ballots, interrupted and broke up meetings at which ballots were handed out, and harassed and physically intimidated managers trying to conduct balloting.

Clearly this Union was committed to the violent takeover of the workers at Remington Rand.  The extent of their determination is seen in the methods of violent criminality they resorted to. (see "Remington Rand Strike") 

Unfortunately, the Rand corporation didn't help matters with it's own strike breaking measures. By March 1937, public exposure of the Remington Rand company's anti-union efforts had led to a significant deterioration in the firm's public support. The company did not cut back on its efforts, and rumor-mongering about plant closures and to demoralize workers was still effective. But public opinion and media opinion proved much harder to manipulate, and many elected officials were quietly withdrawing support for the company.

All this to and fro between the Company and the Union, could have been avoided if the Government actually did the job it was elected to do. It did have something called the "National Labor Relations Board" which was supposed to look after the interests of workers and corporations(?), but it appears to have not had big teeth. But we need to be aware of exactly 'what' this NLRB was all about. In a 120 page decision against Rand Corp, it listed all the 'anti union' actions undertaken by Rand...which suggests that the NLRB was in fact conceived to protect and promote Unions rather than Corporations or to safeguard the Nation's work practices and employee/employer relations.
The existence of the NLRB assumes the legitimacy of Organized Labor rather than responsible Governance.

Rand should never have had to employ strike breaking measures, he did so because 'Organized Labor' tried to take control of his company through the workforce. They did this for 2 most obvious reasons, the first being to enhance their own power and profile, and the second flows from it... political power and control of the country by proxy.

How much better it would have been if the Government had a) abolished/banned Organized Labor and b) Established a body with serious teeth like we currently have in Australia.. "Fair Work Australia" which sounds good but is populated with Labor oriented bureaucrats and it has produced some utterly disastrous decisions, one recent one being the decision which resulted in Toyota  shutting down all manufacturing in Australia.

The sequence of events there was..i) GMHolden to close, Ford to close, Nissan, Mitsubishi,Chrysler all long closed  ii) Toyota suggested some minor alterations to conditions to make it more viable to manufacture here.... immediately, the Union (AMWU) went whining to Fair Work Aust, complaining about it. iii) They did not give the workers a chance to vote on it... the Union won the case, and Toyota announced it is closing!  I have personally interviewed a Toyota worker about to be hurled onto the economic scrap heap by his Union, and he explained that the alterations in conditions Toyota were requesting were quite ok with the people on the factory floor!

Looking as objectively as possible at the overall scene, we find once again that the Government 'of, for and by' the people failed in it's calling. There should have been no need, and indeed no legal avenue to 'organize' the labor force.  If the Government was truly 'for' the people.....it would have firstly enacted laws to prevent the organization of labor and secondly it would have established a body (my "Ombudsman Dept") which was to oversee justice and fairness issues in corporations.


Sadly, in adversarial democracy, there is never a Government for ALL the people. We have competitive campaigns which are funded by vested interests and they expect a return on their investment.  This adds the power of reason to the need to remove and replace our 'adversarial' democracy with a Government that is based on National Interest rather than narrow private interest at any cost.  Private interest and personal profit are not evil, they are good.. but 'greed and exploitation' are bad.


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