Thursday, June 28, 2012

In Union Lies the Strength

I continue scrutinizing Mitt Romney’s views on some of the issues on his page, anyone can find them on his website. The issue that caught my attention was his stand on Labor; particularly because we all know he is not a “job creator” rather he is more like a “job killer” so I was very interested in finding out what his “views” are on the subject.
Surprisingly, Mitt Romney’s opinion on the issue is too long. I will split my comments to make it easier on the reader and myself. This is the first of three posts on the issue of Labor.
It comes to no surprise that he is against unions. To mitigate his dislike for unions he elaborates on the past glories and accomplishments for the benefit of the American worker that unions have achieved in the past. But for Mitt Romney Unions are damaging businesses and they need to be eliminated or changed to be beneficial to corporations. For a man that has made a career increasing the wealth of Corporations at the expense of regular people and shows little or no remorse for the thousands of workers that lost their jobs while he filled the pockets of Bain Capital nothing but disdain towards Unions is to be expected.
On his site, if you read carefully, you will be able to understand what is what Mitt Romney wants to protect. He says on his page, and I quote, “But today, the effects of unionization have changed in ways that need to be recognized. Too often, unions drive up costs and introduce rigidities that harm competitiveness and frustrate innovation.” What he means by this is that Unions will not allow companies to abuse workers, to make them work in an unsafe environment and that unions demand that worker gets compensated fairly for the work they do. That is what companies have been striving for, pay less, offer less or no benefits and not be responsible for providing a safe environment where they have to spend money to secure the worker or provide them with the safety gear necessary to protect them, after all… that cost money and we all know corporations couldn’t care less for the workers, all it matters is the shareholders’ profits.
He goes on to blame Unions for manufacturing jobs disappearing from this country. As if outsourcing had nothing to do with it! He claims that most Americans believe that Unions in reality hurt the American worker. I hope this is not true. The only way the American worker can fight injustices, discrimination, unfairness and harassment in the workplace is through the Union. The only reason we have a 40-hour week, days off, vacations paid, health insurance and all the perks that we enjoy today and take for granted is thanks to the Unions. If we lose Unions in this country, and now that Corporations are “people” we will go back to the days when we had no rights, no one to defend us, or the money to pay for our legal representation. Slowly but surely the Right wants us to go back in time, a time when they had slaves but no responsibility. After all, even slave owners would take care of a sick slave – not out of the kindness of their heart, but as a protection for their investment; as a worker we will not even get that, we will be easily replaceable.
He has the audacity to accuse President Obama for “returning the favor” to Unions in exchange for the “several hundred million dollars” that Unions donated during his 2008 campaign. Taking him on his own word, who is making monetary donations in sums never heard of before during any other political campaign? We all know the answer, the Koch brothers and Citizens United. Never has a Union or a person donated $400 million dollars to a single candidate as they did during the Wisconsin recall elections. Does anyone truly believes that they are donating these fortunes so the working class can have jobs? Does anyone here is so naïve as to believe that Mitt Romney, the Koch brothers or Citizens United care at all for the middle class? Their long-time record says otherwise.
Romney talks with indignation about the American Automobile industry bailout. How dared President Obama bailed them out? Mitt Romney, once again does not care for the worker but the shareholders and creditors, in other words the 1% of this country. About the bailout he says: “Part of this entailed preferential treatment of the United Auto Workers [UAW], at the expense of other stakeholders and creditors – INCREDIBLY, the UAW was given a majority ownership stake in Chrysler.” We don’t hear the same indignation for bailing out the Bank industry and Wall Street after all they are NOT blue-collar workers and I am sure in Mitt Romney’s eyes they deserved to be saved, they deserved every penny. The bailout money received by the Automobile Industry, especially GM did give preferential treatment to their retired workers that were at risk of losing their pensions; second UAW though an agent independent from the Union had been paying for the GM workers’ health insurance since 2005, the workers in order to help save the company, were not getting vacation pay, holidays or overtime. I guess that any sacrifice a blue-collar worker did counts for nothing, blue-collar workers are nothing to Mitt Romney, only white-collar workers matters for him.

Mitt Romney closes the subject of the bailout saying that other companies are now worrying about the “caprice at the hands of government.” Those poor, suffering corporations are breaking Mitt Romney’s heart! The unemployed? They should do the same he suggested to students with little or no income: shop around and settle for less… I guess he believes that unless you are wealthy, you do not need money or a good and rewarding job, you must settle and be happy that at least you are lucky enough “to have a job.”

Interesting reading about Unions in the United States:

An Eclectic List of Events in U.S. Labor History