Wednesday, March 25, 2015


It is no longer optional, unions must change.

Three more workers die, and one seriously injured in a state plagued with OSHA violations. Scaffolding collapsed at an11 story building under construction in Raleigh, North Carolina. This specific report seems accurate; however, we have no idea of how many workers die on the job across the State of North Carolina because the state Labor Department reports are unreliable. For example in 2012, the report said there were 35 workers killed while the National Council of Occupational Safety and Health (COSH) put the number at 150, which is an error that favors who?

Even an untrained amateur, such as me, could see that the workers tied themselves off to the scaffolding and not the building. Where were the inspectors? Where were the regulations? Need I mention that our States is under complete Republican control? Hardly a day goes by that we do not hear how government regulations kill jobs; regulations should be removed and let the job-creating businesses flourish. By the word of mouth, businesses know that our state government does not regulate business because our state government underfunds regulation agencies. Our radical right wing Governor has appointed political appointees to every state agency including Department of Labor. As an aside, the same thing is happening to our election commissions, which along with gerrymandering and voter suppression of minority votes gives Republicans perpetual control of state government. Advertisements invite businesses to come to our state because we have low taxes, low utility rates, no business taxes, not property taxes on business, and strong anti-labor union legislation. Have you ever wondered why your utility rates are home utilities are 17% higher than and corporate rates. I look at what this government has done to workers, the middle class and say North Carolina was a slave State and still is.

Radical politicians Senator Thom Tillis, Governor Pat McCrory, and state Senate leader Phil Burger, Jr. are responsible for killing those three workers just as I am responsible for what I am writing this blog post.

Perhaps it is overkill to state that workers across the state of North Carolinas are also responsible for letting this happen. Unions have a major responsibility in forcing government to benefit workers in all aspects of the workplace. Unions are not big enough consequently do not have the power they should have because many workers do not like unions. As followers of my blog post know, I am a strong supporter of unions; however, I am not above criticizing them for not doing their jobs properly. The leaders the members elect focus on wages or protection of incompetent workers while ignoring safety. They often work hard to protect ill-trained and lazy workers at the expense of ensuring their members can do the job the unions say they can do. Where there are unions, they seem to ignore government agencies responsible for inspecting job sights. How much times have you heard of a Union leader complaining that OSHA is only capable of inspecting around 2% of all construction sights?

Face it; corporations supported by Republican have drastically changed the labor scene. They have all but eliminated legal unionization: Taft-Hartley, Right to Work, eliminating public service unions, etc. Unions not only have to form completely independent of the workplace, but they must. If you take this approach, corporations will immediately challenge your constitutional right of “freedom of assembly”. They do this by firing anyone who joins a union no matter where it is. Of course, in the company’s eyes, if there are no unions to protect workers, the workers are at their mercy. As things now stand, they are right about that.

Future unions can gain fame and purpose by doing a number of things. One of the major things they can collectively do is to protect the safety and health of their workers by demanding regulations, and that companies follow those regulations—it is too late for the there mentioned workers. Unions should regulate skill training. If all skilled workers are union members, then where will corporations hire skilled workers? If skilled workers demand properly trained apprentices and train them, corporations will have no choice. If Union leaders demand a living wage, and stop theses ridiculous ideas of demanding outlandishly high wages, low hourly wages for truck drivers but the right to drive 20 hour out of every 24 hours, or the three day work week with a living salary for those few hours. They must stop protecting racist cops, drunks, and incompetent teachers, or allowing undertrained workers to be members. The constant threats of paralyzing strikes that can and will destroy the companies where they work we can number among the other irrational things that result in people hating unions. Who among you can deny that many people hate Unions? Scott Walker of Wisconsin has built and funded and entire presidential campaign on that idea.

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