Diary

Big Unions Angle to Eliminate Small Ones

We’ve talked about it several times here on the blog; the hostile takeover of smaller unions. It has been Andy Stern’s main modus operandi (President of the Service Employees International Union or SEIU). The idea is to roll into the territory of a local, smaller union, make back room deals with the employers to get their assistance, and then lead a forced take over of that smaller union eventually to vote it out of existence. Thereby the little unions that might stand in the way of the mega unions are eliminated and the mega unions now controlling everything from the top down get more even more massive.

It’s a perfectly legitimate strategy, of course… except for the fact that it makes the lie to every purported “principle” that unions claim to have. Local control becomes dashed and democracy summarily eliminate, yet local control and democratic process are the central themes of unionism. Without them they are little different than the supposedly evil corporate maters bent on domination that union claim their employers are. If a union member cannot feel that his local representatives are actually there for him then that impersonal attitude is no different than uncaring masters of industry.

Yet, this strong-arm takeovers of smaller unions is the current rage among big unions. And it is being noticed.

Last week there was a big pow wow of 12 of the nation’s biggest unions. They mean to join together to work toward enlarging unionism in the American workplace. But the smaller unions are balking because they know that the larger the union group is the more chance they will be eliminated.

The 12 could not agree upon a plan to create a governing council and one of the reasons is power.

The larger unions want to create a powerful executive committee, and one divisive issue is how much power medium-size and small unions would have. The small unions oppose demands that they be forced to merge into larger unions.

And they are right, too. If this council or umbrella organization is created it will naturally tend to aggregate more and more power unto itself and that power WILL tend to eliminate smaller, weaker entities.

If unions start such an group, small unions are doomed. And, we will see that unions aren’t at all interested in democracy or local control. They are only interested in amassing power, the sort of power that will corrupt unions hopelessly.

Let’s hope these smaller unions are smart enough to understand that.