My first job was at Giant Eagle grocery store. My union United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) went on strikein 1991 for better wages and pension protection. I manned the picket lines. We settled after after a contentious month.
My next job with AT&T, I was a one term union steward in the Communication Workers of America (CWA).
Currently I am a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) with my new employer Duquesne Light.
So ask this question in all seriousness: Can conservatism save the union movement?
Understand, unions gave us 40 hour work weeks, benefits, paid over time, lunch breaks etc, a looong time ago. The past three decades membership has been in decline. Unions by and large hitched their wagon to the Democrat party. Perhaps it would be honest to say the Democrats co-opted the unions.
Union dues are spent primarily for two things:
A. Getting politicians elected
B. Lobbying said politicians
Nowadays, union stewards spend a huge amount of time TELLING their members who to vote for. They are supposed to be holding management accountable or safety and contract issues.
Management has gotten so adept at outmanouvering the unions that they gave up. Rather than strikes, unions just try to get the politicians to make their demands law.
Public support has waned.Many members would avoid the union politcking and confrontation if they could. Hence the Right to Work states. Most members feel union dues are too high. The union dues are usully taken out as a deduction just like taxes. If Conservative governors have their way, in a few years a sizable number of workers will have to pay the union dues themselves. No more automatic deductions means John Q Public will have to write out a check. That will prompt some hard thinking. “What has my union done for me lately?”
Unions are terrified of course. There are many very wealthy Union presidents who are wondering if they can survive this at all.
What a great motivation to get back to basics.