I was looking for something nice and uplifting and fun for Labor Day, but I found this instead. It’s an interview with Martin Jay Levitt, a successful union-buster. Having just gone through a negotiation at work, with what I consider to be a completely ‘choreographed’ outcome, his words struck a very familiar note with me.
While I don’t like paying union dues, I can say that it is money well spent, especially when negotiation time comes. I’ve seen our union lawyers successfully fight for musicians who have lost their jobs. Our union representatives, along with our musicians, just gave up most of their summer to fight for us. Even if I’m not at all thrilled with the outcome, it could have been worse. It could have been another Minnesota.
The CEO of an S&P 500 Index company made, on average, 354 times the average wage of a rank-and-file U.S. worker in 2012. CEOs in the United States don’t just make a lot more money than their own employees. On average, U.S. CEOs also make far more than CEOs of comparably sized companies in other countries.
So on this Labor Day, thank the Labor Union movement. It’s why we have weekends, 8-hour days, safety standards, and a host of other benefits, like, oh, a Labor Day holiday, for example. I have no doubt that my job would be far worse if a union weren’t involved. I have no doubt that the workers at McDonald’s and Wendy’s might not have had to protest for a livable wage if they were members of a union.
Yes, please, I’ll take fries with that. Have a great day off everybody!