The Czar and the Mandarin were having dinner with the president of a union trade business this past week. He tolerates only union workers, a point which he is fond to make. Since he was buying dinner and large amounts of alcohol, we let him speak all he wanted on the benefits of a union shop.
Instead, he began to swear like a union tradesman. His health insurance costs were killing him: he purchases health insurance for his core employees directly through the union. However, since discussions of healthcare reform ignited earlier this year—which the unions have proclaimed great joy over and tried to ensure a tax-free discount for union workers would be included—the unions have begun raising insurance rates.
Sure, there were plenty of reasons of why. But he claimed the unions were slitting their own throats: the boys and girls, from masters down to apprentices, are well aware that the only union members who will benefit from healthcare reforms are the union lords and masters. The rank and file can go screw themselves, he said (using a different word or two), because the management is keeping the low cost stuff for themselves.
How ironic, thinks the Czar, that the unions were formed to protect workers from robber baron scumbag management—and yet, here in 2009, the union management has become robber baron scumbags, picking the pockets of the members for no other reason than the members let them.
So the company president was forced to admit that he is pulling the plug on the union healthcare benefits, and that he can cut enormous chunks of his healthcare expenses by buying insurance directly from a typical provider like Blue Cross. “What else can I do?” he asked. “The union doesn’t want to protect the guys in the trenches.”
No, the Czar thought, the union wants to bilk the members out of their hard-earned money while they build their own aristocracy.
Indeed, the Mandarin agreed the next day, it is hard to weep when the unions keep slaughtering every golden goose they receive. It is impossible, he suggested, to look at what happened to General Motors and Chrysler and still pretend that organized labor benefits the workers.
And if the unions are promising lower healthcare costs while raising the costs to members, well, one is forced to think that the union members need to start leaving in even greater numbers.