Jacobin Gets Reactionary

The Death of Marat, by Jacques-Louis David
• April 22, 2013 3:32 pm


I was a bit amused to see this essay in Jacobin cataloguing the ways in which it is horrible to work for unions. In case you're unfamiliar with the publication, it is the preferred journal of the left of the left's left and of pompous kids who grew up in the nation's wealthiest counties and attended the nation's most expensive universities yet still want folks to think they are one with the worker.

Anyway, Jacobin wrote about something that mean ole reactionaries like myself have been pointing out for some time: unions are no friend of the working man.

Under the pink sheet regime, a lead UNITE HERE organizer would persuade workers and lower-level organizers to divulge personal information, often about past traumas. The lead organizer would frame this as a private disclosure, a gesture of trust and connection. But if the lower-level organizer ever second-guessed a command from on high, the lead organizer would use that personal information to pressure the subordinate into carrying out orders.

Hotel worker turned UNITE HERE organizer Julia Rivera told the New York Times that her supervisors had pushed her to reveal details of how she was sexually abused as a child. Then "her supervisors ordered her to recount her tale of abuse again and again to workers they were trying to unionize at Tampa International Airport, convinced that Ms. Rivera’s story would move them, making them more likely to join the union."

The authors of the Monthly Review letter wrote: "This command and control-style union culture is endemic to much of the movement." And indeed, while pink sheeting may have been limited to UNITE HERE, the mentality that spawned it is not. Take, for example, the actions of SEIU earlier that year against its own members: In a May 2009 Labor Notes essay, Union of Union Representatives (UUR) president Malcolm Harris announced that his organization had filed unfair labor practice charges against SEIU for trying to bust its own staff’s union.

I for one would like to welcome author Ned Resnikoff and the rest of the Jacobin staff into the reactionary fold! We've been telling you this stuff for years, brother: Unions exploit their members, exploit their employees, and are little better than a trough of campaign donations for the Democratic Party. I'll be honest, I was a little surprised to read that unions are employing the tactics of Scientology to enforce discipline within the ranks. But only a little! Like cults, unions are well known for abusing their members. In 2010, for instance, the NLRB reported more than 6,300 allegations of unfair labor practices filed against unions. More than four out of five of those were "cases where a union attempted to ‘restrain or coerce employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed' by the National Labor Relations Act," according to the Center for Union Facts. For shame!

Unions do a terrible job of protecting their members. They are also notably horrid businesses to work for. Who can forget this Daily Show segment, in which we learn that the UFCW pays people minimum wage and offers no benefits to protest … low pay and nonexistent benefits! Let me ask, who would you rather work for: Walmart or the UFCW? At least you get a discount off of Walmart's already-low prices.

We so-called heartless reactionaries have known for some time the evils of the labor movement. I'm just glad our confreres on the left have woken up. Join us, brothers! Together, we can crush those fat cats at UNITE HERE, the UFCW, the SEIU, and other big-money unions using their power to squash the little guy. Together, we can destroy the unions! Si se puede!

Published under: Humor, Progressive Movement