U.S. Supreme Court (re)affirms the fact that it doesn’t pay to be in a union
April 11, 2009
The fact that being union-free is, in many cases, better than being unionized has been a concept the many people have not understood. However, a U.S. Supreme Court’s affirmation of the fact that it does not pay to be in a union in the 21st Century just adds more evidence to the argument.
On April 1st, the United States Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that a union contract’s arbitration provision limits employees’ suits of discrimination (view decision here). In this case, three security guards represented by the autocratic Service Employees International Union (SEIU) sued their employer under the ADEA when they lost their positions as watchmen in 2003 when the building’s owner started using licensed security guards provided by another (unionized) company.
It should also be noted that, according to the case, the use of the unionized subcontractor was consented to by the union (apparently even though it would cause injury to the plaintiff’s in this case).
According to the Court:
Contending that these reassignments to a loss in income, other damages, and were otherwise less desireable than their former positions, respodents [the unionized workers] asked the Union to file grievances alleging, among other things that petitioners [the employer] had violated the CBAs ban on workplace discrimination by reassigning respondents on the basis of their age in violation of Age Discrimination in Employment Act….
The Union requested arbitration under the CBA, but after the initial hearing, withdrew the agediscrimination claims on the ground that its consent to the new security contract precluded it from objecting to respondents’ reassignments as discriminatory. [Emphasis added.]
This ruling affirms what many already know: That when workers put their livlihoods into a union’s hands, it does limit their rights.
Ragnar Danneskjold: "But I’ve chosen a special mission of my own. I’m after a man whom I want to destroy. He died many centuries ago, but until the last trace of him is wiped out of men’s minds, we will not have a decent world to live in."
Hank Rearden: "What man?"
Ragnar: "Robin Hood."
Ragnar: ". . . [Robin Hood] is not remembered as a champion of property, but as a champion of need, not as a defender of the robbed, but as a provider of the poor. He is held to be the first man who assumed a halo of virtue by practicing charity with wealth which he did not own, by giving away goods which he had not produced, by making others pay for the luxury of his pity. He is the man who became a symbol of the idea that need, not achievement, is the source of rights, that we don’t have to produce, only to want, that the earned does not belong to us, but the unearned does. He became a justification for every mediocrity who, unable to make his own living, had demanded the power to dispose of the property of his betters, by proclaiming his willingness to devote his life to his inferiors at the price of robbing his superiors. It is this foulest of creatures – the double-parasite who lives on the sores of the poor and the blood of the rich – whom men have come to regard as the moral idea." ". . . Do you wonder why the world is collapsing around us? That is what I am fighting, Mr. Rearden. Until men learn that of all human symbols, Robin Hood is the most immoral and the most contemptible, there will be no justice on earth and no way for mankind to survive."