Within two weeks, employees at Boeing’s plant in North Charleston, South Carolina may* be voting to determine whether or not to become unionized by the International Association of Machinists.
[* The union has indicated that it may withdraw its petition for the election if it does not feel it can win.]
As in all union elections, the Machinists union, which gives millions of dollars almost exclusively to Democrat politicians (including tens of thousands of dollars to Nancy Pelosi) is hoping Boeing’s employees will, in Pelosi-like fashion, pass the union in order to see what’s in it.
As with ObamaCare, when asked by unions to vote for unionization, today’s employees are often promised that if they ‘like their benefits, they can keep their benefits,’ that the union will only make things better.
However, like ObamaCare, it is not until later that newly unionized workers learn the truth about unionization.
Like ObamaCare, when unions are successful in unionizing a company these days, they often fall far short of employees’ expectations, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Roughly 45% of newly formed unions fail to negotiate a first contract with an employer within two years, according to 2004 data from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, a federal agency that mediates labor negotiations. [Emphasis added.]
What’s worse is the fact that the contracts that unions do get, they very often contain provisions that are inferior to what employees received prior to unionization.
For unionized employees, they are often caught up in a ‘Catch 22.’ It is called getting a contract by default.
However much they may dislike the proposed contract, employees often ratify the deal rather than face going out on what could be a financially-devastating strike.
For Boeing’s South Carolina-based employees that ‘Catch 22′ is built right into the Machinists’ Constitution. In its rules, the employees get the right to vote on a contract.
However, if they reject it, the union requires 2/3 to call a strike. If the employees do not vote to go out on strike, the contract goes into effect—even if a majority voted to reject the contract.
That is getting a contract by default.
This is also one of the reasons any group of employees contemplating unionization should have union organizers put their promises in writing if the form of legally-binding guarantees.
That way, while the union may use Pelosi-like appeal to lure employees into voting to unionize, at least employees can—unlike members of Congress—try to hold union organizers accountable.
[Note: Ironically, several years ago, Ms. Pelosi—to whom the Machinists union has given tens of thousands of dollars in donations—once stated that Boeing should either make its South Carolina plant union or close it down.]