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A compelling argument for unions

By: 14 July 2010 One Comment

Predictions are interesting things, indeed.

About a decade ago, an economist (no, I can’t remember his name) predicted that the unions were finished. His point was that unions had been too successful — most of the abuses they formed to combat had been legislated out of existence.

That’s not a bad point, really. The federal government has addressed such grievances as low wages, unsafe working conditions, ridiculously long work weeks, etc. However, one can’t help but wonder if that economist had foreseen one of the most powerful arguments the unions can make these days — undocumented aliens are taking jobs from Americans at a time when unemployment is high, the economy is a mess and people around the country are looking for work.

Who’s willing to do something about it? The government seems to have largely ignored that little problem and there appears to be no shortage of corporations that are more interested in saving a buck or two than boosting local economies. Ah, but the unions are hopping mad about that particular issue and they are in the position to make a point that will simply resonate with Americans.

One of the fellows I go to church with is involved with the Arkansas chapter of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA). He sent over a video (scroll down a bit to see it) that is gaining popularity among unions and their members.

The video presents stark evidence of how a contractor in Pennsylvania is obviously hiring undocumented workers in order to save a few bucks. Everyone likes to save money, but think about this — those workers often don’t pay taxes and prevent people in this country legally from getting jobs.

Considering how much high unemployment impacts the nation in terms of lost taxes, the price of providing unemployment benefits to people who can’t find jobs, less consumer spending, etc., that’s a compelling argument, indeed. That’s an argument that Americans will embrace (even some of us long-time Republicans) and the unions will do well to make it. The corporations that willingly go out of their way to save a buck or two and hire undocumented workers just pass that cost right on to the rest of us and that’s, well, just not cool.

Enough of that. Check out the video:

About: Ethan C. Nobles:
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email = Ethan@FirstArkansasNews.net.

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