Memo to Wisconsin Union Workers

Posted March 6th, 2011 by Iron Mike

As Day 19 dawns on your State Capitol protest,  I have a few items you should consider.

You’re being used and screwed, and you’ll be sorry.  You’ve been lied to, propagandized, and had your own money confiscated as union dues to pay for it all.  It’s going to get worse in a little while.

You’re on a steep glide path for a very rough landing, and unless you wake up, pull back on the stick, and regain control of your aircraft, you’re going to crash and burn in a big fireball.  In your old age, even on your deathbeds, you’ll still be blaming Republicans.  Look in the mirror insteadDo it now Do I have your attention?


As the 19th Century turned into the 20th, conditions and practices in America’s factories, mills, mines and railroads were ugly, and unsafe.  But labor was dirt cheap, and another boatload of hungry immigrants landed every day filled with desperate people who would take any job to get a start in the new country.


Unions filled a real social need.  Their tactics were often a rough and dirty as the factory owners, but over three generations, conditions and pay got better.


Then most of the unions went astray.  Some got into bed with the Mafia, – others with corrupt politicians.  Longshoremen, stevedores, and truckers made cargo disappear.  Railroad workers made errors requiring the work to be redone.  Same thing in the steel mills and coal mines.  And they were lethally violent with outsiders, members and strikebreakers. 

By the start of WWII unions learned they could get favorable laws passed by electing sympathetic politicians.  And that job was usually easier if they bullied honest politicians out of the races.  Unions learned to rig both public elections and their own leadership contests.  While they made a good show of working in support of the war effort,  by the end of WWII they had achieved control of the US Congress and many state legislatures.


For the next 30 years the country enjoyed unprecedented prosperity and rapid modernization.  This caused tension in factories as workers were replaced by machines.  Concessions were made, and often displaced workers were given busy work. Have you ever heard of NY City’s ‘rubber room’?

 When the burden of unneeded headcount and the growing list of state and federal regulations became excessive,  factory owners moved their plants from New England and the Midwest to the south, then to Mexico.  Suddenly we had a Rust Belt – an area hundreds of miles across the Midwest of abandoned and rusting factories.


By now running unions was a big business.  The AFL-CIO decided to organize every sector of American labor, from truckers to teachers, from cops to carting companies to hotel maids, and local government workers.  The faster the AFL-CIO unionized sectors of labor, the faster any portable business pulled up their machines and fled to Right-to-work states.


Each departing business reduced the tax base for those towns and states.  And by now municipal and state unions were demanding bigger paychecks, more free medical plans, and more robust retirement plans.  Your state – Wisconsin is no longer an “industrial state”.  The biggest of the factory industries have departed – taking that tax base with it.  Your unions and your union politicians drove them out.


Suddenly towns and states were caught in the same money squeeze the unions were in.  Many unions had bargained to run their own pension plans.  And very sadly,  many union leaders were skimming, stealing much of that money for their own use.  So long as dues kept coming in each month, they could cover the retirement checks.  Nobody was the wiser. 


But as more factories moved out, there were less dues coming in.  Eventually several union pension plans were exposed as EMPTY.  There was no way to recover the massive fraud.  In several cases the Federal government stepped in and covered the loss.

 But now towns and states are faced with a VERY SIMILAR PROBLEM.  Private sector unemployment is up. Tax revenues are down.  Older union workers are retiring.  They want their pension checks, and their medical coverage, – only there isn’t enough money coming into the states to cover the pensioners. 


Bluntly put,  a number of our states are broke.  So badly broke they’ve run up their credit cards for several years.  They can borrow no more – from anybody.

 A common sense solution is to freeze government hiring, and ask the unions to kick in a more reasonable amount to their retirement plans and their medical plans.  Unions almost ALWAYS resist common sense plans, and the union bossed come out ranting about “no givebacks – ever”.


You don’t think a union boss is going to volunteer to take 5% less per year, do you?  Think they’ll hold their annual meeting at a less expensive resort destination?  Think they’ll give up that big car?  They think they’re ‘entitled’ – because they got elected – even if they rigged the election.  For the moment, – you’re stuck with them.


How about your Democrat politicians – town, city, state, federal – do you think they’ll volunteer to take 5% less – for everybody’s good?  After all, they feel “entitled” – because they got elected, even if your union bosses helped rig those elections.


So what’s the answer?  The Union bosses and their hired Democrat politicians always talk about “taxing the rich”.  Somewhere they think there are enough American multi-millionaires that can be taxed to the max – so that you can keep getting a fat paycheck, nearly free medical care, and then retire early into a comfortable retirement.


Easy answer – “tax the rich – tax those damned factory owners and their fat cat buddies”.


You’ll have to do the math – but trust me – there aren’t enough rich people in all Christendom to pay for all the deal you union guys and gals have today.


Complicating the problem is the fact that retirees live 20+ years longer than they did in the 1920s and 30s.  Back then a man who retired at 65 was likely to be dead by 67,  – 69 at the most.  Today you’ll likely live into your late 80s – except you dumb asses who are still smoking.


Further complicating the problem is that those Democratic hacks you hired every two years didn’t fully trust you to deliver the votes each and every time.  They made a back-up planIt’s called illegal immigration.

 As factories shut down and moved south, – then overseas, there were less and less democrats in industrial unions to reliably kick in dues and vote (D) every two years. 

 So they decided to flood the country with immigrants [most from Mexico], and after there were some 15 – 20 million of them here have some Democrat president grant them blanket amnesty, blanket citizenship, and blanket voting rights.  They don’t really care about “poor Juan Pablo” – they just want his vote and his money.

 And have you noticed the vast number of Chinese and Indian legal immigrants now holding down key scientific and business jobs? 

How and why do you suppose that happened?

To answer that, lets talk about how you got into the union in the first place.  First, you didn’t do all that well in high school.  You most likely got a few Bs, but mostly Cs.  Maybe you played sports.  You ~ probably ~ graduated high school.  College wasn’t going to be for you. 

You got into the trades, or into a factory, or maybe landed a government job.  And you joined the union.  And you quickly came to understand that you rally when they tell you to, and you vote the way they tell you to.  Or you got thumped.

If you’re a teacher, maybe the story is a little brighter, but not much.  Maybe you became a teacher to bring enlightenment to kids – even the dumb ones.  But once you were in the union things changed a little.  Even at school, things run by union work rules.  How long you can stay after school to help a kid, meeting with parents, doing anything above and beyond the contract will get you ostracized in a hurry.  Maybe even get your tires slashed. 

Now the Governor wants you to kick in a little extra cash towards your retirement, and your medical plan.  And he wants to be out of the business of collecting your dues.  He feels like I do – that if you want to be in a union – certainly your right to be in one – write out your own check  for your own dues to your own union. 

Your union dues shouldn’t be government business, and we taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay union clerks to handle your union money.

So the issue is coming rapidly to a head.  19 days of protests and having outsiders come into Madison to cheer you on [because they were told to come by their own union bosses] and what have you accomplished?

You have made the entire country totally aware of your issues, your attitudes, and your failures.  The report indicating that only 33% of Wisconsin 8th graders can read proficiently speaks volumes.  You’ve been half-assing the job for years.  You’ve been going through the motions, mailing it in, and all the while collecting VERY fat paychecks.

You look selfish at best,  greedy, and some amongst you have made the lot of you look like petty criminals as you accept phony sick slips and wink at the TV cameras.

You have a smug ‘entitlement’ look plastered all over you. 

Taxpayers who work really hard jobs and who receive far less in pay and benefits are seeing right through you.  It’s tough to look greedy, evil, and foolish – all at once, – but by Jove, you’ve collectively managed to do just that.  Greedy, evil, and foolish. 


Without the ‘budget repair bill’ some 1500 state workers will be laid off.  That’s just the start.  Across the state teacher, police, and firefighter contracts will be renewed – but for fewer employees and for less money.  These rollbacks are coming, and you can either share the pain across your membership units, – or martyr the most junior in each occupation.

The taxpayers are watchingYou have placed yourselves in opposition to them.  You teachers will bear the recriminations for the next ten years.  Parents have seen through you – you have slid off your pedestals.  You can no longer occupy the high road after occupying the State House.

Look for a rise in the number of private schools starting up across your state.  Parents are going to be demanding an alternative to public schools and union ‘me-first’ teachers.  Your union fervor has backfired, – you have outed yourselves.

Maybe the long arm of the Wisconsin law can’t bring back the 14 ‘Fleebagers’,  but you can.  Go get them, bring them back, and let the Repair Bill move through the legislature.

And just for the record, I’m neither pro- nor anti-union.  I strongly believe anybody getting paid should do a good job, and be treated fairly.  I am very anti union goon, and very anti union-bought politician.  Corruption is corruption is corruption, and you’ve been wallowing in it.

So start considering how much your union has done for you and how much it has done to you. 

   Good luck,

   /s/  Iron Mike
Old Soldier, – Still Good for Parts!


One Response to “Memo to Wisconsin Union Workers”

  1. Kathy

    Thanks, Mike. You laid it out very well.

    I grew up in a union family, and I feel that the unions have become parasites that could eventually kill their hosts and therefore themselves. They served their purpose in the early industrial period, but now only exist for themselves.

    They need to be corraled and some even eradicated.

    Keep fighting.