Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Norma Rae is one of my favorite movies. In that movie, Norma Rae has a job in a factory with atrocious working conditions, and she organizes a union to get a more inhabitable work environment. It's a great movie. The idea of one person taking on an industry and winning is as old as David and Goliath. It's easy to root for the little guy, or gal, as the case may be.

Now, I've seen on the news where the Transportation Workers Union in New York City walked off the job, forcing thousands, even millions, of people to find alternative means of transportation. This has a potentially expensive impact on New York's economy--maybe the economy of the United States. Does the union have a genuine reason for doing this or is the reason nothing more than greed?

I have mixed feelings about unions. On one hand, they can make a difference. On the other, once they are organized, they tend to use strong-arm tactics to get what they want, and it typically doesn't benefit the members of the unions so much as the leaders of the union.

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