Union Rights?

Unions have been getting bashed in recent years, so it now seems they have decided it is their “right” to bash back – literally. In an action resembling the early union years from the last century, members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) broke down gates and stormed a port in Washington State where workers from a different union were being employed.

Equipped with baseball bats, the tool preferred by most thugs, union members damaged railroad cars, cut brake lines, and even held a few security guards hostage for several hours. It seems there were no injuries, but that may not last. After being dispersed for defying a federal restraining order by blocking railroad tracks, the ILWU president assured all that they would be back. So, there is more to come.

The ILWU believes it has a “right” to work at the port. The progressive atmosphere of recent years has convinced many they have “rights” to everything, and the government seems to have gone along with that assumption. Over-regulation and unrealistic union demands are crippling businesses that are now expected to create more jobs. What business wants to invest in a future where they will be forced to operate according to others’ demands and expanding assumed “rights”?

In the UK, riots occur everytime any cutback in entitlements (considered “rights”) occurs due to economic necessity. Once set free, the entitlement cat is hard to put back in the bag. The ILWU is demonstrating that they believe violence is the proper way to maintain their assumed “right”. How long will it be before teacher unions, government worker unions, or other unions begin to believe lucrative clauses in their contracts are “rights” that must be maintained at all costs?

This runaway madness has to stop sometime, and now is certainly the right time to begin putting on the brakes. That is, of course, assuming the ILWU doesn’t cut the brake lines.

David J. Hentosh

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