Unions work for themselves, not others

Unions have split loyalty between members and union management.

I feel compelled to put forth a counter-argument to the rather pro-union opinions presented in a Feb. 23 Minnesota Daily editorial, âÄúWalker wrong to bust unions.âÄù Many would believe that unions are simply an instrument by which workers can express a collective voice, but there is another half of the equation that is missing from a well-balanced debate about unions and their motivations.
Unions have a de facto dual mandate. They not only bargain on behalf of employees who pay dues, but necessity requires that they lobby to enact legislation that increases membership roles. A significant portion of the dues that employees pay wind up becoming campaign funds for pro-union politicians, usually of the Democrat variety.
An individual employee typically has no say in the matter and cannot opt out of these political donations. Indeed, come election time, our union household is barraged with mail and robo-calls urging our support of Democratic candidates.
The strength of the union depends on the size of the underlying membership base. But keep in mind that a union is an entity in and of itself, with its own employees, officers, liaisons etc. This creates an agency dilemma, in which union executiveâÄôs efforts are diverted to ensuring their own long-term employment and not necessarily the best possible outcome for the workers they represent.
The readily available counter-argument to mine is that whatâÄôs good for the union executives is good for workers, how else could unions effectively lobby on behalf of employees?
But were unions really looking out for employees by pushing for benefit packages that would have driven the auto makers to bankruptcy? What good is it for unions to hold the line on concessions when states (California, et al.) run out of money? Unions work for themselves, not society at large.