I’ve written on several occasions about the Left’s power-tropism, and how it targets organizations to garner more of it. Every “formally organized” organization – i.e., one with by-laws or a charter, a hierarchy, and a procedure for becoming and remaining a member – offers a kind of power to those who can rise within it.
The power that accrues to the political class through the outright creation of organizations is therefore a subject of importance. And governments are the biggest organizers of all.
This is on my mind today because of this story:
The Chicago Teachers Union voted 73% to go on strike last Tuesday, forcing millions of children out of the classroom and back to remote learning….
Some teachers don’t agree with the strike and want to be back in the classroom teaching.
However, a Chicago Teachers Union delegate threatened to “report” dissenters who show up for work.
The CTU is ready to target any dissenters and put them on a “list”
One of the people in this picture follows this account and I’m curious to see if they’ll see it. pic.twitter.com/ImIBp7Wz4V
— 16th & 17th District Chicago Police Scanner (@CPD1617Scanner) January 8, 2022
The purpose of unions is to restrict entry to various occupations, and to compel employers to bargain with the union rather than with individual employees. It’s pure collectivism, but has always been sold to public as a benign measure: a remediation of the “power imbalance” between management and labor. Today private-sector unions are nearly extinct, but public-sector unions are more powerful than ever. The aspiring totalitarians in our political class are happy to use those unions to further their acquisition of power over private citizens.
A union can expel a member for arbitrary reasons, including disloyalty to the union. An unwillingness to abide by a strike, once voted and passed, constitutes such disloyalty. So the union can deny a dissenter his job, and thus his livelihood. That makes the threat mentioned above more threatening than it might appear. It also makes the Left’s iron-fisted control of public-sector unions a threat to be feared.
I wonder how America’s unions stand on the subject of mandatory vaccinations for (given their lack of efficacy, they’re hardly “against”) COVID-19? Does any Gentle Reader happen to know?
Can a union force a NON-member to abide by the strike vote?
I doubt it, but the teachers’ unions have immense power, especially in Democrat-controlled cities. Is it possible to teach in the Chicago public schools if you aren’t a union member? I don’t know, but I’d be surprised.
I speak as a non-union engineer who continued to work on an important project when the union decided to go on strike. I was given the evil eye every time I came in or left, and I had to park my car inside the gates to avoid having it damaged. After the strike was over, none of the union members would ever work with me again.
“Soft” social power is definitely a thing. You don’t have to be fired in order to have your job compromised.