Tag Archives: right to work laws

People before pensions – do you really have “the right to work”?

29 Nov

My step-dad was a truck driver, he built the freeways we use everyday. He was an owner operator who drove his belly dumps mostly for Lindeman Brothers. He is one of the drivers that dug out “Teichert Ponds,” named after one of his favorite people, “Old Henry” Teichert.

Ironically, Lindeman Brothers was essentially driven out of business about 10 years ago by Teamsters and the California Prevailing Wage Law.  The 160 people left unemployed blamed the company for being “anti-union” – they should have looked in the mirror, they cut their own throats with their outrageous demands. Lindeman Brothers/Yuba Agregate was a family  business.

Mr. Lindeman and his wife, Ethel, used to come to our house, in West Sac, for chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes, at our crappy old dinette set. They were regular people, trying to keep a business afloat. My dad was one of their employees but they were never too good to have dinner with us.

My dad did not receive a “substandard” wage – in the 1970’s he was making about $22/hour. He used to say, “Sure, that sounds like a lot of money, but there ain’t much left after union dues.” 

My dad was a member of Teamsters, but he didn’t like it. I’m glad he didn’t live to see what Teamsters did to his old boss. He always told us he was forced to join, but we didn’t get that. He complained that his union dues cost him more per hour than tires for his 18-wheeler.  We thought unions were supposed  to protect the working man,  but coming from my dad it sounded more like a shakedown.

Now I get it. I read about “right to work” legislation. Apparently, Chico PD are not the only ones who are allowed to force employees who don’t want to be members of their union to pay dues anyway. This is the core of “right to work” legislation – how can that be legal? That’s a fucking shakedown. 

According to wikipedia, here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-to-work_law

A “right-to-work” law is a statute in the United States that prohibits union security agreements, or agreements between labor unions and employers, that govern the extent to which an established union can require employees’ membership, payment of union dues, or fees as a condition of employment, either before or after hiring. Right-to-work laws do not aim to provide general guarantee of employment to people seeking work, but rather are a government regulation of the contractual agreements between employers and labor unions that prevents them from excluding non-union workers,[1] or requiring employees to pay a fee to unions that have negotiated the labor contract all the employees work under.

How interesting. I think this subject needs more study.