Union details


1. It took me many years of sitting on the sideline, listening, talking, learning, before I would even think of forming an opinion.

2. It is clear now, most Unions are BAD. Bad for America, selfish.

(Maybe not all, but certainly the ones I hear about)


Case #1: Unions and the Department of Homeland Security


Case #2: Broadway Musicals - the requirement for number of musicians

Case #1: Department of Homeland Security

We are talking about the security of our nation. We are talking about fighting terrorists and protecting all citizens from having another attack like the trade center towers on Sept 11.

So, good people in the government came up with the concept of forming a new Department, the Department of Homeland Security. Here, everything would be more coordinated, information would be shared more easily, and people at the top would have many pieces so they could make better security judgements - all for our protection.

But it was stalled. It was stalled in committees for a long time.

It finally came out what the issue was: Unions!


Yes, the Unions were so selfish, so anti-American, that they wanted to make sure union rules were put in the formation of this department.

The worst of these rules had to do with the way people were hired and fired - union people had to be involved in those decisions.

This is about America. This is about security. This is no time to be concerned about union rules and union rights. This is not a car manufacturer, steel or other industry... this is about our security.

And they are so selfish, they would slow the process (and let a terrorist cause an attack), rather then be truly American and let the Department run as it should.


This is the prime example. This is so terrible. Anyone who was part of putting those union rules into the Department of Homeland Security should be put in prison as a traitor. That is what they are, traitors.


Case #2: Broadway Musicals - the requirement for number of musicians


I've head about this twice now - in a 20 year period!!! (The law has been there for who knows how long, for how many musicals, but it has reached my attention twice in these twenty years.)


Basics of the union rule. | Problems with this rule |

Broadway example 1 | Broadway example 2


Basically it goes like this:

No matter how many musicians your Broadway musical has, the unions say you must hire a certain number.

(Something like 25 musicians.)

I don't know the exact number, but its like that, so let me just say 25 for the rest of the discussion.


So, say your musical only requires 10 musicians. You still have to pay 15 more musicians - that is 15 more employees - to do nothing but sit and take up space every night.


Can you imagine Taco Bell hiring 15 more people, even though they have no need for them?

Or Walmart, hiring more people, though there are no positions for them?


There are several problems with this.

1. It is wrong to tell someone how to run their business. That is meddling, and an outsider has no right to do that.


2. Costs go up. If Taco Bell or Walmart - or a Broadway musical - has to hire more people, that raises the cost of production. The cost to the consumer will go up too.


3. People may lose their jobs - the company may go out of business.

If the costs go up, it might be fewer people will buy it (or go see the show). Hence, the business fails. (or the Broadway musical closes). And then no one gets paid.

Similarly, if the cost goes up but tickets are the same, the production may not make as much money, and hence, it will close. Again, everyone loses their job.

Thanks to a few selfish people in the unions (who wanted to get paid for doing no labor), now no one gets steady income.


What examples of Broadway Unions do I have:

Broadway Unions Example #1

Back in the late 1970s a musical came out called "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas." (Later made into a movie - which I do talk about on this site.)

Let me quote directly from an article on the musical and the effect of unions, written many years ago:


"Whorehouse might have run longer, if early in 1982 its management had not become embroiled in a fight with the American Federation of Musicians, which had just won a pay increase of $50 per week for each working member.

"That might not seem like an amount worth fighting over, except that Whorehouse used only nine musicians but was forced by the union contract for the 46th street theater to pay 25 musicians.

"That meant paying for 16 'walkers', musicians ho not only didn't play but didn't even have to attend the performance, the union rate of $470 each, week in and week out."


"Management announced its plan to move the show to the nine musician contracted Music Box Theater, but the union insisted that even if that happened it would enforce its 25-musician run-of-the-play agreement. An angry management closed Whorehouse in March and moved it to Boston, where it played until it returned to New York City's Eugene O'Neill Theater, another nine-musician house, on May 31.

"The union adamantly contended it had a 25-musician contract for the show, no matter where it played, and management was equally insistent it should only be paying nine musicians.

"Finally an agreement was reached, but for management it was a Pyrrhic victory at best: the 16 walkers were paid, but had to check in at the theater, stay for the performance and check out, or forfeit 1/8 of their weekly paycheck.

Whorehouse ran for an additional 63 performances at the O'Neill, then closed for good."


So, back to my point - if the show were allowed to do the show as written, and pay only the musicians they needed, the show itself may have run longer, and those musicians that were employed could have been employed longer.


Broadway example 2

It is Spring of 2003 as I write this. The musicians on Broadway are striking - again, it has to do with the same reasons - musicians want to be paid even if they don't work.

There is show called the Daily Show, which covers real news with humorous twist. The host made this comment, which makes fun of the unions and what they are doing.

"I hear now that they people now want to do a remake of the movie "12 Angry Men" into "24 Angry Men." "


(The point being of course, the original had 12 people, there was no need for more. Adding more would be ridiculous.)


(In case you don't know, the movie 12 Angry Men was a movie about a jury - the difficulty of judging a difficult case. A good movie, lots of good actors.)


Back to the point:

Follow this "logic" of the striking musicians:

We want people to get paid, for doing nothing, even if it means the show will close sooner.

And, this point is so important to us, we will be on strike, so that the current shows will have to close even that much sooner.

Furthermore, we don't mind causing trouble for all the visitors, who travel hundreds of miles, spend hundreds of dollars in hotels, and a lot of money on expensive Broadway shows, just to find out that they've been cancelled.

As long as we get our money for doing nothing, we don't care what it cost those people who spent so much money and vacation time just to see the show.


That is basically how it goes.



Again, to summarize the whole thing:

Unions cause trouble. They cause trouble for business. They create more expensive products for consumers. They are anti-American.


I have heard other examples, though I have less specifics.

Unions actually destroy the companies - they hurt the golden goose. These companies lay off workers, close factories, and move to Asia.

Then no one in the city is employed.


I'm sure there must be good unions out there, but I haven't heard of them.

If you are part of a good union, make sure you stand as a shining example for all the others. Let the American public know of what you do, and convince the other bad unions to stop what they do.