St Hedwig, TX
September 20, 2011 11:22am
The only truthful statement you made is the title of your commentary. I don't believe you would find any American who does not respect anyone who works for a living.
But, you poor pitiful, little man. The remainder of your commentary could have been written by Jimmy Hoffa or Richard Trumpka.
"organized labor is the surest path to a solid middle class" shows your ignorance of unionism's history. I would have agreed with you in the 1940's. The coal miners, steel workers, textile workers, etc. were in desperate need of a voice. But, over the past 6 decades union bosses have taken control of the minds of workers making them believe that somehow they have the right to have the high salaries, rules, and benefits they deserve. While in the meantime the union leaders, you included, have sought to enrich yourselves at their expense.
Take a look at yourself, sir. You complain that CEO salaries have increased 27% in 2010 alone. Your annual compensation was $2,127,734 in 2010. Your salary was $417,848 and your bonus was $300,000. Your taxable income was $717,848. But, I'll bet you never told your middle class employees that you also had restricted stock awards, options awards, and deferred compensation earnings of over $1,409,000 as well ... all non-taxable but due to you at some time in the future.
In the 1960's, the steel workers union destroyed the steel business in the U.S. Their contracts were so lucrative that companies did not have the funds to build new plants or severely upgrade existing plants. They could not compete. Steel users began buying steel from Torreon, Mexico, and Japan. The exact same thing is happening now in the car industry. Toyota in San Antonio, Nissan in Smyrna, TN, Volkswagen in Chattanooga, TN, and Honda in Knoxville, TN are all non-union plants. The GM Saturn plant in Spring Hill, TN was also non-union and closed in 2009. Each of these plants have higher starting wages than union employees belonging to the UAW. They also health and benefit programs that are in line with other American workers. In the newly signed contract between GM and the UAW in Detroit, their is a proposal to re-open the Saturn plant in Spring Hill with the proviso that UAW employees must be hired in large numbers. There's a failure in the making!
There is so much more I could share with you, but you are a far left kook who is building his personal wealth on the backs of American workers you profess to respect. There is no way in hell you would listen!