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Sunday Morning Book Thread - 05-08-2022 ["Perfessor" Squirrel] | Main | First-World Problems...
May 08, 2022

Do You Really Need More Proof Of The Stupidity And Laziness Of Our Media? Because Here Is A Perfect Example: Unions Are Resurgent...Except...They Really Aren't

What a classic of the genre...lots of emotional quotations, lots of flashy data, but no balance at all! There are six or seven people quoted in this mess of an article, but shockingly all of them are partisan; and you can guess which side they are cheer-leading for. And all of that data are numbers that don't quite add up to an increase in union participation and membership.

Employees everywhere are organizing. Here's why it's happening now

“The pandemic was the wakeup call or the catalyst that has prompted two perspectives: ‘is there another way to work and live?’ and the relationship between employers with workers,” said former NLRB chairman and current Georgetown Law professor Mark Pearce. “The vulnerable workers — they were not only scared, they were pissed.”

Ah..I see! So the Covid insanity that began in February 2020 was the catalyst for this supposed upsurge in unionism and, presumably, union membership? Okay, so one would think that the data on total union membership and union participation would have increased in the two-plus years since the Wuhan flu killed everyone on the planet...right?

Except...even the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics says: Nope!
Union Members Summary

In 2021, the number of wage and salary workers belonging to unions continued to decline (-241,000) to 14.0 million, and the percent who were members of unions--the union membership rate--was 10.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The rate is down from 10.8 percent in 2020--when the rate increased due to a disproportionately large decline in the total number of nonunion workers compared with the decline in the number of union members. The 2021 unionization rate is the same as the 2019 rate of 10.3 percent. In 1983, the first year for which comparable union data are available, the union membership rate was 20.1 percent and there were 17.7 million union workers.

Was there an increase in attempts at union organizing? Sure! Probably. There are some fairly new and very big targets like Starbucks and Amazon and Google and so one that can provide years of fat donations to the unions and their organizing groups. Whether they are successful is another question entirely, and one that was carefully avoided by the authors of this press release pretending to be a news article.

“Covid was everything,” agreed Jason Greer, a labor consultant and former field examiner agent for the NLRB. “A lot of people said ‘I’m seeing my family members die and my friends die and we were suddenly faced with our own mortality but a lot of organizations still expected you to work just as hard or harder.’”
Oh no! So companies still expect value for their money and hold their employees accountable to that standard! That's despicable!

And what does facing one's mortality have to do with employment? This is hyper-emotional nonsense masquerading as news, especially since those in the work force are overwhelmingly younger and healthier than those most vulnerable to Wuhan flu...the elderly, the infirm, the obese, etc.

It is a mess of an article without any redeeming features, like rational analysis of the data. But that is to be expected in the current age of editorializing in the guise of news. My guess is that there was an organized effort on the part of a couple of these union organizers to sway the media, and these two knuckleheads were some of the suckers who bit on the obvious manipulation. One of them is described as a "technology reporter," and the other is a "restaurant reporter." So one is an expert on...um...Instagram and the newest Xbox, and the other writes trenchant and cutting reviews of the Chipotle that opened down the street!

Sure, I'm exaggerating, but would you be surprised if I were correct?

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posted by CBD at 12:00 PM

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