Monday, June 18, 2012

Union Members: It's Not About You or Lockheed, It's About the Union

Around the time IAM District Lodge 776 voted to strike rather than accept Lockheed Martin's more than fair offer, they also filed suit with the National Labor Relations Board regarding Lockheed.  Three suits were filed, but the primary one was that Lockheed violated "fair labor practice" by (gasp) attempting to "negotiate directly with employees."  How dastardly!  And how did they conduct this negotiation?  By putting up the details (bullet points, really) of their "best and final offer" on their website.  Yep, that's real one-on one negotiation, there.  I know everyone visits the public-facing website of the company for which they work with religious fervor.

A second suit claimed that Lockheed was intimidating workers by keeping surveillance on the union headquarters.  The union headquarters are located directly across the street from the Lockheed Martin assembly plant.

On Friday, the NRLB regional board in Fort Worth dismissed the suits.

Now, I could say a great deal about the NRLB, very little of it nice, but that's not the point here.  I want to draw your attention to that first suit.  Allowing the mask to slip, the Union is admitting that it may not be negotiating in good faith on behalf of its members.  Indeed, why else would they care if the plan negotiated directly with the workers?  If the Union is negotiating in good faith, and is truly trying to get the best deal they can realistically get, then any "direct negotiation" on the part of Management will not meet or beat what the Union is going for, nor what they have already rejected.  So why is there a problem there?

There is only one logical reason: the union is not, in fact, negotiating in good faith on behalf of its members.  The union knows that its demands are unreasonable and unrealistic.  However, rather than urge its members to take a very good pay and benefits package, they would rather sacrifice the well being of their members in service to themselves.

So, in what is probably a futile message to the IAM workers: decertify your union.  Negotiate directly with Lockheed Martin.  Go back to work.  As it is you are threatening your own livelihood, as well as National Security.  Worse, many of you are also turning into moochers, as you request charitable assistance and Unemployment Benefits.  To those who have the honor and character to feel revulsion over such behavior, the only way you can make it stop is to cross the picket line, return to work, and decertify the union.  It does not represent you or your interests.

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