Labor Day and the plight of workers
The other day was Labor Day. It was just another lockdown day.
What’s perpetuating the plight of laborers? The workers themselves, rather, their leaders.
Labor leaders would all be bluster on the negotiating table, especially in the presence of their members but are readily manipulated behind the scenes. They are easily wined, dined and given women. In addition with some cash. Or some other company perks, of which their union members, the laborers, are often none-the-wiser.
There is a local company where the union officers are given the right to play in the firm’s golf course. Even the union’s legal counsel spends most of his time in the greens of that facility. That is playing footsies with the enemy, pure and simple. There, under the table deals are conveniently agreed upon and future ones are planned. While the laborer union members are sweating it out in their daily shifts to earn enough for their families to survive and to be able to afford paying their union dues.
Big labor unions collect big amounts as union dues of laborers every payday. In no time, these amount to millions and millions of pesos but the laborers don’t see good investments by the unions for the members’ future or their welfare. No cooperative grocery stores or credit unions for members. Scholarship funds for their deserving children? Never heard of it. Funds set aside for the rainy day or natural calamities? Nothing.
So the laborers always remain helpless and are always dependent on their company employer for everything.
How about their union officers? They are living high or well. Secretly.
As a cover-up or to maintain their popularity among labor union members, union leaders can even be so irresponsible. They would deceptively entice or inveigle the members to ask for more benefits even if what were being given to them were enough and their company employer could not afford anything more. Otherwise, the company would go bankrupt. They would try to hold the company under the barrel of a gun through crippling labor strikes or other collective action.
And so many such firms went under, depriving thousands of families of laborers their livelihood or the employment for their breadwinners. They became susceptible for recruitment by the leftists or other groups masquerading as do-gooders, supposedly fighting for the laborers’ “better future.”
The worst omission of union officers, however, is their failure to provide good examples for their members. Particularly, to set the example that through a modest lifestyle, industry and some sacrifice, one could embark on self-improvement or acquiring new skills or education or qualification that would lead to opportunities to climb the social and economic ladder.
In the cities, such opportunities abound but often there are no examples to look up to. Usually none among the laborers’ peers. And, often, none among their union leaders.**