Unions are an interesting beast. They claim to fight for the working man while demanding large tributes that end up lining the pockets of union bosses. I don’t oppose all unions, just the public ones that I’m forced to pay for. Unions, at a very basic level, are nothing more than groups of workers who come together to fight for better wages, benefits, and less hours. In this sense they are a form of voluntary association that I support.
Then there is the other side of unions, the side that tries to use the state’s gun to enforce their desires. They demand the state force employers to pay a minimum wage, provide mandatory benefits, and only allow employees to work a fixed number of hours. What these unions don’t realize is that the state is a vicious monster that lashes out against anybody and everybody. One moment the state will be your best friend, the next moment it will move against you because you no longer serve its desires:
Talks between Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd and the union representing 4,800 striking locomotive engineers have broken down, paving the way for the government to bring in legislation forcing them back to work, the company said on Sunday.
The Canadian government, concerned that a rail strike could hurt an economy still struggling with the aftermath of the last recession, had said it was prepared to introduce the legislation.
Railroad employees in Canada have gone on strike and talks between the union and employer have broken down. In a free society this part of negotiation could take several directions: the union could negotiate for less than they previously wanted, the union could except the current conditions, the employer could meet the union’s current demands, the employer could put forward a better deal that doesn’t meet the union’s current demands, or the employer could fire all the striking employees and hire people willing to work under current conditions. Unfortunately for the employees and union Canada isn’t a free society. Because of this either side can attempt to use the state’s gun to force the other party to comply. At times the unions benefit the state and they will provide the unions with benefits and protections, and at other times the unions are not useful to the state so they are struck down. In this case Canadian Pacific are more useful to the state so the state is going to enter the debate on their side and force the railroad employees to return to work.
The state is like the One Ring, it can’t be used for good. It is an entity of violence that can only perpetuate violence. While you may feel it’s doing an act of good when supporting your interests it will eventually attack your interests, devastating them.