(UnitedVoice.com) – In 2020, workers belonging to a union dropped by 321,000 compared to 2019. Roughly 14.3 million people belong to a union. It’s not a surprising number. For fifty years, union membership has been on the decline. Today, union membership is highest among government workers as manufacturers left the US for cheaper overseas labor. In 2021, at least one union fails to understand the changing dynamics of the business world and workplace as the needs of employers evolve in the wake of the pandemic.
In October, workers at four Kellogg’s plants went on strike. They argued that a two-tier wage system was unfair and fought for better benefits. The company agreed to a 3% increase in wages, enhanced benefits, and a path to move workers out of a lower-tiered wage system and asked for no concessions. On Tuesday, December 7, workers shot down the compromise between the company and union leadership. So, Kellogg’s moved to protect its business. For that, President Joe Biden jumped in and blasted the company for ensuring its future success.
What Does Biden Know About Business?
In 2020, the then-Democratic candidate received the support of many labor unions. Since then, he’s been on a tirade to support legislation that forces companies to accept unionization and create union jobs through his climate change proposals. He often talks about the desire to create good-paying union jobs through government programs and regulations but rarely, if ever, praises non-union companies. Conservatives often oppose such measures because unions typically support Democrats in large numbers and put the squeeze on their members to vote against their wishes or best interests in some cases.
After workers refused Kellogg’s overture, company executives did what they believed needed to be done to ensure their product continued to be supplied to store shelves. They plan to permanently replace the 1,400 striking workers.
Biden exclaimed that the move by Kellogg’s was an attack on the union, its members’ jobs, and livelihoods. As if he cared about that in the summer of 2020. The question here is, what does Biden know about business? He’s a 50-year career politician whose personal business exploits are in dire question.
In difficult times, what business has Biden ever led, let alone successfully navigated?
Biden Attacks Kellogg’s
Why did Biden feel the need to interject himself in a situation he knows little about? Could it be the union called in a favor for supporting the president in 2020? It sounds a lot like cronyism, if that’s true. So, let’s try to understand for a second. It’s okay for workers to threaten a business’ viability because they are a union, but is it not okay for a company to negotiate an agreement with union leadership in good faith and then replace workers after they reject a fair deal?
Who’s threatening who?
Biden’s anti-business views are available for all to see. If it were up to him, the president would ban Kellogg’s from replacing striking workers who refuse to come back to work. Kellogg’s said it was disappointing that workers refused to accept a fair offer. Still, they added it has an obligation to those who sell its products and to consumers who want the cereals they love — as well as the thousands of people they employ who didn’t go on strike.
Union heads say the decision will hurt families who need to pay their mortgages and bills. The fact is, they were able to do that before they went on strike and then turned down the deal. So, the union leaders who encouraged the strike and the workers who followed them have culpability in their lost jobs.
Biden appears to believe that intimidation only goes one way. It doesn’t. The fact is the president should be working to solve problems for the country that he can control. Perhaps this is another reason his approval ratings continue to tank. He has a bad habit of injecting himself into matters he believes benefit him politically, that he knows little about or has little power to influence.
Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst
Copyright 2021, UnitedVoice.com