Sunday, February 19, 2012

Why Right to Work makes sense to me

Indiana recently passed a Right to Work law that lets workers opt out of union membership and frees them from having to give a dime of their pay to unions.

I have some friends who think this is a horrible thing and will cast the state’s workers into some kind of low-wage slavery.

Here is the essence of an eloquent and succinct post from that goes to the heart of the argument:

I have a great job. I like it a lot. I have a tremendously flexible schedule, rewarding work that is used by thousands of people, respect for my skills … what I don’t have is a hope for a raise, promotion or merit rewards because the company is in “hunker down and wait for the asshole in office to get ousted before making any financial changes” mode and they ARE ALL LIBERALS WHO VOTED HIM IN OFFICE!

I? Am the only conservative working for the entire company that employs over 6000 people, all liberal. I’m the only one who is out of the closet, anyway.

I’m like a cute little pet to them, I suspect.

No one is getting a real raise or a promotion for the foreseeable future. It’s not just me. It’s not personal. It’s not punitive because I’m a freak, conservative.

So it was not an unwelcome phone call that day two weeks ago when a company I have worked with called and asked me to apply, no resume required because they know me and they offered me a 17% increase over what I am currently making with all the flexibility and benefits I currently have.

I know! JUMP LIKE A BUNNY ON CRACK! Right? Take the job!

The pitch was good, man. Almost irresistible.

“We pay for talent. Our salaries are higher than anywhere else around here and we have great benefits. We reward results and if there isn’t a position to promote you to when a promotion is merrited, we’ll create a position.”

The company is in the news every day on the verge of financial ruin, but it can’t go under because it is the resource of last resort for the poorest residents and state and local government pumps money into it. They just laid off 500 people but the IT department is safe because they are understaffed and critical to operations. It’s a safe bet.

But it is a union shop.

Their deal with the union requires all employees, union or not, to kick back 5% of their pay and a new deal will take another 3% . Take your salary and subtract 8%. That’s half of the increase over the current job pay rate. Take the amount you would make over what you are currently making and cut it in half just for the union deal. Every raise you get will be a percentage kick back to the unions.

The raise jumps you into the next tax bracket so take your salary before you subtract the 8% because that’s not pre-tax deduction, you’re paying taxes on the money you give to the union, calculate 28% of the remaining half and you get to keep about 30% of the original amount or about a 3% raise over what you are making now in reality. My current job gives a “by rote” 2% increase every year to quell the qvetching, so the reality is that 17% pay raise for switching jobs would actually net me 1% more a year and if the deal doesn’t go through with the Unions next month then they will do furloughs next year, killing off the 1% that was left.

That’s a 17% pay raise eaten alive by the unions and the US government.

I never really thought about it like that before until I had to run real numbers and could not fucking believe I was turning down a 17% pay raise to take a job I actually wanted. I COULD NOT BELIEVE I DECLINED IT.

So, you know? I’m bringing back the “hate cat”.

Reality is a bitch and this creeping blob creature that is the unholy marriage of the Federal Government and the Unions is eating us alive. Soon? There will be nowhere left to work that will let you keep what you earn. Their motto should be: You make it? We take it.


I told my current boss … and I really negotiated this, cross my heart and hope to fucking die … “I just turned down an offer for a 17% pay raise if I would move to company X. In exchange I want some decent pens and business cards for everyone on our team.” We have no pens and the company won’t buy business cards because they are laying people off weekly. I figured business cards would at least provide the illusion of stability and improve moral, and pens? Well. I like them and it pisses me off to have to buy my own for work.

He said he’d think about it and get back to me.

And this is my life.

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