From: Northwestern Georgia, USA
Like many things in life, unions are great in theory but seldom in practice. A few examples:
1. The Marine force destined to invade Guadalcanal in August 1942 staged through Wellington, New Zealand. The force was in a hurry to get their gear unloaded and then combat loaded. Only the union workers were in no particular hurry. They had their rules and their hours and they weren't going to budge from those even to help men going into combat and protecting the place the union workers lived. The Marines finally took over the job and, as soldiers will do, got it done.
2. I interviewed a U.S. Navy officer who was in charge of a navy gun crew on a merchant marine ship on the Murmansk convoys. His gun crew went on action stations at dawn and dusk every day because that was when German subs and aircraft attacked. His men had a narrow window in the afternoon to grab chow. One day he found out his men hadn't eaten and he asked why. One of the sailors said that the galley was only open from 1100 to 1200 and that they didn't get off duty until after noon. So the officer went to the galley and asked the cook to feed his men. The cook, a union man, refused. He said union rules specified that the galley closed at noon and that was that. Incensed, the officer told the cook he was going down to his quarters, getting his side arm, and would return in a few minutes. When he returned, the cook was feeding the gunnery crew. But he had to be forced to feed the men who were protecting him and his ship....and the officer said he never went on deck alone again because he knew the union men would toss him overboard if they got the chance.
I know of many other instances in which union workers refused to do simple things, refused to let people do things for themselves, and filed grievances if non-union workers did simple, commensense things to fix a problem. Many union workers are good men and women who chaffe under such a system, but they are forced by threat of violence or punishment to toe the line.
< Message edited by Canoerebel -- 5/24/2011 1:13:27 PM >