I pursued and was hired into a union position as a young adult, but eventually left upon reaching the painful conclusion that the culture was not for me.
My disillusionment started early when immersed into the soul crushing social construct where seniority is valued far above every other attribute a person brings to the job.
In the competitive market system, the union was astonishingly socialistic. Every aspect of the construct was clearly spelled out; even suffocating.
At the beginning of my second week, I made the almost fatal error of arriving thirty minutes early, with the goal to get a jump on my day. I was young, ambitious, and competitive, and wanted to demonstrate my dedication. Big mistake.
My supervisor warned me in writing, later the same morning, that I was prohibited from working any extra time outside of the contractual provisions. The letter included a bargaining agreement page, which clearly highlighted the designated work hours
I was a little cocky when I confronted my supervisor about the letter. She informed me that she had no choice; my “violation” was reported by another union member.
The cold shoulder I received from peers was a more clear indication that my “go getter” attitude ruffled some feathers. There was zero tolerance for my attitude. I was expected to toe-the-line like everyone else. No exceptions.
In retrospect, I should have immediately walked away; run and never looked back.
I barely kept my job during an economic layoff, but witnessed some great people get sent packing only because they lacked enough seniority. Management didn’t have the choice to pick and choose the best human assets to keep.
The union was a powerful political machine, which used member dues to support liberal political candidates.
It astonished me the amounts of money expended to defeat conservative candidates who advocated for lower taxes to encourage growth, and job creation. It was overt class-warfare propaganda, with the staunch position that conservatives only represented the rich, while liberals looked out for the working class.
Union officials loudly cried foul about the declining number of family-wage jobs, while supporting liberal candidates who advocated tax and spend policies, which were counter productive to economic growth.
I cannot predict if union power will increase, decline, of stay the same in American society, nor if a power shift would be better, or worse in the long-term. Time will tell.
I do know that my experience as a union member was very negative, and don’t regret leaving the socialistic culture for other gainful employment opportunities.