They don't seem very willing to answer certain questions. Questions such as, 'If unions are so good for workers, why must workers be compelled to join them?' Or, 'If unions are so good, why isn't it obvious that all workers would benefit from them?' Or, 'If this is all about the rights and dignity of the person, why not go all the way and let each person decide the matter for themselves?'
We fully realize that are difficulties involved in what would amount to mixed shops. Who negotiates for the non-union workforce within them? If the non-union employees get the same benefits as the unionized, ought not the unions be compensated?
We're not sure. If someone didn't ask you to speak for them yet gets similar pay and benefits, well, what of it? Did the union get them their job or give them their skills? This may at times be the case, but only after the union was in the position to grant such privileges. We know that the Ironworkers and the Electricians offer training programs sponsored by their unions, and, to be fair, that these programs are very good. Yet what if they hadn't been there to begin with? If someone got their job on their own, using their own skills and own wherewithal, what would they owe to a union?
<p>Perhaps some workers will be taken unfair advantage of by their employers. No doubt this will and has at times happened; yet no doubt also that at times the union will take advantage of its members as well. That point strikes us as a moral wash. If you're to raise a boogeyman solely for the sake of raising him, then you must grant that he might turn either way. He might harm those he is presumed to protect as much as anything else. He may be that fabled wolf in sheep's clothing.
Then we have the matter of why ought the majority rule in the workplace? Why ought fifty percent plus one have the right to make everyone else do what they wish done? That's all democracy in general means, let alone in the particular cases such as union shops. Why ought Bob Smith join a union simply because John Jones think he should?
And there's the rub. Why must any given worker join a union simply because a majority, even a decided majority within one plant or one industry, thinks he should? That's nothing more than the tyranny of the majority. It is, at the risk of hyperbole, the Divine Right of Kings under another guise. We rule, you follow, and don't ask questions.
To be sure, we risk the tyranny of the minority should we go the other way. Why ought the minority hold the majority back? Certainly there are times when this is the case. We cannot have viable nations should the minority vote hold a true and absolute veto over all things faced by the body politic. But the minority, in the case of unionization anyway, is nothing like what we find on a national level. Only on the national level are we dealing with a nation as a whole, on issues of general consequence. In the cases of simple human employment, we are dealing with persons directly. We are dealing with issues of who can work where, and why.
That is the trump card. When we think of who should work where and why, we are in perhaps the most exact sense dealing with individual rights. Why should anyone be excluded from competition in a given workforce merely because the guild which presumes (and we must stress the term presumes) to speak for him claims the authority, on its own authority, to speak for the person?
That is the real question. Does anyone have the inalienable right to speak for someone else on the terms of his employment? And the answer to that tells us why Michigan must be a right work state.