On the General Baptist Discussion Forum the question of Unions came up. I thought I would start a thread for discussion. If you don't want to wade through the introductory discussion skip to the bolded part where I try to make my point. On this Board and on Fox News Unions are generally spoken of with contempt. I suspect that many speaking in that manner have no real knowledge of what unions have done for this country. They only see that unions are being universally blamed for the countries ills and are happy to participate. I am not a member of a union. Engineers rarely form unions because they really have no bargaining power. I might join a union if I worked at a job where unions had a presence. The only way I would be coerced into joining a union would be if that were the only way to feed my family. I grew up in coal mining country during the Roosevelt Depression. My father worked in the coal mines at that time and for a time served as a local union president. The United Mine Workers president at that time was John l. Lewis. I sincerely believe he had the interests of the mine workers at heart, perhaps the last union leader to do so. I will insert at this time that we were Republicans at a time and place where Republicans were looked at like most on this Forum look at unions. My Dad was a strong supporter of the Taft Hartley Law; look it up if you don't know what it does. It is a fact that mine workers were treated like dogs before the union came along. For those who hate unions they might spend some time reading about the conflict in West Virginia coal fields in the 1920's [I believe, could have been earlier.] when the unions were being organized. There was a lot of violence and in West Virginia, Eastern Kentucky, and southwest Virginia the government was not on the side of the unions. One incident before I discuss a little philosophy about management.unions. My Dad and all his family were Members of the Old Regular Baptist Church as is Old Union Brother. My Grandfather and 3 uncles were preachers in that Church. THere was an Old Regular preacher from Jellico, Tennessee, last name Musick, who used to visit our home. He was a union organizer, had a son same age as some older brothers. Elder Musick lost this son and at least one other son to anti union violence. Now to a little reality about union management relations. Unions were generally organized and entered into contracts with management through collective bargaining. I am not going to try to discuss all the laws etc that were passed in regard to this process simply because I don't know all that much. i do know that Taft Hartley made closed shop illegal, allowed union shops, and allowed states to ban union shops, the Right to Work Law. All that is a little history and mostly from memory. Unions and management bargain and enter into some contract under which the union will work for a period of time. The unions get nothing that is not agreed to by management. There have been a number of egregious examples in recent years of the excessive wages/benefits that union members have. Just keep in mind that, unless the government intervenes, the union gets nothing that management did not give them. THe United Auto Workers have been blamed for the problems that have occurred with the big three auto companies and to some degree rightly so. But again the unions got nothing either in pay, benefits, or work rules that management did not give them. As long as the car companies could sell everything they made they simply passed the cost on to the consumer; but then came the Japanese cars and stuff hit the fan. My point is that it is completely unfair to place all the blame on the unions. Sorry management is just as much to blame, perhaps more so. Now to public service unions and I am not as much speaking of teachers unions as other workers. Here the problem is even worse as has been revealed by the bankruptcies in certain cities, principally California. The politicians gave the unions all they wanted and passed the cost on to the taxpayer. Who is to blame? The politicians. Is there anyone who works for a living that would not like to make more? So the problem is not all the unions,. I believe most of the blame lies with weak management and spineless politicians.