Friday, September 7, 2007


This blog will need a little personal background. I’m not much of a union man, and I’ll tell you why. My father died young at 55. He was a union man for 30 years, Local 84 Carpenters.

I watched him pay his dues. I watched him sit home some winters because there wasn’t any work “under roof” for him to do. And it happened every two or three years. As a parent now, I can’t imagine what it must have been like for him to scramble during those lean years to provide Christmas for his five children. He never talked about it and presents were always under the tree.

Yet he paid his dues even when he wasn’t working. And he honored the picket lines.

So when he died, I took Mom to the union office with his death certificate to figure up his retirement. This was 1977. They did a little calculating and told her that after thirty years and two back surgeries and wearing a brace with metal staves to hold his spine up so he could work through the pain, my father’s union was going to provide his 53 year old wife with $267 a month for the next five years or $98 for the rest of her life.

That’s it? She took the five year plan and went looking for a job. As we walked out of the office that day, we passed a newsstand and there was a headline that some union boss was going to jail for mob ties in the construction business. Thus ended my appreciation for labor unions.

Now…on to the story. I told you a few days ago about the judge in San Francisco who is blocking the effort of Homeland Security to crack down on Social Security Card fraud by getting tough about “No Match” letters. Judge Maxine issued a restraining order forbidding the feds from carrying out the plan.

I was surprised to see the AFL-CIO as the primary plaintiff in the case. I am also surprised to see unions throwing support to the illegal aliens when they protest for amnesty. They print up signs, they speak at the rallies, they lobby in Washington.

Here’s a quote from July of 2006 by Ana Avendano, assistant general counsel for the AFL-CIO: "There is no good reason why any immigrant who comes to this country prepared to work, to pay taxes, and to abide by our laws and rules should be denied what has been offered to immigrants throughout our country's history -- a path to legal citizenship." Ana, you left out, “..and is willing to pay union dues…”

Like so many others, union leaders have sold out to their members and gone out recruiting the illegals. If I were a union member I would be livid about it. Here they are spending dues money to campaign in behalf of people who come here illegally and take away union jobs. Remember, illegals make up 14% of the workforce in the construction trades (Pew research report, March 7, 2006).

And their presence is driving down the wages of loyal union members.

But the AFL-CIO is seeing brown and figures illegals are the next big thing. Tradesmen ought to be making noise about this while they still can.

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