For reasons that defy any kind of human logic I’m familiar with, I’m nominally “represented” by the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 1904. Being a government employee, I’m legally prohibited from striking. Likewise, AFGE can’t negotiate my salary or benefits package. Given those facts, I have no idea what services they’re supposed to be providing that I couldn’t otherwise arrange through a decent labor lawyer if the need ever arose.
As of the most recent update last week, Local 1904 has failed to come to terms with management on the new and improved telework policy for our organization. They had 30 months of COVID and now more than six months after returning to “business as usual” to get the ship in order. Every other organization we deal with has somehow managed to get their new policies in place to the benefit of their workforce, but 1904 remains a holdout. In fact, they’re so dysfunctional in this negotiation that the whole thing has been thrown into binding arbitration to resolve. Arbitration of this type can take weeks, months, or years to reach its conclusion.
If I were in any way involved with this union, I’d be mortified at our inability to arrive at what my brother and sister organizations have found to be a dead simple easy arrangement. As it is, I’ll forever see 1904 as the toad in the road trying to stand in the way of progress and the rigorous application of common sense. Utter cockwombles, the lot of them.
I periodically see the news or social media filled with stories about needing stronger unions or organizations wanting to bring in a union to represent them. Friends, be careful what you ask for. Since 2000, I’ve been in jobs that were nominally covered by several different unions. They all like to hype the idea of being “Union Strong,” but it’s been my experience that they’re far more often Union Wrong.
I’ll walk down the hill and throw hundred dollar bills directly in the river before I ever pay them a nickel’s worth of dues. I’ll never know for sure whose interests they’re representing, but I can tell you it’s sure as hell not mine.