Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Union Logic

Workers at Ryerson's Chicago and Burns Harbor, Ind., facilities, who have been without a contract since Feb. 1, authorized a strike Feb. 12, the Chicago Sun-Times said Tuesday.

The 540 employees, represented jointly by United Steelworkers and Teamsters Local Union 714, want to end a concession made to management in the last three-year deal that had employees cross-trained for jobs and allowed management more flexibility in shifting employee job assignments without regard for seniority, a Ryerson spokesman said.

Normally I wouldn’t find a strike to be very newsworthy.  Union members typically just want more money – we all do – they just happen to choose a coercive method to accomplish that goal.  What strike me odd about this strike is that it doesn’t appear to be about money – it’s about self-destruction.

These workers don’t want their employer to be flexible.  They don’t want their employer to be able to respond quickly to changes.  They want plumb work assignments to be decided by the workers themselves instead of the employer being able to assign jobs based on ability.  

In short the union does not want the company that they work for to be successful.  Simply mind-boggling.

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