The 4-C’s of Effective Leadership: Collaboration, Compromise, Cooperation, and Competition Are Desperately Needed – A Leadership Primer

Probably the most egregious and recognizable, contentious, viral moral and ethical dilemma spanning generations of workers across the world has to be the rise of labor unions.  Starting with late 1800 immigrant families, in America specifically, a desire to improve the workplace arose, and rightly so.  With child labor permanently injuring and maiming, the poor working conditions, and the repressive policies of the day, workers wanted protection and found it by unionizing.  First generation immigrants in America taught their children socialized employment structures from their old countries that began to change the American employment structure.  The lure of unions, the protection of unions, and the religion of organized labor unions were taught in homes.  My wife, a second-generation immigrant from the “Traditionalist Generation” (Hickman, 2010, p. 478), relates stories of how disadvantaged working conditions were for her grandfather and father until they were forced to join unions.  Benefits, wages, time off, and other accouterments became entangled into the lure of unions, and high union demands caused the closing and bankruptcy of many companies.

Hickman (2010, p.478) would call my father a “Baby Boomer,” who related stories of how advantageous unions are as being taught from his extended family.  For my generation, “Generation X” (Hickman, 2010, p.478), I saw firsthand how reprehensible and destructive union organizations are and shunned them.  Finally, labor unions are reporting the “Millennials Generation” (Hickman, 2010, p.478) as not being interested in labor unions as a majority, and union membership is plummeting among “Generation X and Millennials,” this despite what research relates is a predisposition towards favoring the concept of labor unions (US Chamber of Commerce, 2014).

While there are many reasons why unions are unethical, the main focus for this post is simply that people are not treated equally under union oppression.  Unions suppress the desire to work together or cooperate, then infest the attitude of “us vs. them” into every relationship in the business organization, thus destroying any concept of competition, removing collaboration, refusing every aspect of compromise, but first killing cooperation.  Ethical Dilemma Examples (n.d.) reports the various ethical divisions as:

  • “Normative Ethics – The largest branch deals with how individuals can figure out the correct moral action that they should take…
  • Meta-Ethics – This branch seeks to understand the nature of ethical properties and judgments, such as, if truth-values can be found and the theory behind moral principals.
  • Applied Ethics – This is the study of applying theories from philosophers regarding ethics in everyday life…
  • Moral Ethics – This branch questions how individuals develop their morality, why certain aspects of morality differ between cultures and why certain aspects of morality are generally universal.
  • Descriptive Ethics – This branch is more scientific in its approach and focuses on how human beings actually operate in the real world, rather than attempt to theorize about how they should operate.” (Ethical Dilemma Examples, n.d.)

Interesting in this discussion is that the case can be and should be made for the unethical state of unions in each of the above examples.  By not treating all fairly, the leadership challenge becomes one to accommodate all while offending none, but since labor unions by default are always aggrieved, the leadership challenge becomes one of showing equal treatment under the law and continuing to allow labor unions to make grievances where no grievance exist.  Millennials and Gen-X’ers are aware of the plots and ploys of labor unions, desire fair and equitable treatment based upon merit more than demographic alignment and insist upon equity and strong moral character in all employees, especially in managers and leaders (Hickman, 2010; & US Chamber of Commerce, 2014).  The genetic mold of labor unions being good to the exclusion of all else is a myth that is dying.  My parents were disheartened by union membership.  While they continue to embrace the “hope” of a labor union, the reality is far different, and none of their children ever considered joining labor unions, even when incentivized to join.

A major part of the ethical dilemma unions embed into a business culture is that of competition over cooperation, but not normal competition, a mutated and unethical form of competition where means are overlooked and justified if the ends are sufficiently lucrative to the individual in power.  The first casualty in a labor union takeover of a business is the cooperative nature between people dedicated and possessing passion working together towards a common goal.  Cooperation dies, labor unions thrive, and competition infests businesses without labor unions due to the business owners, managers, and stakeholders fears of workers.  A perfect example is the dysfunction of government where unions represent the front-line workers.  No work is accomplished, taxpayer dollars are wasted, bureaucratic inertia abounds, and the labor union is the only party thriving.  The workers in government show they can get away with demanding a specific change, then non-governmental unionized employees make the same attempt, creating more fear of the non-unionized employees making demands the business leaders would have to honor or address.

No advantages in labor union controlled organizations occur between cooperation and competition because many pertinent principles are being forgotten; compromise and collaboration are first needed to begin to form advantages or disadvantages.  Thomas (1992) extols this approach due to conflict resolution; so, the continued application of all four principles, cooperation, collaboration, compromise, and competition, provides fertile ground for resolving problems and advancing organizational objectives regardless of labor union involvement.  These four principles must work together with no single principle more important than the other.  Like the four-legged stool my grandmother used to reach high cupboards, the stability of the stool depended upon all four legs to ensure strength and flexibility to work exactly.  Compromise and competition do not work without collaboration and cooperation.  They are all interconnected, and the business leader, wanting to lead well, would remember this relationship.

Collaboration is strengthened by cooperation, compromise, and competition.  Competition must end in collaboration, cooperation, and compromise; in fact, competition will breed collaboration and cooperation to reach a compromise, before those being competed against provide collaboration, cooperation, and compromise, and remain attached and honored as successful means to reach the desired win-win agreement.  The fires of competition are crucial to purifying those collaborating, compromising, and cooperating into a single honed unit that can more effectively work together.  Cooperation can do nothing without the shared responsibilities of collaboration and compromise; when competition is added the cooperation is strengthened.  Compromise without cooperation or collaboration is nothing, and competition is an added value to ensuring stronger compromise.  None of these can stand alone without elements of the others to support, edify, and multiply; along with the stated relationship comes the knowledge that if the agreement is not win-win, the agreement is a straight lose scenario.

The inherent discussion above is condensed from Thomas (1992), who advocated this combined approach to organizational design as a masterstroke to getting people working together.  The same basic philosophy can be seen in the writings of Goldratt and Cox (2004), Lencioni (2002), Lundin, Paul, and Christensen (2000), Boynton and Fischer (2005), and Boylan (1995) among many others.  Notably, these principles have been understood throughout time.  Jucius (1963), in speaking of the broader issues in personnel management, understood the combined power of collaboration, cooperation, compromise, and competition and wrote extensively about how to use these effectively in the organization.  Cruickshank and Davis (1958) understood these principles to be a combined and more effective tool than separate strategies of the same general direction and strove to ensure business leaders understood the practical application and inherent need for the organization to adhere to these principles as a combined effort of all organizational members.  McNichols (1963) strove to keep these items combined in the minds of executives; thus, empowering them to discover solutions employing all the strengths in the consolidated collective use of competition, collaboration, compromise, and competition.  The empowerment felt in combining these tools elevates the individual focus into a collected focus, and the solutions for an organization are improved dynamically.

Examples of the combined efforts of collaboration, competition, compromise, and cooperation are found in the writings and research of Collins (2001 & 2006), Collins and Hansen 2011), and Collins and Porras (1994).  These books contain many organizational examples of companies employing the combined strategy as outlined and collectively harnessing the power in cooperation, compromise, collaboration, and competition to make the long-lasting change from “Good to Great” organizations.  Collins (2001) discusses Walgreen’s transformation and employs the combined power into the new highly successful Walgreen’s store model.  Mitchell (2003) discusses the same principles as CEO of Mitchells/Richards Clothing Stores.  By embracing the combined power contained, this CEO has kept the family business growing.  Both organizations, Walgreen’s and Mitchells/Richards, embraced the energy of collaboration properly supported by compromise and collaboration and invested in internal and external competition to drive the needed organizational changes.  What Collins proves is that the collective power is not particular and rare, but available to all who choose to combine not separate, collect not disburse, connect and retain not divide, partition, and mutate.  Leadership demands higher practical performance than management (Robinson, 1999; Punia, 2004; and Mintzberg, 1980).

The ability to rise higher must include all the attributes, strengths, and collective power found in collaboration, competition, cooperation, and most especially compromise.  Having standards does not mean compromising personal or organizational standards for collaboration.  Having standards is the discovery of common ground in collaborating for a common goal, enhanced in the fires of competition.

References

Boler, J. (1968). Agency. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 29(2), 165-181.

Boylan, B. (1995). Get Everyone in Your Boat Rowing in the Same Direction. New York, New York: Barnes & Noble.

Boynton, A., & Fisher, B. (2005). Virtuoso teams: Lessons from teams that changed their worlds. FT Press

Collins, J. (2001). Good to great: Why some companies make the leap…and others don’t. New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishers.

Collins, J. (2006). Good to great and the social sectors: A monograph to accompany Good to great. London: Random House Business.

Collins, J., & Hansen, M. (2011). Great by choice: Uncertainty, chaos, and luck: Why some thrive despite them all. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

Collins, J., & Porras, J. (1994). Built to last: Successful habits of visionary companies. New York: Collins Business Essentials – A Collins Business Book: An Imprint of Harper Collins.

Cruickshank, H., & Davis, K. (1958). Cases in management (2nd ed.). Homewood, Ill.: R.D. Irwin.

Ethical Dilemma Examples. (n.d.). Retrieved November 29th, 2014, from http://examples.yourdictionary.com/ethical-dilemma-examples.html

Goldratt, E. M., & Cox, J. (2004). The goal: A process of ongoing improvement. (Third Revised ed.). Great Barrington, Massachusetts: North River Press.

Hickman, G. (2010). Leading organizations: Perspectives for a new era (Second ed.). Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.

Jucius, M. (1963). Personnel management (5th ed.). Homewood, Ill.: R.D. Irwin.

Lencioni, P. (2002). The five dysfunctions of a team: A leadership fable. Hoboken, NJ. John Wiley & Sons.

Lundin, S. C., Paul, H., & Christensen, J. (1996). Fish! A remarkable way to boost morale and improve results. New York, New York: Hyperion.

McNichols, T. (1963). Policy making and executive action; cases on business policy (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Mintzberg, H. (1980). Structure in 5’s: A synthesis of the research on organization design. Management Science (Pre-1986), 26(3), 322. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/205849936?accountid=458

Mitchell, J. (2003). Hug your customers: The proven way to personalize sales and achieve astounding results. New York, NY: Hyperion.

Punia, B. K. (2004). Employee empowerment and retention strategies in diverse corporate culture: A prognostic study. Vision: The Journal of Business Perspective, 8(81), 81-91. doi: 10.1177/097226290400800107

Robinson, G. (1999). Leadership vs management. The British Journal of Administrative Management, 20-21. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/224620071?accountid=458

Thomas, K. W. (1992). Conflict and conflict management: Reflections and update. Journal Of Organizational Behavior, 13(3), 265-274.

US Chamber of Commerce. (2014). Article: General Foundation – The Millennial Generation Research Review. Retrieved November 29, 2014, from http://www.uschamberfoundation.org/millennial-generation-research-review

© 2016 M. Dave Salisbury

All Rights Reserved

 

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Biology in Action – Or, Can an organization be successful inside another organization?

Program Note, much of this blog was formed and used as responses to discussion assignments at the University of Phoenix.  The assignments were completed first and this is mentioned to avoid plagiarizing myself.  This topic is vital to understanding hierarchy in organizations, understanding labor unions, and creating an organizational culture of respect.

The question was raised, “Can an organization exist within another organization?”  The short answer is absolutely.  The human body is a perfect example of this principle as it forms symbiotic relationships with all its systemic organizations to maintain the health of the whole body.  Applying the principle of symbiosis to a business organization is very possible and advocated. 

The principle of symbiosis is simple:  mutual dependence or reasoning that the overall health of the two organizations is improved by working together.  The opposite of symbiosis is virus.  The principle work of a virus is to take from the host in an adversarial capacity, regardless of the host’s physical/mental/ spiritual health or future well being.

The body has been reported to form viral and symbiotic relationships to improve the life and well being of the host.  Biological research explains the benefits of viral and symbiotic relationships to the host or body, long and short term, and why and how they work.  I mention this solely because I do not want a perception to be fostered of virus equals bad and symbiosis equals good.  Shen (2009) writes about the need for study into beneficial viruses as a method for fighting disease and improving the biological organization.

Biology has a direct bearing upon organizational design, organizational change, and organizational hierarchies, to name but a few practical applications for benchmarking biology into organizational leadership.  As an example, vendors and customers form vital links with a host organization; the most important of each party becomes a stakeholder in that organizational host.  Both parties could form a viral or symbiotic positive or negative relationship, and both positive and negative relationships can be beneficial to the host organization.

A recent event in the airline industry demonstrates the principles of symbiosis and virus in action.  Many unions in the airline industry cross between hosts.  For example, the pilot’s union crosses between US Airways and American Airlines.  American Airlines pilots go on strike for more money, but the US Airways pilots do not go on strike.  Current events declare what happened next, the unions banded together against the American Airlines host and forced a merger between American Airlines and US Airways.

Had the unions been in a symbiotic relationship the pilots and the managers at American Airlines would honestly communicate intentions, desires, and come up with a plan that benefits all sides in a win-win solution.  Always remembering, the host “American Airlines” provides parties, the managers and pilots, in the labor dispute with paychecks, employment, and other benefits, so the life of the host should be of paramount concern.  Other interested parties in this discussion are the airplane mechanics unions, the ticket counter unions, the steward/stewardess unions, and other parties such as airport organizations, flight controllers, and the American Airlines customers.  Many people depend upon the life of the host organization for their livelihoods, just as the entire body depends upon the life-processing resources of the heart.

The question remains, is the distinction clear enough?  When unions choose to be viral, they force concessions from the host, initiate mergers for personal power, and run to friendly judges and governments to empower themselves, regardless of the host.  Hostess was forced into receivership because of the labor unions closing a well known brand and destroying the lives of millions of customers and thousands of union and non-union employees.

Those in the labor dispute have a choice to make based upon their perceptions and intentions:  whether to become a virus, consuming or confiscating resources until the host is exhausted of physical and/or intellectual assets, damaged, and destroyed or to be symbiotic in nature and find mutually beneficial ground, compromising and negotiating desires to facilitate the survival of the host as well as its own survival.  Each customer, vendor, stakeholder, etc., faces this decision in dealing with the host:  Is it better to negotiate or not to negotiate? If the answer is affirmative, symbiosis is beginning.  If the answer is negative, a viral position has been decided.

Long have I maintained that the study of biology improves organizations; knowing how to differentiate between viral and symbiotic organizations provides the distinction to guide organizational change and even conduct day-to-day operations.  For example, being able to identify contractors based upon the principles of virus and symbiosis can safeguard the entire host organization.  A contractor representing a virus will confiscate or consume resources and return waste.  A contractor representing symbiosis will use resources to magnify or increase the value and health of the host organization.  The differentiation is not so much a discussion of dollars and cents as it is the distinction of service, quality, and attentiveness to the host brand.  Thorough understanding of the principles of virus and symbiosis from a study and knowledge of biology provides the basis upon which new paradigms are designed, new organizational cultures and hierarchies established, and the power of relationships are harnessed for the betterment of all, not just a few.

Reference

Shen, H. H. (2009). The challenge of discovering beneficial viruses. Journal of Medical Microbiology, 58(4), doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.002246-0

Employee Practices – Or the Trouble Labor Unions Cause Part 1

Disclaimer:  For the record, this author is not anti-union.  I am anti-violence when used as the tool of ideological individuals to destroy private property, intimidate, threaten, and pressure as negotiating tactics.  I do not support individuals who intentionally work slow or damage machinery as a labor-negotiating ploy.  I do support accountability, responsibility, and reasoned negotiation by impassioned people to correct faults, improve safety, and raise the bar of excellence.  I fully support groups of people combining together to focus effort upon a problem and raise awareness in the public eye.  The moment this group of people become violent, raise their voices or fists in anger, and try to force someone else to do what they want or steal money or other resources for personal gain, the group of people have crossed the line and become a force not supported or worthy continued sustenance.  Thus, I am not anti-union; it is important to note this clearly in the beginning as many people have mistaken my stand on unions to be anti-union when this is inherently false.

To understand unions in the modern world of labor relations, solid historical perspective is required.  With the beginning of the industrial revolution, labor unions began forming.  The intent was to improve working conditions, standardize working hours, and reduce accidents.  With technology advances in the beginning of the industrial revolution, maiming, blindness, lung conditions, and many other machinery caused problems were horrific.  The use of children in labor camps, on-board ships, and in mills was a horrendous injustice, completely wrong, and desperately needed correction.

Some small local or geographically/industrially specific unions had organized prior to the 1880’s.  These unions were violent in nature, full of angry people, who felt justified in harming those running the large manufacturing plants where horrific injuries occurred with no chance for the common worker to improve working conditions.  While raising awareness, these violent unions also harmed their cause with violence thus defeating their purpose without changing anything.

Unions have been steeped in communism theology and continue this theology to this day.  The principles of labor for the worker come directly from the writings of Karl Marx and the ‘Communist Manifesto.’  The first large-scale attempt at unionizing workers to improve conditions on a national scale in America is found in the Knights of Labor.  .  The Knights of Labor rejected socialism, communism, and radicalism.  This attempt fails for a lot of reasons, mainly the lack of unified structure and political pressures.  Society was not ready to change in the 1880’s; so labor unions in the US changed tactics, leaders, and aims; many of the Knights of Labor who eschewed American ideals are found in and form the bulwark of the change in unionism tactics..

From this rebirth come the first recognized labor unions formed by Samuel Gompers.  Samuel Gompers is the titleholder for longest serving president in the American Federation of Labor (AFL) now known as the AFL-CIO.  Samuel Gompers is a radical socialist bent on forcing through an ideological agenda.  Between 1880 and 1940, several things occurred:  society shifts where child labor is concerned, violence in union strikes and boycotts catches national attention, and Gompers concludes a national organization of labor into small local bodies electing labor friendly politicians into the political landscape.  With the election of President Wilson, Gompers becomes a household name outside of union families, and WWI sees a growth in both union membership and union influence in all political forums throughout the US.

Another aspect to the emergence of labor unions and power was found in their cozy relationship with organized crime.  Prohibition brought to the US powerful families of criminals dedicated to smuggling alcohol and other illegal products.  These families brought organization, power, and violence.  The unions brought forced labor dues, manpower, and energy; and the meeting of money and organization fostered a relationship of blood, violence, and scare tactics that continue unabated today.  It is important to note that violence, strikes, boycotts, and the friendly relationship between labor unions and organized crime has only increased with time, not decreased.  FBI reports continue to document the connection between organized crime, mafia, and labor unions.  From Samuel Gompers to Richard Trumka, current president of the AFL-CIO, violently settling grudges, attacking innocent people to force union membership, and threatening business owners and destroying business property to force the adoption of a union or remain union continues.

Gompers set the standard for a two-pronged attack on business: (1) violently striking employees limiting production and breaking equipment and (2) employing the courts to harass, intimidate, and harangue business owners and individual employees.  The reason for the attack mattered not and someone else always paid the cost.  The attacks worked due to a mixture of empathy and sympathy combined with a desire for power and future election possibilities.  This pattern of attacking remains effective for the same reasons.  Politicians, hell bent on personal power with a desire to reign as an American king, cozy up to the union plate of money and political favors.

The IRS granted employers the ‘Right to Control.’  Labor unions stepped in and demanded the ‘Right to Control,’ and the employee was left in the lurch with no rights, no liberty, and no way out.  A simple process exists when employees desire union membership, while complicated in legal maneuvering; the process is fairly straightforward and simple. When labor union members wish to end their union membership, the process is through a court system of union-biased laws and union inflicted violence.  Federal Law becomes convoluted and myopic regarding union labor laws.  For example, “Closed Shops” might be against the law, but the practice remains strong.  In a “Closed Shop,” every job must be a union job and membership is prerequisite to employment.  If a union member should discontinue his membership in the union, the union member loses his job, “Closed Shop.”  Officially, this is a practice that has been stopped, but state and federal law is union-biased, so the practice simply shifts to under the table.  “Open Shops” come in two varieties, “Agency” and “Free Rider.”  These shops are anything but “Open.”

“Agency Shops” are businesses where a majority of the employees have elected for union membership and even non-union members are forced to pay union dues.  These non-union dues payers have no voice in the union, no rights in the union, but have forced union representation, supposedly, if trouble arises.  In theory this works; in action many non-union forced dues payers are second-class citizens in these “Open Shops,” and the union could care less provided the money continues to roll in from forced dues.  “Free Rider Shops,” are exactly the same thing, only, the labor union cannot force non-union members to pay dues for union coverage.  The union coercion of the decision makers and of other employees to entice them into a union in “Free Rider Shops” is well documented.  Tire slashing, late-night threatening phone calls, intimidation, and threats of physical harm are also well-documented problems in “Free Rider Shops.”

The problem inevitably is money.  According to the union, if the employee wants union protection, the employee will pay for it.  The average union labor dues is around $400 annually, this is before the forced payment of healthcare cost, retirement, etc.  This number does not include the cost of operation the employer must pay to support the union.  Training costs are not included in the operating cost nor reflected in the dues cost.  All these variables are not fixed and add to the overall cost of unions. Adding in the intimidation factor, loss due to theft and breakage, loss due to strikes, etc., the difficulties unions cause and the overall cost to society to support unions is well past the unsustainable point.  More on the general overall costs of unions can be found here.

The fees involved in discontinuing membership in a union are hidden deep in the miasmic swamp of mouse print, but since the union member is technically given this information, the fees are legal.  The process usually requires the employee to hire a lawyer who specializes in contracts.  The union, who will employ contract and litigation lawyers, does not cover their own legal fees and passes them on to the union member in an effort to keep the dues money coming in.  Many people with similar horror stories, who relate the process of discontinuing membership in a union, can be located through an easy Google Search.  Discontinuing a union membership can become more difficult than a space shuttle launch, and the costs are always borne by the individual wanting to leave the labor union.

This remains America, the land of the longest living constitution in recorded history, yet the freedom ending labor unions are allowed to thrive due to the power of money in politics, the power of organized crime, and the thrust and parry of politicians and judges too concerned with continuing power perks to right the wrong.

Fear keeps unions living, fear of being a victim and fear of becoming a victim.  Fear of loss, fear of failure, fear to risk, all these and more drive the union machine.  Yet, the birth of freedom in a worker’s heart makes courage overpower fear.  The ability to work in partnership with a company breeds new freedoms, powers, and strength.  Fear is destroyed courage, confidence, and freedom.

The problems with unions can be eradicated by freeing the worker, by placing the ‘Right to Control’ back into the hands of the individual worker.  The saying went abroad that Michigan would become a ‘Right to Work State’ only when the fires of the sun cooled.  Yet, the impossible has occurred and Michigan is now a ‘Right to Work State.’  The impossible does occur.  Free the worker.  Shift the employment paradigm.  Let this process to truly ‘Free the Worker’ begin by removing the chains of forced ‘employee’ by allowing these workers to be contractors, consultants, and controllers of their own individual destinies.

© 2012 M. Dave Salisbury

All Rights Reserved

LIC and the Labor Unions – Or Ideological Passion Drives Violence

Low Intensity Conflict or LIC is a misnomer; those who have become a victim of the barbarous cruelty of those practicing LIC find nothing “Low” about the experience.  The conflict is intense, the actions brutal, and the practitioners remain cunning adversaries using and employing willing dupes to hide the true depths of moral decay inherent in their societal destructions and depravations.  Many confuse LIC in trying to describe the actions of unbridled violence committed by ideologues under the banner of terrorism.  The US Military Joint Chiefs of Staff define LIC as:

“A limited political-military struggle to achieve political, social, economic, or psychological objectives. It is often protracted and ranges from diplomatic, economic, and psychological pressures through terrorism and insurgency. Low-intensity conflict is generally confined to a geographic area and is often characterized by constraints on the weaponry, tactics, and levels of violence (Tinder 1990).”

Some will proclaim loudly, mostly due to affiliation with or money from labor unions, that LIC is only limited to those more commonly perceived as terrorists, i.e., car bombers, hijackers, and rioters, and that labor unions are not terrorists, but are organizations with the sole purpose of “Protecting the Workers.”  This article will prove the lie behind this fallacy and the charade will fall.  I contend, if labor unions were truly for the worker, their names would be changed to ‘Human Resources,’ dues would never be mandatory, and the personal and political power of independent organizations would come to replace the useless and power hungry monstrosity referred to as labor unions.

As the definition demonstrates, LIC requires a “… Political-military struggle to achieve political, social, [and] or psychological objectives, ” along a “limited” front or axis.  Labor unions have always used the “Plight of the Worker” as their political and military casus belli.  As the basis for their actions, this excuse, the “Plight of the Worker,” also provides a limited but effective axis to justify their foul and loathsome acts of violence and degradation.  Throughout the history of the world, in every age, every society, in every single polity on the earth, children, women, men, all engaged in working conditions that were horrific, found themselves being exploited by power-hungry people, and/or were brutalized into serving others through war or other oppression.  These historical facts and political bents formed the modern labor pools the Industrial Revolution utilized to initiate the manufacturing of commodities.  By forming a collective, using violence to create news and through forced subscriptions, labor unions were born.  Upon forming an organized labor society, union members did three things: one, they changed working conditions in every organization employing people; two, they created the largest ‘Ponzi Scheme’ in history; three, they transformed politics into a beast which they can control by making a little news.  This took time, essentially from the late 1800’s to mid 1930’s.  The actions taken employed communistic literature, sympathetic rich people, and power mad activists to make a bad thing look good and appeal to the greater populace as respectable.  Taken one at a time, the following evidence is clear that the political-military struggle is all about power and not about employee health, wealth, or societal improvement.  Taken together, these three items showcase a dastardly design with the intended purpose of transforming a capitalistic society into a communistic community.

Changed Working Conditions

OSHA, MSHA, NLRB, Child Labor Laws, Education Mandates, and many other federal and state labor regulation boards were created through the insistence and political powers of labor unions.  This includes the most egregious law of them all, the Federal Minimum Wage Law.  By forcing the Federal Government to override state law, labor unions formed the first federal government overreach into the freedom power grab we face today.  Every single labor law, for good or ill, has been drafted, pushed, and violently fought through the actions of labor unions.  The very arguments swirling around the current president regarding class warfare, the individual mandate, and the freedom power grab have their beginnings in the labor union.  As stated, LIC must employ a three-pronged attack to justify the actions of those making violence, the fingers of the attack being political, social, and psychological.  For example, the injury of children working on looms was horrific and reprehensible and all societies now have child labor laws.  To pass child labor laws during the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, labor unions exploited children, who had been seriously injured, and those, who were young with mutilated bodies permanently deformed, by submitting their photos and stories to newspapers to begin the psychological war justifying the violence they created, such as destruction of private property, beating shop and business owners, and breaking laws with their organized crime efforts.  Enraged people then began the political and social war to change the laws.  But what laws did we get but forced federal governmental education of all children, and more power went from individuals and states into the federal coffers all in the name of “Protecting the Children.”  Parents were pushed aside, the needs of families thwarted, and child labor laws were deemed good for society as a whole.  The ‘Ripple Effect’ or the ‘Laws of Unintended Consequences’ meant that labor unions gained significant power, authority, and from these early gains, launched massive labor union growth, but not development.

Ponzi Scheme

Bernie Madoff has been given the title of running the largest ‘Ponzi Scheme’ in the world.  Yet, he is inconsequential compared with labor union organizations.  The Federal Security Exchange Commission FAQ’s on ‘Ponzi Schemes’ outline perfectly the points of this argument providing a wonderful base for the argument and can be found by clicking the link above.

Labor unions are organized as a ‘Ponzi Scheme’ with “Little or no legitimate earnings.”  Labor unions must finance themselves.  Labor unions do not produce a good or service for sale; so all monies generated originate from forced dues paid by members.  These members are people struggling to earn sufficient money through their employment.  Even when not working, many union members still have some dues mandated by the unions, which must be paid for membership to continue.  From the SEC definition alluded above we find this tidbit, “In many Ponzi schemes, the fraudsters focus on attracting new money to make promised payments to earlier-stage investors and to use for personal expenses, instead of engaging in any legitimate investment activity.”  Consider the incredible bill of goods sold to new union members about retirement benefits upon reaching the age of retirement.  Because the benefits of retirement are convincing, thousands of union members gladly pitch money into retirement; few of these union members will actually have a usable retirement fund.  The disparity rests in several factors, namely, fraud and theft of the pension, mandates and restrictions, and union leadership.  The number of pension managers getting caught raiding the pension accounts has grown and continues to grow leaving the pension bereft of funds and the retirees bereft of benefits paid for.  Union leadership receives big money as compensation for managing their unions.  For example, Andy Stern as head of the SEIU (2006) was earning $249,000 plus a lot of lucrative benefits while the majority of his union membership earned less than $30,000 a year.  Yet, every dollar Andy Stern “earned” came from the forced dues of his members.  Ponzi Scheme, the top and early investors get benefits and everybody else gets to pay for them.  The worst part of this entire scheme is that the Federal Government turns a blind eye to the scheme because of all the forced dues being pushed into political election campaigns.  If you doubt this, consider this tidbit:  SEIU, just SEIU, donated over $28 million to Obama’s election campaign in 2012.  This is not to single out any particular union, but considering all union donations, comparing leadership wages versus union worker wages and benefit packages is irreconcilable and practically impossible.

Transformed Politics

A major shift in politics took place in 1907; labor unions began making large inroads into the political arena.  While labor unions had been around in an on again/off again pattern since the early 1870’s, the American Federation of Labor under the capable leadership of Samuel Gompers began the most recognizable labor union model still in use today.  Coordinating strikes, creating coalitions, and banding under a single banner, many of the smaller less organized labor unions achieved political power.  While Samuel Gompers’s death and the ‘Roaring 1920’s helped reduce the power of organized labor, the Wagner Act brought organized labor into the federal government’s embrace in the middle of the ‘Great Depression;’ the labor union was reborn as a political powerhouse.  The Wagner Act is also called the National Labor Relations Act or NLRA.  This single piece of federal overreach came through the militant actions of the railroad union’s demand for, through force, violence, and political subjugation, many good and many bad items.  For example, the NLRA set forth what has become the standard 8-hour workday that some call “good,” and demanded an employer cannot interfere with the workers forming a union that many call “bad.”  By their unlawful actions, the NLRA stomped on states’ rights, removed individual rights, and set the stage for the current fiasco in Washington State where labor unions are forcing Boeing to transform their plant located in South Carolina, a ‘Right to Work’ state, into a forced union membership plant, transforming politics incredibly, innumerably, and ignominiously.

The next part of the LIC requirement to prove the case of labor unions being terrorists comes directly from the definition of LIC.  “… Often protracted and ranges from diplomatic, economic, and psychological pressures through terrorism and insurgency.”  Any Google search on the terms ‘labor unions and violence’ will pull down millions of hits on the correlation between labor unions and their violent beginnings, violent actions, and current levels of violence towards non-union members, non-union political leaders, non-union lawyers, and other members of society who speak against union membership and the compulsory dues.  Political leaders, judges, and high-ranking members of society all turn a blind eye to the violence committed by unions.  This violence is always organized, sanctioned by the highest leaders in the union organization, and applauded by these same leaders.  A marvelous example is the ABC World News Article by Alan Farnham entitled, “How Nasty Can Union Violence Get and Still be Legal.”  Another case in point is the illegal imprisonment or borderline kidnapping of security guards by the Longshoreman Union and violent activities during a recent strike in Longview, Washington.  Since the SCOTUS ruling in 1973, many courts have turned the proverbial ‘blind-eye’ to violence performed by unions during strikes and also performed during protests not connected to strikes.  Like a spoiled child screaming in a grocery store when told ‘No,’ unions move quickly down the chain from diplomatic actions to violent revenge, when told ‘No’ again.  Terrorist activity and labor unions are inseparably connected.

Finally, we come to the most chilling part of the LIC definition and the terrorist connection to labor unions.  “… Low-intensity conflict is generally confined to a geographic area and is often characterized by constraints on the weaponry, tactics, and levels of violence.”  National borders formerly confined labor unions, but with the movement of labor unions being documented in the recent Egyptian struggle to replace Mubarak in power, we see geographic areas being violated.  The AFL-CIO is documented as having its hand in the recent spate of civil disobedience and unrest in the Middle East; this violence has left thousands dead, millions injured, and is employing levels of violence rarely seen outside of civil war.  Weapons, tactics, and levels of violence by the protestors and the government continue to escalate.  A mobster in Chicago from the movie “The Untouchables” is credited with this saying, “If they pull a knife, we pull a gun. They send one of our guys to the hospital; we send one of their guys to the morgue. THAT’S the Chicago way!”  This is also the labor union way of dealing with any and all obstacles to their agenda:  violence, more violence, and even more bloody violence.

It is important to always remember, labor unions are organized and sanctioned terrorists.  There is no difference between an ideologically driven person who straps on a semtex vest and explodes himself in a shopping area or airport and a labor union member.  No significant differences exist between these two ideologically driven individuals.  None!  Consider the recent violence in Michigan over the state moving from forced unionism to ‘Right to Work.’  The union’s disgruntlement turned violent, people lost resources, people were injured, private property damaged and destroyed, politicians threatened, “blood will be spilled,” and ideologically driven people become violent on demand.

Additional Links:

This article was compiled and presented on Michelle Malkin’s Blog, it has video’s and additional links to other sources:  http://michellemalkin.com/2011/09/05/happy-labor-day-top-10-union-thug-moments-of-the-year/

If the truth about LIC and Unions is not made clear above, this link has been certified and shows the case more clearly: http://www.unionfacts.com/crime-corruption/union-leader-fraud additionally links from this article span into election year activities and individual cases of fraud and corruption.

Finally, this article continues to deal with union violence and asks some good questions:  http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2011/08/22/why_do_we_accept_union_violence__99205.html

© 2012 M. Dave Salisbury

All Rights Reserved

Reference

Tinder, A. J. L. (. (1990). Low intensity conflict. Informally published manuscript, Air War College – Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. Retrieved from http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=ADA241060