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No Picket Lines to Cross

Written by Gary North on September 12, 2014

When was the last time you saw a picket line?

I know: on network TV. I mean locally. When was the last time you went shopping, and you had to cross a union picket line?

It has been decades for me.

It’s a shame, really. I always enjoyed crossing a picket line when I was younger. It was my way to stick it to the National Labor Relations Board. Conservatives had so few ways of protesting the federal regulatory system when I was younger. Crossing a picket line was one of the few opportunities we had to say no to big government.

You could burn your draft card in 1967. But that was said to be illegal. I suppose you could have used a Xerox copy of your draft card. But what was the point?

Crossing a picket line was a low-risk way to say no.

Today, the trade union movement is down to 10% of the American work force, and most of these unionized workers are employed by the government. If the American Federation of Teachers struck the public schools, I might join in solidarity. Anyway, I would be with them in spirit. But they never picket. “That would not be professional.” Sad.

We just don’t see picket lines these days. We have lost an American tradition.

I suppose this is a sign of progress. The NLRB has little to do these days. But there is a heavy price to pay: no more picket lines to cross.

About all you can do today is wear a T-shirt. “The only good rain forest is a dead rain forest.” “You see one redwood; you’ve seen them all.” But nobody really cares.

Back when there were picket lines, people cared.

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12 thoughts on “No Picket Lines to Cross

  1. quote: Back when there were picket lines, people cared.

    Yes. That was when almost 25% of Americas work force was Unionized. Their are still some picket lines but during the Reagan Administration such onerous laws were passed that virtually outlawed the one right that workers have at their disposal – the right to strike for better wages and conditions.

    If you want to see America prosperous again then Labor Unions are a necessary ingredient.

  2. They had their usefullness at one time, but now have crossed a line that makes them too powerful. I've always said that the only ones who really profit from long strikes are the higher-up mucky mucks who were in power of the unions. The working person could hardly catch up to such a long time without pay, even with a huge raise. The highers got their pay from dues, regardless. Now they are making it difficult for everyone with their liberal agendas.

  3. Phillip the Bruce says:

    Gunverment interference in voluntary contracts between employers and employees has always been unconstitutional, not to mention immoral.
    The union predeliction of painting employer/employee relationships as adversarial rather than cooperative has always been counterproductive.
    If unions have to resort to violence and/or gunverment granting them monopoly powers in negotiations (boils down to the same thing) then they have no legitimacy.
    This applies to minimum wage laws also. Whoever is willing to work for whatever someone else is willing to offer should be allowed to do so.
    I am not saying that the old "Robber Barons" were blameless, but gunverment enforced unions were not the solution.

  4. Fred Lemire says:

    You have not been in the Phillie area latly when the unions here picket they set up a huge inflated rat.

  5. The last time I crossed a picket line was about ten years ago. Communications workers were picketing and I had business with the company. Now, I am a large man. This short fat woman gets all up in my face and starts threatening me. Made my appointment, left, survived the ordeal, and chuckled the rest of the day. See my blog at http://cranky-conservative.blogspot.com

  6. "If you want to see America prosperous again then Labor Unions are a necessary ingredient"

    LOL, you have no idea what makes a country prosper. Hint…it has nothing to do with labor unions.

  7. Unions served a real purpose in the beginning. When they Nationalized they joined the demoRats and devolved into an extortion racket. They steal money from members and non-members alike. I never gave any union permission to negotiate my contract! Butt they did. So, those of us who were very valuable got the same contract as the teachers who were easily replaceable. I really enjoyed the teaching part of my job. I hated dealing with the fools who also were attracted to teaching, but for all the wrong reasons. I would have left the public sector except that it doesn't attach patents and copyrights. I also didn't have to socialize with my colleagues. I didn't get to take expensive vacations at others' expense like the building reps will get later this year. End the national unions. Locals may not be a big problem. If they are, end them too.

  8. John Hannan says:

    You don't know Jack, unions weren't just about wages, unions in the construction industry pay for their own training. Those great wages that you are probably upset about include vacation pay, holidays ,sick days , and other benefits that other occupations get in their envelopes, most in the construction industry, if aren't here you aren't getting paid.
    When a job is finished you have no paycheck until you get a new one and don't try telling me about unemployment,
    you try maintaining a home, and raising kids on unemployment. You have to travel to where the job is, I did 30,000
    plus a year. You often have to work in bad weather and under dangerous conditions( live voltage, machinery. You
    can have my job thank god I'm done.

  9. Crossed an Eastern Airlines picket line on my way to catching a flight back in the 80’s. Ignored protesters telling me I shouldn’t go to a Chick Corea concert because he had played in apartheid South Africa once. Now look at Eastern Airlines and South Africa.

  10. Joseph Masterson says:

    You mean like in Detroit?? Yeah, that worked well!! My son-in-law was a dues paying member of the UAW and had a stroke, had to take an early retirement at age 57 and since Obozo turned it all over to the unions, the first thing that happened was the UAW cancelled his health insurance as a retiree.

    If you want to see America proper again, get rid of government in the workplace, cut out union thuggery, foster capitalism, get rid of "political correctness" and "affirmative action", let the local school boards control education and flunk those that refuse to learn!!

  11. I crossed 1 picket line while working construction. there was 1 guy there that looked pretty much like a homeless person. He screamed at me "you're taking food out of my family's mouths." To which I responded "no you are by not working" He just stood there and went back to his booze bottle. and I went to work

  12. applause!!!!