Thursday :: Feb 10, 2005

The Whiz-Dumb Of King Son O'maun

by pessimist

I've written before about how my union is about to enter contract negotiations with my employer, and I wish I could say that the news was promising. But thanks to all of those good union members who vote Republican, and have for decades, all of us union employees are in a unique situation. Allow me to relate this sad tale through the use of Biblical metaphor.

Remember the tale of King Solomon and the two women who both claimed a child?

From [I Melachim 3:16 - 27]:

Two women came to King Solomon and stood before him. One woman (#1) said: "My Lord, this woman and I dwell in the same house, and I gave birth to a child while with her in the house. On the third day after I gave birth, she also gave birth. We live together; there is no outsider with us in the house; only the two of us were there. The son of this woman died during the night because she lay upon him. She arose during the night and took my son from my side while I was asleep, and lay him in her bosom, and her dead son she laid in my bosom. when I got up in the morning to nurse my son, behold, he was dead! But when I observed him (later on) in the morning, I realized that he was not my son to whom I had given birth!"

The other woman (#2) replied: "It is not so! My son is the live one and your son is the dead one!"

The first woman (#1) responded: "It is not so! Your son is the dead one and my son is the living one!"

They argued before King Solomon.

King Solomon said: "this woman (#2) claims 'My son is the live one and your son is the dead one, 'and this woman (#1) claims 'Your son is the dead one and my son is the living one!"'

King Solomon said, "Bring me a sword!" So they brought a sword before the King. The King said, "Cut the living child in two, and give half to one and half to the other"

The woman (#2) turned to the King, because her compassion was aroused for her son, and said: "Please my Lord, give her the living child and do not kill it!"

But the other woman (#1) said: "Neither mine nor yours shall he be. Cut!"

The King spoke up and said: "Give her (#2) the living child, and do not kill it, for she is his mother!" All of Israel heard the judgment that the King had judged. They had great awe for the King, for they saw that the wisdom of God was within him to do justice. The woman was rightfully awarded custody of her son.

But that isn't the whole story. Through the devious labor law minds hired by my employer, my employer has come up with a unique way to break the unions and not be held responsible for the consequences. Allow me to return to the use of a 'Biblical' metaphor extension to illustrate my case:

.... But the other woman (#1) said "Neither mine nor yours shall he be. Cut!"

The King spoke up and said: "This woman (#2) is his mother! To her I give this choice for allowing this other woman (#1), whose values are certainly not of a kind to benefit woman #1, to live within her house and threaten her child as she did her own: I will either divide this child so that each of you my suffer, or I will award custody of this child to woman #1. Choose!"

Now that I have set the stage, I will explain. Instead of negotiating with us, the membership of the locals, our employer is instead negotiating with our Internationals, who by the various union constitutions and by-laws can 'act on behalf of the membership' without either our knowledge or approval. The bait on the hook intended to sway the Internationals is: in order to maintain union employment, WE the current employees get sold down the river. WE the current employees get to watch when our Internationals are notified by our employer that they desire to outsource our work, and to keep union employment, the Internationals submit three 'qualified' union contractors who will be approached to bid on our jobs. Should the Internationals not cooperate as contracted, then our employer will get to submit bid solicitations to whomever they wish (and these contractors will not be unionized. It is just as likely that they will not even be American citizens.).

Our jobs are the 'baby'. Woman #1 is our employer. Woman #2 is our unions. Our unions get to decide whether we lose our jobs to our union brothers (the 'division' of the 'baby') or to lose them completely (the award of custody to 'woman #1').

Just like real-life women who surrender their children to adoption, the only good thing about a bad set of choices is that the child will continue to live, hopefully (and usually beyond her influence or control), a better life.

Most of the time, in real life, this is actually the case. But there are the exceptions - the Mommy Dearests - whose obsession for total control of another human being is mistaken for a desire to be a parent. The actions of my employer are analogous to this obsessive parent, for the 'contract' is little more than an agreement to an indentured involuntary servitude to the extent currently allowed under the law. We agree to have absolutely no say in our working conditions whatsoever, regardless of those working conditions we are allowed under the law to have a say in. We are expected to 'volunteer' to work overtime, even though our regular work weeks will be shortened 25%. Those who don't 'volunteer' gain a special negative status, which just might play a role when (when - not if) layoffs begin to facilitate the outsourcing being set up.

Our benefits are yet another target which won't be taken away directly. The plan is to increase the number of hours worked in an average week, and if one slips under that average (even due to illness), then one not only loses one's coverage, but also one's seniority. This would put those of us who are older at serious risk of having our age used against us to facilitate our terminations.

There are other issues, but I don't yet know enough about them to comment at this time. This is all legal under the law. And should Bu$hCo succeed in eliminatijng FDR's New Deal national rescue plan, this sort of thing will be the root cause of an intergenerational American Civil War, which is in some ways already under way.

I don't expect to keep this job much longer as the deck is stacked against me, so my plans are to begin the long and tedious search for something that won't be Wal-Mart, or Taco Bell on graveyard, or standing in the parking lot of the local Home Depot competing for day work with citizens of a country to the south of our southern border - those very people to whom Son King George has pledged to facilitate in their efforts to come to this country and take 'the jobs that Americans won't work'.

We are being sold out by the wealthy of this land. They have deigned themselves superior beings who will watch from the comfort of their secured domeciles the spectacle of us mere mortals attempting to survive in a rigged game set up to emulate (in an economic sense) the gladiator games of the Roman Empire. We have reached the point where our continued economic survival will be reduced to bread and circuses. We will fight over every crust and crumb, and only the strongest will survive long enough to become the weak at a later time. This self-fulfilling prophecy will be displayed as proof that 'Might Makes Right' is the supreme law of the jungle that is modern life.

This wasn't the world I wanted to leave to my children! I had higher hopes and ideals for them than to have to live down to the lowest animalistic violent behavior to survive. To borrow STar Trek characterizations to illustrate my point, we could have been the Federation. Instead, we became the Klingons. And the Prime Directive is for sissies!

I could also put this in Biblical terms. We could have lived the New Testament.Instead, we live the Old.

Maybe we really are de-evolving. Maybe we are Devo.

For this nation to be following such a course, we can only be a state in decline. States in decline are replaced. Replaced states are dominated, not dominant. The iceberg will still float long after Titanic sinks.

And the floating and frozen cadavers will be ours.

pessimist :: 5:28 PM :: Comments (11) :: Digg It!