Forget the U.S. Constitution, unions have their own

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What does being a union member mean?

Did you know that a union member swears an oath of loyalty to the union?  I did.  You have heard of people who drink the Kool-Aid – I mainlined it.  I was a Teamster, but here is an example of an oath from SEIU.

I, (name), pledge upon my honor that I will faithfully observe the Constitution and Bylaws of this Union and of the Service Employees International Union. I agree to educate myself and other members in the history of the labor movement and to defend to the best of my ability the principles of trade unionism, and I will not knowingly wrong a member or see a member wronged if it is in my power to prevent it. As an SEIU member, I will take responsibility for helping to achieve the Union’s vision for a just society where all workers are valued and people respected, where all families and communities thrive, and where we leave a better and more equal world for generations to come.

Rebecca Smith is a contributor to The Brenner Brief and an expert on union issues. Twitter: @unionhypocrisy

Rebecca Smith is a contributor to The Brenner Brief and an expert on union issues. Twitter: @unionhypocrisy

The only problem with this oath, besides the obvious, is that SEIU is not a trade union nor do they practice trade unionism. Trade unionism in itself is the belief that a union should only concern themselves with wages and bargaining for a better working environment. In addition, SEIU does not represent trades people — they represent service industry employees.

For the uninitiated, there is a big difference. Trades people attend apprenticeship programs that can last four to six years before they achieve journeyman status. It is not an easy task because they do on the job training during the day and classroom training at night. Service employees do not have a “trade”.

In addition to the oath, union members can be brought up on “charges” and be forced to go through a “trial” for violating the union constitution. If found guilty they can be kicked out of the union or fined.

For example, Nathaniel Musser, a union carpenter, went to work for a non-union employer when the economy collapsed to keep food on the table. He was fined by the union $300,900. This fine is legally enforceable. Musser did have to retain legal counsel to appeal the fine and eventually the union dropped the charges and the fine, but some people are not as lucky.

In states that are not right to work, if you are kicked out of the union, and the contract you work under has a union security clause, which means you must belong to the union to work at that place of employment or you could lose your job.

The following is a sample of the SEIU Constitution that addresses what charges can be brought against a member:

Article XVII: Trials and Appeals

Section 1. Local Unions, their officers or members, and officers of any affiliated body, and officers of the International Union, as the case may be, may be charged with:
– Violation of any specific provision of this Constitution or of the Constitution and Bylaws of the Local Union
– Gross disloyalty or conduct unbecoming a member

This is not just about employment issues; this is a subculture with its own rules and laws. When it comes to right to work laws, people should be able to choose whether they wish to swear an oath of loyalty to an organization.

The GOP needs to frame their argument in a way that educates the public to the fact the unions require their members to promote and protect the union’s interest, and they have no interest in promoting or protecting their members’ interest.

Sign up for The Brenner Brief newsletter! Free subscription; unsubscribe any time. Connect with conservative, alternative media — we are “rendering the mainstream media useless” at TheBrennerBrief.com!

Comments

  1. so basically if you want to put food on the table your coericed into a contract which is unequal in consideration, which doesn’t have a meeting of the minds, equal consideration(benefits=premiums paid) and a time limit. no contract is enforceable when the terms are impossible, but what is considered impossible? to be able to work enough to keep food on the table when you can’t work for a non union company. joining a union should be optinal, a company should never have to have a contract enforced against it because it doesn’t want to deal with a union, I guess that is why walmart worked so hard to keep one out, now that I understand unions Idon’t blame them. the workers would of suffered under such a thing.

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