And then you woke up
Here's how it works:
Screwtwister's Local 69 has a pension shortfall. Why? There are a bunch of 'boomers who were given golden parachutes when they signed up in 1974. The guys who signed up in '84 are about to retire. The guys from '94 are having a hard time finding work, which means ST69 isn't making any money. Meanwhile the guys who signed up in '04 have been paying dues for fifteen fucking years but they have never gotten enough hours to qualify for benefits or pension. They're the guys keeping ST69 alive because they've got fuckall to show for it but not even that is enough because the Class of '74 is sucking down health benefits like they're fucking free and the class of '84 is tapping into that sweet, sweet defined benefit.
So okay. Let's hold a vote. HEY EVERYBODY: how would you feel if we gutted benefits to new members, raised initiation fees and agreed to lower wage floors for a certain subsection (hereby defined as "any employer with a pulse") of jobs in order to cover our pension shortfall?
- Class of '74 is all for it because they're sucking down that pension and they don't want cat food.
- Class of '84 is all for it because they're about to start sucking down that pension and they don't want cat food.
- Class of '94 is voting against it vehemently but there's maybe half as many of them as there are '84 or '94.
- Class of '04 doesn't have their correct address half the time and a third of them are on voluntary withdrawal.
So now Harbor Freight opens up and is going to be selling American Made, Union screws. They're going to pay ST69 locals to turn them there screws - and they're going to be doing it for $4.10 an hour, rather than the $18.72 journeymen screwturners make. And that gig is either union or it isn't. If you're working at Harbor Freight Screws, you now get to pay a $4000 initiation fee and $300 a month in order to keep your $4.10 an hour job. That initiation fee? Those dues? Those are going to the '74, '84 crew. The '94 crew is going to get no pension because the fund will be bankrupt by then so the government will bail them out at 15 cents on the dollar. The '04 crew gets none of it because they weren't working at Harbor Freight screws when it went online and they aren't ever going to be. The '04 crew gets to pay a bunch of money into a system that will be a misty water-colored memory by the time they reach retirement age - not even a government guarantee covers them because they sure as shit won't be vested by the time Harbor Freight Screws folds up shop and goes somewhere else they don't need to pay the fucking unions.
And the administrators pull down their full pension and the Nation writes about how Millennials are Keeping Unions Alive.
Excuse me while I go vomit in the punch.