01 June 2007

The problem with Unions

I believe that the labor union movement has helped give us the better society that we live in today. However, I also believe that unions, as a concept, may have outlived their usefulness. The reason is that, in the interest standing by their man, they will ignore the greater good and say some incredibly dumb thing.

Consider the case of the border agent at Champlain, New York. He let Andrew Speaker into the country, even though Speaker was known to have a case to extremely drug resistant tuberculosis. The unnamed border agent has been taken off duty, but his or her union leader spoke on his or her behalf:

Colleen Kelley, president of the union that represents customs and border agents, declined to comment on the specifics of the case, but said "public health issues were not receiving adequate attention and training" within the agency.

But here is the description of what happened at the checkpoint:

The inspector ran Speaker's passport through a computer, and a warning — including instructions to hold the traveler, don a protective mask in dealing with him, and telephone health authorities — popped up, officials said. About a minute later, Speaker was instead cleared to continue on his journey, according to officials familiar with the records.

How much clearer could it have been made to this agent?

This is a case of a union protecting a moron. And if they are going to do that, they have outlived their usefulness.

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