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June 23, 2010


Bob Compton

I am not a fan of Unions in the developed nations of the 21st century. Historically, Unions played a vital role in improving working conditions and wages In the early 20th century they were significant contributors to the rise of America's middle class.

Today, only 7% of private sector employees are unionized. The reason? The heavily unionized industries - autos, steel, durable goods manufacturing - have all been blasted by more efficient international companies. Unions played a large role in their demise.

I cannot name a single industry in America that is unionized and is a global leader in market position.

On the public sector side - i.e. - government jobs - 35% of the government workforce is unionized, including the Teachers' Unions.
From whom do government employees needs to be protected? Our elected leaders?

In the 21st century in the US, Unions are a drag on American society which needs to be flexible to reallocate resources and people to their best and highest value contribution. Unions by definition work hard to maintain the status quo. Sticking with the status quo in a globalized world is a prescription for economic decline.


We watched your 2,000,000 minutes documentary at our Division Meeting in Feb. (I teach Math at a community college). I thought it was excellent. However, in your blog, I seem to get a distinct anti-teacher's union feel. I don't thinik unions are the real problem. Of couse, unions must be concerned with protecting members, but most teachers - and teacher's union people are genuinely concerned for the education of our students. There's a feeling that a lot of educational policy is being created without listening to those of us in the trenches. There's a LOT of talk about teacher accountability, but what about STUDENT accountability? What about the role of parents, community, society? Maybe you address these more fully in the other video, but don't just go make teachers and unions scapegoats. The problems must be solved on many fronts; teachers are more than ready to work on them if listened to and given the chance. This comes froma proud educator and union member.

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