It’s snowing at Casa Crucis…light snow mixed with a bit of sleet. It’s the middle of April! Yeah, it won’t stick, but still…
An article in The American Thinker echoed, to an extent, with an experience of mine. It was some time ago. I was a contractor working for AT&T on a software project. One of the people I had to work with was Mark (I don’t remember his last name now, the events occurred twenty years ago.) Mark was a Unix system administrator and a proud member of the CWA, the Communications Workers of America.
I was a database administrator and had to work closely with Mark to insure database changes were implemented quickly and accurately. In a usual work day, I would spend a couple of hours with Mark—listening to his continuous tirade of AT&T oppression against the union, unfair wages, too much work, long working hours, etc., etc., etc. It grew tiresome. By my second day, I was disgusted with his litany. As a contractor, I wasn’t union. Mark gloated that the union would soon force me to pay union dues.
It didn’t happen. The union went on strike, for other reasons, and all of a sudden, I was assigned to do Mark’s job. I did his and my jobs together. Not only did I keep pace with the project, I eliminated a back-log of tasks Mark had neglected.
Three weeks later, the strike was over. Due to wage hikes, some administrative positions at AT&T were eliminated. Mark was one whose job was eliminated. He had not been aware his position was considered, ‘administrative.’ His tasks were assigned to a contractor. Mark had two weeks to find another job or be laid off.
A by-product of the strike was my project. It was over-budget and behind schedule. It was canceled and I was off to another contract.
Fast forward ten years. I was now employed at Sprint as a middle manager. My group had to work with a team in Texas. My team would develop software, the other team would support the servers for the production system. I scanned the names and saw a familiar name—Mark’s.
AT&T was union. Sprint was not, except for the Local Division, the former United Telephone Company that was the end-user local telecom provider in several states. Mark was employed by Sprint in a non-union position.
Early in the project, we spent a few minutes catching up. Mark had not found another union position within AT&T—the union had all such positions locked by contract. Mark was laid-off a few weeks after my contract with AT&T ended and he found another UNIX administrator job near Dallas, TX, a non-union job. Suddenly, Mark’s outlook changed. He was being paid less than when he was employed by AT&T, but now his take-home pay was more. Texas was also a Right-to-work state.
Mark shifted jobs. Each one paying a bit more until he joined Sprint. His attitude had changed. The CWA still tried to unionize Sprint and each attempt failed. Mark was no longer a union advocate. Instead, he was now strongly against the CWA and unions in general. It was surprising the change in environment, moving from a union to a non-union job and moving to a Right-to-Work state can make in a person.
What has this to do with The American Thinker? This article.