Union Mindset: Delusion and Cognitive Dissonance

In a letter to the editor of the Tribune Review, a member of the AFL-CIO defended the use of Project Labor Agreements (PLA) as a way of combating illegal immigration. "If anyone… wants to examine why this nation has such a problem with illegal immigrants, look no further than an open-shop construction market." Evidently he believes unionizing construction sites will keep out illegal immigrants. But what the author fails to mention is that the huge majority of politicians supported by unions are Democrats, the party heavily in favor of amnesty and a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Indeed, many top level union leaders are on board with the amnesty and citizenship plan in the hope that the new citizens will become dues paying union members,

One easily predictable consequence of a blanket amnesty program will be a flood of new illegals looking for work and driving down wages in the U.S. How will that promote the welfare of union members?

Then too, unions support cap and trade legislation which will kill private sector jobs by the thousands-many of them union jobs. But unions are convinced that the new "green" jobs that will spring from this legislation will be created in labor-friendly companies. But in today’s global marketplace turbines for windmills and panels for solar power are very likely to be manufactured in China, India and other countries and done so at a fraction of the cost in the U.S. There is no guarantee American companies, trying to keep costs low, will purchase from unionized companies unless Congress mandates U.S. products only be used. In that case, we will be in another nasty tussle over trade policies.

To summarize, unions demonize illegal immigrants to defend PLAs while supporting amnesty for illegal immigrants in hopes those people will become union members. They are willing to cannibalize their own rank and file to support the iffy promises in the cap and trade legislation. All this points to a mindset of total subservience to union bigwigs even when those leaders promote policies that are designed mostly to underwrite their own fortunes and disregard the well being of rank and file members. This subordination of self-interest is unlikely to be a reflection of union member altruism. Rather, it is more likely blind loyalty and unwillingness to hear facts that do not comport with their loyalty.

Little wonder private sector union membership has fallen to 8 percent of the work force.