Former Pipefitter Explains His Reasons for Leaving so-called “Union Solidarity”
Hello, Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Committee here. And I’d like to introduce you to a remarkable young man, Karl, a pipefitter from Minnesota. And I hope you’ll find Karl’s story as interesting as I do. Karl’s a thoughtful former member of the Pipefitters Union who at first was excited about his new career. But after his own investigation into the claims and promises of union officials, Karl decided on a nonunion career path.
Karl, Former United Association (UA) Union Pipefitter: You know, the United Association union argues that unions are necessary to protect workers safety and rights. They say that without the protection of unions, businesses will exploit workers for financial gain. Businesses certainly can abuse their power and have to exploit workers. However, it is obvious that at least in the case of United Association union, the union has become its own machine of exploitation.
Mark Mix: Karl is right and the Unions’ 1920s one-size fits all top-down model is not appealing for today’s employees like Karl. That’s why union officials have tried to remarket and rebrand themselves as a movement, even as a social movement, rather than allow the true Depression Era inflexibility of unionism to be exposed. And for example, you would probably not be surprised to hear Karl’s former union and its international general president are fighting to end employees’ rights to choose whether to support or refrain from a union. The choice Right To Work laws protect.
Karl eventually realized he didn’t want to spend a lifetime in the relationship with the United Association Union, formerly known as the Plumbers Union. I think others can learn from Karl’s experiences. You hear Karl tell his story. I hope it’ll inspire others who are starting out in a new career like Karl. Karl begins with his excitement about his new pipefitter skills and his new career as a pipefitter … Gradually, however, Karl’s excitement about his union membership began to wane as his concerns about what he was hearing from union officials grew.
Please watch and listen to Karl’s story in this brief video.
Mark Mix: Karl doesn’t think every union is bad. He’s just sharing his experience. And like most people, Karl didn’t want to work 30 years having to bite his tongue and not speak out for fear of losing his job and his benefits.
Because of his thoughtful observations. Karl gained a new understanding of monopoly bargaining and about the freedom that Right to Work allows employees.
Karl’s Story, unfortunately, is not unique, but it often takes many years for employees to realize that forced unionism is actually harmful, not helpful. In fact, it is an old rigged scheme which creates tremendous power for union elites and insiders. Fortunately, it’s not 1935 anymore, and it’s refreshing to see employees who listen and pay attention to workplace issues. Karl did, and he began to question whether he wanted to be locked into this type of top-down relationship for the next 30 years.
And, as you probably know, most people in their twenties and thirties have no desire to handcuff themselves with one career and one labor union, as perhaps their great grandparents may have once done in the 1920s and 1930s.
In fact, statistics show the average American changes careers 10 to 15 times during their working lifetime. Clearly, this can be seen as a rejection of the 1920 union employer career model embraced by big labor.
If you have begun to feel as Karl did, you are not alone. The National Right to Work Committee is here and has been helping millions of people learn about the disadvantages created by forced unionism and union monopoly bargaining. As we fight to expand right to work freedom in every state, we’re here to help you learn about your employee rights when dealing with labor union officials.
In addition, we formed the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation in 1968 to provide free legal aid and advice should union officials ignore your rights. The Foundation can answer your questions such as: ‘How do I resign from a union?” or “How do I decertify union in my workplace?” and many others you may have.
I hope Karl inspired you and perhaps gave you the courage to act.
Thank you for watching.
To see all more videos, visit the Committee’s YouTube Channel.
If you have questions about whether union officials are violating your rights, contact the Foundation for free help.