Longtime NBA forward Paul Pierce, who’s being paid a handsome $5.3 million this year, is making waves with his recent comment that he hopes his infant son does not follow in his footsteps and instead plays major league baseball.
“They’ve got a better union,” Pierce told NBA.com.
Perhaps we’re getting a glimpse into why basketball-great-turned-marketer extraordinaire Shaquille O’Neal in 2001 branded Pierce with a nickname that never went away: “The Truth.”
The Major League Baseball Players Associationis a better union – at least in terms of its members’ wallets; players’ earnings are limited primary by market forces rather than the artificial salary caps prevalent in most other pro sports.
And what’s happening in the wide, wide world of sports finds a comparison in the shrinking, shriveling world of private-sector unions.
The International Brotherhood (don’t female members dislike this?) of Teamsters are engaged in a full-court press to unionize thousands of employees in FedEx’s highly successful freight division. Those workers deserve information about the union bosses who covet gaining access to the millions of their dollars in the form of dues such a coup would produce.
In the spirit of Paul Pierce, here is The Truth:
- Some of the Teamsters bosses’ seriously questionable calls raise reasonable doubt about their ability to make sound decisions on their members’ behalf.
UPS, Louisville’s largest employer, in a memo last year informed 15,000 employees it was dropping their spouses’ health-care coverage due to rising medical costs and the price tag of Obamacare.
FedEx Freight employees might want to consider how the Teamsters’ leadership flipped, flopped and then flip-flopped on Obamacare before finally applauding it – but only after the policy’s namesake doled out a corrupt loophole in the form of a health-insurance tax exemption behind closed doors at the White House.
The misnamed Affordable Care Act has cost lots of people associated with FedEx’s competitors their health coverage, forced middle-class Americans to bear the burden while Teamsters chief James Hoffa and his pals enjoy a respite from the madness of Obamacare’s mandates.
If I’m a FedEx Freight worker, I’m going to think long and hard about whether I want to pay dues that the Teamsters demand be 2.5 times my hourly wage rate to leaders who exercise such poor judgment.
- This year alone, seriously corrupt and criminal activity involving too many of those leaders – including some right here in the Bluegrass State – has been exposed.
Jerry Vincent was indicted in July on charges he embezzled more than $17,000, arranged for nearly $24,000 in illegal loans for himself and committed 13 criminal violations related to union records while president of Louisville’s Local 783 from 2006 to 2011.
- Another relevant question for those facing membership decisions involving the Brotherhood: Do I really want to pay dues to a union that’s been under federal court supervision for 25 years as part of a settlement related to racketeering charges?
Am I really inspired to pay my hard-earned money to a union that has had more than 600 of its officials successfully charged by the Independent Review Board?
- Do I really want to pay my hard-earned money to Teamsters officials who, according to the organization’s Form LM-2 Annual Report, spent $60 million in 2010 just on “political activities and lobbying,” “union administration” and “general overhead?”
The truth is, membership in private-sector unions has dropped to the point where only 7 percent and 9 percent of the workforce in this country and commonwealth, respectively, still think it’s worth those hefty dues.
The rest have determined that labor unions served valuable purposes in the past, but now it’s time to work together with employers to keep the FedEx’s of the world strong and profitable, grow more companies like them – and make sure they all come to Kentucky.