An Imperfect Union

Are the democrats and unions "imperfectly" matched?  Credits: Joe Ferraro

Democrats and Unions go together.  In politics it is almost axiomatic.  The Democratic political candidate makes the rounds with the unions.  If the Unions are impressed enough, the candidate gets a donation and some physical help with the election (phone calls or poll presence).  And yes, there are some GOP Candidates who get union support to keep the system honest.

In return for the help, the unions expect a certain amount of support.  In a lot of ways, it should go without saying that if your values are aligned with the unions to begin with, you are not going to do anything that would harm a union once in office.

What is happening in the suburban Philadelphia School District of Methacton is the unions are getting busted.  There are no Democrats on the Methacton School Board, but over the last two election cycles the Montgomery County Democratic Party made sure there were Republican Candidates on the Democratic sample ballots.  The Montgomery County Party, which receives significant funding from the unions, gave the all clear to put Republicans on the school board.

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A couple of years ago the School Board decided to bust the lunch ladies union by outsourcing food services to Aramark.  The costs went down because they fired a bunch of people and Aramark rehired with a lesser compensation package.  My kids said the food quality also took a nose dive. The Democrats did not speak up.

Now with a new crop of union busters on board, (same story – the county party again endorsed GOP School Board members) they are now busting the school bus drivers union.  Again, no one from the Democratic Party is stepping up for the unions that support them.

As you can tell, this is not about the actual contracts or the issue of outsourcing.  It is about how the Democratic Party is behaving here.  There needs to be a level of loyalty and accountability.

Think about it from a union rank-and-file perspective.  Your job is now on the line.  You need all the support you can get from the community.  If you are a member of another union, yes, you need to be in the room helping out here.  Yesterday, it was food workers, today bus drivers, tomorrow teachers.  Soon there won’t be enough unions out there to make a difference.

But the Democratic Party is a different story.  They helped put these folks into office with their endorsements.  This is a fire they set and they are walking away as their membership is torched. 

If the Democratic Party, their candidates or other elected officials do not have enough time to lend some sort of support to the unions, why should the unions support their candidates?

Joe "The Nerd" Ferraro is a husband, dad, computer nerd, and a general pain to the local government in Audubon, Pa. The 52-year-old father of three kids has been blogging under Joe the Nerd since 2006. His business has been around since 2000,, fixing computers (hence "The Nerd" title).

- Grew up in Chester, PA – the only place people from North Philly and Camden, New Jersey look down upon. (It’s so bad even the Catholic Church left town.  His Catholic grade school got a sex change operation from St Robert’s to St Katherine’s.)

- The beard speaks to him in the morning and tells him what to do.
- A large supply of coffee will keep him docile.

Political Belief System:
Democrats think the glass is half full and everyone should get a drink.
Republicans think they own the glass and will spit in it for fun.
Libertarians think the creation of the glass is a government conspiracy designed to make them act like civilized people.

Favs: Wife (smarter than he is), Kids (cooler than he is), Ernie Kovacs, Mark Twain, Johnny Carson, George Carlin, O Henry, Edgar Allen Poe, Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin. Joseph Heller, Ian Anderson, Sun Ra, Thelonius Sphere Monk, Phillies, 76ers, Temple Owls, Cheesesteak Hoagies with Mushrooms, irritating politicians and pissing off uptight a**holes.

He currently blogs on Wordpress and is a featured columnist on The Huffington Post. You can follow his work with the links below:
Twitter: @JoeTheNerd
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The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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