You Didn’t Earn That!

Forty five years ago my hard working parents started a lithography business here in Michigan. As a sixth grader I recall being appalled that my Dad was “unemployed” during the time it took to get the business up and running.

Our family sacrificed to build that company. Grandma offered her meager savings to help in the initial equipment purchases. Mom did the accounting. My four siblings and I worked throughout the summers and often after school. Dad did everything!  He was the salesman, cameraman, darkroom man, set-up man, and deliveryman.  We missed him…he worked so many hours…another sacrifice!

Even as a young teen I was aware of the financial risk my parents were taking. I knew that our home was on the line if the business didn’t succceed. One of the most severe blows came in the 1970’s when the company utilized an outside payroll firm which obsconded with state and federal taxes paid in. Of course my parents were responsible to cover these taxes a second time.  This nearly put the business under!

Many decades later, hundreds of non-unionized employees have been blessed with an opportunity to learn a trade and provide for their families. My Dad believed that his company’s most valuable asset was not the expensive equipment in his buildings, it was his people!  He cared for his employees…and they respected him!

When I learned this week of an unrelenting Union’s death blow to the Hostess Company I was sickened.  Not because of the loss of Twinkies, Ding Dongs, and Wonder Bread, but because of the loss of 18,500 jobs! Greed, jealousy, covetousness…that’s what I observe in many Unions and their members.

I have a confession, I was once a union member. At nineteen I left the family business to find a second-shift  job to coincide with my new husband’s work hours.  Union dues were automatically subtracted from my $125 a week assemblyline job.

It didn’t take but one week for me to get a “learnin’!”

I loved to work hard and fast…not so great in a Union plant! I received my first paycheck from this company the same day that I received my first warning from the Union steward. My output on the injection molding machines was almost twice that of any other employee. My work was inspected for damages and packing irregularities.  There were no problems with the parts, just my speed!

I was told to stop working so hard…it was a problem for the other union workers if the company owners learned that more production was possible. If I didn’t cooperate, when layoffs came, I would be the first to go!

I didn’t cooperate… couldn’t “fit in”… and was layed off after 6 months.

Are American companies trying to steal labor? You might think so when you listen to the language coming from Unions these days. In many instances, public and private, manufacturing, fireman, police, teachers, nurses, postal, etc…it seems that many Union members believe they are entitled to more than they have “earned.”  Non-union pay rates are often at least 25% less. Are union workers 25% more productive than non-union? Is union labor of a higher quality, timeliness, and dependability?

When I drive past the family business I often remember the sacrifices my parents made as “they built that!” It also makes me wonder how many Union members didn’t earn all of their paychecks again this month!

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the the Lord and not for human masters, since you will receive an inheritance.” (Colosians 3:23-24/NIV)

The goal of this blog site is to encourage Christ-followers to see God’s Big Picture and be a part of it!

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