Sing me no song! Read me no rhyme!
Don’t waste my time, Show me!
Don’t talk of June, Don’t talk of fall!
Don’t talk at all! Show me!
Never do I ever want to hear another word.
There isn’t one I haven’t heard.
Here we are together in what ought to be a dream;
Say one more word and I’ll scream!
My Fair Lady 1964 Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Yesterday I wrote about the Bakers union and the idea they might be going Galt. I’ve been thinking about this and I have one question for the union and those who think they have given back too much.
I totally understand the idea of: “Why should I take that pay cut? It’s not fair.” I remember the first job I interviewed after the company I worked for folded had a 25% pay cut. By the time I switched over to what I do now the best I saw out there was a 40% pay cut from the last time I had any sense of job security, coincidentally the last full month before the election of Barack Obama.
It seems to me that if the Bakers and the Teamsters believe they are worth more than Hostess was paying them and such a business can be sustained at the wages they were making as long as the execs aren’t making 6 or 7 figure payouts there is a simple way of proving it.
I would imagine a large scale baker has an intimate knowledge of the making of pastries. And a union is simply a big company with the workers as the product. There are plenty of execs in the Union who are experienced in the management skills necessary to run a company. So here is how they can demonstrate it to the world:
1. Become a bidder for the Hostess/Drakes brands:
Presumably the Teamsters and their associated unions that had millions of dollars to spend on political campaigns should be able to make a credible bid for a bankrupt company. If the company is purchased then they can run the company the way they wish, pay the wages they want and charge the prices to support it. They can show Hostess how it’s done with the Hostess & Drakes brands to do it with.
2. Create their own confectionery/bakery company.
I assume Union bakers who have been baking tasty cakes and good bread can come up with their own version of tasty cakes and good bread that people will want to eat. They are bakers after all this is what they do. All they have to do is buy the equipment (now being sold at a discount) grab the staff that is now looking for work and sign up the customers now short of bread and cakes and violá.
Both of these plans give, as Marx would put it, control of the means of production. If they are right, if management has been taking them for a ride all this time then by becoming management they can demonstrate to the entire world how to do it right.
Of course, it’s my experience that the easiest business to run is a business owned by someone else. If the union thinks they can run a snack cake business better they the management they rejected this is the perfect time to do it. If they do, not only will I and a good chunk of America have the pleasure of enjoying tasty cakes and bread (I LIKE tasty cakes and bread) they will find themselves employed and successful which will be much more satisfying and important than any mea culpas they will earn from us folks on the right.
Of course if they can’t, or don’t choose to and somebody else buys the brand names, and equipment and hires non-union workers and pay what they want to pay to make the company show a profit without them, it will simply prove our point.
I suspect this is the only time in creation that the Bakers Union has been compared to Freddy Eynsford-Hill. Their actions will determine if their words about loving those Union Jobs are as empty as his were about Eliza.