Grassroots Commentary

Organized Labor's Survival Plan: Unionize D.C. Politicians

The People's Cube · Feb. 13, 2013

WASHNGTON DC – Hit with a drastic decrease in membership among traditional industry and government workers, the American Labor Unions have finally decided to return to their roots, re-examine their policies, and remember the original reason for their existence, which is to manipulate elections for political gain.

With this in mind, as well as to replenish their dwindling ranks, AFL-CIO is about to capitalize on its accumulated influence by organizing federal, state, and local politicians into a brand-new union of their own. According to Leon Zvernik, a local organizer in Washington, D.C., a new powerful entity called “Elected and Appointed Government Officials Union” is only days away from formulating its charter.

Experts are not surprised: labor unions have long become political organizations that propel elected and appointed officials into their careers, breeding a generation of supportive politicians who then work tirelessly to give more power to the unions, who propel even more politicians, and so on.

And yet, despite all the political favors, the politicians are getting the short end of the stick.

Apart from large campaign contributions and ballot stuffing, politicians receive no union benefits and no protection from conservative and libertarian pressure groups that have successfully ended political careers of many a pro-union official.

“Unless politicians unionize, they will continue to work unreasonably long hours under hostile conditions, and be routinely abused by the Tea Party and all those others who tend to interpret the law literally,” said Zvernik. “Our hearts bleed at the sight of union-friendly politicians being forced into unfair elections that are slanted in favor of some stickler to the Constitution.”

While labor unions’ representation of American workers has declined to 11.5% from their 1945 high, their ability to finance political campaigns is stronger than ever. In 2012 they proved to be a formidable force, helping Barack Obama to defeat Mitt Romney, a known opponent of union wage hikes.

“American consumers resonate with many of our messages, such as, supporting the needy union members with inflated wages and lifetime benefits that come out of their pockets,” said Zvernik. “So we know we are on the right track. And here’s yet another large group of people who desperately need the kinds of employment protections and benefits that unions offer.”

In state and local offices all over the land, politicians are being frequently discriminated against due to unfair practices, such as term limits or corruption investigations. According to Zvernik, unions can help politicians not only to roll back term limits, but also provide greater job security through legal defense, picketing of scab candidates, and redistricting that favors unionized politicians.

Appointed officials are fairing even worse. Many receive only a limited tenure and are forced to resign every time things go badly at their agencies. As if that were not enough, the abusive “confirmation process” for federal appointees leaves many of them emotionally scarred for days and even weeks.

“Imagine being interviewed for a job when half the people in the room are there to grill you,” Zvernik said. “I mean, these things can get really heated. It is about time we modernize these processes so that political appointees are not subject to harassment even before they get the job.”

As far as collective bargaining is concerned, Zvernik explained that politicians would assume their normal roles while also negotiating as union members. He likened it to public employee union bargaining, in which unions negotiate with government officials whom they support through campaign contributions taken from union dues.

“We’re pretty much already there,” Zvernik said. “Organizing a union for politicians just formalizes their existing membership in the union movement.”

This article is a satirical collaboration of The People’s Cube authors under the collective name of Igor Toutellalai.

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