Reaching Too Far for an Analogy

By January 12, 2010Labor Unions

We’re still puzzling this one out — AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka explaining why every workplace should be unionized. From the Q&A after his speech Monday at the National Press Club.

First of all, I think every workshop ought to have a union [applause], because I believe better decisions are made when you sit down at a table as equal. And I’ll give you a classic example of that.

When my son was 5 years old, he would come up to me and say, “Dad. I want to do this.” And I’d say “No.” That’s it. It was “No.”

He didn’t have any kind of leverage or any kind of bargaining power with me. He couldn’t go to any kind of higher authority. It was “No.” He had no bargaining power.

Well then, two minutes later my wife comes up, and my wife says, “I want to get a new car,” and I’d say, “Let’s sit down and talk about this.” I mean, it was a whole different process, because we came to the table with different leverage. She and I came with, well, almost the same bargaining power – I probably was still on the short end of that one – but he had no bargaining power.


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