the moral of the story

For those not from “round these parts,” the parable post below is about the grocery strike here in STL.

The moral: No one expects the owners and investors of a company to share their profits equally with all the workers. They are the ones who shoulder the risk and are therefore entitled to the rewards.

But what if they don’t want to shoulder the risks? What if every problem that cuts into the bottom line was passed on to the workers, while every good thing that boosts profits was held tight? Is that fair?

That’s why we have unions. Unions are a necessary corrective in the business world that allows the powerless to have a say in their own futures. The newspapers here are filled with vitriolic nonsense from white collar workers complaining about the “”lazy and greedy”” workers at the supermarkets who are brazen enough to inconvenience them for something so petty as the health of the striker’s children.

One recent letter was from a retired man who said he took the scab job (“temporary worker” in the vernacular) so that he could participate in union busting. He’s retired and on medicare and he’s incensed at these workers who’s insistence on being able to afford healthcare is costing him a couple pennies in markup each week. Another letter writer said he was encouraging his friends and family to cross the picket line to “teach these lazy people a lesson.”

Can we expect a standard higher than selfishness in our civil discourse anymore?

Lance Cameron Kidwell

23 October 2003

Posted in Miscellania

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