I happen to know a union member. If you are unsure about what a union is, think of a work union like Teamster, think Jimmy Hoffa. This person has paid his dues for thirty years, earns enough of an income to get by, and becomes more and more depressed as letters from the area union treasurer come rolling in every fall. This year, he decided to show me exactly what has him so steamed. He’ll never speak up about it because he’s learned through years of experience that complaining to Union reps in house does little good, but I find this to be rather disturbing and thought I’d broach the subject.
Recent fuel hikes in the past few years has the government saying people need to conserve. I’m not about to applaud the government, because the practices I see do not prove they are conserving. I keep my house at 63 in the winter here in Vermont, I want to see the White House do the same, but that’s another issue. Last year, the area union representatives decided it was time to purchase their yearly vehicle. Now, I realize they do have a job, but a vehicle every year is absurd. First, they could save money by leasing. More importantly, if a new car is required every year, maybe it is time to look at becoming more conscious of the vehicles they are choosing. Last year, their car of choice happened to be a brand new Crown Victoria priced at a whopping $30,000. The vehicle came with A V-8 engine, leather seats, heating ducts for the rear seats, power seats, in fact power everything, a CD/cassette/AM-FM stereo system that has controls in the steering wheel, and much more.
Now, perhaps they truly need a vehicle this flashy, but when the workers they are representing barely even make $30,000 a year and are all driving the same car four years down the road, something seems very wrong. These workers are paying monthly dues of 3.5 times their hourly wage. While they may have job security to an extent, they just can’t fathom the idea of driving a $30,000 car for one year and then putting it up for sale at one-third of the purchase price and jumping out to buy a brand new car for kicks and giggles. While the union reps think they are adding to the greater good by offering this vehicle to union workers at a huge discount, the truth is that it is usually taken as a slap in the face.
Here is what I think. It is time for the union officials to stop spending money on gas guzzling cars of this nature. Next year, I want to see them look into something more economical and environmentally friendly. How about a Mercury Mariner or Ford Escape Hybrid? While the vehicle will cost a little less than $30,000 or around the same, it will save a bundle in fuel costs and be friendlier to the environment. It’s really time for the union to start thinking about the whole picture versus their own personal desires. That’s my opinion anyway.