For one thing, a group of people can do things that are impossible for an individual. Another is that production is more reliable when dedicated people handle it. Trained, dedicated people are more productive and less expensive than pick-up workers. So why are union shops 30% more expensive with lower productivity than non-union? Why can companies buy products from foreign countries at lower costs than from America?
A union worker who buys foreign made products that are less expensive or better or both has more money left than if he bought more expensive products. The foreign workers have more money because they have a job making less expensive or better or both products and selling them in America. It makes sense to buy bananas from Ecuador than from Tibet. Banana’s grow better in hot countries. That’s called “comparative advantage”. It’s why California wine is a better value. Grapes favor California’s climate. Wine buyers know that so they don’t buy wine that cost more or tastes worse.
But government’ including American governments often tip the scales against American workers. Regulation of American businesses is known to increase the cost so it’s better to escape the bureaucrats. No one willingly accepts self-sacrifice of their time, effort or money. Sacrifice means someone else is getting the benefit from your sacrifice. The moral decision happens to coincide with the moral decision. Save your money and live better. That’s good. Good is moral.
So how can unions compete with lower costs? Simple. Lets use some algebra. Northampton township pays the Municipal workers X dollars an hour. Unions cost 30% more. That’s X plus 30% so a union would be a bad deal. Here’s the solution. The union workers will cut expenses 30%. The new costs will be X minus 30%. After all, if the union can increase the costs 30% because they know so much about labor costs, they should be able to cut them 30% for the same reason. And they should put it in writing that they guarantee their costs will remain 30% below non-union costs. No matter how it’s calculated, spending 70% is far better than spending 130%. 70% is 60% better than 130%. It’s 86% better and Northampton Township would jump on that deal.
Is that so hard? Intellectually, no. Actually it’s easier than that. If a worker would eat lunch and stay on the job instead of taking an hour off in the middle of the day, which everyone knows is really 70 minutes, they would be on the job 15% more without spending any more time at the job than now. The worker would benefit because they would spend an hour a day less away from home.
No one would advocate eating on the job without a lot of discussion of the possibility that it could be done or not but as an example of how to cut costs, it’s one example. There are many others that come to mind but space is limited.
Unfortunately the union decided to use force against Northampton Township and against the citizens. They came to the last supervisor meeting and tried to make an end run around the negotiations. they should have figures out a better way to get a better deal. Union negotiations are all about money. If history is a guide the unions bosses will get much richer, the workers will work in a more hostile environment and the citizens will pay more money for the same or less work.