Tuesday, February 3, 2004

A Little Too Much Solidarity

The supermarket workers are still on strike (and/or locked out). I am still not crossing picket lines.

The other day I heard an ad on the radio reminding me not to shop at the big bad evil supermarkets. The ad was not sponsored by the supermarket workers' union. It was sponsored by the teachers' union.

Exactly what the teachers' union has to do with the supermarket workers' union is unclear to me. Excepting for the obvious fact that they're both unions. But it isn't like they're fighting the same corporate masters or anything -- the supermarket workers' beef is with Vons, Albertsons and Ralphs, while the teachers' union is generally ticked about, oh, y'know, the State budget and how it affects education.

The teachers' union radio ad tries to come up with some tenuous connection about how where I shop is THEIR business. Something about how they see the kids of the striking employees and how it is making it that much harder for the kids when their parents aren't working. And also that the supermarket workers are striking because the stores want to raise the employee contribution to their health insurance, which would make health insurance unaffordable for some of the employees, and therefore come back to bite us ALL in the butt in the long run (as everyone ends up eating the cost when the uninsured get sick).

Sorry, but I'm not buying it. While I do feel for the kids of striking employees, I feel a lot worse for the kids of people who are INVOLUNTARILY unemployed -- not people who have made the CHOICE to strike rather than accept the deal their employer offered. And while I agree that we all end up paying more when the government has to step in and provide health care, I can't see where TEACHERS in particular should be getting their panties in a bunch over it. (Now, maybe if Medi-Cal were slated to take money away from schools they'd be onto something, but I haven't heard THAT.)

Again, I want to make it clear that I'm respecting this strike and will not cross a line to do my shopping. Nonetheless, it roasts my cookies that the teachers' union wants to spend some of ITS money telling me to do this. They should stick to their own damn issues.

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