I smell a rat…er, a man in a rat suit

By on September 15, 2010

While I was driving into school recently, a giant rat dropped some pamphlets into my car.

“Surely this will be enlightening,” I thought. A man standing around in rat costume in 90-degree weather is a man with opinions I want to hear.

One sheet that the rat man was kind enough to give me was a wanted poster featuring Quinnipiac President John Lahey. Under his picture, the flier read, “John Lahey is pictured above sitting inside the medical building it purchased that was rehabbed to make their new medical school.” I was worried, perhaps the rat man was not as intelligent as I had believed him to be.

The other flier’s cover featured a sick child. Basically the gist of this one was that some construction workers Quinnipiac hired were willing to work for less than the rat man, and so kids will be sick. It was around this point that I seriously began to question the wisdom of the giant rat who threw his crap in my car window.

One of the main complaints aired by the union protesters has been that Quinnipiac isn’t using local labor for its construction projects. Apparently we are supposed to be fired up that some bastard from Massachusetts, New York or even Rhode Island is taking the job of a good, hardworking Connecticut man. How dare Quinnipiac hire workers that were willing to work for less money than my new rat friend?

And what was the school’s response to my rat friend’s complaints? According to Associate Vice President for Public Relations John Morgan, “The university has no involvement in hiring any of the subcontractors employed by its general contractors.” Just because Quinnipiac isn’t even in control of hiring doesn’t mean that my rat friend and I can’t hate them! Just think of the sick children!

In all seriousness, this nonsense on display in Quinnipiac’s front yard is a great example of how labor unions in America are pushing themselves towards irrelevancy. There is no doubt that unions played a key role in securing vital rights for workers, but that only makes the giant inflatable rat and his costumed friends seem all the more ridiculous. The core of their complaint seems to be that someone would work for less money than they would, and that isn’t fair.

The rat people aren’t the only union members who aren’t making any sense recently. In Greece, the mere thought of public sector workers having to retire sometime after age eighteen causes union members people to go out into the streets and riot. The United Auto Workers helped bring the Big Three U.S. automakers to the verge of collapse, then they led the cry for the rest of us to bail the companies out.

I have no problems with the idea of workers organizing to give themselves some leverage against employers, but unions today show as much selfishness as the business tycoons they were created to fight against. We can only hope that if we ignore them for long enough, the rat men will go be crazy someplace else. Or maybe they will even decide to work for a fair amount, so they can hang up their rat costumes and do something productive again.

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About Matt Ciepielowski

One Comment

  1. Jacobb G.

    September 15, 2010 at 9:16 am

    Down with unions.

    Especially rat unions.