With their grip on power in modern U.S. culture slipping daily, the country's labor unions will try anything to hold onto their dominion and relevance.
No, really. Anything. Anything at all.
Defending academic plagiarism? Check. Threatening dissenters? Yep. Tricking their own members to keep them funneling cash to the bosses? Yup, that too.
Maybe they twerk on Robin Thicke next? It worked wonders for Miley Cyrus' celebrity.
Take Montana's most powerful unionista, Eric Feaver, head of the MEA-MFT, a teachers union with more than 17,000 members. When The New York Times last month accused the state's junior U.S. senator, Democrat John Walsh, of plagiarizing large swaths of his 14-page master's thesis, Feaver defended the lawmaker, knowing the Republican in the race would be less friendly to organized labor's interests.
"I'm going to plagiarize now a comment made to me yesterday. This is a direct quote: 'I'd rather be for a part-time plagiarist than a full-time creationist,'" Feaver told Media Trackers Montana
, jabbing at Republican Senate candidate Steve Daines, the state's lone congressman. Daines supports the theory of creationism.
In a lengthy July 25 Facebook post, Feaver took shot after shot at Daines while maintaining staunch support for Walsh.
"When the bullets fly, I want Senator John Walsh in my fox hole," Feaver wrote.
Walsh eventually dropped out of the contest.
On a more violent note, New York City teachers union boss Michael Mulgrew threatened anyone who might take Common Core, a controversial centralized education plan, away from him and his colleagues.
Speaking at a labor convention in Los Angeles last month, Mulgrew, apparently known for his raucous addresses, offered this perfectly tolerant line
: "If someone takes something from me, I'm going to grab it right back out of their cold, twisted, sick hands and say it is mine! You do not take what is mine!"
Additionally, Mulgrew promised a schoolyard bully approach to education policy debates. "And I'm going to punch you in the face and push you in the dirt because this is the teachers'!" he added.
Seems like someone any parent would want teaching his kids.
Unionistas seem desperate for attention, much like Lindsay Lohan or Miley Cyrus: anything for the cause, and the more outrageous, the better.
It makes sense, though. Americans increasingly want to kick labor unions to the curb.
Polling data reveals some startling and inconvenient facts for organized labor. About 28 percent
of America's unionized workers wish they could leave their unions. That's 4 million workers and millions — if not billions — in annual revenue, if anyone's keeping score.
Another poll, conducted by National Employee Freedom Week, revealed that 83 percent of Americans support worker freedom, or allowing workers to decide when to leave their labor unions.
In 2010, Wisconsin stripped some state-employee labor unions of some of their privileges, and two states — Indiana and Michigan —adopted right-to-work laws in 2012.
Organized labor, though, doesn't deal well with messy break-ups and will resort to shenanigans to keep the dollars flowing.
A teachers union in Michigan
, reeling from right-to-work's passage in a state long thought to be a stronghold for organized labor, limited when educators could leave the ranks. Only during a narrow window in August, planted firmly around the start of the school year, could teachers opt out of union support.
The union threatened to send one teacher to a collection agency for not paying the $1,000 annual dues. The teacher missed the opt-out deadline but still refused to send a dime to the group.
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