Rants and Raves

Opinion, commentary, reviews of books, movies, cultural trends, and raising kids in this day and age.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Another Example of How Weird It's Gotten

This is from Robert Novak's column http://www.townhall.com/columnists/RobertDNovak/2008/01/12/women_vs_oprah


The politically potent presidential endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama by 60,000-member Local 226 of the Culinary Workers in Nevada, announced just after his defeat in the New Hampshire primary, was vigorously opposed by union members supporting Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Obama had lagged behind Clinton and John Edwards in winning labor support, but the Culinary Workers may be the biggest union plum. This endorsement could swing the Nevada Democratic caucuses Jan. 19 to Obama, though the state's party establishment supports Clinton. Backing for her by Rep. Shelley Berkley, who previously said she would stay neutral, was unveiled immediately after the Culinary Workers acted.

So what the hell is the Culinary Workers Union?

According to the website of local 226 http://www.culinaryunion226.org/about.asp

Culinary members work at casinos up and down the Las Vegas Strip as well as in downtown Las Vegas. Culinary members also work in food service outlets at McCarran International Airport and Valley Hospital, industrial laundries throughout the Las Vegas valley, and casinos in Reno. Members of the Culinary Union work in a wide range of job classifications including cocktails, bell department, kitchen workers, cooks, housekeepers, porters, and many more.

Hey I guess I've been a Culinary Worker. In another life I was a waiter, barter and maitre'd in a French restaurant.

Now the number of people in this country who have waited tables at one time or another must be quite large. It's a popular student job for example. The lack of such a pool of waiters is one of the things you noticed in the old communist bloc after the changes.

Getting stuck in it as a lifelong profession has got to suck though. But even here there's a ladder of sorts. There are waiters in fancy restaurants in the big cities pulling in big bucks, and I remember hearing that waiters in the tourist season in Newport, Rhode Island (where I did some growing up) sometimes live in the Carribean islands in the off-season.

But what I want to know is, exactly what the heck is political about being a food service worker? Why should an organization representing culinary workers even have to have an official position on who's going to be president? Shouldn't they be concerned with negotiating benefits and salary from the big players in Vegas?

The further socialization of the economy, that's what.

Culinary 226 members continue to fight for free health care, a secure retirement, owning a home and sending their kids to college. The Union remains strong with a growing membership and thousands of active union members.

I see now - they want these things, and the casinos and restaurants don't want to pay for them. So.... make the rest of us pay for them!

Oh, and then call it "free."


  • At 3:22 PM, Blogger Saint in Exile said…

    By politicizing their organization, they become part of the market for political favors that politicians compete for. If they remained quiet and offered no contributions or support, then the political parties would not be responsive to their socialist demands.

    Now that their input has become the norm and is therefore expected, to not donate money or not take political positions would be seen as a snub to the Democrats and would result in the party not being responsive to their socialist demands. At least before they had an option. Not now.

    Habitually supporting one political party and demonizing the other also effectively diverts attention away from the union leaders. If the union is unable to follow through on any of its collectivist promises, then it can simply say, "the Republicans stopped us, so we must more strongly support the Democrats" rather than taking the blame for ineffective union leadership and/or absurd collectivist goals that are either unattainable to so destructive to the company as to be suicidal.

    By the way, the Big Dig in Boston is finally complete. Only about 10 years or so behind schedule and several billion dollars over budget. That is what you get when the legislature mandates that all work be done by union contractors, even though they only made up 40% of the contractors in the area. Government contracts are notorious for fraud, waste, and abuse, but the Big Dig took it to a new level, thanks largely to the requirement that it be done by union workers.

  • At 12:06 PM, Blogger Ted said…

    What would you want to bet a significant portion of these "culinary workers" are here illegally?
    There was a but on NPR yesterday morning about how wonderful it was these "unions" you mentioned were out openly courting the illegals to get them to sign up and vote Democrat.
    What a shocker it would be to learn that Navada has no "voter ID" law like Indiana does, where one must produce a driver's license or other valid ID at the polls...NOT!


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