I am responding to an interview with County Legislator and owner of North Star Orchards, George Joseph. Giving credit where credit is due, Mr. Joseph has built a very successful business, which comes from hard work and dedication.
My issue is with the undeserved shot taken against labor unions. “Look, who do unions protect? It’s people who don’t quite meet expectations.” That mindset and misinformation is the very reason labor unions are a necessary ingredient in the workplace.
All contracts contain articles of non-discrimination as basic tenets of the employee/employer relationship. Concerns for health and safety are meant to keep the workplace free from unnecessary injuries and time-lost accidents.
The workplace income potential is driven by job description and seniority, not favoritism. Non-performing employees are given opportunities to improve through instruction and education. If needed, there is a grievance procedure that allows for a resolution of workplace differences.
A labor agreement is a mutually agreed upon set of terms and conditions meant to reflect a best practice approach to achieve a reliable, respectful working relationship.
So to answer Mr. Joseph’s question. “Look, who do unions protect?” The answer is everyone involved in the collective bargaining process.
— Garry Colarusso,