Back in my communist college student days one of my main interests was labor politics. You can guess what side I would have been on in any debate.
In the past years I've been far more divided when the issue has come up. I'm sure that in part it's because it becomes far harder to sympathize with what sometimes are absolutely exorbitant demands after enduring this recession. When there have been conflicts of late and the media covers what the union workers have and what they want I find myself shaking my head a bit, because it tends to be over the top (or at least the stuff that makes the news does).
I'm far more torn over the issue when it comes to public sector jobs that involve education or safety, or when I see interviews with the nurses at the hospital that I recently spent so much time in talking about how important their union is because it protects people if they have to report an abuse.
So basically this is one of those rare instances where I'm in the middle on an issue... and yet... there is on aspect of the labor issue that pushes me in a certain direction (and makes me instinctively feel like siding with the governor on the recent debate in our state):
The screaming, ranting mobs really do nothing to tell me that unions are really awesome. The fact that we need to stay clear of the capital, which is fairly close to our house, because I wouldn't feel safe over there right now, doesn't give me warm fuzzies about the unions either. Sadie's "let's walk to the capital" (because she thinks the building is awesome) is met with an adamant "no" these days.
And then there's this video (it does have extremely coarse language in it, so be warned)... of the union guys attacking a blogger who tried to stop them from pulling down a tent filled with women and elderly people.
These guys don't seem to realize that acting like bullies, in an age of social media where there's a good chance everyone is going to see what you're doing, doesn't really win people over to your side.