Watch this short Reason.TV video:
I've worked almost 24 years in an industry that supports mining. In that time I've watched the number of mining companies in my area drop from 10 or 12 to three or four, and I've watched as the big mining companies have broken their labor unions with the enthusiastic help of the majority of their workers. Those that were successful at breaking their unions are still in business. Those that didn't aren't around any more. Those that were successful currently employ about half of the number they did at the peak of the previous economic boom. Those that didn't don't employ anyone.
The economy currently sucks. Competition for everything is heavy, and profit margins are tight. Spending on luxury items is greatly reduced. Raises and benefit expansions are on hold. Some people are taking pay or hour cuts to remain on the payroll.
So United Food and Commercial Workers Local 99, which represents 15,000 Fry's and 9,000 Safeway grocery store workers is threatening a strike if an "acceptable offer" is not presented by Friday.
In the interest of full disclosure, my wife worked for Fry's for about three months as a non-union employee, and a sister-in-law is currently a union employee. My wife's pay was about what those stores are offering "temporary" employees - $9.00-9.50/hr. My sister-in-law has been an employee for years. I have no idea what she gets paid.
Something tells me that Fry's and Safeway will have a lot more job applicants than they'll have job openings. The Union isn't doing its members any favor, here. I would not be surprised if my sister-in-law didn't have a job come Christmas.