Saturday, January 5, 2013

Did Union Members Burn Their Own Cause?

A new Quaker Meeting House being developed on Mermaid Lane in Chestnut Hill was vandalized just before Christmas, and police are speculating the act of arson was a gift on behalf of union members who paid a confrontational visit to the site just days before.

Let's set aside the fact that this is a religious building. That makes it way too easy to garner sympathy. While it may be argued that the Quakers' ethics are in line with union principles, only common thugs are ethically in line with these principles. Protesting is one thing, but arsonists and vandals lack any integrity and in no way represent the principles that unions claim to possess.

Protest. Protest with purpose. If that doesn't work, pick up your dignity and move on.

I didn't torch the University of Virginia when I received the rejection letter. I didn't torch my landlord's house when he upped my rent. I didn't torch the Comcast Tower when I wasn't hired.

I moved on. People move on every day.

I'm not going to challenge the merits of unionization. It's far too divisive and books could be written debating both sides of their relevance. In fact, many have. When administered properly, unions serve a purpose. They keep teachers in our school and police on our streets.

What I'm challenging are the actions directed at the Quaker Meeting House and what these vandals intended to accomplish. It shouldn't need to be said, but apparently some people need to hear it: Developers don't want to hire members of organizations that represent arsonists and vandals.

Whether I was investing millions of dollars in an apartment complex or simply redoing my bathroom, if I was forced to hire the same vandals that torched my property, I would be physically ill every time I walked through the door.

If the union representing these criminals had any credibility, it's lost. This is gang behavior. United in attack, then scatter. While the media is doing a good job portraying these groups as the mobs that they are, the police can't prosecute an organization for the actions of its members, and the unions don't reprimand their members because they seemingly endorse it. They're like bad parents who expect civilized Philadelphia to accept the excuse, "boys will be boys."

For the time being this tactic continues to work in as much as they continue to get away with it. But it does little for the trade unions but destroy their goal, almost as if they've forgotten that goal altogether.

The Quaker construction site was undoubtedly insured. With the media attention this incident received, the community is certainly sending donations. If these vandals are looking for work, they just burned their own cause.

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