Presumably, the union argument is that individual sacrifice leads inexorably to some future collective benefit. Were that true, individuals would freely and enthusiastically choose that path. They would not need to be compelled through pejorative attack, or barred by picket lines. A strike would not be a sacrifice, but an investment.
Clearly, individual HuffPo contributors are making a different calculation. They are comfortable with their working relationship as-is, and see no value in altering or endangering it. Whether or not their calculation is correct, the fundamental question is whether they are entitled to act accordingly.
To that, the union answer is an emphatic thuggish no.
“…as a matter of absolute principle, I will not cross a picket line(…)”
… crossing a picket line is not acceptable. Whatever the reason(…)
…being critical [of the union] does not equal having the license to cross a picket line.
What is the “principle” which sanctifies picket lines? Why is crossing a picket line “not acceptable?” To whom must one petition for “license” to work, other than their employer?
Whatever answers union leadership may provide, what informs them is clear. Crossing picket lines undermines the entire union narrative. It tells the employer, the strikers, and the public that the job is worth the pay.
People intrinsically know that no one works for less than their labor is valued. The test of that value is how quickly someone fills the position when vacant, and how quickly another employer pays more for the same work. This is apparently an economic reality which even Arianna Huffington understands.
… she said, there are plenty of people willing to take [the bloggers’] place if they [strike].
“… no one really notices,” Huffington said. “Go ahead, go on strike.”
The only way for unions to effectively function is to distort market forces through coercion. That’s why they hate right-to-work laws, because they quite literally hate the right to work. It’s also why government unions are the largest and most powerful, because government is funded through force, and thus insulated from the market.
Labor unions are virtually impotent without the ability to coerce. That’s what frustrates the leftist author here quoted. Without the ability to physically obstruct those who want to work, an “electronic picket line” doesn’t present much of a deterrent. Without the ability to effectively isolate and ostracize their competition, unions must actually convince people to disengage from beneficial economic activity. That’s a tough sell, as it should be.