Well, friends, it's that time of the year: pre-strike menu planning! Let your taste buds feast on this great array of culinary rotations: meatloaf, grilled cheese, mac-n-cheese, and hot dogs. Alternate faithfully until a new contract is signed. If no new contract is signed, make meals out of only one component of the above for as long as possible. God, how I LIVE for a piece a cheese for lunch!
I'm a white-collar gal who married a blue-collar man. Over the last few years, I've had several eye-opening experiences dealing with the UAW. However, until I left my job at a Fortune 500 company to stay-at-home with Little Diva, we didn't really worry too much about the state of the union (HA HA HA). It's only recently that I've come to understand (or NOT understand) the way the union works. And BOY IS IT FUN!
My new basic understanding is that my husband shells out union dues every month so that someone will do the dirty work of "collective bargaining," which I actually thought had something to do with the employees (silly me). For all of you who are just like I was, collective bargaining pretty much amounts to this: employees pay union officials to make decisions without the employees knowing what the hell is going on until the officials come back and say, "You have to work under this new contract." Hmmmm. Several years ago when this whole scenario came around, these geniuses managed to keep my husbands job for him but hours were repeatedly cut, he received no pay increase for the life of the multi-year contract, and they reduced health care to a pile of dog shit (i.e. they don't cover anything and offer no way to pay for an upgrade).
So, while GM is sitting at the bargaining table with the UAW, we lie in wait to see what mystery meat will be served up down the cafeteria line. If the union doesn't want the meal du jour, I get to take jelly sandwiches to my husband holding a picket sign at a Chrysler dealership and try to figure out what the fuck we do then. (And did I mention that some union reps are elected because they have the best beer selection in the back of their pick-up on voting day? What the hell is that?)
I am aware that everyone has a different financial viewpoint of unions and such (I certainly do and it might surprise you), but I'm not here about politics. I'm here writing about the silliness of this whole bargaining thing. To keep myself smiling, I've concluded that a contract or strike is a result of one of three things:
A) a staring contest;
B) rock, paper, scissors; or
C) whoever has to leave the table to pee first.
OK, really, I'm not trying to degrade anything here. But desperate times call for desperate humor. Someone please laugh with me. And give me the damn loaf pan while you're at it...