For 2½ years I spent 95 percent of my union-work time defending the incompetents, the lazy, the malingers and the malcontents. And they got paid the same as my fellow workers who showed up every day and gave their all to the job. What’s more, I saw how union rules frustrated management innovations to improve our journalistic product.
A few years later I moved on to another journalistic enterprise without a union. I saw merit pay raises given to the hard workers, no salary hikes to those who didn’t or couldn’t do the job, and eventual dismissal of anyone who couldn’t measure up to the demands of the magazine. Thus began my journey from liberal to conservative.