I witnessed first hand what the unions did for the working man. In 1953 I hired in on what was at that time considered a good job...$1.71 an hour. Six months later the union negotiated for an increase for the classification I had hired in for and they made it retroactive. I was paid a lump sum of $0.10 per hour for every hour I had worked during that six months. When I hired in the company had a "shared" pension plan. Each pay period a deduction was taken from my check to pay my part. Two years later the union successfully negotiated for and was granted a company funded pension plan. It was also retroactive....I received a lump sum check covering every penny I had paid to that point. When negotiations were ongoing for a new benefit for the hourly employees the salaried personnel of course were not included because they were not members of the union so every time we got a benefit the company gave the same thing to the salaried....sometimes no more than a couple of weeks before we got it. Companies will not give or pay anyone a goddamned cent more than they have to and if I told you about the toxic and radioactive materials we worked in until the union and OSHA got some regulations in place you wouldn't believe it. It was 1974 when the company first issued individual film badges to measure what each employee was subjected to and then because of what they saw being recorded, for the first time they began to improve working conditions in the uranium plant where I was working. Before that the men working in the feed plant where the uranium was flourinated and heated would shovel the stuff with 18" spades and were not even issued shoe covers or simple masks. Those of us in the process cascade worked with our street clothes on and tracked that light green powder(uo2f2) away from the plant and into our homes. Sometimes when the atmosphere was heavy the flourine in the air was so dense that it would irritate one's nostrils. In January 1953 about 100 of us were divided into four shifts and worked 24/7 until mid April cleaning up the biggest uraninum spill in the plant's history. There were five large individual plants at the site, K-33 at that time contained the third most construction steel of any in the world...falling behind the Eifel Tower and the Empire State Building. The effected plant(K-27) was about a quarter mile long, 100 yards wide and had three floors. An operator was heating up a 10 ton cylinder of feed material and the copper pigtail between the cylinder and the 5" feed line into the cell ruptured and all ten tons of material escaped into the plant. All the way from one end of the plant to the other and on all three floors icycles of the material condensed on the six inch contruction steel beams. The powder on the floors was half an inch deep in most places. We ran so many vacuum cleaners that one operator was assigned to the circuit breaker panel to reset them when they tripped from overload. The bags in the machines were all filled and guess what the labels we placed on each one said..."Class D Household Filth" You can bet your ass the company buried it in a land fill. To this day some of the highly radioactive materials are still being dealt with. Beginning in the mid 1980's the company fought law suits but so many were sick and dying the DOL finally set up a fund, $140,000 per sick employee which was usually claimed by the survivors. Thank goodness in the early 60's I was caught in a broad reduction in force and managed to get another job in the computing center. Anybody who thinks a company is their friend or that the company will do one inconvenient thing or give one extra penny to ordinary workers has their head so far up their ass that they will never see daylight again. Unions made the middle class of America and folks who can't see it just don't want to.