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Denny's Daily Zinger: Carnegie Hall Stagehands Make $400,000 a Year

March 21, 2014 By Denny Hatch
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One of the toughest challenges many CEOs face is dealing with unions. If workers go on strike, a company's finances are suddenly in shambles.

Last month, we attended a concert at Carnegie Hall.

What triggered this column was a story about the five people who move music stands and shove pianos at New York's Carnegie Hall—members of the Stagehands Union—make $400,000.00 a year. They are squarely in the "1 percent." Astonishingly, this is the same work for which Congress refuses to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.

Fast-Forward 60 Years.
Here in Philly, union members are thugs.

Union bad actors are destroying Philadelphia's convention business.

A Sea Change
Last month, the workers at the Chattanooga VW plant rejected overtures by the UAW.

The vote was huge news and caused panic in the 11.3 percent of the American workforce that is unionized (down from 20.1 percent 30 years ago).

The last great union brouhaha occurred on Aug. 2, 1981, when Ronald Reagan—just seven months on the job and considered by many to be weak Mr. Nice-Guy—fired nearly 13,000 air traffic controllers for threatening to strike. This was a national security issue. The Cold War was hot and the air traffic controllers were responsible for the safety of military aviation.

Takeaways to Consider

  • When I was growing up in the '30s, '40s and '50s, unions were strong and necessary.
  • Are they as needed today with the disparity of the 1 percent vs. the 99 percent?
  • "Nothing succeeds like excess." —Oscar Wilde
Denny Hatch is a copywriter, designer and direct marketing consultant. Click on the title below to read the first three chapters of his most recent book "Write Everything Right!" No cost. Contact him at dennyhatch@yahoo.com.
 
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