I have this as an avatar in the chat rooms:
Underneath it, I have this saying: "Labor unions are good eats!"
Disclaimer: I am a dues paying member in good standing. I have also seen more than my fair share of the good, the bad and the seriously ugly, simply due to the particular nature of my current job.
That being said, I hate state labor unions with a passion. Scratch that, as hate isn't that strong of a word. Despise would be a much better word to use.
I'm sure you're sitting there, asking the computer, which in this case is asking me, "G, according to your disclaimer, you're a dues paying member in good standing. Why would you say such a thing?"
A very good question. And hopefully with this post, I'll be able to give you a satisfactory answer to your query. At the very minimum, you'll get to uncover another part of my multi-faceted character.
I work for one of the 51 closed shops in these Fractured States of America. For those of you that don't quite understand what a closed shop is, a closed shop is by definition an entity in which you must be a member of a trade union or a guild in order to work for them.
As for the 51 biggest, the easy way to answer that is to whip out a Rand McNally and turn to the map showing the good old F.S. of A. That will show you the first 50. Number 51 is Washington, DC.
I actually make a distinction between unions for the regular slob (AFL/CIO and Teamsters for example) and the useless money siphoning pits of incompetence that fall under the umbrella of AFSCME (The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees).
In my world, there is a saying among people like myself (clerical and other assorted drones who don't get no respect but are the ones who really run the work place): the tail wags the dog. Which basically is the state version of the inmates running the asylum.
The unions have got most state agencies so thoroughly cowed that they don't even put up a fight when they're right. Literally, they will cave in on an issue and actually pay someone to go away. Thousands upon thousands of dollars are wasted annually because the state pays bad employees to go away.
In the real world, bad behavior will get you fined and that you should thank your lucky starts that criminal charges aren't pressed. In my world, you can get caught doing most anything wrong, get fired, claim some bullshit nonsense and get some local yokel who doesn't live in the real world agree with your bullshit nonsense. The end result is that the taxpayer foots the bill for paying off these idiots to make sure that they go away, if they go away.
My other beef with the whack jobs that run the various labor unions, is that they follow the philosophy of no good deed goes unpunished. They make it a practice to save incredibly bad employees from themselves and help them keep their stupid job, but won't lift a finger to help save the job of a good employee.
I've seen a few very good employees unfairly disciplined and made an example of, simply because the union chose not to put up a good fight. I've even been on the receiving end of such behavior. The good employee makes one small slip up and they're instantly branded as incompetent for the rest of their state career, while the bad employee can perpetually screw up and yet somehow always finds a way to keep their job.