The Case for a New Type of Union
A For-Profit Corporation Formed of Free Will
My name is Andy Sorensen and I formed this new Company, The One Union as a new approach to end the historic 25-year wage stagnation that the American worker has experienced. I always assumed that existing labor unions would welcome the help and new concepts and strategies as they have fought a valiant but losing struggle against the massive inequality that is ruining the American dream. After all, our membership is only a dollar and we aren’t telling people to quit their unions, we simply offer our company up as an extra shield in the fight for better wages for the American worker.
But so far, the reception has been less than welcoming. We have been told that we are not needed, that they already have a Union for everyone. That since we are a for-profit company we won’t find any support among their members. We have been advised that the strategy of our nation-wide tours and marketing methods should be abandoned and instead we should start using a model like theirs.
To be fair, this is just a small sampling of Union opinions that have been expressed to us and may not be held by all Union members. And we are a new company, a new concept that they are unfamiliar with.
The following is a more in-depth look at our model that hopefully will provide a better understanding of our objectives and potential.
Historic Wage Stagnation
Like it or not, regular Unions have presided over the longest wage stagnation in America, 25 years and counting. On their watch, we have reached the zenith of inequality in America where nearly all the gains go to the one percent. Today only 12% of American workers are covered by Unions. The result of this is the American worker and Unions are losing, badly.
Corporations have successfully beaten back Unions and have the Politicians in their back pocket. In truth, they have little to fear and grow bolder in their ever-increasing hoarding of profits at the top.
In today’s modern Immoral Capitalism, the Corporation’s stated goal is to exploit; person, place or thing, for short-term profits for themselves and their shareholders. Please note, employees are in the exploitation part of the equation, not the profit part.
We can talk about wages and benefits until we are blue in the face, but it has nothing to do with profit. This is why they are not listening.
While it is true that Corporations have little to fear from Unions and Politicians there is one thing every corporation fears and respects. Other corporations.
Corporations, companies, small businesses all exist to seek profit. They look for any chink in the armor of the competition to exploit it and create profit for themselves. It is the shark eating the small fish and the piranhas eating the large fish. A constant battle that culls the weak.
Kodak Company was eviscerated by digital companies. Yellow pages owned the whole market until Google made them all but extinct in a few years. Uber decimated the taxi business, Walmart destroyed the hometown shops and now Amazon threatens all big box retailers. On and on it goes, Darwinism of the survival of the fittest on a business level. This is Capitalism.
The only thing that consistently beats corporations is other companies, this is the only true constant. If you want to beat a chess player, you don’t study checkers and if you want to beat a corporation you become a corporation.
I am a Capitalist, and these are the fires I was forged in. I have watched over the decades the overreach of Corporations as they took an ever-increasing share of the pie. But I did not watch this with the eye of a non-profit or as a moralist. I watched this through the lens of an Entrepreneur and what I saw were ever growing vulnerabilities that could be exploited for profit.
Today we have reached the zenith of inequality and wage stagnation in America. CEO pay has risen 1000% in the last 20 years while workers’ wages rose 10% in the same period. I see this as a massive opportunity for profit. So, I formed One Union for the express purpose of exploiting the corporation’s weaknesses for profit on behalf of my members and shareholders. Us. Do you see how similar One Unions statement of purpose is to that of a Corporation? To exploit vulnerabilities for maximum profit.
Now we can all decry the harshness of this system. I for one root for the end of this model of a scarcity society; a model of survival based on the exploitation of another. I believe all the answers to an abundant society are all around us and that the scarcity model will drive us into oblivion. So what. A whole lot of crying and moaning about it isn’t going to get us anywhere.
So, we developed a model that has a low barrier to entry. Join—pay a buck—check in once in a while. My observations of the tech world showed me that there is exponential value in every user; the worker, customer, investor, friends, and family, all of us together. By doing this we will harness the true power that comes with massive numbers of users.
And then what? We exploit the gross excess for personal gain. There are approximately 250 million Americans making less than 50,000 per year. Nothing gets built, bought or sold without our agreement. So, we start enforcing our agreements. We withhold our agreement from those who seek to continue taking all and we give our agreement to those who share our values and beliefs. Prosperity follows.
There are 2.23 billion Facebook users and not a single one pays a penny. Facebook has power, lots of it, concentrated at the top. The One Union is no different except that the power is diffused amongst our members, not the other way around.
During our prelaunch, we went to a rally for worker’s rights and wages put on by local Unions and supporting organizations. A gentleman from a Union took a few seconds to sum me and our business up and offered the following: You are a corporation, you’re a boss. You won’t find any support around here and you’re not needed.
My reaction might surprise you. I wasn’t all that offended. I felt like I was listening to the taxi company telling Uber how many different ways it wasn’t going to work. Or the Yellow Pages lecturing Google and telling them to give it up. In truth I never have been part of a Union, never had a Union in any of the businesses I owned and never really studied Unions before creating The One Union.
I paid attention to why Unions were losing but mostly I studied the vulnerabilities of corporations and how to exploit them. I do not apologize for this.
An Inexpensive Experiment
So where does that leave us? Well for those looking for a way out of this mess we’re all in I would suggest our model as an inexpensive experiment. To those that insist on sticking to the old model, I suggest looking at the results and contemplating new strategies. I further suggest that we all follow the model of cooperation perfected by the one percent. They have used this model to gain untold riches at our expense. As we fight over a small patch of dirt and a piece of corn they carry away the whole crop. I suggest we follow a winning strategy already proven and let go of our losing strategies no matter how close we hold them to our hearts.
One last thing. I mentioned in the beginning that the Corporations do not fear unions or workers as they are winning. But they do fear The One Union business plan or model. They fear it because they know it well. It has ravaged them over and over, turned titans into has-beens, corporate dynasties into ghost towns. Oh yes, they know this model very well. And while the Unions may be skeptical, the one percent know exactly what they are in for because they know what they did, and they know how extremely weak and vulnerable they have become.
I for one am happy. Like a kid in a candy store, I have more customers then I can shake a stick at and as much candy as anyone could wish for. It’s a good time to be in this business, you should be in it too!
Connect and Go!