A really red state pours a little union blue into the mix.

Can communism be too far behind?

On Wednesday, the United Steelworkers (USW) announced that Bobcat's Bismarck workforce voted in favor of union representation. It was a secret election ballot involving 700 employees voting and overseen by the National Labor Relations Board. The news really caught me by surprise as North Dakota is about the most labor union resilient state in the country. Unions have been characterized as a socialist movement getting in the way of capitalism.  Unlike North Dakota, unions are a voting stronghold for the Democratic party.

So why did a majority of Bismarck Bobcat's 700 employees vote to union up?

Well not speaking for every co-worker, Bobcat employee Jacob Klein did offer this explanation...

"Bobcat workers deserve a fair union contract that provides fair pay and promotes a healthy work-life balance with limits on mandatory overtime and provisions for paid-time-off".

Well, that sounds reasonable. Bobcat's workforce has been unionized in the past before a massive employee layoff back in 2009. As recent as 2014 Bobcat workers voted down an effort to unionize by a two-to-one margin. So what's in the future now that the Bismarck Bobcat workforce is represented by the 850,000-member-strong United Steelworkers? If you said "tighten the screws", you may be right. Let's hear again from Jacob...

"We are proud to join the United Steelworkers and look forward to the next step of the process - working together to negotiate a fair first collective bargaining agreement."

I hope the workers get what they want and need from this new partnership.  A new partner that recently endorsed the presidential campaigns of Obama, Clinton, and Biden.

North Dakota's not turning blue but this tilts us a shade bit closer to purple.

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