Labor Pains
Beverly Vines-Haines

Back in 2004, some fool decided the emu ranch where I'd been a wrangler for twelve years needed to become unionized.   A couple of coworkers thought it was a good idea but I had been part of a union back in Detroit and frankly, that was the reason I switched to emus.    

My boss was Jasper Willow and he'd been breeding big birds nigh onto thirty years.  And he did not take kindly to the idea of union representatives observing our daily operations.  First he tried to bribe us.  For a prize.  Ten personal emus for the guy who could persuade the most people to shun the labor reps.   

Actually there are only ten men besides myself who work for Jasper.  Emus do pretty well on their own unless there's a big rainstorm.  Truth is, we didn't have a lot to do after we fed the birds in the morning.  Until it was time to feed them again at night .   That's the biggest reason I didn't like the idea of bringing the union in.  Figured it was a good way to get Jasper to focus on all that down time.        

And that's what happened.  Furious, he cut his work force by two thirds and after that, the union lost interest.  Even worse, I won those ten emus and now I've had to start filling out forms, go to business meetings and sometimes wear a suit.    

I hate the union.

First published: May, 2007
comments to the writer: Knob'