The bosses used to be rich and the workers used to be slaves.
Unionized workers couldn't hardly be considered slaves these days, and the bosses aren't rich any more. They're going bankrupt, or struggling to keep their heads above water.
The unionized employees of The Strand Bookstore in New York City, however, think the shop's owners are still wealthy robber barons trying to steal bread from the mouths of hungry laborers.
They're bringing in non-union workers, those evil bosses. They want to bust the union.
And that's not the worst of it.
The workers are now expected to pay more for their health care, get fewer paid sick days, and the automatic raises aren't automatic anymore.
You'd think people who work in bookstores would be more well-read, but then again, if they're mostly into fiction it's to be understood that they aren't aware of the steep decline in book sales. And they're clearly not browsing the economics tomes or they'd understand how businesses operate in a free market.
The Strand is trying to keep its doors open in an area where rents are high. They look at the bottom line, which is shrinking, and then look at the overhead which includes things like salaries and health care premiums and rent and utility costs, and see that those are going up.
It's not too hard to figure out that costs have to go down while profits slide, or pretty soon there's no money left to pay any sort of laborer at all.
Unless the union members would prefer to be unemployed.
Is it any wonder that union membership has plummeted over the years? When someone is barking at you to cut off your nose to spite your face, pretty soon you figure out that you're better off without that kind of advice. You're better off working with your evil boss to keep the place open, instead of acting like the struggling store owner is the enemy.
That's what happens when the party's over and the revelers don't want the music to stop. The scene gets ugly. And it won't be long before we'll be hearing that The Strand is closing its doors for goods, citing high operating costs in a climate of declining revenue, while the disgruntled employees claim a Pyrrhic victory for the working man.