The Pope is pro-union. (I mention the Pope because (1) he's a much more credible, moral, and educated person than I am. No disrespect. and (2)because I hope to return to the topic of unions shortly). Also, Rand-boi's are fond of writing hypothetical discussions between Ayn Rand and various holders of that good office, and I'd like to explore an area of clear disagreement.
Ayn Rand, on the other hand, was strongly anti-union:
The artificially high wages forced on the economy by compulsory unionism imposed economic hardships on other groups—particularly on non-union workers and on unskilled labor, which was being squeezed gradually out of the market. Today’s widespread unemployment is the result of organized labor’s privileges and of allied measures, such as minimum wage laws. For years, the unions supported these measures and sundry welfare legislation, apparently in the belief that the costs would be paid by taxes imposed on the rich. The growth of inflation has shown that the major victim of government spending and of taxation is the middle class. Organized labor is part of the middle class—and the actual value of labor’s forced “social gains” is now being wiped out.
Who Was John Galt?John Galt was the hero of Ayn Rand's most successful book Atlas Shrugged, the best work she'd ever done (which she dedicated to both her husband and her lover). Unsurprisingly, her younger Rand-boi Nathanial Branden is also staunchly anti-union.
Ayn Rand's Objectivist philosophy was directly against organized societies of mutual obligation; she was all about rugged individualism. She saw humanity as Producers and Moochers. The Producers created value. The Moochers (that would be me, apparently) are people who mooch off the system powered by the Producers. In a thousand ways - taxes, laws, rules, charities, safety nets - the Moochers take from the Producers, with no justification other than the larger number of Moochers and their effective Moocher rhetoric.
Her philosophy can be understood in light of her father, a business owner and Producer who had his property and position taken away by the Bolsheviks. In truth, if you're shallow like me, what you need to know is that Ayn Rand was scared as a child by mobs who took her Daddy's business, leaving the family struggling, and sending her to the United States where she became an illegal immigrant, a screen writer, wife of an American, a celebrity, and a novelist (in that order).
John Galt was a Union ActivistIn Atlas Shrugged, John Galt was a mysterious figure initially introduced as a suspicious character who was involved in the absence of engineers, financiers, and other Producers. As the plot unfolds, we learn that John Galt was been organizing the Producers to band together and withhold their labors from the world at large.
Offended by government-imposed "takings", and rejecting socialism and Big Government, he withdraws from society and persuades other capitalist creators to join him in his strike, his voluntary withdrawal of his labor from the economy. (The original title of the book was The Strike.)
John Galt was a Union OrganizerSo the hero of Atlas Shrugged, John Galt, speeds around the globe, inciting like-minded men to join ranks with him for their mutual benefit, and to withdraw their efforts and labor that are being unjustly taken from them without due compensation.
Holy Cesar Chavez! John Galt was a Union Organizer! Who knew?
John Galt was a Strike LeaderIn fact, the working title of the book was The Strike. From John Galt's speech (spanning 90 pages in most editions):
"We are on strike, we, the men of the mind.
“We are on strike against self-immolation. We are on strike against the creed of unearned rewards and unrewarded duties. We are on strike against the dogma that the pursuit of one’s happiness is evil. We are on strike against the doctrine that life is guilt.
"We, the men of the mind, are now on strike against you in the name of a single axiom, which is the root of our moral code, just as the root of yours is the wish to escape it: the axiom that existence exists.
"If you want to know what you lost when I quit and when my strikers deserted your world-stand on an empty stretch of soil in a wilderness unexplored by men and ask yourself what manner of survival you would achieve and how long you would last if you refused to think, with no one around to teach you the motions...
"I have taught my strikers that the answer you deserve is only: ‘Try and get it.’
"I have done by plan and intention what has been done throughout history by silent default. There have always been men of intelligence who went on strike, in protest and despair, but they did not know the meaning of their action.
"...the man who gives up rather than give in, the man who functions at a fraction of his capacity, disarmed by his longing for an ideal he has not found-they are on strike, on strike against unreason, on strike against your world and your values.