The Danish workplace is a very new experience to the uninitiated. More than a century of socialist leaning (some might say falling over) politics has left Denmark with a heavily entrenched and muscular unionism in almost every workplace. When the conservative political party is called "Venstre" - directly translated as "left" in english - you know that the political spectrum runs all the way from socialism to . . . well what is to the left of socialism?
Anyway, in a difficult employment environment, God has graciously blessed me with a new job at a pump factory. It didn't take long, first day on the job in fact, until I was approached by the local union representative. He looked like he had been hiding under a bed since the McCarthy era. He had the standard issue protestor ponytail along with the Malcolm X glasses. He gladly informed me, in no uncertain terms, that he was very RED and very proud of it! He then proceeded to make me aware of the "fact" that the USA has 43 million people living on less than $2 per day and that is because they don't have unions. Therefore unions are a great thing and I should join one - specifically his.
In fairness to the guy, he was friendly and didn't try to threaten me like the powerful waterfront union did in my previous job. I was also able to show him that his doomsday statistic of less than $2 per day in the USA was actually referring to the "poverty line" which is more like $80 per day for a family of five. He willingly conceded this point, only to launch into another anti-american tirade. It seems that the only publicly approved racism left these days is anti-Americanism and this guy was willing to take relentless aim! I then informed him that I was more concerned with the real persecution and poverty experienced by suffering Christians in places like North Korea, Sudan, and Saudi Arabia and that these people groups are almost totally ignored by the UN. Furthermore, it is America that leads the way in providing financial aid, labor, and missionaries to these people groups. The downward spiral continued as he then mocked this generosity as something driven by sinister empirical motives.
I have often theorized that it would make a fascinating experiment to take a sampling of union representatives and power brokers and give them everything they want. This would have to push their complaining capability to the limit. It would be intriguing to hear what grievances they could concoct in an environment where they always got what they wanted.
My union friend, and I do like to chat with him, always asks me how I'm doing, and I always asking him how the revolution is coming along. Just last week he told me that he was fighting for justice which was a green light for me. "Oh no, you don't want justice" I told him. Now I was really pushing his buttons and he asked why I said that. I told him that if everyone got justice then we would all be damned to hell. The problem with workers, bosses, corruption, cheating, greed, and selfishness, was not a problem of injustice but the problem of human sinfulness. The good news is that God is delaying His justice giving us time to repent. I then proceeded to share the Gospel with him. Pray for him, that God may open his eyes, save him, and call him to fight for something infinitely more important than workplace politics - the cause of Christ.
It reminded me of my last day at work in my previous job when I did something that really scared me . . .
Go On To Part 11
Go Back To Part 9
Go Back To Part 1
All about that coffee, 'bout that coffee (no tea)
4 minutes ago