Spoofs & Satire

The Future of Organized Labor

From economists to politicians, pundits the nation over argue organized labor is fast becoming extinct. If unions survive, it’s safe to assume not much will change when it comes to ground-level operations. People, after all, will be people. And robots will be robots.

Minutes from the Intergalactic Transformers Union, Local 760’s Bi-Monthly Meeting

Present: All union card-carrying Local 760 Autobots and Decepticons

Absent: Management (Optimus Prime, Megatron); Omega Supreme (could not fit inside meeting hall)

Quorum present? Yes.

Mediator present? No.


First speaker: Headstrong (Decepticon): Headstrong thanks all Transformers for attending. Mentions he is there acting only as fellow employee, not as the “craziest, most bad-ass robotic rhinoceros the universe has ever known.” After then shouting, “Go Decepticons! What, what!” states he left his plasma cannon outside of meeting hall, and that he hopes everyone else has done accordingly. Proceeds to state thoughts on latest problems, blaming Optimus Prime for constantly siding with Hasbro regarding employee grievances. Then stands up, points at Autobots, and chides, “Yeah, Optimus Prime, my metallic ass. More like Optimus Nut Massager! I’ve never seen a guy so far down someone’s pants! EEH-AH-OH-AH-EET!”

Next speaker: First Aid, Protectobot (Autobot): First Aid states he is growing weary of forced captive audience meetings with Hasbro’s “union-busting legal team.” Cites unlawfulness on management’s part as foremost complaint, but adds “unbelievable boredom” as additional injury. Claims he would rather watch John TraVoltron X5’s Look Who’s Talking Too Thousand 47 times in a row. Crowd boos in agreement, then begins chanting, “TraVoltron sucks.”

Next speaker: Air Raid (Autobot): Air Raid feels the recent statements regarding Optimus Prime’s employer relations are unwarranted. Appearing to hold back tears, reads excerpts from heartfelt testimonial penned by human and Autobot ally Spike Witwicky lauding Optimus Prime’s selfless heroism. Questions Decepticons’ ability to recognize quality leadership, citing Megatron’s “less than savory” record. Notes particular instance when Megatron allegedly incinerated a shop steward for encouraging Transformers to claim overtime.

Next speaker: Bonecrusher, Constructicon (Decepticon): Bonecrusher is brief. Mentions he thinks Look Who’s Talking Too Thousand is not as bad as others have made it out to be. Clarifies, “Not TraVoltron’s best movie, but still pretty great for my money.” Amid disapproving stares and jeers, defiantly declares TraVoltron a cinematic genius, then leaves floor in haste.

Next speaker: Freeway (Autobot): Freeway urges attendees to concentrate on the topics at hand. Broaches issue of Hasbro’s intention of cutting back employee benefits. Promotes a unified front between Autobots and Decepticons. Admonishes Beachcomber for continually interrupting other speakers with gratuitous “Si se puede!” and “Peace on Cybertron!” cries. Reminds Beachcomber it is not the 1960s, but the future, and that they are not picking grapes, but vying for universal domination. Then calls Beachcomber “a dirty hippie.”

Next speaker: Divebomb, Predacon (Decepticon): Divebomb attacks Bonecrusher’s endorsement of the cinematic oeuvre of TraVoltron X5, asking Bonecrusher if he knows “the ugly truth” behind the mysterious actor/director. Divebomb then offers theory that TraVoltron X5 was once human but had his brain inserted into a robot so that he could perpetuate a secret religion. Adds that, according to legend, the procedure was done without anesthetic. Crowd is silent.

Next speaker: Blaster (Autobot): Begins his segment by referencing his ability to receive radio transmissions as small as one millionth of a watt. Continues in this manner, reminding all in attendance that he can transmit signals up to 4,000 miles away. Then makes volte-face by pointing out that, while his life seems wonderful, his doctor recently informed him he is dying from overexposure to dangerous electromagnetic pulse mechanisms and ionic energy fields. Blaster heatedly engages audience, “And they want to cut my bennies?” followed by a very firm, “I say hell no!” Finishes by transforming into an AM/FM cassette player and playing “We’re Not Gonna Take It.”

Next speaker: Misfire (Decepticon): Announces how glad he is to see that Blaster has “some balls,” referring to Blaster’s willingness to stand up to Optimus Prime on the benefits debate. Makes derogatory comment to other Autobots (“Autobutts”), then performs various infantile noises and gesticulations in their general direction. Accuses Autobots of blind allegiance to O.P., asserting they are “only reinforcing the robot stereotype.” Ends his portion by asking why O.P.’s opinion should count at all, reminding attendees that management is not part of the bargaining unit and chastising Autobots in particular for lacking a firm grasp of basic labor law.

Next speaker: Sandstorm (Autobot): Sandstorm proffers that Transformers take advantage of alternative resources at their disposal to extricate themselves from the “icky web” of the ITU. Namely, acting credits from the recently released Transformers CCLVIII: The Movie. Citing how well the previous films had fared, suggests that Transformers “totally hook up with the Screen Actor’s Guild.” Upon uttering this, Sandstorm worriedly switches gears and inquires with other attendees whether being a Scientologist is prerequisite for inclusion in SAG.

Next speaker: Mindwipe (Decepticon): Offers opinion that the woes of Transformers stem from management’s ability to perceive weakness among Transformer ranks. States that while it is true they are “more than meets the eye,” the “feeble-ass” follow-up claim of being “robots in disguise” projects instability and low self-esteem. Suggests the following immediate revision to Transformer motto: “Yeah, we’re robots. You got a problem with that, jerks?” Then blows snot rocket on floor and sounds, “EEH-AH-OH-AH-EET!”

Next speaker: Horri-bull (Decepticon): Horri-bull does not hold the floor long. Only wishes to inform Sandstorm that while practicing Scientology is not a prerequisite for SAG membership, it is highly recommended, as TraVoltron is the reigning High Chancellor of the guild.

Next speaker: Dirge (Decepticon): Begins address by asking that Transformers set aside differences and “think ‘bargaining table.’” Reviews list of demands submitted by Autobots. Applauds Autobots’ insistence that management keep dependents on HMO and PPO. Then reviews Decepticons’ list of demands. Expresses initial disappointment that the only items included on Decepticons’ list are “Autobots = space poo-poo heads” and “Optimus Prime’s mama’s a Go-Bot.” Goes on to state that these entries are ridiculous, in that they are not technically demands but mere statements of fact. Points at Autobots and yells, “Oh, snap!”

Final speaker: Cloudraker (Autobot): Ignoring Dirge’s taunt, Cloudraker wraps up the meeting reminding Transformers that, although leaps and bounds were not made that evening, there is one thing Autobots and Decepticons agree on: Scientology is definitely some crazy shit.