a reply to: Nickn3
That's the real issue; we're not talking about the same unions that originally existed.
Back in the day, unions were formed by workers to consolidate their power and try to force employers to provide better working conditions and wages.
If a company tried to underpay or use unsafe working practices (as many did then), the unions would strike and shut the company down. That was a good
thing, and it was met with a lot of violence... a lot of people put their butts on the line for their right to organize.
That's not how it works today.
Over time, unions began to consolidate with each other. Instead of workers at one factory or for one company striking, now you got workers from an
entire industry striking. It came down to the unions having so much power they became as corrupt as the companies they were formed to protect workers
The union dues were a way to pay the union reps for their work negotiating deals and to pay a subsistence wage for workers who were striking. Today,
the money goes to pay union leaders just for being leaders, and to lobby politically. To cover these increased costs, the union dues have increased
substantially. The real problem I have is when the union leaders use the funds to lobby for things that are not directly related to maintaining the
power of the unions... instead, they are the pet political agendas of the leaders, which often do not represent the views of the majority of the
It really is no different than extortion practices used by the Mafia back when. If someone had a business, they would get a visit from a Mafia rep who
wanted their 'cut' to 'protect' the business. Of course, the protection was from the Mafia itself. Today, a business that is doing good gets a visit
from a union rep who wants their 'cut' to 'protect' the business from strikes. Of course, the strikes would come from the union itself, and they did
add a new wrinkle: the cut comes from the workers, but the business has to pay them more than the union cut to make the union look good.
I've worked under a public union. People who were incompetent couldn't be fired, but people who were competent were prevented from doing certain tasks
to speed up the work... that was someone else's job! Don't you dare touch it! Sit there and wait for two weeks while we bring in the right guy instead
of taking care of the issue in 5 minutes.
Just like no Mafia member ever complained about their business practices, no union member will ever complain about union practices. Why should they?
They are getting the sweet deal. Of course, when their company shuts down because they can't afford to pay the high wages any more, the workers get
all upset at the company, just like when someone couldn't pay their protection money to the Mafia, the Mafia got all upset at the business owner for
making them burn them out.
Some things never change...