Are Labor Unions Outdated and Unneccesary? Are They Doing More Harm Than Good?

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posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 10:47 AM
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Originally posted by SpartanKingLeonidas
Historically speaking, Jimmy Hoffa, is one of the best and worst examples of everything that "unions" embody, because of the criminalization of them.


And historically, Pinkerton Detective Agency helped define the worst excesses of union-busting and management-hired goons...but they need not be invoked here, either.

BUT...as the guy who filed the grievances...and who helped negotiate the contract...I can say that without my efforts, a lot of folks would have been screwed over by management. Why is this statement not relevant?




posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 10:48 AM
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I am an independent contractor and am having a hell of a time finding decent help.

Everybody seems to think they are entitled to be paid, even though the bulk never put more than the minimum amount of effort into what they do. No pride, no attention to detail.

Then they play the victim when they get fired.



posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 10:50 AM
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reply to post by JohnnyCanuck
 


The whole Jimmy Hoffa thing had zero to do with the discussion, its just a

guy showing his "cut and paste' savy.

Using Hoffa, is like saying all Presidents are evil.. Richard Nixon

I left the discussion when it got misdirected.



posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 11:10 AM
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Unions had always been about protection of workers. So long as such unions operates on transparency, with its members given voting rights to choose Union leaders, perceived corruption or collusions can be eliminated.

Unions are often up against the best and brightest from Management, whom have the power and funds to hire them to browbeat them or outmanovere workers. Not only that, as management or capitists have the funds, they will rather close down plants and move to cheaper locations to set up shop, in the obscene name of profits and nothing else. Loyalty to anything can go to hell, it is often the bottom line that counts.

Often the issues are about salaries, being one of the greatest factor in costings to a product to be sold. If it isnt competitive, no one buys, the company cannot afford to pay wages and will either close down or relocate.

But is it fair to the local workers? For example, the Ford model was made in US. It was the efforts of the local workforce who created that technology and craftsmanship, and rightfully be paid for their exclusivity.
Improvements should be made but BRANDING still accounts for much of profits which salaries can and should justifiably rise for the local worker, which is why a Prada bag is worth its weight in gold compared to some cheap plastic bag from China which tears open at the seams after a few uses.

Unfortunately, in the name of profits, Capitalist rather flee to China, with its slave labour to produce such goods and yet sell at a HIGHER price, which BRANDING and pride came from the local country.

This is not the fault of the Unions whose role is to protect workers, but rather, the POLITICAL WILL that allowed Capitalist to move offshore. Unions are not international agencies, but politicians have such capabilities to address and protect local workers and jobs in the international arena.

Capitalists moving into lower labour costing countries DO NOT do so out of kindness, charity or nobility. They only do so because of slave labour. That indonesian worker had not been helped by such investments, for he is still paid slave wages, human and resource capital EXPLOITED to lined the pockets of Globalization capitalists.

Protectionism and Unions are all that stands between Unregulated Capitalist exploitation of the masses, regardless whether in US or Uganda.



posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 11:30 AM
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Originally posted by JohnnyCanuck

Originally posted by SpartanKingLeonidas
Historically speaking, Jimmy Hoffa, is one of the best and worst examples of everything that "unions" embody, because of the criminalization of them.


And historically, Pinkerton Detective Agency helped define the worst excesses of union-busting and management-hired goons...but they need not be invoked here, either.

BUT...as the guy who filed the grievances...and who helped negotiate the contract...I can say that without my efforts, a lot of folks would have been screwed over by management. Why is this statement not relevant?


Where did I ever state that your statement was not relevant?

I never said all "Union's" were corrupt, I actually said they had a real use, at one time.

Meaning, they have lost their effectiveness, because of people like Jimmy Hoffa.

Union's are different the world around, just like politician's, or people.

Each is unique, each has a varying means of doing things, each is effective or ineffective.

Depends on whether the people running them are good or not.

If you had good result, great, glad to hear it.

My stepfather was threatened by Union Members, if he did not sign up.

A group of six men with baseball bats, and this wasn't New York, it was Florida.

Being a Vietnam era Marine, he told them to go to Hell, and survived.

If they had attacked him, none of them would have survived, period.

I'm not in favor of ever joining a union, myself, because of people like Hoffa and what happened to my stepfather, but I do see they have beneficial uses.

Below is a thread where I got caught between a Union and Administration.

Would You Accept Illegal Power If It Was Offered To You?

[edit on 10-1-2010 by SpartanKingLeonidas]



posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 11:50 AM
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Originally posted by SpartanKingLeonidas
I'm not in favor of ever joining a union, myself, because of people like Hoffa and what happened to my stepfather, but I do see they have beneficial uses.


And I'm not in favour of the United Way, because my father...and myself...were threatened to try and force us to contribute. So it goes...

My front line experience in labour shows me that unions are still necessary. Yes, some are better than others. My union is presently active in the Third World...so that their working conditions can rise to something approximating ours...and not the other way around.



posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 03:20 PM
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I think one of the aspects of unions v management today that has not been touched on yet is the law of supply and demand.

The overwhelming supply of labor right now is overwhelming to the nth degree.

In the construction field, specialization has become the norm. Barely anyone in mass construction now is proficient in all of the fields. If they are, they are the ones supervising mass sub-contractors that are riddled with unskilled labor.

I have seen this technique used to keep the costs of projects to the minimum. This of course is endemic to this regulation ridden field. It use to be that anyone on a project could do just about any of the other positions. That is no longer the case.

I may get hell for it, but this was done on purpose. Open the flood gates of labor and you keep the cost of that labor to a minimum. Also the specialization of work is another detriment to many other fields. When it takes one week to train someone for a position, to replace that worker is not such a hit to the investment involved.

Excellent thread so far. Keep it up folks, cuss and discuss.



posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 04:53 PM
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In my limited dealings with 2 different unions, I only saw them allow lesser qualified people, do less work, for more money. The ability to not be fired easily leads some to take big advantage of their membership. Not to mention threats of violence from some, never materialized, they just walked around with their little signs.



posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 06:12 PM
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“If organized labor continues to do what it has always done, It will continue to get less than it has always got.” -Anonymous-
________________________________
Is Organized Labor A Decacying Business Model


The traditional organized labor business model, as we have known it over the past century, is not sustainable in it present form, and will become less relevant, irrelevant or extinct, unless major changes are made. The nature of work has changed, and labor unions have failed to evolve with this change, just as dinosaurs became extinct because they failed to evolve with the climatic changes.

Union representation serves a very important business and economic function. Repressive employers create strong unions, because unions protect workers from abusive management. The organized labor business model for growth is to unionize low wage workers, such as immigrants, minorities and females, in industries and locations with traditionally low union saturation.

Historically, labor unions have encouraged an adversarial (us versus them) approach to business operations. The key to long-term survival, increased economic strength, and political power lies in the ability to adapt to changes, become productive allies with business, and be part of the solution, not part of the problem. To do less will result in a decayed organized labor business model creating its own irrelevance and going the way of the dinosaurs.


This Abstract really sums up some very serious concerns regarding Union relevance moving forward... Issues to put some thought into...



posted on Jan, 15 2010 @ 03:30 PM
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posted on Jan, 15 2010 @ 03:38 PM
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reply to post by LadySkadi
 


What I find most telling here is I haven't heard a union member or a liberal explain how this was fair, or right.



posted on Jan, 21 2010 @ 02:50 PM
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There are many bad companies out there, that could probably use a union. But there are some great non union companies that treat theri employees great. I am retired now, but worked for a great company for 33 years. We didn't need a union, as our benefit package was better than the union package could ever be. plus, I hate the idea of giving any more of my money out to fat cats, that abbitrarily raise my dues, and I would have very little say over things. I feel the Federal government is fat cat enough.

The unions in some industries have helped keep the safety standards fair, but in many situations today, they have outlived their usefulness. just look at the automotive industry. let's face it, the unions are a big part of the failure of the business model of these companies. There isn't any way American manufacturers can compete on a world stage with the benefits they pay. It just doesn't add up. And giving free health care benefits for life to retirees---how can they do that?? The answer is, they can't. Why do you think GM is in the shape they;re in now. It's these un real labor contracts they have hanging around their neck. In the end, they won't survive unless their workforce agrees to some concessions. That probably won't happen, so thousands more will lose their job, all thanks to some dinosaur union that won't budge in it's demands. Untill the masses in the automotive unions realize their leaders don't really have their best interest at heart, both the company and them are doomed.


When GM finally folds, who do you think will still have their jobs??? The union officials of course, as the overpriced labor force applies for unemployment insurance. The ex employee is screwed, and the union officials search for more suckers for their unions to represent.

The big problem now, is that so many people are out of a job, the only ones left to represent are Federal employees. Their ranks have sweeled since Osama and his henchmen took over, and the pickings are favorable for a great new group of suckers to milk for dues. The big problem is, our government is already broke, and in a shambles. But I guess the unions can always aspire to make it worse.



posted on Jan, 21 2010 @ 03:28 PM
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I have no problem with unions. Let them exist and those folks who want to work in unions and live in states who are big union supports can reap the benefits.

Those folks can also take a look at the Southeast where the entire auto industry has moved. They have moved to Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, etc. They have moved to states with right to work laws. Oh, they let the UAW come in and try to unionize and the workers vote the UAW the hell out of there. Kia just built a massive plant in Georgia. Think they looked to build it in Michigan or New York or Washington? Give me a break. The largest employer in Washington used to be Boeing. No longer. They moved their manufacturing to South Carolina. Why? They specifically sited the unions for the reason for the move. They were going to build half of the new Dreamliners here and announced a few weeks ago that they kiboshed that and will now build all of them in South Carolina.



posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 09:06 AM
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It seems that in these economically challenged times, one final question comes to mind. Do you want union representation and no job, or do you want a fair wage, that is reasonably competitive, and the hope of a sustainable job future??? You already know the answer to that. What good is a strong union with no job? The only union jobs that are guaranted, are the union bosses, who have jobs for life. They are never the ones to lose their job.

You do the math.....................



posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 09:54 AM
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Originally posted by mrpotatohead
It seems that in these economically challenged times, one final question comes to mind. Do you want union representation and no job, or do you want a fair wage, that is reasonably competitive, and the hope of a sustainable job future??? You already know the answer to that. What good is a strong union with no job? The only union jobs that are guaranted, are the union bosses, who have jobs for life. They are never the ones to lose their job.

You do the math.....................


I will repeat the following from two earlier posts of mine:


As a former Chief Steward, I have three comments: 1) No employer gets unionised that has not demonstrated the necessity to their workers. 2) Even the most enlightened employers can have managers that pull crap on the workers, who must fall back on the collective agreement for protection. 3) Unions...those people who brought you the weekend...raise employment standards for everybody.



The collective agreement is signed by the employer as well. It is a set of rules, and both sides function better that way. Today's economics are a ponzi scheme fueled by the fact that work is being sent overseas for cheap labour...and North American workers can no longer afford to buy the product...cuz their jobs are gone! It ran on credit...til that crashed. Is your car that much cheaper since the jobs went to China? Notice that the jobs are leaving Mexico because labour costs are 'too high'? Who's pocketing the difference? Notice the economy tank lately? Blame globalisation, but don't blame the auto worker who used to put his wages into your community. And don't blame the unions that negotiated a decent wage package...which was relfected in yours, too.


Your jobs have been shipped offshore...the manufacturing jobs are gone so that Wall Street maxes out...and they are still robbing you. Blaming the unions is nonsense. Unionising a workforce is still legal, and anyone who tries to blame them for the current economic woes is intent upon screwing you out of your fair compensation.

Like I said...is your GM any cheaper since they shipped steel production and parts manufacturing overseas? I don't freakin' think so!

You do the math...and ask where the difference ended up. Not in your pocket!

Blame the legislators that sold out to Globalisation, not your neighbour...whose dough was spent in your towns, and who now has to compete with labour being paid in yuen!

...and the 'you' is collective...we in Canada are in the same boat ('cept for the banking shenanigans).



posted on Jan, 23 2010 @ 02:14 AM
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New data released by BLS suggest shift in union membership from private to public sectors.


New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that a majority of American union members now work for the government. The pattern of unions adding members in government while losing members in the private sector accelerated during the recession. The typical union member now works in the Post Office, not on the assembly line.


WSJ



posted on Oct, 17 2012 @ 08:56 AM
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Originally posted by LadySkadi
New data released by BLS suggest shift in union membership from private to public sectors.


New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that a majority of American union members now work for the government. The pattern of unions adding members in government while losing members in the private sector accelerated during the recession. The typical union member now works in the Post Office, not on the assembly line.


WSJ


And here we are, 2 years later, with effectively the same thing.

online.wsj.com...

(There, how's that for a segue-way )

I don't think it's a coincidence that Government jobs are the most unionized, while political donations by unions are more then ever. If anyone needs proof of what unions are really all about, there's your answer.

They can put whatever spin on it they want, the fact of the matter is that the workers are not their priority. That's not why they do what they do. They do it for political influence. They're in it for the power and those links are proof.

I've been in the workforce for 30 years now, from everything to concrete restoration to proofreading, and through all the jobs I've ever worked, only 1 has been a union shop. The Revlon Corp. ( Yet I'm never n HBA.....go figure) That's also the only place I've ever worked where it seemed that twice as much work could have gotten done had it not been for the union bogging everything down. Sometimes I wondered how that plant even managed to produce anything.

Aside from the political angle, what I see are unions that are supposed to be intermediaries between workers and management. There's the argument that unions breed complacency among workers vs. unions looking out for the workers' basic rights. Again, I've been in the workforce long enough to see that workers expect more money for less work. More so now then ever. They show up for the paycheck and that's about it. That is what they feel their right is, so they want unions to stand up for them. That is the unions job, right?

You push people to work a bit harder and they get upset about it. If you don't have the wherewithal it takes to see what a descent days work is worth when put up against what your hourly wage is, you're not going to last very long in ANY job. But unions don't see it that way because that's not where there priority is. Again, check both links. I'm in the camp where wanting a third party like a union to solve your problems for you, in and of itself, breeds complacency. If a union tells workers to go on strike and picket outside your place of employment, I have one question for you: Why do you need someone else to tell you what to do, and PAY them for it? Talk about a waste of money. And then you complain that you don't get paid for what you feel you're worth. I were the boss of people like that, I'd pay them the minimum as well because it's painfully obvious that they don't have a mind of their own.

If 80% of the people you work with all think things are unfair, what's keeping you from walking out the door en masse on your own? What do you think they're going to do, hire and train enough replacements to where the whole incident doesn't effect their bottom line negatively for the fiscal year? Highly doubtful. You want to shut a business down, that's the way to do it because it's going to become crystal clear at that point who is in control. The workers. It is a last resort though. People really do need to get off their soft side and speak for themselves. The best way for 2 people to "negotiate" is to do it on their own behind closed doors with no outside influences. Influences that don't have the best interest of either party in mind anyway.

If you can't discuss business calmly, rationally, in a mature fashion and professionally while taking the other sides' opinion into consideration ( which is the most important part in ANY negotiation), a union isn't going to help. That's not their job.

Bottom line.....unions are a worthless waste of money. Don't work for them.




posted on Oct, 17 2012 @ 08:57 AM
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Labor unions are for the people are you not for the people? What kind of psychos are against the unions. They help the common working man.





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