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Re: [vox] [OT] unions
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Re: [vox] [OT] unions



As I said in my _joke_ post unions did some good things in the 
past, but I am not a big believer in unions for a couple of 
reasons.

1.  It is mandatory to join the union if you work at a union
shop.  If I would like to go it on my own, I do not have that
choice or occasionally when it is allowed my wages are fixed
by the union negotiators.

2.  Unions contribute a portion of the mandatory contributions
to causes I may not agree with.  Why should I have to support
a politician that I strongly disagree with.

3.  Unions cause inefficiencies... If I am an electrician and
I have a small bale of wire on a construction site, it would
be nice if I could walk over and pick it up.  That is typically
not the case...  I would have to wait for someone else to carry
it for me.

4.  Unions do not necessarily have the needs of their individual
members at the top of their list.  They typically bargain for
the good of the union or the average good of the members.  On
a case by case basis should someone that works _really_ hard be
determined by how long they have been in the union or by the
work that they do.  When you are a teacher you get paid the same
as the other teachers that have your experience and education.
If there is a teacher, who works twice as hard shouldn't (s)he be
rewarded for that effort?

You claim that there isn't anything a worker can do to improve
their situation if the union is not there to collectively bargain?
That does not make much sense when the unemployment rate is as
low as it is.  Job market forces move quality employees to the
better working conditions and compensation.  Companies willing to
invest in their work force will get a target pool of talent.

If I have unfairly been passed over for a promotion, I have a 
couple of choices... If there is discrimation involved, I can try
courts.  In any case I can look for a job elsewhere.  Why would
I want to work where my skills are not valued?  Lets take the 
flip side.  Why should someone get a promotion because they have
paid their dues.  If there is another employee that is a better
match for the job, why should they not get it?

I appreciate the workplace safety and some of the other issues
that unions have pushed in the past, but what have they done
for me recently?

The difference between an employment agency and a union is choice.
I have a choice working for an agency _or_ finding the job
directly.  For skilled workers many companies would rather hire
the employees directly because it costs less. 

The arguments over the benefits/consequences of unions could
go on forever... We might have to agree to disagree...

Joel


On Mon, Aug 27, 2001 at 09:48:51AM -0700, speck@blkmtn.org wrote:
> sigh,
> 
> Unions have fought for workers rights.  In the past, businesses have killed people for advocating Unions.  They still do in a lot of foreign countries for wanting to form Unions.  In America, I think it's been some 80 years fortunatly.  
> 
> Unions brought most of us a 5 day work week (some industries have exceptions), insurance, reasonable working conditions.  Rights which are constantly being eroded by corporate interests in the name of profits and share holders.  Why pay a resonable wage when you don't have to?  
> 
> I, as an individual, have the right to market my resources (skills, ability, talent) to negotiate a wage for myself.  However, I can more effectively bargain if I negotiate in a group where we have the ability to cost the corporation money by not working if they do not negotiate.  This threat only works if the corporation cannot replace you.
> 
> Unions will, in general, fight for issues that they believe will help their members.  If you have been fired unfairly, denied a promotion, the company is moving your job overseas where it is 'cheaper'.  That is what they are supposed to do.  It is their job.  No organization is perfect.
> 
> All of that said, unions are run by people.  People make mistakes.  People, by nature, are political (if you don't realize that...).  If you don't like the way the unions are run, run for office in it and change it.  When unions, or anyone, negotiate, there are compromises that have to be made, and there are costs involved.  When you joined the union, you agreed to share those costs, inconvient and costly as it might be to you personally.  If you don't like them, DON'T SIGN THE EULA and realize that that too may carry a cost.  They negotiated a succussful EULA for the conditions under which the  company hired you.
> 
> People do good and bad.  Unions are run by people.  On the whole, unions have won us more good then most people realize.  Even those not in unions benefit most of the time from union activities.
> 
> What's the difference between a union and an employment agency?  A union is suposed to fight for you, an employment agency is merely a conduit for money and will drop you like a rock the instant you have no more use to them (contract end).
> 
> Steven Peck
> speck@blkmtn.org
> 


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