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Old 10-01-2007, 10:47 PM   #31 (permalink)
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There would never have been a need for unions if management would have taken care of the employees.
This is a true statement. The problem is that 99.9% of the time thats not the case. Employers have been abusing employees since time begain. Unions are there to protect the workers rights. Even the government wont go to the trouble some of you say they will. BS , they could care less.

There is also some misconception that unions are some big mafia group that cleans out the coffers. BS , you guys are watching to many episodes of the Sapranos. Union leaders are made up of the rank and file members. Officers are elected to thier positions , not put in power by some arbitrary force that invades the union hall.

If you think there is no need for unions in this day and age , you are sadly mistaken. People are worked above and beyond reason in companies even in this enlightned era. How many of you are salary? That is a government condoned form of worker abuse. Work more hours than you are payed. With unions , at least the one I'm involved with , its "an hours work for an hours pay". Sounds fair to me.

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Old 10-02-2007, 01:29 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Skilled trade unions are a necessity. However coming from the home of the nations most powerful teachers union (Michigan), unions have left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. The big 3 have become bloated and slow and have a dismal effect on the MI economy. When UAW stikes, and we all feel it. The best working example of a good union I've heard of was for construction. IE you have several small construction firms all in a union, the state goes to the union for a large project (larger than any of the single firms could accomplish alone) and thus many people who wouldn't have such a large account, or steady amount of work, now do.

if that makes any sense.

As for the whole fear of foreign companies building plants here/importing goods, well foreign investors is not such a bad thing. Cars need factories to be built in, factories need workers, workers need wages, wages are taxed, leftover wages are spent on other goods. The economy advances. They make money, we make money. (I'm sure I missed a few steps, econ 101 was last quarter )
Still working towards that Industrial Automation Engineering degree...because...robots don't unionize
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Old 10-02-2007, 07:07 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Ultimately the problem with unions today is there aren't enough of them and there aren't enough unionized shops. Years of Republican leadership in government have decimated the power of the worker in America. This shortsighted socioeconomic ideology has created a vicious cycle in which workers are devalued, profit margins drop (as workers make up the bulk of American consumers), other shortsighted solutions are applied (such as outsourcing) and the worker is devalued even further. Unions strove to balance out the economy and help bridge the ridiculous gap in employer and employee earnings and earning power.

Today you have only a few union shops and they know as well as anyone else that their numbers are dwindling, which leads to, among other things, potentially overzealous protection of workers who might otherwise not be deserving.

It's that much more to fight for if there are fewer union shops around. If every shop was unionized, you wouldn't see much "protecting the lazy/worthless/undeserving". At this point, though, it's a necessary evil.

There will come a time when people realize that worker empowerment is important and unions are and always have been a good idea. I hope that time is not too late.

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Old 10-02-2007, 08:24 AM   #34 (permalink)
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What about the inherent threat of force that is the cornerstone of every union?

It is robbery, plain and simple to threaten harm in exchange for goods, money or service.

Even if the management is wrong, doing a further wrong isn't justifiable.

I have been a union member, and I never was comfortable with it.

I don't want to be "represented" I will represent myself, thank you.

When I have had an employer that did not respect me, or abused me, I left. It's a free country, they can't make you work for them.
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Old 10-02-2007, 02:48 PM   #35 (permalink)
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I spent a number of years working in Chicago dealing with event production - so I got to work with the full gamut of unions - Electricians, Stage hands, Projectionists, Video operators, Decorators, Teamsters etc.

All of these groups had good guys and bad guys. I agree with the sentiment that so many have expressed - protecting some of these guys was simply stealing cash from the end client. They produced no work (or sometimes even made more work for they other guys) and got paid exactly the same as the other, hard working members.

That said - there were some extremely talented, dedicated and hard working guys (and women) in those crews.

I have to thank all the unions workers out there who gave us the protection we all enjoy on the job - the work done during the industrial revolution created a better life for nearly everyone in the workforce.

I can't make a blanket statement about unions - it's unfair. I've seen the abuse and threats of violence come from both employers and union workers - it doesn't make either of them right.

The major problems I have with unions (and this is from Chicago) is when the rules go beyond reasonable. Guaranteeing a guy OT for working long days is one thing - but granting a minimum of 8 hours regardless of actual work is another. Paying a %400 markup over what a guy is making hourly to cover "administrative costs" for the union is simply highway robbery. I don't blame the guy making $17 an hour - he's usually worth it, I blame the union organization keeping the other $71 that I pay to have the guy for an hour.

As with most thing - if you strip it back to the people involved - most are good and some are bad. But when the organization is more important than the people - it goes downhill quickly.
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Old 10-02-2007, 03:33 PM   #36 (permalink)
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What about the inherent threat of force that is the cornerstone of every union?

You , my friend watch to many movies. There is no inherent threat of force. I've been a union member for 28 years , and I have NEVER acted or witnessed anything remotely close to a threat of force. Who are we supposed to be threatening? Management? Other workers? Maybe I'm missing out here.

If you want to see the work situation in the USA go to hell in a hand basket , remove the unions. Ever wonder why there is such a HUGE push to turn a state into a "Right to Work" state. (and it is usually an out of state group that brings it up) Its to move the workforce closer to a more employer controlling situation. Then slowly chip away at the benefits and working conditions. Until one day they are gone , and the worker pool is powerless.

You guys can bitch all you want about lazy union this and that , but EVERY benefit you enjoy now is the direct result of union activism , and the blood , sweat , and tears of hard working UNION men and women. PEROID
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Old 10-02-2007, 04:00 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Allow me to chime in for the first time in 4 pages....

Socialism has never worked out to the benefit of anyone except those in charge. Thats all the unions are, small microcosms of socialism.

Are they the cause of all the work issues? Nope. Are they the solution to them? Hell no... they worked in a time when we were weak as a society, and didnt see the outcome of what a system like that does.

Now a days, you got a place treating you unsafely, or so poorly its not right? you leave and find another job. Enough people do that and shareholders or competition steps up to change it in the case of the former, or take over in the case of the latter.

The idea that someone else can be responsible for solving your problems with management or any other facet of your life is stupid, bordering on intellectual laziness.
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Old 10-02-2007, 04:20 PM   #38 (permalink)
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There is no inherent threat of force. I've been a union member for 28 years , and I have NEVER acted or witnessed anything remotely close to a threat of force. Who are we supposed to be threatening? Management? Other workers? Maybe I'm missing out here.
Um, yeah..

The only real tool unions have is the strike, and what do you think happens to "scabs"? What happens when the company decides to just fire the lot of them, and do a "lock out"?

The inherent threat of violence was and is the real bottom line of all union ism.

You can't fire us all because we'll burn th e place up rather than let you hire replacements. We'll threaten thier families and so forth, and so on.

If you've read a few pages back, I was a union member too. This is exactly the kind of crap that went on, the union treated management like they were total mortal enemies.

Who started it? Who cares? I don't want to work for my enemy. I don't want to threaten my way into better pay, and I don't want to be lumped into a group where I cannot be noticed as an individual, and treated accordingly, whether that is rewarded or disciplined.

I want my relationship with my employer to be mutually beneficial, I want to be appreciated, not grudgingly payed off to keep me happy.

Union labor as an option goes against everything I want to be and the way I want to earn respect.

I don't want to muscle my way into making people respect me.

The people who shout the loudest, demanding the most respect, tend to be those who least deserve it.
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Old 10-02-2007, 09:19 PM   #39 (permalink)
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The attitude that it's no big deal to up and leave and find another job is young and naive. The older you get, the more you have at stake and the scarier that proposition is. And the older and more experience you get, the harder it is to find a job that pays commensurately in an economy where the employer grows ever stronger. Young entry level stooges who see no need for benefits, non-tiered pay and job security are the ones in demand.

Among the working class, who retires comfortably with good benefits and cashflow? It's not the people who could not stick with a job for more than a few years at a time, that's for sure.
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Old 10-03-2007, 08:44 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Not true at all.

I have a really good job, good security, great benefits, and decent pay. Most of all, I am appreciated, and respected for my talents as an individual. I have had jobs where that wasn't the case, I have been working full time since I was 15 years old (I am now 32) doing everything from construction to custodial to auto mechanic, and now computer hardware and networking technician. I have had to push my way to the top by learning faster, working harder, and being better at everything I have done. When I first started working, I was 5'6", 120lbs, and looked like I was 12 years old. People constantly thought I didn't know how to do things, and I had to go out of my way to prove it time and time again. I had to work harder than the big guys because everybody thought I couldn't hack the work, and that they'd have to compensate for my weakness. I had to prove them wrong all the time. I have had bosses that have taken advantage and outright cheated me before. I have tried to start my own business with a friend doing minor remodeling work, and found out the hard way that old people will lie cheat, steal, and not pay you for your work, and there is nothing you can do about it when it happens to you.

I have learned the hard way not to put myself in debt because I never know when the next paycheck will come. No union will protect you from that fact. Any minute, you could lose your income. Are you prepared?

I am hardly naive, I know what goes on, and I choose to look out for myself, because no one else really will, whether they are union officials, or cops, or government. They look out for themselves first.

I look out for myself, and help others when I can, maybe some day they will return the favor, maybe they won't. IN the end, I will live and die on my merits, Mister Roosevelt isn't gonna save me when I lose my job and put myself so far in debt that I get everything repo'ed. Right now, I own everyhting I have outright, except my house, which won't be long before I pay that off. Once that is done, I can live on a Mc Donalds income if I have to. In the meantime I am investing in my own retirement, and keeping myself as healthy as I can. If tomorow I get hit by a truck, I know my family is gonna get taken care of, because I have made arrangements. My company offers retirement, and medical, and death benefits. I don't rely solely on those, I add to that, and if I don't have money for something, I wait until I do, instead of buying with credit.

You see, if you take control of your own life, and your own spending habits, and your own choices, you don't need someone else out there to make sure you keep your job. YOU are in control. You never need to threaten anyone, or pay off the protection money to the union, because your security comes from you, and your abilities, not their lawyers, and thugs.

Supply and demand set prices for skills. If I can hire a younger, or older (I've seen this too, talk to any CPA school grads about how many old people just won't stop taking the jobs for dirt money because they are already retired, and just want something to do) person for less than they can hire you, guess what? They will. Union or no union, it will eventually happen. Don't like this scenario? Be prepared to learn something new, find a new skill, whatever.

It happens all the time to union and non union alike. The modern economy is gonna fluctuate, if you aren't prepared to be flexible, and learn new things, you will be not as attractive to hire. No matter who "has your back"..
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