Notifications
Clear all

Unions  

 

gringojj
(@gringojj)
Advanced Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 340
November 24, 2012 4:55 pm  

With all the talk about Hostess and now Walmart, unions are back in the news big again. This was a big topic a couple of years ago too.

I have never been in a union, nor has any of my family. To be honest I dont even understand completely what they do.. I know this topic can really stir up emotions but I think its important to discuss.

It seems that unions put businesses in difficult positions. Why is it good for businesses to be in a position where they can be held hostage by these powerful groups?


Quote
divinggirl
(@divinggirl)
Trusted Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 887
November 24, 2012 7:46 pm  

Unions had their place long ago when companies were using bad business practices that were getting people killed. Now there are agencies responsible for government over-site (ie: OSHA) and people have media outlets to expose issues so I don't think that unions are in need any longer.
Many people say they "level the playing field" or "take care of the little guy", however, if you actually research unions the only people they watch out for are the big wigs in the union. They point fingers at CEO's while they collect salaries that are just as outrageous and that doesn't include the "benefits" both above and below the table. Just my opinion...based on research and personal experience.


ReplyQuote
stxer
(@stxer)
Advanced Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 184
November 24, 2012 11:14 pm  

I hated unions, then I loved them and then I hated them and ...then I joined one...

Like all things run by humans, Unions have their faults, but they also have their advantages.

Remember, I am an older guy, I have seen and remember (or forgotten) a lot of history.

All those disclaimers in place I am ready to comment.

Labor unions and more recently public employee unions changed the face of America. After world War II they created a middle class of consumers that drove the most active economy in our history. Even during that early time, the union leadership was susceptible to corruption and abuse. Look at the teamsters and Jimmy Hoffa and many others. The mob took over many unions to get control of the huge retirement funds. That is when I hated the unions.

I joined a union. It gave me a voice against big power, a little voice. It improved my pay and working conditions and gave me pride. I loved the union.

I finally understood that workers should always have a union that gives them a voice and a little perceived control over their future.

Guess what? labor leaders are just as bad as before, but workers do need protection. They are still being abused by powerful bosses. It seems that nothing really changes.

What bothers me, is that big business today does not seem to understand that they still need a healthy (MONEY SPENDING) middle class to buy products and drive the economy. Instead they are trying to treat American workers like third world worker "slaves". The owners and big bucks investors don't seem to understand that we need motivated, well paid employees to drive our economy. We still need unions.


ReplyQuote
rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
Trusted Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2472
November 24, 2012 11:41 pm  

Unions argue that they can raise their members' wages, but few Americans understand the economic theory explaining how they do this. Unions are labor cartels. Cartels work by restricting the supply of what they produce so that consumers will have to pay higher prices for it. OPEC, the best-known cartel, attempts to raise the price of oil by cutting oil production. As labor cartels, unions attempt to monopolize the labor supplied to a company or an industry in order to force employers to pay higher wages.In this respect, they function like any other cartel and have the same effects on the economy. Cartels benefit their members in the short run and harm the overall economy.

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2009/05/what-unions-do-how-labor-unions-affect-jobs-and-the-economy


ReplyQuote
stxer
(@stxer)
Advanced Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 184
November 25, 2012 12:08 am  

Unions argue that they can raise their members' wages, but few Americans understand the economic theory explaining how they do this. Unions are labor cartels. Cartels work by restricting the supply of what they produce so that consumers will have to pay higher prices for it. OPEC, the best-known cartel, attempts to raise the price of oil by cutting oil production. As labor cartels, unions attempt to monopolize the labor supplied to a company or an industry in order to force employers to pay higher wages.In this respect, they function like any other cartel and have the same effects on the economy. Cartels benefit their members in the short run and harm the overall economy.

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2009/05/what-unions-do-how-labor-unions-affect-jobs-and-the-economy/blockquote >

I am disappointed in your canned response. Instead of using your own good judgment you quote from an ultra right wing organization. Most smart people know that there are two sides (or more) to every issue. The Heritage group is very one sided. You know better.

. http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/heritage-foundation

I totally reject your final sentence. In fact through out our history the unions ( which are not a cartel and have little real power) have improved our overall economy.


ReplyQuote
gringojj
(@gringojj)
Advanced Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 340
November 25, 2012 12:37 am  

Stxer,

You mention that unions give workers a voice and control over their future. I am a believer in the free market capitalist model. But I think that type of model should apply to employees as well. I have never been in a union. In my life I have always experienced that if I want to make more money or do better for myself it was up to me. If the job I had wasnt paying enough, I would look for another job that paid more or found a way to better my situation at the job I was doing.

To me it seems that businesses would hire and pay someone according to what the person was worth. Employers want good employees, and I think they would pay for them. Think about it, if an employer pays an employee less than they are worth, they run the risk of losing that employee to a company that will pay them more. So over time, the company that pays more has taken all the top employees, and the company that was trying to be cheap is left with all the bottom ones. It would seem to me that at that point the company that was trying to be cheap would not do as well in the long run.

A company that offers good pay and benefits will attract good workers. Why not just let the companies compete for them?


ReplyQuote
rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
Trusted Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2472
November 25, 2012 1:11 am  

I am disappointed in your canned response. Instead of using your own good judgment you quote from an ultra right wing organization. Most smart people know that there are two sides (or more) to every issue. The Heritage group is very one sided. You know better.

. http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/heritage-foundation

I totally reject your final sentence. In fact through out our history the unions ( which are not a cartel and have little real power) have improved our overall economy.

I am fully aware that the heritage foundation is a conservative organization. That does not make everything that they say wrong. I am disappointed that you have swallowed the union BS without using your own mind to analyze what they do to our economy.

Unions make our industry less able to be competitive in the world market. We are in a time of quickly advancing technology. Unions slow that advance by forcing businesses to retain unskilled workers who could easily be replaced by automation. The auto manufacturers are an example of this. This is the reason that so many industries are moving their manufacturing overseas. You can not find US based electronics manufacturers.

Unions drive up wages and reduce the number of employees that a business can afford to hire. Higher wages caused by union demands result in higher overall unemployment. Why should an employer be force to hire union workers when there are plenty of workers willing to work for the wages that the business is offering. Unions perturb the free market.

We obviously have a difference of opinion about who's responsibility it is to make yourself more employable. I think that workers have an obligation to improve their skills to keep up with the demands of the marketplace. I do not believe that it is the employers responsibility to retrain workers while paying them a salary to go to school. This was one of the problems that many employers have. They offer free classes for their employees to improve their skills. These classes are offered after hours and are often lightly attended. They often offer tuition reimbursement but the classes must be taken on your own time.

Most workers would be better off leaving the unions and getting an education. Unions allow unskilled and semi-skilled employees to make an artificially inflated wage without having to improve their skill set. This is bad for the economy. If you want more money then improve your skill set and make yourself more valuable to your employer.

As often happens with collective bargaining negotiations, some of the posturing is ridiculous. One union contract provision dating back to the early 1960s requires Verizon to dispatch two workers on service calls to the Upper East Side of Manhattan. While originally intended to be a safeguard measure when the area was considered rough-and-tumble, the city socialites and tourists populating the Café Carlyle, or even the Upper East Side Brother Jimmy's BBQ, for that matter, are a little less intimidating. Yet, the rule remains in place. Another mandates that union landline techs in the D.C. metropolitan area can receive up to 40 weeks of additional pay if they are fired for poor attendance.
http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/doug-heye/2011/08/26/time-for-unions-to-face-the-reality-of-a-changing-economy

Unions destroy the economy.
http://www.businessinsider.com/henry-blodget-welch-heres-why-unions-wreck-companies-and-the-economy-2009-5


ReplyQuote
divinggirl
(@divinggirl)
Trusted Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 887
November 25, 2012 12:17 pm  

One of my union experiences:
I was in a union for a short time working in a refinery during college. I was literally cornered one day in the tank field by 3 "gentlemen" and told that I HAD to stop working so hard. Apparently I was doing the amount of work in 1 day that they 3 of them did in 2 days and the boss was starting to notice. One of them remarked that they weren't going to be forced to work harder and at least "they can't fire us".

I agree with other posters that it should be the employees job to be more marketable and a free market would pay qualified, hard workers what they are worth.

As far as unions having "little real power" - check out the money they spend in DC. They have plenty of power. Another thing I think should be done away with is lobbying - totally corrupt.


ReplyQuote
Isle Tell Ya
(@Isle_Tell_Ya)
Advanced Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 106
November 25, 2012 4:05 pm  

If you want employees to work hard and efficiently - businesses must either constantly supervise or offer profit sharing. Unions serve a purpose. I see enough non-union hourly contractors sit on their asses on this island who will only work when their boss is watching to know that unionization is not the root cause of poor work performance. Laziness is.


ReplyQuote
Close Menu