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Roguish Lawyer
05-20-2004, 11:13
I am curious what people think about them. A few topics:

1. (Poll question included) Do you consider yourself generally to be pro- or anti-union? Why?

2. Have you ever crossed a picket line? Under what circumstances?

3. Do you believe that unions tend to be corrupt organizations that do not serve their members well?

4. Are unions anti-consumer?

5. Do you care about union endorsements when you vote?

Sacamuelas
05-20-2004, 11:45
1. currently anti (in general)
2. N/A
3. Yes
4. No, self serving with 1st priority its own leadership, then constituents
5. No.. not back when I worked for the state, not when I now work as a fed employee.



Story: Recently I changed my clinic hours at work. Myself, my assistants, and the hygienist all wanted and asked for this change to be made for our personal convenience. I got it approved by my immediate supervisor, deputy commander (AF O-5), our installation commanding officer (Navy 0-6), and up the chain all the way to civilian who literally answers directly to D. Rumsfeld. Believe it or not, that is what it took for final approval and all the CYA being done by the lower level supervisors in case someone griped about it. Voila... that was easier than I thought.

Not so fast!

Guess what? Even though I had it approved by the entire chain of command, I still couldn't enact the schedule change. Why you ask?...
"The Union" has to approve it too. Well, I figured it was a slam-dunk since it was us asking for this change to benefit the employees. Should be a rubber stamp with the union- much easier than getting all the power people on the Admin side of the Gov. to approve it.

Wrong! The civil service union heads refused to sign off on the deal unless the big wigs above me agreed to something that the union wanted at the time. That's right, the union initially vetoed the change even though it was asked for/derived from/and benefited only the union's members not the ADMIN. Needless to say, after several pounding on the desk "meetings"(haha) I had with the local union president it finally got approved.

It REALLY pissed me off, and I will be anti-union biased for a long time because of this. I was shocked. I expected the union to be happy and help in any manner possible to get better working circumstances for its members.

Solid
05-20-2004, 11:46
RL,

Are we discussing unions operating in social/economic conditions such as those in the US, or unions in general?

Thank you,

Solid

DunbarFC
05-20-2004, 11:50
1. I view unions as a necessary evil, with emphasis on evil. Yes they do some good. I was a "union" member when I was 16 and worked at a grocery store. I HAD to join. Did it benefit me in any way - heck no they just wanted my dues.

2. No

3. Yes I do. I recently worked with some Teamsters - it's as bad as you think

4. Yes

5. Nope. I vote Repbulican :D

Roguish Lawyer
05-20-2004, 11:51
Originally posted by Solid
RL,

Are we discussing unions operating in social/economic conditions such as those in the US, or unions in general?

Thank you,

Solid

Solid,

You may discuss whatever you would like, and you do not need my permission to do it. That is the case here and in every other thread.

You are welcome,

RL

Solid
05-20-2004, 12:02
It seems to me (with my limited knowledge) that the worth of unions differs in relation to the social, economic, and political standings of the country in which they operate. In the US and UK, where fundemental human rights are protected, Unions seem to cause more problems than they solve for the workers and employers. The same (at a far more visible level) goes for France and Germany, where unions are deeply entrenched. Labour market inflexibility has been partially blamed for the time-lag which prevented both Germany and France from reacting to recent economic down-turns.

However, in countries where basic rights are not as well protected, un co-opted unions seem to help by maintaining nominal job-safety and security. Some argue that NICs can only develop (along the lines of Western economic development) if uncorrupted unions are present.

For this reason, it seems that it might be a good idea to limit the debate to core Western countries.

JMO,

Solid

Air.177
05-20-2004, 12:04
1. Anti

2. No, but that is not to say I wouldn't

3.Yes

4.Yes

5.No

QRQ 30
05-20-2004, 12:11
1. Today, anti
2. No.
3. Yes.
4. Maybe.
5. NO!!

At the turn of the 20th Century, unions were a good force in normalizing labor/management relationships. The did away with the virtual slavery in many industries. Today they are part of the problem. They have priced american labor out of the market.

Unions lost their teeth when right to work laws were passed.

Gypsy
05-20-2004, 19:11
1. Anti. Back many moons ago when people (and especially child labor) were subjected to terrible working conditions, poverty wages etc they served their purpose. Now I think they don't do squat for the employees in general except take dues. Saca's example reinforces my personal thoughts in general.

2. Yes. I was working at a trucking company when I first got out of school and the union went on strike. As an office support person I felt they had no right to affect my employment or my income so I crossed it every day. At first it was all fun and games for them..till the weather turned brutally cold. While I was well liked I did get some grief for crossing, which I ignored....besides my dad was the warehouse manager and would have eventually kicked the heck out of anyone that laid a hand on his baby girl. :D

3. Yes

4. Yes

5. HE** NO!

CPTAUSRET
05-20-2004, 22:29
I'm opposed to labor unions, I believe they are selfserving, corrupt, and no longer serve any useful purpose in this country.

Terry

Roguish Lawyer
05-20-2004, 22:36
No union guys here?

NDD!

Air.177
05-20-2004, 22:40
Originally posted by Roguish Lawyer
No union guys here?

NDD!

Yeah, Yeah, I guess that means that I am for "Oppressing the People" and that I am "The man" that's keeping them down. Screw it, I'm on the list anyway:D

The Reaper
05-20-2004, 22:57
Originally posted by CPTAUSRET
I'm opposed to labor unions, I believe they are selfserving, corrupt, and no longer serve any useful purpose in this country.

Terry

Concur.

They had a role, but it is no longer to better the life of the worker.

TR

Roguish Lawyer
05-20-2004, 23:34
OK, my answers:

1. Do you consider yourself generally to be pro- or anti-union? Why?

Anti. I don't think they help their members much anymore, they are generally corrupt, they raise prices and they cause work stoppages that I don't like.

2. Have you ever crossed a picket line? Under what circumstances?

Yes. Most recently, I intentionally shopped at the grocery stores that were the subject of a strike. The demands being made by the strikers were just ridiculous and out of touch with reality. In particular, they refused to contribute to the cost of health insurance despite the fact that this is now something that every employee I know (including myself when I was an employee) does.

3. Do you believe that unions tend to be corrupt organizations that do not serve their members well?

Yes, and I have seen it in action. I used to run political campaigns and had some exposure to unions and their management.

4. Are unions anti-consumer?

They can be. They increase prices. I don't blame them for seeking higher wages, though.

5. Do you care about union endorsements when you vote?

Yes. When a union endorses something, I am more likely to vote against it and vice versa.

Solid
05-21-2004, 02:15
The market, including labour market, has a way of finding its own equilibrium. To create general labour conditions that allow this equilibrium to involve humane health and safety regulations and a 'fair' wage level (subjective, I know), Unions can play a part. Past that point, however, they hurt the market more than they help it.

JMO,

Solid

eyes
05-21-2004, 13:10
...........

NousDefionsDoc
05-22-2004, 13:47
Originally posted by Roguish Lawyer
No union guys here?

NDD!

Yes? Oh the union thing...

The bourgeois have, as always, taken over the control of what was ostensibly the voice of the proletariat. The union is no longer capable of protecting the worker class. I am therefore ambivalent. However:

Unions are mass organisations of the working class whose primary role is to achieve the common demands of their members. They are fundamentally defensive organizations. A good union can not only improve workers' lives, win more leisure time and a better standard of living, they can also change governments and make very significant changes across society.
Capabilities of the Union for the worker: A union sets goals for itself in tune with the aspirations of its members, but it can only accomplish what the majority of its members are willing to support. The goals of the unions are generally confined to the following areas:
1. Issues of Respect: Workers are often mistreated by the boss through verbal or physical abuse: from constantly degrading remarks to sexual harrasment and assualt to a complete lack
of empowerment: never listening to workers suggestions, advice, comments, etc.
2. Wages & Benefits: The vast majority of workers are not paid according to the full value of what they produce — if all workers in a workplace were paid this full value, then the boss would have nothing to survive on, since labour is the source of all value! Further, as inflation eats into the value of their wage, workers are constantly having to fight for increases in pay and benefits. Workers who don't get these annual raises are in fact being paid less money (even though their wage remains the same) since the value of money is continually decreasing.
3. Hours Worked: The vast majority of workers in the world are over-worked: required to put in more hours than is socially necessary in order to create profits. Unions can force the boss the hire more workers, instead of constantly increasing the burdens on existing employees. The union can also ensure that in emergency cases where someone must work over time, they are fairly compensated for (contrary to popular understanding — overtime compensation is compulsorily only for unskilled workers in a handful of countries). Further, if the union can grow strong enough a command a role in society, they can take the next step
2 of 12 in limiting the amount of wasteful labour — work for the military industrial complex or writing endless reports for the boss that are never used, for example.
4. Working Conditions: Many workers do not work in a healthy or safe work place environment. There is sometimes little prevention of potential dangers, protective gear is often old and ragged, there can be various factors (high stress) leading to psychological problems, etc. Occupational health and safety is the most unifying issue a union can pursue: even the most conservative worker can become totally irate if they believe their health and safety is
being threatened. Legally binding standards can often result from such struggles, which means that when they are enforced a union delivers real benefits for their members while winning to its ranks people who would otherwise never join a union.
5. Job Security: In most countries (including the US) a boss can fire workers at will, for no reason at all. A few countries however have laws against firing workers without due cause, and some countries don't allow firing to take place based on discrimination or union organising -- but that doesn't stop the boss from firing that same worker for any other reason.
With a union, any disciplinary action taken against a worker may be subject to a procedure negotiated with the union, which guarantees a level of natural justice through union representation.
Capabilities of the Union for the working-class: A Union is capable of greater victories than simply winning concessions from the boss for a particular group of workers who have bargaining power. While the immediacy of the workers' own needs are the real basis for creating the union, strong unions can achieve greater victories for the working class.

NousDefionsDoc
05-22-2004, 13:49
1. (Poll question included) Do you consider yourself generally to be pro- or anti-union?

Ambivalent due to the capitalist control of most unions.

2. Have you ever crossed a picket line? Under what circumstances?

You must be joking.

3. Do you believe that unions tend to be corrupt organizations that do not serve their members well?

No more than the bourgeois exploits the proletariat in general.

4. Are unions anti-consumer?

Irrelevant

Roguish Lawyer
05-24-2004, 10:12
Originally posted by NousDefionsDoc
if all workers in a workplace were paid this full value, then the boss would have nothing to survive on, since labour is the source of all value!

Stop! You're killing me! LMAO

QRQ 30
05-24-2004, 10:44
Folks: an across the board pay raise is a myth. The only way to increase your real pay is to be promoted or change to a higher paying job.

I suffered through several federaly mandated raises in the minimum wage under Carter. This isn't about the union but the principle is the same. The "Cost of Labor" on the company's Profit and Loss Statement remains the same -- before and after the raise., say 15%. You may ask how. 1. Prices are raised as high as the market can bear. Thus the money comes out of the consumer's , (labor's) pockets. 2. The rest is made up for with the magical term "productivity" -- more work from less people. Labor again loses through lay-offs. Another hitch in raising the minimum wage is that everybody up the line will want a raise, especially if their pay suddenly matches that of new-hires.

Maas
05-26-2004, 20:21
Here are some of my thoughts:

Capabilities of the Union for the worker: A union sets goals for itself in tune with the aspirations of its members, but it can only accomplish what the majority of its members are willing to support.
- Most unions follow the lead of the elected officials. Who have their own agenda. Which does not usually look past the next contract. Long term employment in a global market should be the goal.

1. Issues of Respect: Workers are often mistreated by the boss through verbal or physical abuse: from constantly degrading remarks to sexual harrasment and assualt to a complete lack ...
- Workers are more often mistreated from other union members than the "boss".
- Department of Labor or local law enforcement should be used.

2. Wages & Benefits: The vast majority of workers are not paid according to the full value of what they produce — if all workers in a workplace were paid this full value, then the boss would have nothing to survive on, since labour is the source of all value! Further, as inflation eats into the value of their wage, workers are constantly having to fight for increases in pay and benefits. Workers who don't get these annual raises are in fact being paid less money (even though their wage remains the same) since the value of money is continually decreasing.
- The vast majority of manufacturing union labor in the US is overpaid.
- Materials, burden, labor and profit determine the full value of the product.
- Labor is not the source of all value. Anything that is added to a part that increases its price is considered "value added". Moving part A to the end of an assembly line is not, but it does require labor.

3. Hours Worked: The vast majority of workers in the world are over-worked: required to put in more hours than is socially necessary in order to create profits. Unions can force the boss the hire more workers, instead of constantly increasing the burdens on existing employees.
- N/A for US manufacturing.

4. Working Conditions: Many workers do not work in a healthy or safe work place environment. There is sometimes little prevention of potential dangers, protective gear is often old and ragged, there can be various factors (high stress) leading to psychological problems, etc. Occupational health and safety is the most unifying issue a union can pursue: even the most conservative worker can become totally irate if they believe their health and safety is
- Unions were one of the reasons OSHA was founded. They protected the workers and drew attention to poor working conditions.
- Occupational health and safety is now more closely watched by OSHA than the unions.

5. Job Security: In most countries (including the US) a boss can fire workers at will, for no reason at all. ... but that doesn't stop the boss from firing that same worker for any other reason.
- In most case it does.

Capabilities of the Union for the working-class: A Union is capable of greater victories than simply winning concessions from the boss for a particular group of workers who have bargaining power.
- This statement reflects the conflict between corporations and unions. " capable of greater victories " , "winning concessions from the boss" represent an adversarial relationship. In this global market neither can afford this stance. If we don't work it out the Koreans (or others) will continue to make it cheaper, faster and just as well. We all lose.

.. Maas steps off the soapbox.

Sigaba
05-17-2011, 01:39
1. (Poll question included) Do you consider yourself generally to be pro- or anti-union? Why?I am ambivalent towards unions generally with the exception of those representing players in the major American sports (basketball, football, and baseball) as well as those unions representing actors, writers, directors, and craftsmen in the TMZ.2. Have you ever crossed a picket line? Under what circumstances?Yes. Once, during the UFCW strike of 2003-2004 in L.A. I had to get some materials that were to be shipped that day so I shopped at a Von's that happened not to have any picketers that day. 3. Do you believe that unions tend to be corrupt organizations that do not serve their members well?More and more, I believe that union members and their stewards are corrupt individuals who do not serve their locals well.4. Are unions anti-consumer?Yes, but then many cases, so is management. 5. Do you care about union endorsements when you vote?Yes. I'd think twice about supporting a candidate who had the support of unions that I especially despise.

JJ_BPK
05-17-2011, 10:18
I have a very hard time distinguishing Leftist Marxist Community Organizer Labor Activity and Unions,, in the current world context.

150 years ago unions were created because of the repressive conditions imposed on workers by the Robber Barons. The cause was good and the unions were successful in helping labor achieve some sort of non-slavery existence.

BUT,, Marx and a select cadre extended the effort into trying to create a classless political manifesto.

Unions became the political arm of the Marxist, with the past still fresh in the minds of workers. The focus changed from working conditions to politics very quickly.

Teddy Roosevelt with his "Square Deal" was probably the last Republican that was a labor advocate.

Today, countries that have non-communist dictatorial style governments are frequently brought down by the masses,, being led by "labor" when in fact these are not labor at all but Marxist Community Organizers posing as the down trodden.

Current Unions in politics and Historical Unions in labor,, not the same..

Today it's all about the politics of the Left..

Be advised, I do not support nor do I advocate dictatorial forms of politics,, in any form..

But I do selectively see relationships that can be economically justifiable..

An example is the USA's relationship with China and most of the oil producing countries on the Middle East.

A man's got to chose a middle ground between the good and the bad..

:mad::rolleyes::confused::cool:

DaveMatteson
05-17-2011, 10:27
1. (Poll question included) Do you consider yourself generally to be pro- or anti-union? Why?

I am generally anti-union but voted for the union when I was working with NASA Protective Services because it garnered us a 9$ an hour pay raise. When I was with the State of Rhode Island Property Police AFSCME was our union and they were worthless. I slipped an fell in a hangar that flooded and they kept calling me telling me to file a workmans comp complaint. I took a day off to let the bruise form and went back to work. Then that night the union rep, one of the patrol officers, placed his hand on his weapon and said I should file a complaint. I pulled out my union card and ripped it up in front of him. I left the following month when the Airfield contract for 8 AGR USAF Security Police officers was signed.


2. Have you ever crossed a picket line? Under what circumstances?
Yes. The state ACI was on strike and we crossed to take their positions as prison guards. They went back to work not long after we arrived.


3. Do you believe that unions tend to be corrupt organizations that do not serve their members well?

My cousins husband worked for NYNEX when they went on strike. He was told that as long as he didn't work and he showed up on the picket line he would get 100$ a week from union funds. He ended up getting 100$ for the month and a .10c pay raise.

4. Are unions anti-consumer?

Yes, because they cause the manufacturer to have to raise prices to compensate for the union pay raises.

5. Do you care about union endorsements when you vote?

No one influences my vote.

mark46th
05-17-2011, 10:27
The public employee unions here in California have gotten themselves into a huge publicity mess. The unions, for all intents and purposes have become part of a money laundering scheme for the poiticians in the state, especially the Democratic party. Public employee unions donate annually in excess of $200 million a year to political parties, candidates, etc. The public has realized that their taxes are being rerouted to the people who determine how much state taxes are paid. The obvious state sponsored corruption has pissed off a lot of voters.

DaveMatteson
05-17-2011, 10:41
Just before I left Rhode Island for Alabama I worked for a friend of my father who owned a security company. One of the last jobs I could have worked at twice the pay was security for a company (Warren Oil Company) who were a non-teamster cartage company. There was talk that the teamsters local was going to picket Warren Oil because they failed to unionize (they pay their drivers better then the teamsters were).

I was asked if I wanted to work and turned it down. On that saturday of the picket line the teamsters broke down the fence beat all the security guards unconscious and trashed the place including the private vehicles owned by the guards. They trashed trucks, opened spigots, and stole money, a safe, and personal property. Thugs.

Fortunately before being knocked out on of the guards had the sense to toss the video camera he had up on the roof. The tape convicted 13 out of about 40 teamsters.

1stindoor
05-17-2011, 11:37
My father worked at the local, state, and national level of the IAM and the AFL-CIO after he retired from the USAF and before he passed away. His job was to go into the maintenance shops early and try to convince workers to organize before the union vote. We never saw eye to eye on unions. My nickname for him was "Antagonizer." He strongly believed in the power of unions to fight for the individual but couldn't see the damage done to those same individuals at the national level.

From his union obit.

...During his career, XXXXX held numerous positions such as Local Lodge President, District 776 Delegate, President of the Wichita Falls Trades and Labor Council and Vice President of the Texas AFL-CIO, District 9. He was an IAM Apprentice Organizer before his appointment to the Southern Territory Staff.

“XXXXXXX was a very hard working representative who never stopped at the end of an eight hour day,” said General Vice President George Hooper. “He was a very successful organizer, winning five campaigns his first year as a Special Representative. XXXXXX was an honest man with unquestionable character and high moral standards. I really loved the guy. He will be greatly missed by all the Southern Territory Staff.”