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Old 2012-04-29, 02:18 AM   [Ignore Me] #71
Natir's Avatar
Re: Unions

Originally Posted by Sgt Shultz View Post
I will try to detail a bit more my point. From my interaction with the UAW, they didnt approach the relationship as getting an honest days pay for an honest days work. It was more like equal parts entitlement and a scam.

Several times I went down to the manufacturing floor with concepts that would the reduce the cost of an engine component by reducing machining hours, only to get no participation from the operators. They didn't get the concept of if we make our products less expensive via improvements, that we could sell more engines. All they saw was "Less hours to machine part A = less hours for me = less money in their paycheck". Basic business acumen is completely gone from their thinking.

What you just referenced has nothing to do with unions and everything to do with management. You cannot force your managers to do something they do not want to do, even if it is the best thing in the world. If they do not wish to listen, you just have to bite the bullet on that. Unless you are the one calling the shots, its tough luck but that is in no way a union issue.

I am going to comment on a few items I saw here. One thing about the women's pay issue, it is mostly their fault. When a woman does not get paid as much in today's market, it is because they are not being aggressive enough. Women who are more aggressive at the bargaining table get paid more, pretty simple. That also does not have anything to do with a union. Most of the time for different jobs, unions don't set pay like that. Like in higher education, the initial pay is set by the school, not the union. (Not like janitors or whatnot, but directors, support staff, etc). There is typically a pay grade and it has a range and the place hiring will always start at the bottom. The problem comes from confidence. Someone who is confident in their abilities will be more aggressive and want the higher pay.

Not all unions are bad. The union my dad belonged to was pretty good. They did the things unions were meant to do. He was a pipe-fitter and as such, pretty much every job was contracted out. When the one job was finished, there would be another waiting, something the union took care of. This wasn't no job placement place either, you had the apprenticeship, journeyman and so on that you had to go through. Pay was decent and benefits were pretty good.

When it comes to what workers are supposed to do, it's best to know what the union people can and cannot do. Like the union people being the ones picking up a can of soda off the ground, that is a line of BS, sorry. Most contracts are not that petty. A can of soda on the ground would not be in a contract as you wouldn't just leave that on the ground and wait for the custodian to pick it up... Now, something like vomit would be in their contract and your work would get pretty mad at you if you tried to clean it up. It is considered a bio-hazard and all...

Again, it all comes down to the industry you are working in. Also, don't talk about teachers, they get paid shit. The individuals who are working in the K-12 sector that get paid very well have gotten a master's/phd and have been working for a long time doing that type of work. They earned their wages. Starting out, you don't get paid that well. Also, are they working for a public or private school (for profit) or an alternative school?

I like this quote about why some, if not most, are bad.
The third and possibly the most important reason for the decline in unions is that they are victims of their own success. Unions raised their wages substantially above the wages paid to nonunion workers. Therefore, many union-made products have become so expensive that sales were lost to less expensive foreign competitors and nonunion producers. This resulted in companies having to cut back on production, which caused some workers to lose their jobs, and hence, unions some of their members. Also, the recent shift in this country towards technology and service has made our economy less reliant in the types of industrial jobs that tended to be union strongholds.

Last edited by Natir; 2012-04-29 at 02:20 AM.
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