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Click here to go to the next VIP post in this thread.   Old 2012-04-18, 06:18 PM   [Ignore Me] #1
Malorn
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Unions


Meh.
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Last edited by Malorn; 2012-09-11 at 04:23 AM.
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Old 2012-04-18, 07:15 PM   [Ignore Me] #2
Noivad
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Re: Unions


Unions do more harm then good. The purpose of unions was orginally for people who learned a trade and demonstrated through aprenticeship quality work. but that happens no more. Its who you know, how well you know them, and how much you suck up to the system.

hows that for a start.
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Old 2012-04-18, 07:32 PM   [Ignore Me] #3
Vash02
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Re: Unions


Mostly good, partially bad. Most politicians dont know how to handle them so they cave in at their demands.
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Old 2012-04-18, 07:57 PM   [Ignore Me] #4
Figment
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Re: Unions


Originally Posted by Noivad View Post
Unions do more harm then good. The purpose of unions was orginally for people who learned a trade and demonstrated through aprenticeship quality work. but that happens no more. Its who you know, how well you know them, and how much you suck up to the system.

hows that for a start.
What you describe is a guild, which tended to monopolise the trade of particular craftsman in a city as a form of job guarantee by controlling the competition.

Trade, worker or labour unions were founded to protect the worker's from exploitation.


They're good, also for a company, as long as they don't overshoot their goals. By ensuring good working conditions, they help preserve the health (physical and mental) of the workforce and ensure that the workforce can participate in the economy as consumers. By making sure workforce earn a decent amount of money, they keep money circulating in society, meaning more people can make a decent living (also off the workforce by providing goods and services to them as they're capable of paying for said services).


What I don't like about unions, particularly those in southern European countries, starting in Wallonia but especially in nations like France, Greece, Italy and Spain, is that they often use strike (aka blackmail) too early and on very trivial topics, rather than in extreme conditions or as a last resort. In doing so, they really hurt the companies and shoot themselves in their own feet. Often when a company is in trouble and therefore cuts are made on the workerforce or on the salaries, or even if they're frozen, unions will strike to demand no employment losses and a salary raise on top instead.

There are unions that are so full of themselves that they even go against the wishes of a local workforce they claim to protect, because they want to show other workers that the union does stuff for them. Similarly, a lot of unions only want salaries to go up without considering the bigger economical picture. Worse, strikes are often at the cost of the public and general economy. Holding the general public and economy hostage for your own gain is not just counter-productive (also in creating empathy among the populace for your cause).

That's just bad economics. If they were really social when budget cuts for a company have to be made and people may lose their jobs, they could also offer to work for slightly less if it retains jobs for others and get a bigger return in the future when profits are up as compensation.

Of course, when you make budgetary cuts, one should do so on management as well. For it's only logical that you look at your own incomes as well in dire times. Unfortunately, contracts are often badly written regarding management and they get a lot better deals then they should in situations like these. I fully understand people that accept budget cuts are needed, but are then pissed off if managers get a bonus in the millions after 'letting a lot of workers go'. Such a bonus could have been used to employ a lot of workers and that ultimately would have been better for the economy in general.

Personally find it betrayal if management sells of a company to an investor that's going to cut and sell the company for short term profits as well, where the one putting their signature on the deal personally get millions out of it. Unions are one of the few instruments to prevent that sort of damage to the long-term economy for personal short-term gain. Too many productive and profitable companies and corporations have gone belly up that way, often followed by the local economy.


Similarly, I also support unions that oppose the moving of work to another region if their current location is profitable. The economic impact and chain reaction of a factory closing or being sold off for the region is more than enough reason for this. As a company, just looking at profit margins on production and transportation costs is a bit too little reason IMO if you are still competitive and making a decent profit. If you have a holding somewhere (especially if it's been there for some time), you have a bit of responsibility towards that local economy and its suppliers that are dependent on you too. Those people for instance worked years for your company and that's not anything to be thankless for by just moving production to China, or whereever else. It may be very difficult for them to find new jobs.

To me that's more to do with mutual respect, loyalty and working ethics than socialism. But yeah, unions are sometimes a necessary evil that is too greedy, sometimes a very good thing. Just depends on who runs it and how they operate, IMO.

Last edited by Figment; 2012-04-18 at 07:59 PM.
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Old 2012-04-18, 08:03 PM   [Ignore Me] #5
Red Beard
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Re: Unions


Whether it be the employer or the union; both are good, but if either is corrupt, it gets pretty ugly pretty fast.
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Old 2012-04-18, 08:09 PM   [Ignore Me] #6
Figment
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Re: Unions


Btw, speaking of good unions, it was unions that broke the communist political system in Eastern Europe.
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Old 2012-04-18, 08:21 PM   [Ignore Me] #7
Vecha
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Re: Unions


I don't think it is white and black....there is some good, some bad to unions.

Getting rid of them could potentially do more harm then good...

When it comes to education especially...getting rid of the teacher union isn't going to magically fix our Education system...there is ALOT more mismanagement going on than just a few bad apples(which they should be able to get rid of)...

Example of some stupid decisions going on in my county(I am an English teacher)...they recently spent a metric shit ton of $$$$ on a class set of Ipads...THEN spent more money on a laptop for every kid.

This is all being done while a multitude of units are being cut( a unit is a teaching spot....ability to hire another(or several) teachers.

One of several reasons(such as classroom sizes) why I decided to leave public education...tutoring now, and love it.

So...yeah...that's my rant...
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Old 2012-04-18, 10:08 PM   [Ignore Me] #8
CutterJohn
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Re: Unions


Unions are cool if not taken too far. An individual has virtually chance against a company. The only possible action they can take is to quit. Unions help balance the power of the company vs the workers.

Downside of unions is that bad ones can lose sight of the fact that the company must actually maintain profitability.

I'm also rather torn on unions for government jobs. If a union is managed badly enough, and the workers greedy enough, it can destroy the company, and their jobs. There is a certain degree of feedback there that government lacks, since they can't go out of business.




For my money, I believe employee owned companies are the ideal situation. You no longer have the adversarial management vs union setup. Everyone is on the same page. The workers are all about making sure the company is well run, since they are all owners. And the owners are all about making sure the workers are happy, since all the owners are workers.
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Old 2012-04-19, 08:27 AM   [Ignore Me] #9
ItsTheSheppy
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Re: Unions


I think unions are a very good idea; it's one of the few ways large numbers of laborers can protect themselves from wealthy employers who have no real motivation to treat their workers humanely. We've seen what the working world looked like without them. They were invented out of necessity.
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Old 2012-04-19, 09:48 AM   [Ignore Me] #10
Hamma
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Re: Unions


Unions are almost always bad news. Public unions for example of Firefighters, Police Officers etc who try and scrape every last dollar for themselves (our tax dollars) infuriate me.
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Old 2012-04-19, 10:08 AM   [Ignore Me] #11
Warborn
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Re: Unions


Unions are good, but sometimes they can be their own worst enemy. While their purpose is to safeguard the rights of workers and ensure they get a fair shake, and that's a commendable purpose indeed, if they're too successful it can be damaging to the business or even the entire industry they're in.

However, without unions you're back to work schedules where weekends don't exist, where workers can be fired for any reason the employer decides, where they work themselves to death to barely make a living wage, and where people die routinely due to unsafe working conditions. The alternative to unions is pretty grim. Unions exist for a good reason, and that's because in the free market, capitalism is predatory as fuck and will grind people up and spit them out for the sake of saving a buck. You can't trust companies to do right by the people who work for them, so unfortunately unions become a necessity if people want to work in someplace that doesn't resemble a coal mine during the industrial revolution.
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Old 2012-04-19, 10:25 AM   [Ignore Me] #12
ItsTheSheppy
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Re: Unions


Originally Posted by Hamma View Post
Unions are almost always bad news. Public unions for example of Firefighters, Police Officers etc who try and scrape every last dollar for themselves (our tax dollars) infuriate me.
Speaking as someone who is the son of a former police officer, I can tell you that they would be underpaid at twice their salary. I'd much rather my tax dollars go to men and women whose job it is to take bullets for me, or drag me out of burning buildings, than to the salaries of congresspeople who don't represent me.
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Old 2012-04-19, 10:41 AM   [Ignore Me] #13
Quovatis
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Re: Unions


It infuriates me that many people go into a line of work, knowing that the pay will not be that great, then bitch and moan that they aren't getting paid enough once they're there. Teachers are the best example of this, as are many public workers. If you're not comfortable with the pay, find something else to do. Blame nobody but yourself. Don't get me wrong, teachers and police officers are very noble professions, but you need to understand what you're getting into before pursuing that career. Don't bitch after the fact.

I chose to be an astronomer. The pay is pretty low for the 10 years of higher education I invested, but I knew that going in. I love what I do, and I'm not going to bitch about the pay.

A job is not a right, it's a privilege.

Last edited by Quovatis; 2012-04-19 at 10:46 AM.
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Old 2012-04-19, 10:58 AM   [Ignore Me] #14
Warborn
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Re: Unions


Originally Posted by Quovatis View Post
It infuriates me that many people go into a line of work, knowing that the pay will not be that great, then bitch and moan that they aren't getting paid enough once they're there.
So how do you expect teachers or whoever to get raises? Should... maybe cops advocate for teacher raises, while teachers advocate for cop raises? Or should just nobody become either of those professions because society has decided they need to make barely livable wages and never any more?

My sister-in-law is a teacher here in Canada and she makes ~$80k/year with her A-levels. Teaching in Canada is a competitive profession because it offers good wages and the summer months off. Maybe not coincidentally, our education performance is better than American kids (although our universities obviously aren't as good as American ones).
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Old 2012-04-19, 11:41 AM   [Ignore Me] #15
Hamma
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Re: Unions


The solution isn't unions that's for sure. Sadly the solution is a total change of mindset which isn't going to happen.

Being a Police Officer, a Teacher, or a Firerfighter are all very noble professions that are important to society. But to go in and use a union to try and get rich at doing it when there is no money to go around is just totally silly.

I worked in education as a computer tech for the first 10 years or so of my career and I made pennies. But I didn't complain because sadly that's what I was stuck with. I pulled my eject button and moved into private industry.
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Last edited by Hamma; 2012-04-19 at 11:43 AM.
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