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unions= problems

  1. gmwilliams profile image86
    gmwilliamsposted 3 years ago

    Do YOU believe that unions are the main problems in the United States?  Do YOU feel that unions are causing jobs to be outsourced overseas because of the exorbitant demands of union officials?  Do YOU also believe that unions tend to protect the worst employees that should have been fired instead of being retained?  What is YOUR opinion of unions in the United States?

    1. Silverspeeder profile image59
      Silverspeederposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Why just in the US? Unions seem to be the same all over the world, they certainly are in Europe and definitely the same in the UK, they have become more concerned with their own politics than representation of the workforce.

  2. AMFredenburg profile image80
    AMFredenburgposted 3 years ago

    How could they be the main problem when they barely exist anymore, at least in the private sector? The management of companies make lots of contracts every day, and they use lawyers to negotiate those contracts so that they get the best deal for their company. A work arrangement is an implied contract between an employer and an employee: "I do work for you, you pay me." Why shouldn't workers have the right to negotiate those contracts, and why not collectively with a union?

    There are times when unions go overboard and make too many demands, but one good way to control that is with public sentiment. Where I live, members of the teacher's unions periodically start complaining about how hard teachers work and how little they get paid, when in reality they are getting paid more and getting more benefits than most of the people paying their salaries - the taxpayers. I pointed this out in a blistering letter to the local newspaper, in which I told them they certainly had the right to professional pay and benefits, but that they needed to take into consideration the file clerks, bus drivers and mechanics who were paying their salaries and benefits and who in a lot of cases weren't getting *any* benefits, and that they needed to develop a little respect and a little humility. Not long after my letter appeared, the unions in question came up with an equitable settlement. I'd like to think my letter had an effect. Thing is, I expressed my dissatisfaction, but I *didn't* insist on taking away the union members' right to collective bargaining.

    1. 60
      NewYorkManposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      “Where I live, members of the teacher's unions periodically start complaining about how hard teachers work and how little they get paid, when in reality they are getting paid more and getting more benefits than most of the people paying their salaries - the taxpayers.”

      This is my main beef with municipal unions. The real employers of municipal workers, primarily property taxpayers, are not represented in these union negotiations, but are forced to fund the obligations of the labor agreements that politicians and other bureaucrats reach with unions, whether or not those obligations are economically sustainable.

      I am a property taxpayer in one of the suburbs near NYC and I was laid off several years ago. Ever since, the only employment I have found were temporary jobs with no benefits and for a fraction of the wages I used to earn before I was laid off. Despite my declining income, my property taxes go up every year. Many of these municipal workers retire with pensions that are significantly higher than salaries of taxpayers.

      I have had to borrow money just to pay for necessities and I am far from being alone in this predicament. With foreclosures on the rise, a shrinking tax base and unsustainable salary and pension obligations, this system is certain to collapse.

      The recent announced bankruptcy of Detroit should be a lesson of how inefficient and irresponsible most big city governments are in managing public finances. Detroit’s bankruptcy is a prime example of a corrupt and wasteful big city government. There will be more bankruptcies, like Detroit, coming in the foreseeable future.

  3. Zelkiiro profile image84
    Zelkiiroposted 3 years ago

    If companies are taking their jobs overseas because they're too cheap to pay their workers $9.00 an hour, then I don't think the unions are the problem...

    1. Quilligrapher profile image89
      Quilligrapherposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Nice to see you, Zelkiiro. I found your claim interesting and begging to be corrected. smile

      Companies in the USA are taking their jobs overseas because foreign workers work harder for less and not because “they’re too cheap to pay their workers $9.00 an hour.” I am well aware of the huge hit labor has suffered during the last twenty years. Believe me, I understand and I am sympathetic to the economic hardships endured by American labor as a whole. However, we all need to face the harsh facts.

      Fact: We live in a global economy whether we like it or not.

      Fact: The cost of labor is significantly lower in other parts of the world.

      Fact: America, as a result, has had to deal with two trends.

      In the first trend, production has shifted to those markets in the world where labor costs are among the lowest. The compensation earned by US manufacturing workers in 2011 was $35.53/hour. That same year, the rate was $6.48/hour in Mexico and $2.01 in The Philippines. {1}

      VentureOutsource.com noted "Though manufacturing workers in China are earning more than ever before, average hourly compensation costs were only $1.36 in 2008." {2} With US workers expecting $35.53/hour and Chinese workers expecting around $1.36/hour, it is not surprising most US products are made in China.

      The Second scenario covers cases where production can not be outsourced so the much more competitive labor forces come to us. The truth is they are accustom to working for $6.48/hour in Mexico, they are attracted by our $35.53 rate, and they are happy to work for less. Surprise! Surprise! In addition, they also have a willingness to learn from and respond to the global economy. Meanwhile, too many American workers do not understand why they are not able to find work.   

      On a final note, some McDonald’s workers are protesting with the hope of getting the minimum wage up to $15.00 an hour. Talk about a hopeless cause! Obviously, most of them are too young to realize a machine can replace them.
      Horn & Hardart Automats, NYC’s self service phenomenon of the 20th century. {3}
      {1} http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/ichcc.pdf
      {2} http://www.ventureoutsource.com/contrac … -costs-ems
      {3} http://www.theautomat.net/

  4. psycheskinner profile image82
    psycheskinnerposted 3 years ago

    Without unions my grandfather would probably be a skeleton at the bottom of a coal mine and I wouldn't even exist.

    1. AMFredenburg profile image80
      AMFredenburgposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      I remember in the fifties and sixties when it seemed there were coal mine disasters every few weeks! Unfortunately they still happen sometimes, and it seems that the accidents happen in non-union mines.

    2. 60
      NewYorkManposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Generations ago, when there were outrageous abuses of workers, particularly in regard to work safety and health conditions, unions served a useful purpose. However, with so many increased regulations and safety standards since then, unions have largely outlived their original purpose. I have never been in a union, but I am not against them in principle. However, I am opposed to union greed and inefficiency that costs virtually everyone in out of control taxes and excessive costs of doing business.

    3. Silverspeeder profile image59
      Silverspeederposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      The decline in union membership can be put down to a few factors but one of the biggest factors int he UK was the miners strike of the early 80's where the NUM decided to take on a strong government, don't get me wrong I think the workforce had concerns that should have been addressed but the unions led them into a political war with Thatcher and her government which was at the very least reckless.
      I think after this people had lost confidence in the unions and with the onslaught of privatisation there was less inclination for workers to join unions and pay ever increasing fees.
      The only unions who have seen a increase in membership is the public service unions who for the most part play politics with the membership and the taxpayers.
      There is nothing wrong with the basic idea of the power of the workforce, the Germans in fact embrace the idea with their workers councils, however the unions have become embroiled in political allegiances and strikes are more to do with who the government of the day are rather than what the workforce require.
      I also think its a disgrace that some union leaders think its ok to take salaries of up to £200k a year whilst representing people on £6.19 an hour.

      1. AMFredenburg profile image80
        AMFredenburgposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        I know in the U.S. unions have overstepped at times, which certainly had an effect, but companies have worked hard to get rid of unions, as well, using outsourcing of jobs to places like India and China as threats and often following through. Union representation should be a balancing act; I'd like to see more union representation among workers in the U.S., but I'd also like to see thoughtful union reps that can look at both sides and represent their workers well without unnecessarily crippling companies in the process. And you make a good point about union leader salaries; maybe they should be capped.

  5. Uninvited Writer profile image83
    Uninvited Writerposted 3 years ago

    Happy Labor Day.