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Unions In the Public Sector No longer Needed

Updated on February 22, 2011

What was the purpose of Unions

 Unions were initially needed to protect the works from poor working conditions, dangerous conditions, and abuse by their employers regarding salaries, company stores and the like. At the start of the industrial revolution workers were needed and in many cases children were used to fill those needs. The safety or working conditions were not taken into consideration, it was all seen as part of the job and dangers that were naturally inherent in the work place. Some of these conditions were known to employers and some were not.

Unions evolved in order to protect the works against these conditions and to protect them from tyrannical employers that viewed workers as financial object used to insure their profits.

Even with unions many of these practices continued, case in point. In 1982 I became a State of California employee. Our union at that time also covered all state workers, and the majority of the workers were teachers. Since my work class was very small and represented less money than the larger portion of union members we were pretty much left at the mercy of our supervisors. Pay was low, working conditions were bad and the good old boy system ran the work place. Several years later we voted in a new union who's primary concern was our pay and working conditions. The first 10 years of the unions rule was good, working conditions were improved, pay and compensation were also approved. However, the union then began to dabble in politics and created funds, from an increase in dues, to spread the cash to politicians. At first the money was dispersed evenly between the major parties. Like all things as the union became more powerful they began to use the political payments to pick winners, thereby increasing the power and prestige of the union and the union bosses. Currently the unions main concern is no longer the workers or their members, but its all about the unions power. They want to increase their membership to increase their income thereby increasing their power.

Are Unions Still Needed Today?

In a word no. Unions have out lived their usefulness, they tend to protect poor and incompetent workers, and only view members as cattle and a source of cash to support their political power.

Today we have federal and state laws and agencies to protect the workers from poor working conditions, and dangerous working environments. Pay is also regulated by the government, the min. wage. Counties regulate the working environment through the local health departments.

It is time for public service workers and unions to understand that their pay and benefits come from the citizens, and that in bad times when we must cut costs, they will be required to share in the pain. I have seen private sector unions vote to reduce pay or work hours to avoid lay-offs and do their part to help their company stay afloat.

Many times as a public sector worker I was forced to stop work, even against my will. Even when I decided to spend my own time, off the clock, to complete a job or duty and was forced by my supervisor to leave. Unions have so regulated the work place and defined duties so narrowly that jobs can not be done in a timely manor or be cost effective, and mostly lack common sense.


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