There has been some interesting moves by the Republican majority in many states to push through right-to-work legislation. This would cripple unions in a lot of ways. Are you for or against right-to-work?
http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2 … ttack.html
That you are forced in some states to pay money to an elite group that will then control your employee/employer relationship in order to have a job has never seemed quite right.
I don't think membership of a union should be forced, and I don't see why it should mean the end of unions. It just means unions have to do more to convince workers of the benefits of joining. If they can do that, then the unions' position is strengthened because they would have a stronger mandate. I can see why unions wouldn't like it though, as it's a threat to a guaranteed income.
The unions are so weak because of this economy and the bad press they continually receive. With good paying jobs at a premium I don't see the dynamic changing very soon. And with the continued decimation of the middle class I don't see it coming back soon. This is exactly as the plutocracy that runs our government has wanted and worked for many years to achieve. We (the American Voter) have been asleep at the wheel for just as long. The division is becoming as it is in most elitist class systems where the lemmings are left to beg for scraps. Remind you of anything? Trickle down or Voo Doo economics never worked and the industries that kept the economy humming were all about war and destruction. This is one category in the world where we are unsurpassed. The plutocracy has us buying their weapons, fighting their wars and selling us a bunch of lies to boot.
I hope I live long enough to see the day America comes out of its' catatonic comma of political awareness and throws the book at these career criminal politicians and self seeking corporate whores.
Term limits, publicly financed campaigns and lobby reform are our only hope.
Interesting! Haha. So does that mean you are against how unions conduct their business?
I also think that if you do not join, you shouldn't automatically get the terms they negotiate. At that point it would be up to the boss whether they extend those terms to non-member employees.
The few employers I've come in contact with operate in that manner. The choice is up to them as to how much they pay non-union workers. All of them (only a handful I've knowledge of) pay the same whether union or not, though.
Effectively allowing non-members to parasitise the union. Not very free market of them.
If the union doesn't want to be "parasitized", go elsewhere. Did you consider that it isn't very free of the union to require an employer to hire no one not paying dues? If the union wants to dictate who may work and who may not perhaps they should build their own factory...
Unions parasite the marketplace and artificially drive up the cost of living, so - sounds fair to me.
Ah yes, wouldn't it be great to get back to the 19th century before all these namby pamby liberals stopped us from employing women and children to get the coal out of the ground.
You do know that child labor, at least in the US, was in decline before the child labor laws unions claim as one of their great accomplishments. Unions also claim, at least in the US, that they are responsible for the 40 hour work week, despite most Americans, union or not, already "enjoying" the 40 hour work week. As for women in the work force, isn't that the hallmark of the modern workers paradise?
I do not oppose organized labor, I oppose compulsory membership. If a union cannot sell itself to its members, like many other organizations, than it should not prosper. If a clear demonstration of the benefits of belonging to a union is insufficient to convince people to join or management to accept union partnership, than the union has merely proven its superfluousness.
"Child labor began to decline as the labor and reform movements grew and labor standards in general began improving, increasing the political power of working people and other social reformers to demand legislation regulating child labor. Union organizing and child labor reform were often intertwined, and common initiatives were conducted by organizations led by working women and middle class consumers, such as state Consumers’ Leagues and Working Women’s Societies."
And are you serious? The strength of unions back then helped push through the Fair Labor Standards Act. They would be the ones who: voted for it, lobbied for it, put money towards its' fruition. To say unions "claim" this like they didn't have any influence is false.
Here's a good read.
The Fair Labor Standards Act was not the leading edge of social change, government rarely is. Most often changes begin prior to government acting. I did not say that child labor was made illegal prior to union involvement but, quite clearly as quoted, that it was in decline prior to union involvement. Why was it in decline, because child labor is terrible inefficient where adult labor is available.
Why should "I" pay for the benefits that unions bring if I can get them without paying for them?
Actually it was the great depression that finally halted child labour. There were too many men willing to work for child wages that it no longer made sense for employers to use children.
I would agree to no compulsory union membership if a way was fund to stop none union members from benefiting from advances made by unions.
There is a reasonable argument to be made that unions have driven up the price and driven down the quality of American products contributing to the increase of domestically produced automobiles of foreign brand and the flight of consumers from American brands.
There is a perfectly reasonable counter argument that increasing pay for workers drives up the quality of products.
See Henry Ford, he didn't nearly double wages as a philanthropic act.
There is, of course, a point of diminishing returns. In way of comparison, in a United Auto Workers plant if a shelf, rack, chair or desk needs to be moved to a new location it is against(or was, things have changed since my last personal experience)for anyone but a member of a specific work group to touch those objects. This wasn't so in Japanese owned plants, where the practical, rather than the contractual, was the paramount consideration. Unions go far beyond merely pursuing increased pay.
Ford's actions were by no means philanthropic. It was a purely practical matter. He wanted to create more consumers for his product, a capitalist motive if there ever was one.
It was indeed a purely capitalist motive which flew in the face of capitalists today, who feel they need to pay as little as possible.
His motive wasn't only to create more buyers for his cars, that would have been silly, it was also to drive up quality and most importantly buy worker loyalty.
Loyalty and quality are also capitalist motives.
If loyalty were a capitalist quality then we wouldn't be having this discussion.
Bad employers have trouble finding and retaining employees. Good employers do not. In my home state there is a world famous company renown for its employee retention and benefits. It has no trouble keeping employees and less trouble finding qualified applicants. Unions are an impediment to companies establishing a quality relationship with employees who award their loyalty to the union, not the company. Some employers do not understand that all employees are self-employed, in so far as all employment is voluntary. Some employers think of their employees as just another capital expenditure, this is, ultimately, self destructive as a good employee far transcends mere economic productivity.
Once one understands that the worker voluntarily provides a product, his labor, to a customer and that this relationship is, like all human relations, best when open, honest and respectful, than of course loyalty is a capitalist value. An ordinary consumer of a common product from a common vendor, i.e., hamburgers from a franchise chain, can switch product and vendor for any reason. Service, price, environment, convenience can all engender loyalty to either the product or the vendor. If the product or the vendor fails to satisfy the customer, loyalty can evaporate.
That makes loyalty a capitalist value. A ball club that routinely holds fan appreciation events is engaged in a capitalist action. Just as Ford did with his pay raise.
It must be great to live in a country with full employment and no exploitative employers!
It seems to have escaped you that we were not discussing good employers but bad employers to whom loyalty is a dirty word.
So a group of workers band together, they are "Trained" to do the job in question are parasites? If you have an MBA you deserve a higher wage why? because of training. I am trained and proven to do the "Manual labor " task or SKILL . The college set have termed this "skillset" I deserve more than some putz off the street with no training because of my "skillset" . Maybe it's true, The meek shall inherit the earth. Why should i work for 12- an hour when I can get 35- ? I deserve the money I get' why? because I have proven this ,Day in Day out. There are no protections at my job. If someone better comes along I can lose my spot.I am most likely better at my job than you are at yours. Why? I could lose it any day. Union and Proud If you don't have any experience with union work you should refrain from commenting.You have no idea'
You don't think an employer should have a right to fire an employee?
Is that why right to work states enjoy more job creation and lower unemployment?
Right to work(right to fire) usually has no safeguards for the employees. The employer can fire anyone without any notice. Hoe does that help employee morale and retention if they are constantly anxious about losing their jobs?
Incidentally an employee can quit without notice as well.
How does the right to quit without notice provide safeguards for the employer, which depends on the production of every employee to maintain output? They must be anxious, too, knowing that tomorrow they may be missing the key person on the assembly line.
Quality employers seek good employees who will offer years of good service. They do things to retain those employees by offering incentives to continue in its employ. The responsibility of a business is to satisfy its customers, this requires retaining quality employees. Retaining good employees is a capitalist value.
Employees could ALWAYS quit without notice. Like all relationships, employment is completely voluntary and a free exchange between the parties. Unions capture loyalty from both the employer, removing an incentive to voluntarily create a productive, safe, rewarding workplace and the employee, removing any deeper commitment to do good work, bring a positive attitude and increase his value to the company. If unionism was a marital therapy technique, it would move into the couple's home, demand to set the menu, charge large fees, dictate terms for all communication and NEVER leave.
I would buy a union that acted as a temporary means of improving the relationship between employers and employees, but that is not the mission of a union. The obvious mission of a union is to rip off employer and employee alike to fatten the bellies of union bosses and the politicians they purchase.
Does this mean were for or against organized labor ?
Why don't we try " telling it like it is " . Unions in America , at least , have and are continuing to destroy the work places , the ethics of good workmanship and so the economic livelihood of once great companies and institutions , in employee-ship there is a new mentality and it's called , " I want more ". ! I want top pay and bennies , even though I just started in my career , even though I am a mediocre worker with less than stellar work ethics , .....
In the United states :
-Our entire education system is in failure mode top to bottom.
-the cost of a college degree is too high .
-the local tax level responsibilities .for elementary education is too high and failing to produce.
-The auto industry is the new a welfare industry..
-Institutions like the postal system are failing. .
-Federal government employee-ship is growing constantly. .
-Once great companies are moving constantly to avoid union employee takeovers of profit margins.
-The military industrial complex everyone loves to hate - union run companies.
Organized labor , without regard for company success , is blind to the fact that profits are what grow and motivate a vibrant economy. Not the subsidizing of employee pocketbooks , Not the dictating of socially acceptable incremental wage earning ., The only successful economically gainful economies are those that are subsidized by other , more productive economies .
Greece , France , Spain are all examples of union fed and lead economies that exist only under the umbrellas of more successful economies . Notice how these countries economies were the first to fail in the latest economic world down-turn . Street riots even ensued when their governments began cutting benefits a couple of years ago.
The beginning of organized labor is the beginning of a companied downturn in profiteering , OH No I said that dirty word ! Profiteering !
I'm not sure what crazy wages (top pay) you refer to? I worked as an electrician here in FL. and they were unionized. The starting pay was $12.00 an hour with a decent raise every year. Sure, companies need to make a profit. But that can't be at the expense of human rights. It comes down to if you believe a human life is above a companies ability to make money. I do agree that unions can conduct themselves in a way that degrades the system, but they also can be beneficial. Majority of your points, also, have nothing to do with unions.
What "human rights" do you refer to? To put companies out of business because employees want more money than is available?
Your $12 per hour, if Fl. is like Idaho (where I was an electrician) was being paid for work that a 16 year old, with zero skills or work ethic, could do. How is it reasonable to require pay 50% above what it is worth?
The right to make a living wage and not get screwed over by a multi-million dollar company. We automatically differ in opinion on this, so let's refrain from discussion on this point as it will go no where.
And I am not sure what your second question is? The job I did as an electrician was definitely worth the $12 an hour starting. Especially since the first year you are doing all the shit work: digging the ditches, hauling the conduit, etc. etc. Not to mention the union paid for your continued education in the field. If people were payed crap wages for laborious work like that of an electrician, there would be little incentive to go into the field. Then there would be no workers to make those companies money.
A wage starting at what amount and where? Surely an electrician in NYC would starve on $12/hour. To what base does one tie the indexed wage? Is it the cost of living in NYC or in Tuscaloosa? Is the living wage predicated on Bill Gates' wages or on the wages of a motel maid? What it costs to live varies, not only from city to city, but from person to person. This is one of the reasons why all price fixing by government is destructive, wages are the price of labor.
That is why there is more government micromanagement on a state level than federal. States have successfully risen their wages to account for inflation. I've written an extensive hub on this if you'd like to read it, and we will agree to disagree.
One of the more frightening things I have read, written so casually.
Why is that?It is the truth.That is why there are local and state governments.
No, there are local and state governments because government effectiveness is directly related to proximity. The most intimate functions of government, trash collection, fire fighting and policing, are best performed by the most intimate government - local. There is no abiding necessity for government to command that a specific price be paid for a specific product, i.e. the wages for labor. Micromanagement is commanding what light bulbs you must use, how many gallons of water you get to use to flush your toilet and what kind of automobile you will drive - perhaps you are right - we already live in tyranny.
Micromanagement is what the state and local governments do. You and I may have differing opinions on what "micromanagement" means, but yeah, that is the sole purpose. And if every person was allowed to live a life not bound to a social contract, there would be anarchy. People need structure. And remember, every piece of legislation that exists within state and local government, exists because the people voted for it (Not the most informed of people I might add).
governments that manage people, how progressive.
We do not live in a direct democracy, if we did there are many things that would not be law because legislators often work against the will of the governed.
You're trying to say that a job is worth more because you don't like doing it, but that doesn't follow. Jobs that require no skills (hauling pipe, pushing a broom) are simply not the same value as those that require a skill or knowledge set regardless of how odious you might find them. Without the need for skill or training a job cannot be "worth" more than minimum wage, and maybe not even that. "Worth", after all, isn't just defined by you, it is defined by the employer as well and by how many people will do it. If 50 people just entering the job market will carry pipe for $8, but think it should pay $12 because you don't like doing it, the $8 wins every time.
You do realize, as an apprentice, you are LEARNING on the job? Did you not say you were an electrician as well? Physical skill, the act of doing something that hones your body, is still a skill. And labouring is a needed commodity which means it can demand a wage fit for the skill required to work the specific field. Take garbage truck drivers. You'd think, "they jsut pick up garbage all day." Yeah, they are, for an average of $18 an hour. That is only physical work. Nothing else.
Also, by your last statement, you believe that a majority who will do the work for a certain price will win out with the employer. So when a large enough group, large enough to designate a majority, believes they should be paid the $12, then what? At that point, said employer either appeases their employees by meeting them half way or those employees go to an employer who pays what they believe they should be paid. I've dealt with union and non union electrical companies. I've seen good and bad on both sides, but the worst of the worst came from non union.
What does learning on the job have to with the value of the work being done, except to show it isn't worth what an already knowledgeable employee does?
Yes, when the majority of employees get together and form a union, they can win out. They can also bankrupt the company and/or lose customers from too high a finished product price (look at Detroit for an example).
My experience is different; as a non union employee I've had the union fill our conduits with concrete. I've had union employees on a non-union job spend most of their time recruiting instead of working, and I've had them intentionally do the work incorrectly. I've seen union employees set a limit on how much work they will do in a day; limits that require them to only work a couple of hours in an 8 hour shift. Union apprentices carry only a couple of hand tools, barred by the union from actually working, in spite of being capable of using far more.
My experience is indeed a little different.
Progressive? Those ideals have been thought on since Locke and Hobbs. And that is why there is voting.
"And therefore if any two men desire the same thing, which nevertheless they cannot both enjoy, they become enemies; and in the way to their end (which is principally their own conservation, and sometimes their delectation only) endeavour to destroy or subdue one another." (Hobbes, Pg. 76)
http://fredarnold.hubpages.com/hub/The- … Philosophy
Have you actually read the Leviathan? He had a very cynical view on society without government.
There is a lot of value in electrical work since every building in construction requires electrical wiring and components. There's a lot of demand for the service which means the workers have a lot of pull when it comes to wages. I was in the military. I was an electrical technician and if they paid $8 an hour starting as an apprentice (Electrical systems on submarines differ too greatly for my experience to count towards a higher starting wage), I would not have even thought about it.
We definitely had to differing experiences. Maybe that is why we differ on opinion here? The IBEW down here is excellent, and I've known non-union guys who have been stiffed for OT too many times to count. Had gotten fired on the spot with no notice. Had their apprentices not have the proper tools. Two ends of the spectrum, each with their own pros and cons.
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