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- demand significant percentages of hard-earned wages.
- drive wedges between employees and employers.
- are far more interested in the preservation of unions and the well-being of unions than the preservation of the members' jobs and the well-being of members.
- appropriate large percentages of dues to many people and organizations of whom many union members do not approve.
- force employers to financially subsidize mediocre performance at the expense of superior performance.
- ' memberships greatly diminish when states become "right to work".
- provide benefits that could be offered more cheaply by employers or by direct (individual or group) vendors of these services.
Particularly if you consider yourself in the top 5% (performance/reliability) of those who engage in your craft, convince me why I should be a union member.
Though I had very bad experiences in my young adulthood as a member of a union, those people and those days are long gone. My emotions have subsided. I will read and consider. I will not argue. This is my first and last post in this thread. Please post with no concerns regarding (at least with me) entering into verbal jousting.
Unions are extremely political organizations. Please strive to talk around the politics of unionization and only (please) discuss how union membership directly affects you and your career/job...
...and please don't delete your posts. ex: Just because I have found that a 36 - 40 hour work week isn't adequate for me to get ahead doesn't mean that (reference a deleted post) a limited work week isn't important to the lifestyle of someone else.
Sorry, I can't convince you. In fact, I can only reinforce your position. I was [under coercion, I assure you] a 32-year member of NEA and it's affiliate state, county and local. We could opt out, but there was no legal protection whatever if you ran afoul of someone on the job. Well, that I could live with, except that I still had to pay my dues! In full! The pragmatist in me said that wasn't a very good deal. So, I stayed in, became a local rep, and tried to work from the inside on getting things changed or, at least, getting a better deal locally for my group. Mixed results and a lot of head butting over the years with my fellow union members, but I can say I at least did the best I could with a stacked deck against us all. The worst was seeing my dues going in massive amounts to political causes with which I did not approve and which I could not exercise any control.
One other brush with unions: Working a summer job with a trucking company, I watched a strike go on for a week or so. It was suddenly ended one day after company trucks somehow blew up, seemingly by spontaneous combustion. Great folks, union leaders with a lifetime "job" paid for with my dues.
I won't even go into my "discussions" with the AFM!
I don't know that I can convince any one person that he should be a union member, but I think it is undeniably obvious that unions (in general) are needed to serve as a check and balance to the power of the company or employer. They would run roughshod over their employees if there were nothing standing in their way. Just as our government has the power split among three branches to keep any one from being to strong, so too, economic power needs to have its checks and balances.
You don't want unions to be too strong, although some claim they have become so, but you wouldn't want to work in an environment without them either. As long as unions have enough power, to raise wages and protect workers, all workers in that sector benefit.
Or is this the 'politics of unionization'?
I have never belonged to a union, never worked where there was one. I work for a pretty decent company, privately owned, but still, once, they said, "We pay competitive wages." That translates to, "We don't pay any more than we have to." I guess this is how being in a non-union state, not having a union, affects me and my job.
My father went to his grave arguing with me on this topic. He was the president of his local union and I was adamently anti-union as a young adult. I was convinced that I could make it happen on my own and was intolerant of the slaker unionist that I percieved would drag me down. I am now older than my father when he died and after being trampled a few times by folks who were able to semi-control my destiny, I have returned to more of a middle ground. My father did as well after he was wrongfully terminated from his job, due in large part because of his union ties, and the union failed to support him. There is a middle ground. We need the unions to keep the bosses from running the workers into the ground and we need the bosses to keep the unions from running our productivity into the ground. I wouldn't have said that 40 years ago but I have changed my outlook. Joe, I wouldn't attempt to convince you to do anything except maybe fix my tuba.
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In 2012, a discussion on this subject must be divided, sadly, between two subjects---'private unions' and 'public unions'....and this is my ONLY post on this subject that I will submit---period!
http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/04/opinion/g ... ?hpt=hp_t2
Why in the world would anyone expect a company to "pay anymore than we have to"? Would you pay $10. for a gallon of gasoline just because you wanted the attendant to have a better life? What you---or a company--- must do is pay the amount which will obtain the product or service you desire. That's it. Can a company get that result without having to submit to bloated union work rules? If so, why in the world will he let a union hold his company hostage?
Lots of companies pay more than they have to when they want to attract better employees, or if employees to do the job are hard to find. Technically, every employer pays more than they have to whenever the job starts at above minimum wage or whenever you get a raise. They could simply hire someone new whenever an employee decides they no longer want to work for the starting salary.
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If you want to look at an argument FOR unions, I say look no further than Wal-mart.
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No, they do not "pay more than they have to" in this situation either; they pay what they need to pay to attract the employees they want/need to do the job the way they want it done. I can pay a laborer minimum wage to work for me in my carpentry business, but I will only get the minimum. My customers demand much, much better quality. Thus, I pay very well, but my demands are also quite high for that wage. And, I get a sufficient rate from my customers to cover the higher-than-industry-standard wages. If I am to attract the level of work I get, I need to pay what I have to pay, although not a dollar more.
Let me start with this: I am a member of a public employee's union (Lane County Peace Officer's Association). This union offers the choice of representation or not (I believe that the requirement for non-representation is a donation to an organization of the employee's choice in the amount of union dues, but I don't know that for sure).
Our bargaining sessions revolve around direct compensation (wages), working conditions (mostly surrounding overtime) and benefits.
Neither side of the house is without dishonor (two county commissioners who have been found guilty of violating open meetings law and a union president who has been arrested for DUII (double parenthesis if I may: both within the last 12 months)).
Here are things that convinced me: Having legal representation when falsely accused of conduct, having internal representation when a supervisor was ordered to write a negative performance evaluation to extend a supervisory probation to avoid paying me extra money for 3 months and remove me from a team that offered incentive pay for participation based upon my gender and my sexual orientation, and providing structure after an officer involved shooting that is based upon best practices rather than putting the person who has just shot someone into a vehicle with a captain (same one that didn't like me much) to "drive you downtown" and just so happen to ask questions like "weren't you a little "trigger happy just now" and "we can get through this quickly so you can get right home to your family if you just answer a couple of questions right away before the union gets here".
Before I worked in public safety, I worked in a non-union grocery. If you worked 40 hours per week you were paid benefits. 10 people worked 38-39 hours a week. No overtime pay for more that 40 hours per week.
I believe that if there was true honor on both sides, there wouldn't be a need for unions. There isn't, we're humans. I know this is personal, and it is what I know personally.
And I won't shop at Wal-Mart.
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