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The Joys of Labor Unions

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  • The Joys of Labor Unions

    OK, I've been a member of unions on two occasions --- United Auto Workers, and Teamsters -- both times it was NOT of my own free will.

    Thank God, Texas is a "right to work" state, and you cannot be forced to join a union as a condition of employment.

    Now, MOST of us (I think) have stipulated that unions were necessary and helpful at one time. Some of us believe they have outlived their usefulness.

    Have you been (or are you now) a member of a union?
    15
    Absolutely, we need unions
    6.67%
    1
    Yes and No
    33.33%
    5
    No, they have outlived their usefulness - or never needed
    60.00%
    9
    Last edited by Cow Poke; 09-09-2014, 08:27 PM.
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

  • #2
    They are beneficial... for themselves.
    "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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    • #3
      Unions are pretty much a necessary evil. (John Wesley organised one of the first, if not the first)
      And I've seen what happens when union executives get bought by management
      Then we have companies that got the right to enter into union free "negotiations" with employees - in some cases, the outcome threw the workers back to the same kind of working conditions as existed in the 1960s.
      In place of being assured of meal breaks in depots, commuter bus drivers got a nice little contract with no designation of meal places - just had to sit and eat wherever the bus wound up when it was time for a meal break. And a 23% pay-cut to sweeten the deal.
      The next company (drivers there had learnt something from the first company) didn't succeed in getting rid of union interference in contracts . Those contracts included a slightly improved pay over the first company mentioned - the drivers only got a 21% pay cut. And meal breaks were to be allocated at locations with suitable meal facilities. Management defined "suitable meal facilities" as somewhere that had a public toilet - which was a big improvement on what the drivers for the first company had, admittedly.
      The next round of contracts saw the drivers for the first company get no real improvements. Drivers for the second company got a redefined "suitable meal facilities" at least.
      I won't bother to detail the results for workers (in other places) who were gulled into believing unions were evil and unnecessary in this enlightened age. Nobody remembered to inform managements that these are enlightened times. So, the management practices that made unions necessary so many years ago were reintroduced as quickly as employers got the opportunity to do it.
      Last edited by tabibito; 09-09-2014, 10:27 PM.
      sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

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      • #4
        Originally posted by tabibito View Post
        Unions are pretty much a necessary evil. (John Wesley organised one of the first, if not the first)
        So, how do so many companies survive quite well without them, and how have so many union companies crashed and burned?
        "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Cow Poke 296
          OK, I've been a member of unions on two occasions --- United Auto Workers, and Teamsters -- both times it was NOT of my own free will.

          Thank God, Texas is a "right to work" state, and you cannot be forced to join a union as a condition of employment.

          Now, MOST of us (I think) have stipulated that unions were necessary and helpful at one time. Some of us believe they have outlived their usefulness.

          Have you been (or are you now) a member of a union?
          19 70 Bakery and Confectionery workers of America
          ...or something like that. Long time ago.

          one time I when I was new there, sit down outside smoke break , listening to old timers about a strike.
          Dillons tried bring in scabs and old timers thought it was funny how teamsters beat crappy out of them. I kept mouth shut but thinking 'oh great, now I joined with thugs'

          Then I owned couple of businesses.

          later on 1990s
          see what it's like on receiving end during truckers strike.
          Supervise contract cleaning company (as in VENDORS).
          nothing to do with truckers, just bunch old cleaning ladies for offices. Not trucking offices even. Just advertising and sales and accounting.
          but union strikers scared crap out of my poor old ladies they afraid to come back.

          I don't think too much of unions.

          ...or contract labor idea either
          To say that crony capitalism is not true/free market capitalism, is like saying a grand slam is not true baseball, or like saying scoring a touchdown is not true American football ...Stefan Mykhaylo D

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          • #6
            Your poll lacks an option - they were never needed in the first place. From what I recall, wages and working conditions were improving at the best rate in history right before unions started forming here.
            Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

            Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
            sigpic
            I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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            • #7
              Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
              Your poll lacks an option - they were never needed in the first place. From what I recall, wages and working conditions were improving at the best rate in history right before unions started forming here.
              Ah! Hmmmmm..... I haven't run into too many people who thought they were never needed for safety -- coal miners, and such, but... ooooops.

              ETA: I added "or never needed" to the "outlived usefulness", because the effect is the same --- they are not needed NOW.
              Last edited by Cow Poke; 09-09-2014, 11:02 PM.
              "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                Ah! Hmmmmm..... I haven't run into too many people who thought they were never needed for safety -- coal miners, and such, but... ooooops.
                Pick your poison, I suppose - have unions, or gov'mint inspectors, had more positive impact on safety?

                Also, there's the law of supply and demand; if no one is willing to work for you because you're unsafe, then you implement safety measures (or boost wages enough that people are willing to live with the risk) or close up shop.
                Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

                Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
                sigpic
                I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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                • #9
                  I despise trade unions with a passion.
                  "If you can ever make any major religion look absolutely ludicrous, chances are you haven't understood it"
                  -Ravi Zacharias, The New Age: A foreign bird with a local walk

                  Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
                  1 Corinthians 16:13

                  "...he [Doherty] is no historian and he is not even conversant with the historical discussions of the very matters he wants to pontificate on."
                  -Ben Witherington III

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I take the stance that unions had their place in time past, but not at this point in time. (Maybe there are some industries where there are exceptions, I don't know.)

                    It is sometimes argued that unions were never necessary because the market naturally was a corrective... but I would argue that during the strike days of a long time ago, there was hardly a "free market" situation because the police would forcibly break up strikes. I was actually watching a video about a strike about 100 years ago where the NYPD was beating up strikers with no repercussions. So the deck was stacked. But I think it goes too far in the other direction to allow workers to strike and be assured of having their jobs back at some point.
                    "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Personally, I've never worked for a union, though I know of positive and negative experiences with 'em.

                      On one side, some of their perks can be quite beneficial. A friend's kid needed some expensive lenses for his glasses and they were able to cover most of the costs (Canadian Healthcare is NOT all it's made out to be; half the important stuff isn't covered even if your income is below a certain amount).

                      On the other side, I have another friend that was required to pay union dues (even though he was just a Summer Temp worker and couldn't technically reap any benefits). On top of that, they managed to exploit a loophole where he worked nothing but split shifts for two months, 7 days a week... with no Overtime pay. Plus, I've heard of unions pressuring their members to vote for certain political parties/figures... my grandfather worked as a Union Electrician, and he voted NDP out of "Union Loyalty" as he put it.
                      Last edited by Chaotic Void; 09-10-2014, 01:52 AM.
                      Mercenary Maxim 37: There is No 'Overkill.' There is merely 'Open Fire,' and 'I need to Reload.'

                      Chaotic Void's Recommended Advice for Trump's Opposition to Punt him from the Oval Office: Git Gud

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
                        Pick your poison, I suppose - have unions, or gov'mint inspectors, had more positive impact on safety?
                        The latter are the product of the former.

                        Also, there's the law of supply and demand; if no one is willing to work for you because you're unsafe, then you implement safety measures (or boost wages enough that people are willing to live with the risk) or close up shop.
                        Funny how that didn't really work out that way historically, which is how we got indentured servants who were treated worse than slaves. Supply and demand does not guarantee good treatment because frequently the workers have no leverage (except the threat of mass violence) since it's not that hard to get more immigrants to do their work.
                        "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:12

                        There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          With regards to the OP, I voted yes and no. Many of today's unions are utterly corrupt extensions of the Democratic Party (adjust specific party for country) and thus less than useless. Some of them still do their actual job (namely, looking out for their members) so they're not a complete bust. On my end I've worked on a teamsters work site (terrible, pretty much existed so that workers were nearly impossible to fire unless they were really, really terrible) and a carpenters union (very good, no forced membership, if you didn't pay your fee they just kicked you out and people paid because it was well worth the money, largely maintained high wages by being productive and thus worth hiring).
                          "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:12

                          There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            In South Africa I've seen what happens when a trade union works to much political power (COSATU). They were the ones who forced Thabo Mbekhi to resign as President, paving the way for Jacob Zuma to become president.
                            I remember when the security guards union was striking, they straight up murdered a guard on a train who was working.
                            I've had my university campus destroyed by students stoking (I don't understand how students can strike)

                            Here in NZ the unions have worked their way in to now they can dictate who leads the Labour party. (they've got it written in to the Labour's constitution that they have the controlling votes. They straight up tried to destroy NZ's film industry with the Hobbit movies because NZ doesn't require union membership any more.
                            They want to bring that back.
                            The Primary School teachers union NZ often uses school kids to make protest Sigma to complain about government education policy.

                            Yes I think union leaders are scum who we can do without.

                            ETA: I am aware that in the past Unions did some good, but that was a long time ago.

                            Also look up what the Australian Wharfies Unions did in WW2 where they deliberately sabotaged things against the Allies.
                            Last edited by Raphael; 09-10-2014, 03:34 AM.
                            "If you can ever make any major religion look absolutely ludicrous, chances are you haven't understood it"
                            -Ravi Zacharias, The New Age: A foreign bird with a local walk

                            Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
                            1 Corinthians 16:13

                            "...he [Doherty] is no historian and he is not even conversant with the historical discussions of the very matters he wants to pontificate on."
                            -Ben Witherington III

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
                              Pick your poison, I suppose - have unions, or gov'mint inspectors, had more positive impact on safety?

                              Also, there's the law of supply and demand; if no one is willing to work for you because you're unsafe, then you implement safety measures (or boost wages enough that people are willing to live with the risk) or close up shop.
                              I think, particularly in situations like the coal mines in West Virginia, there was pretty much only one option to earn money -- the coal mines. Black lung disease, collapses, poison gas ---- these are the things that seemed to demand unions for safety.
                              "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                              Comment

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