Trade Unions

Bananas

Endangered Species
#1
In the UK we are starting to see the warm ups to next years elections with the major political parties holding their political conferences and setting out the forecoming agenda. Since the UK has a rocketting defecit they all generally agree that cutting costs in the **public sector must be made. The unions are all sharpening their swords as they know some of this will come in the form of redundencies, wage cuts and other forms of saving that have a direct impact on the worker, for example caps on final salary pensions or technological changes to replace humans with machines.
**this also applies to private sector business.

Currently there is a big dispute between the Royal Mail and the CWU (Communication Workers Union) that is causing disruption as localised striking takes place and a proposed national strike is on the horizon with the run upto Christmas this could cost the economy hard.

What are your views on Unions?
Are they the voice of the honest worker? Are they bullies of the free market?

Whats the best way to resolve a situation when Unions strike? ...especially ones that cause mass disruption at the cost to others.
 

Merc

Certified Shitlord
V.I.P.
#2
I must admit that I'm not knowledgable on the subject, it's one I've wanted to learn about for a while now. However, from the little that I've heard and seen, unions seem to do more damage than good.
 

Jeanie

still nobody's bitch
V.I.P.
#3
A lot of the Unions in America today have been rendered impotent by their leadership, which has sadly become exactly like the employers they are supposed to be negotiating with. They just want their cush jobs and to not have to be on the line/in the field anymore.

Not all, mind you, but many of those that I have experience with.

That said, I am a very strong supporter of unions. An individual cannot go to the employer and say "I'd like $30 an hour, medical and dental benefits, and a pension, and in return I will give you 40 hours of productivity per week" and have the employer say "sure, you got it". This is where unions come in - collective bargaining. This is what has made the growth of the middle class in America possible. Up until recently, a person with limited education (high school diploma) could get a job working on the line or in a construction trade or driving a truck, or whatever manual labor job, and make enough money to buy a house, a new car, food for his or her family, and save a little for their kids' education and retirement. This was due largely to the collective bargaining power of unions.

Sadly, union membership in the US has dwindled to below 12%. If we are not united, how can we have a voice?
 

SmilinSilhouette

Registered Member
#4
I think that there was a time when unions were necessary, as workers were abused and had little chance against a powerful employer. That being said, I think that the pendulum has swung in the other direction where incompetent and unproductive workers can't be fired. Not to mention the unions undue influence in politics and their seemingly lack of of accountability to their members. For example, unions generally support democrats which may not be a reflection of their memberships wishes. Yet the individual member can't put a stop to a portion of their dues being used to support politicians that the individual does not support.