Discussion in 'Politics & Law' started by icegoat63, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. icegoat63

    icegoat63 Son of Liberty V.I.P. Lifetime

    In short, have they outlived their purpose which was once based upon preventing child labor, ungodly hours of operation, and unfair wages? Are they even needed anymore in todays U.S. labor force? and finally what is your opinion on Unions?


    Heres the reason I'm yet again jumping on the Union bashing train:

    I am currently employed by a recognized "small business" that employs roughly 10 people. Times are obviously lean due to the economic situation the we are all in so companies like us are struggling very hard to get by. We compete against the larger companies in the same field and we do pretty well in terms of work load in comparison to our size.

    Recently we've been "dog eared" by the local Painters Union who's basically the puppet for the Bay Area Union. In a sense they've got their guns set on destroying our company due to the fact we will not agree to join them. Thats also a direct quote from the Union rep who's threatened us before due to us not being able to come to an agreement in the past with them. Now with things the way they are, its a very good possibility that they'll be able to strong arm my company into the gutter and out of business.

    This is a family business that is being challenged to be put out of business because of the horribly corrupt Union that we'd have to deal with. Need I point out that we were in fact once part of the union, however were being bled dry by insanely high fees that were all soaked up through Union Bureaucracy. We're talking literally $50,000 a month that went straight to the Union in fees... not counting what was taken out of the Employees Payroll.

    So I cant help but wonder if Unions goals are to create better working environment for their Laborers, why do they only cater to Large companies in good faith compared to small business' like this one? That right there to me shows a great example of how horribly unneeded unions are today in the US. Their original goals have been achieved, now why cant they just off and disappear like other Unneeded Special Interest groups.

  2. ExpectantlyIronic

    ExpectantlyIronic e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑

    If nothing else, I have to support unions for the lobbying efforts they employ in the face of the many lobbyists without the interests of labor at heart. Businesses have a lot of money to pump into influencing and getting favorable politicians elected, as well as influencing the public through various means, and labor unions provide a counterbalance to that. Furthermore, how to you prohibit people from cooperating to plan strikes in the face of their demands not being met? Should laborers not have the freedom to cooperate with one another?

    One other thing I will say on behalf of unions, is that they make workplaces more egalitarian. There is something to be said for having rights under a contract, that protect you from having to make the choice between potentially losing your job and thus potentially losing everything you have, or else kowtowing to your employer.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2009
  3. Stab-o-Matic5000

    Stab-o-Matic5000 Cutting Edge in Murder

    I would say that in theory a labor union is a good thing, but in practice, it's not always the case. There are corrupt unions out there that have their own agenda beyond providing a better work environment for workers, but there are also unions out there who do provide a better work environment.
  4. ExpectantlyIronic

    ExpectantlyIronic e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑

    I do think think some laws should be passed to force unions to be more open and transparent to members. The leadership of a union is elected, but that alone isn't enough to ensure they have the interests of members at heart.
  5. icegoat63

    icegoat63 Son of Liberty V.I.P. Lifetime

    Taking into consideration the "Fair Wages" that unions have established here in the states... Wouldnt you say its a fair correlation that companies like Wal*mart who purchase outsourced goods are driven to do so by inflated price wages that unions have set?

    Agreeably we all want money, thats a definite that no worker can deny. I want a great wage, you want a great wage, its just the driven nature of the labor force. So at what point does the Union sacrifice Feasibility with Impractibility in terms of that increased wage rate? I'm not sure how familiar you are with Unions, but just for example purposes... Wage Raises and or Starting Wages are set on a scale that doesnt represent Actual worth of an employee, they are set on Longevity of membership in the Union. Taking into consideration all the increases in worker costs its more than evident that Unions drive companies bankrupt and/or to other means of labor (outsourcing) when Companies have to flat out say "we wont afford you". Taking into consideration that relation is already a negative one on the workforce as it is. All because of an "estimated fair working pay scale" thats been established by Unions.

    All boiled down... trying to say that the Pursuit for that Fair Wage has been completed and any increasing in Wage scales has turned into nothing more than greed. The best way to see that is to look at all the Union employees that are making 20+ an hour for jobs that you and I could easily do for less than 10 and are grandfathers would have killed to do it for 5, but we would both refuse to do so because "why 10? that union guy is making 20 doing it... I want at least 15" right?. Its inflation at its worst and I say its definitely a contributing reason to alot of the debt people get in.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2009
  6. ExpectantlyIronic

    ExpectantlyIronic e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑

    I would contend that saying the "actual" worth of an employee should be defined as whatever he/she would command in the absence of organized labor and various wage laws, is completely arbitrary. We could say the "actual" worth of gold is whatever price it would command without property laws, but how is that any more "actual" than its current value? Most of the arguments I hear against labor unions and the like from an economics standpoint, operate under the assumption businesses are all working at peak efficiency to maximize profits without unions (in a company and amongst its competition), and there is no room for greater efficiency that the increased burden a union places on a company could spur to create the higher wages employees demand.

    Of course, the idea that every company operates at the maximum possible efficiency is absurd. Anyone who has worked anywhere knows that.
    I could go on to say that the artificial leverage given an employer in negotiations with employees when they aren't organized, creates inherently unfair wages for laborers. But then, I am using the tactic of defining the value I think someone should command as their "actual" value, in a bit of semantic trickery.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2009
    icegoat63 likes this.
  7. icegoat63

    icegoat63 Son of Liberty V.I.P. Lifetime

    True, however Gold is an Inanimate object with a demand that creates its worth and Laborers are Animate objects that create their own worth via efficiency and the other Human elements.

    As an estimator I see a vast difference between the worth of the Labor itself and the Laborer. Simply put to match your analogy of gold:

    Gold = Labor (The product of labor itself)
    Gold ≠ Laborers (The human doing the labor)

    and thats where the issues lay. People are earning way to much from these Union controlled work fields and its driven the cost of labor to a very unreasonable area that places stress on field itself
  8. Mirage

    Mirage Administrator Staff Member V.I.P.

    Unions are pointless in most industries today. Any job that you work at for a long period of time might as well simply be hourly or salary period. Unions don't need to get involved.

    I think the only industry I can think of where unions make sense is the acting and talent industry. You're constantly working for different people and companies and it's nice to not have to negotiate pay for every single little job. Companies that have a problem with this can simply hire non-union actors when they need them.
  9. Jeanie

    Jeanie still nobody's bitch V.I.P. Lifetime

    That's the problem right there. The rank and file members don't seem to be concerned about what their leadership is up to. In many unions, leadership has become more like the employer than the representative of the worker. Does that mean unions are obsolete? Absolutely not. There is no way an individual employee of a large corporation can go to the employer and negotiate fair wages and benefits. It's all about collective bargaining.

    unfortunately, the concept of solidarity seems to have been lost.
    No, it's not a fair correlation, because Wal-Mart is not unionized and uses illegal tactics to prevent unionization. Wal-Mart employees are among the lowest paid in this country, despite being one of the most profitable companies. Wal-Mart's heirs are among the 10 wealthiest people in the U.S.

    It's not greed to want to make enough money to not have to worry about being able to pay your bills and provide a decent place to raise your family. If someone else could "easily" do the job for less than 10, does that mean they can/should live on such a wage? And actually, "our grandfathers" (metaphorically speaking) died so that we could make a living wage. Many people died in the struggle for unionization. Before unions came along, people worked longer than 8 hour days without breaks, and still didn't make enough money to be able to support their families. Before unions, there was no middle class.

    Is it so wrong to expect a fair day's pay for a fair day's work?
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2009
    ysabel likes this.
  10. Stab-o-Matic5000

    Stab-o-Matic5000 Cutting Edge in Murder

    Illegal tactics like giving part time workers health care? Also, Wal-Mart employees aren't paid as low wages as you think. Obviously, they're not making 20 bucks an hour on average, but compared to similar retail jobs, they're actually paid pretty well.

    Seriously, what illegal tactics do they use? Enlighten me.

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