Are unions good for us?

I like unions when needed, but whats going on in Wisconsin now is to avoid things like this
http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2012/05/derrick_saunders_denver_cop_reinstated_drunk_driving.php
In the private sector, they can be abusive towards common sense, in the public sector, this abuse appears to be all too common
50 answers Last reply
More about unions good
  1. That depends...... your question is so insanely vague. In certain situations unions are very beneficial.

    Do they need to be restructured? Yes.

    Do they need to be removed? No.

    Is it really fair to say that a corporation gets to maximize profits and the laborer also? People would stay at a responsible company if they were treated fairly. How long would it take for the laws to start favoring corporate profits over employee well being?
  2. Oldmangamer_73 said:
    Short answer, yes. Back in the day they made things much better for the average worker.

    However, presently they are nothing but a political control wing of the Democrat party which launders hundreds of millions of dollars a year and funnels that money to Democrat candidates for election at the federal, state, and local level. In addition, the union worker paying his dues to x union has no say so where his money goes. That's is wrong.

    Pass national right to work legislation to fix this.

    "Right to Work" is a bad joke. If someone doesn't like paying their union dues to finance the union then don't join. But to have to work side by side with scabs who want the benefits of the union without paying their way like everyone else is an oxymoron.
  3. Understand tho, if these people have the same rights as the union workers do, then who loses?
    If they are working side by side, lets say they want to downsize, or someone in management is a jerk, and they fire one of the right to workers, how long before we see more right to workers joining the union?
    I think its an excellent model, keeping the management on their toes

    Adding, also it keeps unions from becoming too large and trying to enforce unsustainable rules
  4. JAYDEEJOHN said:
    Understand tho, if these people have the same rights as the union workers do, then who loses?
    If they are working side by side, lets say they want to downsize, or someone in management is a jerk, and they fire one of the right to workers, how long before we see more right to workers joining the union?
    I think its an excellent model, keeping the management on their toes

    Right to work employees don't put anything on the line. They don't strike when their told to, they don't pay dues....they contribute a big zero.

    Again not all unions are created equal, not all are good, and not all are bad. But speaking from over 20 years in the skilled trades (Iron Workers & now the Pipe Fitters union) I can honestly say that commercial construction work performed by non union workers and sometimes their illegal immigrant counter parts is no where up to par when compared to the union side of it.

    Big business loves their non union workers and just as much they love their illegal immigrant slave labor.
  5. OK, I agree.
    I know a little about your trade.
    However, out in the field, its very hard to control such things, and which is why I agree.
    Im refering more to a factory or brick house model
    And especially the public sector model, where abuse is common by unions
  6. Unions, in my opinion, serve a purpose: To remind those who employ that we are human and we created the backbone, structure, and organs of the corporate world. Doesn't matter what part of the 'corp. world' you are in!

    Here is the deal: Unions should be neutral, like HSV...dormant. They are only allowed when there is stress and can flare up when needed...like an employer is deciding to pay below min wage for the heck of it. When the employer feels the burning pain in their 'mouth', they find ways to sooth it, until it dies down.
  7. Oldmangamer_73 said:
    It's not a joke at all. If you want to work as an electrician, or plumber, as an independent contractor in New Jersey guess what? You can't unless you join the union. That's what right to work means. You can work without being forced to join a union.

    Hell in Jersey, it's illegal to pump your own gas because of union rules.

    I know what "right to work" means and as far as joining a union, that's on a union job which is always commercial job and not residential. If you want to work on a union job site then yes you should have to join the union. If you want to buy your contractors license and bid for jobs then that's anybody's right.

    Right to work means that a non union employee can work on a union job site side by side with union employee's yet not pay any union dues. That is what "right to work" means.
  8. And as I said, this doesnt work.
    Its not fair to the union man.
    However, within a factory it can, as people arent traveling, the employer wants reliable good work, he has to compete to keep his non union people.
    There may be a few advantages to the employer, but depending on the current contract, the non union may be getting treated better as well, in a fair environ.

    In the field, anyone can get hired, and usually does, destroying unions and also allowing for illegal work, and as said, often shoddier work
  9. A union site is where union people are doing work, where you can find several unions, and their people working.
    Sometimes a non union person is allowed, to fill a certain need, but not often and not many.
    The owner of the site knows this going in.
    He collects bids, and goes from there
  10. If its mandated by law, of course there isnt anything that can be done.
    In a normal scenario, both union and non union can make bids.
    Usually a dev will have certain head contractors they use, and they go from there.
    Problem in the trades is, the time and money.
    If its shoddy, its too late, so naturally the smaller jobs get some riff raff.
    Knowledge is power here, knowing whos who, and then that person has a great chance, depending on bid of course, and size of job etc, of getting the work
  11. I will say this/
    Seeing many of the abuses within the public sector and unions, its shows several things.
    The most important is, those who make our laws, and those who recieve monies from unions, and those that dont, each contract is negotiated.
    Allowing in wording thru contract of the abuses we see harms the unions in the private sector, and shows how incompetent our elected officials are, as well as shows their willingness to give to those who have supported them in the past, with monies and words.
    So, mandating unions should be not allowed, in both cases, then the unions should be supported after this.
    Especially in the public sector, where we wouldnt have this problem save for it.
    But, one has to agree if not for the public sector unions, we wouldnt have a somewhat strong union force, where it does exist, within the private sector.

    Rock and a hard place
  12. I am a proud member of the public sector union here in Australia ... probably a bit different to your PSU over there I guess.

    I work hard for my money ... frankly my job is to make money for my employer.

    I have a business development role in govt.

    Our union has an excellent record.
  13. As our economy is not in the toilet like yours we are not squabbling like children and allowing internal divisions to tear our society apart.

    I alrady see rampant nationalism and enough zenophobic behaviour from the US to suggest that is exactly what is happening.

    When your broke its easy to find scapegoats ...
  14. Well, let's look at auto workers. Let's look at Detroit and the union GM workers and compare them to the nonunion Toyota workers in Lexington, Kentucky.

    Or let's look at the Boeing aircraft built in South Carolina. Them there aeroplanes are just fallin' out of the sky left and right due to shoddy workmanship.
  15. Not all unions can be lumped together. Some unions have done themselves harm, and some have done good.
  16. Unions were one of the driving factors for the creation of the majority middle class in America, not sure how you can be against them just because a few of them have overstepped their purpose.
  17. Oldmangamer_73 said:
    Short answer, yes. Back in the day they made things much better for the average worker.

    However, presently they are nothing but a political control wing of the Democrat party which launders hundreds of millions of dollars a year and funnels that money to Democrat candidates for election at the federal, state, and local level. In addition, the union worker paying his dues to x union has no say so where his money goes. That's is wrong.

    Pass national right to work legislation to fix this.


    Launders hundreds of millions of dollars? Really?!? How you can post this kind of blind rhetoric without at least providing some background information is just senseless and only proves what Reynod said about division in America. They donate to the Democratic party because they support keeping the Unions.
  18. johnsonma said:
    Unions were one of the driving factors for the creation of the majority middle class in America, not sure how you can be against them just because a few of them have overstepped their purpose.


    Actually, that's a Union talking point and a lie. Ask a Union rep and they'll tell you they were the reason we also have a 40 hour work week, not a 50 hour. Again, a lie. Talking points for the Union and they tend to target under educated people to join them.
  19. Really? Can you prove that the middle class didn't benefit from unions? Can you prove that having a platform from which to negotiate higher wages was not beneficial to the middle class? What about working conditions? Its easy to call everything a lie and then talk about how they target under educated people to join them when usually people join based on where they get a job. It seems you are arguing from ignorance, have you ever been in a Union or seen one in action? I remember when the Coal Miner's union out here was fighting for a cost of living increase when the company had failed to increase the yearly raise when compared to inflation. The same union that protected their jobs when the company switched hands several times during a rough patch. Lots of unions out here for me to pull both good and bad examples from, for the most part they do a good job.
  20. As fair as taxes.
  21. The testing done shows working 8 hrs a day is optimal for production, those studies were done long ago.
    It wasnt the 40 hr work week, it was child labor, cheap labor etc
    The right to fire en masse was eliminated, these are the things that unions brought, plus safer working conditions etc, and were all good, even for the employer.
    Now, we look into Europe, and we find 32hr work weeks, 6 weeks off a year etc, and full benefits.
    Look whos having trouble.
    Contrast that with our more sensible approach here.

    There is a tipping point, and the more the government applies such things, whether allowed by the unions, or mandated thru law, and we are close in these tough times.
  22. johnsonma said:
    Really? Can you prove that the middle class didn't benefit from unions? Can you prove that having a platform from which to negotiate higher wages was not beneficial to the middle class? What about working conditions? Its easy to call everything a lie and then talk about how they target under educated people to join them when usually people join based on where they get a job. It seems you are arguing from ignorance, have you ever been in a Union or seen one in action? I remember when the Coal Miner's union out here was fighting for a cost of living increase when the company had failed to increase the yearly raise when compared to inflation. The same union that protected their jobs when the company switched hands several times during a rough patch. Lots of unions out here for me to pull both good and bad examples from, for the most part they do a good job.


    I worked around a lot of Unions. Never for one because I don't believe in mediocracy. While I was working my tail off trying to make my company successful, several of our Union locations wouldn't step up to the plate. We ultimately had to close those locations. Those middle class workers were out of a job. The Union did nothing to help them. When you have production equipment that needs to run at 50% to make a profit, 78% to compete world class, and the Union is putting out 22% production capacity, no one will succeed. I saw this at nearly a dozen of our locations that were Union. Every month we went over the numbers and the locations that always performed the worst were Union controlled facilities. Our non-Union locations were paid better and had higher performance ratings. Because their performance was higher, they were paid more. Whereas low performers couldn't get paid more because they were bleeding money.

    My neighborhood fell apart because all of the UAW workers who were overpaid and unable to find a job to even remotely match their overpaid rates. My neighbor was pulling in $70k a year moving transmissions from one line to the other line. It could have been a machine doing that but being Union controlled they had her doing it. She took a buy out of $140k and was broke a few months later. She didn't have a skillset. She eventually took a part time job for $11 working at a hospital in Accounts Payable. Basic stuff. No where near that $70k a year mark for basic work.
  23. Oldmangamer_73 said:
    Yup, and public employee union dues? A double money laundering scam! Democrats have figured our an ingenius way of funding their campaigns with tax payer dollars. Laundering through and through.

    This is indefensible. The fact that you even try speaks volumes. Showing your true colors there john.


    The fact you constantly say the same thing over and over again shows exactly what your about OMG. I wish you would of read the definition of money laundering, it would really help you out. Since you have put yourself in a corner and plugged your ears with your this is "indefensible" comment I guess there is nothing more to say to you.

    I will say to everyone else that Unions were a staple of America back in the glory days that the Republicans keep saying that want to return to. Maybe they have run their course under some sectors but others still use them and thrive.
  24. riser said:
    I worked around a lot of Unions. Never for one because I don't believe in mediocracy. While I was working my tail off trying to make my company successful, several of our Union locations wouldn't step up to the plate. We ultimately had to close those locations. Those middle class workers were out of a job. The Union did nothing to help them. When you have production equipment that needs to run at 50% to make a profit, 78% to compete world class, and the Union is putting out 22% production capacity, no one will succeed. I saw this at nearly a dozen of our locations that were Union. Every month we went over the numbers and the locations that always performed the worst were Union controlled facilities. Our non-Union locations were paid better and had higher performance ratings. Because their performance was higher, they were paid more. Whereas low performers couldn't get paid more because they were bleeding money.

    My neighborhood fell apart because all of the UAW workers who were overpaid and unable to find a job to even remotely match their overpaid rates. My neighbor was pulling in $70k a year moving transmissions from one line to the other line. It could have been a machine doing that but being Union controlled they had her doing it. She took a buy out of $140k and was broke a few months later. She didn't have a skillset. She eventually took a part time job for $11 working at a hospital in Accounts Payable. Basic stuff. No where near that $70k a year mark for basic work.


    Well, thinking that anyone who belongs to a Union is beneath you is going to corrupt your point of view anyways. You never did explain how all the things that Unions did was a lie. Probably because they did do those things and for some reason you don't want to admit it.

    Unions may not have a place in a global competitive market but the concept should never die. Letting management have complete control over their workers is just asking for trouble. If they are a good company that rewards hard work then that is fine. However who decides what hard work is? What if they are breaking their backs and its not enough because the company is run poorly and they expect the workers to make it up by working themselves to death? You have never seen the good a Union can accomplish so I doubt you will ever understand.
  25. Two questions because Im not quite as schooled in unions as some of you.

    How much are union dues per person? Is it a percentage or X amount of dollars?

    How much of the workforce contributes or is a part of a union?
  26. Hmm I did some research and it look like anywhere from 1 % to 3% of wages can be turned into dues. I got that number just from searching online and hitting a few forums where people complained about the amount.

    Now just to play the devils advocate...... If an employee pays 3% to a union and those union boses get him at least a 3% raise if not more, wouldn't they equal each other out? With the employee possibly getting a small benefit out of it?

    Just imagining a scenario where that might be beneficial.
  27. Oldmangamer_73 said:
    Ok, i'll try to walk you through this but I may not be able depending on how big a blockhead you want to be.

    Public employees are paid by tax payers/private sector workers. Union dues are paid by the public employee, who are paid by private sector tax payers, Republican, Democrat, Independent, anyone who works and earns a paycheck. With me so far?? Those collected union dues go overwhelmingly to fund Democrat elections and causes. The public employee just like the private union employee has no say so on how their union dues are spent. This effectively funnels tax payer dollars through the union "cleaners" and ends up in Democrat campaign coffers, unbeknown to the unsupecting tax payer.

    You want to argue over the definition of money laundering according to a wiki article while completely over looking the reality of the above. A good attempt on your part at trying to obfuscate the facts, but it falls pretty flat.

    Who's in the corner with plugged ears again?


    Why do people donate to certain parties? Because the said parties platforms support the position of Unions. You are basically saying that all the rich people and companies donating money through super pacs to republicans are also partaking in money laundering. Not to mention the money has to be earned through illicit means, which it is not. You just want to bash on democrats like always using whatever flamer material you can find. You fail to look at the real reasons and automatically assume the worst because it has to do with people that have different ideologies then you.

    Now lets get the real flaw(s) in your argument. Those public union dues that you keep saying are going to the Democrats is a COMPLETE and UTTER LIE. On a federal level the only thing they can donate is voluntary contributions from their members. Some states you can donate to however. Corporations on the other hand, can donate limitless money through super PACs. So what you are saying is that the people who represent the workers should have no voice in who is elected while the management of the companies they work for can donate unlimited funds to make sure they get people who agree with their views. That is without a doubt an absolutely asinine position.
  28. Federal law says that Union dues cannot be used to contribute to campaigns. Some states have the same laws, others do not. The second that a public worker gets paid that money it is no longer tax payer money and they give it VOLUNTARILY to the union. Look up any union in the United States and you will see that a very small part of their budget goes to political campaigns.

    Also the corporations make that money because of the workers, the workers help create that value. Then it is used to influence politics and when Unions contribute you go all nuts of them for wanting to have a voice. That is complete hypocrisy.
  29. They bus people in, they also rpovide signage, they spend union monies promoting the dems, as the union heads get out in front of their higher up and various constituents within and outside the union, where they have dinners etc.
    So, running a campaign differs how?
  30. If your upset by unions giving politicians money then you should be equally, if not more upset with corporations doing the same on a much more epic scale. I can see why you would be upset with Unions doing this sort of thing but I think it is a drop in the bucket when considering other contributions and influences in the political cycle.
  31. So, the government is paying unions to pay the governemnt to keep union? I'm so confused!
  32. Our Public Service Union is voluntary membership and I don't know what percentage are in it.

    I think it costs me about 8 bucks a week.

    A few years ago we had problems with senior management at work bullying the middle managers and 11 of us wrote them a letter explaining their tactics were inappropriate.

    At a meeting our GM basically said if we didn't like it to move on.

    We went to the Union and they represented us with a lawyer and burned her good.

    We managed to get some of our paperwork duties given to low level HR staff to handle and in return we were able to spend more time with the real aspects of the job, and boosted profits yearly since, from commercial activities.

    The union was the deciding factor in this issue.

    Your unions are different to ours so my point is when you collectively try to trash them please be aware that in other countries things are different.

    That is not to say we don't have issues here either.

    Craig Thompson (and other ex-union and current union staff) and the HSU being a prime issue here at the moment ... how that will go is anyone's guess.

    Our teacher's union does a pretty good job for their members ... their conditions are good.
  33. You guys are not motivated by greed...
  34. There are bad people in any sphere of life ... and a lot more good people fortunately.

    I nelieve any agencies finances should be transparent and open to scrutiny if it is a non profit company.

    Then you can see if the bosses are spending money on hookers or trips to the riviera.

    Unions here provide support to the Labour party ... big business funds the Liberal party ... all donations are supposedly open to scrutiny.

    I guess that is much the same with the dems and republicans respectively?
  35. Looking at whats happening in Wisconsin, where the state workers unions have abused the system, theyve been holding rallies, demanded a recall for the current governor.

    Now, this has been played up hugely by the media here, which is a very important point in all this.
    The unions have created the rallies, pushed for the recall, and soon there will be a new election.
    Again, more rallies as the vote is coming in early June.
    The media up to now has been covering this adamantly, as this is a very philosophical clash of ideals here, as the media and the libs/dems want more spending, believe in a Keynesian ideal, and want nothing to do with austerity type rules.

    One little thing tho, the media didnt say those people were shipped in from all over by the unions, from various states, nor have they taken the lengths to explain the millions of dollars the unions are spending on all this, they acted like this is so wrong, this governor, and the people are rising up on their own, where theres video of some people getting paid to rally and such, they wont show that either.
    So, this deception, and hiding certain facts plays out as a completely upset electorate.

    BUT
    Now, the numbers are in, and the current governor has a good polling lead, which is barely mentioned, if at all by the media.
    My contention then is, the media will just down play this, as they are slowly fading away from this important story, simply because the facts dont align with their ideology, and their friends in Washington.

    So, openly they do disclose some infos, but as long as whats really going on isnt truly reported, those numbers wont be found unless you look for them, which the media wont do, and is left to us.
    We need a change here, not the kind that ignores these things, but deals with our unions in a proper way, supports them, but a separation of political ideology would be nice, like what you said rey, they simply have a choice
  36. I see. Seems redundant if you ask me. My question would be why not take a chunk of it and give equally to ALL political parties. That way we don't have to fight a 2 front war in congress.
  37. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/01/koch-brothers-network_n_1560596.html

    Koch brothers up the ante by promising 400 million to beat Obama and to conservative candidates for congress. Altogether conservative groups want to raise 1 billion dollars to throw at this years election cycle.

    This is not a candidate either I might add. A completely independent group wants to out spend either candidate.

    If they hit their marks they will outspend Obama 2 to 1. Nothing like good old American Democracy.

    You must be as upset about this as you are with unions (That John pointed out can legally give money unless it is voluntarily given by a union member).
  38. But my understanding is you have to specifically say you want to give money to a union PAC. They legally cant take money from your dues to pay for politics. Only dues can go towards the administration of the Union, and well I guess some fairly large paychecks at the top.

    Lets just assume this is true for a moment ( I have a feeling you will disagree), so the employees are giving money to a PAC that supports a candidate by voluntarily giving money. In a corporation that's the opposite, you have workers creating products (Hopefully...) and making money for the owners. The owners of that company can then give an unlimited amount of money to a candidate without disclosing. The Koch brothers could literally make 10 companies overnight and donate money indiscriminately, you cant really do the same with unions.
  39. See I don't accept this as a reality having just setup another supplier account with a private firm Friday in order to bill them for services rendered.

    What you fail to understand is that public service agencies within many governments actually make money for the government.

    In this case the private company overseas wish to use our AQTF system in Australia and our training resources in order to get their staff trained to the appropriate level in a particular course.

    They pay us a lot of money.

    I do this all of the time ... I make money for the government.

    I am not the only one.

    Governments also supply research scientists, economists, and other staff to other governments and private agencies for commercial services.

    Many public servants are involved in commercial activities for their governments.
  40. As we see Gov Walker in Wisconsin win with decent margins, hes eliminated the states debt, hes created job growth, no ones lost their jobs in the public sector and he didnt raise a dime in new taxation.
    This whole concept is working in Wisconsin, and is why he was re-elected after his recall, where no Governor has ever survived one.
    This strikes hard against the public unions, where more than 20% have opted out of union participation in the public sectors after restructuring their abilities to negotiate, and restructuring their benefits packages.
    It has saved the state lots of dollars, no new taxes has allowed for a healthy private sector, and some growth.
    I think it shows how lazy unions actually are towards their unions brothers and sisters, by putting their efforts into a system that was politically motivated, instead of people motivated.
    I just hope this doesnt harm future abilities of unions in some private sector areas where they may be needed
  41. Shows you what outspending your opponent 10 - 1 will do. lol

    I was surprised by how mature the torch passing was, nothing worse than a sore loser.
  42. Oldmangamer_73 said:
    The unions spent $60 million in Wisconsin mingo. What's this outspending BS you are referring to? Just becuase CNN says so?


    Why dont you pull some figure up then?
  43. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57447954-503544/wisconsin-recall-walker-opens-slight-lead-as-votes-are-counted/

    Ill do some more digging because I cant find squat about finances that give a clear easy to understand picture of how the spending was dished out by third party organizations.

    Quote:
    According to the Center for Public Integrity, candidates and outside groups spent in excess of $63 million on the recall election - an enormous figure that easily breaks the previous record of $37.4 million (set in the 2010 gubernatorial contest) for spending in a Wisconsin election. According to the New York Times, Walker and his Republican allies spent $45.6 million on the race as of May 21, while Barrett and his allies have spent $17.9 million.

    Turnout had been expected to exceed the 2010 election total, with an estimated 2.8 million people expected to cast ballots. Reports emerged from Wisconsin Tuesday of robocalls informing voters, falsely, they don't have to vote if they signed the recall petition, among other attempts to depress turnout among Barrett voters using false information. The Walker campaign said in response to the reports that "any accusation that our campaign is making those calls is categorically false and unfounded."


    So this link makes it out to be about 3 - 1
  44. What is interesting is a huge amount of walkers money and then the union money came from outside sources, basically people outside the state decided that election.
  45. "For the recall campaign, Walker took advantage of a loophole in Wisconsin law that allows public officials targeted for a recall to raise unlimited amounts of campaign cash."

    The whole things was rigged!!!

    Seriously though that seems like an unfair advantage to me. By the way OMG where did you get this 30 million from the democratic party and 34 million from the Unions. Everything I look up is significantly lower.
  46. I had heard tens of millions from the unions

    Whats good here is, with a healthy economic climate, wont that then help future spending, for those interested in spending of course.
    The way I see it is, you can always spend more and tax more, thats easy, just attache a few tags on it, and the people will swallow it.
    Its much harder to do what Walker has done, and Keynes probably turning over in his
    grave, and disproves its economics, and better yet, it slows government growth to the level of the private sector or even slower, which removes the weight from the private sectors back.
    This should be a worry to progressives, as if this approach works now, then all the "it doesnt work anymore, its outdated etc" talk is just talk, and just another tag used to raise taxes.
    It also shows that unions arent as needed as proposed, which also collapses the ideas brought about evil corporations, evil rich etc, and brings it to its knees.
    Now, dont misunderstand, as a former union member, and unions strong in my family background, I believe in them, when needed, but Ive also had great experiences outside unions, where they werent needed, and disproves a singular mindset, about greed, money, the rich etc, but again, even so, unions are needed in some places, and I fully support their existence and rights
  47. Fox News, in front of 2 union heads, said theyd heard 20 millions by the unions alone.
    So, its very possible those are the numbers, tens of millions.
    And lets face it, this is a first in the history of the US, and money and influence only goes so far, as locally, free coverage of all the union protests offset much of the differences to begin with.
    So, in an attempt to tag this on evil corporations, and this is really really getting old, lets give it the possibility that the people of Wisconsin have spoken, and Ive also heard as many as 18% of those voting for Walker still favors the Obama admin, which is again, a kick against this tagging, these accusations
  48. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/06/06/2-california-cities-voters-embrace-pension-cuts/

    It looks like the beginning of a new idea.
    Since in reality, people dont want it in their own backyard so to speak, people naturally go after someone elses monies, and is where Im hesitant, just like wealth distribution etc, or progressive ideals, as I see this as potentially harmful.
    Now, all people who think someone elses money should be distributed, this flows in all directions, and needs a serious rethink, as it underminds the entire public sector and its unions.
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