Another politicized issue with no grey area.GOP - unions are always
bad. They demand unfair wages and benefits from corporations causing them to be
uncompetitive.Democrats - Unions are always good. Saving the poor
worker from an oppressive corporation that will force worker to work in unsafe
conditions for pennies.How about this. Look at every situation in a
case by case basis and determine where "fairness" falls.Seldom are things black and white.
Re: "I think the unions in Michigan or any state will have very little luck
in taking the First Amendment out of the Constitution."Yeah --
they'll never get it out of the Constitution, but President Obama has shown
them they don't need to. They can just ignore any law or constitutional
provision that stands in the way of their leftist, anti-freedom, anti-American
agenda.Just like the President.
The counter argument could be made that prohibiting unions entirely also offends
the 1st Amendment. George Will's piece that this letter is
based on is full of misleading hyperbole.
Mr. Johnson, a few questions.Do you work eight hour days?Do you work five days a week or do you work more?Do you receive
fair pay for the work you do?Do you have a safe workplace?Is your job reasonably secure?If you answer YES to those
questions, then you need to thank a union.
The reason people in this country have safe work places, fair pay,5 day work
week, and are reasonably secure job has NOTHING to do with unions and everything
to do with employers having to be competitive to attack the talent they need to
succeed in the marketplace. I know; I was once a recruiter and an interviewer
for my employer. If we didn't offer those benefits, the best talent went to
those employers who did! The legacy of unions in America=Made in China.
Opps, my typo, attract talent not attack. sorry
So Mountainman, when you write: "everything to do with employers having to
be competitive to attack the talent they need" that makes me wonder.I wonder why employers have to attack their workers as so many of them
do? Why not just play fair and be honest?
I have to agree with Mountainman when he says, ". . . employers having to be
competitive to attack the talent they need. . . "If employers
would just stop attacking their employees and consider them as valuable parts of
their businesses, there would be no need for unions.
I was pretty good at attracting the best talent. I got a promotion!
@mountainman. You are wrong. You obviously do not your history. Did companies
stop employing young children in mines and factories because they had to start
being competitive? Was emergency egress and fire suppression systems introduced
in building codes and laws because companies wanted to save lives? Or was it
because several hundred people died in the early 1900's because doors in
factories were chain locked by business owners preventing the employees from
getting out? Did business owners voluntarily stop making their
employees 16 hour days and start paying them time and a half after forty hours a
week? Did business owners start offering safer and better working conditions
because they wanted to stay competitive?Business owners started
giving all these benefits because of unions. It's funny you
mention china because a china factory worker can't even afford the stuff
they make. China doesn't even have a middle class and they also do not have
unions. Also why isn't the Chinese worker wealthier than the American
worker? By your definition they should be. They have no unions, no child labor
laws, no environmental laws.
@ Shaun, you make good points but that was 150 years ago. The job market in
America has changed. In today's high tech world, it takes the greatest
creative talent to succeed in today's business world, not child labor. Case
in point, are you earning the same salary today that people did then? That is
mostly because today's jobs are not like they used to be for the vast
majority of Americans. My point was to ATTRACT and maintain the best talent,
companies have to compete with salaries and benefits.As far a China is
concerned, most jobs in China are manufacturing jobs, not high tech jobs and
Americans have voted with their wallets and prefer to pay much less for their
goods made there than they would have to pay for goods made here because union
workers demanded more pay, which means more Americans can afford more if they
buy cheaper goods made in China. Unions and American consumers drove these jobs
MM, if you would take the time to do some research and try reading, you would
learn that the first American businesses to start sending jobs to China did not
do so to seek reduced labor costs nor higher profits. They were hoping to
stimulate new markets in other parts of the world.In fact, shipping
jobs overseas does not appear to have had much, if any effect on the
companies' profit margins nor on prices American pay for those products
here at home. When corrected for other inflationary costs, the greatest
influences on corporate profits and consumer prices have been due to stock
manipulation by some aggressive hedge funds and other shady operators. There
may also have been the influence of foreign investments into some of our larger
corporations which resulted in internal pressures to move jobs and manufacturing
overseas.The real story is so complex and convoluted that it will
probably never be possible to trace it all out. Blaming unions is a carelessly
easy way to find something to blame.
To our good friend Mountanman, "Those who cannot remember the past are
condemned to repeat it." Whether it was last month, last year or 100 years
ago it is true. We have seen middle class wages stagnate as a direct effect to
the decline of unions. I am not advocating unionizing in every situation but you
should recognize the contributions and when unions are in tandem with employers
nothing can stop them when the product is good. Everyone of us have benefitted
from union sacrifice and to deny is shameful. Unions are the best example of
true democracy in action.
A "union boss" doesn't work for free. He wants a percentage of
your wages to do "his" job. What is "his job"? His job is to
get you more money, fewer hours, better working conditions, etc. What if
you're already working "fewer hours"? What if you already have
good working conditions? What if you're already paid more than the value
of your job? What is the result? That company is going to go somewhere else
for its labor!That's the fundamental flaw in "unions".
The "boss" must do something to get paid. If there is no value to what
he is "doing", he won't get paid. You can "strike", which
means that you will have either no paycheck, or a reduced paycheck. You can do
a "slow-down", which means that you're cheating the people who pay
you to work a full shift at full effort for the money that you agreed to
accept.Why not concentrate on upgrading your skills so that you can
always provide a greater value to your employer than the employer expects? Why
not add value to YOUR job? Save the "dues". Invest in yourself.
The right to work is a part of the freedom of any and every American both union
and non-union. When taken as the right to be gainfully employed.The
right to work when taken as the right to choose who will represent us is in
extreme distress whether you are talking politically or business wise. Regards employment, the employee he has the options of joining with
other employee, forming a union and electing the leaders of that union or he may
decline to join with others having the notion of representing himself. There is of course, society and it’s government who represents the
welfare of the worker as a means of providing the best workforce available to
business needs. When a person declines to join with others, he
defaults to being represented by the employer’s chosen and controlled
extension sometimes referred to as a supervisor, crew chief or just boss. This
arrangement often works well. The employee is relieved of having to be
concerned about right and wrong. But if the employee does encounter something
wrong that the employer thinks is right, his only recourse is the quit.
MM, your argument is valid when talking about highly skilled and educated
workers.It does not generally pertain to lower skilled workers.
Any businessman must dread seeing a union rep telling he is going to organize
his plant. Unions are dinosaurs. There are plenty of laws protecting workers.
The teachers union in Wisconsin lost half their membership once they were not
required to join or pay dues. Unions are a drag on the economy and have
destroyed many industries.
@mike Richards. Upgrading your value has really nothing to do with it. Our
Costco workers any more valuable than Walmart workers even though Costco
employees enjoy better pay and benefits? Costco has made a choice to pay more
than the industry average but companies who actually value their employees is
shrinking everyday. Maybe if more companies valued their employees
then unions would cease to exist.
If business was a football game.The business team would be the
offensive team. Comprised of well trained, coordinated, highly incentivized,
professionals. Before each play they would meet together and plot the strategy
for their next action. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of each of the
defensive team helps their plan. Their goal would be to get the ball across the
goal line where they would divide up the gate money. The employee
team would be made up of individuals selected at random from the neighborhood to
be paid a reasonable fee for their help in presenting the entertainment for the
crowd. The defensive players would be discouraged from talking to each other
and coordinating their actions. And if some did get together some others might
decline to work together and line up well outside the play area. After all
their pay is the same, win or lose. Of course business isn’t a
game. But the competition is much the same between the management and workers
as many competitive sports.
Unions tore down Eastern European Communism and beat the Societ Union.Not Capitalism, not the Military, not eve Ronald Reagan.It was
Workers UNIONS.BTW - It's also why Communist China has
out-lawed Unions.We would not want the People having the power or the
right to Assemble and possibly Revolt now, would we?That would be
Oh ya - one other thing --- America didn not have a problem with
illegal immigration entering the U.S. work force when Unions were strong.If you weren't a citizen, Union would not let you in, and you could
not work.The rise of illegal immigration to the U.S. came with these
stupid "right-to-work" laws.Because there was nothing in place to
stop them.But go ahead - praise the Businesses and blame the
Unions.History and facts are on my side of the debate.
I can hardly believe what I'm reading.What would it cost a
business to train somebody to stock shelves? What amount of training is
required? What does that worker have to do that is "special"? What
would it cost to train someone to train a cashier? How many years of advanced
schooling?The reality is that if someone can be replaced with two
hours or two days of training, their value to a company is not nearly as great
as someone who needs a bachelor's or master's or doctorate degree. It
doesn't matter how big a stick a union is pounding with, the cost to
replace an employee is proportional to the skills required not to the needs of
that employee. If someone wants to earn a big salary, they had
better spend their time developing needed skills. Demanding more than
you're worth is stealing. Having dozens or hundreds of people marching
around, chanting threats against people who trusted them enough to pay them for
their value, shows only that dozens or hundreds of people can be enticed to
steal together.Invest your money in a business or get training.
@ Mike Richards 12:44 p.m. Dec. 8, 2012Inquiring sarcastically; what
then is the difference between a Union "boss" & venture capitalist?
Some powerful leaders in both Big Business and Big Labor have been corrupted by
the money and influence they wield. But we still need unions as a
counter-balance against the tendency executives have to treat workers as
commodities instead of humans. Their ability to do this has been severely
weakened in their struggles with Big Labor since the 1950's. While I
support right-to-work laws, I would also like to see other federal labor laws
changed to make it easier for unions to organize and press their causes. Another good place to start would be to enforce anti-trust laws against
employers. In case you haven't heard, some employers will conspire with
their supposed competitors, and against their workers, to artificially suppress
wages. The practice is easy to participate in and hard for regulators to
L White said, "...It doesn't matter how big a stick a
union is pounding with, the cost to replace an employee is proportional to the
skills required not to the needs of that employee. "If
someone wants to earn a big salary, they had better spend their time developing
needed skills. Demanding more than you're worth is stealing...."ItIf there are no unions or government regulators to balance corporate
greed, workers will be paid only enough to keep them alive, despite their
education. Oppressing the worker in his wages is stealing. Malachi
said it better. "And I will come near to you to judgment; and I
will be a swift witness against...those that oppress the hireling in his
wages...." (chap. 3, v.5)One worker has no negotiating power
against a corporation. The playing field is inherently tilted in favor of big
Hooray for the union at Hostess. They cost 18,000 people their jobs.Every company should have a training seminar where employees learn how to run
a break-even analysis on the company with each employee required to justify his
wage. Each employee should have to put up twenty-five percent of
his wage into a profit sharing plan so that each time the union makes wage
demands, the employees could share in the losses.Each union
"boss" should have to negotiate every loan required by the company and
guarantee proper payback.Until you own a business, you have no idea
how hard it is to make a profit; but unions don't care about a business
staying in business, just ask the (former) employees at Hostess.
@mike richards. Hostess would of went out of business regardless of whether it
was union or not. If management is more concerned about short term profits and
bonuses than improving the company then it will not survive.
LWhite, your comments are offensive. Richards, I hope you enjoyed your vacation
while the vulture capitalists destroyed Hostess. This was an example in the
extreme that showed one how to destroy a company by company management. Your
comments are misinformed.
Hostess won't be gone.Only the 18,000 employees who had hopes
and dreams of retirement pensions will be lost.4 CEOs in 18
months.Each walked away with Million bonuses for destroying a 100 year old
company.And you blame the Bakers, not the Takers.
Re: "It's also why Communist China has out-lawed Unions."Red China has not outlawed unions. They exist there, much as they do here --
regime-controlled organs for enforcing big-government thought.
Unions shouldn't be necessary at all in a democracy OF the people FOR the
people. But where money rules....Unions pushed lawmakers who
codified 8 hour workdays and overtime laws. You'll notice that exempt
employees (white collar) who were never historically represented by unions
don't have such 8/40 work hour rules/laws. I know plenty of people working
60 hrs a week minimum. If you want a glimpse of what the US would be
without unions just look to Japan. They've even created a word for death by
overwork - Karōshi
Strange how so many posts get "lost" at the DN.
If you want to join a union - fineIf you need to force people, against
their will, to join your union - then you are the problem
Mike RichardsA "union boss" doesn't work for free. He wants a
percentage of your wages to do "his" job. His job is to get you more
money, fewer hours, better working conditions, etc. 12:44 p.m. Dec8---------- ...and healthcare, retirement, seeing that your job
isn't given to illegal immigrants or outsourced. AntiDiscrimination laws? -
Unions.Meanwhile -- As opposed to the "regular boss" who
tries to give you less money, for working more hours, in less than ideal
conditions, ect.?FYI - That "regular boss" doesn't work
for free either. He gets a percentage of YOUR labors. In fact, the more he keeps
from YOU the more he keeps for himself. Paying you is a necessary evil.=================== procuradorfiscalRed China has not
outlawed unions.7:34 p.m. -------Umm yes, they have....The only "Union" in China is the "All-China Federation of Trade
Unions".ACFTU has a monopoly in China and the creation of competing
unions is illegal. As a tool of the government, ACFTU does not act in the best
interest of its members (workers), and does not defend workers' rights.
The DOL has replaced the need for unions as far as working conditions are
concerned. The DOL grew out of the unions as a government task master to
enforce the unions demands. Workers taxes pay for this oversight. Why should
we have forced union membership on top of the DOL?
Right to work laws are not about the Constitution. They are all about killing
Unions funding so that they can not make political contributions. They result
over time in reducing the wage standard in any state adopting them. That may in
fact make a given rigt to work state a competive advantage for corporate
relocation, but the cost is wages that are not much above subsistance.