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Are worker unions good or bad?

Forums - Politics Discussion - Are worker unions good or bad?

SvennoJ said:

How come the most technologically advanced sector currently has the worst working conditions when it comes to overtime? The software industry could use a union. This rhetoric of it's your own choice to work 100 hour weeks has got to end.

The software industry get's paid well as it is since those individual workers have tons of bargaining powers to begin with ... 

Even when factoring overtime, the profession is still getting far more value for their time and the industry is still maturing too ... 

Final-Fan said:

I advise you to double check the source that gave you this history lesson ... or a better source.  The notion that America's big push into industrialization happened in the 1960s is just incredibly wrong.  There was heavy industrialization going on in the late 1800s.  Take this with a grain of salt because I am going off memory here but I would say the situation grew increasingly intolerable in the 1880-1900 era and President Roosevelt (Teddy not FDR) helped usher in labor reforms that allowed unions to improve the situation for workers.  Instead of being gunned down by federal or state troops or private mercenary forces. 

While yes there was a heavy push into industrialization in the early 1900s and I don't deny it if you read closely in my second statement but it was not manufacturing which was the most common type of labour, it was still very much agriculture and farming ... 

Somewhere down the line american labour in manufacturing peaked within the century as well which became the golden age of industrialization. The situation wasn't all that intolerable since many of the Americans were still poor farmers and manufacturing was still growing in employment. It only got truly intolerable when the great depression hit where mass layoffs occurred and it stunted the growth of the particular industry for a short while ... 

Labour policy ultimately meant very little for the well being of the American worker in the end and most of the untold gains that they reaped was from the emergence new technology itself. Today we live in the golden age of information technology and tomorrow the next golden age will focus on enhancing human genetics ... 

Workers need to accept the reality that the value of their labour is only temporary since increases in productivity with newer technology means that they'll be paid less unless they offer something of higher value again. What are many of the existing unions today going to do in the face of mass automation ? It's an inevitable outcome that labour will get devalued which is why corporations are compelled to replace humans as much as possible hence why our working hours keep getting shorter ... 



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I think in theory something that represents the workers is a good and necessary thing, but i don't have enough practical experience with them to truly know



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Ka-pi96 said:
Tulipanzo said:
When working for any company, whose main interest will inevitably be to make as much money as possible, the only way for workers to have a say is to unionize.

Let's look at Rockstar, which had their employee work 100-hour weeks. Without a union, you couldn't guarantee any adequate extra pay, cut the hours or even complain.
You would have been replaced.


Forming a union is the way to guarantee that the working force can bargain as a group, and get the just compensation it deserves.

I'd actually argue that's a bad example. If you're working 100 hour weeks then your union has failed miserably!

They didn't have a union... That's the point...



Tulipanzo said:
Ka-pi96 said:

I'd actually argue that's a bad example. If you're working 100 hour weeks then your union has failed miserably!

They didn't have a union... That's the point...

Well they should probably get one ASAP then!



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Unions can be good until they get too much power to the point where they are organized enough to screw over people, employers and governments.

Look at France, where unions can paralyze railways and flights with complete impunity. In worse scenarios in Latin America Unions can stop roads, public transportation and can persuade governments to expel companies like Uber and Lyft.

In my opinion, the U.S. does it best.

Last edited by morenoingrato - on 18 October 2018

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huh...



I'm a staunch conservative and unions are a good thing. As long as they don't get too powerful, it's like everything, needs to be balanced.

Unions have done more for the workers that we now take for granted, than anything else.

Businesses have a responsibility not to like them mind you, that's the whole point, it keeps the balance and it has to be employer vs union. Both have their agenda, but if you're a worker, then unions are very good.

If you're a company owner, they are bad.

Join the union if you have one at work. The threat is usually enough.



Unions can be good and bad. It all depends on the leadership and intentions of the Union. Remember though that most people who want power, want it for the wrong reasons and so Union leadership need to be held to account by their members. Another issue is that Unions get involved politically which I think should be illegal. They should represent their workers when dealing with those in power, not try to become those in power.



fatslob-:O said:
Final-Fan said:

I advise you to double check the source that gave you this history lesson ... or a better source.  The notion that America's big push into industrialization happened in the 1960s is just incredibly wrong.  There was heavy industrialization going on in the late 1800s.  Take this with a grain of salt because I am going off memory here but I would say the situation grew increasingly intolerable in the 1880-1900 era and President Roosevelt (Teddy not FDR) helped usher in labor reforms that allowed unions to improve the situation for workers.  Instead of being gunned down by federal or state troops or private mercenary forces. 

While yes there was a heavy push into industrialization in the early 1900s and I don't deny it if you read closely in my second statement but it was not manufacturing which was the most common type of labour, it was still very much agriculture and farming ... 

Somewhere down the line american labour in manufacturing peaked within the century as well which became the golden age of industrialization. The situation wasn't all that intolerable since many of the Americans were still poor farmers and manufacturing was still growing in employment. It only got truly intolerable when the great depression hit where mass layoffs occurred and it stunted the growth of the particular industry for a short while ... 

Labour policy ultimately meant very little for the well being of the American worker in the end and most of the untold gains that they reaped was from the emergence new technology itself. Today we live in the golden age of information technology and tomorrow the next golden age will focus on enhancing human genetics ... 

Workers need to accept the reality that the value of their labour is only temporary since increases in productivity with newer technology means that they'll be paid less unless they offer something of higher value again. What are many of the existing unions today going to do in the face of mass automation ? It's an inevitable outcome that labour will get devalued which is why corporations are compelled to replace humans as much as possible hence why our working hours keep getting shorter ... 

Looking back, I think I may have misread your post.  Sorry about that.  When I read, "America saw an explosive growth in productivity with the rise of manufacturing", I took "the rise of manufacturing" to mean that the proportional number and/or influence of manufacturing jobs increased during that time.  But if you were just elaborating on your point that productivity rose, then my reply completely missed the point.  If so, my bad. 




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Megiddo said:
d21lewis said:
Yet they say "If we didn't have a union, the company would just walk all over us" when it was already a fantastic place to work.

When did the workplace switch to being unionized labor?

A few years ago, some new member of management stood before us and said "You guys are all getting substantial raises. Depending on which area you work in some will get bigger raises than others but nobody is going to lose money." When the time came, we were all given our raises.

$0.00

It turns out the guy wasn't authorized to make such an announcement.

Things only escalated when new employees came in making as much as people who had been there for years. People were saying "This is the last straw".

 

Personally, while it was unfair, my stance was this: If somebody comes in making as much money as I do, what have I lost? If I'm paying $50+ a month to keep someone from making as much money as I do, what have I lost?

In any event, the Union got voted in so I joined it. It hasn't benefited me at all but I still pay dues. In some ways, it's actually hurt me.



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