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

Look at working conditions pre-unions and post-unions you should be able to get an answer



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fatslob-:O said:
XD84 said:
Research how working conditions were 100 years ago and compare them to today. That will answer your question.

Most of that is thanks to a shift in demographics and technology even when most unions were formed a hundred years ago ... 

100 years ago, a notable portion of Americans were still farmers working in unsanitary conditions so I doubt worker unions would've been much helpful at that point ... 

50 years ago, America saw an explosive growth in productivity with the rise in manufacturing which meant higher wages regardless since more value was added to the economy regardless so how exactly did labour policy play a pivotal role ? 

Today, most Americans have jobs in the service sector with an 8 hour work day on weekdays in nearly ideal working conditions and tons of other benefits to boot so how did unions also help us get there ? 

In 20 years, the average American will have 6 hour work days ... 

What all these examples demonstrate is that the key to getting better working conditions lies in a breakthrough with technology rather joining labour unions  in the vast majority of cases ... 

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.



Protection for workers? Sure why not?



snyps said:
ResilientFighter said:
They are great

Because?

Because they are very important for a good economic ecosystem. Some people may disagree, but those are probably people who are not in a Union, or have a business where they don't want a Union involved.

What Unions does best is the the ability to create "Velocity of Money," into a nation's economy. The money flows at a higher rate when the lower income bracket uses to purchase goods and services. Trade Unions that pay really high wages give opportunity to a lower portion of the economic sector to make better purchasing decisions with their newly found purchasing power.

Can a union be bad? Sure, but unions locals are only as bad as it's members; if the members don't care about how it's run, it can becomes a corrupt organization where friends and family lead it, over the most qualified members.

I'm in a union, and I understand that some people just wish to do the bare minimum, or take advantage of worker rights like FMLA, but don't be fooled by the union busting mentality in the USA. They serve a greater purpose. My union provides me with 6 weeks of vacations per year (I can use them all at once, or as i choose), great healthcare benefits, a pension, a living wage, and most important of all, peace of mine. I don't need to kiss a$$ to my boss to be in good terms in my job; All I need to do is my job, and do it right. When you're are dependable, people leave you alone, give you space and trust. You might be given more work, but take it as learning experience to get better at what you do.  When I show my skills to others, it just motivates them to keep up(some don't, but when the majority of people follow, the rest get in line). Lead by example, not by friendship; it works wonders in blue color jobs.

I hope this helps you a little. Good luck!

Last edited by DraconianAC - on 17 October 2018

Peh said:
o_O.Q said:
if unions are a good thing then why would hitler, for example, shut them down?

Will I open the box of Pandora if I ask you: "What the hell are you even trying to say?"

what do you mean?



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Depends on the situation. Sometimes the workers in a particular field need more bargaining rights in negotiations with an employer. Unions are good in this situation because if the employer doesn't agree with a compromise then they lose their entire skilled workforce to strike.

Now, a union in fast food would be basically useless because it's unskilled labor and easily replaced.

A union of engineers, look out...fortunately most engineers are compensated fairly or at least fairly enough.



fatslob-:O said:
XD84 said:
Research how working conditions were 100 years ago and compare them to today. That will answer your question.

Most of that is thanks to a shift in demographics and technology even when most unions were formed a hundred years ago ... 

100 years ago, a notable portion of Americans were still farmers working in unsanitary conditions so I doubt worker unions would've been much helpful at that point ... 

50 years ago, America saw an explosive growth in productivity with the rise in manufacturing which meant higher wages regardless since more value was added to the economy regardless so how exactly did labour policy play a pivotal role ? 

Today, most Americans have jobs in the service sector with an 8 hour work day on weekdays in nearly ideal working conditions and tons of other benefits to boot so how did unions also help us get there ? 

In 20 years, the average American will have 6 hour work days ... 

What all these examples demonstrate is that the key to getting better working conditions lies in a breakthrough with technology rather joining labour unions  in the vast majority of cases ... 

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. 



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Ckorik said:
Things unions are responsible for:
40 hour work week.
Vacations
Sick pay
Child labor laws
Safe working conditions
At least one day off a week for hourly employees.

Unions are generally very important overall to keep companies from being dishonest. When someone with a 'bright idea' figures out you can fire everyone - and have a temp company come in with no benefits - while the temp company hires all the fired people - who take a pay cut - etc. These things happen - today. They are the result of pressure from stock holders and management to 'save every nickle' and spending *all their energy on the job* finding ways to shave money from the worker if possible - which isn't 'evil' or 'wrong' in itself - but becomes so when the individual worker has no power to fight against tactics that harm them. This is why unions are useful - they give vastly more power to the 'worker' than they otherwise would have.

Despite the rhetoric - it is very hard and expensive to sue in this country - cases that make the news are always dramatized - but the truth is you aren't going to sue your employer because almost all states (even the super liberal ones) make it so the employer can fire you for almost any reason - and it's really up to you to decide to work there or not. Yes you don't have to put up with harassment - but it's still legal in all 50 states for your boss to tell you how to cut your hair and fire you if you don't comply with no recourse (assuming you aren't bald due to a medical condition - which is about the only 'out'). Unions tend to stop petty bullshit like this and enforce policy and rules based on contract law - which is strong law. Companies benefit from this because they can negotiate with a single entity - and so they can win concessions that would be impossible to enforce on large working populations otherwise.

The bad side of unions - is that the same contract that protects you from a power monger manager, also protects the idiot screw up - and processes that are put in place to protect workers from over zealous or malicious management can also drag out firing someone who is very bad at the job. This is where a large amount of complaining happens - because it's usually easier for a company to just shuffle someone into a job they can deal with - than to fire them - and everyone grumbles (the company for how hard it is to fire someone, and the workers for having to make up slack for 'screw up bob'). Sometimes people abuse this system - and it breeds resentment. Other large problems with unions - is that power corrupts - and you are just as likely to have a power hungry union boss, that uses the power for bad ends, as you are to have a bad manager that is petty and a pain in the ass to work for.

People forget that - and thus union leadership can become a cesspool - so you need to be careful - however if the union has a good method of electing leaders, and is clear and transparent to the membership - there really isn't any downside to joining a union.

That is an amazing answer. Thank you sir. You won today’s internet as far as I’m concerned. This helped me a lot. Good thoughts. 



DraconianAC said:
snyps said:

Because?

Because they are very important for a good economic ecosystem. Some people may disagree, but those are probably people who are not in a Union, or have a business where they don't want a Union involved.

What Unions does best is the the ability to create "Velocity of Money," into a nation's economy. The money flows at a higher rate when the lower income bracket uses to purchase goods and services. Trade Unions that pay really high wages give opportunity to a lower portion of the economic sector to make better purchasing decisions with their newly found purchasing power.

Can a union be bad? Sure, but unions locals are only as bad as it's members; if the members don't care about how it's run, it can becomes a corrupt organization where friends and family lead it, over the most qualified members.

I'm in a union, and I understand that some people just wish to do the bare minimum, or take advantage of worker rights like FMLA, but don't be fooled by the union busting mentality in the USA. They serve a greater purpose. My union provides me with 6 weeks of vacations per year (I can use them all at once, or as i choose), great healthcare benefits, a pension, a living wage, and most important of all, peace of mine. I don't need to kiss a$$ to my boss to be in good terms in my job; All I need to do is my job, and do it right. When you're are dependable, people leave you alone, give you space and trust. You might be given more work, but take it as learning experience to get better at what you do.  When I show my skills to others, it just motivates them to keep up(some don't, but when the majority of people follow, the rest get in line). Lead by example, not by friendship; it works wonders in blue color jobs.

I hope this helps you a little. Good luck!

Yes this certainly helps me. Gratitude for your kind and useful thoughts



OhNoYouDont said:
Depends on the situation. Sometimes the workers in a particular field need more bargaining rights in negotiations with an employer. Unions are good in this situation because if the employer doesn't agree with a compromise then they lose their entire skilled workforce to strike.

Now, a union in fast food would be basically useless because it's unskilled labor and easily replaced.

A union of engineers, look out...fortunately most engineers are compensated fairly or at least fairly enough.

That does make sense. I get what you’re saying. Many thanks.