Published: Saturday, Dec. 8 2012 12:00 a.m. MST
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
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