Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 50

Thread: Unions Suffer Steep Decline in Membership

  1. #21
    JetsInsider.com Legend
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    49,999
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by JetPotato View Post
    What's so hard to understand about the fact that as long as there's someone out there who not only can replace you, but would love to have that chance, then you're not in a position to ask for more?

    Want to know the real reason unions are dying? It's because you keep enabling these idiot control freak politicians whose crap economic policies and social engineering experiments put more people who can replace you out of work. they're decreasing your leverage. Destroying yourselves, making them richer, and they've convinced you to blame some other people.
    Me? My leverage? I'm not in a union. Never have been.

    I was just talking about WFs point about union membership being low and why.

    I don't think membership is low because people don't want to be in a union, there are a number of industries where workers are getting abused bad and if they had a chance they would jump at it.

    Not all unions are about demanding more, some are simply asking for safe working conditions and a livable wage. I think people too often paint with a broad brush on this and many issues.

  2. #22
    Hall Of Fame
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    13,550
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by FF2 View Post
    Me? My leverage? I'm not in a union. Never have been.

    I was just talking about WFs point about union membership being low and why.

    I don't think membership is low because people don't want to be in a union, there are a number of industries where workers are getting abused bad and if they had a chance they would jump at it.

    Not all unions are about demanding more, some are simply asking for safe working conditions and a livable wage. I think people too often paint with a broad brush on this and many issues.
    You're quite mistaken that there aren't people in this country that want no part of paying money to an organization claiming to fight for their job security when they're really the only threat of them losing their jobs outside of their own control.

    Safe working conditions are a requirement of a government organization called OSHA that is already in place. They are extremely powerful and have open phones lines. If you haven't dealt with them, you couldn't possibly imagine the damage they can do to employers if they find you endangering lives. Or even not pro actively making safety your top priority. More and more people realize this service is offered, and they're already paying for it. Unions are a dinosaur when it comes to " protecting workers".

  3. #23
    JetsInsider.com Legend
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    49,999
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by JetPotato View Post
    You're quite mistaken that there aren't people in this country that want no part of paying money to an organization claiming to fight for their job security when they're really the only threat of them losing their jobs outside of their own control.

    Safe working conditions are a requirement of a government organization called OSHA that is already in place. They are extremely powerful and have open phones lines. If you haven't dealt with them, you couldn't possibly imagine the damage they can do to employers if they find you endangering lives. Or even not pro actively making safety your top priority. More and more people realize this service is offered, and they're already paying for it. Unions are a dinosaur when it comes to " protecting workers".
    OSHA is all well and good, but is often time over ruled, as Bush did to the meat packers in 2001. They aren't as all powerful as you think.

    also, if you are an OSHA fan, can I assume you prefer national government agencies to solve problems, rather than it being handled between the two parties?
    Last edited by FF2; 01-25-2013 at 09:26 AM.

  4. #24
    JetsInsider.com Legend
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    37,690
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by FF2 View Post
    It's one thing to have the right to unionize, it's another to have a realistic chance of doing so.
    As long as it isn't the State banning the right to do so. There is no right to be a powerful and successful Union, any more than there is to be a powerful and successful person or business.

    Tell what you think would realistically happen if the employees of WalMart tried to unionize.
    I think Wal-Mart would find other Employees who would be more than happy to perform the work sans Union.

    Can you explain what your complaint with that is? Are you of the view that all potential workers in a field MUST be forced to be a part of the Union, even against their own will and wishes?

    At what point does the Union become no different that a State-based Tyranny, if membership and fees are mandatry to even find any employment in that field?

    For example, what if I want to Teach, but not be a member of the Teachers Unions. How would that work?

  5. #25
    JetsInsider.com Legend
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    49,999
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    As long as it isn't the State banning the right to do so. There is no right to be a powerful and successful Union, any more than there is to be a powerful and successful person or business.



    I think Wal-Mart would find other Employees who would be more than happy to perform the work sans Union.

    Can you explain what your complaint with that is? Are you of the view that all potential workers in a field MUST be forced to be a part of the Union, even against their own will and wishes?

    At what point does the Union become no different that a State-based Tyranny, if membership and fees are mandatry to even find any employment in that field?

    For example, what if I want to Teach, but not be a member of the Teachers Unions. How would that work?
    So going back to your original point...I'm saying people aren't in unions because that don't want to be, (which seemed to be your point) other outside forces, such as being replaced, are the reason.

    I don't believe membership should be mandatory.

    There are plenty of teachers in my town who are not in the union.

  6. #26
    JetsInsider.com Legend
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    37,690
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by FF2 View Post
    So going back to your original point...I'm saying people aren't in unions because that don't want to be, (which seemed to be your point) other outside forces, such as being replaced, are the reason.
    Implies a direct, point-to-point, corrolation between being in a Union and being fired. That corrollation does not exist.

    The reason why Wal-Mart, for example, would replace Union Employees is because the Union would do what Unions do, strike for better benefits (as Wal-Mart's compensation and policies are roundly the target of Pro-Union speakers).

    Wal-Mart, in turn, understands that their labor is only worth a very small amount and is easily replaced. As such, when the Strke would occur, that would be when the Union employees would be terminated, not before.

    It would be the choice of the Union, not of Wal-Mart, that would create the replacement situation. In point of fact, it is the over-valuation of Wal mart's labor that would be the direct cause of the problem.

    It must be pointed out, some labor is simply not worth that much, no matter how much people bemoan not getting a "living wage".

    I don't believe membership should be mandatory.
    Then we at least have a small point of agreement.

    There are plenty of teachers in my town who are not in the union.
    So in Mass. (if I recall your State) you are not required to be in the Teachers Union to Teach in a Public School?

  7. #27
    JetsInsider.com Legend
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    49,999
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    Implies a direct, point-to-point, corrolation between being in a Union and being fired. That corrollation does not exist.

    The reason why Wal-Mart, for example, would replace Union Employees is because the Union would do what Unions do, strike for better benefits (as Wal-Mart's compensation and policies are roundly the target of Pro-Union speakers).

    Wal-Mart, in turn, understands that their labor is only worth a very small amount and is easily replaced. As such, when the Strke would occur, that would be when the Union employees would be terminated, not before.

    It would be the choice of the Union, not of Wal-Mart, that would create the replacement situation. In point of fact, it is the over-valuation of Wal mart's labor that would be the direct cause of the problem.

    It must be pointed out, some labor is simply not worth that much, no matter how much people bemoan not getting a "living wage".



    Then we at least have a small point of agreement.



    So in Mass. (if I recall your State) you are not required to be in the Teachers Union to Teach in a Public School?
    Its my belief that if a WM employee even spoke of organizing they would be let go, far before any strike occurred. But all this is besides the point, I was trying to address your original point that if so few people are union members that means they must not be good. Thats a logic failure right there that you yourself would point out if anyone else every said it.

    That is correct. You are not required to belong to the union in Mass. Many young teachers do not for the first few years.

  8. #28
    JetsInsider.com Legend
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    37,690
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by FF2 View Post
    Its my belief that if a WM employee even spoke of organizing they would be let go, far before any strike occurred.
    Is there any evidence of that, beyond personal opinion speculation?

    But all this is besides the point, I was trying to address your original point that if so few people are union members that means they must not be good.
    Then I believe you may have misread my point, as in point of fact, I didn't make a point, I asked a question based on the apparent conflict between Union membership reporting and the statements of Union Leaders regarding the benefits of Unions to workers.

    The question is if Unions are as good as it's members and leadership claim (them, not me, and I'm not contesting the point here), then why is only a constant declining percentage, now close to 10%, choose to work within a Union.

    Your view appears to be that the reason is any attempt to Unionize will be met with mass firings of all involved.

    That is correct. You are not required to belong to the union in Mass. Many young teachers do not for the first few years.
    Why would they choose not to? Why would older teachers choose to? What pressure is laid down on them by the Union and other Teachers to join, if any?

    Given your previously stated marriage to a Teacher, can you shed some inside light on the decision-making process there?
    Last edited by Warfish; 01-25-2013 at 11:24 AM.

  9. #29
    JetsInsider.com Legend
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    49,999
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    Is there any evidence of that, beyond personal opinion speculation?



    Then I believe you may have misread my point, as in point of fact, I didn't make a point, I asked a question based on the apparent conflict between Union membership reporting and the statements of Union Leaders regarding the benefits of Unions to workers.

    The question is if Unions are as good as it's members and leadership claim (them, not me, and I'm not contesting the point here), then why is only a constant declining percentage, now close to 10%, choose to work within a Union.

    Your view appears to be that the reason is any attempt to Unionize will be met with mass firings of all involved.



    Why would they choose not to? Why would older teachers choose to? What pressure is laid down on them by the Union and other Teachers to join, if any?

    Given your previously stated marriage to a Teacher, can you shed some inside light on the decision-making process there?
    Maybe not a point, but you asked: Why is Union membership 11%, and not 90%? The exception, not the rule?

    The Walmart opinion comes from my reading or constant Frontline watching (liberal puke stuff).



    This is all ancedotal, but you asked...

    Many young teachers choose not to because they cant imagine paying dues to someone who they have no idea what they do for them. Its all new to them and the thought of it doesn't even concern them. (I got my job, what do I need you for?) It isn't until a few years in, when they get the lay of the land and they see their place in the system that they pay more attention to it. Its VERY rare to see a teacher under 35 even attend a meeting.

    Most eventually join when they begin to see (or care) about the power structure of public education. The public outcry over "massive" benefits etc, can make someone very concerned about their future and organizing really seems like the best move. Self protection is out most powerful instinct AMIRITE?

    As far as pressure I am sure some is put on, I'm not naive, but I will tell you one of my wife's oldest friends hates the union yet they get along. We are talking about middle aged women here...not longshoremen.
    Last edited by FF2; 01-25-2013 at 01:46 PM.

  10. #30
    JetsInsider.com Legend
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    37,690
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by FF2 View Post
    This is all ancedotal, but you asked....
    I did, I understand the anecdoal issue, and I appreciate your sharing it. Thank you.

  11. #31
    Jets Insider VIP
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    4,217
    Post Thanks / Like
    We should at least be able to agree that there's a difference between a union that "fights against unfair practices" vs. one that "fights for every penny they can get".

    I'm not saying one is right or wrong, just that they're different. I'm a public school teacher, and it's nice to know I have someone defending me if I ever need it. But we're currently in a contract dispute, and I can't even support my side in good faith because IMO they're being unfair in their requests.

    Again, I don't blame them for trying to milk everything they can out of a negotiation, but that's a far cry from defending me against unfair treatment/termination, and that's why I think so many people don't see unions in a positive light, especially in today's economic climate . . .

  12. #32
    All Pro
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    greenwich village, NYC
    Posts
    8,125
    Post Thanks / Like
    I have to say, I'm really mixed on this whole issue. I remember as a college kid working for a mining company (Steelworkers Union). I was doing menial labor on the night shift and after about a week I figured out how to do the job more efficiently in half the time. I went to the foreman and proudly explained to him my suggestions for improvement. I didn't make it more than about twenty minutes when the Union rep showed up and pulled me into a room. "Hey, college kid, never, never do that again!" he told me. "You have suggestions, you run em through us, cause when you leave for college, we're going to have to work twice as hard." That left a bad taste in my mouth, but I dutifully kept my mouth shut thereafter at risk of having my tires slashed.

    On the other side, now long in management, I can see some benefits of our Union, which is not all that powerful but omnipresent. It does slow down the process of simply dismissing employees, encourages at least attempting to help people succeed before throwing in the towel, or consider more humane options when detailing or reconfiguring staff, etc. The days of Union strangleholds on employers in the U.S. seem to be fast fading. This is at least in part because Unions have not really succeeded in win-win approaches to management, as well as pro-business decisions of the high court. Short run gains have often been at the expense of company profit margins and resulted in company failures or massive lay-offs.

    Perhaps today the courts and legislation are the better path to securing the basic rights, minimum wage, safety, etc. of workers. I'm struck by Apple's audits of their supply chain to weed out child labor in the face of public outcry and brand image damage. Perhaps what we need is not Unions, but profit-sharing. That way, workers are seeking the same goal as managers/CEO's...

    Anyway, this is not a black and white issue, as far as I can see.
    Last edited by long island leprechaun; 01-25-2013 at 03:47 PM.

  13. #33
    All Pro
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    6,648
    Post Thanks / Like
    The problem with public sector unions is with the pension system and labor relations laws. When the State mandates a defined pension benefit without providing municipalities with any clarity whatsoever as to the cost of the plan the end result is a mess. Unions are often great for the workers in the system until they lose their jobs. They are best for public sector workers because the jobs can never be lost so the tax payers get soaked. In the private sector they also work to create an adversarial relationship between employer and employee which culturally is not an ideal corporate environment. LIL's anecdote was the perfect example.
    Last edited by chiefst2000; 01-25-2013 at 04:20 PM.

  14. #34
    JetsInsider.com Legend
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    49,999
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by chiefst2000 View Post
    They are best for public sector workers because the jobs can never be lost so the tax payers get soaked.
    I don't this this is the problem as teachers get laid off all the time.

    The problem is the defined benefits plans, rather than the retirement reality that the rest of the country has come to know.

    (hellllloooo....paging southpark....)

    The idea that you will retire with fixed benefits from any company is dead but it lives on in the public sector. But the writing is on the wall.

  15. #35
    Hall Of Fame
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    13,550
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by FF2 View Post
    OSHA is all well and good, but is often time over ruled, as Bush did to the meat packers in 2001. They aren't as all powerful as you think.
    Really? Mind sharing what your personal first hand experience is with OSHA? I deal with them on a regular basis. You're going to have to come with something stronger than a single inaccurately depicted anecdote from 12 years ago out of the thousands of OSHA-driven actions that take place every year to sway me towards your opinion from what I know (not what I think). OSHA most definitely is not "often time over ruled", I assure you.

    Quote Originally Posted by FF2 View Post
    also, if you are an OSHA fan, can I assume you prefer national government agencies to solve problems, rather than it being handled between the two parties?
    Your first fallacy here is the assumption that I'm an OSHA fan. I do recognize that they do serve a meaningful purpose, much like the FDA, but sometimes go about it in ineffective and harmful ways. I respect them mostly, but I believe there's certainly room for improvement. So no, I'm not a "rah rah OSHA" guy, nor do I want to see them eliminated.

    Additionally, my opinion of OSHA certainly has no bearing on my opinion of other regulatory agencies and government action that have completely different purposes, jurisdictions, leadership and implementation methods. This isn't an all or nothing game.

    OSHA does wield a very large stick. In addition to promoting and enforcing safety culture in working America, they, unlike any union, have the means for actual recourse for safety violations, injuries, fatalities, etc. No union can fine a company millions of dollars. No union can unilaterally shut down operations, no questions asked, at the drop of a hat. No union can prosecute those who endanger the lives or safety of others. OSHA can and does. Prevention is of course the primary focus, but they also have the ability to act when safety is violated.

    Add to that the layer of litigation in civil courts, poor public relations and other repercussions, and employers in this country have more than enough incentive to communicate with and protect their people. This notion that unions are required for the "protection of the safety American employees" is as meaningless as it gets. Argue all you want that unions serve other purposes, but spare us that tired line with no basis in reality. That may have been the case in the post-Industrial Revolution era, but OSHA has been here since 1970, and we've come a long way in mass media. Hazardous work will always be present as long as human beings are employed. But risks are assessed, mitigated and communicated. And no one if forced to take them against their will.
    Last edited by JetPotato; 01-25-2013 at 05:38 PM.

  16. #36
    JetsInsider.com Legend
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    49,999
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by JetPotato View Post
    Really? Mind sharing what your personal first hand experience is with OSHA? I deal with them on a regular basis. You're going to have to come with something stronger than a single inaccurately depicted anecdote from 12 years ago out of the thousands of OSHA-driven actions that take place every year to sway me towards your opinion from what I know (not what I think). OSHA most definitely is not "often time over ruled", I assure you.



    Your first fallacy here is the assumption that I'm an OSHA fan. I do recognize that they do serve a meaningful purpose, much like the FDA, but sometimes go about it in ineffective and harmful ways. I respect them mostly, but I believe there's certainly room for improvement. So no, I'm not a "rah rah OSHA" guy, nor do I want to see them eliminated.

    Additionally, my opinion of OSHA certainly has no bearing on my opinion of other regulatory agencies and government action that have completely different purposes, jurisdictions, leadership and implementation methods. This isn't an all or nothing game.

    OSHA does wield a very large stick. In addition to promoting and enforcing safety culture in working America, they, unlike any union, have the means for actual recourse for safety violations, injuries, fatalities, etc. No union can fine a company millions of dollars. No union can unilaterally shut down operations, no questions asked, at the drop of a hat. No union can prosecute those who endanger the lives or safety of others. OSHA can and does. Prevention is of course the primary focus, but they also have the ability to act when safety is violated.

    Add to that the layer of litigation in civil courts, poor public relations and other repercussions, and employers in this country have more than enough incentive to communicate with and protect their people. This notion that unions are required for the "protection of the safety American employees" is as meaningless as it gets. Argue all you want that unions serve other purposes, but spare us that tired line with no basis in reality. That may have been the case in the post-Industrial Revolution era, but OSHA has been here since 1970, and we've come a long way in mass media. Hazardous work will always be present as long as human beings are employed. But risks are assessed, mitigated and communicated. And no one if forced to take them against their will.
    The mere fact that OSHA can be overruled at all makes it a flawed system.

    I worked in commercial type-setting business, we did things such as film processing, etc, made printing plates, tons of exposure to toxic chemicals.

    OSHA sent us a poster every year. There's no way OSHA can get to every business in the country.

    I will always prefer that issues be solved on a local level between workers and management rather than a government agency.

  17. #37
    Hall Of Fame
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    13,550
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by FF2 View Post
    The mere fact that OSHA can be overruled at all makes it a flawed system.

    I worked in commercial type-setting business, we did things such as film processing, etc, made printing plates, tons of exposure to toxic chemicals.

    OSHA sent us a poster every year. There's no way OSHA can get to every business in the country.

    I will always prefer that issues be solved on a local level between workers and management rather than a government agency.
    If that's your preference, fine. But it isn't reality - OSHA is here and they're here to stay. And the fact remains that their existence nullifies the need for unions to be America's supposed safety police. So quit claiming it.

  18. #38
    JetsInsider.com Legend
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    49,999
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by JetPotato View Post
    If that's your preference, fine. But it isn't reality - OSHA is here and they're here to stay. And the fact remains that their existence nullifies the need for unions to be America's supposed safety police. So quit claiming it.
    LOL....I disagree with you so I have to shut up? I don't think so.

  19. #39
    All Pro
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    greenwich village, NYC
    Posts
    8,125
    Post Thanks / Like
    I have no love for WalMart's corporate tactics, which are pretty mercenary (one being to lay off employees as they approach five year vesting in their pensions). On the other hand, I do have some mistrust of Unions, as they tend to drift into greed and corruption with few checks and balances. Perhaps the old class action lawsuit is the best course. That means the laws need to support humane practices in the workplace. Unions were virtually the only option at the beginning of the 20th century. The canvas has changed mightily since then.

  20. #40
    Hall Of Fame
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    13,550
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by FF2 View Post
    LOL....I disagree with you so I have to shut up? I don't think so.
    It isn't a matter of disagreeing.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Follow Us