What do people here think of Trade Unions ? I have family members who have and even still are members of Trade Unions that is on

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What do people here think of Trade Unions ? I have family members who have and even still are members of Trade Unions that is one reason why I support them. I also don't understand why some Trade Union members are Right Wing Conservatives I know the Democrats in many ways are no better but still how could a Union member vote Conservative ?

truthseeker632007's picture
truthseeker632007
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Jan. 26, 2011 2:37 pm

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Union member vote Conservative : I work for ATT, and I see it all the time (still no answer though; good one)..

Quote truthseeker632007:

<snip>but still how could a Union member vote Conservative ?

bobbler's picture
bobbler
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote truthseeker632007:

... I know the Democrats in many ways are no better but still how could a Union member vote Conservative ?

Because some people will vote for their own self interest over the Unions self interest.

What do I think of trade Unions... I think their ability to train successive ranks in their field, and protect the public from posers is admirable. I think their greedy "I got mine" attitude, is deplorable. That may be why Trade Associations have much higher membership.

Paleo-con
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

I really don't understand how trade unions work. I'm thinking of plumbers and eletricians. These aren't really manufacturing labor, they're more like repairs and maintenance. If the electrician and the plumber don't show up at the plant on Monday, the plant will still produce the 100 widgets or whatever it can produce on a given day (absent any OSHA requirements that they be present, and of course absent any failure requiring a repair.)

It seems the trade unions really depend on the solidarity of the labor unions. For instance, an oil company will have to ensure it hires union plumbers at its refinery because the petroleum workers union won't show up to do the actual refining work.

chilidog
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

As a 35 year member of the IBEW I can tell you what I think the problem is, single issue voters. Members who go on and on about guns,abortion,taxes. These seem to me to be the big three issues for single issue voters. I once asked one of them, when was the last time you used a gun to make a living, and his reply was that he was more worried about protecting his family. I have also asked, one of these double thinkers, do you believe in gun control. When he answered no, I asked did he think a person released from prison for armed robbery should have the right to own a gun. When he said no to that question I told him that he did believe in gun control which seems to make them mad as hell. Makes me laugh, which makes them even madder. And on abortion I told one that the Dems have said that they were open to discuss the issue as long as there were provision in it about the life of the woman, but Reps. bulked. Seems they really don't want this issue to go away. With some people any tax is to much. So there you go, but this is just my idea of WHY!

mitch's picture
mitch
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

I believe in the freedom of association. Unions have a right to exist. However, they do not have the right to employ violence, either directly or indirectly through legislation, that will force a business to deal with them. The Davis-Bacon act, which was originally used to discriminate against blacks, should go. "Prevailing wages" are above market wages.

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FrankChodorov
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Dec. 23, 2010 6:00 am

So, acting in economic solidarity as unions do is "violence" while breaking them or using all the employer threats against them is not? Come on Frank, the right of association here is to achieve collective bargaining equality. You have a strange idea of "ownership" that is shared with others who do not give social reality sufficient warrant. Businesses forced to deal with unions could just pay a living wage and do it right. If they were doing that, why would the union ask for more? Bosses need to learn to respect their fellow citizen employees as more than costs to their businesses.

There are also questions about the history of violence at strikes and the image of corrupt, mobbed-up unions. Corporations employed a lot of guns that killed a lot of workers and their family members for striking. It really does not go the other way historically. We find a lot of hard times for these families too. They did not strike to gain luxury benefits for sure.

The mob-union movies made unions look bad, but the truth was that they were weakened by the anti-Communist purge that took out anyone Left of Liberal Cold War loyalists. Lacking any moral purpose beyond bread and butter, unions were prey to corrupt leadership. Deals made with the bosses replaced worker representation as money did its thing.

American labor laws are absurdly anti-union, so many union members experience a relatively impotent agency claiming more than it can deliver. If they sign up with the emotions of the national cult and don't see unions offering them a way up, it is understandable. It is not a reason to dis unions.

DRC's picture
DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Davis-bacon is not wage protection. It's protection against shoddy workmanship. Before Davis-bacon unscrupulous contractors could hire anybody without reguard for their skills. Many states and citys had no way to recover funds after their projects started falling apart or just didn't work the way they were intented to. Dams that didn't hold, heating system that didn't work, buildings that burnt down due to faulty wiring.

mitch's picture
mitch
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

The ignorance, and annoyance against workers unions is odd.. Maybe I have a skewed view, but remember when companies hired shotgun crews to control the workers.. Times have changes but its still a serious life and death fight.. Yes, sometimes there is violence, because of the seriousness of the situation.. The bottom line union mantra is a fair days pay for a fair days work. Time and time again history has proven if we workers do not fight for a fair days pay, we will not get it.. I believe workers unions is one of the main things that kept America form ending up like Mexico (a few super rich, and a nation of poor people)..

bobbler's picture
bobbler
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Contempt for unions and for workers among the biz school catechism grads is nearly universal. Labor is overhead to be cut, not a partner in production or an asset to be treated and maintained as a positive. The "boss" has to put his employees in their place and assert the rights of ownership. The wisdom and genius is at the top in this culture of narcissism, and to allow the inmates to run the asylum would be insane.

The truth is that the critical knowledge is on the shop floor and the genius of management is to serve and empower the people who know what they are doing. This will not be the MBA or the CEO who will know how to play with the money instead.

Unions are a problem when the goal of business is to extract profits without increasing real value.

DRC's picture
DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

"""management is to serve and empower the people who know what they are doing."""

Very suprisingly, I have seen those same words come down from the company (ATT), but then they do a 180 and seem to operate day to day with the opposite philosophy.. I am a comm tech, and higher management has no clue to what we are doing (a union tactic near strike time is to do exactly what we are told, then nothing gets done.. no kidding)..

"""Unions are a problem when the goal of business is to extract profits without increasing real value"""

I think that the same thing I said/different words.. In other words, make a Mexico environment of ultra rich, and an army of desperate poor, for lack of a fair days pay for a fair days work.

Quote DRC:

Contempt for unions and for workers among the biz school catechism grads is nearly universal. Labor is overhead to be cut, not a partner in production or an asset to be treated and maintained as a positive. The "boss" has to put his employees in their place and assert the rights of ownership. The wisdom and genius is at the top in this culture of narcissism, and to allow the inmates to run the asylum would be insane.

The truth is that the critical knowledge is on the shop floor and the genius of management is to serve and empower the people who know what they are doing. This will not be the MBA or the CEO who will know how to play with the money instead.

Unions are a problem when the goal of business is to extract profits without increasing real value.

bobbler's picture
bobbler
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

@Mitch

"I once asked one of them, when was the last time you used a gun to make a living, and his reply was that he was more worried about protecting his family. I have also asked, one of these double thinkers, do you believe in gun control. When he answered no, I asked did he think a person released from prison for armed robbery should have the right to own a gun. When he said no to that question I told him that he did believe in gun control which seems to make them mad as hell. Makes me laugh, which makes them even madder."

In additon to being a troll, you aren't very bright. The purpose of the 2nd amendment isn't for self protection, or personal defense. It's so you can overthrow your government when they get cocky.

If you don't think that's important, that's fine, but don't tell me I can't take is seriously.

And for the record I've carried a gun for a living for 14 years. That's most of my adult life.

DeadlineUSMC's picture
DeadlineUSMC
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Mar. 17, 2011 2:33 pm

Deadline "thinks" he knows what he's talking about, as you can see here in this quote:

"In additon to being a troll, you aren't very bright. The purpose of the 2nd amendment isn't for self protection, or personal defense. It's so you can overthrow your government when they get cocky."

Seems to me the only cocky person here is YOU, deadline, especially considering that the "right to bear arms" says nothing of attacking the government!

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

I guess since the Constitution clearly points out that they were referring to the "well regulated Militia", which at the time of our Founders meant the same thing as our "National Guard", you're too cocky to know that you're full of crap. My God, it even says to PROTECT the security of the free state, not "State".

So when people are trying to undermine the government by lying about death panels, Obama's birth, or use edited propaganda to convince people that NPR is the "enemy", then I think we know what you need to do. You need to protect the security of the free state from traitors like those who would undermine our government! In the Marines, weren't you sworn to an oath to defend from enemies from both within and without?

We have a few republican governers who think they can be communist, and unilaterally break union contracts, and also in Michigan, who thinks he can just fire those representatives of local government that he wants, denying the people their right to vote and have fair representation. He's a communist, who thinks he can run the whole state if he chooses.

Seems to me that the only thing that needs protection is democracy, and the best defense of that is to enforce laws against propaganda, lies and treason, while using the vote to get rid of "cocky" governments. Let those who "carry a gun for a living" arrest those who threaten democracy - those who cheat in elections and lie to manipulate the people into false agendas. So the only people who need a gun are the National Guard (militia), Armed Forces and Police. After all, with the vote, the pen is indeed more powerful than the sword.

And obviously, there is a limit to what "arms" one can own. I don't want a "tank buster" airplane or nuclear device. The only thing I need is something to protect myself from harm, the only true purpose of weapons. So why are they still allowing 32 round magazines? Anyone who needs 31 rounds to kill a criminal is not only sadistic, but a bad shot.

And I find it funny that "deadline" also missed the whole point of the gun issue. He was not talking about the gun issue in itself, but only in how BIASED the gun issue can be to conservatives. I also meet conservatives that argue and argue for NO gun control, when we all know we NEED and HAVE NOW gun control. It's an embarrassingly simplistic and inefficient one however, thanks to the idiots of the NRA, but the point was conservatives will only argue AGAINST gun control, without being reasonable to agree that we need gun control, and the simple practice of discussing the right levels of gun control is the only reasonable way to discuss gun laws.

Only idiots will jump on the extreme edge of an opinion when discussing it without trying to be openminded and reasonable. So be openminded when discussing gun control. And don't get so paranoid over him mentioning the "single issue" bias, with guns as just one example of this, because you prove yourself to be one of those biased people by over-reacting the way you did. My God, you called him a troll AND not to bright. But for what? You have no argument that can stand the test of reason! You even argued the wrong point by missing his point!

That's what bias can do.

And for the original poster:

Unions are "democracy in the workplace", allowing the experts of the field to be able to use their collective bargaining to protect not only their own self interests, but also the best interests of the community.

And anyone in a Union who attacks unions is no doubt one of those "one-issue", biased voters who just happens to be paranoid to the point of rejecting everyone around him, including unions, in preference to joining other paranoid fools on Faux News. Just listen to Faux News, and you wonder how they CAN'T get paranoid, with all the lies and propaganda!

Just remember, the unions were the first thing attacked by Hitler, Stalin and every other dictator history has provided. They know that Unions are "democracy in the workplace", and seek to deny them their voice as soon as possible to help them seize control. Of course, the Governor's we have now that are attacking the Unions are communist, and they think the state can make all the decisions. Without Unions, that's pretty much all we have to depend on... is the government. So how can conservatives hate unions if they hate the government so much? Don't Unions act as a counter agent to government corruption, ignorance and coercion? Of course!

Like I said, they're paranoid... they hate EVERYTHING!

That is why they attack unions.

jim of Binghamton's picture
jim of Binghamton
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Jul. 23, 2010 11:38 am

I'm in a trade union. There have been far too many non-labor people as well as labor people voting for Republicans for any number of bad reasons for far too long. Fortunately, that has been changing for the better in recent history.

Labor is in a state of flux right now following the latest state public union fights. Unfortunately, there have been more losses than victories for labor as a whole regardless of the perceived moral victory in Wisconsin.

Based on the trend towards privatization, labor needs to make some political hay with the recent onslaught of righties claiming the moral superiority of private sector unions over public sector.

Someone stated above that "they don't understand trade unions". Trade unions are the only ones I do understand and I'm sure any union member could say the same. The problem is that an overwhelming majority of Americans are not in unions. Therefore they have no direct knowledge of them and just rely on unflattering image that has been provided by the corporate media.

If your average person were to actually understand unions from a member's perspective and were not in an employment game that is rigged against unions, people would flock to unions. People are led to believe that unions pressure workers into joining them for selfish union reasons, but the opposite is true. Workers are actually more successfully coerced into NOT joining unions by employers for selfish reasons.

Laborisgood's picture
Laborisgood
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote FrankChodorov:

"Prevailing wages" are above market wages.

I think everyone should earn an above average wage ;)

PeeWee Returns's picture
PeeWee Returns
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote bobbler:

Maybe I have a skewed view, but remember when companies hired shotgun crews to control the workers..

I'm 54 years old. I don't remember that.

PeeWee Returns's picture
PeeWee Returns
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

For what it's worth, if a union came into my shop - we'd be out of business and I'd be looking for a job.

Cheesebone's picture
Cheesebone
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Sep. 1, 2010 8:18 am

Unions need to evolve to workers-own.Slaves evolve to workers,now it`s time for workers to evolve to owners.The people who do the work should be owners!

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tayl44
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