View Poll Results: Are Unions Still Viable?

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    27 48.21%
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    16 28.57%
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Thread: Are Unions Still Viable?

  1. #1
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    Are Unions Still Viable?

    I recently attended a course where I was instructed on the inspection of OSHA code as well as Laser, Radiation, small arms firing range, etc safety. I started thinking while I was subjected to death by Power Point "With all of these OSHA codes, minimum wage, workman's comp laws, etc. What do union's do?" Therein lies the question. What DO unions do? OSHA code, if you are not familiar with it, is the epitomy of ridiculous regulations imposed by the Federal gov't. Some of it is good, I will admit, but dictating how many toilets I have to have on a work site is going a little far. Minimum wage is something we are all familiar with. Workman's Comp is very complicated however, it is required in all states depending upon the states regulations. Unions don't have to negotiate safer working environments, the Federal gov't does that already. They don't have to negotiate salary, the Federal gov't does that already. They don't have to make businesses compensate injured employees, the state governments does that already. What I see of unions is almost always bad. They demand pay that is more than the market rate. They demand benefits that are more than the market rate. They demand work conditions that are more than OSHA code requires. Unions, IMO, were needed in the early industrialization of the US. Now, they are nothing more than an irritant. Am I wrong?
    ***Please, keep the debate civil. Just because someone holds a different opinion than you doesn't mean they are a lesser form of human than you.***
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    Re: Are Unions Still Viable?

    Yes, they are still viable... but that doesn't mean all workers of all professions in all companies/institutions should have unions.

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    Re: Are Unions Still Viable?

    There is good reason why the share of the private sector that is unionized has shrunk so dramatically - and it is because unions keep the businesses they are attached to from being competitive. There is a reason why both political parties are now having to take on public unions - and it is because they make governmental finance unsustainable.


    With the rare exceptions where they do perhaps mark a superior form of organization (perhaps in a private monospony), unions are non-viable.

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    Re: Are Unions Still Viable?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    There is good reason why the share of the private sector that is unionized has shrunk so dramatically - and it is because unions keep the businesses they are attached to from being competitive. There is a reason why both political parties are now having to take on public unions - and it is because they make governmental finance unsustainable.


    With the rare exceptions where they do perhaps mark a superior form of organization (perhaps in a private monospony), unions are non-viable.
    Actually union success is their own recipe for shrinking membership. As unions obtained more money and a better life for its members, some members forgot the lessons as to why the union was there in the first place. This is one reason things tend to repeat in cycles over a long period of time.

    One other reason is that the advice given to companies trying to stop a union is simple: pay your people what unions shops pay and give them the same benefits. Thus, many non union companies and their employees are riding on the success of the union movement and their workers do not even realize it.

    The research of Dr. Lafer in Oregon shows conclusively that in union shop states, the wages of non-union workers are also higher than their fellows in right to work states because of the already cited effect.

    http://www.epi.org/publication/right...higan-economy/
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    Re: Are Unions Still Viable?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarineTpartier View Post
    I recently attended a course where I was instructed on the inspection of OSHA code as well as Laser, Radiation, small arms firing range, etc safety. I started thinking while I was subjected to death by Power Point "With all of these OSHA codes, minimum wage, workman's comp laws, etc. What do union's do?" Therein lies the question. What DO unions do? OSHA code, if you are not familiar with it, is the epitomy of ridiculous regulations imposed by the Federal gov't. Some of it is good, I will admit, but dictating how many toilets I have to have on a work site is going a little far. Minimum wage is something we are all familiar with. Workman's Comp is very complicated however, it is required in all states depending upon the states regulations. Unions don't have to negotiate safer working environments, the Federal gov't does that already. They don't have to negotiate salary, the Federal gov't does that already. They don't have to make businesses compensate injured employees, the state governments does that already. What I see of unions is almost always bad. They demand pay that is more than the market rate. They demand benefits that are more than the market rate. They demand work conditions that are more than OSHA code requires. Unions, IMO, were needed in the early industrialization of the US. Now, they are nothing more than an irritant. Am I wrong?
    ***Please, keep the debate civil. Just because someone holds a different opinion than you doesn't mean they are a lesser form of human than you.***
    Just because a business regulation is a law doesn't mean it is always enforced or can't be repealed.

    So yes, unions are still viable even as a political action group if not in regards to collective bargaining.

    Though I think that allowing only employees of a corporation to own voting shares of a company and only non-voting shares of a company are allowed to be traded would be a much better way for labor and management to interact with each other in regards to large businesses. For small businesses, a guild telling their members what contract minimums to expect from their individual contracts would be better for them.
    Also, we need to legalize recreational drugs and prostitution.

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    Re: Are Unions Still Viable?

    Modern unions are just like modern corporations, bloated and corrupt, but they both still play absolutely vital roles in our economy.

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    Re: Are Unions Still Viable?

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    Actually union success is their own recipe for shrinking membership. As unions obtained more money and a better life for its members, some members forgot the lessons as to why the union was there in the first place. This is one reason things tend to repeat in cycles over a long period of time.
    if that is the case then rejoice! clearly unions are about to stage a resurgence in the private sector, given their vanishing presence there.

    .....but I rather doubt it. Unions were never a majority of workers, even at their peak, and unions are hardly required in order to maintain decent standards of living.

    One other reason is that the advice given to companies trying to stop a union is simple: pay your people what unions shops pay and give them the same benefits. Thus, many non union companies and their employees are riding on the success of the union movement and their workers do not even realize it.

    The research of Dr. Lafer in Oregon shows conclusively that in union shop states, the wages of non-union workers are also higher than their fellows in right to work states because of the already cited effect.

    ‘Right to work’: The wrong answer for Michigan’s economy | Economic Policy Institute
    Yeah, I"ve seen that claim before, and if you like I can match it with plenty of studies that demonstrate flaws in the claim that RTW laws have negative impacts on wages. What I also notice about Dr Lafer right here is that he ignores superior job growth in RTW states, higher cost of living in non-RTW sates, and higher unemployment in non-RTW states.
    Last edited by cpwill; 09-29-12 at 12:30 PM.

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    Re: Are Unions Still Viable?

    union membership is on a downward trend. membership will pick up again when employers do what they always do in a dynamic of unorganized labor. it's already happening, and eventually, people will get sick of it.

    as union membership approaches one hundred percent, the unions would become more powerful and corrupt. as it approaches zero, employers become more powerful and corrupt. i'm beginning to think that society requires this sort of oscillation. the same can be said for our partisan duopoly.

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    Re: Are Unions Still Viable?

    I favour co-ops over unions.

  10. #10
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    Re: Are Unions Still Viable?

    Unionization is viable in specific industries, although certainly not optimal in most cases due to competitiveness, bloated pensions, and the hampered ability to prioritize and reward excellence in lieu of tenure.

    For the most recent and pertinent woes unionization has caused however, contact the Green Bay Packers.

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