View Poll Results: Are Labor and Trade Unions Still Necessary in Our Economy?

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  • Yes

    53 50.96%
  • No

    42 40.38%
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Thread: Are Labor and Trade Unions Still Necessary in Our Economy?

  1. #251
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    Re: Are Labor and Trade Unions Still Necessary in Our Economy?

    Quote Originally Posted by ocean515 View Post
    I think the greatest complaint in private industry is the impact they have had on putting companies out of business, or at least in causing them to take measures to try and maintain the profitability demanded by investors.

    In the public arena, they are a virus the public needs to address in some meaningful manner.
    I disagree with your last statement. I think public employees get a bad rap. On the one hand, the benefits we receive aren't as generous as you may think. Furthermore, I've seen public employees (myself included) who work just as long and hard as anyone in the private sector, maybe even more. In any case, not all jobs can be performed or left to the private sector. If that were truly the case, I'm willing to bet you'd see so many corners being cut just to save a few pennies. And if allowed to make up their own rules...self regulate....that may benefit the private company's bottom line, but it doesn't do justice to the customer who discovers the shabby workmanship years later and has to pay out of pocket for costly repairs that could have been avoided had the job been done right the first time. Cut out your public housing inspector and see what kind of house/housing development you get once construction has finished.

    As a public employee myself, I've seen my benefits greatly reduced while the cost of said benefits take a bigger and bigger junk from my earnings. In fact, where I work we've gone years WITHOUT a pay raise, many of us have performed the job of two or three people due to a mandated hiring freeze that's been in affect for years. And to put icing on the cake, many jobs that were once performed in the public sector have now been privatized and the quality of care/services aren't as good as they were when said care/services were being performed by public employees. I'm sure that in time things will smooth out, but for now it's been rough.

    As for unions themselves - public or private - I think they do have a place in the workforce be it labor, manufacturing or service sector. A person can only stand for so long, bend over so far, lift so much, perform a repetitive task so many times without a break, take on so many duties before feeling overwhelmed and work so many jobs for inadequate pay in an attempt to have his/her survival needs meet and remain silent for so long before insisting that his voice is fairly heard. Take those things away and push the employee so hard and eventually the employee will fight back....or leave. One can only hope there are enough available hands to fill the void(s) left behind.
    Last edited by Objective Voice; 09-01-14 at 08:55 PM.
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  2. #252
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    Re: Are Labor and Trade Unions Still Necessary in Our Economy?

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    Maybe that is the experience of some, however, it was never my experience. I received regular pay raises and later opportunities to move up when working at a non-union place, but not at a union one.

    For the conscientious, motivated hard worker, non-union offers much better opportunities. For the "what is required" and "I have to work" crowd who put out no extra effort or even a decent attitude, then unions are good for them. For the sub-standard worker, unions are definitely good for them as the unions offer means of protecting their jobs that they don't actually do up to standards.
    I guess it comes down to what peoples experiences are. If you havent experienced any issues that is good. I actually would look into other systemes to take care of grievances and the workers if they are proposed but they seldom are.

  3. #253
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    Re: Are Labor and Trade Unions Still Necessary in Our Economy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Objective Voice View Post
    I disagree with your last statement. I think public employees get a bad rap. On the one hand, the benefits we receive aren't as generous as you may think. Furthermore, I've seen public employees (myself included) who work just as long and hard as anyone in the private sector, maybe even more. In any case, not all jobs can be performed or left to the private sector. If that were truly the case, I'm willing to bet you'd see so many corners being cut just to save a few pennies. And if allowed to make up their own rules...self regulate....that may benefit the private company's bottom line, but it doesn't do justice to the customer who discovers the shabby workmanship years later and has to pay out of pocket for costly repairs that could have been avoided had the job been done right the first time. Cut out your public housing inspector and see what kind of house/housing development you get once construction has finished.

    As a public employee myself, I've seen my benefits greatly reduced while the cost of said benefits take a bigger and bigger junk from my earnings. In fact, where I work we've gone years WITHOUT a pay raise, many of us have performed the job of two or three people due to a mandated hiring freeze that's been in affect for years. And to put icing on the cake, many jobs that were once performed in the public sector have now been privatized and the quality of care/services aren't as good as they were when said care/services were being performed by public employees. I'm sure that in time things will smooth out, but for now it's been rough.

    As for unions themselves - public or private - I think they do have a place in the workforce be it labor, manufacturing or service sector. A person can only stand for so long, bend over so far, lift so much, perform a repetitive task so many times without a break, take on so many duties before feeling overwhelmed and work so many jobs for inadequate pay in an attempt to have his/her survival needs meet and remain silent for so long before insisting that his voice is fairly heard. Take those things away and push the employee so hard and eventually the employee will fight back....or leave. One can only hope there are enough available hands to fill the void(s) left behind.
    I am sure their are individual exceptions, as you've detailed. However, at least in California, the gains in benefits and pay have led to Cities declaring bankruptcy, and dramatic cut backs on spending for a broad swath of necessary services.

    There will always be enough hands to fill the void.

    Private sector unions face the end of their jobs if their demands are unreasonable. With the exception of the UAW, they can control their own fate. In the public sector, such demands just land on the laps of taxpayers who don't have any say. That is a problem, and that is a very good reason to end public sector unions.

  4. #254
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    Re: Are Labor and Trade Unions Still Necessary in Our Economy?

    Quote Originally Posted by ocean515 View Post
    I am sure their are individual exceptions, as you've detailed. However, at least in California, the gains in benefits and pay have led to Cities declaring bankruptcy, and dramatic cut backs on spending for a broad swath of necessary services.

    There will always be enough hands to fill the void.

    Private sector unions face the end of their jobs if their demands are unreasonable. With the exception of the UAW, they can control their own fate. In the public sector, such demands just land on the laps of taxpayers who don't have any say. That is a problem, and that is a very good reason to end public sector unions.
    Of course the taxpayers have a say mostly by the power of their vote for local/state representation, but before doing so "John Q Public" should first be well informed not only of the services their tax dollars provide, but also the effectiveness of those services to ensure their dollars are being well spent. Recent arguments against public unions have focused on the growing expenditure on health services, but your public employee provide so many more services. It's not simply a matter of public health services. Of course, the moment there's a pandemic or epidemic from some type of infectious disease or a food borne outbreak, the first place the public calls on will be your First Responders. But wait! You just voted for all those political nut-jobs who DON'T believe in vaccines, who declare the public employees waste your tax dollars and they serve no viable purpose the private sector can't provide.

    I can tell you from first-hand experience that the moment a hospital gets a suspicion of a widespread health risk, the first place they call to coordinate their efforts throughout the community and with neighboring cities is your county Health Departments. But if John Q Public remains ignorant of the services and function these public agencies provide and continues to allow for these political privatization lapdogs, you'll wish you had public health services to fall back on.

    Now, as for CA and (Detroit) MI being careless - or should I say lacking any active management - of taxpayer dollars, that's the fault of local management, i.e., city/county/state auditors and the like. Even when politicians make these "compromises" to provide benefits and/or salary (cost-of-living) increases to public employees, it's the job of the actuaries to do their job and ensure the numbers add up. Accounting gimmicks be damned!

    It's far too easy to vilify public employees and the unions that represent them for "demanding" fair pay and benefits to meet the very same survival needs everyone else would otherwise insist on while painting them as "greed from below" or "wasters of taxpayer dollars", but the general public never stops to think about how much of this is just political theater versus how they benefit from the services they receive but barely even know about. All they need to hear in order to stir up their angst is "wasted taxpayer dollars" and suddenly everyone is up in arms. But like I said above, let a natural disaster, a pandemic/epidemic take place and see who you call to mitigate the problem.
    Last edited by Objective Voice; 09-03-14 at 02:06 PM.
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  5. #255
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    Re: Are Labor and Trade Unions Still Necessary in Our Economy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Objective Voice View Post
    Of course the taxpayers have a say mostly by the power of their vote for local/state representation, but before doing so "John Q Public" should first be well informed not only of the services their tax dollars provide, but also the effectiveness of those services to ensure their dollars are being well spent. Recent arguments against public unions have focused on the growing expenditure on health services, but your public employee provide so many more services. It's not simply a matter of public health services. Of course, the moment there's a pandemic or epidemic from some type of infectious disease or a food borne outbreak, the first place the public calls on will be your First Responders. But wait! You just voted for all those political nut-jobs who DON'T believe in vaccines, who declare the public employees waste your tax dollars and they serve no viable purpose the private sector can't provide.

    I can tell you from first-hand experience that the moment a hospital gets a suspicion of a widespread health risk, the first place they call to coordinate their efforts throughout the community and with neighboring cities is your county Health Departments. But if John Q Public remains ignorant of the services and function these public agencies provide and continues to allow for these political privatization lapdogs, you'll wish you had public health services to fall back on.
    When the demands of public unions are such that they are causing cities to go bankrupt, any suggestions about vital services ring rather hallow.

    I think most people appreciate the services provided, but killing the provider doesn't help anyone. At this point, "killing the provider" seems to be of little care to the union negotiators.

    As to this control via the vote thing, that is a rather cheap cop out. I can't write about other states and cities, but in California, union control is so pervasive, even a ban on the use of plastic bags had to be run by the union controllers before it was passed, against the publics will.

  6. #256
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    Re: Are Labor and Trade Unions Still Necessary in Our Economy?

    Quote Originally Posted by ocean515 View Post
    When the demands of public unions are such that they are causing cities to go bankrupt, any suggestions about vital services ring rather hallow.

    I think most people appreciate the services provided, but killing the provider doesn't help anyone. At this point, "killing the provider" seems to be of little care to the union negotiators.

    As to this control via the vote thing, that is a rather cheap cop out. I can't write about other states and cities, but in California, union control is so pervasive, even a ban on the use of plastic bags had to be run by the union controllers before it was passed, against the publics will.
    A portion of my amended portion post #254 above:

    Quote Originally Posted by Objective Voice View Post
    Now, as for CA and (Detroit) MI being careless - or should I say lacking any active management - of taxpayer dollars, that's the fault of local management, i.e., city/county/state auditors and the like. Even when politicians make these "compromises" to provide benefits and/or salary (cost-of-living) increases to public employees, it's the job of the actuaries to do their job and ensure the numbers add up. Accounting gimmicks be damned!
    Doesn't the city government right the rules on sanitary practices for city sanitation workers? And if they contract those services out, it's it the responsibility of the private entity to make and enforce those rules?

    Again, this falls back on the city itself, not the unions you're complaining about. If the city can show it's more cost effective not to use plastic trash bags to collect garbage, they can make the appropriate changes and go with permanent bend inserts that can be removed temporarily to dispose of waste and subsequently replaced. Cleaning will then be an issue and since certain parts of CA has a water shortage...

    My point is there are ways to resolve some of the problems you've eluded to, but the people you elect need to be smarter about it and not just insist on privatizing everything just for the sake of doing it. Of course, I'm sure some local or national distribution center or plastics manufacture is receiving a large tax incentive for ensuring those plastic bags remain in circulation. It's not profitable to said private company nor to a local economy to use a plastic container that never needs replacing. I mean, if you do that that plastics company will have to lay off workers.

    I've heard all the arguments before. People just need to "do the math" and apply best practices and/or common sense solutions to resolve problems and not allow their emotions to override their judgment.
    Last edited by Objective Voice; 09-03-14 at 02:17 PM.
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  7. #257
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    Re: Are Labor and Trade Unions Still Necessary in Our Economy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Objective Voice View Post
    A portion of my amended portion post #254 above:
    Sorry, blaming someone else is never going to fly in my book. One only needs to look at SB 400, and the lies and manipulation that public unions used to understand whose feet all this lay under.

    David Crane: California's Pension Fiasco and the Great Nondisclosure of 1999 - WSJ

    And then there are the daily crimes of the SEIU in the state.

    Consider the corrupt In Home Support Services scam they continue to run here.

    Fraud infects state in-home care program - Los Angeles Times

    In Long Beach, CA, public employees refused to accept an offer to increase their individual benefits contribution by as little as @ $30/mo, which resulted in fire house closures, and cut backs on police protection.

    I really don't think a story about protection from pandemics is going to go far when public employee unions have already demonstrated a willingness to shut down public services, and put the health and safety of people at risk.

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    Re: Are Labor and Trade Unions Still Necessary in Our Economy?

    All I can say is I'm sorry things seem to be going so bad in Cali. for yourself and others. Ever consider relocating to another state?
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  9. #259
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    Re: Are Labor and Trade Unions Still Necessary in Our Economy?

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    Maybe that is the experience of some, however, it was never my experience. I received regular pay raises and later opportunities to move up when working at a non-union place, but not at a union one.

    For the conscientious, motivated hard worker, non-union offers much better opportunities. For the "what is required" and "I have to work" crowd who put out no extra effort or even a decent attitude, then unions are good for them. For the sub-standard worker, unions are definitely good for them as the unions offer means of protecting their jobs that they don't actually do up to standards.
    That is complete bull****. Yes wages are usually set at union places, but have you ever been on a union construction road crew? Ever ran a jackhammer for 16 hours straight, ever shoveled concrete off a truck all day? If these people aren't motivated to work then I dont know what is. I assure you there are very few people in this world who could succeed at a retrofitting road crew. Same goes for Ironworkers. Think you have the balls to climb on a 6 inch wide beam of iron a couple hundred feet in the air? all while guiding thousands of pound beams into the location and then riveting them into place?

    I hear people who've never done hard work in their life (or think they have and really haven't) talk about things they have no damn clue about.. There's lazy people at EVERY job, its not exclusive to unions.

    I've worked on both, and if you don't pull your weight you are off the job. The false idea that you can just be lazy and succeed is right wing propaganda.
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  10. #260
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    Re: Are Labor and Trade Unions Still Necessary in Our Economy?

    Quote Originally Posted by OnWisconsin View Post
    That is complete bull****. Yes wages are usually set at union places, but have you ever been on a union construction road crew? Ever ran a jackhammer for 16 hours straight, ever shoveled concrete off a truck all day? If these people aren't motivated to work then I dont know what is. I assure you there are very few people in this world who could succeed at a retrofitting road crew. Same goes for Ironworkers. Think you have the balls to climb on a 6 inch wide beam of iron a couple hundred feet in the air? all while guiding thousands of pound beams into the location and then riveting them into place?

    I hear people who've never done hard work in their life (or think they have and really haven't) talk about things they have no damn clue about.. There's lazy people at EVERY job, its not exclusive to unions.

    I've worked on both, and if you don't pull your weight you are off the job. The false idea that you can just be lazy and succeed is right wing propaganda.
    Umm, no. I actually have working brain and was smart enough not to seek careers in such profession.
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