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

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

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    Are Labor and Trade Unions Still Necessary in Our Economy?

    Many people often claim that labor and trade unions are no longer needed, because "safety regulations, fair wages, days off, 8 hour work day, and child labor" have already been won. They claim because of this labor, and trade unions are no longer needed. My question is: Are Labor and Trade Unions Still Necessary in Our Economy?


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

    Some unions are still relevant today but the vast majority aren't.

    And example of unions who aren't needed and are damaging today are public sector unions.
    Another example of where unions are holding back progress is in manufacturing. If jobs can be automated, jobs should be automated.

    An example of unions that are still needed or should exist if it doesn't is garbage collectors union for every garbage collecting company out there.
    Basically those areas where technology doesn't have an answer and where jobs give a low quality of life and low work satisfaction. Basically jobs who are just jobs and not careers. Fast food joints should have unions. I'm sorry, a lot of people will scream "but mah hamburger". Yeah, you shouldn't eat those everyday anyway. But they should have unions because working conditions are awful. Starbucks, mcdonalds, wendys', kfc, all of them.

    Truckers for instance are at a turning point. Until now, it may have been nice for them to have, if they didn't have, an union to represent them. But now, those that exist need to go away and no new ones formed because in about 10-20 years I think we'll see the first prototype of complete driverless car that can replace their job.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDemSocialist View Post
    Many people often claim that labor and trade unions are no longer needed, because "safety regulations, fair wages, days off, 8 hour work day, and child labor" have already been won. They claim because of this labor, and trade unions are no longer needed. My question is: Are Labor and Trade Unions Still Necessary in Our Economy?
    The continued existence of Unions is low on the list of "ideal outcomes", but high compared to current economic conditions. Aka, I would rather have empowered Unions and all their nonsense than corporations with this level of influence over society.

    Ideally, we would just be a high functioning anarchy where everybody does the right, un-greedy thing. Failing that, government would mediate between labor interests and industrialists.

    I can't really get behind Unions because the nature of their organization is such that older members receive preferment over younger ones because they've been paying dues longer and, to the Union, this seniority supersedes any other moral consideration because the Union finances its operations through dues. So if Teacher A does something vile and runs into complication and Teacher B does something good and runs into complication, its consistently more imperative for the Union to assist Teacher A than Teacher B.

    Money buying out over virtue is one of the most frustrating aspects of the human condition. Corporations are a worse example, but ideally neither of them would have significant power in society.
    Last edited by Morality Games; 08-10-14 at 03:02 AM.
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    Re: Are Labor and Trade Unions Still Necessary in Our Economy?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDemSocialist View Post
    Many people often claim that labor and trade unions are no longer needed, because "safety regulations, fair wages, days off, 8 hour work day, and child labor" have already been won. They claim because of this labor, and trade unions are no longer needed. My question is: Are Labor and Trade Unions Still Necessary in Our Economy?
    If we lived in a distributist state, trade unions could be abolished as inducive of class struggle. But since we live in a capitalist system, they are necessary for the protection of labor rights.

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

    For as long as workers deem their rights to be relevant, unions will continue remain a necessity. In a system driven by competition and the accumulation of capital, corporate self-interest and governmental connivance will continue to assure this relevance. Whatever diminutive concessions may have been granted, they can always be waived. And would be, were there no pressure.

    Asking if unions are necessary in a Capitalist economy, is like asking if elections are necessary in a democracy. It's pretty much a no-brainer.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDemSocialist View Post
    Many people often claim that labor and trade unions are no longer needed, because "safety regulations, fair wages, days off, 8 hour work day, and child labor" have already been won. They claim because of this labor, and trade unions are no longer needed. My question is: Are Labor and Trade Unions Still Necessary in Our Economy?
    Personally I tend to believe that trade unions are probably too traditional to represent the needs of people in the changed economy and require a rejuvenation or remain a rather inefficient remnant of past glory, when the rackets could wield its power in the docks and slaughterhouses or Hoffa return the vote.

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

    I have worked two different factory jobs one without unions and one with unions. The union job is better. By about 100 miles. I do less and get paid more and the benefits are better. So yeah if you can go union do it.
    "We’re going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that allow some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share. In theory, some of those loopholes were understandable, but in practice they sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying ten percent of his salary, and that’s crazy." -Reagan

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

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnWOlin View Post
    I have worked two different factory jobs one without unions and one with unions. The union job is better. By about 100 miles. I do less and get paid more and the benefits are better. So yeah if you can go union do it.
    I think a big problem in political logic is the all or nothing mentality.

    Should every single job in America be unionized? No.
    Should unions be completely done away with? No.

    Unions I'm some cases do have a history of hurting business and shutting down companies struggling to survive, ultimately costing their own jobs. I think it was eastern airlines that died as a company because of a union. At the same time, and especially today, the corporate culture gives the top management huge salaries, huge bonuses, golden parachutes while keeping rank and file employees compensation as low as possible, slashing benefits and lasting off people while giving those kept with more work or moving jobs to the third world where they can pay workers pennies on the dollar. This is contributing to the political culture where workers who feel their livelihoods are being threatened with vote against the party that see as being in the back pockets of the corporate big-wigs and against their financial well being where "perception is reality" even when its not.

    A better solution than unions is to include company stock in workers' compensation.
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    Re: Are Labor and Trade Unions Still Necessary in Our Economy?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDemSocialist View Post
    Many people often claim that labor and trade unions are no longer needed, because "safety regulations, fair wages, days off, 8 hour work day, and child labor" have already been won. They claim because of this labor, and trade unions are no longer needed. My question is: Are Labor and Trade Unions Still Necessary in Our Economy?
    Yes, for several reasons.

    1. The laws that sustain safety regulations, et al. could be undone. Unions help make sure that they aren't.

    2. Employers still look to exploit workers in new ways. Unions help make sure they don't.

    3. Big employers like corporations and government institutions have power behind them that individual workers do not. Unions enable individual workers to counter that power.

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

    Necessary? Probably not, but some are useful.
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