View Poll Results: Should Government Employees Be Unionized?

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Thread: Should Government Employees Be Unionized?

  1. #31
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    Re: Should Government Employees Be Unionized?

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Patriot View Post
    Working for the people should be a reward unto itself and a part of one's civic duty.
    If you were a wealthy planter or lawyer during the colonial period, you could afford to donate a few years of public service as part of your "civic duty." If you're a working stiff in 2010 America, "civic duty" doesn't pay the light bill or the mortgage. But I sympathize with your sentiment. I wish more executives found it part of their civic duty to pay better wages to their peons.
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  2. #32
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    Re: Should Government Employees Be Unionized?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    Current union laws don't allow freedom of association for the employers.

    For me to work for the railroad, I have to join a union.
    There is no opt out option.
    Same for most others.

    Edit: Not to mention that it allows them to have double representation in government.
    Completely unfair.
    Can you elaborate on these? I'm not following you here.
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  3. #33
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    Re: Should Government Employees Be Unionized?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahlevah View Post
    Can you elaborate on these? I'm not following you here.
    The employer has to respect the existence of the union.
    I cannot fire all the union members, the union can shut down all work and the company can't do much except negotiate with the union.
    They should be able to fire them without resorting to the union rules.

    They lobby the government directly through the union as well as being able to vote their personal influence.
    That effectively gives them double representation in government.
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  4. #34
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    Re: Should Government Employees Be Unionized?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahlevah View Post
    If you were a wealthy planter or lawyer during the colonial period, you could afford to donate a few years of public service as part of your "civic duty." If you're a working stiff in 2010 America, "civic duty" doesn't pay the light bill or the mortgage. But I sympathize with your sentiment. I wish more executives found it part of their civic duty to pay better wages to their peons.
    Are you done confusing private industry with public service? Working for the government, in any capacity, should be done out of love for their fellow citizens and for their country. It should not be about bending the citizens over and screwing them for all that they were worth. Unions allow this to happen. Unions also make it impossible for the public servant to be held accountable to the people when they screw up. Also, not everyone that worked in the government back in the colonial period were rich. In fact, the bulk of the government workers were working class individuals.

  5. #35
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    Re: Should Government Employees Be Unionized?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    The employer has to respect the existence of the union.
    Right. And why shouldn't it? The workers are the employers' "greatest asset," and the employer has agreed to bargain with the workers collectively in good faith, right? At least that's what it tells us when its lips are flapping.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    I cannot fire all the union members, the union can shut down all work and the company can't do much except negotiate with the union. They should be able to fire them without resorting to the union rules.
    We're talking about public sector unions here, but, as a practical matter, if a company doesn't want to negotiate with a union in good faith it doesn't have to. A union can be certified and then the company can close or relocate a plant, in essence firing everybody, or it can just gradually weed out the "trouble makers" while it drags its feet on negotiaiting a contract. Concerning union rules, presumably, once a company signs a contract it agrees to follow the terms. A company should be obliged to honor a contract it signs. That's the democratic way, isn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    They lobby the government directly through the union as well as being able to vote their personal influence.
    Corporations hire lobbyists, PR firms, consulting firms, and investment banks and then complete the full court press in a box at a Knicks game. When it comes to politics, the people with the real influence are the ones who write the checks, principally corporations and wealthy individuals. Ask anyone who's run for Congress recently. Like a free press, unions as an institution serve as a counterweight to corporate influence, something of value to people who say they believe in freedom.
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  6. #36
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    Re: Should Government Employees Be Unionized?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahlevah View Post
    Right. And why shouldn't it? The workers are the employers' "greatest asset," and the employer has agreed to bargain with the workers collectively in good faith, right? At least that's what it tells us when its lips are flapping.
    Not always.
    The union can organize the work place without the consent of the owner of the work place.
    They are forced by law to negotiate with them.

    If the demands are greater than the realistic payments they should receive then the workers are not a good asset.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahlevah View Post
    We're talking about public sector unions here, but, as a practical matter, if a company doesn't want to negotiate with a union in good faith it doesn't have to. A union can be certified and then the company can close or relocate a plant, in essence firing everybody, or it can just gradually weed out the "trouble makers" while it drags its feet on negotiaiting a contract. Concerning union rules, presumably, once a company signs a contract it agrees to follow the terms. A company should be obliged to honor a contract it signs. That's the democratic way, isn't it?
    Not always.
    It can't just close the plant, the union can in twine them in long legal disputes.

    They shouldn't be forced to even deal with a union if they don't want to.
    Freedom of association and all that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahlevah View Post
    Corporations hire lobbyists, PR firms, consulting firms, and investment banks and then complete the full court press in a box at a Knicks game. When it comes to politics, the people with the real influence are the ones who write the checks, principally corporations and wealthy individuals. Ask anyone who's run for Congress recently. Like a free press, unions as an institution serve as a counterweight to corporate influence, something of value to people who say they believe in freedom.
    Two wrongs don't make a right.
    Unions are fine as long as they are reasonable, since the law allows them to be unreasonable, I don't support their existence.
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
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  7. #37
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    Re: Should Government Employees Be Unionized?

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Patriot View Post
    Are you done confusing private industry with public service?
    Only if you're done confusing civic duty with public employment. I tend to equate the word "civic" with "citizen." I mean, if EVERY capable citizen who enjoyed the protections and freedoms accorded to him by society decided that teaching a classroom with thirty brats or manning a fire station or joining the military is a duty he has to the commonweal, then I'd be all for it. I would even let the Donald Trumps drive the fire truck and put the little Ivankas in charge of a squad of Marines in Afghanistan. Since that's not likely to happen because many people are too busy making money and view their civic duty as extending no further than the taxes they pay, I'm fine with just hiring people to perform these services. Personally, I don't think too many people go into something like teaching at a public school for the money anyway. If they do, they probably don't last long. And if you look at a jurisdiction where public-sector unions wield little influence, they definitely don't. Here in Mississippi, the base salary for a teacher with a master's degree is about $34,000 a year. A doctorate gets an addition two grand. Whoopee. Policemen start at about thirty grand as well, which is fat city compared to what they made a few years ago. I don't know too many Donald Trumps who would be willing to potentially forfeit their lives for thirty grand. Do you?

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Patriot View Post
    Working for the government, in any capacity, should be done out of love for their fellow citizens and for their country. It should not be about bending the citizens over and screwing them for all that they were worth. Unions allow this to happen. Unions also make it impossible for the public servant to be held accountable to the people when they screw up. Also, not everyone that worked in the government back in the colonial period were rich. In fact, the bulk of the government workers were working class individuals.
    You know, even during the American Revolution members of volunteer militias had to feed their families, so when planting season loomed many of them deserted or left at the first possible moment once their enlistments expired. One of George Washington's biggest headaches was finding and keeping suitable volunteers. That's why he sought funding from Congress to field a regular, paid professional army. Public service is all well and good, but people still need to eat and put a roof over their heads.
    Last edited by Ahlevah; 07-26-10 at 06:06 PM.
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  8. #38
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    Re: Should Government Employees Be Unionized?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahlevah View Post
    Only if you're done confusing civic duty with public employment. I tend to equate the word "civic" with "citizen." I mean, if EVERY capable citizen who enjoyed the protections and freedoms accorded to him by society decided that teaching a classroom with thirty brats or manning a fire station or joining the military is a duty he has to the commonweal, then I'd be all for it. I would even let the Donald Trumps drive the fire truck and put the little Ivankas in charge of a squad of Marines in Afghanistan. Since that's not likely to happen because many people are too busy making money and view their civic duty as extending no further than the taxes they pay, I'm fine with just hiring people to perform these services. Personally, I don't think too many people go into something like teaching at a public school for the money anyway. If they do, they probably don't last long. And if you look at a jurisdiction where public-sector unions wield little influence, they definitely don't. Here in Mississippi, the base salary for a teacher with a master's degree is about $34,000 a year. A doctorate gets an addition two grand. Whoopee. Policemen start at about thirty grand as well, which is fat city compared to what they made a few years ago. I don't know too many Donald Trumps who would be willing to potentially forfeit their lives for thirty grand. Do you?
    Source for salaries? Are including all of the benefits or just monetary compensation? One of the responsibilities a citizen has is to be part of the militia upon the age of majority. This is part of their civic duty. I view serving the people as a civic duty as did the founding fathers. As such, these are civil servants and are not entitled to having a union. The key word is servant in the job description. Servants have to obey the wishes of the master, which is the people.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahlevah View Post
    You know, even during the American Revolution members of volunteer militias had to feed their families, so when planting season loomed many of them deserted or left at the first possible moment once their enlistments expired. One of George Washington's biggest headaches was finding and keeping suitable volunteers. That's why he sought funding from Congress to field a regular, paid professional army. Public service is all well and good, but people still need to eat and put a roof over their heads.
    Yes, they do, but do they need multi-million dollar compensation packages that will indebt the people for generations because the union demands it?

  9. #39
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    Re: Should Government Employees Be Unionized?

    Personally, I would say the following, in reference to unions in general:

    Unions should, at most, be locally organized only. State or national/international level organizations are, effectively, just as much a monopoly as the monopolies anti-trust laws try to prevent.

    Now, state or national/international level associations, as in, “hey, how are things going in your local (insert job here) union?” are a different story.

    But if a union is nationally/internationally organized, they could effectively dictate the wages their profession received. Much like a corporate monopoly could dictate the prices people paid for their product(s).

    --------

    As to the organization of the unions themselves, the “secret ballot” is one requirement.

    As to the employer – union relationship, employers should be allowed to hire anyone they wish, within employment laws of course.

    The purpose of a union should be to both provide the employees and employers with an easy contract negotiation method, and to protect the employees from extreme levels of unreasonable wages and the like.

    As an example, if X employer wanted to pay it’s employers Y wages, wherein Y = 50% of the normal wage paid to such employees for the job in question.

    If a union were formed to negotiate wages on par with others in the field, most employees would likely join, given that the wage differential is enough to warrant it.

    On the other hand, if the union demanded 200% of the normal wage, the employer would have the option of denying them and hiring non-union workers for, say 110% of the average wage for such a job.

    Any union setup that does not allow non-union employees to enter is unacceptable in my book.

    However, I can see a potential for non-union workers being offered far less than average for that job, and accepting the job due to other factors, such as the economic issues atm.

    /shrug…

    As to government unions... much the same, but with limitations on striking depending on the importance of the job (in terms of functionality of the national/state/local infrastructure, etc.)
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  10. #40
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    Re: Should Government Employees Be Unionized?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    I pretty much agree, except in cases where public safety is a factor, such as the military, police, air traffic controllers , etc.
    I agree and I assume you must remember the 70's and perpetual ATC strikes, Reagan finally put a end to that B/S..

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