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Thread: Let's talk about Unions.

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    Let's talk about Unions.

    Whenever someone mentions unions, one of two things usually comes to mind.

    1. Unions are political machines that create laws favorable to themselves, that hurt both employee and employer. They force businesses to pay unfair wages, and keep on employees who aren't pulling their weight. They are an example of why socialism is inferior to capitalism.

    2. Unions protect the common worker in a world hostile to the common worker. They allow for collective bargaining and ensure each worker gets fair compensation in the form of wages and benefits. That without unions, jobs keeping many people comfortably in the middle class would drop to near minimum wage.

    In my opinion, both sentiments are accurate. Unions do exist to protect the common laborer. The problem is, they are way to effective. And their effectiveness has upset the equilibrium in their respective markets. One side effect of this equilibrium upset is business are now considering undertaking the high initial cost of automating much of their production and distribution. In favor of the low operating costs the shift would bring in the future. Some see this shift as inevitable, and the only question is when will the bulk of our manufacturing and service industries pull the trigger.

    The ones still left in the US that is, because even cheaper than dealing with unions or shelling out for the automation. Is transporting your existing capital to a cheaper labor market. And with 2 billion people half of whom live well under the poverty line already, China can't be beat in the labor market. But the one drawback to Chinese labor is lack of certain infrastructure. High Tech production infrastructure to be exact. A great deal goes into making certain things, like planes, and while China does have some of its own. Most of their valuable infrastructure is state controlled. And if you built your own down there, the state could take that to. Communism sucks like that.

    I think it's to late to save certain industries, and near impossible to bring any back. But there are ones for lack of a better term, still stuck here. That we can expand. With our ultimate goal fending off automation for as long as possible while ensuring a fair market value for labor. And I think Unions easing off is a necessary step towards that. The most obvious concession Unions should make is on Terminations. Businesses should have a right to set a certain level of productivity. And if that level isn't met consistently, they should reserve the right to terminate. And employee compensation in total should equal the fair market price for the job in question. Businesses shouldn't be forced to pay for Cadillac insurance plans on top of an inflated salary. And finally, everyone should fund their own retirement. It's not difficult when your being fairly compensated for your work and you take appropriate steps.

    I do not mean to imply that the businesses should always be at an advantage. But rather, an equilibrium sought between the Unions ability to bargain on what fair market compensation is and the businesses right to maintain standards and a certain level of profitability. Finding this equilibrium will take a fair amount of patience and practice from everyone involved. And a great deal of thought, for anyone familiar with Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith. I recently stumbled on this article going into a different take on Smith's views. It claims Smith called for an equilibrium as well.

    How would you like to see the way Unions operate change? And what are your thoughts on Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations?

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    Re: Let's talk about Unions.

    Overall union membership is at historic lows yet they are too effective and strong?

    Wage gains for the income levels that used to be in union (again not so much today) has been stagnant or declining for decades.

    In the US private sector unions are not a problem for US manufacturing or for US service sector jobs. They are not the ones driving automation or off shoring.
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    Re: Let's talk about Unions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Tammerlain View Post
    Overall union membership is at historic lows yet they are too effective and strong?

    Wage gains for the income levels that used to be in union (again not so much today) has been stagnant or declining for decades.

    In the US private sector unions are not a problem for US manufacturing or for US service sector jobs. They are not the ones driving automation or off shoring.
    Ya, they are at lows because businesses are refusing to play with them at all. And why many conservative states are busting up unions in favor of the temp agency model. Which will hurt their constituents in the long run. And they are a factor, did not mean to imply they were the sole driver, in decisions to move offshore or automate.

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    Re: Let's talk about Unions.

    Quote Originally Posted by ThoughtEx. View Post
    Ya, they are at lows because businesses are refusing to play with them at all. And why many conservative states are busting up unions in favor of the temp agency model. Which will hurt their constituents in the long run. And they are a factor, did not mean to imply they were the sole driver, in decisions to move offshore or automate.
    You did say they were too stong, yet their power is probably at pre WW2 levels. Certainly much lower than during the 1950's. It is significantly lower than in the 1970's as well.

    With right to work srates being as common as they are I don't think private sector unions need to be weakened anymore than they already are to provide a balance. Weaken them anymore and they might as well not exist as they would not provide any benefit's ar all and yes they do. Income and benefits are generally higher at Union jobs
    Conservatives believe the government is incompetent, and seek to elect people who will prove it
    Ignorance is Bliss Bliss is the same as happiness US Christian conservatives are the happiest in the US according to studies Do you see a connection?

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    Re: Let's talk about Unions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Tammerlain View Post
    You did say they were too stong, yet their power is probably at pre WW2 levels. Certainly much lower than during the 1950's. It is significantly lower than in the 1970's as well.

    With right to work srates being as common as they are I don't think private sector unions need to be weakened anymore than they already are to provide a balance. Weaken them anymore and they might as well not exist as they would not provide any benefit's ar all and yes they do. Income and benefits are generally higher at Union jobs
    I failed to complete that thought I think. I think the things I mentioned in the OP should be adopted by Unions, not as a means to weaken them. But as a bargaining chip to get businesses not to leave the table, they are already at, for greener pastures. That their current postures and ideas of what they should be fighting for should be changed to seek an equilibrium.

    And when I said they are to strong, I am referring to places they are entrenched. And yes looking to history and what has been their downfall. I am not trying to favor business over union with this position. I'm trying to promote a balanced relationship.

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    Re: Let's talk about Unions.

    Quote Originally Posted by ThoughtEx. View Post
    I failed to complete that thought I think. I think the things I mentioned in the OP should be adopted by Unions, not as a means to weaken them. But as a bargaining chip to get businesses not to leave the table, they are already at, for greener pastures. That their current postures and ideas of what they should be fighting for should be changed to seek an equilibrium.

    And when I said they are to strong, I am referring to places they are entrenched. And yes looking to history and what has been their downfall. I am not trying to favor business over union with this position. I'm trying to promote a balanced relationship.
    Right to work does not do that.

    Allowing companiesto lockout and hire replacement/scab workers as a means of pressure can
    Conservatives believe the government is incompetent, and seek to elect people who will prove it
    Ignorance is Bliss Bliss is the same as happiness US Christian conservatives are the happiest in the US according to studies Do you see a connection?

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    Re: Let's talk about Unions.

    Union laws can't be based on balance between the parties. Union laws will always be a one sided affair because they are designed to provide unions with power they wouldn't otherwise have by limiting the power of business.

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    Re: Let's talk about Unions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Tammerlain View Post
    Right to work does not do that.

    Allowing companiesto lockout and hire replacement/scab workers as a means of pressure can
    I want to get past the point where pressure needs to be applied at all. And I think to do that, concessions need to be made on both sides. Unions need to seek more reasonable compensation and allow for company employment standards, and employers need to pay fair compensation.

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    Re: Let's talk about Unions.

    Quote Originally Posted by ThoughtEx. View Post
    Whenever someone mentions unions, one of two things usually comes to mind.

    1. Unions are political machines that create laws favorable to themselves, that hurt both employee and employer. They force businesses to pay unfair wages, and keep on employees who aren't pulling their weight. They are an example of why socialism is inferior to capitalism.

    2. Unions protect the common worker in a world hostile to the common worker. They allow for collective bargaining and ensure each worker gets fair compensation in the form of wages and benefits. That without unions, jobs keeping many people comfortably in the middle class would drop to near minimum wage.

    In my opinion, both sentiments are accurate. Unions do exist to protect the common laborer. The problem is, they are way to effective. And their effectiveness has upset the equilibrium in their respective markets. One side effect of this equilibrium upset is business are now considering undertaking the high initial cost of automating much of their production and distribution. In favor of the low operating costs the shift would bring in the future. Some see this shift as inevitable, and the only question is when will the bulk of our manufacturing and service industries pull the trigger.

    The ones still left in the US that is, because even cheaper than dealing with unions or shelling out for the automation. Is transporting your existing capital to a cheaper labor market. And with 2 billion people half of whom live well under the poverty line already, China can't be beat in the labor market. But the one drawback to Chinese labor is lack of certain infrastructure. High Tech production infrastructure to be exact. A great deal goes into making certain things, like planes, and while China does have some of its own. Most of their valuable infrastructure is state controlled. And if you built your own down there, the state could take that to. Communism sucks like that.

    I think it's to late to save certain industries, and near impossible to bring any back. But there are ones for lack of a better term, still stuck here. That we can expand. With our ultimate goal fending off automation for as long as possible while ensuring a fair market value for labor. And I think Unions easing off is a necessary step towards that. The most obvious concession Unions should make is on Terminations. Businesses should have a right to set a certain level of productivity. And if that level isn't met consistently, they should reserve the right to terminate. And employee compensation in total should equal the fair market price for the job in question. Businesses shouldn't be forced to pay for Cadillac insurance plans on top of an inflated salary. And finally, everyone should fund their own retirement. It's not difficult when your being fairly compensated for your work and you take appropriate steps.

    I do not mean to imply that the businesses should always be at an advantage. But rather, an equilibrium sought between the Unions ability to bargain on what fair market compensation is and the businesses right to maintain standards and a certain level of profitability. Finding this equilibrium will take a fair amount of patience and practice from everyone involved. And a great deal of thought, for anyone familiar with Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith. I recently stumbled on this article going into a different take on Smith's views. It claims Smith called for an equilibrium as well.

    How would you like to see the way Unions operate change? And what are your thoughts on Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations?
    Personally, for the most part, I think labor unions suck. They were a force for good back in the days of out of control sweat shops, however today, they are a negative force. While I do not have a problem with collective bargaining, I don't think it's right for any worker to be forced to join a labor union as a condition of getting employment at a specific company.
    “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.” ― Winston Churchill

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    Re: Let's talk about Unions.

    Quote Originally Posted by ObamacareFail View Post
    Personally, for the most part, I think labor unions suck. They were a force for good back in the days of out of control sweat shops, however today, they are a negative force. While I do not have a problem with collective bargaining, I don't think it's right for any worker to be forced to join a labor union as a condition of getting employment at a specific company.
    That's reasonable, and I don't disagree. Companies should be free to hire whomever they choose, union or not. But, I have noticed that companies today when given a cost effective option prefer to outsource hiring and HR. Unions giving up hiring exclusivity is a fair concession on their part I think. As most companies if offered a fair deal by unions would probably forgo using outside labor of their own free will.

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