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I think I'm starting to dislike unions...

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Posts

  • nescientistnescientist Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    Houn wrote: »
    Question: If a shop hasn't unionized yet, exactly what leverage is the "union" using to coerce 50%+1? I keep seeing the word "intimidate" thrown out. How, exactly?

    The word comes up not because there's any specific reason to believe that unions do or would intimidate employees beyond the natural incentive to do so; rather, it comes up because the purpose of anonymous elections is to prevent intimidation. So by ending anonymous elections, a potential for intimidation that just didn't exist before is introduced.

    As to "how" the only limitation is your imagination. You only have to sign a card once, so it could be as simple as receiving three phone calls a day until you relent. Or perhaps the guys at the bar won't talk to you anymore, or whatever. The biggest difference between anonymous and public votes isn't the result of anything illegal or even immoral: it's just normal social pressure. Still, that damages the validity of such votes as they no longer represent the true choice of an individual.

    But elections after a 3 month campaign by managment to force a no vote is?
    The obvious target (to me) is that lag time. Get rid of it, by whatever means necessary. I doubt there's any logistical reason for it to exist in the computer age.

    Fuck you.

    nescientist on
    Carl Sagan wrote:
    The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars.
  • HounHoun Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Houn wrote: »
    Question: If a shop hasn't unionized yet, exactly what leverage is the "union" using to coerce 50%+1? I keep seeing the word "intimidate" thrown out. How, exactly?

    The word comes up not because there's any specific reason to believe that unions do or would intimidate employees beyond the natural incentive to do so; rather, it comes up because the purpose of anonymous elections is to prevent intimidation. So by ending anonymous elections, a potential for intimidation that just didn't exist before is introduced.

    As to "how" the only limitation is your imagination. You only have to sign a card once, so it could be as simple as receiving three phone calls a day until you relent. Or perhaps the guys at the bar won't talk to you anymore, or whatever. The biggest difference between anonymous and public votes isn't the result of anything illegal or even immoral: it's just normal social pressure. Still, that damages the validity of such votes as they no longer represent the true choice of an individual.

    Well, shit. Social pressure? Fuck those pussies. I went through high school as a nerd. If you can't handle a few phone calls and cold shoulders, fuck you. Seriously, grow the fuck up and learn to deal with it.

    Disclaimer: This post is filled with bitterness.

    Houn on
  • mrdobalinamrdobalina Registered User
    edited December 2009
    Houn wrote: »
    Houn wrote: »
    Question: If a shop hasn't unionized yet, exactly what leverage is the "union" using to coerce 50%+1? I keep seeing the word "intimidate" thrown out. How, exactly?

    The word comes up not because there's any specific reason to believe that unions do or would intimidate employees beyond the natural incentive to do so; rather, it comes up because the purpose of anonymous elections is to prevent intimidation. So by ending anonymous elections, a potential for intimidation that just didn't exist before is introduced.

    As to "how" the only limitation is your imagination. You only have to sign a card once, so it could be as simple as receiving three phone calls a day until you relent. Or perhaps the guys at the bar won't talk to you anymore, or whatever. The biggest difference between anonymous and public votes isn't the result of anything illegal or even immoral: it's just normal social pressure. Still, that damages the validity of such votes as they no longer represent the true choice of an individual.

    Well, shit. Social pressure? Fuck those pussies. I went through high school as a nerd. If you can't handle a few phone calls and cold shoulders, fuck you. Seriously, grow the fuck up and learn to deal with it.

    Disclaimer: This post is filled with bitterness.

    Union intimidation is a serious and demeaning problem. I've seen cars keyed, punches thrown, ostracizing workers, spreading rumors, posting libel at the workplace, following people to their cars/home, posting home phone numbers and addresses publicly for people to harass with, name calling, creating a circle around the person so they are forced to push someone to get out of the chair, trashing desks, phone call campaigns, leaking private health information, and knocking things out of people hands to provoke a confrontation.

    I've had workers file stress claims and worker's comp for union intimidation, I've had the police called, and I've had people quit high paying jobs to escape the union they are forced to join.

    Please don't discount it.

    mrdobalina on
  • ScalfinScalfin __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2009
    On the other hand, the current law makes it so that you have to hand the company a list of people to pressure to get an "intimidation free" election.

    Scalfin on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    The rest of you, I fucking hate you for the fact that I now have a blue dot on this god awful thread.
  • HounHoun Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Yeah, it's a damn shame there's no legal recourse for stuff like that. Also, again, we're talking about before a union is formed.

    Forgive me if the idea of union intimidation leading to a 50%+1 card count strikes me as silly and aside from the norm. Still, I'm reasonable. Make it 60%+1 for insta-Union instead, if it worries you that much. The specifics can be tweaked here. I think we all can agree that the employer is far more likely to abuse the election process than the union, though. I think we can all agree that the employer generally has far worse legal threats to make, such as termination/reassignment, whereas so far we've got childish or criminal behavior being the only recourse for a domineering union.

    Houn on
  • nescientistnescientist Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Scalfin wrote: »
    On the other hand, the current law makes it so that you have to hand the company a list of people to pressure to get an "intimidation free" election.

    I was under the impression that the list goes to the NLRB, but shit, if this is the case then why aren't people trying to change this? I've acknowledged a number of times that there is a significant power disparity between employers and employees, and further that there are abuses of this disparity that need to be addressed.

    Perhaps if there were some mechanism by which any employee, at any time, could anonymously register with the NLRB their desire to unionize? Then just insta-union when half the employees do this.

    nescientist on
    Carl Sagan wrote:
    The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars.
  • JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Caaba Beankomy XobthroRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    JebusUD wrote: »
    Irond Will wrote: »
    The problem with American labor being uncompetitive has little to do with unions and everything to do with globalization an increased standards of living for Americans. If we want a laboring class that is economically competitive with southeast Asia, we as a country have to be all right with our fellow citizens living like skilled laborers in southeast Asia live. We have to be all right with our fellow citizens having the kind of job safety and working conditions as laborers in Southeast Asia.

    We aren't really okay with that as a society, and our skilled labor really isn't going to be competitive.

    Unions forcing up the salaries of unskilled or skilled labor are really just dragging out a dying way of life. I'm not really sure what will become of American workers in the future.

    Couldn't the converse work just as well? Bring up the standard of living of those outside America, thereby making hiring them equally attractive.

    That would be wonderful, but it's unfortunately not really within the power of the United States to accomplish. Perhaps if our military spending went into the IMF or something as some kind of grand strategy of economic, rather than military, hegemony, but that's even more of a pipe dream than what I just outlined above.

    Sure it is in our power. Stop trading with places that don't have rules. Refuse to buy goods from places that have practical slave labor. I think that "free trade" is the real problem here.

    JebusUD on
    And I won, so you lose,
    Guess it always comes down to.
  • MatthasnopantsMatthasnopants Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Everyone seems to be talking about management running a campaign of propaganda, which is accurate in that they do have an opportunity to present their side of the debate to the employees, but ignoring the fact that unions can also do this and tell/promise anything they want to the employees. Literally nothing is stopping the union from taking all the employees out for pizza and beer after work and talking about how they'll increase their wages by x amount of dollars/

    Matthasnopants on
  • mrdobalinamrdobalina Registered User
    edited December 2009
    Houn wrote: »
    Yeah, it's a damn shame there's no legal recourse for stuff like that. Also, again, we're talking about before a union is formed.

    Forgive me if the idea of union intimidation leading to a 50%+1 card count strikes me as silly and aside from the norm. Still, I'm reasonable. Make it 60%+1 for insta-Union instead, if it worries you that much. The specifics can be tweaked here. I think we all can agree that the employer is far more likely to abuse the election process than the union, though. I think we can all agree that the employer generally has far worse legal threats to make, such as termination/reassignment, whereas so far we've got childish or criminal behavior being the only recourse for a domineering union.

    If the legal recourse is good enough to protect workers from a union, why isn't it good enough to protect them from a company, which is a much richer and easier target.

    mrdobalina on
  • mrdobalinamrdobalina Registered User
    edited December 2009
    Everyone seems to be talking about management running a campaign of propaganda, which is accurate in that they do have an opportunity to present their side of the debate to the employees, but ignoring the fact that unions can also do this and tell/promise anything they want to the employees. Literally nothing is stopping the union from taking all the employees out for pizza and beer after work and talking about how they'll increase their wages by x amount of dollars/

    I recall that an employer, when faced with the prospect of unionizing, cannot make promises about what it will do for the employees, but only make the case about what it already has done.

    A union can promise the moon.

    edit: nor can the employer discuss the negatives about unions.

    mrdobalina on
  • AtomikaAtomika technology is your dickfist Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Deebaser wrote: »
    Laws can be changed. Without the "special interest unions" whispering sweet nothings into our legislators ears, the incentive not to get rid of these protections sadly fades.

    Legislators are going to repeal OSHA?


    Also?

    The States with the most unionized industry (Michigan, California, Oregon) also have three of the top five national unemployment rates.

    There may be a correlation.

    Atomika on
  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Deebaser wrote: »
    Laws can be changed. Without the "special interest unions" whispering sweet nothings into our legislators ears, the incentive not to get rid of these protections sadly fades.

    Legislators are going to repeal OSHA?


    Also?

    The States with the most unionized industry (Michigan, California, Oregon) also have three of the top five national unemployment rates.

    There may be a correlation.

    There's certainly a correlation between traditional, factory labor and unionization. Speaking to Michigan, there's virtually little our neutered unions can do to prevent a corporation from sending labor overseas to increase their surplus profit.

    The Crowing One on
    3rddocbottom.jpg
  • SageinaRageSageinaRage Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    So, I don't have any direct experience with unions myself, only stories from people I know who were in them (which is not much), and I have to say, the arguments surrounding them kind of baffle me.

    Like closed shop workplaces. I don't really understand the thought process that says you have to join a club to get a certain job. If the company wants to hire you, and you want to work, what's the problem? I realize that closed shops make unions more powerful and actually able to achieve their agendas better, but is that really good in and of itself? As people have noted, it's entirely possible for too much power to corrupt unions, especially if they're the only game in town.

    I guess the big question for me is why we can't have competition between unions. Make them optional, but if you're not in one, you don't get the benefits. Make unions actually have to convince workers to sign up, instead of strong-arming them. Make them have to demonstrate their usefulness to a company, by the quality of their workers, or whatever else. Make them have to stay on their toes and justify their existence and dues.

    Right now the argument feels like picking between two ludicrous and terrible extremes, and I don't really get why the middle ground isn't an option.

    SageinaRage on
  • KiplingKipling Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    So, I don't have any direct experience with unions myself, only stories from people I know who were in them (which is not much), and I have to say, the arguments surrounding them kind of baffle me.

    Like closed shop workplaces. I don't really understand the thought process that says you have to join a club to get a certain job. If the company wants to hire you, and you want to work, what's the problem? I realize that closed shops make unions more powerful and actually able to achieve their agendas better, but is that really good in and of itself? As people have noted, it's entirely possible for too much power to corrupt unions, especially if they're the only game in town.

    I guess the big question for me is why we can't have competition between unions. Make them optional, but if you're not in one, you don't get the benefits. Make unions actually have to convince workers to sign up, instead of strong-arming them. Make them have to demonstrate their usefulness to a company, by the quality of their workers, or whatever else. Make them have to stay on their toes and justify their existence and dues.

    Right now the argument feels like picking between two ludicrous and terrible extremes, and I don't really get why the middle ground isn't an option.

    You can't create a two-tiered system of union scales and non-union scales and have it be stable. It will eventually collapse to all or none, depending on the cost union membership. And no business would try to have a workplace where people doing the same job get paid differently depending on whether they joined a club or not. So the optimal cost of the union is zero at that point, and the union can't function at that price.

    The open shop worker benefits from the union work paid by other members without contributing themselves. Free riders - a classic economics problem. This is usually explained for big things, like military defense, fire/police protection. This is why evading taxes is such a big deal. Costco does not let nonmembers get the exact same prices that a paying member does because they wouldn't get anyone to pay the membership fee then.

    The opposite argument is that people should not have to join an organization to be employed. As in, we have the freedom to associate, so we have the freedom not to associate as well. So I have the "right to work" without compromising that freedom. Ignore all of the NDAs or non-compete clauses people have to sign to work.

    The free rider problem is like a large scale prisoner's dilemma, where even though it may be in the best interest for everyone to organize to gain benefits, because everyone looks out for themselves they all lose. In the prisoner dilemma, each person chooses the best option for them without know what the others chose. At its core, the union is linking all of the people into a single choice.

    The union does have the ability to screw itself over like the auto companies and the UAW did, but both sides were so self-unaware that they sort of deserved what happened.

    Kipling on
    3DS Friends: 1693-1781-7023
  • AtomikaAtomika technology is your dickfist Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    There's certainly a correlation between traditional, factory labor and unionization. Speaking to Michigan, there's virtually little our neutered unions can do to prevent a corporation from sending labor overseas to increase their surplus profit.

    But shouldn't that be what Unions are for?

    There's no given role for unions in market theory, so their influence on costs and pricing is a completely arbitrary (and lately, extremely harmful) part of the economic cycle. It forces the companies to compete by outsourcing to cheaper labor.

    If a union needs to be around to do anything (and that in itself is highly questionable), it should be to lobby industry and lawmakers to provide incentive to employers to keep using local labor. "Ensuring comfortable income and benefits" has no discernable place in economic funcitons until profitable companies have parity of competition. When it's losing the companies' money and business to keep using union labor, what incentive do they have to continue doing so?

    Atomika on
  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    In market theory Unions can be considered suppliers of labour, on the same way other contractors are suppliers of raw materials or spare parts. Employes rationaly join the union to get the best deals for their labour as joining as individuals creates increased competition amongst themselves, driving down their labour price.

    Freeriding is of course an option for employes, but a limited one as it would eventualy degrade unions into ineffectivness. Unions can also make exlusive labour deals with companies to limit accsess to employment(closed shop) in exchange for labour peace and limited wage growth.

    In other words they fit right in.

    And no union can compete with a foreign market where basic human rights are ignored. Thats why China is so popular as a outsourcing target.

    Kipling217 on
    Communicating from the last of the Babylon Stations.
  • AtomikaAtomika technology is your dickfist Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    In market theory Unions can be considered suppliers of labour, on the same way other contractors are suppliers of raw materials or spare parts. Employes rationaly join the union to get the best deals for their labour as joining as individuals creates increased competition amongst themselves, driving down their labour price.

    It makes sense from a labor supply angle, but considering the existence of right-to-work laws and anti-collusive legislation, companies aren't legally obligated to hire only from union pools. Properous economic parity offers more incentive to raise wages and benefits to employs than does any arbitrary collective bargaining agreement. Employers are willing to pay more for skilled labor as long as they're making money (and given that outsourcing is curbed. I'm with ya there).
    Unions can also make exlusive labour deals with companies to limit accsess to employment(closed shop) in exchange for labour peace and limited wage growth.

    In other words they fit right in.

    Collusion and limiting access to employment is basically the antithesis of market economics. Much like most of unions' functions.

    Atomika on
  • SageinaRageSageinaRage Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Kipling wrote: »
    So, I don't have any direct experience with unions myself, only stories from people I know who were in them (which is not much), and I have to say, the arguments surrounding them kind of baffle me.

    Like closed shop workplaces. I don't really understand the thought process that says you have to join a club to get a certain job. If the company wants to hire you, and you want to work, what's the problem? I realize that closed shops make unions more powerful and actually able to achieve their agendas better, but is that really good in and of itself? As people have noted, it's entirely possible for too much power to corrupt unions, especially if they're the only game in town.

    I guess the big question for me is why we can't have competition between unions. Make them optional, but if you're not in one, you don't get the benefits. Make unions actually have to convince workers to sign up, instead of strong-arming them. Make them have to demonstrate their usefulness to a company, by the quality of their workers, or whatever else. Make them have to stay on their toes and justify their existence and dues.

    Right now the argument feels like picking between two ludicrous and terrible extremes, and I don't really get why the middle ground isn't an option.

    You can't create a two-tiered system of union scales and non-union scales and have it be stable. It will eventually collapse to all or none, depending on the cost union membership. And no business would try to have a workplace where people doing the same job get paid differently depending on whether they joined a club or not. So the optimal cost of the union is zero at that point, and the union can't function at that price.

    Can you elaborate more on this? This is the usual response to this question, to hand-wave it away and then talk about free-riders, and I'd like to see it fleshed out more, because I'm not seeing why it's so unfeasible. Companies already have union and non-union scales, albeit for different jobs. People can already be paid different amounts for the same job. And if everyone joins the union because it's in their best interests, then the system's working, right? And if everyone leaves the union because it's not in their interests, the system's working, right? And it's not a question of whether the business would TRY to accomplish this, if the only available workers are in a union, or the only quality workers, then they would have to go with them.

    SageinaRage on
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    mrdobalina wrote: »
    Houn wrote: »
    Yeah, it's a damn shame there's no legal recourse for stuff like that. Also, again, we're talking about before a union is formed.

    Forgive me if the idea of union intimidation leading to a 50%+1 card count strikes me as silly and aside from the norm. Still, I'm reasonable. Make it 60%+1 for insta-Union instead, if it worries you that much. The specifics can be tweaked here. I think we all can agree that the employer is far more likely to abuse the election process than the union, though. I think we can all agree that the employer generally has far worse legal threats to make, such as termination/reassignment, whereas so far we've got childish or criminal behavior being the only recourse for a domineering union.

    If the legal recourse is good enough to protect workers from a union, why isn't it good enough to protect them from a company, which is a much richer and easier target.

    because there generally are not laws against the things companies do to intimidate their workers?

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
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    or do you believe?
  • AtomikaAtomika technology is your dickfist Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Dyscord wrote: »
    because there generally are not laws against the things companies do to intimidate their workers?

    Can I get some clarification on that?

    What would a company do to intimidate a worker in this context?

    Atomika on
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Dyscord wrote: »
    because there generally are not laws against the things companies do to intimidate their workers?

    Can I get some clarification on that?

    What would a company do to intimidate a worker in this context?

    workers supporting unionization are a lot more likely to be fired than their counterparts.

    and often enough the laws against worker intimidation by companies go unenforced, as proving those things in civil litigation is difficult, time consuming and expensive

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
    NREqxl5.jpg
    do you lack faith, brother?
    or do you believe?
  • nescientistnescientist Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Dyscord wrote: »
    because there generally are not laws against the things companies do to intimidate their workers?

    Can I get some clarification on that?

    What would a company do to intimidate a worker in this context?


    Mess with their hours, shift their position around, dock their pay, or fire them.

    nescientist on
    Carl Sagan wrote:
    The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars.
  • CorvusCorvus . VancouverRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I work in government, so I'm unionized. By and large my union is somewhat useless, and not very good at actually engaging with its members. They've sent me all sorts of NDP propoganda in the mail, telling me who I should vote for, but not actually anything about say, who the closest shop steward is or how to approach them if I need help or advice.

    On the one hand, I have good benefits, and a good work environment. On the other hand, as others have said though, plenty of incompetents stay in their jobs because of unions. That said, most of the shirking and not getting shit done I see on a daily basis is actually done by mid level managers, and most of questionable stewardship of public funds is done by senior managers, and management of course is non-unionized. Incompetence isn't just protected by unions, being a relentless self promoter with a good hair cut who doesn't actually do anything protects it too.

    Corvus on
    :so_raven:
  • AtomikaAtomika technology is your dickfist Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Mess with their hours, shift their position around, dock their pay, or fire them.

    All of which have legal recourses. It's not in a company's best interest to fuck over employees in a competetive marketplace.

    Atomika on
  • HarrierHarrier Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    JebusUD wrote: »
    JebusUD wrote: »
    Irond Will wrote: »
    The problem with American labor being uncompetitive has little to do with unions and everything to do with globalization an increased standards of living for Americans. If we want a laboring class that is economically competitive with southeast Asia, we as a country have to be all right with our fellow citizens living like skilled laborers in southeast Asia live. We have to be all right with our fellow citizens having the kind of job safety and working conditions as laborers in Southeast Asia.

    We aren't really okay with that as a society, and our skilled labor really isn't going to be competitive.

    Unions forcing up the salaries of unskilled or skilled labor are really just dragging out a dying way of life. I'm not really sure what will become of American workers in the future.

    Couldn't the converse work just as well? Bring up the standard of living of those outside America, thereby making hiring them equally attractive.

    That would be wonderful, but it's unfortunately not really within the power of the United States to accomplish. Perhaps if our military spending went into the IMF or something as some kind of grand strategy of economic, rather than military, hegemony, but that's even more of a pipe dream than what I just outlined above.

    Sure it is in our power. Stop trading with places that don't have rules. Refuse to buy goods from places that have practical slave labor. I think that "free trade" is the real problem here.
    I can't fucking believe it never occurs to anyone that free trade isn't inevitable. We could slam shut the country's borders to foreign trade in a very hard way. The United States could close its borders to most foreign goods and break the entire globalization apparatus, and the world would be better for it.

    Harrier on
    I don't wanna kill anybody. I don't like bullies. I don't care where they're from.
  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Mess with their hours, shift their position around, dock their pay, or fire them.

    All of which have legal recourses. It's not in a company's best interest to fuck over employees in a competetive marketplace.

    And yet the power disparity between a company and a single individual who doesn't have the resources of George Soros is going to be real and definitely create an unfair and unbalanced situation. This is the basic point of unions: capital is organized, and through unions labour becomes organized, so as to better reckon with the power of organized capital. I think you are being disingenuous by proposing that there is an equality between a worker who has had his shifts worked over and his pay cut and the company who is doing those things.
    It makes sense from a labor supply angle, but considering the existence of right-to-work laws and anti-collusive legislation, companies aren't legally obligated to hire only from union pools. Properous economic parity offers more incentive to raise wages and benefits to employs than does any arbitrary collective bargaining agreement. Employers are willing to pay more for skilled labor as long as they're making money (and given that outsourcing is curbed. I'm with ya there).
    Collusion and limiting access to employment is basically the antithesis of market economics. Much like most of unions' functions.

    No. Unions are rational economic actors, most of the time. They organize and sell their own commodity - labour - in such a way as to maximize the benefit for those who create the value (the labourer). All economic actors do basically this same sort of thing. So when Apple creates a good (iPods) they organize themselves in the market place in such a way as to sell their iPods to create the maximum benefit for themselves and their shareholders.

    The notable thing with trade unions is that apart from knowledge, which can be limited and made to be esoteric, the basic commodity which they seek to hawk in the market place (labour) is something which they, by definition, can never ever have a monopoly on. Any given individual can provide labour, and yet unions don't represent every person on the planet. Indeed, it would be impossible for unions to represent everyone on the planet practically speaking.
    Kipling wrote:
    In market theory Unions can be considered suppliers of labour, on the same way other contractors are suppliers of raw materials or spare parts. Employes rationaly join the union to get the best deals for their labour as joining as individuals creates increased competition amongst themselves, driving down their labour price.

    Freeriding is of course an option for employes, but a limited one as it would eventualy degrade unions into ineffectivness. Unions can also make exlusive labour deals with companies to limit accsess to employment(closed shop) in exchange for labour peace and limited wage growth.

    In other words they fit right in.

    And no union can compete with a foreign market where basic human rights are ignored. Thats why China is so popular as a outsourcing target.

    This is a good post, and this last sentence hits the nail right on the head.

    saggio on
    3DS: 0232-9436-6893
  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Harrier wrote: »
    JebusUD wrote: »
    JebusUD wrote: »
    Irond Will wrote: »
    The problem with American labor being uncompetitive has little to do with unions and everything to do with globalization an increased standards of living for Americans. If we want a laboring class that is economically competitive with southeast Asia, we as a country have to be all right with our fellow citizens living like skilled laborers in southeast Asia live. We have to be all right with our fellow citizens having the kind of job safety and working conditions as laborers in Southeast Asia.

    We aren't really okay with that as a society, and our skilled labor really isn't going to be competitive.

    Unions forcing up the salaries of unskilled or skilled labor are really just dragging out a dying way of life. I'm not really sure what will become of American workers in the future.

    Couldn't the converse work just as well? Bring up the standard of living of those outside America, thereby making hiring them equally attractive.

    That would be wonderful, but it's unfortunately not really within the power of the United States to accomplish. Perhaps if our military spending went into the IMF or something as some kind of grand strategy of economic, rather than military, hegemony, but that's even more of a pipe dream than what I just outlined above.

    Sure it is in our power. Stop trading with places that don't have rules. Refuse to buy goods from places that have practical slave labor. I think that "free trade" is the real problem here.
    I can't fucking believe it never occurs to anyone that free trade isn't inevitable. We could slam shut the country's borders to foreign trade in a very hard way. The United States could close its borders to most foreign goods and break the entire globalization apparatus, and the world would be better for it.

    The free flow of capital will never work properly unless there is also a free flow of labour.

    Anyone want to guess when that will happen?

    saggio on
    3DS: 0232-9436-6893
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    mrdobalina wrote: »
    Everyone seems to be talking about management running a campaign of propaganda, which is accurate in that they do have an opportunity to present their side of the debate to the employees, but ignoring the fact that unions can also do this and tell/promise anything they want to the employees. Literally nothing is stopping the union from taking all the employees out for pizza and beer after work and talking about how they'll increase their wages by x amount of dollars/

    I recall that an employer, when faced with the prospect of unionizing, cannot make promises about what it will do for the employees, but only make the case about what it already has done.

    A union can promise the moon.

    edit: nor can the employer discuss the negatives about unions.

    The employer can discuss negatives of unions... that's legit. But they can't start offering things to employees, changing the workplace, or anything like that.

    Shadowfire on
    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Point 1; Problem with globalisation is that Corporations are organised, not just on an idividual basis, but across entire industries of the economy and across industries. They are using that organistation to get laws and regulation passed that benefit themselves. And they are not just doing it in the US, but across the world.

    Point 2; Every Corporation in the world has a rational vested interest in weakening the power of unions. The majority also have a rational vested interest in being able to move their factories to places with less regulation. Every electronics corporation, every textile manufacturer and so on. Any chinese worker trying to bargain for a better deal is going to find the US owners of their factory ratting them out to the authorites. Because its rational to do so for an individual company, its only when you see the market as a whole it gets fucked up.

    Kipling217 on
    Communicating from the last of the Babylon Stations.
  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    mrdobalina wrote: »
    Everyone seems to be talking about management running a campaign of propaganda, which is accurate in that they do have an opportunity to present their side of the debate to the employees, but ignoring the fact that unions can also do this and tell/promise anything they want to the employees. Literally nothing is stopping the union from taking all the employees out for pizza and beer after work and talking about how they'll increase their wages by x amount of dollars/

    I recall that an employer, when faced with the prospect of unionizing, cannot make promises about what it will do for the employees, but only make the case about what it already has done.

    A union can promise the moon.

    edit: nor can the employer discuss the negatives about unions.

    The employer can discuss negatives of unions... that's legit. But they can't start offering things to employees, changing the workplace, or anything like that.

    I'm confused as to why the employer has any say whatsoever during the unionization process.

    saggio on
    3DS: 0232-9436-6893
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Because they have just as much of a vested interest as the employees do? In some ways, more so?

    The point is more that if employees come to their managers and ask them about the unionization, those managers can say to the employee how they feel about the thought of unionization. It can be anecdotes of their own experiences, what they've heard from others... but it's completely legit.

    Shadowfire on
    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Because they have just as much of a vested interest as the employees do? In some ways, more so?

    The point is more that if employees come to their managers and ask them about the unionization, those managers can say to the employee how they feel about the thought of unionization. It can be anecdotes of their own experiences, what they've heard from others... but it's completely legit.

    Of course walking up to a manager in a at-will state and asking about unionization is a good way to get fired.

    Kipling217 on
    Communicating from the last of the Babylon Stations.
  • Element BrianElement Brian Peanut Butter Shill Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I read the first 3 paragraphs of the op thinking the guy was talking about Onions...it made for a far more interesting read.

    Element Brian on
    Switch FC code:SW-2130-4285-0059

    Arch,
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  • Salvation122Salvation122 Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Harrier wrote: »
    JebusUD wrote: »
    JebusUD wrote: »
    Irond Will wrote: »
    The problem with American labor being uncompetitive has little to do with unions and everything to do with globalization an increased standards of living for Americans. If we want a laboring class that is economically competitive with southeast Asia, we as a country have to be all right with our fellow citizens living like skilled laborers in southeast Asia live. We have to be all right with our fellow citizens having the kind of job safety and working conditions as laborers in Southeast Asia.

    We aren't really okay with that as a society, and our skilled labor really isn't going to be competitive.

    Unions forcing up the salaries of unskilled or skilled labor are really just dragging out a dying way of life. I'm not really sure what will become of American workers in the future.

    Couldn't the converse work just as well? Bring up the standard of living of those outside America, thereby making hiring them equally attractive.

    That would be wonderful, but it's unfortunately not really within the power of the United States to accomplish. Perhaps if our military spending went into the IMF or something as some kind of grand strategy of economic, rather than military, hegemony, but that's even more of a pipe dream than what I just outlined above.

    Sure it is in our power. Stop trading with places that don't have rules. Refuse to buy goods from places that have practical slave labor. I think that "free trade" is the real problem here.
    I can't fucking believe it never occurs to anyone that free trade isn't inevitable. We could slam shut the country's borders to foreign trade in a very hard way. The United States could close its borders to most foreign goods and break the entire globalization apparatus, and the world would be better for it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7U7QJu_Wsbk

    Salvation122 on
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  • MatthasnopantsMatthasnopants Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Because they have just as much of a vested interest as the employees do? In some ways, more so?

    The point is more that if employees come to their managers and ask them about the unionization, those managers can say to the employee how they feel about the thought of unionization. It can be anecdotes of their own experiences, what they've heard from others... but it's completely legit.

    Of course walking up to a manager in a at-will state and asking about unionization is a good way to get fired.

    And when you get fired for doing so you tell whoever is trying to organize you that you got fired for asking about it and they file an unfair labor practice grievance with the NLRB and the company is boned. Is that really so difficult?

    Matthasnopants on
  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Because they have just as much of a vested interest as the employees do? In some ways, more so?

    The point is more that if employees come to their managers and ask them about the unionization, those managers can say to the employee how they feel about the thought of unionization. It can be anecdotes of their own experiences, what they've heard from others... but it's completely legit.

    Of course walking up to a manager in a at-will state and asking about unionization is a good way to get fired.

    And when you get fired for doing so you tell whoever is trying to organize you that you got fired for asking about it and they file an unfair labor practice grievance with the NLRB and the company is boned. Is that really so difficult?

    If you got fired for asking about unionization? No If you got fired for "failing to uphold work standards" or "Cronicaly 1 minute tardy" or some such deal? Yes.

    Kipling217 on
    Communicating from the last of the Babylon Stations.
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Because they have just as much of a vested interest as the employees do? In some ways, more so?

    The point is more that if employees come to their managers and ask them about the unionization, those managers can say to the employee how they feel about the thought of unionization. It can be anecdotes of their own experiences, what they've heard from others... but it's completely legit.

    Of course walking up to a manager in a at-will state and asking about unionization is a good way to get fired.

    Another myth.. at-will employment is incredibly not at-will most of the time. The minute your company introduces a handbook with rules and terms, it becomes difficult to fire people.

    Shadowfire on
    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • MatthasnopantsMatthasnopants Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Because they have just as much of a vested interest as the employees do? In some ways, more so?

    The point is more that if employees come to their managers and ask them about the unionization, those managers can say to the employee how they feel about the thought of unionization. It can be anecdotes of their own experiences, what they've heard from others... but it's completely legit.

    Of course walking up to a manager in a at-will state and asking about unionization is a good way to get fired.

    And when you get fired for doing so you tell whoever is trying to organize you that you got fired for asking about it and they file an unfair labor practice grievance with the NLRB and the company is boned. Is that really so difficult?

    If you got fired for asking about unionization? No If you got fired for "failing to uphold work standards" or "Cronicaly 1 minute tardy" or some such deal? Yes.

    You seem to be under some sort of false impression that a company can make up whatever bullshit excuse they want and that the NLRB will buy it which simply isn't true. When you have a grievance like that filed against you the NLRB has one of their investigators, as in employed by the NLRB, go over the case and assuming they find any kind of merit the company will be taken to court. While I'm sure there are companies that have gotten away with this it isn't this automatic, easy thing that always happens that you seem to think it is.

    Matthasnopants on
  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Because they have just as much of a vested interest as the employees do? In some ways, more so?

    The point is more that if employees come to their managers and ask them about the unionization, those managers can say to the employee how they feel about the thought of unionization. It can be anecdotes of their own experiences, what they've heard from others... but it's completely legit.

    Of course walking up to a manager in a at-will state and asking about unionization is a good way to get fired.

    And when you get fired for doing so you tell whoever is trying to organize you that you got fired for asking about it and they file an unfair labor practice grievance with the NLRB and the company is boned. Is that really so difficult?

    If you got fired for asking about unionization? No If you got fired for "failing to uphold work standards" or "Cronicaly 1 minute tardy" or some such deal? Yes.

    You seem to be under some sort of false impression that a company can make up whatever bullshit excuse they want and that the NLRB will buy it which simply isn't true. When you have a grievance like that filed against you the NLRB has one of their investigators, as in employed by the NLRB, go over the case and assuming they find any kind of merit the company will be taken to court. While I'm sure there are companies that have gotten away with this it isn't this automatic, easy thing that always happens that you seem to think it is.

    And I don't think you realise the shenanigans companies can get away with without even trying. And how many investigators do you think the NLRB has anyways? And what case load do you think they got? And a company can screw over an employee in so many ways that are perfectly legal.


    There is a reason that the unions deal with work-place griveances a lot of the time. If the NLRB was as effective as you think it is, we really wouldn't need unions for that kind of problem.

    Kipling217 on
    Communicating from the last of the Babylon Stations.
  • MatthasnopantsMatthasnopants Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Because they have just as much of a vested interest as the employees do? In some ways, more so?

    The point is more that if employees come to their managers and ask them about the unionization, those managers can say to the employee how they feel about the thought of unionization. It can be anecdotes of their own experiences, what they've heard from others... but it's completely legit.

    Of course walking up to a manager in a at-will state and asking about unionization is a good way to get fired.

    And when you get fired for doing so you tell whoever is trying to organize you that you got fired for asking about it and they file an unfair labor practice grievance with the NLRB and the company is boned. Is that really so difficult?

    If you got fired for asking about unionization? No If you got fired for "failing to uphold work standards" or "Cronicaly 1 minute tardy" or some such deal? Yes.

    You seem to be under some sort of false impression that a company can make up whatever bullshit excuse they want and that the NLRB will buy it which simply isn't true. When you have a grievance like that filed against you the NLRB has one of their investigators, as in employed by the NLRB, go over the case and assuming they find any kind of merit the company will be taken to court. While I'm sure there are companies that have gotten away with this it isn't this automatic, easy thing that always happens that you seem to think it is.

    And I don't think you realise the shenanigans companies can get away with without even trying. And how many investigators do you think the NLRB has anyways? And what case load do you think they got? And a company can screw over an employee in so many ways that are perfectly legal.


    There is a reason that the unions deal with work-place griveances a lot of the time. If the NLRB was as effective as you think it is, we really wouldn't need unions for that kind of problem.

    I'm wondering what you're basing your assumption about the ineffectiveness of the NLRB on. I don't have any numbers for that but I'm guessing you don't either. Also, what ways can they screw employees that an employee can't report to their union organizer and/or the NLRB?

    Also a huge part of the point of unions is to deal with work-place grievances once they're installed. Obviously the NLRB has to handle them before that and does in certain cases afterwards.

    Matthasnopants on
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