[Unions] Time to get Fired...up?

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  • TNTrooperTNTrooper Registered User regular
    Sleep wrote: »
    TNTrooper wrote: »
    When I worked at Wal-Mart managers would fire people they didn't like for the most petty bullshit. I want unions to challenge just about every termination. I just expect them to back down when someone gets fired for coming in high on meth and grabs a can of hair spray and lighter and tries to burn the store down. I also want a unicorn pony.

    Honestly I don't expect them to back down. I think the employer and union should get that employee detox and rehab for their meth problem, or at least explain they gotta wait till after work for the meth so they don't do that crazy shit again. If they start doing it every wednesday and refuse treatment, then maybe we can get to firing them.

    These corps demand our whole lives to solve their problems, but balk at the idea that they should have to help with our problems. It's totally bullshit. Corps should have far more responsibility to their employees than they currently do.

    I wasn't making that story up. He set the cardboard waiting to be crushed on fire then ran around blasting off his homemade flamethrower. We had to evacuate the store and wait for him to get arrested and the fire department to make sure there wasn't any fires. He lost his job cause you can't work from jail when you are doing time for arson. That being said he picked a busy Saturday to this and everyone got to go home early and still get paid so he was pretty cool in the eyes of us lowly peasants.

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  • JavenJaven Registered User regular
    Peen wrote: »
    I have also seen unions go to great lengths to protect an individual member from corrective action when that person's behavior or performance is affecting everyone else that they work with, such that the other people in the workplace have gone to the union to say please stop protecting this person who is hurting the rest of us.

    That's not to say that unions are bad but if you aren't happy with how your union is working then continue getting involved. A lot of union leadership happens on a volunteer basis by those willing to show up and those people may or may not have your specific interests in mind.

    Like I said earlier, since corporations have all the power, so unions are kind of forced to be more reactionary in how they handle disputes and how they set their agendas. Since companies have pretty much gone all-in on at-will employment and such, unions feel forced to basically take the exact opposite approach. If companies want to be able to fire people for no reason, unions must then defend their employees regardless of reason, even if that reason would normally be considered justified.

    Sexual harassment/assault, for example, is a huge blindspot for unions RE accountability amongst its members, espeically considering how difficult it is to prove, and how often there's no paper trail.

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  • PeenPeen tw1tch0rz occasionallyRegistered User regular
    My experience is entirely with public sector unions, I've never worked in the private sector and don't know anything about anything in that space.

    I've been on both sides of public sector, member for a while and now manager for a while and so I'm mostly going to stay out of this thread because I don't think my point of view is going to be especially useful.

    But yeah, sexual harassment and sometimes actual violence are real blind spots and trying to get that stuff dealt with as a manager has been really hard and a total bummer.

  • JavenJaven Registered User regular
    edited March 9
    Just because unions are good, doesn't mean that they're Good.

    It can feel counterproductive to call out their faults and missteps, since it feels like giving ammo to the opposition, but it's still important to do so.

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  • ZibblsnrtZibblsnrt Registered User regular
    Most people here calling out their faults and missteps seem to be doing so explicitly as "proof" that they are both bad and Bad, though.

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  • ShortyShorty JUDGE BROSEF Registered User regular
    edited March 9
    unions are good and necessary and I wish we had more of them

    I wish every worker was in a union

    I do have criticisms of them but they're directed entirely at union leadership, and nearly all of them would evaporate if everyone was in a union

    Shorty on
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  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    Unions are Good, union leadership needs to be kept on a short leash and be aware they can lose their position.

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  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    Unions are Good, union leadership needs to be kept on a short leash and be aware they can lose their position.

    The question of "Can X group be bad?" is always yes. There isn't some magical righteous power endowed to humanity via the blessings of a union. It's a group of people, and people can suck.

    The thing here is that we don't question the existence of corporations, courts of law, governments, baseball teams, the state of marriage, or other social institutions because some of them suck. But boy do we do so with unions.

    And most "Manager stories" I see here and elsewhere are not only a testament to the necessity of unions, but an indictment of just how freely we give people with no real qualifications, judgement, or ability incredible amounts of power over people's lives.

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  • PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    Any position of power that isn't held accountable will always, always lead to corruption. Which is why democracy is merely the least bad form of government (well, philosopher kings, but those are theoretical without true AI at a minimum)

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  • Stabbity StyleStabbity Style Warning: Mothership Reporting Kennewick, WARegistered User regular
    Polaritie wrote: »
    Any position of power that isn't held accountable will always, always lead to corruption. Which is why democracy is merely the least bad form of government (well, philosopher kings, but those are theoretical without true AI at a minimum)

    And as a worker, you have infinitely more power to hold a bad union leader accountable than you do a bad boss.

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  • PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    Polaritie wrote: »
    Any position of power that isn't held accountable will always, always lead to corruption. Which is why democracy is merely the least bad form of government (well, philosopher kings, but those are theoretical without true AI at a minimum)

    And as a worker, you have infinitely more power to hold a bad union leader accountable than you do a bad boss.

    Yes, with all the usual pitfalls of democracy, but yes.

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  • KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    edited March 10
    Ketherial wrote: »
    This is absolutely untrue. A union grievance is not a court of law; proving that the accused action(s) took place is typically not the deciding factor over whether someone is fired or not, and a union will almost always continue to fight the firing even if it's proven that the employee is guilty of what they were accused of.

    This is just dumb propaganda. We have multiple people here from union shops testifying that unions don't interfere with firing for causes like failure to adhere to safety regulations, failure to show without notification or just cause, or showing up inebriated.

    i manage a union shop and i don't think what he's said is dumb propoganda at all. in fact, in my 10 years managing union relations, it has been 100% accurate. the union fights every termination, regardless of cause. the union fought me on terminating an employee that we caught stealing a guest's property, on video. they also fought me on a termination over an employee who was fighting in the lobby, using a screwdriver as a weapon, also caught on video. absurd!

    while i understand that there are good unions and bad unions, i would contest this thread's anecdotal evidence with my own. my lengthy experience with unions has convinced me that they no longer hold the moral high ground.

    and this is coming from a lifelong liberal and staunch democrat who will do everything in his power to get the republicans out of office throughout the country. i just disagree with all the liberals / dems on this issue. unions are terrible for us. police unions are the worst, definitely.

    once upon a time, unions were amazing and necessary for our country. they made our country a better place. and they may still be great in other countries or other states or jurisdictions. but my experience with unions in my industry have been nothing but horrible, shortsighted and totally corrupt.

    edit: i don't work in the public sector, so these comments about how public sector unions are especially shitty and private sector unions are rainbows and butterflies don't apply. there are plenty of private sector unions that are shitty and corrupt also.

    So, let me get this straight - you treat unions as the enemy, yet you expect them to trust you when you want to fire a member? What have you done to give them any reason to think you are working with them in good faith? It's no surprise that they challenge you on any such decision, because you've poisoned the well so thoroughly. And this is something I see over and over - employers attack unions, treat them with contempt...and then look surprised when the favor is returned.

    not that this is that relevant, but actually our company got along great with the union. we never had a single grievance until i tried to terminate the person who was stealing. and then again, when i tried to terminate the person who was trying to stab a coworker with a screwdriver. we literally had zero grievances until then.

    so, no i didn't poison the well.

    but i do treat unions as the enemy. because they are the enemy. i am honest with myself and with others. if you don't think the unions are the enemy of management, then you are being naive.

    the employees are not the enemies of management. but the unions? yes, absolutely they are. they are stupid, short-sighted and corrupt. for example, they made me fire the coworker who was defending himself against the employee who was swinging the screwdriver at him because the coworker "fought back".

    i don't think you will care about the details in your blind zealotry, but just so you don't assume foolish things again, the coworker (victim) actually called over a manager first, before the fighting and asked the manager to tell the assailant-employee to calm down. my manager went over to try and de-escalate, but the assailant got angrier and threw the first punch and my manager screamed and fell down, hurting her hip. the victim tackled the assailant and took him to the ground, punched him, then backed away once he was no longer a threat.

    the union told me that if i didn't fire both employees, then they would force me into arbitration through a grievance process. awesome. so i fired both of them, including the victim and i felt terrible for him because he was just defending himself and my manager. to be honest, i have no idea to this day why they wanted me to fire both of them instead of just the assailant.

    so yeah, not a big fan of unions. they are definitely the enemy of good business.

    Ketherial on
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Ketherial wrote: »
    Ketherial wrote: »
    This is absolutely untrue. A union grievance is not a court of law; proving that the accused action(s) took place is typically not the deciding factor over whether someone is fired or not, and a union will almost always continue to fight the firing even if it's proven that the employee is guilty of what they were accused of.

    This is just dumb propaganda. We have multiple people here from union shops testifying that unions don't interfere with firing for causes like failure to adhere to safety regulations, failure to show without notification or just cause, or showing up inebriated.

    i manage a union shop and i don't think what he's said is dumb propoganda at all. in fact, in my 10 years managing union relations, it has been 100% accurate. the union fights every termination, regardless of cause. the union fought me on terminating an employee that we caught stealing a guest's property, on video. they also fought me on a termination over an employee who was fighting in the lobby, using a screwdriver as a weapon, also caught on video. absurd!

    while i understand that there are good unions and bad unions, i would contest this thread's anecdotal evidence with my own. my lengthy experience with unions has convinced me that they no longer hold the moral high ground.

    and this is coming from a lifelong liberal and staunch democrat who will do everything in his power to get the republicans out of office throughout the country. i just disagree with all the liberals / dems on this issue. unions are terrible for us. police unions are the worst, definitely.

    once upon a time, unions were amazing and necessary for our country. they made our country a better place. and they may still be great in other countries or other states or jurisdictions. but my experience with unions in my industry have been nothing but horrible, shortsighted and totally corrupt.

    edit: i don't work in the public sector, so these comments about how public sector unions are especially shitty and private sector unions are rainbows and butterflies don't apply. there are plenty of private sector unions that are shitty and corrupt also.

    So, let me get this straight - you treat unions as the enemy, yet you expect them to trust you when you want to fire a member? What have you done to give them any reason to think you are working with them in good faith? It's no surprise that they challenge you on any such decision, because you've poisoned the well so thoroughly. And this is something I see over and over - employers attack unions, treat them with contempt...and then look surprised when the favor is returned.

    not that this is that relevant, but actually our company got along great with the union. we never had a single grievance until i tried to terminate the person who was stealing. and then again, when i tried to terminate the person who was trying to stab a coworker with a screwdriver. we literally had zero grievances until then.

    so, no i didn't poison the well.

    but i do treat unions as the enemy. because they are the enemy. i am honest with myself and with others. if you don't think the unions are the enemy of management, then you are being naive.

    the employees are not the enemies of management. but the unions? yes, absolutely they are. they are stupid, short-sighted and corrupt. for example, they made me fire the coworker who was defending himself against the employee who was swinging the screwdriver at him because the coworker "fought back".

    i don't think you will care about the details in your blind zealotry, but just so you don't assume foolish things again, the coworker (victim) actually called over a manager first, before the fighting and asked the manager to tell the assailant-employee to calm down. my manager went over to try and de-escalate, but the assailant got angrier and threw the first punch and my manager screamed and fell down, hurting her hip. the victim tackled the assailant and took him to the ground, punched him, then backed away once he was no longer a threat.

    the union told me that if i didn't fire both employees, then they would force me into arbitration through a grievance process. awesome. so i fired both of them, including the victim and i felt terrible for him because he was just defending himself and my manager. to be honest, i have no idea to this day why they wanted me to fire both of them instead of just the assailant.

    so yeah, not a big fan of unions. they are definitely the enemy of good business.

    So, you had all this evidence that the one employee was the victim and that the other person had attacked a manager, and instead of standing up for your employee, you threw him under the bus, because that was easier for you.

    And then you wonder why I'm not terribly sympathetic to your position.

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  • KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    Javen wrote: »
    Ketherial wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Unions will 100% act toward their financial interests with no regards for morality. So will management. That is just how groups of people work. If you think it will be otherwise because they are composed of the virtuous proletariat I have a bridge to sell you.

    But the point of an adversarial system is that you have two sides with opposed interests and equalish power so the side with the facts on it's side will usually win.

    i 100% agree with you! there is no moral high ground anymore. both sides are greedy for power and money.

    we need to regulate both sides and address both the problems that come from unregulated corporate management as well as those that arise from corrupt union control. clearly unregulated management and unequal opportunity and distribution of wealth is the biggest problem. i don't think anyone can pretend otherwise.

    but man, unions sure are terrible (in my experience).

    Unions are good and necessary.It's just a bad idea to assume ethical behavior on their part by default. Unions are an organization designed to look after its members, which can extend to acting to the detriment of people or other organizations that aren't its members.

    sorry, disagree.

    without ethics and morality informing their behavior, unions are no different from any other senseless mob. perhaps i am so disappointed in unions because i used to believe in them, just like i used to believe in the viability of socialism / communism.

    as an attorney, i can tell you all right now that the adversarial system is terrible. to be honest, i'm not sure why we americans are so in love with it. our courts, our employer-employee relations, our democracy, our elections, etc., many, many things would be much better served by an investigative, fact-based, collaborative approach. this survival of the fittest, hyper-competition mentality is not always the best method for producing the best or most accurate answers. we end up getting to caught up in the spirit of battle and lose sight of the actual goal - reasonable compromise.

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Ketherial wrote: »
    Javen wrote: »
    Ketherial wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Unions will 100% act toward their financial interests with no regards for morality. So will management. That is just how groups of people work. If you think it will be otherwise because they are composed of the virtuous proletariat I have a bridge to sell you.

    But the point of an adversarial system is that you have two sides with opposed interests and equalish power so the side with the facts on it's side will usually win.

    i 100% agree with you! there is no moral high ground anymore. both sides are greedy for power and money.

    we need to regulate both sides and address both the problems that come from unregulated corporate management as well as those that arise from corrupt union control. clearly unregulated management and unequal opportunity and distribution of wealth is the biggest problem. i don't think anyone can pretend otherwise.

    but man, unions sure are terrible (in my experience).

    Unions are good and necessary.It's just a bad idea to assume ethical behavior on their part by default. Unions are an organization designed to look after its members, which can extend to acting to the detriment of people or other organizations that aren't its members.

    sorry, disagree.

    without ethics and morality informing their behavior, unions are no different from any other senseless mob. perhaps i am so disappointed in unions because i used to believe in them, just like i used to believe in the viability of socialism / communism.

    as an attorney, i can tell you all right now that the adversarial system is terrible. to be honest, i'm not sure why we americans are so in love with it. our courts, our employer-employee relations, our democracy, our elections, etc., many, many things would be much better served by an investigative, fact-based, collaborative approach. this survival of the fittest, hyper-competition mentality is not always the best method for producing the best or most accurate answers. we end up getting to caught up in the spirit of battle and lose sight of the actual goal - reasonable compromise.

    That's right - you're the attorney who doesn't believe in things like contracts and due process when they get in the way of doing what you want to do.

    As for "why don't we use investigative systems" - have you ever played any of the Ace Attorney series? The lead developer created the series as a critique of Japan's legal system (which uses an investigative model) and how it routinely tramples over the actual goal of a legal system - justice - in pursuit of a "reasonable compromise" that has resulted in conviction rates that are ridiculous and indefensible.

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  • PeenPeen tw1tch0rz occasionallyRegistered User regular
    edited March 10
    Ketherial wrote: »
    so yeah, not a big fan of unions. they are definitely the enemy of good business.

    I need to know what your definition of "good business" is because almost everything that's good for employees (sensible benefits, living wages, etc.) is "bad for business" (the company's bottom line and increasing shareholder value). Unions are the enemy of that "good business" and incredibly, vitally so.

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  • Yes, and...Yes, and... Registered User regular
    Ketherial wrote: »
    so yeah, not a big fan of unions. they are definitely the enemy of good business.

    You don't think it's a bit unfair to write off all unions or the idea of unions because you had a couple of challenging cases and one uncooperative union? I work for one union and am a member of another union. I can say that I take a wide range of approaches when dealing with management in my professional capacity; sometimes we're on the same page and able to approach an issue collaboratively, and sometimes we disagree and have to work though some kind of contested process. Similarly, if I've had to raise an issue with my employer as a shop steward, or when I've been on the negotiating team in collective bargaining, sometimes we've been able to approach things collaboratively and other times we've had clearly diverging interests.

    It's also surprising and more than a little disappointing to hear about unions that don't seem to have a clear understanding of their moral and ethical position. The history of labour organizing provides us with a clear moral framework based on solidarity, and at least in Canada the ethics of union representation are grounded in the concept of fair representation (i.e. not arbitrary, discriminatory or in bad faith). It hasn't happened often, but the union I work for has had a couple of members file complaints with the provincial labour board because I had to draw a line in the sand with the members and tell them that the union would not take their case any further than we already had. So far the labour board has summarily dismissed every complaint, because I know my ethical obligations and I fulfill them without going overboard.

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  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited March 10
    Assuming the best intention of all Management while the worst from all Union representation is certainly one way to justify your conclusion.

    Edit: Added All for clarity.

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  • Atlas in ChainsAtlas in Chains Registered User regular
    Ketherial wrote: »
    Ketherial wrote: »
    This is absolutely untrue. A union grievance is not a court of law; proving that the accused action(s) took place is typically not the deciding factor over whether someone is fired or not, and a union will almost always continue to fight the firing even if it's proven that the employee is guilty of what they were accused of.

    This is just dumb propaganda. We have multiple people here from union shops testifying that unions don't interfere with firing for causes like failure to adhere to safety regulations, failure to show without notification or just cause, or showing up inebriated.

    i manage a union shop and i don't think what he's said is dumb propoganda at all. in fact, in my 10 years managing union relations, it has been 100% accurate. the union fights every termination, regardless of cause. the union fought me on terminating an employee that we caught stealing a guest's property, on video. they also fought me on a termination over an employee who was fighting in the lobby, using a screwdriver as a weapon, also caught on video. absurd!

    while i understand that there are good unions and bad unions, i would contest this thread's anecdotal evidence with my own. my lengthy experience with unions has convinced me that they no longer hold the moral high ground.

    and this is coming from a lifelong liberal and staunch democrat who will do everything in his power to get the republicans out of office throughout the country. i just disagree with all the liberals / dems on this issue. unions are terrible for us. police unions are the worst, definitely.

    once upon a time, unions were amazing and necessary for our country. they made our country a better place. and they may still be great in other countries or other states or jurisdictions. but my experience with unions in my industry have been nothing but horrible, shortsighted and totally corrupt.

    edit: i don't work in the public sector, so these comments about how public sector unions are especially shitty and private sector unions are rainbows and butterflies don't apply. there are plenty of private sector unions that are shitty and corrupt also.

    So, let me get this straight - you treat unions as the enemy, yet you expect them to trust you when you want to fire a member? What have you done to give them any reason to think you are working with them in good faith? It's no surprise that they challenge you on any such decision, because you've poisoned the well so thoroughly. And this is something I see over and over - employers attack unions, treat them with contempt...and then look surprised when the favor is returned.

    not that this is that relevant, but actually our company got along great with the union. we never had a single grievance until i tried to terminate the person who was stealing. and then again, when i tried to terminate the person who was trying to stab a coworker with a screwdriver. we literally had zero grievances until then.

    so, no i didn't poison the well.

    but i do treat unions as the enemy. because they are the enemy. i am honest with myself and with others. if you don't think the unions are the enemy of management, then you are being naive.

    the employees are not the enemies of management. but the unions? yes, absolutely they are. they are stupid, short-sighted and corrupt. for example, they made me fire the coworker who was defending himself against the employee who was swinging the screwdriver at him because the coworker "fought back".

    i don't think you will care about the details in your blind zealotry, but just so you don't assume foolish things again, the coworker (victim) actually called over a manager first, before the fighting and asked the manager to tell the assailant-employee to calm down. my manager went over to try and de-escalate, but the assailant got angrier and threw the first punch and my manager screamed and fell down, hurting her hip. the victim tackled the assailant and took him to the ground, punched him, then backed away once he was no longer a threat.

    the union told me that if i didn't fire both employees, then they would force me into arbitration through a grievance process. awesome. so i fired both of them, including the victim and i felt terrible for him because he was just defending himself and my manager. to be honest, i have no idea to this day why they wanted me to fire both of them instead of just the assailant.

    so yeah, not a big fan of unions. they are definitely the enemy of good business.

    So, you had all this evidence that the one employee was the victim and that the other person had attacked a manager, and instead of standing up for your employee, you threw him under the bus, because that was easier for you.

    And then you wonder why I'm not terribly sympathetic to your position.

    The union is the body that's responsible for defending the employee, not management. I definitely come to a different conclusion about unions from Ketherial, but in his example, he's got nobody backing him up. Corporate isn't going to hire a lawyer to save the guy's job and the manager doesn't have a union backing him up if he refuses

    This NRA style of defense, admit no fault, just breeds more devil's advocates. Unions are not perfect, but they are the best we've got.

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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Ketherial wrote: »
    Ketherial wrote: »
    This is absolutely untrue. A union grievance is not a court of law; proving that the accused action(s) took place is typically not the deciding factor over whether someone is fired or not, and a union will almost always continue to fight the firing even if it's proven that the employee is guilty of what they were accused of.

    This is just dumb propaganda. We have multiple people here from union shops testifying that unions don't interfere with firing for causes like failure to adhere to safety regulations, failure to show without notification or just cause, or showing up inebriated.

    i manage a union shop and i don't think what he's said is dumb propoganda at all. in fact, in my 10 years managing union relations, it has been 100% accurate. the union fights every termination, regardless of cause. the union fought me on terminating an employee that we caught stealing a guest's property, on video. they also fought me on a termination over an employee who was fighting in the lobby, using a screwdriver as a weapon, also caught on video. absurd!

    while i understand that there are good unions and bad unions, i would contest this thread's anecdotal evidence with my own. my lengthy experience with unions has convinced me that they no longer hold the moral high ground.

    and this is coming from a lifelong liberal and staunch democrat who will do everything in his power to get the republicans out of office throughout the country. i just disagree with all the liberals / dems on this issue. unions are terrible for us. police unions are the worst, definitely.

    once upon a time, unions were amazing and necessary for our country. they made our country a better place. and they may still be great in other countries or other states or jurisdictions. but my experience with unions in my industry have been nothing but horrible, shortsighted and totally corrupt.

    edit: i don't work in the public sector, so these comments about how public sector unions are especially shitty and private sector unions are rainbows and butterflies don't apply. there are plenty of private sector unions that are shitty and corrupt also.

    So, let me get this straight - you treat unions as the enemy, yet you expect them to trust you when you want to fire a member? What have you done to give them any reason to think you are working with them in good faith? It's no surprise that they challenge you on any such decision, because you've poisoned the well so thoroughly. And this is something I see over and over - employers attack unions, treat them with contempt...and then look surprised when the favor is returned.

    not that this is that relevant, but actually our company got along great with the union. we never had a single grievance until i tried to terminate the person who was stealing. and then again, when i tried to terminate the person who was trying to stab a coworker with a screwdriver. we literally had zero grievances until then.

    so, no i didn't poison the well.

    but i do treat unions as the enemy. because they are the enemy. i am honest with myself and with others. if you don't think the unions are the enemy of management, then you are being naive.

    the employees are not the enemies of management. but the unions? yes, absolutely they are. they are stupid, short-sighted and corrupt. for example, they made me fire the coworker who was defending himself against the employee who was swinging the screwdriver at him because the coworker "fought back".

    i don't think you will care about the details in your blind zealotry, but just so you don't assume foolish things again, the coworker (victim) actually called over a manager first, before the fighting and asked the manager to tell the assailant-employee to calm down. my manager went over to try and de-escalate, but the assailant got angrier and threw the first punch and my manager screamed and fell down, hurting her hip. the victim tackled the assailant and took him to the ground, punched him, then backed away once he was no longer a threat.

    the union told me that if i didn't fire both employees, then they would force me into arbitration through a grievance process. awesome. so i fired both of them, including the victim and i felt terrible for him because he was just defending himself and my manager. to be honest, i have no idea to this day why they wanted me to fire both of them instead of just the assailant.

    so yeah, not a big fan of unions. they are definitely the enemy of good business.

    So, you had all this evidence that the one employee was the victim and that the other person had attacked a manager, and instead of standing up for your employee, you threw him under the bus, because that was easier for you.

    And then you wonder why I'm not terribly sympathetic to your position.

    The union is the body that's responsible for defending the employee, not management. I definitely come to a different conclusion about unions from Ketherial, but in his example, he's got nobody backing him up. Corporate isn't going to hire a lawyer to save the guy's job and the manager doesn't have a union backing him up if he refuses

    This NRA style of defense, admit no fault, just breeds more devil's advocates. Unions are not perfect, but they are the best we've got.

    He stated specifically that he had the incident on video, as well as having another manager involved who could testify on the matter. And instead of pointing this out and noting that it would make arbitration (which is already an uphill battle for unions, as arbitrators tend to favor companies for structural reasons) a much tougher road for the union, he just conceded the point and took the easy way out.

    (Also, shouldn't there have been an arrest report? An assault with a weapon should result in the assailant getting arrested.)

    Management refusing to do their job should not be respected.

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  • Yes, and...Yes, and... Registered User regular
    Unfortunately it's far too common for managers to address workplace conflict by doing nothing until the situation gets so bad that they have to do something, which typically is also the point in time when it becomes impossible to do anything effective. If things get to the point where people are throwing hands on the shop floor, management fucked up a long, long time ago and probably in multiple ways.

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  • Atlas in ChainsAtlas in Chains Registered User regular
    Ketherial wrote: »
    Ketherial wrote: »
    This is absolutely untrue. A union grievance is not a court of law; proving that the accused action(s) took place is typically not the deciding factor over whether someone is fired or not, and a union will almost always continue to fight the firing even if it's proven that the employee is guilty of what they were accused of.

    This is just dumb propaganda. We have multiple people here from union shops testifying that unions don't interfere with firing for causes like failure to adhere to safety regulations, failure to show without notification or just cause, or showing up inebriated.

    i manage a union shop and i don't think what he's said is dumb propoganda at all. in fact, in my 10 years managing union relations, it has been 100% accurate. the union fights every termination, regardless of cause. the union fought me on terminating an employee that we caught stealing a guest's property, on video. they also fought me on a termination over an employee who was fighting in the lobby, using a screwdriver as a weapon, also caught on video. absurd!

    while i understand that there are good unions and bad unions, i would contest this thread's anecdotal evidence with my own. my lengthy experience with unions has convinced me that they no longer hold the moral high ground.

    and this is coming from a lifelong liberal and staunch democrat who will do everything in his power to get the republicans out of office throughout the country. i just disagree with all the liberals / dems on this issue. unions are terrible for us. police unions are the worst, definitely.

    once upon a time, unions were amazing and necessary for our country. they made our country a better place. and they may still be great in other countries or other states or jurisdictions. but my experience with unions in my industry have been nothing but horrible, shortsighted and totally corrupt.

    edit: i don't work in the public sector, so these comments about how public sector unions are especially shitty and private sector unions are rainbows and butterflies don't apply. there are plenty of private sector unions that are shitty and corrupt also.

    So, let me get this straight - you treat unions as the enemy, yet you expect them to trust you when you want to fire a member? What have you done to give them any reason to think you are working with them in good faith? It's no surprise that they challenge you on any such decision, because you've poisoned the well so thoroughly. And this is something I see over and over - employers attack unions, treat them with contempt...and then look surprised when the favor is returned.

    not that this is that relevant, but actually our company got along great with the union. we never had a single grievance until i tried to terminate the person who was stealing. and then again, when i tried to terminate the person who was trying to stab a coworker with a screwdriver. we literally had zero grievances until then.

    so, no i didn't poison the well.

    but i do treat unions as the enemy. because they are the enemy. i am honest with myself and with others. if you don't think the unions are the enemy of management, then you are being naive.

    the employees are not the enemies of management. but the unions? yes, absolutely they are. they are stupid, short-sighted and corrupt. for example, they made me fire the coworker who was defending himself against the employee who was swinging the screwdriver at him because the coworker "fought back".

    i don't think you will care about the details in your blind zealotry, but just so you don't assume foolish things again, the coworker (victim) actually called over a manager first, before the fighting and asked the manager to tell the assailant-employee to calm down. my manager went over to try and de-escalate, but the assailant got angrier and threw the first punch and my manager screamed and fell down, hurting her hip. the victim tackled the assailant and took him to the ground, punched him, then backed away once he was no longer a threat.

    the union told me that if i didn't fire both employees, then they would force me into arbitration through a grievance process. awesome. so i fired both of them, including the victim and i felt terrible for him because he was just defending himself and my manager. to be honest, i have no idea to this day why they wanted me to fire both of them instead of just the assailant.

    so yeah, not a big fan of unions. they are definitely the enemy of good business.

    So, you had all this evidence that the one employee was the victim and that the other person had attacked a manager, and instead of standing up for your employee, you threw him under the bus, because that was easier for you.

    And then you wonder why I'm not terribly sympathetic to your position.

    The union is the body that's responsible for defending the employee, not management. I definitely come to a different conclusion about unions from Ketherial, but in his example, he's got nobody backing him up. Corporate isn't going to hire a lawyer to save the guy's job and the manager doesn't have a union backing him up if he refuses

    This NRA style of defense, admit no fault, just breeds more devil's advocates. Unions are not perfect, but they are the best we've got.

    He stated specifically that he had the incident on video, as well as having another manager involved who could testify on the matter. And instead of pointing this out and noting that it would make arbitration (which is already an uphill battle for unions, as arbitrators tend to favor companies for structural reasons) a much tougher road for the union, he just conceded the point and took the easy way out.

    (Also, shouldn't there have been an arrest report? An assault with a weapon should result in the assailant getting arrested.)

    Management refusing to do their job should not be respected.

    Again, those things are the union's responsibility. Management's job in this instance is to take a 0 tolerance stance to fighting in the workplace and fire both workers. It's the union's job to stand in the way and argue the mitigating circumstances. It's not clear from the story why the union abdicated.

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  • KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    So, you had all this evidence that the one employee was the victim and that the other person had attacked a manager, and instead of standing up for your employee, you threw him under the bus, because that was easier for you.

    And then you wonder why I'm not terribly sympathetic to your position.

    you're asking the victim why her skirt was so short, when what you should be asking is why the aggressor is being hostile in the first place. why is it up to me to defend the employee? isn't that the union's job? why is the union telling me to fire both employees?

    this is why your stance on these issues hold no persuasive power or legitimacy.

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  • MortiousMortious The Nightmare Begins Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    Ketherial wrote: »
    Ketherial wrote: »
    This is absolutely untrue. A union grievance is not a court of law; proving that the accused action(s) took place is typically not the deciding factor over whether someone is fired or not, and a union will almost always continue to fight the firing even if it's proven that the employee is guilty of what they were accused of.

    This is just dumb propaganda. We have multiple people here from union shops testifying that unions don't interfere with firing for causes like failure to adhere to safety regulations, failure to show without notification or just cause, or showing up inebriated.

    i manage a union shop and i don't think what he's said is dumb propoganda at all. in fact, in my 10 years managing union relations, it has been 100% accurate. the union fights every termination, regardless of cause. the union fought me on terminating an employee that we caught stealing a guest's property, on video. they also fought me on a termination over an employee who was fighting in the lobby, using a screwdriver as a weapon, also caught on video. absurd!

    while i understand that there are good unions and bad unions, i would contest this thread's anecdotal evidence with my own. my lengthy experience with unions has convinced me that they no longer hold the moral high ground.

    and this is coming from a lifelong liberal and staunch democrat who will do everything in his power to get the republicans out of office throughout the country. i just disagree with all the liberals / dems on this issue. unions are terrible for us. police unions are the worst, definitely.

    once upon a time, unions were amazing and necessary for our country. they made our country a better place. and they may still be great in other countries or other states or jurisdictions. but my experience with unions in my industry have been nothing but horrible, shortsighted and totally corrupt.

    edit: i don't work in the public sector, so these comments about how public sector unions are especially shitty and private sector unions are rainbows and butterflies don't apply. there are plenty of private sector unions that are shitty and corrupt also.

    So, let me get this straight - you treat unions as the enemy, yet you expect them to trust you when you want to fire a member? What have you done to give them any reason to think you are working with them in good faith? It's no surprise that they challenge you on any such decision, because you've poisoned the well so thoroughly. And this is something I see over and over - employers attack unions, treat them with contempt...and then look surprised when the favor is returned.

    not that this is that relevant, but actually our company got along great with the union. we never had a single grievance until i tried to terminate the person who was stealing. and then again, when i tried to terminate the person who was trying to stab a coworker with a screwdriver. we literally had zero grievances until then.

    so, no i didn't poison the well.

    but i do treat unions as the enemy. because they are the enemy. i am honest with myself and with others. if you don't think the unions are the enemy of management, then you are being naive.

    the employees are not the enemies of management. but the unions? yes, absolutely they are. they are stupid, short-sighted and corrupt. for example, they made me fire the coworker who was defending himself against the employee who was swinging the screwdriver at him because the coworker "fought back".

    i don't think you will care about the details in your blind zealotry, but just so you don't assume foolish things again, the coworker (victim) actually called over a manager first, before the fighting and asked the manager to tell the assailant-employee to calm down. my manager went over to try and de-escalate, but the assailant got angrier and threw the first punch and my manager screamed and fell down, hurting her hip. the victim tackled the assailant and took him to the ground, punched him, then backed away once he was no longer a threat.

    the union told me that if i didn't fire both employees, then they would force me into arbitration through a grievance process. awesome. so i fired both of them, including the victim and i felt terrible for him because he was just defending himself and my manager. to be honest, i have no idea to this day why they wanted me to fire both of them instead of just the assailant.

    so yeah, not a big fan of unions. they are definitely the enemy of good business.

    So, you had all this evidence that the one employee was the victim and that the other person had attacked a manager, and instead of standing up for your employee, you threw him under the bus, because that was easier for you.

    And then you wonder why I'm not terribly sympathetic to your position.

    The union is the body that's responsible for defending the employee, not management. I definitely come to a different conclusion about unions from Ketherial, but in his example, he's got nobody backing him up. Corporate isn't going to hire a lawyer to save the guy's job and the manager doesn't have a union backing him up if he refuses

    This NRA style of defense, admit no fault, just breeds more devil's advocates. Unions are not perfect, but they are the best we've got.

    He stated specifically that he had the incident on video, as well as having another manager involved who could testify on the matter. And instead of pointing this out and noting that it would make arbitration (which is already an uphill battle for unions, as arbitrators tend to favor companies for structural reasons) a much tougher road for the union, he just conceded the point and took the easy way out.

    (Also, shouldn't there have been an arrest report? An assault with a weapon should result in the assailant getting arrested.)

    Management refusing to do their job should not be respected.

    Again, those things are the union's responsibility. Management's job in this instance is to take a 0 tolerance stance to fighting in the workplace and fire both workers. It's the union's job to stand in the way and argue the mitigating circumstances. It's not clear from the story why the union abdicated.

    Why is that management's job? Zero tolerance policies that ignore context are bad, and management are supposed to be involved in things like this because they (direct managers at least) are the closest other party to these incidents.

    I would expect them to do the right thing for the people involved.

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  • DoodmannDoodmann Registered User regular
    Why were you not part of the union?

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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Ketherial wrote: »
    So, you had all this evidence that the one employee was the victim and that the other person had attacked a manager, and instead of standing up for your employee, you threw him under the bus, because that was easier for you.

    And then you wonder why I'm not terribly sympathetic to your position.

    you're asking the victim why her skirt was so short, when what you should be asking is why the aggressor is being hostile in the first place. why is it up to me to defend the employee? isn't that the union's job? why is the union telling me to fire both employees?

    this is why your stance on these issues hold no persuasive power or legitimacy.

    I'd bet that the reason that the union said you had to fire both or neither is because your code of conduct was badly written with regards to workplace violence, very likely taking a zero tolerance position with no regard for self-defense. In that case the union would be obligated to demand that both employees be fired as per the code of conduct.

    This, of course, is management fucking up by not thinking the code of conduct through.

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  • KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    Ketherial wrote: »
    Javen wrote: »
    Ketherial wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Unions will 100% act toward their financial interests with no regards for morality. So will management. That is just how groups of people work. If you think it will be otherwise because they are composed of the virtuous proletariat I have a bridge to sell you.

    But the point of an adversarial system is that you have two sides with opposed interests and equalish power so the side with the facts on it's side will usually win.

    i 100% agree with you! there is no moral high ground anymore. both sides are greedy for power and money.

    we need to regulate both sides and address both the problems that come from unregulated corporate management as well as those that arise from corrupt union control. clearly unregulated management and unequal opportunity and distribution of wealth is the biggest problem. i don't think anyone can pretend otherwise.

    but man, unions sure are terrible (in my experience).

    Unions are good and necessary.It's just a bad idea to assume ethical behavior on their part by default. Unions are an organization designed to look after its members, which can extend to acting to the detriment of people or other organizations that aren't its members.

    sorry, disagree.

    without ethics and morality informing their behavior, unions are no different from any other senseless mob. perhaps i am so disappointed in unions because i used to believe in them, just like i used to believe in the viability of socialism / communism.

    as an attorney, i can tell you all right now that the adversarial system is terrible. to be honest, i'm not sure why we americans are so in love with it. our courts, our employer-employee relations, our democracy, our elections, etc., many, many things would be much better served by an investigative, fact-based, collaborative approach. this survival of the fittest, hyper-competition mentality is not always the best method for producing the best or most accurate answers. we end up getting to caught up in the spirit of battle and lose sight of the actual goal - reasonable compromise.

    That's right - you're the attorney who doesn't believe in things like contracts and due process when they get in the way of doing what you want to do.

    As for "why don't we use investigative systems" - have you ever played any of the Ace Attorney series? The lead developer created the series as a critique of Japan's legal system (which uses an investigative model) and how it routinely tramples over the actual goal of a legal system - justice - in pursuit of a "reasonable compromise" that has resulted in conviction rates that are ridiculous and indefensible.

    i don't know how you are coming to these conclusions about my stance, but strawmanning is foolish. if i didn't believe in contracts, i wouldn't be an attorney. anyway, just let it go and address the actual points being made.

    although i am not an expert on the japanese legal system, i would not consider ace attorney a competent or well thought out critique of that country's legal system. also it's adversarial so maybe do some research before you post.

    france and germany have inquisitorial legal systems. the supposedly "best" legal systems in the world, denmark, finland, sweden, etc., are all far more inquisitorial in nature than when compared to the us and england.

    my point still stands - the adversarial nature of employer-employee relations creates a race to the bottom. yes, corporations in general are better at being immoral, no question, but it's not clear to me that the right way to fight immorality and greed is with opposing immorality and greed.

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  • KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    Ketherial wrote: »
    so yeah, not a big fan of unions. they are definitely the enemy of good business.

    You don't think it's a bit unfair to write off all unions or the idea of unions because you had a couple of challenging cases and one uncooperative union? I work for one union and am a member of another union. I can say that I take a wide range of approaches when dealing with management in my professional capacity; sometimes we're on the same page and able to approach an issue collaboratively, and sometimes we disagree and have to work though some kind of contested process. Similarly, if I've had to raise an issue with my employer as a shop steward, or when I've been on the negotiating team in collective bargaining, sometimes we've been able to approach things collaboratively and other times we've had clearly diverging interests.

    i concede the point, but would argue that it is similarly "unfair" to assume all unions are a good idea because your experience with one has been good. any senseless mob can use its collective power for good or bad.
    It's also surprising and more than a little disappointing to hear about unions that don't seem to have a clear understanding of their moral and ethical position. The history of labour organizing provides us with a clear moral framework based on solidarity, and at least in Canada the ethics of union representation are grounded in the concept of fair representation (i.e. not arbitrary, discriminatory or in bad faith). It hasn't happened often, but the union I work for has had a couple of members file complaints with the provincial labour board because I had to draw a line in the sand with the members and tell them that the union would not take their case any further than we already had. So far the labour board has summarily dismissed every complaint, because I know my ethical obligations and I fulfill them without going overboard.

    this is the most important point to me.

    i do not think that unions themselves even believe that they have a clear ethical mandate anymore nor that they try to act based on any such ethical mandate. just as i no longer believe that the catholic church believes it has a clear ethical mandate nor that it acts with virtue as the most important goal of its existence. both of these kinds of organizations have become entrenched power structures that serve no purpose except to continue their role as entrenched power structures.

  • HefflingHeffling No Pic EverRegistered User regular
    Ketherial wrote: »
    Ketherial wrote: »
    Javen wrote: »
    Ketherial wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Unions will 100% act toward their financial interests with no regards for morality. So will management. That is just how groups of people work. If you think it will be otherwise because they are composed of the virtuous proletariat I have a bridge to sell you.

    But the point of an adversarial system is that you have two sides with opposed interests and equalish power so the side with the facts on it's side will usually win.

    i 100% agree with you! there is no moral high ground anymore. both sides are greedy for power and money.

    we need to regulate both sides and address both the problems that come from unregulated corporate management as well as those that arise from corrupt union control. clearly unregulated management and unequal opportunity and distribution of wealth is the biggest problem. i don't think anyone can pretend otherwise.

    but man, unions sure are terrible (in my experience).

    Unions are good and necessary.It's just a bad idea to assume ethical behavior on their part by default. Unions are an organization designed to look after its members, which can extend to acting to the detriment of people or other organizations that aren't its members.

    sorry, disagree.

    without ethics and morality informing their behavior, unions are no different from any other senseless mob. perhaps i am so disappointed in unions because i used to believe in them, just like i used to believe in the viability of socialism / communism.

    as an attorney, i can tell you all right now that the adversarial system is terrible. to be honest, i'm not sure why we americans are so in love with it. our courts, our employer-employee relations, our democracy, our elections, etc., many, many things would be much better served by an investigative, fact-based, collaborative approach. this survival of the fittest, hyper-competition mentality is not always the best method for producing the best or most accurate answers. we end up getting to caught up in the spirit of battle and lose sight of the actual goal - reasonable compromise.

    That's right - you're the attorney who doesn't believe in things like contracts and due process when they get in the way of doing what you want to do.

    As for "why don't we use investigative systems" - have you ever played any of the Ace Attorney series? The lead developer created the series as a critique of Japan's legal system (which uses an investigative model) and how it routinely tramples over the actual goal of a legal system - justice - in pursuit of a "reasonable compromise" that has resulted in conviction rates that are ridiculous and indefensible.

    i don't know how you are coming to these conclusions about my stance, but strawmanning is foolish. if i didn't believe in contracts, i wouldn't be an attorney. anyway, just let it go and address the actual points being made.

    although i am not an expert on the japanese legal system, i would not consider ace attorney a competent or well thought out critique of that country's legal system. also it's adversarial so maybe do some research before you post.

    france and germany have inquisitorial legal systems. the supposedly "best" legal systems in the world, denmark, finland, sweden, etc., are all far more inquisitorial in nature than when compared to the us and england.

    my point still stands - the adversarial nature of employer-employee relations creates a race to the bottom. yes, corporations in general are better at being immoral, no question, but it's not clear to me that the right way to fight immorality and greed is with opposing immorality and greed.

    I certainly see how corporations are involved in a race to the bottom, but how do unions make the race to the bottom worse/faster/etc? If we're talking about the race to the bottom for wages or exporting of jobs, for example, unions certainly won't be aiding in those efforts.

    Unfettered capitalism results in a race to the bottom. Unions are a fetter on capitalism.

    If a movement doesn't have someone that can sit down opposite those in a position of power and strike a deal, how can that movement achieve success?
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  • KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    He stated specifically that he had the incident on video, as well as having another manager involved who could testify on the matter. And instead of pointing this out and noting that it would make arbitration (which is already an uphill battle for unions, as arbitrators tend to favor companies for structural reasons) a much tougher road for the union, he just conceded the point and took the easy way out.

    (Also, shouldn't there have been an arrest report? An assault with a weapon should result in the assailant getting arrested.)

    Management refusing to do their job should not be respected.

    you've got our roles switched. make no mistake - the union was provided with all the evidence, as well as management's thoughts and requests on the matter. the union decided, again, i'm not sure why (out of spite?) to make me fire both employees. why would i contest that decision? we literally had one grievance up until this incident came up. i'm not going to "poison the well" by fighting for this when clearly the union wants both guys out.

    i'm not refusing to do my job. if anything, it was the union refusing to protect its members. i can't even make this shit up!

  • KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    Unfortunately it's far too common for managers to address workplace conflict by doing nothing until the situation gets so bad that they have to do something, which typically is also the point in time when it becomes impossible to do anything effective. If things get to the point where people are throwing hands on the shop floor, management fucked up a long, long time ago and probably in multiple ways.

    or maybe we were already engaged in progressive discipline, we had already discussed this individual with the union (and been rejected) and we were trying to prove to the union that he was a bad apple, but before we could satisfy the union's requirements for an uncontested termination based on poor performance, he found a way to get himself (and another guy fired) instead.

    at the end of the day, to you guys, this anecdote is just another "anti-union dude" spouting nonsense on a forum. for me though, this was the straw that broke the camel's back. my lengthy experience with our union was continuing to leave a bad taste in my mouth. this was just the tipping point for me, when i realized that unions can be as much of a senseless, spiteful, corrupt mob as any other group.

    it's not like i'm voting republican. i'm not. but the rose tinted glasses are gone. i do not "believe" in unions. i do not think they are an effective agent for bringing about a better or more equitable society. they are an agent for... something, but whatever interest it is that they serve, it's not that.

  • Atlas in ChainsAtlas in Chains Registered User regular
    Mortious wrote: »
    Ketherial wrote: »
    Ketherial wrote: »
    This is absolutely untrue. A union grievance is not a court of law; proving that the accused action(s) took place is typically not the deciding factor over whether someone is fired or not, and a union will almost always continue to fight the firing even if it's proven that the employee is guilty of what they were accused of.

    This is just dumb propaganda. We have multiple people here from union shops testifying that unions don't interfere with firing for causes like failure to adhere to safety regulations, failure to show without notification or just cause, or showing up inebriated.

    i manage a union shop and i don't think what he's said is dumb propoganda at all. in fact, in my 10 years managing union relations, it has been 100% accurate. the union fights every termination, regardless of cause. the union fought me on terminating an employee that we caught stealing a guest's property, on video. they also fought me on a termination over an employee who was fighting in the lobby, using a screwdriver as a weapon, also caught on video. absurd!

    while i understand that there are good unions and bad unions, i would contest this thread's anecdotal evidence with my own. my lengthy experience with unions has convinced me that they no longer hold the moral high ground.

    and this is coming from a lifelong liberal and staunch democrat who will do everything in his power to get the republicans out of office throughout the country. i just disagree with all the liberals / dems on this issue. unions are terrible for us. police unions are the worst, definitely.

    once upon a time, unions were amazing and necessary for our country. they made our country a better place. and they may still be great in other countries or other states or jurisdictions. but my experience with unions in my industry have been nothing but horrible, shortsighted and totally corrupt.

    edit: i don't work in the public sector, so these comments about how public sector unions are especially shitty and private sector unions are rainbows and butterflies don't apply. there are plenty of private sector unions that are shitty and corrupt also.

    So, let me get this straight - you treat unions as the enemy, yet you expect them to trust you when you want to fire a member? What have you done to give them any reason to think you are working with them in good faith? It's no surprise that they challenge you on any such decision, because you've poisoned the well so thoroughly. And this is something I see over and over - employers attack unions, treat them with contempt...and then look surprised when the favor is returned.

    not that this is that relevant, but actually our company got along great with the union. we never had a single grievance until i tried to terminate the person who was stealing. and then again, when i tried to terminate the person who was trying to stab a coworker with a screwdriver. we literally had zero grievances until then.

    so, no i didn't poison the well.

    but i do treat unions as the enemy. because they are the enemy. i am honest with myself and with others. if you don't think the unions are the enemy of management, then you are being naive.

    the employees are not the enemies of management. but the unions? yes, absolutely they are. they are stupid, short-sighted and corrupt. for example, they made me fire the coworker who was defending himself against the employee who was swinging the screwdriver at him because the coworker "fought back".

    i don't think you will care about the details in your blind zealotry, but just so you don't assume foolish things again, the coworker (victim) actually called over a manager first, before the fighting and asked the manager to tell the assailant-employee to calm down. my manager went over to try and de-escalate, but the assailant got angrier and threw the first punch and my manager screamed and fell down, hurting her hip. the victim tackled the assailant and took him to the ground, punched him, then backed away once he was no longer a threat.

    the union told me that if i didn't fire both employees, then they would force me into arbitration through a grievance process. awesome. so i fired both of them, including the victim and i felt terrible for him because he was just defending himself and my manager. to be honest, i have no idea to this day why they wanted me to fire both of them instead of just the assailant.

    so yeah, not a big fan of unions. they are definitely the enemy of good business.

    So, you had all this evidence that the one employee was the victim and that the other person had attacked a manager, and instead of standing up for your employee, you threw him under the bus, because that was easier for you.

    And then you wonder why I'm not terribly sympathetic to your position.

    The union is the body that's responsible for defending the employee, not management. I definitely come to a different conclusion about unions from Ketherial, but in his example, he's got nobody backing him up. Corporate isn't going to hire a lawyer to save the guy's job and the manager doesn't have a union backing him up if he refuses

    This NRA style of defense, admit no fault, just breeds more devil's advocates. Unions are not perfect, but they are the best we've got.

    He stated specifically that he had the incident on video, as well as having another manager involved who could testify on the matter. And instead of pointing this out and noting that it would make arbitration (which is already an uphill battle for unions, as arbitrators tend to favor companies for structural reasons) a much tougher road for the union, he just conceded the point and took the easy way out.

    (Also, shouldn't there have been an arrest report? An assault with a weapon should result in the assailant getting arrested.)

    Management refusing to do their job should not be respected.

    Again, those things are the union's responsibility. Management's job in this instance is to take a 0 tolerance stance to fighting in the workplace and fire both workers. It's the union's job to stand in the way and argue the mitigating circumstances. It's not clear from the story why the union abdicated.

    Why is that management's job? Zero tolerance policies that ignore context are bad, and management are supposed to be involved in things like this because they (direct managers at least) are the closest other party to these incidents.

    I would expect them to do the right thing for the people involved.

    But you don't expect that from the union?

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited March 10
    Ketherial wrote: »
    He stated specifically that he had the incident on video, as well as having another manager involved who could testify on the matter. And instead of pointing this out and noting that it would make arbitration (which is already an uphill battle for unions, as arbitrators tend to favor companies for structural reasons) a much tougher road for the union, he just conceded the point and took the easy way out.

    (Also, shouldn't there have been an arrest report? An assault with a weapon should result in the assailant getting arrested.)

    Management refusing to do their job should not be respected.

    you've got our roles switched. make no mistake - the union was provided with all the evidence, as well as management's thoughts and requests on the matter. the union decided, again, i'm not sure why (out of spite?) to make me fire both employees. why would i contest that decision? we literally had one grievance up until this incident came up. i'm not going to "poison the well" by fighting for this when clearly the union wants both guys out.

    i'm not refusing to do my job. if anything, it was the union refusing to protect its members. i can't even make this shit up!

    Again, it's simple - the union demanded that you follow your code of conduct, which said that you had to fire both, because zero tolerance goosery isn't just for schools. As part of your collective bargaining agreement, the company will agree to hold to the standards and procedures for dismissal as laid out in the code of conduct (or equivalent document).

    As for why they would be so strict, it's because if they allow the company to breach the code of conduct once, then it can become impossible to enforce it from now on. If they allowed you to just fire the one employee when both are in breach of a clause requiring termination, then the company could argue in the future that they no longer have to follow the policies in the code of conduct.

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  • MortiousMortious The Nightmare Begins Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    Mortious wrote: »
    Ketherial wrote: »
    Ketherial wrote: »
    This is absolutely untrue. A union grievance is not a court of law; proving that the accused action(s) took place is typically not the deciding factor over whether someone is fired or not, and a union will almost always continue to fight the firing even if it's proven that the employee is guilty of what they were accused of.

    This is just dumb propaganda. We have multiple people here from union shops testifying that unions don't interfere with firing for causes like failure to adhere to safety regulations, failure to show without notification or just cause, or showing up inebriated.

    i manage a union shop and i don't think what he's said is dumb propoganda at all. in fact, in my 10 years managing union relations, it has been 100% accurate. the union fights every termination, regardless of cause. the union fought me on terminating an employee that we caught stealing a guest's property, on video. they also fought me on a termination over an employee who was fighting in the lobby, using a screwdriver as a weapon, also caught on video. absurd!

    while i understand that there are good unions and bad unions, i would contest this thread's anecdotal evidence with my own. my lengthy experience with unions has convinced me that they no longer hold the moral high ground.

    and this is coming from a lifelong liberal and staunch democrat who will do everything in his power to get the republicans out of office throughout the country. i just disagree with all the liberals / dems on this issue. unions are terrible for us. police unions are the worst, definitely.

    once upon a time, unions were amazing and necessary for our country. they made our country a better place. and they may still be great in other countries or other states or jurisdictions. but my experience with unions in my industry have been nothing but horrible, shortsighted and totally corrupt.

    edit: i don't work in the public sector, so these comments about how public sector unions are especially shitty and private sector unions are rainbows and butterflies don't apply. there are plenty of private sector unions that are shitty and corrupt also.

    So, let me get this straight - you treat unions as the enemy, yet you expect them to trust you when you want to fire a member? What have you done to give them any reason to think you are working with them in good faith? It's no surprise that they challenge you on any such decision, because you've poisoned the well so thoroughly. And this is something I see over and over - employers attack unions, treat them with contempt...and then look surprised when the favor is returned.

    not that this is that relevant, but actually our company got along great with the union. we never had a single grievance until i tried to terminate the person who was stealing. and then again, when i tried to terminate the person who was trying to stab a coworker with a screwdriver. we literally had zero grievances until then.

    so, no i didn't poison the well.

    but i do treat unions as the enemy. because they are the enemy. i am honest with myself and with others. if you don't think the unions are the enemy of management, then you are being naive.

    the employees are not the enemies of management. but the unions? yes, absolutely they are. they are stupid, short-sighted and corrupt. for example, they made me fire the coworker who was defending himself against the employee who was swinging the screwdriver at him because the coworker "fought back".

    i don't think you will care about the details in your blind zealotry, but just so you don't assume foolish things again, the coworker (victim) actually called over a manager first, before the fighting and asked the manager to tell the assailant-employee to calm down. my manager went over to try and de-escalate, but the assailant got angrier and threw the first punch and my manager screamed and fell down, hurting her hip. the victim tackled the assailant and took him to the ground, punched him, then backed away once he was no longer a threat.

    the union told me that if i didn't fire both employees, then they would force me into arbitration through a grievance process. awesome. so i fired both of them, including the victim and i felt terrible for him because he was just defending himself and my manager. to be honest, i have no idea to this day why they wanted me to fire both of them instead of just the assailant.

    so yeah, not a big fan of unions. they are definitely the enemy of good business.

    So, you had all this evidence that the one employee was the victim and that the other person had attacked a manager, and instead of standing up for your employee, you threw him under the bus, because that was easier for you.

    And then you wonder why I'm not terribly sympathetic to your position.

    The union is the body that's responsible for defending the employee, not management. I definitely come to a different conclusion about unions from Ketherial, but in his example, he's got nobody backing him up. Corporate isn't going to hire a lawyer to save the guy's job and the manager doesn't have a union backing him up if he refuses

    This NRA style of defense, admit no fault, just breeds more devil's advocates. Unions are not perfect, but they are the best we've got.

    He stated specifically that he had the incident on video, as well as having another manager involved who could testify on the matter. And instead of pointing this out and noting that it would make arbitration (which is already an uphill battle for unions, as arbitrators tend to favor companies for structural reasons) a much tougher road for the union, he just conceded the point and took the easy way out.

    (Also, shouldn't there have been an arrest report? An assault with a weapon should result in the assailant getting arrested.)

    Management refusing to do their job should not be respected.

    Again, those things are the union's responsibility. Management's job in this instance is to take a 0 tolerance stance to fighting in the workplace and fire both workers. It's the union's job to stand in the way and argue the mitigating circumstances. It's not clear from the story why the union abdicated.

    Why is that management's job? Zero tolerance policies that ignore context are bad, and management are supposed to be involved in things like this because they (direct managers at least) are the closest other party to these incidents.

    I would expect them to do the right thing for the people involved.

    But you don't expect that from the union?

    Not really. For situations like these there are a lot of meetings where the employee is not present involving people who's information is from reports and emails. Their direct manager has the role of providing context and having the employees interest in their mind since the employee is not actually there.

    Since I've never been in a union this is all acedemic but my impressions are unions are more for general policy implementations, ie bargaining for sick leave policies and bonus regimes and not for involving themselves in the nitty gritty of managing employees (unless there is a serious incident involving the employee and management themselves since in that case management can't be a trusted)

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  • MortiousMortious The Nightmare Begins Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    Like correct me if I'm wrong, but most single company unions, including the leadership, are made up of employees of that company right? So they'll have their own jobs to do and only really represent the employess in negotiations and disputes as a single entity as a duty above their normal job description.

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  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    Their direct manager has the role of providing context and having the employees interest in their mind

    Bad news man, managers will do whats best for them.

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  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    Ketherial wrote: »
    He stated specifically that he had the incident on video, as well as having another manager involved who could testify on the matter. And instead of pointing this out and noting that it would make arbitration (which is already an uphill battle for unions, as arbitrators tend to favor companies for structural reasons) a much tougher road for the union, he just conceded the point and took the easy way out.

    (Also, shouldn't there have been an arrest report? An assault with a weapon should result in the assailant getting arrested.)

    Management refusing to do their job should not be respected.

    you've got our roles switched. make no mistake - the union was provided with all the evidence, as well as management's thoughts and requests on the matter. the union decided, again, i'm not sure why (out of spite?) to make me fire both employees. why would i contest that decision? we literally had one grievance up until this incident came up. i'm not going to "poison the well" by fighting for this when clearly the union wants both guys out.

    i'm not refusing to do my job. if anything, it was the union refusing to protect its members. i can't even make this shit up!

    Again, it's simple - the union demanded that you follow your code of conduct, which said that you had to fire both, because zero tolerance goosery isn't just for schools. As part of your collective bargaining agreement, the company will agree to hold to the standards and procedures for dismissal as laid out in the code of conduct (or equivalent document).

    As for why they would be so strict, it's because if they allow the company to breach the code of conduct once, then it can become impossible to enforce it from now on. If they allowed you to just fire the one employee when both are in breach of a clause requiring termination, then the company could argue in the future that they no longer have to follow the policies in the code of conduct.

    Ignoring for a moment that you have created this narrative out of whole cloth, in this case the union clearly failed in negotiations long before this incident happened.

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  • MortiousMortious The Nightmare Begins Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    Their direct manager has the role of providing context and having the employees interest in their mind

    Bad news man, managers will do whats best for them.

    Possibly, but the polite fiction we've been asked to entertain is that managers are there to help us.

    And at least so far for me, though I have not had a serious dispute, it has been true. All my managers to date have been effective firewalls from the higher ups in cases where mistakes were made or more was expected of us than what was feasible.

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  • ShortyShorty JUDGE BROSEF Registered User regular
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Ketherial wrote: »
    He stated specifically that he had the incident on video, as well as having another manager involved who could testify on the matter. And instead of pointing this out and noting that it would make arbitration (which is already an uphill battle for unions, as arbitrators tend to favor companies for structural reasons) a much tougher road for the union, he just conceded the point and took the easy way out.

    (Also, shouldn't there have been an arrest report? An assault with a weapon should result in the assailant getting arrested.)

    Management refusing to do their job should not be respected.

    you've got our roles switched. make no mistake - the union was provided with all the evidence, as well as management's thoughts and requests on the matter. the union decided, again, i'm not sure why (out of spite?) to make me fire both employees. why would i contest that decision? we literally had one grievance up until this incident came up. i'm not going to "poison the well" by fighting for this when clearly the union wants both guys out.

    i'm not refusing to do my job. if anything, it was the union refusing to protect its members. i can't even make this shit up!

    Again, it's simple - the union demanded that you follow your code of conduct, which said that you had to fire both, because zero tolerance goosery isn't just for schools. As part of your collective bargaining agreement, the company will agree to hold to the standards and procedures for dismissal as laid out in the code of conduct (or equivalent document).

    As for why they would be so strict, it's because if they allow the company to breach the code of conduct once, then it can become impossible to enforce it from now on. If they allowed you to just fire the one employee when both are in breach of a clause requiring termination, then the company could argue in the future that they no longer have to follow the policies in the code of conduct.

    Ignoring for a moment that you have created this narrative out of whole cloth, in this case the union clearly failed in negotiations long before this incident happened.

    this is a really weird post

    like your suggestion that this policy was a result of bad negotiation on the union's part (even ignoring that, you know, management is also involved in negotiation) is just as fictive as the narrative that you're saying is fake

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  • Yes, and...Yes, and... Registered User regular
    edited March 10
    Ketherial wrote: »
    Ketherial wrote: »
    so yeah, not a big fan of unions. they are definitely the enemy of good business.

    You don't think it's a bit unfair to write off all unions or the idea of unions because you had a couple of challenging cases and one uncooperative union? I work for one union and am a member of another union. I can say that I take a wide range of approaches when dealing with management in my professional capacity; sometimes we're on the same page and able to approach an issue collaboratively, and sometimes we disagree and have to work though some kind of contested process. Similarly, if I've had to raise an issue with my employer as a shop steward, or when I've been on the negotiating team in collective bargaining, sometimes we've been able to approach things collaboratively and other times we've had clearly diverging interests.

    i concede the point, but would argue that it is similarly "unfair" to assume all unions are a good idea because your experience with one has been good. any senseless mob can use its collective power for good or bad.
    It's also surprising and more than a little disappointing to hear about unions that don't seem to have a clear understanding of their moral and ethical position. The history of labour organizing provides us with a clear moral framework based on solidarity, and at least in Canada the ethics of union representation are grounded in the concept of fair representation (i.e. not arbitrary, discriminatory or in bad faith). It hasn't happened often, but the union I work for has had a couple of members file complaints with the provincial labour board because I had to draw a line in the sand with the members and tell them that the union would not take their case any further than we already had. So far the labour board has summarily dismissed every complaint, because I know my ethical obligations and I fulfill them without going overboard.

    this is the most important point to me.

    i do not think that unions themselves even believe that they have a clear ethical mandate anymore nor that they try to act based on any such ethical mandate. just as i no longer believe that the catholic church believes it has a clear ethical mandate nor that it acts with virtue as the most important goal of its existence. both of these kinds of organizations have become entrenched power structures that serve no purpose except to continue their role as entrenched power structures.

    I don't assume that all unions are good because of my experiences. My experiences tell me that at least two unions are good (the one I work for and the one I'm part of), and I would turn to principled arguments to provide a justification for unions generally. When I draw the conclusion that unions are good, I'm not drawing a conclusion that overrides specific information about specific unions, nor am I suggesting that unions are in some way immune to the kinds of issues that can emerge in organizations with hierarchies.

    Ketherial wrote: »
    Unfortunately it's far too common for managers to address workplace conflict by doing nothing until the situation gets so bad that they have to do something, which typically is also the point in time when it becomes impossible to do anything effective. If things get to the point where people are throwing hands on the shop floor, management fucked up a long, long time ago and probably in multiple ways.

    or maybe we were already engaged in progressive discipline, we had already discussed this individual with the union (and been rejected) and we were trying to prove to the union that he was a bad apple, but before we could satisfy the union's requirements for an uncontested termination based on poor performance, he found a way to get himself (and another guy fired) instead.

    at the end of the day, to you guys, this anecdote is just another "anti-union dude" spouting nonsense on a forum. for me though, this was the straw that broke the camel's back. my lengthy experience with our union was continuing to leave a bad taste in my mouth. this was just the tipping point for me, when i realized that unions can be as much of a senseless, spiteful, corrupt mob as any other group.

    it's not like i'm voting republican. i'm not. but the rose tinted glasses are gone. i do not "believe" in unions. i do not think they are an effective agent for bringing about a better or more equitable society. they are an agent for... something, but whatever interest it is that they serve, it's not that.

    I get why that post would read as an attack, and I'm sorry that I aggravated a sore spot for you. In truth I was thinking more about situations closer to home for me, and the utter incompetence and cowardice displayed by managers here in response to various conflicts that I've come across. That said, my overall point is true, because in the vast majority of workplaces hiring decisions are made by management, and if the hiring process fails to identify and eliminate bad apples from consideration, that's a management failure.

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