donder10
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Pro Union Or Anti Union?

Mon Dec 24, 2001 8:17 am

Do you believe that unions are a necessity in todays multi-corporate society or are you against them in the believe that they prevent a free market economy?
 
Matt D
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RE: Pro Union Or Anti Union?

Mon Dec 24, 2001 8:27 am

We've had this discussion before. In case you missed it, you just opened the Pandoras Box that you wished you hadn't, cuz this is gonna get UGLY.

My thought has always been that the only people that support Unions are those who will get "benefits" that they might not otherwise deserve, such as higher medical coverage, higher pay, longer vacations, fewer responsibities, etc.

Also, I am of the belief that Unions tend to (but not always) encourage laziness and low productivity; a lazy worker under Union "protection" is difficult, if not impossible to get rid of.

But on the flip side, Unions can be beneficial in shielding workers from unreasonably low pay, dangerous working conditions, etc.

In a perfect world, Unions and Corporations should be able to co-exist harmoniously, but we don't live in a perfect world, so you have both sides always trying to strongarm the other.

I think that with the advent of the numerous OSHA, ADA, and Fair Labor acts, that Unions are somewhat of an archaic concept. They are frequently guilty of manufacturing, or blowing a 'grievance' way out of proportion just to enrage their members. It allows them to justify higher "dues", which of course increases their positive cash flow.

I also believe that Unions tend to be very short sighted. They are not afraid to "kill their golden goose" to get an extra buck today. They would rather see that extra dollar or two an hour raise, then consider the possibility of putting the host corporation out of business (and putting their members out of work) tomorrow. Just look at what they did with Comair. they were willing to sacrifice that airline and all of those jobs just so they can have the satisfaction of claiming to have a bigger set of balls.

But that is just my $.63.
 
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yyz717
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RE: Pro Union Or Anti Union?

Mon Dec 24, 2001 8:28 am

I think they were necessary 100 years ago when mining and factories employed the masses in sweat-shop conditions....but I don't think they're needed today.

Unions rarely offer to tie wage or benefit increases to productivity improvements, and are generally against incentives to encourage workers to work harder or smarter. Too much emphasis is placed on longevity to rank employee job assurance, as opposed to ability or productivity.

I see all unions as a drag on productivity, free enterprise and ultimately our collective standards of living.

I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
b757300
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RE: Pro Union Or Anti Union?

Mon Dec 24, 2001 8:37 am

Like Yyz717 said, Unions did have a place @ one time. Today, many unions have been taken over by people who do not care about the “little people” but about advancing their own agenda. The time for national unions have passed. A mini-union inside a company that is only concerned with its local members wouldn’t be a bad thing.

I’m not going to get into this discussion any further since it is going to deteriorate into a flame war within 15-20 posts.
"There is no victory at bargain basement prices."
 
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yyz717
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RE: Pro Union Or Anti Union?

Mon Dec 24, 2001 8:45 am

Matt D & B757300....I agree with both of you completely!

I have the same sense that this thread may descend into a war. Time to batten down the hatches!

hehehe

Neil/Toronto


I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
Guest

RE: Pro Union Or Anti Union?

Mon Dec 24, 2001 8:46 am

On the good side, Unions have the potential to;a) create a higher standard of living by negotiating higher wages than non-union employees, and b) protect the jobs of the older less educated generation workers.

On the bad side, however, is protecting the jobs of the afore mentioned really in the company's best interest. Also, I agree that unions tend to drive the productivity down and create a sort of preastablished laziness.

Also, unions tend to be bad on the overall economy because as wages increase-corporate profits fall-prices rise. When prices rise, the value of money decreases. What you have is an inflationary period. And it just so happens that when inflation occurs there is an increase in the unemployment rate. All of this points to a decrease in GDP (gross domestic product) thus inducing the economy into a recessionary period.

Hope this helps! Regards,
 
Twotterwrench
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RE: Pro Union Or Anti Union?

Mon Dec 24, 2001 10:37 am

Anti - 100 years ago they were necessary. Now all they do is allow the shit to float to the top and eliminate any incentive one might have had to try and work hard and better yourself, since your wages and advancement are strictly seniority based rather than merit. Unions are bad for productivity.

Now, mark my words, this won't get ugly til some ALPA puke gets here and starts in on ALPA being the only reason airlines are safe and pilots are saving the airlines and blah blah make me fucking puke. The only thing unions due is inflate wage and benefit standards for those who don't deserve it, and ALPA is the biggest proof that this is true.
 
Guest

RE: Pro Union Or Anti Union?

Mon Dec 24, 2001 12:17 pm

Well, I may as well add my bit of gasoline to the fire. Chalk me up to the anti-union side. Granted, they did have their time and place, but now well others have already posted sentiments that pretty much match mine. My experience as a flight crew member with a major airline was a real eye-opener. In our world, if you don't or can't perfom up to snuff, you are simply given your walking papers. In the wonderful world of ALPA, well... when was the last time you ever heard of a crew getting the axe - unless it was associated with a major screwup that made national headlines. You haven't, because it doesn't happen. I have seen plenty of incompetence in the cockpit, but there is almost always a way to cover it up. IMHO, pilot unions do little to enhance safety, rather they tend to entrench mediocracy or worse.
 
ramper@iah
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RE: Pro Union Or Anti Union?

Mon Dec 24, 2001 1:05 pm

Twotterwrench wrote:
The only thing unions due is inflate wage and benefit standards for those who don't deserve it, and ALPA is the biggest proof that this is true.

Why don't you think pilots deserve fair wages. It sounds like you might be jealous. Are you a union member? Obviously not. Without the checks and balances that pilot unions provide between labor and management, pilots would be over-worked and under-compensated for duties that they perform. Who wants a fatigued pilot at the controls of their flight? No one! Look at the AA incident in Little Rock. If more stringent rest requirements and work rules were made into law, people would be enjoying the holidays with the loved ones who perished in this tragedy. ALPA has lobbied congress for years to have rest requirements changed. You only see one side of the picture. The media makes the pilot groups and the unions that represent them seem like greedy, money-hungry villians that care about nothing but $$$$. If you only knew the other issues that face pilots that would go unrecognized without ALPA and other pilot unions. Be thankful unions exist, otherwise air travel would not be as safe.
 
Superfly
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RE: Pro Union Or Anti Union?

Mon Dec 24, 2001 1:14 pm

Hmmm.....
Most union households are having a much Merrier Christmas this year than a lot of non-union households. During tough economic times, it is a lot better to have a union job than not. My job is not unionized but I wish it was.
Bring back the Concorde
 
Matt D
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Ramper@IAH

Mon Dec 24, 2001 1:18 pm

I agree wuth what you said with regards to safety. Pilots are entrusted with the lives of 100's of thousands of people in the course of their careers. Plus, the training and experience that needs to be built to become a pilot is very labor intensive and costly. And their skills are highly, well..shall we say skilled.

No one is saying that pilots (or anyone else for that matter) isn't entitled to just compensation.

But look at everything else that is Union.

Do we really need a person (fully paid with benefits) to operate a tow tractor? And another (fully paid with benefits) to hook up the towbar? And another (fully paid with benefits) to UNhook the towbar? And another (fully paid with benefits) to guide the plane in? And another (fully paid with benefits) to guide the plane out? And another (fully paid with benefits) to watch the left side of the plane? And another (fully paid with benefits) to watch the right side of the plane? And other (fully paid with benefits) to open the cargo doors? And another (fully paid with benefits) to close the cargo door?

Are you beginning to catch my drift now?

If a person shows up late for work 4 days out of the week, takes 3 naps a day while on the job, and takes a 90 minute lunch break? Is there any legitimate reason why that person shouldn't be fired?

If said worker was Union, you'd have a hell of a time getting rid of that person. It would be a process that would take YEARS-if it could be done at all.
 
ramper@iah
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RE: Pro Union Or Anti Union?

Mon Dec 24, 2001 1:48 pm

MattD,

The scenario you described about the fully paid employees with benefits is the job description of ONE person. At my company, however, the ramp workers aren't unionized...but I wish we were. It would be nice to have someone watch our backs in case of a goof up that was not entirely out fault.
 
Matt D
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RE: Pro Union Or Anti Union?

Mon Dec 24, 2001 1:56 pm

Well then things must be done differently at IAH cuz everytime I've been to LAX, I've seen armies of people surrounding ONE plane just like I described, leading to that scenario.
 
watewate
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RE: Pro Union Or Anti Union?

Mon Dec 24, 2001 2:19 pm

I used to work for a non-unionized company competing with a unionized one just across the street from us. Sure, the other guys received higher wages in general, but after union dues and crappier scheduling for those on the bottom of the seniority, it really didn't benefit most.
I'm a firm believer in rewarding and promoting those who prove their worth. I understand that it's difficult, if not impossible, to apply such principle to pilots, but there exist unions in other sectors that would be better served without.
 
jessman
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RE: Pro Union Or Anti Union?

Mon Dec 24, 2001 2:53 pm

I am pro union, at the very least in some aspects. I feel that if unions unilaterally did not exist, or were not allowed to exist corporations would eventually succumb to the desire to exploit the employees who rely on them for a living. In a competitive environment if even one company in a certain niche is unionized other companies in direct competition will have to at least try to match the union's offerings or they will have VERY unhappy employees, and a terrible employer/employee relationship. For example Delta has a largely non union workforce, Delta also treats its employees fairly well, because it knows its employees have a choice in where they work. I doubt Delta would treat its employees so well if other Unionized airlines did not have the unions fighting to keep their employees treated well. If everyone is mistreating labor, labor has nowhere to go, and simply does the job to survive as best possible. We all know that good management comes and goes, Unions simply keep management in check. And as with any competition a strong union will encourage talented management, they sharpen each other in a way.
I firmly believe Unionization has been the greatest single contributor to the rise of the middle class in the USA. Without Unions we would still be in the mindset that we were in in the 20's and 30's, the rich would have remained rich, and the poor would have remained poor. The cowardly lion of labor found its courage in unions, and took what rightfully belonged to the working man.
And then major corporations moved their workforce to Asia and Mexico where they can pay a worker $3 a day and the worker will be happy, and then the American worker loses his job anyway.
Oh well, things are never as simple as they seem, are they?
 
Guest

RE: Pro Union Or Anti Union?

Mon Dec 24, 2001 3:21 pm

Galilee

There is a MAJOR fault in your reasoning here.

Also, unions tend to be bad on the overall economy because as wages increase-corporate profits fall-prices rise. When prices rise, the value of money decreases. What you have is an inflationary period. And it just so happens that when inflation occurs there is an increase in the unemployment rate. All of this points to a decrease in GDP (gross domestic product) thus inducing the economy into a recessionary period.

Under the principles of macroeconomics, when there is inflation, the unemployment rate actually decreases. With low inflation, you will normally see higher unemployment.

And to even try and pin this problem on unions is both short-sighted and uninformed.
 
HSV
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RE: Pro Union Or Anti Union?

Mon Dec 24, 2001 6:59 pm

Aviatsiya, maybe what Galilee said might not agree with your understanding of the Phillips curve but the fact remains that unions reduce the productivity of labour and that will ultimately be reflected in a lower GDP.

And FYI, there are instances when inflation actually causes increased unemployment due to endogenous price setting by firms, which generally is what happens in the economy. So who's the uninformed one now...
 
Banco
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RE: Pro Union Or Anti Union?

Mon Dec 24, 2001 7:16 pm

Those circumstances were known as "Stagflation", HSV, and comprehensively screwed up the economies of many countries in the 1970's when the accepted economic models no longer worked. Governments wre frankly at a loss as what to do next, and as a result ideas such as monetarism came to the fore before becoming equally discredited by the mid eighties when the supply of money increased but inflation still fell.

One thing to remember about union power and the criticisms associated with it is that in many cases the problems a company suffers are caused just as much by poor management.

Provided the unions are not overpowerful (as they are in the US aerospace industry) they are valuable and necessary. The problems are caused when there is an imbalance in power and either management or unions have too much influence. Then you either have the tail wagging the dog, or workers exploited. A difficult balance to achieve but where you get it, it benefits all.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
donder10
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RE: Pro Union Or Anti Union?

Mon Dec 24, 2001 9:27 pm

Too many unions are overpowered these days.You need to strike a balance between protecting worker's rights and encouraging hard work and some times the power of the union disencourages hard work.
 
lehpron
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RE: Pro Union Or Anti Union?

Mon Dec 24, 2001 10:48 pm

prevent a free market economy?

What are you, capitalist? Only 10% of the US are capitalists the rest are working class citizens. It is unfair how the few order the many, for what, insane profits at the cost of safety/labor?

I would be Pro-Union, but if a business actually respected their employees a little more to the point where joining a Union would prove worthless, then I'm Anti-Union. I agree that sometimes Unions ask much, but it is usually deserved. Why when businesses in particular didn't bother volentarily, say, increase pay, is their problem; they asked for it.

IMO, minimum wage should run along with inflation, it's just too low in some parts.
The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
 
chris28_17
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RE: Pro Union Or Anti Union?

Mon Dec 24, 2001 11:34 pm

Alright, i didnt really read any replies but i found this topic right up my alley. Believe it or not, i just spent an entire semester doing research on labor unions for an advanced academic writing class. (about 50 pages worth of writing)

Needless to say i feel confident i could whoop anyone's ass in a labor union discussion!

First off i will say that unions are good for an economy such as ours; but not the unions we currently have. Small unions created by small groups of workers will still have power to accomplish their objectives without a negative influence on society.

During my research, I found ALPA to be one of the best unions, however they are chartered by the AFL-CIO of whom i could rattle off hours of negative things to say about them.

Having said that, in theory i am against unions... but really just BIG unions.

Lets put it this way, the Teamsters is basically a huge crime family. They are just as much a part of the mafia as Jimmy Hoffa once was, and his son James still is (james is the current president).

Members of the AFL-CIO used cigarettes and other "goodies" to bribe a myriad of clueless people into the polls during the Bush-Gore election last year.

Gosh i have so many facts on this, i dont know where to quit... fortunetely my papers arent in front of me right now... i do remember in pennsylvania the AFL-CIO actually paid the salary of 80+ workers to leave their jobs and work on the AFL-CIO political campaign to help Gore.

That money comes from union dues that workers HAVE to pay. If memory serves there are 4 million registered republicans who are forced to pay union dues, in all reality their money probably bought more Gore votes than their own genuine votes could even compete with.

Finally, the reason unions have so much power is because back during the depression, we NEEDED unions and so congress gave them all sorts of power to get the economy through it.... However, these laws are still in place!! and the unions are using them to pile up the profits..


trust me, i've got 50 pages worth of stuff i could go on forever.... in summary, unions in theory are good, but the current unions that control america are NOT good.


CHRIS
 
Klaus
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RE: Pro Union Or Anti Union?

Tue Dec 25, 2001 2:17 am

It depends a lot on how the unions behave and what the framework is.

In Germany, the Unions are an important (even if not universally loved) part of the economic system. They are a lot more powerful, but also a lot more responsible than those in many other countries.

I´m self-employed, so I don´t and I won´t have direct interest here.

But as I see it, unions are tools like many others. You can use them to split someone else´s skull or you can use them to build something. That´s the decision!
 
jetfixer
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RE:Ramper@IAH

Tue Dec 25, 2001 3:16 am

I am guessing you are a CO employee.

If I remember correctly about 3 to 6 months ago the IAM filed with the NMB for representation of the CO ramp and the ramp voted no.

A good out come in my opinion. If you were one of the ones who voted yes then you probably should do some more research on the IAM. This is not a union you want to represent you.

If you like your union to lie to you, blame others for their incompetence, use your union dues to fly their corpoate jet around to exotic locations to negotiate with yor management, then these are the fools for you. Why you need to negotiate in Hawaii one week and Vegas the next week is beyond me.

Although this is a mechanic pay scale, look at where the IAM negotited wages are. If not at the bottom, then close to it. How many are at the top.
http://www.amfanow.org/AMT-Wages_scales.htm

For 2 years the IAM has been negotiating the United employees an industry leading contract that now is not going to happen. Once again, its not their fault. Its the company, Its AMFA, Its the NMB, Its Bin Laden, now Its the President's fault.

Check out this site for mechanic opinions on the IAM. http://www.the-mecanic.com/mainbb.html

As was mentioned before, unions allow the shit to float to the top. Delta, non union, decent employee-mangement relationships and sometimes higher pay than unionized workers.

Do not be sucked into the IAM lies and deceipt. Union is not always best.


Jetfixer  Smokin cool

 
jetfixer
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RE: Pro Union Or Anti Union?

Tue Dec 25, 2001 3:30 am

 
qantas744
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RE: Pro Union Or Anti Union?

Tue Dec 25, 2001 6:36 am

Nicely timed thread Donder10.....


I work in a heavily unionised industry (railway/railroad)where the unions have traditionally been able to get what they want by calling their members out on strike and endangering the financial position of our employers.When the industry was in the public sector the unions knew that more money could always be found from somewhere in the public purse.Since it was all privatised and broken up from 1 big company into 100 smaller companies the unions have found it more difficult to get what they want.They now have to deal with employers from the real world where people lose their jobs if the company goes bankrupt from paying too much wages etc.

The company I work for is now in its third dispute with the unions in 12 months,and we are looking at operations being almost entirely suspended on January 3rd,4th,6th and 7th.Not surprisingly it is a dispute about money.However,3 months ago our managers decided they wanted to lengthen the opening hours of my station and all four of us that work there were against it.The matter was taken up by the union (who are supposed to represent OUR interests) who went into a meeting with our managers and agreed to the new hours.After that incident I cancelled my membership-there is no point being in a union that doesn't fight for it members.The current dispute has only resulted in strike action because there is a power struggle going on within the union and we have two potential candidates to take over the leadership,both of whom see that starting a strike will make them look bigger.

It's a pointless strike,it causes loads of problems for our customers-most whom will take it out on people like me in the days prior to the strike.In addition,the customers have to be compensated for the strike action-which just creates more work for us.

Unions have their place,there are plenty of bad employers out there who exploit their workers as much as possible-that is where unions should be,preventing exploitation instead of starting a strike when there is nothing to strike about.

Qantas744
you can't buy time but you can sell your soul and the closest thing to heaven is to rock'n'roll
 
donder10
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RE: Pro Union Or Anti Union?

Tue Dec 25, 2001 6:54 am

I dont like the militant style of some unions such as ALPA.

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