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Stupid Unions

Sun Apr 27, 2003 5:40 am

Usually I support labour movements, trade unions and social welfare in general, but sometimes unions go too far and hold everyone else hostage.

Take my school for example, we aren't allowed to even screw in a light bulb when we need to! We need to call "someone from the board" who will take weeks to actually come down and change the lightbulb. Or how it takes almost half an hour to get through the lunch line because teachers get to go beihnd the counter and so they get served first. When we asked why they can't serve themselves since they are going behind the counter anyway, we were told that "that would break union rules and make it appear that we don't need the servers and therefore they would be let go". In fact, I think that maybe then they should be let go! I really do realize how unions can be useful, but sometimes the only thing they do is protect infalted work forces without any real skills at the expense of everyone else.

Do you agree? Have any of you been "victims" of unions?
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RE: Stupid Unions

Sun Apr 27, 2003 5:55 am

That lightbulb thing: Why do you bother? Would you actually get in trouble if you changed the bulb yourselves?

To answer your question: No, I haven't been the "victim" of union actions yet. My school doesn't have any lunch service, my teachers are state officials and thus aren't allowed to go on strike, my parents are state officials, too... So even if I don't like what some unions over here have been doing lately, I don't feel molested by them.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
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RE: Stupid Unions

Sun Apr 27, 2003 6:06 am

Although no great lover of unions I admit that they do have their place. We had big problems in the UK in the 70s+ 80s until Margaret Thatcher's government reigned them in. As long as they are protecting their member's rights and conditions and respect the employers points of view they will always be important. When they start thinking of just themselves its time to come down hard on them because at the end of the day they don't do anyone any good.
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RE: Stupid Unions

Sun Apr 27, 2003 6:16 am

The thing that bothers me about unions is:
The workers get the attitude that they are not respected, under-paid and have few benefits so let's screw things up until we get our way. Remember when the West coast dock workers and longshoremen went on strike last year? Remember when Boeing engineers went on strike? I am not saying they should not get paid that much or they should not have benefits, but look at it this way:
I am in food service. We are not union. Most of us have to pay 100% out of pocket for health care and most of us can not get any government assistance (we just make above the miniumum). When we see these union people making over $15 an hour minimum PLUS have benefits and complain about how horrid their life is, I want, for just one month, to trade with them. Let them and their family live on $7 or $8 an hour with no benefits.

LET ME BE CLEAR: I am not against people being paid what they are worth. I am grateful for the Boeing eningeers to design safe aircraft. I am grateful for the longshoremen who work hard to bring products off the ships and into my store.

Before you say I should look for other work: I am only qualified for customer service related jobs or administrative/secraterial jobs. In the current economy, those are few and far between. Believe me!

You say Merry Christmas, I say All Holidays Matter
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RE: Stupid Unions

Sun Apr 27, 2003 3:18 pm

While they can be good in theory, over a century of power has caused many unions to go completely berserk on their powertrips.

Remember the Comair and PanAm strikes? Unions demanded payrises that would cause the bankruptcy of the company if their demands were met (and were unrealistic even if they could have been paid) and refused to listen to any argument at all.
In the case of Comair they did give in in the end when the owners started shutting down the company making the entire argument unneeded.
In case of PanAm, the company went under.
With the US ATC strike (1970s or '80s) the military had to step in to prevent the entire country from screeching to a halt.

West coast dockworkers demanded insane raises too and refused to listen to reason until a judge ordered them back to work.

And that's just in the US.

While it is good for workers to have someone to represent them as a group towards their employers, the system has gone way beyond that and unions are now no longer representing the workers but using them to play out their own political agendas.
Over here it's required by law to consult the unions on ANY plan that affects the workers (even the purchase of new office furniture) if your company has more than 10 employees and at least one of them is a union member.
If the union says no, the plan can't go ahead.
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RE: Stupid Unions

Sun Apr 27, 2003 3:20 pm

Unions have their place, but also don't have their place.
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RE: Stupid Unions

Sun Apr 27, 2003 3:24 pm

Unions have largely outlived their usefulness.

I'd like to see legislation greatly reducing their stranglehold on mgmt freedom.
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.

RE: Stupid Unions

Sun Apr 27, 2003 4:28 pm

As someone who was never really pro-union, I only became pro-union (but not totally) after spending some years working in the fields of Human Resources Management/Industry Relations.

That alone says a lot about what I think of management and unions.
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RE: Stupid Unions

Mon Apr 28, 2003 1:40 am

All I can say is thank God for pilots unions otherwise we wouldn't be making near what we deserve. And yes, I really mean that...
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RE: Stupid Unions

Mon Apr 28, 2003 1:44 am

It’s not so much unions that are the problem but the large national unions like the Teamsters. When you get that large of an organization it starts to become disconnected from the rank and file. Many times you’ll hear of contract disputes where the only real issue is some idiot from the union leadership is demanding some ridiculous item added to the contract that the rank and file could care less about. Unions should be limited to the company such as all pilots for XYZ Airline have their own union but it isn’t related to the union that represents the pilots at ABC Airlines.
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RE: Stupid Unions

Mon Apr 28, 2003 5:25 am

All I can say is thank God for pilots unions otherwise we wouldn't be making near what we deserve. And yes, I really mean that...

Interesting point of view. Pan Am, Braniff, Eastern, Ansett pilots now have zero income.....is that what they deserve? ....and yet they had militant unions.

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

Tue Apr 29, 2003 12:28 pm

A couple union examples I love to throw around...first locally.

We are finally getting Wal Mart into the area, but already have another non-union grocery store - Giant Eagle. The local United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW Local 911) has been on a rampage to run out any non union "shop" in the area. The now run 5 radio ads per day per station in the local market...all telling people to use their represented stores. However, they leave one out...one that use to have around 40 stores, but is down to 20 now. 600 people out of work after the owners simply couldn't make money anymore with the labor and related costs. So they have that little problem...then they decide to take a hard line with Kroger and authorize a strike there if the company didn't meet their demands - higher wages and better health coverage. For baggers and cashiers. Last I checked...you got a job there when you are young and then moved on, oh well not my call I guess. So they settle in the 24 hour window before the strike was authorized to begin.

All the while they are doing their pointless "STOP" campaign with 15-20 people out in front of Giant Eagle every day...actually thinking they'll get someone to turn around. Oh well, the union is creating jobs there I guess since they are paying those people for standing around holding signs that say "STOP - Don't Stop Non-Union Giant Eagle." How about...I enjoy cheaper prices, great deals on gas, and the ability to self check out without waiting in line.

The other example I enjoy using is between the local airlines here and their starting wage. US Airways/PSA $6.25/hr, ATA $8, Eagle $9/hr, Comair $9.25/hr, and Mesaba around $8-8.25/hr. Can you pick out the ONLY union represented airline here? Here is a hint...it is no where near the top.

So in these two examples it clearly shows that in some cases...not all...but some, Unions are completely ineffective and just harm their workers more than they do good. At least this is something I don't have to worry about employing myself...but help me if one union tries to represent the people that work for me - what an ugly picture that'll be.
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RE: Stupid Unions

Tue Apr 29, 2003 2:18 pm

There are a lot of ex-Braniff and ex-Eastern pilots making a lot more than zero at my company....they moved on after the demise of their airlines. Airlines going away is an occupational hazard in the business...we all knew that going in.
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RE: Stupid Unions

Tue Apr 29, 2003 2:45 pm

The thing that I don't understand about why people disagree with Organised labour is this: everyone believes in Organised Religion, Organised Government, Organised Businesses, but not Organised labour. Why is it that every one of these groups in the United State is recognised by us as legitimate to organise, but for some reason workers can't organise?

Yes, some Unions have gone too far. They got a lot of power, and ran with it. But the idea of organised labour is not "too old." Businesses/Management still believe their first responsibility is to the shareholder; the worker is second. Therefore, Organised labour at a company is needed to make sure that the company doesn't overlook the needs of its workers.

And, Collective bargaining implies exactly that: bargaining. The Union doesn't always get everything it wants, and neither does business. If any of them did, then it wouldn't be bargaining. Pilots ask for outrageous wages as a place from which to start bargaining.

And for those of you that say some Union people have "easy" jobs, why don't you try working in a car factory doing the same exact thing for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. With all the noise of the car factory, and the same motion for hours and days and years on end. It's mentally debilitating labour, not to mention that sometimes people go deaf because the noise is so loud. Doesn't sound too peachy, does it?

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