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Unions Today... Good or Bad?


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#1 Average Joe

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 12:25 PM

I know that unions of past have helped workers with better and safer work environments, pay, and such... I am just curious to see how helpful unions are for the average worker. Yes, they have good benefits and work hard to get high dollar jobs for their members, but doesn't this just drive up the cost of manufacturing and such? After all, look at Winchester Ammunition (Olin Brass) in Alton, IL. They're moving to a southern state because of the Unions wanting too much, or not working with them... So, Winchester is spending millions to build a new facility in a southern state... Was that a cheaper move for them? They'll have a non union workforce I'm guessing... And where does that leave all the union workers now out of a job?

What does everyone think?

#2 Rusty Pancelode

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 03:52 PM

From my own personal experience, unions are good and bad at the same time.

I worked in a union shop, got paid well, had decent benefits, etc...
I also had a good work ethic.
I've got awards and thank you letters to prove that I was worth something to my group.

However, not everyone in the group pulled their own weight (tsk,tsk,tsk), and some even tried to hide important work until the end of the shift.
If anyone complained about it, there was not much that the manager in charge could do besides repeatedly telling them to get to work.
(I guess you had to get 4 warnings and a suspension or something for a termination to stick)

Where am I going with all of this?
Since that union shop was so strongly seniority based, when it came lay-off time (right after 9/11), the lower seniority employees were let go.
I was in that group, as were many, very qualified and skilled assemblers and test technicians.
So we all went home and started looking for new jobs while the high-seniority guys sat idle at thier benches and soaked up over-time pay.
(That's not speculation, that came from an insider)

I see this same thing happening at other union shops too.
It seems that there are two kinds of hourly employees at union shops:
The old timer - He's the one that goes around chatting with people about how he's buying his daughter a new car, and how he's probably going to retire next year.
The new guy - He's the one that gets 90% of the work done, may actually make improvements to processes, and has to worry about losing his job every 3rd quarter because he's only been with the company for 2 years (retirement is like a fairy-tale to this guy).

So, I guess the union is good for keeping the employer from running a sweat-shop, but the union is actually bad for everybody when it encourages/requires the company to keep poor employees just because of tenure.
The company ends up with less production ability at a higher cost (most of these guys are maxed out on the pay scale).

#3 Ronaldmoms

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Posted 17 August 2016 - 05:48 AM

Of all people, anti-fighting advocate Adam Proteau just said on XM that he enjoyed this movie. It must be good




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