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Do unions really have any power?

Discussion in 'Politics & World News' started by MMike, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. MMike

    MMike A fowl peckerwood.

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    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/boeingaerospace/2008212140_boeing29.html

    So the strike lingers on.....but come on. If Boeing is really "losing" that much, do you think they would prolong the strike? As far a I'm concerned, the company ALWAYS has the upper hand. The strike will last as long as Boeing WANTS it to last. The strike is "somehow" (he says coyly) strategically beneficial to the company otherwise it wouldn't happen.

    Are the unions really that naive?
     

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  2. FlyinPolack

    FlyinPolack Monkey

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    Go to Boston, Ma. Every carpenter, metalworker, electrician & plumber (that wants to be busy anyway) are all members of the unions. When the union shuts a job down it generally stays shut down until the union says so.

    Any costs that Boeing runs into because of the strike will just be written off as a loss for a huge tax break later anyway.
     
  3. stevew

    stevew unique white person

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    Teachers union, certainly.
     
  4. X3pilot

    X3pilot Texans fan - LOL

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    MMike, rename this thread "Do unions have any use in modern America?" and watch the fireworks light off.

    They have power, plenty of it, just not the type to be useful to it's original intended benefactors.
     
  5. MMike

    MMike A fowl peckerwood.

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    Yeah, labour unions are ridiculous.

    but that's the thing. The union leadership gets them all riled up, making them believe they have some kind of influence over things. But nay. This lets the company tidy up the 787. Yes it affects revenues. But if it were something that they were REALLY concerned about then they would not let it happen.

    The union has no "hand"...
     
  6. Jim Mac

    Jim Mac MAKE ENDURO GREAT AGAIN

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    The SEIU (Service Employees International Union) is actually a growing union, as that employment sector is growing rapidly as well (nurses, home health aides, etc).
     
  7. sanjuro

    sanjuro Tube Smuggler

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    Ask any Interbike exhibitor about union authority. You need an union person to hang a banner at Interbike.
     
  8. Westy

    Westy the teste

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    The UAW has the power to drive GM into the ground.
     
  9. narlus

    narlus Eastcoast Softcore
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    union rules at their very best.
     
  10. JohnE

    JohnE filthy rascist

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    First off, I am very pro union. But, I am also very pragmatic...

    Unions have power, its just that it has gone awry, almost 180 degrees off of where it was originally intended.
    Find me a line of work that really, truly needs protection from tyrannical bosses and horrible working conditions these days. Those are the ones who NEED a union today. There are very feew Traingle Shirtwaist Factories these days...
     
  11. kidwoo

    kidwoo Celebrating No-Pants Day

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    Like anything, some do some don't. The teamster crap in vegas is mind boggling in its stupidity.

    However, I've seen through unions very legitimate causes taken up with power companies. Things like extended hazard pay either through better insurance coverage or outright salary increases for working around transformers, better safety regulations when working around hydro plants, and dam systems.....

    They're not all bad and they're not all good.
     
  12. Samirol

    Samirol Turbo Monkey

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    Wal-mart is a great, well-known example

    Unions are designed for one thing, to give the workers strength in arguing with business for deals that they want. Unions aren't stepping out of their bounds, because their duty is to benefit the workers as much as possible. Unions in the U.S are crap because they are still miles behind in benefits than where they should be.
     
  13. JohnE

    JohnE filthy rascist

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    Baseball players need unions? Actors? Hockey and football players? This Interbike nonsense is case and point of how they are out of hand. Wally World is totally where they are needed...
     
  14. Samirol

    Samirol Turbo Monkey

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    Baseball players are in a much better place to make deals with the heads of the teams, but not heads of the baseball league, therefore a union is beneficial.
     
  15. JohnE

    JohnE filthy rascist

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    The danger they are exposed to is what? How hazardous is the work environment??
    How much do they make compared to a coal miner in W. Va? Is said coal miner afforded the same perks as A. Rod? What happens when the coal miner holds out because he wants more per shovelful??

    I just dont see it in this case.
     
  16. Samirol

    Samirol Turbo Monkey

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    It isn't to protect them from hazardous materials, but to collectively bargain to benefit the worker. A union's role, in my opinion, extends beyond safety.
     
  17. JohnE

    JohnE filthy rascist

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    Ideally. But it is the collective benefit, comrades. Not the individual. And that is where I see flaws in pro athletes and actors having them...
     
  18. Samirol

    Samirol Turbo Monkey

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    I'm not up to date on acting and sports unions, but if they don't aim to benefit all the members of the union, then that is a problem with that particular union, not with unions in those fields.
     
  19. JohnE

    JohnE filthy rascist

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    Must agree to disagree. Its lunchtime...

    Besides, can you see Barry Bonds helping out a fellow union brother?? Or (Insert name of pampered athlete/actor here) refusing to cross a picket line?
     
  20. X3pilot

    X3pilot Texans fan - LOL

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    If that's what they stuck to doing best, then yes, they would be of a huge benefit. But, what ruins their credibility is when they become a lobbying arm and special interest groups. They take dues from their membership and use it to promote political candidates and agendas that suit their power and payback structure. We always seem to hear of politicians being 'union friendly'. I'm pretty sure they are union friendly due to money and favors, not because they support the ideology of worker protection and benefit.

    Unions that push too far share a lot of the blame for jobs that have been 'outsourced'. Companies have an obligation to provide a return of investment to investors while providing a safe, secure, fair waged job to their workforce to provide that return on investment. When a floor sweeper at Ford gets 42.00 and hour because of union influence and negotiations, it's only a matter of time until the companies surrender and send the job away.

    Teacher's unions? Seriously? Here in PA, teacher striking is a sport. They wait until the start of the school year to strike, having stalled all summer during the negotiations. Because of union rules and brain washing, the local HS band's student drum majors not only organized camp and practice for the band themselves, since no music teachers could help them, they had to find a place to practice themselves, since due to union rules, the students couldn't use school facilities (facilities that we in PA pay for with a school tax)
     
    #20 -   Sep 29, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2008
  21. Samirol

    Samirol Turbo Monkey

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    Well, to get things done politically in the U.S, you either have your own party, lobby, or go through the courts. Since 3rd parties are crippled, the only ways to enact political change are to lobby and go through the courts.

    Corporations are inherently flawed, since corporations have to operate for the pure goal of making as much money as possible for the stockholder. There should be heavy punishments on companies that move jobs overseas.

    As for teacher's unions, good for them. It is unfortunate that the students get punished because of union negotiations, though.
     
    #21 -   Sep 29, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2008
  22. X3pilot

    X3pilot Texans fan - LOL

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    Capitalism


    I assume you mean in the form of tariffs, higher tax rates on profits gained from overseas labor or administration?



    Oddly, even though I don't support the idea of a teacher's union, I don't feel the kids got punished. If you could have heard the news interviews with the students, it was pretty impressive. Their attitudes and the innovation they displayed showed a level of maturity and adult leadership the adults could have used! The students actually learned a real life lesson from this I think, so it wasn't all bad I suppose. Hard to get behind teachers here in PA, who's starting salaries are some of the highest in the nation and my 'school tax' is pretty high as well. Therefore, I like to think I have a say in how they work since I'm technically paying their salary, but that's the cynical, bitter taxpayer view in me!
     
  23. rockwool

    rockwool Turbo Monkey

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    My experiance of mainstream Swedish unions is that they're all hot air (almost anyways), and the only radical thing they do is display by hoisting the colours on 1st of May.

    I belong to a really small Syndicalistic union that really take up a fight for their members, and not only claim to do so. Neither do they strike any deals, of any kind, behind the backs of their members as full insight is allways garanteed. Very unlike other unions.

    I'd recomend you guys to check out if you have any Syndicalistic uninos in your countries.
     
  24. JohnE

    JohnE filthy rascist

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    My school district must have been different...I remember having teachers strike while we still attended classes...
     
  25. rockwool

    rockwool Turbo Monkey

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    Sounds radical. :)
     
  26. MMike

    MMike A fowl peckerwood.

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  27. MMike

    MMike A fowl peckerwood.

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  28. splat

    splat Nam I am

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    Well Maybe Windows is Bearable ! Unix Rules !
    and Ford and Chrysler and Cat, etc ,etc


    Efficientcy cost people jobs , don't you know anything :huh:


    when I worked for the DOD Stationed at Raytheon in the 80's it was scary the power of the unions ( another in long line of reasons for the $27,000 toilet seat )

    and what is scary is these are a lot of the People the democrats target, and are strong supporters of Obama ,


    Just goes to show there is lots of Stupid on Both sides of the fence.
     
  29. ire

    ire Turbo Monkey

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    I'm a part of SEIU (cause I'm a govy) and it sucks. SEIU fights very hard for the bottom 1% and tries to make headlines when they get an 8% pay increase for someone making $1500 a year and then they won't fight for any of our IT staff, even though we contribute a hell of a lot more in dues (1.75% of our check). The Union does wield power, and to prove this all you have to do is look at the guys around me squatting for retirement. At the state the Union protects the sh!tty workers. The non-union state IT shop employees make on average $15k more than I do just by being nonunion and they enjoy all of the benefits that I do. ...and yes I'm looking for a job at those locations :)
     
  30. JohnE

    JohnE filthy rascist

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    Who makes $1500 a year and belongs to a union?
     
  31. Secret Squirrel

    Secret Squirrel There is no Justice!

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    someone dropped a 0 or two...
     
  32. ire

    ire Turbo Monkey

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    People in our union :biggrin: I left off a 0
     
  33. N8 v2.0

    N8 v2.0 Not the sharpest tool in the shed

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    stupid unions would let both companies go bankrupt..

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601082&sid=aJvQ8mUyL2go&refer=canada

     
  34. Stray_cat

    Stray_cat Monkey

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    Not Capitalism. Corporations in the beginning were largely used as charters for public service projects. I.e. roads, bridges etc etc. They were heavily regulated; the charter could be voided if the corporation broke the law in any way. It wasn't until later the gloves were taken off, and corporations became a money making tool for investors. This had obvious impacts for the people that worked under the corporation. Not that things were fine and dandy for workers at this point in history.
     
  35. jaydee

    jaydee Monkey

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    I'd have at least some respect for unions if they used their powers for good instead of evil and greed. In Canada, every time a union somewhere in the country holds the management's head in the toilet until they give in and extorts a ridiculous bargain from them, every other similar union wants "parity", no matter that their circumstances are vastly different.

    Modern unions are all about special privileges and more money for a select group, not about working people in general. How about unions striking for things that would benefit society in general, like regulating oil companies and lowering fuel prices? In the interest of limiting inflation, how about a powerful union striking for rollbacks in ridiculous pay packages given to other sectors; I'm referring both to union members AND management here? How about unions cooperating with management occasionally instead of disagreeing on principle? Ain't gonna happen, because unions are all about "How much can I get?", not "How much can I help?".

    I've been a member of a few unions, only because I was forced to join to take a job. And I always hated the ideological politics and adversarial knee-jerk reactions to every management decision. I'm glad to be working in private industry where I can walk into a higher-up's office any time I want and talk about any situation I want in an environment of mutual respect. I get paid what I'm worth and it's up to me to make myself worth more if I want to make more. I'm not financially worth what A-Rod is because I don't generate that kind of cash, and there's only one of him.
     
  36. jimmydean

    jimmydean The Official Meat of Ridemonkey

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    I still read this as "Do unicorns really have any power?" and the answer is YES, yes they do.
     
  37. Skookum

    Skookum bikey's is cool

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    This is stupid, using Sports Unions and the Boeing Union to represent the ideology of having Unions.

    Specifically speaking of Boeing, MMike used to work there and knows how many idiots are in the Machinist and Engineer Union. Big companies and big unions, there are always going to be extreme examples of stupidity and inequity on both sides. The company management and the workers.

    Highlighted especially since they are still in the middle of a labor dispute.

    You're going to have instances in bargaining where both sides are going to ask for the moon. It's called Bargaining....

    If Boeing is going to go belly up they made plenty of stupid decisions on the 787 to outsource parts on that plane. The delays were an ongoing crisis well before the strike, and was not caused due to the local workforce. In this instance had they not bargained away those jobs you can make a fair case that they would not have lost billions of dollars they were supposed to save....

    i'm not even going to touch professional sports unions... They shouldn't even call them Unions anymore...

    But the comment from Jaydee is false. Without collective bargaining, it's absolutely naive to think you're getting paid what you're worth. It's a game of greed and if you think bringing productivity and value to a non union company makes you exempt from being exploited, it's just not true.

    At least with Trade Unions here it's more about the benefits than the actual wage, but the wage is obviously a big part of the package, and you can also get paid above the set wage, never below. And again if you're not worth a damn you might float on a job for a while, but when the work dries up, your ticket is the first to get punched for layoff.

    So capitalism is still in effect as the quality worker is rewarded with higher pay, and more work opportunity.

    Being a Roofer/Wateproofer for Local 54 Seattle for over 10 years, i know the politics involved. There is some stupid stuff on both sides. But i do know as a Union it provides not only an working relationship that provides the ability to make a living doing an honest trade, but it also enables the companies to provide quality service.

    YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. i've worked harder this working year, on the roof and volunteering at a mt. bike park and other advocacy work, than most any of you could fathom let alone try to match yourself. Quality hands who are not lazy and stupid make up a big chunk of union labor.(we're just so busy building crap you can take it for granted)

    Without Unions it's not worth the pain, i'd rather just walk the Earth being a bum. So what do you want to have, stories of Labor disputes or higher taxes from social services being exploited by unemployed workers. The choice is yours.:monkey:
     
    #37 -   Oct 14, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2008
  38. jaydee

    jaydee Monkey

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    Skookum, no offense intended here, but your attitude toward business is what preserves the mutual distrust between labor and management and costs industry and workers millions of dollars in lost wages, production, and arbritration fees. Do you honestly think that all owners are motivated entirely by greed and all workers are just honest folks trying to get a fair shake and that the unions are there just to protect them from unscrupulous owners? You've been watching too much Norma Rae, my man. Or reading too much Charles Dickens. And Woody Guthrie is long gone.

    I can assure you that I am in no way naive in this area. I've been in the work force for over 40 years, both as a professional and in pure physical labor in so many jobs I could write a couple of books. I can also assure you that I am being paid exactly what I am worth as an IT professional right now. It's not hard to research salaries and compensation levels. And I have as good or better a benefits package as I ever had in a union job. I have a much better working environment than I ever had in a union position, and I have lots of opportunity for advancement; my company encourages it and provides lots of help in doing it. We don't have to fight for raises because frequent reviews are part of company policy. Can you explain to me just how I am being exploited here and why I need a union to represent me?

    In Canada, unions are notorious as protected havens for laziness and ineptitude, with guaranteed raises and max sick days, all of which are used whether needed or not. There are conscientious hard workers, but most have that attitude leached out of them within a few years because it's not valued or encouraged. It's a sick environment for workers and for our economy. And I suspect it plays a part in the current dissolution of the American economy, especially in the difficulties experienced by the auto and aerospace industries. Unions are like communism, good on paper and unworkable in practice; we have to draw the good ideas from unionism and find better ways to implement them.
     
  39. BurlyShirley

    BurlyShirley Rex Grossman Will Rise Again

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    Id just like to say, Skooks and Jaydee, those are both great posts with some meaningful insight. I think when you can clearly articulate how two opposing points of view make absolutely perfect sense, the answer probably lies somewhere in between or depends on the unique situation.
     
  40. jaydee

    jaydee Monkey

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    Thanks Burly. I guess that's why this is such a difficult issue; there are at least 2 valid sides to be on. I feel that as long as "opponents" can listen to and value each other's arguments, the right call can be made for each situation, as you say.

    Good discussion, Skooks.