The Instigator
artuis
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Pro (for)
Winning
21 Points

Labor Unions

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Danielle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/5/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,711 times Debate No: 5283
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (3)

 

artuis

Con

I'm in my last year of law school in Michigan, and I've seen first hand the effects of Labor Unions and the detrimental tolls it takes on an economy and possible job growth. A great example is taking a look at the big automakers and their failures to compete with foriegn car companies. Companies like GM are paying huge benefit packages and pension plans to the elderly generation from the Union contracts signed in the 1950's an onward.

Instead of investing revenue to make better vehicles and work on a better business model the Auto-Industry in America has just been treading water, because of the burden that Union contracts put on them.

Now I'm from Orlando, Florida and our state has very few Unions and the state legistlative laws are very anti-union, and for that I feel our state has prospered. You see Unions are good for those who have jobs, but not those who need to find jobs. With labor Unions everything is done be senoirity versus the quality of the employee and the value that they bring to the workplace. This causes another ripple effect of lower quality workers. The arguement will be that we must protect the workers from mis-treatment from the employers, however, there are plenty of goverment agencies that now make this alot tougher and monitor employers, like the EEOC.

Labor Unions cause a mob mentality, and truthfully a sense of entitlement, which shouldn't be there.
Danielle

Pro

Danielle forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 1
artuis

Con

artuis forfeited this round.
Danielle

Pro

Danielle forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
artuis

Con

artuis forfeited this round.
Danielle

Pro

Unfortunately, both Con and I have seemingly been either too distracted or too busy to sufficiently debate this topic of discussion (probably both). However, since we have both forfeited the same amount of rounds, I feel that we are on an equal playing field and as such this has become a 1 round debate. You should vote based off of who has made the more convincing arguments using only 1 round. That said, thank you in advance for reading and I look forward to the challenge ahead...

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A labor union is an association of workers that seeks to improve the economic and social well-being of its members through group action. By giving workers a united voice, a union can often negotiate higher wages, shorter hours, and better fringe benefits (such as insurance and pension plans) than individual workers can negotiate on their own [1]. However unions offer other unique benefits such as job security, and opportunities to challenge outsourcing (one of the biggest concerns for American workers today) in addition to receiving perks such as paid maternity leave and vacation days, to name a few. Considering these awesome bonuses of labor unions, let's analyze Pro's concerns:

[ Failure to Compete ]

I negate. Con's experience in law school is irrelevant here, as I am a 4th year Labor Studies and Employment Relations major at Rutgers -- I know first-hand the BENEFIT of labor unions, especially from an HR (Human Resources) and management perspective. For instance, back in the day, the breadwinner of the family (male) of a "traditional" household would go to work, and continue to only work for that some company for probably the rest of his life. The economy was booming back then (1950s).

Today, there is no loyalty in the market -- employees know that their jobs are not secure due to the growing competion (lack of available jobs), and therefore are always seeking better opportunities instead of focusing on making their institution better. Meanwhile, management seeks to eliminate as many costs as possible, regardless of how loyal an employee may be which hurts morale and in turn production.

A cooperative sense of unification amongst employees leaves little opportunity for actual achievement (both of a company's mission statement and/or their performance). This is a hinderance in both the quality of work and innovation that is necessary for a firm's success. Further, employees will not trust management; a sentiment which would create a barrier for optimal achievement in terms of performance. As such, workers aren't working as diligently as they would if they felt a sense of security, nor are their minds stable enough to explore innovative ideas which is of paramount importance. Thus, the support of labor union membership would allow a company to work at its best on different levels, which gives them a great advantage in terms of competition.

[ Benefit Packages and Pension Plans - Unfair Burdens?]

On a moral level, aren't these things deserved? Take a guy who's worked a difficult job and did it well for 40 years. When he becomes old or too feeble to work, the government should reward his citizenly contribiution (as an economic asset) by ensuring him a worry-free retirement in terms of finances. If not, what happens to those senior citizens whose tragic circumstances leave them incapable of providing for themselves, or receive support from others/family? This is a spiritual as well as moral question indeed.

[ Florida ]

I find it comical that Con thinks of Florida as the model state for this country. "We're [Florida] facing our worst real estate meltdown since the Depression. We've got a water crisis, insurance crisis, environmental crisis and budget crisis to go with our housing crisis. We're first in the nation in mortgage fraud, second in foreclosures, last in high school graduation rates. Our consumer confidence just hit an all-time low, and our icons are in trouble--the citrus industry, battered by freezes and diseases; the Florida panther, displaced by highways and driveways; the space shuttle, approaching its final countdown. New research suggests that the Everglades is collapsing, that our barrier beaches could be under water within decades, that a major hurricane could cost us $150 billion... Population growth is at a 30-year low. School enrollment is declining..." etc. [2] Unlike Con, I don't think this kind of track record is in any way reminiscent of being "prosperous" :|

[ Seniority = Lower Quality Workers ]

Fallacy. Ask any employee and they'll tell you that experience is truly their best asset. Now take a woman who worked in the advertising field for 20 years and as such has earned herself a salary of 100k/year. A 22-year old fresh faced, wide eyed and ready to work woman wants to put her brand new Marketing and Communications degree to use in the big city. Not concerned with high wages, this young woman is willing to do the same job for only 50k a year - half the price! Now of course this sounds great for management; however, this is not so. This would put the 40 year old woman out of a job, which would enduce a ripple effect that affects her whole family. Additionally, the 22 year old only has a degree, while the experienced worker probably has at least that + the education that you can only get from the hands-on perspective. As such, the company will not be producing at full/best capacity. This is certainly bad for competition.

[ Employee Mistreatment ]

I absolutely agree that this is a problem. Consider a factory where loyal workers show up to work every day, and one day their employer decides to cut their wages in half. This would certainly inconvenience most individuals (to say the least)! Many people - especially in that kind of work - and it's a booming industry, no doubt - live from pay check to pay check. They will most likely not be able to compensate their lifestyle (however minimal it may be) as a direct results of these cuts. Nor would they be able to find a competitive job opportunity in time for this to not affect their families or the market. Again, this is a moral issue in addition to an economic one.

[ Labor Unions = Mob Mentality = Wrong Sense of Entitlement ]

This is crap. Labor unions are not mafias and in fact are completely within legal and moral paraneters. Moreover, I feel that a sense of entitlement in regards to one's work is not a bad thing. I hope that all workers are proud of the work that they do, and are so satisfied with their company's loyalty that in return will work hard to produce the best results in terms of competition. I do not believe that innovation will be stunted with this security as my opponent implies. Rather, I feel that one's desire to advance within the company is enough to keep people working hard to achieve success...

It is a perfect balance of team work and quality work (job performance) to out do competitors, along with a strong desire to advance one's career within one loyal company (innovation) - that will lead the company to absolute success. Thus labor unions are beneficial to both employers and employees (as they eliminate moral and ethical concerns). The thinking behind it is: If you are a good worker, you will be rewarded by not being fired shallow reasons, i.e. a cheaper replacement. In return, you must make sure that you continue to produce positive results (or else that would probably lead to a legit reason for termination). Company bonuses and incentives will entice you to think outside the box and out-perform competiion both nationally and abroad. The perks make the employees happy while turning a profit. Now that is true success.

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Sources:
[1] http://encarta.msn.com...
[2] http://www.time.com....
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 9 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
So in essence, then, the choice is not- "Capitalists are happy or the weak are happy." The question is "Capitalists are happy or everyone dies." The only thing between your actions and the effects of this rule- is time.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 9 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
"Placing the capitalism and the corporation progress ahead of the individual is a horrid thought.
"

It's also impossible. Corporations are nothing but groups of inidividual owners. Translation: You think the idea of placing the individuals who EARN money ahead of those who do NOT in consideration of what to do with that money is "horrid." I contend that the opposite is horrid, indeed, if done by force it is theft, and those who don't earn enough assure their own destruction anyway if they steal it- because those who do earn it are sacrificed, and used up, in the process.
Posted by brittwaller 9 years ago
brittwaller
CON seems to forget in his argument why all the outsourcing exists in the first place: a large amount of foreign workers don't earn s***, in both relative and absolute terms. It seems like he tried to put a socialistic spin on what was thought of as "the American Way" for the longest time. Curious.
Posted by brian_eggleston 9 years ago
brian_eggleston
Florida is an amazing state in many ways, but one where the disparity between the "haves" and "have nots" is extreme.

Many wealthy "snow birds" from the Eastern seaboard retire there. There also a large number of monied Europeans who have second homes there. However, there are also a large number of Hispanic immigrants who are exploited by farmers and orange-juice producers (no names, no pack drill, but Tropicana will know who I mean) who live in abject poverty.

In addition, while I am there, I am amazed at how many old folk are economically obliged to continue working in order to supplement their pensions.

On the plus side, however, I was buying a pack of cigarettes in a store in St. Pete Beach, FL, not so long ago and the old codger asked me for ID to prove my age! (I am 35 plus VAT!)

A great debate, b/t/w, theLwerd, you would win this debate hands down if this was a European-orientated site, but it isn't, so...
Posted by CogitoErgoCogitoSum 9 years ago
CogitoErgoCogitoSum
And in the case of pension and medical care, it is up to the employee to get insurance and invest for their own future.

I agree.

At first I didnt agree, you seemed a bit on the commie side... which I am in favor of, by the way, but your idea seems a bit extreme and corrupt and callous. You want to place the greater good of society ahead of the individuals needs for security.

Actually, in some ways its a bit too capitalist. Placing the capitalism and the corporation progress ahead of the individual is a horrid thought.

But after reading your argument, I do agree with your intentions. The individuals need to quit being lazy and feeling entitled. If they cant do the job, they shouldnt have it. Competition of the job market and the progression of society should not be stunted by an individuals desires not to be fired.

Keep in mind, though, that people age and do become less capable with time. Should they be fired and replaced? Before they have gathered a large enough savings and investment to last the rest of their life? Especially if they have many years in the field and cant get hired anywhere else?

A lot more needs to be thought of.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Derek.Gunn 8 years ago
Derek.Gunn
artuisDanielleTied
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Vote Placed by brittwaller 9 years ago
brittwaller
artuisDanielleTied
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Vote Placed by Danielle 9 years ago
Danielle
artuisDanielleTied
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