They are on the wrong side of the supply/demand. They supply labor the company demands work. The jobs BELONG to the company NOT the unions and not the employee. We are pricing ourselves out of the market... We pay 20 hr, when we could pay a NON union member 12 or less. Making the END product CHEAPER! Then you wont need 20 an hr.
I can understand the dilemma at hand from both sides of the fence. When unions and big corporations are at the bargaining table, too many times I think unions are unwilling to look at facts. Their first reaction to anything they don't like is, "Well, Then we just won't work" and then here comes the strike. Maybe at one point striking did a minimal amount of good, but now the only thing it seems to create is more problems. Now you're not getting what you want and you're out of a job. I frequently receive propaganda in the mail from both corporate and the union, and both are trying to convince that they are the reasonable ones. Im almost certain there is fault on both sides of the bargaining table. The unions first instinct should not be to put undue strain on the workers by calling a strike, but rather talk about issues at hand like adults, not tantrum throwing children.
The hardball game of compelling employees to pay dues and compelling employers to hired only dues-paying union members is not a positive cooperative approach. The German system of co-determination is much more cooperative. Labor unions in German are popular with both employees and employers. By law, public companies need labor representation in the board room and shop floors have “works councils” that choose representation at the managerial level. The Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga is a great example where employees voted down the AFL-CIO in lieu of more German-style labor relations.
I run a shop with 30 + employees. We are open 24/h 7 days a week. 12 employees are part of a union (local government). Each of the union employees work on a set schedule and does not work weekends. The journey for me to implement a weekend shift has taken 3 month of preparation and it is still not complete. The Union is grieving hardship because employees are required to work weekends in a shop that is open 24h/7days a week.
Unions were created in order to stop people being taken advantage of, and they stopped it, now they just seem to be in place to only oppose any change which is what is needed in order to adapt. They are stunting economic growth, career union leaders are simply wasting time and money that could be spent improving the systems they claim to protect.
I hate paying for unions even tough I have NEVER used it. Its a waste of my hard earned money! I work my butt off every week and thinking I'm going to get this big paycheck but then I see my stupid union dues taken out. The union is only for people that are lazy and don't feel like working. If they get in trouble the union will back them up! I think its bull crap!
There always will be a place for open, voluntary unions. In particular, in a society that forbids coercion of any kind, workers may bargain collectively by refusing to work for certain wages or conditions. If there are no other workers who would work for less and if their demands are economical for their employer, they may effectively negotiate better terms than they might if each of them individually risked his employment while negotiating.
The problem with labor unions as they have evolved is that they work by intimidation and coercion. Those tactics are not always at the front line, but they are ever present. They seek special government privilege that turns the other way on their tactics or that mandates their demands. Often, the result is an overall decrease in employment or even damage to the financial strength of the employers.
Labor unions are not useful today. Unions are not able to win any major victories anymore, and they use what power they have to protect incompetent workers. Our education system suffers from teacher tenure which cannot be changed because of unions. On the other hand, unions which need higher pay do not have any strategies to win concessions from management.
When was the last time the big bosses stopped taking paychecks while the workers were on strike? NEVER HAPPENS! The union bosses are not there for the workers, if they were, they'd be right next to you warming their hands by the fire. And what happens when a business goes under that can't compete, you go back inline and wait for a job...They just keep sucking money out of companies until they can't pay you any longer.
Labor unions won the war they fought when unions began and became prominent in the 30s and 40s. Most large factories that have large unionized employees have things like 401(k)s and retirement plans, health insurance and much better working conditions today than even what labor unions were asking for 50 years ago. Unions are discriminating against younger employees and new people to the work force.
Also, let's remember that unions were started and bankrolled by the Mob. While the mob's influence has been greatly reduced, unions are notoriously corrupt. Especially in the New York/New Jersey area. Detroit effectively killed itself by raping the private sector via unions.
As worker rights and pay are ever decreasing the working class is in more a need of balancing these economic and political injustices then since the late 19th century. The gap between exorbitant CEO pay and labor's wages is continuing to widen....While corporate mismanagement runs businesses into the ground, accepting tax-paying bail-outs only to escape via their "Golden Parachute", all the while cloaking their greedy culpability from the public via union scapegoating. More to the point, non-unionized businesses oppress the worker from their right to form a union and seek a liveable wage with adequate benefits for themselves, by threat of firings/layoffs.
We, as workers, need to stand-up and demand equal representation...That's YOUR union, ladies and gentlemen.
Although they might need some restructuring, I do not think labor unions are no longer useful. They might not be as necessary today as when they were created, but when you have CEOs threatening workers to vote a certain way or be fired or even firing for political motivation, that shows America is still in need of unions to represent the little guy in the face of big business. If anything, I think more industries need labor unions.
Sometimes it seems like labor unions are just present to protect people's jobs regardless of their performance, and it is true that some reforms may be necessary to ensure that bad performance still gets punished. Yet there are many workers who are still mistreated, exploited, and underpaid who can benefit from unions. Take Walmart or other large retailers, for instance, who barely pay a living wage and offer few protections for vulnerable workers with few other options. As long as wealth and power is concentrated with just a few people at the top of society, unions help to serve as a check on that. And with income inequality increasing in recent years, unions can help reverse the trend.
No, labor unions have not outlived their usefulness. Because of the economic downturn and new laws regarding insurance, employers are cutting back their work forces and trying to do more work with less people. Factories are eliminating jobs and spreading the work out over the remaining employees. As this trend continues, people will start to feel over-burdened by the extra work. The longer this practice goes on, the more likely it is that unions will rise in popularity again as workers turn to them for help.
I've worked for a union for years. Our union works to maintain and improve our work life. If the union wasn't there the employer would fire all older employees and hire younger people who will work for less.
Unions are there to ensure that employers treat their employees fairly, if they have a different agenda they shouldn't exist.
I appreciate all my Union has done to maintain a health working environment for all members.
Management has had a tough time though with many layoffs/firings but then again they don't have a union.
As long as we have people in charge of others, that power will go to their heads. I understand that some Unions are corrupted, but if our way to speak out are gone, how can we fight against the corruption of the employers above us without the constant threat over our heads of being fired or other legal pursuits. We may have laws protecting us, but what good are laws when many don't pay attention?
How much is a man worth? I ask that question for you to consider both sides of the fence. Consider the Homestead strike in the late 1800s. Who had more to give, Henry Frick or the labor? Was the union trying to rob the company or were they looking a decent living?
I don't believe any union is trying to run companies out of business. That would be much like cutting your nose off to beautify your face. Unions are the rope in the age old tug of war between corporate greed and wages that can be afforded. Let it break and whether you're union or not, your living will suffer the affects like those of 3rd world countries. In other words the rich, rich and the poor, poor.
In the case above, Henry Frick was Carnegie's chairman who still tops one of America's richest men, not to mention Carnegie himself. The wheel is coming full circle. American labor today is picture perfect to the steel workers of Homestead even though that was way back then.
Unions will soon be needed more than recent years unless you can answer, how much is one man worth?
They might need some reform, though. I'm sure that with a little work and some better regulation, unions could once again find a use in this country, protecting the workers and ensuring that their voice is heard. Nothing is perfect, and unions are no exception, but that doesn't have to mean they are obsolete or useless.