Re: Union Busting or Standing up for Union Rights- Where do you stand
posted at 11/5/2012 10:38 AM EST
Pretty much an impossible discussion, but I'll play along too. As a society, we would be pretty much screwed if unions hadn't come along. We know that.
I've worked both sides, and never liked the unionized deal, because my personal contribution was lumped into the same category as the slackers. I didn't, don't understand the idea of promoting/paying people based on tenure.
Having said that...union jobs provide a high level of security(which young achievers rarely consider), and good pay. Outside of those pro's and cons, the things mentioned here are more the result of stupidity than anything else. It seems unions have not "grown" much since their infancy...maybe because employers haven't pushed them enough.
For those that decry the loss of middleclass...in most area's of Canada and the US, there are no better middleclass jobs than Government,.. that's a huge problem, and a fairly new phenomenom. Any 'boomer' over 50 can tell you that none of the best middle class jobs were gov't when they entered the workplace.
With the exception of very, very few categories, non union middle class jobs have regressed over the last couple decades. Simply put, union jobs have been receiving regular raises while many non union ones have not. A ton of entreprenurialism went out the window in the early 90's, when many realized the road to riches didn't require the savy it once did...downsizing became a no brainer. Employ less people, fire your highest paid, replace them with cheaper bodies, then head for the bank. So what if productivity went down 10 or 20%...the cost savings justifed things. All the while, civil servant jobs got their small raises and today, they're the best jobs.
Had the big 3 been able to simply get rid of many unionized jobs, they'd be still hanging on to a broken business model. Why, because they would have ignored their bloated hierarchy until the efficiencies of the layoffs caught up to them. I don't know what assembly line workers make nowdays, but it's much less than it was 10 years ago. Maybe that's good, however, anybody know what a retired 40 something year old life guard.. pensioned off from the state of California makes? I would suggest any problems being faced today, aren't because of unions or otherwise, but an inability to see things logically,clearly and to react accordingly. It's so easy to just point the finger at unions, OR employers.
Read an interesting book lately(Pendulum), kind of a business read, but it's about a very clear 40 year cycle that just keeps morphing into the same predictible "values" we embrace as a society. Our overall values, pretty much dictate everything. During this 40 year cycle, we go from one extreme to the other, and the most balanced point is around year 20.
Just loosely looking at the NHL, in the 50's and a good part of the 60's, owners were judge, jury, banker and God. By the mid 70's they were reduced to tenants, the players had the hammer. The balance of power has changed back and forth since, and it appears that since 04, the owners have it.
The fundamental concept of a union is great. The fundamental concept of a profitable business employing people, is equally wonderful.
Anything negative/stupid or other coming from either side should be regarded as just that, not an attack on their relevance.