34
   

Why the anti-union animosity?

 
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Feb, 2011 02:05 pm
@hawkeye10,
Don't tell me "no," you self-important little nit. You certainly are entitled to disagree, but don't dictate to me. I have not the least respect for your intelligence or your understanding.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Feb, 2011 02:20 pm
@Setanta,
I sure then that you can make quick work of explaining how people who dont want to be part of a union can be said to resent the unfair advantage the union membership grants according to you. What, did human nature change when I was not looking...are people no longer greedy?
Cycloptichorn
 
  4  
Reply Wed 23 Feb, 2011 02:25 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:

I sure then that you can make quick work of explaining how people who dont want to be part of a union can be said to resent the unfair advantage the union membership grants according to you.


Nothing about the advantages of union membership is unfair at all. They simply have retained a quality of life that the rest of the workers in America lost - largely because they didn't have anyone fighting to keep them.

Quote:
What, did human nature change when I was not looking...are people no longer greedy?


You're pretty much the last person I'd ask about human nature.

Cycloptichorn
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Wed 23 Feb, 2011 02:27 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Quote:
You're pretty much the last person I'd ask about human nature.

Classic avoidance....if unions are so great why do so few people want to be a part of a union?? Why have unions been allowed to wallow in corruption for decades with very little interest from the citizens?
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Wed 23 Feb, 2011 02:44 pm
@hawkeye10,
Is this serious? Because of a 50-year long campaign by Republicans to demonize their political opponents and frame the narrative as 'Unions=greedy and evil." And the willing compliance of the media to support this narrative.

Read this:

Quote:
What the People Want Versus What The People Get

by John Cole

DougJ touched on this a little earlier, but the biggest con of the last few decades is how the right wing has been able to frame the debate. You would never know it given the standards of debate set by our media shills, third way corporate sell-out blue-dog Democrats, and Republicans, but amazingly, over 60% of the public doesn’t want weaker unions. Close to 60% of the public doesn’t want the EPA gutted and doesn’t want to drink and breathe toxic water and air. Over 60% of the public thinks we should raise taxes on the rich. Large percentages favored regulating Wall Street. Huge majorities supported allowing gays and lesbians to serve in the military, 75% of the public is pro-choice to some extent, and over 65% of the country supported a public option.

And you can go on and on and on with this stuff. Consistently, when asked, right wing positions on issues are summarily rejected by large percentages of the population. Yet we are constantly only given choices that range from center right to far right, and anyone who suggests any of the things the public actually want is declared a crazy lefty. Through fake “grass-roots” campaigns like the tea party, carefully constructed dishonest talking points from Frank Luntz, to a class of media personalities with vested interests in the maintenance of the status quo, and politicians in both parties who realize their real constituents are the big money boys, the Wall Street banks, and the billionaire cranks. It’s really quite amazing to watch.


To pretend that this concerted and intentional effort doesn't exist is a joke.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
wayne
 
  0  
Reply Wed 23 Feb, 2011 02:49 pm
@joefromchicago,
Sure, and I agree with that. What I'm saying is that the union walks a fine line between looking out for the employee and policing employers' greed.
It sucks that greed has to exist there at all, but unions can't change that. The bosses just pass it on to the consumer. That's where the other guy starts to get resentful.

I'm all for unions, especially in light of the alternative. It's a very tricky business though, it can have a huge effect on the economy. The respectable living wage is always in flux, and you can't blame anyone for wanting more.
No doubt, the union official has a tough job, I wouldn't want it.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Wed 23 Feb, 2011 02:53 pm
@hawkeye10,
I'm not obliged to frame the question in your silly terms. What people resent is not that union members get an "unfair" advantage, but that they don't themselves enjoy those advantages. Either you didn't read Joe's thesis, or you failed to understand it. I suspect that you didn't read it, and would not have understood the nuance if you had.

At no time did i suggest that union members enjoy an "unfair" advantage. You also allege that people don't want to join unions, and have not provided a shred of evidence. Personally, the only time i've seen anything like that was when i was a union steward in AFSCME, and employers always quickly granted all pay raises and benefits negotiated by the union to non-union employees, to forestall increases in union membership. I think you're just making **** up, which you seem to do quite often.
wayne
 
  2  
Reply Wed 23 Feb, 2011 03:04 pm
@Setanta,
It's a pretty fine line though, Set. I certainly don't agree with tarring unions with that brush. But there is a pretty large group of middle Americans who engage in small business. Industries like the auto companies have a huge effect on the economy these people operate in, some resentment seems justifiable. The unions aren't viewed as having much consideration for that sector of America.
Right or wrong, that's where that resentment occurs, that others have taken advantage of that is beside the point.
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Wed 23 Feb, 2011 03:10 pm
@Setanta,
Quote:
and have not provided a shred of evidence.
I am not your research assistant. But look at Rasmussens March 09 poll. Then look at the Sep 09 Gallop poll which shows that only 62% of non union household people think that unions help their membership. Even worse, only 83% of union household people think that unions help their membership.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Feb, 2011 03:13 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:

Quote:
and have not provided a shred of evidence.
I am not your research assistant. But look at Rasmussens March 09 poll. Then look at the Sep 09 Gallop poll which shows that only 62% of non union household people think that unions help their membership. Even worse, only 83% of union household people think that unions help their membership.


Yeah, wow. Only strong majorities of both union AND non-union households think that they help their members Rolling Eyes

I think you're just about done in this conversion, don't you, Hawk? You're arguing your opponents' position for them.

Cycloptichorn
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Wed 23 Feb, 2011 03:14 pm
@wayne,
But what they resent is that they don't enjoy those advantages. In the AFSCME scenario (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees), we usually had 50% or less of labor in membership. So management was able to play hard ball more than they would have with the UAW or the UMW, for example. Many non-union employees would say why join the union and pay dues when they got the same pay and benefits. That lasted just as long as it took management to ignore a greivance or to take disciplinary action. Then we'd get a slight increase in membership, because we had stewards who were able to attend disciplinary or grievance hearings with the employee, and the union retained attorneys. The working conditions and pay and benefits of all American workers long benefited from unions, even in businesses whose employees were not "unionized," because those employers had to compete for labor with union jobs. As i've already pointed out, and Cyclo also took notice of, there has been a concerted anti-union propaganda campaign in operation for decades. (EDIT: on the three occasions when we did walk, because almost all trades and employees of the physical plants were union, we got resolution quickly--the Teamsters would never cross our picket lines, and management tended to cave pretty quickly. We weren't trying to beat up on them, just to get them to negotiate in good faith.)

I long worked, successfully, as a free-lance small business manager. I was able to show employers again and again that well-paid employees with at least a modicum of benefits were worth far more in terms of productivity than a dissatisfied crew. I also used what i had learned as a union steward to craft employment rules and grievance and discipline procedures for them. The reliable employees don't resent action taken against goldbricks, so long as you follow stated policies step by step. We always did, and we always successfully rid ourselves of goldbricks without exposing ourselves legally. Every policy i advised and wrote was based on negotiated union contracts of which i knew.

If most Americans don't like unions (something i seriously doubt--to me that simply reeks of conservative political propaganda), it's probably because they don't realize how much they owe unions for the relatively decent working conditions they enjoy.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Wed 23 Feb, 2011 03:15 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
He always comes up with that "not your research assistant" bullshit when someone calls him on the line of crap he's peddling. People who make claims have the obligation to support their claims. If they don't, the snotty comments they make in response just underline how weak their arguments are.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Feb, 2011 03:16 pm
@Setanta,
Quote:
At no time did i suggest that union members enjoy an "unfair" advantage.
Perhaps you can parse the word "resent" to support your assertion, but will not hold my breath

Quote:
re·sent [ ri zént ] (past and past participle re·sent·ed, present participle re·sent·ing, 3rd person present singular re·sents)


transitive verb

Definition:

be annoyed at: to feel aggrieved about something or toward somebody, often because of a perceived wrong or injustice
http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_1861700700/resent.html


wayne
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Feb, 2011 03:19 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Not exactly, that was once the case, now not so much. ( notice I said not so much) It gets passed on to the consumer now. The union is not ever going to be able to control greed.

I don't know what an auto worker earns, I'd guess it's pretty close to what a good plumber can charge. The plumber's gotta lot of business expense though.
Joe wanted to know where the resentment comes from, that's the spot.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Wed 23 Feb, 2011 03:20 pm
@hawkeye10,
Completely meaningless. The definition you provide says nothing about an unfair advantage. The "wrong" which people resent is that they don't get what the others get--there's nothing in that which suggests for a moment that unions enjoy "unfair" advantages.

You're really not very good at this, which is why i have no respect for your intelligence or understanding.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Wed 23 Feb, 2011 03:24 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Quote:
I think you're just about done in this conversion, don't you, Hawk? You're arguing your opponents' position for them.

On the contrary, if only 62% of people think that union membership helps people it is impossible to argue with a straight face that the bulk of hostility to unions is resentment. When we see that only 9% of people would want join a union on their current job we see the same thing. Then go take a look at the foreign owned Auto plants in the South, despite massive attempts the UAW has not been able to organize a single one.

At this point you and Set need to come up with some evidence that people want to be part of a union if you want to continue to try to sell your argument that Union members are resented.
0 Replies
 
wayne
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Feb, 2011 03:31 pm
@hawkeye10,
Oh you just had to remind me of the pension thingy.
I've got 13 years and vested in the IGCU retirement fund. The company where I earned it is long gone. I did a little research awhile back and the chances of finding it look slim and expensive. It's not much, but it's mine, I ought to be able to find it.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Feb, 2011 03:33 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:

We know that it is not resentment because almost no one who is not currently a union member wants to be.

I disagree. When a manufacturing plant offering good, blue collar jobs announces they are hiring, the applications pour in. These jobs are often in union plants which is why they are good jobs to begin with. There are also many workers in places where worker abuse is more common who want to unionize. Wal-Mart and service industries are recent examples. There are still places in the United States where an active union is beneficial. Deaths at non-union coal mines are 2-4 times more likely than at unionized mines.

In many industries, the reason why the drive to unionize has dropped off is that management has come to the realization that paying well and maintaining flexibility without a union is better than paying poorly and trying to discourage union formation. The car industry is a good example of a place where management has engaged in an active partnership with its workforce without needing the advesarial role that typically comes with a union.
georgeob1
 
  2  
Reply Wed 23 Feb, 2011 03:49 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:

There does seem to be a pretension amongst anti-union folks that management is helpless in the face of union demands.

Cycloptichorn


Keep trying !

Management isn't helpless, but unions are, at very best, an unnecessary pain in the ass. It is hard enough to run a long-term stable business without unions. Much more difficult with them - as General Motors, Chrysler, the former U.S. steel and textile producers discovered.

The biggest problem they create for companies usually isn't pay - it is the effect on labor productivity of stupid work rules and usual resistance to investment in productivity enhancing equipment by the company. That more than pay was what brought down GM & Chrysler. Ford was lucky in that they were cash rich when the crisis came and beneffitted from better terms with the UAW after the GM settlement.

Are unions really worth about 2% of the paychecks of their members? I doubt it.

And, of course union bosses are such upstanding figures !
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Feb, 2011 03:51 pm
@engineer,
Quote:
The car industry is a good example of a place where management has engaged in an active partnership with its workforce without needing the adversarial role that typically comes with a union.
the auto industry is an example of where management has convinced the employees that they will be better off if they dont go union. According to Sets logic this would have never happened.

Quote:
There are still places in the United States where an active union is beneficial. Deaths at non-union coal mines are 2-4 times more likely than at unionized mines.

During the 1960's 90% of miners were members of UMWA, today it is around 25%. Certainly management has been very active in running the union off the property, but miners long ago gave up fighting for the union...to be part of a union... as well. Miners may or may not prefer to be unionized (might not because non union workers bring home bigger paychecks) , but they don't want it bad enough to form fellowship and fight for it.
0 Replies
 
 

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