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Unions...

What are they? How did they start? Who got the ball rolling first?

They first started when things like 8 hour day, sick leave and child-labor laws were unheard of and safety and opportunities to advance in the workplace were non-existent. Are they still faithful protectors of workers' rights against empolyers' abusive and deceitful practices, or have they become stagnant and abusive themselves and hinder the companies, costing them money, time and competitive edge?

Are they to blame for jobs going overseas or something else is the reason for that? I want union-oriented answers, and only brief asides if the answer is no.

I want to hear all opinions, once again, because I am certain that both sides got stories to tell and facts to support their opinions. I especialy hope bob2231 will put his two cents into this since he defended them on the other thread.

Last, I hope this will not turn into flaming match. Let's agree to disagree.

Aaaaaaaaand, ACTION! :)
 

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Unions didn't cause the jobs to go overseas, politicians did. Ross Perot tried to warn us, but by that time people associated him with his crazy aunt that he kept in the basement. Bush I, Clinton, and Gore all endorsed NAFTA.

IMO, unions have served their purpose. Honda, Toyota, BMW, and Nissan are ALL trying to avoid union intervention by locating their plants in the south. IMHO, it's only a matter of time before a union gets into one of them--when that happens, look for the plant to close, because assembly in the US will no longer be cost-effective for them.

Do union employees actually make a better wage than non-union? Don't the dues pretty much eat up any additional salary?
 

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Elvis said:
Unions didn't cause the jobs to go overseas, politicians did. Ross Perot tried to warn us, but by that time people associated him with his crazy aunt that he kept in the basement. Bush I, Clinton, and Gore all endorsed NAFTA.

IMO, unions have served their purpose. Honda, Toyota, BMW, and Nissan are ALL trying to avoid union intervention by locating their plants in the south. IMHO, it's only a matter of time before a union gets into one of them--when that happens, look for the plant to close, because assembly in the US will no longer be cost-effective for them.

Do union employees actually make a better wage than non-union? Don't the dues pretty much eat up any additional salary?
Elvis Costello maybe ?
That's my guess. Anyway, I don't know if I want to fight this battle anymore. The windmills are so big and I can't find Sancho anywhere.
I'll answer one specific question though while I think about it. My last job in Cleveland was actually in a Teamster shop. How they got into stamping I'll never know. In fact, it was Jackie Pressor's local. But my dues there were $6\week. That was 3 years ago. And for that $6 I got abosolutely the best health coverage I'll ever have. Our daughter's birth cost us $131 and that included all the Ob\Gyn visits leading up to it. And prescriptions were $3.
Ahhhh, the good old days.
 

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Elvis Costello is CORRECT! (ding ding ding!)

$6 a week sounds outstanding to me. I won't say exactly how much, but my business is paying more than 100 times that amount per employee for group health coverage. Pre-existing conditions prevent us from moving. Small businesses are getting royally screwed by the insurance ndustry.
 

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You sure know how to pick a contraversial topic.
This hits a nerve with me. Unions are one of the greatest reasons for the downfall of our economy. Not the only, and maybe not the #1 reason but, nevertheless, they have caused a HUGE problem here and are IMO, the largest single reason why the US is no longer the manufacturing power it used to be. The American businesses couldn't be competitive in the world market while being strangled by such ridiculous labor costs. Yes, I realize that labor costs are only PART of the picture but the labor unions, and their short-sighted members, have cost this country more than they realize. They epitomize what's WRONG with this country: the "screw everyone else, I'm only concerned about myself" mentality killed American manufacturing.
 

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Katshot said:
You sure know how to pick a contraversial topic.
This hits a nerve with me. Unions are one of the greatest reasons for the downfall of our economy. Not the only, and maybe not the #1 reason but, nevertheless, they have caused a HUGE problem here and are IMO, the largest single reason why the US is no longer the manufacturing power it used to be. The American businesses couldn't be competitive in the world market while being strangled by such ridiculous labor costs. Yes, I realize that labor costs are only PART of the picture but the labor unions, and their short-sighted members, have cost this country more than they realize. They epitomize what's WRONG with this country: the "screw everyone else, I'm only concerned about myself" mentality killed American manufacturing.
Here's my grip with them: They think that because they work for a company, the workers should have a right to say how the damn place is run. I wouldn't have a problem with it if it weren't for the fact the damn government gives more rights to the union than the business. Let's take for example a strike. The Teamsters are striking because they want rediculous pay raises, but the company won't give it to them because it would raise the cost of goods (heaven forbid they actually try and make a profit!). They currently work for $20/hr, but they want $40. On the other hand, there are a bunch of people that would work for the $20/hr. Courtesy of unions, and the silly laws that give them more rights than the business, they can't fire the workers that decided to strike and hire the ones that are willing to work for $20. Last I recalled, employment was at will. The worker has a right to quit, and the company has a right to release the worker if they want. Why is it that an employee can leave at will but the business can't fire them? For those of you that live in Michigan, or know whats going down with the whole northern michigan hospital thing, you might know that our jackass (yes, I said it!) for a governor had a panel that was obviously going to find the hospital at fault for the labor disputes. Well, one of the panel members even went as far as to criticize NMH for wanting an open shop policy as part of the contract. Hmm, now why is it that the worker only has rights only when the unions want them to have rights, and only specific ones at that? Joining a union should be an option, not a requirement, and the laws in place allow union corruption to continue on (yes, a few of the leaders of unions are corrupt, if you are in the maritime industry, look at the AMO).

I have to go to class, but these are cliff notes for my post

Current laws give unions more rights than businesses
Unions generally go against the natural flow of the market
Union leaders for the most part are a bunch of corrupt mofuggas.
I'm sure there are other things, but its early, and my memory sucks right now.

Yes, I do own a business by the way. Maybe it's a good thing I'm the only employee.
 

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Katshot said:
You sure know how to pick a contraversial topic.
This hits a nerve with me. Unions are one of the greatest reasons for the downfall of our economy. Not the only, and maybe not the #1 reason but, nevertheless, they have caused a HUGE problem here and are IMO, the largest single reason why the US is no longer the manufacturing power it used to be. The American businesses couldn't be competitive in the world market while being strangled by such ridiculous labor costs. Yes, I realize that labor costs are only PART of the picture but the labor unions, and their short-sighted members, have cost this country more than they realize. They epitomize what's WRONG with this country: the "screw everyone else, I'm only concerned about myself" mentality killed American manufacturing.
This one isn't getting too much response. I don't think people care that much anymore.Mr Donovan, I have a question though. Are you talking about the economy in general, or the recession since 9/11/01 ?
 

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lux hauler said:
It would be interesting to see just how many people that respond to this have worked for a company whos employees are represented by a union.
I think the percentage would be pretty low.
 

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Sinister Angel said:
Heh, too bad is my standar smart ass way of saying "Sorry, but you can't pull that card in this argument"
Oh, I gotcha. I guess you're responding to the question of how many people worked for a company that had a union. You'll notice though that he didn't say union member. I think it was just to see where people are coming from. Since so few people put anything in their profile, it's hard to tell.
I think it's a real low number of union members though. Lux maybe, I've been in a couple. That may be about it.
As for the other "side", that's a much higher number. Katshot for example doesn't hide the fact that he runs a family owned mfg company. And that tells me where he stands. No problem.
I think it was just an informational question though.
 

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Sinister Angel said:
Heh, too bad is my standar smart ass way of saying "Sorry, but you can't pull that card in this argument"
bob2231 said:
..I think it was just to see where people are coming from. ...
You're exactly right, Bob.
There are many people that are critical of unions that have never worked in a "union shop".....and if they have, it's usually from the side of management.

Gettin' a little defensive, aren't ya Sinister Angel? ;)
How was it that you worked with (or against) a union?
 

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The subject tends to polarize people, maybe because it's tied to politics. And something I've found over the years that's interesting is that people don't even understand how unions work. I hear over and over about the unions making outrageous demands in negotiations. That's generally done to counter a management demand for a cut. It's BARGAINING. Duhhhh.
I also wish that people would realize that the vast, repeat vast majority of union members will never have anything to do with negotiating anything. And could the anti union people please remember that not all of us agree on everything that the international commitees say ? Do all Republicans agree with the President on everything ?
SO anyway, there's my rant.
Where in Ohio are you Lux ? I grew up in Akron. And yes, my family was URW at birth.
Bob
 

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I worked for a couple years around Brookpark\Snow, then at Cleveland Die at Lorain\W 150th. Remember the little Legionairre's problem at Ford ? That wasn't much fun.
 

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See, I have a few problems. Luckilly the place that I worked at wasn't too uppity (when I was there anyway). I really don't like it when you have these people thinking that since they work for a company, they have more rights than the owners do, and the current laws for the most part seem to allow this. For example, Acme corp (closed shop) is paying their employees lets say $20/hr. Well, they get all uppity for whatever reason and want $40/hr when it's time for the next contract. Well, Acme can't afford to pay those wages w/o jacking up prices, so they say no to that, contract hasn't been made, and the employees go on strike. Now, Acme can hire replacement workers, but they really can't just fire the striking workers and hire other guys that are willing to work for the $20/hr. Unions speak of wanting rights, well, what about the rights of the company, or about the rights of the worker that doesn't want to join the union? Like I stated in an earlier post, this Barry Brown guy got all over Northern Michigan Hospitals case for wanting an open shop as part of the new contract. Excuse me? Why would you be complaining about a policy that would give the right to the workers as to whether they want to join a union or not? I'm still figuring that one out, since the guy apparently didn't actually get a payoff from union leaders like I'd have thought originally, but the payoff would seem a viable reason, I mean after all, if all the employees have to be a part of the union, they have to pay union dues... more money for the union bosses.
Another idea that is lost in the world of unions is at will employement. At will employement (for those of you who have been out of the loop for some reason) is when the company can get rid of you at any time, or you can leave the company at any time, for any reason. Now, it seems with unions, this idea is one sided. The employee can leave whenever they want, for any reason, but it seems the company has to have extensive documentation of an employee f-up to even think about doing that, or else the union is gonna piss and moan that the evil company is destroying the life of the employee, who most likely did f-up. Even if he didn't f-up, why would he wanna work for a company that is going to f him over? Thats the beauty of how the market works. If a company pisses off it's employees, and no one else wants their job, the market will be the one that forces the company to change its policies, not legislation.

Cliffs notes:
Current laws giving unions more rights than the businesses is wrong
Closed shop policies violate workers rights
Unions only want you to have rights they give you
 

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Let me ask you a question Angel, or Sinister if you prefer. According to your profile you're 18 ? I'll never say you can't have an opinion, because you're entitled to one. But we're really talking about life experience, and how it brought you to now. And frankly, your limited experience isn't enough for comparison. It's like taking a national poll and only calling 3 people. I have socks that have worked in more shops than you. No offense, but you haven't been around a big enough block to tell me that I'm wrong.
Bob
 
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