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Labor Unions?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Bordillo, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. Bordillo

    Bordillo Banned

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    Labor Unions?

    How do you guys feel about unionization in the United States and in General.


    Basically I feel that unions were desperately needed in the early 1900's due to the abusive nature, however due to the nature of working conditions back then it seems like most people like to label workers as the victims for everything. If americas economy ever collapses its going to be due to unions, they have way to much influence. Someone that puts a bumper on a car should not get paid 29 dollars an hour. In summation I basically feel that while unionization in general is a good idea for keeping balance that has been abused by the unions, and if they continue the buisness owners will continuely say **** you were going overseas,
     
  2. Dondrei

    Dondrei IncGamers Member

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    Way too much influence? Ha! You need to take a trip outside the U.S. one day.

    Unions represent workers negotiating for the price of their labour. If you hate that then you hate capitalism.

    If you object to specific union practices and have some sort of justification then by all means let's talk about it. But if on the other hand this is just "OMG teh unionses R teh ebil, the economie will asplode!!111", then all I have to say to you is: kkthxbai.
     
  3. Ikeren

    Ikeren IncGamers Member

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    I'd like to point out that unions have less prevalency and members now then they ever did, and it's been declining for years. It is at 27% of the US population, which is depressingly low. (Censored 2004)

    That being said, unions are a good thing. They are especially needed in certain industries, namely, meatpacking and slaughterhouses, which are in disgustingly poor states and conditions, where workers are still likely to get injured and work in a numb-state for minimum wage. Read Fast-food nation by Eric Schlosser. It's disgusting. (Good book. The information in it is disgusting).

    I believe you are exaggerating. Could you give an example of somebody being paid 29 dollars an hour to put bumper stickers on cars? Something concrete?

    I can't quite remember from the article I read when unions peaked. That being said - more businesses are going over-sees now than ever, at a faster rate. (If not over seas, south and Latin America, at least). And union rates are at an all time low. I will not draw a correlation, but I will use the fact to prove that your extrapolation is wrong - unions are not causing companies to go overseas. The fact that companies can keep sweatshops, paying employee's very little for cheap labour is causing companies to go overseas for any meanial job they can.

    Union's aren't abusing anything. Employer's are.
     
  4. Stompwampa

    Stompwampa IncGamers Member

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    I'm against labor unions.
     
  5. Machina

    Machina IncGamers Member

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    Being a Thatcherite I'm anti-union and resent being a member of the students union. My dislike of them stems from the bad old days of Old Labour and the political consensus, when unions had far too much power, and brought down two successive governments. Thankfully Mrs. T sorted them out and nowadays they are far more tolerable - representing their members far more democratically and bargaining with a government that it cannot forcibly remove from office.
     
  6. SaroDarksbane

    SaroDarksbane IncGamers Site Pal

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    Labor unions are great, as long as the employer retains the right to hire and fire workers as he or she chooses.

    If that condition is met, I'm a big fan of collective bargaining. Sure, it has some problems (mainly caused, again, by government intervention), but at its essence, it's a staple of economic freedom.
     
  7. DurfBarian

    DurfBarian IncGamers Member

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    Labor unions are needed because governments and corporate managers are not good for workers.

    Labor unions often do a poor job because they have become too much like governments and corporate managers, and are not good for workers.

    I think the answer is better unions. Not an absence of them.
     
  8. ragnar_ii

    ragnar_ii IncGamers Member

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    Im a member of a union. And my employeer seems to go through employees likes its his job. I have no problem with them firing bad workers, its hiring them that bugs me. Im not blaming the union though, I got nothing against it. Just whos in charge of hiring people. Its gotten to the point where we hire 3 people, hoping one will turn out to be a good worker.

    But whatever, the union itself is a great thing.
     
  9. Dondrei

    Dondrei IncGamers Member

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    Explain what that means.

    How did they remove governments from office? I genuinely don't know.

    I agree. Although I'm unsure what exactly you mean by the "government intervention" in the second paragraph.
     
  10. SaroDarksbane

    SaroDarksbane IncGamers Site Pal

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    The government can make it so costly to fire someone, that's it's just cheaper to keep them on the staff than to let them go. Unions exacerbate this problem.

    Also, for instance, federal employees are practically impossible to fire. Same with the teacher's unions. The latter is, in my opinion, one of the reasons the public school system in the US sucks so badly.
     
  11. Dondrei

    Dondrei IncGamers Member

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    Who exactly causes this and how?

    Hmm, I wouldn't be so sure. As I recall from previous discussions, the systems are quite different over there but here in Australia we have private schools which are essentially what you'd want all your schools to be like - they are private sector employees like any other, they get paid well because they are good at what they do et cetera.

    Private school kids get immensely higher results on their tertiary entrance exams (over here the Year 12 exams together constitute your score which determines university acceptance), but once they get to university they have a considerably worse dropout rate. This is because the nature schooling means that the most effective way to raise the grades of your students is to spoon-feed them. Once they get to University and they have to be self-sufficient they fall flat on their faces. The public school kids by contrast had to get through our lousy public education system largely on their own (god knows it was no help) and so they have already demonstrated considerably more determination and independence than a private school kid with exactly the same score (generally speaking).

    So in a way the private schools' success is their own downfall. They earn money because people know that if their kids go there they will get higher exam marks, but the most effective system to do this (which of course they embrace, being good companies) is near-sighted and while it gets them through the exam it doesn't help their education.

    The causes of poor quality education run very deep, and switching to a system like our private schools wouldn't change a damn thing. I would like to see more of a reward system set up for good teachers and less molly-coddling of bad ones though. How this could be implemented I haven't the faintest. In any case I think schools need to attract a better quality of person and undergo a severe paradigm shift.
     
  12. PlagueBearer

    PlagueBearer IncGamers Member

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    Unions, as a concept, are a good idea. In practice, they tend to turn out badly. Situations where an employer cannot hire a person who is non-union because the union has his balls in the vice isn't right. On that same note, an employee should have the right to decline union membership and still get employment in the feild.

    The problem with unions, then, is that in order for them to work they must be mandatory, and so the end goal of any union must be to punish employers who hire non-union labor, or to punish workers who are not members. Total control of a resource necessary for business? That's what we call a "Monopoly" and it's effects on the economy can be devastating.

    And the fact that they actually take money from their members is the worst part of it; mandatory membership just to work, and you have to PAY them for the privilege? Man, it's no wonder the unions and organized crime have such intimate connections.
     
  13. Bortaz

    Bortaz Banned

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    Labor unions have, one 2 or 3 occasions, caused a disruption in my enjoyment of professional baseball, and...as a result...they suck.
     
  14. Bordillo

    Bordillo Banned

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    in capatalism workers get paid for what theyre worth, not what they argue for and if you dont think that unionization in america has caused the outsourcing of many jobs then i just cant agree with you
     
  15. DurfBarian

    DurfBarian IncGamers Member

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    Outsourcing has more to do with the improvement of foreign labor and global distribution systems than with the overpricing of domestic labor.
     
  16. Yaboosh

    Yaboosh IncGamers Member

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    I thought outsourcing had everything to do with cheaper labor.
     
  17. DurfBarian

    DurfBarian IncGamers Member

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    Labor in the Sudan is even cheaper than in coastal China. But nobody is going to build factories there because (a) workers there don't have the minimum required level of education to do the job and (b) shipping options are expensive and terrible.

    We didn't just look overseas one day and say "wow, cheap workers!" We noted that the labor pool in certain countries was cheap, plentiful, educated to a certain degree, and close to major shipping centers. Unless you have all those factors lined up you don't outsource production.

    In services, the rise of the Internet and the spread of the English language have been the big factors that go with cheaper wages.
     
  18. Dondrei

    Dondrei IncGamers Member

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    LOL.

    Do you honestly think that Americans could ever compete with Chinese sweatshop labourers? You think they would accept 10c/day or whatever it was?

    P.S. Why do you hate America? You're supposed to be a protectionist.
     
  19. Moosashi

    Moosashi IncGamers Member

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    In a free market, whatever a worker is paid is, by definition, what he is worth, assuming he is not in the process of renegotiating his wages. If his labor actually is worth more, then he is not working in a free market capitalism. The worth of the individual is not the debatable point, but rather the freedom of the economy.

    The idea that people have some inherent economic value beyond what other people are willing to pay them is soft, fluffy, sugary wishfull thinking that results in the belief that people are entitled to what the have not earned. That is not to say that the fulfillment and meaning someone might derive from his life is entirely dependent on his economic worth.

    Unions are labor's answer to the corporation's economy of scale. They are incapable of causing real damage without government intervention. However, like anything else in a freemarket, membership cannot be mandatory. All transactions must be agreed to by all parties.
     
  20. Johnny

    Johnny Banned

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    Where else are they going to get the money from?

    Im in the union for painters and the money I pay monthly covers everything the union provides which amoung other things includes making it near impossible for me to be fired. if I do get fired then my employer has to keep paying me til I find a new job.

    It covers a life insurance for me plus the union has a collective deal with an insurance company so all insurances I get come with a big discount because I am in the union.

    It covers frequent union espections of our work areas to make sure its all up to code and that no workers are misstreated or have to work in a dangerous enviroment.

    I get a lawyer from the union to help out with work related legal maters.

    If a work place has been deemed dangerous by the union and the construction company refuses to do anything about it then the union will announce a strike and I get sent home with full pay. Paid for my the union with the money they get from my monthly constribution.


    Oh and unions are a part of the free market.

    Just like phone companies selling your phone numbers to advertisement agencies and drug manufacturers going together and charge double what they do in other countries.


    The free market is that employers want to charge as little as possible for work and workers want to get paid as much as possible.

    Then they fight with different measures to tip the scale in thier favor and the unions are one way the workers tip it in thier favor. By all joining forces and together saying "we want this much money" "we want these benfits"


    If the workers dont join forces and demand things then we would all be working for $1 an hour, 12 hours a day with zero benefits. No vacation and just as much saftety in the work enviroment as the employers generocity can reach.
     

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