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Forum Post: Stop coercive unions. Start voluntary unions.

Posted 12 years ago on Jan. 11, 2012, 3:54 p.m. EST by thunk (15)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Coercive unions restricts personal choice. A worker should not be required to pay into such union because then that choice is stolen.

PM me if you want to reform the labor movement giving more freedom to workers.



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[-] 2 points by Rico (3027) 12 years ago

Agree on political, ethical, and legal grounds.

Associations of people like corporations and unions have 'personhood' that enables them to spend, speak, and act in unison. When an association of people called a Corporation does so in a fashion I find disagreeable, I can simply sell my shares and leave the association. People need exactly the same right in regards unions or they are in effect being forced to speak things they do not want to speak. Freedom of speech includes the freedom not to speak.

Unions should be voluntary. Nobody as a right to speak on my behalf.

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 12 years ago

OK, but first...............

Let's remove ALL coercive, and collusive, business practices.

Every last one.

[-] 0 points by slammersworldisback (-217) 12 years ago

hmm? Like expecting people to do the jobs they were hired to do, or be terminated?

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 12 years ago

Standards of performance, which is to say how well people are "doing their jobs" is always elastic in every field of endeavor. There may be a theoretical "low end" to performance standards, but curiously lower expected standards are always being discovered. This is almost totally dependent on the market determined need for a given number of workers in a given field. If absolute standards were essential, no test would ever be graded on a curve. There would be an absolute pass fail standard and that would be that. But that is not that.

Barring a collective bargaining agreement to the contrary, the so-called "least qualified" workers are always the first to be let go, which is to say those workers whose performance level is at the low end of the scale. But should the market demand require more workers in that field, it is exactly those "least qualified" workers (as a category, not necessarily as individuals) who would be hired to fill the gap. "Doing the job" has nothing to do with it, the market does, which is yet another manifestation of the coercive nature of work relationships in a hierarchal society.

[-] 1 points by 1169 (204) 12 years ago

hmm? what happens when you were terminated and you were doing your job?

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 12 years ago

and what happens if you suddenly decide to leave for a different job even though the employer in no way changed the conditions or terms of your employment ?

[-] 1 points by 1169 (204) 12 years ago

hmmm, I think I know what ur getting at, if u leave on ur own free will u get a better job, or what if u hit the lottery, u give ur two week notice (except with the lottery u might just overlook that), when ur terminated ur usually just walked out the door with no notice.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 12 years ago

"Two week" notice is customary practice; it is not legally binding. People who do not have written employment contracts can leave or be terminated at any time.

The employment agreement can be terminated at any time be either party. When the employer does so, we say, "the bastards fired me for no reason." When we do it we say "I decided to leave." In either case, the proper language is less emotional: "I (or They) terminated our employment agreement."

[-] 1 points by 1169 (204) 12 years ago

I know, I live in a state which can terminate whenever they want for whatever reason they want, I'm saying this is not fair and a union (good union) should protect the worker from such practices.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 12 years ago

Why is it fair for you to terminate the employment agreement for any reason you want, but not fair for the employer to do the same ?

Mutual benefit is what sustains the employment agreement. I voluntarily offer my skills and labor in exchange for money according to my desire. They agree my skills have value at least equal to the money I request. As soon as either party decides the agreement is no longer beneficial, they terminate the agreement.

Unions only serve to protect those who demand compensation out of proportion to the value they provide. The value of what any one of us provides is determined by the free market according to the scarcity of our skills and the demand for those skills.

When unions demand people be paid more than the market value for those same skills, the company ultimately goes under because competitors can produce the product more cheaply. Unions can jack up wages for a short while, but in the end, those wage hikes end up causing everyone to lose their jobs. This is precisely what happened in Detroit. During the heyday of American car manufacturing, the unions drove costs very high. The large gap between their cost and the costs of the free labor market is what opened them up to competition. Competition eroded their revenues until they could no longer remain in business and still pay the union benefits. They declared bankruptcy, dissolved their union contracts, and reemerged competitive once again.

Unions also keep the really good folks from rising to the top. They tend to promote mediocrity because everyone advanced on a 'schedule' rather than according to merit and performance. I would literally make about one third what I make now if I were in a union. Understanding how all this works, I long ago identified a niche in the product stream that was abosluetly essential to the business then developed the highly specialized skills required to fill that niche. As a result, I have been able to negotiate very favorably and now make 3x what most of my peers make. My skills are highly valued, scarce, and in high demand while my peers have skills that are in less demand and readily replaceable.

Unions only hurt.

[-] 1 points by 1169 (204) 12 years ago

Not everyone can identify their niche (market generated may not be as good for some) and I did not say all unions are good, I know about the auto industry which was poorly managed as well union abused. Its a big world growing with big ideas as people get educated. They say if its not broke don't fix it. Well I tell ya its BROKE and it has to be fixed, your niche or no.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 12 years ago

I definitely agree there's a lot to fix. Remember, the original post asked whether union membership should be voluntary or compulsory. I'm simply providing the rational for why it should be voluntary.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 12 years ago

A proper union is adapted to the work environment.

I'm so sorry you don't know that.

Please toss the "UAW ruined the auto companies", argument out the window.

It's BS and you know it. .

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 12 years ago

For anyone else reading this, let me know if you want me to dig up all the old material from around the time of the GM bankruptcy, and I'll do so.

shooz, you appear uninterested in rational and respectful discourse, so... Bye !

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 12 years ago

The GM bankruptcy had everything to do with a loss of credit and poor marketshare.

Poor credit is result of poor management.

Loss of marketshare is a result of producing uncompetitive product.

The UAW has nothing to do with either.

So please, do try and be rational.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 12 years ago

The product was noncompetitive because so much money was spent on their employees that R&D took a hit. How can GM compete against Honda when Honda has a fraction of the labor cost?

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 12 years ago

Well gosh-a-rooties.

You must be "right".

You must have worked your whole life at an auto plant, to know so much.

All those industry annalists, just have to be wrong.

Those guys I talked to at GM tech, that spoke of layoffs, even in the good years, when GM was so deep in profits, they were buying up other car makers, must have been mistaken.

PS. After GM almost bankrupted Fiat, through BAD managment, and then sold them off at the beginning of the market crash?

Fiat came back strong, and now owns a controlling interest in Chrysler.

Just for a little truth about how bad GM management really is.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 12 years ago

So you don't think that having a labor cost multiples higher than their competitors had anything to do with all the layoffs?

And I love how anytime someone disagrees with anyone else on here they are automatically labelled "right" haha.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 12 years ago

Consumer demand is the primary factor in lay offs.

In the 90s my plant was hiring, yet within months of Bush taking office, the cut backs and lay offs began.


[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 12 years ago

Which brought on loss of marketshare, how?

[-] 0 points by slammersworldisback (-217) 12 years ago

probably some fat slug who'd been there longer than you, and worked at half your rate, for twice the pay was retained.....

[-] 0 points by SteveKJR (-497) 12 years ago

hmm? you weren't part of the click.

[-] 1 points by 1169 (204) 12 years ago

bingo! but is that right, thats why u need a union

[-] 0 points by SteveKJR (-497) 12 years ago

Well, the big problem is called the "buddy system" A lot of people laid off have to sign the "laid off list". Now if a person who has a "buddy" working for another company gets laid off, he can jump the list if the employer asks for him.

There are other ways this is happening and the same applies when it's time for layoff. People who do great jobs will get laid off when a buddy of the foreman who is worthless will remain employed.

This is typical throughout all unions.

[-] 1 points by 1169 (204) 12 years ago

hmmm, thats news to me, I have been in big unions where you do not get terminated unless you do something really bad, like kill somebody or something like that, I got "terminated" from a job that did not have a union,what you say may be so I just never heard of it

[-] 0 points by SteveKJR (-497) 12 years ago

I have actually experienced it years ago. I think it's more likely in the "construction trades" then elsewhere.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 12 years ago

That's why you need a union, silly!!!!

The union keeps records too.

If they match? You're outta there.

It happens all the time.

You might be surprised at the reality.

It keeps YOU, from firing people, because YOU are having a bad day.

Unions have more pluses, than minuses.

[-] 0 points by 1169 (204) 12 years ago

u might be surprised if u knew what ur talking about!

[-] 0 points by slammersworldisback (-217) 12 years ago

nope...I was a teamster at one point, over ten years ago, it did nothing for me, and sent the company into bankruptcy and buyout...

Unions protect the barely adequate and marginal employees from being shown up by those with initiative.....

there were lots of "work rules" to prevent an upstart from making the drones look bad..

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 12 years ago

You see, You were just weak.

Unions can never be better than their members.

Actually read the contract, before you vote on the new one.

I know a woman that's been fired for around 18 months.

She kept missing time. I even sat her down a few times and talked to her about it, back before I retired.

Some of it was legit, as she has four children, but a lot of it wasn't.

It took them a bit of time, but they eventually fired her.

When the records match, there is nothing for the union to argue.

They will attempt to negotiate her job back, but there is no guarantee.

Even if they do get her back, she will likely lose all her seniority.

[-] 1 points by SteveKJR (-497) 12 years ago

I used to belong to the "boilermakers" union working in the shipyards - but it was in "name" only. Never attended any of the meetings and never was harrassed. Just did my job and never had any problems.

[-] 2 points by Rico (3027) 12 years ago

All the while paying dues to a union which then spent them on political 'speech'.

The right of corporations and unions to 'speak' derives from the rights of the individual people who choose to associate and speak with a single voice.

We are not compelled to join corporations by buying their stock. If we elect to do so and later decide their speech is offensive, our ultimate recourse is to sell our shares and leave the association.

Many states ( http://www.nrtw.org/rtws.htm ) compel people to join unions, and those unions speak on behalf of their members. Many members are thus compelled speak even when they disagree because they cannot leave the association.

Freedom of speech includes the freedom not to speak.

Associations of people such as corporations and unions speak on behalf of their members, and a member who finds that speech offensive must be able to disassociate. To do otherwise is to deny them their freedom of speech.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 12 years ago

You buy ANY product and you are paying for their speech.

Can I get a refund all the money they spent,,,,,,,,,speaking for me?

Every word and dollar a corporation "speaks", that may be against my better interests?

You're argument, always was a red herring.

[-] 2 points by Rico (3027) 12 years ago

Nope. My argument is based on the law.

You are generally not required to buy a product. In those few cases where you are (i.e. local power, cable, etc. monopolies), their rates are regulated, and they are not allowed to spend on political speech.

If you do not like what a corporation says, don't buy their product.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 12 years ago

Another red herring?

You can't live here and not buy something.

Don't give me the "choice" argument.

It's not real, It's an illusion.

Every dollar they spend on a lobby, think tank, PR firm, ect., we pay for.

Every single cent!

[-] 2 points by Rico (3027) 12 years ago

If you find all corporations offensive, then I assume most of your purchases are from local craftsmen, artisans, laborers, etc. For those things like cars that you must buy from a corporation, I assume you buy only used items in order to prevent the corporations from making money off you; a car can be kept on the road indefinitely through use of local labor. So can televisions, computers, etc.

Your arguments simply justify you doing whatever you want while still complaining. If you really believed in your values, you would not find it so hard to avoid doing business with most large corporations. Instead, you would be posting tips and information to help people do as yourself.

Please share your list of the most evil corporations along with the offenses they commit and your tips for avoiding doing business with them. If you don't have such information, then you're just spouting off and have not made any effort to align your values and actions. Talk is cheap.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 12 years ago

All I'm telling you, is if YOU have a problem with unions dues, You should have a problem with what amounts to a hidden TAX!

But you don't.

The hyperbole you just posted was pointless.

Meaningless, assumptions.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 12 years ago

I don't think 'hyperbole' was the word you were looking for. Look it up.

I have choices as to whether I buy a product.

In many states I have no choice as to whether I join a union.

Your unsubstantiated opposition to this logic shows you are simply a union shill.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 12 years ago

In fact it was hyperbole, based on assumption.

You said so in your first sentence.

If it's a union shop? So what?

Go work for the one down the road, it's your choice, after all.

I worked for Ford for over 30 years, so I do know something about about it.

Both union and management.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 12 years ago

Hyperbole : extravagant exaggeration (as “mile-high ice-cream cones”)

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 12 years ago

That it was, thank you very much.

[-] -1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 12 years ago

All employment is, by definition, a coercive activity. That is why the old time Marxists and Wobblies called it wage slavery. The boss has the unilateral power to terminate you, which is the capital punishment of the work place. This undoubtedly is where the CIA got the term "terminate" as a euphemism for assassination,

[-] 2 points by Rico (3027) 12 years ago


Nobody is compelled to work for a given employer.

Both the employee and the employer are free to terminate their relationship according to the terms of their contract, whatever those may be.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 12 years ago

Precisely, no one is compelled to work for a given employer, but everyone is required to work for some employer or if they are self employed, everyone is required to work in a competative (which is to say coercive) economy. That is why it is called wage slavery as opposed to chattel slavery.

And the whole point of labor unions is very specifically to take workers out of competition and to blunt to some degree the capacity of an employer to capriciously terminate an employee--again, the capital punishment of the work place

[-] 2 points by Rico (3027) 12 years ago

I know Marx was talking about employment across an economy, but we're talking about unions, and there is no union that encompasses the entire economy. The UAW does not, for example, represent Japan, Korea, or Germany. Thus, we're talking about unions on a local scale.

If if there were unions on a global scale, I would argue against compulsory membership (the point of the original post) as it violates my freedom of speech.

The right of corporations and unions to 'speak' derives from the rights of the individual people who choose to associate and speak with a single voice. This is the legal foundation by which corporations, unions, trade groups, and special interests (AARP, Sierra Club) have a right to speak about politics, candidates, or any other topic.

We are not compelled to join corporations by buying their stock. If we elect to do so and later decide their speech is offensive, our ultimate recourse is to sell our shares and leave the association.

Many states ( http://www.nrtw.org/rtws.htm ) compel people to join unions, and those unions speak on behalf of their members. Many members are thus forced to speak even when they disagree because they cannot leave the association.

Freedom of speech includes the freedom not to speak.

Associations of people such as corporations and unions speak on behalf of their members, and a member who finds that speech offensive must be able to disassociate. To do otherwise is to deny them their freedom of speech.

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 12 years ago

As I have pointed out on this and other threads, technically whether you are in a right to work state or not, all American workers are at will employees and have the right as individuals to opt out of union membership, though if they are in a work place covered by a collective bargaining agreement the union there is legally compelled to represent them whether or not they are union members. In return, if they opt out of union membership they are required to pay the equivalent of what it costs the union to represent them. This fee is substantially less than union dues and excludes things like the dues money unions spend on politics or in solidarity work with other unions, etc. As I have stated in previous messages, I could walk you through exactly how to quit the union where you work, but as a staunch union member, I am not about to help a scab figure out how to be irresponsible. You'll have to take it from there.

[-] 2 points by Rico (3027) 12 years ago

Workers who have an employment contract are not at-will employees.

Workers covered by collective bargaining agreements are not at-will employees.

Unions 'speak' for their members, and people should not have to hire an attorney to exercise their fundamental right not to speak or to speak for themselves.

I'm not in a union, never have been, and never will be. I negotiate my own agreements, and have done much better on my own than an union has done for anyone.

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 12 years ago

All workers are at will employees, collective bargaining agreement or not. A cba is just a fig leaf. Ask a labor lawyer.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 12 years ago

I was using the word in much broader terms. Without such strict political meaning.

But, OK............................The CIA suffers from marxism.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 12 years ago

Actually the CIA is extremely politically sophisticated and for years secretly funded the quasi-Marixt theoretical journal Encounter magazine.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 12 years ago

Never heard of it.

That's probably a good thing.

My union?

That I know about.

[-] 1 points by xiaoxingxing (0) 12 years ago

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[-] 1 points by aahpat (1407) 12 years ago

That's fine.... If the non-union workers agree to not accept the benefits negotiated using the economic collective of the union people. If I pay for a union negotiator I am not paying for cretins who want to freeload on my dime.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 12 years ago

Organizations already exist to reform the labor movement. Among the most important are the journal Labor Notes and the Association for Union Democracy. In addition many unions have active rank and file caucuses such as Teamsters for a Democratic Union.

But these are not about so-called "coercive" unions. Bureaucratic unions exist and certainly are the dominant form of labor organization the nation. In a handful of cases there are also genuinely corrupt unions, but these are far fewer than the mainstream media would have us believe. What does not exist are "coercive" unions. All unions are voluntary organizations, though where collective bargaining units exist it is necessary to opt out rather than opt in, but that does not make them any less voluntary.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 12 years ago

Your statements are only true in the 'Right to Work' states. See http://www.nrtw.org/rtws.htm

In many states, people can be compelled to join and pay dues even if they do not desire to do so.

A union is an association of people like a corporation in which the members choose to associate and act as a 'person' by exercising their individual rights in unison. This is why corporations and corporations have 'freedom of speech' in politics.

The members of a corporation are not required to join the association. If after choosing to join the association by buying shares, the corporation speaks in a way a member find disagreeable, the member can sell their shares and leave the association.

People in the non-right-to-work states are required to join the association and do not have the ability to leave when it speaks in a fashion they find disagreeable. They are being forced to speak.

Freedom of speech includes the ability not to speak. The right of a person to leave an association that speaks contrary to his views must have the freedom to disassociate. To do otherwise is to deny his freedom of speech.

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 12 years ago

Every individual who is subject to a collective bargaining agreement has the right not to belong to the union that negotiated that agreement, though they have to opt out. Since I oppose people actually doing that, I'm not here going to walk though how you actually do it. You'll have to figure that out for yourself, though I hope you don't.

Meanwhile, in places where a collective bargaining agreement exists the labor union that negotiated that agreement are required by law to bargain for and represent all the workers covered by that agreement, whether or not those workers belong to the union. In exchange for this, because the union is compelled by law to represent nonmembers, nonmembers in turn are required to pay what is called an agency fee to the union, which covers the cost of that representation, but does not cover either the administrative costs of otherwise operating the union or other projects that the union may be involved in such as politics or solidarity work for other unions.

But that's about as much time as I want to spend talking to a scab. Solidarity forever. Fuck the corporations. Up with the unions. For a labor party now!

[-] 0 points by Mooks (1985) 12 years ago

Yes, up with unions. The UAW has done great things for all the autoworkers in Detroit over the past 30 years. Great things.


[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 12 years ago

I'm sorry, that was done by GM, Ford and Chrysler.

For a more accurate point of reference.

See the film, Roger and Me.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 12 years ago

What exactly did GM, Ford and Chrysler do? They were unable to compete with foreign car manufacturers because their costs, especially employee wages, were way too high compared to the rest of the world. So they had to lay people off.

Roger and Me paints those car companies as the bad guys but what were they supposed to do? Continue to make cars at a loss?

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 12 years ago

By all means, you should go out and buy a nice used Vega.

How about a nice '68' Olds 88, with cruise control, that never got the chains installed on the motor mounts.

It was poor design, engineering and quality control that did the deed.

Not the workers.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 12 years ago

They lost market share, by building less than the best cars they could.

Poorly engineered cars were killing people all the way back to the 60s.

I suppose Limbaugh never mentions that, but it's true.

Bad management caught up to them.

[-] -2 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 12 years ago

No actually the UAW has been absolutely pathetic in representing auto workers, especially in the last 30 years. Things were bad enough after Reuther took over, thew the Communists out and established a one party dictatorship in the union, but after the generation of Reutherites died off things got qualitatively worse when a bunch of self serving business unionists took over.

[-] -1 points by Rico (3027) 12 years ago

Your statement is only true in the 'Right to Work' states. At present, only about half the states allow 'opting out' as you describe. See http://www.nrtw.org/rtws.htm .

[-] 2 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 12 years ago

Here are the facts for all you anti-union ass holes: TechnicalIy all American workers whether they are in a right to work state or not are at will employees. I have all my working life worked in non right to work states. Most of my working life I have been covered under collective bargaining agreements. I have done graduate level work in labor history, I am personally friendly with several labor lawyers, and I know of several instances where anti-union workers in non-right to work states have successfully withdrawn from membership in the union which had negotiated the collective bargaining where they worked. While I could walk you through exactly how to do this step by step, I am not about to do that as I have absolutely no interest in showing some scab how to avoid their responsibilities, but I did want to set the record straight. And just for the record, fuck all you anti union assholes. In several of those instances where people did opt out of union membership we fulfilled out responsibilities as good union members by beating the shit out of them.

[-] 0 points by Rico (3027) 12 years ago

Employees with a contract are not at-will employees.

Employees covered under a collective bargaining agreement are not at-will employees.

People should not have to hire an attorney to not join an association.

I am anti-union because they harm any employee who is above average.

I have negotiated my wages to the upper 3-5% without a degree and have never been laid off because I return very high value to my employer. This would have been impossible had I been in a union as they suppress excellence.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 12 years ago

All American workers are at will employees, collective bargaining agreement or not. Ask a labor lawyer. The notion of a union shop is a fiction. CBAs create agency shops, not union shops, regardless of the language of the agreement.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 12 years ago

Awww, poor baby.

You were just so excellent, and nobody noticed.

Perhaps you're just not that good at anything.

If your actual understanding of unions is any indicator, one must ask, just what is it, you think you're so "excellent" at?.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 12 years ago

As I said, I have never joined a union.

People have noticed, and that's why I make over $300,000 a year in straight wages. I am not 'average' and I don't need a union lumping me into an 'average wage.'

I understand unions, I am simply not mediocre enough to need one.

I work with medical scanners (CAT, MRI, etc).

[-] -2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 12 years ago

Your misunderstanding, becomes even more legendary.

Looking at how much time you spend here?

I'd have to think you are overpaid.

You may not need a union in your field..........................yet.

You may however, need one in the future.

Stop mindlessly bashing, what you don't understand.

[-] 2 points by Rico (3027) 12 years ago

OK. Let's agree that everyone should remain quite about any topic in which they lack direct personal experience. Agreed ? If so, I'll be asking you for your work experience in high finance before accepting your statements regarding the 1%.

Not surprisingly, you appear to think wages relate to physical effort. Just how much time do you think it takes to make a post in a window ? Are you, perhaps, a hunt-and-peck typist ? I am not paid for 'working' I am paid for thinking, creating, and inventing. I have a very large screen, keep a window open here, and can type a post in seconds.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 12 years ago

You see, I don't mind if you get paid well.

I mind that you think someone else shouldn't.

I did do a lot of psychical labor, but for you to think I never had to use my brain as well, is patently absurd.

For many years I was the go to guy, for assembly and quality problems in my area. I set records for first time through quality, on an assembly line that built 135 axles an hour....................Trust me, it took a lot more than muscle memory.

There were many times over those years that one supervisor or another put me on their black list, and tried to put one of their buddies in my position.

With the help of my union, they failed every time.

Your mind picture of lazy union workers is just plain old fashioned false. your mind picture of stupid mindless workers is also false.

The cars don't build themselves.

It takes more than you know.

Please don't begrudge any worker for having a union.

Please don't begrudge any union, for wanting to cover more workers.

As I've said before, no union can be better than it's membership.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 12 years ago

I don't care if someone else is paid well. I welcome it.

I don't care if people want to join unions, but folks who don't want to join shouldn't have to.

I never said you didn't have to use your brain, I only refuted your comment that, by posting here often, I must not be working. I am at my computer all day, keep a forum window open on my second screen, and try pretty quickly. I can respond to a notification very quickly, doing so interferes with my work very little, and I typically work 10-12 hours a day just to make sure I can complete my workload while servicing the occasional distraction (forum, news, market update, personal e-mail, etc).

I'm glad you did high quality work. The designs of American cars were sound, it was the build quality that really did them in... poor fit and finish, pop cans left in door panels, and so forth. You know as well as I that I'm not making this up; many people today still say the quality of American cars is low based on what happened in the 70's through 90's. I constantly have to argue with folks that today's American cars are comparable or even better than imports. It's an uphill battle because of the bad quality reputation earned by the American car makers in prior decades, and that was the result of poor work on the line. I'm glad you were not one of those doing shoddy work. If more had your commitment to quality, the American car industry may not have suffered as badly as they did in the face of competition.

I never said union workers were lazy, though I think the quality reputation earned by the American car makers in past decades indicates they simply weren't paying much attention to the quality of their work, and that hurt them in the long run.

I don't begrudge unions, never said they shouldn't exist, and agree they do not automatically introduce harm. I just don't think it's right to compel people to join unions. Unions speak on behalf of the workers in terms of salary and benefit negotiations if not politics. I should never be forced to let someone else speak on my behalf. My freedom of speech includes a right to remain silent or speak for myself.

Being lumped into any group for the purposes of performance assessment is good news for under-performers and bad news for over-achievers. The very act of lumping people into a group pushes the evaluation toward the mean. High performers almost always do better on their own, in my experience. Likewise, low performers almost always benefit from being assessed in a group with others who perform better. It's a simple matter of math.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 12 years ago

The assembly issue ( pop can) you're citing, is actually indicative of poor quality control procedures, rather than poor workers.

I could give you a long drawn out story of a guy that used drop flange bolts into brake assemblies at a record pace, but I lack your typing skills.

The fit and finish issue was also created by management. When a part is not quite to specification, management applies to engineering for what's called a "deviation". Once a "deviation" is accepted, it's hell trying to get management to remove them. Over time these "deviations" are made for almost all aspects of machining, leading to a point where they no longer fit together. Then the management term became "tolerance stack-up".

This kind of thing is done, because the main focus of management is to produce quantity over quality.

It looks better on their paperwork, which is their main concern.

One time, when a supervisor had removed me from my job for a while, and had me work the off line repair area, he came to me with his tail between his legs and asked me to put them together.

I did so, with reservations, but he said to me, "do anything you can, I need the numbers".

So I got a bigger hammer, what we used to laughingly call a "Chevy tool".

Management didn't care, as these parts were going to South America.

Sad isn't?

As to your negative comments on a portion of union dues going political influence?

It's a non starter, as at least they are up front about it.

The amount of money corporations extract from you, for their own political purposes?

Not so much.

Your final paragraph, is to me, gibberish, as it's just not applicable.

Do I need to attempt to describe the "disqualification procedure" to you?

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 12 years ago

Most of your responses go to the fact that the 'system' comprised of management and labor failed. I won't disagree with that.

You don't need to explain engineering deviation (or even manufacturing variance) to me. I understand it well, and I will concede it (or they) may have caused many of the quality problems. Having owned several American cars when the quality problem was pronounced, however, I know for fact that many of the fit and finish problems were assembly errors. How do I know? Because I was able to fix them by simply disassembling the interior, doors, and panels then reassembling them with more care.

All I am arguing for in regards unions is the right to choose. In regards coporations, I have the right not to buy products from one whose practices or political activities offend me. I also have the right to leave the association of shareholders by simply selling my stock.

My argument for choice regarding union membership is completely separate from my opinions regarding the merit or internal operations of a union; I would argue that folks should have this choice even if the union were ideal.

My opinion regarding the merit or internal operations of a union would likely be enhanced by you describing the "disqualification procedure," so please do.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 12 years ago

You're still off a bit.

All decisions are the propriety of management.

The union can attempt to influence, but it's still up to management.

Your door panel issue is a perfect example. That deviation had to be OKed by management.

One of their favorite expressions was, "let the dealers handle it", and that's what you should have done.

I'm sorry, but I misquoted my line speed in my comment above. (first cup of coffee), Our line produced 435 axles an hour.

That gives about 7-8 seconds to perform a particular job. 10 hours a day.

Mistakes are made, and it was my job to correct them.

It's quality controls job to assure they were properly corrected.

Your first "choice" argument is again, a non starter..........It just isn't accurate.

You have NO idea what politics or legislation, the purchase of a particular product is going to influence. Nor what amount you paying for that influence.

In the end, Wall Street owns a piece of everything, so you always support this kind of clandestine activity, no matter what you buy. .

In a "consumer society", They extract 100s of billions from consumers, to perform these activities.

I think that's a legitimate grievance. I think it's a hidden TAX paid directly to corporations. In short? A treasonous activity.

Like I said before.

If you don't want to work in a union shop?

It's your "choice" to work elsewhere.

[-] -2 points by Mooks (1985) 12 years ago


The above site offers free legal aid to people who want to avoid forced unionism.

[-] 0 points by brightonsage (4494) 12 years ago

This about 73 on the priority list, only important to repelicans. Deal with the real issues or take a nap.

[-] 0 points by francismjenkins (3713) 12 years ago

Not exactly coercive. I mean, if I go and work for Acme Widget Co., and they like to use Acme toilet paper in their bathrooms, I have no right as an employee to demand my employer breach its contract with Acme toilet paper company. Similarly, if I take a job with an employer, who signed an agreement with a labor union, after a majority vote by employees (in favor of the union), granting the union the right to represent its workers, there's not much I can do about it.

This is no different than a direct democracy would be. I mean, think about it. Your local town probably has some sort of town council. The adult citizens get to vote for them every few years, and the council makes decisions like how much your property taxes will be. Even if you're a new resident in the town, who didn't participate in the most recent election, it doesn't matter, you're obligated to pay the property tax.

I guess it's a convenient coincidence that conservatives seem to support the concept of "voluntary participation" when it's in furtherance of the interests they represent, but otherwise oppose the concept.

[-] 0 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 12 years ago

the boss can give them non-union members kickdowns(promotions) for always saying yes