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Forum Post: unions are the good guys

Posted 2 years ago on Nov. 24, 2011, 3:48 p.m. EST by ronimacarroni (1089)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

How can you people demonize the unions?

They're the only ones that demand a fair compensation around this country. There's a reason why people in the upper position of corporations are reaping in a disproportional amount of the profits and its because the employees have allowed them to.

If you demand nothing, you get nothing.

67 Comments

67 Comments


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[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9727) 2 years ago

We aren't, for the most part. It is mainly the trolls on this site, who are desperately trying to find ways to divide this movement that are doing so. They have villified everyone from the unions to Michael Moore, to Brad Pitt to Noam Chomski. This site is infested with every form of sabatur. Go to themultitude.org.:)

[-] 2 points by shooz (26677) 2 years ago

I knew that..........:)

We need them now more than ever.

[-] 1 points by TexasThunder (68) 2 years ago

I find our elected officials incompetent to govern. They need some incentive that will mean something to them instead of putting funds at risk that will cause harm to those persons and institutions who can least afford such loss. I suggest that these officials’ pay and/or benefits be cut if and/or when they fail to do their job. As it is, party “a” threatens to harm parties “”d” through “z” if parties “b” and “c” can’t come to an agreement. It makes no sense whatsoever to threaten Congress with cuts that will not have any impact on them directly. Our Constitution establishes the type of government we are to have. We do not need to establish any “sub” groups within these institutions. They are all responsible collectively to govern and if/when they fail to do so they are all liable collectively. The “carrot and stick” method only works when the carrot or stick is guaranteed to the same one. These officials have received their carrot upon being elected as they shall receive full pay and full benefits for the rest of their life even if they only serve one term. I say put all options “on the table” including their lifetime pay and benefits. I’m of the position that such a “stick” would cause these officials to get their head out of the clouds and their feet on the ground.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

I think if would be more optimal to have better workers rights laws to begin with, then you wouldn't need unions.

[-] 1 points by technoviking (484) 2 years ago

Unions are the only way a nurse can earn a decent living

http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jul/06/local/la-me-state-pay-20110706

[-] 1 points by Steve15 (385) 2 years ago

Without a doubt

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (21783) 2 years ago

Yes, Ronimacarroni. I agree.

[-] 1 points by mrjim1 (21) 2 years ago

In my life I have seen many reasons to be a member of a good Union. In the past 30 years though I can say Unions are no more or less than organized crime. When a Union can come in and take a company away from the owners, I just have a problem with that.

[-] 1 points by ronimacarroni (1089) 2 years ago

Cite one company that has been taken away from the owners by the unions.

[-] 0 points by mrjim1 (21) 2 years ago

Every Union Company in America runs on Union commands.

[-] 1 points by simi34103 (14) from Lake Placid, FL 2 years ago

Is union money in politics good or bad? I only ask because I don't think I've seen anybody call for getting union money out of politics, but I'll keep reading.

[-] 1 points by mandodod (144) 2 years ago

They take union dues and give to big politics....the DNC. Just like the corporations. You are a hypocrite. You are a fake.

[-] 1 points by Demian (497) from San Francisco, CA 2 years ago

I like the idea of Unions and I don't think it's any coincedence that American wages have been stagnating for thirty years at the same time that Union membership has been declining. However, i do take issues with Unions like the SEIU that are pretty much the labor wing of the corporate Democratic party. I think they do a great diservice to their membership and working people in this country by thier unquestioning support of the Democratic party.

[-] 1 points by cmt (1195) from Tolland, CT 2 years ago

SEIU locals will support non-Dems if decent ones can be found. There's one Republican state senator here who gets endorsed. Working Family Party people do as well. It's based on member interviews with candidates, which means it's not a purely staff decision.

There was one Dem state senator who was going back on his campaign promises. The local ran a candidate to primary him, which got him to take the endorsement process seriously after that.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 2 years ago

See this for an idea of the battle that was fought for worker rights in this country.http://www.democracynow.org/

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

Unions, like all big organizations can get corrupted by the money. They also are big donors to (or is it buyers of) career politicians.

[-] 2 points by ronimacarroni (1089) 2 years ago

Well maybe that's the only way they can fight against corporate lobbyists.

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

A fight fire with fire approach? Perhaps, but getting all big money out of politics would be better. Let unions stick to their original purpose, fighting for the worker against the employer. When an organization, corporation or union, claims personal rights and starts throwing money into politics it will only corrupt the system.

[-] 1 points by ronimacarroni (1089) 2 years ago

Getting money out of politics is not going to be easy.

It will require nothing less than an ammendment.

Which will have to approved by congress...

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

I agree with you there. My disagreement is with the original proposition, that unions are the "good guys". The original goals of unions were good, but they are using member contributions to contribute to politicians and to lobby. It may be a necessary evil, but it is an evil none the less.

I'm in a union, but there is corruption in the organization and no matter what the motive

[-] 1 points by mandodod (144) 2 years ago

Two wrongs do not make a right. You are a hypocrite.

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[-] 1 points by shooz (26677) 2 years ago

Unions are still cleaner than most of corporations out there. They always were.

What they can really give is chicken feed, compared to multi-national corporations.

Let alone the kinds of influence they can leverage.

You have to be joking, right?

Or were you here yesterday, under a different username.

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

Some are some aren't but how much corruption are you saying is ok? Take out the big money corporations and how long will it take any group with money to become the next major corrupting influence?

[-] 1 points by shooz (26677) 2 years ago

Who do you think they're corrupting?

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

Unions do fund politicians and lobby congress and state legislatures, they may not do it to the extent that corporations do, but it is the same activity. If it's immoral for a corporation to buy an election for someone that supports their position, it would seem to be equally immoral for a union to do the same thing. Both are exercising the rights normally given to individuals and neither are people.

[-] 1 points by shooz (26677) 2 years ago

Corporations buy politicians to wage war on the 99%.

Unions use their meager funds in an attempt to protect the 99%.

I think there's a real difference.

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

I'm in a union, the campaign to collect political action funds makes it very clear the union wants to influence politicians and lobby for what it considers it's best interest. We are in effect buying votes. If there is a difference it's only one of degree.

[-] 1 points by shooz (26677) 2 years ago

They pay you to vote?

Either that, or you really like tyranny.

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

No one pays anyone to actually vote in an election, the money given is used to influence voters through ads and there is too much of that now. The money influences congress people to act in a way that keeps the money flowing, to keep that union endorsement . That's my point, in this unions are like the corporations, it's special interest, not the interest of the people in general. Whatever their history of good works, the unions are doing just what the corporations do as far as lobbying efforts and contributions. Unions are not clean when it comes to political corruption.

[-] 1 points by EndTheFed214 (113) 2 years ago

far from clean are unions often times over payed. there is a place for unions but not at the cost of causing towns to go broke or states like california

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

I lived in CA all my life

and I never had no Union job

I had to quit my last job because the boss was replacing all full time employees with part time employees to avoid paying health insurance

[-] 1 points by shooz (26677) 2 years ago

Pure defenseless hyperbole.

It was not a response to what I said.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

I lived in CA all my life

and I never had no Union job

I had to quit my last job because the boss was replacing all full time employees with part time employees to avoid paying health insurance

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

Have you every actually dealt with unions? They are far from clean.

You can debate whether unions or corporations are worse but the bottom line is they both only look out for their own interests and they both use money and power to enact political change in their favor.

[-] 1 points by shooz (26677) 2 years ago

I've dealt with unions for over 30 years.

They were always much, much cleaner that management.

If what you say in your last statement were true. The whole World would be unionized by now.

Quite the opposite is true.

That statement is, in fact, pure propaganda.

[-] 1 points by mandodod (144) 2 years ago

They take from the workers dues and give to big politics. You are a hypocrite. They do it just like the big corporations do. They are corrupt.

[-] 1 points by shooz (26677) 2 years ago

What do you think they're corrupting?

You don't respond well, to what was said.

[-] 1 points by mandodod (144) 2 years ago

Please, you are just wrong. You know that unions give to the DNC. You know that is not right. You know it. It is wrong for them to give to politics and it is wrong for corporations to do the same. If they do, they are corrupt. My dog even understands what I am saying .

[-] 1 points by shooz (26677) 2 years ago

You talk to your dog and think he understands you?

Now I see what I'm dealing with.

What did they corrupt?

[-] 1 points by mandodod (144) 2 years ago

It is corrupt to take workers money and give to big politics without asking them. It is corrupt for unions to lobby the DNC.

[-] 1 points by shooz (26677) 2 years ago

That's just business.

Where's the corruption?

I could just sit here and call you corrupt all day. That doesn't make it so.

[-] 1 points by Edgewaters (912) 2 years ago

It's true that if you don't have collective bargaining, you'll probably get treated and paid like a dog. Some companies so dread becoming unionized that they'll extend good pay and benefits to non-unionized employees, but that is union leverage in effect.

That being said I am very upset with unions. They've become like a business, with the leaders pulling in six figure salaries. They make no more than token efforts to represent the workers who need them most, in the minimum and near-minimum wage industries, because there isn't much profit in dues to be had: they'd rather stick to well-paid workers in what remains of manufacturing and technical services, and fight for their big house and big truck (for a fee). I'd really like to see the unions get back to what they're supposed to be about, representing the workers who are really getting the shaft.

[-] 2 points by shooz (26677) 2 years ago

The best way to help make that happen would be to unionize the place where you work.

You seem like an honest guy. You could run for office in your local and work towards helping us all out.

Get active, unionize!!

I can contact the UAW for you.

Let me know where you work.

[-] 1 points by Edgewaters (912) 2 years ago

Screw the UAW, its a business union, the leaders pull in the six figure salaries and throw money at the mainstream parties that got us into this mess. We need something more along the lines of an updated version of the IWW or something (not the present-day IWW, its an anachronism and little more than a knitting circle these days, but something as it once was). Something less like a business union and more like a popular front ...

[-] 1 points by shooz (26677) 2 years ago

OIC.

You're not an honest guy, then.

No real proof, or experience.

Nothing but negativity.

You're from Heritage?

[-] 1 points by Edgewaters (912) 2 years ago

That's my views. Take em or leave em. I don't see why you think I'm being deceptive, and I don't think I've given you any information to decide whether I have experience or not: you just decided that because I disagree with you. Ironic then that you should talk about "proof" when you're making those sorts of leaps in logic.

What on Earth is Heritage? Do you mean the Heritage Foundation? If so, you're being blatantly absurd. Would anyone from the Heritage Foundation endorse an IWW-style union? Come on. Let's at least pretend to have some common sense shall we?

[-] 1 points by shooz (26677) 2 years ago

You argue against yourself.

I asked you to go ahead and create the union you desire.

It's your right and your duty, if you believe what you say.

UAW was just a suggestion yet that was what you ran with. insults and all.

Heritage is notorious for utilizing front groups, astro turfing, and many other forms organizations to promote all kinds of anti-union propaganda.

If you had any common sense, you would know this.

[-] 1 points by Edgewaters (912) 2 years ago

Insults? OK, I appealed to your common sense I suppose, but I didn't call you dishonest, inexperienced, negative etc. Remember who did that? You have some nerve accusing others of insults, when you just fired off that volley because you didn't like my ideas. I must say it made me feel a little frustrated, your personal attacks, and that may have been why I wrote the bit about common sense. Because that sort of baiting and sniping makes me feel frustrated, I just want to talk about ideas and when people get all personal about it and start playing cheap games, it gets in the way of that.

If you want to believe the IWW of the early 20th century was a Heritage Foundation front-group you go right ahead, god knows I can't stop you if that's what you're determined to think. I can't say it makes much sense to me, though, and I doubt it does to anyone else who knows the IWW either. Particularly since the Heritage Foundation didn't even exist at the time ...

That's the union tradition I believe in. Maybe a little reading on the Wobblies and their battles with the business unions would go a ways towards mutual understanding here. I don't support the IWW as it currently exists and I think it's become just too much of an anachronism to revive, however, I would like to get the union movement back to something along those lines.

I think it's easy to see from the very first thing I said in this thread that I am in no way against the principle of unions - I simply think they have gone astray, and want them to get back to their roots. You seem to be rather defensive about that idea, to the point of firing off personal insults. Why?

[-] 1 points by ronimacarroni (1089) 2 years ago

Well I agree that the union leaders shouldn't pull a six figure salary.

But again, that's because the union members allow their leaders to do so.

I also find it incredible that people are willing to work on thanksgiving day just because they're told to do so.

I think what we have right now is a backbone crisis.

[-] 1 points by cmt (1195) from Tolland, CT 2 years ago

If the union is large enough, six figures may not be unreasonable. Depends on how high in the six figures, and how many staff the person is responsible for. If the head of a corporation of the same size is getting 7 or 8 figure salary/benefits/SERP/gross up/and so forth, for heading the same size organization, then a substantial salary may be appropriate.

If it is excessive, the union democracy coalitions have helped unseat gougers in the past and may be able to help if members are willing to stand up.

[-] 1 points by Edgewaters (912) 2 years ago

Sorry but I don't think management deserves that sort of pay, either. Management isn't anywhere near as difficult as managers make it out to be (I know, because I've been there) and good leadership skills are far from uncommon. Lots of people would do the job quite well if put in the position.

The highest pay should be going to people with rare technical expertise. If you can design a microchip, you should be making really good money - better than a manager. Because there aren't many people who can do, what you can do. That's not true of management, despite what they say about how difficult their jobs are. The proof is in the pudding: these positions are often handed over to sons and daughters (not supposed to happen but its very common) who mostly manage to do reasonably well.

[-] 1 points by cmt (1195) from Tolland, CT 2 years ago

Valid point.

There are professors in my area who are making 6 figures, so I guess I don't think of it as necessarily huge money. And I've known union presidents whose expertise was impressive, and I've got graduate degrees so I don't think I'm easily impressed. I'd consider organizing, negotiation, arbitration, benefit design, retirement security, design of contract language, and so forth to add up to technical expertise. And I'm thinking 100K, not multiples of that.

However, the managers where I've worked...I'd agree with you!

[-] 1 points by Edgewaters (912) 2 years ago

Organizing, negotiation, arbitration etc ... lots of people can do that, with just a bit of practice. I'm not saying just anyone can do it, but, the skills needed aren't that uncommon.

Benefit design, retirement security, design of contract language - these are technical skills, true. But neither management nor the union leaders do these things most of the time. The lawyers draft this stuff, and usually have to explain it to their side of the negotiation. Sure, management or union leadership give them the idea of what they want, but they don't actually put these things together because they simply don't have that technical expertise.

[-] 1 points by cmt (1195) from Tolland, CT 2 years ago

My personal experience as a rank-and-file person on negotiating committees, for both regular contracts and pension, is that the lawyers clean up the details and consult, but the person leading each side must have considerable skill. I don't know how to describe it as clearly as I'd like. They had to know all the ins and outs and how each section would play out in use, and it could be quite complex. There could be hundreds of millions of dollars riding on some of these agreements.

Perhaps different unions do things differently. I can only speak to my own observations.

[-] 1 points by Edgewaters (912) 2 years ago

Yeah, I know. Longtime negotiators do get to know a bit of the law. Still. Their expertise isn't precisely technical ... on that job long enough, anyone would pick that stuff up just by osmosis. Same as any other job. Any IT guy can spin your head with some complex knowledge, but, their skills are nevertheless not that rare (relative to advanced technical skills like microchip engineering) and that's what their pay reflects. Management pay I don't think reflects that, it reflects the fact they're in charge and set their own pay ... and as you've pointed out, union leadership pay is usually justified by management pay.

Not that I have any easy solution!

[-] 1 points by cmt (1195) from Tolland, CT 2 years ago

Okay, point taken. Fair enough.

I think I've dealt with some unusually bright and dedicated people, but they may be outliers.

Management pay at the corporate level should ideally include claw-back provisions and be based on long term outcomes. An example of not easy!

[-] 1 points by Edgewaters (912) 2 years ago

They should just index management pay increases to worker pay increases. Hey, if the company can't afford an across-the-board pay increase maybe it isn't justified. Suck it up, management. Earn your increase just like everybody else.

[-] 0 points by offmybrain (23) 2 years ago

The union guys i work with are lazy.I work in a industry where I deal with union & non-union workers.The difference is night & day in work ethic.

[-] 1 points by cmt (1195) from Tolland, CT 2 years ago

It is clear that management there provides poor supervision and leadership with part of the operation.

[-] 0 points by tomcat68 (298) 2 years ago

like the Union that has Post Office Labor costs so far above what it can generate that it is about to collaps? OR get its self a nice Osama Bail out.

Sure I'd love Union Pay. problem is when Everyone is getting it? how much do you think you will pay for that carton of eggs?

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[-] 0 points by number2 (914) 2 years ago

problem is sometimes the unions keep demanding when there is nothing. Then the auto industry goes broke, which is not really a concern to me but when they are demanding more of my money to be taxed from me, as the public unions do then i have a problem with them.

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[-] 0 points by EndTheFed214 (113) 2 years ago

They are good for protecting workers rights and not letting big companies walk all over them. But more often times than not unions are lead by thugs who beat people up. Second they are notorious for being over-payed they cause towns and counties to go broke if they are a public union. One of the main reasons California is broke is because of unions

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

And they make it nearly impossible to replace unproductive workers with productive ones. If Joe can do a certain job better than Bob, Joe should have that job. Instead Bob needs to do a crappy job for 3 years before the company can even start the process of replacing Bob with Joe.

[-] 1 points by EndTheFed214 (113) 2 years ago

yep you got that right. my mom is apart of a teachers union at her school in Dallas ISD. she says there are alot of crappy teachers up there but because they are in the union they cant be fired for x number of years. there are a lot of good teachers that are around there that could use those jobs. but because the crappy teachers are protected the kids scores are really low. like i said there is a place for unions but they are outta control

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

Yeah teachers unions are some of the most powerful and corrupt. They use the argument that they want what is best for the kids but then will fight tooth and nail to keep an incompetent teacher in place for years. Complete hypocrisy.

[-] 1 points by EndTheFed214 (113) 2 years ago

thats exactly what hjappened in DC with that asian lady who rightfully tried to clean up the DC public schools and did a lot but in then end the unions kicked her out thru the school

[-] 0 points by eyeofthetiger (304) 2 years ago

Union 76 is Awesome!!! I still have my orange ball on my car antennae