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View Poll Results: Do you support the concept of worker unions?
Yes, I do. 34 82.93%
Only sometimes. 4 9.76%
No, I do not. 3 7.32%
Undecided. 0 0%
Voters: 41. You may not vote on this poll

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Old January 3rd, 2018, 01:21 PM   #21

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Originally Posted by Valens View Post
I think we have to make a big distinction between employers themselves. Big multinational corporations and small to middle sized businesses cannot be treated the same way.
The latter definitively need more protection, since they form the basis of a healthy, production based economy.
Multinational corporations with large number of employers worldwide have a significant leverage over both national governments, as well as international organizations, and thus are able to influence legislation at the expense of the unions and overall workers' right.

Too powerful unions, on the other hand, can hinder small and middle size business, and that is where national governments must struck a healthy balance between protection workers, and fostering a good business climate.

The multinationals don't have that kind of a problem.
That's a good point. Small and middle size business need protection as well, and the government should provide it.
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Old January 3rd, 2018, 01:26 PM   #22

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For me, the OP is not complete. I support the right to unionize, but I also support the right to decline such organization without paying what is known as shop fees. Strikes by public officials are something else. I am always torn when I see a teacher strike. I have been through one as a student and one as a parent. They affect morale when they drag on.
My apologies. I should have put that in.

That's just the thing about strikes. It's not just a case of public officials, they affect morale in private companies as well. They can result in an ambiance of mistrust between workers and management, along with resentment, even after the strikes are finished. That is why I support the idea of neutral government agencies protecting workers instead of unions.
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Old January 3rd, 2018, 01:55 PM   #23

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"Oh, you don't get me, I'm part of the union
You don't get me, I'm part of the union
You don't get me, I'm part of the union
Til the day I die
Til the day I die"
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Old January 3rd, 2018, 02:35 PM   #24

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Originally Posted by Menshevik View Post
Is this a good definition of what you're referring to? If not, would you explain it to me?

"Agency shop. An agency shop is a form of union security agreement where the employer may hire union or non-union workers, and employees need not join the union in order to remain employed. However, the non-union worker must pay a fee to cover collective bargaining costs."
Yes. That's my understanding. Where I once worked all unionized workers paid 1% of their gross salary. Those who declined the union contributed .75% of their gross wage, as fee for the benefits obtained by the union (as all got the same contract). The benefit for the non union worker? He saved 1/4% of his gross wages. The down side? That worker has no input or vote on union contract issues. Almost every worker just joined, figuring if they had to pay nearly the full union dues, so they may as well have some say in what is being sought. Some union dues go toward causes that a worker may not not agree. Some refused on principle.
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Old January 3rd, 2018, 02:52 PM   #25
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Sure, Steve, but are unions really the best way of doing that? I ask because we all know the types of problems that come about with unions.
Actually I don't think it's the best way. Industrial unions have had the effect of raising the living standards of a large swath of the US population in the past, but I'm less enthusiastic about public service unions which even FDR opposed.

My choice would be direct employee ownership. I've done some work in this area regarding financing and the use of non voting shares to raise capital. Google has this option now. There are many ways to structure this, one being through the unions. A coopertative structure has been avocated by some to cope with job loss with automation and AI. The arguement that workers can't manage is looking backward rather than forward to the type of skilled workers that will be required in the future. In any case, skilled managers will be likely hired by cooperatives to run operations. Whatever happens, big changes in employment patterns are inevitable.

Last edited by stevev; January 3rd, 2018 at 02:58 PM.
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Old January 4th, 2018, 12:26 AM   #26

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Originally Posted by Jake10 View Post
If we look at France, we see that they have unemployment rates around 9.7, and those are better than they've had in the past.

https://tradingeconomics.com/france/unemployment-rate

It doesn't surprise me, because when I lived in Hong Kong I saw a lot of French people there looking for work. Hong Kong, on the other hand, is a city where unions don't have a lot of power, but their unemployment rate is down around 3%.
https://tradingeconomics.com/hong-ko...mployment-rate

So, people from France were leaving their country and going to Hong Kong, Why? The reason being that, although Hong Kong does not have strong unions, they have a lot more employment opportunities. This means that if an employer is not providing what a worker wants, the worker can turn to others who offer something different. Personally, if an employer does not want me, I don't think I want to force the employer to keep me there through a union. I would much rather go to another employer who does want me. So, the advantages of unions appears to be high at first, but, in the long run, it may not be all that great.

Still workers need protection, as we all agree on, but when we look at a lot of union tactics, it makes us wonder if protection is really what they provide. In cases of workers who go against the union and have their cars and/or homes vandalized, the question of who they really need protection from comes up. Or, the idea that workers who don't support the union should be bullied, is something unions promote, but that really only seems to support their interests.

In any event, a worker who does not feel employers are offering fair treatment always has the option of becoming self employed.
Well but then you've got Germany with similar strong unions as France with a record low of unemployment and high of employment - in many industries there is a lack of workers atm actually. IG Metall the union representing all "metal workers", which covers probably most of Germany's export industries including car manufacturing, are actually in talks aiwth the employer's representatives for a new tariff contract, the demand a 6% increase in wage and a optional 28 hour work week (previously a 35 hour work week was already established, interestingly some companies voluntarily undercut this with 30h/32h work weeks [fully wage compensated] at some production sites, Volkswagen for example). They are likely to succeed.

It is not just black and white. It is different in all countries and each one must find a balance between worker's and employer's rights, the need for a nourishing economic environment and fair compensation.
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Old January 4th, 2018, 03:37 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Jake10 View Post
What are your thoughts about unions and what they do?
I support them in so far as workers are allowed to band together. This enables collective bargaining and by and large better outcomes for workers. We can see this in the minimum wage disparity between countries that traditionally have a strong labor movement versus those that don't. We can see it by comparing the minimum wage disparity between a country like the United States and Australia. The Australian minimum wage is $17.70 an hour, while the American minimum wage is as low as $7.25 in Texas. Even adjusted for parity the Australian minimum wage is still higher working out at $13.88 USD.

A happy and productive worker is a well paid worker. Even our minimum wage workers in Australia are paid what they're worth.

Last edited by orestes; January 4th, 2018 at 03:42 AM.
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Old January 4th, 2018, 03:50 AM   #28

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in a strictly capitalistic society what the employer wants is no to take care of the interests of his workers, is to profit as much as possible from his business, wich means among other things paying workers the less possible while making them work as much as possible.
Therefore unions are essentials in order to have a balanced relationship there.

the problem with a globalized economy is that to balance a worlwide corporation you would need a worldwide working union, wich is something that don't exists and probably will never exists.

Last edited by gustavolapizza; January 4th, 2018 at 03:56 AM.
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Old January 4th, 2018, 03:52 AM   #29
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That's why I'm glad I don't live in a pure capitalist state such as America.
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Old January 4th, 2018, 03:59 AM   #30

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Originally Posted by orestes View Post
That's why I'm glad I don't live in a pure capitalist state such as America.
what gets me the most is that in the u.s. they've been able to brainwash a great amount of people into thinking working unions hurt them. Yes they can be corrupt sometime but if you have a sore arm, the solution is not cut your arm, the solution is to go to the doctor and heal it.
It's like the wolf telling the sheeps "you don't need the a Pastoral dog, he just bark all day and eat your food, drop him and completely trust me, i care about you, it will be ok"

Last edited by gustavolapizza; January 4th, 2018 at 04:02 AM.
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