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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, 07:58 AM   #1

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Do you support the concept of worker unions?


What are your thoughts about unions and what they do?
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Old January 3rd, 2018, 08:10 AM   #2

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I think they can a be a double edged sword. But overall, I support them insofar as I think they should be allowed to form and/or associate.

Is there an argument that unions should somehow be made illegal?
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Old January 3rd, 2018, 08:13 AM   #3

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Workers rights are under attack everywhere, and the unions are not always up to the task of defending them.
They are still the best option to claw back some of the privileges that were lost during and after the economic crash.

The role of worker unions differs greatly from country to country. The unions are still very powerful in some European countries, while almost non-existent in others.
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Old January 3rd, 2018, 08:24 AM   #4
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If we are going to go on the somewhat capitalist/classical liberal/libertarian/whathaveyou argument that the relationship between workers and employers is one based on consent and partnership in the form of a contract or deal, then there needs to be a means of consistent and dependable communication to where that relationship is maintained. That is the primary reason why unions should exist and need to exist. They give a voice to the workers in how their job is handled and what they can expect from it.

Here in the US, much of what benefits we still have are entirely due to union efforts. It's not unreasonable that if people are going to be spending most of their time and energy working for you to make you successful, they are somewhat entitled to have a say in their wages, benefits, and conditions.
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Old January 3rd, 2018, 08:25 AM   #5

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Menshevik View Post
I think they can a be a double edged sword. But overall, I support them insofar as I think they should be allowed to form and/or associate.

Is there an argument that unions should somehow be made illegal?
Making them illegal would certainly be going too far, but preventing them from being double edge swords is something to consider.
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Old January 3rd, 2018, 08:26 AM   #6

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I am not sure I support public workers unions as in almost every situation I've been exposed to them they are detrimental to the public interest but otherwise unions are the only way for workers to gain any negotiating leverage at all vs employers in most types of jobs.
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Old January 3rd, 2018, 08:27 AM   #7

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valens View Post
Workers rights are under attack everywhere, and the unions are not always up to the task of defending them.
They are still the best option to claw back some of the privileges that were lost during and after the economic crash.

The role of worker unions differs greatly from country to country. The unions are still very powerful in some European countries, while almost non-existent in others.
Sure, workers need protection, but it seems that government agencies are better at protecting them than unions. One of the problems with unions is that they can create a great deal of division between management and workers, to the point that they hurt the companies they're in.
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Old January 3rd, 2018, 08:32 AM   #8

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ameteurhistorian View Post
If we are going to go on the somewhat capitalist/classical liberal/libertarian/whathaveyou argument that the relationship between workers and employers is one based on consent and partnership in the form of a contract or deal, then there needs to be a means of consistent and dependable communication to where that relationship is maintained. That is the primary reason why unions should exist and need to exist. They give a voice to the workers in how their job is handled and what they can expect from it.

Here in the US, much of what benefits we still have are entirely due to union efforts. It's not unreasonable that if people are going to be spending most of their time and energy working for you to make you successful, they are somewhat entitled to have a say in their wages, benefits, and conditions.
Your points are valid, but we also need to consider some of the consequences of having unions. One of which is that a lot of American companies have partially or completely moved away to other parts of the world because they got fed up with dealing with unions.
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Old January 3rd, 2018, 08:38 AM   #9

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake10 View Post
Sure, workers need protection, but it seems that government agencies are better at protecting them than unions. One of the problems with unions is that they can create a great deal of division between management and workers, to the point that they hurt the companies they're in.
It depends on the country in question. There are many countries where governments are both unable and unwilling to protect workers because of their subservience to big business and reliance on foreign investment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake10 View Post
Your points are valid, but we also need to consider some of the consequences of having unions. One of which is that a lot of American companies have partially or completely moved away to other parts of the world because they got fed up with dealing with unions.
Are you sure it's about the unions, and not cheaper costs of productions in the developing world? Essentially, it's just about profit.
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Old January 3rd, 2018, 08:55 AM   #10

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I voted Yes.

Without a Union, there could be no chance of representation if my employer decided to change my working conditions for the worse or put me out of work, and believe me, they would, given half a chance.
It's not that I hate the management, but they do have a tendency, even in the 21st century, to view the workforce as simple economic assets, to be cossetted when the going's good, but dumped like a sack of hot stench when times get tough (and when it's not always the workforce's fault. Would you shoot your sheepdog because the price of wool has dropped?)

In the UK, unions were set up as a response to the slave-like conditions imposed by many of the factory/mine/mill owners during the expanding industrialisation of the early to mid-1800s.
Despite facing arrest and deportation, the early trade unionists nevertheless took a stand. Why would they risk it unless there was a real need for it?

As a result, we have amongst the legislation to protect workers rights, the knowledge that regular paid employment is guaranteed, better working conditions can be negotiated and regular paid breaks and holidays are a right.
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