• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every persons position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!
  • Welcome to our archives. No new posts are allowed here.

Down with Labor Unions?

aquapub

DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 16, 2005
Messages
7,317
Reaction score
344
Location
America (A.K.A., a red state)
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Labor unions use to serve a purpose: to demand basic working conditions and humane treatment of their members. Federal law now covers everything labor unions were created to fix.

Labor unions send our jobs overseas. They make it impossible (needlessly) for American companies to afford to hire American workers by making outrageously unreasonable demands about benefits and wages.

Labor Unions are a self-serving, legalized mafia that line their own pockets while screwing over the worker, the company and the government.

They force people to pay union dues and then use their money to elect clueless, tax-hiking, elitist snobs like John Kerry, regardless of whether or not the worker wants his money used that way.

The book "Stranglehold" catalogues the worst hundred or so horiffic abuses union bosses have pulled on behalf of their own wallets.

The most destructive unions are the ones wrecking our educational system. Left-wing teacher unions write the obscenely biased textbooks to revise history for public schools, they keep teachers from being accountable, they base teacher placement on seniority instead of qualifications, and so on.

When reporters ask union bosses about the students they are screwing over to treat teachers like Mother Teresa, they will come right out and say (often)that they represent the teachers, not the students.

No child left behind was a straight out attack on these corrupt unions. That is why the NEA and other major teacher mafias funded about a billion dishonest attack ads against Bush in the 2004 election, smearing him with erroneous conspiracy theories about the Saudis, and other things that have nothing to do with education.

Washington D.C. schools receive eight times the funding of the average school in America, yet they rank dead last in both quality of education and safety. Unions always want taxpayers and workers to throw more money at them to make problems go away, but money isn't the problem. Public schools suck because (like any other industry touched by unions) they are infested with union special interests.
 

Pacridge

DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 14, 2004
Messages
3,918
Reaction score
9
Location
Pacific Northwest US
I think unions most certainly have had problems. I also think they most certainly have done great things for the working class of this country. Working to change the problems with the unions seems to be a better idea to me then the turn the workers well being over the good graces of big business. Lately a lot of common workers have been getting the shaft both by the company and by the union that the workers have been paying dues. Working to change the problems within the union seems fairer to the working man then turning his security over to big business. Big business and corporate America has a long history of screwing over it’s workers. But as you point out so do many labor unions.
 

MOZO

New member
Joined
Apr 16, 2005
Messages
13
Reaction score
0
Not down with the unions but with the people who are running them.
As Pacridge said business will exploit workers and something needs to keep them in line. Business can't be trusted, to govern themselves.
Unions have lost touch with their core principles. or principals for the school workers :smile:
 

Pacridge

DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 14, 2004
Messages
3,918
Reaction score
9
Location
Pacific Northwest US
MOZO said:
Not down with the unions but with the people who are running them.
As Pacridge said business will exploit workers and something needs to keep them in line. Business can't be trusted, to govern themselves.
Unions have lost touch with their core principles. or principals for the school workers :smile:
Welcome to Debate Politics.

I agree Unions need to be taken back by the workers.
 

Squawker

Professor
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
1,314
Reaction score
4
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Not down with the unions but with the people who are running them.
That will be as tough as cleaning out of the UN, FBI, or CIA. Some States only allow contracts to union run companies. One hand feeds the other. The Democrats still support the unions because they are getting their pockets filled. It is one of the biggest scams in the country.
 

anomaly

Anti-Capitalist
DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
1,020
Reaction score
6
Location
IN
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Squawker said:
That will be as tough as cleaning out of the UN, FBI, or CIA. Some States only allow contracts to union run companies. One hand feeds the other. The Democrats still support the unions because they are getting their pockets filled. It is one of the biggest scams in the country.
Not exactly. I don't think it will be tough at all. Currently, the GOP is 20 years into the war to destroy labor unions, and they are succeeding. Government, led by Reagan in '81, broke the pro-labor stance, and has not even tried to reestablish it, not even during the CLinton years. Union busting is a popular theme now, and with unions being busted the popularity of unions among workers has dropped. The powerful old labor unions of the distant past are but a memory now, as no labor union today has any really great power. This great need of worker representation is part of the reason I'm a socialist, but if you happen not to like that idea, reform is certainly possible. To get labor unions back on track we only need a gutsy Democrat in the White House, but I think that may be an oxymoron these days.
 

Lassez-Faire

New member
Joined
May 7, 2005
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Unions need to be banned, though I realize it is banning an organization, this is almost terroristic in their goals and damage they cause.
 

bellisaurius

New member
Joined
May 7, 2005
Messages
26
Reaction score
0
Location
chicago
I strongly agree with you, mozo. It's not the concept, nor the formulation of a union that's bad, but rather where the people in charge take it.

Much like management, there seems to be very little in common between the union boss and the worker. When this happens, I really don't see how a union can help anybody.

I've seen that problem currently when I got the gumption to ask the union steward to change our rotating shift schedule at work. I went to the effort fo creating a set of schedules, showing them to all my coworkers, having them vote on them, and negotiating to create a consensus. Bringing it up to the steward, his first response was "you can't take a survey without union permission."

OK, I thought. I realise the union has a monopoly over issues of organizations of employees (ie the union is the sole source of negotiations with management, typical contract there. prevents management from dividing and conquering). So, I apologize and continue by stating the rest of my case about the hardships of the current schedule.

His response was very unsympathetic (which was fine, I knew he was rather rough, it was expected. But he should have understood what working shoft was like and how the conditions could be improved to everyone's liking), which I could have lived with, but he refused to do anything because he felt that us chemical engineers had just changed our schedule recently (we hadn't, our sister plant had. Again, the lack of connection), so therefore we didn't "deserve" to change it again because it was a hassle.

I really wish I could have presented the issue to management (which I did, but I had to do it unofficially) for approval. The union shouldn't have needed to get involved, but then they would lose their power.

Feh! I think the system needs to be torn down and adjusted to current times where issues that the union could be useful for, such as annual contract negotiations. In fact, I think that contract negotiators could be outsourced.I don't mind the dues, but I sure as hell do like efficiency.
 

anomaly

Anti-Capitalist
DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
1,020
Reaction score
6
Location
IN
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Lassez-Faire said:
Unions need to be banned, though I realize it is banning an organization, this is almost terroristic in their goals and damage they cause.
Excuse me, how are labor union goals "terroristic"?
 

petrsykora39

New member
Joined
Jun 3, 2005
Messages
47
Reaction score
0
The only protection that workers have from their employers is through collective bargaining. If one person stands up to mistreatment at the workplace, they're likely to be fired. If all of the workers stand up, they're much more likely to provoke change. I think we need to face reality. Why did unions come about in the first place? How were workers treated during the Industrial Revolution where unions were not common and legislation to protect workers had not been passed?
 

Arthur Fonzarelli

Active member
Joined
May 25, 2005
Messages
446
Reaction score
0
Location
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
How many of you currently work for or have ever worked for a labor union?

Now I know that people don't actually work for the labor union; it's actually the employer; but I didn't know another way to ask the question. I am a current member of the TWU (transportation workers union). I have not always worked a union job. I will tell you that both have their positives & negatives. I know there was a time when the labor union was a necessity. But, I'm not so sure that's the case today. Currently I am without a contract. That contract will likely take 2 to 3 years to iron out. All the while we don't get any raises; that includes any cost of living raises. When the contract is settled the raise we do get will be retroactive but so will all the charges we'll owe. Which will mean we'll break even. Then our new contract will likely run out the following year & the whole thing starts over. Plus, because of the industry I work for we cannot strike. FDR made that illegal during WW2. So much for the power of the union.
 

stump

Member
Joined
May 23, 2005
Messages
119
Reaction score
0
Arthur Fonzarelli said:
Now I know that people don't actually work for the labor union; it's actually the employer; ...
Technically, some people do work for unions. :cool:

But to answer your question I do not now nor have I ever worked for a union. I've been on the other side of the union/management "battle".
 

holocaustpulp

New member
Joined
May 31, 2005
Messages
16
Reaction score
0
Unions help rationalize capitalism by marginalizing the effects of bourgeois exploitation.There are and always be new demands for unions to address because oppressive capitalistic measures are always opting to harm the individual laborer. The individual is less likely to succeed against the class establishment than if he is in a union. Proper unions should also be built upon the workers and other union members themselves in order to ensure maximum representation.

What you advocate is some scary laissez-faire corporate substitution for unions. This means Wal-Mart's inadequate payrolls and hence more than one out of eight Americans living below the poverty line...

- HP
 

anomaly

Anti-Capitalist
DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
1,020
Reaction score
6
Location
IN
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
We must remember that before labor unions were backed by the fereral government, before labor unions actually had any power to negotiate with management, the USA was a far different place. Without labor unions, a gilded age will once again pop its ugly head. This is why the US government must reverse its stance on unions now. If not, then the disparity between rich and poor will only grow, as it has throughout the 90s and 00s with labor unions being severely weakened.
 

Comrade Brian

DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 18, 2005
Messages
1,239
Reaction score
0
Location
NE, Minnesota
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Yeah it is bad that labor unions are declining. And the government shouldn't have intrefered as much as they did. And arresting pretty much the entire IWW executive board. And many claim unions are totalitarian, if thats so how much totalitarian are companies?
 

128shot

DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 19, 2005
Messages
1,258
Reaction score
31
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
I think labor unions need to decide what is too much as well though....


Many labor unions try and starve a business out of profit, they simply should not try and do this. They need to compromise somewhere so both are happy, that way it doesn't drive off the business here.
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2005
Messages
1,011
Reaction score
306
Location
Geelong, Australia
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
I agree with the sentiments that Union movement itself needs to change. Even though I advocate free market capitalism, I still see the need for unions in some situations. Not all bosses and employers are fair to their workers, that's a fact of life. Not all individuals have the resources to challenge unfair dissmissal or unfair working conditions in the courts. So you can have situations where the employer may not meeting their legal requiremnts, but they're not brought to justice, because the individual can't afford to challenge the company.

There is still a need for unions, but unions need to change to adapt to the 21st century.
 
Top Bottom