How to change Unions for the 21st Century

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Toronado3800, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. Toronado3800
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    Toronado3800 VIP Member

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    100 years ago labor unions were a necessity. The power of big business and monopolies made work after the industrial revolution unsafe, unprofitable, and unreasonable. Combined with the closure of the American West folks could no longer count on big government aid to provide them with a way out even if that sometimes meant braving the Indians.

    Simply put there were not enough businesses which could compete that had an incentive to pay sufficiently, not use child labor, keep work hours reasonable, or keep their adult workers safe. Then came labor unions, then came Pinkertons, then came mob protection, then came big government to the aid with fair labor laws.

    Public sentiment swung entirely against the corruption of big business and thanks to the fear of work stoppages, sympathetic strikes, and boycotts some companies, our auto manufacturers for example, somehow signed very terrible labor contracts.

    For some time now this movement and big government has given us things like the 40 hour work week, OSHA, and the rest of the labor laws which were needed. Are unions still necessary? I think yes, just as a balance against the quasi-collusional power of businesses.

    So what is left for unions to do? My brothers and sisters in the Construction Unions picket businesses which don't hire them. When I ask the protesters they're unaware of the specifics of the contract differences which caused the non-union firm to get the job.

    I believe to be competitive Unions need to:

    1.provide mandatory 3rd party drug testing for all members.

    2.not hire convicted felons

    3.continue with their certification of members spreading it to include the IT fields

    Any other ideas?
     
  2. Mr Clean
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    Mr Clean Gold Member

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    They're as necessary today as they were 100 years ago.
     
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  3. Toronado3800
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    Toronado3800 VIP Member

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    Mr. Clean, in America I believe the government now does the historical job of labor unions. Enforcing a minimum wage. Imposing safety and dignity standards in the workplace and all.

    I agree folks who are united bargain considerably better than those who are alone end up begging. But why should a corporation want to deal with a union?
    **************
    Oh,

    Unions should (and I think they do):

    4. Guarantee every member is a real U.S. citizen or at least has a work permit.
     
  4. Truthmatters
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    Truthmatters BANNED

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    Americans have the right to unionsize whenever they feel its needed.

    They will be the ones to deside if they are useful or not.

    If they were not needed anymore than the Coprs would not fight to smear them every day.
     
  5. noose4
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    noose4 Senior Member

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    In some cases even more so, the last few decades the working class has been moving backwards while those at the top are getting even more.
     
  6. rightwinger
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    rightwinger Paid Messageboard Poster Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    And yet, the standard of living for working Americans continues to decline. US workers put in more hours than any workers in the industrialized world, many lack health insurance, most US households require two incomes where one used to be enough, advanced education is no longer affordable to working Americans.

    All of this is because unions have lost their clout with management. In the "lost decade' of 2000-2009, worker income was stagnant, workers gave up rights and benefits while management recorded record bonuses and increased income.

    We need unions or the threat of unions as much as ever.
     
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  7. noose4
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    noose4 Senior Member

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    It is no coincidence that the 2 major mining accidents that happened the last decade involved non union mining companies, the conservative admin at that time weakened the mining regulations but union mining companies had to adhere to the safety provisions set by and enforced by the union while non union companies could work using the more lax regulations resulting in unsafe working conditions that resulted in 2 tragedies.
     
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  8. Toronado3800
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    Toronado3800 VIP Member

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    I agree.

    Perhaps I should change my question...
    What can Unions do to better compete in the modern world? Keep membership from falling and all.
     
  9. garyd
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    garyd Senior Member

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    The first thing you could do to make unions which now represent less than 15% of the work force in the private sector And most of the work force in the public sector, is insurance portability and the best way to do that is to get you boss out the insurance biz. This would mean you would not be free to shop your sevices to the highest bidder rather than being stuck where you're at if your married in order to get insurance coverage at a reasonable price.

    That would allow you and your insurance agent to define your coverage rather than being stuck with what some third party has to give you because of state mandates. Also mandate that every body who buys insurance from a given provider is part of the same group. Instead of the current system in which every different employer is its own group for insurance purposes.
     
  10. noose4
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    noose4 Senior Member

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    The one thing that they do do that conservatives generally complain about is union involvement in politics, which in my opinion the unions should do more of and not less of, the decline of unions has coincided with legislation that has weakened the unions.
     

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