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Subject: Union Horror Stories rss

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Dave G
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I'm not reposting all mine, that took a long time to type.
 
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Dave G
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bjlillo wrote:
djgutierrez77 wrote:
I'm not reposting all mine, that took a long time to type.


What, are you in the BGG RSP Poster's Union now? Lazy sack of shit.


I'm on my break, you got a problem you talk to my shop steward. His name is Jarred, and you can probably find him on your mom.
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Lee Fisher
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I hope you paid the copy and paste union.
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Dave G
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Not a union horror story, exactly, but my wife and I crack up every time we take something apart in our house and find incredibly shitty carpentry work, all proudly stamped with a union mark. "Yeah, we just up and skipped a stud here, but Bob made damn sure he got that union stamp centered and right side up on it."
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Paul Sauberer
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Fantasy!
Fictional!
You need to get in touch with reality!

Oh, damn. Now Shushnik will probably whine to the Bat Shit Crazy Knee Jerk Union Defenders Union (Local 000) and get me in trouble for doing work they are supposed to do.
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Les Marshall
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How about we collect anecdotes on other folks who misbehave like politicians, doctors, lawyers, school teachers, priests, airline pilots, equity traders, mortgage brokers and so on. Then we can agitate to scrap ALL of their governing bodies cause they don't do anything positive, right?
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Dave G
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b a n j o wrote:
I used to be able to pay my employees $1.50 and hour, 80+ hours, 7 days a week, in an unsafe work environment. Then unions formed. The horror.


You understand it's possible for a thing to be a good idea at some point and then, say 50-100 years later, that same thing could be corrupted and harmful to society?
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David O'Neil
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I've taught at two high schools, one a unionized public school, and the other a non-union charter school. The differences between these schools extended beyond the role of a union, but I attributed certain differences to this role.

Union school
-decent wages, good benefits
-a bit of compensation for undertaking volunteer duties
-higher local property taxes (I admit it)
-experienced teaching staff, long-term investment in school
-parent and community pride in school's education value--based on long-term experience with school
-difficult for administration to make rapid changes
-lots of discussion during meetings--faculty had a role in decisions

Non-union school
-slightly worse wages, poor benefits
-no compensation for undertaking "volunteer" duties
-cheaper overhead
-rapidly rotating teaching staff, attrition of perhaps 20-25% a year
-parent and community pride in school's education value--based on administration's propaganda
-easy for administration to make changes--policies changed rapidly and with little notice
-faculty had no role in decisions, but was expected to give lip service to the administration's policies during faculty meetings, which were actually more frequent, despite the faculty's lack of influence

These are just a few items off the top of my head. I could give more specific examples of administrative abuses at the charter school, but I think this basically makes my point that removing unions can create problems, not only in working conditions for teachers, but also in the value of a school's education. In addition to bargaining for higher wages, unions also give workers a voice, and in the teaching profession the faculty often know a lot more about teaching than the administrators, who seem more susceptible to educational fads.

The ironic thing is that I resisted participation with the union when I started teaching, because of a fairly libertarian ideological stance against them, but I realized their value when I started a job without unions, at a school where the administration was as determined as Wal-Mart to keep them out. I know this won't always be true at non-union schools. My wife worked at a Catholic schools, and despite the lower wages and extra duties, there was a more cooperative working relationship between the faculty and the administration, and these relationships may be more important than wages when it comes to job satisfaction--and ultimately, to higher educational value. Her experience may have been due to the fact that her school was based in tradition and had well-establish values, rather different than at my non-union school, which was reform minded and highly ideological, without grounding in any kind of community history.

A union wouldn't have solved every problem, but it would have created a more workable balance of power between the faculty and administration, which I think is a crucial factor in a school's long-term success.
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Dave G
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Public-sector unions are a whole different thing, though (at least in Chicago) they can have the same problems with corruption.
 
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David O'Neil
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djgutierrez77 wrote:
Public-sector unions are a whole different thing, though (at least in Chicago) they can have the same problems with corruption.

My experience with private unions is admittedly limited, but I can understand your view of them based on the experiences you've shared. And to be honest, although I loved the local effects of my teacher's union on the running of the school, the state-wide organizations (I was in NYS) seemed less helpful--and somewhat manipulative at the political level.

But I'd take that a thousand times over the alternative I experienced.
 
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Bojan Ramadanovic
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One of my favourite was at one of the universities I worked at, Law faculty building was so dilapidated that chunks of old paint and plaster were falling off the ceiling. Painting and maintenance however were domain of the university-wide union-run "plant operations" which had carte-blanche to charge individual departments pretty much whatever they pleased.
As a result, painting a single law professor office tended to cost something like hiring a PhD student for a whole year and department (which was operating on somewhat limited budget) just could not afford it.
As a result, in more then one case professors and their PhD students would sneak into the building at night with cans of paint to make their offices at last somewhat habitable without incurring union ire.
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Bat Profile
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djgutierrez77 wrote:
b a n j o wrote:
I used to be able to pay my employees $1.50 and hour, 80+ hours, 7 days a week, in an unsafe work environment. Then unions formed. The horror.


You understand it's possible for a thing to be a good idea at some point and then, say 50-100 years later, that same thing could be corrupted and harmful to society?



watch what happens when they go away....and every other country wont let you pay their workers in buttons anmore
 
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b a n j o wrote:
djgutierrez77 wrote:
b a n j o wrote:
I used to be able to pay my employees $1.50 and hour, 80+ hours, 7 days a week, in an unsafe work environment. Then unions formed. The horror.


You understand it's possible for a thing to be a good idea at some point and then, say 50-100 years later, that same thing could be corrupted and harmful to society?


Of course. I am aware of the history of the Republican party.


check please!
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Dave G
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b a n j o wrote:
djgutierrez77 wrote:
b a n j o wrote:
I used to be able to pay my employees $1.50 and hour, 80+ hours, 7 days a week, in an unsafe work environment. Then unions formed. The horror.


You understand it's possible for a thing to be a good idea at some point and then, say 50-100 years later, that same thing could be corrupted and harmful to society?


Of course. I am aware of the history of the Republican party.


I'll agree with that. See, we just had to find the right metaphor for you to understand!
 
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Les Marshall
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bjlillo wrote:
bjlillo wrote:
Rulesjd wrote:
How about we collect anecdotes on other folks who misbehave like politicians, doctors, lawyers, school teachers, priests, airline pilots, equity traders, mortgage brokers and so on. Then we can agitate to scrap ALL of their governing bodies cause they don't do anything positive, right?


Feel free to start your own thread. This one is about unions.


Since you apparently weren't capable, I started one for you.


No thanks. I don't find utility in focusing only on the negative aspects of members of institutions while ignoring the positive aspects.
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J J
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Rulesjd wrote:
bjlillo wrote:
bjlillo wrote:
Rulesjd wrote:
How about we collect anecdotes on other folks who misbehave like politicians, doctors, lawyers, school teachers, priests, airline pilots, equity traders, mortgage brokers and so on. Then we can agitate to scrap ALL of their governing bodies cause they don't do anything positive, right?


Feel free to start your own thread. This one is about unions.


Since you apparently weren't capable, I started one for you.


No thanks. I don't find utility in focusing only on the negative aspects of members of institutions while ignoring the positive aspects.


Don't you? Positives don't need addressing - by definition they're doing it right. Negatives, though...
 
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Dave G
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Rulesjd wrote:
bjlillo wrote:
bjlillo wrote:
Rulesjd wrote:
How about we collect anecdotes on other folks who misbehave like politicians, doctors, lawyers, school teachers, priests, airline pilots, equity traders, mortgage brokers and so on. Then we can agitate to scrap ALL of their governing bodies cause they don't do anything positive, right?


Feel free to start your own thread. This one is about unions.


Since you apparently weren't capable, I started one for you.


No thanks. I don't find utility in focusing only on the negative aspects of members of institutions while ignoring the positive aspects.


What if those negative aspects are an inevitable outcome of the institution?
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Chris Montgomery
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djgutierrez77 wrote:
Rulesjd wrote:
bjlillo wrote:
bjlillo wrote:
Rulesjd wrote:
How about we collect anecdotes on other folks who misbehave like politicians, doctors, lawyers, school teachers, priests, airline pilots, equity traders, mortgage brokers and so on. Then we can agitate to scrap ALL of their governing bodies cause they don't do anything positive, right?


Feel free to start your own thread. This one is about unions.


Since you apparently weren't capable, I started one for you.


No thanks. I don't find utility in focusing only on the negative aspects of members of institutions while ignoring the positive aspects.


What if those negative aspects are an inevitable outcome of the institution?


I would say that's a narrow and simplistic look at the situation. But I might say the same thing as you regarding a completely free, unregulated market that doesn't have worker rights.
 
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The maintenance at the University is all unionized -- so we can't do anything ourselves. And, they seem to just arbitrarily charge whatever they want for their work -- replacing doors, painting, etc.

I got yelled at because the window in my office was painted shut and I decided to chip the paint off so I could open it.


Edit: Also, akin to Dave, my wife and I have a similar joke about the building quality of parts of our house. I am certain that the contractor's mouth-breathing nephew built our deck....just a lot of shoddy work.
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Steve Cates
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My horror story. The union wouldn't take a 2% pay cut to save 14 teaching positions in my district. I, as a first year teacher, got cut. They now have 40 kids per classroom and 2% more money in their pocket.
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Bojan Ramadanovic
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cmontgo2 wrote:
djgutierrez77 wrote:
Rulesjd wrote:
bjlillo wrote:
bjlillo wrote:
Rulesjd wrote:
How about we collect anecdotes on other folks who misbehave like politicians, doctors, lawyers, school teachers, priests, airline pilots, equity traders, mortgage brokers and so on. Then we can agitate to scrap ALL of their governing bodies cause they don't do anything positive, right?


Feel free to start your own thread. This one is about unions.


Since you apparently weren't capable, I started one for you.


No thanks. I don't find utility in focusing only on the negative aspects of members of institutions while ignoring the positive aspects.


What if those negative aspects are an inevitable outcome of the institution?


I would say that's a narrow and simplistic look at the situation. But I might say the same thing as you regarding a completely free, unregulated market that doesn't have worker rights.


Regulated market is perfectly fine.
Having labour law that prevents employer abuses is perfectly valid and desirable goal.

What is not desirable is labour law that tries to do so by giving pseudo-monopolistic status to the intermediary organizations which can then use this status to extract all sorts of rents from the businesses in addition to (sometimes) doing their job of fighting for labour standards.

Regulating labour market through empowering unions is akin to regulating food safety by privatizing FDA and telling food producers to "negotiate" with the newly private entity if they want to continue running their business.
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ironcates wrote:
My horror story. The union wouldn't take a 2% pay cut to save 14 teaching positions in my district. I, as a first year teacher, got cut. They now have 40 kids per classroom and 2% more money in their pocket.

That's impossible. Teachers and teachers' unions only care about the children.
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Chris Montgomery
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Euroncrowseye wrote:
djgutierrez77 wrote:
What if those negative aspects are an inevitable outcome of the institution?


cmontgo2 wrote:
I would say that's a narrow and simplistic look at the situation. But I might say the same thing as you regarding a completely free, unregulated market that doesn't have worker rights.


To which he might respond that a completely unregulated market has never been the aim except in the strawman arguments you and your ilk like to put forth.

'LOOK AT SOMALIA THEY HAVE NO LAWS WHY ISN'T IT THE RICHEST PLACE EVARRR!!!!1!'


If an unregulated market has never been the aim, then we begin to talk about who makes the rules. And when we start talking about who makes the rules, it inevitably comes down to each person's sense of "how it should be" - but somehow everyone likes to point the finger that "inefficient" unions without discussing the other side of the coin: abusive corporations that can afford to take care of their employees and don't. Unions help to put employees on a more equal footing with employers.

It should come as no surprise that even the U.S. Dept. of Labor admits that the power and influence of unions (and inversely proportionally, the power of employers over the workforce) has risen and fallen by the changes in labor laws. Today - there's more screaming about unions than ever - even though union membership is at it's lowest since the 1920s and U.S. corporations are making larger profits than ever - in the history of the world.

I'd also prefer that you don't draw broad conclusions about "me and [my] ilk".

ironcates example is a good one - the employees, rather being told that they were taking a 2% wage cut, were able to negotiate for it. What if the district had wanted to cut wages AND positions? Without a union, there'd be 40-student classes AND a pay cut. Why is it that the school district isn't blamed for those 14 positions lost? Did the school district truly not have the money (I'm not actually asking for an answer here, unless you're going to provide the financial statements of the school)? Why didn't the district discuss a wage freeze rather than a pay cut? Usually there is much more to the story than simply "the greedy union wouldn't take a pay cut to save my job." Employers frequently "allocate funds" to other projects and then claim they don't have the money, or they shuffle it around. It is a rare case where an employer shows it's books in an easy to understand, honest, and straight-forward fashion. More often, the story that never sees the light of day is that the district has plenty of funding to keep everyone employed without a wage cut, maybe they have to delay other projects, possibly, but the district is making the decision to do that, not the union. The district's appropriate role is to control it's budget, but often the focus on budget cuts is on wages rather than other areas - in my state we have Superintendents of Schools making over $200,000. They aren't unionized, so why doesn't the district reduce their salary to hire a few more teachers? This is but one example.

Employers typically want to take every opportunity curtail employee union wages first, before touching other areas of their budget. Why? Because it's easy and because they can get something for nothing - they save money without a cut to service or to other areas of the budget.

In cases where it can be demonstrably shown the the money simply isn't there, the union can then get together, talk about what is on the table and vote together to decide what to do.

I can point to many examples where unions have taken much larger pay concessions to save jobs. My union made pay concessions to save jobs because we saw that our City needed help. But we talked about it as a union and decided together what to do - we didn't all agree, but we all know that our employment situation is much stronger with everyone standing together rather than everyone acting for themselves.

I guess I'm saying there's two-sides to every coin. It's rarely "greedy unions" or "greedy corporations". Sometimes it's both, sometimes it's neither.

But once you agree that the market should be regulated (in some fashion), and once you agree that people should be able to freely associate with one another for a common purpose, you are also agreeing that - whatever your feelings about unions - they have a right to exist and to fight for their survival and to negotiate any contract they can obtain from their employer.

Many Americans enjoy the benefits that unions have worked for at the legislative level including the 40 hour work week, workers compensation laws, weekend pay, overtime pay, the minimum wage, and many other benefits. Most union wages also lift other boats - they set the premium on wages against which other employees can compare their salaries. It is no mistake that Toyota pays its non-union automotive employees $80,000 a year with good benefits. It's not because the non-union employees asked pretty-please; it's because the UAW's contract is the gold standard, and non-union employees who don't even participate in the collective bargaining process gain benefits from it.

All workers have these legal rights, not because a benevolent employer decided to grant them, but because workers used their unified voice and pocketbooks and votes to force them to.

I know many of you will disagree, but my opinion is that the good certainly outweighs the bad with unions, and the bad outweighs the good all too often in large-corporate management.
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Les Marshall
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djgutierrez77 wrote:
Rulesjd wrote:
bjlillo wrote:
bjlillo wrote:
Rulesjd wrote:
How about we collect anecdotes on other folks who misbehave like politicians, doctors, lawyers, school teachers, priests, airline pilots, equity traders, mortgage brokers and so on. Then we can agitate to scrap ALL of their governing bodies cause they don't do anything positive, right?


Feel free to start your own thread. This one is about unions.


Since you apparently weren't capable, I started one for you.


No thanks. I don't find utility in focusing only on the negative aspects of members of institutions while ignoring the positive aspects.


What if those negative aspects are an inevitable outcome of the institution?


Negative aspects are the inevitable outcome of any human institution. The question is whether and when the negative outweighs the positive. The next question is how to reform the institution to restore a positive balance.

Unfortunately some people just hear the word "union" and cannot seem to identify anything positive.
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Jason Leidich
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Rulesjd wrote:
djgutierrez77 wrote:
Rulesjd wrote:
bjlillo wrote:
bjlillo wrote:
Rulesjd wrote:
How about we collect anecdotes on other folks who misbehave like politicians, doctors, lawyers, school teachers, priests, airline pilots, equity traders, mortgage brokers and so on. Then we can agitate to scrap ALL of their governing bodies cause they don't do anything positive, right?


Feel free to start your own thread. This one is about unions.


Since you apparently weren't capable, I started one for you.


No thanks. I don't find utility in focusing only on the negative aspects of members of institutions while ignoring the positive aspects.


What if those negative aspects are an inevitable outcome of the institution?


Negative aspects are the inevitable outcome of any human institution. The question is whether and when the negative outweighs the positive. The next question is how to reform the institution to restore a positive balance.

Unfortunately some people just hear the word "union" and cannot seem to identify anything positive.


Well, I'd venture to say that sitting here reading stories about "good" union workers wouldn't be nearly as entertaining (thanks Media Culture!).
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