Union And Corporate Leadership Collude To Their Own Benefit, To The Surprise of No One.

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Oscar Gordon

A Navy Turbine Tech who learned to spin wrenches on old cars, Oscar has since been trained as an Engineer & Software Developer & now writes tools for other engineers. When not in his shop or at work, he can be found spending time with his family, gardening, hiking, kayaking, gaming, or whatever strikes his fancy & fits in the budget.

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42 Responses

  1. Avatar Marchmaine
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    says:

    One of the reasons I’m so Bearish on Warren and her “Populist reforms” is that they are mostly useless reforms like putting Labor Representatives on Corporate Boards… I’ve sat on Corporate Boards, and let me tell you… there’s no reform coming from Corporate boards: purely co-option (or worse).

    Now, if the bailout had taken the opptunity to allocate fractional ownership, let’s say 30%-40% to labor on an hours worked basis… then we’d have taken a bad situation and experimented with a new model that might address some of the underlying problems. Same with GM… I lost all my shares in GM by judicial decree; the restructuring at that point could have done darn near whatever it wanted.Report

    • Avatar Gabriel Conroy in reply to Marchmaine
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      says:

      I, too, have wondered about the usefulness of having labor representatives on corporate boards. The argument I usually encounter is, “Germany does it, and that’s good, because Europe.” But if it does work out well in Germany, there are probably other reasons, or differences in how those corporations are run form how it works in the U.S. And I doubt if it’s without its problems. (And yes, I realize my “because Europe” is a caricature of the real argument for doing it.)Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Always put *LAYERS* in. Dump the money into the pension fund and then skim off of the pensions.

    Kids today can’t even graft right.Report

  3. Avatar michaeljdavis24
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    says:

    The solution to all of this is employee owned companies. Instead of having a battle between management and union let them be allies in the production of profit. Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to michaeljdavis24
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      says:

      That doesn’t actually work out except in the short term. Suppose you give each employee shares in the company. Eventually those employees retire or change jobs, and their shares go with them. It’s not long before the worker-owners don’t actually work there and have no connection to the current employees.

      If Henry Ford had followed that model, virtually all of the employee stock he paid out would now be held by people whose only connection to Ford is that their grandfather or great-grandfather once worked there, which would apply to just about all of us. The amount of stock held by current employees would be so diluted by stock held by earlier employees that for current employees, it wouldn’t noticeably differ from their IRA holding a small bit of Ford stock in their portfolio, and Ford would know that virtually none of its stock is held by current employees.

      You could try a fix for this that forced employees to give up their stock when they leave, in which case employee ownership is just an illusion because they don’t really own the stock, the company does, and sticks an employee name on part of it like they were putting meaningless little gold stars on the employee performance posters in the break room. Such a scheme would also create an incentive for executive to make the stock price take a temporary nosedive right before they fire everybody, so that the employee stock buy-back is cheap, cheap, cheap. Then the company has its stock back and the employees are out the cash they would have been paid in lieu of stocks.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to George Turner
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        says:

        It depends on how you do it.

        But it does work, there are lots of companies that have been operating for decades as employee owned. They aren’t as common because it requires such companies to start as such, which can be tricky, or to become such through the actions of the owner(s) or some kind of employee buyout.

        But they are hardly short term firms.Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to Oscar Gordon
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          says:

          Oh, the firms might be long term, but the longer they’re around the more diluted the current employees’ own stock shares become. Those can still be very nice benefits, as when UPS went public, but over time the benefits accrued to current employees (a voice, control, and performance incentives) should fade to those of any other perk, such as an IRA, as the company ends up being owned by its pensioners and their descendants.

          I know Marx and much of the left thought the workers revolution would be a magic bullet, but it isn’t. Those who get in on the ground floor of a startup typically gain most of the benefits, and business goes on as usual. Further, employee ownership has been practiced for countless centuries, and is just one of the many ways a company can structure its finances. Often a large investor will come in and throw around lots of money to buy a majority stake from the employees, and if the employees aren’t free to sell their ownership then were they ever really owners?

          One of the safe bets under our capitalist system is that if there is a way to improve things that works, lots of companies are already using it – because it works.Report

          • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to George Turner
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            says:

            The thing about employee owned is that once you are no longer an employee, you divest yourself of the ownership interest. Employee owned companies are usually not publicly traded, and if they have any stock, it’s closely held, or maybe non-voting. That is different from employer stock options.Report

    • Avatar Gabriel Conroy in reply to michaeljdavis24
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      says:

      The solution to all of this is employee owned companies. Instead of having a battle between management and union let them be allies in the production of profit.

      That might help (though, as Oscar says, it could depend on how it’s done), but there’d still be a distinction between management and labor. There would still be the need to discipline workers and workers will still have to (or want to) carve out their own prerogatives and assert their own rights.Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to michaeljdavis24
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      says:

      There are a bunch of obvious reasons why employee ownership is suboptimal. Off the top of my head:

      – Industries vary widely in terms of capital requirements per worker, and it doesn’t make sense to have workers in some industries own much more capital than workers in other industries just because those industries differ in capital requirements.

      – Holding a bunch of your own company’s stock is generally regarded as a bonehead move, because a) your investments should be diversified, and b) if your company goes broke, you lose your paycheck and your investment.

      – Businesses can take a long time to be profitable, and many (most?) never do. This is a huge problem for employee ownership, because it means the workers are going without paychecks the whole time, which is a pretty big risk for the average person. Having some people provide labor and others front capital solves this problem. Loans are only a viable option here if the chance of success is very high.

      Employee ownership can work for industries with low capital requirements and low risk of total failure. Service-oriented businesses like law firms and doctors offices are a good example, because there are efficiency gains from service providers splitting overhead costs.

      It kind of works for software startups, because capital requirements are low, but since risk is so high, loans aren’t an option and founders have to be willing to live off savings until revenues start coming in. Which is why they often turn to outside investors to get a paycheck and limit their potential downside.

      Also, if employee-owned firms were significantly more productive than investor-owned firms, it would already be the dominant model. People have been trying to make this happen for a very long time, and employee-owned firms just aren’t dominating most industries the way they would be if it were a legitimately superior business model.Report

      • Avatar Gabriel Conroy in reply to Brandon Berg
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        says:

        I don’t know how this fits in the points you made, Brandon, but the only “employee owned” firm I worked at was a bank. It had probably 40 branches (or so) throughout the state and a couple in California, so it was probably medium-sized, but it had a sizeable portion of my state’s market share. I believe it was the third largest? (Could be wrong….also, I don’t know if I’m talking about “market share” or about “capital holdings.”)

        It was a situation where the “employees” who owned a large majority of the stock happened to be the board of directors and other types. The rest were varying degrees of ESOP participants.

        In terms of my experience, it was pretty much like another bank I worked at that wasn’t employee owned (and was much larger). Management was management, the workers were workers, and we all had to toe the company line. The employment were at will. People were fired not-infrequently (but also not often), and were walked out by security. Supposedly they were fired for good reasons, but managers never told us worker bees what those reasons were (and again, it was at will employment). Employee ownership didn’t translate into “formal voice for employees, as employees, in the management of the firm.”

        And yet, the employee-owned bank actually treated us noticeably better than the other bank. Its management seemed more responsible and less willing to downsize. Supposedly the company was structured so that it couldn’t just sell out to a larger bank. We were paid probably higher than the going rate for our labor, and unlike the bigger bank, almost all of us were full-time (at the bigger bank, a good chunk of us were either “permanent part time” or “peak” employees limited to 1,000 hours a year).

        Was that bank’s better treatment (from my view) because it was employee owned? I don’t really know. I suspect that management prerogatives and the incentives management and the firm faced made it necessary for them to treat us (somewhat) better than the bigger bank. But maybe employee ownership had something to do with it.Report

  4. Avatar Chip Daniels
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    says:

    Everyone involved should be jailed.Report

  5. Avatar Aaron David
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    says:

    With all the players involved, Martin Scorsese should have directed this.Report

  6. Avatar Doctor Jay
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    says:

    You know, I have personally never thought that labor leaders were pure and noble. They are exactly as pure and noble as corporate leaders are. Because people.

    I support labor because it’s a countervailing center of power to corporate leadership, that will (usually) advocate on the behalf of workers. And in many cases, still today, that’s what happens.

    So yeah. Throw the lot of them in jail. It’s a betrayal of trust on the highest order.Report

    • Avatar greginak in reply to Doctor Jay
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      says:

      Yeah. Unions give labor power which is good. But they are still people with all the attendant faults. I heard many years ago from a friend working an anti union casino in Atlantic City that a company gets the union they deserve. That casino treated workers well so unions weren’t an issue. Some businesses get aggressive, difficult unions and i think i know why.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Doctor Jay
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      says:

      My chief criticism with regard to how we do Unions today has to do with the near dogmatic support of a given Union, even when it’s rotten.

      Like, I love the idea of the workforce coming together to make sure they have a voice and can apply pressure to a company that isn’t treating them fairly, etc. What really irks me is how intolerant a lot of Unions are to dissenting voices within their own ranks. It’s how you get leadership that is corrupt, because the people who would normally be speaking against the leadership are actively silenced, or choose to leave.

      And I know there are Unions that are not like that, where the membership works to be inclusive and tolerates opposing POVs, and we never hear about them because they tend to function well and never make the news.

      But big ones like UAW, or SEIU, they got problems, and I suspect a lot of that stems from the culture within the Union (see also: rotten corporations, e.g. Boeing). It’s a tough nut to crack. Powerful employers need to have powerful Unions to act as a counter, and power is dangerous (it’s also damned useful, but still very dangerous).Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to Oscar Gordon
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        says:

        All too often, once both sides start down that road, they end up fighting over a corpse as their company is outclassed by competitors (often foreign) whose energies are devoted to the product instead of winning internal turf wars where both sides are just ensuring that nobody can do much of anything.

        The US auto industry went down that path because Ford’s management was so abusive, and the ramifications spread to other automakers as the necessarily militant and empowered UAW prospered. The post-war Japanese auto industry took a different approach, keeping labor and management on the same side, and over several decades Japanese automakers devastated the Big Three.Report

        • Avatar DavidTC in reply to George Turner
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          says:

          The US auto industry went down that path because Ford’s management was so abusive, and the ramifications spread to other automakers as the necessarily militant and empowered UAW prospered.

          But…but…treating workers well cuts into profits!! Won’t someone think of the shareholders?!

          …oh, wait, treating workers poorly bankrupted basically the entire auto industry. Whoops.

          I’m sure the stock market has learned a valuable lesson and will no longer prize idiotic short-term gains over long-term corporate health.

          Or, alternately, the stock market has learned to cannibalize companies and then quickly sell their stock to suckers. They probably learned that, now that I think of it. Maybe we’ll run out of suckers who will buy that stock, I’m sure they’ve stopped being born by now?

          I kinda think you’re right, that employee ownership, while still useful, is not a magic bullet that will fix this stupidity. I still think we ought to be looking into making stock transactions happen over a much longer amount of time, where the majority of people who purchase stock expect to hold it for years, and to make their money via dividends, not resell.

          And…uh…we need to make those people actually vote their shares, too, which is an oft-ignored thing. We need shareholders who say ‘No, in fact, laying off a quarter of our workforce and trying to get the rest to cover for them sounds like a _horrible_ idea, and I don’t care how good it makes ‘next quarters’ profits…what about the quarter after that, and after that?’ Or, even better ‘Wait, we’re going to pay our CEO _what_ if he hits _stockprice_ goals? How about we don’t?’Report

          • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC
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            says:

            …oh, wait, treating workers poorly bankrupted basically the entire auto industry. Whoops.

            How are those workers “treated poorly”? One of the big issues with the industry is those guys are seriously overpaid and the union makes their host companies inefficient.

            Effectively every automaker becomes a group of knuckle dragging idiots if they need to deal with the UAW even if they’re successful in other countries. However the automakers here that didn’t need to deal with the UAW did fine.Report

      • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Oscar Gordon
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        says:

        A union’s job is to protect people from management.
        The issue then becomes who protects them from the union.
        Start listing what needs to be done and it looks a lot like the gov… which brings us back to “why does the union exist”?Report

        • Avatar Gabriel Conroy in reply to Dark Matter
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          says:

          I’d rephrase what a union’s job is, and in the process tweak what I see as the underlying problem/tension in unions. By my way of looking at it, it’s not so much to protect people from management, but to protect the interests of the bargaining unit. Protecting those interests could theoretically mean going against the interests of any individual worker.

          Having said that was the underlying problem, I don’t think I have “made the case against unions.” It’s possible to say that enough workers benefit more under union representation than without, and that they’d fare less well and their interests be more systematically disregarded without the union. In other words, the interests of the bargaining unit probably aligns well enough with workers’ interests. But the alignment is never perfect.

          That of course is when the union is doing what it’s supposed to do and isn’t corrupt. When it’s corrupt, then we have a different set of problems.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Oscar Gordon
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        says:

        What really irks me is how intolerant a lot of Unions are to dissenting voices within their own ranks. It’s how you get leadership that is corrupt, because the people who would normally be speaking against the leadership are actively silenced, or choose to leave.

        I feel I should point out that this problem exists because laws are designed to cripple unions. Specifically, it is incredibly hard to replace a union in a place that supposedly already has one speaking ‘for the people’.

        This is on purpose. Industry don’t want unions, but if they have to have them, they’d rather have one they can corrupt and then it stays in power and is hard to be removed.

        You want to fix this problem, you have to let people start competing unions in the same company. Which also means you have to allow less than 50% of the people to be in a union.

        Anytime you see something wrong with the union system as set up in the US, ask yourself: Why is it that way? The answer will always be: Because corporate America wants it that way. Unions, as constructed, are literally the least effective system that corporate America could get in.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to DavidTC
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          says:

          +1Report

        • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC
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          says:

          The money on the checks being used to buy these laws probably came from the unions who directly benefit from them and not the corportations which only indirectly benefit.Report

          • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Dark Matter
            Ignored
            says:

            Well, it’s an interesting point that current unions, especially the larger ones who don’t want competition, probably support such laws now

            …but, no, as far as I can tell, the law stopping employers from recognizing minority unions existed from the very start. (Weirdly, there’s an exception for the construction industry, I do not know why.) Unions…were not bribing Federal politicians at the time, union law only exists because unions basically threatened to have absolutely no one work until they got some protections under the law.

            And it’s back, back when the law was set up, that employers were required to only negotiate with one union. Because too many unions mean workers keep jumping ship to whatever union gets the best deal. (And this is also why unions cannot negotiate better paychecks for only their own workers.)

            And you’re about to say ‘Wait, that’s a law on employers, not unions?!’. This is because most anti-union law is, paradoxically, framed as on employers, to bar them from being to do things…so that unions can’t legally demand those things. Like right-to-work states bar employers from agreeing to a contract where they will only work with a specific union.

            Incidentally, the existence of right-to-work states is particularly surreal when you notice this: If I was an employer in those states, it would be illegal for me to sign a union contract asserting that all my employees must join the union (Despite the fact I can make them do pretty much anything else in an at-will employment state, including belonging to _other_ associations), but it is somehow illegal for for those workers who have opted out of that union to make _their own_ union….or, they can do that, but I couldn’t legally recognize it.

            Kinda hard to justify that on any grounds except ‘We don’t want unions, and if we have to have them, let’s make sure we can subvert them’.Report

            • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC
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              says:

              Well, it’s an interesting point that current unions, especially the larger ones who don’t want competition, probably support such laws now…

              You’re using the word “now” to mean “during the last 70+ years”. The situation which predates our grandfathers isn’t useful for evaluating the benefits of unionism currently.

              as far as I can tell, the law stopping employers from recognizing minority unions existed from the very start.

              85+ years.

              Because too many unions mean workers keep jumping ship to whatever union gets the best deal.

              An employer makes a deal on Monday and then needs to renegotiate the deal on Wednesday? That sounds like a problem.

              Like right-to-work states bar employers from agreeing to a contract where they will only work with a specific union.

              A union shows up, puts the economic equiv of a gun to the head of a business, and tells them other people can’t have jobs? Speaking as an “other people”, that also sounds like a problem.

              Kinda hard to justify that on any grounds except ‘We don’t want unions, and if we have to have them, let’s make sure we can subvert them’.

              “Subvert them” is claiming union corruption is someone else’s fault. Union corruption, abuse of its own workers, abuse of other workers, hindrance of the company, and providing bad outcomes for the company’s consumers are non-trivial costs.

              To balance that, as a consumer, what benefit do I get from unions? And let’s limit that to the last 50 or so years and exclude 75+ years ago when it was legal and expected to work someone to death.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                You’re using the word “now” to mean “during the last 70+ years”. The situation which predates our grandfathers isn’t useful for evaluating the benefits of unionism currently.

                You said they paid for the law. I pointed out that they did not ‘pay for the law’. Also…you seem to think this is something to do with the ‘benefits of unionism’. No, this is a monopoly restriction on union competition. Blaming ‘unionism’ on government-granted monopolies on unions is akin to blaming ‘capitalism’ on government-granted monopolies by power companies. Yes, those specific entities might love that monopoly, but so what? That doesn’t make power companies or unions a bad idea.

                An employer makes a deal on Monday and then needs to renegotiate the deal on Wednesday? That sounds like a problem.

                Oh no, not ‘problems’ for corporations!!!

                I didn’t say they’d have to renegotiate any deal. A union that signs a contract would be bound by it.

                I said, people in a union could drop out. Like they now in fact, the Supreme court just said employees have a constitutional right to drop out of union representation, because union representation is speech.

                And then, I said…they’d make their own union.

                Which…if it’s ‘speech’…it seems very odd that it can be banned. Hey, look, it’s yet another stupid implication of Janus. Wooo!

                A union shows up, puts the economic equiv of a gun to the head of a business, and tells them other people can’t have jobs?

                Refusing to work for someone unless that person agreed to a certain things beforehand is not the same as ‘holding a gun to someone’s head’.

                Refusing to work for someone, for any reason, is a constitutional right guaranteed by the 13th amendment.

                Speaking as an “other people”, that also sounds like a problem.

                Unions, like literally any other supplier of anything, should have the right to negotiate an exclusive clause with any business that agrees to such a clause, that the business will only use the thing they are supplying and not their competitors.

                It’s like Coca-Cola negotiating with a restaurant or a baseball player negotiating with a sportwear company. Everyone else can do do that sort of exclusivity, it can even happen _in labor_ already, in that some businesses have negotiated exclusivity with a specific temp agency. Unions for some reason cannot in many states.

                There appears to be no explanation for this difference with unions vs. anyone else. Except…that businesses don’t want such a thing to be legal.

                In fact, the exact same people arguing shouldn’t regulate how companies treat customers, turn around and argue that we do need to regulate how unions treat businesses! But…if businesses aren’t happy with how their workers (collectively) treat them, they should go find different workers! That’s how the free market works!

                To balance that, as a consumer, what benefit do I get from unions?

                I don’t know, what benefit do I get from banks issuing fees for stupid shit? What benefit do I get from forced arbitration? What benefit do I get from the sale of tobacco products at all? Are you seriously proposing we should start outlawing anything that doesn’t benefit ‘consumers’? That all corporate behavior should be filtered through who it benefits and barring it if it doesn’t benefit consumers? Even _I_ don’t argue that, and I’m a fricking far-left lunatic.

                It’s really amazing how suddenly the free market doesn’t matter when it’s the labor market, and everyone becomes incredibly worried how the costs get passed on. You know what other costs get passed on? Multi-million dollar CEO salaries. We going to do anything about that? What about stock dividends? Those presumably were created from the sale of goods, and thus…are costs passed on to the consumers.

                Are you proposing that all businesses should have to run as non-profits? Or is it just the _labor_ side you don’t want having a cut of things?Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                You said they paid for the law. I pointed out that they did not ‘pay for the law’.

                We have a 70+ year history of the unions being in bed with the politicians. At this point we can assume the law giving the union a monopoly is because of their influence and not in spite of it.

                Oh no, not ‘problems’ for corporations!!! I didn’t say they’d have to renegotiate any deal. A union that signs a contract would be bound by it. I said, people in a union could drop out. Like they now in fact, the Supreme court just said employees have a constitutional right to drop out of union representation, because union representation is speech.

                This is a specious. I-a-worker sign onto Union A on Monday, I sign onto Union B on Wednesday. Whatever Union A contracts is simply irrelavent because they don’t have me any more. This is a massive problem for the company.

                Refusing to work for someone, for any reason, is a constitutional right guaranteed by the 13th amendment.

                That “for any reason” is doing a lot of heavy lifting here. In reality attempting to extend my desires on other people has serious limits. For example me refusing to work next to any blacks presumably can’t be written into contracts.

                Me, insisting that someone else be fired, sounds abusive. It especially sounds abusive in the context of me using that power to force them into a relationship with me. If the Union wants to supply labor then they can supply labor (that’s called a contracting shop).

                Even if I get a group together and insist on that it still sounds like something which would be instantly abused. Giving unions the right to abuse uninvolved people or to force them to use their “product” sounds like a seriously bad idea.

                Unions, like literally any other supplier of anything, should have the right to negotiate an exclusive clause with any business that agrees to such a clause, that the business will only use the thing they are supplying and not their competitors.

                The Union isn’t supplying anything here (that btw is the “difference”). A “supplier” of labor is called a Contracting company and then all the relationships are clear and then yes, it can indeed negotiate itself sole supplier status. That relationship would also give it a ton of responsibilities it doesn’t want, i.e. recruiting and policing the quality of what it’s supplying.

                Note you’re also jumping back and forth between unions insisting on having a monopoly being a good thing and them not having monopoly power would be a good thing.

                Dark Matter: To balance that, as a consumer, what benefit do I get from unions?
                I don’t know, what benefit do I get from banks issuing fees for stupid shit?

                I get no benefit from those fees. I do however get a ton of benefit from banks.

                Since you weren’t able to come up with an answer I think the answer is I-a-consumer get no benefit from unions. Let’s make it more general, what benefits do unions supply to anyone? I can think of a few, they shield the workforce from an abusive management. However it’s very difficult to square that benefit with “they’re allowed to abuse the workers they claim to serve and can be inflicted upon them”.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                This is a specious. I-a-worker sign onto Union A on Monday, I sign onto Union B on Wednesday. Whatever Union A contracts is simply irrelavent because they don’t have me any more. This is a massive problem for the company.

                Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough. I don’t care about ‘problems for companies’. Because the problem you’re describing is called ‘the free market’. If workers aren’t happy with their pay, they get to ask for more, and not work until they get it. Weird concept, I know.

                You can make just as good an argue for price controls. Changes prices on supplies cause problems for companies. It’s the same thing. Or the changing price of gasoline.

                Why are we worried about slowing down the _extremely_ sticky and slow-moving labor market, and not the shipping costs that vary from week to week?

                In reality attempting to extend my desires on other people has serious limits. For example me refusing to work next to any blacks presumably can’t be written into contracts.

                Comparing ‘things that are illegal in general’ to ‘things that are illegal to put in contracts in a specific instance’ are not the same thing.

                Any sort of contact that excludes black people would be illegal. In fact, just that _behavior_ is illegal, without a contract.

                Meanwhile, exclusivity in _every sort of contract_ except labor is allowed. In labor, though, it’s often forbidden.

                To explain why that difference is justified, you have to explain why labor is different from exclusivity in soft drinks, for example. Why is the Zaxbys, in the contract they signed with Coke, allowed to only sell that company’s soft drinks, but it can’t be allowed to sign a contract with their union to only employ that union’s members?

                Me, insisting that someone else be fired, sounds abusive.

                If ‘insisting that someone else be fired’ was abusive, then all companies would be abusive because all fire people. (Who are not themselves, I guess.) Why can companies do that, and not unions?

                It especially sounds abusive in the context of me using that power to force them into a relationship with me.

                No, you’re not. That would be you forcing the company to force them to do something as part of their employment, which is…literally the premise of employment. ‘Do that thing, or you get fired.’

                You seem to think I want to give unions power over people. I don’t. I want to give unions the power to force companies to use their existing power over employees in specific ways. I’m not adding any power, I’m saying ‘Let companies sign their power away to unions, like they can with other businesses, or literally random people on the street’.

                Right now a gym owner can walk up to a company, and sign a contract with them that demands every single employee join that gym and in return the company gets $10. This is entirely legal, and the company can fire anyone who doesn’t join. It’s absurd, and would get a lot of pushback by their employees, but it’s legal. (Unless the cost of the membership would bump people below min-wage, and there’s some tax implications, blah blah blah, but it’s possible to do it legally.)

                Unions…cannot do that.

                A “supplier” of labor is called a Contracting company and then all the relationships are clear and then yes, it can indeed negotiate itself sole supplier status

                Uh, no. No. Super-no. These ‘contracting shop’ would not be legal under labor laws. There’s actually a lot of laws about contractors and how they are, and a…steel company, for example, that attempted to hire its entire workforce, every day, as a contractor from a third party, would not…be legal.

                California, in fact, just clarified some of these rules with a new law, stating that contractors cannot be in the primary line of work as the business that hires them. Now, other states aren’t quite that strict, I will admit. But there are still rules. Under IRS guidelines, for example, contractors aren’t supposed to be told how to do their jobs! (As opposed _what_ to do.) Or even _get trained_ at all.

                Now, you might be thinking of temp agencies, but, temp workers aren’t legally contractors. The temp worker is working for whatever the actual company is they’re working at. The temp agency just handles the hiring and passes-through the salary and whatnot.

                Note you’re also jumping back and forth between unions insisting on having a monopoly being a good thing and them not having monopoly power would be a good thing.

                A single corporation agreeing to exclusivity in supply is not a monopoly. Most corporations, in fact, agree to something like that, in some manner. For example, all franchises agree to only be supplied by the company they have franchised. If I own a McDonalds, it’s not a monopoly that I can only buy meat from McDonalds. Why? Because plenty of other people sell meat! I just agreed, deliberately, to only buy theirs, as part of my operating contract with McDonald’s.

                Even non-franchises do things like that… ‘Agree to sell only my stuff and not my competitors and I’ll give you a discounted price’. It’s entirely legal.

                Likewise, a local company that agrees requires workers to join a union, in their contract with the union, creates no monopoly.

                Since you weren’t able to come up with an answer I think the answer is I-a-consumer get no benefit from unions.

                And what benefit to consumers is having companies _charge for things_ instead of just me getting them for free?

                Oh, wait, right, there’s another side to that equation, the workers. And framing things only on one side is very silly.

                Let’s make it more general, what benefits do unions supply to anyone?

                So you do want a Command Economy, then? Do we only allow corporate organizations that provide benefits to the people?

                My theory is, and this is going to sound crazy, we could let the market decide. If workers wish for there to be unions, workers will create unions. Clearly, it is helping them in some manner, or they wouldn’t be doing it.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t care about ‘problems for companies’. Because the problem you’re describing is called ‘the free market’.

                The situation I was describing was a total inability for the company to make a useful contract with a labor supplier. No, that’s not “the free market”.

                To explain why that difference is justified, you have to explain why labor is different from exclusivity in soft drinks, for example. Why is the Zaxbys, in the contract they signed with Coke, allowed to only sell that company’s soft drinks, but it can’t be allowed to sign a contract with their union to only employ that union’s members?

                Because that 2nd contract covers other people’s freedom of association. I-a-worker don’t want to be represented by a union because I don’t want to be beaten up if I disagree with it stealing my pension, it’s officers being bribed, or it ordering me to not work. I don’t want it taking money out of my paycheck that it hasn’t earned, doesn’t deserve, and I especially don’t want that money used to support agendas with which I disagree.

                If management is oppressive a union should have no problem selling their services to the workforce and justifying its existence. If it can’t justify its existence to the workers it’s supposed to be representing, and as you have failed to describe any benefit, then I don’t see why anyone should be forced to associate with it.

                If ‘insisting that someone else be fired’ was abusive, then all companies would be abusive because all fire people. Why can companies do that, and not unions?

                Because companies hold the power of the purse. I am trading my labor for their money. I have the ability to walk away from that relationship, and so do they. And not only is the relationship consensual but it’s trivial to explain it’s benefits to everyone involved.

                Likewise, a local company that agrees requires workers to join a union, in their contract with the union, creates no monopoly.

                If I don’t want to eat at McDonalds there are trivially lots of alternatives. This is not comparable to me needing to change jobs, or maybe even change entire industries.

                You seem to think I want to give unions power over people. I don’t. I want to give unions the power to force companies to use their existing power over employees in specific ways. I’m not adding any power, I’m saying ‘Let companies sign their power away to unions, like they can with other businesses,

                Forcing companies to use their existing power in a politically desired way seems like a government thing. This suggestion also has the problem of an abusive company forcing workers to join an abusive union.

                Comparing people and their jobs to McDonald drinks seems like a fairly invalid comparison on the face of it. What you should be doing is listing all the other forced associations and relationships that we inflict on people when we can’t describe any benefits to them.

                These ‘contracting shop’ would not be legal under labor laws. There’s actually a lot of laws about contractors and how they are, and a…steel company, for example, that attempted to hire its entire workforce, every day, as a contractor from a third party, would not…be legal.

                A Fortune 500 I worked for contracted out all of it’s technical document writers, and all of it’s CAD operators, and some important types of IT, and the help desk, and some others. Expanding that to machine operators doesn’t seem like a big leap.

                Dark Matter: Let’s make it more general, what benefits do unions supply to anyone?
                DavidTC: So you do want a Command Economy, then? Do we only allow corporate organizations that provide benefits to the people?

                :Blink: So… you can’t think of anything? We’re talking about whether workers can be involuntarily forced to join an organization they disagree with, which they don’t think represents them, which they think is corrupt and perhaps violent, and you can’t think of any benefits this organization supplies?

                To answer your question, I’m good with worthless organizations existing as long as it’s voluntary whether to associate with them. You’re proposing a serious non-consensual association where you can’t explain the benefits of its existence. That should require some heavy lifting to justify it, way more than a McDonalds drink.

                If workers wish for there to be unions, workers will create unions. Clearly, it is helping them in some manner, or they wouldn’t be doing it.

                There are situations (i.e. abusive management) that scream for it. There are other situations where there seem to be serious costs imposed on society with no benefit (i.e. government unions).Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                The situation I was describing was a total inability for the company to make a useful contract with a labor supplier. No, that’s not “the free market”.

                Companies don’t _currently_ have contacts with unions that require the unions to supply labor. There is no penalty for a union if the workers all quit. There can be penalties for _union_ behavior, like the union calling a strike if the contract is still in force, but not for workers simply not showing up.

                If a company wanted workers to be unable to walk off their jobs, companies can, and do, sign contracts with the workers requiring them to work, and actual penalties for failing to do so. Not with the union, with the workers. Unions do not supply labor, workers supply their own labor.

                But the problem is contracts have to provide consideration both ways, and no court would uphold a contact requiring employees to work for, say, the next six months or get penalized, without also requiring employers to actually continued to employ them for six months. Companies often don’t want to do that, they want to be able to fire people at will.

                We actually _have_ those contracts. Hollywood uses them all the time. An actor refuses to do the work according to the contract, they are penalized, under contract. Likewise, if they are fired…well, they aren’t fired, they’re just paid for no work. Those sort of contracts exist in other places, too.

                Because that 2nd contract covers other people’s freedom of association.

                You think you have a…right to not associate with people that your place of employment tells you to associate with? Well, technically, yes, I guess you do…it’s called not working there anymore.

                I-a-worker don’t want to be represented by a union because I don’t want to be beaten up if I disagree with it stealing my pension, it’s officers being bribed, or it ordering me to not work. I don’t want it taking money out of my paycheck that it hasn’t earned, doesn’t deserve, and I especially don’t want that money used to support agendas with which I disagree.

                Again, please explain how this is, in any manner whatsoever, different from what the _company_ can do to you?

                Because companies hold the power of the purse. I am trading my labor for their money. I have the ability to walk away from that relationship, and so do they. And not only is the relationship consensual but it’s trivial to explain it’s benefits to everyone involved.

                And now, I must ask the opposite question: How unions do differ from this?

                Maybe you could type out a comparison of things you think companies ‘of their own volition’ (Which they don’t really have, but whatever) should be able to make workers do, vs. things companies should be able to make workers do because third-party non-union requires the company make workers do it, vs. things a company should be able to make workers do because the union requires the company make workers do it? Like, list those things, and provide some justification of the differences.

                BTW, since you’re worried about ‘agenda with which you disagree’, I will point that while unions are forbidden from using mandatory union dues for political purposes, companies can legally require workers to participate in political actions, like attending political rallies.

                If I don’t want to eat at McDonalds there are trivially lots of alternatives. This is not comparable to me needing to change jobs, or maybe even change entire industries.

                So, the government should protect you, in some manner, from the hassle of having to switch jobs? Does that apply to…literally other reason you’d have switch jobs, like getting fired? Or does it _just_ apply to unions?

                What you should be doing is listing all the other forced associations and relationships that we inflict on people when we can’t describe any benefits to them.

                Are you asserting you’d _accept_ the government restricting those things? Because a lot of really obvious things spring to mind, things I don’t expect you to agree to regulate:

                #1 on the list: The requirement companies often have that their employees (and their customers!) accept the judgement of a third party in a lawsuit, aka, forced arbitration. Got anything to say there?

                A Fortune 500 I worked for contracted out all of it’s technical document writers, and all of it’s CAD operators, and some important types of IT, and the help desk, and some others. Expanding that to machine operators doesn’t seem like a big leap.

                The IRS is pretty clear about this. Those thing you mentioned…are not core company things. And in addition…companies often misuse contractors for things they can’t legally use contractors for. They can get away with this, generally, by no one noticing, but I promise you that if this business model of ‘all contractors’ showed up, people would notice.

                ..like, oh, they did with Lyft and Uber, who have now been sued and basically lost, because their ‘contracted drivers’ are clearly employees under any reasonable reading of the law. Although they will continue to flap around and draw things out for another few years.

                :Blink: So… you can’t think of anything? We’re talking about whether workers can be involuntarily forced to join an organization they disagree with, which they don’t think represents them, which they think is corrupt and perhaps violent, and you can’t think of any benefits this organization supplies?

                If you can’t refuse to join a union by simply quitting your job, you are being held as a slave, and should alert the police.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                Again, please explain how this is, in any manner whatsoever, different from what the _company_ can do to you?

                It’s not. However the company supplies money, jobs, and so forth. The union doesn’t bring any of that. It also doesn’t supply labor as the workers’ contract is with the company. Why it should be given authority it can abuse?

                I don’t understand why the company and the union should be on equal footing. If the union isn’t bringing anything to it’s relationship with me then the relationship shouldn’t be forced. That’s what we do for churches and other similar organizations. We don’t just hand out power and the ability to abuse people to an uninvolved organization simply because it wants power. What does it do to earn that if it’s not supplying money or labor?

                Companies don’t _currently_ have contacts with unions that require the unions to supply labor. … Unions do not supply labor, workers supply their own labor.

                We can add that to the other reasons why McDonald’s drinks aren’t a useful comparison. Those drinks are from a single source supplier, the union isn’t a supplier.

                You think you have a…right to not associate with people that your place of employment tells you to associate with? Well, technically, yes, I guess you do…it’s called not working there anymore.

                This is full circle. Why is it ethical, or even useful, for my employer to make joining a union a part of my job? Why should I be forced to associate with the union? Why is this not the equiv of making me join a church and also making me donate to that church?

                unions are forbidden from using mandatory union dues for political purposes,

                If my relationship with the union is involuntary and only exists because of politics, then just supporting the union’s existence is forcing me to support a political cause I oppose.

                So, the government should protect you, in some manner, from the hassle of having to switch jobs?

                You’re doubling down on comparing a job to a McDonald’s drink? Seriously? The ethics and morality of restricting a 20 minute transaction are the same as restricting a lifetime career? You’re also ignoring that the sole source supplier for McDonald’s is a supplier.

                Dark Matter: What you should be doing is listing all the other forced associations and relationships that we inflict on people when we can’t describe any benefits to them.

                DavidTC: Are you asserting you’d _accept_ the government restricting those things? Because a lot of really obvious things spring to mind, things I don’t expect you to agree to regulate:

                That’s a good start. I’d add the Draft to that list, and a bunch of other gov stuff. However that’s the government.

                When we’re talking about non-gov relationships which are both non-consensual and not-beneficial, the big one that comes to mind is slavery. Presumably you don’t want to equivalate forced unionism to that, but I’m drawing a blank here on other examples. State Churches in other countries?

                Dark Matter: Because companies hold the power of the purse. I am trading my labor for their money. I have the ability to walk away from that relationship, and so do they. And not only is the relationship consensual but it’s trivial to explain it’s benefits to everyone involved.

                DavidTC: And now, I must ask the opposite question: How unions do differ from this?

                The union isn’t supplying money, nor labor, nor a job, the relationship you want isn’t consensual, and you’ve yet to explain the benefits. So it’s the polar opposite of a company.

                If you can’t refuse to join a union by simply quitting your job,

                And why is it ethical to force someone to make this choice? Is this is why you’re equivalating careers to McDonald’s drinks?Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s not. However the company supplies money, jobs, and so forth. The union doesn’t bring any of that. It also doesn’t supply labor as the workers’ contract is with the company. Why it should be given authority it can abuse?

                ‘Given’ authority? If companies don’t want to sign a contract with that says what the union wants, they don’t have to.

                You keep operating in this space where I’m demanding unions have specific powers over companies or workers. No, I am not. I am saying ‘Unions and companies should not be forbidden by law from making specific agreements between themselves.’.

                And I should point…the currently allowed union contracts impact workers _all the time_. Like, every single piece of a union contract impacts workers, regardless of whether they’re in the union or not. Unions do things like require safety standards for the entire company, not just union members.

                I don’t understand why the company and the union should be on equal footing.

                You want the government to pick winners and losers, then. Have fun justifying that in a conservative framework.

                If the union isn’t bringing anything to it’s relationship with me then the relationship shouldn’t be forced.

                Companies agree to union contracts under their own free will. Now, there are actually things in this agreement process that are forced, and that is what I want to get rid of.

                This is full circle. Why is it ethical, or even useful, for my employer to make joining a union a part of my job?

                We know it’s useful because the company wouldn’t have signed the union contract otherwise.

                From the POV of the employees, of course, it becomes exactly the same thing as all rules you must follow to be employed somewhere, so whether it’s ‘useful’ or not a really strange question. The question in employment is always ‘Are you willing to this at the pay you are being offered’

                Why should I be forced to associate with the union? Why is this not the equiv of making me join a church and also making me donate to that church?

                Again, I repeat: The courts have held that companies can require workers to show at a Trump rally. Likewise, they can require you to wear a uniform that prompted Trump, and make you purchase that uniform from a company that supports Trump. (They can’t make you donate directly to Trump, but that’s a campaign contribution issue, not labor law.)

                They can require you to fly somewhere and stay in a Trump hotel, at your expense. (Only a few states require employees to reimburse expenses by law.)

                The fact you don’t seem to be paying attention to me saying this (because I did mention it before), rather implies you aren’t actually taking this seriously as a matter of freedom, and instead you just personally don’t like where unions are, politically.

                The union isn’t supplying money, nor labor, nor a job, the relationship you want isn’t consensual, and you’ve yet to explain the benefits. So it’s the polar opposite of a company.

                I don’t need to prove the ‘benefit’ of contracts that companies voluntarily into! If union contracts didn’t have benefits, companies won’t sign them, duh. (And the benefit to the companies is generally fairly obvious…their workers will work.)

                You’re the one interfering with a voluntary relationship because you think _you’re_ it in somewhere. You are not. It is an agreement between two fictional corporate entities, one for-profit company and one union. Which, is again, voluntary.

                If you have trouble with the relationships being offered to you from those entities because of the agreement between the two, do not join them.

                And why is it ethical to force someone to make this choice?

                Uh, Did you just saying a company saying ‘Either do this thing you really don’t like and offends your ethics, or we’ll fire you’ is unethical? Really? That’s the position you’re taking?

                I mean, maybe it is. An argument could be made. But the problem is, we let companies, under the law, say ‘We fire you’, no option, no choice, just…firing people. That can’t _possibly_ be more ethical than offering an option.

                If you want to argue that people should have a right to a job they already hold, regardless if the union comes in…you first need to deal the fact they literally don’t have such a right to their job, at all, in any manner.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                ‘Unions and companies should not be forbidden by law from making specific agreements between themselves.’.

                Those “specific agreements” which you want are to let the union reach into my pocket against my will and otherwise abuse me. Given how rare it is that we allow this sort of thing and how often we outlaw it, I don’t see why it should be legal.

                Dark Matter: I don’t understand why the company and the union should be on equal footing.

                David TC: You want the government to pick winners and losers, then. Have fun justifying that in a conservative framework.

                So you don’t have an answer?

                We know it’s useful because the company wouldn’t have signed the union contract otherwise.

                This is like saying bribery is useful, or racism is useful, or sexism is useful if someone gets the company to allow it. We tend to outlaw abusive involuntary relationships. Society dislikes the phrase “you can quit” as the answer to workplace abuse.

                The courts have held that companies can require workers to show at a Trump rally. Likewise, they can require you to wear a uniform that prompted Trump, and make you purchase that uniform from a company that supports Trump. They can require you to fly somewhere and stay in a Trump hotel, at your expense.

                This is heinous. If it happened often enough to attract attention it would be outlawed.

                You’re comparing union membership to being forced to support Trump, and you think this is ethical? If we had this happening any Fortune 500’s doing this sort of thing on any kind of scale it’d be a serious problem for the company.

                Did you just saying a company saying ‘Either do this thing you really don’t like and offends your ethics, or we’ll fire you’ is unethical? Really? That’s the position you’re taking?

                You will submit to sexual harassment or we will fire you.
                You will submit to racism or we will fire you.
                You will support Trump or we will fire you.

                Forced unionism seems to fall into this sort of “you will let them abuse you” category.

                If it’s specifically outlawed where other things aren’t, it’s because it’s been a problem.

                Further “offends your ethics” in this case includes: Forced association. Forced donation of money. Forced political support. The union threat of violence on members who refuse to follow it’s orders remains a thing. So basically we’re in organized crime territory.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Given how rare it is that we allow this sort of thing and how often we outlaw it, I don’t see why it should be legal.

                We don’t even vaguely outlaw this sort of thing. Ever. Even _slightly_. Here’s a fun example: Currently, people generally get paid via check from banks that no longer cash checks for free.

                So a fast food worker can be _required_ to pay a check cashing fee to Wells Fargo to get their paycheck, regardless of, for example, how they feel about Wells Fargo’s behavior in the last few decades. It’s okay for their company to make them pay $5 a month to Wells Fargo because Well Fargo gives the company a nice discount on printing checks or whatever, but not $5 a month to a union because the union demanded it in their contract with the company?

                And that’s not even talking about when it’s _hidden_, when companies don’t mention it, they just…take cut of the money you give them, or the money they should give you, and pass it to someone else without telling you.

                But, hey, let’s do that instead. Unions shouldn’t be able to demand workers join them…unions should just be able to demand the company pay a fee for all employees, regardless of how many of them are in the union. Let’s do away with union due altogether…the union just gets paid by the company, just like outsourced HR companies and corporate insurance and etc.

                Oh, wait, that’s yet another thing that is inexplicably illegal for _just_ union contracts. You have a justification for that?

                We tend to outlaw abusive involuntary relationships. Society dislikes the phrase “you can quit” as the answer to workplace abuse.

                Your definition for workplace abuse is almost surreal. It appears to be ‘willing to comply with job requirements by paying various fees’.

                As I pointed out, union fees are the only fees that the law seems to care about. A business can, in most states, require employees to drive hundreds of miles and literally not pay them back…assume the employees still make more than min wage, but whatever. (Businesses tend not to, but they can.)

                But, again, I repeat: If the problem is actually the fees, then the solution is fairly simple: The company should just pay the union directly, just like they often buy uniforms directly and other per-employee costs.

                Why is that illegal? Any ideas?

                If it happened often enough to attract attention it would be outlawed.

                It can’t be outlawed, it’s now a contitutional right. Companies have the right to free speech, remember?

                Which…also implies unions do. Hmm.

                If it’s specifically outlawed where other things aren’t, it’s because it’s been a problem.

                Yes, it certainly was a problem for the people who wanted it outlawed, which were…business owners who wanted less unionization.

                Further “offends your ethics” in this case includes: Forced association. Forced donation of money. Forced political support.

                I agree, and I Chik-Fil-A workers shouldn’t have to…oh, wait, no, you’re only talking about _union_ political support, right.

                You’re attempting to argue that workers have some sort of right to be employees, that employees have a right to a morally neutral place of work that doesn’t require them to support things they don’t agree with.

                That is a fine position (Although I will point out that’s utterly unsupported by law in any ‘at will’ state.), however, you for some reason are only apply that to _unions_, instead of, oh, the actual corporation they’re working for, who can now, somehow, have not only political but (somehow) religious beliefs, and support all sorts of crap.

                Please state how you feel about that.

                The union threat of violence on members who refuse to follow it’s orders remains a thing.

                No, it doesn’t. It is incredibly rare.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                a fast food worker can be _required_ to pay a check cashing fee to Wells Fargo to get their paycheck, regardless of, for example, how they feel about Wells Fargo’s behavior in the last few decades.

                That’s a transactional thing, i.e. pay for service. What service is the union providing?

                Let’s do away with union due altogether…the union just gets paid by the company, just like outsourced HR companies and corporate insurance and etc.

                This works really well if the union is providing a defined service and as such has both responsibilities and the power of the purse. If they’re not supplying labor, money, jobs, or even services then it’s more like a shake down and it’s very hard to see why they should be forced on people.

                Oh, wait, that’s yet another thing that is inexplicably illegal for _just_ union contracts. You have a justification for that?

                What service is the union trying to provide? Not stalking or intimidating other people?

                If it’s something else, define it and we can have a serious talk on what should be expected. However I’ve asked “what service” or “what benefit” multiple times and you keep ignoring that.

                Your definition for workplace abuse is almost surreal. It appears to be ‘willing to comply with job requirements by paying various fees’.

                Threat of violence. Forced political support. Forced association. Forced “fees” for services that apparently don’t exist because you’ve yet to define any benefits.

                Your example of the company equiv of making someone join a union is companies forcing their employees to support Trump. Where is that a problem?

                Dark Matter: The union threat of violence on members who refuse to follow it’s orders remains a thing.

                David TC: No, it doesn’t. It is incredibly rare.

                It’s expected to the point where union stronghold states Pennsylvania, California, Nevada, and Illinois have made it legal for unions to engage in stalking, harassment, and intimidation. Wisconsin allows unions to engage in what would otherwise be sabotage. California exempts them from being held accountable for threats of bodily injury.

                West Virginia excludes unions from being held accountable for “violence, or intimidation by threat of violence”. Page 16’s example strike (as in “one” strike) says Union members and representatives allegedly committed over 700 acts of violence and intimidation against replacement workers, including bombings, shootings, arson, and death threats

                As one leader put it with regard to a union’s violent actions, “I’m saying if you strike a match and put your finger in, common sense tells you you’re going to burn your finger.”31 The implication is simple: if you cross a union, you can expect to be subjected to exactly these kinds of threats and physical reprisals. 14 Stories about threats of violence and actual assaults abound and, indeed, they are so plentiful it is difficult to know which ones to highlight. (page 13)

                https://www.uschamber.com/sites/default/files/documents/files/1208_StateLawReview_R2.pdfReport

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                What service is the union trying to provide?

                The service that being provided is negotiation on the part of workers with the company. I don’t see how this confusing. That’s literally what unions are, a group the workers have created to negotiation on their behalf.

                And…you do realize that ‘US Chamber of Commerce’ is a _lobbying group_ that’s extremely anti-union, right? And…a lot of what is in that ‘informational packet’ is lies?

                Here’s a fun example of an outright lie: The ‘Researcher Protection Act’ does does not apply to union activities…_lawful_ union activities, like it says. And, perhaps most importantly…that act doesn’t make anything illegal to start with. That act adds misdemeanor penalties to already illegal thing. This for the purpose of, and I quote the bill, ‘By creating new crimes, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.’. I.e, it’s a stupid legal trick. But it’s so important that it got an entire paragraph in the pamphlet, because, again, the pamphlet is full of lies.

                Let’s pick a different lie: Wisconsin’s sabotage law. See, they want to pretend that it’s legal for union to break things, because union was excluded from ‘sabotage’. However, sabotage is a crime of treason. That’s what Wisconsin was outlawing as ‘sabotage’…breaking things specifically to cause this country to lose a war. Breaking things in _general_ is still a crime, and it’s called vandalism. Unions are not exempted from this crime.

                Another fun law that isn’t that what they claim it is: That West Virginia law about violence that union activities is excluded from? It’s _hate crime_ law. Labor organizing cannot be charged with additional _hate crimes_ under the bogus grounds it’s a politically-based hate crime. They can, of course, be charged with the _original crime_.

                I could go on and on. Literally look up any of these thing.

                Here’s another one: ‘Union members and representatives allegedly committed over 700 acts of violence and intimidation against replacement workers, including bombings, shootings, arson, and death threats’. Allegedly is doing a hell of a lot of work there. The union also alleged violence from the company. There clearly was some violence…on both sides, and, it’s weird how all objective sources say that, where the US Chamber of Commerce seems to think it was just the strikers. (And, uh…let’s not forgot the only actual deaths were five workers, but they died on the job so they don’t count, I guess.)Report

      • Avatar gabriel conroy in reply to Oscar Gordon
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        says:

        What really irks me is how intolerant a lot of Unions are to dissenting voices within their own ranks. It’s how you get leadership that is corrupt, because the people who would normally be speaking against the leadership are actively silenced, or choose to leave.

        And I know there are Unions that are not like that, where the membership works to be inclusive and tolerates opposing POVs, and we never hear about them because they tend to function well and never make the news.

        For all my criticisms of my own union, I have to admit it is as tolerant of dissenting views as can be hoped for. it and its leaders have their dogmatic moments, but every time I have voiced one of my many objections, I’ve always been listened to respectfully. They usually don’t agree with me, but they’re also not designating me as an enemy. All of that makes it easier for me to choose to remain in the union and voluntarily pay fair share dues, even though Janus says I don’t have to.

        That happy circumstance is largely because the union leaders are conscientious and the culture of the worksite allows for congeniality. However, it’s also because I’m very much in the minority as a “dissenter” (and maybe not much of a dissenter, since I still pay dues). Another reason is that at least for my worksite, these are flush times. Even when our budget was challenged a couple years ago, my organization has had a lot of financial resources. When things get tight and when management has to make some truly tough decisions, then maybe lines will be drawn and things will get acrimonious.Report

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