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Could someone explain to me the good about Unions?

Discussion in 'Questions and Answers' started by Seeking Answers, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. Seeking Answers

    Seeking Answers New Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    This is an issue I am going to have to face at my workplace very soon. I just don't know what's so great about having a Union represent me. Not saying they are bad or good, I just don't know or understand the whole purpose. Not sure if this is right forum but thought I'd throw it out there and see if anyone can help. I've read good and bad about unions.
  2. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

    Nov 1, 2009
    In a nutshell, if you went to your superior and demanded more paid holidays off and an annual raise to keep up with cost of living, they'd probably laugh you straight out of the office. A union does that type of negotiating on your behalf, and since they represent most or all of the employees there it's much easier for them to reach agreeable terms. Another benefit is that you will be protected to some degree from being terminated or singled out because you'll have an influencial representative to speak on your behalf.

    The downside is that you will belong to a group that, for better or worse, has the power to decide your ultimate fate with the company. You are expected to report any issues to the union and allow them to handle it, which sometimes means that you will not have the opportunity to speak for yourself. If the union tells you not to go to work in protest, then you're not supposed to go to work.

    Of course, this is all just off the top of my head...there's many good websites out there that go into much greater detail. Check out this article-

    bg34, eric and MikeHoncho like this.
  3. eric

    eric New Member

    Oct 11, 2009
    unions are made to UNITE the workforce and help them acheive common goals by giving them one organized front and voice, instead of many individual workers who can be dealt with individually and turned against each other.

    but like all things, unions are run by people, and PEOPLE are flawwed. so there is always the potential for good or bad.
    Fin D, Themole and bg34 like this.
  4. DeDolfan

    DeDolfan Premium Member Luxury Box

    Nov 23, 2007
    Rehoboth Beach
    I'm a retired Teamster so I may be a bit biased. Basically, unions negotiate your total compensation pkg for you, ie salary, medical, vacations, etc. This saves you and your co-workers from ever having to confront management directly about anything. just keep in mind that when it is contract time again, the union negotiates a contract but you have to vote on it to ratify it. The union can not consummate the contract by their own doing. Keep in mind that during any negotiations, in order to get extra things, you must give up some things to balance things out for the company. Companies can cover things like pat raises thru annual price increases but for other things there must be some concessions. For instance, in our local back in the day, the union scale was $X and the starting rate scale was something like 75% of X with monthly increases until they reach full scale, typically 6 months. When I retired in 04, that escalating rate scale was 2 yrs instead of 6 mos. Now it may be longer, I don't know. But those kind of things didn't affect us current workers, only the new hires. Of course they thought it wasn't fair to them after they found out but it's like any contract, you liked the terms enough to sign it then so it should be then as well. Usually, most concessions only affect the new hires and is why you here about this union gave up so much in concessions to get a contract on the table from the company. Our retirement benefits come solely from the union but while you're working, never forget it is the company that signs your checks. Don't ever think you have carte blanche privileges just because you're union. Some ppl think that and most usually have a rude awakening. Anyway, don't be afraid of unionizing. You will hear a lot of ppl saying how bad they are but I always figured they were jealous that they didn't have a similar situation. But that's MO only. But it all really boils down to this, do your job and do it well and you'll likely not have much to worry about.
    bg34 likes this.
  5. azfinfanmang

    azfinfanmang Premium Member Luxury Box

    Nov 23, 2007
    Okay, picture this:

    You become Union
    You work your *** off cause you are ambitous and to impress and work towards a nice raise.
    The guy next to you does jack-squat.
    Guess what, you both end up with the exact same position and raise. Isn't going to change.
    Also, the Union stewards decide that the company isn't meeting what they want or expect, well of course then you go on strike, whether or not you agree with the reasoning or not.
    Fortunately, my company is slowly but surely completely doing away with Unions, and most people are happier...including those that used to be Union.
    The ones that aren't happy are of course the Stewards, and those that are fine with status quo because they strive for mediocracy and feel entitled to do so. :up:
    bg34 likes this.

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