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Old 03-30-2008, 09:06 AM
 
Location: McHenry, IL
1,501 posts, read 2,261,605 times
Reputation: 1342
I'm not as educated as the rest of you on this topic, but I have worked a union job (medical in Boston, MA), and agree that many workers use the union as an excuse to slack off. Every time a new policy is adopted, or something doesn't go their way - off to the union rep they run! It's one thing to have representation to protect against being exploited, but another altogether to use that same representation as a license to be lazy and careless.

Potential business relocaters look at the DNews or Freep front pages and all they see day after day are pictures of striking auto workers with those "UAW ON STRIKE!" signs. If I'm sick of it as a resident of Michigan, I can only imagine what someone looking to open or relocate a business here must think. "Oh, to HELL with that!" is probably the most common response from those folks. There was a major nurses strike a couple years back at the hospital I work at, and a lot of good, skilled people ended up leaving because of it. It was bad for the hospital and bad for the community.

I'm not saying unions are completely destructive by any means. I am considering changing jobs because my employer has started forcing the people in my department to take on additional duties, including additional call, with other departments that we were not hired to work in, which none of us want anything to do with. We were not consulted about any of it, and there is no wage increase involved either. This is where a union could protect someone like myself, who moved 1,000 miles to take this job mostly because it did not include the duties that are now being forced upon me.

As far as the $5 an hour jobs go, isn't the minimum wage in Michigan over $7 an hour? Not that this would make a difference to me - if $7 an hour was the best I could do then I would be OUTTA HERE in search of something I could actually live on.
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Old 03-30-2008, 10:21 AM
 
20 posts, read 54,291 times
Reputation: 18
Sounds like you are trying to imply that non-union workers are unskilled. I have worked as an Electrician for 26 years and most of them (all except 6 months) were worked and trained as non-union. I will put my skills and knowledge against any union electrician. I would also put MOST of the non-union guys I know as very well trained and very knowledgeable. Union/non-union is NOT a basis for determining if the person is skilled or not.
************************************************** ****************
I never implied anything of the sort. I said unions offer excellent training vehicles and apprenticeship opportunities. They provide ready, skilled labor into a temporary market.
Most unions have mandatory drug testing, mandatory training in OSHA requirements.


I have worked on both sides of the fence, and I have found on large construction jobs in Michigan manned by union contractors and union employees perform in a very professional manner.

I dont recall anyone asking you to pay their union dues?

I expect to pay those dues as a part of my ability to have an organization representing my interests, whether its safety regulations on the job, negotiating a living wage whether its a pension plan, or whether I am able to participate in a good health care program. I am more than willing to pay a nominal fee, just as members of the US Chamber of Commerce require their members to pay a fee.

Nobody owes me that right, I earned it through hard work. I have worked hard for every dime I have made, a job wasnt given to me, nor was it protected after I secured it.

Licensed Electrical contractors can be qualified whether they are union contractors or self employed. I have known many non union electricians who have worked out of union halls in the past.

I dont have a problem paying a union dues, does not the US Chamber of Commerce requires dues for membership? In fact the Chamber of Commerce requires you to join them to get pooled Blue Cross Blue shield coverage. So should I require the US Chamber of Commerce not to require its members to pay association fees?
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Old 03-30-2008, 11:23 AM
 
20 posts, read 54,291 times
Reputation: 18
I'm not as educated as the rest of you on this topic, but I have worked a union job (medical in Boston, MA), and agree that many workers use the union as an excuse to slack off. Every time a new policy is adopted, or something doesn't go their way - off to the union rep they run! It's one thing to have representation to protect against being exploited, but another altogether to use that same representation as a license to be lazy and careless.
************************************************** ******
So you are willing to generalize then that lazy workers have more protection working for a union than non union. I dont know about the medical field, but I have worked supervision in both sides of the issue both as a supervisor and a worker. The union I belong to before I retired didnt tolerate lazy workers, I have fired many in my capacity as a superintendant on union jobs.

That speaks more to the individual and their own personal "work ethic".
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Old 03-30-2008, 01:54 PM
 
Location: McHenry, IL
1,501 posts, read 2,261,605 times
Reputation: 1342
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrinkle View Post
So you are willing to generalize then that lazy workers have more protection working for a union than non union.
Yeah, re-reading my post it does seem I was generalizing there, which I apologize for. I only had a few months at that particular job site, but I did encounter a lot of people who treated the union like a get out of jail free card. Every time the manager held a meeting they would all come storming out of it going "Well, we'll just see about THAT! I'm calling *insert name of union rep here*". Over the most insignificant stuff, too!

Anyway, not to impugn unions as a whole........I wouldn't want to wind up getting some special weight training at the bottom of Lake Michigan.
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Old 03-30-2008, 03:31 PM
 
26 posts, read 29,831 times
Reputation: 27
Default wow!!

Why on a post that has to do with union-- everyone generalizes and goes straight to the UAW -- If I work like I was in the UAW I wouldnt have a home!!

If I go to work and not do anything Iam outta there-- no production -- NO JOB!!!

I am out of the carpenters union and the union doesnt do much for me -- except, NEGOTIATE MY WAGE AND BENEFITS!! They will not protect my job!!
If it was up to any contractor they would pay me at best 50% of what I get now -- because of the simple fact owners want cheap labor and labor for the most part is seen as overhead!!

Iam not saying being union makes you any better at your job!! I choose the union because they give me the training that is needed to make me competitive to the other carpenters out there-- hence to keep working!!!

Not too many non union shops offer any type of safety classes- i.e scaffold certifications, welding certs
We are taught how to work SAFELY!! That is HUGE and important.

The non union shops I have worked for look at the bottom line and could care less if I make it home in one peice!!!!
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Old 03-30-2008, 03:35 PM
 
4,766 posts, read 4,162,737 times
Reputation: 3841
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyInGreatLakes View Post
Um, ANY job would help a lot of people in this state that are earning $0/hour at present. Every time a Toyota or a Honda plant is to be built, Michigan is last on their list while the right-to-work states are first. We can turn away from that reality and hold on to our "union forever" mentality until the last one out of Michigan turns out the light or make a change that attracts someone, ANYONE, to do do business in Michigan again. The plum auto jobs paying $29/hour are gone forever anyway. The new Michigan auto workers make just as much as any out-of-state foreign car company worker but at least they get the pleasure of forking over union dues. Why line the pockets of Union reps anymore?
As uncomfortable as I am with Right To Work, I have to agree with everything you just said. If there were $5 jobs available, you could club together with 4 or 5 other families and occupy one of those great big foreclosure properties with 7 bedrooms and 8 1/2 baths. Shop at Costco/Salvation Army and you could make ends meet nicely.

The unions have shot themselves in the collective foot. That nonsense has got to stop. They might still have a place in the economy if they pulled their heads out, and quickly.
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Old 03-30-2008, 04:18 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,142 posts, read 21,562,311 times
Reputation: 16183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrinkle View Post
I never implied anything of the sort. I said unions offer excellent training vehicles and apprenticeship opportunities. They provide ready, skilled labor into a temporary market.
Most unions have mandatory drug testing, mandatory training in OSHA requirements.

The phrase "they have two gates, one for union skilled labor and one for direct hire off the streets." does imply that if you are not union skilled labor, you are just off the street and therefore unskilled.


Quote:
I dont recall anyone asking you to pay their union dues?
Never said anybody did.

What I said is that if I am working a non-union job in a union shop I shouldn't have to pay union dues. Right now that is the way it is. If you see non-union workers in a union shop they are paying the same dues you are, but without the benefit of the union. That is what I said. Did you actually read my post, or skim over it and jump to WRONG conclusions?


Quote:
Licensed Electrical contractors can be qualified whether they are union contractors or self employed. I have known many non union electricians who have worked out of union halls in the past.
As have I. Just as I have worked with many union electricians who didn't want to travel for a union job and worked with us. Great guys, and a great way to have both sides see that there is no difference in the people involved, just different ways of securing a job. I like the guys I worked with in the past and I look forward to working with other union guys in the future.

Quote:
I dont have a problem paying a union dues, does not the US Chamber of Commerce requires dues for membership? In fact the Chamber of Commerce requires you to join them to get pooled Blue Cross Blue shield coverage. So should I require the US Chamber of Commerce not to require its members to pay association fees?
If you join them, then that is a requirement of belonging, so of course the association fees should be paid to reap the benefits. BUT, what is happening if you want to use the Chamber of Commerce analogy, is that if you want to do business in the town that Chamber of Commerce operates out of, and you do not belong and do not get the benefits, you still have to pay the association fees. I don't think anybody would accept that as the right way to do business. So then why is it right to do it to when it comes to unions?

I really don't see where Michigan turning to a "right to work" state will change much. Big business isn't going to want to have to deal with every single individual worker on a one to one basis, and frankly the workers in those environments don't want the hassle either. The union will remain, and remain strong. Smaller shops can go either way, like they can now. The only change will be the few non-union workers that are in a union shop for one reason or another.

I think we are closer on this than it appears on the surface. I go back and forth on the issue actually. I think that if you are going to work with a union shop for an extended length of time, you are missing the boat by NOT joining the union. If you work for a few weeks here and there to get them out of a bind, it isn't a big deal. I don't see a big deal about it. I am going to look at it much closer before time to vote on the issue. Right now, I couldn't tell you what way I think is best.
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Old 03-30-2008, 04:30 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,142 posts, read 21,562,311 times
Reputation: 16183
Looking back at the past posts I can see where the animosity is coming from. We are all talking about many different types of union shops here. My wife is a Registered Nurse and I can tell you for a fact I have NEVER seen so much griping as goes on in a medical sitting, union or not. UAW, we all agree we are not going down that road . Carpenter and Electrical shops are pretty close. Some of the non-union shops I have been with are very slip-shod when it comes to training, others are real sticklers about training and safety. Depends on the shop. In that aspect you are right, there is a much more consistent feeling between union shops I have worked with in the past when it comes to safety and training. We all do the same jobs, just different side of the union/non-union fence. I have almost always been non-union, my Father was IBEW and United Mine Workers for decades.
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Old 05-05-2008, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Michigan
479 posts, read 1,253,946 times
Reputation: 430
You know who wants right-to-work? Wal-Mart and other big retailers. If the labor movement has a future, it's in the service sector. Unions have successfully organized some retailers and supermarkets out west in recent years. If we get a Democratic administration after GWB, Wal-Mart won't be able to get away with their union-busting tactics. I suspect there's some big money behind these anti-labor campaigns.
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Old 05-05-2008, 02:49 PM
 
Location: Burkina Faso
421 posts, read 188,970 times
Reputation: 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuebor View Post
You know who wants right-to-work? Wal-Mart and other big retailers. If the labor movement has a future, it's in the service sector. Unions have successfully organized some retailers and supermarkets out west in recent years. If we get a Democratic administration after GWB, Wal-Mart won't be able to get away with their union-busting tactics. I suspect there's some big money behind these anti-labor campaigns.
Do you know why Wal Mart is the world's first or second biggest company, and by far the biggest retailer? It's because they don't have union scum going on strike every week. They tell their workers to do it, and the workers will do it. You tell some union turd to do something, they'll go whine to their union boss about it, strike, come back after a week, and begrudgingly do it but sabotage it in the process. I shop at Walmart all the time just to give a big **** YOU to the local unions.
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