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Why are people so hostile to unions?

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Drivel. Even in government, which is supposedly that paragon of professionalism, where management doesn't need to pressure workers to make extra profits, you still find asshole managers. I've met a number of them.

Honestly, the paradox is that in the closed system of government, there seems to be far more abuse and mistreatment even though workers are protected. I have no stats to back that up, but it's based on my experience working as a student in the public sector, and with lifelong friends who worked in that environment.

The stakes are higher if your payment and benefits are at the top of the market. It's called 'golden handcuffs'. And it creates a static atmosphere, in my experience.

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Honestly, the paradox is that in the closed system of government, there seems to be far more abuse and mistreatment even though workers are protected. I have no stats to back that up, but it's based on my experience working as a student in the public sector, and with lifelong friends who worked in that environment.

The stakes are higher if your payment and benefits are at the top of the market. It's called 'golden handcuffs'. And it creates a static atmosphere, in my experience.

Often union wages are not at the top of the market. In fact, for senior, more skilled positions, union wages are often lower than the market. The 'golden handcuffs' are often vacation and pension plans.

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Often union wages are not at the top of the market. In fact, for senior, more skilled positions, union wages are often lower than the market. The 'golden handcuffs' are often vacation and pension plans.

I'm surprised to hear that. Which positions are like that ? Do you have a cite ?

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I'm surprised to hear that. Which positions are like that ? Do you have a cite ?

I don't know that there's a cite but that has been my experience, as well. Clerks are paid very well in the government. But we have trouble keeping auditors, accountants, lawyers and tax professionals in our agency, not to mention higher level IT people.

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I haven't read through this entire thread, but I looked through several posts.

First, in Canada, unions are largely now in the public sector:


In 2007, Canada had a paid labour force of about 17.6 million people. Of these, about 4.5 million are unionized or about 25%. This percentage has been steadily declining over the past 50 years or so. In 1997 for example, this percentage was 27%. Link

This percentage however hides some significant facts. Union membership in Canada is now largely an affair of the public sector where typically around 75% of all employees are unionized whereas in the private sector, only about 20% of employees are unionized. Link

[i think this statistics understates the size of public sector unions. I think that unionized employees of crown corporations are counted as in the "private sector".]

Moreover, this trend is increasing, and it increasingly means that women working in the public sector are unionized and everyone else is not

http://www.mapleleafweb.com/forums/topic/14366-unions-in-canada/?p=433556

Second:

[sorry about the edits/formats. I hate Microsoft, and dislike Greg, since they both made the experience of posting to this forum, once simple and fun, now difficult and unpleasant.]

Edited by August1991

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That's not how it shakes out though. The wages are not high enough to make up the difference. People in places with lower rates on unionization have a higher standard of living...

By which metric? The Bryan Coefficient? :lol:

Lets see, China (0% unionization) vs Canada (30%), who has a better standard of living I wonder?

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By which metric? The Bryan Coefficient? :lol:

Lets see, China (0% unionization) vs Canada (30%), who has a better standard of living I wonder?

Battletoads, correlation is not the same as causation.

Unions did not cause better standards of living anymore than cigarette lighters caused cancer.

Second, the 30% statistic you cite hides something more sinister. In Canada, about 35% of people work for the public sector (taxpayers) and about 70% of these people are unionized. Most of your 30% unionized are public sector workers.

IOW, in Canada, union membership largely means a public sector worker - someone working for taxpayers, politicians, receiving money through force/fear of non-payment.

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Battletoads, correlation is not the same as causation.

IOW, in Canada, union membership largely means a public sector worker - someone working for taxpayers, politicians, receiving money through force/fear of non-payment.

Which is why I roll my eyes when I hear that creating efficiencies in the public sector are removing good paying jobs from the workforce.

Those wages aren't sustainable by any market conditions, they're completely subsidized by the rest of the public.

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Which is why I roll my eyes when I hear that creating efficiencies in the public sector are removing good paying jobs from the workforce.

Those wages aren't sustainable by any market conditions, they're completely subsidized by the rest of the public.

Which is what makes me roll my eyes, you guys who seem to think the work being done by the public service is not necessary work, or that somehow or other it would be done free if it weren't for the 'demned guberment'. There is nothing particularly out of line with most public sector wages. If you adjusted them to the private sector, the major difference would be the pay of the clerks would be cut in half, while the pay of all the management types would increase ten or twentyfold.

Nor can any of you point to anything economically damaging about unions, since the higher the union participation and power the greater the standard of living around the world.

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Unions have never been able to organize banks ... bank staff shows them out the door. Ever wonder why bank staff prefers to remain non union?

Why don't you tell us why (in bold letters)?

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Unions have never been able to organize banks ... bank staff shows them out the door. Ever wonder why bank staff prefers to remain non union?

Yes, tell us why, I'm curious to hear this one.

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Bank workers are "unionized" in some parts of the world (e.g. Brazil). Banks and the entire financial sector have historically been very difficult to organize in North America because of their relationship to capital resources, debt, and ownership. Doesn't mean it hasn't been tried, as explained in this socialistworker.org article:

http://socialistworker.org/blog/critical-reading/2010/08/01/campaign-unionize-banks

Edited by bush_cheney2004

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Lets look at the pricing of the arctic patrol vessels and why they are so much more then the ones being built in the scanadian countries, the answer is unions. It has become so expensive to do anything big in this country.Because of salaries and the laziness of them.

Edited by PIK

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Lets look at the pricing of the arctic patrol vessels and why they are so much more then the ones being built in the scanadian countries, the answer is unions. It has become so expensive to do anything big in this country.Because of salaries and the laziness of them.

Are you being facetious? If yes, then good one, haha. If you are serious, well, yes let's indeed look at the ship building contracts:

Canada: Design only = $250,000,000 + tax (Total cost = ??)

30 % union membership

Similar ships in Scandinavia: Total cost (design AND build) = $100,000,000

57-82 % union membership (http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/lab_tra_uni_mem-labor-trade-union-membership)

What do you think of that?

Edited by carepov

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Lets look at the pricing of the arctic patrol vessels and why they are so much more then the ones being built in the scanadian countries, the answer is unions. It has become so expensive to do anything big in this country.Because of salaries and the laziness of them.

You do realize that Scandinavian countries are more highly unionized than Canada and that shipbuilding is a unionized industry there right?

But never let facts get in the way of ideological nonsense, eh?

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My personal hostility towards unions is primarily from having worked several union jobs. I'll take the word and actions of a corporation over that of a union any day of the week. Unions reward laziness, institutionalize inefficiency, kill profitability, and force people to join against their will. They turn the employee-management relationship into one that is adversarial, when they should see each other as part of the same team with the same goals. Unions are a job killing parasite.

I particularly dislike public sector unions. Because governments can't just shut down if they can't afford operational costs, unions are actually holding the taxpayers hostage with each negotiation. People who don't make as much money as the govt. employees are expected to dig into their pockets to pay for the demands of people who are already better off. It's robbery.

I couldn't have said it better myself.I have little use for the public service unions and some of the private sector unions like the CAW.I say this as a former member of the Teamsters.

Yes,corporations are pretty much all about profit,but then so are the unions.I don't believe unions pay any taxes either,which I think is unfair.I think unions should not only pay taxes,but also be responsible for collecting their own dues.

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"

Why are people so hostile to unions?

"

1. They are not in them.

2. They are being pressured by them to give more of their wealth to them.

3. They deprive individuals of their personal right to contract as well as other personal liberties in the name of socialism.

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"

Why are people so hostile to unions?

"

1. They are not in them.

2. They are being pressured by them to give more of their wealth to them.

3. They deprive individuals of their personal right to contract as well as other personal liberties in the name of socialism.

I'm confused, if someone is not in a union, how can they be pressured to give their wealth to them? How do better working conditions and higher wages deprive people of their personal liberties. I think corporations do a far better job depriving people of their liberties than unions do.

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Unions r

Are you being facetious? If yes, then good one, haha. If you are serious, well, yes let's indeed look at the ship building contracts:

Canada: Design only = $250,000,000 + tax (Total cost = ??)

30 % union membership

Similar ships in Scandinavia: Total cost (design AND build) = $100,000,000

57-82 % union membership (http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/lab_tra_uni_mem-labor-trade-union-membership)

What do you think of that? What are the costs between the 2 as in union costs?

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Why are people so hostile to unions?

1. They are not in them.

2. They are being pressured by them to give more of their wealth to them.

3. They deprive individuals of their personal right to contract as well as other personal liberties in the name of sociali

I'm confused, if someone is not in a union, how can they be pressured to give their wealth to them?

Well the original poster could have been referring to one of 2 things:

- An individual working in a non-union shop sees an attempt to unionize their job. Depending on his position in the company, he may not necessarily be any better off from a job perspective...however, they now have to pay union dues (especially if its a 'closed shop'.) Thus, he's forced to "give wealth to them"

- When a company is unionized and wages are increased, one of the possible results is that prices for people buying from the company will increase. (After all, a company does not have the ability to create the additional wages out of thin air; the money has to come from somewhere.) Thus, a non-union shopper ends up having his wealth transferred to a unionized worker. (Now, its possible for the shopper to try to find a non-unionized company offering the same product, but in a competitive environment a price increase at one location will allow its competitors to similarly raise prices.)

Another possibility is that unionization will lead to reduced profits. While that may sound like a great thing to chant when you're in a protest ("Fat cat corporations!") the fact is that many company owners are composed of small-time investors. Heck, I have stock in various banks, manufacturing companies, and retailers in my RRSP mutual funds. (And I'm far from what you would consider a "wealthy" investor.) And there are probably millions of non-unionized Canadians in the same boat... they have various mutual funds that have stocks in them. If unionization cuts into profits, that means the small-time stock holders (i.e. average Canadians) end up having less money for retirement.

So, the non-union worker can get hammered both ways... increased prices for the things they purchase, and/or reduced value in my retirement investments.

How do better working conditions and higher wages deprive people of their personal liberties.

Assuming its a "closed" shop (i.e. all employees who work there are effectively part of the union)...

- It removes the liberty of the shop owner (and all corporations are ultimately owned by individuals) to negotiate with individual employees has he sees fit

- It removes the liberty of individual employees to negotiate their own wages with the employer, independent of union influence

Now, you might claim that "higher wages are worth it"... but that doesn't mean that liberties aren't being curtailed... only that you're willing to ignore the people who's liberties are being curtailed in your justification.

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I haven't looked through this thread.

Unions in Canada nowadays largely represent public sector workers. IOW, a union in Canada is like an asphalt scam in Laval.

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Assuming its a "closed" shop (i.e. all employees who work there are effectively part of the union)...

- It removes the liberty of the shop owner (and all corporations are ultimately owned by individuals) to negotiate with individual employees has he sees fit

- It removes the liberty of individual employees to negotiate their own wages with the employer, independent of union influence

Now, you might claim that "higher wages are worth it"... but that doesn't mean that liberties aren't being curtailed... only that you're willing to ignore the people who's liberties are being curtailed in your justification.

Well it may be possible that unions curtail liberties but I can tell you from personal experience that non-union shops do exactly the same thing. I work part time at a low paying service job (non-unionized of course). I'm currently in university and attempting to pay my way through. The job I work at has managers that treat their employees like garbage. Workplace bullying and gossip is common. Managers have their favourites, other people are singled out for scapegoating. Myself personally, I'm not treated poorly but I believe this is because of my large build and assertive personality. Also, I know that if things get bad enough I can just walk away. I'm only 21 and still live at home, my employers know that i'm in school and I only work part-time. They tend to abuse the people who are there full-time, have families, and have to be there.

The more they know that you need the job, the worse they tend to treat you. It's like some sort of a power game, I think many of these managers may have been abused as children, either by their parents, their classmates, or both. They have deep seated issues. Not all of them are bad but at this job you are pretty much at the whims of your supervisor. There is no union so there is no worker protection. I'd get another job if I could but EI is hard to get, there isn't many jobs in my area, and I don't want to have to bum money from my parents, its bad enough I still live at home. Still its easier for me to leave than many co-workers. So you state that union shops deprive people of their liberty. I can tell you nonunion workplaces do the same and then some.

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