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Time for Right to Work legislation?

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6 hours ago, Queenmandy85 said:

How long do you think workers will be able to maintain the wages, benifits and job protection they've achieved if RTW legislation is passed. You only have to look at states in the US to see the result. 

Too often the 'boss' gets the attitude that (s)he is somehow better than the people who actually do the work while the boss's secretary makes his / her decisions for them because the boss got the job through favouritism. ("The working class can kiss my ass, I've got the forman's job at last.)

There is an advantage for the employer to having a union. When I converted my home in the Kootenays to electric heat, I had a choice between a non-union contractor and a union contractor. I chose the the union shop. The work was completed in-budget, on time and with quality work. A union ticket is assurance that the trades person you contract has the qualifications to do the work properly.

Still waiting on why legitimate grievances can't be handled through provincial labour boards.

 

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That would be the final stage in the greivance process. The first stage is to try and resolve it in house. That is were most issues are resolved and it is the best solution. 

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On 1/23/2020 at 8:46 AM, cannuck said:

As should be your choice to do.  However, making it illegal for those who wish to take personal responsibility and initiative is clearly highly biased towards collectivism at the expense of personal rights and freedoms.   If we had a real constitution, that might not be the case.   We CAN easily fix that with right-to-work legislation.  Doesn't end right to organize, just ends the collective right for you to remove my freedom.

You have the freedom to choose to work in a non union shop.

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On 1/23/2020 at 10:53 AM, SkyHigh said:

 

 Though at their origins unions were a necessity due to the lack of codified laws protecting workers(child labour, safety conditions etc.) today is a different story.

Certain professions that are necessary to society, that most citzens can't, or won't do ( nurses, firefighters, social workers, peace officers etc....) will always need some sort of unifying body, to assure they are compensated justly for their efforts, and a guarantee that services will be maintained at high standards for every citizen from coast to coast to coast.

Now for the rest, many union leaders live lavish lifestyles well beyond the means of the workers they represent and supposedly "work to protect", not much different than the patronage they claim to fight against.

Today all the energy wasted on "I want more" disguised as an organized labour movement, would be better spent on strengthening and solidify labour laws for all

An argument could easily be made that in today's economy "Unions" often impede progress and not advance it. The textile industry in Montreal being a great example.

Excellent points but your argument applies to some but not all unions  just as unethical business practices apply to some but not all companies. I can not argue certain unions are corrupt, reactionary, etc. of course not. I also though think as a worker, I am better off in a union to have my rights protected than depending on the Employment Standards Act.

 

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On 1/24/2020 at 2:33 PM, SkyHigh said:

Still waiting on why legitimate grievances can't be handled through provincial labour boards.

 

They are-see Mandy's response. I have been before labour boards on grievances but its unusual. Most are settled, especially those dealing with occupational health and safety issues. 

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2 hours ago, jacee said:

You have the freedom to choose to work in a non union shop.

If the shop I work in gets certified, I am NOT free to work in a non-union shop.   If the building I want to buy was formerly occupied by a union business, I am NOT free to run that as a non-union facility.  If the work I am bidding on is in a closed shop collective agreement, I am NOT free to work there as non-union.

The whole legislative and regulatory framework is one sided for organized labour.

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I've worked in both union and non union shops, and both the best and the worst were non-union.  It depends on how good the employer is, and what it is you do.

At this point in my life I would much prefer non-union. 

There was a time I was very happy to have one, or wished I had one.

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13 hours ago, cannuck said:

If the shop I work in gets certified, I am NOT free to work in a non-union shop.   If the building I want to buy was formerly occupied by a union business, I am NOT free to run that as a non-union facility.  If the work I am bidding on is in a closed shop collective agreement, I am NOT free to work there as non-union.

The whole legislative and regulatory framework is one sided for organized labour.

You are free to choose to quit and get a job in a non union shop.

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On 2/23/2020 at 11:49 AM, Rue said:

Excellent points but your argument applies to some but not all unions  just as unethical business practices apply to some but not all companies. I can not argue certain unions are corrupt, reactionary, etc. of course not. I also though think as a worker, I am better off in a union to have my rights protected than depending on the Employment Standards Act.

 

You're right, "Some" is an important word and if i gave the impression that all unions are inherently corrupt i apologize. I would even take your point farther, i personally know people much farther left than me who do incredible things in and around organized labour and I have work for some unscrupulous owners. 

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On 2/23/2020 at 11:50 AM, Rue said:

They are-see Mandy's response. I have been before labour boards on grievances but its unusual. Most are settled, especially those dealing with occupational health and safety issues. 

My point here was simply a response to a previous claim that unions were necessary in the protection of workers rights.

My argument more specifically is, the effort spent by many, even assuming they're acting with good faith to fortify the working conditions of just those in their organization, would be better spent solidifying the working conditions for everyone by focusing on the laws that govern every citizen and not exclusively the ones that justify their salaries.

You said it best with "most are settled" , where actual laws exist, employers respect them, or will at least submit to legislation

This leads me to the moral side (or at least my perception of morality) is it moral to care only about your well being, while systematically refusing to deal with the others, that are in the exact same situation, but don't belong to the group you identify with? Is it moral to claim that certain workers have "rights" but those "rights" only apply to the people that give you dues?

 

 

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49 minutes ago, SkyHigh said:

My point here was simply a response to a previous claim that unions were necessary in the protection of workers rights.

My argument more specifically is, the effort spent by many, even assuming they're acting with good faith to fortify the working conditions of just those in their organization, would be better spent solidifying the working conditions for everyone by focusing on the laws that govern every citizen and not exclusively the ones that justify their salaries.

You said it best with "most are settled" , where actual laws exist, employers respect them, or will at least submit to legislation

This leads me to the moral side (or at least my perception of morality) is it moral to care only about your well being, while systematically refusing to deal with the others, that are in the exact same situation, but don't belong to the group you identify with? Is it moral to claim that certain workers have "rights" but those "rights" only apply to the people that give you dues?

Union agreements set the standard. Non union shop agreements and government legislation follow their example. That's how unions contribute to the rights of others and the laws.

Do you like the weekends that unions won for you? 8 hour days? Overtime pay? Workplace safety? Workers Comp? Health care? Pensions? Parental leave? Job protection during illness? Etc. Etc. Etc.

Thank a union.

Edited by jacee

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42 minutes ago, jacee said:

Union agreements set the standard. Non union shop agreements and government legislation follow their example. That's how unions contribute to the rights of others and the laws.

Do you like the weekends that unions won for you? 8 hour days? Overtime pay? Workplace safety? Workers Comp? Health care? Pensions? Parental leave? Job protection during illness? Etc. Etc. Etc.

Thank a union.

You need to take a little time to read what I've already written, because you're arguing against a point i not only agree with but have conceded to on this very thread.

I clearly stated that at their origins not only were unions necessary, but are responsible for many of the advances in workers rights.

Today the situation is quite different, we have established workers rights, and in my opinion unions today (again if you read what ive written, I still think some professions require some sort of collective association to represent them, ie; doctors, social workers, engineers, etc...) are just a way to create different classes of worker, those in a union and those without. 

If these people supposedly care about the well being of workers(of course some do) than why not work towards all workers being treated fairly and not just those paying their salaries? 

A small anecdotal example, bombardier a unionized shop pays the guy that sweeps the floor 20 somthing dollars an hour, but in a nonunion shop that same job pays minimum wage(not to mention the other numerous advantages the unionized employee gets), is the non union worker not worthy of the same pay? Of course not, yet never once heard of a union stewart at bombardier advocating for the rights of workers not giving them dues. 

How does give ME more but who cares about the other guy help society? Do you think the workers in the Winnipeg general strike cared only about their profession? Of course not multiple industries workers came out to say that general conditions for all needed improvement.Can you honestly say thats still the underlying motivation of all unions today?

Edited by SkyHigh

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21 minutes ago, SkyHigh said:

You need to take a little time to read what I've already written, because you're arguing against a point i not only agree with but have conceded to on this very thread.

I clearly stated that at their origins not only were unions necessary, but are responsible for many of the advances in workers rights.

Today the situation is quite different, we have established workers rights, and in my opinion unions today (again if you read what ive written, I still think some professions require some sort of collective association to represent them, ie; doctors, social workers, engineers, etc...) are just a way to create different classes of worker, those in a union and those without. 

If these people supposedly care about the well being of workers(of course some do) than why not work towards all workers being treated fairly and not just those paying their salaries?

Those workers' rights are not guaranteed forever.

If we don't have unions, all of those 'rights' will cease to exist for everyone so fast your head will spin. 

It's a constant balance of power that must be maintained.

Edited by jacee

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9 minutes ago, jacee said:

If we don't have unions, all of those 'rights' will cease to exist so fast your head will spin. 

Are you saying that if the liquor store employees can't trade shifts(we had an SAQ strike for this very reason recently) provincial labour boards will cease to exist? Of course your not but this is a great example of the "work" unions do now a days. 

The Ontario teachers union(I do think there should be a union for teachers) have the money to be majority share holders of the maple leafs, but EAs(educational assistant) people employed in the same buildings with the same goals, take pay cuts, diminishing hours and benifits, while the teachers union says nothing, again helping me myself and I whith no care about the conditions of others. How does that help?

 

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18 minutes ago, SkyHigh said:

1) Are you saying that if the liquor store employees can't trade shifts(we had an SAQ strike for this very reason recently) provincial labour boards will cease to exist? Of course your not but this is a great example of the "work" unions do now a days. 

2) The Ontario teachers union(I do think there should be a union for teachers)

3) have the money to be majority share holders of the maple leafs,

4) but EAs(educational assistant) people employed in the same buildings with the same goals, take pay cuts, diminishing hours and benifits, while the teachers union says nothing, again helping me myself and I whith no care about the conditions of others. How does that help?

 

1) I said clearly that if unions disappeared, "rights" ... ie, the laws that currently protect them ... would also quickly disappear. I can think of few things Doug Ford would like better than to gut the Labour laws and cut the Labour boards. Without organized union opposition, he would do it in the blink of an eye. 

2) You think there should be a union for teachers but nobody else? Lol 

3) Nonsense. That is not union money: It's pension contributions that go directly from teachers' paycheques via the employer to the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, an independent agency that invests teachers' pension contributions and pays their pensions in retirement. The teachers' unions never "have" that pension money.

4) EA's are unionized - CUPE (elementary) and OSSTF (secondary) represent them and other Educational Support Staff. Teachers unions do support ESS on picket lines, in bargaining, etc. Teachers definitely understand the critical value of EA's in their classrooms.

It is the employer - the province - that makes the cuts. 

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14 minutes ago, jacee said:

You think there should be a union for teachers but nobody else? Lol 

If you're not even going to read what I've written don't bother responding

I have given multiple examples of professions i think should be in some sort of union (in our direct conversation), as well as a generalized statement that those professions that contribute to society that most people can't or wont do need to be represented by a unionized body i.e. peace officers, firefighters etc... So if all you have are strawman arguments i see no reason to continue this conversation 

22 minutes ago, jacee said:

Nonsense. That is not union money: It's pension contributions

You're playing semantics, that was money received by and exclusively dedicated to those in the Ontario teachers union.the point was there scope and power, so all you did was make a difference without a distinction. 

 

28 minutes ago, jacee said:

EA's are unionized

When did I say they weren't? What I did say is that they ostensibly fill the same role, in the same building, working in concert, yet are treated like two different classes of worker. If the union cared they would fight just as hard for everyone in the educational industry and not just the select few, so again unions don't care about all workers rights just the ones that pay their salaries

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On 2/23/2020 at 12:29 PM, cannuck said:

If the shop I work in gets certified, I am NOT free to work in a non-union shop.   If the building I want to buy was formerly occupied by a union business, I am NOT free to run that as a non-union facility.  If the work I am bidding on is in a closed shop collective agreement, I am NOT free to work there as non-union.

The whole legislative and regulatory framework is one sided for organized labour.

It can be and in other sectors or places it is anti-union. It depends on the work sector.

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On 2/24/2020 at 1:55 PM, SkyHigh said:

My point here was simply a response to a previous claim that unions were necessary in the protection of workers rights.

My argument more specifically is, the effort spent by many, even assuming they're acting with good faith to fortify the working conditions of just those in their organization, would be better spent solidifying the working conditions for everyone by focusing on the laws that govern every citizen and not exclusively the ones that justify their salaries.

You said it best with "most are settled" , where actual laws exist, employers respect them, or will at least submit to legislation

This leads me to the moral side (or at least my perception of morality) is it moral to care only about your well being, while systematically refusing to deal with the others, that are in the exact same situation, but don't belong to the group you identify with? Is it moral to claim that certain workers have "rights" but those "rights" only apply to the people that give you dues?

 

 

Message received.  I also concede BC's point. I have been in a similir situation to what BC said and the union did not help me in that situation. All I am saying is not all unions are bad and not all management are bad and sometimes we need  unions and sometimes we probably are better off with some other system when unions get too powerful and corrupt and lose touch with their own mandate.

Truthfully I am not too  sympathetic to the teachers' unions. I have too much insider knowledge on their inside  b.s. politics  from work I have done with them to be without bias against them. I do know some damn good unions and some shady ones. Just like business people. They come in all shapes and sizes. That said I respect teachers and governments trying to be fiscally responsible.

 

 

Edited by Rue

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On 2/23/2020 at 1:30 PM, Michael Hardner said:

Except to have it otherwise would negate what organized labour is for.  You are voting for your work to be sold as a block, by a combine.

Which would be fine if that was actually what it was about.   It is not.

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1 hour ago, cannuck said:

Which would be fine if that was actually what it was about.   It is not.

How can you say so, so definitively ?  WIthout a monopoly on labour a union is pointless.  The name of it: UNION.  A JOINING.  

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On 2/24/2020 at 2:23 PM, jacee said:

Those workers' rights are not guaranteed forever.

If we don't have unions, all of those 'rights' will cease to exist for everyone so fast your head will spin. 

It's a constant balance of power that must be maintained.

That is nothing but a union scare tactic.   There are a lot of non-union companies that treat their workers easily as well as union shops.  I am sitting in one of them right now (have been my clients for decades), co-incidentally, within a 1/4 mile of the blockade at the Regina refinery.   They will be on that site doing work next week.  While I have been here, of course there is a lot of discussion about the strike.   The deal the unifor has been offered is FAR, FAR better than any government agency or any other union around here has been offered.  The one they have now is in no way sustainable.

Sadly, I will finish my project on Friday and will not have the privilege of crossing the picket line next week with my friends.

Edited by cannuck

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5 hours ago, cannuck said:

That is nothing but a union scare tactic.   There are a lot of non-union companies that treat their workers easily as well as union shops.  I am sitting in one of them right now (have been my clients for decades), co-incidentally, within a 1/4 mile of the blockade at the Regina refinery.   They will be on that site doing work next week.  While I have been here, of course there is a lot of discussion about the strike.   The deal the unifor has been offered is FAR, FAR better than any government agency or any other union around here has been offered.  The one they have now is in no way sustainable.

Sadly, I will finish my project on Friday and will not have the privilege of crossing the picket line next week with my friends.

I am not sure what your point is. Saying there are a lot of good non union companies is no different than saying there are a lot of good unions. The point is there are good and bad management and good and bad unions. People who make sweeping generalizations about all unions usually do so based on stereotypes from personal anecdotes.

So? The specific issues at play in each and every labour dispute are the issue. Sometimes they have merit, sometimes they do not, sometimes both sides are wrong, right or just posing for a better negotiation position. So?

I think the teacher's unions in Ontario have a lot of fat and redundancy and corruption. So do many teachers. It does not mean certain issues the teachers raise are bad. Also on the other side of the table, the Ontario government is faced with crunch time over finance limitations and has to do some serious fiscal reformation. 

I get people hate unions but its pointless.

 

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3 hours ago, Rue said:

I am not sure what your point is. Saying there are a lot of good non union companies is no different than saying there are a lot of good unions. The point is there are good and bad management and good and bad unions. People who make sweeping generalizations about all unions usually do so based on stereotypes from personal anecdotes.

So? The specific issues at play in each and every labour dispute are the issue. Sometimes they have merit, sometimes they do not, sometimes both sides are wrong, right or just posing for a better negotiation position. So?

I think the teacher's unions in Ontario have a lot of fat and redundancy and corruption. So do many teachers. It does not mean certain issues the teachers raise are bad. Also on the other side of the table, the Ontario government is faced with crunch time over finance limitations and has to do some serious fiscal reformation. 

I get people hate unions but its pointless.

 

I don't hate unions (uh...OK, maybe a little) but what I DO object to is the removal of freedoms for companies and/or individuals to work as they see fit.  Once a company has been organized, it is no longer free to seek other arrangements for workers and some times contractors.   Success laws can even be attached to the BUILDING - and thus directly affects the value.  Unions DID once serve a really important purpose: they provided trades training and certification to protect the world from incompetent work - but today they CAN and often ARE a haven for poor quality workers to hide from the repercussions of their ineptitude.   The collective bargaining thing came in after the trade unions were already established as training and certification organizations.   The money part for the trades and non-trade workers started from INDUSTRY, not the unions.   It was Henry Ford - admitedly to serve his personal vision of what the overall marketplace should be - that got the ball rolling at $5 a day.   When the US unions were invaded by the Mafia and Canadian ones by socialists, the role shifted to one of money ruling over professionalism and the political element becoming EXTREMELY partisan.   Again, all things I can live with...ONLY IF there is no special privilege granted to organized labour that workers and companies should be free to seek alternatives if they so choose.

There is NO REASON that organized labour can not co-exist within a right-to-work environment.  They just have to be competitive in both cost AND responsibility.

I should add: we work regularly with some VERY reasonable unions in Canada and the US, even as non-union contractors.  Those reasonable unions realize that we are there to give them our particular skill and experience that allows them to keep their jobs and do them in a safer and more sustainable manner.   We also supplement our engineering, CET and trades staff with calls to the hall for trades on many, many projects.

Edited by cannuck
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