Saturday, February 26, 2011

Good Things Come From Labor Unions and Collective Bargaining, For Example...

The 40 hour work week

Child labor being illegal

Paid vacation days/weeks

Fair salaries

Paid health care

Paid leave with a guaranteed job upon return

Pensions

A "Middle" class

...And some of the more recent "good" things about unions...

  • Data from the March 2002 Current Population Survey (CPS), for example, shows that unionized workers are 16.4% more likely than similar non-union workers to be covered by an employer-provided health insurance plan; and 18.8% more likely to participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan.
  • According to the Economic Policy Institute unionized workers receive 26% more vacation time and 14% more total paid leave (vacations and holidays).

15 comments:

G said...

Aside from the well-known negatives in the Labor Unions' history (e.g., ties to organized crime, intimidation of non-union workers, corruption, etc.), you talk about these things as if they occur in an economic vacuum. They don't.

But the current debate isn't about unions in general. It's specifically about public employee unions. There are inherent problems in allowing government employees to unionize and bargain collectively. Even FDR himself was opposed to unions for public sector workers:

"Meticulous attention should be paid to the special relationships and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the government. All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations."

BAWDYSCOT said...

G, in you list of negatives, you left our racism.

BAWDYSCOT said...

The proof is in the puddin'. Samuel Alito is no "originalist".

Kold_Kadavr_flatliner said...

FACT: we ALL will croak at some point in our lifelong demise, thus, our indelible spirit rises-up to meet our Maker - absolutely nuthin we can do bout that: our soul wants to be loved, nourished, enveloped, return-to-her-maker-thing. Jesus doesn't have a sign outside of Heaven saying, 'Those who don't believe? C’est la guerre. C'mon in. Guess I wasn’t as forthright as Marvel Comix'. Be on the pro-LIFE-eration side, don't be on the side which'll swiftly LET/LEAD you down. I’m a small 'peAce-de-resistance' of a Larger Picture: give your soul that final chance. Repent and believe. God bless you with discernment.

BAWDYSCOT said...

Yeah, right.

csm said...

Hello, G. Yup, there have been negative things that have been associated with unions, too. Same with big business... and government... let's outlaw them, too!

And yes, the current debate is exactly about strangling government employee unions. Even when, as in this case, they agreed to the concessions that were being asked. The Koch brothers are behind this and they are starting here as an experiment to choke the life out of unions.

And I have no fucking clue what Kold Kadavr is blathering on about. Evidently he believes there is a place to hang a sign outside of this heaven he believes in. C'est le vie...

Check this out: http://sardoniclee.com/

G said...

The negatives of unions was an aside, not my actual point.

As I said, there are inherent problems with allowing govt employees to unionize and bargain collectively... which FDR himself recognized.

If necessary, I can explain those problems. But seeing your comment about the Koch brothers, I fear you've bought into the left's talking points so completely that you're no longer willing to think rationally or critically about the issue.

csm said...

Just because I know about the Koch brothers and their insidious plot to unravel unions (and likely the middle class) does not mean that I am not willing to listen to a well thought out and sincere message that contradicts my current thoughts. I may not change my mind, but contrary to your thoughtless assumptions, I am not unwilling to given reasoned and reasonable arguments.

csm said...

As an aside, I could write that given your missive you are hopelessly committed to the right wing talking points, G. The governor of WI keeps talking about the refusal of the unions to give in to demands when the reality is they had already given in to all of the demands. The governor was NOT making a reasoned argument against public employee unions, but was spreading lies about the public employee union as a method to break it apart.

To my mind, the big problem here is the lack of sincerity and straightforwardness that were on display. Frankly, you will probably deliver a better message than the WI republicans have.

csm said...

"We must close union offices, confiscate their money and put their leaders in prison. We must reduce workers salaries and take away their right to strike.”
~ Adolph Hitler, May 2, 1933

csm said...

Yes, I invoked Godwin's Law as a troll to see who would bite.

BAWDYSCOT said...

I have had nothing but problems trying to post but I think I have gotten it right.

The crux of the problem with public sector unions is that the negotiations are between the unions and the politicians who the unions help get elected. This is exactly what has happened in California; the state Dems cave to union demands because unions donate so much money to the campaigns of these politicians. You have to be able to see the conflict of interest here, csm. I would be much more sympathetic to unions if we had a mediator, beholden to taxpayers, to negotiate with the unions instead of these controlled politicians.

As I have posted before, private sector unions have done themselves no favors by sticking with a confrontational strategy with the companies they work for. I know of the violent history of union organizing, but at the height of union power, in the 50's, if these unions had started purchasing the stock of the target companies they would have had a seat or seats in the executive boardroom and could have help guide these companies with the workers needs in mind. They didn't do this and consequently they are now in the shape the find themselves. They could have taken the high road and worked with the target companies within the system, but they didn't.

The Constitution guarantees the Right of Freedom of Association so unions are Constitutional and fighting the organizing of unions is unConstitutional. Unions are not inherently evil institutions; I just have major problems with how they run their business.

BAWDYSCOT said...

And now to my vent of the day. By golly, we find ourselves in another fucking war! Are there fucking neo-cons in the Democratic Party? There must fucking be. WE HAVE NO NATIONAL INTEREST IN BOMBING GHADDAFI OUT OF FUCKING LIBYA. Obama is no fucking different than any President to hold office in the last seventy years; thinking that we should get involved with every fucking corner of the world. For a time I thought it might be Sudan or Somalia(again), but it ends up being Libya.

The conspiracy theory part of me is thinking this just might be the way Obama finds to end our reliance on fossil fuels because oil ain't comin' down in price for quite awhile. Cap'n'trade won't come about(and it doesn't really work, just ask Europe) well we'll just start another fucking war! And don't think it will end there. Iran is doing it's best to foment trouble in the Persian Gulf(Bahrain, anybody?)and if the Saudis start having rioting Shia running rampant in their country, you can only bet the presence of the US Armed Forces won't be far behind. $200 a barrel oil will be a fucking reality.

Can anybody out there think of a current problem in the world of which we are not even tangentially complicit? I am still trying to find one, unsuccessfully.

WE DON'T NEED DEMOCRATS. WE DON'T NEED REPUBLICANS. WE NEED STATESMEN. And we need statesmen who will put the country and the individual civil rights we fought wars on our soil for first and foremost in the crosshairs of government and keep the crosshairs of our military pointing out from our own soil and not on the lands of others. This is NOT isolationism if we are trading with the rest of the world, we just won't be fucking fighting them.

BAWDYSCOT said...

You should very well be proud of your man, Obama, csm. There haven't been very many Democratic Presidents in my lifetime who have garnered the effusive praise of none other than John McCain, for his strong arm tactics against Ghaddafi and the loyalist Libyan forces. McCain must feel very alive when we are at war and Obama seems to be getting the hang of it. Bravo!

csm said...

Not a fan of bombing Qaddafi. Better that it involves the U.N. but not better enough to get me on board. The president has not lived up to a lot of his promises. It disappoints me, but it doesn't surprise me.

Regarding unions, sure, there is a conflict of interest. There is a conflict of interest when the gov't buys from a company that donated to the politicians, too. But no one is suggested we bust up corporations.