United We ... Fall?

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There are some things that people don't really like to talk about. There's a good chance that a few people will hate me for just writing my thoughts. Not everyone feels like Unions do a great deal to help things along. Some people feel like they're just paying another tax into another bottomless pit. Unlike their taxes, though, they aren't getting anything in return. Before I go much further, though, let me clarify some personal definitions, to help you follow where I'm coming from:

  • Union - This is a business union. They are great at marketing themselves, but they are in it for one reason and, in the end, one reason only: money. They don't care who they hurt or who is lost in the process, they are there to get free money from the people they claim to protect and live the high life on that money.
  • union - This is a worker's union. They may, or may not, get money from the employees they protect. It doesn't matter, though, these people are really actually there to support the people and ensure that their work conditions improve. This is the union that introduced weekends, decades ago.

"But you just defined the same word, with two separate definitions!", you say. Not exactly. Please notice the use of caps. Big 'U' and little 'u', that is where my definitions differ. If you love unions, you're really not going to like me from here on in. You could choose to stop here, or read on, with an open mind. I have had a few dealings with Unions. There are very, very few unions left anymore. The Unions you see nowadays will stop at nothing to recruit new people to their ranks with claims of better "this-and-that".

I, personally, have had very few good experiences with Unions. I have yet to work with a union. Unions include the likes of Canadian Auto Worker's (CAW) Union and United Auto Worker's (UAW) Union. There's also the Telecommunications Worker's Union (TWU) and United Food and Commercial Worker's (UFCW) Union. The list goes on. The Union's I've just mentioned, are in it for money. They don't care, who they hurt or what company they bring to bankruptcy. They don't care that they can't extort any more money out of unemployed people. They'll just move on to another unsuspecting employer and start over. The UAW and CAW are great examples. With all the turbulence in the markets, and their employers on the verge of bankruptcy, they have refused to make concessions on their contracts to allow the big 3 auto makers to continue to do business. From CTV Winnipeg:

... The U.S. Senate voted down a $14 billion proposal - which had bi-partisan support from President George Bush and congressional Democrats - after the United Auto Workers refused wage cuts ....

And from Yahoo! News:

... The United Auto Workers blamed the failure of the congressional bailout plan on Senate Republicans who want more wage concessions from the union ....

So, we're in the middle of a huge economic downturn. Car makers are making record low numbers of sales and the union thinks that they can afford to keep paying the wages like always? Well, GM announced that they had a financial advisor coming in to determine what their best options were, including bankruptcy. From the Ottawa Citizen:

The board of directors of embattled U.S. automaker General Motors Corp is considering "all options" including bankruptcy, according to a report on the Wall Street Journal's website late Friday ....

Things don't seem so cheery now. There was a time in our past when unions were a good thing. Conditions were bad, at one point. That time has passed by, in most cases. There are, I'm sure, a few cases now where unions are a good thing, they just need to be controlled by the employees and not some Union boss who's only worried about his next pay cheque.

I highly recommend checking out a couple links that contain a lot of information regarding unions and Unions and how to get involved or how to remove yourself from them. The links are to LabourWatch and LabourTalk. Visit them and look about, there's a whole lot of information available there.

Lastly, stay informed! If you don't know your rights, you don't have any. Post your comments below, like always!


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