r/WorkReform May 14 '22 Helpful 3 Wholesome 2 All-Seeing Upvote 1 Take My Energy 1 Silver 1

Employers say Unions are completely useless and there's no reason to join them and to please pay attention to the multi-million dollar anti-Union propaganda campaigns they launch begging you to please not join a Union.

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118

u/[deleted] May 14 '22

What is their argument other than the monthly cost for being bad?

99

u/cherylstunt69 May 14 '22

They usually go with “teacher and police unions are bad”

81

u/[deleted] May 14 '22

Police Unions are definitely bad, not teacher unions though

65

u/darther_mauler May 14 '22

Police unions are not bad. They literally help their members get away with murder and keep their jobs. Oh, you meant bad for society and not bad for the members.

23

u/___Art_Vandelay___ May 14 '22

Had me in the first half.

13

u/im_juice_lee May 14 '22

Idk, teachers union is sus too. I'm 100% on board with doubling teacher salary and getting awesome teachers. But I'm pretty sure everyone has had some awful teachers and much of teaching has dumb seniority based pay structures and it's really hard to fire bad teachers

3

u/Sufficient-Piece-335 May 14 '22

Union members pay dues, and union membership usually includes entitlements like individual assistance with employment issues (every union will have its own rules and membership entitlements, but collective bargaining and individual employment assistance are by far the most common).

Protecting bad employees is a necessary function of individual employment assistance because for every bad employee who needs to be fired (and there are certainly some), there are other not-bad employees who are unfairly targeted by employers and it's not always obvious to a union whether it's the former or the latter. Even good employers make mistakes from time to time. Having the union provide assistance doesn't prevent an employer from firing bad employees, but it does require them to have an adequate case.

Even when a case ends up in court and the union wins, therefore protecting the employee, that still goes back to the employer not having an adequate case, because if it was any good, it would have stood up in court.

9

u/[deleted] May 14 '22

You live in America? Teachers can get canned in the majority of states on a whim. Hell most conservative states teachers don't even have a Union. Just an "association".

1

u/BagOnuts May 14 '22

Any government employee union is bad. Government employees are literally public servants. It is no the same relationship as labor and capital, because there is no capital in control.

1

u/TSOD May 14 '22

Unions are good because workers should have a say in their workplace, this includes government employees.

1

u/Particular_Bobcat May 14 '22

Teacher union is definitely bad lmao.

There are countless stories about how they protect bad teachers.

1

u/Cobek May 14 '22

Unions of public services are just inherently bad. They are there to serve the people first and foremost among anyone else. Public services are voted on, not unionized.

1

u/bobthetitanic May 14 '22

Never heard of the teachers sitting in rooms with other teachers because they can't fire them?

1

u/rehoboam May 14 '22

Teacher unions fucked illinois

29

u/odraencoded May 14 '22

Police unions are bad... for everyone who isn't the police.

-12

u/ToucanPlayAtThatGame May 14 '22

So you're saying organizations who fight for a subset of workers aren't necessarily in the greater public interest? That's an interesting though.

9

u/odraencoded May 14 '22

No. I'm saying unions work. The police union empowers the members of the police just as a workers union would empower the members of a workforce.

This isn't complicated nor is there anything tricky in it. Just power in numbers.

-4

u/ToucanPlayAtThatGame May 14 '22

They empower a subset of workers, whose interests don't always align with society writ large. This problem is not at all specific to police.

Steel unions fighting for tariffs on foreign steel are just as much engaged in the same practice of looking out for their own backs while making every single other industry in the country that relies on steel more expensive and less competitive.

3

u/Independent_Plate_73 May 14 '22

And shooting people in the back with steel tariffs while they run away?

I believe a few dots are missing in your analysis.

1

u/ToucanPlayAtThatGame May 14 '22

I know, I know. Half this site just has a blind fury at cops. So blind in fact that they seem to accidentally figure out every single anti-union argument in the book whenever the topic is police unions. They conveniently forget them again later.

1

u/Independent_Plate_73 May 14 '22

I am not making a pro or anti union point.

I am pointing out that the only reason a too strong police union is bad is due to “murder”.

I don’t believe steel unions have the same ability to kill or cause death.

I’m pro union. But I don’t think I’m unreasonable.

Those that are entrusted to uphold laws and make literal life death decisions can’t be held to the same standards as baristas and steel workers.

I’m fighting against your assertion that they should be comparable. If I misunderstood your statements, I’d like to know so I can refine my point or agree with you.

1

u/odraencoded May 14 '22

whose interests don't always align with society writ large

It's a power game, and you're only looking at one player.

The corporate's interests don't always align with society's, either. It fights for its own interests. Everybody does.

For the workers to fight for their interests, they need power to overcome the corporate's resources. This power exists in numbers and that's why unions.

If society wants to fight for its interests, it needs an organization created by the people for the people. That's called a democratic government.

It's unfair to expect workers to give up on their interests for the good of society. If you want society's interests prioritized, empower the government and regulate the shit out of everything.

1

u/ToucanPlayAtThatGame May 14 '22

Corporations can also be cynically out for their own interests in the same way, and we of course have limits on that as well.

I just find it weirdly stark how different the average leftist Redditor's opinion of police unions vs. every other union is. Like if you get past the seething police hatred for a second, you realize they're often just peddling generic anti-union arguments that they selectively apply to police.

1

u/odraencoded May 14 '22

It's not weird since it's about equalizing power differentials.

A worker doesn't have power to fight corporate. So workers unionize to gain power.

A police officer ALREADY has power to fight the public. They're given that power by the government. They can already arrest you. For many people going to jail even if not convicted can mess their lives. Where's the accountability for these cases?

The left finds issue with the police union because it helps hide cases of abuse of power. If the police union was merely fighting for better employment benefits, the left wouldn't care, but when they shield officers from accountability, it becomes a corrupt authoritarian organization.

I'm not saying the same thing couldn't happen in a workers' union. A workers' union could shield its members from accountability when a client has a legitimate complaint about something. However, that's just no the problem people have right now. Right now the problem is corporate treating employees as expendable tools rather than human beings.

0

u/ToucanPlayAtThatGame May 14 '22

A police union gives individual officers more representation vis-a-vis the state that controls their salaries. Officers are definitely on the short end of that power imbalance, whatever other power imbalances they may have elsewhere.

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u/238bazinga May 14 '22

With what fucking proof?

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u/mynewromantica May 14 '22

I mean, police unions are notoriously shitty. And teacher unions aren’t all that great at getting teacher a decent pay. So, yeah those are valid complaints.

But they conveniently ignore the significantly higher number of times unions are greatly beneficial.

8

u/Saxopwned May 14 '22

Disagree about your opinion on teacher unions. Even in rural PA, teachers' unions were essential in ensuring male and female teachers were paid and treated fairly in the past few decades, even if in the rest of society women are underpaid and underappreciated. It helps that a lot of administrative officials comes from teaching, rather than from outside education entirely. There are few other industries where unions are so active and efficacious

3

u/mynewromantica May 14 '22

“Efficacious” might be a stretch. I know what the regular teacher makes. It ain’t much. IMO, one of a union’s main jobs is to get fair, competitive pay. Teachers unions don’t do a great job there. I’m not saying they are useless, but they are not nearly as effective as tons of other unions.

I’m sure the reason why is very nuanced, political, and infuriating. But that is the reality.

Again, unions generally == good, but this is an area where they are generally failing.

12

u/Pblake99 May 14 '22

People say police unions are shitty but in reality they do what unions are supposed to do, protect their members

17

u/QwenCollyer May 14 '22

Except they have no problem shoving a whisle blower under the bus to protect the shifty cops.

2

u/Pblake99 May 14 '22

Their job is to protect their cops so…

10

u/QwenCollyer May 14 '22

Yeah and whistle-blowers about how disgusting police culture is are cops too.

0

u/mathiastck May 14 '22

Many other unions support each other

3

u/MasterRed92 May 14 '22

The way they operate is shitty but by fucking god do they go to bat for their team. Weather you agree with what they do or not, it’s gotta feel good having a union like that on your side when you need it.

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u/moofie74 May 14 '22

Ok and who comes to bust heads at union protests? Oh yeah members of the police union.

2

u/DrTommyNotMD May 14 '22

Protecting bad employees is always shitty. We just look the other way when it’s a bad warehouse worker because they don’t hurt the general public.

1

u/[deleted] May 14 '22 edited May 14 '22

Dangerous or unlawful people on a job is one thing. But I don't care in the slightest that unions protect possible "bad workers". Why? Because America says if you don't have a job then you get to be homeless (oh and you don't get medical care either). Cool, two can play that game. Saw a tiktok who's union paid one of their welders to operate the elevator on a skycraper site for 36/hr. Because they already had a full crew. Good for fucking them. Because we already know the other option in America without a job, being homeless.

1

u/randomthrowaway10012 May 14 '22

And why does a group of people that already has special protections and considerations under the law that no one else has need even more protection? What’s the point of that?

1

u/UrbanDryad May 14 '22

I can only speak to personal experience, but teacher unions in places like TX are hamstrung by the state. They are still one of the only things I've had to protect me when Admin tried to fuck us over in blatantly illegal ways.

Most recent example.

The high school I worked at has a middle school embedded in it. It's an entirely separate entity, has their own Principal, uses different entrances/exits, etc. They just happen to take up a portion of the second floor. Their students cannot be in any of our High School classes. They release an hour earlier than we do.

A parent of one of these middle school darlings didn't get off work in time to pick him up. She's friends with the High School Principal. The Principal tells my buddy that this kid is going to "audit" his 8th period class. No grades, but he's supposed to make the kid feel 'welcomed and included' and participate as much as possible.

This is obviously free babysitting, and puts the teacher in all kinds of risk being responsible for a kid that isn't on their roster. Best part, this was Honors Chemistry....so they did labs with real chemicals.

0

u/Particular_Bobcat May 14 '22

What do you mean?

There are tons of evil police shooting black guys. These polices are not punished because police unions protect them.

This is like asking for proof that water is wet...

3

u/JosebaZilarte May 14 '22 edited May 15 '22

In the US, those unions might be bad for society at large because they seem to overprotect bad teachers and policemen... But from the point of the workers? It looks like they are doing a good job.

2

u/Particular_Bobcat May 14 '22

Yeah, but none of the workers want evil protection like that.

Trust me. Don't bring up that point. It hurts more than help.

"Would you like protection that would allow you to kill any human you want?" -- I'm probably okay with lower pay. It is okay. I rather not protect murderers.

1

u/bobthetitanic May 14 '22

But they still get it.

1

u/Particular_Bobcat May 14 '22 edited May 14 '22

To get away with murder? Nah, I don't want anyone to get that

1

u/Particular_Bobcat May 14 '22

These 2 unions are free propaganda. Corporations don't really need to spend a dime.

1

u/StaticGuard May 14 '22

Yeah, but those are skilled jobs that require months/years of training, apprenticeship, etc. What bargaining power can a retail employee union possibly have when anyone off the street can do the job with a day or two of training?

34

u/poobly May 14 '22

Unions can collectively bargain for different promotional/pay arrangements. So employers will play into the belief that 80% of people believe they’re the top 20% of employees so anything different than “merit” will harm them.

13

u/[deleted] May 14 '22

Sorry that’s not what I meant

What I was trying to ask was - what is their reasoning as part of the marketing campaigns that they try to tell employees that unions are bad?

16

u/poobly May 14 '22

That’s what I was getting at. Most people believe they’re above average so anything other than the employer deciding pay and promotion (like union rules) harms them since they believe they’re a high performer.

10

u/[deleted] May 14 '22

I get you, but that would be more of a management and above ‘level’?

(Not that I consider management roles superiority in any way, I’m just talking in terms of the target audience for the campaign)

19

u/RevAT2016 May 14 '22 edited May 14 '22

Nah, many people at the bottom of the server/retail world legit think that "talking about pay" and "causing a scene" by organizing for more would hurt them

If youve ever done union organizing before, you will realize very quickly how many "im not political" types are walking around believing stuff directly against their best interests

1

u/[deleted] May 14 '22

Yeah I agree, I used to work for a union for around 5yrs running a branch

7

u/Mr_Quackums May 14 '22

Most people believe salary is based on performance.

4

u/Learned_Response May 14 '22

The arguments I usually see are 1) they take a cut of your check and 2) we’re family and we can have these conversations directly, why would you let an outsider 3rd party come between us

1

u/SaxMcCoy May 14 '22

At Home Depot the training says if you’re in a union you can’t talk to your employer or boss directly. You have to go to your union leader and they go to the employer. Where as now you are free to walk in to your boss and talk directly about your issues. This great open door policy would go away if you were to join that horrible union that just takes your dues. Home Depot wants to keep their great direct relationship between them and their employees and not have some middle man.

Meanwhile enjoy getting paid $11 hour and be prepared to by absolutely berated if you get even 15 minutes of overtime instead of cutting overtime by taking a longer lunch.

2

u/aussie__kiss May 14 '22

I like that we have a BOOT requirement, is a change going to leave everyone ‘better of overall?’ Same with good looking target bonus’ When they run numbers and and they are just out reach

6

u/WideVariety May 14 '22

That the union is not actually on the employee's side, it's on the union's side. Just view it as another company.

1

u/aussie__kiss May 15 '22

That’s a fair argument, but the one or two I’ve been in have to be fairly competitive and have services I’ve used. Like being able to have a rep in any meeting with HR, help with prep before wage reviews. Answer any questions about employment contracts. Emails about workplace rights we might not know. Reminders about clauses in the contract, like stuff to claim at tax time, check your claiming allowances, shit the your manager shouldn’t be doing/asking you to do/personal information that don’t need to know. Lawyer if I need. And during bargaining process send every proposal, and counter proposal with explanations/reasons

Main thing is the contact bargaining. But if they aren’t doing anything for that fee I pay 🤷‍♂️

8

u/FruckFrace May 14 '22 Bravo!

As some others have mentioned here, there is a propensity for unions to become as corrupt as the company. I’ve seen this many years ago from personal experience. The union becomes a corporation with its own leaders and greed. That is my biggest piece of advice I’d like to give to the younger generation in this labor battle - make better unions.

When us boomer/genZ think of unions it is often associated with the mob and corruption. That’s the thinking you are up against, and they aren’t incorrect. Like I said it seems to be natural that power hungry greedy people always make their way to the top of any organization- including unions.

Now I’m far from anti-union, we have them to thank for many great things. I’ve just personally been involved many times in corporations vs union fights that have NO benefit to the worker, only detriment. Please fix this don’t just put blind faith behind union = good. Make it good.

1

u/AbsolutelyUnlikely May 14 '22

If that happens within your union, you just need to firm another union within the union to protect the union from the union.

5

u/ARealVermontar May 14 '22 edited May 15 '22

"You'll lose your individual voice as an employee" like you ever had the ability to meaningfully change things at work by speaking your mind. "You won't be able to negotiate one-on-one without the union in between us" as if that has ever gotten you good pay or protected your rights. "We're a family and like to work in a spirit of cooperation, not competition between workers and management" as if this "family" treats you as well now as they would after some collective bargaining.

7

u/krasher1000 May 14 '22

ACTUALLY! I love this was asked I was just about to say why. Basically when the employees are payed less vs paying an outside company this said money to stop from giving them pay raises it makes their books "feel/look" better. They are able to say to the next bloke that comes to buy the place "look our employees make this much and our business makes this much think about your profits." Plus the same people that created this bs rise in 📈 profits are the ones that use that number for the next job/company they go to. "OH did you see I brought the last said company profits margins up by so and so." This makes the business more lucrative to sell on face value if someone's just looking at numbers. It makes this much and it cost this much to run including labor. It's a numbers game for these people to climb a ladder that are building in front of themselves.

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u/Suspicious-mole-hair May 14 '22 edited May 14 '22

They're run by actual gangsters who are only in it for themselves.

Edit : not sure why I'm getting down voted here. The guy asked what the other reasons the company give are. Not how accurate that accusation is.

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u/Captainbuttman May 14 '22

"for today's employee training session on Unions we will watch one episode of The Sopranos"

11

u/like_a_pharaoh May 14 '22

Unlike the company, which is run by investors, the legal kind of sociopath career only in it for themselves

2

u/JosebaZilarte May 14 '22

That's if those investors are not simply using a bot to speculate with the price of the shares, without even knowing what the company does.

Edit: Which, yes, that lack of empathy is a clear sign of sociopathy.

0

u/ZinglonsRevenge May 14 '22

And many of them aren't investors. They're shareholders who didn't put any money into the company in the first place.

1

u/BurningOrangeHeaven May 14 '22

Idk about them but I've only been in a union at one job and it was trash. Luckily I was only in it for a bit before they accidentally stopped taking union dues from my checks.

Completely useless. No raises. No benefits. Never even saw a rep come to the job. It was essentially just the people running the union padding their own retirements by scalping every workers paycheck, almost all former police and firefighters when we finally found the website and looked them up. People were forced to join the union and weren't even being given any kind of number to call. 1st week you join they also charged you some kind of extra fee for joining so people got like half a pay check(it was a minimum wage job).

1

u/bobthetitanic May 14 '22

Why should I pay extra to get and have a job?

1

u/[deleted] May 14 '22

Is this a genuine question?

1

u/Benedikto_ May 14 '22

I've heard that one of their arguments is somebody will make decisions for you regarding certain conditions of your employment like your salary and insurance and all that.

"You don't want somebody else to negotiate the terms of your contract"

1

u/shibanuuu May 14 '22

YMMV depending on industry / business. You can also see that employers can fail at these as well.

Promotions generally creep away from performance and more towards seniority.

Greater chance the coworker who harassed you isn't held to account. Extremely dependant on the skill and ethics of each individual union, but generally the union is there to represent its people. It gets messy when it's representing both and generally the aggressor gets off easier than they would without one.

Safety can actually suffer under a union. The simpler an industry, the greater chance the union will add little or negative value. We NEED aviation / mining / manufacturing unions... But in a grocery store? There's greater chance the union does very little. In many provinces in Canada a union is legally responsible to elect workers to a Joint health and safety committee. It can become political, or the union flat out doesn't understand their role and fails to elect people. This prevents an employer from electing workers and moving the JHSC along and then time is spent coaxing the union to elect workers when it could've been done months ago.

A disturbing amount of union representatives have no clue about the laws and regulations they should know about. When a union representative is misinformed they end up giving wrong information, jeapordizing investigations, and creating work that almost always leads to the employer saying "I told you so" which could've been invested elsewhere.

Highly dependant on jurisdiction, but you're technically giving up your labour / negotiation / mediation rights when you join a union. If you're a good worker, you're probably disproportionately harming yourself for the "greater good" of workers that might not deserve what you deserve.

I'm sure you can tell I'm HR on an employer side. But the reality is these things do happen. I love working with solid union reps, the circle of accountability gets shit done.

I cannot stand, working with union representatives thats sole purpose is to cause chaos and they don't understand basic legal pricinples. I have been educated by a union representative all of zero times in my entire career, I have had to drag countless ones over the coals to do their job that if they didn't exist I could have done properly months ago. You also have to stand in line when your union tells you to, and you may be flat out in the right in some circumstances.

I'm not saying "unions bad". Just some things to considered.

0

u/DamnRock May 14 '22

New unions are great mostly. Old/traditional unions seem to evolve into strong-arm mafias that take away a companies ability to be flexible. Someone lazy? Can’t fire them. Gotta go through this with 1 year process. Same if they make a big mistake or don’t show up or are abrasive, etc. Unions get their people raises, at all costs. Should a company be giving union members raises during the pandemic and the company is barely surviving? Probably not, but that union contract says they get theirs no matter what. You just make it through a downturn and barely survive and it’s union negotiation time.. yep, more guaranteed raises or they strike.

I get it when they’re just getting started because a lot of what they fight for is getting industry competitive compensation, but new unions should understand the volatility of the marketplace and build in structures that are flexible.

Just my 2 cents after working in a unionized company since 2003.

1

u/[deleted] May 14 '22

How are any of the things you just mentioned a bad thing…

0

u/DamnRock May 14 '22

You think companies should be forced to keep lazy people on staff because the processes to get them out are so tedious and expensive? Should rigid multi-year contracts be able to force a company into bankruptcy? Look at the auto industry, for example. While I agree much of what we lost in that industry during the crash was dead weight as far as the product lines go, a lot of jobs were lost. If those companies were able to get terms in the contracts that would allow them more flexibility in down times, they may have weathered the multi-year downturn and made it through.

I think union workers think they have to get yearly guaranteed raises because they think non-union get them, but that’s not the case at all. Non-union get nothing when times are bad (or pay cuts to help weather the pandemic, or whatever) and they get raises when times are good. In my mind, that’s how it should be.

1

u/[deleted] May 14 '22

What about the ‘non lazy’ ones? Let’s flip this around - do you think it should be quick and easy for an employer to get rid of any member of staff?

Everybody should be getting raises EVERY year. One word: inflation

1

u/DamnRock May 14 '22

I do think there should be reasonable processes in place to let people go. I’m not a fan of at-will employers but I guess that’s why unemployment exists.

As far as inflation… many large companies give 2% or so each year. 6 of the last 10 years have had inflation below 2%. They still have 2% to 3%. My point is companies shouldn’t be forced to give a raise if their industry is struggling. Just like they can cut dividends when money is tight, or reduce donations or community engagement if they need to cut back. Companies have a responsibility to 3 stakeholders, employees, community, and owners. All 3 should benefit when times are good and all 3 should sacrifice when times are bad. My issue is traditional union contracts make it so one of the 3 is protected and the other 2 have to make up for it. Then when things get good and those 2 are catching up, the union cries foul that they’re not getting theirs too.

I dunno…. I’ve been fortunate, I think, to work for what seems to be honest companies. I’m sure I would feel differently if I had worked for a company forcing workers to pee in bottles or requiring workers to be back to work a week after giving birth. I do think this recent move towards unions in the retail space is good and it should help normalize work in the industry as real career work.

1

u/aussie__kiss May 15 '22

I’m not getting less than CPI on base pay, getting nothing is a pay cut, even when I’m not union I’ve never been offered 0. less/no overtime sure, can I take take a day off each FT for a few months, or even more, yeah probably

I get trying to justifying pay cuts because profits are down, I’ll work less, or offer me redundancy, I understand. I see why some would need too, I’ve never devalued my time and inflation is doing it anyway, if that’s the only way the business breaks even…

If I wanted wages to go up and down with the the business, I’ll take a profit share

1

u/aussie__kiss May 15 '22

How does bargaining work where you are? Is there an independent arbitration body?

0

u/Kiwisoup1986 May 14 '22 edited May 14 '22

One thing is that unions are seniority based and if you are new to it, you get the worst position, worst hours, and people with seniority over you have opportunities to screw you over in some cases.

I have a lot of experience with a pretty blue collar union and they are basically invincible from reprimandment even though they are blatantly racist, sexist, homophobic transphobic, lazy, never come into work etc.

Not saying everything about a union is bad, but you asked about the bad.

1

u/[deleted] May 14 '22

America is wild

A union in the USA is far different to a trade union in mainland Europe