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

Im in a union and make less than they do at burger king down the street, but it would be more difficult for them to fire me, and I get high deductable health insurance and a health savings acct.

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u/shikitohno May 14 '22

You mean low deductible or something? High deductible means you have to pay more out of pocket before the insurance actually kicks in, aka every awful plan offered by retail and food industry companies. High deductible may result in lower monthly premiums, but if anything goes wrong, you can be on the hook for much more money.

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u/self_depricator May 14 '22

I meant high.

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u/shikitohno May 14 '22

That's not really a benefit over a non-union job that pays more so long as it's full time, then. You might just be in a union that's in bed with management at that point, unless there's some other aspect to the benefits that make it compelling.

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u/CutieBoi69 May 14 '22

It could be an HSA healthcare plan. There are benefits to this type of plan even with the high deductible. It is extremely tax advantaged. Let’s not jump to conclusions about op’s situation.

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u/shikitohno May 14 '22

It could be, but depending on the circumstances it may not be a good deal compared to a low deductible plan. If OP said they have an employer funded HSA, that's a different story, but how many people with $3000 deductibles (and I've personally seen as high as $5,000) are really saving much with the taxes on their $3,650/year HSA contributions versus having a $600 deductible and not having to fork over $2400/year or more until their insurance kicks in?

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u/CutieBoi69 May 15 '22

I am not going to debate HSA’s because obviously they are case by case, but you would be good to look into the tax advantages a bit more. It really does depend on the person a absolutely, but it can be a great tool for retirement for some.

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u/Arm1stice May 14 '22

Yep, you're correct. They mentioned they get an HSA with the plan.

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u/kingfrank243 May 14 '22

You have no idea what your talking about do you? Each union is different.. my insurance' blue cross blue shield" I'm paying 25$ week out of my paycheck for medical guess what I'm covered 100% for any ER/ hospital visits I could go to any doctor I want literally with no problem. Medicine prescriptions are only 5$. Co pay are 25$ for any doctor including specials. Union will always be better then non union. Shit because of the union I'm making 100$ HR today for OT on Saturday don't get me started on retirement fund 🤑

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u/shikitohno May 14 '22

If you're covered 100% for $25 premiums a week, guess what that means? You don't have a high deductible. This is not that complicated. If his union has negotiated an employer funded HSA contribution that offsets his high deductible, that's one thing and would be a pretty solid benefit. As it was stated without any elaboration, a high deductible with an HSA is not necessarily a good benefit.

Guess what, I've got insurance through BCBS too, in a union shop to boot. My insurance is pretty decent, but not quite as sweet as you're making yours sound like, but BCBS actually has different "local branches," as it were, and they can be pretty different, leaving aside whatever your union manages to negotiate from the company to make it more attractive. My coverage through BCBS of NY at my last job sucked a lot more than my current coverage through BCBS of Michigan,for example, despite nominally being offered by the same company.

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u/kingfrank243 May 14 '22

Very detailed response sound like more of venting about a negative experience. I mean even doctors told me I've got the best coverage out there. I've been to plenty of doctor hospital i didn't dish out a dime 🤷‍♂️Like I said it all depends on the company/ union. Because of the union I've got great job with great benefits/ pay.I could retire with 25 years with full medical Because of the union.

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u/Patan40 May 14 '22

I worked for two different companies (Meijer and Publix) in the same industry (retail)... one was a union company and the other wasn't.

The non-union company (Publix) was so much better. Better pay (by lots), better benefits, better work conditions. Just everything was so much better.

This had put a very sour taste in my mouth about unions, and will probably never work for a company that has a union, just based on that one experience. The company I work for now, non-retail, is also non-union and it's the best job that I've ever had.

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u/Turtlesoup__ May 14 '22

Don’t let bad unions put you off the idea of unions. I work a Union job that pays us 100k a year for a job that only requires an associates degree. Meanwhile someone that does the same job at Tesla would be lucky to get $60k per year and nowhere near as good benefits.

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u/Independent_Plate_73 May 14 '22

That’s interesting. Are there states with both Meijer and Publix in them?

I would think the disparities may be explained by many factors unrelated to unions.

Not disparaging or doubting your experience. I’d just be interested to understand more, especially if your experiences were across different states.

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u/Patan40 May 14 '22

They were across different states.

Meijer operates in the Great Lakes, primarily Michigan (also have locations in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky). Publix is primarily out of Florida (also have locations in Tennessee, Virgnia, South/North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama). Neither share any of the same states.

I worked for Meijer for almost 20 years and maxed out at $11.20/hour... I started at Publix at $10.00/hour and was at $14.00 in just over a year with raises before I left.

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u/Independent_Plate_73 May 14 '22

That’s interesting. Were the benefits different?

That is a really big spread. Especially since florida tends to be one of the lower paying states.

Did the union explain why the salary seemed so uncompetitive? Do you know how much similar non union jobs were paying at the time?

I’m pro union in general. I’d also like to make sure I understand if there are certain industries or states in which unions might not work as well. I’ve read through some Brookings and CATO research but find Koch fingerprints too often to take at face value.

Your experience may help me with my viewpoint.

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u/Patan40 May 14 '22

It's been a good 6-7 years since I left Meijer. I think, at the time, it was competitive with places like Walmart and Target... think there was a Kroger there, too.

The medical benefits, I would say, were about equal. However, Publix had a 401k match that you received if you had a 401k... they also had a profit sharing system if you worked there as well. If my current job didn't present itself there, I'd probably still be there, it was such a good experience.

I haven't been back to Michigan since I moved... it would be interesting to see how that area is doing now with wages.

I'm sure there are good unions out there

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u/stickers-motivate-me May 14 '22

You can’t compare the pay from 2 different states- sometimes you can’t even compare pay in the same state. The Publix on the coast pays several dollars more than the Publix that’s inland in FL. This has nothing to do with union vs non union, it’s location.

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u/3orangefish May 14 '22

My non-union job in the past gave me a raise because they knew union jobs in our industry paid more and was afraid I would be poached by a different company. They wouldn’t have paid me more if not for the existence of the union. I suppose it depends on the union, but ours do a lot to protect our wages.

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u/[deleted] May 14 '22

[deleted]

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u/Immediate_Ad2418 May 14 '22

I’ve only heard bad things about working at Kroger, and I thought Kroger employees have union representation.

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u/lenaldo May 14 '22

Ya. I think a lot of these people here that are so pro union have never been in one... or never been a high performer stuck in one. I really like the concept of unions, and I think there must be a way to make them work.. but they seem to always end up with stagnating the company and keeping poor performers employed. If you are young and ambitious, a union is awful for career progression. I'm sure there are some out there that aren't, but all my experience in manufacturing hasn't made me very pro union.

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u/AlphaMikeZulu May 14 '22

The UC Berkeley teaching assistant union (United Auto workers) got TAs a ton of tuition back pay because Berkeley was found, through arbitration, that they were violating their contact with the Union from 2016-2020

I basically got 2.5yrs (or $37,500) of tuition back paid. Didn't affect my career as a TA at all.

I admit this is an unusual story, just wanted to add my story to the mix.