Unions Good or Bad?

Amanda - posted on 06/16/2011 ( 9 moms have responded )

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Thanks to the Postal, Air Canada strike, and now a possible City of Hamilton workers strike (might happen tonight at midnight). I been thinking about the use of Unions in the work place a lot. I was raised in a family of union workers, my father was even the Union leader for the Water works in my city at one point. Even though most of my family worked with Unions they didnt agree with Unions and feel there was no need for Unions in this day and age with such great labour laws now a days. How do you all feel about Unions, are they a need, do they actually help out workers, or are they just a group of people trying to make money off hard workers? Should Unions be allowed to strike (esp civil workers) or should they be froce to work to rule?

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i think Unions are essential in the workforce. They are a very convenient target however and they haven't helped themselves in that venue. NYS public employees for example have a pension that is tax free. Fine, I'm actually ok with that but should that fund lose money (as can happen with ALL pensions), the fund is replenished in full by taxes. That's not right. if the pensioner moves out of state, the pension is still tax free. That's not fair either. on the flip side, I believe completely that but for unions, workers would not have a fair shake by large corporations.

ME - posted on 06/17/2011

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I think some people get teaching degrees because they don't know what else to do in College. That doesn't make them TEACHERS...The teachers union needs to recognize the difference between people who have found their calling in life and deserve to be there, and people who were too lazy to discover a career about which they feel some passion. I want to be clear tho, I do not believe that there are very many of these people out there. I think that many teachers who are currently considered "bad" or "lazy" are victims of No Child Left Behind, just as our students are it's victims. I also believe that this will only get worse as, across the country, we fire teachers, teachers aids and classroom assistants due to budget problems.

Striking is a tough issue for me...I think that workers have the right to strike (peaceful assembly), but I would hope that they would save this action as a last resort. I believe that our kids NEED to be in school as much as possible, but I also believe that educators deserve a living wage, which doesn't happen in most places. Some of the Adjunct professors with whom I work also teach at one or two other colleges, teaching 8 or 9 classes a semester. They can't survive financially on less, but they can't do their best work under these conditions either. Teachers in the public schools are typically working for peanuts too, and when you are stressed about feeding your family or you have to have a night job as a waitress just to get by, you cannot do your best work. Our teachers deserve better in this country; until EVERYONE wakes up and recognizes this, they NEED the union fighting for them!

ME - posted on 06/16/2011

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I'm pretty pro union...My whole family are teachers tho...so...I might be biased. I do think there are things that need to be done to make sure that Unions are working for their members and not simply for political power...Some unions keep it in the family, only allowing the children and grandchildren of past members into the union, some unions protect mediocre workers rather than filling their ranks with the best they can find. These are unfortunate failings...but they don't make unions "bad"...things are rarely that black or white...

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Desiree - posted on 06/17/2011

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Sorry but in South Africa we have constant strikes so I am very Anti Union. I feel they have had their day and now should be buried right a long with apartheid and racism. They take the members money who by they way get nothing for it, they waste the tax payers money and They damage property and don't do anything to stop their member from intimidating other who don't want to strike and have no respect for anybody and I do mean Zip Zero respect for any one. It is always the "Criminal elliment" that causes the damage. They always scream their rights but never mind any one else rights. So no I am not really pro Union.....

Amber - posted on 06/17/2011

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I'm also 50/50 on it. There are several people who I know that are union. They don't do anything at work! They're constantly writing on facebook that they just had a nice nap, are playing cards, etc while at work. And I know it's true because my mother works for the same company, but she is management..so not union. My grandpa and uncle were both union at the same company and said stuff like that happens all the time.
My best friends husband just started there. His fellow employees told him that he needed to slow down because he was getting too much done in a day! And because of the union, the process to fire these people can take years.

Now the union is bitching because the company got bought out and they are now part of a huge corporation. They have very little leverage and have lost a lot of their perks.

These employees are bitching because they lost a good portion of profit sharing, had overtime taken away, hours cut, and other things. But they refuse to give up any of their benefits. They get paid more than other plants that have higher productivity! I'm all for paying a premium for high quality, but they expect a premium to sit on their asses and do nothing.

Unions CAN be a good thing. But at this point, some are so out of control that they are sucking the life and profits out of the companies they work for.

Amanda - posted on 06/17/2011

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Ok nice Mary I actually have a question for you. Teachers LOVE to go on strike here, do you feel you have the right to strike during a school year or should they be put on work to rule (which happens here more often then not).



Also do you feel that some teachers may not do their 100% at work because they know their job is protected?



For example, in my hubbys line of work, workers who cant make it at his company (get fired for being lazy, not doing their jobs correctly or just being dangerous), all go to other companies and hold down jobs very well because with a union they companys find it harder to fire a worker.

Amanda - posted on 06/16/2011

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I think I also think its 50/50. Sometimes I think that if my husband had a union his work wouldnt work him so hard, but then I realize if he had Union he wouldnt get over time in his line of work. As all the other companies in his field are union run, and no one works over 8 hours a day.

Mabel - posted on 06/16/2011

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My husband works for a union and I do/don't agree with some of their rules.I think it is more of a 50/50 on it being a good bad thing.I like that he has a rep in the field who can be there to negotiate pay and other things for him and if he needs clothing for work or other essentials that is always a nice bonus.I like the schooling aspect and how they can work so many hours for insurance and still be covered 6 months after they are laid off (if it ever happens).Like I said there are both good and bad so I think it evens out .=)

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