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Old Dec 12, 2012, 04:21 PM   #76
Eraserhead
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Originally Posted by hulugu View Post
How a voting test would avoid partisan, racial, and economic biases is a question worth asking,
In the same way that a school exam does.

We trust the government to produce school exams which meet all those criteria for our everyday living.

Seriously, it isn't the 18th century anymore, we can trust an independent body to come up with something that is at least as fair as the current system.

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Keep in mind that some of the literacy tests were different depending on your race, so a white voter might have to copy down a short sentence, but a black voter would have to copy down a huge legalistic paragraph. So, officials could switch. They also tended to play games with party affiliations.
I'm sure in 2012 we can avoid these problems.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 04:26 PM   #77
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...Exactly. We've gone into the weeds a bit, but my question to CalWiz was about how such a test would be designed and administered. Not just because it might affect black voters, but depending on the test, you could invalidate the voting rights of millions.

So, yes, people who espouse such a voting test should be able to discuss how they would do it.
I didn't really have an entire implementation mapped out when I espoused the general principle, but, keeping in mind that I am no Educational Testing Service, I will attempt to map out some broad stroke ideas and get back to you.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 04:34 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by Eraserhead View Post
In the same way that a school exam does.

We trust the government to produce school exams which meet all those criteria for our everyday living.
Yet there is still controversy over SAT exams having a racial bias.

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I'm sure in 2012 we can avoid these problems.
So in 2012 there are not people that are racist, sexist, practice partisan politics, blindly bow to their own political or religious ideology and/or will stop at nothing to make sure their 'side' wins?

Not to sound like a conspiracy theorist but adding an educational test to enable voting rights after public education has been gutted in the U.S. and many politicians want to do away with funding to make higher education attainable sounds like a Machiavellian master plan to make voting a right of the affluent only. For the record I'm being more cheeky than serious.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 04:35 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by Eraserhead View Post
In the same way that a school exam does.

We trust the government to produce school exams which meet all those criteria for our everyday living.
Keep in mind that education researchers continue to discuss racial biases inherent to the SAT and that's a widely-used test without the political baggage a voting test would have.

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...Seriously, it isn't the 18th century anymore, we can trust an independent body to come up with something that is at least as fair as the current system.
Voting tests existed until 1964, it's not some ancient memory. And, which body? State, federal? How are the tests administered? When? How are they designed?

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...I'm sure in 2012 we can avoid these problems.
I'm sure we *can* I'm just not convinced we *will*. I think politics would be more likely to poison this effort than race or class issues, but I think we should remember the Jim Crow laws and *learn* from their existence and consequences.

It's like using the wide use of radium in consumer products to think about how a modern, but less-understood material may not be the best thing to put into children's toys. There's an example that can lead to understanding.

So, you want a well-informed electorate? How do you get there using a voting test?
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 05:08 PM   #80
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Keep in mind that education researchers continue to discuss racial biases inherent to the SAT and that's a widely-used test without the political baggage a voting test would have.
And we accept SAT's (and their equivalents in other countries) as reasonable way of deciding whether people will succeed or fail.

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I'm sure we *can* I'm just not convinced we *will*. I think politics would be more likely to poison this effort than race or class issues, but I think we should remember the Jim Crow laws and *learn* from their existence and consequences.
If you remove the blatant and obvious bias', and let a bipartisan board organise the tests then I don't think it would be discriminatory.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 05:21 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by Eraserhead View Post
And we accept SAT's (and their equivalents in other countries) as reasonable way of deciding whether people will succeed or fail.
Much of that acceptance is based on tradition and the SATs are accepted less now than they were in the past as we learn they aren't all they are cracked up to be. If the SATs didn't exist and someone purposed them today they wouldn't be accepted in the current form, IMO.

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If you remove the blatant and obvious bias', and let a bipartisan board organise the tests then I don't think it would be discriminatory.
By and large we can't even create bipartisan or nonpartisan boards to draw voting districts that don't grossly favor one party over another so forgive my lack of faith in voting tests not ending up partisan as well.

To echo Hulugu, how does a voting test create a well-informed population? Wouldn't a renewed focus on public education and attainable college education do more to create an informed population than a test designed to turn voters away?


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Old Dec 12, 2012, 06:02 PM   #82
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I agree and don't think there is anything inherently bad about a large company or corporation. I should've had said I think most large corporations are run in an unethical manor.


According to Dunbar's Number humans can only maintain around 150 stable personal relationships so I wouldn't be surprised if smaller businesses typically had a more 'family' feeling where management felt a personal responsibility for the workers and the workers felt a personal responsibility to perform well. Gore (makers of Gore-tex) actually puts this into practice and none of their offices or factories have more than 150 people in them. As they company expands they just erect new buildings (sometimes on the other side of a property from an existing building). They also have a unique management structure in that there really isn't a management structure. Link
That is interesting...and it makes sense. I'll be reading up on their management structure more, as I do a lot with management theory (more government, but it's all interconnected). I think the single biggest issue with both large corporations and government is the disenfranchisement of workers. It's impossible not to look at people as numbers, but people do not like being looked at numbers, and in a complex hierarchy, the purpose of work (and sometimes perceived upwards mobility) becomes forgotten. Purposes aren't clearly defined leading to an inability to complete a good performance assessment, lines of communication break down, and the organization slowly becomes less efficient and less capable. It has interested me for quite some time that most large private companies use the traditional management and organizational model, and some cling to it even knowing that it will be their demise. Many large companies oppose research. So while not directly related to unionization, I would dare say better organizational management by companies would help prevent some of the problems that result in strikes.





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That's an interesting point. I think we've seen that the right way to eliminate the need for a union is to have a shop that pays well, not trying to attack the union's ability to organize or manage itself.
I've often wondered why union elimination has always rested more on banning unions rather offering an alternate route that people find satisfactory. Compensation is linked to a need for group organization. The other big one though is purpose to work. If employers want to reduce the chance of strikes and what not, work needs to be made purposeful. While that sounds silly, it's all about how managers frame the context. This sense of purpose has been linked to improved productivity. Most unions have historically structured themselves around a fundamental purpose usually linked to a work purpose that goes beyond the basic compensation.

Another modern onset we've seen has been the emergence of the HR departments. Barnard spent nearly 100 pages talking about the disconnect in organization, which is bound by cooperation (almost always one that is hierarchical), that can only occur with communication. Unions have often acted as the communicator between manager and managed. HR allows negotiated interaction as well. I've read some arguments that HR came out of unionization.







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Union wages more than make up for it... When in an industry that generates millions/billions of revenue, the labor perspective is that you can afford to pay me a little more, enough to live a decent life. Mostly I'd say that is true. They would pay you nothing if they thought they could get away with it.
Do they make up for it today? (I really don't know)
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 06:19 PM   #83
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That is interesting...and it makes sense. I'll be reading up on their management structure more, as I do a lot with management theory (more government, but it's all interconnected). I think the single biggest issue with both large corporations and government is the disenfranchisement of workers. It's impossible not to look at people as numbers, but people do not like being looked at numbers, and in a complex hierarchy, the purpose of work (and sometimes perceived upwards mobility) becomes forgotten. Purposes aren't clearly defined leading to an inability to complete a good performance assessment, lines of communication break down, and the organization slowly becomes less efficient and less capable. It has interested me for quite some time that most large private companies use the traditional management and organizational model, and some cling to it even knowing that it will be their demise. Many large companies oppose research. So while not directly related to unionization, I would dare say better organizational management by companies would help prevent some of the problems that result in strikes.
I agree. Growing bigger can certainly present a conundrum because many times as an organization gets bigger it loses its ability to do what made it successful as a smaller company.

I think you should also check out the handbook Valve hands out to new employees. PDF warning
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 08:49 PM   #84
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I will tell you the real reason the unions are angry.

In the hi-tech industry, you won't find many unions, if any. And the hi-tech industry is the safest and best paid sector, after the financial services industry (which is also non-unionized).

There are more hi-tech jobs than there are people qualified to do them.


But for the low-skills jobs there are more workers than there are jobs. So the union laborers are seeking protectionist measures to stifle the competition for those jobs, and a closed shop is one of the crudest methods used to that end.

Right to work laws level the playing field for those jobs.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 09:45 PM   #85
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I will tell you the real reason the unions are angry.

In the hi-tech industry, you won't find many unions, if any. And the hi-tech industry is the safest and best paid sector, after the financial services industry (which is also non-unionized).

There are more hi-tech jobs than there are people qualified to do them.


But for the low-skills jobs there are more workers than there are jobs. So the union laborers are seeking protectionist measures to stifle the competition for those jobs, and a closed shop is one of the crudest methods used to that end.

Right to work laws level the playing field for those jobs.
I don't see how unions like the NFL Players Association or Motion Picture Editors Guild fit into your stereotype of low-skilled workers seeking protectionist measures. I'd consider VFX artists and video game developers hi tech jobs and many of those guys are getting abused six ways from Sunday in part, IMO, because they don't have unions. If they did maybe just the threat of unionization would be enough to keep more employers in line.

The concept that unions are only for low-skilled workers on assembly lines is pretty out of touch with reality.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 10:17 PM   #86
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I don't see how unions like the NFL Players Association or Motion Picture Editors Guild fit into your stereotype of low-skilled workers seeking protectionist measures. I'd consider VFX artists and video game developers hi tech jobs and many of those guys are getting abused six ways from Sunday in part, IMO, because they don't have unions. If they did maybe just the threat of unionization would be enough to keep more employers in line.

The concept that unions are only for low-skilled workers on assembly lines is pretty out of touch with reality.
NFL players and movie stars don't really matter in this at all.

And proof that video game developers are hi tech jobs and are being abused?

Even so, still doesn't really disprove that high tech jobs are non unionized and offer great pay
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 10:48 PM   #87
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I'm looking for a valid reasonable explanation from someone on the other side as to why free individuals shouldn't have the choice of whether or not to join a union. I'm seeking to better understand the alternative view. Thank you in advance.
To give you some background, I've spent part of my life living in a genuine company town, and, at another point in my life I was working for something like $1.95/hr where there was an invisible unseen union that took something like $.15/hr as union dues. I could have used that 15 cents/hr. (You can figure out that this was a long, long time ago-- seems to me a loaf of Wonderbread was also something like 15 cents or so.) Oh, and, I remember well reading about the U.K. in the 70's where the various unions were constantly striking and cutting off the electrical power and everything else at various times-- basically extortion. In other words, I have a skeptical view of both employers and unions-- you can talk about free markets and freedom of association all you want, but, sometimes there is no free labor market within 200 miles. If one, or three, companies in your county, or even the entire country, are the only companies that employ people in your particular specialty, your economic freedom is constrained.

Given that background, let us call the union dues "representation fees". You pay the union a fee to represent your interests to the employer. Now, if membership and paying the fee are mandatory, we can call that a "representation shop". Well, you might ask, who could be against requiring a fee for representation services, just like a mandatory fee for health insurance, or anything else? Or a yearly license renewal fee for our particular trade or profession? Or auto insurance, or professional liability insurance?

Now, is it really that obvious that requiring someone to pay a "representation fee" is an unusually immoral infringement on that person's freedom? I think it is highly debatable.

I'm not always in favor of unions, but, in recent years, I have become aware of a number of instances where a union was able to communicate employee concerns to top management that otherwise would have been ignored by middle management. Ultimately, the employer benefits as well as the employee. In fact, if I were the CEO of a large company, I would always be looking for ways to get information regarding individual employee concerns, because in a large company, middle managers often have their own agendas that are not necessarily beneficial to the company. In particular, there are always bullies around in various disguises who enjoy exercising their power and have fun coercing and abusing their inferiors. An effective union can help with this particular problem.

On the original topic: "Right to Work" laws sound good in the context of "freedom", but, the reality is that employers use RTW as a divide and conquer strategy to drive out the union and drive down wages.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 11:34 PM   #88
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NFL players and movie stars don't really matter in this at all.
Might want to do a quick google search 'cause MPEG isn't for movie stars.

You said in your previous post that unions are full of low-skilled workers seeking protectionist measures and I was merely listing a couple of examples of unions with high-skilled members that aren't seeking protectionist measures. I'm not sure how what I'm saying doesn't matter in the context of what you are saying.

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And proof that video game developers are hi tech jobs and are being abused?
Proof that video game deves are hi tech jobs? Well, doesn't that depend on how you define a hi tech job? Game devs and VFX artists many times work with cutting edge hardware and software doing things that have never been done before so, to me, that qualifies as a hi tech job.

This article was the talk of the gaming industry when it came out last year.
Why Did L.A. Noire Take Seven Years to Make?
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Another issue raised by several of the Bondi Eleven related to overtime. "No overtime was officially paid in the three years and three months that I worked at Team Bondi," one artist told us. According to this source, staff contracts were worded in a manner which ensured that the only way employees would be paid for their overtime would be to wait until three months after project completion. Those who left the company before this time were not entitled to overtime payments.
Visual effects artists aim to create better work environments
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The Animation Guild is preparing a class-action lawsuit against several of them, alleging they are violating federal labor laws by routinely misclassifying visual effects artists as independent contractors or freelancers, even though they report to work, have a supervisor and use company equipment.

Union officials say some employers are withholding pay from workers for as long as 90 days and are using a payroll service that reduces wages by having employees cover payroll taxes that would normally be paid for by the employer.
Is everyone getting treated this way? No, but it's wide spread enough to be considered common and some even see it as acceptable even though these types of conditions wouldn't be tolerated in 'normal' workplaces. We are also talking about industries where clients and/or employers many times ask for work to be done for free and are genuinely of fended when someone refuses.

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Even so, still doesn't really disprove that high tech jobs are non unionized and offer great pay
Why do you think I'm trying to disprove that? I'm just saying that even highly skilled, well compensated people can benefit from collect bargaining. A big paycheck isn't a cure all. How great does the pay have to be to exempt employers from things like paying OT and giving breaks required by law? If it's a really great paying job is it okay for the employer to illegally mislabel the worker as an independent contractor so as to shift tax burdens from employer to employee? Exactly what is the pay rate that says employees must shut up and passively work under whatever conditions the employer sets up for them? I never understand the argument that as long as you pay someone enough money anything you do to them is okay.

Hi tech fields are very relatively young (compared to things like manufacturing) and don't have a history of collective bargaining but that will change if enough companies keep treating workers like disposable assets to be used up and tossed away.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 09:26 AM   #89
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To give you some background...
Thanks for your detailed response. I'm wondering, why are unions required in some circumstances to provide the benefits and pay increases they bargain for to the rest of the workforce? The scabs? The free-riders?

It seems to me that if a group of people bans together to argue for a particular benefit, they (and no one else) deserves the fruit of that effort. Free riders don't deserve the fruits but also don't deserve the blame if the owners/managers of the company don't appreciate what was done.

If you choose to cast your lot with the union or without the union, you should rise and fall accordingly. Sometimes management would no-doubt see benefit in promoting someone from outside the union, in that case the non-union employee benefited. Other times, only those employees who came together to negotiate a 5% raise, would then receive that 5% raise.

The entire argument against 'right to work' or the basic freedom of an individual to work where they want w/out coercion or being forced to join a group seems to lie on the free-rider argument... which appears to be simply a choice, a contract signed by the union and the company.... it's not based in law.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 02:44 PM   #90
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Thanks for your detailed response. I'm wondering, why are unions required in some circumstances to provide the benefits and pay increases they bargain for to the rest of the workforce? The scabs? The free-riders?

It seems to me that if a group of people bans together to argue for a particular benefit, they (and no one else) deserves the fruit of that effort. Free riders don't deserve the fruits but also don't deserve the blame if the owners/managers of the company don't appreciate what was done.
If it were just pay, this would make sense. However, let's say that the fumes from metal-working start to bother some of the employees (new cutting methods, etc.) and so they demand a new ventilation system to clear out the fumes. Changes in safety procedures, equipment, etc. are fruits enjoyed by all workers, but yet, only a subset is actually paying for the cost of getting those fruits.

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If you choose to cast your lot with the union or without the union, you should rise and fall accordingly. Sometimes management would no-doubt see benefit in promoting someone from outside the union, in that case the non-union employee benefited. Other times, only those employees who came together to negotiate a 5% raise, would then receive that 5% raise.
Just on the face of what you've said, union employees would get raises, but non-union employees would get promotions (and we assume raises) which would create an immediate inequality that would encourage people to abandon the union.

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...The entire argument against 'right to work' or the basic freedom of an individual to work where they want w/out coercion or being forced to join a group seems to lie on the free-rider argument... which appears to be simply a choice, a contract signed by the union and the company.... it's not based in law.
You haven't answered my points about NDAs, non-compete clauses, and drug tests. Don't these also limit "basic" freedoms?
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 03:40 PM   #91
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Much of that acceptance is based on tradition and the SATs are accepted less now than they were in the past as we learn they aren't all they are cracked up to be. If the SATs didn't exist and someone purposed them today they wouldn't be accepted in the current form, IMO.
I don't really know much about SAT's specifically, but certainly in every major country end of schooling exams are important.

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By and large we can't even create bipartisan or nonpartisan boards to draw voting districts that don't grossly favor one party over another so forgive my lack of faith in voting tests not ending up partisan as well.
Fair enough, I was thinking more of the UK, where we do seem to have managed to achieve this.

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To echo Hulugu, how does a voting test create a well-informed population? Wouldn't a renewed focus on public education and attainable college education do more to create an informed population than a test designed to turn voters away?
The counter is that lots of people aren't interested in politics - and that should be OK - but in which case their opinion on political views isn't really going to be very interesting.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 03:48 PM   #92
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If it were just pay, this would make sense. However, let's say that the fumes from metal-working start to bother some of the employees (new cutting methods, etc.) and so they demand a new ventilation system to clear out the fumes. Changes in safety procedures, equipment, etc. are fruits enjoyed by all workers, but yet, only a subset is actually paying for the cost of getting those fruits.
Your argument pre-supposes that all changes occurring as a result of the union are positive ones. It isn't fruitful in this instance to get into all the examples of how it could be in fact negative changes a union brings to a workplace instead of positive ones... suffice to say they exist. Often times the 'fruit' you speak of is rotten.

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Just on the face of what you've said, union employees would get raises, but non-union employees would get promotions (and we assume raises) which would create an immediate inequality that would encourage people to abandon the union.
This it seems to me may be closer to the crux of the issue. Many union members (and more often liberals than conservatives) tend to see every person as equal in ability and worth. Therefor, 'inequality' of results in their mind equates to something negative... whereas conservatives and anti-union individuals tend to see 'inequality' of result as a very good thing... that those who work hard or have more ability and value end up moving up the ladder and getting paid more as a result. This boils down to basic economics, and whether your view of compensation is based on 'fairness' or based on 'value' someone provides to society or a company.


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You haven't answered my points about NDAs, non-compete clauses, and drug tests. Don't these also limit "basic" freedoms?
NDA's, non-compete clauses, and drug tests are all things that employers can require as part of the employment process. Each individual in that case is entering into the agreement willfully. Each party agreed to the conditions, and signed on the dotted line... an expression of free choice.

I see contributions to a union as completely different. You've now introduced a third party into the equation... it's not an individual and a company coming to a mutually beneficial agreement, it's an individual, a company, and now a third party consisting of current employees coercing new employees into joining their group and paying their dues. Now, if the company itself requires employees join the union as a condition of willful employment... I may oppose it personally, but legally it'd be perfectly ok as the original agreement was entered into freely.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 04:03 PM   #93
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NDA's, non-compete clauses, and drug tests are all things that employers can require as part of the employment process. Each individual in that case is entering into the agreement willfully. Each party agreed to the conditions, and signed on the dotted line... an expression of free choice.
********.

You wouldn't be able to get a job if you didn't agree to those sort of conditions.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 04:08 PM   #94
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Your argument pre-supposes that all changes occurring as a result of the union are positive ones. It isn't fruitful in this instance to get into all the examples of how it could be in fact negative changes a union brings to a workplace instead of positive ones... suffice to say they exist. Often times the 'fruit' you speak of is rotten.
This is a fair point, but we often don't discuss "free rider" problems in terms of negatives, so it's difficult to illustrate an argument that way. Generally speaking, unions tend to bring positive change on their introduction, but like any bureaucracy become moribund. So, workers could either refuse to join the union (but pay a fee) and the union would collapse under employee apathy, or workers could work to change the union to make it a positive entity. Allowing people to abandon the union won't make the union bare fresh fruit, it will just kill the tree.


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...This it seems to me may be closer to the crux of the issue. Many union members (and more often liberals than conservatives) tend to see every person as equal in ability and worth. Therefor, 'inequality' of results in their mind equates to something negative... whereas conservatives and anti-union individuals tend to see 'inequality' of result as a very good thing... that those who work hard or have more ability and value end up moving up the ladder and getting paid more as a result. This boils down to basic economics, and whether your view of compensation is based on 'fairness' or based on 'value' someone provides to society or a company.
I don't think this is true. Unions workers believe that their ability to argue for value with their company is given force by a union. Moreover, they'll also argue for pay raises with increased responsibility, leadership, or work ethic.

Like everyone else.


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...NDA's, non-compete clauses, and drug tests are all things that employers can require as part of the employment process. Each individual in that case is entering into the agreement willfully. Each party agreed to the conditions, and signed on the dotted line... an expression of free choice.

I see contributions to a union as completely different. You've now introduced a third party into the equation... it's not an individual and a company coming to a mutually beneficial agreement, it's an individual, a company, and now a third party consisting of current employees coercing new employees into joining their group and paying their dues. Now, if the company itself requires employees join the union as a condition of willful employment... I may oppose it personally, but legally it'd be perfectly ok as the original agreement was entered into freely.
Well, first, companies aren't allowed to require union membership since the first days of the Wagner Act, when big companies pushed against "closed" shops under the euphemistic "American Plan" (so-called because at that time closed shops were considered to be a Communist conspiracy).

The first days of the RTW movement were precisely to eliminate closed shops in exchange for open ones. In other words, our movement toward freedom eliminated the arrangement you're arguing for.

So, companies give people a choice, you can have the job, but you either pay a fee or join the union.

The third-party aspect doesn't make that much sense. First, the union is typically a local group that represents local employees, so there's no third party, just employees (which one is becoming) and the employer. The union is just a representational group, with larger national backing to give it teeth (and lawyers and money to battle against lawyers, guns, and money).

Second, something like a non-compete clause will be assessed by a third-party law-firm and employees may also agree to arbitration (with a third party) rather than a lawsuit. People enter into what you would call a third party arrangement all the time, so I don't think that holds any water and that's only if you consider the union a third party, which seems awkward.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 04:30 PM   #95
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Fair enough, I was thinking more of the UK, where we do seem to have managed to achieve this.
Someday, hopefully, we'll get there.

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The counter is that lots of people aren't interested in politics - and that should be OK - but in which case their opinion on political views isn't really going to be very interesting.
Even if it's not very interesting opinion they should still get to voice it.


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This it seems to me may be closer to the crux of the issue. Many union members (and more often liberals than conservatives) tend to see every person as equal in ability and worth. Therefor, 'inequality' of results in their mind equates to something negative... whereas conservatives and anti-union individuals tend to see 'inequality' of result as a very good thing... that those who work hard or have more ability and value end up moving up the ladder and getting paid more as a result. This boils down to basic economics, and whether your view of compensation is based on 'fairness' or based on 'value' someone provides to society or a company.
Not that I know everyone of course but in my experience I haven't run into any union members that have this point of view. Of course I work in the entertainment industry and the role of our unions seem to be different than many others. I think a large part of that is that this industry is mainly made up of freelance employees and/or independent contractors as opposed to staff employees so there is certainly a different dynamic between working at the same company for 20yrs on staff vs changing jobs every few weeks/months as a freelancer or independent contractor.

I'm certainly a firm believer in compensation and advancement based on merit but that doesn't blind me to the fact that individuals coming together as a collective (be it as employees wanting a change at work or voters wanting a change in government) is more more powerful than individuals acting on their own.


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I see contributions to a union as completely different. You've now introduced a third party into the equation... it's not an individual and a company coming to a mutually beneficial agreement, it's an individual, a company, and now a third party consisting of current employees coercing new employees into joining their group and paying their dues. Now, if the company itself requires employees join the union as a condition of willful employment... I may oppose it personally, but legally it'd be perfectly ok as the original agreement was entered into freely.
But RTW laws introduce the government as a third party coming between an agreement between two private parties.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 07:16 PM   #96
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The entire argument against 'right to work' or the basic freedom of an individual to work where they want ...
Sorry, can you tell me more about your universe, sounds interesting. In the universe I live in, no one has any right to work where they want. They have a right to not work where they do not want to work, but if the place they want to work does not have an open position for them, they will not be working there. And if they want to work in a place that has a union shop but not join the union, that business is not required to hire them just because they want to work there. The association clause of the first amendment applies to the government, businesses are not so constrained.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 01:40 PM   #97
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At the foundation of the argument in Michigan right now is the freedom of association. The freedom of association basically says that individuals should be free (not prohibited from) to associate with each other, to ban together for a common purpose and defend a common goal or value as they so please.

I'd go further and suggest that the ying to that yang is also that the government or any private entity (unions) can equally not compel or force a free individual into such an association with others simply because of a job they hold, etc.

The pro-union opponents of 'right to work' (which essentially states that employees are free to work for a company without being forced to join in a private union which other employees happen to belong to) seem to be suggesting that people, individuals, workers, should not have freedom... that the should be coerced/forced into union membership against their own wishes.

I'm looking for a valid reasonable explanation from someone on the other side as to why free individuals shouldn't have the choice of whether or not to join a union. I'm seeking to better understand the alternative view. Thank you in advance.
First of all, this new Right To Work legislation in Michigan is a tremendous win for the people of that state - congrats to those who made it happen.

There are two major problems IMO with unions today. One is membership that is required by law in certain states. If I'm a worker in one of those states, I don't want to be forced into joining some organization, and paying my hard earned dollars into that organization in the form of "dues". I want freedom. I want the freedom to choose who I work for, and under what terms.

Secondly is the political money funnel. It's no secret that these union dues end up being used for political lobbying purposes. More specifically, the funnel dollars into Democrat candidate's campaigns. The expectation is that those candidates, if elected, will enact more pro-union legislation. What if I don't want my dollars going to those candidates?

So take these two things combined, and you see where the problem lies. In certain states, you're required by law to pay into a union, and the union donates heavily to Democrat candidates. So in essence, you are being required by law to donate to the Democrats in order to get a job! A textbook example of a corrupt system.

The solution is to eliminate one (or both) of those two problem areas. EITHER require union membership, but prevent unions from making political donations. OR allow unions to make political donations, but make union membership optional. Michigan chose option B.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 02:44 PM   #98
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First of all, this new Right To Work legislation in Michigan is a tremendous win for the people of that state - congrats to those who made it happen.

There are two major problems IMO with unions today. One is membership that is required by law in certain states. If I'm a worker in one of those states, I don't want to be forced into joining some organization, and paying my hard earned dollars into that organization in the form of "dues". I want freedom. I want the freedom to choose who I work for, and under what terms.

Secondly is the political money funnel. It's no secret that these union dues end up being used for political lobbying purposes. More specifically, the funnel dollars into Democrat candidate's campaigns. The expectation is that those candidates, if elected, will enact more pro-union legislation. What if I don't want my dollars going to those candidates?

So take these two things combined, and you see where the problem lies. In certain states, you're required by law to pay into a union, and the union donates heavily to Democrat candidates. So in essence, you are being required by law to donate to the Democrats in order to get a job! A textbook example of a corrupt system.

The solution is to eliminate one (or both) of those two problem areas. EITHER require union membership, but prevent unions from making political donations. OR allow unions to make political donations, but make union membership optional. Michigan chose option B.
Then work somewhere else.

Just fail to ignore the fact that unions are not some arbitrary thing that materialize out of thin air. They are there for a reason. As long as we have privately-run businesses that seek to maximize profitability in favor of reaming the employees, we will have unions.

The obvious solution is not to hamstring unions but to put constraints on how businesses operate when they grow past a certain size. Do that, require large businesses to treat employees fairly or to become employee owned when they get too big and I guarantee you the union "problem" will go away.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 03:10 PM   #99
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...

There are two major problems IMO with unions today. One is membership that is required by law in certain states. If I'm a worker in one of those states, I don't want to be forced into joining some organization, and paying my hard earned dollars into that organization in the form of "dues". I want freedom. I want the freedom to choose who I work for, and under what terms.
I would argue that we generally accept lots of terms that restrict freedom, including the freedom of speech, but these are widely accepted, so what makes union membership or dues so different?

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...Secondly is the political money funnel. It's no secret that these union dues end up being used for political lobbying purposes. More specifically, the funnel dollars into Democrat candidate's campaigns. The expectation is that those candidates, if elected, will enact more pro-union legislation. What if I don't want my dollars going to those candidates?
This is good point. Generally speaking, you should be able to encourage your union to put money into other campaigns or candidates, but practically, this is hard and since you're only one voice (why unions exist) you may not be able to change the union's funding.

Quote:
...The solution is to eliminate one (or both) of those two problem areas. EITHER require union membership, but prevent unions from making political donations. OR allow unions to make political donations, but make union membership optional. Michigan chose option B.
This is an interesting problem. If union's can't lobby, why should their corporation? If I work for a company, I don't have any control over the political expenditures of that company either. So, why is the union a problem where the company is not?

I would argue that both of these solutions incorporate some element of unfairness. At some point, someone who wants to be a machinist or a teacher may have to choose between their political ideology and their job.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 03:54 PM   #100
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There are two major problems IMO with unions today. One is membership that is required by law in certain states.
No it's not. It is illegal in all 50 states and has been for over 60yrs. A non-union member might have to pay all or a portion of union dues because the non-member is still benefitting from the work the union representatives do (we don't want any free loaders do we?).

What I don't understand is if a person complains about their job many say, "Well, just find another job. It's a free country" yet those same people can't seem to find it in themselves to say, "If you don't want to work at a union shop then find another place to work." Weird.


As for the politics, I would be totally fine if businesses and unions were banned from making political donations. Never gonna happen though.
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