Honest question about unions

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by HyperX13, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. HyperX13 macrumors 6502

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    #1
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    If I want to work for the government I'm Wisconsin, can I choose not to join the union? Or am I forced to join the union? I am having a hard time finding if all jobs force you into union or not.
     
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #2
    Depends on the job. Each tends to have its own union. I used to belong to one myself for a short period called Amicus (a UK union) although that was never compulsory. Here's a list of Wisconsin state unions.

    If you didn't join the union, would you be willing to forgo any benefits, representation and other arrangements like working hours and practices that they may have negotiated?
     
  3. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    If it's anything like California, you're forced to join the union. You can contribute to the union a smaller amount monthly, but you'll receive fewer benefits. I'm a full-fledged member and appreciate what the union does for me and others.
     
  4. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    #4
    If I want to work at Best Buy, can they force me to wear trousers?
     
  5. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a

    Rt&Dzine

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    Trousers. Heh heh.
     
  6. MacVixen macrumors 6502

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    #6
    I'm sure it's different for each union, but I know for my local government, all rank-and-file or general representation employees are required to either join the union as a dues-paying member OR they can as citizenzen says, contribute a smaller amount that doesn't pay for union activities. You still get pretty much all of the benefits, but you don't get to vote during contract time and if you ever actually needed union representation, it's likely they would decline as you are not a dues-paying member.

    For what is considered mid-management in my local government, we have an "association" where the dues are much, much, much cheaper and it's completely voluntary. Like General Rep, however, if you decline to support Mid-Management Association, you get the benefits but no voting and no representation if needed for personnel matters.
     
  7. Apple OC, Feb 24, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011

    Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

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    #7
    IMO ... unions promote waste and laziness ... I have never encountered a union that did not get out-worked by the hard working private sector.

    I once crossed a picket line to work when I was a teenager ... never regretted taking a job from those bums.

    for the OP ... as far as unions do go ... they offer great job security and it would be wise to pay the union dues.
     
  8. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #8
    Ummm... many unions are private sector. :rolleyes:
     
  9. Huntn, Feb 24, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011

    Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #9
    I'm unaware of unions there, but they can still force you to cloth yourself appropriately. ;)

    My understanding is that if it is a union shop, you are forced to join, but if you don't pay your dues, my understanding is that you won't receive any benefits or help if you run into trouble on the job. I don't think it has any bearing on your job status, but I'm not sure.

    Not all unions are the same. I am in ALPA, a pilot union. Despite what you may hear about unions, I assure you that I must do my job, I must work, and if I can't perform my duties using good judgment, I will not remain employed as a pilot. I'm not saying unions are needed everywhere. Usually you see unions for a reason. That reason is abused employees. There is a long history of this. If employees are well treated, you won't see a union. I can't speak for other professions, and public service unions as in Wisconsin, but in my line of work, unions are a must. A set of rules are agreed to by employer and employee, that can't be thrown out at the first whim of the employer. For aviation, there are just too many quality of life issues that can be messed with.
     
  10. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

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    Yes, unless they are The Wrong Trousers. ;)
     
  11. Sydde, Feb 24, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011

    Sydde macrumors 68020

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    Flippancy notwithstanding, my point was that workplaces have rules. Many retailers, especially food service, require men to be clean-shaven. Some establishments are very specific about how you dress, what tools you can use, whether iPods are acceptable, etc, etc. Sometimes even who you can go out with (WRT coworkers) or if you can smoke a doob on your day off.

    If the workers organize, your right to not join the union can become an aspect of workplace rules, either in real terms or just in practical terms (as in, your coworkers may make it a very unpleasant work environment).

    If you do not wish to abide the workplace rules, you very well might be invited to seek employment elsewhere. Them's the breaks.

    T,FTFY
     
  12. Liquorpuki macrumors 68020

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    #12
    In Civil Service, your pay, pension and benefits have already been negotiated for your job by the union through collective bargaining with the politicians. If you tried to duck out by not paying dues, you'd basically be freeloading off the union's work.

    If you don't want to join the union but still want to work in government, become a contractor or consultant.
     
  13. citizenzen, Feb 24, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011

    citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #13
    Just to provide a little counter-point to this notion...

    In a union, anybody who is lazy, doesn't do good work or doesn't get along with their co-workers will find it difficult to move up the ladder.

    Every time you get reclassified in my union you have to open the job up to all qualified applicants. You have to reapply for the job and go through the hiring process just like everybody else: application, cover letter, resume, interviews. You can't simply hire and promote people based on whim, personal or family connections. You can't be the bosses son and suddenly be made owner of the company.

    Every time I've gotten a raise it's had to be documented and approved through human resources that that my job performance and responsibilities exceeded the standards under which I worked. If you want to move up, it's a system that rewards effort and excellence.
     
  14. pdham macrumors member

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    #14
    You must join the union. Wisconsin is not a right to work state. That means if your "shop" is unionized every employee must be, and the majority rule of union decisions are applied to everyone. There may be cases where you can pay less union dues for less rights within the union, but that is rare.

    In most cases union dues are deducted directly from your paycheck. For example, my wife works for Madison Metropolitan School District, union dues are over $100 per month.
     
  15. 184550 Guest

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    #15
    Detroit is an excellent example of why Unions are ultimately a bad idea.
     
  16. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    #16
    And that would be because…
    ?
     
  17. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #17
    Because they let the CEOs take huge salaries and bonuses so the CEOs could run their companies into the ground.
     
  18. Liquorpuki macrumors 68020

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    #18
    really now... I didn't know there was a CEO union

    lol
     
  19. Rory Manton macrumors regular

    Rory Manton

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    #19
    A union is something you screw on a pipe.

    Hope this helps.
     
  20. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #20

    There are many terms to describe that sort of behaviour,scab is one of the more polite ones.
     
  21. kavika411 macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    So, just like your employer telling you how to dress, groom, etc., you are saying it is your employer that requires you to join a union?

    Didn't realize that's how it works.
     
  22. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #22
    From the management side, unions can be a pain, but if employees choose to unionize, it is far easier to negotiate one set of rules that applies to everyone, and once you have that set, it makes management pretty easy. The union protects its own, but at the same time, when there are problems, the last thing the union wants is management having an excuse to reopen the contract. Point out the problem, or the employee who is causing problems, and the problem magically disappears.

    There may be bad individuals on both sides, and there may be bad management policies, and there may even be bad contracts, but unions are nothing more than employees banding together to negotiate with corporations which are nothing more than shareholders who banded together.

    Don't forget that many union problems are the result of bad management. Everything in the contract that management complains about is something they agreed to. Everything. Spiraling pension costs? They agreed to the pension program and agred to fund it. It's not the employees fault that the state/management failed to fund it appropriately. Discipline and advancement? It's not the employees fault that the state/management agreed to a uniform policy of discipline and advancement.

    This whole argument is being portrayed as though Unions have gotten something they didn't earn or negotiate, and that's almost as stupid an argument as saying everyone who bought a car has to pay an additional $5000 to the dealer because they want more now. The contract doesn't matter because the dealer is having financial problems, and they gave you too good of a deal. Sorry, send in your check.
     
  23. kavika411 macrumors 6502a

    kavika411

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    #23
    So it is or is not the employer who - like requiring you to wear certain clothes, groom a certain way - requires you to join the union?
     
  24. Eraserhead macrumors G4

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    #24
    What else the Republican party?
     
  25. Huntn, Feb 25, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2011

    Huntn macrumors G5

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    #25
    What kind of waste? Although I'm not speaking for other unions out there, I assure you that there is no opportunity in my job to be lazy. Only if the company allows it and then I'm not being paid anyway. Here is an example of how in aviation, the work force can promote efficiency. When working as aircrew, you only get paid when you are working a flight. The clock does not start until the aircraft pushes off the gate and it ends when you arrive at the gate. One of the work rules is that if an employee operates a fliight for 1 hour, they will be paid for 5 hours work. Sound greedy/lazy? This rules exists because without it, if the company wanted to, they could have flight crew coming to work to be underutilized. Why not, if it costs them nothing, just the employee's time. This rule gives the company incentive to use it's aircrew efficiently. This becomes especially important for travel industry employees.

    On the other hand in a non-union shop like Target, you can be hired as a full time employee and then have your hours shaved down to nothing at the whim of the company. The employee must grin and bear it and wonder how they will pay this month's bill. I like having this kind of a work rule that is a direct result of collective bargaining. If it costs them nothing, what incentive does a company have to be efficient with their employee's time?
     

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