Unions and the reason they are needed in modern society

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Unions and the reason they are needed in modern society

Post by AdamMkIV on Sun Nov 01, 2015 5:33 pm

Good afternoon,
I'm starting this topic to address the current topic about unions and their application to the modern day, as well as the origins for their necessity. I won't make this a long history lecture and make you fall asleep at the keyboard, but it is important that you know why unions were started in the first place. The labor movement in the United States grew out of the need to protect the common interest of workers. For those in the industrial sector, organized labor unions fought for better wages, reasonable hours and safer working conditions. The labor movement led efforts to stop child labor, give health benefits and provide aid to workers who were injured or retired. 1827 was the first year of the union debut, specifically the mechanic's union. Since 1827 there have been several hundred labor unions developed for every industry. Today, unions remain a major factor for work consideration to individuals looking for a job. What makes me knowledgeable about this topic is my relation to a union in Albuquerque; specifically my wife being a part of the police union. I am able to speak from real experience to the benefits offered and the difference between a union and non-union job by comparison.

An example of how workers benefit (referencing my wife and her union) would be how they promote. Instead of always promoting from external sources such as walk in applications or indeed.com, most unions focus on promoting those within who are qualified for the job. Only after going through each qualified union applicant and then deciding based on the interview, does the union head then choose external applicants. This practice ensures a level of job security not usually found in other job industries. Other benefits include fair wage grants by each member of the union instead of what the corporation says. Pending on the union, there are monthly-annual meetings to discuss general thoughts or concerns. Furthermore, if there is an issue with a living wage set forth by the company, a union member may request before the union heads (in writing) a meeting to discuss a more reasonable wage.

In comparison to non union jobs, you can be terminated for any reason the company desires (as per the terms of service you sign at every job). With a union, the company needs to present a reason for termination to the union heads, providing multiple realistic reasons for the termination. Once more, this provides another level of job security not found in usual jobs.
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Re: Unions and the reason they are needed in modern society

Post by KelseyRAyers16 on Thu Nov 05, 2015 10:43 pm

Hi Adam,  Surprised
Reading through your claim, you make some very good points. However, I do not support all the points you have asserted. Those points being the following:

AdamMkIV wrote:An example of how workers benefit (referencing my wife and her union) would be how they promote. Instead of always promoting from external sources such as walk in applications or indeed.com, most unions focus on promoting those within who are qualified for the job. Only after going through each qualified union applicant and then deciding based on the interview, does the union head then choose external applicants.

The problem with this approach is it creates a closed workplace. The only way to get to the top is to start at the bottom. Often in non-union jobs, qualified and talented people can move up, even by changing jobs between competing organizations.

AdamMkIV wrote:This practice ensures a level of job security not usually found in other job industries. Other benefits include fair wage grants by each member of the union instead of what the corporation says.

In non-union jobs, security and raises are based on merit. There is a direct incentive to work harder. So what does this say about the workers? Do they still work just as hard, or do they become more lazy with their jobs, because they are lacking that incentive?

AdamMkIV wrote:In comparison to non union jobs, you can be terminated for any reason the company desires

In most non-union jobs, once you are past the probation period, there is still a lot that must be done to terminate employment. It can be a long drawn out process. In any corporation, it costs money to train and bring an employee up to speed.  No corporation, union or non union wants to fire workers at a whim.  

Unions serve a purpose of being both good and bad, depending on the situation given.  Smile

In relations to my topic "Unfair Compensation for Health Care Workers" we did debate a little on unions in the medical field, on my original post. However I felt it would be a bit more appropriate to carry it over to your topic, to relate unions and their usage in the health field. It is a fact that hospitals have somewhat become unionized, however, many people disagree and protest the ideas of this implication. According to amednews.com "Union membership in the country as a whole has been declining for year." statistically saying that unions have gone from a rate of 24.1% to about 12.3% in 2009. This trend already losing its popularity, its benefits are not needed within the health complex, for although they can be beneficial, they can sometimes lead to hurting their employees. Unions do a good job of providing job security to mediocre workers and slowing down the career path of excellent workers.  If I am a patient, I do not want anyone but the best working on me.

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