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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
NH Dave BS: US attack on workers rights (32) RE: BS: US attack on workers rights 30 Jun 06

There are many factors that go into unionizing or not unionizing a workplace. We had a professional union organizer for the Ladies Garment Workers Union singing at the Press Room for many years and she pointed out some of the problems in deciding if unionizing will actually help the workers or not.

A couple of the points she brought out were, you have to analyze the situation carefully to see if the company can afford a union, and wage hikes. There's no use unionizing a workplace, if acceding to wage demands will force the company out of business. Some companies just can't afford to pay better wages and still stay competitive in the marketplace.

In other cases wages are set somewhere far above the local workplace and no amount of striking or other union action can achieve changes. We had this happen at a job where I was working, some years ago where the wages were comparatively poor, but the local management had no power to set wages, so any union action was futile. None the less, a local employee agitated for years for a union, promising all of us instant wage increases once we got a union in. The company brought an idiot from personnel in to explain, unsuccessfully, why a union would not benefit the workers, due to the unique way in which the company was organized. I should add these were jobs similar to federal jobs, and local action was usually ineffective. Lured by the promises of higher wages, and not deterred by the company man's explanations of why the union could not affect local wages, the workers voted to unionize, and the location was quickly organized.

As explained by the company's man, unionizing had little effect on wages, and work place conditions, so the employees were left paying dues for little or no improvements in pay or working schedules.


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