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lessmiserables340 karma

Watch Veep. You'd let her today.

lessmiserables90 karma

ITT: A lot of butthurt, immature assholes who won't take responsibility for their own attitudes and actions and think that being mildly inconvenienced in a minority of cases for about three years of their teenage years is tantamount to the fucking Holocaust.

lessmiserables60 karma

Since I strongly suspect this is largely going to be a pro-union audience, I'll take a stab at the "anti" part of it.

The main issue is that American unions really haven't reformed much since the 1920s. (Note that I fully understand different unions in different industries operate differently, but by and large most unions are roughly the same, culture wise.) The system worked fine when most industries were "do this one thing repetitively all day long" and productivity was more or less connected to tenure. But that's not how even the most basic jobs are today--there's a wide array of specialties and a wide range of abilities and productivity that most union contracts don't reflect.

(Edit: as an aside, this is the main reason why European unions and American unions are significantly different, culture-wise. Europe had a bit of a bother back in the 40s and it kind of let both sides "reset" how worker-company relations operated, which America never really had. To my European friends--it's similar in nature but execution is very much different.)

For example, nearly all unions do first in first out--nothing matters except how long you've worked for the company. So if you're newly hired, the moment there's a recession, you're the first out the door. And given that most contracts are top-heavy for tenured workers, it's really hard to sell joining a union to a young person when you know full well you're going to be at the front of the line for pink slips, and the chance that your company or industry is even going to exist by the time you get the promised "tenured" pay is iffy at best.

The thing about unions is, by their very nature, it's a collective agreement, and on its face that makes sense--by engaging in collective bargaining you work as a unit and increase your power. However, it also means that everyone is treated equally--regardless of how good you are at the job or how you act. This is great for some people but absolutely terrible for others. And as an aside, this also means that the "political" side of things just gets moved from the company to the union--if you think unions don't play favorites and play petty games, you're not in a union. That's not good or bad when comparing systems, just neutral, but don't believe for a moment that that disappears when you join a union.

There's also a lot of "meta" stuff that goes on. For example, my place of business (wireless) had an organizing effort with the CWA. However, it was going to fold us in to the same bucket as the landline division...which meant that, right off the bat, literally every single person in our workplace would be at the bottom of the list of tenure, vacation order, pay, etc, since our company (at the time) was only ten years old and theirs was 60+. The contract would have meant a payday for them and a pay cut for us. Any attempt at negotiation was met with stony silence; they just tried to sell us on the stuff they were going to get and if we worked for another 50 years we might get. Needless to say, their insistence to not change the terms meant that us--who live in a pretty pro-union state--overwhelmingly rejected it.

Now, that's my personal experience, but in my subsequent dealings with unions I don't think much has changed. Unions are self-serving--which makes sense, since that's their job!--but they also tend to do it in a ham-fisted and outdated way that understandably turns people away. Personally, I don't have an issue with unions; I think negotiation between workers and companies is the sort of thing that's expected in a free market. However, I, personally, will never join a union if I can at all help it, because I expect to be compensated for my skills and abilities, not someone else's. I got an education for a reason, and it's not to be paid and treated the same as the person who does half the work in twice the time.

Do what works for you, but make sure you look at all of the sides. Reddit in general, and this thread in particular, is going to be very pro-union, but make sure you weigh the pros and cons.

Edit: I think it's hilarious that many replies to my comment accuse me of "believing the propaganda" or being a paid anti-union shill, as if the only two options are "Be 100% pro union" and "be a paid agent of the capitalist class," as if we don't have the agency to critically evaluate the pros and cons of unions like normal human beings.

lessmiserables40 karma

[Insert Question Here That Is Really Just A Part Of His Standup Act So You Can Quote His Own Material Back To Him As If That's Clever?]

lessmiserables36 karma

One would almost say it's the maximum amount of fun.