Sunday, October 21, 2007

Why we need Unions and Government in the workplace

If you listen to conservative talk radio hosts, you will get a regular dose of union bashing and the bemoanings of government interfering in industry. Well it seems we have a great example here on planet earth of a place where unions and government do not pester big business. It seems Rush Limbaugh is right. With no union and government interference, everyone is prospering.

Um, not exactly. It seems the Right is wrong and, as many have indicated, - Big Business, left to its own devices, exploits workers.

Check out this article on the work conditions in China.


Yael said...

We need Unions, government and consumer awareness!

Right now I'm involved in a project to bring more oversight to the kosher food manufacturing process especially as it relates to kosher slaughter. It has been a tough battle so far and it's barely begun!

The thing I'm enjoying is seeing religious people across the board starting to stand up and say that looking out for the poor, the oppressed, the stranger, is what being a religious person is supposed to be all about.

Great link. Thanks for the awareness.

SocietyVs said...

"It seems the Right is wrong and, as many have indicated, - Big Business, left to its own devices, exploits workers" (Andrew)

To me this is so obvious and true. Big business, if it can, will suck up every penny from each person in the name of the Almighty - Dollar that is.

I have seen the exploitation of those others countries for our benefit - sickening to say the least - and this barely raises an eyebrow in this country. But once you realize the convenience you afford is based on those economies of scale (which are based on an economy of exploitating other Indigenous groups) - it all gets dizzying very fast.

Unions, as it as, are good - since companies would refuse to up salaries to the lower classes just to keep more money in their pockets - as I heard in the convenience store business 'workers are a dime a dozen" (and they are paid like that also). Unions are needed in these instances to help mediatate normal lviing for the working poor - couldn't agree more.

However, unions can only go so far and then to me they also cross the line into 'greed' or 'stupidity' as I call it. I am part of a union that was fighting for more wages and holidays (and some others things) and asked me if I would picket - I had not reservation on this - I said 'NO'. I realized that I get paid well, have great benefits, and enjoy the place I work (as compared to some of the crap jobs I did in my life) - and for me to picket would be a damn disgrace to what I believe and where I came from (never mind being ungrateful also). For me, the union crossed a line they were not even sure they had - we never did strike - but I wouldn't of anyways - the cause was faulty.

JP said...

As your friendly neighborhood liberal and one who works with union but from a management side, I will have to disagree with you, for the most part on the union. From what I see, they cause nothing but strife and put a wall between the workers and management. It seems they can get away with anything and still be protected, even if it hurts the company. I could go on and on with examples. I am sure though, there are some good ones out there but from what I have seen and experienced, all they do is collect their dues.

Andrew said...

JP - I have no doubt that your scenario is as you describe. My point is not to defend unions but to state that we need them. There will always be a power imbalance. Management has too much power and exploits workers, then Unions gain too much power and have unreasonable desires and practices. Back and forth, back and forth.

My point is to counter the proclamations that many conservatives espouse which is - everyone would be better if there were no unions. History shows this to be false as do our present times.

You obviously are in a scenario where unions wield an overbalance of power. I live in a state that basically missed the labor movement. Workers rights in Utah are practically medieval. Yet, to listen to our ultra conservative legislature (most state's view of a republican is our democrat)speak, you would think unions have the state under a strangle hold. They want unions gone. Period.

I just believe unions must be there to stand in the face of business. Thesis/anti-thesis, Yin and Yang. Without their presence, the sweatshops would return. Indeed, as the article shows, they never left.

Season said...

Good words.

Anonymous said...

I have watched a few of the TP. My question is that of a simple minded person....What were the founding father's of our country. Some claim they were devout Christian mean...TP doesn't seem to do this,but reinforces there Biblical Worldview. This is very confusing to me. Obviously, you who are writing are much more read than I. I am seeking the truth, but the truth seems to be view differently from different perspectives. Shouldn't there be an absolute truth within the Christian perspetive...Thanks for your patience with what I am trying to say.

Andrew said...

Anon... I think you missed a thread when posting here... nevertheless, it again begs the question of which of the 34,000 Christian subgroups gets to make the call on absolute truth from a christian perspective. I think it is a fruitless chase to capture something that gives us nothing but crowing rights. I would rather discuss the issues that people are struggling with, rather than trying to assign static answers.

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