We Need Unions

Why?  Because of things like this.  Chrysler fired Alex Wassell,  a man with 20 years of experience, because he was “engaging in, participating in, aiding or approving conduct constituting or appearing to constitute a conflict with the interests of the Company.”  a.k.a. fighting for better conditions for employees.

Talk about Orwellian language.  Anything a worker does could constitute a conflict with the interests of the Company.  Heck, they could fire you for asking for a raise with that language.  The National Labor Relations Board has found such language discriminatory in the past, but the NLRB doesn’t really exist right now because a court found Obama’s recess appointments to the Board to be unconstitutional.

This creates a lovely dynamic.  Republicans block NLRB appointments.  Obama makes recess appointments which allows the NLRB to do their job.  Republican judge rules appointments unconstitutional.  NLRB ceases to function and all NLRB cases that had been decided have to be reheard once the appointments are approved by the Senate.  Alex Wassell is looking at a year before his case is heard.  It’s a win-win situation.  Companies win and Republicans win.  Workers lose.  This is how Republicans want the government to work.

Companies have all of the power over an individual employee.  Unions do what they can to level that balance of power.  Yes, there are abuses.  They pale in comparison to the history of abuses that companies have inflicted on their employees.

2 thoughts on “We Need Unions

  1. Jaime

    My only beef with the Union is when they get in the way of a person doing a good job or shield a person when they ARE doing a bad job.

    My sister years ago worked at a newspaper in the Composing Department. This was back in the day Pre-Macintosh, when they actually built the pages with a ruler and an exacto knife. That being said, her Union steward was a dictator who would not allow you to work until he LITERALLY rang a bell for Start time and you had to stop when he Rang the bell for end of day. My sister would get in a little early sometimes to set up her desk. Once her desk was all set, she would start working. She was reprimanded for Starting prior to Authorization. (Complete and total bullshit)

    Another case, I had the dishonor of working a contract in the late 80’s in Fort Wayne. The company was Dana who manufactured Axles for the Auto industry. Needless to say a Union shop. IT was of course considered management. The dayshift Janitor was a hardworking guy who kept the place spotless. Our desks were dusted, the floors clean, the bathrooms immaculate. Half way during my tenure there, another automotive downturn occured and he got bumped. The new Janitor was a slacker. All he did was empty garbage cans, and replace toilet paper rolls. After a few weeks, the place had gotten dusty and dirty. We decided to take it upon ourselves and vacumed our own cubes. The slacker filed a grievance with the Union. He actually WON! Two weeks pay time and a half and an official reprimand on my Managers record. Only in America!!!!

    Yes, I understand that these are abuses and probably abberations, but It annoys me none the less.

  2. Steven Scott

    I’m in a union now and have been for the past 13 years, and I have to say…I have never liked those who take advantage of the rules. Most of the people in the union hate those people. They are slackers and whiners and when they don’t do the job, it falls to the rest of us to pick up their slack.

    Having said that, I have come to appreciate their role in the grand scheme of things. They help keep our Union Stewards on their toes to catch when management does do something completely out of bounds (which happens), and they help insulate the rest of us from the all of the B.S. office politics.

    Thanks to having a union, I don’t have to worry about not getting a full raise because of that one day 3 months ago I came in late (which happened at my last job) nor do I have to worry about getting fired because I screwed up a little one day and my pay rate was too high (Also at my last job, I saw this happen to a guy who had been there 5 years and was goofing off with a supervisor during a slow period. Before that, he was a model worker). Now my raise is guaranteed (so long as there isn’t a lockout/strike) and I get great benefits and healthcare at the expense of a poor defenseless fortune 500 company that continues to post record profits as its stock rises. If I have to deal with some assholes who moan all day about management while moving so slow they might as well be walking backwards, then so be it.

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