Concerns rise as strike continues

Again with the unions. Yes, initially they were needed, but now they seem to be clueless and greedy. Heck, the part highlighted per hour is about 4 - 5x more per hour than what I make:

The labor groups are seeking a total wage increase of 15 percent over three years to offset the rising cost of health care, officials said. The unions' three-year contracts expired May 31.

Mid-America Regional Bargaining Association, which represents construction companies, is offering a 3.25 percent hike over three years. Wages range from $53.37 an hour for laborers to $68.18 an hour for operating engineers — a sum that includes the cost of health benefits, the bargaining group said.

Union representatives argue that they didn't have a choice but to strike.

chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-construction-strike-07-20100706,0,1522314.story

Unions are needed today more than at any point in the last 30 years.

You can always point out the biased anti-union articles by how they site wages. For example, the article above lumps together the cost of wages and benefits when it states the amount per hour that union employees make. But nobody talks like that and most probably gloss over the details. And you are left with the same old anti-union garbage that started cropping up in the 80's.

[quote="gmarie21, post:1, topic:204547"]
Again with the unions. Yes, initially they were needed, but now they seem to be clueless and greedy. Heck, the part highlighted per hour is about 4 - 5x more per hour than what I make: chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-construction-strike-07-20100706,0,1522314.story

[/quote]

Construction union? I wonder how many of them actually have work, given that construction is in the dumpster right now. I also wonder how many projects are being done by illegals, at least in part. I think if I was a construction worker, I would be unwilling to do anything that would prevent me from working. Of course, if these are government projects at any level, I guess the government will just spend more, and I'm quite sure it will require union labor in all projects.

[quote="jjdrury81, post:2, topic:204547"]
Unions are needed today more than at any point in the last 30 years.

[/quote]

Union's were formed to protect worker's rights. Since then, we've established laws that do so and means of compensation when they are violated so what purpose do unions serve now other than to strongarm companies into increasing the wages of their members for no good reason? Why does a union worker deserve a raise for doing the same job as a nonunion worker who would work for less?

[quote="EmperorNapoleon, post:4, topic:204547"]
Union's were formed to protect worker's rights. Since then, we've established laws that do so and means of compensation when they are violated so what purpose do unions serve now other than to strongarm companies into increasing the wages of their members for no good reason? Why does a union worker deserve a raise for doing the same job as a nonunion worker who would work for less?

[/quote]

The laws that have been established are weak, easily avoided by employers and offer little in the way of respect, dignity or democracy in the workplace.

If you pulled the 'threat' of unionization out of the equation companies would stop following the meager labor laws that we have to the small extent that they currently do.

Everyone deserves the raise. The union worker has just decided to bargain collectively for that raise. Unfortunately, radical right wing extremists and corporate interests have made it virtually impossible for most Americans to join a union and do the same.

That simply is not the case in most of the country. Respect is earned; not forced upon someone with threats. The workplace isn’t supposed to be a democracy. You do the job you’ve been hired to do and thats it. Dignity is determined by how you conduct yourself in the workplace.

Raises should be individually performance based; never uniform. If I give a raise to someone with excellent performance and goes above and beyond the job requirements why should I have to give a raise to the lazy guy in the cubicle next to him who does the bare minimum or less?

If everyone thought that way we would have a very nasty landscape indeed.

[quote="jjdrury81, post:7, topic:204547"]
If everyone thought that way we would have a very nasty landscape indeed.

[/quote]

My current job is non-union and it's certainly not a nasty landscape.

anti-union garbage

Along with the same old pro-union garbage.

[quote="jjdrury81, post:5, topic:204547"]
The laws that have been established are weak, easily avoided by employers and offer little in the way of respect, dignity or democracy in the workplace.

[/quote]

Horse hockey, the majority of workers in the US are perfectly happy and employed by non-union companies.

If you pulled the 'threat' of unionization out of the equation companies would stop following the meager labor laws that we have to the small extent that they currently do.

There are many, many companies in this country that are not afraid of unionization and they follow the laws like they should.

Everyone deserves the raise. The union worker has just decided to bargain collectively for that raise. Unfortunately, radical right wing extremists and corporate interests have made it virtually impossible for most Americans to join a union and do the same.

Everyone thinks they deserve a raise, just like everyone thinks they work harder than the person standing next to them. This has nothing to do with right vs. left if you take a step back and look at reality. Big union cities have higher taxes and higher unemployment rates and a high cost of living.

The person who deserves the raise is the one who gets out there and proves it. To bargain collectively for a raise is to assume that all workers are equal and deserving of a higher pay. To me this would make people lazy. I can understand all the defense for a long time union employee though, I'd hate to give up a job I was getting paid too much for as well.

[quote="jjdrury81, post:5, topic:204547"]
The laws that have been established are weak, easily avoided by employers and offer little in the way of respect, dignity or democracy in the workplace.

If you pulled the 'threat' of unionization out of the equation companies would stop following the meager labor laws that we have to the small extent that they currently do.

Everyone deserves the raise. The union worker has just decided to bargain collectively for that raise. Unfortunately, radical right wing extremists and corporate interests have made it virtually impossible for most Americans to join a union and do the same.

[/quote]

This might have been true decades ago. In my part of my state, where almost nothing is unionized, unemployment is much lower than it is in the unionized portions of the state, and people live just as well here as they do there; perhaps better. Unions are not what drive wages here, it's the availability of labor, particularly skilled labor. If you're at all good at what you do, you won't want for work, and you won't starve doing it, either.

Laws protecting workers are more protective now than they were during the height of union membership, and most of them were enacted while union membership was declining. I think it's a stretch to say that unions are responsible for them.

Unions now are all about drawing a circle around a particular group of workers and using political influence to obtain for them things that are not intended by them to be available to other workers. But is it really successful? I am aware of unionized plants where the workers make less than non-union plants of the same kind. Those union people are paying their dues for nothing. It's hardly a secret that many highly unionized companies have failed in this country in recent years, and a good part of that is due to the unreasonable burdens the unions have extracted from those companies, but became unsupportable when economic conditions changed.

Unionization is almost a cultural thing, it seems to me. And, in truth, (as here) non-unionization is virtually cultural as well. Those who believe in unions will defend them with they dying breath, even if they can't find work. Those who don't, just don't.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.