Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Unions or Not

Among many Conservatives unions are viewed about as favorably as a diagnosis of cancer. Progressives on the other hand seem to believe that unionism is akin to Manna from above. Neither extreme is accurate in my opinion.

To listen to many conservatives one would think that if we just didn’t have unions our economy would flourish and that workers would reap the benefits of increased opportunity along with abundant and lavish benefits. Yea Think?

To listen to Unions one would come to the conclusion that if workers were paid on par with the managers they would do a better job, support the company without question and spread they wealth so that the economy flourished. Yea think?

The Unions have taken a beating in the Right leaning  segment of the media lately, for instance Fox News. Some of that thrashing is well deserved, but there is a place for Unions. Lower income and less skilled workers need union representation more than most.

I’ll use as my example of an Employer running a landscape company that just so happens to hire lots of illegal’s to do the labor. What would be the motivation of this Employer to hire illegal workers? Let’s all take a few guesses. First off being able to pay them substandard wages would be at the top of the list, lets not forget no health insurance, the US Taxpayer will pick up that tab for both the employee and the employer. Then there is the ability to fire a worker for any reason because the worker has no recourse due to fear of exposure of this illegal status, I doubt there would be many Work Compensation claims for the reason stated. So, does this set of workers need representation? I know some will say “No!, they need to get out” and I partial agree with that. But my point is that there are many Employers out there, as in the above example, which will abuse employees for their own greed with no thought to equity or fair dealing. As a side note if our factious landscape Contractor is willing to do that to his employees, wouldn’t it seem reasonable that he would treat his customers with the same ethics if given the chance?

My point is that there is a place for Unions, where and how much power they wield is the real question.

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