The Right To Work, Cecil B. Demille, circa 1948'

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by wkmac, Dec 31, 2009.

  1. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    Producer/Director Cecil B. Demille, speaking before Congressional Committee on Education and Labor in 1948' on

    The Right To Work

    As a 29 year IBT member, I still absolutely enjoyed and appreciated his POV on the subject.
  2. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    I have never understood how a person feels that their "rights" are somehow violated by choosing to accept employment for which union membership is a requirement.

    Over 80% of jobs in this country are non-union. Seems like there is plenty of freedom to choose either way.

    I have a "right" to buy a home in any neighborhood that I choose (and can afford) to.

    Some neighborhoods require membership in a homeowners association as a condition of living there. Others do not. There are benefits...and costs...associated with either choice.

    How would you feel if you paid $300 per year for membership in a homeowners association...and agreed to follow the covenants and restrictions of that association....only to find out that your neighbor was enjoying the same benefits (increased property values) as you were while refusing to pay the same dues or follow the same rules?

    Union vs non-union employment is no different. If you want the wages, benefits and security of a job with a collective bargaining agreement...then you need to belong to the bargaining unit and fullfill any obligations of membership in that unit. If this requirement seems unreasonable or unfair to you...then you are free to seek employment among the 85% of employers that are non-union.

    People who complain about "forced unionism" are simply people who want all of the benefits of a union job, but expect someone else to pay for it.
  3. MC4YOU2

    MC4YOU2 Yep, not wearing brown anymore

    The overwhelming reason that hourly employees stay at UPS are the union negotiated benefits. There are good and bad parts of any job, but with this one the bennies are the main draw to acquire it and the mainstay in low turnover. I must admit I was not aware of the enormous input into the fabric of union and even non union jobs, that are the result of union bargaining, when I started 20 years ago. I became aware as time passed and learned that retirement plans, 40 hour straight time, health benefits are the result of collective bargaining, to mention a few. The newest employees are not being provided the same supports as when I started. They are the least able to associate the connection between the union and benefits as their starting bennies more closely resemble a non union "right to work" style job. They are normally the least likely to join the union in RTW states. I'd say that we have a 50% mix of union and non at my center, yet all stay for the benefits or the "promise" of them in the future. Like a farmer eating the seed corn, this will cost us hourlies in the form of dues paying members. In the case of UPS it is already costing us in attracting, and keeping, quality workers. The attitude I see is "why put up with this crap when many other entry level jobs pay as well, without the harassment?" Its not always possible for them to see the "brass ring" when it is so far away and getting farther. We can do better and we must do better in 2013. Our union and company depend on it.
  4. tieguy

    tieguy Banned

    I have mixed feelings on the subject.

    I somewhat agree with your membership has its privledges argument. I'm also not sure a union can stay financially viable if all states were right to work.
    At the same time I think a union has to work harder in a right to work state to gain your support.
    I've heard the arguments that you feel its your union but I don't see the democratic process working as well in a closed shop. I've seen too many fresh faces try to unseat entrenched incumbants and it does not seem to work too well. You almost need a guy like 804's going out of his way to piss the members off before an incumbant president gets voted out.

    Someday you'll get a BA who understands business and finance. He'll lock in profit sharing from the company for his local and he'll bring the right guys in to invest the money. When he does he'll blow away any other locals in retirement plan assets and health care. He'll inovate the union relationship away from the "cry and whine the company screwed me" games to a real union that provides its members with true bang for the buck. The company pays too much to the union for you guys to get the pittance you get in return.

    There are locals out there that have done very well and could probably be models.

    I think the unions chase too much that does them no good and cost them money. All the nickle and dime grievances that cost the locals and do not gain them any additional revenue. I really question whether all the supervisor working grievances protect jobs. I think those grievances end up costing the union a lot of money without any gain.

    So the thread started with what was basically an argument on right to work versus right to close a shop. I think the unions could do so much more then they do now where it would not be an issue.
  5. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    Good post. A couple of years ago, Tom Knapp over at Rational Review wrote a piece entitled, "Unions part of the Market" showing how unions are as much laissez faire free market as anything else but what moved them away was gov't intervention. Tom BTW was a steward and union official so he comes with experience in that realm.

    Tie, you raised an excellent observation IMO where you said that you didn't think a union in a right to work state could be viable and would have to work extra hard in order to do so. To the first point, I won't go that far although I agree there is some validity but I do completely agree with the 2nd. But using your points as both true, we could also therefore imply, in a closed shop state a union can be viable and does not have to work as hard to do so. And I do agree those points are valid. Then the question begs in my mind, is the union therefore a gov't or quasi-gov't entity or is it a private organization? The initial intent was private but over the years I think the former point is likely more true than we realize although heavily regulated rather than quasi-gov't would be more comfortable for us to admit too.

    But take the term union out and in it's place put say for example Joe's Hardware Store. I mean like this:

    IMO by framing the above in such a way, it's does force us to look at our union and ask, just what is it and I'm asking as a 29 year IBT member?

    The real question hinges down again IMO on just what are the true rights of the individual and just where a secondary or even third party can come in and amended, change, modify or otherwise move those rights around to where it best serves the interest not always of the individual but rather the interests of others.

    It's not an easy question by any means and I don't pretend it is. There are all kinds of ramifications in this exercise but we also have to ask this question of equal importance. If a secondary or 3rd party can in fact force someone into a contract that they would not on their own choose to enter, then how far can that power of contractual force extend? And again, not always an easy question to answer either.

    Again, many good points by all and I also agree in contractual association with profit sharing (Tie's point) but the first step towards that IMO would be to completely extract ourselves from Wall Street (something I think the overwhelming majority of UPSers hourly and management want anyway and agree we should never have done) and then some type of structure could be formed to meet those very needs which could benefit all. At the same time I'd want both the health and welfare plans to come to an end and those monies given directly to employee since he/she earns them anyway and let each employee setup their own means or form co-ops with fellow or like minded employees (something that about all UPSers, both houries and management in fact oppose) so there you go. Why UPSers say for example through the union haven't formed a variety of not for profit co-ops (or you could make it for profit with members recieving the dividends or creating for example post secondary education funds that pay for all members kids to go to college, technical schools or even secondary retirement funds within individual locals) is really kinda beyond me. Done well, this would be a huge incentive to join a union and the ranks of membership might acutally begin to swell.

    Like unions, co-ops, for profit or not, are as equally free market with the important focus being on the word free as in choice. This more than any other was Demille's point IMO!