Sunday, January 22, 2012

Right To Shirk?

Ruth Holladay links to an Indy Pointy-Sparkly-Thing article about the ongoing Right To Work fight in the Statehouse.

She calls it "investigative journalism;" I think it's the kind of "investigation" that points out the Emperor is starkers -- stark nekkid or stark, barking mad, you decide.

'Cos it is about money, and about the manner in which the Democrats are very much in the union's pockets and the GOP is in bed with crony capitalists; please note that neither one leaves much room for either the actual individual workingman/woman/Yeti eunuch or the small businessman who hasn't got room for political payoffs contributions in his or her (or its snowbound, furry) budget.

Nope, "Clash of the Titans" all 'round, and $DEITY help any of the little folk caught in the gears.

...For me, the funniest thing about the RTW fight -- in a sick-making way -- is that it doesn't outlaw unions or anything, or even make it easier for companies to run 'em out by brute force; it only makes membership voluntary rather than mandatory.

Lookit, if a union is doing a good job for the workers, they'll line up to join -- and don't ladle out the old borscht about free riders; the non-member laddiebuck who appeals to a shop steward for help in a dispute with the company shouldn't expect anything but a cold shoulder (and I do not think the proposed bill requires otherwise; rather a long list of amendments to wade through, see for yourself). Pay up or speak for yourself! Or start up your own group: why should worker representation be competition-free?
Don't look for that to get mentioned, as a plus or minus, by either side. The dinosaurs are too busy running into one another, full-tilt, to stop and puzzle their tiny little brains over it. "Less filling!" "Tastes great!" It's a candy mint!" "It's a breath mint!" Um, yeah. Whatever.


Robert Fowler said...

We are a right to work state and the unions have been trying to kill it for years. They use the same arguments about the freeloaders. The one time I was in a union (IAMAW) soured me on the whole deal. They took money out of my check every week and I never did see any benefit. I was laid off and not a peep (or a refund) from the union. If I was able to go back to work the last thing I would consider is joining one of the thug organizations. What makes it funny is I was raised in Michigan and My father was a long time member of the UAW. That whirring sound coming from the south west of you is my father spinning in his grave.

Jeffro said...

I'd hate to meet a politically motivated yeti eunuch in a dark alley. Just sayin.'

Roberta X said...

Oh, Jeffro, and after they said such nice things about you!

Will Brown said...

Texas is a RTW state and my experience here is a bit different from your impressions it seems.

It's true that no one has to join to get a job (which is fundamentally different from California), but the union is the only entity that can bargain with the company over any job-related issue that involves any member of the "bargaining unit" - basicly, anyone the company employs in a non-management position as agreed in the contract language. Once there is a union, the company is barred by law from directly negotiating with any member of the bargaining unit (any employee that theoretically could be a union member) without involveing a union representative in the exchange. Whether or not said employee is a union member; by law the union has to represent you in any dispute with the company regardless of your membership status. And, the union can be held financially responsable for not doing so if you can demonstrate the failure in civil court.

This leads to some odd circumstances arising. The union rep is likely just as educated to represent your interests vs HR as you are yourself, but there are also a bunch of hoops that have to be mutually jumped through to fire someone - to the point that it's usually easier for the company to re-hire someone as not to at some point. You also can't end your membership (while still keeping your job) except during the ew weeks a year that the company and union have agreed to. Company claims they can't stop giving your money to the union otherwise or the union can sue them for breach of contract.

There's lots of room for corruption, but unions do create a certain formal distance in disputs between employees and company officials. On balance, I'd prefer working non-union (especially in RTW Texas), but not at any company that successfully broke a union.

BobG said...

I spent 18 years in a union (I was even a shop steward for a while), and I wouldn't want to be in one again. My problem with them, that I saw evolve over the years, is that they tend to worry more about the union and its officials than the members, who are paying the dues. At one time unions were necessary for mediating between business and labor, but these days they have become just like the government, parasitic and self-serving.
Just my opinion.