Let's Talk About Union Rights

Races for the Senate, U.S. House, etc. and other issues of national importance.
Henry Vilas
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Re: Let's Talk About Union Rights

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:59 am

No doubt that Citizens United has a lot to do with this. But until there is a level playing field, do you suggest that unions stay out of the political process?

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Re: Let's Talk About Union Rights

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:18 am

Henry Vilas wrote:Sounds like the argument from "right to work" supporters. States with "right to work" laws have destroyed unions, which lowers wages and benefits and worsens working conditions. Employers love that, but does Wisconsin really want to be like South Carolina?


I'm not making an argument for anything, I was simply stating a fact. Ideally I'd love a system where someone could work for a company without joining the union and negotiate their own benefits package, but realistically your right, it would have a negative overall effect on working conditions.

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Re: Let's Talk About Union Rights

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:26 am

Henry Vilas wrote:No doubt that Citizens United has a lot to do with this. But until there is a level playing field, do you suggest that unions stay out of the political process?



Ideally? I'd like to see all non-voters out of the campaign game. I'd be 100% fine with Unions negotiating for their benefits if they were not also donating heavily to politicians who are setting the budgets (the same goes for corporations and their contracts with the government).

I'm also 100% fine with both groups lobbying politicians. But let's make it about convincing the elected officials on the merits of your cause rather than how much you are going to donate to their election.

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Re: Let's Talk About Union Rights

Postby Meade » Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:36 am

Henry Vilas wrote:No doubt that Citizens United has a lot to do with this. But until there is a level playing field, do you suggest that unions stay out of the political process?

"Level playing field". E.J. Dionne, writing about Walker's reforms and union power, uses the same metaphor HERE. To which Mickey Kaus rebuts:
It would be one thing for Dionne to argue, as I’m sure he often has, that unions are necessary to prevent exploitation of workers, redress a power imbalance, reduce income inequality, etc.. But that’s not the argument he’s making here, perhaps because it would be a tough sell.
http://dailycaller.com/2012/06/01/gov-w ... z1wYWIHgQV

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Re: Let's Talk About Union Rights

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:44 am

TheBookPolice wrote:I don't have kids, but my taxes pay for public schools because I benefit from an educated populace. I don't support war, but my taxes pay for the military because a defense force is part of the American framework.


I'd point out that both an education system and a military force are outside the ability of a single individual to create and maintain.

TheBookPolice wrote:Yes, it is technically accurate to say that it is involuntary to pay a reduced fee to the union even if an employee isn't a full-dues member, but that employee receives the benefits of that union's activity as part and parcel of employment with that agency. Employment with a union-representated state agency is fully voluntary; if one doesn't like the terms, one need not accept the job.


On the other hand a single individual does have the ability to negotiate for their own benefits in a work environment.

TheBookPolice wrote:"Involuntary" is a word that, in this context, is meant to prejudice the listener against the union more than it is to convey the nature of the relationship in any sort of accurate sense.


I'm fairly certain I didn't use the word involuntary, but rather completely voluntary. Since there are constraints to the non-union worker's ability to take a job when a union is associated with said job, it is not completely voluntary.

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Re: Let's Talk About Union Rights

Postby TheBookPolice » Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:47 am

Francis Di Domizio wrote:I'd point out that both an education system and a military force are outside the ability of a single individual to create and maintain.

Don't tell the home-schoolers and 2nd Amendment activists.

And yes, submitting to the terms of a union-represented position is completely voluntary. Taking the job isn't mandatory; if one objects to the terms-- the interview is over, there's the door.

The paint color in your private sector office might offend your sensibilities, but it's not your wall to paint, and it still keeps the noise from the neighboring office out of yours. THIS WALL COLOR IS NOT COMPLETELY VOLUNTARY, cries Francis. Well, duh, replies his boss.
Last edited by TheBookPolice on Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Let's Talk About Union Rights

Postby Meade » Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:47 am

Kaus (continued):
Instead, he’s taking a short cut around those annoying policy disputes and arguing that because Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker attempted a permanent structural change instead of working within existing arrangements, he’s guilty of trying “to alter the rules and tilt the legal and electoral playing field.”**

In effect, Walker’s an extremist. Work within the Wagner Act to fight labor–OK! Try to alter the Wagner Act–beyond the pale. The Wagner Act (and state-collected union dues) are part of the “rules.” You can’t change the rules. The rules are here to stay.

Marxists would call this “reification”–the attribution of a false permanency to what are in fact only transient, man-made institutions (like the organizations created by the Wagner Act). Back in the ’60s, when Dionne went to college, leftish types fought reification.*** The point was to change the system, after all, not to play games within it–by The Man’s rules! But reification has now become the routine basis for Democratic arguments against Republican reform. You can’t change the entitlement to welfare! After all, said Sen. Moynihan, welfare had been an entitlement since … what, 1935! You can’t get rid of government employee unions! Theyv’e been the “rule” since 1963!*** That’s just the way it is.



Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/06/01/gov-w ... z1wYbKMr8G

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Re: Let's Talk About Union Rights

Postby Meade » Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:57 am

More Kaus:
Welfare stopped being an entitlement in 1996. And if Gov. Walker prevails in the Wisconsin recall election next Tuesday (as I hope he does), radically reforming public sector unionism will become an acceptable alternative in more states than Wisconsin.

This will be good for left-wing advocates of big government, including Dionne (as Taranto notes). The inefficiency and expense of unionized government is a major reason why taxpayers don’t want more of it. Governor Walker may achieve a dramatic reform that perversely creates the conditions for undermining his own limited-government vision. The Marxists have a word for that, too.*****

_____

**–Dionne says Walker insidiously used “incumbency” to produce these changes. “Incumbency” in this case means a law was passed by a democratically elected legislature (incumbents all) and signed by a democratically elected incumbent governor. It’s not like Walker said “We can’t wait” and imposed the change through executive order.

***– I am of course much too young to remember the ’60s myself. But this is what I’m told.

****– One way to reify something is to call it a “right.” So of what’s at stake isn’t welfare as prescribed by the Social Security Act, but “welfare rights,” not unionism under a specific law but collective bargaining “rights.”

*****–Dialectics. Welfare reform’s dialectic effect shows the way: By making voters more comfortable with government spending–because dollars were no longer, in theory, going to able-bodied people whether or not they tried to work–it paved the way for both Obama’s election and his health care bill.



Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/06/01/gov-w ... z1wYdtiEFd

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Re: Let's Talk About Union Rights

Postby Stebben84 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:10 pm

In voting on Thursday, members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2304 approved the contract with about 75 percent of the votes in favor and 25 percent opposed.

Read more: http://host.madison.com/wsj/business/ar ... z1wZAcpd4a


If the public sector is supposed to work like the private sector, then the public employee unions should be able to negotiate their contracts and should have been at the table when Walker decided to cut salaries. Hmmmm, so which is it Ned?

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Re: Let's Talk About Union Rights

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:20 pm

TheBookPolice wrote:And yes, submitting to the terms of a union-represented position is completely voluntary. Taking the job isn't mandatory; if one objects to the terms-- the interview is over, there's the door.


Fair enough. Then we don't need collective bargaining at all. If the terms of the contract don't fit your needs, don't take the job? It's not like taking the job is mandatory. There is the door.


*Just want to clarify before anyone gets stupid, this isn't my position, just the logic conclusion to TBP's statement.

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Re: Let's Talk About Union Rights

Postby Stebben84 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:23 pm

Francis Di Domizio wrote:
TheBookPolice wrote:And yes, submitting to the terms of a union-represented position is completely voluntary. Taking the job isn't mandatory; if one objects to the terms-- the interview is over, there's the door.


Fair enough. Then we don't need collective bargaining at all. If the terms of the contract don't fit your needs, don't take the job? It's not like taking the job is mandatory. There is the door.


Collective bargaining is there so you don't get screwed AFTER you take the job. You may have liked the terms of the contract when you accepted including being in a union. That said union then helps to ensure your original contract isn't shit on.

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Re: Let's Talk About Union Rights

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:25 pm

Stebben84 wrote:
Francis Di Domizio wrote:
TheBookPolice wrote:And yes, submitting to the terms of a union-represented position is completely voluntary. Taking the job isn't mandatory; if one objects to the terms-- the interview is over, there's the door.


Fair enough. Then we don't need collective bargaining at all. If the terms of the contract don't fit your needs, don't take the job? It's not like taking the job is mandatory. There is the door.


Collective bargaining is there so you don't get screwed AFTER you take the job. You may have liked the terms of the contract when you accepted including being in a union. That said union then helps to ensure your original contract isn't shit on.



But according to TBP the job isn't mandatory, so if the contract no longer meets your needs, there is the door, have a good day.

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Re: Let's Talk About Union Rights

Postby Marvell » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:36 pm

The amount of ignorance and unexamined bias on this thread is truly astounding.

So - you would rather negotiate on your behalf rather than negotiating collectively throught a union. Do you get to choose who represents the company / government entity? Of course not. The company puts forward a negotiator, and you have to negotiate with them; it's not a matter of choice, and why would it? Imagine if there was no official representative of the employing entity: who would ever know who spoke for them?

Patently obvious, right? So how is it suddenly different when it comes to labor?

Why isn't this common sense? Years of anti-union propaganda have made it so people literally can't think rationally about the topic?

Honestly - that's the only reason I can see to explain why people seem completely baffled about what should be an utterly straightforward proposition.

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Re: Let's Talk About Union Rights

Postby Marvell » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:46 pm

Also, the 'fair share' requirement is based on the not-unreasonable position that, if you have benefited economically from the collective bargaining efforts of the union, then you should compensate the union for the effort they took on your behalf.

You are not required to join the union. But if they got you the money, then you should pay the organization that got it for you.

A union is not a charitable organization, after all.

Why is this so hard to understand?

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Re: Let's Talk About Union Rights

Postby TheBookPolice » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:52 pm

Francis Di Domizio wrote:Just want to clarify before anyone gets stupid, this isn't my position, just the logic conclusion to TBP's statement.

No, the logical conclusion to my statement was where I concluded it. If I felt that your hypothetical was logical, I'd have concluded it there too.


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