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EFCA issues

2009-03-23 16:46:20.839929+00 by Dan Lyke 2 comments

[ related topics: Politics Work, productivity and environment ]

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#Comment Re: made: 2009-03-23 17:53:55.192011+00 by: JT [edit history]

I remember when I lived in Vegas, I was working for Robert Half at the time as a consultant. I was only working 30 hours a week or so and was in a town for six months knowing no one. Since I wasn't much of a gambler, it left little to do. I decided that I was going to try to get a job barbacking at the microbrewery down the street where a few people I knew from the neighborhood worked.

The owner (unofficially) offered me a job, but told me that the union would have his ass unless I belonged, so I had to join the union first. I contacted the union and told them I'd like to be a member. They told me I'd have to get a job offer before they could allow me to enter the union. I went back to the owner and asked if he could officially extend an offer if I wasn't in the union yet, so I could join the union and work for him. The owner told me that because he was a union shop, he couldn't officially offer a job to anyone unless they were already in the union. I went back to the union with this information and they told me I would have to find a sponsor who was already in the union to sponsor me, so I could get in the union, so I could get a job offer. I talked to a bartender there who I explained the situation to and she told me that she had already sponsored a friend of hers that month and she couldn't sponsor anyone until the next month.

I gave up. Since then, I've had a bad taste in my mouth about unions. I realize they were very much needed at some point in time, but I think that time has passed. The only activity I've seen since my run-in can usually be better classified as "abuse of the system" as opposed to "extending employees' rights."

#Comment Re: made: 2009-03-23 21:26:31.383091+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yep, my one time working in a union shop it was made clear to me by one side that I should stop working so hard because I was redefining the baseline, and by the other side that they'd really like to pay me more to retain me, but union rules wouldn't let 'em.

Unions are ways to reduce human labor to simple commodity, and then to artificially restrict the supply of that commodity in order to keep demand high. And to introduce a whole extra layer of management into the process.

Not that there haven't been times in American history when union agitation wasn't a necessary thing to break through violence being used by the other side, but I don't generally have a positive vibe. For one thing, if the employees of a company deem a union necessary, then it's probably not a good place to work to begin with. As many people have commented about ILM: "It's the only special effects house that has a union. It's also the only special effects house that needs one."