Blame the unions on labor day

@dawnald (84146)
Shingle Springs, California
September 7, 2015 2:31pm CST
A couple people commented on labor day posts on Facebook that the unions were to blame for the loss of manufacturing in this country, and the loss of auto manufacturing jobs in Detroit specifically. I'd like to rebut this. Labor unions aren't perfect. The union leadership isn't always responsive to the members. Some unions' leaders are pretty much in bed with the companies they are supposed to be fighting with for worker's rights. Some union leaders are just power hungry. You know what they say about power corrupting. But keep in mind the good that the labor movement has done also. You wouldn't have overtime pay, worker's compensation, weekends off, and many other things if it were not for unions. And right now there is a "right to work" movement in this country that has weakened unions immensely. The argument is that you shouldn't have to pay union dues to support political causes that you don't agree with, and maybe if unions were more democratic at the top, this wouldn't be an issue. Problem is, if you take a union job and you don't pay dues, you are getting the benefit of union activism without having to contribute. Maybe the solution is to pay dues minus the political portion. I don't know. But back to job loss as relates to manufacturing. There have been a number of trade agreements with other countries starting with NAFTA, and culminating in the agreements the administration is trying to push through now - TPP, TISA, TTIP. These agreements have resulted in massive job losses in the US. Why? Because the jobs are going to go where the wages are the lowest whenever possible. Hence the loss of our textile industry to places like Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Philippines, etc. Outsourcing of call centers to India and other places follows that same model. Auto industry jobs have followed that path too. Corporations have discovered that it is more lucrative to pay somebody much lower wages overseas and then pay the transportation costs of the raw materials and finished goods than it is to pay American workers the wages that they earned under the unions. Is this really the fault of the unions? Or is it due to the business models that corporations have adopted to make ever more profits? Corporations have expended more and more political money to get the laws written in such a way that they are at an advantage, and the rest of us are at a disadvantage. I read one article showing that for every dollar in political contributions, the very rich receive back $760 in benefits. Now how exactly is that the fault of the unions?
3 people like this
3 responses
@alberello75 (17574)
• Genova, Italy
7 Sep 15
Well, my father, being now retired, is the voluntary union. However, even he realizes that, the unions have little power over the fact that in Italy (as in other country), there is a serious unemployment crisis. The task of the union lies in protecting the worker, not the employer or the enterprise (they do not need them, they already know what to do!). I do not think however that it is only the fault of the unions if, companies moving, where production is cheaper, now, most of the emerging countries, are the eastern ones, such as China and South Korea.
1 person likes this
@1wldngl (3991)
• United States
7 Sep 15
From your information here it appears, to me, the problem isn't with unions but corruption within unions. Am I correct? Greed, again, rears it's ugly head.
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
8 Sep 15
There is corruption within the unions, true, but only in combination with the trade agreements that have allowed offshoring have we lost all those jobs. It isn't directly the unions' fault.
1 person likes this
@eagletrek2 (5186)
• Kingston, New York
17 Sep
I agree with you , but I say it now time For the discount stores to be union.