Labor Day 2019

Happy Labor Day!

What are your thoughts about the future of labor unions?

We deserve better

Brutus

4 Responses to Labor Day 2019

  1. John Dungan says:

    I despair that Labor Unions are in the state that they are in today, and I blame one political party for most of the damage done to the Labor movement over the last fifty years. The disparity between worker and management is bigger than ever, and there’s no end in sight. Labor Unions have pretty much been handcuffed, and that is part of the reason why we see this yuge gap.

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  2. JerryK says:

    Unions, i.e., working people have come to be despised by their traditional Dem political party. Trump won the presidency appealing to the exact demographic – white working class males – that were once the backbone of the Dem party that has gone the way of Identity Politics.

    Really, no political party speaks for unions in the sense that they actually do something for them, like not export their jobs to China or fold their employers into some hedge fund for zillionaires to play with.

    Workers are still exploited today as illegal migrants in agri-business, cubicle serfs in call centers and Silicon Valley code hackers working 60 to 70 hour weeks (been there and seen it). Of course they’re paid pretty well and they mostly live by the fantasy that, when their stock options get above water, they’ll cash out to do “what they really want,” though few of them can say what that might be. Maybe raise organic hemp.

    I grew up in a paper mill town in northern Wisconsin that had unions, all right and a Republican congressman whom they supported, go figure. But this was in the 50s. Today the labor landscape has changed so much it is hard to imagine what comes next except AI that means any job that involves handling information is at risk to a bot, including call centers. Have you tried to call Microsoft lately?

    We’re entering the post-human era and I for one am glad I will not be around to see it to its end.

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  3. frater jason says:

    I don’t have a problem with labor unions _per se_. I can envision a union that acted like a liason between workers and the company. Better communication is the basis for a good relationship. I hear that in Germany corporations have a seat on the board reserved for labor representation. Sounds reasonable to me..

    Having said that, I do have a problem with _de facto_ political machines with mandatory dues for non-members. Unions too often become like any other bureaucratic organization that exist first to perpetuate themselves, and MAYBE second do something for their constituents.

    Protectionist trade policies that unions often want artificially increase prices for American consumers and hamper competition. Unreasonable labor demands come close to pricing the unions themselves out of a job.

    It seems to me that a well-run company would cause a union to wither away or never take root in the first place. Consider Mojang, who made Minecraft. Notch, the owner, allowed the employees to do what was right (and fun). Notch also started forgoing his December salary every year and distributed it to the employees as a Christmas bonus. His workers were loyal to him and the company. (I say “were” because he later sold it to Microsoft for 1B)

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