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Union For Businesses

If "workers" can have unions, why not CEO's?
  (+3, -17)(+3, -17)(+3, -17)
(+3, -17)
  [vote for,

Labor union members might not like this idea very much at all, but a "Union For Businesses" would work like this:

CEO's announce (perhaps anonymously) that they're starting their own union amongst other CEO's for a collective hiring scheme. They will only hire people who renounce labor union membership. [Although they won't tell you this explicitly when you apply]

If you didn't quit your labor union membership at the announcement date, and you ever need to be hired again, they won't hire you, and CEO's of this union will keep such info for other CEO's. It's a big blackballing scheme aimed at breaking the unfair power (often bestowed unconstituionally by politicians) of labor unions that hurts companies' competiveness.

If you insist on being in a labor union, expect your odds of unemployment to be high.

lumpy, Sep 25 2002

National Right to Work http://www.nrtw.org/
[lumpy, Sep 25 2002]

I'm not the only one http://www.webruler...rstar/antiunion.asp
[lumpy, Sep 29 2002]

Forbes http://www.forbes.c...4/20/05ceoland.html
Highest payed CEO's [redsimple, Jan 27 2006]


       Ok, I admit, I just got my "agency fee" bill in the mail from the union I don't belong to but have to pay anyway because I live in a screwed up state where I don't get to exercise my freedom of association and disassociation.
lumpy, Sep 25 2002

       I prefer garlic, my elf.
thumbwax, Sep 25 2002

       A union whose purpose is breaking other unions? Not likely.   

       // They will only hire people who renounce labor union membership. //   

       This is not legal, at least in the US and Canada.
waugsqueke, Sep 25 2002

       Nor in the UK. Membership of any society cannot be a reason for not employing someone. Isn't this just a rant?
PeterSilly, Sep 25 2002

       //Membership of any society cannot be a reason for not employing someone//

Bit of a rash generalisation there, Peter.
DrBob, Sep 25 2002

       Don't lecture me about laws. Union laws in America are very unconstitutional (therefore illegal), but it didn't stop them from getting unscrupulous politicians to ram these special union laws through to give their actions the illusion of legitamacy.   

       Besides, even if you think this idea isn't legal where you live, I don't remember legality being a limitation on this board. Heck, I would propose this idea is more in accord with all aspects of ths USC than special union laws. (See 1st amend. freedom of association)
lumpy, Sep 25 2002

       lumpy, I think you're ranting, and I think it's particularly petty to put inverted commas around the word /workers/ in your subtitle.

However, I think I see something of what you're ranting about, and it's not just that you want to be a CEO who can legally subjugate his thousands of workers. I don't belong to a union, and I could. I occasionally teach university classes, and although I am legally a student, I count as junior staff when I take on that role. I'm entitled to sick leave, maternity pay, etc etc. If I was denied those (or otherwise mistreated) by my employer, I could ask my union to arbitrate for me to ensure that my rights were not being sidelined in order to save my employer a bit of money. This is something I would have difficulty doing on my own. In these respects, although I have not signed up with the Association of University Teachers, I fully appreciate the validity and sometimes the absolute necessity of labour union membership.
One of the reasons I am disinclined to become a member of a union, however, is the fact that they have become huge institutions with clear political priorities, with which I do not always agree. I am loath to pay a fee to an organisation and know that fee be only two steps directly from funding a political party. So, I am caught between two problems: 1. either I keep my money to myself and know that (legally or not) my employer may make decisions while conscious that I am not a union member, but that I may be hassled (gently, or (in the case of real industrial action) with possible verbal abuse when crossing picket lines) by other employees who are members; or 2. I pay my union fee (and run the risk of my employer using this information illegally) having the legal support of the union, yet knowing that my money is paying for a political ideology not entirely parallel to my own, and that if strike action was called, I would face the same dilemma of picket line crossing.

So, if your angst against labo(u)r unions is partly or mainly because they are large lobbying organisations often representing an ideology with which you don't agree, perhaps you would prefer a new, smaller kind of employee association meant purely as an arbitration and legal support service, non-antagonistic and meant to safeguard the rights of the employees (your rights). I would be much happier paying fees to this kind of organisation, which wouldn't itself call for pay rises or call on all its members to take industrial action, only take case work from members. I can see that it wouldn't suit everyone. With my very limited experience of employment, I can say that I would be far less prepared to go on strike than to simnply leave a job and try to find another. But that is not an option for people who have very little financial security and are completely dependent on the job they have. This latter group clearly does not include the CEOs mentioned in your idea.
lewisgirl, Sep 25 2002

       I don't think this is a rant. Lumpy has a real problem and has a real solution.   

       Unions shouldn't be an off-limits sacred cow.   

mayan, Sep 25 2002

       //Labor unions are the only bargaining power available to some disenfranchised proletarians.//   

       Union members do not compete with management. Union members compete with other prospective workers. Some states and the federal government have passed statutes and regulations to give unions competitive advantages over non-union workers. Unfortunately, they have been very good at hiding the real motivations behind them.   

       If management needs someone to do a certain job and can't get anyone for less than $10/hour, they'll pay $10/hour. If they can't get anyone for less than $20/hour, they'll pay $20/hour. If a union is demanding $20/hour, they're not somehow "competing" with management to try to get that wage; they're competing with workers who would be willing to do the job for less.   

       Unions love to talk about how they boost the wages of members. They're less eager to talk about how they make their employers less able to compete in either the products or capital markets. They never talk about how many jobs they cost people who aren't union members.   

       BTW, some unions point to the fact that they insist upon union payscales for non-union employees as some sort of altruism. Actually, it's the reverse: such insistence (codified in, e.g., federal hiring practices by the Taft-Hartley Act) serves to prevent outsiders from competing with unions. Unions do provide some benefit to employers, though whether those benefits justify the price difference between what union workers demand and what non-union workers demand is debatable. On the other hand, if non-union workers are prohibited from competing on the basis of price, this lets the unions charge more.
supercat, Sep 25 2002

       I should further mention that any companies that try to set up a union as described would be immediately shut down for "unfair trade practices". The real problem is not that labor unions exist, but rather that the federal and state governments have given them powers they should neither morally nor legally have.   

       The union-busting activities in which some companies participated in the past (e.g. hiring strike breakers to bash people's heads with 2x4's) were illegal then (though the laws were often ignored). Passing laws to compel the enforcement of laws against bodily assault in such cases may have been appropriate (though passing laws to make up for laws that are already being ignored is often futile). If, however, a company wishes to react to a union action by firing the whole lot of its workers, it should be within its rights to do so. Of course, such action will tend to be very expensive as the company would have to invest considerable time and money in training a new batch of workers. A more likely scenario would be a form of detente: the union avoids asking for anything that will cost the company more than would hiring replacement workers, and the company keeps the union employees rather than going through the time and expense to replace them.
supercat, Sep 25 2002

       The problem with ideas on hot topics is that it tends to bring out people's opinions on the topic moreso than the idea. I suspect people are voting based on whether or not they agree with the idea of labo(u)r unions.   

       That's neither here nor there as far as I am concerned. I am voting against the idea because it is illegal. No-one is lecturing you about laws, lump. If something is illegal, it's illegal, whether you want it to be or not. And no one suggested that legality was a limitation of this board. That doesn't stop the idea from sucking, however, due to its illegality.
waugsqueke, Sep 25 2002

       //the unfair power...of labor unions//

This doesn't sound like any of the unions that I recognise. They seem to be more interested in selling me a credit card than improving my pay and conditions.

If you think that unions exercise unfair power then creating another one is hardly logical is it, lumpy? Surely you should be arguing for the disbandment of unions altogether. But then how do you define what a union is? Where do unions end and trade associations begin? Tricky!
DrBob, Sep 25 2002

       If I could condense my sentiments (apart from the idea): I'd be content if, as supercat alluded to, all unconstitutional laws giving improper power to unions were struck out.   

       If that happened, this idea wouldn't be necessary, I wouldn't be paying "agency fees", and unions would have a hard time existing at all due to the nature of the free marketplace.
lumpy, Sep 25 2002

       DrBob: the general difference between a union and a trade association is that the latter generally do not prohibit employers from hiring whomever they wish for whatever wage is acceptable to both employer and worker, and yet that is the whole purpose of a union.
supercat, Sep 25 2002

       lumpy, this idea is so objectionable it's almost funny. And that's from someone whose instincts are basically rightwing. Maybe because you're obviously intelligent and *still* want to screw the little guy. Does it make you proud that the McDonalds franchise worldwide doesn't have unionized employee #1?
General Washington, Sep 25 2002

       G.Washington: I AM THE LITTLE GUY! I'm the one being screwed by the union.
lumpy, Sep 25 2002

       Lumpy: have you tried going through some channels to deunionize yourself?   

       A possibly more agreeable version of this idea might be a union of mid-to-upper level managers who fight unfair practices (ie forcing a company to hire only union members, forcing employees to BE members).   

       The problem with a union of upper-levels is that they can't picket, strike, or otherwise refuse to work, because they have a lot more to lose if the company does go under.
nick_n_uit, Sep 25 2002

       [UnaBubba]: Unfortunately, unions often work to undermine the right of free association to which you refer. As I noted above, unions can have a certain amount of power without interfering with the right of free association, but unfortunately today they go far beyond that.
supercat, Sep 26 2002

       Union For Businesses = Associations
thumbwax, Sep 26 2002

       supercat, perhaps I should clarify. How do you define the difference in law?

Anyhow, the question is moot. No employer (in the UK at least) is forced to recognise or negotiate with a union so lumpy's idea is based on a false premise.
DrBob, Sep 26 2002

       How exactly is a labor union, or the laws supporting them, unconstitutional?   

       (Oh, and unions for businesses are baked in multiple forms, many of which violate the Sherman Act.)
bookworm, Sep 27 2002

       You can complain about politicians giving labor unions too much power, but I don't ever remember a union calling out the National Guard to subdue rioting board members and CEOs.
wgmcg, Sep 28 2002

       This movement needs its Woodie Guthrie:   

       "The Great Fat Cat Revolt of '02"   

       "Bin brokin' dem stocks, dem stocks, dem stocks all day till I can't broke no stocks no more"   

       "Buddy can you spare a share option?"
shameless_self_reference, Sep 29 2002

       CEO's essentially have their own unions. They hire advisor companies to negotiate and protect their outrageous pay scales whenever they take a new assignment. What do they compare themselves with? The pay of other CEO's naturally, and of course they pick the well-paid one's. Nine times out of ten, the board search committees are too clueless to notice the payscale ratcheting effect that takes place in the general market, because they all want to pay their CEO's at around the 80th percentile.   

       See the recent news surrounding GE's former CEO.
RayfordSteele, Sep 29 2002

       yes because CEO's soooo need more help... Man do I feel bad for them especially these guys [link]   

       Unions were formed to protect workers from getting screwed by low wages and unsafe working conditions. The political power they wield barely stacks up against the corprate agenda which has poured much more money into the hands of politicians than any Union ever has.
redsimple, Jan 27 2006


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