Topic: Unions irrelevant??
What's DnE's thoughts on unions?
I have been in one union. Yes, it did get me a gig for a bit, but only because I had experience and if I really pressed could have gotten myself at the time. But, they did clear a bunch of red tape.
I have worked as agency in union places. The union guys were generally friendly although one place (a federal hospital), a union steward ended up driving to secluded place with a fifth of liquor and shot himself in the head with a suicide note "dealing with those evil, greedy, political people".
But that's the thing. Rich folks really do not like being told what to do. Hell, I do not like being told what to do, particularly if it is not helpful or against my interests. Particularly in their own place. Almost all the union places I have been were bureaucratic hell holes with unnecessarily strict and spelled out rules and hard to deal with management/ owners that have to entertain it and can not really up and move because they are a hotel or airport or something like that. Of course, they ask more, the owner can just shut down and re-open with a different name. Remember Hostess bread plant guys? Making sure not to hire any former workers.
Also, unionizing fast food or retail is a pipe dream. The only ones having fun in fast food are the owner, middle managers and maybe the store manager only because he/she can screw them and has management experience. Flipping burgers is not really a satisfying trade unless you own the restaurant. It has to have some semblance of skill. Not to say cooking itself is not a very detailed skill, and Mickey Ds may very way be a start to a chef career. But, who cares? No one wants to be there and another desperate sap will take the job for 7.50 USD.
Do not get me started on teacher unions, police unions, firefighter unions, etc. They seem to be more political and less dealing with the trade itself, divided into little fiefdoms. Police and Fire unions even solicit the public as "charities" for stickers that stupid people think is going to make your fire chief bypass someone else's fire to put out yours or a cop letting you off from a ticket. Or school fundraisers selling trinkets or chocolate that the fundraising company gets 90 percent..
BUT, unions can keep relevance.
Take the Electrician Union. You do not have to work in a place they work. You are free to offer your trade for more or less. You can be a lineman for 30+++ USD an hour or a handyman for a run down apartment complex for 9 USD and hour. They WILL get you a job and help you get the skills if you are a newbie as long as you are not a total fuck up.
Ditto for the carpenter's union or longshoremen or plumbers.
And... they have standards. STRICT apprenticeship/ journeyman/ master titles that have real world meaning. They are not up in the office trying to defend some dude who did not come in with a doctor's note from getting canned. They are there with lists of jobs and connections if you want to escape an asshole boss, though.
Why aren't more folks looking at unions that way?