These were the bullet points of my own company's propaganda:
- When a union boss negotiates upon and settles a contract, not only must the employer abide by it but the employees must abide. The employees must relinquish all their negotiation rights as individuals to succumb to the overall collective bargaining agreement.
- I agree that I don't like this idea. When I want to go on my break ten minutes later or earlier than usual, I want to have that conversation with my manager and be able to to that.
- Unions happen when the bosses and managers are just as stringent as any collective bargaining agreement could possibly be. SO CORPORATIONS THAT DON'T WANT UNIONIZATION, BE REASONABLE AND FLEXIBLE WITH YOUR EMPLOYEES. THEY WILL BE RIGHT BACK.
- Unions cannot keep a company from closing its doors.
- Although the law says that a company cannot close its doors and move to a new location because of a union, it can close its doors and move if it can prove that it is moving for other business reasons. This spin doctor that visited our company told us about the New Jersey based sky equipment manufacturer whose employees formed a union and it shut its doors, laid them off and moved. How did the ski manufacturer get away with this? It was able to prove in court that moving to Colorado made better business sense for its product to be close to the end user. So all the unionized employees were screwed.
- Can all companies make such a move and prove they are not closing because of the union? Probably not but we all know what skilled high priced lawyers are capable of. In my unique situation, my company sells a non-material product: insurance. However, that leaves a gray area. It would easily be proven that moving to a "cheaper" city in general was good business sense. In retrospect though I don't believe that could have been proven. I believe we could have formed a union and done just fine as far as job security. (Pay after union dues, I don't know.)
- SO EMPLOYEES IF YOU DON'T WANT YOUR COMPANY TO SHUT ITS DOORS ON YOU AFTER FORMING A UNION, SERIOUSLY CONSIDER IF THE COMPANY COULD DO BETTER BUSINESS SENSE RELOCATED EVEN WITHOUT A UNION.
- Union dues. Of course no one wants their pay check garnished but it could be argued that a good union boss could negotiate a "swell" enough salary to compensate for union dues. But again, gouging a company that would otherwise treat its employees well is not good for business and therefore not good for the employees. Adding one more after-thought to this argument is the validity in the idea that many corporate execs reap income in salary and bonuses that creates a pay chasm so wide above and beyond his employees, that no union should feel guilty about negotiated higher wages. Just make sure that they are not going to hurt the company's bottom line. Keep the company profitable and make sure upper manager is making just enough more than you to make their egos feel good, and everyone will be happy.
THIS IS WHERE I HAVE TO CALL ETERNAL BUUUULLLSHIT!
How much choice do employees have that are making $30k a year? I've moved several times in my life and I can tell you moving ain't cheap. It's costly and taxing on the constitution of some of the strongest individuals. Once your in a position where it's hard to make ends meet, it's hard and sometime impossible to get out unless you are gloriously blessed with a lay-off with severance pay, allowing you a nice cushion to get your wits about you and figure out your next step.
For people that don't have enough to get by, getting out of this rut is extremely difficult to the point where it could be considered "not an option" and therefore not much of a choice but to stay put and hope that you can pay rent and feed your kids next month. Forget about getting some new clothes once in a while, getting a nice haircut, getting those latent repairs on your car, getting high speed internet, or even getting a new TV or books to keep you in touch with the rest of the world. The later three are all things that one must have to keep abreast of the world we live in and this is a resource that we all need when trying to get a job. If you can't "talk" with your interviewer very well, you greatly reduce the odds of getting that job.
So personally, I can seriously consider all of the arguments valid against unionization except the "free will" of the job marketplace. For many people it just doesn't exist and at the end of the day there is an unspoken collusion of employers that all end up doing things very similarly in order to keep the playing feel leveled for hand-picking its employees especially when times are tough.
At my job, my company randomly throws new schedules at us like we are restaurant servers. We have to immediately adjust our lives and those of our families to accommodate these new changing or ultimately face termination if we refuse to conform. So would a union have helped us in a time like this? Yes. Would it have helped the company? I have no idea. We never formed a union.
So I do agree with arguments that it can be costly for the company but the point is, employees should be allowed to unionize if:
- They don't really want to uproot their families' lives to look for other work.
- The company they work for is stringent and unbending in all of its policies to the point where the employees no longer feel like human beings but assets no better than a piece of machinery the company might purchase.
- Upper management counts on it power of low employee wages to keep them where they are so that cannot move on and grow as individuals. Low wages is an easy way of maintaining power over and controlling your workforce's lives.
Finally, many upper class employers out they may argue a patronizing point of view that unions "take away the spirit of the individual." What those in power fail to admit is that every day they make decision that effect many individuals lives as a collective unite anyway. Please don't preach to your employees about individuality when that's not really what you want from them.
So these are my thoughts on unionization. People need to be REASONABLE about all political topics. Let's face it. There are industries where unionization serves the industry well. You actual get better talent out of good unions because you have to have good talent to be member. However, unionization in a corporation that has a high value for its employees as the backbone of its company, will probably hurt the bottom line of the company and therefore the employees. After all if an employer values its employees it will always want them to share in the success of the bottom line. When upper management fails to truly show their appreciation (by "show" I mean pay) then a union is just when they need to be planning for.
All the thoughts mentioned above are exactly why we need to keep collective bargaining as an option at the table, whether it's used or not. For some industries, it is the employees' only source of power. That is why it's deplorable when a government strips its people of the right to do this. With the threat of unionization present, it keeps corporations in check, making sure they are treating their employees the best they can. Without this "stick" as a deterrent to poor treatment, corporations will truly feel they can do whatever they want with their employees, knowing full well how hard it is for lower or middle class workers to change occupations. So let's keep the collective bargaining chip on the table. Power and negotiations: That's capitalism isn't it?
AND TO ALL THE CORPORATIONS OUT THERE, ALWAYS TREAT AND PAY YOUR EMPLOYEES AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, IN RELATIONSHIP TO YOUR BOTTOM LINE, MAKE THEM FEEL APPRECIATED (WITH MONEY, NOT "IN KIND" BS) AND YOU WILL ALWAYS SURELY AVOID THE FINANCIAL BURDENS OF UNIONIZATION.