Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Unions protect workers

This blog concerns conflict. The financial problems that our governments (Federal, state, city and local) are facing will require draconian measures to correct. This will lead to all types of conflict over the scarce resources. And Unions will attempt to prevent scarce resources from being removed from their sphere of control. Even though I am no fan of unions, it is human nature to protect what you already have. I cannot ever blame anyone for that.

While union protection of workers jobs is admirable; it is a distinct handicap for the employer. One of the problems that are overlooked is that within a union, it becomes much more difficult to rid the organization of people who are not working out. This is even more so when connected with ANY government organization. Non-union government employees are already almost impossible to remove. Unionized workers are even more so.

I suppose in some cases, the person really should not be fired, but I find it unlikely to be the majority of the cases, by far. I work in a non-union company and the vast majority of people I have seen fired had to be. In the past, I have worked in union shops and knew a number of people who should have been removed but were not. A good friend is a union steward and has given me plenty of examples of people who should have been fired but he protected that persons job because that is his job as a representative of the union. As a direct result, the ability to improve the quality of any organization is jeopardized, if not impossible.

This is a major issue with teaching in particular. If teachers cannot be fired or removed, the quality of the product, our future, is questionable. This is an issue worth fighting over. (I am speaking metaphorically, not literally although it could come down to physical violence) I suspect that this is a major reason as to why we are seeing such an emphasis upon this issue in Wisconsin and Ohio. And this issue will probably be seen in many other places as well, as our various levels of government attempt to grapple with the financial problems that we face.

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