I read this headline on CNN.COM today (2/7/12)
“Greek unions set to strike over new austerity measures” Frankly, I do not see how this will help the Greek situation. The way out of financial trouble is to reduce spending and increase productivity. The union’s best weapon the strike; reduces productivity. And this reduction in productivity is being called to NOT reduce spending. This does not surprise me.
While union protection of workers jobs is admirable; it is a distinct handicap and expense for the employer. One problem that is overlooked is that within a union, it becomes much more difficult to rid the organization of people who are not working out. As a direct result, the ability to improve the quality of any organization is jeopardized, if not impossible. This is an issue worth fighting over. People and organizations will fight over limited resources more than any other reason.
Unions have bankrupted plenty of companies in the past. The additional expense in direct overhead and indirect productivity loss and re-direction will finish any private organization that is not in a dominate position within it’s industry. Companies are efficient. It does not take all that much to drive ANY private company into bankruptcy. As a general rule, unions do not believe what they are told about the financial position of the parent company or government body. They are paid to get more for their members or to at least hold on to as much as they can. It is only natural in that position to not believe much from what they hear from the opposition, except what they want to hear. This is not a cooperative incentive, but a hostile one that cannot benefit the organization overall, in the near term or long terms.
The Greece situation is one of disbelief and human stubbornness. What I mean by this is that humans can fall into the trap of wanting to deprive others from something just because they did not or cannot have access to the same thing. This is as if the unions don’t believe that Greece will default. And even if they DO default, then the price will be spread around more evenly, or ‘fairly’ instead of just on the union membership. Once again, this depends upon what you mean by ‘fair’.