I hear a lot of people bragging about certain companies because they're "Union" but what does that really mean for their employees? In my experience? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! I've worked union jobs and I'e worked non-union jobs and what I've learned from both is the non-union job pays more. Period point blank, you're going to make more on non-union jobs, but the union jobs will offer much better benefits. But there's more to it than that. Let's break it down shall we?
On a union job, everything (from hours to promotions) is based on seniority. Your job performance just doesn't matter. You can be the top performer in your department but if you've only been there a year and someone else has been there for 4 years, your hours will shrink and they'll get promoted over you. It's a sad sad truth. I've worked union jobs where an older member had 15 years of seniority, but he didn't do much of anything. Most of the time you'll see him leaning against a wall or just talking to some friends instead of working. The work falls back onto everyone else to get done, yet while the rest of his peers are only making 7.25 an hour (minimum wage, with no raises) he's making almost 14 dollars to do nothing. They don't get rid of him because of shotty performance, they keep him around. Why?
Meanwhile you've got an excellent performer that gives results EVERY TIME he's on the job, but only been with the company for a year and only making 7.25 and the union contract says he can't get raises and no benefits. Then on top of that, he's not getting as many hours because that non-performing high-seniority guy is getting them. He can't get promoted because that underachiever wants the same job. Hell he can't even take his vacation when he wants to because that useless sack of shit wants the same time for his vacation. Don't you just love that union?
Now let's look at the non-union job! That same position at a non-union company like wal-mart for example would pay that person 8.25-8.50 starting out and then there's a .40 raise every year. The benefits will cost a little more, but they'll be getting more money per hour and on top of that, based on performance, they'll be getting even more hours for being an excellent worker. Improve your work quality and improve your financial situation. Vacation time will be first come first served, so whoever gets it in first and gets it approved has it. Want a better position? Since you're putting in such a higher quality of work there's a very good chance you'll be promoted rather quickly - you know, rewarding quality work! No seniority rules crap over there.
If that do-nothing guy with the seniority tried that at a non-union job he'd be written up, told to improve, and if he didn't improve, he'd be let go. As he should be. If you don't take your job serious, employers should be free to find someone else to do that job, not be forced to retain a money pit employee. It's just not wise.
Look at the people that picket at wal-mart and protest wal-mart because "they don't pay their employees well at all" or "many of their employees receive food stamps or government assisted housing" Ok, but there are union companies that pay less than that cashier at wal-mart makes with their 9.00 an hour making ass! Go to that union company and you'll be LUCKY to receive 7.55 an hour. Yet no one protests that union company. That non-union company has people getting promoted to better paying positions rather quickly, but no one mentions that when they complain. That union company has more people on government assistance than the non-union company, yet no one mentions that fact.
Before protesting the "low wages" wal-mart supposedly pays, how about actually working there and seeing what they really make before you make an inaccurate judgment like that. If you dug, you'll find out that wal-mart pays more than their competitors, and that includes Publix, Kroger, Ingles, Whole Foods, Target, and anyone else. So why not picket those other companies for low wages?
So are unions really for the people? When they try to sign you up, first thing they tell you is it's to protect you from being mistreated by the company or it's to keep the company from firing you for no good reason. They threaten to not represent you if you don't join. That's a load of bullshit. If you get fired from a union company, you call the union rep, and they'll sign you up to join right then and there and they'll still represent you, get your job back (unless of course you were stealing or something major like that) and of course collect their union dues from you from then on out.
These unions are starting to remind me of the Jimmy Hoffa stuff, although not as effective as Jimmy was for the union members. At least Jimmy got decent wages and some good things out of companies for the Teamsters union, he may have used some thug tactics, but they worked for the people. Now today, they use more laid-back thug tactics to extort money from their members and not do anything for them.
I used to defend unions, but when you're only criterion for improvement is seniority - FUCK EM!!!