My good friend Gene sent me this question from someone he knew that has a big problem with Union Work Rules. Since this is one of the common “objections” to unions I thought we should share the answer.
Darin, this is a post from another conversation I’m in, and I was wondering if you would tell me how you would answer this.
In my 41 years of work I worked in a union shop for 3 months. My big proplem with the unions are the restrictions they put on your job. You are only allowed to do one thing and nothing more. In the non union jobs I would do what ever it took to make the company I worked for a success. If it meant sweeping the floor or fixing a plumbing leak I could do it. In a union shop I couldn’t do that. I still believe because I have lived it that the employees success is tied to the the success of the employer. Of course this is just my opinion and I know many people will not feel the same way.
Gene, I will consider the fact this gentlemen only worked for three months into consideration by saying if he felt this way and had been there long enough to attend his union meetings and submit contract proposals to change the supposed restrictions things might have been different. Having helped organize Integram and been an officer for 14 years I offer the opinion that local unions and contract language are based on suggestions from the members. At Integram for example, we had only two skilled trade classifications – Maintenance Mechanic and Tool and Die. Maintenance Mechanic performed all aspects of maintenance needed from electric, carpentry, metal-working, pneumatics, etc. This is how the plant was started and we embraced the approach when we organized because that is what the members wanted. continue reading…