cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
KNAPPer
Senior Contributor

Unions, Associations & the Constitution

I was thinking about unions and how many political fundamentalists do not believe they have the right to exist. Unions in some people’s view do not have the right to form an organization, collect dues, hire administrative staff, employ lobbyists, negotiate for benefits (that may include work hours, pay, salary, health benefits, retirement and a host of other similar matters). The outcome is that some people believe that union workers are overpaid, over-benefited, and a burden on society in general.

 

Conversely, how many of those same political fundamentalists would deny a group of workers the right to form an employee association? If they did form an association, would they be banned from lobbying? Would they be banned from approaching a health care insurer and negotiating a health care package? Would they be banned from approaching a bank and the employer to create a retirement benefits plan? Would they be banned from representing the employees to the employer and negotiating salaries?

 

Basically, legally speaking there is no difference between a union and an employee association except that employee associations tend to be localized rather than nationally or internationally represented like that of the Teamsters.

 

So, how many here think it is constitutional to ban some of these “rights” such as to form groups, collect dues, hire lobbyists, negotiate benefits, etc., etc? Are any of the things these unions or employee associations do considered unconstitutional? How strong do you stand by the constitution and how many of you will go into the diatribe about how liberals use the constitution when they want…blah…blah. It’s there for everyone.

 

Strikes are a sore point and there may be room for discussion there. Another thing to consider is that no employer, state of federal congressman has to meet with union representatives, authorize what they ask or meet their demands, but they do because they either want to be elected/reelected or give benefits out for one motivation or another.

53 Replies
tomtoolbag
Senior Contributor

Re: Unions, Associations & the Constitution

  What's funny about that is that only "labor" organizations fall under any and all applicable labor laws, whereas the CofC, NAHB, AARP, AFB, or whatever association of dentists or doctors doesn't have to comply with any of those laws. There's so many "organizations" for about every known entity that when you look at any given politician's political or campaign contributions, numerous sectors of the economy are lumped into one category to cover them all.

  But, any organization "contributes" money to either keep their status quo or improve it. What's really disgusting is when some organization refuses to "contribute" and the politico does the pandering routine to get their money flowing to them again, or the extreme where that politico then makes them an enemy and seeks some sort of retribution for not continuing the money flow.

Samnospam
Advisor

Re: Unions, Associations & the Constitution

I don't have a problem with anyone joining or forming a union. I have a problem with forced union membership as a requirement of employment. I have a problem with the government saying an employer has to recognize any union. Freedom of association, freedom to contract.
KNAPPer
Senior Contributor

Re: Unions, Associations & the Constitution

I would agree with that as well, Sam. The solution I keep coming back to is public financing of campaigns for state and federal congress, governor and president. That would take some wind out of the sails of lobbyists. The govt would also be a lot less likely to require that employers heed union demands. I think some unions are so big and multi-national, that they lack local representation and can not keep up with local issues. There's a difference between wants and needs when it comes to employees.

Red Steele
Veteran Advisor

Re: Unions, Associations & the Constitution

I read what you wrote and wonder if you have been asleep for the past couple of years and missed the discussions about private vs. public unions and what purpose public unions serve, and whether they should exist. You might want to read what the great socialist himself, FDR, had to say about public unions. But I will give you the benefit of the doubt, and assume you meant to talk about only private unions. Otherwise, most of what you wrote is clearly wrong.

 

As far as private unions go, I agree with them and think they serve a purpose, as long as "right to work" laws are properly in place, also. If a union can produce a superior workforce, that can operate more efficienttly, they can demand and command higher wages and everyone benefits. If on the otherhand, they can easily be replaced by "scabs", and offer no enhnanced benefits to anyone, then a proper balance of managment and labor is maintained, as the limit to what they can demand and collect is pretty apparent.

 

it is when an employer or industry is forced to hire only union workers that the problems arise. This stifles competition, and causes higher prices and lower output for industries.

KNAPPer
Senior Contributor

Re: Unions, Associations & the Constitution

Pretty good there Red. You managed to work in one insult, yet basically discussed the matter. I think I was discussing unions and associations in general. Public, private, it's all open for discussion. Many states have state employee associations. I don't think they are as powerful as most unions because they are state-based rather than national.

 

I agree that no employer should be forced to only hire union workers. No employee should be forced to join either IMO.

dagwud
Senior Contributor

Re: Unions, Associations & the Constitution

I am not against unions in the private sector but am not real comfortable with public unions being allowed to make large campaign contributions to the very folks deciding on their pay and benefit increases.  One would think the government will follow proper labor rules and not abuse their employees plus paying them a fair wage so there should be much less need for public employee unions.

 

 

I too am against forcing workers to join the union or forcing employers to hire only union employees.  I am also against governments hiring only union contractors and discriminating against non-union contractors.   I am also against the federal government forcing companies to expand in union friendly states as the The National Labor Relations Board is trying to do with Boeing. 

kraft-t
Senior Advisor

Re: Unions, Associations & the Constitution

How do you feel abut corporate campaign contributions to the same guys that write regulations and taxpolicies for corporations?

 

Do you really think that unions have more political influence that corporations. Why do you want to eliminate government workers rights to negotiate with their employers. You already have your congressman and senators working for you but you see union workers as threat to your pocket book. If your congressman is in the unions pocket, change your congressman.

 

BTW do you like to see your congressman and senators attacking medicare and SS?  They want to throw you back into the arms of the health insurance industry. They will give you  a coupon and then you can negotiate with your insurance provider. What do think the insurer will demand for premiums when you get to age 75?

 

If medicare taxes had been raised 10% or more per year like health insurance companies have done, there would be no shortfall for decades to come. Fica tax increases or private insurance in your old age. Think about it Young man. You could be voting for a whole lot of expensive misery in your old age. Remember me when you get to 75. I doubt I will be around to say "I told you  so!"

kraft-t
Senior Advisor

Re: Unions, Associations & the Constitution

Don't you shudder a bit that your tax dollars would be used to support the reelection of teabaggers and the like?

kraft-t
Senior Advisor

Re: Unions, Associations & the Constitution

I guess we need to ask our pols if they are working for us or them. The last I heard was that bribery is illegal whether you are giving or getting.