Whatever happened to Unions? May 19

What services do unions provide that would encourage people to join? One is a living wage. People in low wage companies that pay near the minimum wage like Wall Mart are beginning to unionize. What about income inequality, the disparity between management and the workers salaries? Since 1983 the salaries of the CEO’s increased 725% while the salaries of the workers only rose 6.7%. In Wall Mart the CEO makes 1200 times more than the average worker. The average CEO in America makes somewhere around 300 times what the average worker gets. In other nations it is far lower. In Japan the ratio is 67 to 1. In March 68% of Swiss voters passed laws giving the shareholders of companies a say in executive compensation with limits on bonuses. On Nov. 24th 65%  of the voters turned down a bill that would limit executive compensation to 12 times what the lowest paid worker gets. Switzerland, France, and Germany, will be trying again. http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/21/opinion/sutter-swiss-executive-pay/

Union Membership and wages

Why has membership of unions declined? http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2010/09/why-has-union-membership-declined.html

36 Reasons Why You Should Thank a Union

All Breaks at Work, including your Lunch Breaks
Paid Vacation
Sick Leave
Social Security
Minimum Wage
Civil Rights Act/Title VII (Prohibits Employer Discrimination)
8-Hour Work Day
Overtime Pay
Child Labor Laws
Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA)
40 Hour Work Week
Worker’s Compensation (Worker’s Comp)
Unemployment Insurance
Workplace Safety Standards and Regulations
Employer Health Care Insurance
Collective Bargaining Rights for Employees
Wrongful Termination Laws
Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
Whistleblower Protection Laws
Employee Polygraph Protect Act (Prohibits Employer from using a lie detector test on an employee)
Veteran’s Employment and Training Services (VETS)
Compensation increases and Evaluations (Raises)
Sexual Harassment Laws
Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
Holiday Pay
Employer Dental, Life, and Vision Insurance
Privacy Rights
Pregnancy and Parental Leave
Military Leave
The Right to Strike
Public Education for Children
Equal Pay Acts of 1963 & 2011 (Requires employers pay men and women equally for the same amount of work)
Laws Ending Sweatshops in the United States


The need for unions 4:48 min http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SY5P9jbLRQ0

History of unions 3:32 min http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdu2wrOZVsY

The negative side of unions is of course, that as wages and benefits and union created regulations like safety and pollution controls increase, the corporations become less competitive, and either close down or move the operations overseas where they don’t have any controls or benefits and cheap labor. Union membership has going down because most companies give you the benefits that unions fought for earlier. If joining is voluntary and you get the benefits without having to pay dues, why join? Besides with high unemployment people feel lucky to have any job and don’t want to threaten their jobs by agitating.

youtube of union membership and inequality 1:18 min http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSYOedwIjMU

Perhaps one solution is to form worker owned cooperatives so the workers can vote on who the executives are and how much they get paid. Instead of excessive profits going to shareholders and CEO’s, the profits go to the workers and the community. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owBRbn_8Bzo

The international year of the cooperative 3:00 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecSMtMurwsI

Starting a worker cooperative 5:58 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eg8H1dR4_jM

Here is a list of the 100 largest majority worker owned businesses in the country; http://www.nceo.org/articles/employee-ownership-100

Some American jobs are coming back because Chinese wages are increasing. Perhaps the best way to raise wages in the United States is to encourage unions in China. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304587704577333482423070376

Advocacy groups are groups that lobby for different causes. Here is a website that allows you to select a topic and see which groups are it’s advocates. http://www.worldadvocacy.com/


About altruist1

I am a raging progressive and a writer. I received Bachelors degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Arts with a Secondary teaching certificate and a minor in Physics. I taught for about ten years, then did various jobs including welding,fabrication and traffic engineering, and am now retired. I am interested in science, energy, the environment, and architecture.
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