Unions … they once were

Many times I’ve heard my uncle and some of his steelworker friends talk about the unions of the day. They negotiated good pays, medical coverage, safety procedures, etc for them.   They well fit their function … and you can’t always blame the steel industry for “leaving” because of them being greedy.  Actually we produce just as much steel, but the processes have become much more efficient.

Anyway … hearing what they have said, and seeing unions now (or the systematic abolishment of them) is a cause for concern.  Now, unions do not have a place everywhere.  Some industries do a good enough job of policing themselves that they run better without unions.  This day in age, though we are getting back to where unions are needed again … simply to protect the workers and help secure basic rights (the right to keep your job if you do it well, and not lose it because some exec found a people other places in the world to do it for 60% cheaper.), etc.

So, with the issues workers are having, why don’t we see more unions popping up?

Well, think about it.  Too many articles on the greed of unions. Articles now popping up on how unions are fighting with each other (Click Here for The Pittsburgh City Paper article by Chris Young), instead of working together.  Resentment towards unions like the PA Teachers Union (ie. you can’t get a teacher fired, even if they are the worst teacher ever … unless they rape or harm a child), the fact that many only collect dues and never do anything or are powerless, and of course the aura of mob involvement from the movies.  There probably more reasons people don’t turn towards unions, but those are the only ones I could think of at this time.

If unions could bring themselves to have good enough reputations again, the could easily accomplish the following:

  • Cut health care costs by protecting the doctors, nurses, etc from greedy and selfish lawyers looking for a quick buck.
  • Cut health care even further by securing insurances that home in on proactive and preventative programs.
  • Cut health care by protecting workers from unsafe conditions.
  • Cut health care by keep stress down on the job.
  • You get the idea?

Maybe if unions could work things out instead of what seems like the newest fad (union rivalries), the workers would join unions and address the health care cost issues themselves.

This is not a pro union article, but a thought on the health care issue, since everyone seems to have no idea what they actually want.

-SWB

PS – Unions … they once were the key to “fair in America”.

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