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In my other job, I’m in a union and pay union dues and help out with union activities.  Personally, I think a union is very important and I think that most jobs – jobs that turn into careers – should have a union.  I’m not talking Local Gas Station Attendant 403 or The Unattractive Bellhops of Mid-Michigan, I’m talking about jobs that you plan to have and work towards.  Jobs like teachers and cops and doctors.

Those who should be in a union.

Those who should be in a union.

Those who shouldn't be in unions.

Those who shouldn't be in unions.

In every job I’ve ever seen with a union, there is a constant battle between Those Above and Those in the Trenches.  Those Above keep trying to screw over Those in the Trenches while Those in the Trenches are constantly on the defense.  Things like pay scales and insurance and longevity are always bickered over and I don’t understand why.  It’s not like Those Above get to keep whatever Those in the Trenches don’t get.  It’s not like Those Above get a better insurance premium if they somehow negotiate a ridiculous premium for Those in the Trenches.  The way I figure it, Those in the Trenches should simply tell Those Above what they want, and Those Above should be able to say, “I’ll see what I can do.”  If there’s money, great; if not, too bad.

But it’s never like that.  It’s a year-long battle that happens practically every year and it always seems like Those Above are finding new ways to screw Those in the Trenches.  The people I talk to in teacher unions and in police unions and in the skilled trades all say the same thing; yet I’ve never talked to one of Those Above and heard a complaint about negotiations.

What about the places that don’t have unions?  Several states don’t have teacher unions, several skilled trades are without representation.  How do they get by?  How do Those in the Trenches not constantly get screwed over?  Do unions actually create this “Them vs. Us” dichotomy?  Could we simply hire competent bosses and be done with the whole thing?

Sometimes I wish I had more followers.  Maybe they could answer this question.


2 Responses

  1. there’s no union at my job and everybody’s trying to screw us over

  2. […] exist as a level of balance.  What I mean is – and I’ve talked about this in another article – Those Above are constantly trying to screw over Those in the Trenches.  Without a union, […]

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