Saturday, November 29, 2014

Trade Unions' Example

The best unions for workers are the way trade unions are set up. They are an in-house organization. They have their own pension plans, which they control. They have their own healthcare plan. They set their wages. They do their own training, such as apprenticeship programs. They set their retirement ages; in short, they provide the labor for a price, which covers everything. The contractor pays a set price per hour for a tradesman and when the work is done the worker goes back the union hall to be put on the out of work list until the next job. If the union man or woman moves their pension follows them. The other types of union are governmental: federal, state, city, special district, corporations, businesses schools. These unions just have people who negotiate on their behalf for benefits and wages, but pensions and healthcare are paid for by the agency and employees, and not paid by the unions so the workers’ do not have much control. In cases of corporations selling out to another corporation or filing for bankruptcies or cities and then there ae state governments who decide just not to have unions in their states. All workers should be on the trades-type of union, which they would have control of their lives. Journeymen trade workers get paid the same when they make journeyman. We could have the same with teachers, firefighters, law enforcement, and city workers. In each, when the worker reaches the journeyman level that would be their cost per hour, which would include healthcare and pension—the total package her hour, with no sick or vacation time unless through unions. This way, the agencies know their costs up front and workers have control, which means that they could withhold their labor if needed for healthcare benefits. The unions would have to organize better and the city and state governments and corporations would not have unfunded pensions to worry about, which should make them happy. The worst thing that labor did was to trap themselves into labor contracts thereby splitting the labor army into individual unions with each contract expiring at different times, which was done in the name of craft autonomy, but it allowed employers to take advantage of this divided policy. All of these things can be fixed by splitting the CIO/AFL into CIO into one union and the AFL tighten up and support each other instead of raiding each other’s unions.