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View Diary: Card Check is More Democratic than NLRB Elections (214 comments)

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  •  Oh great..unionize consultants (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    I

    That will help productivity immensely!

    I freelanced software development for many years.  You have to be able to compete in price/product/delivery schedule.  If I had to work an 80 hour week for $20/hr to get a client I knew would be good for more lucrative repeat business, I would do it.  Would a union allow me to do that?

    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

    by Skeptical Bastard on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 09:27:21 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  the writers guild of america, the musicians union (11+ / 0-)

      and even skilled tradesmen have benefited with increased standards at work because there are unions for those industries.

      And yes, a union would allow you to do that because that's what makes sense in your industry.

      •  Count me skeptical... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        I

        ...of unionizing portable skill jobs.

        Your example of the artists' unions are different insofar as these types of union do not insist upon closed shops or lockstep wages rates.

        Overall, to my mind, unions have a place for workers with absolutely no bargaining power. But, as a skilled person, I have plenty...and I'd rather negotiate my own deal.

        •  because doctors, professors & screenwriters (5+ / 0-)

          are unskilled?

          Look i know those aren't freelance positions but no amount of skill and brilliance is going to mitigate the fact that employers hold all the cards and the only way workers can have equal-ish footing on the job is by organizing.

          I would suggest checking out David Sirota's book The Uprising's chapter about tech workers organizing. Also check out the story about perma-temps at MTVdoing a walk out in 07. Additional nyt link.

        •  Ha! (6+ / 0-)

          Construction unions were America's first successful unions, and construction is still one of the most unionized industries.  The workers are highly skilled, and many work for multiple employers in the course of their careers.  It's a different model of unionism than the industrial model that you're apparently familiar with -- but it thrives.

          •  It thrives with government support. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pollyusa

            We weren't talking about crafts-- but that model works largely because of prevailing wage laws.

            •  Distinction without a difference (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jennyjem, sable

              What's the difference between skilled building and construction labor and other skilled, portable labor?

              As for the the "government support" -- find me one industry that doesn't owe something to "government support."  We'd barely have a banking industry today without "government support."  And while I'd be foolish to downplay the importance of prevailing wage laws (which I assume, as a progressive, you support) to the well-being of construction workers, the fact remains that substantial union density in construction predates Davis-Bacon by about 50 years.  

              •  I do support prevailing wage-- to an extent. (0+ / 0-)

                But that's why crafts are different-- because the government is a HUGE consumer of their services and can be a player in the process.

                Let's also set aside the unionization is just part of the culture of crafts at this point...and its not in other skilled work.

                Are you really proposing to expand the prevailing wage model to other sectors?

                •  It already exists, to some extent (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  jennyjem, sable

                  The Service Contract Act sets prevailing wages for employees of federal contractors in a host of occupations.  Now, the prevailing wage under the SCA doesn't nearly as often mirror the applicable contract rate as it does under Davis-Bacon, in part because of the the heavier union density in construction.  But there is, in fact, a federal prevailing wage for a lot of work outside of the building trades. And there's a good reason for that -- government oughtn't be using it's buying power to drive down wage markets.

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