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View Diary: Unions 101 - Which Side Are You On? (130 comments)

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  •  Well said. (0+ / 0-)

    I think this is right on. There are obviously certain places and situations where unionizing is the only way for workers to have any power at all. I've sat and watched Norma Rae at least a dozen times and I cry every time. It's impossible to not stand in awe of the sacrifices, hard work, risks, and struggle, and how important it was to those workers to organize.

    But, I think it's also wrong to insist that every person in every job in the country should be in a union, or "must be" in a union "for our protection" -- that ignores people, like me for example, who work in places where it's not needed and doesn't make sense, and would in fact be counterproductive. I work for a nonprofit that serves people with disabilities, and we have a governing board that is composed of people who care about other people, that is why they do this. And they do their best to treat staff with respect and treat them well. The people who work there do so because of their preference for this kind of culture, where we are all on the SAME "side" -- there actually are no 'sides' -- and this workplace has no use whatsoever for any sort of us against them division between "workers" and the leadership of the organization.

    Unions rightly want credit for the betterment of workers everywhere, and they deserve that credit and thanks from all of us.

    But that does not mean we all need to actually join a union today, "or else" -- and union advocates would be well advised to tone down that rhetoric, and recognize that they are not the answer to everything, for everyone. Especially suggesting, as this diary seems to do, that unless you are a union member, one of  "us" -- then you are "them" and on the side of evil. That is really off-putting, to say the least.

    •  Workers in nonprofits (1+ / 0-)
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      Dirtandiron

      Need to organize too.

      Yes, I know the nonprofit you work for is doing good work. I admire that and I admire the fact that many folks who work for nonprofits don't mind doing so for a salary that might be less than the industry average. You know, just to help out the cause.

      The problem is that many nonprofit workers and volunteers are being exploited exactly because they do care. The willingness to accept a pay cut in return for doing meaningful work feeds the downward spiral.

      I've long been peeved that even the "good" nonprofits give themselves a pass on workers' (and volunteers') rights.

      An organized workforce will strengthen an institution by keeping it honest and ensuring that the workers retain a voice. It's shortsighted and wrong to assume that you don't need a union just because conditions aren't so bad for you right this minute.

      Damn straight I'm Union. I climb poles and fix cable to unclog the tubes that bring you the internets. You're Welcome.

      by norwood on Tue Aug 03, 2010 at 09:17:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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