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I recently enjoyed the post by Isrealfox87 concerning union organizing and don't really get enough labor talk so I figured I'd see if I could start a conversation myself.  Organized labor is the key to a progressive society, and I don't think that is properly understood, even by the left.  While the current model of organizing is failing, labor needs to change to survive and grow.  Members-only unions are one place they could start but, the question is, what benefits could they offer members that would not be available to non-members?

I will throw one out there and then listen to what others come up with.  I guess what we are looking for is that which can only be done by a group or can be done much better or cheaper by a group.

My members-only benefit would be health care negotiating on the exchanges.  The members of a members-only union banding together to negotiate on the exchanges for a better deal would be a strong incentive for joining the union.

What members-only benefits can you guys think of?

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Comment Preferences

  •  A members-only union would be not have to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    defend non-members against discipline. This is particularly significant in right-to-work states and non-mandatory workplaces such as the US Postal service. Now, a f**k-up employee can demand that the union defend him and the union is obligated to do so if it it the certified bargaining agent for that unit. This causes animosity among the union members who are carrying the wieght.

    "One of the greatest tragedies of man's long trek along the highway of history has been the limiting of neighborly concern to tribe, race, class or nation." Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by brae70 on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 05:27:13 AM PDT

  •  Alter your question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    A huge problem within unions is that too many members think only about themselves.  The "Union" is the "union of all members working together for the common benefit."  A better question to ask is what benefits all members would share.

    I'm a retired 32 year union member.  A friend is a union rep who told me about a disturbing situation.  Several drivers in that union got citations relating to a minor change in state law that they were not informed of nor trained for.  All the tickets were thrown out by the court, but in the meantime, other union members wanted these members fired so the others could move up the seniority list.

    So, back to your question--Yes, defense against unwarranted discipline.  Negotiations for money for training for advancement.  The structure for retirement plans where there might not be more money from the employer, but the tax sheltered plans require the structure.

  •  Unions lost public support by not working for all (0+ / 0-)

    The big gains - for everyone - were made by unions that got the forty-hour workweek, among other gains, FOR EVERYONE.  People died to get that, but nonunion members could see the value of unions, because they also benefited.

    Recently the public perception shifted, sadly but realistically, to believe that unions were only out for themselves.  Many had devolved into sweetheart unions, lecturing their members on Management Rights.   It made the Divide and Conquer strategy a lot easier for the plutocrats.

    I think unions are good and necessary, but they need to change to survive.

    Before this all blew up, I had a fair number of arguments with my union representatives about reaching out to the public, and was told we had to stick with just getting the best of what management offered.  No initiative from our side, no public relations efforts, just money and campaign workers to Democrats, who still sold us out once they were elected.

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