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As a follow up to yesterday’s open thread discussion I tried to get going, I woke up this morning at 3:30am thinking about this stuff (it’s a crazy life!).
It seems to me we had a hard time agreeing what we mean by the word ‘theft’. I took it to mean the removal of a physical object so copying something like a DVD or book doesn’t count as theft but others seemed to think theft could include accepting the benefit of someone else’s efforts without paying for it.
If I’ve interpreted other’s opinions about what theft is correctly, I’d be interested in knowing how those people feel about the recently passed anti-union bills generally known as ‘right to work’ laws.
My understanding of how the laws used to work is that if a union negotiates a benefit for it’s members and a non-union member benefits from that contract, then the non-union member had to pay dues precisely because they benefited. They would be “paying” for someone else’s efforts.
Isn’t this the same situation, although one we’re not used to equating, as the person who copies a DVD without paying the studio for that copy? If the copier is a free-rider to the efforts of those who made the movie, aren’t the non-union members in the same position as the copier in relation to the union benefits?
If that is a legitimate equivalence, hasn’t the Michigan Republican Legislature and Governor just legalized ‘theft’ in that non-union members no longer have to pay union dues even though they may benefit from efforts by the union?
Can we justify one situation as theft but not the other?
2 – from a strictly legal standpoint, non-union members taking advantage of union benefits (direct or indirect) is legal, as it is bound up in the contract the union and company signs.
I do agree with you that ethically and morally, it is theft. A non-union member should have the wherewithal to refuse (or compensate) the benefits his union brethren have.
While it can be a sticky-wicket, in the private sector, a person negotiates their own contract for employment and many people in a company can have very different levels of compensation, fringes or perks within the discretion of the owner. I see no reason that non-dues-paying employees should work under any union contract that is negotiated. Make your own deal if you do not want to “join” the union. Problem solved.
3 – I’ve never been a part of union negotiations (from either side) so it interests me…what is the benefit – to the union – of allowing non-dues payers the same benefits as those who pay dues? From the company management perspective, I can see a lot of headache saved in having to only deal with one contract, etc. But what is the gain to the union? An anticipated increase in membership, once the door is opened?
Funny, I was just reading how tolerant Lefties are…
Belafonte should stick to writing about banana boats.
89Hoo #4, I do not see any benefit to the union if the workers not in the union and not paying any dues get the same benefits as those who are in the union and paying dues for the purpose of that advocacy. Even in the private sector, the relationship between employer and employee can be soured over compensation, benefits, promotions, job duties etc.
Virginia has always been a RTW state but it is flat out amazing the number of people who have explained to me why such-and-such was “not their job description” and therefore they should be allowed to refuse the assignment. It is hardly only the union that wants more, more and more as profits grow either.
I still maintain that if anything the anti-union push says is true, how can a union represented company ever be competitive? But they are. Does anyone really believe cars and trucks will cost less when management can pay $10/hour and half their insurance costs instead of better wages and benefits? Do you really?
This is all about breaking the back of collective bargaining and taking any “say” from workers and giving control back to the owners. And that is all it is about.
Michael and 89Hoo, I bet you are glad you don’t have any kook conservatives I could drag videos of in here.
@5 Michael, funny, I was just reading how compassionate Conservatives are….
Michael, quotes from a more tolerant liberal if you’re interested.
Your turn to find me some compassionate quotes by a conservative.
#10 – Scott, it’s the Libs who are constantly telling the world how “progressive”, “compassionate”, and “tolerant” they are.
And I have no doubt that some here nodded their head in agreement about locking Obama’s opponents up.
#1 Yes, Scott…easily.
The theft of intellectual property is no different than that of “physical” property.
The “contract” between employee and employer is just that. It is an agreement to pay for services/work/time between these two principles. It does not include the/a union. The employee does not work for the union & the union does not pay the employee.
There is nothing about any “right to work” laws/states that in any way infinge on employees’ right to oraganize. Nothing that keeps any employee from voluntarily joining a union.
The only thing right to work laws do is keep it voluntary. If it is deemed in the best interest to do so….I assume they will.
No one should have to join a union (or pay dues) in order to enter into the employee/employer contract/relationship.
#4 ‘Hoo the misnomer is where the benifits come from. It varies as to insurance (health) and retirement…..but from pay & salaries to corporate contributions to such plans….the money comes from the success of the business.
Without that there is nothing to argue about.
How many union members have seen their jobs & benifits disappear as unions price “their” labor out of the viable market?
I am not anti-union (I do have considerably more issue with public than private sector unions)….I do understand the actual markets in play & support an individual’s right to (“choose”) whether to join a union. Not to have his ability to work based on joining.
I agree, “No one should have to join a union (or pay dues) in order to enter into the employee/employer contract/relationship”. But they should absolutely pay dues and join the union if they are laboring under a contract that organized workers negotiated for. If you are non-union, you should work under your own deal not theirs. If you don’t bring your lunch, you are not entitled to someone else’s.
Yes, “the money comes from the success of the business”, and the success of the business comes from the employees. “Without that there is nothing to argue about.” No one has their “ability to work based on joining”. No one is entitled to any job any where, but if you take a job under a union contract with the benefits the union gained you should join the union or not take the benefits. Otherwise, it is literally taking something that is not yours, it is forcing others to give you what they paid for. THAT is theft.
Which brings me back to my question…why would unions agree to an arrangement where non-dues payers can have union representation? Obviously they benefit in some way, or they wouldn’t do it. So what’s the benefit?
#8 – “…I bet you are glad you don’t have any kook conservatives I could drag videos of in here.”
We do indded have planty of kooks.
Then again, we’re not the party that loudly proclaims how compassionate and tolerant we are.
Speaking of tolerant, did you see the videos of the union goons in Michigan attacking conservatives?
I do not think unions have that kind of power over any business. If someone is not a union member, they do not have the power to refuse them employment or the same benefits, that is just not their call. Do you think it should be?
Really Michael? No “big tent” rhetoric we can bring up? No, “compassionate conservative” memes running through speeches and statements? Really?
#14 – “If you don’t bring your lunch, you are not entitled to someone else’s.”
I wonder why that doesn’t apply to personal earnings.
Oh, wait, I remember…”Because it’s not FAIR!”
Interesting article from Forbes sheds some insight…
Is your whole world, one size fits all?
17 – no I don’t think unions should be able to determine who works and who does not. That should totally be up to the company.
Taft-Hartley took care of that in 1947…see my link in 20. The link in 20 answered the question I was asking…Taft-Hartley eliminated closed shops, but established that non-union members have to pay for the collective bargaining services (through “agency fees”, not “membership dues”). The difference was that the agency fees only covered the services, and NOT the political activities of the union.
The Right to Work laws essentially eliminate the “agency fees”, primarily on the grounds that they violate the First Amendment Freedom of Assembly rights. In other words Congress cannot mandate union participation, whether through membership dues or “agency fees”.
I think my understanding is right, though I could be wrong…
Excellent explanation 89Hoo, THANKS!
“Rather than increasing job opportunities, the state saw companies relocate out of Oklahoma. In high-tech industries and those service industries “dependent on consumer spending in the local economy” the laws appear to have actually damaged growth. At the end of the decade, 50,000 fewer Oklahoma residents had jobs in manufacturing. Perhaps most damning, Lafer and Allegretto could find no evidence that the legislation had a positive impact on employment rates.
“It will not bring new jobs in, but it will result in less wages and benefits for everybody including non-union workers,” says Lafer.”
… these laws have the effect of weakening unions—and weakened unions tend to be good for business…or at least the owner of the business.”
That is the crux of this push and there is no way around it.
@15 89Hoo, I think your question is answered in part below. I’m sure the union DOESN’T benefit from non-union employees which is why they insisted on collecting dues from those non-union workers IF those non-union workers benefited from the union efforts.
It’s a spill-over effect. The unions did the work to gain benefits while others also benefited.
Autoworkers won decent wages, health insurance, unemployment benefits and a pension plan. Unionization benefited nonunion workers too, because even nonunion employers needed to offer higher pay and benefits to compete with union pay packets.
Admittedly I’ve not had time to follow this conversation as closely as I’d like so this may not answer your question at all.
@16 Michael, I knew someone would bring that up so I offer this competing perspective on union “goons”.
…Unfortunately for Mr. Crowder, a look at the video broadcast on the Sean Hannity show appears to show quite clearly that he left out an important section of the footage when he put together his edit. A section of the Fox News broadcast preserved by the Web site Mediaite shows that Mr. Hannity’s producers at Fox News started the clip five seconds earlier than Mr. Crowder did. What the extra footage reveals is the man who punched Mr. Crowder being knocked to the ground seconds before and then getting up and taking a swing at the comedian.….
89Hoo and others, you should take the time to read about the Taft-Hartley Act at Wikipedia.
#25 – I haven’t seen the video you’re talking about, Scott, but have to ask…who knocked down the union goon that got up and punched Crowder?
I was talking about the tolerant union members destroying the tent, Scott…not what happened to Crowder.
I don’t have a problem with ending the “union shops”, but I think the law should have allowed the flexibility of participation from both sides. An employee should not be forced to join a union (via union dues) or merely accept their services (via “agency fees”), but neither should the union be obligated to provide those service to employees who don’t pay. If a non-member wants union representation, he should pay for them.
23 – kinda depends on who you ask, Sandi, and how you measure it:
“A West Michigan Policy Forum study shows that of the 10 states with the highest rate of personal income growth, eight have right-to-work laws. That’s helping these states draw in tax payers. Between 2000 and 2010, right-to-work states attracted 5 million people from compulsory union states.”
Personally, given the damage that “free” trade and inflationary monetary policy have done – and continue to do – I don’t see it making a significant difference.
27 – to clarify, by “union shops”, I meant the compulsory union companies, where an employee could not work unless he joined a union. I think Taft-Hartley did a good thing getting rid of that practice. I certainly do not oppose unions.
The link will not work, do you have a link to the “West Michigan Policy Forum study”? I cannot find it anywhere.
Oh, I found it.
It was from their interpretation of statistics from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. A Power-point from their conference. Not that I would ever doubt the Chamber of Commerce on anything right wing…
“Lafer and Allegretto found that by the end of 2010, both the highest and lowest unemployment rates were found in RTW states. They note that with such dramatic variation in job growth between states, a RTW law “accounts for little if anything in these trends.”
Granted, an equally biased source, but if that is true, I think their “study” leaves something to be desired.
Aw Sandi…shooting messengers again. Your lack of concern for objectivity is consistent.
You consider Forbes’ self-described Token Lefty (it’s his byline) a credible source for analysis (I’m sure someone with a byline like that can be objective), but immediately sneer at a view from the right. What makes the Token Lefty more credible when analyzing Michigan economics than Michiganders (is that the right word?) who actually work there and can see it first hand? Do you have better data, or do you just not appreciate Powerpoing as a presentation medium?
As I said above, the numbers depend on where you are standing.
I linked Ungar’s piece because he did a good job, in my view, of explaining the history of RTW and Taft-Hartley, even with the sneering undercurrent of contempt for the working man that is the hallmark of all liberals.
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Mon, 20 May 2013 05:22:51 +0000