Tuesday, February 06, 2007

This is what I have to say about it.

I have mixed feelings about unions. It's true.

When I was a poor kid starting a job at Banta Book Group, suddenly this union guy was hassling me every day about how I have to pay the union dues and join the union, and there were all kinds of bullshit politics, and frankly I felt that I did not need a union no matter how much they wanted me to believe otherwise.

Basically he was telling me I have NO CHOICE but to join the union, and I was telling him, I will quit before I give you $60. I need to eat. Besides, I understood that I would have to be there for quite a while before my union could actually help me in a time of need.

I mean, if I want to sue my employer I will. If it's so shitty that you need a union then you should all feel like schmucks for staying there. Going on strike does not strike fear into the higher ups these days. People actually quitting? That might get some results.

Am I a jerk for feeling this way? Probably. I don't care. I worked in two factories (and no, I'm not saying these two experiences gave me a wealth of knowledge on the subject). One non-union and one union. The non-union was a far better work environment mostly because they were scared to death of actually being sued. If I had an issue, I took it up with my boss, or her boss, or the building manager, etc. I learned as many skills as possible and became a valuable employee who they didn't want to lose. The union struck me as slimy and corrupt and felt almost insulting/condescending. That is my experience.

Unions haven't evolved with modern times and often hinder more than they help. So I don't care if some company I like is non-union.


Makalah said...

hehe, if that's in response to the comment i left earlier... it's all good. i just know there's a lot of people who are anti-sweatshop and pro-union, so i didn't want you to promote them without possibly knowing something important to you. heck, i used to work at Gap, Inc., i can't exactly judge one for being pro- or anti-union or sweatshop. hopefully you didn't take my comment personally, i just wanted you to know the full story if you didn't and it was possibly important to you!

Hilary said...

I'm just thrilled that someone is actually reading this. ;) For the record, I'm union-indifferent, anti-sweatshop (don't look in my closet...) and uh...anti sexual harrassment. I just thought it would make a more interesting post than it would a comment. Does that make sense?

Shannon French said...

Way to stick your neck out, Sis! If Chris Choudoir and I get drunk enough, we argue about this topic until there is no more beer. He is, of course, part of the teachers' union, and I am just an asshole. To be sure, there are different types of unions out there. I believe, however, that we workers of the world all have an internal obligation to ourselves to self-educate and continue developing so that we may ever increase our value as professionals. Hiring and firing is a natural part of that process. So are promotions, demotions, quitting, etc. The existence of unions in some ways negates this process, and hance, stunts the development of capitalism.

Oh. And for the record, I am PRO-sweatshop.