Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 25

Thread: Labor Day and Unions.

  1. #1

    Default Labor Day and Unions.

    Happy Labor Day to everyone living in Canada and the US. It's a day to appreciate and celebrate the hard work we do. It's also an opportunity to reflect on the changing role of unions in our society.

    I'll just tell you that, from my perspective, I see the need for unions in our workforce. This comes as a surprise to many of my friends, considering my working conditions. I work for a non profit agency, and I often put in long hours of overtime for which I don't get paid. Last year I lost 27 days of vacaction leave because there was no time available to take them. My work is extremely stressful and I am significantly underpaid compared to what I would receive in the private sector.

    Surely, these are conditions to warrant the need for better working conditions, but the truth of the matter is that I wouldn't change a thing. I work in the field of advocacy and tenant rights, and it's been my passion for more than twenty five years. As corny as it sounds, the work itself has been it's own reward and I am immensely grateful for the sense of fulfillment and purpose it has given me.

    I recognize the fact, however, that the majority of people don't get that sense of satisfaction from their work and they simply need to pay the rent or mortgage and put food on the table. In the changing economy, we see more and more people forced to work several part-time jobs without any benefits just to survive and there are little or no prospects of a viable retirement since they have no pension funds.

    Unions continue to have a strong role in our society, but the priorities are evolving over time, as they should. Permanent full time positions are replaced by by part time work without benefits and lower wages.

    In Canada, union coverage is down from 40% of the labor force in the 1970's to around 30% today. It should be noted that the number of workers has actually risen from 3.9 million in 1998 to 4.7 million today.

    Canada's largest union, Unifor, is changing it's direction to organize people in precarious employment, while several other unions have engaged in recruiting efforts aimed at service workers who are not typically unionized. The long term results of these efforts remain to be seen, but unions are finding more ways to remain relevant to the work force, not just in the streets on Labor Day, but in the workplaces, private sector, and government offices.
    Last edited by Starrunner; 02-Sep-2014 at 12:03.

  2. #2


    I agree that unions can serve some workers well, and have played an important part in the economy since their origin. Very interesting about the changing priorities of unions and their new targets of part-time workers and those in certain industries. I would estimate the decline of unions will likely continue even against the changing strategy of many large unions, due to the fact that there is such an aggressive anti-union attitude in the global financial markets.

  3. #3


    Big business dont like them . But lets you pay dues but your making more in wages so the dues are ok.
    If i was working normal job 10.00 an hour no benefits.
    union job 17.00 an hour whats 40.00 and benefits
    Now the part time comes from no one wanting to pay for benefits .
    So now you get no hours or benefits oh you have more employed.
    But you can bearly live . But the stock holders and upper management wow .
    Sad thing is you can't trust person's to be fair with there employees look at walmart.
    We fought hard to get 40 hr a week but now part time we will never get a head.
    Sad. And yes there are some employees that dont do there jobs lazy yes I know.
    A lot of kids that way.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Say every one need to supply benefits if your in the us you must .
    End of part time all jobs what an idea.

  4. #4


    The problem with unions today is that it is rare that anyone stays with a company or even a career long enough to benefit from being in one. I don't think I have ever heard anyone under 40 say anything good about their union because it is by default an old boys club. Any downturn means the last hired are the first fired and without a long period of work to save up money to wait it out most of the younger people will not be back even when things pick up because they will by then have found new jobs.

    What I find rather messed up are the grocery store workers unions. The vast majority of people don't make that a career but they pay for the pensions of a very select few that do. And depending on the company even the lowest level supervisor is non union so anyone with any kind of career ambition will loose any benefit in two years or less.

  5. #5


    You lot over in the USA Canada need a Maggie Thatcher type figure , she did more to kill Unions power in Briton in the 1980's than any other Uk prime minister before or since

  6. #6


    Im 37 and I love my Union, and I love the Union my Pop belonged to, Ive worked non-union and have seen the worst of it, Id rather pay some dues and get paid better, a safer working environment(not fail proof safe, just safer), benefits, and people to stand with me when an employer gets abusive, better bargaining power... the pro's out weigh the cons.

  7. #7


    Some very good comments so far.

    The problem is that unions are a necessary evil. If the administration was honest in the first place there would be no need for the union. However, the "slavery mentality" of some businesses make unions necessary.

    that is the whole point of today. (I have to admit that I did not know this until last Friday) Labor day was started in Canada after a "Labor War" that lasted for 18 months. Everyone should have an honest days pay for an honest days work, but profit is not based on that.

    I can go on but I do not want to ramble so I will just reiterate that Unions have there time and there place and I have benefited from the union I belong to. IF the company I worked for did not see "Human Resource" as a expendable commodity There would have been no need for the union.

  8. #8

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by egor View Post
    The problem is that unions are a necessary evil. If the administration was honest in the first place there would be no need for the union. However, the "slavery mentality" of some businesses make unions necessary.
    Unions also have an effect on non-union shops as well. American auto companies do a lot of their production in Detroit/Michigan and are generally union labor. Foreign companies are a bit more spread around but generally have their production in the south- free rider states. And this is in no small part because this helps them avoid unionization. But this doesn't mean that it's impossible for workers to unionize- just more difficult. And the fact that the UAW could expand into the south provides incentive for these companies to treat its workers well enough that they won't unionize. The threat itself is fairly effective.

    And this is the importance of unions in the country- unions are useless if you have 100% participation in the workforce. They're one-half of a dynamic equilibrium that provides incentive for businesses to provide better for their employees than the absolute minimum necessary to get the job done.

  10. #10


    A little off subject, but still on - I received a call Friday, thought it was going to be a telemarketer. Turns out, a few entities in the area hired a local telemarketing company to remind everyone to give thanks to all the hard working men and women out there.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  • - the Adult Baby / Diaper Lover / Incontinence Support Community. is designed to be viewed in Firefox, with a resolution of at least 1280 x 1024.