I don't know how many of you have ever worked in union shops/stores/etc. but my experiences with them has been nothing short of suck. They were a great idea at the time they were conceived, because back then employers were getting away with treating their workers like slaves. Now, its the other way around, the employees have employers over a barrel.

Unhappy Camper

Hells yeah
Mar 10, 2008
Fayettenam Area, NC
The first and ONLY union shop I have worked in was my last job. ATT ( CWA is the union ).

There was a real disincentive to go "above' a certain amount of production. For example in my case, I was told pretty point blank that I'm "fucking the other guys over" because I left the yard 15 minutes earlier than others and did more tasks ( a step gets a time ... do x per day to get your 8 hrs .. do more and your percentage goes higher .. compared to others I was running 150 to 200%)

The complainers were ALL union dudes, because they did not want their sweet deal screwed up by some ex-army jerk that ... wait for it ... likes to work! OMG !

They had worked long and hard over the years to get a 'step' for EVERYTHING .. even down to adding a decal to an item, that way according to them the cooperate entity can not work them like a slave.

Wanna know why the Big three telecoms and the big two TV providers suck ass so much? SHARE HOLDER and PENSION. Profit goes to share holders and to union run pension funds .. while the Unions bargain away health care incentives and while the company REFUSES to upgrade rural services into the 21st century. ( <---- while they lobby congress for higher rates because of infrastructure costs).

I've worked on stuff for ATT that had a manufacture date of 1975. AND its is STILL being used to provide phone and DSL to some areas all because ATT has a policy of band-aid repairs partially because the unions have em by the nuts with overtime pay.


^^^ That is, indeed, the issue I was speaking of. Granted, originally unions were a great idea. They are responsible for the 40hr work week, insurance plans, vacation time, paid holidays, and a plethora of other things. HOWEVER, it has been bastardized to the point that they can be lazy fucks. Not saying ALL union WORKERS are lazy, just saying the union STRUCTURE is lazy. Friend of mine just had an issue with her washer or dryer (I forget which) so she called a UNION repair guy out. The guy said that he wouldn't look at it because the washer and dryer were stacked and he would require another "man" to help him pivot the set to get access which, his company wouldst cover. i can understand liability and bullshit and all that but he didn't even tell her that until he stood looking at it for the 15 minutes he needed to get paid for the call. THEN he wouldn't even stand there for the 6 minutes it would have taken me to unstack the thing my damn self. he told me, after waiting for 2 days for him to be scheduled, i would have to reschedule again. so 6 minutes later i tried and they said i had to wait until the next day to even know if there was a spot open.

My old job USED to be unionized...by the time I got there, they had moved away from it but kept some vestiges (structured breaks, "seinority", etc). They decided that it would be cheaper to move the entire company to Ohio and work from there. In Ohio, they were once again a union shop. Whereas in Michigan, we just kept working til it was time to leave, down there, their production plummeted. The entire plant shuts down, basically, for their breaks instead of getting breaks on rotation like we did. Once they hit their quota, they are done. Period. Half hour left or half a minute left, doesn't matter.

A different friend of mine was working at a place where the maintainence crew was union. Something was wrong with a piece of equipment and he had the 5 minutes it was gonna take to fix it, so he did. Instead of getting praised for taking initiative, he got written up because he violated the union contract.

Granted, being a union worker gets you better pay and benefits (in general), but I think that, given the current workplace standard, if we dissolved unions we would see a more competitive work place. Pay and benefits would probably be up across the board because people would be able to pick and choose what jobs they want based on that, instead of being based on whether or not they can even get in to the place (a LOT of places simply hire through the union), so companies would have to offer something better. AND their production (however you define it) would be up because quotas (or Steps, as in Craniums example) would be eliminated and people would be expected to work until they were done with the day (yes, still allowing for lunch breaks etc...)

My last job had ONE line that still enforced the quota. I was on it for a year. I took a perverse joy in pissing the next shift off. There were 5 of us on that line and as soon as they told me "If we manage to get X number of parts out we have to stop, but it's pretty rare to do" I started pushing for it every day. Once I got the other 4 behind me on it, we managed to hit that number with time to spare EVERY SINGLE DAY and still have time enough to run several more parts if we could sneak it past our Line Leader (one step below supervisor..only in charge of a certain area of the plant). That was the first and only job I've where I've ever been bitched at for working too hard.

The line leader came over and asked how close we were to getting production one day. We had an hour to go and only had to make 10 more parts (which, on that line, you could hit 18 an hour if you pushed hard like we were). He told us to stretch it out because he was tired of getting yelled at. The looks on the next shifts faces while we stood in a row and imitated The Rockettes in between making parts was priceless..... We got yelled at for goofing off that day, and we STILL made production.


May 18, 2008
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Had to do some reading up on Unionism in America and what you meant by Union Shop. It's interesting to say the least. All I can relate to is unionism within Australia. Which as a general thing I think in the modern working environment is all but useless. But comparisons between Australia and America are somewhat hard to grasp at times. However drifting back into the topics of unions I'd probably have to agree with a few points made by both of you. They had their time and place improved this country immensely however in the modern working conditions almost seem redundant.

However that being said maybe in a few industries they still serve a purpose but on a wider working scale I seem to find they get in the way and worsen the situation more than improve. Most seem far too stubborn towards compromise and actual intelligent working out of agreeable working conditions.

Oh well thanks for the fifteen minutes I bothered to educate my self on another countries working conditions.