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Should union membership be compulsory?

by Vee (follow)
Career (58)      Work (103)      Workplace (3)      Workers' Rights (1)     

union protest
Attribution: Midnightblueowl (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons.

So long as union membership is optional, employers have the power to discriminate between those who are union members and those who are not.

Should union membership be mandatory?

#Workers' Rights
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Yeah I do think union membership should be compulsory. I think fees need to be on a sliding scale so that a single man won't pay as much as a single woman with three children. I also think the unions need to put on a massive campaign to inform the public about their work because they get a bad press from those who seek to exploit people.
I'm thinking maybe it should be mandatory.
I have only belonged to a Union twice, when younger.
Yep! it's a good idea....
That's what I'm thinking.
by Vee
No. When my dad got his job, it was mandatory to join the union, which he didn't particularly want to do. He has had to go on strike many times because of the union. It should be a choice.
But in the end, wasn't the outcome better for the employees. I know the fees can be expensive. So that would definitely be a downside for people who couldn't afford them.
by Vee
Not always. And strikes have a big impact on the rest of the area as well. People should not be forced to go on strike or join a union to be able to work. Everyone needs a job, and it should not be dependent on whether you agree with union policies. People who are in a union, but decide not to join in things like strikes, etc, get treated horribly by their colleagues.
Vee, union fees, can be paid in various 'time' contributions, so it's easier. And they're still Tax deductible.
by donjo
Everyone has a right to stand up for their own rights as an employee.
Yes and the same people have the same right to refuse the pay rises and conditions won by the unions. But I never, ever have seen that happen....never.
by fran.
Yes I think it should be mandatory.

Absolutely not! It should be a choice. The Fair Work Act provides protection against discrimination for Union membership (or not).
by kimp
To be fair, the legislation may be there, but that doesn't always translate into practice.
by Vee
Yes compulsory union membership. If not, then conditions and pay rises won by unions should be denied to non-members. Also, if money is a problem and the lack of is used for not joining a union, then maybe a token payment of $1 a week or whatever i.e. ensuring union solidarity even if you are not paying the standard union fees.
When I was working (and always a member of a very large Union) I came up against a lot of resistance and yet, whatever pay rise or condition the union won for its members, the non-members could always quote to the very nearest cent what THEY were going to get and were always the people spruiking about the conditions that now applied in the workplace. Of course, I never let them forget who won those pay rises and conditions for them.
Don't think a Union would get too far denying pay rises etc to non-members. One way to alienate some of the workforce.
They'd get into a legal minefield if they tried, I would think.

Logical thought, fran, but it ain't gunna happen here!
by donjo
Nope Donjo, not here, you are probably right. But working alongside people that refused to join a union used to make me want to vomit. Like I said, those non-union people were able to quote to the very last cent, just what had been won by the work force. I have never been particularly "up"on finances etc. - only ever knew how to put in a fair days work. Just wanted a fair days pay.
However, like I said, I always reminded those people every day of our working together, just who gained "that" for you. The new pair of shoes, the pie at the cafeteria instead of the packed lunch, the hair do, the night out Ö..absolutely anything. I used to ask "why do you bludge off me, why are you such a parasite, and how do you look in the mirror each morning before you come into this office and sit next to me" ?
But I must say I was always amazed at their lack of embarrassment at my comments. They simply didn't care about my comments - they were just pleased to have the money in their pockets and to not have suffered any inconvenience. Weak people. Leeches.
by fran.
And Donjo, can I just add (after 50 years experience) that they are not just bludgers but usually very lazy bludgers as well.
by fran.
Fran, you're SO right! I was always a Union Member, & it helped me on several occasions' with 'smarty' supervisors' trying to 'pull the wool over my eyes'! The Company didn't like it when I always took a Union Rep in with me to 'evaluations' or 'chats'. It prevented various middle mgrs from being bullies!

I think all worked best, & was definitely FAIRER, when it was compulsory. This may come back in, hopefully.
Those silly people don't realise how a Union can 'protect' them from unscrupulous employers', & there's plenty of THEM out there now...........
by donjo
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