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Has the Pandemic changed your perspective on labour unions?

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  • Dec 15th, 2020 11:04 am
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Aug 31, 2017
5082 posts
2907 upvotes

Has the Pandemic changed your perspective on labour unions?

I'm pro-union and strongly hope that workers organize once the dust settles. It's clear the government is only willing/or can do so much, and every year these large corporations use our resources and have no problem laying people off for the myth of endless growth/profitability.

What say you?
43 replies
Deal Addict
Nov 13, 2013
3347 posts
1995 upvotes
Ottawa
Not sure why this changes much. If you have low skills working in a profitable industry (or public service) you are kind of stupid if you don't want to unionize. At the societal level there are certainly pros and cons to unions but generally the societies with strong unions seem better off. I can certainly understand those who are against as they raise costs and really create a guild system that gives those with connections advantages and makes it harder to get that first job for those less educated. (or even educated in the case of teaching for example)

It's too early to see what will rise from the ashes of our current society. Most people haven't even realized how fundamentally things have changed just based on how much we will spend when this is over we will have to have a fundamental re-think in either government spending or tax rates (probably both).
Member
Jan 24, 2013
447 posts
420 upvotes
Rainy River
My view on unions hasn't changed because of the pandemic. The only place unions thrive is in government where they have no budget to live within or competition to compete against they just gouge the taxpayers more and more for poorer and poorer front line service. So what you have at the end of the day is the poorer private sector workers having to foot the bill for the privileged, fat, overpaid unionized public sector. The problem with unions is they only exist in sectors where they shouldn't.

Unions should exist in banking and other industries where there are a few hugely profitable companies that could and should be more generous to their employees. However, for the small business sector my experience is that they generally are generous with their employees particularly when you consider the budgetary pressures they are under. So when I hear unionization is good sure high living wages are definitely good but there needs to be controls on government wages, poor working class non-pensioned private sector people shouldn't subsidize the $100,000/year full pension government worker, particularly when the private sector guy is more productive than the government guy.

The government sector hasn't suffered financially because of the pandemic. Most of them were told to stay home but their pay cheques kept coming in regardless. The private sector has suffered. The same thing happens in every economic downturn. Private sector takes a big hit job losses etc, government doesn't shrink salaries don't get cut. Government is always immune for some reason. How is that fair?
Deal Fanatic
Jul 13, 2009
5031 posts
3226 upvotes
Layoffs will continue to happen from automation of jobs. Government and business really need to spend more time and money on reskilling and retraining people, especially those in labour intensive low skilled work.

Banks are pretty notorious still for lacking automation but eventually those jobs will go. Mortgage updates are manually processed and they still make mistakes with numbers, decimals and commas... I had to change my house closing date because someone manually input a date wrong.

Rather than "protect" jobs, we need to create jobs for the future.

I'm not pro or anti union (depends where....) but i wish everyone put more effort on being productive for future generations.
Deal Addict
Feb 7, 2006
2377 posts
1124 upvotes
retireyoung55 wrote: My view on unions hasn't changed because of the pandemic. The only place unions thrive is in government where they have no budget to live within or competition to compete against they just gouge the taxpayers more and more for poorer and poorer front line service. So what you have at the end of the day is the poorer private sector workers having to foot the bill for the privileged, fat, overpaid unionized public sector. The problem with unions is they only exist in sectors where they shouldn't.

Unions should exist in banking and other industries where there are a few hugely profitable companies that could and should be more generous to their employees. However, for the small business sector my experience is that they generally are generous with their employees particularly when you consider the budgetary pressures they are under. So when I hear unionization is good sure high living wages are definitely good but there needs to be controls on government wages, poor working class non-pensioned private sector people shouldn't subsidize the $100,000/year full pension government worker, particularly when the private sector guy is more productive than the government guy.

The government sector hasn't suffered financially because of the pandemic. Most of them were told to stay home but their pay cheques kept coming in regardless. The private sector has suffered. The same thing happens in every economic downturn. Private sector takes a big hit job losses etc, government doesn't shrink salaries don't get cut. Government is always immune for some reason. How is that fair?
Took the words outta my mouth (or letters off my keyboard). If anything, more than ever I am anti PUBLIC SECTOR union after seeing how spoiled public sector employees have been during this pandemic when I thought we were "all in this together"...(except them apparently)
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Aug 31, 2017
5082 posts
2907 upvotes
bhrm wrote: Layoffs will continue to happen from automation of jobs. Government and business really need to spend more time and money on reskilling and retraining people, especially those in labour intensive low skilled work.

Banks are pretty notorious still for lacking automation but eventually those jobs will go. Mortgage updates are manually processed and they still make mistakes with numbers, decimals and commas... I had to change my house closing date because someone manually input a date wrong.

Rather than "protect" jobs, we need to create jobs for the future.

I'm not pro or anti union (depends where....) but i wish everyone put more effort on being productive for future generations.
Why can't we do both? The jobs of the future are still going to require protections. It's easier to negotiate when you have real leverage. As it stands, the power dynamic right now is way too isolated in favour of corporations.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Oct 26, 2003
37026 posts
5081 upvotes
Winnipeg
I'm not sure what does the pandemic have to do with unions, business are folding left and right, if you think union can protect the worker when businesses fail then think again.
WTB amazon gc @90%
Deal Expert
Feb 29, 2008
18268 posts
16280 upvotes
Tarrana & The Ri…
Ive always maintained that unions are necessary because orgs can’t be trusted. Time and time again thry show us that. So I always find it odd how upset people get with unions. I may not agree with everything thry do but thry are necessary to keep companies in check.
Deal Expert
Feb 29, 2008
18268 posts
16280 upvotes
Tarrana & The Ri…
divx wrote: I'm not sure what does the pandemic have to do with unions, business are folding left and right, if you think union can protect the worker when businesses fail then think again.
Businesses are making people come into work in less than stellar conditions. Half ass the PPE and protections for their workers. Threaten of cut backs, get bailed out by government but still lay a large sum of people off. Lay people off and use COVID as cover for that. Forcing people to work longer hours.

We knew these companies didn’t care about employees, but the pandemic shows us thry don’t even care whether we live or die. Not all companies, but many.
Deal Addict
Nov 18, 2012
1107 posts
826 upvotes
bhrm wrote: Layoffs will continue to happen from automation of jobs. Government and business really need to spend more time and money on reskilling and retraining people, especially those in labour intensive low skilled work.

Banks are pretty notorious still for lacking automation but eventually those jobs will go. Mortgage updates are manually processed and they still make mistakes with numbers, decimals and commas... I had to change my house closing date because someone manually input a date wrong.

Rather than "protect" jobs, we need to create jobs for the future.

I'm not pro or anti union (depends where....) but i wish everyone put more effort on being productive for future generations.

Well said. Banks still tell me my birthday is wrong.. Yeah buddy im sure the government, hospital and my mom made a mistake on my fking birth certificate, you must be right!
Member
Jan 30, 2018
209 posts
82 upvotes
rkt1337 wrote: Well said. Banks still tell me my birthday is wrong.. Yeah buddy im sure the government, hospital and my mom made a mistake on my fking birth certificate, you must be right!
Unions caused the virus.....now hear me out.

The movement of industry to China due to unionization levels in the west has led to the mass urbanization of China causing the mix of animals, plants, and people that were never meant to be together.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Oct 26, 2003
37026 posts
5081 upvotes
Winnipeg
JayLove06 wrote: Businesses are making people come into work in less than stellar conditions. Half ass the PPE and protections for their workers. Threaten of cut backs, get bailed out by government but still lay a large sum of people off. Lay people off and use COVID as cover for that. Forcing people to work longer hours.
We knew these companies didn’t care about employees, but the pandemic shows us thry don’t even care whether we live or die. Not all companies, but many.
I don't think anyone is prepared for a real pandemic, you can't just fault any one particular group of people.
WTB amazon gc @90%
Deal Addict
Jun 25, 2010
1254 posts
700 upvotes
ahbib82 wrote: Unions caused the virus.....now hear me out.

The movement of industry to China due to unionization levels in the west has led to the mass urbanization of China causing the mix of animals, plants, and people that were never meant to be together.
lol
"Only when the tide goes out do you discover who's been swimming naked" - Warren Buffett -
Member
Oct 5, 2019
237 posts
237 upvotes
JayLove06 wrote: Ive always maintained that unions are necessary because orgs can’t be trusted. Time and time again thry show us that. So I always find it odd how upset people get with unions. I may not agree with everything thry do but thry are necessary to keep companies in check.
The idea behind unions is fine, but most of the implementation in Canada and the US are really messed up. They become cartels essentially that benefits the people in them at the expense of people outside. And like someone said, is especially toxic in the public sector because the incentives aren’t at all aligned. At least in private companies unions want to make sure the company can financially survive. Public sector unions just holds the public hostage. No wonder people are made at them.
Deal Expert
Feb 29, 2008
18268 posts
16280 upvotes
Tarrana & The Ri…
Gorbers wrote: The idea behind unions is fine, but most of the implementation in Canada and the US are really messed up. They become cartels essentially that benefits the people in them at the expense of people outside. And like someone said, is especially toxic in the public sector because the incentives aren’t at all aligned. At least in private companies unions want to make sure the company can financially survive. Public sector unions just holds the public hostage. No wonder people are made at them.
I agree. I think the idea is great but unions can get too big, too powerful. Completely agree.
Member
Jan 24, 2013
447 posts
420 upvotes
Rainy River
I agree that most big businesses abuse power and don't act in the public good but governments also abuse power and don't act in the public good when their bureaucracies grow endlessly and they let costs to the taxpayer grow unchecked. Governments entire focus is on the party and getting or retaining power and they will do anything and everything for that purpose, the public good is not a consideration. Anyone that doesn't believe that should try to explain what governments have been doing over the past 40 years or so.
Deal Addict
Feb 16, 2013
1565 posts
1323 upvotes
Toronto
Depends which union.
Some unions have the industry by the nuts.
Some don't.

Regardless, unionized or not, there's pain coming.
....
Deal Addict
Sep 30, 2011
2094 posts
736 upvotes
MyNameWasTaken wrote: I'm pro-union and strongly hope that workers organize once the dust settles. It's clear the government is only willing/or can do so much, and every year these large corporations use our resources and have no problem laying people off for the myth of endless growth/profitability.

What say you?
I know you are pro-union, and you are also pro-UBI, correct? Both are out of touch idea, IMO.

It is same thing that corporate laying off people no hesitation and people just claim welfare and CERB regardless situation.
The pursue for wealth and greedy are always there regardless, but most critical thing is a society must reward the contributor, so fruit of reward will continue to be produced.
You probably don't have an audacity to tell me auto union are best contributor to our economy, eh? even you are pro-union.

Large corporate use our resources, true but who care, the largest corporate benefit is that government tax most on people not corporate.
A government can only over tax people but not business, since business can move or divest if the tax is "unfair", but people always be taxed on what they vote for.
And behind the ever increase personal tax is all kinds of left wing agenda, useless bail out to auto union and reckless salaries for police/teacher/all civil servant is one big cut.
Next year, ontario tax will hike again, to cover the hole from CERB, again more on personal tax and little in corporate, because those corporate are already at edge of nothing.

I will say union is #1 cancer of Canadian society, particularly when everyone is in debt after covid, they will continue to ask and receive another raise; nothing to do with their
contribution, but their collective political influence.
<signature removed>
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Nov 13, 2010
7396 posts
1571 upvotes
Scarborough
Whatever improvements and good regulations to protect the workers from abuse or unlimited power of management are by unions, should’ve been basic law everywhere.

Things like safety, vacation time, sick time etc or pensions etc and things like standard overtime rules should’ve been govt forced and standard throughout the country, instead of each province or town or company having its own. That way we wouldn’t need so many unions. Just take a look at the unions, most just protect the lazy or abusers while the honest employees are “let go” frequently by the joint silent collaboration of both union and managements.
In some places anything over 37.5 hrs weekly is overtime, while some only get it after 44 hrs, such huge discrepancy
This is why european nations are way ahead of canada/usa, here employees are left helpless and no laws to protect em
Ministry of labour here toothless and many employees cant even access their withheld pay in so many years, its pathetic
Sr. Member
Jul 31, 2017
890 posts
434 upvotes
retireyoung55 wrote: My view on unions hasn't changed because of the pandemic. The only place unions thrive is in government where they have no budget to live within or competition to compete against they just gouge the taxpayers more and more for poorer and poorer front line service. So what you have at the end of the day is the poorer private sector workers having to foot the bill for the privileged, fat, overpaid unionized public sector.

You don't have the slightest effing clue.

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