We don’t have enough private sector union members

On Thursday, August 25, while most on the east coast were preparing for Hurricane Irene, the National Labor Relations Board issued a new rule.  There are a few curious things about the rule, other than the rule itself.

First, the rule…all employers must now have government approved posters at their place of business advising workers that they have the right to unionize.  And, if said employer communicates with its employees on an employer web site, then the employer must post this notice on their web site as well.

Now, on to the curiosities.

Typically, the NLRB doesn’t “rule” on anything unless there is a case involving that issue before the NLRB.  Here, there was no such case.  The new “rule” was unprompted by any labor/management controversy.

But, the justification for the rule is really bizarre.

The right to form a union is protected by the National Labor Relations Act.  That was passed by Congress in 1935.  

But, according to the NLRB,

[f]or employees to fully exercise their NLRA rights, however, they must know that those rights exist and that the Board protects those rights.

Huh?  The National Labor Relations Act has been around for 76 years and no one knows about it?

Further, according to the NLRB, currently, there is a,

comparatively small percentage of private sector employees who are represented by unions.

That part is true.  In 1954, 35% of private sector workers belonged to a union.  Today, it is 6.9%.  But, to suggest that union membership has declined because people are uninformed about their right to unionize is nothing short of ludicrous.

Employees don’t meet in the lunch room every day and wonder whether they can band together to “negotiate” a better deal with their employer.  They feel they are lucky to have a job, and, don’t want to be forced to contribute their hard earned money to a union that ever increasingly seems to squander it on political contributions.

But, that’s just my opinion.


15 replies
  1. JollyRoger
    JollyRoger says:

    I’d go union, but nothing would change…? The guy who’s performing personal favors for the boss would become my shop steward, and he’d still be stabbing me in the back

    • Law-AbidingCitizen
      Law-AbidingCitizen says:

      The day of membership, voluntarily, in a union is over.
      Unions only exist for the union elite. As a teacher forced to belong to the local teacher’s union all through my career, I can tell you that the union did little for the average teacher. Only when the union needed money for “support” of its initiatives were they heard from; voice opposition or fail to contribute and a black mark went into their ledger for use against you later.?

  2. phil
    phil says:

    I belong to a very exclusive union.? Me.? My union dues never go to support a liberal empty suit know-nothing.? They go to the local package store for a Saturday afternoon six-pack.

  3. Anybody but Obama
    Anybody but Obama says:

    So much for easing up on the regulations to get people back to work and get the economy moving,

  4. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    people in private sector jobs found out that they did not want a union: 1. there are so many federal regulations that more than enough of their rights are protected. 2. Paying union dues provided them no benefit and was a waste of their money.3. My husband’s company had 3 unions United Paper workers etc all 3 went bankrupt due to the union leadership embezzling all their money. The company is sold now and 30 employees lost their jobs partly due to the high cost of health insurance, dental insurance and hiring practices demanded by any of the 3 unions, so that he could no longer control costs to stay alive. Great job of unions protecting jobs. AND to JR’s point the shop stewards mostly the more educated truck drivers continually stabbed the less educated shop employees in the back.

      • Dimsdale
        Dimsdale says:

        Lots of people would love to have more work, and many work more than one job to make ends meet because they can’t work OT due to various union rules.
        I thought OSHA was responsible for workplace safety?? And isn’t it the company that provides the health care for the employees (at least until ?bama sinks his teeth into it)?

      • Lynn
        Lynn says:

        Once again, your lack of true private sector work experience shines through. There are more than enough federal and state regulations to protect employees at any business. There are mandatory OSHA signs? that have to be posted to tell workers not to stick their hands in the machinery, where to go to get compensation, if they slip and fall down.? Visit any manufacturing business and the walls are plastered with lists and lists protecting workers rights and imagined contingencies. As for medical coverage, they had no co-pays and the company paid for all preventative care. Employees were only responsible for the first $500 if hospitalized.? But it was most telling when the last Union negotiator told my husband how sickened he had become from his job because he watched good businesses after good business close their doors because of the greed of the unions. He said they no longer protect the rights of the workers to get and keep a job, they are a pyramid scheme to keep the Union elite fat, rich and happy.?

  5. rachel
    rachel says:

    Rule?? Sounds more like a regulation…you know:? those pesky gov. regulations that cost billions in taxpayer dollars every year the # of which Obama and his peeps were supposed to be reducing,? instead of introducing new ones??
    Wonder how much these posters are going to cost?? And will they be produced/printed in a non-union shop that *unexpectedly* turns union after the printing presses stop?

  6. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    Ah, if only the unions had a lifespan that equaled the lifespan of an ?bama promise or pledge.
    Right to work legislation is far more important, and useful, to an employee than a corrupt union.

  7. crystal4
    crystal4 says:

    Lynn..you know sooo much about me.
    I worked in a high stress position where I was forced to stay for many double shifts. So much so that I went down to 100-112 lbs.
    Oh, they would compensate me by giving me a day off during the week, no OT (which I didn’t complain about, I needed the rest).
    When someone started union talk, there were trumped up charges placed upon them and they were fired, saw this happen to 2 people.
    When someone got hurt (fell or strained their back badly, they were denied workmen’s comp and let go due to “poor work technique”.
    Never belonged to a union but would have loved to as well as my former co-workers, we had no one to back us, no one to go to.

  8. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    Sorry you had a bad experience, but it was your choice to continue working at a company that did not follow state or federal regulations. There are more than enough agencies to complain to. One even ruled that an employee who stole from our company had to be paid back pay and the company had to pay for mental problems because she was under stress because she had to pay for her daughter’s wedding. She was a non-union position. Perhaps you did not complain to one of your blessed state agencies that you pay for in your taxes.

  9. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    The posts on RVO are incredibly responsible and SOS, Jim, Steve, Dims and Dave deserve only the best responses we can give. I do write emotional parables instead of factual posts, but this time I will attempt to write after careful research.? The regulations of OSHA create the most egregious stifling of small and large businesses alike.? After reading a history of OSHA in this link http://www.osha.gov/history/OSHA_HISTORY_3360s.pdf? I came to many conclusions.
    Richard M. Nixon signed OSHA into law Dec. 29, 1970. it was a much needed piece of legislation. However, in my opinion, on page 18 of 72 pages 1980 was the watershed year. In 1976, 24 of 56 states adopted OSHA approved programs. In 1979 Sen. Richard Schweiker, who supported the original Act, “hoped to focus enforcement where it was necessary” instead of imposing unnecessary intrusions. The labor Unions defeated the reform in 1980. Read and make your own determination. However, SOS says the private sector unions were 35% in 1954 and today 6.9%. I accept her numbers and see a correlation between the OSHA regulations dates and the state of the economy and business health.

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