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My wife says it's almost impossible to tell the difference between me working and being on strike.

ETA: Both involve sitting in a comfy chair in front of a screen, with a beer in one hand and hitting a keyboard with the other.

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Those of you not in the UK may be amused to know that the government is selling-off the 3% of post offices it still owns (the rest are franchised to shopkeepers, etc.).

The government wants to sell the 'Crown' post offices because they cost more and have lower productivity than the private ones.

Mostly that's because the unions (esp. Communication Workers' Union) keep a stranglehold on them and keep going on strike.

So the union keeps going on strike to prove the government right protest.

But being 3% of the network they hardly affect anything (although I was busier than usual on Monday).

It is not a coincidence that in the UK the only group strongly in favour of trades unions is the government-owned sector.  Socialism for the few, at great cost to the masses ^^ (at least, that's the best sense of what they're talking about that I can get).

 

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Drongle McMahon wrote:

So bring on profits for the even fewer at even greater cost to the masses! Problem solved?

I think you miss the points that:

  1. 89% of the network is already "profit" based
  2. The public, unionised, services are the ones that cost more

As we've seen time and again here; unions are awful for customers so if there is any competition at all the company goes bust and the union's members lose their jobs.  If there is no competition at all - the Socialists' dream - then customers, that is everyone, has to just suffer awful service until the whole country goes bust (1970s, 2000s in the UK and anywhen, anywhere that unions have become a driving force).

Please note, I am not in favour of unrestrained free-market capitalism but the 'cure' of Marxism/Socialism has been proved to be worse than the disease.

 

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And were it not for unions we would still have factories like those in Bangladesh, the ones our businesses prefer to use. There's plenty of unemployed, so we can afford to burn a few. I'm not going to defend excessive and ill-directed politicising that has badly corrupted modern unions. But I will defend the historic and indispensible contributions of unions in establishment of reasonable treatment of employees in a modern society.  In that, they were indeed the driving force. All kinds of people do destructive things out of greed when they find themselves with too much power, but whose greed has done us more harm in recent decades, the unionised royal mail worker or the ununionised investment bank gambler? It is singling out one group and scapegoating them that always corrupts politics on either side.

I'm going to stop at that. Not the right place for political rhetoric.

 

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Drongle McMahon wrote:

...I'm going to stop at that. Not the right place for political rhetoric.

 

Awww, I was just gearing-up ;-0

Fair enough though, I will agree to disagree.  [Gawd, it's hard not to add a question, or 'observation' that wouldn't be "just" an observation, but I'll respect the 'stop'.]

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Without unions most of us ...

would work 16 hours/day 7 days/week

couldn't afford the computers to type out spoiled selfish anti-socialist unsolidaric slogans

wouldn't even be educated enough to think of those stupid anti-unionist conclusions

 

 

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Orca Flotta wrote:

Without unions most of us ...

would work 16 hours/day 7 days/week

couldn't afford the computers to type out spoiled selfish anti-socialist unsolidaric slogans

wouldn't even be educated enough to think of those stupid anti-unionist conclusions

 

 

nope.

Without unions most of us...

would work the same we do now.

would earn more doing so.

would have more time to spend on things we like because we'd spend less time waiting needlessly for unionised bureaucrats who're once again on strike or in interminable union meetings.

...

in fact the only people worse off would be union execs who'd not have the posh lifestyle of the rich and famous they now live from the union fees paid by their members.

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would work the same we do now.

How? Our bosses would've never agreed to your contract if not by force thru strikes and laws. Oh wait, maybe in your case it's different: you're not by any chance USAmerican, are you? Well then, sorry, you don't qualify for this thread.

 

 

would earn more doing so.

Oh yes. And that's why our average wages are as low as in the 50s since all the young people don't grasp the idea of solidarity and only think for themself while watching the world around them crumble. Why would your boss pay you more if he doesn't have to?

 

would have more time to spend on things we like because we'd spend less time waiting needlessly for unionised bureaucrats who're once again on strike or in interminable union meetings.

Every big organisation needs bureaucrats, they keep the whole thing working. Any of your big bucks corporations employs bureaucrats as well. And most ppl working for unions are low level local representatives. They often do it in their spare time.

 

...

in fact the only people worse off would be union execs who'd not have the posh lifestyle of the rich and famous they now live from the union fees paid by their members.

Execs always get more money. So what? At least their wages are open and transparent since they are working based on the same tarif contract like everybody else.

 

Let's never forget how it all got started during the industrial revolution. Nowaydays we are softies and spoiled brats but remember how our grandfathers and their dads fought hard for a minimum of worker's rights and fair payment, for vacations, for equality, for education, for insurance, for just about anything. Again, US is a bit different since contrary to Europe, the workers failed over there.

 

Back to the topic of this thread:

You can't strike in SL. Period! LL are not our employers, they don't pay us. Everybody working in SL is a freelancer and so doesn't have any legal protection or anything. LL is a fascist/feudal system, strikes are pointless here. The only thing you can do is boycot LL by stop paying for their services and by not logging on anymore. But as we all know LL are kinda brickheaded and won't even notice any action from  the user's side.

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Orca Flotta wrote:

Without unions most of us ...

would work 16 hours/day 7 days/week

couldn't afford the computers to type out spoiled selfish anti-socialist unsolidaric slogans

wouldn't even be educated enough to think of those stupid anti-unionist conclusions

 

 

[**Yeahhh, Drongle, my prep wasn't wasted**]

You are completely wrong in overlooking something called 'democracy', as do the unions and the rest of the militant left themselves, of course.

Solidarity promotes progress by creating and voting-for better conditions; fighting the 'class war' for them is as destructive as any other war.  The whole rhectoric of the left forces 'us' against 'them' in a faux Marxist dialectic demanding that we 'smash the system'.  The point of aspirational democracy (aka liberal left, or right depending where you are) is to 'fix the system' and trades-unions are most certainly part of the problem, not the solution.  Violent, destructuve or merely obstructive 'direct action' by all the rest of the militant left - until they grow up and sell out - is in the same category.

Don't break it even more, make it better!  "An eye for an eye will leave the whole world blind" as Ghandi said.

Universal schooling, by the way, started because the capitalists needed better-educated workers for their factories than the previous agricultural system.  To this day schools are as much as tool for brainwashing the future sheep as they are for actually educating them (filling a pail, not lighting a fire - re Yeats or possibly Plutarch).  The wolves, of course, go to different schools - at least they do in the UK - and give each other overpaid sinecures.  Unions most definitely had nothing to do with any new working practice that might require their members being able to think!  *Tsk*, perish the thought, go on strike then send the offenders to Marxist "re-education" camps.  The only thing the left wants you to know is that you're a worker and the union/party chairman looks after you ^^.  Now, bleet after me ...

Community schools, especially in adult education, are a somewhat different matter.  These were organised by aspirational people who wanted to make themselves and their lives better.  Sneered at by typical crab-bucket militant left - including unions who faced losing docile members - for being bourgeoisie it is exactly these people who, quietly but determinedly, achieved universal sufferage (alright, sorry, admittedly male-only) and became our modern economic middle class.

Our - aspirational, liberal - collective wll is expressed through "one man [look I said I was sorry!], one vote" democracy and peaceful, lawful, protest.  The militant view wants three votes - election, party control* and strikes/violent protest when they stil can't get their own minority way.

Yes to employee representation, no to workers' unions.

[*contentious UK Labour party reference]

 

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Orca Flotta wrote:

would work the same we do now.

How? Our bosses would've never agreed to your contract if not by force thru strikes and laws. Oh wait, maybe in your case it's different: you're not by any chance USAmerican, are you? Well then, sorry, you don't qualify for this thread.


Actually in the USA we would be working far longer and harder had unions not formed. Workers in the USA (Most notable Irish american immigrants) began forming unions because they were poorly paid, poorly treated, and working difficult back breaking jobs. I don't know where you got this assumption that employeers are not unfair when it comes to pay in the USA? As far as the general topic on the helpfulness of Unions Americans have as good an insite as pepole fromt he UK. Unions in the USA have some of the same faults it seems as well. They go to far but IMO are still nessicary.

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Madeline Blackbart wrote:

Actually in the USA we would be working far longer and harder had unions not formed
.

Are you serious, or just deluded.  I work ~70 hours a week, every week, and for over 25 years.  I work to pay taxes to pay union federal workers retirement plans... and now Obamacare. 

 

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Well, I'm from Detroit. This is UNION capital here. The city just filed for bankrupsy, and all those unionized workers aren't going to get even half of what their unions promised them. I say F them. They all left Detroit and bought big houses in the burbs. That's what people do when you give them everything they could ever need, a pension and retirement at 50. Now, they are worried about whether they can still pay for their home and the 2 others they bought for their kids. What the leftists fail to understand is that the market is like water or karma. You can't control it. It will just go around you or through you. If you try to inflate your income using force, you may live well for awhile, but it will all come crashing down when the market catches up to the coercion. The only path to true prosperity is competing in the market and proving your worth.

From reading this thread, I'd guess only a couple of people here have ever worked in a real factory. Well, I did for most of my life. It's only been the last 7 years that I've not worked in a factory. I was never in a union, despite working for companies with unions, and making products for unionized companies. They wasted money like crazy. I'd have to sit and wait for 1 of the 10 highlow drivers, that were doing nothing, to be told to unload my truck. 1 hour of waiting was the norm, just to drop off crap they needed yesterday. I got paid more at the factories I worked at, because I learned every machine in the place. At every single place, I learned everything about the products we sold, every step of how they are made, who we buy the parts from, and even ran the shipping departments when they needed me. You earn more by proving to your boss that you are worth more than what he pays you. You prove it to him every day. Your boss can not pay you more, if what you do does not generate more profits to pay you.

The market is the only fair, just, and sustainable arbitor of worth. If we didn't have any government involvement, prices on almost everything would always be dropping. This is the natural progression of things. A free and unconstrained market ensure this will happen. Why? Because we all get up every single day and do things faster, better and smarter. Again, every single day. When you have a totally free market, it is the consumer that is king, not the businesses or corporations. The average person has the biggest influence on what is produced, with the least amount of waste possible.The ONLY reason prices do not drop consistantly, is because central banks in every single nation print money and hand it to their friends. In doing so, they lower the value of every coin in circulation. Today it is mostly paper money they are just printing or adding to bank statements.

Back in Rome's glory, they were doing the exact same thing, and it's the whole reason the empire crumbled. In the beginning, all the coins were pure silver. By the end, all their coins were made of junk metal. The USA just did this exact same thing and it shows exactly why governments are ALL evil, and they will destroy your nation, if you allow it. In 1964, a quarter was 95% silver, and you could easily buy a gallon of gas with it. In 1965, quarters were no longer made out of silver, and by 1973, the dollar was completely detached from gold. Today, if you have a 1964 quarter, it will still buy you a gallon of gas, and probably a good coffee. See, things aren't really getting more expensive, the governments are just printing so much money that it overrides the natural process of deflation. In the US, the Federal Reserves stated goal is 3% inflation. They also just changed how inflation is calculated to hide the massive inflation currently going on, which by the way we calculated it back in the 50's would be around 15% inflation. That is nuts!

The hardest thing to get across to these socialists that want more government control, is that when they allow the government to continue to print fiat money, they are hurting the poorest people the most. It is probably the most inhumane thing a government can do, besides all out war.

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Unionism is a rational response to feudalism; the USA was never a feudal society, so unions were an irrelevant aberration in the developing country, just as religion has become, a method for individuals without any power to grab some for themselves.

I also see organised government (if that isn't an oxymoron) as becoming increasingly obsolescent with the improvement in communications afforded by the 'net, a trend hastened by government's own slide towards uninvolvement by outsourcing.

I'm just disappointed that I won't be around to see the rise of collaborative anarchy, or as the Eastern Bloc call it, crime.

ETA: I'm not disagreeing with you Medhue, although you seem to be more of a Monetarist than a Keynesian.

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