Monday, September 7, 2009

Safeway, Lucerne and the strike of the lazy

After reading stories like this one, it's no wonder that I don't like unions.

The union and the employer came to an agreement at the end of August. The settled deal included increases of approx. $2.65 per hour (13%) over 3 years and an increase to the work week of 3 hours per week to 40.

The proposal was rejected by workers, not because of the money, but because of the extra hours.

Now, the explanation seems to make a little bit of fear mongering sense - that if workers work 3 extra hours, then some layoffs may come (personally, I think that it may be more about reducing part time employees in favour of full time ones, but that's just me). Of course, if they stay out on strike for a long one chances are likely that the whole distribution centre gets shut down and EVERYBODY loses their jobs.

Which brings us full circle back to why I don't like unions. It's not that they aren't good for the safety of some classes of workers, because they are. It's because unions figured out many years ago that they could push a company around for more, more, always more... and they use that sledgehammer every chance they get to interfere with the efficient management of a company.

Like it or not, companies sometimes need to downsize operations, adjust their workforce or even move operations to a place where it makes more sense to operate. None of these are evil, except for the people who are affected by the changes.

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