Unions

by Barry Drogin

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To The Editor:

Unions have traditionally stood for:

  1. Written employment contracts jointly authored
  2. No dismissal without prior warning, and only due to provable cause (see 1)
  3. Formal grievance procedures without fear of retribution (see 1)
  4. Merit raises and promotions based on pre-defined criteria (see 1)
  5. Layoffs in reverse seniority order (see 1)
  6. Maintenance and improvement of benefits
  7. Collective negotiation with management of across-the-board cost-of-living increases

I doubt that anyone out there is against having any of these seven. I doubt, also, that anyone out there has seen any of these seven in a long time.

P.S. If, as Mr. Tapang says, capitalism means "that companies exist not primarily in order for us to have jobs, but primarily in order for stockholders to be profitable (sic)," then capitalism is certainly not "morally good." I hope this is not what capitalism means, and we can live in a moral world where companies are understood to be a gathering of people providing goods and services to further the common good while gaining honest compensation for their labors.

P.P.S. Mr. Brown spreads the canard that unions are against "reward for individual contribution," otherwise known as merit pay. It has always been management that prefers brown-nosing, cronyism, office politics, prejudice and favoritism to formal evaluations based on fixed criteria.

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Last Updated: August 4, 2007