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  • authored by remote viewer
  • published Sat, May 11, 2002

Unions of our choice

Unions of our choice
According to the law, workers have the right to join a union of their choice. According to the labour establishment, they are free to exercise this right one time only. If, after a union is granted recognition, its members decide they are dissatisfied that's just too bad. It really doesn't matter the reasons for their dissatisfaction rotten represenation, coziness with management, misuse of their funds, corruption no reason is good enough. Changing unions is aggressively discouraged by the labour establishment. The very idea is rarely ever discussed in labour establishment circles. Those who raise the subject are quickly hooted down, labeled disloyal and sometimes even accused of advocating decertification. This unusual article called If Workers Could Choose by Geoff Bickerton appeared in a 2000 issue of Canadian Dimension. It discusses the implications of respecting workers' choices for unions and suggests, in a subtle way, that choice may not be a bad thing after all.

  • posted by licatsplit
  • Thu, May 16, 2002 5:12am

__________________________________________________
[QUOTE]
"My hunch is if unions had to compete for membership support they would put more emphasis on four areas of their operations, these being communications, education, negotiations and sectoral strategies.

There is no doubt if unions were periodically subjected to competition they would communicate more with the members. We would see more newsletters, more union newspapers, and more efforts to inform the membership about developments and the job the union is doing in representing them."

_______________________Geoff Bickerton___________

I would definately like to see more emphasis on the four areas Geoff mentions: (communication, education, negotiation, and sectoral strategy) But without a grass roots campaign to reform their local, energized by the members themselves, and brought about from the ground up, I would be concerned the members would remain statistics and would be no more than a source of revenue for the business machines to compete over.
The most important choice union members can make is between yesterday and tomorrow, and the future of labor unions lies in getting on the right side of the equation. I believe it is vital for an organization to do something unprecedented and thus by its very nature is threatening to people who are more comfortable with what has been, rather than what might be. To become a great organization, the members must be undeterred by obstacles and setbacks. Instead, they must stay optomistic by positive illusions that they can break new ground or suceed where others have failed. Members require "meaning". Without meaning, their labor is time which has been stolen from them, and like Samson, we become merely slaves at the wheel.

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Thu, May 16, 2002 12:48pm

quote:


The most important choice union members can make is between yesterday and tomorrow, and the future of labor unions lies in getting on the right side of the equation. I believe it is vital for an organization to do something unprecedented and thus by its very nature is threatening to people who are more comfortable with what has been, rather than what might be. To become a great organization, the members must be undeterred by obstacles and setbacks. Instead, they must stay optomistic by positive illusions that they can break new ground or suceed where others have failed. Members require "meaning". Without meaning, their labor is time which has been stolen from them, and like Samson, we become merely slaves at the wheel.


Well put. That's really great insight into what must happen in order for unions to evolve and be effective in the future.

What kind of unprecedented actions do you think unions ought to be considering?

  • posted by licatsplit
  • Thu, May 16, 2002 8:55pm

Communication between the members is vital in the quest for reform. We as members have forever been treated like mushrooms and I for one am tired of the dark and definately tired of the s***! The new democratic web-sites are one of the best tools for the members. Through communication we gain knowledge and this knowledge gives us power! The knowledge we gain through this communication is exactly what power controlled factions truly hate. Informed and enlightened members are definately less likely to be manipulated by the big machines. The problem with gaining all this knowledge, is learning to compile and focus this power of information toward the betterment of all of labor.

The unions of today have a tendency to work the big picture. They see numbers and totals. Members, on the other hand, see a much smaller picture on a much more personal level. Members are a vital part of their respective communities. It is much easier to focus our efforts when we deal with our immediate surroundings and the injustices there. We have to start reform in these communities where we can help all of society. We must fight for every working man and woman in order for them to achieve a living wage. Grass roots reform begins at home and it will spread across all borders and will overtake the machines we have in place at the present. Union corruption must be destroyed and democracy must be achieved and maintained.


MFD is absolutely one of the best sites I have seen. Absolutely unprecedented! This is where it begins.........................

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