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(36,264 posts)
Tue Jan 29, 2013, 05:02 PM Jan 2013

why are you not in a labor union...? [View all]

In light of recent news on the decline of labor unions in the U.S., particularly private sector unions that currently organize less than 7% of the U.S. workforce, I'm wondering why the other 93% of the private work force has walked away from collective bargaining and union representation. The data on labor's contribution to middle class prosperity is unequivocal-- not only do union workers do better than their non-union counterparts by just about every measure of work related prosperity, but their communities benefit as well. The disparity between the wealthiest 1% and the rest of us is at historic levels of inequality at precisely the time that union membership is at historic lows.

Why aren't you a union member, and why aren't you trying to become one? This is a poll, obviously, but I'm really hoping for more detailed responses in replies. The poll selections are not necessarily exclusive, of course-- more than one might be true for you-- but if you'd indicate the most appropriate answer for your individual circumstances I'd greatly appreciate it. And do please elaborate further if you can.

I'm torn about whether to include "I want to join a union, but I live in a right-to-work state" because right-to-work laws don't necessarily preclude labor organizing, they just make it harder. What are your thoughts about this?

Edit: I changed "I like to vote" to "I'm retired or self employed and have no need for union representation."

42 votes, 1 pass | Time left: Unlimited
I don't want to join a labor union or bargain collectively regarding my terms and conditions of work.
3 (7%)
I don't want unions in my workplace/industry/etc.
6 (14%)
I don't want to pay union dues in exchange for representation in my workplace.
0 (0%)
There are no unions organizing my industry or profession (in which case, why aren't you helping to rectify that?).
12 (29%)
I want to join a labor union, but I'm afraid of retaliation from my employer.
0 (0%)
I want to organize my workplace, but I'm afraid of retaliation from my employer.
1 (2%)
I live in a right-to-work state and fear employer retaliation if I join a union.
5 (12%)
I belong to a private sector labor union. Solidarity!
6 (14%)
I belong to a public sector labor union. Solidarity!
3 (7%)
on edit: I'm retired or self employed and have no need for union representation.
6 (14%)
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Disclaimer: This is an Internet poll
123 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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No unions in my field bigwillq Jan 2013 #1
self-employed. Do not need a union to intervene with myself. CBGLuthier Jan 2013 #2
I'm an experienced white-collar IT professional with a highly marketable skill set slackmaster Jan 2013 #3
so unions are only for blue-collar non-pros w/o marketable 'skill sets' who aren't 'up to the c HiPointDem Jan 2013 #6
Not really. I'm just tooting my own horn. slackmaster Jan 2013 #7
+1 Left2Tackle Jan 2013 #99
The poster didn't write what you claimed. bluestate10 Jan 2013 #57
no, but it's implied in what he did write. as it is in what *you* wrote. HiPointDem Jan 2013 #76
Decisions have consequences. I have chosen to fore-go choices early in my life, I am in bluestate10 Jan 2013 #91
all of which is beside the point under discussion HiPointDem Jan 2013 #95
"Iím a Professional. What Can a Union Do for Me?" Starry Messenger Jan 2013 #8
I am number 3 in seniority in a company that presently employs 12 people plus 1 contractor slackmaster Jan 2013 #11
Good, you've been lucky. Starry Messenger Jan 2013 #12
I don't feel that luck has much to do with it. I got a good education and have worked hard... slackmaster Jan 2013 #16
Many people get good educations and work hard. Starry Messenger Jan 2013 #18
Plans? slackmaster Jan 2013 #27
And that worked out for you. Starry Messenger Jan 2013 #31
Must we disagree on something? slackmaster Jan 2013 #33
No, lol. Starry Messenger Jan 2013 #35
Luck has a lot to do with it. Most branches of IT are prime layoff bait. The subset that clicked stevenleser Jan 2013 #19
I've gone from being a curriculum writer to a technical/business writer, phased into systems analyst slackmaster Jan 2013 #26
I've done most of those you listed myself. So why the contradictions in your posts? stevenleser Jan 2013 #29
Being laid off doesn't bother me. Sometimes it's even been a blessing. slackmaster Jan 2013 #32
Only that we now know you have decided to accept the unacceptable as a good thing. stevenleser Jan 2013 #36
Getting laid off from a job you aren't happy with can put you in a good position. slackmaster Jan 2013 #39
The company doesnt care if you are good at your job or not in many cases. stevenleser Jan 2013 #43
Your subject line describes one hallmark of a shitty job slackmaster Jan 2013 #44
I'm speaking specifically of when it comes to layoff time. stevenleser Jan 2013 #47
A company that lets perfectly good people go just to save money might just be stupid slackmaster Jan 2013 #67
I've seen this happen. Left2Tackle Jan 2013 #104
I can think of only one occasion where I truly ended up worse off after a layoff, or voluntarily... slackmaster Jan 2013 #106
I've been fortunate not to have gone through any layoffs Left2Tackle Feb 2013 #123
See my #14, IT folks need Unions desperately. nt stevenleser Jan 2013 #17
I agree, totally. Starry Messenger Jan 2013 #23
He has worked his ass off. Yes, he had some luck along the way, all of us do. bluestate10 Jan 2013 #61
Everyone I've ever known here in Silicon Valley has worked their ass off. Starry Messenger Jan 2013 #62
funny how that works, isn't it? nt antigop Jan 2013 #70
Do you think in our business culture here WinniSkipper Jan 2013 #111
I think they could if employees wanted them. Starry Messenger Jan 2013 #118
Thats pretty inline with my thinking WinniSkipper Jan 2013 #120
My other career is also IT, and I have reached out to the SEIU in the past suggesting they stevenleser Jan 2013 #14
Pardon me for laughing with you at the concept of "job security." I've been laid off four times. slackmaster Jan 2013 #21
So which is it? You either are fine and have no worries, or you aren't. Which are you arguing? nt stevenleser Jan 2013 #24
I've never felt that I have any real job security beyond a 6 - 12 month horizon, and that doesn't... slackmaster Jan 2013 #30
arguably, I'm in a similar situation... mike_c Jan 2013 #15
This is exactly what most of the other people said when we were trying Egalitarian Thug Jan 2013 #34
Yep, I'm one of those and I learned that lesson the hard way and will never forget it. stevenleser Jan 2013 #40
Nobody has ever approached me about unionization, and I've been working since 1981. slackmaster Jan 2013 #41
My apologies. You've certainly seen what happened to our profession. The Clintons wiped out Egalitarian Thug Jan 2013 #64
Now retired - sort of anyway. dipsydoodle Jan 2013 #4
A little off topic, but I like your signature line. KansDem Jan 2013 #105
Its Tom Waits you need to thank for that. dipsydoodle Jan 2013 #114
Ah, yes! The Everyman's Poet and Philosopher KansDem Jan 2013 #115
Who said I wasn't? lpbk2713 Jan 2013 #5
that's one of the choices... mike_c Jan 2013 #9
The existing unions (e.g., teachers, AFSCME, etc.) need to be helping everyone else unionize! reformist2 Jan 2013 #10
My job (sysadmin) is usually the only one of those in a given business Recursion Jan 2013 #13
Need to add 'Retired' as one of the choices! LongTomH Jan 2013 #20
unfortunately, I'm out of choices on this poll.... mike_c Jan 2013 #25
Proud member of the NEA, VEA, and FEA. 11 Bravo Jan 2013 #22
Retired Union Ironworker Go Vols Jan 2013 #28
I'm retired Blue_In_AK Jan 2013 #37
AFT in Kansas City in the 70's. MissMarple Jan 2013 #38
Other: I live in a right-to-work-for-less state, and former co-workers didn't value unions. GoCubsGo Jan 2013 #42
Self-employed. I wish there was a union. Zoeisright Jan 2013 #45
I don't really see a need for me to be in a union. cbdo2007 Jan 2013 #46
JOINED, BLEW IT, GOT OUT Bennyboy Jan 2013 #48
I wish I had a job to... 99Forever Jan 2013 #49
I'm in that category too 2naSalit Jan 2013 #75
Yep... 99Forever Jan 2013 #89
i'm now retired, but was in a labor union when i was working shanti Jan 2013 #50
Full time student. nt Deep13 Jan 2013 #51
Option missing: My workplace is unionized, but I work for the salary/management staff. OneTenthofOnePercent Jan 2013 #52
I am not eligible for union membership yellerpup Jan 2013 #53
I'll be joining IATSE this Monday. amerikat Jan 2013 #54
my marketing jobs....are not union mshasta Jan 2013 #55
They have been trying to organize my field for years abelenkpe Jan 2013 #56
I've done far better on my own. badtoworse Jan 2013 #58
I'm retired after 32 years in the Flashmann Jan 2013 #59
Union member for 32 years mokawanis Jan 2013 #60
I'm management (self-employed), plus a medical professional not subject to kestrel91316 Jan 2013 #63
There are two reason to join a union: The Philosopher Jan 2013 #65
I am ismnotwasm Jan 2013 #66
My industry is not organized; landscape construction Earth_First Jan 2013 #68
Texas had the first "closed shop" town in the entire country derby378 Jan 2013 #69
This message was self-deleted by its author Heddi Jan 2013 #71
you've just described how I came to be an officer and activist in my union.... mike_c Jan 2013 #73
Ok that's messed up ismnotwasm Jan 2013 #79
I deleted my previous post Heddi Jan 2013 #90
My employer has plenty of unions and unionized employees WilmywoodNCparalegal Jan 2013 #72
I'm in Florida. Boo Rick Scott shenmue Jan 2013 #74
Retired NALC. hay rick Jan 2013 #77
that's why I'm so surprised that people are not beating down the doors... mike_c Jan 2013 #83
My husband was a union steward before he retired. appleannie1 Jan 2013 #78
Unemployed LiberalEsto Jan 2013 #80
There are no unions organizing my industry or profession but I support those that do! Lesmoderesstupides Jan 2013 #81
Military... So not a good idea Coyote_Tan Jan 2013 #82
Retired from GM/UAW local 160 michreject Jan 2013 #84
Nice DainBramaged Jan 2013 #85
good luck with your retirement, my friend.... mike_c Jan 2013 #86
Because the aardvark's won't let me..... whistler162 Jan 2013 #87
kick for the evening crowd.... mike_c Jan 2013 #88
Retired last year, never been in a union Fumesucker Jan 2013 #92
no union nesessay in my line of work. crazyjoe Jan 2013 #93
I don't think it would enhance my situation. Throd Jan 2013 #94
I'm a contract worker in a federal healthcare facility in TX rainbow4321 Jan 2013 #96
Proud thug with AFT proud2BlibKansan Jan 2013 #97
Self employed now, but when I was not... Demo_Chris Jan 2013 #98
We have one, but it has no bargaining power Puzzledtraveller Jan 2013 #100
Unemployed at the moment. HappyMe Jan 2013 #101
I work for an international non-governmental organization - LibertyLover Jan 2013 #102
I manage a public library Not Me Jan 2013 #103
I'm considered "management" (but not really) X_Digger Jan 2013 #107
no unions in my field tabbycat31 Jan 2013 #108
Currently unemployed MAD Dave Jan 2013 #109
good luck! mike_c Jan 2013 #110
My boss is a tough negotiator loose wheel Jan 2013 #112
Proud 'thug' here...... blockhead Jan 2013 #113
There is a labor union in my workplace - but they won't let my position qualify for membership. ellisonz Jan 2013 #116
Nursing Unions have just started organizing in Texas w8liftinglady Jan 2013 #117
good luck to you! mike_c Feb 2013 #121
No unions in my company for my role rjj621 Jan 2013 #119
I can tell you that my union membership experiences have been 100% positive.... mike_c Feb 2013 #122
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