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  1. #11
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    If the government is going to come in and tell the unions what they can and can't bargain for, why have a union at all? Why not just cut out the middle man and have government control? That seems more efficient to me. I'm not even sure if forcing the existence of multiple unions would work when you consider concepts like solidarity.

    I don't have first-hand knowledge of how unions work in Finland, so I'm approaching this issue from an American perspective. It seems to me that the biggest problem with unions is their leadership. They make demands that, while they may benefit the workforce in the short run, actually hurt the workforce in the long run. It's similar to politics. The union bosses want to keep their jobs, so they don't look any further into the future than they have to. As long as the members are temporarily happy, that's enough. Get the money while they can, and if they run the company into the ground, oh well...
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  2. #12
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    If the government is going to come in and tell the unions what they can and can't bargain for, why have a union at all? Why not just cut out the middle man and have government control? That seems more efficient to me. I'm not even sure if forcing the existence of multiple unions would work when you consider concepts like solidarity.

    I don't have first-hand knowledge of how unions work in Finland, so I'm approaching this issue from an American perspective. It seems to me that the biggest problem with unions is their leadership. They make demands that, while they may benefit the workforce in the short run, actually hurt the workforce in the long run. It's similar to politics. The union bosses want to keep their jobs, so they don't look any further into the future than they have to. As long as the members are temporarily happy, that's enough. Get the money while they can, and if they run the company into the ground, oh well...
    The difference between government control and multiple unions would be primarily competition between the unions. Individual unions would compete against other unions too.. so labor would be offered in a more competetive price than with monopolistic union.

    Should one union strike, the company would still be able to do something with say, 30% or 70% of workers, if it still has workers in every required position. Naturally the company would have a strong incentive to negotiate the wages with all the unions - doing work with under capacity does hurt financially. Still, it doesn't necessarily hurt nearly as much as not being able to produce at all. If there's some clients who demand steady deliveries, these clients might be lost forever should there be interruptions. With some of the production capacity, the company can serve it's most important customers.

    The workers really don't always care that much about the company, and this is reflected in their sometimes devastating demands and how they threaten with strikes. With this system, the strikes would have limited, altho still large consequences.
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  3. #13
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Are you suggesting a situation where there are laws that limit unions to say...33% of a company's workforce and only one union can strike at a time?
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  4. #14
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Are you suggesting a situation where there are laws that limit unions to say...33% of a company's workforce and only one union can strike at a time?
    Yeah for example, or something 60% at max. So you could have two unions, having 40% and 60% of work force..

    If the unions are independent enough, it creates a competitive relation between the two, discouraging mutual striking. If one of the unions strike, then the other union could step in and compensate the lack of work force by offering overtime work from their workers.. there would be financial incentive to do so.

    If other strikes, the other has the possibility to sell their labor at a greater price, because it's needed more at the time. If there's different background and demographical composition to both unions, they might not be able to secure a mutual strike without the chance of other defecting.

    Collaboration between the unions might be made illegal. This is similar to price fixing, which is made illegal at the moment. It requires years of study to find cartels, but the hefty fines you get from such action do work as an inhibitor.

    On the other hand, there might be some situations where both of the unions strike. It's not any worse than what we have with monopolistic unions at the moment. It's just harder for such a situation to occur.

    So, this is one model I offer. Independent unions will have some incentive not to strike together. Mutually planned strikes would be likened to price fixing and discouraged heavily, perhaps the fines being 3x the amount of profit gained from illegal co-operation.
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  5. #15
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    I don't know if this is an issue in Finland, but in the US we have situations where say the local carpenters union strikes and the plumbers union will also strike in support of the carpenters. It gets especially nasty when it's teachers or nurses unions striking.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  6. #16
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    I don't know if this is an issue in Finland, but in the US we have situations where say the local carpenters union strikes and the plumbers union will also strike in support of the carpenters. It gets especially nasty when it's teachers or nurses unions striking.
    That happens a bit in here, too.. but, if they're in only loosely related professions, there won't be too much power in them striking collectively.

    We had a threat of pharmacist's strike going on during the impending nurse's strike, but it wasn't that bad as it sounded.

    You still could have got medicines, even if the pharmacist's would have gone on strike. So it wasn't the end of all healthcare ..

    One minister also suggested for alcohol sales to be ceased during the expected nurse's strike - the logic being, that use of alcohol accounts for about 25% of visits to the hospital. They never made a law out of it, but curiously the alcohol sales workers soon threatened to go strike as well
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  7. #17
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Maybe your idea would work better in Finland than the US. I have a hard time believing that unions wouldn't exercise their power, in your scenario, if they had the opportunity. If there's a buck to be made, they'll go for it. It's the American way.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  8. #18
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santtu View Post
    One minister also suggested for alcohol sales to be ceased during the expected nurse's strike - the logic being, that use of alcohol accounts for about 25% of visits to the hospital. They never made a law out of it, but curiously the alcohol sales workers soon threatened to go strike as well
    How would stopping sales of alcohol have stopped people from importing it or drinking what they already had? Unless the strike lasted for several months or years, it probably wouldn't have helped much. And even that policy wouldn't have helped the other 75% of people in the hospital.

    Personally, I think that essential health care workers should have a harder time going on strike, because people aren't going to stop getting sick while they're on strike, and it would be awful if someone died because they couldn't get medical care, just because the hospital staff went on strike. You know what I mean?

  9. #19
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Maybe your idea would work better in Finland than the US. I have a hard time believing that unions wouldn't exercise their power, in your scenario, if they had the opportunity. If there's a buck to be made, they'll go for it. It's the American way.
    I only meant that mutual striking would occur less often, because sometimes the separate unions would find it convenient to strike together, but in other times, not.

    Finland is probably the most USA-like country in Europe in regards to business practices. For example, most of your business guides advice people to do their business in Finland about the same way they would do it in USA, with minor reservations for the amount of smalltalk expected

    We go after the euros too, tho perhaps with just a slightly greater tendency to consider the society at large. Even the most hard-core economical libertarians have to take the social issues into account, because the common opinion may alter the viability of one's business strategies.
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  10. #20
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildcat View Post
    Finland is the promised land of trusts.

    Where is the local grocer?
    Where is the local janitor?
    Where is the local legislator?
    Where is the local school?
    Where is the local energy company?

    In hell.
    Ok, I'm seeing that we don't have an opportunity to select every one of our service providers we're dependent on Tho, I'm not sure what you meant. Probably not what I thought of.

    Legislators are chosen in elections. Superintendent chooses the janitor. You choose the grocer, the nearest or some other kind you desire. I don't know about schools. Energy company can now be selected in Finland, tho the most economical provider is still most often the one located near your municipality, for reasons of increased power transfer costs from longer distances.
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