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Global Trade Unions...

I really don't know what I think about this.

Trade Unions, when they work and are sensible, are a brilliant way of looking after the workforce against corrupt or negilant employers. They can have a very positive impact and can obviously look after members health and financial needs in times of crisis and give support to families of members if bereaved.keep

On the other hand they can also be very petty, unrealistic and corrupt themselves. Often fighting "injustices" in which there member was actually the guilty party (such as a train driver that was sacked for being drunk a few years ago - or another employee that was a lonh term absentee due to illness (I think it was some kind of strain) that was then caught regularly playing squas with no ill effect. They then got sacked and the union called an all-out strike to reinstate him!!!).

Anyway, there seems to be quite an advanced movement to merge several Trade Unions from the UK, the US, Canada and Germany. The idea is that with Globalisation Corporations need to have a Global Trade Union to keep them iin check and look after workers rights.

This could be an absolutely massive development in the world of transport and industry and will certainly have far reaching implications.

I really don't know if I feel elated or scared shitless about the idea.

I guess ime will tell...

(The Unions involved include, amongst othera,  Amicus and the T&G in the UK, IG Metall in Germany, and The Machnists and The United Steel Workers in the States)

UK and US Unions In Merger Talks (BBC News Online; Thursay 5th April 2007)

Amicus Backs World "Super-Union' (BBC News Online; Monday 1st January 2007)


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 6th, 2007 09:48 am (UTC)
Unions in general aren't corrupt or petty. They are however democratically run organisations with employees who are obliged to do their best for their members - the Press may not always mention the whole story in disputes.

The 'single Union' idea is interesting but I think currently it'll fall foul of various legal issues given that there are massive variations in employment and/or Union law between the States and the UK, let alone the way EU directives interact with Member States.

Plus the 'unit' of organisation varies between countires and industries - for instance the American Federation of Musicians does cover Canada, but is also techinically a Federation of 'locals'.

I'm not against the idea per se, but it will be interesting...

Of course, Unions already have regional and international umbrellas that they've set up, so the idea of international co-operation on some level is nothing new.
Apr. 6th, 2007 09:13 pm (UTC)
Unions in general aren't corrupt or petty

Apr. 6th, 2007 09:53 am (UTC)
There is another problem in that, in America at least, the unions have a history of mob-infiltration, although I note that the Teamsters have not been mentioned as yet. I really suspect that this cannot work due to the differences in style, ethos and business enviroment between the countries involved. If I was being cynical, I would begin to suspect that this is providing a good excuse for some nice free holidays between countries for some union leaders.
Apr. 6th, 2007 01:45 pm (UTC)
Workers of the world unite!

Hmmm... where have I heard that before?
Apr. 6th, 2007 03:39 pm (UTC)
I'm surprised at the train driver story, since everyone on the railway knows how strictly the drugs & alcohol policy is enforced. I would be instantly dismissed for even being seen in an establishment that sold alcohol whilst wearing my company livery. I know of three people in the last couple of years being sacked for being the worse for wear the morning after a heavy night and we only supply the railway, (although we were part of BR prior to '97, so we share the same terms and conditions).
Apr. 7th, 2007 04:51 pm (UTC)
I'm in full agreement with you. I think we need the good trade unions back so that the worker is the one with the voice, but I know full well that powermongers will find their way into key positions and return them to the rediculous levels we had back in the 60's and 70's.

It's a tough call.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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