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    (Original post by mevidek)
    What's wrong with unions having power?
    When you have unions that can bring the country to its knees, it's scarcely any different to having a malevolent dictator capable of doing the same thing. No one - union, government, company - should have that power.

    Besides, most Libertarians think unions are good things and certainly wouldn't wish them banned - they should, however, be a voluntary group of people with no special legal protection.
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    (Original post by MacCuishy)
    There's nothing wrong with the unions having power. It's about them having too much power.

    The power to almost single-handedly fund the Labour party is just wrong. They practically have Miliband under their thumb.
    Of course, Miliband poses a huge threat, and is ruthless :rolleyes:

    The unions never had too much power. And what is "too much power"? Being able to demand that pensions are not slashed? Demanding that the retirement age is not increased to something ridiculous? Of course, they've always been too powerful, and you'd rather have them non-existent so workers are extorted, like in Colombia, Venezuela, and countless South American countries. :plz2:
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    (Original post by CyclopsRock)
    When you have unions that can bring the country to its knees, it's scarcely any different to having a malevolent dictator capable of doing the same thing. No one - union, government, company - should have that power.

    Besides, most Libertarians think unions are good things and certainly wouldn't wish them banned - they should, however, be a voluntary group of people with no special legal protection.
    By striking? You'd rather have them not be able to strike? That's ridiculous.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    They are not elected bodies by the people of this nation and they certainly should not be able to coerce the government into their demands.

    Governments are elected to legislate for the people and they should neither pander to business or the unions.
    *******s. What's wrong with people standing up for the rights of the workers?
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    (Original post by mevidek)
    Of course, Miliband poses a huge threat, and is ruthless :rolleyes:

    The unions never had too much power. And what is "too much power"? Being able to demand that pensions are not slashed? Demanding that the retirement age is not increased to something ridiculous? Of course, they've always been too powerful, and you'd rather have them non-existent so workers are extorted, like in Colombia, Venezuela, and countless South American countries. :plz2:
    I'd just like to ditto what Cyclops and Rakas has said.

    Non-elected bodies should not have the power to bring a country to their knees and should not require any kind of government protection
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    (Original post by mevidek)
    By striking? You'd rather have them not be able to strike? That's ridiculous.
    I'm confused about whether or not you read the rest of my post. I assume not. Please, take a look.
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    (Original post by MacCuishy)
    I'd just like to ditto what Cyclops and Rakas has said.

    Non-elected bodies should not have the power to bring a country to their knees and should not require any kind of government protection

    (Original post by CyclopsRock)
    I'm confused about whether or not you read the rest of my post. I assume not. Please, take a look.
    I'm questioning why you seem to take such an aggressive stance on unions when they are a blessing for so many - without them, working conditions and pay would be absolutely awful. On the note of being too powerful, what is "too powerful"?
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    (Original post by mevidek)
    *******s. What's wrong with people standing up for the rights of the workers?
    Never said there was anything wrong with people standing up for the rights of the workers.

    Private sector "workers", do you ever hear them standing up for their rights often? No, as there employers will just sack them and find somebody else. Having the unions allows workers to exploit the government, whereas private sector employees have to get on with it or leave. The government should have more power to be able to just sack troublemakers without getting sued for every penny they have.
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    (Original post by mevidek)
    what is "too powerful"?
    What we have been saying - the power to cripple the country. That is too much power.
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    (Original post by MacCuishy)
    Never said there was anything wrong with people standing up for the rights of the workers.

    Private sector "workers", do you ever hear them standing up for their rights often? No, as there employers will just sack them and find somebody else. Having the unions allows workers to exploit the government, whereas private sector employees have to get on with it or leave. The government should have more power to be able to just sack troublemakers without getting sued for every penny they have.
    Unions do not exploit the government. If they do, give me concrete evidence that unions have used "workers to exploit the government".
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    (Original post by MacCuishy)
    What we have been saying - the power to cripple the country. That is too much power.
    How do they "cripple the country"? By striking?
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    (Original post by mevidek)
    How do they "cripple the country"? By striking?
    Well duh. If terrorists demobilised public transport would we let them get away with it?

    Bad comparison I know :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by mevidek)
    Unions do not exploit the government. If they do, give me concrete evidence that unions have used "workers to exploit the government".
    As they have too much power, the government have to appease them, so the "workers" can have a nice comfy pension - like a majority of the public sector. All with the money that we don't have.
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    (Original post by MacCuishy)
    Well duh. If terrorists demobilised public transport would we let them get away with it?
    Brilliant comparison there :congrats:

    I couldn't disagree with you more. Striking does NOT bring a country to its knees, and now does very little. How the hell does striking "exploit the government"? It's a protest showing that workers are unsatisfied about their pay or working conditions; prove to that striking is wrong - it's merely a form of protest.
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    (Original post by mevidek)
    I'm questioning why you seem to take such an aggressive stance on unions when they are a blessing for so many - without them, working conditions and pay would be absolutely awful. On the note of being too powerful, what is "too powerful"?
    I just said most Libertarian's support unions. What's wrong with your eyes?

    The problems of the pre-Thatcher era were a combination of various things that all made the unions "too powerful". One was having a national economy that was so heavily nationalised in the first place. Nationalised industies tend to be more heavily unionised anyway, for good reason - to protect the employees. With no alternative employers in a given sector (ie nurses have little in the way of alternative employers, likewise train-drivers pre-privatisation) so they need the strength that a union offers in order to bargain. But it works the other way, too - when an industry is nationalised, a union that controls workers in that industry has the government over a barrel. Right now, if the BA union decides to strike, it grounds a lot of planes - but Easyjet, Virgin, Thomas Cook, Vueling, Delta, Ryanair etc are all still flying in and out of the UK. The balance comes in how important an industry is to a nation.

    Further to that, our public sector was already significantly more expensive than it needed to be due to the enforcement of stringent nationalist purchasing powers. That is, power stations had to buy British coal, which was far more expensive than foreign sourced coal (partly due to the much larger labour costs in the UK, again, thanks to the unions). This put the government in a much weaker position right out of the gate.

    Finally, I don't think unions should be afforded special legal protection. You cannot sack a worker for striking (when done "legally" - which I think is a whole concept that needs to go. There should be no such thing as a "legal" or "illegal" strike), which ties the hands of companies a great deal. The whole tangling between unions and employers is about ascertaining the market worth of any given worker (and note that the market worth includes working conditions, not just money) - unions act when they don't think their workers are getting paid their right worth, and companies relent when they agree (ie the cost of replacing all the workers or finding alternatives is greater than increasing the wages of the current workers - that's how 'worth' is attributed in a free market. Afterall, if it's not a matter of how much someone will pay for your labour, what is 'worth'?). Or, rather, it should be. As it stands, the employer cannot replace their employees, as they cannot sack legally striking workers. This means you end up in a stalemate whereby the side that "wins" isn't the one that's more correct in terms of market value of employees, but rather the one that has the largest warchest and can best sit out the siege.

    In a glorious Libertarian society, the problems would be far less significant. Back to the example of BA, right now if the staff of BA strike, it's not a national emergency - but it IS an emergency for BA, which is good, because it's they who set the wages and working conditions. It shouldn't be the government's job to intervene in the trade disputes between a private individual and a private company. I think privatising as much as possible promotes the strength of unions with regards to their members whilst also not making them national issues - as they shouldn't be. It also has the benefit of localising unions a lot more - as more and more schools become academies or free schools, can NUT and the massively number of other unions remain relevant? It's hard to see how they can, when they "represent" so many different school conditions. So you'll end up with much more local unions, who can strike or not strike on their actual conditions, not the conditions of however-many-need-to-vote-to-trigger-a-strike.
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    (Original post by CyclopsRock)
    I just said most Libertarian's support unions. What's wrong with your eyes?

    The problems of the pre-Thatcher era were a combination of various things that all made the unions "too powerful". One was having a national economy that was so heavily nationalised in the first place. Nationalised industies tend to be more heavily unionised anyway, for good reason - to protect the employees. With no alternative employers in a given sector (ie nurses have little in the way of alternative employers, likewise train-drivers pre-privatisation) so they need the strength that a union offers in order to bargain. But it works the other way, too - when an industry is nationalised, a union that controls workers in that industry has the government over a barrel. Right now, if the BA union decides to strike, it grounds a lot of planes - but Easyjet, Virgin, Thomas Cook, Vueling, Delta, Ryanair etc are all still flying in and out of the UK. The balance comes in how important an industry is to a nation.

    Further to that, our public sector was already significantly more expensive than it needed to be due to the enforcement of stringent nationalist purchasing powers. That is, power stations had to buy British coal, which was far more expensive than foreign sourced coal (partly due to the much larger labour costs in the UK, again, thanks to the unions). This put the government in a much weaker position right out of the gate.

    Finally, I don't think unions should be afforded special legal protection. You cannot sack a worker for striking (when done "legally" - which I think is a whole concept that needs to go. There should be no such thing as a "legal" or "illegal" strike), which ties the hands of companies a great deal. The whole tangling between unions and employers is about ascertaining the market worth of any given worker (and note that the market worth includes working conditions, not just money) - unions act when they don't think their workers are getting paid their right worth, and companies relent when they agree (ie the cost of replacing all the workers or finding alternatives is greater than increasing the wages of the current workers - that's how 'worth' is attributed in a free market. Afterall, if it's not a matter of how much someone will pay for your labour, what is 'worth'?). Or, rather, it should be. As it stands, the employer cannot replace their employees, as they cannot sack legally striking workers. This means you end up in a stalemate whereby the side that "wins" isn't the one that's more correct in terms of market value of employees, but rather the one that has the largest warchest and can best sit out the siege.

    In a glorious Libertarian society, the problems would be far less significant. Back to the example of BA, right now if the staff of BA strike, it's not a national emergency - but it IS an emergency for BA, which is good, because it's they who set the wages and working conditions. It shouldn't be the government's job to intervene in the trade disputes between a private individual and a private company. I think privatising as much as possible promotes the strength of unions with regards to their members whilst also not making them national issues - as they shouldn't be. It also has the benefit of localising unions a lot more - as more and more schools become academies or free schools, can NUT and the massively number of other unions remain relevant? It's hard to see how they can, when they "represent" so many different school conditions. So you'll end up with much more local unions, who can strike or not strike on their actual conditions, not the conditions of however-many-need-to-vote-to-trigger-a-strike.
    Yes, I read that. But you take a very, very aggressive and negative stance towards the actions of unions.

    I don't think we can find any common ground as I can't see how you can be comfortable with privatising everything.
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    (Original post by mevidek)
    Brilliant comparison there :congrats:

    I couldn't disagree with you more. Striking does NOT bring a country to its knees, and now does very little. How the hell does striking "exploit the government"? It's a protest showing that workers are unsatisfied about their pay or working conditions; prove to that striking is wrong - it's merely a form of protest.
    Haha thanks, It's the first thing that popped into my head..

    The protests last year. Most schools were closed, what are parents who aren't striking do? They are going to have to take a day out of work to look after them. It's a knock on effect - the country loses out on millions in revenue and private sector people more importantly have to take a day out of work, not all, but a lot.

    I couldn't disagree with you more. Striking is civil disobedience, political point making. I hardly would call our public sector's pay and conditions bad compared to that of other countries.
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    (Original post by mevidek)
    Unions do not exploit the government. If they do, give me concrete evidence that unions have used "workers to exploit the government".
    I'm confused about why you think a union wouldn't always try to get as much from a government as it possibly could get away with. To suggest otherwise is to suggest that they have some sort of inalienable moral compass that is always true - they never want more or less than is absolutely correct? If you agree with me, and that they will always want to get more and more (as opposed to simply temporarily settling and waiting to go again later), surely it's not hard to see how they could quite easily "exploit the government" over issues such as, for example, power plants in the nationalised era of power production. The country needs it, and the government has little power (again, in a pre-privatised era, ie before 1989) to reject proposals from unions, because the alternatives - the whole country losing electricity - is more or less unthinkable (see: Heath).
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    Wiki Support Team
    Workers have the right to voluntary political association, and should be completely able to exercise collective bargaining through this right. I'd be surprised if any libertarians wished to curtail any of these rights, not so much if the Tories did (there's quite a record there).

    It's funny how Libers approach most issues through the dimension of individual-liberty yet when it comes to unions you've suddenly switched to societal consequentialism.

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    (Original post by JPKC)
    It's funny how Libers approach most issues through the dimension of individual-liberty yet when it comes to unions you've suddenly switched to societal consequentialism.

    I must have missed that bit?
 
 
 
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