Are Unions Bad?

Years ago, I worked with a guy who explained that our employer had wanted to fire him.  Did in fact fire him.  It was only through a misstep in the procedures that the employer and the union had in the bargaining agreement that he was still on the job.


So this is an example of a union protecting someone that should have gotten fired, but did not.  However, that is the only example I’ve seen.  At one time I was even a union steward.  And in that time, I did not see the union keep someone from getting fired.  The bargaining agreements did have language that ensured that the firing was a careful, thoughtful process.  Yet, no one that should not have gotten fired, did not get fired.  It did, however, allowed the employees and the employers guidelines to keep a person and make sure they got back on track.


A few years ago, there were layoffs.  Those people got laid off.  There were procedures to help the people the people getting laid off and to help them.  In this case I do not think it was the union that was responsible.  It was the employer trying their best to do the layoffs humanely.


When it comes down to it, a union can only help a person getting in trouble by sitting with them in the procedures and giving that person someone to talk to.  And yes, listen to the procedures in case they can find ways to get the discipline revoked. However, the employer simply has to follow the guidelines set up.  Those guidelines are stacked in favor of the employer and I will concede that that is fair.


So I think the union making an employer keep someone that should be fired is rare.  More often, an incompetent person is kept around for other reasons.  It is simply my opinion that 55% of any profession has people that are dolts.  This is true for union or nonunion.    The union did not create them or cause them.


Those people that do not like unions are either rich people trying to get richer or people looking for a scapegoat for their own incomptencies.


Sociology and Abortions

Want to prevent abortions?  Will making them illegal prevent them?  The tool I believe will result in less fetuses being killed is a focus on Emotional Intelligence. It should be taught in school. I think it is the answer to many things.

When I was in high school, I had a class called Sociology.  It was taught by the AV specialist.  No I don’t know why.  She was a large-boned woman in her fifties and had some manish qualities about her.  She was known for being gruff.  However, that Sociology class did not have any curriculum normally associated with the study of Sociology.

Let me also point out that it was a small class.  Six or seven of us although I do not remember who they were. I also want to set the scene in that our school was farm community.  Most kids majored in Wood Shop.  Anyway, this teacher had us read articles on living life to the fullest.  We read Leo Buscaglia’s book Love and watched his speeches.  The class was not about Sociology, but about approaching life with vigor and a positive attitude.  About choosing love, avoiding bitterness, and empowering yourself.

Now I did not become the perfect human being after that class.  At times I seemed to have learned the opposite lessons  and yet…

What if we had such a class?  Instead of encouraging people to have abortions that have emotional repercussions later or telling them that you are a sinner and terrible, we gave women (and men) tools to be happy.  To keep their mind open and to teach them to be anything they want to be.

We may think of someone having an abortion as this promiscuous person that sheds off a fetus like a hang nail.  However, I think 99% of the time they see it as a desperate act in a desperate situation.  An EQ class would teach people that there are always options.  That things are never as bad as they seem.  However, this class would do more than that.  It would teach young girls that they have value beyond what society often tells them.  Society tells them that they need to be sexy and in fact have sex if a guy puts the moves on them (do this for every guy, but do not be a whore).  It would teach them to take care of themselves and to not fall into sex, but to have sex when they are ready and to do it responsibly.  It would teach young people to set goals that are best achieved by delaying sex and not taking risks.

It would also help teach them that mistakes do not often put them in desperate situations-  allow them to see options.  A good emotional intelligence would teach them that there options and that they have the power to make them.  They would not feel desperate and trapped and see no good way out when they did get pregnant.  I think by loving themselves they would be more able to do something loving for a fetus and for potential adoptive parents.  It is all in the framing of the situation. Perhaps for the boys, society and their own fears would not tell them that there life was over-  they had screwed it up by knocking up a girl and then some of those boys that run away and abandon the girl wouldn’t.

This class would teach social skills and to avoid harming themselves or others. To choose their life and to choose to love those in their life.

If women ruled the world

I am not a fan of If women ran the world, there wouldn’t be any wars.  It’s just too trite.  It also negates the fact that there are women out there that can do terrible things. However, when I asked myself what makes the Middle East volatile, I thought about how the culture continues to subjugate women.


 I believe the two may go hand in hand.  The question to why women are treated like property is simple.  Men enjoy the power.  They have their interpretation of the Quran to back them.  However, other cultures had that same power over women as well as conquered and indigenous people and they have at least improved in the treat all people well department.


Let me be clear, I am not condemning all Muslims or their faith.  In the book The Bookseller of Kabul, Asne Seierstad talked about the ebb and flow of how badly women are treated in Afghanistan regimes (such as the Taliban).  The more brutal of people in power, the more women are treated like property.




What is it that cultures that treat women like property fear?  I don’t think they can identify their fear, but it must be there.  Do they fear losing control?  Are they afraid of progress?  That women will prove themselves to be smarter?


Is our progress due to the move toward equality of women in our culture?  The comparison makes me say yes.  Some cultures love of violence also makes me say yes.  Why exactly, I have yet to work out.  I suspect that industrialization forged new roles for women that empowered them and left men no choice but to treat women differently.  Then birth control gave women the opportunity to more fully step away from subservience.


My main point is that female intellect not infused into the decision making process stops cultures from finding nonviolent options.  A female candidiate for president would not keep us out of war or force us into a war.  However, if women ran a few of the Muslim cultures……




Other thoughts:


Women at first were taught to read and write to be able to make future generations good citizens.


They were also taught to be more desirable to high class men-  people did not have arranged marriages.


Industrialization made print materials readily available and more difficult to be illiterate. (Knowledge is power).