Bank manager,

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An agency that protects the non unionized worker.

Employers today take advantage of employees, the expectations are enormous, the support system lacking and people working in the same industry doing the same job are compensated differently. Why? They should be compensated the same to equalize the playing field and it seems that large corporations only pay top executives huge salaries and huge bonuses. People are afraid to speak up for fear of loosing their job. Treat people with respect and dignity and compensate people fairly. This could help the global economic situation as it would level the playing field for all employees in similar jobs worldwide.

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    Apr 25 2012: the interests of people are not best defended by speaking up. rather, by competition among employers. if there are enough companies on the market, they will have to compete for workers. so they will need to offer them better conditions in terms of salary, safety, comfort and so on.

    just like low prices in the supermarket are not guaranteed by complaining about the prices at the shop manager. but by simply choosing the shop with low prices.

    if this was not the case, how can we explain the fact that wages are rising every place where the economy is progressing? it is what we had and have, regardless of time and culture, in the free market system. it was the case in 1850 in US just as it is the case in india today.
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    Apr 25 2012: Unions also protect non-union members, first, because they often push for laws and rights for ALL workers, and second, because even the threat of unionization can push management to offer better wages and working conditions.

    But the threat has to be real for it to increase workers' bargaining power enough for it to have any effect. Wal-Mart and other companies have elaborate plans in place to prevent the start or spread of unionization or any sort of collective bargaining. In addition, we're constantly propagandized with the idea that unions are bad and should be destroyed, so stupid/poor/anti-union people have become our own worst enemy, in addition to upper management and corporations.

    Which brings me to my point - the "workers of the world, unite" model is great, but unless there was a way to actually increase the bargaining power of the people at the bottom, how would such an agency actually have any leverage with employers?
    • Apr 25 2012: Bill thanks for the thumbs up. I do agree that Unions help protect ALL workers, any positives we enjoy in the workplace are a result of Unions lobbying government bodies, but I don't think it is enough today. Corporations are asking more and more from their employees and I am not sure where it will end. I am thinking of a universal agency maybe linked with the UN and human rights and that is how it would have leverage.