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Greg Worden

Entrepreneur and Adjunct Professor of Sustainable Business, Worden Associates

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Are unions in the US still relevant?

Hostess is closing eliminating 18.500 jobs due, in part, to 5,000 bakery union members striking while the Teamsters had already accepted a deal. True, the company had been mismanaged but this appears to be an example of a union cutting off its nose despite its face. The US has some of the best worker-protection laws in the world. Is this an example of good union leadership or is it an example of unions acting as though it was still 1905? Are unions still relevant in the US today?

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  • Nov 17 2012: Union membership is way down in the United States Times were better when it was higher. Maybe this is not really relevant. The big variable is the poor quility of management in America and its real influence on the pooring of America to expand someone else's wording. Look at Shewart statistical management as advocated by Deming and Juran. This has had very much more influence in Japan and Korea. Whop has improved more relative to the United States. Good leadership There is no substitute.
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      Nov 20 2012: Good leadership and good management can indeed be hard to find. In my experience the worst leadership was displayed when the person in charge had the chance to either make far greater money than the subordinates or when they had a greater chance of promotion. In other words when there was skewed incentives the leadership felt little regard for the subordinates. The best leadership I experienced was when the team was committed to building something great. When the focus was less on personal gain and more on building something great people really came together.

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