I’m not a big fan of unions.

Yeah, I suppose they do serve some purpose, but as more & more companies understand, and embrace, the fact that it’s smart to treat your employees like the valuable people that they are, the “need” for unions has continued to drop over time.

I also believe that unions stifle individual performance & many times, just make it almost impossible to release unproductive & subpar performers.

If you’re an excellent worker, why would you want to get the same exact pay & increases as your neighbor who’s not nearly as good? With seniority being one of the few (the only?) differentiators between workers, I believe it actually promotes an atmosphere of “just doing enough so as not to get fired”.

(Don’t go nuts! Yes, I know I’m generalizing! Yes, I know how hard-working & dedicated your husband is! Yes, I know I’m a doo-dee head!)

Lemme share a story with you from quite a few years ago…

I had a good buddy, Sal, who was an excellent craftsman. Being skilled at a number of things, he was always handy at stuff around the house & such.

Sal worked in private industry when he decided to apply for a position with the NYC Transit Authority.

He was accepted & his first assignment was to repair the brakes on train wheels for the subway system.

His first day on the job, he was given 10 wheels to work on.

By 10:30 AM, he was completely finished & brought the 10 wheels to the shop steward (a representative of the union who interfaces with management), looking for some more wheels on which to work.

The shop steward chewed out Sal’s ass!

“Don’t you ever do that again! Those 10 wheels represented your entire day’s work.

“You finish the first 9, put the last one in your locker, then go the lunch or hang out in the locker room or whatever.

“At 4:45, you take the 10th wheel out of your locker, then hand all 10 in.

Then you request overtime!”

Sal was flabbergasted.

He handed in his 2-week notice the next morning & returned to private industry where he was recognized, and rewarded, for his superior workmanship & incredible productivity.

Ever notice why so many people are disappointed with the service they receive from many governmental employees?

There’s no incentive whatsoever to perform at your best…just do enough not to get into trouble.

You can do double the work as the person next to you & still take home the same exact salary & get the same exact pay increases.

The only difference is seniority, not how well you’re doing or the contributions you make to the organization.

And for those not-for-profit organizations, there’s little to no incentive for management to demand or encourage improved performance. There’s no profit or loss factor!

You merely receive your budget & work within its parameters.

Things such as “performance incentive programs” (where you can earn extra variable compensation based on your performance vs. standard &/or your fellow employees) simply do not exist.

There’s no such thing as getting higher raises or annual bonuses based upon your performance.

I’m sure that things have probably changed & evolved somewhat regarding the working relationship between unions & companies…but it no longer appears to be the way that most industries are heading.

As with everything in life, there are certainly notable exceptions to the rule & not every situation is the same.

Thank you so much for listening!

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