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Lord of the Rings Movies Entertainment

Unions Urging Actors Not To Work On Hobbit Movie 576

Posted by timothy
from the mordor-is-more-of-a-union-shop dept.
lbalbalba writes "Last we heard about The Hobbit, Guillermo Del Toro dropped out, Peter Jackson was unofficially directing and secretly auditioning actors, the movie had yet to be green-lit, and Ian McKellen was getting super-antsy about the whole thing and threatening not to play Gandalf. This shouldn't help the long-gestating movie happen any quicker: Actors guilds including SAG issued actual alerts yesterday against working on any of the Hobbit films, advising their members not to take parts in the non-union production, should they be offered them."
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Unions Urging Actors Not To Work On Hobbit Movie

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  • First Union? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Chas (5144) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @05:06PM (#33705382) Homepage Journal

    Bah. While there's no doubt that, at one point, unions served a vital purpose in protecting workers from abuse, nowadays, they're merely another expensive middle-man cost. Paid for by the protection racket^H^H^H^union dues and ultimately by the consumer.

    Thank you, no.

  • eh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dyinobal (1427207) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @05:07PM (#33705394)
    Aren't these the same movies (producers?) that used 'hollywood accounting' to turn virtually no profit and thus dodge paying a huge chunk of money to Tolkien's trust or what ever they call themselves?
  • lol (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @05:08PM (#33705402)
    Gotta line those union leader pocketbooks. What were they thinking?
  • Re:First Union? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Planesdragon (210349) <slashdot@[ ]tles ... s ['cas' in gap]> on Sunday September 26, 2010 @05:15PM (#33705430) Homepage Journal

    nowadays, they're merely another expensive middle-man cost

    Unions are paid directly by their membership, or in certain legislated instances, directly by those they represent in contract negotiations.

    The only "middle-man" cost to a union is the wages that workers receive when they bargain collectively. To argue that this is an "increased" cost, you need to refute the union's basic premise -- that collective bargaining brings about a "fair" wage.

    While you're about it, please include an example where everyone having to haggle for the cost of a head of lettuce is also "fair", please.

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @05:16PM (#33705434) Journal

    >>>"The Do Not Work Order tells actors, "If you are contacted to be engaged on The Hobbit please notify your union immediately."

    It should be up to the actors whether or not they want to work on a non-union film. But I guess this is what happens when you make megaliths like corporations... there has to be counter-balancing force like the union, and the citizen gets squashed in the middle.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 26, 2010 @05:19PM (#33705452)

    until Robert Rodriguez is chosen as director so this film can be done properly as per Tolkein's vision.

  • Re:First Union? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kenja (541830) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @05:19PM (#33705454)
    Yes. You pay them, and then they tell you when you're allowed to work. Got a mortgage? Too bad, someone three states over called for a strike, so you dont get to work this month.

    Not saying its all bad, group bargaining is important. But often the union organizers are in it for themselves rather then the members.
  • Unions (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Adrian Lopez (2615) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @05:21PM (#33705462) Homepage

    Unions are supposed to represent their members' interests, but the way unions behave these days I often wonder if it's not the members who are serving their unions. SAG prohibits is actors from working on non-union productions, and if it weren't for "right to work" statutes they would likely get away with it too. I do appreciate the need for pressure against employers who refuse to give fair treatment and compensation to their employees, but I often feel that unions are yet one more bureaucracy that employees have to deal with.

  • Re:First Union? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Improv (2467) <pgunn@dachte.org> on Sunday September 26, 2010 @05:21PM (#33705464) Homepage Journal

    Unions still serve the same role they ever did. It's an important role.

    It may impose cost, but whatever costs it imposes are the other side of keeping it being a reasonable and workable thing to be an actor.

    In modern times, we don't need less collective bargaining, we need more. If, for example, medical interns had a union to prevent 16-hour shifts, I imagine we could agree that to be a step forward. Cost to consumer is not the only thing worth optimising in society, and harmful competition still exists.

  • Re:First Union? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by robot256 (1635039) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @05:22PM (#33705468)
    You know, it just occurred to me: Unions are able to organize across an entire industry, but how frequently do employers bargain collectively with the unions? If not, then the unions are MORE powerful than their employers, and we're left with an anti-employer power balance. Unions exploiting employers is almost as counterproductive as employers exploiting workers. Once they dealt with the unsafe working conditions and unreasonably low wages they kept on fighting and got unreasonably high pensions, etc. That's the problem most people have with unions, not their fundamental purpose. What say you?
  • by Improv (2467) <pgunn@dachte.org> on Sunday September 26, 2010 @05:23PM (#33705476) Homepage Journal

    If you say "oh hey only do this if you feel like it", collective bargaining gives way to a "race to the bottom" as employers hire the people who are willing to break ranks. The benefit of all is better served by standing together.

  • Re:First Union? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 26, 2010 @05:28PM (#33705496)

    Yeah that is why CEO pay is now 300x the average worker versus 30x. The problem with the American Dream is everyone thinks one day they will be rich, so lets make all the laws good for rich people.

    The middle class should be very powerful - however the decepticons - I mean the republicans - have convinced everyone the unions, public options for health care, etc are all communist.

    The top marginal tax rate has been on a downward trend since the sixties. Income trends reflect the upper 20% are earning more and more percentage of the total national income - unions are one way to fight this.

    But sure convince yourself we don't need them, and ask yourself in 20 years why there are rich and poor and no middle class.

  • Re:First Union? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Magic5Ball (188725) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @05:33PM (#33705516)

    Unions have also claimed to attempt to secure equal pay for equal work, which remains an outstanding concern for particular genders and races. Since unions have not succeeded in closing such gaps over decades since the industrial safety problems were resolved, but instead have installed a seniority regime that systematically ignores workers' performance of their duties in determining wages and job security, we should be open to breaking the unions' monopoly on representing worker rights.

  • Re:First Union? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Adrian Lopez (2615) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @05:33PM (#33705518) Homepage

    What sort of amendment to the First Amendment would you have in mind to prevent collective bargaining by employees with their more powerful employers^W^W^W^W^W^W^W^W^Wprotection rackets?

    If freedom of association means employees have the right to join a union and engage in collective bargaining, then surely it also means they have the right to either join a different union (which the law often prevents under "sole bargaining agent" provisions) or not be represented by any union at all (which, again, is not always possible).

  • Re:First Union? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @05:33PM (#33705520)
    Collective bargaining fails because it fails to take into consideration everyone's strengths and weaknesses. It makes it impossible for people who do well to get ahead and to remove the people who do a sub-par job. Secondly, the union mentality leads to groupthink, people stop thinking for themselves and instead have devotion to their union which even influences how they vote. If the union head says to vote for X candidate, people will do it thinking that they will get a better result, but very, very few will actually pursue the candidate and look at his views to see if they agree with them.

    Unions can use mob-like tactics to block decisions made by management while management is powerless to stop them. For example, if you walk out of the job and strike, you should be able to be fired, no questions asked, you broke your end of the contract.
  • Re:First Union? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Reverberant (303566) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @05:34PM (#33705524) Homepage

    Bah. While there's no doubt that, at one point, unions served a vital purpose in protecting workers from abuse, nowadays, they're merely another expensive middle-man cost.

    Tell that to the workers of the Upper Big Branch Mine [wikipedia.org].

  • Re:Unions (Score:5, Insightful)

    by noidentity (188756) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @05:35PM (#33705532)
    An organization is initially created for a specific purpose, but once met, it keeps on living, with its primary goal to justify its continued existence.
  • Re:Unions (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @05:37PM (#33705544)
    Unions limit economic freedom and prevent progress. With collective bargaining, everyone is looked at as interchangeable when in reality they aren't. There are some people who need to be fired because they are bad at their job, while other people should be promoted because they are better at theirs. Unions prevent this from happening, and prevent the basic economic right of seeking employment wherever you see fit.
  • by Jason Pollock (45537) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @05:39PM (#33705556) Homepage

    I think that the union is trying to have US-style closed shops in New Zealand. Not a good plan.

    "Closed Shops" are (from what I read) frowned upon (if not illegal) in New Zealand. It is up to the individual whether or not they join the union and pick up the collective contract. You can't force them, and you can't say, "You can only hire union members". This is different to the US and Canada which still allow "union shops" to exist.

    Thankfully, Peter Jackson covers this in his statement:

        "He always honoured actors' union conditions if they were union members"

    You want to have a full union membership in the cast? Approach them and ask them to join.

  • Re:First Union? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by FuckingNickName (1362625) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @05:40PM (#33705564) Journal

    The individual employer is rich and owns the means of production whereas the individual worker is poor and does not own the means of production, so even if you have one voice speaking together for all the workers, you still do not have a voice more powerful than the employers. Strike pay, where it exists, may mitigate for the rich versus poor disparity, but it is very temporary because the unions still don't own the means of production.

    It is only in the US with its comparatively low rate of unionisation that people have such a passionate aversion to unions, and I don't know enough detail about current US unions to know if it is something peculiarly pathological about them or simply that the politics of the country is far more uncomfortable about collective worker bargaining. One thing I do recognise in the US is a peculiar desire to bring others down rather than try to achieve what they have: IOW, if a union job brings someone good pay and good pension, why don't you fight for those same privileges?

  • Re:First Union? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sjames (1099) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @05:42PM (#33705584) Homepage

    Freedom of association also means an employer can agree to hire only union workers.

  • by funkatron (912521) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @05:43PM (#33705586)
    This only holds if the union doesn't provide enough benefit to stop people from wanting to break ranks. And if there not doing that then there's no reason for them to be there at all.
  • Re:First Union? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bhcompy (1877290) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @05:48PM (#33705620)
    Because the wrong people invariably end up with the job security and ridiculous pension. There is no real method in typical US union contracts for weeding out the bad, since they're seniority based rather than performance based when it comes to job security.
  • Re:First Union? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 26, 2010 @05:50PM (#33705632)

    What does the union's actions in the story do to improve job site safety?

  • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @05:52PM (#33705642)
    Directed By: Robert Rodriguez
    Produced By: Quentin Tarantino
    Script By: J. R. R. Tolkien

    Sounds like a winner to me!
  • Re:First Union? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by FuckingNickName (1362625) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @05:53PM (#33705652) Journal

    It makes it impossible for people who do well to get ahead and to remove the people who do a sub-par job.

    In what way does it make it "impossible"? I mean, in countries with a history of high unionisation rates such as Germany, is nothing of good quality ever built because the good men are kept down and the bad men are kept on?

    It's perfectly possible for bad negotiations between the union and employer to result temporarily in something like you describe, just like it is possible for a businessman to choose his son to take the reins rather than his best performing underling, but there is nothing inevitable about this. And, in both cases, the long-term effect is that the company will not succeed (assuming its success is not guaranteed somehow, e.g.if by government).

    people stop thinking for themselves and instead have devotion to their union which even influences how they vote.

    And again, you're using a pathological extreme. Of course you show loyalty to those who have an understanding of your plight and your interests in mind, but you must still remain vigilant for corruption or plain bad decision-making. To what individual in any particular grouping of primates formed for whatever reason does this not apply?

    For example, if you walk out of the job and strike, you should be able to be fired, no questions asked, you broke your end of the contract.

    OK, but then everyone else will strike.

  • Re:First Union? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Adrian Lopez (2615) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @05:53PM (#33705656) Homepage

    Freedom of association also means an employer can agree to hire only union workers.

    Yes, but that's not how it works in practice. What actually happens is that a majority of employees (say, 60%) decide they wish to be represented exclusively by a particular union, in which case that union becomes the sole bargaining agent for all employees (including the 40% who were against it).

  • Re:First Union? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Ironsides (739422) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @05:54PM (#33705658) Homepage Journal

    The individual employer is rich and owns the means of production whereas the individual worker is poor and does not own the means of production, so even if you have one voice speaking together for all the workers, you still do not have a voice more powerful than the employers.

    Really? That seems to be the exception in the US, not the rule. The owners of most of these companies you seem to disparage are the stockholders, like me for instance, who is not rich by any stretch of the imagination. The union members are not poor either, making a median income of $47,000 a year.

    One thing I do recognise in the US is a peculiar desire to bring others down rather than try to achieve what they have: IOW, if a union job brings someone good pay and good pension, why don't you fight for those same privileges?

    You mean by doing our best at what we do? Or like the unions do by limiting where people can work (where you have to be a member of the union local in order to work there), requiring all employees to be a member of the union or they can't work there (union shops), or giving preference by length of work rather than ability (seniority rules)?

    What you talk about was true a century ago. Today, it's time has passed.

  • Re:First Union? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by clarkkent09 (1104833) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @05:56PM (#33705670)
    What sort of amendment to the First Amendment would you have in mind to prevent collective bargaining by employees with their more powerful employers

    That's a silly question. The debate over unions has nothing to do with the first amendment. It's to do with legal protections unions have lobbied for themselves including the National Labor Relations Act and a whole lot of subsequent regulation. In short of course you have the right to assemble and collectively bargain all you want, but your employer shouldn't be forced by law to assist you with that.

    By the way, it's pretty amusing that the issue of choice when it comes to union membership is invoked by the same people who think that corporations have to be heavily regulated because, presumably, their customers have no choice but to buy their products. In a heavily unionized industry a worker has no real choice but to join the union, while a diabetes ridden fat slob does have a choice not to eat at McDonalds.
  • Re:First Union? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by anti-NAT (709310) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @06:01PM (#33705696) Homepage

    Completely disagree.

    Collective bargaining encourage mediocre performance. It rewards people who should lose their jobs because they perform below the average, and it creates an incentive for the above average performers to lower their performance to the average, because they're not going to receive any rewards for standing out. There is a downward trend in performance and productivity, yet the union typically wants more pay for that reduced productivity.

    I'd much rather see people rewarded on their merits. If they do an above average job they should receive above average pay. However the unions won't allow that because it reduces the role they have a vested interest in performing.

    Our market system rewards productivity - people (and very much likely to be including you), reward productivity by seeking value for money - you buy the most for the least. With collective bargaining encouraging mediocre performance, how do consumers (who are also include those union members) get best value for money?

    There is a place for employees creating group representation when things such as health and safety are involved. But when it is about collective bargaining and "union shops" then it is a corruption of the meritocracy that our market system relies on and that everybody, including the union members, both create and participate in.

  • Re: First Union? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Black Parrot (19622) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @06:02PM (#33705704)

    Bah. While there's no doubt that, at one point, unions served a vital purpose in protecting workers from abuse, nowadays, they're merely another expensive middle-man cost.

    Yeah, 'cause there aren't any employers who would take advantage of their employees anymore.

  • by Anaerin (905998) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @06:03PM (#33705710)
    It's the same in the UK. And you can have more than one union's members working at the same place. Under Margaret Thatcher in the UK, "Closed" and "Union" shops were made illegal. This seems to me to be an eminently sensible situation, as it allows both employees and employers the freedom to choose whatever union they wish.
  • by hansamurai (907719) <hansamurai@gmail.com> on Sunday September 26, 2010 @06:03PM (#33705718) Homepage Journal

    Remember, the guild cares deeply about their members getting proper credit

    I guess "their" is the key word, as they weren't interested in actually representing how the movie was made, but by who was actually paying the guild their dues. Seems like it really is all about the "money-men" still.

  • Re:First Union? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sjames (1099) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @06:06PM (#33705734) Homepage

    Yes, but that's because the employer freely chose not to lose 60% of it's workforce in a single instant. That in turn is because that 60% freely chose to associate with the union even if it wanted them to freely choose not to associate with their employer anymore.

  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @06:13PM (#33705810)
    SAG does not want non-union actors to work on the film. New Zealand's local actors are not unionized. Despite the first Lord of the Rings trilogy being filmed in New Zealand (maybe because Peter Jackson is from New Zealand), the SAG is now afraid that film makers will start making films in New Zealand without union support. Did they object during the first 3 films?
  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @06:15PM (#33705832)

    Ya well few problems with that:

    1) Talented people have no difficulty finding other work, and thus the competition keeps pay high. You may notice that there are a lot of non-union jobs out there that are quite good. I don't see CCIEs needing a union, they seem to be able to find work for lots of money. When you have a talent that is in demand, that alone takes care of compensation. People have to pay to keep you. This is the case with actors. They are in demand.

    2) Much of the "Race to the bottom" you talk about has been taken care of by the government. If you research labour unions you find they came about because of industries with extremely exploitative and dangerous practices. That is now handled rather efficiently by oversight agencies like OSHA. They can bring more heat on an employer than a union ever could. In particular with Hollywood we aren't talking about minors who are perpetually in debt to the company store and working in dangerous conditions. We are talking about rich people working in the environment they choose.

    3) Unions often crease a "race to the bottom" for employees. The protection of any and everyone leads to a situation where bad employees cannot be gotten rid of. That increases costs over all, and thus mean less compensation for good employees. In particular, many unions favour seniority over all else. So no matter your talent, no matter your work ethic, you are forced in to the same pay as everyone else at your level.

    4) You have to deal with the realities of the world, and that there is non-union competition. I am not just talking about 3rd world sweatshop labour. Have a look at the American car companies. They compete with companies who are non-union, and build their cars right in America, like Toyota. Companies that pay well, have good working environments, but are not union and lack that overhead. You have to compete with that and unions tend to be bad at it.

    I'm sorry but I just see a massive divide between the sort of pay and conditions that lead to unions back in the day, and the places where there are unions now. When you have a good work environment and make good money, you do not need a union.

  • Re:First Union? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FuckingNickName (1362625) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @06:16PM (#33705838) Journal

    In short of course you have the right to assemble and collectively bargain all you want, but your employer shouldn't be forced by law to assist you with that.

    Unfortunately, this thread is full of people starting off with the premise "there is a problem with union law" (including single-union laws which are effectively anti-union) and assuming the conclusion "there is a problem with unions". Disney copyright extensions are bad, but that doesn't necessarily mean all businesses which make their money with the help of copyright protections are pure evil.

  • Re:First Union? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by FuckingNickName (1362625) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @06:18PM (#33705864) Journal

    So employers would routinely accept the loss of 60% of their workforce if it were not for some law?

  • Re:First Union? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Pinky's Brain (1158667) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @06:21PM (#33705880)

    Put the complaint where it belongs ... with the government who made the law.

  • Re:First Union? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ironsides (739422) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @06:25PM (#33705908) Homepage Journal

    The formation of a corporation is collective decision-making and bargaining by owners of the means of production. Major shareholders are the rich guys, and even minor shareholders have a certain degree of control of the means of production. These are the powers exerted over the worker which he counters with collective bargaining.

    By exercising monopoly control over the access to the labor for entire regions? Something that if the owners did, would be ruled illegal. Want wiring done in an area? You have to use local labor. Want to use a specific person? All the labor will be forced to boycott you if he isn't a member of the local. Or for the individuals: Want to work at a union shop? You have to join the union. The employer wants to higher you? Too bad, the law says if a simple majority of the employees want to unionize, everyone is forced to be part of the union. Control of the production is irrelevant if it is not controlled by a monopoly. Control of the Labor has been consolidated under monolithic monopolistic unions in several areas.

    It is pretty much only the US middle class which considers the US to be marked by "doing our best at what we do". If what you said were true, you would see precisely the opposite thing happening to what is actually happening to the US middle class.

    What is "actually happening to the US middle class"?

    The workers experiencing the worst treatment may no longer be in the US and the UK, and certain Unions may be old enough that they have become inefficient, but the nature of business has not changed.

    With union representation at such a low, it appears it has changed. In the US at least. I don't have the numbers for the UK. Maybe they are needed in other countries, but not in the US anymore.

  • Re:First Union? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Rockoon (1252108) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @06:32PM (#33705968)

    In modern times, we don't need less collective bargaining, we need more.

    I disagree. We neither need more, nor less unions. It is not up to me to determine your working conditions any more than it is up to you to determine mine. If we work in the same field then we may agree that conditions need changing for both of us, but that it is up to us to agree to collectively fight for each other.

    More often than not, businesses unintentionally encourage unionization. These days it often begins with the workers attempting to organize a sick-out or other "hey, we arent happy so we are putting a blip on your books" signal to the employer. This is sometimes met with promises for change that turn out to be empty, and it is that deceptive behavior that often ends up putting real momentum behind a unionization movement.

    I work for a company with over ten thousand employees at a single site and several departments (thousands of workers) have unionized, while other departments have chosen not to, and it was in fact empty promises that put teeth in the departments that ended up unionizing. There is no push to unionize the other departments against there will. About 15 miles away is another company in the exact same business with nearly ten thousand employees as well, but they do not have any unions because in that case, management didn't blunder their way into unionization.

    The anti-union sentiment is pretty strong in the United States and it takes a lot of overcome that sentiment, and thats exactly how it should be.

  • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Sunday September 26, 2010 @06:37PM (#33706014) Homepage Journal

    In particular with Hollywood we aren't talking about minors who are perpetually in debt to the company store and working in dangerous conditions. We are talking about rich people working in the environment they choose.

    You don't know any actors, do you?

  • Re:First Union? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 26, 2010 @06:38PM (#33706024)

    ...

    The middle class should be very powerful - however the decepticons - I mean the republicans ...

    Where's the middle class tax cut Baracky promised me during the compaign?
    Why is Guantanamo still open?
    Why are there still combat troops in Iraq?
    Why are costs going UP under Obamacare?
    Why are insurance companies dropping coverage under Obamacare?
    Why are colleges and universitites dropping health coverage under Obamacare?
    Why hasn't the Patriot Act been repealed?
    Why is the NSA still doing "illegal" wiretaps?
    Why is Congress quiting three weeks early instead of addressing all the problems they've created?
    Why are housing sales at the lowest level they've ever been at?
    Why is the percentage of the US population living in poverty the highest it's been since it's been tracked?

    WHO are the "decepticons" again?

    (And more importantly who are the idiots who vote for them?!?!)

  • Re:First Union? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Sunday September 26, 2010 @06:49PM (#33706114) Homepage Journal

    What say you?

    I say that anyone who can look at our current corporatocracy and claim with a straight face that "the unions are MORE powerful than their employers" -- or even present that state of affairs as a plausible scenario -- is completely disconnected from reality.

  • by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @06:54PM (#33706166)

    This is why rules need to be flexible, and when all parties can come to mutually agreed upon alternative contracts then they should have the ability to waive them.

    The rules are flexible. The guild can offer waivers. The Guild often DOES issue waivers.

    In this instance the Guild rejected Rodriguez's argument that Frank Miller did enough to be worthy of a directing credit. If you can demonstrate that you're a legitimate directing team working collaboratively they will grant directing credits.

    99% of the time this rule protects its guild members. Issuing waivers whenever the director "asks" for it would be the same as removing the rule. "Would you like to direct Lord of the Rings?" "You bet!" "Ok here's the deal though, if you do it, I'm going to be co-director and I want you to ask for a waiver." "Ok, I guess, if it gets me to direct LOTR!"

    In no time flat the Directing credit would be going to every moneybag who showed up to set one day and made an offhand remark.

  • by Fallingcow (213461) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @06:56PM (#33706178) Homepage

    This only holds if the union doesn't provide enough benefit to stop people from wanting to break ranks. And if there not doing that then there's no reason for them to be there at all.

    If a person can get away with reaping the benefit of others' actions while simultaneously betraying them to their benefit, they generally will. An economist would call someone doing this a "rational actor", but on a large enough scale it kills collective action, even when everyone wants the action to be successful.

    Political scientists call it the Free Rider Problem.

    It's a big problem for groups like non-profit organizations, but it's also one of several key issues raised in the Tragedy of the Commons thought experiment, and it's why sometimes government action is necessary to cause everyone to behave a certain way, since even 100% approval for enacting such a law doesn't mean that 100% of people--or even a majority--will act that way without the law.

    In other words, no, simple economics (providing enough benefit to entice free actors to compliance) doesn't always work, or can become prohibitively expensive, even if all the members of your group think everyone should comply. There are not always market solutions to a problem.

    Sometimes taking away some individual freedom enables a group to provide better benefits to its members--that is, together, by giving up a bit of freedom, they can do or accomplish things that would otherwise be very difficult or impossible. It doesn't fit nicely with a the narrow understanding of freedom usually intended by the word (at least here in the U.S.) but it's true. Hell, it's the whole idea behind the Social Contract. More regulation doesn't always mean less freedom; done right it just means different freedom, and, every now and then, it means more freedom.

  • Re:Unions (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Macrat (638047) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @07:03PM (#33706230)

    Why is parent modded as Troll?

    Another example of the "benefit" of a union are US conference venues where if you take a box of t-shirts to the loading dock and union staff has to take it to your booth, their process is to put it on a pallet and drive it with a forklift and charge you hundreds for it.

    While unions in past history were about protecting workers, today they are just another corporation looking to make a buck.

  • Re:First Union? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Antisyzygy (1495469) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @07:12PM (#33706294)
    We tried it without collective bargaining, it lead to the Robber Barons exploiting workers, the infamous "coal" towns, and extremely poor working conditions paired with crappy pay for good work. In my working experience as well as my wife's and most of my friend's, typically the least productive and least skilled people are the management. Im not saying that simply because I disagreed with management's decisions periodically or because I am some person filled with jealousy over someones salary. I say it because time and time again we would witness managers take extra time off for vacations/lunch/breaks or even show up for 20 of the 45 hours they are paid a salary for. They would offload work on other's shoulders when they had no other responsibilities at that moment and the work was well within their responsibilities. Many of them literally had limited to no understanding of what they were trying to manage as in the case of several IT departments I worked for. Im not saying that some managers aren't knowledgeable and/or reasonable, what I am saying is having social abilities and connections quite often gets substituted in for having an actual ability to do your job. Without some way for workers to voice their concerns over things like this you end up with more unproductive work ANYWAY because the management is not even trying to utilize people and resources to their fullest ability, they are trying to minimize the amount of work they actually do while maximizing the profits from their department which typically comes at the cost of safety, workers benefits, productivity, ect. Unfortunately, so far no one has come up with a better way for workers to have a say in the conditions they must work in than a Union, a CO-OP or True Communism (which have never been successful anyway).
  • Re:Unions (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AK Marc (707885) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @07:15PM (#33706314)
    Unions limit economic freedom and prevent progress.

    Yes, we know. 100 shareholders get together and form a corporation and that's proper capitalist freedom. 100 workers get together to form a union and they are communist freedom-hating Luddites. Forgive me if I ignore everything that comes out of the mouth of someone who evidently has no grasp of reality. Both are bad. One is a reaction to the other. And both have morphed into something other than intended over the years. But unions are a valid and necessary reaction to corporations and their actions. They never would have existed if the corporations weren't screwing employees as much as possible, so blame unions on the corporations. They worked really hard to get them started.
  • by Antisyzygy (1495469) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @07:27PM (#33706402)
    Actually, if he willingly gave up on being named the director of the movie so Frank Miller could take credit in his place then he lacks ego, and instead has some humility. He did this at the cost of another movie deal as mentioned by the OP. Even if those are the rules, one should has some sort of review process for exceptions based on completely valid reasons.
  • Re:Unions (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BasilBrush (643681) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @07:34PM (#33706458)

    Unions limit economic freedom and prevent progress. With collective bargaining, everyone is looked at as interchangeable when in reality they aren't. There are some people who need to be fired because they are bad at their job, while other people should be promoted because they are better at theirs. Unions prevent this from happening, and prevent the basic economic right of seeking employment wherever you see fit.

    Using the example of this story, it's easy to see that this is so oversimplified it is untrue. There are those that are not interchangeable - big actors whose name on a poster will increase box office. But there are many more - e.g. the actors playing orcs - that are are very much interchangeable. They are very poorly paid - to the extent that they typically need to work as waiters or behind bars between acting jobs. This doesn't necessarily come from being bad at their jobs - many very good actors can't get much work. It comes from the fact that the public can only remember a limited number of stars at any one time. And those that manage to get there do so from a mix of hard work, talent, nature's gift of good looks, luck, breaks etc. Not just hard work.

    Supply and demand is what makes the interchangable actor's rewards low. Not lack of effort or being bad at their job. It's perfectly reasonable for such people to group together to create collective bargaining situation where they are less exploited.

  • Re:First Union? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Boronx (228853) <evonreis@mohr - e n g i n e e r i ng.com> on Sunday September 26, 2010 @07:43PM (#33706520) Homepage Journal

    Most members aren't that rich. If they are doing well, it's because they are unionized.

  • Re:One does not... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by inanet (1033718) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @07:46PM (#33706562)
    A big issue here in NZ is that it is illegal to force people into unions, and what the SAG and the other unions are trying to force,
    is that everyone must have a union contract.

    in NZ it must be an Opt-in collective, it cannot be compulsory. however that is exactly what SAG, FIA, et al are trying to force.
  • Re:First Union? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 26, 2010 @07:47PM (#33706572)

    It rewards people who should lose their jobs because they perform below the average...

    Do you realize your advocating a 49% unemployment rate?

  • Re:First Union? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Low Ranked Craig (1327799) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @07:49PM (#33706582)

    What say you?

    I say that anyone who can look at our current corporatocracy and claim with a straight face that "the unions are MORE powerful than their employers" -- or even present that state of affairs as a plausible scenario -- is completely disconnected from reality.

    Two words for you: General Motors

  • Re:Unions (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SolarStorm (991940) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @08:04PM (#33706698)

    I can

    I worked as a prof in a local college that had a "Professional Association" (read expensive union)

    When I stated that I would prefer not to join, I was told it was a requirement. But they asked why. I told them, I would rather negotiate my employment conditions as I could do a more effective job representing my skills and their value than a simple grid that listed years of experience and years of education. As an example. I earned the same salary teaching Advanced C Programming (yes this was a while ago) and earned the same salary as the prof teaching a high school math upgrader. My marking alone took many more hours than the multiple choice exams my office mate had.

    In 1996 the college went through a downsizing. Since I was the last man hired, I was the first man to be released. The students actually demonstrated to keep me. ( I was the only prof who had actually done real development work in C, the others that they kept actually sat in my lecture in the morning and attempted to reteach in their afternoon block )

    At one point, I thought I would try and work with the system. I booked a meeting with my union rep and made a proposal for a 3rd dimension on the salary grid. Course difficulty. I actually had it mapped out quite well with research from the colleges own industry reports where salary would now be based on length of employment, education, and teaching load. Where the classes were ranked on load. This would then become the 3rd dimension to the grid. I even volunteered to present it at the next meeting.

    The answer I got was, "This looks nice, but you elected me as a representative, it is my job to decide what should be put in collective agreements. You then vote on what your union officials decree". My proposal never got a second meeting, nor acknowledgment anywhere.

    When the downsizing happened, students complained (in numbers) to the dean, I even suggested to some that they try the union. The information I got back from the union was that they agreed with the college about downsizing so that they could maintain the current salary grid for those remaining. Now if you look at this politically. If you want to maintain your rep seat, keep the people that are staying happy. To bad for those released, but they wont be paying dues next year.

    Another example of a real union was the Transit Union. When I was going through school, I drove a bus at night to pay for my college. If a driver called in sick, dispatch could force you to drive a double shift, and once I drove a triple shift. However, because money was important, you were allowed to drive a shift for another driver and he would pay you. The only difference was, if you drove more than 48 hrs that week you were not allowed to pick up another shift. Here is the catch, Say you traded your Tuesday night shift to study and picked up someones shift on the weekend, and then on Wed, dispatch forced to drive an extra shift, you would not be allowed to drive the shift you traded for on the weekend because the time system said you had too many hours.

    Off I went to the union meeting, asking that this be looked into. The membership in attendance voted almost unanimously, a couple of abstainers, in favor of discussing this with management and looking at it during the contract negotiations. This was the last I heard of the proposal. When I asked about it, I was told more important issues came up. Some of the items that did get negotiated were absurd at best. "Seat covers for the drivers seat" for example.

    In the end any union or prof association I have ever belonged to has only managed to lower my salary to what I have been able to negotiate myself, collect fees from me, and not carry forward any of my concerns. Most were more interested in keeping their own rep posting.

    Last example. My father owned a tin smith shop. He employed approximately 30ish tradesmen. One day a few of them got together and decided that it was time that the shop become a union shop. Sometimes you have t

  • Re:First Union? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Teancum (67324) <(robert_horning) (at) (netzero.net)> on Sunday September 26, 2010 @08:10PM (#33706740) Homepage Journal

    If that is all labor unions did in America, perhaps it would be useful.... or at least stick with employer/labor relations.

    One of the major complaints is if you happen to be in that 40% minority that wants the labor union to go take a hike, but none the less the labor union dues are still being taken out of your paycheck and are being used to finance the election campaigns of politicians that you absolutely don't agree with. Furthermore, the labor "leaders" are in turn padding their expense accounts and becoming personally wealthy on the backs of the union members in a fashion that sometimes would make even a CEO blush.

    Yes, you can find some exceptions of a frugal labor leader who is genuinely trying to make a difference, but usually the labor union exists for its own sake and not for its members.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 26, 2010 @08:11PM (#33706748)

    I hope all the registered actors refuse to work on it. It's always refreshing to see new faces, people who aren't used to the millions in salary and sense of entitlement we see so often.

    Offer to pay me a halfway wage to act, and I'll gladly do it.

  • Re:First Union? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ironsides (739422) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @08:20PM (#33706808) Homepage Journal

    No, a cartel comprises members which own the means of production.

    No, a cartel comprises a group that seeks to control a resource. In this case, labor. Although it's easy to argue that labor is part of the means of production.

    Your implication is absurd. You do not get to work somewhere just because "you want to". The employer has to want you to work there. And one of the things that the employer will care about in deciding whether to employ you is how you will get along with fellow employees. Now, if all your fellow employees have a particular union arrangement (e.g. Equity) and you don't want to play along with them, they won't play along with you. This will harm the company, so the company will ultimately expect that you join the union.

    Welcome to the real world, where not everyone is paid the same amount. Yet for some strange reason, it still seems to work just fine.

    No. It it is not even legal to employ only union workers. Of course, it is not legal to force people to work with you either, which is why Equity union members won't work alongside you.

    But it is legal for employees to negotiate to require a new employee to join the union after some time... again, freedom of association.

    Don't you contradict yourself here? First you say it is not legal only union workers, then you say it can be required to have the employees join the union. And seriously, you're saying that forcing the employees to join the union is a point in favor of freedom of association? You have an interesting definition of freedom.

    Here is what I am for: Allowing people, voluntarily (which includes right of refusal) to group bargain for pay and benefits with an employer.

    What I am not for: Union shops where people have to be part of a union to work. Workers able to set up a union and have the union automatically represent everyone at the employer. Unions restricting geographically where members can work. Unions boycotting an employer because they have non-union labor. Unions able to say all employees must be part of the union.

    By the way, will you answer the question of What is "actually happening to the US middle class"?

  • Re:First Union? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by realityimpaired (1668397) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @08:25PM (#33706824)

    It is only in the US with its comparatively low rate of unionisation that people have such a passionate aversion to unions, and I don't know enough detail about current US unions to know if it is something peculiarly pathological about them or simply that the politics of the country is far more uncomfortable about collective worker bargaining. One thing I do recognise in the US is a peculiar desire to bring others down rather than try to achieve what they have: IOW, if a union job brings someone good pay and good pension, why don't you fight for those same privileges?

    I've actually been spoken to by my union rep for working too hard and making everybody else look bad. That kind of mentality may have something to do with why unions aren't particularly popular among management types on this continent.

    For that reason, I'm very grateful that my current position is not unionized, and that I work in a meritocracy. I'm actually paid quite well for what I do, too, and I have good coverage/benefits (which they're gracious enough to extend to my partner, regardless of her gender). I'm also paid on exactly the same scale as all of my male colleagues (if you haven't guessed, I'm not male), which sets a base pay rate, with base annual increases, and adjustment to that increase based on individual performance and company performance. I actually get paid more than some of my coworkers, and less than others, even though this department is about 90% male. Job security-wise, some of my coworkers have been with the company for 30+ years (longer than I've been alive), and while there is attrition, it's mostly due to people being dismissed for incompetence/seriously breaking the rules, or their decision to move on... within the company, among people that stay more than 5 years there's actually more attrition due to retirement than any other factor, and barring something unforeseen, I do expect to still be working here in 30 years.

    That said, I am in Canada, and I work for a company that's been around for 130 years. We have much stronger employee protection laws in this country than they do in the states, and have had them for a lot longer. Unions simply aren't as necessary up here than they are in other countries where they still serve an important purpose.

  • Re:First Union? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Reziac (43301) * on Sunday September 26, 2010 @08:50PM (#33707006) Homepage Journal

    And there have been times when crossing a picket line, especially if you were a union member, would get you shot, or beat up, or your home torched. So it wasn't exactly optional.

  • Re:First Union? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by FuckingNickName (1362625) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @08:51PM (#33707012) Journal

    No, a cartel comprises a group that seeks to control a resource. In this case, labor. Although it's easy to argue that labor is part of the means of production.

    I'm sorry, you're just redefining terms to suit your argument. Now you're adding a redefinition of "means of production", the standard definition of which excludes human labour.

    Regardless, the substance of the argument is that firms are supposed to use their ownership of the means of production to compete, which is why cartels are restricted. Workers do not play this role.

    Welcome to the real world, where not everyone is paid the same amount. Yet for some strange reason, it still seems to work just fine.

    I'm not quite sure what that has to do with what I said. Some Equity members get paid millions per production, others need to take on a second job to survive, yet both sorts of actor are members.

    First you say it is not legal only union workers, then you say it can be required to have the employees join the union.

    Yes, there is a material difference between requiring someone to be a union member in order to gain employment, and requiring them to join the union after a certain period of time in employment.

    And seriously, you're saying that forcing the employees to join the union is a point in favor of freedom of association? You have an interesting definition of freedom.

    Yes, allowing every party to assert who he will associate with and for a final compromise to be reached is precisely freedom of association. Recall that freedom of association includes the freedom to choose for others not to associate with you, just as freedom of speech must imply that you get to choose to you listen to.

    The alternative is for the government to step in and instruct particular employees that they may not freely negotiate their associations with their employer.

    What I am not for: (1) Union shops where people have to be part of a union to work. (2) Workers able to set up a union and have the union automatically represent everyone at the employer. (3) Unions restricting geographically where members can work. (4) Unions boycotting an employer because they have non-union labor. (5) Unions able to say all employees must be part of the union.

    At a Federal level (maybe you want to live in one of those "right-to-work" states for more union busting), (1) and (5) are strictly illegal: you can only fire someone after a period of time.

    (3) and (4) - are you proposing outlawing or just discouraging these? If outlawing, are you saying that it should be illegal for all workers in some business to simultaneously stop working for the given reasons? I'm sure you are not advocating slavery.

    (2) is a separate issue dealing with certain legal privileges that the first voted-for union gets, and is essentially antiunion. I can see why you might want to argue against this law.

    By the way, will you answer the question of What is "actually happening to the US middle class"?

    I thought it was obvious from the first two times I ignored that question that I was not going to. It is like prodding someone for what is "actually happening to the Earth's climate": either you're truly not paying attention, in which case here is not the place to start, or you're trolling.

  • Re:First Union? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Urza9814 (883915) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @08:53PM (#33707014)

    But often the union organizers are in it for themselves rather then the members.

    If that's the case, then you need to get a new union. Immediately.

    My mother was one of the founders of the nurses union at the hospital where she works. Prior to unionizing, wages sucked. Working conditions sucked. Nurses were harassed by doctors, and fired if they complained. Nurses were told that if the equipment to lift an overweight patient onto another bed wasn't available, just lift them up yourself. Led to a lot of back problems with the nurses - but if they didn't do it, they'd be fired. When the movement to unionize started, the hospital hired private detectives to follow some of the organizing nurses. For a few days there was a detective parked outside of our house, 24/7 watching our family.

    Now: wages are a lot better. Nurses aren't required to injure themselves. When doctors occasionally start screaming and swearing at a nurse, the nurse can complain without being fired - or just pull out their cellphone and say 'keep talking, I'm recording this' - that tends to solve the issue. Prior to the union, any nurse with the courage to do that would have been fired. And in general, relations between the nurses and management is a _lot_ better now. It was a bit strained at first, but it's improved immensely.

    Of course, I'm not going to say that _all_ unions are _always_ good - there was this English teacher in my highschool for example who essentially decided she just wasn't going to teach anymore. We watched probably 10+ movies in her class, and did several huge assignments that just never got graded - a few more that never even got turned in. She was late nearly every day, and didn't even show up at least 5 days out of every month. At the end of the year she did "resign", but the rumor was that she would have been fired _much_ sooner, but she had tenure, and the union made it incredibly difficult to fire even teachers who were blatantly just not doing their jobs.

    In my opinion, unions are generally good. Union organizers are generally good. But as with anything else, if they become too powerful, you will have problems. But then, without a union all that power belongs to the employer, which isn't a good situation either.

  • by definate (876684) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @09:31PM (#33707200)

    I agree. Monopolies [wikipedia.org] / Oligopolies [wikipedia.org] / Cartels [wikipedia.org] are awesome. They succeed by having overwhelming market power, and enforcing a determined price/quantity/benefits/etc, regardless of the externalities, or the true value of their goods/services. This is why OPEC [wikipedia.org] and De Beers [wikipedia.org] are so great, and why everybody loves them. Really, I think we all know, that you're goods/services are not worth what other people would pay for them, but instead are worth whatever you can collude to make them pay. That's the true spirit trade.

    In case the sarcasm is lost, you're a dick.

  • by Rix (54095) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @09:59PM (#33707326)

    The unions aren't in any way attempting to secure equal pay for equal work. It's just a ploy to raise some salaries without real reason. If it weren't they'd be willing to "equalize" pay by lowering that of those they seem to feel are overpaid.

  • Re:One does not... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by john82 (68332) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @10:01PM (#33707340)

    No one should be compelled to be a member of a union as a condition of employment.

  • Re:One does not... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Miseph (979059) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @10:21PM (#33707436) Journal

    How so? They're urging current members not to work on the film because the producers have opted not to meet union conditions. This is the only power the SAG actually has, and it is otherwise a complete waste of everybody's time.

    They have not, and cannot, force the film to use union actors or meet union conditions, nor can they force people to join their union, nor can they prevent union members from participating (they could, in theory, expel any members who do... but that is fairly unlikely, and doesn't keep them from doing the project regardless).

    For all the anti-union rhetoric and sentiment out there, at least in the US, union membership has steadily and dramatically declined during the past 30 years. The combined annual budget of all unions is substantially lower than each of the lobbying budgets for most of the Fortune 100 (ie. Wal-Mart spends more on lobbying than the AFL-CIO, Teamsters, SAG, etc. COMBINED spend on everything). They are particularly powerful, they are not particularly wealthy, they are not particularly abusive, and they certainly aren't scary enough to warrant all of the fear people have of them.

  • by geoffrobinson (109879) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @10:42PM (#33707550) Homepage

    I live near Philly. We've seen, first hand, unions try to impose insane work rules. It's almost as if they were hell bent on bring down our region.

    It's not just that they are more expensive, but their work rules and protection of ineffective workers hurt businesses.

    Killing the goose that lays the golden eggs is just not a concern to them.

    At least that perception I have (and others) is the reason why we have an anti-Union attitude. Seeing constant strikes for relatively sane reforms in France doesn't lend support to the perception either.

  • by witherstaff (713820) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @10:42PM (#33707552) Homepage

    I think the anti union feel comes from unions acting like asses in many cases. For example in Michigan if you are in child day care you must, by law, be part of the union. Actually it's more cryptic than that. If you have a day care You are a government employee and get union dues deducted. [wsj.com] No choice on the matter even if you're a sole proprietor running your own small day care.

    Or even been to a tradeshow? Want to plug something into an electrical outlet, like you have done countless times in your life? Sorry, wait for a union electrician to show up because it's part of their union contract (Not an insurance matter most of the time).

    Or maybe a Production engineer at a plant, with an assembly line down to something stupid like a tripped breaker, valve stuck, one of the normal reasons for a lockup. You could get the line going within a heartbeat but instead waste lots of manhours waiting for the one certified union worker to push the button for you.

    It's because of these stupid rules, that while the intention may have started as good, hurts the company as a whole and gives unions a bad rep. Now I do have a history in the trades and I thing the formal journeyman / masters process is a very good thing. The bureaucracy is an entirely other thing.

  • Re:One does not... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by meerling (1487879) on Sunday September 26, 2010 @10:46PM (#33707576)
    Then I guess the question is, what union conditions aren't being met? If it's gold plated expresso machine and $180/hr when on set, they can stuff it. If it's qualified medical personnel on site and proper sanitation facilities, I'm all for it. It all depends on what their screaming about.

    Yes, irta. Still not enough info about what's really going on demand wise, but it sounds like a shill for money and controlling who they hire, but I honestly got lost in all the stupid acronyms and attempts to avoid real data in it.
  • Re:One does not... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by KDR_11k (778916) on Monday September 27, 2010 @01:10AM (#33708232)

    Isn't "liberal" used mostly as an insult for any non-conservative politicians?

  • Re:One does not... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by KDR_11k (778916) on Monday September 27, 2010 @01:13AM (#33708244)

    Might be something like "everybody working there must be a union member".

  • Re:First Union? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by drsquare (530038) on Monday September 27, 2010 @01:17AM (#33708262)

    Those health insurance and retirement benefits won by the union?

    Of course, get rid of unions and I'm sure corporations and governments will shower down great pay and conditions on their workers out of the goodness of their hearts. It's amazing how so many ordinary working people are actually against organisations looking out for ordinary working people.

    Maybe decades of right-wing propaganda has made everyone think they're going to become a millionaire off the backs of their own hard work, sort of why poor people vote for tax cuts for the rich.

  • Re:First Union? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by seebs (15766) on Monday September 27, 2010 @02:14AM (#33708450) Homepage

    And how do you "get a new union" when the current union has a legal contract saying that the employer is not allowed to hire anyone in your line of work who isn't a member of that current union?

    Unions, churches, political parties... They start out because people have a vision of what they want to accomplish, but within a generation or so they exist to preserve and/or advance their own temporal power, and that means finding ways to keep people under their control.

  • Re:One does not... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drsmithy (35869) <drsmithy@nosPam.gmail.com> on Monday September 27, 2010 @03:29AM (#33708704)

    [...] and Democrats have to go insane leftist to win their primaries.

    Helpful note for people in the rest of the Western world: "insane leftist" in the USA means "slightly right of center" for you.

  • Re:One does not... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LurkerXXX (667952) on Monday September 27, 2010 @08:51AM (#33709912)

    Sorry, but the Republicans haven't been fiscally conservative since before Regan started the deficit ramp up. Calling the last Republican administration's policy 'fiscally conservative' is laughable. More like 'bat shit insane'. Long ago the Republican's were fiscally conservative, and I agreed with most of their fiscal policies. That was long, long ago.

  • Re:First Union? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DwySteve (521303) <sfriederichs@nOSpam.gmail.com> on Monday September 27, 2010 @10:03AM (#33710598) Homepage

    Those health insurance and retirement benefits won by the union?

    So.. in your estimation unions shouldn't be fighting for the betterment of all workers, rather, good treatment is a benefit for those who pay for it.

    I'd rather have real good guys in the fight for me - someone who fights for the better treatment of all workers, not just their friends. Otherwise, it's the same 'I've got mine so screw you' attitude that the greedy owners are taking.

  • by Xiver (13712) on Monday September 27, 2010 @11:03AM (#33711418)

    Sometimes taking away some individual freedom...

    The ends rarely if ever justify the means. Communism is largely based on this principle. the theory is that by taking away individual freedom and granting control to a central governing body, almost everyone will be in a better position. Of course a few will have to make some sacrifices, but everyone will be better off in the end. In practice very few fare better and the vast majority end up worse.

    I don't believe that taking of freedom is ever justified, mainly because once lost it won't ever be freely returned even if the orginal reason that it was taken has long since cased to exist.

You can bring any calculator you like to the midterm, as long as it doesn't dim the lights when you turn it on. -- Hepler, Systems Design 182

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