Re: Michael Lombardi A Smart Man
posted at 3/31/2012 10:42 AM EDT
In Response to Re: Michael Lombardi A Smart Man
[QUOTE]In Response to Re: Michael Lombardi A Smart Man : Right, except in both cases the root cause of the failures are the systems, not the people. Root cause. Of course some parents are dumb or bad parents. That will always be the case. That will never change. Similarly, of course some companies like a GM will be mismanaged, but to pretend unions aren't a major problem in terms of spiking costs or contributing to a failing quality problem is ludicrous. Unions also shield management from being held more accountable because the focus is more on the relationship with the union v.s. the quality of the product and the consumer. Unions are only necessary in industries with abuses. The guy on the assembly line who dropped out of high school working a 5 hour shift isn't abused. You're pro union and don't even know why.
Posted by BassFishing[/QUOTE]
You can't resist the ad hominems can you? That's what has started to bug me about you. (Honestly, I used to enjoy your posts, Rusty, but you've gone so over the top with your incessent and juvenile assertions of self-superiority and insults directed at others, that you've become nothing but annoying.) You were saying a few sensible things in the post above, worthy of discussion even, until you got to: "You're pro union and don't even know why."
Well, I bet I know a whole lot more about how unions and companies work--not just in the US but also in Canada and Europe--than you do. And I have very mixed opinions about unions. Some positive, some quite negative. The one thing that you say that I think is quite smart above is about management's focus shifting a bit from the customer to the union. It's true that the auto companies became very internally focused and in part that was because they paid too much attention to labour relations and too little to their products or markets. But that wasn't fully the result of a union being there . . . it was also the result of rather complacent management teams. There are plenty of other industries where management is energetic enough to balance labour relations with all the other things that are important to run a company well.
As far as unions go, Germany is a very interesting case. They have an economy that is about as strong as any in the Western world right now with a more vibrant manufacturing sector than many Western companies. And their workforce is much, much more heavily unionized than in the US, Canada, the UK, or many other places. Germany shows that unions aren't necessarily bad for the economy . . . and, in fact, might even be good for it. A lot depends on the relationship between union and management and the willingness of both sides to accept each other and work together. When they do accept each other and decide to work together, the balance of power between management and labour and a certain "creative tension" that exists between the two parties can be quite productive, I think. When they look at each other suspiciously, though, the relationship tends to get adversarial and unproductive, which unfortunately is what you see more in the US and here in Canada.
The NFL Players Association is a whole different kettle of fish, because there you have unionized workers with real leverage thanks to their rare and highly in-demand talents. That's a very interesting case where a union might actually be more beneficial to the owners than to the workers.