Excuse me for my title. I’m sure it will offend at least one person, but I am not concerned because those of us who have worked in unionized environments know the deal. There is an aura, a way and even a stench that permeates from union environments. Although collective bargaining agreements vary from union to union most of them get manipulated and stretched into rainbow area where very few performance issues matter and being terminated is damn near impossible.
Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the intention of the labor movement. Thinking about the 146 people that died tragically in the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in Greenwich Village, NY still gives me chills. What I question is how the labor movement evolved from one that protects worker’s rights and safety on job; to aiding and abetting a culture of mediocrity in the organizations they serve. There are some really good people who are union members. However, there are just as many others who have a sense of entitlement and saunter through their careers hanging on the every word of their changing bargaining agreements and giving their employers hell every step of the way.
Fearing the Union
The true travesty in all of this is the reluctance on the part of the employer to manage their union workforce accordingly. In the organizations, I have worked for management was fearful of the union- especially the bigger unions. It is not only a mistake to fear the unions in your organization- it completely undermines the efforts of your non-union employees who have to wake up to a culture of mediocrity on one side of the house and a culture of excellence where they sit.
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