Las Vegas: high unionization rates mean smaller wage-gaps for women, especially older women


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/08/18/las-vegas-high-unionization-r.html


#2


#3

It’s also the law in the state of Nevada that your boss/company cannot schedule your next shift 12hrs before your last shift ended, they can but they’d have to pay you overtime. Having worked in retail this was awesome because the managers exploited my availability less, when i moved to Texas and was still working for the same company the managers there were always scheduling me to work real late and then open the store a few hours later and apologizing that they’d never do it again. Which is a lie.

I’m glad i don’t work retail anymore. But back on topic, Nevada has some really great labor laws i wish other states implemented, like hazard pay for working in harsh temperatures or unsafe locations (ie: roadside). Things Texas shrugs at.


#4

Genuine question, is wage equality between the young and the old a desirable trait?


#5

Unions can create very inefficient situations, like being unable to fire a teacher for years even though they aren’t doing their job. But they do good work and definitely help workers be exploited less by unscrupulous companies. Looking at you Walmart.


#6

It can be. I’ve seen it both ways where a younger but less experienced worker gets hired on and gets paid more than someone that’s more experienced but is older. And i’ve seen senior workers get preference over younger ones. It’ll largely depend on what industry you’re looking at.


#7

Sure, but what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.


#8

Unions can certainly have downsides, and corruption. But the alternative is being used and discarded by unopposed business interests. I hate to throw it back on besieged unions, but its really up to them to up the ethical behavior and not make the mistakes that gives the other side leverage. For instance, in the case of teachers that you raise - there should be an avenue for a school system to make a case that the teacher in question is coasting and not trying. And their peers, who would know, should be consulted. You need a culture where the first allegiance is to the work, not the employer, and not the coworkers.


#9

Probably, because those unions who have agreed to tiered compensation arrangements where new hires are at a permanently lower pay level than existing workers may come to regret it. The day will arrive when the lower tier outnumbers the senior tier, and the former’s willingness to support the union leadership could be distinctly less.


#10

The important thing is to realize that unions are a symptom, not the answer and not the problem. Labor laws that recognize a person’s right to not be treated as a consumable resource or a form of property to be disposed of on a whim would be a great start, but neither the Unions nor the Ownership Class are willing to risk their influence on allowing people to work towards those goals.


#11

I agree that laws should uphold rights that Unions routinely have to fight for. But even in highly socialistic democracies like Denmark and Sweden Unions play an important role. Somebody has to negotiate collectively for the workers, and that entity is the Union. The Union is also the best positioned entity to argue for the laws that you describe, until such a time that Corporations and Unions are prohibited from lobbying and attempting to influence politics.


#12

I lived in Texas for my first job out of college. Never again. I feel ya.


#13

“What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”.

-Love, The American Chamber of Commerce


#14

You’re correct that someone does have to fight for worker’s rights, but that someone doesn’t always have to be a union. The historic problem with some unions has been that “the workers” become less of the focus than “our workers”, especially with regard to civil rights or innovation (search “button maker’s guild”). I’m also not a fan of the current “top-down” structure of our nation’s unions that have managed to set up a parallel system of employee taxation of its members only to use that money to support a candidate that local members didn’t support and were told that they needed to “be realistic” about what rights they were seeking.


#15

Yes, all well documented failings.


#16

If you need to know how valuable and effective Unions are, then just take a look at who opposes them and how hard they do so.

Unions have done an incalculably large amount of tangible good in the world for ordinary people. This is why they’re opposed at every turn by people with power.


#17

I’m not sure that’s a flaw, really? Racism is an issue but I expect the Welder’s Union to put welders before teamsters (and vice versa), as well as to organize collective action (largely illegal now) between unions. After all, the welders didn’t join a “Worker’s Party.” They joined a union for welders to protect their rights and get them work.

P.S. My daddy was a ship welder and his pop was a Teamster (and a shop steward) in Vegas.


#18

That is exactly the structural problem that collective bargaining has versus legal protections for workers. Think of how often non-union workers have been swayed against labor interests by zero-sum arguments like “well I don’t get [such and such benefit], so why should they?”

No, but they could have. Most likely though they vote for a Democratic party that used to be associated with labor concerns but is now coasting along on the promise of reform (someday), knowing that they can rely on the GOP to be so much worse that the least worst candidate will always(?) get the worker’s vote.

I don’t have any negative sentiment against the concept of unions, and I do see their involvement as a potential positive step. I just don’t think that the long term solution to the structural legal and political imbalances we have can be fixed by forming additional groups of self-interested hierarchies.


#19

I couldn’t find a GIF sufficient to express my agreement with this statement.


#20

An acquaintance of mine (who hates unions) always said “I’ve never seen a company with a union that didn’t deserve one.” I think a lot more “deserve” one than have one but I don’t have any sympathy for the inconvenienced companies.