@partridge Especially once he figures out which union we decided to organize with...

@finnamerican Then you're just as unhappy but also have to pay the union
Until the workplace closes because of too many strikes
t. overunionized country spurdo
@finnamerican TBH I can't understand what you're going on about as you keep using slang

@nerthos
Alright, let me help:

Wobbly - an affectionate nickname for a member of the Industrial Workers of the World, an international anarcho-syndicalist union.

Scab - a strikebreaker; a cowardly individual who chooses to work at a workplace during a strike, often brought in by the boss.

@finnamerican To be honest, I don't disagree with the original spirit of unions and the role they're supposed to fulfill. If they worked as intended, they'd be a great thing.
However, while I can't speak for other countries, 70 years of experience in mine with extremely powerful unions haven't exactly given me much trust in them.
They're mafias basically. Bloated beyond any reasonable level, extremely slow to react whenever there's an actual issue to deal with that threatens the economic security of workers, constantly involved in purely political conflicts and power plays that have nothing to do with workplace conditions or remuneration. They'll defend to the death the "rights" of workers fired with just cause just because they have ties to someone in an union, but when a honest worker gets fired? they're on their own.
Doesn't help that workers are pressured, often with violence, to sign up for one or another union, which they have to pay for monthly off their salary, and then kept sometimes at gunpoint from going to work if an union decides to move against their workplace, even if the worker considers his or her conditions are good and their contract is respected to the letter.

And that is without going into how it undermines the autonomy of workers to negotiate their own contracts based on the rarity and value of their skills in favour of a collectivist approach that puts a worker with 25 years of experience and constant improvement in basically the same position as someone who is just starting when it comes to negotiating pay and benefits; or the fact that the measures unions tend to use to create leverage against workplaces are destructive, extorsive and harm the worker as much as the workplace. So they basically use people that just want to make a honest living as thugs to further their agendas.

The factory my father worked at since he left highschool up until the early 2000s for example decided to close shop and move to another country due to having strikes literally every other day, despite being a coveted place to work at due to salary and conditions, since the union of graphic industry workers was trying to do some sort of power play.

Taking all of that into account I can hardly support unions until they clean up their act and start working for the interest of workers instead of against them.

@nerthos In that case, I would suggest looking up the Industrial Workers of the World. We're an entirely rank-and-file run union, our dues don't get taken out of our paychecks, and we're pretty decentralized. We've also stuck to our principles from our founding in 1905. Might be what you're looking for.

@finnamerican I'm not really interested in revolutionary anarchism or anything. I want autonomy to 1- negotiate my own contracts and 2- go to work when I decide to, not when someone else decides it. Switching one boss for another is hardly convenient.

@nerthos The IWW isn't affiliated with either anarchists or political groups and doesn't usually do contracts at all. There's also no union boss - the only paid position in our union is the General Secretary-Treasurer, which is a position with a one-year term like all our officer positions. We can also recall our officers if we think they're doing a terrible job. Sounds right up your alley.

@Finn_American My workplace forbids unionizing and will fire anyone attempting to organize in any way that LOOKS like unionizing.

@The_Mechanarchist Do you live in the United States? If so, that's a violation of labor law and you can take them to court over that.

In the meantime, there are other ways you can unionize or make workplace improvements aside from traditional business unions. The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) has a lot of experience working under the radar and might be able to help.

@Finn_American I do live in the U.S. My employers also have a pretty high turnaround, so really, there is not much solidarity. Secondly, they would fire you for different reasons. No one is a perfect worker and they might just fire you for using your phone on the floor (which I do and there are cameras everywhere, so there is that).

@The_Mechanarchist Yeah, that's a difficult place to be in. However, I'm sure you're not the only one who feels that way about your workplace. You could try to get in touch with some of your coworkers and meet outside of work to talk about workplace issues. I wouldn't suggest discussing unionizing outright, but instead gauge how willing folks are to take a stand. It's a common IWW tactic.

@Finn_American Well, it doesn't help that I am the only anarchist there or on my way out (I have an engineering degree to get a better job doing what I like). If I were to say I was even considering doing something like that, it wouldn't be long before word reached the plant manager (the company I work for is multinational, headquartered in Britain, I think) AND the plant manager has been there for decades...yeah. I am not in any real position to do anything or influence too many, my coworkers have always considered me cool, but the odd one too smart for my own good. I will look into the IWW stuff, though, for future considerations.

@The_Mechanarchist Yeah, don't do anything you're not comfortable with doing. That can go very wrong very quickly. And I would highly recommend the IWW for future organizing efforts - lots of anarchists there.

@Finn_American
Yeah...thanks for the advice. I have been at least trying to plant seeds in my coworkers minds, dropping some info about what the capitalists are doing to us as people, as workers. Maybe it will grow in some of their minds.

@The_Mechanarchist The idea ultimately is that there's strength in numbers. If enough of your coworkers are willing to stand up to the boss, your boss in theory can't fire all of you without consequences.

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