Unions - another "good ol' boy" club, or something worth fighting to keep?

I'm trying to ender the trades to get a job that can pay the bills. As a woman there are many obstacles in the way...but there's also a lot of pressure to go with a "Union" apprenticeship.

According to people in the field, the anomosity towards non-union workers is so bad they can sometimes be separated by a fence on a job site, union members on one side and non-union on the other.......one word comes to mind.......Segregation.

Give me a fucking break!

So for anyone who knows anything about union labor, what do you think?

.....Or is it another cult-like "be like us or we won't like you" mentality?

People who are pro-union say, "unions will protect us and pay us better."

Non-union advocates say, "I'm still earning a paycheck and doing just fine."

The percentage of union workers as of 2005 was only 13% of the industry. My suspicion (based on my personal experience and opinion) is that the 87% non-union labor is because of the demand for cheap labor (ahem, illegal immigrants)....and the standards then become lower, safety goes out the door, etc....

So, are unions good? Bad? Does it matter? What do you think?

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I belong to a union. I got nothing but good things to say about my union and it's members. On more than one occasion the union has been there for me and my family.

Most unions expect you to gain employment first before they accept you as a member. Most of the time jobs are found through the "Good Ol' Boy" network but I once walked into a job site and was hired on the spot and got into the Service Employees Union in New York City. From there I networked and managed to get a job working HVAC and got into their union. 

Most union's offer Pensions and Annuity's. They also offer low cost health coverage upon retirement.

I get that they are not as powerful as they once were but they are evolving. At least the one i belong to is, with training and education in the field our members are in; which is an incentive for employers to keep us on the job.

I've been in a union. They helped me out when my bosses were making me work for less than my job position paid. They also tried to make me do two jobs for the price of one. I believe the union people kept management from treating us like dogs. You know, it was hard to part with my union dues, but I was glad I did. And, at this job, getting support from the union didn't hold back my career development because the managers had learned to accept the union as a 'necessary evil.'

At my last position, I was bullied to skip breaks and do homework and it became a huge problem between me and my boss. If there had been a union at this position, my boss would never have had the balls to try that crap.

I would join a union just for the protection from management. 



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