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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #26)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:21 PM

47. I was bargained for by a union for years

I have a friend who works for the UAW and has made countless organizing trips to the south, bringing back stories from right to work states and right to work auto plants that would make your hair stand on end. Your stories illustrate some problems but, for the most part, unions protect workers. Do they protect a few lousy ones? Yes, they do. But, far and away, the good they do outweighs the issues.

I worked in PR for three years at an 'at-will' national corporation. I worked my way up from receptionist to a PR associate and was getting a lot of recognition for my efforts, particularly from the VP of my division. Too much for my boss who just up and fired me one day. I went to a lawyer, with the excellent job review she had given me just days earlier in hand, to see what options I had to fight it. Because I had agreed to 'at will' (with no choice unless I didn't want the job), there wasn't a single thing I could do about it. The attorney told me it was a case of professional jealousy (and put it in writing) but, because of the 'at will,' there was nothing more I could do.

That's right to work, right there. So, I was more than happy to get to a union environment where I couldn't be fired just because someone thought my work was TOO good. That's my PERSONAL story. Have I seen some people who take advantage of the system? Yes, I have. But not enough to make me hate the unions.

I am administrator now and no longer bargained for. But because of the strong union environment here on my campus, we 'at-wills' have far more protection than I ever had at my former company. If not, I would have turned the promotion down.

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