QuoteOriginally posted by: exneratunriskQuoteOriginally posted by: Traden4AlphaQuoteOriginally posted by: exneratunriskQuoteOriginally posted by: Traden4AlphaQuoteOriginally posted by: PaulFor the young ones here who never witnessed the 1970s, early 1980s UK, and for the senile who've forgotten, I'd like to paint a picture. Look at this man. He is Bob Crow, the modern equivalent of Arthur Scargill, the man who destroyed the mining industry and the livelihoods of many families: Imagine if he had the country by the cojones. Also imagine power cuts, reading by candlelight, rubbish in the streets because of strikes, the dead unburied because of strikes. Now add in a prawn cocktail, boil-in-the-bag cod in parsley sauce, an avocado bathtub...and voila, you have the 1970s! PIndeed! Trade unions are just greed dressed up in solidarity clothing.(That said, the organizations that suffer from unionized labour probably deserve their fate.)????? This is not a T4A analysis? I take this as propaganda, Sorry.It is a bit more differencated? Take VW as prototype. The majority owner is the state of Niedersachsen, they have a strong union base, the workers earn sifgnificantly more than the average in similar jobs and they are "a little" more successful than Opel the GM subsidiary (bailed out by the German tax payers several times) And you might want to study the Swedish way - with the unexpected: consevatives wanted state ownership of the core industry and the social democrates and unions said NO.There is cooperation between management and unions - not all are a bunch of Scargills.No, it is not that simple, ideologies, movements, clans and individuals are not just brillant or stupid, all-knowing or naive, altruist or selfish ... ?Yes, perhaps I've painted unions with an overly broad brush. As Cuchulainn has pointed out, it may be the difference between US and European unions. I've only worked at one company (a defense contractor) that had unions and it was horrible. No one could touch a typewriter except the unionized typists and no one could touch a tool except the unionized factory workers. And the processes for getting these unionized workers to do anything were so painful and slow that little got done. My father-in-law (also an engineer) had the similar experiences in the unionized beer brewing industry. So what I said wasn't propaganda, it was personal experience. More broadly, unions (in the US, at least) have saddled their companies (and governments) with unsustainable pension plans and inflexible work rules. Maybe unions are more reasonable in Europe, but in the US they act like nasty adversarial monopolists. (And, as I also said, the nastiness of those unions might reflect the nastiness of the companies that they've attacked.)Maybe they are not that different. In my country, in the laarge they tend supporting strikes of airline pilots, instead of the lousy paidcleaners ... but in many cases they are indispensable ... BTW, I never would like to work for VW, not for much more money, but this is another story .. I am one of the lucky ... We are far away from a reasonable, self-developing emplyer-employee relationship ... many of the promises and change announcemt on new management and leadership approaches (tons of them in HBR ...) .... are nice to read but in reality they seem to land in the trash. Or even worse, created as fog to hide the ongoing prctices of "slave work". Like risk managemnt theory and practice ... we need stupid regulators, because we are so stupid ...and we need unions, because we are so greedy, unfair, ....Yes, it's an artifact of bounded rationality -- each group (management, pilots, factory workers, regulators, etc.) can only see the system from their point of view.But the deeper issue WRT unions is that they are based on a soon-to-be obsolete industrial model of labour that has a strong dichotomy between decision-making, white-collar employees and physical-making, blue-collar employees. When most workers were just cogs on the machine, they did need some kind of representation to help avoid overwork, abuse, hazards, etc. But all that machine-like labour is being replaced by machines. Even China's Foxconn is replacing workers with robots.I suspect that more and more workers will need to be decision-making employees. What is the role of a union in an organization that is 100% management?