Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
Perhaps, though over here unions are slightly different in that they're playing political kingmaker more often than actually doing anything. I've been a part of two unions - one was a combined union representing emergency dispatches, the liquor industry, and some other random industry (I was the dispatcher for clarification), and a nursing union.
Here they used to make political kingmaker within Democratic party primaries but now national union membership is so low that it's hard for them to make any headway at all. Even in rust belt union strongholds they are effectively being ignored when they're not being killed outright - just look at Wisconsin under Governor Walker.

I've been part of two unions as well, and while the last one - District Council 37 - was more or less useless, it was mostly due to ineffective leadership and a too widely disparate rank and file to really be organized in an effective manner. The other had a far more effective means of collective bargaining and also knew how to use allied unions to rally for a common cause.

The thing is, pointing to bad or shortsighted leadership within unions and thus saying "we don't need unions" is, in my opinion, throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Bad leadership is bad leadership, and if you read my blog you'll see plenty of examples of bad union leadership, but no representation is far more of a detriment to labor and society overall. I am most definitely a universal supporter of unions because they need to exist. They should exist with competent leadership, but first and foremost they need to exist.