Unionizing at work

New FGvf54
Jun 7, 2018 28 Comments

Hey y’all. There’s talk of unionizing at my company (it’s a small one) because of far-below-market pay, barely any benefits, no real HR, and people are expected to work late because they’re overloaded (the company won’t hire more people). We have money; revenue was in the double-digit millions last year.

Folks aren’t sure where to start. Anyone have any insight? Did you unionize at work and it backfired?

Not really interested in hearing from managers against unionizing.

Edit: if it helps we’re in the Bay Area.

Edit 2: Also not a tech company.

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TOP 28 Comments
  • Salesforce / Eng Vlad Putin
    The right steps to follow are:
    - books, leetcode
    - interview
    - gtfo and enjoy your new work

    With this job market there is absolutely no reason to go through this bullshit at your current workplace. Just let it die naturally when all decent employees leave.
    Jun 7, 2018 0
  • Starbucks / Eng PUxL03
    Like others have said I don’t know why there would be a reason to waste your time if you have a tech position. You are not constrained by the market like in typical union scenarios such as where the employer is the only place you can work.
    Jun 7, 2018 8
    • Credit Karma EllisDee25
      That was also the case for unionized industrial jobs in the 50s and 60s. People in Detroit would be fired from one auto plant and get hired the next week at a different one. Unions are representation for employees, not just something for 1920 coal mining towns.

      Major tech companies were sued for collusion a few years back; firms in an industry don’t exist in a vacuum - the major employers set the pace for the whole industry. So you can switch jobs and maybe get on a better team or maybe end up with the same sorts of common complaints in this industry.

      Many tech workers are momentarily paid well, but are also expected to work absurd hours in some cases. People are fired with no recourse because it’s just HR and the manager’s version, etc.

      Hell, Blind wouldn’t need to exist if these companies had transparency and people didn’t have workplace issues or fear of speaking up about these issues.
      Jun 7, 2018
    • Starbucks / Eng PUxL03
      Yeah I agree they may eventually need unions in tech but the industry is so bananas right now it’s not on people’s radar.

      I also just meant that the average person in the tech industry (which most people on blind are apart of) have little to no real world experience with unions so you might not get a lot of good info on here.

      I’m one of the few that don’t fall into that category. I was a union member for 7+ years. Saw the industry I was working in was collapsing and decided to move over to software engineering.

      But I don’t have much info for you since that wasn’t in California and the unionization laws vary a lot state to state.
      Jun 7, 2018
    • New FGvf54
      OP
      I appreciate your insight regardless. Thank you.
      Jun 7, 2018
    • Credit Karma EllisDee25
      Yeah, good stuff - sorry for the knee-jerk reply.
      Jun 7, 2018
    • New FGvf54
      OP
      All good, no worries. :) I totally get it.
      Jun 7, 2018
  • New FGvf54
    OP
    This isn’t a tech company, sorry boys.
    Jun 7, 2018 3
    • Oracle / Eng Madmaxf
      Gtfo of blind . All we know is leet code and chill
      Jun 7, 2018
    • Credit Karma EllisDee25
      Tech needs unions too - mostly for issues of time and workload expectations, transparency in hiring and discipline.

      The tech bros who think it’s too low class for them have a House-slave mentality. They don’t realize that they are building the tools that will make their momentarily cushy position redundant in the future - or they realize it but are full of themselves and think they’ll be one of the lucky few when market conditions change.
      Jun 7, 2018
    • Salesforce / Eng Vlad Putin
      - books, leetcode
      - interview at a tech company for a tech position (PM?)
      - gtfo and enjoy your new work at a tech company

      Obligatory note: fuck commies, especially American commies. I don't remember your lazy asses emigrating to mecca of labor protection called USSR. I'd appreciate you not transforming USA into USSR.
      Jun 7, 2018
  • Apple r86sw655sd
    I like the above comment. Unions do have their place. They are mainly for low skilled workers who find it hard to change jobs. If you are in tech then definitely you can easily find jobs in other companies and all the time and effort could be better utilized in finding a new job rather than some union.
    Jun 7, 2018 3
    • Starbucks / Eng PUxL03
      The low skilled part isnt totally correct. Unions have there place where market forces are against employees or where there is the potential for a hostile work environment. Good examples of that are trade jobs and utility work. Most of which the employers are monopolies hell bent on profit margins (that’s where the hostile work environment comes into play)

      A lot of that isnt present in tech (yet)
      Jun 7, 2018
    • New FGvf54
      OP
      Right. A ton of us needed degrees to sit where we are now. It’s not only low-skilled laborers who get to do collective bargaining. Plenty of white-collar jobs have unions (reporters, teachers).
      Jun 7, 2018
    • Reporters and teachers aren’t white collar. They are menial laborers and act as such.
      Jun 7, 2018
  • Move to Detroit and get a job at Chrysler. Oh wait, they’re gone. Union jobs destroyed them.
    Jun 7, 2018 2
    • New FGvf54
      OP
      If you think unionization is what killed the auto industry in the US, I can’t help you.
      Jun 7, 2018
    • Starbucks / Eng PUxL03
      Lol that was big corporate fails and mismanagement. Not unions.
      Jun 7, 2018
  • Credit Karma EllisDee25
    Every workplace is going to be different, so there’s no one-size fits all approach. But in most cases you can be protected and act as a union prior to official representation.

    There are resources online for this and it’s a good idea to start a sort of rank and file involvement in either case because a) for official unions, you’ll need a a few supporters but then need to do a union drive for official recognition - this is when employers will crack down and try to scare the workforce, pull people into individual meetings to intimidate some or try and bribe/cajole others. If you only have lukewarm support, then they might be able to drive wedges in. b) I support unionization, but most unions take a passive approach these days and I think this is part of why unions are weaker now - a galvanized rank and file can help offset this and ensure that employee concerns are heard and that any official negotiation will be less likely to settle for crumbs.
    Jun 7, 2018 2
    • New FGvf54
      OP
      Thank you for your insight. I really do appreciate it.
      Jun 7, 2018
    • Credit Karma EllisDee25
      I wish I had more concrete stuff to give you. I was in an unionization attempt in a much more draconian industry but it lost steam as some people left rather than continue facing terrible conditions there. So that’s probably why I’m coming from a workplace-solidarity first sort of approach.
      Jun 7, 2018
  • New AMex31
    What industry is this? Is it one where it's hard to find another job?
    Jun 7, 2018 1
    • New FGvf54
      OP
      Not sure why this app wouldn’t let me reply to this earlier. It’s in media/publishing. That’s all I’m really comfortable saying.
      Jun 7, 2018
  • Intel LvsO78
    People fall for the negative propaganda against unions. Fact is unions give you a voice gives you security and a future. Union contracts are voted for by each employee it is what you elect. unions didn't destroy the Auto industry poor corporate decisions politicians and anti American manufacturing did
    Dec 17, 2018 0
  • eBay blip!
    Just leave dude
    Jun 7, 2018 0

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