Delving into union contracts

I spent the better part of today and yesterday auditing a client’s payroll system. They have recently switched to a new system and the difference between old and new is dramatic.

The reports are easier to read and understand, the font is easier on the eyes and brain, and the electronic interface is prettier too. I don’t know how much it cost them but I hope they find it worth the investment.

What I learned today is that unions very much control the labour supply in this industry. It is a risk in their line of business that they must deal with: The constant threat that the union will strike and their business will come to a grinding halt.

Unions have the rules stacked in their favour: They dictate the terms under which their workers will work down to the most minute detail. The downside to the workers is the onerous dues they have deducted from each pay cheque, but unionized workers at this client make double what non-unionized workers make, so it probably works out better for them overall.

3 thoughts on “Delving into union contracts

  1. I find the contrast between North American unions and Japanese unions to be very interesting. For example, most automotive plants in Japan are unionized shops (Toyota, etc.) but you’d never know it from walking through the plants. One of the main differences is that Japanese union members don’t restrict themselves to following their job descriptions to a T. They pitch in wherever and however necessary.

  2. Are the unions specific to certain jobs? Like here we have the pipe fitter and sheet metal workers union and the like.

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