Your Gain Is My Loss

      There's been a lot of controversy regarding union and wage issues, mainly the Boeing machinists voting against their contract offer and SeaTac and Seattle wanting to set a $15 minimum wage.
      My SO has the attitude that unskilled labor shouldn't make more than he does (since he had to have training and get special licensing) and unions are living in the past and workers should just appreciate having a job.  Those two attitudes are part of the reason wages and benefits for workers keep stagnating or going down and the gap between the "haves" and the "have nots" keeps getting bigger and bigger.
      I've tried to explain as follows:  Someone else getting a living wage should/could push up the wages of those "above" them too … that the idea that nobody should start doing better unless everyone does is self-defeating.  I personally find it rather spiteful and its part of the current justification:  If I'm the CEO making the big decisions, my workers shouldn't get a raise before I do.  I'm creating the jobs.  I have the skills and I should make more.
      Unions aren't perfect, but history has proven we need them.  Unions are why we have child labor laws, safe working conditions, and overtime, and living wages (hopefully).  Companies shouldn't try to justify increasing (or even maintaining) their profits or paying big salaries and bonuses to executives and shareholders by decreasing the same for their workers.  Everybody should take a hit it lean times and get a boost in good times.  Without unions, that doesn't happen.  "No strike" clauses are anti-democratic and economic blackmail by theatening relocation, whether from region to region or country to country, is unethical.  I hope the machinists stick to their guns.

What do you think?

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