Monday, January 12, 2009

Unions vs. Unions

Due to a family member being admitted to the local hospital last week it has been very interesting to watch the interaction of the staff members, no matter what the color of their clothing. (Wearing color coded clothes would seem to be an unspoken us vs them or at least an ego feeding structure, but apparently not.

We noticed the first day, which was confirmed by careful watching on the second day, that we had not witnessed such a degree of cooperation among "workers" from Rns, to LPNs, to maintenance staff, to techs, to specialists in other disciplines the last time (a couple of years ago) such teamwork. If anyone of these people needed a hand, the closest person to them assisted--and it didn't matter if it was from a doctor to a nurse to a janitor or the other way around.

Not only do they help each other, they work 12 hour shifts and they sort of "self-schedule" and somehow everything is covered. Some folks admit to not being at their best after three 12 hour days in a row while others seem to have a different internal clock and they just seem to be able to work it out among themselves.

Having had experience with only the UAW and the teachers' heretofore, this was a real eye opener.

Our hats are off to a segment of the workforce who seem to have conquered the constant complaining in other work areas which is so prevalent. Whether it is training or the kind of work they do, I don't know, but it certainly would seem to be an area worth studying to benefit the entire country.

See ya


JGillman said...

Lola, it is certainly hard for most of the public to understand the true nature of segmented "responsibilities" that you allude to.

Most folks have no idea of how insipid certain union mentality is until you have tried to be a subcontractor in a union job site, or have tried o set up your own (God forbid) display in a convention hall. To possibly deprive a card carrier of even the most subtle task is akin to hitting them in the side of the head with a board.

Truly incredible.

Jack McHugh said...

Are these workers unionized?

Carpe Diem posted a photo last week of the GM/UAW contract - a stack of paper a foot high. (Rare) press reports describe the incredible hassle that negotiated work rules create for those just trying to run a plant efficiently.

It's occurred to me that maybe a car company could pay $70/hour if they could run the plant as they saw fit, and if no non-wage benefits created liabilities - ie, the company only provided defined contribution pension and post-retirement health care bennies.

I think these work rules may be most pernicious effect of unions. They make it hugely more difficult to increase productivity.