Christian be a Union rep.?

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Timtoolman, May 7, 2005.

  1. Timtoolman

    Timtoolman
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,403
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thought I would throw something into the ring that I have not heard discussed. I know some preachers who just hate unions. They blame the fall of america on unions.

    I just finished serving as Union rep. for almost three years. I did not run again and will reserve why not for later.

    Go ahead and voice your opinions. Can Christians, or should christians be involved in unions?
     
  2. Ben W

    Ben W
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2002
    Messages:
    8,868
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was once, I would not do so again, because I no longer agree with the party that the union financially supports.

    That said, Trade Unions have an important place in society, and should be valued for what they are.
     
  3. Watchman

    Watchman
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Messages:
    2,706
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ben wrote exactly how I feel.
    The downfall of America is due to a departure from God and His Word, plain and simple.
     
  4. Artimaeus

    Artimaeus
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2002
    Messages:
    3,133
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have no objection to the concept of a group of people getting together and trying to make things better for themselves and their families. I would have a difficult time with most organizations (civic, union, clubs, political parties, business groups, etc.) because inevitibly they come up with something I can't support so that I would have a hard time being their representative.
     
  5. Priscilla Ann

    Priscilla Ann
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2002
    Messages:
    616
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have belonged to a union for 15 years and have been a union rep for the last 5 years.

    In my place of work, the union has been essential in insuring fair pay and benefits for employees.
     
  6. rivers1222

    rivers1222
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    0
    Never been a rep but have been in the union for over 20 years. Its the same here, Ben, with heavy financial support for the Democrats, but the membership seems to be just like every other segment of society. Split right down the middle.
     
  7. rivers1222

    rivers1222
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    0
    Timtoolman,
    I see no reason at all why a Christian couldnt or shouldnt run as a union rep. Kinda anxious to hear your story as to why you didnt run for re-election.
     
  8. exscentric

    exscentric
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2004
    Messages:
    4,253
    Likes Received:
    16
    Just for the mix.

    "IF" you hold that the passages in the epistles for slaves/masters, apply to employee/employer relationships, how could you go on strike? Wouldn't it be going against the relationship you are supposed to be upholding?
     
  9. rivers1222

    rivers1222
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    0
    exscentric,
    The key word in your quote is "IF".
     
  10. Timtoolman

    Timtoolman
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,403
    Likes Received:
    0
    Arthimaeus, have to agree it was hard to try and be involved and yet not have to compromise my christian principles in some way. They were always under assualt.
    I only attended union meetings and that was a chore. Never have gone to picnics or beer tent events. They did not pressure me too much. I went to a bowling event and some training in Detroit (at the HIlton [​IMG] plus a few other things. The committe men as a whole (there are 3 shifts of us, bout 7 on each, plus zone) like to getogether and share stories and let some steam off. They liked it when all showed up. So I would try to attend ones that weren't held at the bar.

    I have worked with most of these people (committemen) for 28+ years. When I let them know I was voting republican, man you thought I turned into charles manson or Hitler! I was really taken back by the hatred that was sprewed at me. Couple of them apologized later but sometimes it is hard to take back some words. They called me a nazi, hateful, selfish plus some others that I can't repeat. After it was all over I said "I have worked and befriended you all since we all hired in, is this really what you all think of me? Have I been that way too you all? Is that the spirit I have portrayed to you all." I mean I was doing some serious thinking. Wondering if I had been misleading myself. You know, decieving myself into thinking I was trying to live a pleasing life for God but wasn't. But like I said I recieved apologies from most.

    On top of that you have the people to deal with. I cannot even begin to explain what people want the union to do. I have taken drunks home and tuck them into bed, gone and gotten taxs forms, gotten police reports, gotten sales recepts and other stuff that is not a union reps responseblity. About 20% of the people ( I represented 280) did not want to work and gave me 90% of my work. If you cuss the foreman out you will be dismissed from you job, fired. However you cuss the committeman out thats fine. I don't know how many times I would be walking the line and someone would just rip into me. Saying I getting a hand out from the company and whatever else came to mind. I wanted to get a t-shirt that said "dispite rumor my name is not m*****f***** it is Tim Rettger"

    I had the right to make the discision to write a grievence or not. I would not write false ones or harassment, dicrimination just because the people asked for one. I almost got a lawsuite over not writing a discrimination grievence. We now have a civil rights person on full time now so I can just send people there and she makes the determination.

    Man I have rambled and gone off topic a bit. What I am saying I guess is that it places quite a strain on a person's spiritual life. And Yes I could not support Clinton or Fieger who ran for governer here in MI. among other things but I did not cave and voted my picks.
     
  11. TexasSky

    TexasSky
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    I think there is a difference in "don't be a bad, lazy employee because it will make people look at Christians and accuse them of being bad, lazy people," and in "don't help people stop abuse."

    I am not much of a union person myself, but historically the unions did a lot of things that I can see God approving of, like stopping the abuse of children in factories, protecting widows who were forced to work from explotation by people who would take advantage of their need to work.

    I just think you need to do whatever you do in a Christlike manner.
     
  12. Timtoolman

    Timtoolman
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,403
    Likes Received:
    0
    Timtoolman,
    I see no reason at all why a Christian couldnt or shouldnt run as a union rep. Kinda anxious to hear your story as to why you didnt run for re-election. [/QB][/QUOTE]

    The biggest reason was the stress put on my spiritual life. I felt at times when I was representing some of the people that I had to compromise. I felt like a lawyer feels like I think. I had to represent the people to the best of my ability. Like when I started I studied the contract. Had a new foreperson (woman) placed in my area and she continuely wrote the penalities up wrong. I mean I could not go....just a minute mam you are writing that wrong. One time she wrote herself up twice. Put her name in where the foreperson signs and also put her name in where the perosn being penalized was to go. That was actually humorous and they are pinned up at the UAW work center where the commetteemen hang out. But for the first 6 or 7 weeks everyone she penalized got paid or their record cleared. I would tell myself it was the General forman's fault for not training her. And as soon as I got them off or paid they would miss another day.
    I have had to defend poeple that were dead wrong but because of a slip or goofup by the foreperson I would get them off. This also makes the good workers mad at me because when people miss time it puts pressure on them, ones that are there, to pick up the slack. So I get the good workers mad at me and the sorry ones are NEVER happy.

    Now GM has taken 3rd shift off of my plant. We build pickup trucks there. Most of my people are on 1st shift now. I have had people beg me to run because they are not happy with the woman who has the job. Some went to the shop chairman and told him they wanted me to be their committe person. So Jim came to me and asked me not to run against Lisa. Offered to give me a job down at the training center instead. That would be teacing a class in our education center instead of working in the plant. I thought if he only knew I didn't want the job he'd realize he didn't have to make me that offer. I agreed and was pleased the way God worked it out.
    The one thing that I really loved about the job was when you helped people and they were truely appreciative. Made some new friends. Also the money was 3 times what I made working the line because of the overtime. I represented Janitor Mantiance and Booth cleaners who worked 12 hours/7 days including holidays.

    I had my reserves about what I owed my employer in terms of the employee/employer relationship according to the Bible but am I going to discuss that with exscentric.
     
  13. Timtoolman

    Timtoolman
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,403
    Likes Received:
    0
    Had that discussion with my brother who is a plant manager in Ohio. My reasoning was that unions where allowed by law and their purpose was to protect workers rights. I mean if your employer is not a christian who takes the Bible as the authority then you are not going to get the employer's attitude right with the employee.

    Another thing is that there is no Mr GM to go to to address injustices or problems. YOu can't go to the president of GM and settle things. I believe that since it is a corporation and that we as a huge group of people who meet with a board of managements desire (labor relations). we then hammer out what each other expects.

    I will say that right in the last 5 or 6 years now GM has no respect or thought for the people who work in their plants. I deal with so many pay issuses, mostly because the foremens do not do their job, that take months to settle. Now if you didn't get paid for the work you preformed last week and didn't get it until 5 or 6 weeks later would you have a problem with that. I had a man who they took 2 weeks vacation away from him. Took me 8 months for GM to get it straight for him! They didn't care that he couldn't use his vacation. He got paid for it the next year but didn't get to use it. He was a family man and wanted to use it for family events. Son's games etc. Now he did get paid but they held his money for 4 months into the next year. Do they have to pay a penality, was their interest on that? Nope, its just too bad and we (GM management) will get too it when we can.
    In order to save money our plants tooling has taken a big hit because the plant manager refuses to order new tools. Instead making employees push heavy guns around on pully's that are broken or bound up, guns that run so slow because the are worn out that people have to run to finish their job.
    That is some of the issues I have had to deal with.

    What think you?
     
  14. Timtoolman

    Timtoolman
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,403
    Likes Received:
    0
    Utimately I think that is what I tried to do but that has to be said by the people. I know there are times that I have failed but have tried to remain consistant in manner to all.

    I am honest with people in that I tell them GM is your boss not the union. Yes you have to do what they say and if it is uncontractual then we write a grievence. That is the procedure. Or you have nothing, if you think you do here is the contract let me know which one you think they have violated. I say I could be wrong, if you can find it give me another call and I will be back to represent you. Never have heard back from one of those.

    I remember years ago (around 9 or 10) our last preacher preach a message in which he said unions were the cause of american families break up and the downfall of america as a whole. I guess I should say a big part of the reason, maybe not the main.
     
  15. exscentric

    exscentric
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2004
    Messages:
    4,253
    Likes Received:
    16
    rivers1222 mentioned: "The key word in your quote is "IF"."

    :) that's why I included it :) --- wasn't sure how ya'll interpret all them passages. From what I've read thus far I'm not sure how you could miss the similarities however - it seems many today feel they are slaves to corporate America :)

    timtoolman: "My reasoning was that unions where allowed by law and their purpose was to protect workers rights."

    But the gov. allows abortion so that isn't necessarily a good reason - just because it is allowed. (Not relating unions to abortion at all :)

    As to injustice in the workplace - we are responsible to live our Christian life by the Bible - injustice will be dealt with by God.

    I think humility relates to the discussion, seeking first the kingdom of God might relate - not fixating on this life and gains within it.

    I am just interested in chewing on this subject.

    I Pet. 2.18 seems to tell the servant to do a good job whether it is a good or bad master. "Servants, [be] subject to [your] masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. 19 For this [is] thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully."

    Me wife works for the gov. and they allow you to not join the union but you have to pay the union what they call fair share for the supposed gains they make for you (not sure how that relates to the three year pay freeze they agreed to however :) but they return a portion of it so you don't have to be involved in the political contributions that they make.

    There may be a strike in the future, but even I don't think the union is quite THAT stupid right now.
     
  16. Ben W

    Ben W
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2002
    Messages:
    8,868
    Likes Received:
    0
    In the paint factory where I currently work, there are two unions, one in the factory and one the distribution plant, in my opinion, one is certainley worse than the other for making malicious complaints against the company that are unreasonable, it is that kind of behaviour that puts people out of unions, wheras the other union is genrally reasonable and not as intimidating.

    If I was transferred to the Factory section, I would think about joining, if I was sent to the Distribution section there is no way I would join, and the attitude from the workers is that it is a closed shop which is illegal anyway, so there would be bound to be grief and agression, resultingly I would probably just look elsewhere for work.

    In Australia the Union heavilly backs the Labor party and preferences to the Greens in most cases. I vote for the Family First party who are a Christian party like the Constiution Party in the U.S. I think this is the problem with Unions, they cannot assume all workers will vote for their preffered party, and their actions can upset people who vote for another group. I would expect to come across material from the union sledging my choice of political party which I would not be happy to put up with.
     
  17. Aaron

    Aaron
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2000
    Messages:
    15,666
    Likes Received:
    225
    No Christian should be involved in a labor union.

    exscentric,
    The key word in your quote is "IF".
    </font>[/QUOTE]They do apply.
     
  18. rivers1222

    rivers1222
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    0
    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Originally posted by rivers1222:

    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Originally posted by exscentric:
    Just for the mix.

    "IF" you hold that the passages in the epistles for slaves/masters, apply to employee/employer relationships, how could you go on strike? Wouldn't it be going against the relationship you are supposed to be upholding?
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    exscentric,
    The key word in your quote is "IF".
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    They do apply.

    ---------------------------------

    Aaron,
    Scriptual support please.
     
  19. Timtoolman

    Timtoolman
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,403
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can a christian do a good job and still practice his rights negotiated with the company? I think so. There is still plenty of wrongfullness going on and make no mistake about it...GM does what they want regardless of a contract at times. That leaves the employee to not do his job to the best of his ability or quit.
     
  20. Timtoolman

    Timtoolman
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,403
    Likes Received:
    0
    Aaron, go ahead you have my attention. Give your scriptural reason. Aaron says so is nothing to me.

    Tim
     

Share This Page

Loading...