Union vs Management

here have all the unions gone ... long time passing? They seem to have dropped out of sight since the Reagan administration fired the air traffic controllers. Of course, this situation cannot prevail indefinitely.

There are eternal conflicts involved which preclude the disappearance of union or management. The chief logical block to this happening is called

"Six of one, half dozen of the other".

Let us elaborate ...

When I belonged to the U.A.W. I had this trenchant thought. "Since the union has been in business for a very long time ... and since it collects dues ... and because the automaker corporations are for sale on the stock market ... why hasn't the UAW simply purchased GM, Ford and Chrysler. Perhaps they haven't collected enough money yet ... but still ... are they in the process of buying the company? Do they own some of it anyway? Clearly, a large block of stock could be leveraged during union negotiations. Couldn't it?

Essentially, that would transfer directorship of the company to whom? Exactly ... the union leadership ... which is duly elected by the union throngs ... sounds too good, doesn't it?

Now, you see, you will need some sort of re-union to act as liaison between the union directorship (management) and the electorate (labor). After all, you don't expect to influence the Senate or Congress without a large body politic represented by a political action committee.

By yourself, you are nothing.

So, essentially, you've just traded management teams (and the new one will grow less reponsive to the "people" with the passage of time since they will be concentrating on the business at hand, i.e. making and selling cars). Well, you say you could vote them out of office if they become unresponsive? You mean like politicians? When you vote one of them out of office the new one is more responsive? ... It ain't gonna' happen. Never did. Doesn't now. Never will in the future.

Eternal Antipodes

Labor and Management are eternally at odds. One is thought oriented ... the other physical.

I have learned this from experience. You cannot mix the two successfully. You can't figure out the plan, monitor the plan, and execute the plan on a large scale by yourself. It works allright if you're just building a model airplane ... but not a Boeing 737.

Division of labor is not an option ... it is a clear necessity. Therein lies the trouble.

As each concentrates on close-in aspects of his part of the job, he loses sight of what the other is doing. If he watches closely the other, his own work suffers. They must separate ... yet they must also come together ... if the job is to be done successfully.

The result is eternal ... conflict - resolution - conflict - resolution - conflict - resolution ...

Like an eye which rests fixedly too long on a given object causing it to "disappear", ceaseless interaction is required to "see" what must be done. The conflict generates the resolution and vice versa (another example of Lenz resistance). It comes to an end when the individual project comes to an end, i.e. it is damped out by the "heat" it generates.

So as long as we live in a free market, expect to see a resurgence of unionism (or management favoritism) whenever one becomes diminished.

They are flip sides of the same coin.

Ebtx Home Page