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Better red?

So this afternoon I joined the UCU, but I'm not entirely sure why. They cost £20 a month, I don't expect to need their services, and I fear that I'm just paying for another bunch of politicians. On the other hand, most people who speak out against unions also seem to hold unambiguously awful beliefs. On the other hand, that's ad hominem. On the other hand, life without unions seems like it would be worse for everyone. On the other hand, maybe that's a belief attributable to the European socialist hell-hole in which I live and/or the Trotskyite friends with whom I associate. On the other hand, it's my understanding that industries with stronger unions get better conditions. On the other hand, my membership isn't going to make any appreciable difference, so I could just as easily freeload on whatever benefits the unionisation of my colleagues might provide. On the other hand, that's unethical. On the other hand, that's magical thinking. On the other hand, so's voting in elections, and I still consider that better than the alternative. On the other hand, I don't have to pay to vote in elections. That's a squid's-worth of hands just to summarise my uncertainty, and it still doesn't quite plumb its depths.

I realise that I think of it in a similar way to my pension (which is ironic, given that pensions are the current bone of contention for all public sector unions), in that it's something that I pay for without believing its promises, but I still I deem it, on balance, to be better than the alternative. Damn, I genuinely can't tell whether that's being cynical or optimistic, about either option. I may have over-thought this, Perhaps going to the pub will help...



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 23rd, 2011 08:19 am (UTC)
You never need a union until you do. Someone less secure and able will benefit from your participation. And (shock horror) it's a very grown up step to take. All Scary-But-Good.
Nov. 23rd, 2011 09:32 am (UTC)
Think of it as a charitable donation to a charity you are quite likely to need at some point in your life as well as an organisation that make life better for everyone who doesn't run a large business.
Nov. 23rd, 2011 12:07 pm (UTC)
Better hang together or assuredly we will all hang separately
As Ben Franklin is supposed to have said.

Nothin' wrong with unions. Not that they're a panacea or anything but on balance better to have them than not.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


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