In union there is strength, a lesson the geek never seems to learn. How else do you suppose a day laborer can out-match the billionaire in politics?
Yes, and "union" is nearly as useful as "struct."
Geek humor aside, I am not actually against unions, but I am against making union membership mandatory. In an ideal world, labor vs. management would be a perfect balance. However, bad things happen when one side gets more power over the other. If management is too powerful, poor working conditions and poor wages may result. If unions become too powerful, then the actual competitiveness of the company can be impacted.
I used to work for a company who is currently known for making a cell phone spy tower named after a flat marine animal. This was well over a decade ago. I had helped design an electronic module used to help test a fighter aircraft. I debugged this card. I touched it, hooked it up to test equipment, had test wires soldered to it, and had an intimate understanding of how it functioned.
Fast forward to when the cards are debugged, so I help deliver this stuff to the customer (big airplane company in Seattle). The technicians were all unionized, which is fine. However, as a part of the union contract, the engineers were not even allowed to TOUCH the equipment. So, I handled this stuff extensively back in Florida, but suddenly I am not allowed to even plug in a cable in Washington. This means that working extra hours to get the job done was NOT an option, since the tech was not approved for overtime.
Sorry, but that SUCKED! Tech deserve to be paid fairly, and they are cheaper than engineers, so it makes sense to use them when they can do the job. But, to say that engineers cannot even touch the equipment that they design is completely asinine, and it means that even if the test setup only needs to be changed every hour or two, the company still needed to pay a technician to be there (extra money), or you have to wait for one to show up (slowing down testing). That is the kind of crap that leaves a bad taste in my mouth when it comes to unions. Fair pay and benefits are one thing. Aggressively protecting your job function to the detriment of the company is another.
Should I even mention the union rules that I have broken by moving my own computer and changing the height of my own cube tables? I am sure that I am going to hell for that one.