YspeopleExplore tab

Are unions as bad as business?

About Subversive

Do you have your own gripe with your local or state government? And what are the streets like in your part of town, in your home state?

If you'd like me to fire a rocket up them, or a shoddy business, I'm listening! You can email me here.

Employer unions, employee unions or unethical business. Who's worse?

Criticism of unions is ubiquitous. It seems that support for them is falling faster than their memberships – and in some cases, deservedly so.

Who's worse, member unions or business? Picture: Supplied.

Who's worse, member unions or business? Picture: Supplied

There are certainly some unions exhibiting behaviour that does their staff, members and community no favours at all.

Among the unions with the most to answer for are the CFMEU, AMA, The Pharmacy Guild and the Business Council of Australia.

There have been any number reports of appalling behaviour by the CFMEU. While I do not buy the Federal Governments view that the CFMEU owns the ALP', I certainly buy their criticism of the union.

Many do not consider the Australian Medical Association and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia unions, but unions they are. They aggressively represent their members, even when they are pretending to argue for what is best for the community. There is surely no more self-interested union than these two.

The Business Council of Australia represents businesses responsible for some of the most unethical behaviour imaginable. It is a union, as are the chambers of commerce and industry. These organisations are doing all they can to deliver as much as they can for their members. They are unions!

They are all unions and they all represent members who have unenviable records in terms of unethical behaviour. Consider, for example:

  • Coca-Cola Amatil selling a soft drink with six spoons full of sugar to children
  • Coles having to pay $12 million dollars after pressuring suppliers
  • Optus having to pay a $3 million fine after being found guilty of misleading advertising
  • BHP Billiton having not treated victims of the Samarco dam slide as well as they could
  • McDonalds and Hungry Jack's actively contributing to the obesity epidemic
  • Pharmacists selling homeopathic remedies that are not proven to offer any beneficial effects
  • The long list of complaints about and problems with the Commonwealth Bank
  • And the list goes on and on.

    This short list and the much-extended one are, for me, evidence that no matter how bad employee unions may be:

  • There are any number of employer unions that are no better
  • Business is every bit as unethical and poorly behaved as any trade union
  • Frankly, I see no difference between an employee union and an employer union. Both are doing what they can for their members, irrespective of the impact that may have on other segments of the community. In a sense, that is the job of all unions – employer and employee. Further, I would argue that the more self-righteous the union, the worse they are likely to be – and the AMA and Business Council of Australia are as self-righteous as unions get.

    Not all businesses are unethical. But equally, not all unions are unethical. There are good unions and bad unions – ethical businesses and unethical businesses. There is good and bad in each group. Further, I would argue that the community and government puts far more effort  into attacking unions that it does poorly behaving businesses.  

    The current Federal Government is all too eager to attack any union, or the movement as a whole, while resisting a royal commission into the banks.

    I saw no problems with the building industry royal commission. I think one into the banks is every bit as justified. 

    Banner 1
    | Your rating
    No ratings yet

    Related stories

    Who's worse, member unions or business? Picture: Supplied.

    Are unions as bad as business?

    Employer unions, employee unions or unethical business. Who's worse?

    Money Work Politics
    11 months ago
    They may be hideous, but geez, some toby jugs are valuable.

    Is your toby jug worth a fortune?


    Did you know that some of those crusty-looking old toby jugs hidden in mum's china cabinet may be worth some serious coin?

    Money Ageing
    11 months ago

    Women cheat on men who don't do house chores: study

    Women are more likely to cheat on men who fail to pull their weight when it comes to household chores, according to a major...

    Work Relationships
    Originally from telegraph.co.uk
    11 months ago
    (Love & Relationships)
    Embrace training to stay relevant in an ever-changing workplace.

    How to stay relevant at work


    Companies are moving toward automation over human skills. Here's what you need to do to stay relevant at work.

    Money Work
    11 months ago
    (Ys Comment)
    Walt Disney Shopping World and some delightful beer.

    On This Day: March 22

    Plenty of important moments in history took place on March 22 -- in the fields of politics, exploration, music, sports and more!

    Culture Sport History Politics Celebrities
    About 1 year ago
    Are you wasting valuable time in the kitchen? Picture: Shutterstock.

    Clever hacks take stress out of meal times

    The secret to saving time in the kitchen lies in a bit of clever planning.

    Money Food Cooking Health
    About 1 year ago
    Annie and Alcatraz.

    On This Day: March 21

    March 21 is a day packed with historic action. Check out what happened here.

    Culture Sport History Politics Celebrities
    About 1 year ago
    Do you have a canny tip for saving money.

    Share your money-saving hacks here

    Everyone loves to save a dollar or two when they can. Do you have any money-saving tips to share with your YsFriends?

    About 1 year ago
    (Money & Business)
    Colonel Sanders and General McArthur.

    On This Day: March 20

    What do Michael Jackson, General Douglas Macarthur and Princess Anne have in common? A connection to March 20.

    Culture Sport History Politics Celebrities
    About 1 year ago
    Sean Connery and the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

    On This Day: March 19

    History's a wondrous thing, providing so much for us all to learn from. Check out what happened on this day.

    Culture Sport History Politics Celebrities
    About 1 year ago

    Message board

    Derek, 11 months ago:
    I am great
    George, 11 months ago:
    What's up Thomas?
    George, 11 months ago:
    Messages are now updated in real time on other browsers.
    Thomas, 11 months ago:
    Thomas, 12 months ago:
    DJC, 12 months ago:
    George, 12 months ago:
    Message board active from June 2018

    Have your say!

    Your Great Australians

    Trending stories
    When it comes to great bloggers you can connect with, this list has you covered.

    20 mature bloggers worth following

    Looking for Australian...

    (Entertainment & Culture) About 2 years ago
    They may be hideous, but geez, some toby jugs are valuable.

    Is your toby jug worth a fortune?

    Did you know that some of...

    (Nostalgia) 11 months ago
    When it comes to condoms, what happened to the old adage, ''if it's not on, it's not on''?.

    Let's talk about sex, Baby Boomers

    We want to talk about safe...

    (Ys Comment) Over 1 year ago
    Sammy's no slouch when it comes to rattling cages.

    Connect on hotelnepal ... and make new friends

    This blogger may be shy,...

    (Pastimes) About 2 years ago
    JB Hi-Fi is on the money when it comes to customer service.

    JB Hi-Fi Vs Harvey Norman

    When it comes to comparing...

    (Money & Business) Over 2 years ago
    Weekly Poll
    Photographic memories
    It's 35 years since the Ash Wednesday bushfires in South Australia and Victoria claimed 75 lives and more than 2500 buildings.