Job security is a sacred goal of organized labor that negotiates for guarantees at every opportunity. What causes secure employment? It is obvious that the ongoing success of a company, in the increasingly competitive global business environment, is the cause of job security and prosperity for all involved. When a company fails, labor-organized or not, guarantees or not, the employees fail as well. Every company must have the best chance to succeed for the benefit of all concerned. Freethinking, contributing, spirited, passionate, and committed employees in an environment that fosters W3 create the best chance.
Company success is the only cause of job security for the collective organization. However, there is an even greater cause of job security for any individual. It is his or her personal reputation and record of achievement. Unfortunately, individual successes and failures are moderated and personal reputations are almost anonymous in many organized labor environments.
“The UAW, which has seen its ranks decline since peaking at 1.5 million in 1979” - “at the end of 2000 had 671,853 members”
That loss closely parallels the loss of market share by the American auto companies.
There are numerous causes for the share loss which are all reflected in those companies’ ability to provide competitive value in their products which in turn is directly related to job security for all involved.
Some believe that job security is a right or a benefit. They seem to believe that it can be negotiated and that it requires little responsibility on their part beyond that which is specifically negotiated in their contract. They target world free trade and the low-labor cost countries as being unfair threats that apparently threaten American jobs and must be excluded or otherwise penalized for that perceived advantage.
The view from the other side, the less developed, low-labor cost countries, could easily be that the industrialized nations, the U.S. in particular, have an unfair advantage in technology and capital availability. Their advantages include their well-known capability to exploit emerging technology and create new and imaginative methods and hardware. Those characteristics provide an advantage over high- labor content. This is particularly true in view of today’s rapidly advancing technology.
“A study by an international consulting firm found that the average labor productivity in the modern sectors in India is 15 percent of that in the United States. In other words, if you hired an average Indian worker and paid him one-fifth of what you paid an average American worker it would cost you more to get a given amount of work done in India than in the United States.”
Isn’t the real answer that imaginative application of advanced technology when teamed with imaginative, effective operation (Yankee ingenuity) should in fact have an overall cost advantage on those low labor cost countries? While direct work content in the production of the product may be reduced, other jobs are created and many other benefits accrue to the overall workforce, not the least of which is company success, even survival - preserving and creating secure and fulfilling jobs.
UAW ranks shrink in 2000 (Midland Daily News April 24, 2001)
Thomas Sowell, Economic illiteracy dangerous to third world, (The Detroit News, July 21,2002)