The Phileas Club 109 – Unions and The World


On this episode we talk about:

  • Strikes in France, state of the government
  • Swedish academy scandals, corruption in governments
  • Ramadan in Saudi Arabia
  • Immigration in Germany

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  1. Elanzize says:

    Very interesting show as usual. I really like the part about France. Being french myself, it is soooo frustrating to hear what people around the world think about France “strike culture”. We absolutely need a France special about France strike culture to understand why our country is like this. It could be a very captivating conversation about social and historical topics. Since it’s Mai 68 50th anniversary I think it would be great !

    To be fair it would need different points of views though. If you need a lefty person, like a Hamon person (yeah 6,36% feelsbadman) working for a start-up (Macron –> Start-up nation) I’m your guys haha

    Oh and I’m 24 so yeah I don’t remember what I was doing the day of 9/11

  2. Unions in the US are required to negotiate for the entire workforce at a company, not just for its members. That creates the “Free Rider” problem where workers can benefit from the union’s negotiations, without joining and paying dues. Over time, this situation results in fewer and fewer workers joining the union and paying dues (but they still get the benefits), until the union loses power. Why would a company care if 5% of its workforce strikes? It could just fire them and hire non-union members.

    Some states allow a union to compel new hires to join a union. California is one of these states. A union can sign an agreement with a company that prohibits the company from hiring non-union members. This creates a REALLY effective union, and eliminates the Free Rider problem.

    Other states prohibit such an agreement. These are the “Right to Work” states. Texas (where I am) is one of those states.

    What typically results is that Right to Work states have almost no unions. We have a teacher’s union in Texas, and a handful of others, but that’s about it. Non Right to Work states have a vibrant union culture.

    In recent years, more states have gone Right to Work, and more and more jobs have located in Right to Work states (for obvious reasons). Detroit used to be the automobile capital of the US, with a vibrant union culture. Now, new car factories are built Right to Work states.

    Hope that helps. We have unions, and they’re very effective, but recent moves have been less labor-friendly.

    Also, you don’t owe anyone an apology for flying with a baby. Babies act how they act. As long as you’re making an effort, you don’t owe anyone an apology or earplugs. No need to apologize life.

    • patrick says:

      That makes sense I suppose… Thanks for the details Jason! The interesting thing is that in France we have a similar situation to the “right to work” states I think, and we still have a very strong union / protest / strike culture.

      • Americans will only strike as a last resort. I imagine the French with a selection of picket signs in the trunk of every car. 🙂

      • patrick says:

        You might not be entirely wrong there… 🙂

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