Unionization and Access?


As I was browsing through the archives of Scott Rain?s blog, I happened across an interesting entry about SIEU and access.

It seems that Scott received a Justice for All e-mail asking folks to forward their bad LAX wheelchair-assist experiences to the local SIEU representative.

That really got me thinking.

Granted the situation at LAX is not good in regards Aero Port Services, a non-union company that provides wheelchair assistance.

But I have to ask, would it be better or worse if they unionized?

The big problem appears to be an apparent lack of adequate training. Although Aero Port Services says that they have provided training, there are a number of reports about unsafe practices. I expect employees just aren?t getting enough training. Or that there is such a huge turnover that the new employees are not trained immediately when they start. And no, that?s not a good thing and it needs to be corrected.

But if Aero Port Services were to unionize, then it would become more difficult for the them to get rid of employees who don?t follow the proper procedures. A private company can hire and fire at will, but union companies have lots of hoops to jump through before they can actually terminate employees. And I can?t really see that as being good for the customers in the long run.

Yes, Aero Port Services needs to provide more extensive training, and they need to follow through and make sure their employees are using safe practices. And if they aren?t, then they need to be able to fire them, so they won?t hurt anybody. And I can?t see that happening, or at least happening swiftly, in a union environment. It just takes too long to get rid of bad employees.

So no, I don?t think unionization is the answer, at least not in this case. But more training is definitely in order.