Not that engineers belong to unions (I don't), but that because of the tireless efforts of union bosses, engineers have never had more more work to do. You might say unions have been at the center of most of our technological advances in our world. After all, had it not been for unions demanding higher and higher pay, more time off, more sick days, earlier retirement with higher payouts, restrictions on who can be fired or laid-off when the economy is down (etc. etc etc.) we would not have robots and other automatic machinery that run our assembly lines today. These machines are not cheap to design or build, but when the cost of human effort reaches a certain cost-effectiveness point, the engineers get called and the technology is advanced. The machines are cost-effective because they don't call in sick, they don't leave early on Friday, they don't retire, the don't get tired, the don't get hung-over during the weekend and they NEVER do a half-ass job. See any automaker today and you see robots welding, lifting parts, moving them from one end of the factor to another, painting, bolting and even inspecting the work done.
And this is not just in the auto-industry either. Take the following examples:
- The electrical meter reading job. No longer do you see men/women walking from house to house to read your electrical or gas meters. Now replaced with "smart meters" they can be read from satellite or from the radio tower miles away.
- The delivery service has been automated to with boxes outfitted with RF decoders and bar-code scanners to sort and move boxes and letters to their destinations.
- Automated bank tellers. Yes, those pesky ATM machines that our president so hates (blames for high unemployment) that handle most of our banking needs from getting cash, to making deposits, to paying bills and transferring money.
- Land surveyors who used to work in teams of 2 now have GPS and laser equipment to help them do their work alone.
- Grocery stores now have automated lines allowing customers to check out themselves without the need of a store clerk.
- Tollway booths can be reduced thanks to wi-fi systems that allow drivers to wiz through them and charge their credit cards automatically rather than wait in long lines to pay a person money
And the list goes on and on...
All of these have been created largely in response to union demands. You might even say the unions "demanded" these technological marvels be created
So, here's one engineer who would like to say "Thank you" to all the union bosses out there that have made my job in high demand. Keep up the good work!