February 10, 2012 — With collective bargaining issues being in the news recently I’ve received several inquiries from TS reps expressing a desire to have a dialog in an open forum to discuss whether or not there should be some sort of Union for TS marketing and sales reps.
So here’s the scoop. When I was approached on this topic, and after some pondering, I considered writing a humorous take on the subject. But then it dawned on me that having been in this business for decades I honestly don’t know of one (1) rep who has received the proverbial ‘Gold Watch’ and is now living the ‘good life’ on their earned company retirement plan.
As such I decided to proceed with today’s piece absent the humor and will briefly begin with the timeshare developers, since they may not be opposed to a union type organization for TS reps as they, too, have a ‘collective bargaining’ arrangement through ARDA (American Developments Association), their own industry Association.
That association, in part, serves this benevolent and/or fraternal group and provides them certain benefits, features and opportunities not available to non-members and/or the ‘general-public’! You know, kind of like a ‘Union’!
Next on my list would be Timeshare Owners. When you think about it they, too, are involved in a collective bargaining organization as when they become owners they are part of a pre-negotiated process that provides owners benefits and features including certain rights, guarantees, etc. in order to satisfy their vacation lifestyles. Again, kind of like a ‘Union’!
‘Collective Bargaining’, specifically from a legal perspective, traditionally applies to the relationship between employers and their employees in order to set wages, hours and days to be worked, promotions, benefits, retirement plans and other employment terms/conditions as well as establishing the procedures to be followed for handling disputes, etc.
There are those individuals and corporations who vehemently oppose all forms of collective bargaining or Unions, etc., just as there are others who’ll gladly point out historically factual events demonstrating the benefits to both ‘workers’ and the ‘general public’ as an indicator as to why Unions are necessary and good.
Regardless of which perspective one holds, and knowing that the topic of a Union for TS reps has been around for many years and for some is a sore subject, I’m going to toss out a few ideas to kick around for those interested.
- Any rep that is forced to take an N.Q. is to be paid, for their time, their ‘average’ commission (per deal) for ‘touring’ said NQ’s as the rep was denied the opportunity to earn an income during the course of their work schedule.
- All paychecks that are handed out on payday at the end of the business day, usually on Friday and after the banks have closed, are to include an inconvenience ‘banking’ bonus of 15%.
- Sales representatives are to be ‘vested’ and paid a percentage of all closing costs collected, all annual maintenance paid (throughout the life of the timeshare owner’s contract) and a percentage of all future ‘special-assessments’ their developer levies against the reps’ clients.
- Reps are to be paid a percentage of all exchange fees/dues, etc. paid by owners including a percentage on all travel products purchased (airfare, cruises, car-rents, nightly stays etc.) through the exchange companies. And also a percentage on all future ‘special-assessments’.
Okay, I could go on but let me end with an example of Corporal “Radar” O’Reilly played by Gary Burghoff in the very popular movie and T.V. series “MASH” (actually, I mean “Radar’s” real life counter-part, a company clerk in the U.S. Army).
In the real world that company clerk, if he/she joined at age 18 and then put in their ‘time’ in the U.S. Army and retired at age 38, will draw a check, month in and month out for the rest of their lives. If said now-former company clerk lives to 78 years of age that ‘retirement income’ will come in for 40 years!
Point being is that when you really think about it the idea of ‘collective bargaining’ arrangements are not so ‘odd’ as some people may think. So perhaps it is time for TS marketing and sales reps to get their acts together and come up with some sort of an Association and/or Union to protect their careers, etc.
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