As promised here’s an excerpt from Dr. Kincaid’s monograph “Guilds of the League.” Dr. Kincaid writes:
“One of the most critical yet least understood [by visitors or immigrants] is the difference between unions and [the] Guilds.
“The League certainly has no dearth of trade and labor unions, though not nearly as many nor as politically powerful as our neighbors in Grakis Major. The typical union is value-positive for its members but value-neutral or even value-negative for companies employing those members. Bottom line: unions benefit their members and that’s about it.
“The Unified Guilds are different. While they do act on behalf of their members in ways similar to trade unions they act as much or more on behalf of those who employ Guild members. Guild membership is NEVER required by League statute and planetary governments are discouraged from passing such regulation on local levels. This is because of what the Guilds offer.
“The Guilds offer three benefits to those who take advantage of their services: certification, membership and sanction*. (Sanction in this regard refers to favorable sanction and not punitive!) Any person who is Guild-certified is guaranteed to have passed a consistent, thorough and comprehensive curriculum in their area of certification. It’s good League-wide and it is consistent League-wide.
“Guild members are expected to hold and maintain a consistently high quality in their work. And, in the case of the Merchant’s Guild, an exacting ethical standard. They are also required to honor the Article directive of universal access. This means that even the most heinous criminal guilty of the worst atrocities imaginable can ask for [medical] assistance from a Guild Healer and can expect him or her to do his or her utmost to save and preserve [the criminal’s] life.
“[Favorable] Guild sanction is a bit trickier and is typically applied at the planetary, systemic or governmental level. Granting Guild sanction allows the Guilds to operate outside of and on behalf of the League just as though they were inside it. Or, proper sanction allows concerns outside the League to operate within it.
“The best example I can think of regarding Guild sanction is Erin’s. Even though Erin’s originates and is domiciled in Grakis Minor it is allowed to operate as though it is League-native. It avoids most of the tariffs imposed on foreign companies in return for its guarantee to operate strictly according to relevant League statutes and standards.”
— F. R. Kincaid, PhD, ArG
This was excerpted from the introduction of Dr. Kincaid’s text. I’ll be excerpting and re-posting more of his work as I’m able. Read more about the League and its Guilds in “A Pattern of Details” (http://amazon.com/author/jamescoxjr).