bust em up
In the main topic area, I have been ranting on unions lately, and I think I should explain why I have such hatred for unions.
I worked in a number of unions in my years being on this planet. My first foray into the world of legalized extortion came when I worked on a Government contract installing public utilities. To work for the government you had to be in a union. It did not say what union it had to be, so my company chose a different union than the local chapter.
So we got picketed. I remember having a guy standing over me as I was working hooking up a natural gas line and had him screaming at me, all the time he was standing there with a lit cig and endangering my life. We called the police, but was told there was nothing they could do. So for two weeks these guys put not only MY life, but the lives of many other people in danger for their "right" to picket my workplace.
It did not stop there though. We would come in to work and find our equipment dangerously sabotaged. One morning, the lug nuts had been loosened on my work truck, had I not been diligent about inspecting the truck each morning me and my crew could have been killed.
My next round came when I worked in the public school system. They took my monthly dues, no matter if I wanted them to or not. Oh, they game me a choice to not be in the union, but they were going to take my dues anyway. Then, they took those same dues and used them to support government legislation that ultimately led to my job being taken away. There was no defense for me, I was let go unceremoniously and left without the 2 years of dues I paid for nothing.
Unions had a purpose at one point, and they could still have a purpose again, but the unyielding attitude of the people who are members of those unions need to change. The days of the union caring about the workers are over, they are some of the most powerful organizations in the United States and are certainly more powerful than the very CEOs that end up hiring their workers. Something is terribly wrong with that.
Are you man enough? Eric Berry? Apparently Not!
bust em up
Play Goal line blitz for FREE
Kind of like a Madden sim but way more involved. Create players, develop them, own teams, build stadiums, GM teams, ect.
They still serve a far bigger purpose than most would like to admit.
Just as things were prior to unionization, things would dwindle back to that same level without the unions.
Are the unions currently working as intended?
Union workers should not be picketing other union workers, and should certainly not be playing as dangerously as you described in any situation.
But those are individual acts. Representatives of a union, yes. But acting on their own.
Your experience with the school system I don't know about. I have to imagine that they lobbied for a law that helped more union workers than it hurt, and you were just unfortunate enough to have been in a bad position.
But I know that most unions still serve the workers, because that's who the union is. And because every time I see them do something, I can hear all the complaints about how dirty it is that they helped themselves.
As I said, I acknowledge that there is some dirt in the unions. A lot of it comes from having to play the game that corporates are going to play against them. ALot of it is just a bad element of people. (You'll find that anywhere.)
But, unless you are higher up on the management ladder, or self-employed, the union does help you.
Even if you are self-employed, in a field that competes with a union, then you can thank that union for raising the rates that non-union companies get to make.
If you work in a field with no unions to compete against, you can still thank unions for raising the expected pay of all labor.
You have issues with unions? I understand that.
But, without them, it's only a matter of time before we are at each other's throats for illegal immigrant wages, then Chinese labor wages.
There are four choices. 1.) Accept or support unionization. 2.) Accept slave wages. 3.) Pray for socialism to do the job left behind by fallen unions. 4.) Become one of the elites who exploit the rest of the nation.
We all know that big business is about profits. And we should all know that the well-being of those who work for them is of no concern to the profit margins.
Unions. I don't love them. But I sure like them a lot better than the alternatives.
PS. Thanks for moving the discussion to a new thread. I thought about it after I posted lastnight. But it was late, and I needed to get to bed.
We recently had a vote to get more union in or kick them out at Delta for ACS as well as flight attendants...We voted them out. It came from Northwest union guys. They wanted the union in. It pisses me off so much, these guys are so lazy its ridiculus. They are still under union contracts from a bit longer. I can't wait till its all said and done. Alot of these guys will be out the door then.
i am not a big fan of unions though i will admit they do serve a necessary purpose[to protect employees from the greed of industry]. they sank our steel industry when us steel saw japan taking over the world steel market they told the union they need to retool all of the plants to convert to a cold rolled steel process in order to compete. they gave them a choice to take a pay cut or close down......the union chose unemployment!!! all i can say is if my employer said take a pay cut while we gut all of our stores to remodel in order to stay in business i would say ok, while i started looking for another job.
They serve a purpose when things are all well and good but the situation in Wisconsin is dire as well as in our country right now. IMO, unions are bad for everyone involved, including union members, in this day and age.
As for higher wages, they lobby to get those higher wages and benefits while stiff arming their employers to make it happen. The problem here is that the union takes away all incentive for the worker to work harder. Since everyone gets the same wage and the union more or less controls who gets advanced and who stays a lowly laborer, there is no incentive.
Nor would the employer be inclined to provide an incentive since the employees are already overpaid to begin with. You have to admit, when an autoworker's average salary is $40 plus another $33 for benefits that amounts to a compensation package of over $70 per hour. Why is that too much? Because it raises the price of the vehicle to a point that most of the rest of us cannot afford to buy one.
The issue that is going on in Winsconsin right now drives the point home even further. The states in the union cannot afford to pay their workers high salaries AND all the benefits they have been getting, but as long as the politicians are in teh pocket of the union, that will continue to happen to a point where we are all taxed to death in order to pay for the out of control labor monster. The workers do not appreciate what they have and they certainly have no incentive to do a good job, have you ever been to the Department of Motor Vehicles?
We have to get this monster under control. Bust them up and let them reform, limit their ability to donate money to political causes, do something in order to get this under control so we do not end up like France, Greece, or Spain.
Are you man enough? Eric Berry? Apparently Not!
First, the average UAW worker's salary is nowhere near $40 an hour. I am not sure that there are any UAW workers that make $30 an hour. I am pretty sure that the top of the scale is at $28 an hour.
And the benefits would generally round to less than $10 an hour. Far from $33.
But I absolutely agree have to admit, if you make up crazy numbers, then it looks like a lot.
As a six year veteran with The UAW, my hourly wage, with benefits factored in, is at $25.20 an hour. That is the top end here, and includes the two advancements that I have made to a better job and labor grade.
But that is dealing in reality. If you prefer to go with that $73 an hour estimate, then I have to include that that still isn't enough for each employee to own and maintain the unicorns that are required to keep their jobs.
Deal in fantasy, or deal in reality?
As for the laziness claims, I worked as a non-union construction worker for about ten years prior to landing with The UAW.
Nobody who has ever worked with, or around, me has ever tried to make any claims of laziness at me. A lot of things could be said of me. But that has never been one of them. I have always been extremely competitive with what I am working on. And always managed to be as good as the very best.
I see the same thing that everybody else does, with workers sitting around.... reading the paper during their work hours... and everybody just goes straight for the easy target, of laziness.
The vast majority of the time, that isn't the case at all. And I will explain.
On an assembly line, which is how most big businesses build their products, an employee is put in one location, and asked to do a specific job when the product gets to them.
But, what are they asked to do when they finish and the next product isn't there yet? Clean?
Well, there is almost always an outsourced cleaning company that does that every day. And there is rarely any cleaning that an employee is even allowed to do.
Sweep? Mop? Then what?
As for places like The DMV, they too have a veary slow process to deal with. Such and such of form has to be passed by some manager, who happens to be dealing with such and such other issues, leaving the employee waiting and waiting. Then, they have some other issue to wait out.
But, from an outsider's perspective, it's so much easier to just assume that the worker is lazy, as opposed to actually finding our all of the details.
In most cases, it isn't employee laziness that is responsible for what we are calling employee laziness. It's ineffective, or slow processes, set-up by poor management.
Now, the reason that management doesn't work to improve that is because those at that level who could be deemed responsible for an ineffective process just blame employee laziness.
And we all know how popular it is to accept that employees are lazy, don't we?
As I said, I know laziness. And I do see lazy employees. But, with the way the processes are being set-up, even the laziest employee won't be able to have an effect. And, as a leader of a crew about to go hang drywall in a new house, nine out of ten of the "lazy" UAW workers I have seen are diligent enough to make up a top notch drywall crew.
The belief is that The UAW protects those lazy employees and forces the companies that they work for to keep them employed.
That is flat-out wrong.
If an employee is bad at their job, and even if they aren't, the company can, and will, get rid of them, if they want to.
The UAW only persists that the employee be given a shot to prove that they can be useful to the company in another spot on the job. Afterall, not every 90 lb. woman is going to excel at lifting hundreds of 30 lb. parts all day long. But they might well be able to keep up with tightening a thousand bolts in that day.
I can't begin to tell you how many lazy workers I have seen get themselves fired, or just quit, since I have been with The UAW and Caterpillar. But it is far harder to be lazy and keep the job. Those people are quite rare.
When an employee needs to be gotten rid of, they can be dealt with. But it is easier to just claim that "the workers are lazy". Easier, or as some may say, lazier.
I know laziness when I see it. Just stop by my house when the sink is full and dishes need to be done.
But I also know a hard working person when I work with them.
And, if you need a house built quickly, and your choices are to have a crew of thirty from management, or from labor, there is only one way to get the house built.
If you assemble a team of thirty workers together, with no management, a couple of the workers will show their managerial skills.
If you assemble thirty managers together, a couple will show that they have labor skills.
If you need a job done, what do you need more of?
Unions are more vital when things are going bad.
Look, who gains from having massive unemployment levels?
Is it the government, who has to find a way to help millions out of work, or expect crime levels to bring the government down?
Is it the workers, who will do just about anything just to find even the crappiest of jobs?
Or is it employers who now have hundreds of applicants willing to do just about anything, and accept just about any kind of treatment, for the crappy job that they are now offering?
Hard times are when worker solidarity is needed the most. Now, when the employers are at their greatest advantage, is when people need to demand be treated like a part of the team, instead of like tools that are cats aside when a cheaper tool comes along.
Stand together, as opposed to preparing to fight amongst ourselves for whatever scraps the owners are willing to allow us, or we can prepare to compete against the price of Chinese labor.
Who is ready to go to work for $1.25 an hour?
As for Wisconsin, raise taxes.
People demand to get their kids educated, but the teachers have to make a living.
We demand free usage and frequent repairs to our roads, but no one can do that work for free.
You have to pay the people to do the job. And you have to pay them right. The fact that someone is willing to do the job for less than what it takes to make a reasonable living should not factor in at all.
When Caterpillar Inc. had their last contract talks, the same type of offer was made, either take pay-cuts, or watch as the jobs moved away.
The UAW voted to accept the pay-cuts.
Then, the jobs went away, as threatened, anyway.
As a newer employee, I was laid-off for almost a year and a half. I got called back just before the plant moved the final part of their assembly line.
Had it not been for the number of UAW employees with higher seniority having retired, they would have been laying me off again.
Thank God I had enough seniority to cling to a job, because hard work makes no difference to large employers. They have no way to gauge that. Unless you want to count low-level managers' friendships as a measure of working ability.
Not only are owners willing to lie, cheat and steal to get what they want, it's basic practice.
But if a company can not compete while paying fair wages to employees, then they should not be competing. That includes every company that has moved operations overseas. If you have to move your operations to use slave labor, just to compete, then you should not compete.
Unions certainly play a part in pricing themselves out of business. Just as non-union labor does.
But taking wages that do not provide for the employees to a part of what America is all about is hardly something that any worker should be forced to do.
Make no doubt about it, employers are dying to get you to take the blame off of them, and focus it on the working men and women of the unions.
They can't wait to not have to pay fair wages to employees.Alls o that they can make a better profit for the stock-holders.
Good business, right?
Just remember that those are the same people who told us all that you have to work for everything you get. But, how hard does a stock-holder work for it?
The trick is to get other people to work hard for everything you get. Just ask a stock broker.
Last edited by chief31; 02-19-2011 at 01:27 PM.
How is the Motor city doing?
The Union is dying.