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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 04-04-2007, 11:31 PM   #21
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50

Simple test - why is any non-union person paid more than minimum wage today?
It is all about free markets.

-ERD50
because unions have raised the average wages, so they can't get away with it so easily.

although they are trying--by moving the jobs overseas (yes, it's all about free markets)

c'mon--a group of people acting in concert (union) have more clout than individuals acting separately. Whether you like it or not, if you are employed by others, you have benefited from the unions.

I'm well aware of the shortcomings of unions--I can't defend them in many ways. But I would sure hate to see them disappear.
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 04-05-2007, 07:55 AM   #22
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bosco
because unions have raised the average wages, so they can't get away with it so easily.
Sure, if a union has enough members in an industry and has raised wages, that will tend to spill over, to the extent that greedy companies need to compete in the job market. If there are higher paying union jobs available, other non-union companies need to compete with those wages (maybe not quite meet them, some workers prefer a non-union environment).

However, my career (engineering, engineering/management) has had almost zero union representation, yet salaries are way above average. Conversely, a lot of people with degrees in areas w/o strong job demand don't get paid very well. So the overall effect of unions was to selectively help me, but not them? How does that work?


Quote:
although they are trying--by moving the jobs overseas (yes, it's all about free markets)
I know it hurts if you are the one replaced, but I still think that this pain is better than the alternative. Protectionism just trades one set of 'problems' for another. Moving jobs overseas can benefit those overseas workers, and potentially, provide us with cheaper (sometimes better) products. Protectionism is just a legally supported monopoly.

Quote:
c'mon--a group of people acting in concert (union) have more clout than individuals acting separately.
No argument there - but that does not mean I think it is a good thing. And when greedy corporations work in concert to fix prices, they also have more clout than individual corporations. Are you in favor of corporate price fixing?


Quote:
Whether you like it or not, if you are employed by others, you have benefited from the unions.
I doubt it. Like I said before, I don't think my lifetime earnings have been improved by any unions. And, in some cases, the unions have driven up the prices of goods/services I purchase, and in some cases, unions have reduced the quality of those goods/services through protectionism of their members. Probably an overall negative for me.

Quote:
I'm well aware of the shortcomings of unions--I can't defend them in many ways. But I would sure hate to see them disappear.
I actually would like to see them disappear. IMO, free markets (on both sides - employee/employer) will do a better job for us than any form of artificial price fixing. AFAIK, any attempts at price fixing have just provided a short term benefit to those that are supported by this form of welfare. It just pushed the expense onto someone else. An overall negative.

Sure, the unions performed an important service back in the day when corporations had a monopoly in some job markets. I think we would have been much better served if the government broke up the monopolies, and let the free market do it's thing. That would have done more to fix the root cause, and those companies would have had to compete for workers.

It strikes me as odd that the price of 99% of the goods/services we spend our money on is determined by a free market. It works for all that stuff, so why should some specific jobs be exempt from this? I don't get it.

-ERD50
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 04-05-2007, 09:32 AM   #23
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

As a small business owner my employees, for the most part, are paid as well or in many cases better than like businesses that have unionized employees. I believe you get what you pay for. My employees donít stay because they love me they stay because I give them a good job; good fair wage, good beniís, and we treat everybody with respect. We need each other. The excellent employee that goes the extra mile will move up faster and will have an opportunity to make more money than someone who doesnít, plain and simple. Seniority doesnít guarantee a higher wage but in many cases an older, wiser, more talented employee is very valuable and is highly compensated. I think thatís the American way and itís what creates opportunity and ultimately success. Itís not rocket science. I sure donít need a union to tell me or to tell my employees how to be successful, give me a break. Just look to the automakers if you want to see how well the union can run a business. I put them right in line with the governmentÖ.get em out of the way. The marketplace sets prices and wages for the most partÖÖwe donít control the wind we just adjust the sails so to speakÖ.. My plan has always been to pay a bit more, expect more, and get more out of people. I think itís a win-win-win and it goes on everyday all across America in the business world. Not all of management are fat cats and not all of management exploit their employees. I believe quite the contrary.
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 04-05-2007, 01:47 PM   #24
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

Way back when.... early 1900s... unions were used for a good thing.. they improved the lot of a hugh number of Americans... they, IMO, were responsible for the big middle class and helped make us the country we are.... I am grateful that it happened...

Don't know when, but they started to change... and for the worse.. an example during the 1970s they HURT the automobile industry (not that management didn't do a lot of bad)... but they were paid not to work for many many months..

Now, unions are not there to protect the workers like they were back then... now just a way to prevent the workers from being fired...
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 04-05-2007, 08:49 PM   #25
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

I agree with Texas Proud. Before EPA,OSHA, and many other regulatory agencies came into the game, unions provided a valuable service. The big unions never adopted to the times. They could have become a valuable resource for both employees and employers, but that did not happen (for the most part) and they often just add cost to operations without adding value. Some of the large embedded unions are just as greedy as the corporations and the union employees are caught in the middle.

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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 04-06-2007, 01:23 AM   #26
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud
Now, unions are not there to protect the workers like they were back then... now just a way to prevent the workers from being fired...
As a union member for over 30 years, I have to disagree. My union local has NEVER stood in the way of a JUSTIFIABLE firing! We've actually SUPPORTED justifiable firings! In fact we supported the firing of one of my (now former) co-w*rkers last July. He was a slacker, and he posed a threat, not only to the safety of his fellow employees, but also to their reputation. I am the one who approached mismanagement about the need to terminate him.

We always believed in an honest day's work, for an honest day's pay. He didn't hold those values. He was terminated, and the union refused to back him, because they we felt the firing was justifiable. He hasn't been the only one that has been terminated. Of the several who have been terminated, the union has only stood up against one firing.....it was not justifiable....the employee had done no wrong, had violated no rules, nothing.....it was simply a matter of some one in mismanagement having a personal vendetta.

As a union, we have ALWAYS 'policed' our own. Very rarely has mismanagement EVER had to discipline one of our members. If one of our union brothers or sisters was not performing up to standards and expectations, WE took the initiative to correct it. We didn't want it to tarnish our reputation, or hinder our ability to bargain for a fair and equitable contract. ( and "NO" we never threatened to break their legs or harm their loved ones....like in Hollywood movies! )

And for the most part, ALL of the local unions around here, act in the same manner. A lazy, inept employee is not only a detriment to the employer and the union....they are a hazard to the safety and well-being of their co-w*rkers, and they have not and will not be tolerated.

There may be some union locals that will protect lazy, inept members, but that is NOT the norm. It's just like kids...99.9% of the kids are good kids.......0.1% are bad apples. You hardly EVER here about the 99.9%....only the 0.1%! Same goes for unions and their membership.....for that matter, same goes for ALL workers!

BTW...I was a union member by MY choice....NOT by coercion or mandate. And I have never been a union "official" (pres., v.p., etc.), only a dues paying member. Ours was NOT a closed shop, however, 100% of eligible employees were (are) members, by their own choice.....THAT alone speaks volumes, IMHO!!! 8)
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 04-06-2007, 05:40 AM   #27
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

Goonie...

A couple of points....

Unions DID resort to violence back in the day.... and even today are not immune to it.. look at what happens to 'scabs'... they have shown on TV some that have been threatened and their property vandalized...

Also, in NY, there are unions that are crime syndicates... it was the garbage union that put a (I believe) horses head in the bed of the guy from Waste Management when they were trying to get some of the contracts (hazy memory here...)

I think you misunderstand me when I say about getting rid of people... the domestic auto industry is bleeding cash... they need to downsize.. that means LAYING OFF PEOPLE... but, the union says, keep paying them... sorry if you don't like it.. I have read stories of some people getting paid three years and not working (not full salary mind you, but hey)...

So, the few that get laid off because they are bad or dangerous is a drop in the ocean..

BTW, the rules are different also... I had a friend who was in the power industry... he was white... if he made a racial remark he would have been fired instantly, but blacks made racial remarks all the time and nothing happened.... one guy was running a side business at work and nothing... it was because management did not want to go through the process of getting him fired... it was 'easier' to just get someone else in to do his work and hope he got bored and left...
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 04-06-2007, 06:01 AM   #28
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

Unions emerged way back when the robber barons emerged and ruled the roost... a response used to balance power. They were violent... but so were the factory owners... Ever read about Carnegie or Rockefeller!

Bottom line... Unions helped to support (politically) labor laws that made america a more safe place to work. My father was a Union member (trades) and a Union Contractor (hired union). When he went into business for himself, he felt the union offered a ready labor pool of expereinced workers.

Very early on in life I belonged to a union for a while. Most co-workers were hard working... there were a few bad apples that spent more time trying to avoid work and stir things up. Those were usually the first people to get layed off when work tapered off (I was in construction).

I agree that things have changed. Labor Unions are on the ropes today because of international competition. Unions have not fully adjusted to the new change in ecomonics yet. And that international competition is internal also (imported workers). Labor Unions do help workers to collectively bargain. They will survive. But the bottom line is that there is international competition for the work. It has the effect of lowering wages until the other countries catch up economically with the US.

On a different note... Labor unions are highly political organizations. They have all of the flaws of other organizations.

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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 04-06-2007, 10:51 AM   #29
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

Interesting conversation with a coworker...

This is based in NY. He said that they were at a building and he looked up at the ceiling. There was a ceiling tile that was out of place. Since we are responsible for them, he decided to just move it and put it back in place. While up on the ladder a hammer came flying by him... he was doing 'union work' and he was NOT union...

And one from ME...

I was a sacker at a grocery store. It was union (btw, you can not find any more union people at stores down here because they priced themselves out of work).. I was graded a sacker and got a bit above minimul wage.. well, I was dealing with baby food and was good at throwing the little bottles up and catching them with my other hand and bagging them... well, one got away and hit the floor... I freaked out and jumped to clean up the glass... WELL, the manager of the store came RUNNING up to me yelling at me to not touch anything...

Seems that cleaning up the floor was a HIGHER pay scale than me and I could NOT be told to clean the floor (nor could I do it on my own!!)... Since we were busy and no 'janitor' was there, HE cleaned it up...
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 04-06-2007, 10:56 AM   #30
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud
WELL, the manager of the store came RUNNING up to me yelling at me to not touch anything...
Seems that cleaning up the floor was a HIGHER pay scale than me and I could NOT be told to clean the floor (nor could I do it on my own!!)... Since we were busy and no 'janitor' was there, HE cleaned it up...
So how many more bottles did baggers break after that?
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 04-06-2007, 11:06 AM   #31
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

I remember in my brief experience in construction... different unions were (obviously) protective of their turf. If I remember correctly, if you wanted something moved from point a to point b, a teamster had to drive the truck. There were other similar divisions of work that did not seem to make sense. Obviously it would not make sense for the plumber to do electrical work or vice versa... but some of the rules were geared toward nothing more than protecting certain unions turf. It all amounted to additional inefficiency and waste.


My brother worked for a while in the union. He would tell me stories about large construction jobs (like building a large nuclear power plant). People would show up and there was not enough work to do and they would sleep or play cards all day. The contractor did not care... they were getting a cut for every worker on the job.


I wonder if those days are gone now with the new competitive environment?
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 04-06-2007, 11:18 AM   #32
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

I wonder if this can be affecting the competitiveness of us auto companies

http://www.detnews.com/2005/autosins...A01-351179.htm
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 04-06-2007, 11:20 AM   #33
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

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Originally Posted by runchman
I wonder if this can be affecting the competitiveness of us auto companies

http://www.detnews.com/2005/autosins...A01-351179.htm
It seems absurd. But hey... Where do I sign up!
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 04-06-2007, 02:36 PM   #34
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by runchman
I wonder if this can be affecting the competitiveness of us auto companies

http://www.detnews.com/2005/autosins...A01-351179.htm
I'm on the fence regarding the relevance/benefit of unions today, but in response to the above link, methinks this doesn't help either....

http://money.cnn.com/2007/04/05/news...cpay/index.htm
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 04-06-2007, 02:43 PM   #35
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

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So how many more bottles did baggers break after that?
I wasn't there long enough... I moved to the night and stocked... got paid $5 per hour (back when minimum was $2 something), but one guy on the team was pulling down $20 per hour... our work goal was 100 cases per hour for three people.. that is off the truck, cut open the box, price everything in the case and put on a dolly for the other to shelf... hard work IMO..
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 04-06-2007, 08:13 PM   #36
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bow-tie
I'm on the fence regarding the relevance/benefit of unions today, but in response to the above link, methinks this doesn't help either....

http://money.cnn.com/2007/04/05/news...cpay/index.htm
An absurd amount of money for sure, and yet I wouldn't trade places with him. For folks in those positions, their jobs truly are 24/7. No thanks !

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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 04-07-2007, 07:41 AM   #37
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

My first job was with Canadian provincial government department. We were non-union. A few years later our department was amalgamated with another (union) department and I became a union member, no vote, no nothing, just a 'you're in'. This was back in the 70's and inflation was > 10% so anual raises were pretty hefty. I was one of about 5 people in a job at the top of the scale. There were about 100 in the lowest scale (and I made about twice what they did) and another 100 or so in the middle. Fast forward to first contract, management offers x% across the board. Union demands (get this), pay cut at the top of scale to allow for larger %age at bottom. Management refuses. Strike vote passes and I'm expected to walk pickett line for a pay cut.

Ya, unions serve their members.
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 04-07-2007, 01:09 PM   #38
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

Kumquat...

Yes.. they... do... NOT..

The union just came down to Houston to get the building cleaning companies unionized (which they did)... almost all of the 'strikers' were from OUT OF TOWN...

Then, when it was pointed out that most of the people working were part time because this was a second job to them... well, the union said 'there will be disruptions'... meaning they get thrown out...

The final deal (not sure) was they get an extra $1 per hour, eventually some medical they can not afford and the union gets dues and now can go to other cities and extort from others saying 'look what we did in Houston'... nobody cares about the people who got fired because they can not work a full 40 hours...

And BTW.. the top four companies were the only ones to sign the contract.. the 5th said NO... so I guess they will be moving up the ladder on 'largest cleaning firms' when the contracts run out...
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 04-07-2007, 02:13 PM   #39
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

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Originally Posted by Texas Proud
The final deal (not sure) was they get an extra $1 per hour,
Actually, per the NYT, they're getting a $3.20 increase over three years going from $5.30/hr to $8.50/hr.

These days, it's pretty much impossible to treat people so badly that they're willing to join a union, especially in the non-skilled trades. What did you Texans do to get them so riled up? Chain them to their mops and buckets? Or drop your pants and poop on the floor just to laugh at them cleaning it up? Sheeeesh........you guys bad, bad, bad..... :P

Edited to add: Just noticed that the Washington Post gave the new salary level as topping out at $7.75, not $8.50 as the NYT said.

The 5,300 mostly female, mostly Latino janitors represented by the Service Employees International Union will see their wages rise from $5.30 per hour on average to $7.75 by Jan. 1, 2009. Their shifts will also lengthen to six hours, as opposed to four hours or less, over the next three years, according to the agreement. They will be offered health coverage in 2009 for $20 a month for individuals, $175 for families.

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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 04-07-2007, 04:44 PM   #40
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet


The 5,300 mostly female, mostly Latino janitors represented by the Service Employees International Union will see their wages rise from $5.30 per hour on average to $7.75 by Jan. 1, 2009. Their shifts will also lengthen to six hours, as opposed to four hours or less, over the next three years, according to the agreement. They will be offered health coverage in 2009 for $20 a month for individuals, $175 for families.
The article continued, "The employers in these buildings, over the same 3 years, will gradually lose their ability to compete with their competitors using non-unionized cleaning crews. Officials estimate that 20% of these building residents will go out of business by the end of those 3 years....."

Ok so maybe the article didn't actually say that :P

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