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Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 03-30-2007, 07:28 AM   #1
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Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

Well, I live in NJ...also happen to work for the state. As a result, I am a union member ( if you are an employee - 85% of union fees are taken out of our paychecks. You can elect for voting rights by kicking in the 15% on top of the stuff they take) Well, heated union talks are in season now, and was talked in to joining temporarily to vote. These d$&*! people have called me daily to pressure me to vote, they have not rec'd my ballot, did I rec'v my ballot, etc....) As soon as the contract negotiation is over, I am cancelling my "membership"... a couple nights ago, I returned the call and left a scathing message for them to never call me again. It felt good! (oh, have not heard from them yet)

Anyone else belong to something (hostily) that you feel harasses you? Do slow people like their phones ringing & having someone try to sway your opinions??
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 03-30-2007, 08:43 AM   #2
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

You should have told the first person who called that their calling will cause me to vote for the other guy.
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 03-30-2007, 09:10 AM   #3
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dex
You should have told the first person who called that their calling will cause me to vote for the other guy.
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 03-30-2007, 01:34 PM   #4
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

Oh, my scathing message to them said "I'd vote 'yes' if my ballot had not already been sent in - just to piss them off" I get upset just thinking about it! Can they fire me for harassing the union back?

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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 03-30-2007, 01:54 PM   #5
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

Worked for UPS as an unloader, closed shop, Teamsters. 25% of my take home went to union dues for the first 3 months (initiation fee), then I was behind on monthly dues and took me another 3 months to get even. The setup was genius, all new employees/union members were dirt and paid a gob of money to support the powerful lobbying arm of the union. Once you were an employee for 5 years you then were set for life ( almost impossible to get fired, pension after 20 years etc.). Most didn't make it that far.

One day a group of teamsters stood outside the building handing out ballot information for union elections. Upon receiving mine, I said, "Hey, there's only one candidate for each post!" Upon which the guy handing it to me said something like, "what, are you a wise guy or something?".

Now my mom is a big union supporter, her teachers union in L.A. was very strong. I look back now on their demands each time the contract came up and I'm a bit boggled. One time they got guaranteed 8% raises every year for the life of the contract ( or was it 9%?).
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 03-30-2007, 02:06 PM   #6
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

I'm not here to defend any particular union, and I don't always agree with my father-in-law's philosophy, but I do agree with his feelings on this subject:

The only justification for the existence of unions is: management.

His feelings were reinforced during the CBS strike of 1968. 40 years later, just about every survivor of his IBEW shop will be able to tell you who marched, who scabbed, and who cheated. Spouse and I still won't cross a picket line.

Could be worse-- you guys could be getting employee mail from Circuit City or for Northwest Airlines flight attendants. Or teaching Bob from Bangalore & Kathy from Calcutta how to do your jobs...
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 03-30-2007, 03:30 PM   #7
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

Most unions are pricing themselves out of a job... they seem to want to keep the work down and the wages up...

An example... one of my BILs works in a plant and used to repair electric motors... some big, some small... well, he was not allowed to unhook the power. So, for a small 1HP motor, a union electrician WITH HELPER would come and remove the three wires... my BIL would then take the motor and fix it or replace it... sometimes it took a few hours... all the time the electrician and helper were 'waiting'... then he would bolt the motor back in place and the electrician would reconnect the three wires... Now, my BIL had his electrician license, so it was not a case of a non-licensed person doing the work... just the union rules...
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 03-31-2007, 03:54 PM   #8
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

it always amazes me when people act like the union is some separate organization trying to harass them.

The people calling you were probably employees like you that were volunteering their time because they want to improve their wages/working conditions. Imagine their stupidity in thinking you might also share their goals

As a former contract negotiater, I can tell you there is nothing more difficult than trying to get good terms out of management when faced apathetic members or worse, with a bunch of union "members" that feel like you. Unfortunately, labor law is such that the union must bargain for everyone, even those who don't care or won't contribute.

I'll tell you what I've always told those in my union:

you'll get the contract you deserve
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 03-31-2007, 06:53 PM   #9
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud
An example... one of my BILs works in a plant and used to repair electric motors... some big, some small... well, he was not allowed to unhook the power. So, for a small 1HP motor, a union electrician WITH HELPER would come and remove the three wires... my BIL would then take the motor and fix it or replace it... sometimes it took a few hours... all the time the electrician and helper were 'waiting'... then he would bolt the motor back in place and the electrician would reconnect the three wires... Now, my BIL had his electrician license, so it was not a case of a non-licensed person doing the work... just the union rules...
I liked the Dilbert example where, the company cannot replace the batteries in their wall clocks because it is a union job. However, they can buy and hang new clocks, which they do since it ends up being cheaper.
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 04-01-2007, 07:20 AM   #10
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

Bosco,

I do 'feel' like the "union" is another entity. The opinion that I have developed is based on my working situation. If working with veterans were not typically a civil service position, I would not be a civil service employee, and thus not griping at the moment. My hours, breaks, lunches are MANDATED by union contracts. I have been "tattled" on for working through my lunch - heaven forbid...I had a customer I was working with. "you'll get reported to the union"...also had to have 'the talk' because "people" heard I was at numerous veteran events - after working hours!!! (gasp) my hands are tied at work like that - ...and it is ok for you (the union) to call me 5-10X during union negotiations? On my cell phone because it is on file with my employer At least I don't get calls during the regular elections because I do not have a land line!

I thought labor unions were established to improve workers' work envioronment, pay, benefits, safety, etc? We had a great union at our plant - and I was management, but the union guys were happy to be there and not backstabbing like here with CWA.
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 04-01-2007, 06:30 PM   #11
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

I have absoutely NOTHING good to say about unions. I have been on the receiving end of a horrid union experience where myself and my children (pre-teen girls) were threatened and followed by union business agents. Not a pleasant experience. Unions used to protect workers and when they were first organized, did just that. Now, they are all about making a buck off of their members. For the most part, they are concerned with lining their pockets, not protecting their members. What they charge employers for "benefits" packages and what benefits they provide to their members is a horrible injustice. It's all about making a buck for the guys behind the desks. I think the only union that is successful in taking care of their membership is the laborers union. Their people have excellent health care. Can you tell I'm a bit jaded and bitter here? It's been 6 years since I've lived through hell and I can hardly think about it without feeling extreme anger and hatred for the people I came into contact with.
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 04-01-2007, 08:45 PM   #12
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

Greedy humans.
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 04-02-2007, 10:21 PM   #13
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

I've been active in the union since I started w*rking. My union has fought tooth & nail for my benefit! They have fought for a competitive wage, quality health insurance, safe working conditions, proper training, stipends (about $10k/year) for various required certifications and licenses, and now most importantly for me, VERY GOOD retirement benefits!!!

I attended my last union meeting this evening, since I'm ERing on Friday. I was recognized for my 30+ years of service and support of our union local. They presented me with my union retiree's card, and (because I'll be 'buying' a few years of service credit) I was also presented my 35 year service pin. Our state council rep was on hand, and threw a pizza party for me, too!

Are unions perfect? Heck no! But IMHO they sure as h*ll beat the alternative!!! If I had to do it all over again, would I do things the same way? YES!!! Probably would have been even more involved!

My hat's off to AFSCME Council 31, Local 2892!!! Thanks for the memories....and the BENNYs!!!
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 04-04-2007, 03:08 AM   #14
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

personally, I don't like it when cops hang around either. But I sure wouldn't enjoy trying to live in a society without them, and I don't resent their existence.

I feel the same way about vacuum cleaners--they're expensive, annoying, and dirty. But a necessary evil.

if you want to see what life would be like without unions, I suggest studying a bit of history. They did not occur without lots of people suffering and dying. Child labor laws, 40 hour work weeks, and premium overtime (which Bush has been trying to take away) would not have happened without them. Yes, they can be annoying. And yes, some are better or worse than others. But you are naive to think that workers in general wouldn't be taken advantage of even more if they ceased to exist.....

Therefore, my conclusion is that if you do not support them, and they are legally obligated to bargain and support you, then you are freeloading at the direct expense of others (I believe 'scab' is the term). Everybody likes to think they are special and different. In reality, we are all dispensible. Management would like nothing better to divide and conquer, turn back the clock. This is already happened to a large extent--part of the Reagan legacy. Unions at least try to stop or slow this process down. How effective they are, or will be, is another matter.
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 04-04-2007, 09:18 AM   #15
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

Gee I don't have an engineers union here.... where is the child labor? I guess it must be on the floor below me and I've missed it. Maybe the evil non-union-protected company doesn't allow them out of their cubes or something.

Could it possibly be that times have changed and there just isn't much need for unions anymore??

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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 04-04-2007, 09:49 AM   #16
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by runchman
Could it possibly be that times have changed and there just isn't much need for unions anymore??
We'll have to ask the IBM engineers.

I think that there will be unions until we no longer require management. Scott Adams can't be everywhere!
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 04-04-2007, 11:21 AM   #17
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by runchman
Gee I don't have an engineers union here.... where is the child labor? I guess it must be on the floor below me and I've missed it. Maybe the evil non-union-protected company doesn't allow them out of their cubes or something.

Could it possibly be that times have changed and there just isn't much need for unions anymore??

you're right. times have changed. corporations and management aren't greedy. I'm quite certain they wouldn't exploit workers or children if we gave them the opportunity
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 04-04-2007, 12:16 PM   #18
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

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you're right. times have changed. corporations and management aren't greedy. I'm quite certain they wouldn't exploit workers or children if we gave them the opportunity
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 04-04-2007, 04:08 PM   #19
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

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Originally Posted by bosco
you're right. times have changed. corporations and management aren't greedy. I'm quite certain they wouldn't exploit workers or children if we gave them the opportunity
Of course corporations are greedy. But, they also need to hire people, and if they don't offer a decent total compensation package, the workers will be lured away by other greedy corporations that want to make money from the output of those workers.

The problems you mention came from a time when the corporations sometimes had monopoly power over workers. That is rare (or non-existent?) today.

Simple test - why is any non-union person paid more than minimum wage today? It seems your theory states every corp could 'force' every non-union worker to accept minimum wage. I didn't work for minimum wage during my professional career, even though I worked for a greedy corporation that would have paid me nothing if they could get away with it. But they can't.

It is all about free markets.

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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!
Old 04-04-2007, 08:08 PM   #20
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Re: Union Venting - Grrrr!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50
Of course corporations are greedy. But, they also need to hire people, .....

It is all about free markets.

-ERD50
Thanks for nicely articulating what I couldn't.

Now if you want to get paid 25 bucks per hour for a job that the next guy will do for 10, well then a union might be your friend

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