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Old 12-08-2010, 12:23 PM   #21
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Between WalMart publishing handouts for employees on how to maximize their government benefits (some borderline legal & morally wrong) and some horrific service DW went through at a WalMart pharmacy a few years ago, we absolutely refuse to shop there anyway. So this just reinforces our resolve...
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Old 12-08-2010, 12:36 PM   #22
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Wal-Mart workers voting against unionizing is one of the more baffling things I can recall from the first decade of this century
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Old 12-08-2010, 01:03 PM   #23
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Wal-Mart workers voting against unionizing is one of the more baffling things I can recall from the first decade of this century
Three separate groups of Delta Airline employees voted against unions in the last two months.
Story

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ATLANTA—Gate and reservation agents at Delta Air Lines Inc. rejected a unionization push, the third "no" vote in the final leg of a historic and fractious organizing drive at the world's second-largest airline.

. . . .


The National Mediation Board said Tuesday that 8,746 Delta employees voted against joining the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union. Of 15,436 eligible voters, 3,638 favored joining the union, according to the NMB, the agency that oversees labor relations at airlines and railways.
Last month unions lost separate elections involving 33,000 flight attendants and ramp workers at Delta.

. . . .
The elections, involving a total of about 50,000 Delta workers, are the largest at a private-sector company since 1941, when more than 70,000 plant workers unionized at Ford Motor Co. About 12,000 pilots are unionized at Delta, the No. 2 airline in traffic behind Chicago-based United Continental Holdings Inc.
Walmart, Delta, general nationwide declines in union membership despite tough economic times, how to explain it? Maybe workers don't want to pay the dues, maybe they don't like the way the dues get spent, or maybe they'd like their companies to stay competitive and remain in business so they can have jobs.
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Old 12-08-2010, 01:11 PM   #24
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If management gives into demands that ruin the entire corporation, the union can only accept half the blame. And all of the benefits. If workers really believed that management would act that incompetently, they should be much more inclined to act together rather than alone
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Old 12-08-2010, 01:23 PM   #25
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If management gives into demands that ruin the entire corporation, the union can only accept half the blame. And all of the benefits. If workers really believed that management would act that incompetently, they should be much more inclined to act together rather than alone
Maybe the employees view themselves as individuals, not part of the "employee collective team" in a game to get the most from the "company team." Maybe Joe Jones believes he's not "average" and wants the opportunity to work hard, outperform the average member of the "employee collective" and provide a better future for his family by getting promoted within a growing company that can compete globally. Others may prefer to settle for whatever the "pack" can negotiate for them, regardless of the impact on the company or their own job.

But your post points out an appropriate issue--the interests of labor leaders are not congruent with the interests of the workers they represent. If the union extracts big concessions, they get big reward$. If these concessions drive the company out of business, the workers lose their jobs and maybe the value of any company stock in their retirement plans, but the few union organizers can move to another target company--their paycheck comes from the union, not the company. Employees are figuring this all out.
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Old 12-08-2010, 01:47 PM   #26
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There's no way American businesses can pay $35 an hour for the same work that can get done in Singapore for $4 per hour. No legislation, tariffs, unions, or beneficent actions by US employers can change that.
I don't think the wage rate in Singapore is that low - China, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, sure.

As for legislation not being able to change things, I think one political organization begs to differ: Home cpusa
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Old 12-08-2010, 02:09 PM   #27
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Maybe Joe Jones believes he's not "average" and wants the opportunity to work hard, outperform the average member of the "employee collective" and provide a better future for his family by getting promoted within a growing company that can compete globally.
So does that mean above average employees will still be able to earn the pay differential and this only applies to the below average ones?

If not, that's just more evidence that negotiating as a single unit, rather than separate entities is most likely in the best interest of both the weak and strong

For those that are truly among the strongest, it might be in their best interest to go against a union, but by definition, that can only be a small fraction of total workforce

Though again, exactly like you said, if a worker truly believes management is so incompetent that they will give into demands that will ruin the entire company, they absolutely should try and get whatever they can before it all falls apart. That's true whether they are a strong or weak worker
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Old 12-08-2010, 02:15 PM   #28
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Though again, exactly like you said, if a worker truly believes management is so incompetent that they will give into demands that will ruin the entire company, they absolutely should try and get whatever they can before it all falls apart. That's true whether they are a strong or weak worker
Hey, look how well it worked out for GM and their employees...
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Old 12-08-2010, 02:34 PM   #29
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If management gives into demands that ruin the entire corporation, the union can only accept half the blame. And all of the benefits. If workers really believed that management would act that incompetently, they should be much more inclined to act together rather than alone
This is an interesting and illuminating way of viewing it. Substitute "tornado" or "riot" for "union" and it still works. Sure, periodic riots might might ruin a company, but it's management's fault, they should anticipate such things and take action to prevent them.
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Old 12-08-2010, 02:48 PM   #30
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Obviously they are using market forces and there's no grand conspiracy. And in a competitive environment, when one business does this, they gain a competitive edge that all their competitors feel a need to match. And so begins the race to the bottom (and that's exactly what it is, IMO). The exporting of jobs to places like China and India isn't helping in that regard, either.

The problem is that this corporate behavior just leads to more of the same.
And how is this different from the past?

Assembly lines replaced a lot of craftsmen. Computers replaced a lot of people entering payroll into ledgers. Tractors replaced many workers on farms using horse/plow. And so on.

In each case, it took fewer workers to produce the same output. Would you have been arguing against the tractor 100 years ago, on the basis that we just need to keep these people employed, and let's pay them the same wages regardless? You can kick and scream and say it just ain't right, or you can find a way to hop on that train. Who do you think did better back then - the craftsman who stuck with his buggy-whip shop until the bitter end, or the guy who said - 'hey, maybe I need to learn how to repair these new fangled horseless carriages'? The current "Global Revolution / Flat Earth" is just our version of the Industrial Revolution, IMO.

And in a way, I think it is a very good thing. A poor person gets a job and improves their lifestyle dramatically, while we sit in relative luxury. What makes us so special? I guess this is a form of "wealth redistribution" I can approve of - people putting in honest work to get their share of the pie, rather than the 'you have it so give it to me' style of wealth redistribution.

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Old 12-08-2010, 03:02 PM   #31
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And in a way, I think it is a very good thing. A poor person gets a job and improves their lifestyle dramatically, while we sit in relative luxury. What makes us so special? I guess this is a form of "wealth redistribution" I can approve of - people putting in honest work to get their share of the pie, rather than the 'you have it so give it to me' style of wealth redistribution.
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It is wealth distribution - from the USA to poorer nations. And this too shall pass. Sometime in the future those poorer nations will build up their military, have wars, institute programs similar to SS, Medicare/Medicade, Health Care Reform, and run a deficit. While that happens, those very same things will go away in the USA & Europe (see what happened to the USSR) and the USA & Europe will become the low cost producer. Then the money will flow back to the USA & Europe if it doesn't make a stop in South America or Africa before then.
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Old 12-08-2010, 05:31 PM   #32
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But your post points out an appropriate issue--the interests of labor leaders are not congruent with the interests of the workers they represent. If the union extracts big concessions, they get big reward$. If these concessions drive the company out of business, the workers lose their jobs and maybe the value of any company stock in their retirement plans, but the few union organizers can move to another target company--their paycheck comes from the union, not the company. Employees are figuring this all out.
+1
There are exceptions where horrific management deserves to be organized to this day. But having spent 17 years of my career in three different union plants and 17 years in a non-union plant (surrounded by big union plants), it's clear employees have figured this out. In many cases, the union becomes worse than management, and more corrupt to be sure...
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Old 12-08-2010, 05:36 PM   #33
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This is an interesting and illuminating way of viewing it. Substitute "tornado" or "riot" for "union" and it still works. Sure, periodic riots might might ruin a company, but it's management's fault, they should anticipate such things and take action to prevent them.
Neither tornado nor riots have destroyed Wal-Mart, so I'll support the position that management has dealt with those issues appropriately. If Wal-Mart workers unionized, management could deal with that situation appropriately to ensure the company was not destroyed. If an employee thinks management is not capable of doing that, why would they think the company is solid and stable no matter what negotiating tactics labor uses?
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Old 12-08-2010, 07:03 PM   #34
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If Wal-Mart workers unionized, management could deal with that situation appropriately to ensure the company was not destroyed.
Yes,Wal-Mart management has done a good job of this so far. In the single case where workers at a Wal-Mart store in North America (Canada) have voted to be represented by a union, the company immediately closed the store. It's entirely within their rights, and serves as a good reminder of whose jobs they are (Wal-Mart's).

Business Week on Closure of unionized Wal-Mart store.
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Old 12-08-2010, 09:43 PM   #35
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Three separate groups of Delta Airline employees voted against unions in the last two months.
Story

Walmart, Delta, general nationwide declines in union membership despite tough economic times, how to explain it? Maybe workers don't want to pay the dues, maybe they don't like the way the dues get spent, or maybe they'd like their companies to stay competitive and remain in business so they can have jobs.
Just maybe. But unions are growing just fine in the public sector where competition is just not a problem.

Ha
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Old 12-08-2010, 09:50 PM   #36
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Between WalMart publishing handouts for employees on how to maximize their government benefits (some borderline legal & morally wrong)
Inquiring minds want to know...more...facts
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Old 12-08-2010, 09:52 PM   #37
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I'd like to see a poll on how many E-R.org members are working the Sunday shift at Walmart.
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Old 12-09-2010, 01:36 PM   #38
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Hidden Cost of Wal-Mart Jobs - UC Berkeley Labor Center
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Old 12-09-2010, 01:56 PM   #39
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I didn't even realize WalMart paid more on Sundays, until I read that article. Back in college, I had a part-time job working for a department store called Hecht's (now part of Macy's). I started in August 1991 at $6.50 per hour normally, but on Sunday I'd get $9.75. And they forced everybody to work one Sunday per month. After about a year, they cut out the 1.5x for Sunday, but then boosted everybody's pay to compensate. How much you got depended on how much overtime you had worked. I remember I got raised to $7.03 per hour.

Sad thing is, for the Christmas season in '08, a friend of mine picked up a part time job at Macy's for some extra money, and she was only making about $7 per hour...the same amount I had been making roughly 16 years earlier!

I guess those types of jobs really haven't kept up with inflation. And sadly, I had to dress nicer at that job than I do at my current job, so that ate up a lot of my income.

I finally quit working there in April 1996. By that time I think I was up to around $7.86 per hour. I do remember they'd give us OT if we worked more than 40 hours in a week, but the sweet thing was they'd also do it if we worked more than 8 hours in a day! So I'd try to get in a few 9-10 hour days every once in awhile.
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Old 12-09-2010, 02:14 PM   #40
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Yeah, my step-son was pissed when he found out about this a couple of weeks ago..lol.....maybe he'll be ticked off enough that he'll go out & find a real job, or get his butt in school, or join the military....
The military never paid shift differential, plus we were on call 24/7/365.
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