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Wed Dec 12, 2012, 06:57 AM

Union workers who hate unions. I don't get it.

I have a friend who was a union worker for Ford Motor Company his entire life. He has a high-school education. He made a good living, working lots of overtime to take advantage of the higher pay rate. He recalls with fondness the years (yes, years) when he was laid off, yet still getting paid a hefty chunk of his normal income.

My friend is now retired. He had no savings whatsoever, but he's ok. He has a little house on a lake, and he lives on his Ford pension and enjoys his Medicare.

This same friend hates unions with a passion. His face turns red when he talks about it. If you ask him why, he just starts ranting about how the union took his money.

I have many other blue-collar, unionless, powerless, working-till-they-drop-because-they-have-no-other-choice friends who live in Michigan, who for whatever vague reasons think this "Right To Work" movement is a good thing.

What they heck are they thinking? I just don't get it.

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Reply Union workers who hate unions. I don't get it. (Original post)
Lesleymo Dec 2012 OP
liberal N proud Dec 2012 #1
BeyondGeography Dec 2012 #2
Locrian Dec 2012 #3
Laurian Dec 2012 #4
proud2BlibKansan Dec 2012 #67
Recursion Dec 2012 #73
barbiegeek Dec 2012 #104
Recursion Dec 2012 #111
standingtall Dec 2012 #132
Honeycombe8 Dec 2012 #5
The2ndWheel Dec 2012 #6
customerserviceguy Dec 2012 #7
Laurian Dec 2012 #10
customerserviceguy Dec 2012 #153
IdaBriggs Dec 2012 #18
hay rick Dec 2012 #37
IdaBriggs Dec 2012 #63
Capt. Obvious Dec 2012 #45
TwilightGardener Dec 2012 #60
IdaBriggs Dec 2012 #72
uponit7771 Dec 2012 #84
rDigital Dec 2012 #89
SoCalDem Dec 2012 #139
Recursion Dec 2012 #148
SoCalDem Dec 2012 #149
SharonAnn Dec 2012 #121
IdaBriggs Dec 2012 #126
Bradical79 Dec 2012 #158
happyslug Dec 2012 #28
hay rick Dec 2012 #41
happyslug Dec 2012 #87
IdaBriggs Dec 2012 #93
hay rick Dec 2012 #97
SheilaT Dec 2012 #103
Incitatus Dec 2012 #105
Recursion Dec 2012 #66
hay rick Dec 2012 #34
rDigital Dec 2012 #91
customerserviceguy Dec 2012 #154
bluestate10 Dec 2012 #39
customerserviceguy Dec 2012 #155
Ikonoklast Dec 2012 #50
Scout Dec 2012 #62
Recursion Dec 2012 #74
Scout Dec 2012 #81
Recursion Dec 2012 #83
haele Dec 2012 #138
Scout Dec 2012 #142
Ya Basta Dec 2012 #8
union_maid Dec 2012 #9
bluestate10 Dec 2012 #42
SharonAnn Dec 2012 #120
undeterred Dec 2012 #11
gollygee Dec 2012 #12
Laurian Dec 2012 #13
RevStPatrick Dec 2012 #14
MrYikes Dec 2012 #15
ForgoTheConsequence Dec 2012 #110
standingtall Dec 2012 #140
MrYikes Dec 2012 #151
RegieRocker Dec 2012 #16
IdaBriggs Dec 2012 #17
Historic NY Dec 2012 #19
IdaBriggs Dec 2012 #25
1gobluedem Dec 2012 #24
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jollyreaper2112 Dec 2012 #35
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standingtall Dec 2012 #143
1gobluedem Dec 2012 #47
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John2 Dec 2012 #44
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bluestate10 Dec 2012 #49
IdaBriggs Dec 2012 #56
standingtall Dec 2012 #144
Fumesucker Dec 2012 #70
Recursion Dec 2012 #75
Bradical79 Dec 2012 #159
proud2BlibKansan Dec 2012 #77
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ret5hd Dec 2012 #112
IdaBriggs Dec 2012 #122
ret5hd Dec 2012 #129
hay rick Dec 2012 #133
Geoff R. Casavant Dec 2012 #20
marybourg Dec 2012 #86
Rocky888 Dec 2012 #21
madrchsod Dec 2012 #22
progressoid Dec 2012 #40
Doctor_J Dec 2012 #23
progressoid Dec 2012 #38
Yavin4 Dec 2012 #29
Uben Dec 2012 #32
IdaBriggs Dec 2012 #36
MrYikes Dec 2012 #57
Recursion Dec 2012 #76
MrYikes Dec 2012 #100
Arkana Dec 2012 #43
Capt. Obvious Dec 2012 #46
Taverner Dec 2012 #48
Dyedinthewoolliberal Dec 2012 #51
libodem Dec 2012 #53
RobinA Dec 2012 #55
DRS Dec 2012 #58
putitinD Dec 2012 #134
Scout Dec 2012 #59
Recursion Dec 2012 #61
YoungDemCA Dec 2012 #64
Recursion Dec 2012 #65
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ret5hd Dec 2012 #136
Piazza Riforma Dec 2012 #150
ret5hd Dec 2012 #152
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #69
putitinD Dec 2012 #135
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Recursion Dec 2012 #85
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dmosh42 Dec 2012 #82
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The Wielding Truth Dec 2012 #90
rDigital Dec 2012 #94
jollyreaper2112 Dec 2012 #96
MrYikes Dec 2012 #107
ret5hd Dec 2012 #137
jollyreaper2112 Dec 2012 #160
ismnotwasm Dec 2012 #106
Sekhmets Daughter Dec 2012 #109
Kingofalldems Dec 2012 #114
Dawson Leery Dec 2012 #123
BanTheGOP Dec 2012 #115
aandegoons Dec 2012 #124
JohLast Dec 2012 #125
aandegoons Dec 2012 #130
Recursion Dec 2012 #146
standingtall Dec 2012 #147
Rex Dec 2012 #127
Smilo Dec 2012 #128
coalition_unwilling Dec 2012 #141
Major Nikon Dec 2012 #145
LWolf Dec 2012 #156
Sirveri Dec 2012 #157

Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:01 AM

1. Does he watch FOX?

Even if he does not, there are people who hate the establishment, whatever that establishment is and he probably sees the Union as an establishment at this point because they are the driving force in his life.

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:07 AM

2. Ingratitude is a modern American value

It comes from somewhere. The Randian cult of the individual might be a good place to start.

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:09 AM

3. Have you read this? Might explain some of it

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/12/11

Conservative Myths and the Death of Marlboro Man

"Of course, the whole thing was an extraordinarily destructive myth Ė just like the myths the Republicanís have been selling for 30 years, now. Rugged individuals who donít need no gubmintí. A private sector much like Marlboro Country Ė where all good things happen by pure serendipity, and where we donít need no stinkiní regulations or taxes. Where small businesses are invoked as the modern-day equivalent of the Marlboro Cowboy."





^^^ I think some of them see themselves as THIS guy. Who of course is getting screwed and used w/o knowing it.

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:12 AM

4. There are lots of poorly educated folks in these blue

collar jobs who cannot or will not make the connection between unions and the benefits negotiated by the unions. They want the benefits, but don't want to pay the union dues necessary for the survival of the very organizations responsible for their good wages and improved working conditions.

Another case of ,"I got mine, to hell with everybody else".

The old phrase,"you don't know what you have until you lose it" may have to become a reality for these folks. Unfortunately, if union influence is lost it may well take a generation to come back. Think of all that will be lost in the interim.

My father and my husband were both union members, and I have no doubt that the unions were responsible for keeping us in the middle class.

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Response to Laurian (Reply #4)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:34 PM

67. I know teachers who hate unions.

And they aren't poorly educated.

Some are right wing fundies who disagree with our union's stance on social issues. Some want merit pay and hate the union for opposing it. Some resent the union protecting teachers they consider ineffective.

But the majority choose to belong to the union for the liability coverage. They're smart enough to know they need that.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #67)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:43 PM

73. Unfortunately unions may be turning into just mutual organizations

e.g., I'm a member of the Freelancers' Union not because we do any traditionally union-like activities, but because I can get cheap legal representation in pay dispute cases and fairly good dental insurance through it.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #67)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:44 PM

104. Teacher wanting Bibles in school maybe?

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Response to barbiegeek (Reply #104)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:06 PM

111. Sigh. This is why we're losing on labor issues

No, it's not about mouth-breathing troglodytes. It's about people who want merit pay and don't like seniority rules. We may disagree with their judgment, but it doesn't make them idiots.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #111)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:02 PM

132. Yes it does

The whole merit pay argument is a load of crap. The oldest anti-union trick in the book his tell somebody they cannot get a raise, because of the union, and that unions protect bad workers yada yada yada. Without unions companies will pay almost everyone less. Their goal is to get you to work as cheap as possible period.

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:20 AM

5. Same thing with my rightwingnut brother.

He retired early. Union man. He doesn't hate unions, but he hates Democrats and always votes Republicans. He's just a hater, generally.

I think this railing against union is just what it sounds like: He's got his, and he deserved it. F__k everyone else. They're parasitic freeloaders, anyway.

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:20 AM

6. It sounds like you got answers when you asked them

Some rant about money being taken, and other vague reasons. Whatever the details of those reasons were, that's what they're thinking.

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:21 AM

7. I've been in one for about four years now

And I've had it with them, for various reasons. I can't be treated as a bad employee, nor can I be recognized for being superior, so it seems that I'm just perceived by my management and my customers as being mediocre.

I can understand what your friend is thinking.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:27 AM

10. How is the union preventing recognition for good work?

My husband, a union member, frequently received acknowledgement from the company for his work. That was the company's decision, not the union's.

Are you referring to monetary rewards? The company could always promote you to a non-union management position.

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Response to Laurian (Reply #10)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 07:17 AM

153. Glad to see your husband has it good that way

In our organization, the token performance awards always go to management. And I'd never join the dark side of the force!

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:18 AM

18. I get it. Hard workers get paid the same as lazy ones.

Lazy workers are protected; after a while, you feel like a fool for working hard, when the other guy gets paid the same as you, and sits on his butt all day.

Please remember this: being lazy becomes a habit. Being a bad worker becomes a habit. Keep your self-respect/integrity. Keep being true to yourself.

It kept my husband's uncle sane. I hope it helps you, too!

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #18)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:35 AM

37. I get it.

Unions exist to protect lazy workers. They don't exist to bargain for better wages, benefits, and working conditions. They don't exist to ensure contract rights are protected. They don't exist to protect employees from disparate treatment and abusive supervisors. Your post shows me how little I learned in my 30+ years as a union member, officer, and steward.

Thanks.

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Response to hay rick (Reply #37)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:28 PM

63. Sometimes they do. Other people view it as a workplace thing.

I have shared the sources of my information below.

I believe the person who made the post I replied to is possibly having an experience similar to my (husband's) Uncle.

Do not believe I am disparaging the good that a union can do; be aware that doing good things doesn't make people happy about the bad.

"With great power comes great responsibility" -- and if you have been in a union for 30 years, you know EXACTLY what I am talking about.

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #18)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:07 AM

45. Hate to break it to you

but that is not a union issue. My company (non-union) is the same way.
Work your ass off? Paid the same as the "lazy" workers.
Show up early while others show up late? Paid the same.
Stay late while others leave early? Paid the same.

Not a union thing.

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Response to Capt. Obvious (Reply #45)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:15 PM

60. No, it never was a union thing exclusively. It's a workplace

problem, PERIOD. I have worked with people who didn't show up at all, didn't show up on time, left early, sat on their asses, spent all their time socializing with each other, or took long and frequent smoke/bathroom breaks. Many of whom were untouchable in terms of being fired or demoted, because the managers/supervisors really liked them for some reason. And none of these jobs were union.

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Response to Capt. Obvious (Reply #45)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:43 PM

72. Sit around playing cards while other people work --

Or take naps, and yell at other workers for disturbing you --

These are stories my family has shared (see below).

Yes, it happens in non-union shops, too. (Especially where relatives have been hired - lol!) But in a union shop, the members PAY DUES to be treated like that. In a non-union workplace, one receives a paycheck without that deduction.

Since the topic of the original post is "why do union people HATE unions" I believe it is a relevant point.

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Response to Capt. Obvious (Reply #45)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:02 PM

84. Sounds like someone needs to set standards and make people accountable, that's not union...poor lead

...leadership is everywhere

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Response to Capt. Obvious (Reply #45)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:15 PM

89. +1 nt

 

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Response to Capt. Obvious (Reply #45)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:28 PM

139. and new hires often come in at pay they did not "earn"

It used to bug the hell out of us non-union bank employees when the bank would hire new people at or near what it had taken the rest of us forever to reach...and they new ones knew very little until WE taught them.,,,

We always joked that the only way to get a decent raise was to quit and then re-apply later... a few actually did that.. they quit..went to our competitor bank and later on came back..got the equivalent of TWO raises..

Unions spell it all out..no intrigue

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Response to SoCalDem (Reply #139)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 06:25 PM

148. *boggle* "no intrigue"?

Unions spell it all out..no intrigue



Yeah, OK. We have had vastly different experiences of being in unions...

It replaces one inscrutable set of favoritisms with another. Over the aggregate unions are worth it, but I can't blame an individual worker for wanting to have only one level of bosses screwing him rather than two.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #148)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 06:27 PM

149. I am enjoying my union pension..and I liked making $16+ an hour (retired in '96)

I never minded paying $28 a month in dues....and for that we got a great medical plan $3 RX..$5 co-pay..

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #18)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:54 PM

121. That's also true of non-union workers who have "connections". And there are plenty of them.

I didn't work in a union environment but I know plenty of people who were "protected" for various reasons. Some because they were management, some because they were related to someone in power, some because they were golfing buddies of someone, etc.

It's not just in unions. I'm sure that it also happens in church organizations, for example.

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Response to SharonAnn (Reply #121)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 04:24 PM

126. Truth. But when union dues are paid, you expect better

from the union. It is a special brand of "insult to injury" when you pay for the privilege of being treated like crap.

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #126)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 12:55 PM

158. Not really sure what the union has to do with that

Yeah, like any human run organization you can have corruption, poor organization, weak leadership, etc. and unions are just as capable of failing in their missions as any other organization (especially considering the massive amount of attacks from anti-union interests they receive). But the union is there to ensure things like minimum wage, basic workplace safety, making sure the company is providing decent health benefits, you get needed breaks, etc. It's about preventing mistreatment and attempting to get a reasonable wage for everyone. Making sure management recognizes your achievements compared to your co-workers isn't generally something they are there for.

In some cases the union is providing a basic safety net to keep a poor or cruel manager/owner from completely destroying your life. It doesn't guarantee the job is good or satisfying, but it very well could be keeping a bad situation from being completely disastrous. Unions don't work miracles.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:10 AM

28. A study I read about 10-12 years back addresses your issues

It found that in UNIONIZED Companies the employees were more willing to criticize another employee for NOT working up to par and bitching about management NOT getting rid of the sub par employee then employees in unionized companies.

The study also found the better workers were the ones that supported the union and unionization. The main reason is under the Union it was the work they did that mattered NOT their relationship with their boss. My Grandfather was was a foreman in J&L Steel in Pittsburgh from WWI till the 1950s and he would have agreed. His comment (as a foreman he could NOT join the union for he was management) was unionization was the best thing the ever occur for J&L Steel, for it provided job security, something his workers had to rely on him and other foreman for in the days before the union (I.e. someone could no longer be fired because his supervisor disliked him).

The Study was quickly buried for it went against what the right wing wanted to hear. i.e. the Study said a company with a Union had better workers then a similar non-unionized company.

One reason for the increase number of better workers in Unionized work places was the greater job security and increase pay (With the greater job Security, in the long term, being a greater factor then the increase pay) . Those two things encouraged better workers to apply and to stay. When companies do hire, they tend to want the best workers they can get, thus they hire the better workers (Remember even in unionized shops new employees, not re-hires or people called off layoffs, often get a 90 day probation period to see how good a worker they are, if the new employee is NOT up to standards he or she can be left go in that 90 day period and being a member of the Union does not matter).

Side-note: When I was in Collage (1977-1981) I read another report that unionization did little to increase actual pay, no more then 10% over what it would have been without the Union. The key advantage was that the union existed and being a bottom up organization was responsive to the needs of the employees, unlike the employer who were all top down organizations. Thus Job Security, working hours, how people were to be laid off if lay offs were necessary were factors the union could make a real difference in, i.e. to make the work place a better place to work. In effective the Union acted like a local municipality, providing local services and trying to make the municipality a good place to live. In the case of the union, the work place a good place to work.

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Response to happyslug (Reply #28)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:57 AM

41. The 90-day probationary period is important.

It is seldom mentioned in discussions of union workplaces, but I always thought it was crucial. I was both a steward and a trainer at various points in my career, so I watched the process up close. I disagreed with some of management's decisions on who to keep and who to let go, but mostly the process worked to the benefit of both parties. Management was able to weed out employees who were inept or demonstrated poor attendance patterns, and the union was spared the burden of having to constantly defend such people in discipline cases. Making it through the probationary period was usually viewed as an achievement. The employees demonstrated and developed good work habits and those good habits helped justify the pay/benefit/representation "premium" which they received.

In a reasonably run business, the mutual benefits continue to accrue. Workers appreciate job security as a bonus and expect to give extra effort to continuously prove their worth. Companies with a long-term contractual commitment to employees have an incentive to train those employees for new skills and new technologies. It can work.

Thanks for a good post.

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Response to hay rick (Reply #41)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:12 PM

87. And the 90 Day probationary period is a historical accident.

Prior to the 1930s, the US did NOT have unemployment insurance, workers were on their own for such insurance (The old Pittsburgh Press use to have a "Historical Section" but instead of reporting the important events that happened that day, they looked back at what was the top news item, 10, 25, 50 and 100 years before, on most days you thus read a short note about the hot item in what appears to have been slow news days. One of those reports from the 1880s was about steel workers in Carnegie and Pittsburgh buying small farm plots in what is top a suburb of Pittsburgh but what was then farm land. They did NOT live on them, they just would plant some crops and on their days off walk the 10-15 miles to the farm to take care of it. The purpose of the farm was to provide them food when the mills closed down. That was all the support they could expect when they were laid off from work).

In the 1930s the Federal Government decided some type of unemployment was needed and that it had to be Federally paid for but operated by the states. Since this is all pre-electrical computer (but post IBM punch card machines) it was calculated that it would take the unemployment office up to three months to process records of employment. Since Unemployment Compensation was to be given based on a worker's employment history, that three months was critical. Thus the unemployment office would NOT have employment records for people for the three months prior to they making application for unemployment, How do you provide unemployment?

On top of this, to discourage lay offs, the unemployment tax rate of employers was based on how many people they laid off AND won unemployment benefits (Technically the rate is "Fixed" by Federal law, but each state can discount that tax based on the historical history of the employer laying people off work).

If someone did not apply for unemployment compensation, that was good for the employer's unemployment tax tate, if it was determined the layoff was for "Willful misconduct" that meat no unemployment Compensation, thus no effect on the unemployment tax the employer had to pay. On the other hand if the lay off was due to lack of work, that meant the worker was eligible for unemployment compensation and thus would affect the unemployment tax rate of the employer.

Now, due to the technology of the 1930s, they was no way the Unemployment office could get the data on the rate of pay of an employee short of waiting three months. The solution was Unemployment Compensation was NOT based on your work in the three months PRIOR to you being unemployed, but the year BEFORE that three months period. This gave the Unemployment Office the time period to get accurate data as to pay of the Unemployed worker and to provide benefits immediately, through based on his pay in the year PRIOR to the three months prior to the worker becoming unemployed.

A side affect of this three months delay in unemployment benefits calculation came the 90 day probation period. The 90 days was a "Free time" for the new employer, if they laid off the worker during that three month period, it was his previous employer that was hit with fact he was no longer working, for unemployment was based on not only the pay the worker had been receiving in the year before the three months period, but any Unemployment Tax Rate was set on THAT employer not the employer who employed the worker in the last three months before he applied for unemployment benefits.

Thus the 90 days probationary period is based on the technology of the 1930s. The six months delay in getting Social Security and Social Security Disability is also a result of that technology. By 1974 when Supplement Security Income (SSI) was added to the functions of the Social Security Administration, we had things called "Computers" all main frames (The desk top computer was still in the future in 1974 coming out in the late 1970s) but able to process employment data almost instantaneously. Thus SSI is NOT subject to any delay, for a delay to process the numbers was no longer needed, but the law did not change for Social Security or unemployment for Companies had adjusted to the delay in both and changing the adjustments (including the 90 day probationary period) was viewed as being worse then the delay of benefits calculations that was no longer needed.

Just a comment that the 90 day probationary period is a product of Unemployment law and the Technology of the 1930s, not a gift from employers.

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Response to happyslug (Reply #87)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:19 PM

93. Fascinating!!!

Thank you for sharing!!!

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Response to happyslug (Reply #87)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:41 PM

97. Very interesting. nt

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Response to happyslug (Reply #87)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:41 PM

103. That's very interesting.

However, I can say I have never thought of the 90 day probationary period as a gift from the employer, but as an opportunity for them to figure out if the employee belonged in the job.

Very few companies, in my limited experience, actually use the 90 days that way.

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Response to happyslug (Reply #87)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:45 PM

105. Thanks for the informative post.

I'm always learning new things here.

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Response to happyslug (Reply #28)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:33 PM

66. And that's the problem with talking about "unions" in general. Different types of work...

... should have different systems.

My union days were taking pallets of stuff off of floating things onto dry land. There's really not a bad or good way to do that (as long as you don't actually drop the stuff into the harbor). I think unions where, just bluntly, more skill is involved in the job can do a lot more to foster better work.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:25 AM

34. If the union is holding you down...

go get a job without union representation. Problem solved.

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Response to hay rick (Reply #34)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:16 PM

91. Yep, go enjoy employment at will. nt

 

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Response to hay rick (Reply #34)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 07:20 AM

154. When we get an economy back

that's my plan. Right now, I think we may be on the cusp of a double dip recession, in which case I really couldn't provide for myself better in any other way. Besides, I'm in my mid-fifties, and the only way we get hired without knowing someone is in an economy where most people can find some kind of work, we haven't been there for at least four years.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:49 AM

39. Sounds like the company you work for has a problem, not the Union necessarily.

Recognition for good work is not something that Unions that I am familiar with do, the companies the Union members work in do that. Some companies that are not being managed optimally will point a finger at Unions for not giving high performing members recognition, but the company is responsible, not the Union.

Some workers, regardless of their job, prefer to do a good job but outside of pay, go unrecognized. Some workers need recognition that is meaningful to them, a cookie cutter approach is not always the best way to recognize. Skilled managers understand what motivates people that they work with and work to find ways of keeping those people happy and productive

From your handle, I assume that you work in some form of customer service. Many companies in the lower and middle of that field, which is enormously broad, aren't known for treating employees well and rewarding them for a job well done.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #39)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 07:22 AM

155. Oh, it does indeed

They've changed the entire computer system that the company uses, and rather than test-marketing it in a few areas to work the bugs out, everybody connected with it, management, labor, and the customers are the guinea pigs. It's really poisoned relations all around.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:54 AM

50. Then your beef is with management. Union membership has little to do with how they perceive you.

But that is a common right-wing complaint against Unions, when in all reality and in fact, it should be a complaint against the employer's lack of constructive feedback to their employees.

Well-run corporations consistently communicate with their employees about the quality of their work, both when it is superior and when it is inferior.


Have you talked to your immediate supervisor about your concerns? Have you approached your shop steward about how you feel?

How about forming a committee of like-minded employees and ask your employer if they would be willing to put some kind of review process in place, so employees know where they stand?

How does your employer cull the real losers from their staff? Please don't tell me they just wait for them to die off.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:16 PM

62. if you have "lazy" coworkers, you have a management problem, not a union problem. n/t

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Response to Scout (Reply #62)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:45 PM

74. What should management do? (nt)

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Response to Recursion (Reply #74)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:58 PM

81. gosh, i guess they have no performance standards, no means of discipline.

i guess it's just unreasonable for a manager to know who gets the work done and who farts around.

i guess it's impossible to have do any kind of verbal and written warnings, no progressive discipline.

what's a manager to do?

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Response to Scout (Reply #81)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:01 PM

83. Well, actually

i guess it's impossible to have do any kind of verbal and written warnings, no progressive discipline.

With ILWU it was. Every disciplinary matter had to go through the union, period, and there was no recourse if they didn't do anything.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #74)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:17 PM

138. Evaluate, document and provide the proper paperwork!

The union is supposed to represent the worker, whether they be a hard charger or a lazy bum. That's one of the services your dues pay for - just as we all pay taxes that go to or support programs we don't want, the union dues provide the service of collective bargaining and protections on the job.

If management has their act together, they have performance metrics and policies negotiated and accepted by the union. Over the thirty years my father was a teacher, there were several union teachers fired or otherwise "encouraged" to retire early because the school had the paperwork trail to prove those teachers were not capable of teaching. It wasn't sudden - because the requirement for cause was to protect the good teacher that may be facing pressure from a connected parent with a grudge - but it could be done.

Union protections are not to protect the bad workers, union protections are to protect all workers from fickle or weak management who would otherwise fire a couple good workers because "the major task of the moment was almost complete on Wednesday and the corporate bean counters were going to look at the books on Friday and they had to show a reduction in costs" - before the next cycle of work would begin the next week.

I've seen it happen in more than one non-union shop on the waterfront. Of course, the workers that were just let go were not re-hired for the new contract, they'd just go back a few contracts and see if the good workers they fired a couple months previous for the same reason were willing to come back - at lower wages, of course.

It was a nasty cycle of declining wages that has not abated - and since the union jobs were protected and all the available jobs filled, workers who weren't union have little recourse working in non-union shops.

I saw the non-union wages and benefits for an entire major industry fall by over 25% over the past 15 years; experienced electricians and welders starting with companies at around $20 an hour with regular vesting raises and a nice, full benefit package with full medical/dental and 401K matching in 1991 find themselves starting (at the same level of experience, certification requirements, and position) at a pretty much frozen $16/$17 an hour and had to wait a year to get any sort of benefits that company wanted to give. And forget about vesting, those workers weren't going to be able to stay with a company for more than three years depending on the contract requirements; a worker can only hope to parlay their resume into a better job at the next company they might be able to get work at before they got let go.

And this sort of short-sighted treatment of the workforce does not make for much of a quality product - the work at the end of a contract pretty much always has to be double-checked as workers begin looking for the next place they might be able to work at after the traditional thank-you-and-here's-a-pink-slip-for-half-of-you company party.

I had already made project manager when the companies in this industry started taking that attitude towards the general workforce, so it would be a rare thing for me to get let go - but I noticed (and complained) that the work force that remained and the replacement workers began to do less and less quality work as those "pink slip parties" became more of a regular occurrence after each job, and people started seeing wages slide backwards.

Haele

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Response to haele (Reply #138)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:38 PM

142. excellent post, thank you n/t

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:21 AM

8. I just had a argument about this on another forum where most folks there are RW, not all but most

 

And they almost had one of the moderate folks convinced. So I posted this. Of course they jumped all over me for it. But that's why I like posting there. LOL


    I said to the moderate guy: The whole argument of right to work is having the right to choose not to pay union dues if your job is represented by a union. So you say to yourself "yea! its my money I should have the right to choose". To which I would reply "ok, what would you rather have. $15hr pay with little to no benefits or $25hr pay with better benefits and only having to pay a nominal monthly fee (dues) to maintain representation but still leaving you with most of the extra pay you are making?"

    Some people would try to argue that the increased pay/benefits is choking the viability of that business. To which I would reply by saying their argument has no correlation to the statistical facts.

    In fact its quite the contrary. The facts show that not only was our country the best off its ever been during the height of union membership, but the facts also show that their right-wing economic theory only ultra concentrates the wealth into very few hands resulting in what we see today. Lots of unemployment. Lots of under-employment. Lots of people needing public assistance instead of paying taxes, etc.

    But also notice that the gains due to labor expense savings in non-union businesses don't go to increasing their employees compensation. Doesn't go toward hiring more labor. Doesn't go toward benefiting the community. Doesn't even go toward benefiting our country. Nope, it goes into the pockets of executives who then hide it in off shore bank accounts.

    Then guess who gets to pick up more of the cost to run our country? The poor employee who thought it was cool to get rid of unions.

    Its all about cost shifting onto the backs of workers so fat cats can get fatter and fatter and they could care less about what it does to you or what it does to our country. Its a tragedy that RW folks have been hoodwinked into believing something that goes both against their own interests and our country's interests.

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:24 AM

9. Happens all the time

A woman I work with owes her nice lifestyle to a union. Her husband is on a disability pension. Union pension. Plus he gets SSD. Hardly any of that is subject to income tax. The are able to live very well, take lovely vacations and own a nice variety of "toys" due to that income. She's also in our union. Although, due to her husband's union medical benefits, she doesn't need ours, she gets the opt-out payment our union negotiates each contract. The most successful of her offspring is doing well because he got into an electricians' union. In that case, the union is the entire career path, not the individual job. She encouraged him in this. Of course there was some relative who helped him get in and to get started. She was pretty happy about the whole thing, because a career direction for him wasn't so clear before this worked out for him.

She hates unions. She doesn't really have a reason, but she hates them. She's also one of a tiny handful of people in our office who votes Republican. When she bothers to vote, which is not often, I don't think.

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Response to union_maid (Reply #9)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:01 AM

42. Talk about biting the hand that feed you. Do you talk to her often? Does she think she or her

efforts are special?

I started my career at a management level. What I have noticed is that people that fill the semi-skilled to skilled, non professional positions that paid well hated Unions with a passion, although their very pay levels depended on benchmarking to Union pay rates. Their benefits were benchmarked to Union benefits. They were unable to draw any correlations.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #42)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:51 PM

120. Well, I figured it out. One time we got an extra year's vacation and another we got long-term

disability coverage. When I asked about this (I was pretty naive) I learned that the union had negotiated these benefits for their members and so they were extended to all the employees.

I thought, "Wow! I don't even belong to the Union and I'm getting benefits that they negotiated."

From then on, I supported unions. Still do.

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:33 AM

11. Media brainwashing.

And they resent the little that is taken out of their paycheck to pay for it because that is as far as they can see.

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:34 AM

12. I've had this conversation with people

I say, "Compare your wages to those of someone who does a similar job someplace without a union. The difference is far more than the union dues, and if you didn't pay the union dues, you'd be making what they make."

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:37 AM

13. Another consideration regarding unions....

I have a relative who has a good paying position with a non-union company. She is adamantly anti union, based on her experience with this company. She absolutely will not concede that if the threat of unionization was not hanging over that company (which has had to deal with unionization attempts), they would not be treated so well.

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:51 AM

14. Maybe his union sucked?

 

I was in a union many years ago.
My local was store-bought, mob run, and did not do anything for us.
I went to a meeting one time, and asked some simple question about something.
The next day, the local rep came to the store to follow up.
He took me aside and suggested that maybe this industry was not for me, and maybe I should consider a career somewhere else.

My father was in a different union in a different industry, and his union was amazing.
So I don't hold my experience against all unions.

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:58 AM

15. You don't get it because you have not been a union worker.

I started with the IBEW making $2.25 an hour. I made $20 an hour with the musicians union. I made over $14k a year in the teamsters union (in 1966). I left the teamsters union in 95. I hold no love for unions.
As with any business unions have become a money generator and that has become their focus. They institute a high initiation fee and allow a fast turnover which generates considerable income for the union and then organize themselves so that there is little operating costs other than executive salaries. The unions have lost the trust of the workers, but since there is no alternative the workers stay in line (and the union knows and counts on this).
Unions have had time to renew themselves and become close to the workers but have stayed apart and aloof. The opportunity exists still. but not for long.

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Response to MrYikes (Reply #15)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:56 PM

110. Sound more like personal problems.

Sorry things didn't work out and you didn't enjoy your living wage. That being said have you checked out the Ron Paul forums? They're probably much more open to free market warriors like yourself.

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Response to MrYikes (Reply #15)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:29 PM

140. If your union sucks


It's not the unions fault. It's yours, because you the worker are the union. Without workers unions could not exist. If you don't like the direction of your union then you need to get involved. Get with with co-workers, and come up with a strategy. Participate in union meetings, educational workshops, and other events. Instead of just letting a handful of members do all the heavy lifting.

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Response to standingtall (Reply #140)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 06:52 PM

151. Reading comprehension is not taught well at many schools.

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:24 AM

16. It's truly mind boggling.

 

They can't grasp they couldn't have lost something they never would've had. It's too much for them to process.

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:13 AM

17. I can explain: THE CORRUPTION.

I live in Michigan. My father (rest his soul) was salary at GM as an investigator. My FIL is a retired Teamster.

Both HATE(d) the unions.

It isn't how good you are as to whether you will be "protected" - it is "who you know." My father dealt with workers who were thieves (stealing parts from the factory for fun and profit); they would catch them, get them convicted in court, and they would be back on the factory floor (usually stealing again) within days. Then there were the guys who came to work drunk or drugged out; people get hurt when that happens, but the union always managed to "protect" the "chosen ones" - you know, the ones with relatives in power.

One of the cases I remember as a child that had my father livid furious involved a "union rep" who had other people punch his time card in, and then didn't actually bother to come to work. Video cameras were still pretty new back then, so my father was tickled pink because they got a camera, and then video taped the guy mowing his lawn, working around his yard, etc. FOR TWO WEEKS while his time card showed him "at work collecting overtime pay." Evidence presented, but guy not fired -why? Because the union traded PARKING LOT LIGHTS (a safety issue for all the people who worked there) in return for this guy getting to keep his job.

My FIL was a "proud Teamster" guy, until he was chosen to represent one of the fellow workers in a negotiation situation where the worker had been "wronged" by a management/supervisor person. FIL is a dedicated volunteer guy, and he knew the worker had gotten screwed. He worked a double shift (to make sure the family got paid for him taking time off to do his union duty), and then on less than two hours of sleep drove the distance to get to wherever the heck the negotiation was going on, arriving between three and four in the morning at the hotel. He expected everyone to be asleep, but found a party in full swing. He tracked down the guy he knew who was going to tell him where he was supposed to be when (and keep in mind my FIL had been fretting over this for days because he isn't a public speaker, and he really wanted to make sure he did a good job presenting the facts of the case), who quickly told him he didn't have anything to worry about - this guy had already been "back room dealt with", everybody had already decided he was going to lose in exchange for somebody else winning, and the whole process (which my FIL had believed in) was simply for show. The injustice of the situation still rankles him nearly twenty years later.

Then there is my husband's uncle; his stories are nearly as annoyed. Because the unions "protected" people once they hit a certain seniority position, three guys would be assigned to do a job that one working man could easily do. How did Uncle know this? Well, he was the guy who did it, while the other two would go play cards, take a nap, or watch the little televisions hidden all over the place. Fortunately for the company, my uncle doesn't like being bored, so he would actually DO THE JOB, but watching people NOT WORK and still get paid, while he worked his butt off, with everyone getting paid the same amount - well, it wasn't like the union was going to go after the lazy ones who DIDN'T work, right? Especially if they had "connections." It made him feel stupid, and no man likes to feel like a fool. He told me (the last time we talked about it a few holidays ago) that he finally came to terms with it because he knew he had earned his money, and they had to live with themselves. Didn't mean he respected the union, but he knew the score, and a man does what he needs to do to pay the bills.

The last story I will tell is from my husband's perspective. He is a finance guy, and one of his first "Controller" jobs was an eye opener for him. The company was in dire financial straights (this was my husband's third turn-around situation), and as Finance Guy he noticed that the overtime for maintenance guys was killing the budget, especially because it was causing a huge increase in unnecessary overtime for the rest of the plant -- the equipment wasn't that old, but invariably one of the machines would go down, the line would get shut down, the maintenance department would get called in for emergency repair (usually requiring hours), and then the next shift would end up getting overtime to make up for the fact that the previous one had to sit around because they couldn't work with the line shut down. This kept happening, which was really throwing off the company's financial recovery, and it didn't make any sense - until my husband was walking the floor one evening, and got to observe one of the maintenance guys come out from the "sleeping area", and (not seeing my husband) walk over with a wrench and whack something off of one of the machines, and then walk away as some kind of alarm went off. My husband said he just stood there stunned as everything fell into place.

Very strong union.

So, in answer to your question, the reason so many people who owe so much to unions HATE the unions is because

they hate unions giving favoritism/preferential treatment to people who don't work or pull their weight, taking advantage of them, and not enforcing "the rules" fairly.

It has been described to me as being forced to live in a high school popularity contest; if you are one of the "chosen few" - either by blood or drinking buddy - you will be protected, but if you are "an outsider" you will be given the crap jobs and sacrificed. It isn't what you know, or how hard of a worker you are - it is WHO you know, WHO you drink with, WHO you are related to - and for the majority outside of the "sacred circle" it sucks. And for those on the outside (before silly people suggest they run for office), if you can't win the "popularity contest" it won't get better.

Other people's experiences may vary. I am sharing those of my family: my father, my father-in-law, my husband's uncle and my husband. I have other relatives in the industry as well ("Uncle Charlie" being drunk on the job stories - sigh; my mom not getting fired after she walked off the job because my dad was able to pull strings when she worked for a bit during a rough financial spot in my childhood; my grandpa losing his fingers on the line, etc.). I believe in the concept of unions, but understand the implementation has been less than stellar.

Politics is always local, and unions are filled with personal politics.

A lot of people hate that, so they hate the unions. People recognize FAIR. People recognize JUSTICE. The auto unions have lost that, and that means they are losing the support of the people.

It is like finding out that a boyfriend/girlfriend is cheating on you; you might love who you thought they were, but it doesn't mean you still want to be with them.

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #17)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:26 AM

19. Kinda like political appointees...no

"they hate unions giving favoritism/preferential treatment to people who don't work or pull their weight, taking advantage of them, and not enforcing "the rules" fairly."

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Response to Historic NY (Reply #19)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:57 AM

25. Yes, it is the same thing. My FIL holds politicians in contempt as well.

At a certain level, I understand; if you can't count on the people you put in office to look out for EVERYONE FAIRLY, what is the point?

Unfortunately, the unions I am familiar with have lost their reputation with these types of shenanigans. To believe otherwise would be to call people I love and trust liars. They aren't.

Now, I also have friends who are teachers, and they are VERY POSITIVE about the teacher's union. I have also never heard anything bad about the firefighters union. Perhaps the difference is the perception of them working for public safety, instead of for profit?

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #17)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:56 AM

24. Yes, there is corruption

There are always people who exploit the system they find themselves in. But, if you want to start comparing there is FAR MORE corruption at the CEO level and it is FAR MORE widespread. Like blowing up the country's entire financial system at the expense of 98% of the country for instance.

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Response to 1gobluedem (Reply #24)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:02 AM

26. You can say that, but the stories I am sharing are PERSONAL.

Corrupt CEOS do things that screw people; the stories I am telling are In Your Face Personal and "Laughing At You Because I Got Away With Something And You Are A Sucker" stories.

They burn at a different level.

Also, saying we should turn a blind eye to corruption because "Look! Corruption there, too!" is a big part of the problem.

Worker Guy can't control the CEO. Having to pay "union dues" despite corruption is a visceral gut check on getting screwed because you see it coming out of your paycheck.

My two cents.

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #26)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:31 AM

35. my dad experienced the same thing at the phone company

He was a mechanic in the shop. Because he saw it directly, he ends up hating the union guys more than the bosses who pull even bigger scams. He'd moved to Tennessee and was steamed that ignorant shit-kicker hicks were not doing the work and making the same money he was. And yes, he was on the losing side of the popularity contest.

Thing is, these are wedge issues, just like finding the poster children for welfare mooches to justify ending the whole system. It's not just throwing out the baby with the bathwater reform, it's cherrypicking and demonization.

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Response to jollyreaper2112 (Reply #35)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:44 PM

98. I think the wedge issue could have been handled

by the Unions keeping things clean and fair.

But I think "some people" saw the money and took advantage; the people paying the money in (or who saw the injustice) got angry.

Angry men who feel helpless are not going to be "pro-union."

If the stories ended, "and then the union bosses escorted that lazy so-and-so who was making the rest of us look bad right out the door because UNION BROTHERHOOD means we expect our BROTHERS to pull their fair share of the load!" I don't think the nasty taste would have lasted.

It would have been replaced with pride.

I used the analogy of a cheating spouse you can't escape. I am still chewing on whether or not it is the best one to explain to the folks who only remember the good stuff or only the bad stuff, instead of the "here is what is good, and here is where we can do better" stuff.

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #98)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:44 PM

143. If members pay dues they have a right to be represented.


I don't care what the perception is. It's about justice. Just like in the legal system the accused has a right to a fair trial, and Representation. The union should never in the business of showing employees the door, especially when those employees pay dues to the union to represent them. The company is the one that has the responsibility to show just cause for terminating employees. Any shop steward who thinks any differently then that is a lousy one as far as I am concerned.

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #26)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:21 AM

47. I was bargained for by a union for years

I have a friend who works for the UAW and has made countless organizing trips to the south, bringing back stories from right to work states and right to work auto plants that would make your hair stand on end. Your stories illustrate some problems but, for the most part, unions protect workers. Do they protect a few lousy ones? Yes, they do. But, far and away, the good they do outweighs the issues.

I worked in PR for three years at an 'at-will' national corporation. I worked my way up from receptionist to a PR associate and was getting a lot of recognition for my efforts, particularly from the VP of my division. Too much for my boss who just up and fired me one day. I went to a lawyer, with the excellent job review she had given me just days earlier in hand, to see what options I had to fight it. Because I had agreed to 'at will' (with no choice unless I didn't want the job), there wasn't a single thing I could do about it. The attorney told me it was a case of professional jealousy (and put it in writing) but, because of the 'at will,' there was nothing more I could do.

That's right to work, right there. So, I was more than happy to get to a union environment where I couldn't be fired just because someone thought my work was TOO good. That's my PERSONAL story. Have I seen some people who take advantage of the system? Yes, I have. But not enough to make me hate the unions.

I am administrator now and no longer bargained for. But because of the strong union environment here on my campus, we 'at-wills' have far more protection than I ever had at my former company. If not, I would have turned the promotion down.

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Response to 1gobluedem (Reply #47)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:03 PM

54. I have been "at will" for my entire career.

I have never been "protected" by a union.

While I believe unions have done a great deal of good (and am grateful for them), I can only share the stories my family tells.

I do not have any family members who hold automotive unions in high esteem.

I am sorry. It is my reality.

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #54)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:35 PM

68. Well, stories can also be exaggerated

And there are more unions than those in the automotive industry.

I hope you are never fired because of professional jealousy, or some other made up reason, in your at-will career. That union protection might look a little better to you even if the system isn't perfect.

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Response to 1gobluedem (Reply #68)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:52 PM

78. The automatic assumption that my family lies

is a little offensive, especially because they have no reason to do so.

I have had projects terminated for multiple reasons, including the ultimate sin of "working too fast". My career has been filled with diverse opportunities, and I have enjoyed the majority of them.

I have never been in a union. I don't hate unions. I don't have any member of my family who has had a positive experience with unions (automotive related), but have heard good things about the teachers unions and the firefighters unions.

My family believes the unions are corrupt. I have shared some of the reasons they believe this.

The world is not a perfect place, but we all have to do our best.

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #78)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:24 PM

117. Sigh. I didn't call anyone a liar

I said stories can be exaggerated. They can be and usually are to make them more entertaining.

These are not your experiences; they have been relayed to you via other people. Certainly there was corruption in the situations they experienced. But, unless it was your firsthand experience all I'm saying is it might be exaggerated a bit. That's all. My point is that while these family members of yours may have had some unfortunate experiences, it doesn't mean all union behavior is the same.

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Response to 1gobluedem (Reply #117)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:43 PM

118. I appreciate your clarification. Now, pretend they were telling *their* truth.

I believe them. I believe they accurately reported their experiences, observations, and conclusions.

Of course we can agree that NOT ALL unions create a culture of corruption.

I hope as sensible people we can also agree that NOT ALL union members are worthy of automatic respect.

People who pretend the experiences of others didn't happen, or were exaggerated, or weren't really all that bad, deny the reality of a problem.

SOME PEOPLE, who have experience with Unions, HATE UNIONS. They are not ignorant. They are not fools. They know what they know, they saw what they saw, and they have shared that opinion with family and friends.

Here is an example: SOME PEOPLE have bad experiences with police officers if they "drive while black." This does not mean we should pretend it doesn't happen because "other people haven't had that problem" or because "most police officers are wonderful."

It means when there is a problem, you clean it up.

Like it or not, there are 40 years worth of stories of Union Corruption in *my* family.

I still support unions. I don't believe we should throw the baby out with the bath water.

But I also believe a realistic discussion of *WHY* unions leave such a bad taste in the mouths of so many should be held.

This is Michigan. There should have been HUNDREDS of thousands of people at the capital Monday. I believe the reports said about 12,000.

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Response to 1gobluedem (Reply #68)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:22 PM

95. Would you like me to share some local stories?

In another union?

Unions have a lot of self reflection to do...I mean that...and need to do some cleaning house, double mean that.

Suffice it to say that at this point the union my husband belongs to is a good example of the troubles, not the good things.

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Response to 1gobluedem (Reply #47)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:48 PM

108. Several years ago I was fired after two days

on a job for "unbridled enthusiasm".

Really.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #108)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:46 PM

119. I had a manager honestly tell me --

"you smile too much!"

Seriously, what do you do with a critique like that?

Sometimes, people are just idiots.

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #17)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:02 AM

27. Yep, been there.

I even have a lot of union friends down here, they always vote R.

I can't understand the company paying for 4 guys to run a jumper that 1 middle school kid could do in 1/4 of the time.

And they were trained by their employer to be that way because they turn around and bill someone else for there time.

I support the unions, but it makes the bile in my stomach rise when I am around the guys.

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Response to LiberalArkie (Reply #27)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:12 AM

30. The stupid part is that "everyone knows" and nothing changes.

Management knows what is going on, and they ship the jobs overseas.

The union guys know what is going on, and they keep milking it.

Honesty and integrity become code words for "SUCKERS!" and everyone has to play stupid to get along.

I believe unions are necessary as a "balance of power" situation that includes government oversight and good management, with all three things working to protect a strong America.

- When I can't trust the government to do their job - enforce the rules designed to keep people safe, for example - then I lose faith in my government.

- When I can't trust management to look out for the long term best interests of the business - specifically, the customers of that business and the workers who make things happen - because they are looking out for short term bonuses and the next multi-million dollar opportunity to pillage from a good company - then I lose faith in my company.

- When I can't trust the unions to look out for the safety and well being of the workers and the long term good of the company because of corruption and favoritism, then I lose faith in the value of a work ethic.

People who put their heads in the sand about these very old problems - well, I am of the "tell the truth and shame the devil" school.

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #17)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:16 AM

31. I understand your reaction, however:

Yes there are abused by the unions. How do the abuses compare to those by management when the worker isn't protected by a union? I have seen both and I will assure you that my experience was that weren't union favoritism and retribution by management far exceeded that which I experience in union shops. I will also like to note that many of the abuses that have occurred in union shops are the direct result of the failure of the members to control the situation. Many union meetings were very poorly attended allowing cronyism and outright gangsters to become entrench in some cases. When I see abuses by unions them seem to the result of lack of participation and are analogous to what is transpiring in government. In the latter case where right-wing activists have taken over local government, dominating every aspect ranging from school boards to city and state government.

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Response to olegramps (Reply #31)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:25 AM

33. "...allowing cronyism and outright gangsters to become entrench[ed]..."

My family's experiences have ranged over the course of 40 years, and are all Michigan auto industry related.

I believe the word "entrenched" is an accurate description.

I did not support the "right to work for less" bill. I am confident that with "optional union dues" becoming the norm, membership is about to take a dive.

By laying down with the dogs, the union leaders appear to be covered with fleas. They still exist; now they have to woo their members.

The question of "what have you done for me lately?" is going to be asked.

I predict it is going to get UGLY.

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #17)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:02 AM

44. Ok, none

 

of the examples that you pointed out came from your own experience, but through others.
In your first paragraph, the person attached all the blame to the Union and none to the employer or Justice System. That Union must have an awful lot of power to sway the employer to hire back employees ( that stole from them) fix things with prosecutors and judges. They would have to be corrupt themselves? Can you give a logical explanation?

Your second paragraph also alleviates responsibility from the employer having control on their own payroll. The suggestion is even though there is evidence nobody actually did any work, the employer paid them. Yet the allegation is against the Union, responsible for paying the workers, even though they have no control over the employer's pay roll? And looking at your explanation, it could also be considered a criminal offense.

The third paragraph does not represent your own experience either but the word of someone else. It is also his own version of what he perceived as something they did wrong to him. And this was twenty years ago?

Your fourth paragraph also alleviates responsibility from your uncle. He is telling you the story, and you have no first hand knowledge yourself, this even happened. If he felt that he was doing more than his share, then he took it upon himself, because he would have still received the same pay.

Your last paragraphs also suggests from the story teller, the company had no control over their own payroll and places all the responsibilities on the Union?

And let me put it this way from my point of view, so you know where I'm coming from. I have no respect for corporations or companies right now claiming to be victims of individuals or so called lazy people cheating them. They are in my experience the biggest liars and cheaters of all. So my attitude towards them and all their profits, "Cry me a River."

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Response to John2 (Reply #44)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:01 PM

52. I am sharing the stories my family tells about Unions.

I have never been a union member, but the roof over my head and the food in my stomach for most of my life has come from the auto industry.

My father was salary. He hated the Union. I have explained why with two different examples: the guys he got put in jail (sometimes only for overnight) who weren't prosecuted by the COMPANY because bargains were made by Management and Union Leaders. This also ties into the second story (again his) - the guy who was stealing wages from the company while "on the clock" who kept his job (while the Union Leaders gave up parking lot lights, which would have benefitted all of the workers). (Paragraph 1 and 2)

My father-in-law was Union. The "dog-and-pony-show" farce made him lose his respect. (Paragraph 3)

Paragraph 4 is Union Uncle. He could have been a thief; he saw it, and lost respect.

Paragraph 5 is my husband. I still remember him coming home shaken and angry with the situation. It made him sick. The entire culture of the company was corrupt, and the fact the maintenance guys did what they did was accepted standard practice. My husband was young for the position; the only thing that could have been done was fire every single one of the guys who were doing this - and that wasn't going to happen.

Four men I love and trust, sharing their experiences of life with me: Don't Trust The Unions; They Are Corrupt. We Are Better Off Without Them.

And I have been raised in Michigan thanks to the American Auto Industry.

The original poster wanted to know why "union folk" HATE the union. I shared the perspectives that have been shared with me - two union and two salary. Take it for what it is worth.

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #17)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:31 AM

49. From a different perspective.

I started at a management level out of college and have known nothing else. The observations that you made that I copied below match exactly what I saw regarding salaried workers. The issue is not Unions as much as it is personal behavior and choices and the failure of companies to address those issues. Over my time, I have been in cases where specific Union members were dismissed from working our jobs, they were not fired from their companies, just not allowed to perform the work we needed done. The interaction was always direct and factual, there were no issues.

You comments on who a person know below are as valid for any work environment:

"It has been described to me as being forced to live in a high school popularity contest; if you are one of the "chosen few" - either by blood or drinking buddy - you will be protected, but if you are "an outsider" you will be given the crap jobs and sacrificed. It isn't what you know, or how hard of a worker you are - it is WHO you know, WHO you drink with, WHO you are related to - and for the majority outside of the "sacred circle" it sucks. And for those on the outside (before silly people suggest they run for office), if you can't win the "popularity contest" it won't get better."

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #49)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:09 PM

56. My husband is management, and I agree with you.

I am a contract programmer, and I am clear where I fall in the food chain - lol! I am expendable.

At a certain point, people who wish to move up the career chain are dependent on their ability to get along with others. I get that. Anyone who has worked in business for more than fifteen minutes gets that.

The difference is that union people pay $$$ dues and expect to be treated fairly by the people they PAY (union representatives) to represent them.

When that doesn't happen (see examples), the unions are viewed as corrupt, with zero accountability.

I believe the anger comes from the feeling of being helpless to fix an unjust situation.

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #56)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:55 PM

144. unions do have accountability

they have these things called elections. What a concept.

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #17)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:41 PM

70. Eh, where I live you aren't going to get in a union in the first place unless you know someone

We have very few unions here and all of them I've ever had anything to do with are remarkably cliquish.

Of course just getting a non union job has become about the same situation now, you're not going to get it unless you know someone on the inside.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #70)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:45 PM

75. ^^^ This (nt)

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #70)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 01:11 PM

159. Yup. The results of extreme rarity.

Most people naturally look after friends and family first when times seem tough.

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #17)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:48 PM

77. When I was in elementary school, teachers hit kids.

Today that's illegal. And in my decades long career as a teacher, I've never seen a teacher hit a kid.

Just because that's how it used to be doesn't make it the norm today.

I find it sad that you are basing your opinion on events from the past.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #77)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:55 PM

79. The stories span 40 years.

Unfortunately, some are current. If they were all 'back in the old days' it would be different.

Regardless, I buy American Cars.

I would like things to be different. I am an optimist.

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #17)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:09 PM

112. Why aren't you blaming management instead of the unions??? Really! No...really really?

I (27 yr union man) recently had to attend a function with a management guy, very anti-union. This function lasted several days. One evening we went to dinner together. The conversation turned to unions. It went like this:

Him: My father was in a union. He told me a story about a guy who wouldn't move his tool box from "here to there". He said it wasn't his job. That's just wrong.

Me: You know, I'm not gonna argue over whether that happened or not. I'm sure somewhere, sometime, something like that happened to somebody. But let me ask you, what is the union, to a guy like me on the floor, on a day-to-day basis? Not during contract negotiations, just day-to-day, everyday?

Him: (starts some long drawn out explanation about representation)

Me: Well, yeah, but mostly the union is just a pre-paid lawyer. and not a good lawyer. We hire our lawyers off the shop floor. They ain't been to law school, they ain't been to years long training. They are just off the floor, and they are called shop stewards. And that's who represents us in arbitration. And you know what? If my cheap-ass-off-the-shop-floor lawyer beats your corporate paid, college trained, cufflink-wearin' lawyer, it AIN'T MY DAMN FAULT!

He shut up about unions after that.

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Response to ret5hd (Reply #112)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 04:04 PM

122. Because the union people have to pay $$$ to get treated like crap

by OTHER union people.

When management does it, well, at least they give you a paycheck for it.

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #122)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 04:48 PM

129. But you're getting MORE of a paycheck 'cause of the union.

and i have yet, in over 27 years, to see anyone get "treated like crap" by their union.

I can go on and on, hours if you wish. My anecdotal evidence trumps yours, a non-union member.
And i got over 27 yrs worth of anecdotal evidence.

Now, you wanna go to scientific studies evidence, mine trumps yours also. We get paid more.

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Response to IdaBriggs (Reply #17)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:04 PM

133. My firsthand experience is very different from your secondhand account.

I was a union member, officer, and steward for 30+ years in the Postal Service. My union is the NALC (city letter carrier craft).

My father dealt with workers who were thieves (stealing parts from the factory for fun and profit); they would catch them, get them convicted in court, and they would be back on the factory floor (usually stealing again) within days.

Over my career, a small number of people where I worked were charged with petty theft. They were all fired.

Then there were the guys who came to work drunk or drugged out; people get hurt when that happens, but the union always managed to "protect" the "chosen ones"

I only had one drug/drinking case to deal with and it happened to be my last one. The Postal Service received an anonymous call stating that a carrier was drinking on the job at a bar. Management stopped him after he had returned to delivering his route. He admitted to having one drink that was bought for him by a patron after he entered the bar to use a restroom. He offered to take a blood test or a breathalyzer test. They declined the offer and put him on immediate suspension. They then issued a letter of removal (firing him). The carrier had over 40 years of service and the only discipline in his file was for missing a 12:00 delivery on a single Express Mail. I filed the grievance but retired before the case was settled. I understand he returned to work after 6 months. I don't know if he was awarded back pay or not. I do know that he was financially hurt as he always worked a lot of overtime (which he would not get under any settlement) and he had a kid in college.

One of the cases I remember as a child that had my father livid furious involved a "union rep" who had other people punch his time card in, and then didn't actually bother to come to work.

I never had experience with a union rep or craft employee falsifying time cards. I had experience with two managers who falsified time records. One was allowed to resign. The other was recent and the manager was suspended and his fate undetermined when I left. He was cheating employees out of time worked (the union uncovered his fraudulent entries) and they were still in the process of going through the pay records to determine the magnitude of the problem.

The FIL story is too vague to compare to my experience- but I can tell you that I never sacrificed the rights or interests of one employee to advance the interests of another employee. I don't understand the "volunteer" aspect of the story either. In my union, stewards are paid nominal wages- absolutely no one does it for the money- but they receive comprehensive training, and if they are green, somebody with experience holds their hand.

Then there is my husband's uncle; his stories are nearly as annoyed. Because the unions "protected" people once they hit a certain seniority position, three guys would be assigned to do a job that one working man could easily do.

Again, never had the pleasure of seeing anything remotely similar. When I first started 35 years ago, there were a couple old guys who worked slowly- but they worked at their pace for 8 hours. In recent years the much more common trend was to see people working through their lunch and breaks- and still being harassed.

...my husband was walking the floor one evening, and got to observe one of the maintenance guys come out from the "sleeping area", and (not seeing my husband) walk over with a wrench and whack something off of one of the machines, and then walk away as some kind of alarm went off.

Again, I have no comparable experience. I will say that if management couldn't figure out and solve the problem then management was inept or corrupt. That is not a union problem. I also wouldn't tout that situation as evidence of a "strong" union. A strong union seeks to keep the enterprise alive.

Did your husband report the incident and take an interest in the outcome?

For someone who believes in "the concept of unions" you sure seem anxious to get all your negative stories out there. The media loves your kind of story. A couple years ago, the New York Post and the New York Daily News both had a cover story about the overweight head of a plumbers local who had embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay for hookers, expensive cars, etc. That evening, I went to an officer's meeting for my local. At the time, I was a trustee and dealt with the branch finances. The President announced that we had a financial problem- officers were putting in too many compensation requests for additional work done on their own time over and above what was required in the job description. The reason for this was that the Postal Service had started issuing more discipline and it was requiring more time to provide representation. As a trustee, I knew that we didn't have more money in the budget. The President's solution was simple: officers could continue to put in the requests, but the compensation rate would be cut in half. We all laughed- and that's what we agreed to do. It was typical- and nobody heard about it except the people who attended the next membership meeting. But everybody read about the corrupt head of the plumbers...

I know that unions are not perfect, but extrapolating from my personal experience, I believe that, on balance, they are forces for good.










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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:45 AM

20. It's a lot like the anti-vaccine crowd in a way.

This is the first generation that hasn't seen kids crippled by measles, polio, and whooping cough, so there's no context to show the good that vaccines did.

Similarly, all the things that unions fought for, and paid with their blood, are simply taken for granted now.

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Response to Geoff R. Casavant (Reply #20)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:08 PM

86. You got that exactly right!

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:48 AM

21. In florida (right to work) state

If you get laid off or go on strike, you collect nothing from the union. You are left to starve, while doing your time on the picket line! I lived it in the 60's, when my father went on strike twice in one year while working at Florida Power & Light Co. There were 3 of us children under 10 years old. My father was on the picket line 7 days a week, which means there is no money coming in. Our wages and benefits are much lower than union states. It won't take long for these benefit-for-free-moochers will wish they were back paying their dues to a strong bargaining union, especially, when they start losing benefits and decide to strike. They better start saving some money, if they want to feed their family.

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:50 AM

22. my wifes union president is a teabagger....

ya ... figure that one out

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Response to madrchsod (Reply #22)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:49 AM

40. I have a cousin like that.

Not a president, but was a shop steward for a while.
Loves his union benefits. Hates the union that gives him those benefits.

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:52 AM

23. Hate Radio & Fox News

It really is that simple

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Response to Doctor_J (Reply #23)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:46 AM

38. YES!

And I would add the Koch Bros and their ilk too.

They have done an excellent job convincing the people (idiots) that unions are the cause of all things wrong with the world.

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:11 AM

29. A big clue is in your post: "He has a high-school education..."

This implies that he has not educated himself since high school. Now, I'm not saying that everyone should go to college. What I am saying is that everyone needs to continue education throughout life by reading, attend lectures, learn about history, etc.

Your friend has a very simple mindset, a simple way of thinking.

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:22 AM

32. I have been on both sides.....

...look, not all unions are the same, and just about all of them are corrupt to some extent. Anytime you are talking about millions of dollars, there's gonna be abuse. I have seen it, firsthand!
Although the union may be good, for the most part, there are locals who abuse it. I am pro-union...I believe they are necessary for fairness in bargaining. But, I have seen locals that stay broke because their leaders spend the money to stay off the clock and on union time (where the unions pay their wages) because they want pay without any output. If you think it doesn't happen, you have not been exposed to many locals. I have been in labor court and have seen the local president and VP of the union lie through their teeth, and even the judge told them so! They both worked under my supervision, and they just laughed about it when we got back to the workplace. They have no place in union leadership, but who ya gonna call? In this instance, both were replaced with responsible leaders when their terms expired. The union began accumulating monies almost immediately once they were gone!

This is just one example, and should not be equated to all locals. I have also been a member of a USW local that acted responsibly as union leaders should. They represented their members fairly, made good use of union dues, and did what was right to help both the union and the company to prosper. So, although there are scumbag cheats that get elected to leadership positions, they aren't in the majority, and most are quite legit. Isn't it that way everywhere?

So, when you see a union member badmouth their unions, they may very well have been exposed to the same kind of corruption, and it has made them very angry to see their dues mishandled. It happens.

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Response to Uben (Reply #32)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:32 AM

36. ^== This.

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Response to Uben (Reply #32)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:13 PM

57. just one of my examples

Indy teamsters 135 were voting for local president. Out of towners were mailed an envelope which contained: an instruction letter, a voting card, an envelope to put the card in, and another envelope to put the first envelope in so that it could be mailed. No other method of voting was acceptable.
The envelopes were already sealed. To open them and reseal would have voided them. It was not possible that it was a mistake. We all laughed about it, but it was a very sad laugh.

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Response to Uben (Reply #32)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:46 PM

76. OK, but this means we need to FIX THE BAD LOCALS...

rather than just shrug and say "oh, that's not every local".

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Response to Recursion (Reply #76)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:27 PM

100. There you are.

You now have a new life quest. Just walk into the Indy 135 union hall and straighten them out.

Just as a helpful hint, I'd have someone stay in the car with the motor running.

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:02 AM

43. They don't get that without that union they hate so much they'd have died at their post.

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:10 AM

46. RW media

They hate unions because they're told to.

But they love all the benefits their union brought them. They'll never admit that they were a union perk though - but that they deserved those bargained for benefits.

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:23 AM

48. Fox News. Any other explanation is incomplete.

 

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:00 PM

51. My dues are about

1.5% of my pay. That seems a small price to pay. They took his pay because the union has to pay bills too..........

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:01 PM

53. Idiots

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:04 PM

55. Basically, A Lot Of People

buy into anti-union BS even if they are in a union. Unions are no more perfect that any other group of people. They have agendas, they play favorites, they do dumb things. Sometimes they protect dolts and back stupid policies. They give raises to losers and great workers alike. I have worked private and public, union and nonunion. One nonunion place I worked for, management told us "Oh no, you don't want a union. With a union, we would have to give the same raise to the incompetent at the desk next to you as we do to a wonderful worker such as yourself." People bought it. No union. Guess what...every year, everybody got the same raise. Had kind of a dumb guy I worked with at another nonunion job. Was pretty incompetent, but he discovered that when problems resulted from his incompetence he could blame them on someone else and then make a big scene about solving the mess (with lots of help, of course, since he landed in this mess) and then be lauded for being a great mess-cleaner-upper. In reality he was a mess maker, but he got stars while us mess-avoiders got nothing. Wasn't fired from the nonunion job, would not have been fired from a union job.

I am currently in a public sector union. I have a pension that can't be taken away. I have decent health benefits. Some real incompetents work here, protected by the union. We all get the same raise. There are some stupid work rules. Guess which side outweighs the other?

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:14 PM

58. Right to Work Issue

 

"for whatever vague reasons think this "Right To Work" movement is a good thing.

What they heck are they thinking? I just don't get it."

I'm already confused....why shouldn't people have a right to work or have a right to choose ?

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Response to DRS (Reply #58)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:04 PM

134. google "right to work" and find out what it really means

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:14 PM

59. all 3 of my brothers in law are like that

they don't mind taking the benefits of their union jobs, but boy howdy how they bitch.

of course, they were raised as typical entitled upper middle class white boys in a small town.

i could just strangle my in-laws sometimes for raising such whiny, childish, selfish man-children. my husband is the oldest, he's not as bad as his brothers, but he has also never worked a union job. he got let go/downsized last year after 18 years with the same company.

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:16 PM

61. Maybe his local was incompetent or corrupt?

Unions are a kind of corporation, and can have all the same problems other corporations do.

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:28 PM

64. As workers and unions decrease in power and influence, employers and management increase theirs...

And that is what has happened over the past several decades.

Thus, you get some workers identifying with the employers and management who stand to benefit from the complete destruction of unions (and all that that entails...lower wages, no bargaining power for the workers, little to no benefits....). Workers who identify with this think of themselves not as "Have nots" against "Haves" but as either "Have somes" or "Soon-to-have-more" individuals who think they will benefit from the destruction of unions.

In other words, they identify with the employers and people who have the attitude of "Screw you, I've got mine!", rather than putting aside their own personal self-interest (or what they may perceive that self-interest to be, regardless of how accurate that perception is) to stand in solidarity with their fellow working-class people.

However, you also get many more working class people who are alienated, disenfranchised, disgusted, or resigned to the fact that they have less and less influence in the American political system.

Combine all that, with the enormous amount of corporate propaganda, misinformation, and disinformation that has serve to undermine the credibility and relevance of unions in the eyes of many, and the huge Chamber of Commerce-led public-relations drive that has been unleashed on the American public (really since the Reagan years, but it has gotten worse more recently)...that's a toxic brew that doesn't bode well for unions or the interests of workers in general.





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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:29 PM

65. Yes. The fact that the left doesn't get what turns workers off is a big part of the problem.

Corruption. Nepotism. Being forced to pay dues to an organization you didn't vote to join that (in too many cases) only helps the family and friends of the reps. Being told to sit down and wait your turn when you're objectively better at the job than the guy who has 10 years on you. Waiting two days to unload the pallets that are sitting right there because one group of people has to take it down the ramp while another group of people has to put it on the truck itself. Wages that haven't gone up. Nationals that are more interested in keeping the current workers' privileges than helping out the ones who are starting out. Locals that refuse to do anything to get rid of workers that are dangerous, incompetent, or outright criminal -- and in fact, locals that spend tons of time and money keeping them in their jobs while you stay two rungs below them.

Or, on the other side, maybe you're one of the majority of Americans who have never been in a union, and you've never been in a situation where there's anything between you and a boss's decision to fire you, and hearing people say that they absolutely have to have that to do their jobs is infuriating.

In terms of "Right to Work", we really, really have to find a better way to frame this than "you don't have to participate, we just want your money." If we leave it at that, Labor as a movement is finished, at least in the form of unions.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #65)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:33 PM

101. "Being told to sit down and wait your turn when you're objectively better at the job

 

than the guy who has 10 years on you."

Have 5 years experience as a cashier but King Soopers (UFCW Local #5) told me that I would have to start out as a "Courtesy Clerk" (Read: Bagger/Cart Pusher) at minimum wage. I still had to pay initiation and dues but I didn't get any of the benefits that the other union workers at the store got. In fact I was told there are NO benefits to that position.

In other words I would be paying to work there.

Plus I was told I would have to wait out a year before I could "bid" for a cashier slot.

Can someone explain to someone like me facing that why unions are such a good thing as opposed to Walmart where I can get hired on as a cashier right away?

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Response to Piazza Riforma (Reply #101)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:01 PM

131. I dunno, maybe working conditions, benefits and job security to start

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Response to putitinD (Reply #131)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:10 PM

136. Piss on all that!!! I should be able to push that old lady that's been casheiring for 10 yrs...

out of the way, 'cause that's exactly what she is..."IN THE WAY" of me getting what I want!

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Response to ret5hd (Reply #136)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 06:36 PM

150. There were 4 openings for cashiers listed at the time I applied so nice try with the snark.

 

I filled out the application for: cashier. When I was called for the interview I was informed that under the union contract I couldn't just be hired as a cashier so I was being interviewed for "Courtesy Clerk".

This wasn't the matter of pushing anybody out it's a matter of the union saying "We don't give a damn about your experience or skills. MAYBE in a couple of years get moved to the job you are experienced in. However you still gotta pay us dues."

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Response to Piazza Riforma (Reply #150)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:01 PM

152. Your reply doesn't even make sense...

who DID they hire for those positions???

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:36 PM

69. That is the power of propaganda

It's relentless

Your right to work fans think that ford will now hire them with same pay and benefits.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #69)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:07 PM

135. probably true, minimum wage and no benefits for everyone

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:42 PM

71. Why is it that in the largest democracy in the world,

most businesses are run as dictatorships?
Wouldn't it be better if workers were actually owners of the company, and helped make all decisions.
It is going on in a lot of places, but not enough. It's called a worker cooperative.
Quite successful, and keeps everyone looking out for what's best for everyone.

Just my two cents. AFAIC, we need more co-ops, and fewer corps.

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Response to RoccoR5955 (Reply #71)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:07 PM

85. Germany requires labor be part of corporate boards

Businesses have a lot of stakeholders; I think a huge problem of the US system is that the only stakeholders we recognize are people who own debt or equity.

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:57 PM

80. Hopefully he hasn't lived his entire life Yet. But let's say he worked at Ford for


30-40 years? Maybe gave them his hearing, his back, his heart. And he has to depend on the taxpayer for medical assistance in the years he has left? He was in a union during perhaps the greatest period of prosperity that company has seen, and all he got was a lousy pension and a house by the lake? Where do the owners of most of the assets of the company live? (Note: 99% of the people share only 6% of stock, so someone has a hell of a lot more out there). And where do the union officials live?

We kinda know about his financial condition, but nothing about what's been done to his spirit.

Look up "Business Unionism". When it became about the union and the business, and not the worker and the struggle to never have to ask again, they quit feeding the spirit. Well, anything except hot air, and the only person who thinks we can live on hot air is Joe Barton in Texas. Spirit is what binds us, not a common pay window which dispenses a few more bills than last time.

(The OP makes me wonder if you are younger than he is, perhaps a lot. I wonder what you will think when you have that many years of experience. Not that experience is everything, but it can sure come in handy when dealing with people who say they are your friends. But perhaps yours, or your expectations, will be different.)







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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #80)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:16 PM

92. You are talking about "Pretty Willie"

While at Detroit Diesel, President Obama called out to Pretty Willie who started work there in 1952 and was late one day, but never missed a day's work. He didn't do that because he was union (though I'm certain he is a proud union member) he did it because of his sense of pride.
I am both happy and proud to know that Pretty Willie exists. He honors himself, his family and his country.

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Response to MrYikes (Reply #92)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:04 PM

99. Maybe he had a chance to do that _because_ of the union.

I bet his employers wish everyone was like that.

All those years and he still has to _ask_ if his pension payments will be there as do more and more people every day...


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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #99)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:34 PM

102. Ya know, I was ready ta get all negative

then I clicked on your link (something I seldom do because I'm on 24k dialup) and saw what a dismal record Detroit Diesel has with its employees. Thank you for the information.

But see that raises my admiration for Pretty Willie even more. He knows he's getting screwed and he still goes to work.

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Response to MrYikes (Reply #102)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:14 PM

113. I never mean to take away from people's individual, admirable achievement


But Mr. Charlie do.



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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #113)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:16 PM

116. lol ,,, thanks. nt

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:59 PM

82. There's always the few scunbags who want the benefits, but not the fight!

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:14 PM

88. It makes as much sense as state employees who

rant over government spending. Talk about stabbing themselves in the back.

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:16 PM

90. He thinks he has more rights than the union has fought to get him. ...Fool...

Unions can over reach, but workers need advocacy.Workers need good unions. Unions need funds to pay for lawyers to fight against today's unbridled mega corporate power and workers need a political party that will protect and support union rights against its ruthlessly competitive political foes.

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:20 PM

94. I'm just so sad to make $30/hr and have Union representation. It just rages me to no end.

 

I simply cannot believe they expect me to pay $12.25 a WEEK for union dues!!! It's immoral!


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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:22 PM

96. Consider confirmation bias

This is really instructive in how the ownership class turns worker against worker.

Consider racism. Are there lazy, good-for-nothing black people? Hell, yeah. Same goes for whites, asians, etc. That's because there are lazy, good-for-nothing human beings.

But when you already believe something, you are primed for things to confirm that belief, i.e. confirmation bias. One example of a black man being lazy? There you go, proof all black people are lazy. What about this black man over here being more successful than you? Ah, that's where this gets good. It's affirmative action that put him above you! Gubmint intervention, dagnabbit. His success just proves there's a white man paying for it. Again, biases confirmed!

Use these natural resentments to turn worker against worker, make them hate someone from their same oppressed class more than they hate the oppressor. Mission accomplished.

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Response to jollyreaper2112 (Reply #96)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:45 PM

107. I really really really wish you'd edit your post one more time

to eliminate the four places where you demean black people.

How about saying tall people, or short?

then I could come back and edit my post here and say I like you.

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Response to MrYikes (Reply #107)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:15 PM

137. why do you believe racism doesn't exist???

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Response to MrYikes (Reply #107)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:18 AM

160. Wow, I don't know how I can live without your approval

Somehow, I'll just find the strength.

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:45 PM

106. I don't get it either

I work in an open shop and its always astounds me how many opt out paying their dues.

Union victories have made people complacent. The guy you're talking about doesn't realize how lucky he is to even have a union to hate.

It's baffling.

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:54 PM

109. Without knowing the particulars

it's hard to know the why of his antipathy. It could be that as a Ford employee he had no option but to join the UAW...that can grate.
Outsourcing has pretty much rendered the unions powerless. When I was a kid, back in the 1950s, strikes were pretty much a common
occurrence and the unions wrested major concessions from the corporations. Today even the mighty UAW is little more than a dues collecting, political entity. In order to save GM the UAW had to accept major cuts and take over the legacy benefits. The war on workers began in 1947 with the passage of the Taft-Hartley Act. I don't see any way for the unions to survive in this current climate. We don't have people in D.C. who are willing to stand up to the corporations, so they will continue to move their jobs overseas or to right-to-work states further weakening the unions until they disappear. Eventually, American workers will get tired of the low wages and high prices and the labor wars will begin all over again. The NLRB is useless...it couldn't stop Boeing from moving a plant from Washington to South Carolina. The states make war on each other, which only makes matters worse. Eventually the entire nation will look like the old confederacy, under paid, under educated and armed to the teeth. <<sigh>>

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:15 PM

114. If you dig deep, quite often it's about race.

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Response to Kingofalldems (Reply #114)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 04:07 PM

123. Many white working class would rather starve along with minorities

than see both of them get ahead in life.

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:16 PM

115. The Unions are the key to President Obama's progressive transformation of our country

 

This is one key fact that we forget: the unions today do not just guarantee jobs and benefits. What is SIGNIFICANT is that we can help President Obama and our progressive Democrats transform this country from a horrific, GOP-sponsored capitalist, isolationist, repressive country to that of an environmentally-friendly, peaceful, progressively global society. What unions main goals are to ensure that pensions and existing jobs stay in place, so our union dues are used to help make this political and societal transformation possible.

With "right to work" policies coming into play, this THREATENS this peaceful, very-necessary transformation and allows the GOP to fester in its death throes. It's time to get medieval on these cretins' asses NOW and take them out, politically. Otherwise it will be more than tents we destroy. It's that simple.

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 04:21 PM

124. What really gets you is that they are typically the most lazy

and abusive employees anyone would have. Nearly all of the union hating union people I have had the displeasure of working with have been the worst employees. I certainly would not want to hire any of them.

I have come to the conclusion that the only reason most of them have a job is because management wants them to help break the union.

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 04:23 PM

125. I don't know about other states, but in Texas we are a right to work state and we have lots of

unions. I have belonged to a union for over 40 years. I pay my dues and I get a say in how the union is operated. I get a vote in how we send our money, who to endorse in elections and such. I have never lived or worked in a non-right to work state, so I guess I just don't understand what the problem is. Don't the people still get to join the union if the want?

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Response to JohLast (Reply #125)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 04:49 PM

130. Wow Texas had right to work laws 40 years ago?

Didn't know that.

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Response to aandegoons (Reply #130)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 06:13 PM

146. Texas passed RTW in 1947, right after Taft-Hartley

Most of the south did

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Response to JohLast (Reply #125)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 06:23 PM

147. The big problem is

In right for employers to screw over employees states. Is those that don't chose to join the union, and chose not pay dues. The union is still forced to represent them at dues paying members expense.

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 04:27 PM

127. All he cares about it money

would be my guess.

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 04:33 PM

128. I've heard the same from union workers.......

they refuse to accept how lucky they truly are.

One in particular comes to mind - he worked for UPS - now retired - he bitched and moaned for his last couple of years about the union - but he was sitting pretty when he retired in thanks to that union.

I also hate it when non-union members trash the union, but are more than happy to benefit from when that same union negotiated better conditions/pay. And then turn around and say - look what we got.

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:35 PM

141. They aren't thinking (in answer to your question). One cruel legacy of McCarthyism and

 

50 years of red baiting is that critical thinking is gone, dead now for some 30 years.

As the late George Carlin so eloquently put it, "They want you just smart enough to run the machines but not smart enough to realize how badly you're being fucked over."

Does your friend understand that 1% of the country controls 40% of its wealth? Does he blame unions for that sorry state of affairs?

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:57 PM

145. They are called malcontents

Every union has them.

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 08:32 AM

156. Weak-minded intellectually lazy people

who swallow propaganda like a puppy with his liver treat.

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Response to Lesleymo (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 12:35 PM

157. 500$ per year to make 10k per year in additional income.

But they only see the 500$, they somehow think that the 10k a year they get is because they're skilled labor, or their employer is generous. Labor needs to get the word out that people protected by unions make more money, way more money than their dues.

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