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Thu Nov 29, 2012, 06:39 PM

In Drive to Unionize, Fast-Food Workers Walk Off the Job

Source: NY Times

By STEVEN GREENHOUSE

Fast-food workers at several restaurants in New York walked off the job on Thursday, firing the first salvo in what workplace experts say is the biggest effort to unionize fast-food workers ever undertaken in the United States.

The campaign — backed by community and civil rights groups, religious leaders and a labor union — has engaged 40 full-time organizers in recent months to enlist workers at McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Domino’s, Taco Bell and other fast-food restaurants across the city.

Leaders of the effort said that workers were walking off the job to protest what they said were low wages and retaliation against several workers who have backed the unionization campaign. They said it would be the first multi-restaurant strike by fast-food workers in American history, although it was unclear how many workers would walk off the job.

The first walkout took place at 6:30 a.m. at a McDonald’s at Madison Avenue and 40th Street, where several dozen striking workers and supporters chanted: “Hey, hey, what do you say? We demand fair pay.” An organizer of the unionizing campaign said that 14 of the 17 employees scheduled to work the morning shift had gone on strike.

FULL story at link.



Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/29/nyregion/drive-to-unionize-fast-food-workers-opens-in-ny.html?partner=EXCITE&ei=5043




Juan Montero, right, who works at a Kentucky Fried Chicken in Manhattan, demonstrated outside a McDonald's on Madison Avenue on Thursday, as part of a new campaign to unionize fast-food workers in New York.

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Reply In Drive to Unionize, Fast-Food Workers Walk Off the Job (Original post)
Omaha Steve Nov 2012 OP
Dont call me Shirley Nov 2012 #1
Deep13 Nov 2012 #2
thelordofhell Nov 2012 #3
marmar Nov 2012 #5
patrice Nov 2012 #11
architect359 Nov 2012 #47
humbled_opinion Nov 2012 #51
siligut Nov 2012 #53
thelordofhell Nov 2012 #64
thelordofhell Nov 2012 #66
geardaddy Nov 2012 #105
marmar Nov 2012 #4
donnasgirl Nov 2012 #6
patrice Nov 2012 #10
jody Nov 2012 #7
patrice Nov 2012 #9
humbled_opinion Nov 2012 #52
Omaha Steve Nov 2012 #62
patrice Nov 2012 #81
patrice Nov 2012 #82
Union Scribe Nov 2012 #78
CreekDog Nov 2012 #12
Mnemosyne Nov 2012 #13
freshwest Nov 2012 #83
Mnemosyne Nov 2012 #91
freshwest Nov 2012 #93
Mnemosyne Nov 2012 #94
Teamster Jeff Nov 2012 #14
jody Nov 2012 #15
senseandsensibility Nov 2012 #16
jody Nov 2012 #23
ElboRuum Nov 2012 #36
jody Nov 2012 #54
ElboRuum Nov 2012 #72
Gormy Cuss Nov 2012 #75
CreekDog Nov 2012 #18
Teamster Jeff Nov 2012 #19
CreekDog Nov 2012 #21
jody Nov 2012 #24
Dyedinthewoolliberal Nov 2012 #26
jody Nov 2012 #31
Teamster Jeff Nov 2012 #34
jody Nov 2012 #58
Teamster Jeff Nov 2012 #60
jody Nov 2012 #61
Omaha Steve Nov 2012 #63
jody Nov 2012 #67
Omaha Steve Nov 2012 #68
jody Nov 2012 #69
Bluenorthwest Nov 2012 #87
Ikonoklast Nov 2012 #42
jody Nov 2012 #55
Ikonoklast Nov 2012 #65
Bluenorthwest Nov 2012 #88
Triloon Nov 2012 #79
jody Nov 2012 #90
LanternWaste Nov 2012 #28
jody Nov 2012 #30
ElboRuum Nov 2012 #38
jody Nov 2012 #40
ElboRuum Nov 2012 #46
jody Nov 2012 #50
ElboRuum Nov 2012 #73
Ikonoklast Nov 2012 #70
jody Nov 2012 #71
CreekDog Nov 2012 #80
Teamster Jeff Nov 2012 #33
jody Nov 2012 #39
Teamster Jeff Nov 2012 #43
CreekDog Nov 2012 #97
Teamster Jeff Nov 2012 #103
Sivafae Nov 2012 #44
ElboRuum Nov 2012 #49
Bluenorthwest Nov 2012 #86
Xithras Nov 2012 #17
Sivafae Nov 2012 #45
NoGOPZone Nov 2012 #35
wake.up.america Nov 2012 #76
rrneck Nov 2012 #92
jody Nov 2012 #95
rrneck Nov 2012 #96
jody Nov 2012 #98
rrneck Nov 2012 #99
CreekDog Nov 2012 #100
Myrina Nov 2012 #102
patrice Nov 2012 #8
truthisfreedom Nov 2012 #20
Sivafae Nov 2012 #48
JoeyT Nov 2012 #84
NYC Liberal Nov 2012 #85
ElboRuum Nov 2012 #74
WinniSkipper Nov 2012 #104
reteachinwi Nov 2012 #22
TxVietVet Nov 2012 #25
KamaAina Nov 2012 #27
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #29
cstanleytech Nov 2012 #32
libdem4life Nov 2012 #37
felix_numinous Nov 2012 #41
Bad_Ronald Nov 2012 #56
Iggy Nov 2012 #57
Bluenorthwest Nov 2012 #89
Iggy Nov 2012 #106
CreekDog Dec 2012 #107
Iggy Dec 2012 #108
mzmolly Nov 2012 #59
limpyhobbler Nov 2012 #77
Myrina Nov 2012 #101
burnsei sensei Dec 2012 #109
Lars39 Dec 2012 #110

Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 06:41 PM

1. Woo Hoo!

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 06:42 PM

2. There is power in a union.

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Response to thelordofhell (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 06:48 PM

5. No thanks. I'd prefer mine prepared by a human being.

nt

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Response to marmar (Reply #5)


Response to thelordofhell (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:45 PM

47. Thanks for the link! This looks very cool!

Nice idea. I googled their website hoping for a video demo of their product, didn't find any except for some photos. I'm intrigued.

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Response to thelordofhell (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:48 PM

51. Interesting

As long as they build in the cost of all the unemployed people that this machine will create, I'm in.....

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Response to humbled_opinion (Reply #51)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:56 PM

53. In urbanized China all sorts of food and drink is in vending machines

I mentioned that I liked the idea to a Chinese woman and she said that it puts too many people out of work. There has to be a solution.

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Response to siligut (Reply #53)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:49 PM

64. I wish we had these in America...........

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Response to thelordofhell (Reply #64)


Response to siligut (Reply #53)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 02:15 PM

105. We used to have that here.

My mom used to go to the Automat in NYC in the 50s.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 06:47 PM

4. Love it.


This is just the beginning.


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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 06:48 PM

6. This is something

I have been waiting for for a long long time,it is time for all of us to help these folks by not buying the food from these establishments until they treat the workers fairly.

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Response to donnasgirl (Reply #6)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 06:55 PM

10. Sign me up. nt

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 06:48 PM

7. Turnover in fast food is about every six months. With a union contract, will employees be required

 

to stay on the job for a contractual term, e.g. several years, or pay a penalty?

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Response to jody (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 06:53 PM

9. Maybe people would CHOOSE to stay longer if they were paid a living wage indexed to the cost

of living.

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Response to patrice (Reply #9)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:55 PM

52. Didn't Obama promise to increase the

Minimum wage to over $10.00 by now? How is it that we have to credit Bush for the last minimum wage hike?

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Response to humbled_opinion (Reply #52)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:36 PM

62. Filibuster in the Senate


W didn't have that problem.

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Response to humbled_opinion (Reply #52)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 01:22 AM

81. He's the Executive branch; how could he "promise" to do that? Please provide a link to what you're

talking about.

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Response to humbled_opinion (Reply #52)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 01:25 AM

82. Exec Branch doesn't write legislation. There's a small matter of over 500 other people who would

have something to say about that.

Link please.

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Response to patrice (Reply #9)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:14 AM

78. Precisely. Great post. nt

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Response to jody (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 06:57 PM

12. you're saying that Union members are indentured servants? yikes, that's bad, even for you

don't know why you keep posting right wing stuff. nobody here likes it and when you're proven wrong, as you often are, it makes your side, not ours, look dumb.

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Response to jody (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 07:00 PM

13. Many of these companies have that turnover because they want it for the repeated tax incentives. nt

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Response to Mnemosyne (Reply #13)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 02:05 AM

83. What an evil thought. They lay them off and then hire others for the tax incentives?

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Response to freshwest (Reply #83)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 10:22 AM

91. Usually they cut hours so much the people quit, but yes it is a common practice. nt

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Response to Mnemosyne (Reply #91)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:06 PM

93. No wonder some see big business as crooks. Bet they squeal about taxes while taking tax money!

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Response to freshwest (Reply #93)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:11 PM

94. A friend was manager at McD, she quit out of disgust. Happens more than we know, I'm sure. And now

in PA they are trying to let employers keep the taxes paid in! WTF is the matter with people?!

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Response to jody (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 07:03 PM

14. Maybe if they collectively bargain a decent contract....

the turnover rate will improve. But those who do try to leave could always be chained to a deep fryer until they come up with enough cash to pay for their freedom.

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Response to Teamster Jeff (Reply #14)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 07:07 PM

15. Do you support that "decent contract" including a penalty for quitting before some agreed upon time?

 

If yes, then how long would seem reasonable to you?

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Response to jody (Reply #15)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 07:18 PM

16. Why are you asking this? If you are suggesting that unions do this

provide a link. Otherwise your question is baseless and to me, suspect.

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Response to senseandsensibility (Reply #16)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 07:29 PM

23. Turnover is about six months. An intelligent person sees that a business will enter into a union

 

contract among other things if it includes words that will insure union members will stay on for longer periods, i.e. improve the turnover rate.

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Response to jody (Reply #23)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:17 PM

36. I have never seen any union contract...

...where the right of a worker to quit at will is forfeit.

Please provide a link to one union contract that stipulates that a hired employee owes a minimum of service to the employer. I would be very interested in reading one.

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Response to ElboRuum (Reply #36)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:01 PM

54. Never said there was one but under US labor law, a private sector union can expel a

 

member from the union for any number of reasons.

Presumably that would limit that former union member from seeking new employment.

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Response to jody (Reply #54)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:15 PM

72. But that is not the union's purpose.

It would not be in the best interest of the union to do so in a capricious manner. That will kill a union faster than any of the strawmen you've thrown under then knife thus far.

What are you not getting here? It is not to the advantage of a labor union to act in advocacy of the employer or in a hostile manner towards particular employees. Yes, of course a labor union can expel a member, however, I've only ever seen this done in the case that the worker is so toxic that it weakens the union's bargaining position. If a union were known to expel membership for superfluous reasons, the union would lose membership. Both actions weaken unions, and as such, don't happen as you suggest.

Again. Could you please point me to the union contract that indentures its membership to an employer for whatever reason? Failing that, please show me the union which dismisses membership for reasons other than serious issues.

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Response to jody (Reply #23)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:49 PM

75. The way to improve a turnover rate is to provide a desirable workplace with good compensation

and benefits. Union contracts often do just that.

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Response to jody (Reply #15)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 07:21 PM

18. you're just trying to undermine unions by lying about them

which shows how bankrupt you know your argument to be.

because if you lie about unions to convince us of your point of view, then you know that telling the truth about unions will not convince us to agree with you.

shameful.

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Response to jody (Reply #15)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 07:22 PM

19. Lol...No

I guess anything would be negotiable. If Mc Donalds proposed a penalty for quitting I would propose $50 per hour wage.

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Response to Teamster Jeff (Reply #19)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 07:23 PM

21. Jody's trying to say that if McDonalds went union, people would have to pay to quit working there

some people call that lying.

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Response to Teamster Jeff (Reply #19)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 07:33 PM

24. OK but 6 month turnover clearly adds costs to fast food places. What can a union do to guarantee it

 

can improve turnover if a business enters into a contract with the union?

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Response to jody (Reply #24)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 07:37 PM

26. Ummmmmmmmmm

how about more pay and better benefits for the workers?

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Response to Dyedinthewoolliberal (Reply #26)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 07:55 PM

31. Agree "more pay and better benefits" but what language in the contract will guarantee turnover will

 

improve if those things are agreed to by both parties?

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Response to jody (Reply #31)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:07 PM

34. If the company proposed that the Union guarantee improved turnover

that would be a "fuck you" proposal. So, the Union could come right back with something equally silly.

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Response to Teamster Jeff (Reply #34)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:14 PM

58. Still a fast food company might want to improve turnover and negotiate with a union ways to achieve

 

that goal.

If the two parties might believe wages or benefits might affect turnover, then the proper place to implement that change would be the union contract.

On the other hand if you believe neither wages nor benefits affect turnover then there is no reason to pursue the two with an expectation of improving turnover.

That's an interesting dilemma because several posts in this thread assert that turnover will improve if wages or benefits are increased.

Perhaps those authors don't have a clue about the topic but that would be for you to claim, not me.

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Response to jody (Reply #58)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:22 PM

60. Asking that the Union "guarantee" that turnover would improve is unreasonable

Negotiating with the Union to achieve the goal of improving turnover is reasonable

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Response to Teamster Jeff (Reply #60)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:35 PM

61. I used "guarantee" to solicit a reply. Thanks. nt

 

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Response to jody (Reply #58)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:46 PM

63. Step increases in pay


Fifty cent raise after 6 months, a year, etc

More paid time off after 3-5 years.

Sick pay so a sick cook doesn't make our lunch would be nice.

Increase contributions to pension or 401 K with time served. It is so easy to do. It just costs the employer $!

DOH. That is why they have fought unions so hard in the first place.








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Response to Omaha Steve (Reply #63)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:54 PM

67. The first two are based on longevity and would not kick in until after the six months

 

turnover suggested in another post.

The 401K would still be born by the employee, the employer contribution is a facade IMO, however it would provide a formal, professional manager rather than employee ad hoc investments and stronger encouragement to save for the future.

Other things as you imply should be part of a contract and the big question in my mind is why hasn't the company already offered those things for employees with more than a few months on the job?

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Response to jody (Reply #67)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:11 PM

68. Jody why would they quit at 6 months with a raise on the way?


I put out how to retain them. You seem to have missed the point.

Inquiring minds want to here this.

401 K is not a facade when it has a union contract. Every CEO in the USA has a contract with the board of directors. What he gets if he gets fired, pay, benefits etc... Shouldn't every worker have the same protection of a contract?

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Response to Omaha Steve (Reply #68)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:24 PM

69. See #17, I'm speaking to those who want short term jobs. As those are replaced with long term

 

employees the number of short term jobs available for those cited in #17 will decrease.

Any idea how those people wanting strictly short term jobs can find one?

I don't mean to hijack the thread but as you know there are no simple answers to labor issues.

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Response to jody (Reply #69)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:35 AM

87. People who for some reason want a short term job usually go to Temp Agencies..

Have you never heard of such a thing? Do a Google search and learn something.

See if you can follow this: a 'short term job' is a job which exists for a short time, not a job which always exists but is performed by 'short term employees' who are terminated at will to keep the worker from getting raises or benefits.

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Response to jody (Reply #31)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:30 PM

42. Why are you so desperate to create a false premise to base an argument upon?

First you must explain just who is the party responsible for the high employee turnover rate.

Hint: It isn't the employees.

Industries create high turnover in their ranks for a reason.

Can you venture a guess as to why? Bet you can't.



And as a person that was on a contract negotiating committee, any stipulations made by a representative of an employer as to imposing a penalty upon any employee who quits before the end of the contract expiration date would have been laughed out of the room by everyone else in the room that wasn't an idiot.

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Response to Ikonoklast (Reply #42)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:06 PM

55. Thanks for you insight based on your experience on a contract negotiating committee. I'm sure

 

you meant your opinion to apply to all unions.

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Response to jody (Reply #55)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:51 PM

65. I'll go out on a limb here. YES.

Is this performance art of some kind, or do you actually believe the nonsense you're espousing?

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Response to jody (Reply #55)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:43 AM

88. As a member of 3 Unions in my life, that poster is very much correct.

My Unions were created in great part due to abuse of contracts by employers, extreme long terms, binding to the employee but far less so to the employer, unfair pre-set raises, the works.
The idea of any Union agreeing to individual penalties for a worker leaving a Union job would be laughed at and rejected without consideration. Unions exist to protect workers from exactly that sort of abuse.
The other poster is very much correct, and you are wrong about everything you type in this tread regarding Union contracts. Everything. Not just wrong, but what you claim is often the polar opposite of the truth. I assume you are under informed on the subject, yet eager to make noise against protections for workers.
What is it YOU do for a living?

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Response to jody (Reply #31)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:33 AM

79. Turnover doesnt matter. If an employee walks

off the job the employer only has to call the Union Hall and they'll send someone out to finish the shift and take the position. One less thing for an employer to be concerned about. Unions help everyone.

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Response to Triloon (Reply #79)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:56 AM

90. Are you certain that's true for UAPD & AAUP unions?

 

Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD)
American Association of University Professors (AAUP)

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Response to jody (Reply #24)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 07:40 PM

28. I imagine higher wages would compel many to maintain their employment

I imagine higher wages would compel many to maintain their employment-- higher wages being one of the points of the strike. Fix the latter, the former would by default, improve.

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #28)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 07:51 PM

30. But #17 says "a huge percentage of fast food workers (was easily 80% when I was in HS, though it's

 

probably lower now with the current economy) ARE high school and college students who are simply looking for a temporary cash source."

If that's so, then how can a union survive with 80% temp and 20% who seek long term employment?

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Response to jody (Reply #30)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:21 PM

38. It can't.

But it is clear that you don't get unions in the slightest.

Higher wages attract people looking for longer term employment. Therefore, the turnover drops. Moreover, unions are set up to provide employees from a pool that extends beyond a single employer. If one employee quits, another can usually be provided as a replacement in quick step, transferred from another store, or a hiring call.

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Response to ElboRuum (Reply #38)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:24 PM

40. Oh I get unions alright, been a member of one and champion of its cause. nt

 

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Response to jody (Reply #40)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:42 PM

46. That's puzzling...

...because your understanding of what unions are meant to accomplish and how they work seem alternate reality, and you have done nothing but throw dirty water on this particular discussion.

But OK. If you say so.

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Response to ElboRuum (Reply #46)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:48 PM

50. Not all unions are the same because all work is not the same. A union of MDs functions much

 

differently than a union for fast food workers.

A union of university professors with mostly PH.D.s functions much differently than a longshore union.

I've not read a single post in this thread that recognizes those facts.

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Response to jody (Reply #50)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:28 PM

73. Well, that's probably...

...because the thread is discussion unions for fast food workers. If you'd like to go into further depth about different kinds of unions and their functioning, that would be okay, I suppose. But since we all were discussing fast food unions before this, your incredulity that somehow we didn't get around to talking about longshoreman's unions, meat cutters unions, the Teamsters, teachers unions, etc, is not all that understandable.

While unions function differently, all unions' purpose is to organize those who provide labor and use the pooled clout generated to approach the employers of that labor on relatively equal footing. This for the purpose of negotiation of various aspects of work life, including, but not limited to, wages, benefits, and working conditions. All unions are created for the sole purpose of organization and advocacy of their membership. From there, implementation may differ. But the purpose is always the same.

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Response to jody (Reply #40)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:43 PM

70. What Local number?

I'm always interested to talk to a Union Brother.


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Response to Ikonoklast (Reply #70)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:52 PM

71. See my pm to you. nt

 

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Response to jody (Reply #40)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 01:09 AM

80. then why would you first post about unions here be a lie?

maybe because you do get unions and you want others not to *get* them and if you lie about them, you will help make people believe that unions are bad.

score one for the Republicans, at least if you have your way.

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Response to jody (Reply #24)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:02 PM

33. It's not the Unions job to improve turnover

I would argue though that a decent wage with benefits would improve turnover.

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Response to Teamster Jeff (Reply #33)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:22 PM

39. I agree not union's job but it's also not a businesses job to raise wages above that set by the

 

supply of labor unless doing so would have benefits like improving turnover.

That makes it a potential part of a union contract.

Dam, I see I've shown how it can be a union's job to help an employer improve turnover.

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Response to jody (Reply #39)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:33 PM

43. You've shown more than that nt

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Response to Teamster Jeff (Reply #43)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 01:04 PM

97. they've shown they are anti-union

saying ridiculous things and lies and doubling down on them in this thread.

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #97)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 01:37 PM

103. +++

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Response to jody (Reply #24)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:39 PM

44. Hey, I gotta a good idea, how about a probation period that is common to all industries?

I mean if a livable wage, decent benefits and good working conditions weren't enough incentive enough for people to stay, how about a jump in hourly wage after a completion of the probation period. The probation period of course would be 6 months. There fixed.


One thing that is desperately important here that no one seems to really think or even acknowledge,

Companies can do this all without unions. Companies such as Walmart or Mcdonald's do not have to pay scrape-the-bottom-of-the-barrel wages. They CAN offer livable wages, with good benefits and keep people longer than 6 months by doing so. They just don't and blame the consumer for it. "People won't pay the prices for the product if we offer such compensation packages." And it is total bull.

Just like back in the day, factories did not have to hire children and chain them to the machines they were working on. THEY DID NOT HAVE TO DO THAT. But they did. And so we, as the ones who run this government, had to write and enact laws to prevent that shit from happening. Same as today. Businesses do not have to pay shit wages.

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Response to Sivafae (Reply #44)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:46 PM

49. If it is a financial advantage to do a thing...

...and it is legal to do, a corporation will do it. Unions exist because of this fact.

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Response to jody (Reply #15)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:28 AM

86. You have it all backwards. Without Union and other legal protections Unions won for

all workers, employers in the past imposed long term contracts with penalties for the employee of many kinds, while the employers reserved all rightst to terminate without cause or reason stated.
My own Union was founded in great part to put an end to the employer's abuse of contractual agreements, to put limits on the time an individual contract for an employee could be termed. Prior to Union, even lifetime contracts were used by unscrupulous and greedy employers.
Good place to start: "Congress enacted the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA") in 1935 to protect the rights of employees and employers, to encourage collective bargaining, and to curtail certain private sector labor and management practices, which can harm the general welfare of workers, businesses and the U.S. economy."
http://www.nlrb.gov/national-labor-relations-act

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Response to jody (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 07:19 PM

17. I'm of two minds about that.

I haven't worked fast food since high school, but some things don't change. For most people, the turnover is caused by the low pay itself. If they were paid more, they might stick around longer.

Of course, on the flipside, a huge percentage of fast food workers (was easily 80% when I was in HS, though it's probably lower now with the current economy) ARE high school and college students who are simply looking for a temporary cash source. Because they view the job as temporary, unionization isn't going to make much difference to them. Annual vacation days and health benefits don't matter much when you're only working for the summer and are already covered by your parents insurance.

So who knows how it would end up

I do suspect that it would be very hard to maintain a union in a fast food restaurant with a high percentage of teen workers and high turnover rates. If the employees have no long term investment in the job or plans to stick around, there's very little incentive for them to expend the effort. In a fast food restaurant with a more stable (older) crew, a union might be successful.

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Response to Xithras (Reply #17)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:42 PM

45. I think the thing is that teen workers are provisional by law anyway

So with such a influx and outflow of workers, they could be hired as provisional union workers and learn at a young age why it is important to be in a union. The Union could make sure that worker's under 18 aren't abused either.

But from my experience here in San Francisco, most workers are over 18 with English as their second language.

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Response to jody (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:13 PM

35. No nt

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Response to jody (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:57 PM

76. I am all for improving work conditions and pay. There are, however...

some unique conditions in a fast food establishments. Turn over is quite high for one.


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Response to jody (Reply #7)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:45 AM

92. The right to walk off the job

is fundamental to the concept of collective action. I don't see how any union worth its salt would concede to erode that fundamental right.

If employers want long term employees, they should create an attractive job market for them. Unions will be more than happy to assist them in that enterprise.

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Response to rrneck (Reply #92)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:50 PM

95. If an employee should have the right to arbitrarily walk off the job, i.e. discharge them self, why

 

shouldn't the employer have the right to arbitrarily discharge that same employee?

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Response to jody (Reply #95)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 01:00 PM

96. I suppose an employer could arbitrarly discharge an employee

if he didn't mind having all the rest of them walk off the job as well. That's why it's called collective bargaining. Groups of workers join together to compel business owners to create a work environment where nobody would want to leave. It's using market forces to make business interests compete for workers. You know, capitalism and all that.

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Response to rrneck (Reply #96)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 01:06 PM

98. 93% of private workers do not belong to unions. You know, capitalism and all that. nt

 

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Response to jody (Reply #98)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 01:14 PM

99. Aye, there's the rub.

I hope we can get it turned around before we have another battle of Blair Mountain.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Blair_Mountain

RKBA isn't just about confronting muggers or the 101st Airborne.

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Response to jody (Reply #98)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 01:22 PM

100. and your job won't be done until it's 100%

judging by your posts here and on DU over the past decade.

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Response to jody (Reply #7)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 01:35 PM

102. Could they join the union & work 'in same the industry' rather than the 'for same employer?

IE - a food worker is a food worker ... regardless if your employer is McDonald's, KFC or Red Lobster. If you're in the industry, you stay in the union.

??

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 06:49 PM

8. If they can't pay people what those people are worth, perhaps they should evaluate whether they

really do have an economically functional business model or not and if they don't, they should go away and make room for REAL entrepreneurs who will pay people what they are worth.

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Response to patrice (Reply #8)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 07:22 PM

20. There's a lot of food on the McDonald's menu that's remarkably cheap.

It's hard to believe they can have a dollar menu. I think these items would not be available that cheap under union circumstances. This could change the price of fast food everywhere and really affect the industry.

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Response to truthisfreedom (Reply #20)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:45 PM

48. How much do you pay for your le big mac?

Here in San Francisco where the minimum wage is like 10.24 going to 10.55 next year. I pay around 7 to 8 dollars for a meal package.

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Response to Sivafae (Reply #48)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 03:50 AM

84. That's funny.

That's the exact price range you'd pay for them here in Alabama where they fuck their employees over at every turn and pay $7.25.

Pretty much everyone knows the "OMFG we can't pay employees more because the customers won't stand for it!!!!1" is an outright lie. Labor is one of the lowest costs, especially in fast food.

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Response to truthisfreedom (Reply #20)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 04:29 AM

85. Fine by me. The SAME complaints were made at the turn of the century

when progressives got child labor banned and introduced workplace safety regulations, building/fire codes, food safety laws, etc.

I'm sure prices did go up, but people realized they'd rather pay a little extra to have the guarantee that their food wouldn't poison them.

So yes, it will "really affect the industry"...as it SHOULD. That's the whole point.

If you can't adhere to workplace safety regulations, then you don't get to operate a business. Why should wages be any different? If you can't pay your employees a living wage then you don't get to operate a business. By the way, if ALL employees are paid more (through minimum wage laws and union contracts), then they can spend more, and slightly increased prices would be irrelevant.

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Response to patrice (Reply #8)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:33 PM

74. Their commonplace business model is fail from go.

Crap products for slightly-less-than-crap prices made possible by an apparently infinite supply of people having little other alternative than to work for practically no wage.

Who does this sound like? Sounds like just about every corporate-owned retail business currently operating.

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Response to patrice (Reply #8)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 01:50 PM

104. Two separate issues

 

...in the difference between "what they are worth" and "what they deserve".

Because - McDs, Wendy's, BK et al certainly have a functioning and successful business model.

Worth is what someone is willing to pay. Not what someone should pay. The workers may deserve more - but in the current business model they are not "worth" more. They can be replaced in a moments notice

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 07:25 PM

22. let it shine

 

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 07:34 PM

25. Hopefully, this will spread.

The conservanazis and the Chamber of Commerce has been raping American workers for years. Let them feel the backlash.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 07:39 PM

27. No McDonald's or Taco Hell?

What will NYC do?

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 07:43 PM

29. Yea !!!

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 07:57 PM

32. While I dont hold out much hope for this I do wish them the best on their efforts.

And if they do manage to unionize I hope they push the companies to increase the % of their employees who are offered full time positions.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:19 PM

37. Oh my, I feel faint. A $2 burger. Change on the floor of the car. Quelle horreur !!

Unions, Yes !!!

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:30 PM

41. This makes me so happy to read

workers are standing up for themselves, and want to unionize! I wish everyone good luck and stay safe.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:09 PM

56. Big thumbs up!! nt

 

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:13 PM

57. I Wish These Workers the Best, However

 

this has major implications for the entire QSR and fast casual restaurant industry.

I doubt these workers will get the sort of raise they have in mind.

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Response to Iggy (Reply #57)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:53 AM

89. I find that folks who use industry lingo like QSR tend to have a personal stake...

I fully support the goals of the fast food workers. No however, no doubt. I simply support them in their desire for a fair wage and a better life. Low wages have major implications for a person's health and happiness.
David C Novak is CEO of 'Yum Brands' ie Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut. His last 5-years of compensation Total $81.75 million US dollars. I think such inflated compensation has major implications for that industry. Do you think he's worth 80 million every 5 years while those who produce the product should not get so much as a living wage?


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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #89)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 06:45 PM

106. :-) I'm Not a Restaurant Owner, However

 

I indirectly work in this business.

and keep in mind I am a former UAW member raised in a union family...

I agree with you, the top people in the QSR industry are very well compensated. However, discussion of the massive wealth inequity in our nation may be a bit off topic.

You know enough to know these restaurants operate on small profit margins (for the most part) across dozens, hundreds of stores. thus, anything that impacts profit (like higher wages/benefits) has a huge impact on profitabilty.

that said, Starbucks went thru this a few years ago, related to benefits for their employees.. the last I heard, they are providing insurance benefits to many of their employees-- and they are still making money.

thus the argument, "it can't be done" doesn't seem to hold much water.

thanks for your reasoned take.

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Response to Iggy (Reply #106)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 12:36 AM

107. they have casual and fast food in Canada, Japan, Europe too and those places pay more

i read your post and many others here and it reads as though we are the only nation in the world to confront the issue of how to pay fast food workers decently and provide them benefits.

i am always frustrated when i see Americans ponder aloud, as if because this problem has not been addressed in America, has not been addressed anywhere.

there is a whole world out there where they have at least tried to solve these problems --and they have fast food, and their employees have better pay and health care.

it's possible, it really is.

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #107)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 11:36 AM

108. Please RE-READ My Post

 

You'll note I pointed out Starbuck's dealt with the health insurance benefit issue a few years ago-- now more of their employees are insured, and they are still in business, still making money.

as far as other nations dealing with this issue-- I have no doubt that they have. most nations don't subscribe or aspire to our brand of dog-eat-dog capitalism; they are better at pay equity.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:20 PM

59. Wonderful!!!

Last edited Sun Dec 2, 2012, 01:44 PM - Edit history (1)

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:11 AM

77. this is awesome

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 01:32 PM

101. I was wondering, wouldn't they fit right in with SEIU?

I don't know the ins/outs of unions well enough to know where they'd align, but I imagine there's got to be one already in existence that would best represent them/their industry needs?

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 12:39 PM

109. The development of a sense of empowerment against

unfairness among these silent workers was INEVITABLE.
I hope pro-union sentiment intensifies among retail and service workers with each passing year.
Their continued poverty is our society's indictment.
The value of their wages, and their aggregate wealth from year to year have all been declining for decades.
Economic downturn and the consciousness of poverty are tremendous engines for unionization through a necessary militancy.
These demonstrations, and the movement behind them, was inevitable.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 12:46 PM

110. Found this site that answers a lot of questions about subminum pay:

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