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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-25-08 10:26 PM
Original message
Retailers Tell Managers Democratic Wins Would Cause Pain
OCTOBER 25, 2008

Retailers Tell Managers Democratic Wins Would Cause Pain
By ANN ZIMMERMAN
The WSJ

Retailers are meeting with store managers to warn how a strong showing for Democrats in the Nov. 4 election could cause what they fear would be more economic pain for their companies, in particular by potentially making it easier for unions to organize stores. The companies are worried about presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama's stated support for the Employee Free Choice Act, which would do away with secret balloting and allow unions to form if a majority of employees sign cards favoring unionization. The legislation, retailers fear, would have improved chances of becoming law under a Democratic administration.

The legislation passed the House last year but died amid a Senate filibuster and a threatened presidential veto. The issue in this election is whether Democrats, who hold a 51-49 majority in the Senate, can win the presidency and gain enough seats to prevent Republicans from using procedural motions, such as filibusters, to thwart legislation. The bill was crafted by labor as a response to more aggressive opposition by companies to union-organizing activity and as a way to shield workers from antiunion pressure from their employers.

Home Depot Inc. in recent weeks has held meetings between its employee-relations managers and all the company's salaried employees, including district managers and store managers, on how the Free Choice legislation would change the union-organizing process... This summer, several labor unions filed a complaint, which is still pending, with the Federal Election Commission, alleging Wal-Mart Stores Inc. essentially encouraged its managers and salaried supervisors to vote against Sen. Obama and other Democratic candidates because of their support for the Free Choice legislation. Wal-Mart said the purpose of the meetings was to educate workers about the bill and the downside of a unionized workplace. While the Wal-Mart human-resources managers running the meetings didn't specifically tell attendees how to vote, they made it clear that voting for Sen. Obama would be tantamount to inviting in unions.

Currently, if union representatives get 30% of a workplace to sign petitions expressing interest in being unionized, an election with secret balloting is held within six months. That gives companies time to organize a counter-campaign. The Free Choice legislation would streamline the process, allowing a union to form if more than 50% of employees sign a card saying they want to join.

(snip)

Though Costco Wholesale Corp. hasn't conducted a similar companywide campaign, the retailer has been talking to members of Congress about the legislation, said Richard Galanti, Costco's chief financial officer. Target Corp. Chief Executive Gregg Steinhafel said his staff has been working to educate senators about how the bill would hurt retailers by raising costs and lowering sales.

(snip)

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122489359202768793.html (subscription)
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opihimoimoi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-25-08 10:32 PM
Response to Original message
1. Amazing how them dudes think so selfishly.....Store First ...Fuck Nation...Fuck People
Damn./...
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nichomachus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 12:38 AM
Response to Reply #1
30. They are required to by law
No joke -- this is why corporate law needs to be changed.

It's a serious problem that no one realizes. Corporate officials cannot -- by law -- put the public good first.
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MonteLukast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 01:24 AM
Response to Reply #30
40. Are they also required by law...
... to turn increasing profits quarter after quarter?

Or is it just corporate policy and/or shareholder demand (which can have all the muscle of law, and often more?)
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nichomachus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 09:17 AM
Response to Reply #40
60. Also required -- which is why corporate law needs to be changed
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MonteLukast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 09:55 AM
Response to Reply #60
63. So now I understand...
... living with a good but steady profit margin, instead of increasing quarter after quarter, would be breaking the law...

:wtf:
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nichomachus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #63
68. Yup, yup -- you betcha
Directors of corporations are required by law to maximize profits to shareholders.
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nichomachus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #63
69. Here is an excellent piece that explains it
http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0119-04.htm

The author -- a corporate lawyer -- suggests adding the following phrase to corporate law that requires maximizing profits:

... but not at the expense of the environment, human rights, the public safety, the communities in which the corporation operates or the dignity of its employees.

That would make all the difference in the world.
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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #69
71. Since capitalis as we knew it is now dead
and corporations need government help, it would be nice to pass a law mandating this addition.
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lib2DaBone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #30
78. When BO gets elected.. I hope Unions come back bigger than ever
..30 years of employee abuse from right wing corporations. Low wages, crappy working conditions and shipping the jobs to Mexico and China. Companies working people 39 hours a week and telling them that they are part-time and not eligible for health benefits. Mandatory overtime with no OT pay, I could go on forever about the abuses.

American workers have quietly stood by and let themselves be sold into slavery. Like Domestic Abuse Victims, they stick up for their tyrant bosses and corporate abusers.

I, for one, am tired of it. There is no big screen TV nor any SUV that will make me kiss right-wing ass anymore. Screw Wal-Mart and Home Depot. I cut up my credit cards and I refuse to shop at Home Depot (what a bunch of jerks).
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Hubert Flottz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 05:46 AM
Response to Reply #1
52. If it wasn't for people like that there would be no need for unions.
They know it too.
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opihimoimoi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #52
70. The Continuing Saga of the Exploitors and the Exploited...a story brought to you by the GOP
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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-25-08 10:32 PM
Response to Original message
2. Tough shit.


If employers hadn't acted like bullies all these years, intimidating and threatening anybody who even said the word "union", the Employee Free Choice Act would not be necessary.
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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 12:32 AM
Response to Reply #2
29. That's what it comes down to
I admit, the idea of any elections that are not based on secret ballots bothers me. The Chamber of Commerce has been running ads against candidates supporting this act and the only "reply" has been that CEOs have been getting fatter and fatter checks while employees' wages have stagnated.

But, as you say, had employers not intimidated employees there would not be a need for this act.
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Bluenorthwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 08:42 AM
Response to Reply #29
57. The Employee Choice Act
gives employees the choice of Secret Ballot or card sign style. Choice. I assume the employees would select the method most secure for them in their own workplace. If they want secret ballot, they can have it. But they don't have to if it plays into the hands of the owners.
Everyone has to register to vote. Everyone's Party affliation is public knowlege. If I know you are a Democrat, and voting in this election, how secret is that vote really? The card method is like registration. Everyone already does it for every election. Every donation made to any candidate is also public knowlege. Why is that not secret? If I am allowed to know who you fund, I kind of already know for whom you vote, you know? And that is published, on the internet, and subject to search engines.
What in specific bothers you about choosing to not be secretive if secretive is the key to management fraud? To be honest, I wish the Nov 4th election was done by voice count. Secret tallies are subject to secret manipulations.
In short, I trust workers to stand up to intimidation far more than I trust management to be honest in dealing with secret numbers.
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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #57
66. Thank you for this additional information
I was not aware of it. I hope that workers would use that choice wisely.

As for party affiliation: until this year the majority of new registrants chose the "decline to state" or whatever the term is. And many states have open primaries and caucuses that these "decliners" could still vote. Personally I have always objected to such open primaries. I think that if one wants to select the party candidate the least one can do is state his affiliation, but I know that I am in the minority, certainly on DU.
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liberalmuse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-25-08 10:32 PM
Response to Original message
3. Really?
Worse pain than we're feeling now due to 8 years of crappy Bush economic policy? I'm rather stunned.
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Starlight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #3
65. I don't think they know what they're talking about.
Improved economic conditions would help business, but they're too busy focusing on the possibility of unionization to see the big picture. :eyes:
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givemebackmycountry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-25-08 10:34 PM
Response to Original message
4. Screw them, let them do what I do.
ADJUST.

I got no one I can talk to about passing 'favorable" legislation that will tilt the deck a little more in my favor.

ADJUST.

If you can't, well then just like me you'll be done.
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bkkyosemite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-25-08 10:35 PM
Response to Original message
5. I remember when my ex had a union job. We had great benefits and a decent wage...GOBAMA!!!
Edited on Sat Oct-25-08 10:36 PM by bkkyosemite
Hope it happens...these companies have been robbing the workers for years.
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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-25-08 10:37 PM
Response to Original message
6. Idiots. If no one has any money to spend they will all go broke.
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Richard Steele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 01:32 AM
Response to Reply #6
43. Exactly. Unionization will never cost them as much as 8 years of B*sh have.
If Gore had moved into the White house 8 years ago,
and unions moved into their workforce 2 months later,
last months balance sheet would look MUCH better, y'know?
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FatDave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 03:03 AM
Response to Reply #6
49. I don't understand how they don't see this.
They need the middle-class to prosper in order to stay in business. The best possible thing for them is to have customers. How is that lost on them? The reason sales are way down is because everybody is fucking broke. 2 + 2 = 4.
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napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-25-08 10:38 PM
Response to Original message
7. THAT'S total BS! If aany company treats their employees fair,
they have nothing to worry about from a union! It's NOT FREE to belong to a union, and if employees don't see an advantage for them that exceeds what they have to pay in union dues, they won't vote to unionize. I don't understand the reference to Costco either. From everything I've heard, Costco employees are very happy with their jobs there. It's the WM's of the world who are SCARED TO DEATH of a union that just might force them to be fair!
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Dont_Bogart_the_Pretzel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-25-08 11:44 PM
Response to Reply #7
22. Right-on sister!!!
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OPERATIONMINDCRIME Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #7
67. That's Not True.
Our company treats the employees great. But the production part is union and the members take advantage of it in every way they possibly can. They harass fellow members that actually do a good days work, and their output is almost half of what any regular joe or jane could do with a week of training. They take advantage of the sick day policy and do as little as they possibly can while ensuring they do justttttt enough, or create justttttt enough excuses, to not be fired. The union there is pathetic and absolutely hurts our company, and their laziness and dishonest behavior is not something to be applauded. I'm hoping with the infusion of a lot a new members, that we'll be able to break that piece of crap union there soon.

But stating that if a company treats their employees fairly that they have nothing to worry about, is pure bunk. My company treats them great but they still take advantage of every union mentality they possibly can in order to produce half of what they should while taking off practically every other day. Some unions are good, some unions are just full of lazy fucks who will use whatever excuse or loophole they possibly can in order to get a paycheck for doing next to nothing.
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mudesi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #67
75. Yeah, right
I don't believe a single word of that post.

You know why.
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EmeraldCityGrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-25-08 10:38 PM
Response to Original message
8. Newsflash Corppies...you're going to hurt due to the greedy corporate policies
practiced in the last few years. Has nothing to do with his upcoming election, The employee fuckfest is over.

Let it be known Wall Street brought you to your knees long before Obama was elected.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-25-08 10:39 PM
Response to Original message
9. Truth? There's GREAT pain coming, and it was caused by republicans
There was no and will not be a "bail out" for people with maxxed out credit cards and escalating mortgages..

People have seen their 401-k's become 101-ks, and as they fear they may lose their jobs, they will NOT spend money like they used to.. That's a FACT JACK.. it has nothing to do with whether dems take over or NOT..

Big-Bosses have been GREEDY for decades, and it's time for THEM to start taking LESS..

When customers have to pay cash for stuff, they buy LESS.. It's just that simple.. and as they buy less, stores order less, and when they order less, truckers' loads get smaller, and manufacturers/importers business suffers..

Once the downward spiral starts, it just keeps going..

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BlueJazz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-25-08 10:42 PM
Response to Original message
10. You don't like it..Home depot or Walmart ?? ..Fine..go out of business..cause I'm...
..sure a lot of other stores will be glad to take your place.

..And what's this shit about "downside of a unionized workplace"

Yeah..like having health care and taking home about 40 percent more money...
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leftofcool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-25-08 11:23 PM
Response to Reply #10
19. Wal Mart out of business sounds like a dream come true
until you realize they employ over 10 million people nation wide who will all be out of jobs.
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Ikonoklast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-25-08 11:34 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. There would be no vacuum; another retailer would take their place
Remember W.W. Woolworth was once the largest discount retailer in this country; A&P was the largest food retailer and they are both either gone or operating on a much smaller scale.

Sears and K Mart are two more recent examples of failing to adjust to a changing market.

Someone else came along and superseded them as their business model failed or the demographic they catered to changed, just as one day, WalMart will be a memory when they either get complacent, or too big to shift direction quickly enough to survive when the market dynamic changes yet again.

Nothing lasts forever. Especially in retail.

But there is always another to fill the void. And they will hire those ex-WalMart employees.
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leftofcool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-25-08 11:45 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. Not likely
no money to get loans to open businesses
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Ikonoklast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 12:00 AM
Response to Reply #23
26. It won't happen overnight, mind you.
But, look at it this way...if there is a major displacement in this economy and a large fraction of the available workforce suddenly finds themselves unemployed, would you want to be the biggest retailer on Earth dependent on that suddenly shrinking pool of disposable income?

And when you are already near the bottom in your category of discounting prices, there isn't much wiggle room to glean profit from. You may actually be forced to raise prices as profit margins disappear.

Niche players may survive with smaller capital requirements where the larger retailers are suddenly stuck with 1,000 empty stores that need closing.

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MonteLukast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 01:27 AM
Response to Reply #26
42. Isn't it always better...
... to have a lot of little ones controlling things?
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BlueJazz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 09:37 AM
Response to Reply #19
61. True...but in time, those people would work for other Retail sales jobs left open my Walmart demise.
Of course, that would take time and there would be problems...on the other hand, if they continue to pay low wages and stay in business plus hire millions more, nobody will ever have enough to buy a house or health insurance.
Damned if you do and damned if you don't..sigh...
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LanternWaste Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #19
73. The evolution of the business market is not kind
The evolution of the labor market is neither kind nor mean-spirited-- it simply happens; with us or without us.
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Sebass1271 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-25-08 10:43 PM
Response to Original message
11. The owners of Red Lobster, Carrabas's Olive Gardens
and other famous chain restaurants are telling their training managers to say to new hires that an Obama presidency will be devasting for their jobs.

Yeap. I know. I have a friend who was recently hired for one and was in training when the training manager said that to the new hirees.

and apparently is a
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BlueJazz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-25-08 10:48 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. ..is a what?
:)
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Sebass1271 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-25-08 10:51 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. I am sorry.. had to answer the phone...
is an order from the higher ups (CEO's).. my friend, who IS an obama supporter couldn't believe what she was listening to but kept quiet about it cause she needs the job and was just hired. She didn't want to speak up against it she has been unemployed for quite some time now.

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BlueJazz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-25-08 11:04 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Thanks...Sorry about your friend..you know, it's kinda' like being in an
..abusive relationship.
(you're scared to say much or you'll be "punished")

YUCK!
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MonteLukast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 01:32 AM
Response to Reply #16
44. Ruby Tuesday and Dave 'n' Buster's...
Edited on Sun Oct-26-08 01:35 AM by MonteLukast
... requires waitstaff to go through three interviews just to get a foot in the door. Probably a lot of others, too. Anybody who belongs to the same parent company, because they have the same CEO, and whatever the CEO says, is law.

Most likely to make sure they have the right personality, I bet. Just the right anti-union personality.
I wonder if they check to see how popular you were in high school? Or whether your family is Republican, so they'll know you'll be reliably pro-business, since most people (initially) get the same politics as their parents?

I used to think of waiting tables at a chain restaurant as "just a job"... something you do at night while by day you write your book or take a journalism internship. Not as a career in itself. Not something you have to sweat THREE 360-degree feedback interviews for.

If I have to undergo three interviews, I might as well apply at a dream job.
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DAMANgoldberg Donating Member (377 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 04:32 AM
Response to Reply #44
51. Not only 3 interviews...
plus you have to "look the part", meaning young (under 30), skinny, and vanilla outside of token representation of minority groups. BTW, it's only 2 interviews for Back of the House positions.

Since I'm not young, skinny, or vanilla, that is what trucking is for.
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MonteLukast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 09:54 AM
Response to Reply #51
62. They don't hire old people? Yeesh.
Edited on Sun Oct-26-08 09:57 AM by MonteLukast
One of the best waitresses I know is a 60-something lady at New York Deli News.

I hate how those managers-- who may want to let their hearts and better judgments prevail-- have to think just like the CEO and do exactly as the CEO says, or lose THEIR jobs. :grr:

Really, if I have to go through all that to get a job I see as "putting bread on the table while I write the next Devil Wears Prada", I might as well apply at a COOL restaurant like NYDN.
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MonteLukast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 01:16 AM
Response to Reply #15
36. That scares me.
Are they refusing to hire anyone with Obama stickers on their cars?

The managers may not WANT to do this, they may WANT to let their better judgment prevail, but if the CEO says it, they've got to do it.

And all that will happen is the person applying for a waiter job won't get a call back at all. Or will be told they're a poor fit.
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napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-25-08 11:58 PM
Response to Reply #11
25. Did your friend believe it? I hope not! Too damn bad that the owners might not
make $10 billion and anoly make 45 billion! Cry me a fnin river!!!!!!!!
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Cresent City Kid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-25-08 10:47 PM
Response to Original message
12. I had a boss give me the "don't vote for Clinton" speech
"I can't tell you who to vote for, but..." He went on to project himself going out of business if Clinton won. 8 years later he had bought his own building and expanded, doubling his employees to handle the increased business.

They're not afraid of losing business, they're afraid of having to share the profits with working schlubs who make it possible by busting their asses everyday.
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tularetom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-25-08 10:50 PM
Response to Original message
14. As opposed to the great joy they're experiencing now?
I see.
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dana_b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-25-08 11:57 PM
Response to Reply #14
24. exactly!
how much worse can it get? Work for free??
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lpbk2713 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-25-08 11:11 PM
Response to Original message
17. Have they been on another friggen planet for the past eight goddam years?
Edited on Sat Oct-25-08 11:12 PM by lpbk2713




Holy shit. That is just plain idiotic. How fuggen bad do
things have to get for those assholes to take notice?





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Lucian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-25-08 11:12 PM
Response to Original message
18. Wal-Mart did this a few months ago.
They met in a bigger store in my state to discuss how they wanted their employees to vote for McCain over Obama because Obama supposedly supports unions in Wal-Mart. I would know this because I work at a Wal-Mart. Here's an article on that I have saved from the Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121755649066303381.html...
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Redneck Socialist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-25-08 11:28 PM
Response to Original message
20. LOL! The company I work for gave us the anti-union spiel the other week.

I learned such interesting facts as unions have been so successful that they aren't needed any more. :eyes:
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MonteLukast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 01:37 AM
Response to Reply #20
45. I do hope that wasn't from Costco...
... because I LIKE Costco, and they DO happen to come closest to making the claim that you don't need a union if you treat your workers well. (depends on who's defining "treating them well"!)
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Redneck Socialist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #45
80. Nah, wasn't Costco...
though the "...you don't need a union if you treat your workers well." was essentially the spin that my company put on the situation as well.
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 12:00 AM
Response to Original message
27. Despite the entirety of United States history to the contrary! LOLOLOL!
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Jack Rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 12:02 AM
Response to Original message
28. Oh, my. You mean working people will stand up for themselves?
What, may I ask, is wrong with that?
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magdalena Donating Member (354 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 12:45 AM
Response to Original message
31. I don't understand this quote.
Target Corp. Chief Executive Gregg Steinhafel said his staff has been working to educate senators about how the bill would hurt retailers by raising costs and lowering sales.

How would a union lower sales?

These poor mega-retailers. Imagine if they all had to pay their employees an adequate wage.
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MonteLukast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 01:20 AM
Response to Reply #31
38. God, they sound just like Wal-Mart.
All these companies-- even the chain restaurants-- all sound the same on this! First one company sets the tone, then everybody else starts saying "me, too" on fears of not being competitive in the marketplace.

If you have 100 companies in a region, but they all share the same business philosophy, don't you effectively have ONE choice of workplace culture?
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ThoughtCriminal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 01:04 AM
Response to Original message
32. Translation for "Pain"
They are afraid the workers will be "Uppity"
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upi402 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 01:06 AM
Response to Original message
33. Fox News tells retailers UP is DOWN
Jesus, what will it take?
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Jed Dilligan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 01:06 AM
Response to Original message
34. I want those slave-driving devils in pain.
Their pain will be our deliverance.
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NWPatriot Donating Member (114 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 01:11 AM
Response to Original message
35. I'm pretty much sure I will be unemployed if Obama wins
The president of the company I work for told me personally that he's scared of Obama. Back about 8 or 9 years ago, some employees campaigned for union membership after it was discovered that the company wasn't paying proper overtime (this has since been fixed). He (the president) fought it hard, delaying any contract for over 3 years. Finally, in a move to 'push' the company into settling on a contract, the union pulled a couple dirty tricks against the company, which backfired and pissed off the employees. It turned off the employees so badly that they voted to decertify. No one has mentioned unions since.

He has already said he would rather close the company before allowing any union to be voted in. As it is, we likely will cut back further if Obama wins. We've fallen on hard times where I work, and we've cut staff and EVERYONE has taken a 3% pay cut across the board. (The president and his wife have taken a 50% pay cut, to their credit.) One of the things that's been said around the office is that we won't see how things truly shake out "until after the election".

I have some seniority there. I've been there over 7 years, and pretty much all but 2 or 3 people have been there for far less time than I have. Still, it may be decided that saving the company of some higher-paid people's salaries would justify layoffs of people like me.
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MJJP21 Donating Member (262 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 07:35 AM
Response to Reply #35
53. You have no seniority
You have no seniority without a union. You have only the good will of those that own the company at the present time. Your business can be sold at any time and the new owners can force you to resign and reapply with no one having any seniority. A union can prevent this.
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Bluenorthwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #35
59. Your 'seniority' is just your boss's whim
You have no protection. I like it when you say 'We've fallen on hard times where I work' as if the rest of the world was doing fine. As if these 'hard times' were some random happenstance instead of the direct result of Republican policy for nearly a decade.
You seem so smugly happy to have voted out your Union protection. Now you are expendable according to the mood of a man who thinks is present position in life is due to a future President, not the one whose policies he is living under. He's a fool. And he is your fate. But that was what you wanted, you wanted to be terminated at will, you wanted to face pay cuts by fiat. You wanted no voice. You got it.
And you are dead on correct. They will fire the highest paid people first.
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NWPatriot Donating Member (114 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 05:18 PM
Response to Reply #59
77. Yes, I know...
It's not like I was saying my workplace is a special case. EVERYONE is going through the ringer.

Now...I'm NOT 'smugly happy' that the union got voted out. I was stating a fact. I WANTED a union. To understand, I'll have to tell you the story. So grab a cup of coffee or chai tea, relax and read on....

This involves an airport transportation company in the Pacific Northwest that services a major hub airport and the surrounding area. A couple of drivers were upset because they didn't believe they were getting the correct pay for overtime work. As it was, the drivers were getting minimum wage (about $5.75/hr at that time, IIRC) and didn't seem to make a lot, especially with what they had to put up with concerning traffic and safety issues in driving around this metropolis. So, they did two things: they brought a lawsuit against the company to recover improperly-paid overtime, and they decided to try to unionize. They got enough votes to do so, but there was a problem...the unions that deal with transportation (Teamsters and Amalgamated Transit Workers Union) didn't want to be the unions for this company because they were "too small". There WAS a union that DID offer to represent them, the Communications Workers of America. Having found their union, they set off on a three-year fight to get a contract.

Needless to say, the management didn't like this one little bit. For three years, they hemmed and hawwed, they delayed and fought, they seemed like they were ready to do something and then didn't. It was frustrating for both sides. During this time, two things happened: the Nisqually Earthquake, and 9/11. The earthquake darn near destroyed the offices and garage, but thanks to earthquake insurance serendipitously purchased 6 months earlier, they were covered and the building was repaired (after a year). September 11th was something else (and I was employed there by that time). We nearly lost the company when air travel dropped away. We held on by the skin of our teeth and the employees sticking together and doing what was needed for the company to survive...and it did.

Fast forward to 2002...it's just about Thanksgiving, which is the start of the time of year when we, like most retailers, make our "bread and butter": the Holiday shopping and travel season. Also, the lawsuit about overtime was decided in favor of the plaintiffs (the drivers) and they were working on the settlements. As for the contract negotiations, a federal mediator had been brought in, but no progress was being made.

To this day, we have no idea WHO caused the following to happen. Apparently SOMEBODY in the union decided that SOMETHING needed to be done...

The day before Thanksgiving is the biggest day of the year for our company as far as future phone reservations are concerned. We get more calls during that day as people set up their holiday travel plans. Just about 5am that morning, ALL the phones went stone-cold dead. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Cell phones were put to use to communicate with drivers who had them, since the telephone line from the office to the radio transmitter that serviced the vans was also dead. Also, a call was made to the phone company. It turns out that SOMEONE within the phone company...and like I said, we never found out who...had submitted a work order to re-route EVERY PHONE LINE WE HAD to other places. Someone should have called the company and asked if this work order was legitimate, but no one did. We were without phones, on the biggest phone-call day of our year, for a good 6 hours. We finally got them back just before noon.

Remember what union was representing us? The Communications Workers of America...the workers at the phone company. They were saying "Negotiate...or else."

A couple weeks later, someone tried it AGAIN by submitting a work order, but somebody else at the phone company had the presence of mind to call us first and ask if this was what we wanted done. Of course, we let them know that no one at the company had authorized it, and another disaster was averted. Again, no one was able to find out WHO did it.

In the Spring of the next year, a few drivers decided to push one last time for the contract. This time, another group of drivers came in and started a move to decertify, citing that the union wasn't doing them any good, and that it would likely cause the company to shut down OR raise it's fares so high (to meet union pay scale) that no one would use the service. To make a long story short(er), a vote was taken in the summer and the drivers voted to decertify....by a narrow margin. No talk of unions has been heard since.

I'm not a driver there anymore, but I still work for the company taking reservations, and I am paid a bit better than the drivers because of my time in service there. I do realize my "seniority" is just semantics and has no real weight.

The problem is...if a move to unionize ever happens again, the company will close it's doors to prevent that from happening. We have that as a promise from the owner. You can't fight that. The man who OWNS the company has decided this, and I have no say in the matter. Would I LIKE to have someone represent me? Would I LIKE to make better wages? YES! Sure! Absolutely!

However, I hold no hope that it will ever happen. Someone else OWNS the company, I do not, and that's the way it is.
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bridgit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 01:19 AM
Response to Original message
37. There's too much cheap crap in this country anyway, time to toss boat loads of it away
Retailers shouldn't bother passing on their loses, cause I'm not buying those either. WalMart was pumping this angle a couple months back. This econo mess is transcending what retailers think they understand about America.
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Stellabella Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 01:23 AM
Response to Original message
39. And HOW many places have gone bankrupt in the last year?
They don't actually think that repukes are better for business, do they? Insane.
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Triana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 01:27 AM
Response to Original message
41. Well, time to get OFF the Republican DRUGs they've been on for eons
and learn to run their business the right way - the FAIR way. If they'd done that, they wouldn't have to be concerned that some "bad Democrat" is gonna come along and make them run things fairly from now on. They SHOULD have been running things fairly to START with (ie: allowing UNIONS).

Oopsie.

IMO, they put THEMSELVES in this position and sooner or later, they WILL HAVE TO FACE THE MUSIC. Poor babies. UNFORTUNATELY they'll will make their employees pay for THEIR selfishness all these years.

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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 02:10 AM
Response to Original message
46. Nonsense. With Dems in office more people will have more to spend
are they REALLY doing better now than they were under Clinton? These people are short sighted fools who are missing the big picture.
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FatDave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 03:12 AM
Response to Reply #46
50. It's fucking bizarre that they don't get it.
Strong economies are built from the bottom up. Supply side economics has been thoroughly discredited. Conservatism failed. Who will buy their products if the middle class has no money? How can they be so fucking blind?
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MonteLukast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 10:50 AM
Response to Reply #46
64. I think being a short sighted fool is a job requirement where they work
To comply with the LAW saying you have to increase profits quarter after quarter.

:grr:
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KitSileya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 02:53 AM
Response to Original message
47. They have the exact same mindset as those anti-life anti-choicers.
Those narrow-minded anti-choice fanatics cannot see that in fact the pro-choice, pro-help life Democratic policies actually reduce abortions, reduce what they consider the greatest evil. In the same way, workers' rights, regulation, and a more unionized workforce will help these smaller businesses because it will help society, it will help these mid-level managers, and it will help the majority of the population. Unionization will bring a living wage to most Americans, enabling them to purchase the products produced and sold by these smaller businesses instead of being forced to buy cheap crap from China. It will make the workforce healthier, because they will negotiate health care that will prevent and treat illness. It will make the workforce more efficient and productive, as their workers won't constantly resent their employers, nor will they constantly worry about their family, their mortgages, the economic crises etc. The only ones it would not help is the fat cat feudal lords who revel in keeping most Americans as serfs, and really, they're just a tiny majority of all Americans - in fact, many of them may end up not being American at all.
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KillCapitalism Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 02:56 AM
Response to Original message
48. Well, I hope we get the supermajority.
Labor would greatly benefit from that!

Wouldn't it be awesome to see union membership in this country rise back up to the numbers we had in the 1950's?
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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 07:37 AM
Response to Original message
54. Retail businesses are already fucked this quarter
and it has nothing to do with Obama. Ask Wall Street where your customer's money went.
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auburngrad82 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 07:40 AM
Response to Original message
55. So if you cut taxes and put more money in the hands of the people who will spend it
you're hurting retailers?

What bullshit.
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JustAnotherGen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 07:44 AM
Response to Original message
56. This is why
My brother left Home Depot earlier this year (District guy) to start his own business . . .
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 08:44 AM
Response to Original message
58. So WTF has eight years of Bush rule caused for most
Americans. Ah fugg them!
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KingFlorez Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 02:28 PM
Response to Original message
72. That's not necessarily true
While corporate taxes would go up under Democrats, the retail business could get better because Obama would give middle and lower income workers more money back in tax cuts and those people just might use some of their tax rebates for shopping.
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teknomanzer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 02:47 PM
Response to Original message
74. Retailers are worried about Obama?
From my perspective it isn't the top 1% purchasing the majority of consumer goods. If the economy is in the crapper and the credit markets a frozen that definitely hurts retail businesses. If anything retailers stand to do better with Obama as president and Dems holding both houses. Unions won't cut into their profits anywhere near as bad as nation of people too broke to buy their next meal.

I have worked in many places where there were no unions (which is ironic because my mother happens to be president of her local union in Colorado) and in my experience it sucks. Non-union employers treat their employees like dirt. Low pay, low to non-existent benefits, no pay raises, and crappy working conditions. I am also sickened by the fact that companies can change employee policies at the drop of a hat and there is not one damn thing a worker can do about it. I've watched as companies changed benefits, sick days, vacation allocations, attendance policies that affect employees with little to no regard to the people that work for them and I hate it. Without a union the average worker has no leverage and businesses will just use, abuse and discard you like a used napkin when they are done with you.
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bean fidhleir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 03:32 PM
Response to Original message
76. One of the top political scientists in the world - he's the emeritus holder
of a major endowed chair at Yale, so can't be dismissed as a member of any ideological fringe group - poses the provocative question:

why do we let economic governments get away with pretending that they're 12th-century feudal estates?
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lib2DaBone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-26-08 07:12 PM
Response to Reply #76
79. Good Point Bean....
$850 Billion would have paid for health insurance for every man, woman and chile in this country. We could have re-built our rail systems with clean electric trains. We could have given jobs to MILLIONS. Instead, a few Hedge Fund Managers are going to get Billion Dollar Bonuses.

Why is it, the Wall Street Bankers get Billions, but if the workers ask for a 5 cent an hour raise... "It's inflationary"?

You can either have a race to the bottom, (as is the Republican philosophy,) or you can have a highly trained, highly paid progressive society where workers AND managers benefit. I doubt we'll ever see the later in the greed-based Republican business system in place.
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MonteLukast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-27-08 05:37 AM
Response to Reply #76
81. I think they get off on the power over people it affords them. (nm)
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