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Old 03-01-2018, 06:57 AM
Location: Raleigh
6,964 posts, read 5,183,151 times
Reputation: 9390


I think that they're great for people working dangerous job. Coal miners, iron workers working 55 stories up, etc...

For the guy stocking Oranges at the grocery store? Not so much.

And, for the guy on an assembly line turning screw 342 all day, less so.

Actually, I think there are industries where the unions are a total farce...and industries where they're needed (I'm thinking of meatpackers in rural areas, staffed by immigrants...)
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Old 03-01-2018, 07:12 AM
7,546 posts, read 4,051,243 times
Reputation: 2871
Then, there are a whole lot of stupid public employees in Wisconsin. Not saying this is the universal affect, when folks are given a choice, but it sure looks like many folks say, No, thanks., when given a choice.

The most recent data show union membership statewide has declined from 354,882 members in 2010 to 218,233 in 2016, a decline of 38.5 percent.
Wisconsin Union Membership Plummets In Wake Of Worker Freedom Laws | MacIver Institute
Originally Posted by redguard57 View Post
I'm not sure the supreme court case will do all that much even if they strike down "fair riders."

Anyone in a public sector job would have to be stupid to opt out of supporting the only organization fighting for them to have retirement and health care.

Just look at the posts here. Every public employee could kiss their pension and health insurance goodbye, not to mention get a pay cut to minimum wage, if these people had their way.

Newsflash: Public sector workers are paid more because it overwhelmingly hires college graduates. There aren't that many publicly held retailers or restaurants where you have a lot of unskilled workers.

The public sector is what hires people like geomorphologists. Jack in the Box doesn't need that many.
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Old 03-01-2018, 09:48 AM
Location: Philadelphia/South Jersey area
2,280 posts, read 1,033,859 times
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So let me just say that I work for a large private chemical company. We have a union. I also any one of the few people I know who will retire early because we still have a pension AND I have retiree health care.
I'll retire at 59 because of negotiated benefits.
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Old 03-01-2018, 10:18 AM
5,600 posts, read 4,204,310 times
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Meanwhile in the US "large private chemical companies" are barely surviving. Labor and regulator costs are too high. Dow and Dupont recently merged for that reason. Even that may not work long term.
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Old 03-01-2018, 10:34 AM
Location: Boydton, VA
2,093 posts, read 2,693,098 times
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"I'll (retire at 59 because of negotiated benefits) retire early because we still have a pension AND I have retiree health care".

How many examples of that would occur in a non union shop in a right to work state ?

You are one of the lucky ones eliza61nyc.....can you comment on your company's profitability (statistics) while also being a union shop ?
So often we hear the standard talking points...."companies are going broke because of the union", "unions have no place in today's marketplace", "workers are lazy and protected by the union".....

As evidenced by the stagnant purchasing power of the American worker, I'd say there is no better time for union representation.

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Old 03-01-2018, 10:47 AM
Location: Boydton, VA
2,093 posts, read 2,693,098 times
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And there you have it....a statement that Dow/Dupont merged because the labor costs are too high...

In this press release, I see no mention of that high labor cost by the combined company. Instead, there are other reasons mentioned for the merger.

Dow Chemical stock price since 1980

Dupont stock price since 1980.

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Old 03-01-2018, 07:36 PM
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
5,242 posts, read 3,393,710 times
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Originally Posted by Teak View Post
Public sector unions protect the stupid, the incompetent, the lazy, and those with ridiculous degrees. And the "diversity hires".

To say that they "fight" for this and that is also ridiculous. Fight whom? The "Man"? Comrade Redguard, you have aptly named yourself.

Back in the day of the "robber barons", a private company union made some sense. Labor laws were weak then and some workers truly were poorly paid for long hours in often dangerous conditions. Enter OSHA and labor laws and we have seen the massive drop in private union membership percentages.

Enter the stupid public union idea. Who is the owner that sits on the other side of the bargaining table from the public union? Are the taxpayers allowed to sit on that side? No, the managers who are also unionized and employees of the public. Duh, WIN WIN for the public service workers, and LOSE LOSE for the taxpayers. Even if legislators sat on the other side of the table, they are elected and therefore subject to the money politics that unions play.

In my home state here, there has been a blitzkrieg of union adverts on youtube of late. Yup, they are beginning to fear for their place at the feeding trough. Good deal!

But hey, Redguard, keep on coming with those union talking points. I'll start you out here:

1. Without public unions, THE MAN is going to come to your house and throw grandma into the snowbank.
2. Without public unions, THE MAN will force workers to clock in 26 hours a day for 8 days a week.
3. ....
To paraphrase Luke Skywalker... everything you just said is wrong.

I work for a community college and am a member of an in-house collective bargaining unit representing my class of employee. We could outsource that function to one of the two major education unions in the state but they would charge us higher dues and we've determined they would not get us any better of a deal for that money, so we hire mediators and lawyers at negotiations time on a fee basis which results in lower dues. Whether or not to opt-in to one of those two organizations is an ongoing argument.

We negotiate with administrators who manage the budget. The administrators are answerable to the board of directors. The president submits the budget for approval to the board of directors who can hire/fire administrators at will if they do not approve of their stewardship of the budget or decisions therein. Members of board of directors face the voters of the service district every 3 years in staggered terms.

So the public IS represented at the negotiating table - by their representatives who they elect who are in ultimate control of the money. They are actually represented FIVE TIMES - 1) by their board member from their district zone, 2) by their state house representative, and 3) by their state senator, who can all vote against whatever appropriations have been proposed if their constituents so demand. There is also representation through, 4) The Governor who appoints the director of the state education department and members of the state board of education, also approved by the state senate, and 5) the state Treasurer who is elected statewide.

For the record, the combined salaries of the members of the bargaining unit I'm in are less than 10% of the school's operating budget.

State appropriations contribute only about 25% of the budget. Our share of property tax revenues are another ~25%. I forgot to mention that any change to the property tax rates are proposed by the board of directors, put on the ballot, and approved or declined by the voters.

There are approximately 250,000 public sector employees (excluding federal) in my state. There are approximately 2.6 million registered voters. We are outnumbered 10-1 and the public could strike down all the appropriations for us if they want.

Last edited by redguard57; 03-01-2018 at 08:18 PM..
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Old 03-01-2018, 07:51 PM
11,891 posts, read 14,355,740 times
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While you can argue the need for Unions in the for profit private sector (and that would include multilevel marketeers) we certainly need to get rid of public sector unions. They already have maximum security, amazing benefits and plenty of holidays.
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Old 03-01-2018, 10:15 PM
Location: Monterey County California
253 posts, read 225,499 times
Reputation: 259
Personally I don't mind the public sector having unions. It's a choice of benefits packages when you choose a job. I chose to take a job with higher salary and large 401k matching and a lot of stock options and travel another person chose a pension. I am happy with my choice I don't begrudge them theirs. If you want a pension I am sure you are hiring if you want all the benefits of the private sector we are hiring.
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Old 03-02-2018, 11:20 AM
690 posts, read 317,194 times
Reputation: 480
Originally Posted by Troyfan View Post
Utilities are monopolies. There's some competition but it's mostly in generation. The utility unions have extracted the surplus value of their work, which would go to consumers in competitive industries, and kept it for themselves.

As long as I've been around this has been the case.

My father-in-law worked for a utility. 2nd line supervision. The stories he would tell of his battles with the union over worker performance or lack thereof would fill an encyclopedia.

His brother, a lineman, would take a bucket truck and disappear for days. He was so bad (and drunk usually), other guys wouldn't work with him. Yet all disciplinary action went nowhere because the union stuck up for him. (You can still see this going on today the way teacher unions resist firing incompetent teachers.)

Compare linemen's wages with cable TV installers. Linemen's job are more dangerous but otherwise similar. And, when you watch a pole being replaced, it's always the same: one guy working and two guys watching.
Bla bla bla, everything you stated is based a "someone said this, that". while every employee has different skills, workmanship, ethics, it certainly is not restricted to unions. As far as his drunk brother, is beyond stupid that a union would defend a drunken (or stoned) person. It certainly wouldn't happen in my local. In fact the workers would be taking upon themselves to make sure that would never happen. Saying a cable tv installer is similar to a electrical lineman is laughable. The. Why aren't they lineman? Yes they use a hoist, grips, use hooks/belts (to go maybe 15') and that's about it. They drive a truck too, use a computer.
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