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Old 04-27-2014, 09:53 PM
 
3,696 posts, read 2,576,073 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post
Honestly, I don't fully understand Right-to-Work and why it's so controversial. Could someone perhaps explain it to me and why it's such an issue?
RTW stipulates that workers can't be required to be union members to work in otherwise unionized workplaces (i.e. they won't be required to pay union dues). The practical effect is that workers can gain the benefits of union collective bargaining vis-a-vis pay and workplace conditions for free (the "free rider" problem). Then, since workers gain the essential benefits of the union for free, they don't have any reason to pay dues, so the union evaporates. It's essentially a clever way to kill unions without being too upfront about it.

There's plenty more that could be said about it, but a lengthy discussion probably belongs in the political chatter subforum.
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Old 04-27-2014, 09:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glamatomic View Post
Exactly- and I hope it stays that way!!! I do NOT want to live in another Right-To-Work state after my experience in NC.
Who are you telling.

There are 3 things that keeps me out of the south. Lack of or type of urbanism. The right to work and work at will laws and the religion/hypocritical culture.
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:07 AM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
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The primary problem with RTW (from my own experience living and working in NC) is that employers take advantage of the workers more since there is no Union to bargain with or represent the employees. RTW states have lower wages than non-RTW states because of this.

The biggest hurdle though of RTW, is the At Will employment stipulation. In RTW states, you are employed At Will which means that your employer can terminate your employment for any reason without notice. In the more callous workplaces, this was dangled over your head all the time, especially since the economic collapse in 2008 and the job market became more competitive.

When Unions are in place, they often have some kind of agreement with the organization that steps will be taken to rectify a problem or there will be some sort of mediation prior to dismissal. In a RTW state, without the Union presence, and with the At Will stipulation, your employer could fire you because he didn't like your new hair cut, or because his pretty neighbor needed a job and he wanted to replace you. Obviously, not all employers are going to be heartless and unfair, but a RTW state makes it easier for the bad employers, that's for sure.

I know a lot of people in Union-states complain about having to pay Union dues, etc, but in my experience, a Union does more good than harm. I've worked at Union and Non-Union workplaces, and the Union workplace conditions were often far superior, as was the compensation. It also gave you a greater sense of stability since you knew the Union would be an advocate for you should anything go awry.

We do NOT want Right to Work in Missouri!!!
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:58 AM
 
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At will isn't the same thing as right-to-work, although they are both concepts that are hostile to employees and go hand-in-hand.
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Old 04-28-2014, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Saint Louis, MO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankMiller View Post
On the other hand, Tennessee might lose out on VW expansion because of GOP anti-union shenanigans.
I know that VW is more than happy to have union representation for it's workforce, but also know the UAW vote didn't pass at the plant. VW didn't sound upset about it, but I think they want some type of conduit to communicate with the workforce whether that be a union, or not.

I've worked in union and non-union jobs here, and really haven't seen a lot of benefit one way or another. In my union job, I was forced to pay dues, but I was a probationary employee for 1 year, meaning it wouldn't make much difference what happened on the job the company could terminate me without cause if they so chose...that almost happened once, but was luckily pushed down by a federal inquiry to the company (FAA related). I've also watched the union represent people that likely should have lost their job and were a safety liability to the company and passengers, and seen them unable to protect people (via the probationary period) for doing stupid things (off hours)...pilot and a flight attendant naked in the bushes on an overnight, or a pilot mooning traffic while walking back from dinner...the dash cam video of that encounter was pretty dang priceless.
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Old 05-31-2014, 06:17 PM
 
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I'm going to resuscitate this thread yet again because I have another set of questions that fit under its label and would prefer not to start a new thread.

Anyway, Illinois more and more is becoming notorious for having an unfriendly business climate due to high taxes. So my question(s) is/are, how will this affect the region, particularly the Metro East? Will people (and businesses) wanting to move to towns like Edwardsville or Alton be scared away by these taxes? Will the little industry that is remaining on the IL side (oil refinery, steel mills in Alton and Granite City, etc) eventually be forced to close, and if so, what will result from this?

This is also somewhat relevant-how will this bad business climate affect East St. Louis? Will it exacerbate the many issues already there? Will it send the city into an even deeper death spiral? Will East St. Louis ever recover at all? I'd like to see what you guys think.
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Old 05-31-2014, 10:41 PM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
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I think a lot of the problems with the Metro East that you've described, have already occurred. For instance, Granite City's Steel Mill currently has half the employees that it did at it's peak (2000ish compared to 4000). Part of this is due to automation of the industry, and part of this is due to cut backs. It isn't just the steel industry in Granite City that's suffering though- so I don't believe it's a localized issue based on taxation in Illinois. It's a U.S. wide phenomenon due to the much cheaper steel being available from Asian countries such as China and South Korea.

With regards to Alton, I get the impression that they long ago accepted that they could not sustain themselves on industry alone. Starting in the early 1990s, Alton started to try to reinvent itself as a tourist town, rather than an industrial one, when they got the Alton Belle (Argosy) Casino. The majority of TIF investments and incentives in recent years have been in tourism-based attractions, in addition to small businesses and even housing in re-purposed old buildings. On the whole however, Alton still continues to struggle, but it's clear that they have redirected the majority of their attention and their future outlook away from unsustainable old fashioned industries.

As far as an unfriendly tax climate goes, while that may be true to an extent, the Metro East is actually notorious for it's tax havens of sorts. Companies such as Monsanto have created their own 'towns' (in the case of Monsanto, Sauget) with very few actual residents, for the purpose of being tax and regulation free.

Finally, with regards to East St. Louis. As I'm sure you're aware, things have been dire for decades. The industries which were once it's bread and butter closed long ago, and it's fallen into a downward spiral ever since. In truth, I don't think even a lot of Metro East residents like to acknowledge ESTL's existence. I'm not sure if you've ever walked around downtown East St. Louis during the day or night (I admittedly have a few times out of sheer morbid curiosity) but you get the sense that it, along with other struggling towns such as Washington Park, are insulated from the rest of the Metro East.

At night, people crawl into East St. Louis to go clubbing or to purchase illegal pharmaceutical products, and during the day a few people go about their daily lives in what is known as one of the most economically depressed small cities in America. The school system has long been blighted, the council and city services have long been accused of crimes themselves, and those residents that do remain in ESTL seem determined to get out when / if they can afford it.

East St. Louis is at the point where its own residents have given up on it. What happens in the Metro East is really of no concern or impact to East St. Louis, as it is highly doubtful that it will ever recover or see the prosperity it once had. It's sad, but I long ago gave up on the notion that East St. Louis could truly improve itself.

Interesting side note though, I've mentioned it on here before... but in a Leave It To Beaver episode, Ward Cleaver (the Father), refers to June Cleaver (the mother) as the "Belle of East St. Louis", indicating her character grew up there.
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Old 06-01-2014, 11:29 AM
 
Location: rural North Carolina
272 posts, read 703,360 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post
I know that, but I'm asking if we'll ever get new factories.
Most of the new factories have been in the south due to the cheap and non-unionized labor force. I tend to doubt that a foreign car company would choose to open up in St. Louis compared to sites in South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee. I just don't see what comparative advantage STL enjoys over these sites when it comes to automaking.

Where STL does have a comparative advantage is with a cluster of quality colleges, universities and medical schools which create a well-educated workforce. Combined with some top-notch hospitals in the area and I'm thinking STL might have a favorable climate for bio-tech firms.

Just my $.02.
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Old 06-01-2014, 12:18 PM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
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Jskirwin, I've heard the same thing with regards to biotech firms. I too feel that this is where St. Louis is and should be putting it's focus. I remember in the original Northside Regeneration Project plans that their intent was to attract biotech industries to North St. Louis.

As for traditional factories, we could perhaps get a small handful but we will never be attracting factories at the rate we were in the past because as you say, the non union RTW states are more attractive. I do NOT want MO to become an RTW state though so from my perspective we can let the South have them!
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Old 06-02-2014, 09:02 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
7,266 posts, read 5,758,595 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glamatomic View Post
Jskirwin, I've heard the same thing with regards to biotech firms. I too feel that this is where St. Louis is and should be putting it's focus. I remember in the original Northside Regeneration Project plans that their intent was to attract biotech industries to North St. Louis.

As for traditional factories, we could perhaps get a small handful but we will never be attracting factories at the rate we were in the past because as you say, the non union RTW states are more attractive. I do NOT want MO to become an RTW state though so from my perspective we can let the South have them!
It's not just the south:

Right to Work States | National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation

I'm not too worried about unions anyway - they are gradually dying, only 6.7% of private sector jobs are union now:

American unions membership declines as public support fluctuates | Pew Research Center

I have no idea why we need public sector unions but that's another discussion entirely.
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