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To add your comments to this topic, click on one of the 'Reply' links below.

How do yawl feel about employee union's??
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MikeT    Posted 02-10-2005 at 09:55:39       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I think it's all about GREED. When big business gets to greedy, unions flourish. When employees get to greedy, unions wane.

During the early parts of the last century, employees came together and hit big business on the head and got their attention. Starting about 1960, big business started seriously addressing employee rights. By 1990, employee unions had pretty much went away.

But, I see it starting to swing the other way now. Big buisness seems to have forgotten their lessons of the past. Might be time to get out a few hammers and start konking them on the head again (metaphorically speaking).

This is not an overnight thing. Probably take another 40 years to get things in balance again with 10-20 years required just to get the momentum slowed down.

The fact that we're now basically just a service society will not make it as easy as it was before (service, as opposed to an industrial society). All the employees groups are now broken up into much smaller units.

Anybody agree or disagree?

What's all this got to do with Country Living? Well, I think rural america will have a bigger role to play this go around. Fortunately it's coming at a time when there is a migration back to a simplier life.

Gerrit    Posted 02-10-2005 at 15:29:04       [Reply]  [No Email]
I agree with those who said that unions outlived their usefulness..

An example we recently had over here:
We had a union organized strike of the (government owned) water company here which lasted over three months and just ended.. Needless to say that the problems we have anyway with getting water increased dramaticaly.

Now what was the strike about? The union members have a health plan as part of their benefits. Good thing!
Somehow the union got it organized that they would collect the money from the water company for their members and take care of the insurance. When the accounting dept. checked the money flow for this health plan coverage, $ 12 million dollars which were paid for the health coverage, were not used for that, but disappeared somewhere within the union.
The president of this union has three ( yes three! ) salaries. One from the water company, one from the union and #3 for being the president of the health care fund.
O.K., the water company reversed their decision to pay the health coverage to the union and made a contract with the same health insurance company for the employees ( both union and non-union. ) Mr president was mad because that would mean only two salaries for him and not three.. So he called for a strike with the fake reason that this decision would mean no free choice of health plan for the poooor union workers..
So, the union members went on strike! I couldn't believe this! During the strike union members sabotaged pumping stations and other facilities. More and more people were without water for a long time..
The emergency dept of the city which owns water trucks to deliver water to the people ( almost everybody had big tanks because of the unreliable service anyway ), told us they were scared that union members would sabotage their new water rucks, so they wouldn't send us water..
Finally when I alerted the Dutch consul he got it organized that our neighborhood got water deliveries..It sometimes comes ahndu when you know the right people..

All of this happened because one greedy son of a ladydog feared that his total monthly earnings would go from something like $28 K to $ 20 K.. He would keep his his union paid Jaguar though...
In the mean time the FBI investigated this guy because of the missing $ 12 million. He was indicted and will have to face a trial. The union members kept on striking though..

I don't understand these people at all..

jddriver    Posted 02-10-2005 at 14:55:43       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I think unions are a requirement,how ever after being a teamster for a long time the unions needs to learn to police itself.The only reward for hard work is more hard work while the lazy people that hide are not held accountable.If the company treated its people right and realized that its people are its most valuable assetthings would be alot better.Iwas put out when our plant closed while the CEO took a 29 million dollar paycheck.Why shouldn't the working person get some of this?Steve

deadcarp    Posted 02-10-2005 at 14:02:23       [Reply]  [No Email]
from what i've seen, everybody that don't join their card games is out of order. they're a joke. they serve themselves first. if i had any vote it would start in house: it would be member-run not gangster, i'd lay down some solid rules about whose vote counts, since eveybody has a right to feed their family i'd outlaw closed shops, they're not scabs - they're workers like us and potential future members, publish how members get represented, set up an accessible grievance procedure, publish dues & who gets paid what and nobody gets another penny til the strike's settled. what did i miss? :)

Donna from Mo    Posted 02-10-2005 at 13:25:11       [Reply]  [No Email]
I'm glad to have a chance to tell how Cliff and I feel: Unions have done nothing for either of us but take our money. We've both been through plant closings, and the union didn't do a thing for us. I have to watch out though, and not say this to the wrong people. Folks really get huffy about it (usually because either they or their spouse works for an auto manufacturer).

bill b va    Posted 02-10-2005 at 13:08:16       [Reply]  [No Email]

appears to me if everybody was union there would be no advantage .in other words the purpose of the union is to give the greedy union member an advantage over the non union worker . sort of like a gang to run over others .

mark    Posted 02-10-2005 at 13:23:57       [Reply]  [No Email]
no the purpose is to get the foot of the greedy
business owners off the neck of the workin
man and to divy up that pie a little more on the
fair side. They also see to it that the greedy
business owners and crooked crats don't kill
and maim us on their way to the bank.

toolman    Posted 02-10-2005 at 14:11:51       [Reply]  [No Email]
that,s how it was supposed to be when my dad and grandad fought for union rights mark however over the years things changed i belive , now the union fat cats don,t give much more of a hoot about the working man than do some employers as long as they get their big fat pay checks for as little work as possibile, now i don,t mean to say every union is like this but alot are nowadays and all bussiness aren,t like this either some of them really value their employees and i belive a smart bussiman man or woman would see the value in keeping their employees happy an healthy and to be able to avoid dissention and turnovers,just how i look at it, for what its worth lol.

mark    Posted 02-10-2005 at 14:46:48       [Reply]  [No Email]
Granted there are good employers who value
their people and look out for them- no need for
a union.

I worked mining for a while. MSHA would call a
week or two ahead of a surprise inspection to
let the mine know when they were coming and
what dept. they would inspect. If it weren't for
the union safety teams the only safety
compliance would be in the inspection areas.
Union bent over backward in concessions to
keep the mines afloat and allowed them to get
back on their feet. LTV blew it all on outside
investments instead of putting the money
where it was intended.

I work for a Class 1 RR now. Right now
(converted to hours instead of miles ) a rail in
the Cities makes just a little more than a
burger flipper, where I live we do some better
than that. We're in the midst of neg. RR wants
our pay lower than right now. Their making
200+ million a quarter profit and they want us
to take less pay, less medical plus allow them
to intrude more in our homelife than they
already do. BS

Our locals have decided they actually do have
something hanging and we've took a stand
not to put up with it anymore. Last two
contracts proposed went back with a big fat
no. If it were'nt for the union we'd have gotten
crap shoved down our throats.

bill b va    Posted 02-10-2005 at 14:01:49       [Reply]  [No Email]
the lazy union member should get off his fat A$$ and use some backbone and brains if he has any and start his own business and drive the greedy business man out of business . that is the american way .

bob    Posted 02-10-2005 at 17:36:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
I think if you will have a survey that there is no loyalty left on either side and that is sad. I have seen people have 30 years in and get shown the door even without the watch and the CeO who has been with co 3 years get a big bonus.. I agree unions can be their own worst enemy but in most part they are needed. If not for them we wouldn,t even have an minuim wage which is adisgrace. The last two weeks I have set in on unemployment appeals and the problem is growing . By the way this is not a union org, but a non profit org. even the head man receives no salary or secatarys either. Good people trying to help little people

Griz    Posted 02-10-2005 at 13:56:58       [Reply]  [No Email]
Give me a break. That WAS the case decades ago but not any longer. Somehow along the way, the Union members forgot who it was that was paying thier paycheck!

Man, you guys are all about entitlement aren't you?


mark    Posted 02-10-2005 at 14:16:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
Not hardly I give honest work for honest pay
always have. If you think big companies are
going to give a person what their labor is
worth without some prodding you're on a
different planet. Not to mention skimping on
safety without someone making sure they
comply with the laws.

toolman    Posted 02-10-2005 at 14:26:13       [Reply]  [No Email]
your right on that mark but that is whats established from years of hard work by union organizers and hard working men, but today i don,t see them doing a heck of alot to add too what is already in place , here they take our dues do little new for us and contribute to policital parties with our dues money.i worked most of my life in unions, mine workers, steelworkers, operating engineers, rock and tunnel iwa, just to name a few, and some were good no denying that but that was back in the 60,s and 70,s since then until i finished at the mines i haven,t seen them add much to contracts , oh a few cents an hour here and there, a few safty issuses and if a worker complained about something and the company didn,t like it they would get rid of him or her and the union would make excuses for the company, no solidarty like in the old days,they had better change before they become extinct.

mark    Posted 02-10-2005 at 15:05:32       [Reply]  [No Email]
there's speculation about the union head
honcho for us. He was pushing big time for
our last contract but the guys and gals pulling
pins and levers thought different and I suspect
his days as gianthead will end at the next
election. Found out he went to vegas with
comp. officials to hash out the first proposed
contract. He about cried when the
membership said no.

Problem is people don't get involved with their
unions they just keep paying dues and letting
the union officials get away with pulling the
stunts they do. Membership needs to start
calling officials on the carpet to answer for
themselves or vote em out.

And I agree, there needs to be less me
metality and more of an us one.

bob    Posted 02-10-2005 at 17:45:57       [Reply]  [No Email]
Mark what you say about dues paying members is true They have to be active and make internatinal be aware that they are being policed. Also I have harpe a lot aboput policing ourselves as only product we can sell is labor and we can,t be sending out the dead heads, so far we are getting them to wake up or get out .Now is the time to get the good ones signed up

toolman    Posted 02-10-2005 at 15:57:45       [Reply]  [No Email]
i think that is what i was trying to say mark, i like the canadian auto workers they seem to be trying i don,t like the big multi nationals and any union is only as strong as it members, and yes there is certainly a place for them as your post up above shows , but i still think if they don,t change and start thinking every single member is as important as the whole and before they make deals talk to the membership, basically go back to what made them important when they begun then they are going become more an more usless and sooner or later they will lose the membership ,i fought so hard for so many years for the union and it isn,t easy for me to say these things but i won,t defend something if i no longer belive in it.

mark    Posted 02-10-2005 at 16:08:38       [Reply]  [No Email]
my poor writing I think, I agree with you. It's the
unions own fault they're losing support and
they better go back to their roots before they
lose everything.

toolman    Posted 02-10-2005 at 16:16:14       [Reply]  [No Email]
haha i know what i want to say but it just doesn,t come outa my mouth right or it this case my keyboard, sure used to get interesting when i used to go to the bar lol.

Griz    Posted 02-10-2005 at 13:14:17       [Reply]  [No Email]
Amen to that!


Jet9N    Posted 02-10-2005 at 11:28:07       [Reply]  [No Email]
I think there should be equity. No union should be bigger than the employer of their membership. If a company has 100 employees the union should be no bigger than 100 members. Why should their fortune be tied to thousands of auto makers?
The other problem I've seen a number of times the union makes decisions NOT in the best interests of the membership. I see people losing jobs through closings instead of allowing workers to give concessions.
They have outlived their usefullness.



big fred    Posted 02-10-2005 at 11:04:49       [Reply]  [No Email]
I'm represented by a union here and have very little good to say about them. Our pay is about the same, maybe a little lower than comparable non-union, and we get to pay dues to an organization that is more concerned with their relationship to the AFL-CIO than their relationship to their members. The only good thing about it was we got to walk the picket line for 40 days in early 2000, funnest 40 days of my career.

mark    Posted 02-10-2005 at 10:57:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
Simply from the safety standpoint union shops
win hands down. The industies that I've
worked in would have sent alot of people
home in body bags or crippled had it not been
for unions.

bob ny    Posted 02-10-2005 at 10:54:33       [Reply]  [No Email]
i worked for a power company for 33 years both sides. I was union for 18 years i came from a farm and service to union. every contract i thought wow the union gets everything they ask for i wonder when it will stop well in 1955 it did we walked the picket line for 3 months. when we came back to work it was fo less then the company would have given us brfore the strike
years later after fighting for every thing every contract the union went on strike agian i was supervision and had to work (equipment operator
that was one of the worst months of my working life friends for years were throwing rocks ,damaging equipment and destroying buildings Tings that in 1955 we never even thought of i think unions that are member controled are a good thing but proffesional unions do not care about the members JMHO

Griz    Posted 02-10-2005 at 10:26:22       [Reply]  [No Email]
For the most part, I have no tolerance of Union's. I understand why they came about and would be 100% for them if they had remained the same. Now, the majority of the Unions I have encountered have this "me" mentality that they should not have to work but yet be guaranteed a job.

Actual case in point, my own brother-in-law works for the Department of Corrections and is part of the Union. He has not shown up for work for the past 2 weeks yet he still has a job. He has not called in, used vacation time, nothing! He has even made the comment that the State does not dare to fire him because of the Union. And you know what? He's right.

I see Union's picketing new businesses because they are not using Unions for the labor. What ever happened to he with the best price/best quality gets the job? Why in the hell should someone get the job simply because they are union? I will be putting up a new office building here soon and I guarentee you one thing, it will be built by non-union employee's. Why? Because they don't have the me mentality and the prices are better as is the quality.

I am not trying to make a generalization about every Union, Steve you might very well be the exception to the rule, however the Union's I have dealt with, my above comments hold true. I for one, have no use for them.


bob    Posted 02-10-2005 at 17:53:30       [Reply]  [No Email]
Griz I can agree on some things you say but iyt is aproven fact that union labor does a superior job and faster. In our nick of the woods in 80,s they brought in rat outfits to break union boys . I worked for utility co. and we would have to resdo the work. It took about two years and union contractors were brought back on sight. The safety record was abig concern too.

Griz    Posted 02-11-2005 at 08:01:53       [Reply]  [No Email]
Whether or not a Union does better work is complete speculation. However, it should be up to the owner to decide who he hires and who he does not. I guarentee you that everytime I see a Union striking outside of a project, I make note of who the Union is and do my darnest to remember never to hire that Union. Thus far, I have used non-union contractors for everything and could not be happier.


steve19438    Posted 02-10-2005 at 10:48:46       [Reply]  [Send Email]
on the other side of the coin how many times have heard of or known someone who has a job because his daddy or mommy or brother or uncle or whatever owns the company and the guy/gal is useless but because he/she is connected will not be fired, disciplined or whatever needs to be done???

Griz    Posted 02-10-2005 at 10:51:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
Valid point Steve, however it's not nearly as likely as the Union scenario. The Union scenario happens, in my opinion, more often than not. In all of the years I have worked, I bet I can count on one hand the number of Union employee's who actually did not have the me mentality. It's a shame and they should be fired on the spot. If you want a job then you have to earn it.


steve19438    Posted 02-10-2005 at 11:04:12       [Reply]  [Send Email]
we got our share of them. some guys you would like to kick in the butt right out the door. but the non-union shops i have worked in have the slackers too.

Griz    Posted 02-10-2005 at 11:08:57       [Reply]  [No Email]
That's right Steve, non-union shops have slackers too. However, they get fired when they become slackers! That's the difference. A lot of the Union people have been allowed to become lazy, the world owe's everything to me, I don't have to work to earn a paycheck, bottom feeding employee's.

So the question in the world is this mentality good for anyone including the union employee? You are driving up the employer's costs, my costs etc etc etc.

The days when Unions were useful and actually served a honest purpose is gone. The only thing they have become is an unnecessary middleman costing me and everyone else money.


steve19438    Posted 02-10-2005 at 11:27:45       [Reply]  [Send Email]
"That's right Steve, non-union shops have slackers too. However, they get fired when they become slackers!"
not necessarily. whenever the family gets together i am the only union worker there and there is always talk of work. my non-union family members seem to complain about slackers where they work on a even par as i do.

Griz    Posted 02-10-2005 at 11:31:41       [Reply]  [No Email]
I guess we agree to disagree. The scales are not even close to being the same. Let's see a non-union employee not show up for work for 2 weeks and see if he still has a job. Not even close.


steve19438    Posted 02-10-2005 at 10:02:17       [Reply]  [Send Email]
i've been a union worker for most of my working life. wouldn't have it any other way.
better pay, better benefits, better job protection and as usual those who are not union have a grudge against those who are because the union memebers generally have a better life than non-union workers.

john    Posted 02-10-2005 at 10:23:37       [Reply]  [No Email]
I agree with Steve.

toolman    Posted 02-10-2005 at 10:37:49       [Reply]  [No Email]
i have been union most of my life too, however , the ones i see here now are more interested in themselves than the rights of the workers, don,t strike no matter what, costs strike pay nothing comming in everything going out, nobody wants strikes but sometimes they are necessary, and as for indivual rights they will sell you out to avoid a battle with the company, these are big muilti national unions , if i was a bussiness big enough to need alot of employees id go non union , hire the best people i could, fire the ones who don,t work, if im profitable so will my men and women be, my dad used to be a union origaziner and before he passed he couldn,t belive what they were comming to especially in the coal fields.operating enginerrs one bad one around here.

john    Posted 02-10-2005 at 10:41:39       [Reply]  [No Email]
YOu would bite the hand that feeds you?

Griz    Posted 02-10-2005 at 11:19:02       [Reply]  [No Email]
THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I MEAN!!! Don't bite the hand that feeds you! Grrrrr....

My hand is the only hand that feeds me and my family. How dare ANYONE approach this with an attitude of I deserve it just because.

The Union does not feed you, you do! Until people wake up and start taking responsibility for their own lives you are never going to amount to a hill of beans!

Don't like your job......get a new one! Don't like your pay......climb the ladder, educate yourself, make yourself indisposable the employer. And anyone that comes here and says well the world of corporate greed won't let me, well I say bunk! Nobody else is going to pick me up by my boot straps so it might as well be me. Bush does not make or break me, a union does not make or break me, my employer does not make or break me. The only person controlling my destiny is ME! It's about time people wake up and realize that.

You want happiness....well go find it.


toolman    Posted 02-10-2005 at 11:09:13       [Reply]  [No Email]
no john they did that to me long ago when my back went and they didn,t stand up for me, and i had to take the last 700 bucks i had in the bank hire a lawyer and fight the company on my own, i stood to loose everything i had ever worked for my home everything and they didn,t want to ruffle feathers, i fought and won all on my own and about 7 others in the same position hade to try and do the same on their own some lost eveything including their marriages, family, some long time employees too old to get anything else anywhere as well, don,t tell about biting the hand.

Texas    Posted 02-10-2005 at 10:31:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
Its damn doubtful that a union employee has any better life or job for that matter..than a non-union employee.

Clipper    Posted 02-10-2005 at 10:40:13       [Reply]  [No Email]
I agree with you on that Texas. Years ago the old Barber's Union dictated Shop hours,prices,services offered,working apparell,and even down to what a Shop looked like inside and out!

Once the Union pizzed away all the so-called retirement funds it faded into history as a bad memory. No one will ever convince me that a Union is the best deal for my profession.

bob    Posted 02-10-2005 at 17:59:37       [Reply]  [No Email]
Clipper maybe not in your profession but in general const. utilty trucking mills etc yes they do live better

Texas    Posted 02-10-2005 at 10:51:17       [Reply]  [No Email]
The unions in their day were good for breaking up the sweat shops and child labor its all about money.

Odd that all the welders I use here local are out of the local 798...seems they have to work outside in open shops just to eat.

EngineerJoyce    Posted 02-10-2005 at 10:39:16       [Reply]  [No Email]
Texas, you took the words right out of my mouth.

My brother worked in a union plant, but was non-union (professional people like engineers weren't allowed to be unionized there). He did design work, and if he wanted to check the clearance or something on a model, he had to request a union employee to remove the carb (or whatever). He had to quit carrying his Gerber, because tightening screws was a union job! He got a different job in a non-union place.

john    Posted 02-10-2005 at 10:43:15       [Reply]  [No Email]
Good for him ,he showed those union bums.

EngineerJoyce    Posted 02-10-2005 at 11:03:58       [Reply]  [No Email]
At least HE was smart enough to get in out of the rain.

john    Posted 02-10-2005 at 13:35:33       [Reply]  [No Email]
Oh If it was an outdoor plant or had no roof I would not want to work there either.

steve19438    Posted 02-10-2005 at 10:38:20       [Reply]  [Send Email]
when it comes to pay and benefits unions win hands down. i have worked both sides and the unions did the best for me. unions ain't perfect, but if i had my druther's.....

Texas    Posted 02-10-2005 at 10:55:59       [Reply]  [No Email]
Bullsh!t....I pay non union...AND the hungry union hands who choose to work in open shops just to survive, the same rate on welding. That rate is the same rate local 798 would charge me for pipeline welders or equipment operators. And working for me...they dont pay any dues or have the union rep pick his buddy to work over the guy who is waiting in line.

bob    Posted 02-10-2005 at 18:03:10       [Reply]  [No Email]
Texas the only reason you pay union scale is because there is a union. If they were to go you would go back to 7 dollars an hr. been ther done that

Griz    Posted 02-10-2005 at 10:55:01       [Reply]  [No Email]
Steve, if you want to rely on someone other than yourself for you job security then so be it. Your comments on the new SS idea's Bush has proves my point. You would rather someone else take care of you then to earn your own way. I choose the path of self reliance.


steve19438    Posted 02-10-2005 at 11:30:43       [Reply]  [Send Email]
er, ah, did you really read my posts? how bout the one where i said me and the wife invested outside of "SS".

Griz    Posted 02-10-2005 at 11:37:11       [Reply]  [No Email]
Given your age and the fact you have outside resources, why in the world are you even concerned with SS? I do not plan on SS for anything nor will I ever. I have created my own retirement as you can never count on the government for anything. This is certainly not a new revelation. Anyone that pays attention should have known not to count on SS decades ago.

Kudos to you for making those preparations but the future viability of SS stands to be much stronger under the proposed new guidelines then ever before. Allow us to control our own destiny and make the decisions that will ultimately determine our lives. If you leave it up to the government you will be sorely disappointed.


Clipper    Posted 02-10-2005 at 11:40:53       [Reply]  [No Email]
I'm with you Griz.....nothing beats a converted gun safe fulla cold hard cash....that the goobermint knows nuthin about. :^)

fred    Posted 02-10-2005 at 18:09:04       [Reply]  [No Email]
Only a barber can do that leaglly {GRin}

Texas    Posted 02-10-2005 at 10:56:47       [Reply]  [No Email]
Atta boy Griz...I like your style!

john    Posted 02-10-2005 at 10:35:54       [Reply]  [No Email]
They do if they make more money.

j    Posted 02-10-2005 at 10:38:48       [Reply]  [No Email]
Or have health coverage.

Gee    Posted 09-30-2006 at 06:37:19       [Reply]  [No Email]
Also, unions do not necessarily drive up employers costs.
There are a variety of non-wage related factors that cause workers to form unions, such as favoritism, lack of a seniority system or wanting some job security clauses in their contract. And multi-employer health and welfare funds can actually be cheaper for everyone involed due to economies of scale.
And we cannot talk about "unions" without realizing that a union is merely a group of workers that is led by the workers. Stewards, business agents, principal officers, etc-all they way up to the General President are elected, at least in my union.
I encourage any union workers who read this to get actively involved in their locals, attend the general membership meetings, have your voice heard, and VOTE on the key issues as the process is entirely democratic.

Gee    Posted 09-30-2006 at 06:31:36       [Reply]  [No Email]
capitailism was originally envisioned to function as a marketplace of many buyers and many sellers of ALL products and resource.
Viewing labor as a product or resource, we now have a situation where we have many sellers (ie-workers) and a much smaller number of buyers (ie-employers).
Therefore labor organizations become necessary to counterveil and make a smaller number of sellers because workers combine their power.
Labor unions today are actually more heavily policed and more democratic than ever before, and given the shrinking middle class and the fact that real wages have steadily decreased over the years they are absolutely necessary for the survival of the American Dream.
I don't know the ages of anyone in here, but I am in my mid-20s. My generation cannot simply go to a good union job and make a living off the sweat of our backs. We have to go get college degrees to make 30k a year while working 60 hours a week, two incomes often become necessary to be able to live middle classs.
This is largely a result of a weakened labor movement, and whether previous generations realize it or not their repeated bashing and betrayal of the labor movement has hurt the average working american like myself.

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