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U:nions hurting Unions

Discussion in 'Politics, Elections & Legislation' started by trapperwads, Jul 20, 2013.

  1. trapperwads

    trapperwads Well-Known Member

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    Detroits bankrupt. Can't pay retirement to public employee retires. Did the auto workers union demands cause the bankruptcy or was is because detroit has been under democrat control since 1961 with honest politicians like kawame kilpatric (now in Jail) or both? Yes I belong to a union for police and security officers. ed nichols
     
  2. birdogs

    birdogs TS Member

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    Can you imagine how much a US auto would cost if it were made in Detroit with exclusively union labor? Maybe that is why the auto companies moved operations to Right to Work states in the US south. the Japanese, Germans and now Koreans had an advantage having started making cars in the US in the south and not having built up a tremendous amount of debt and/or expense in the form of union benefits and pensions. They put themselves out of jobs and took their city down with them.

    Meanwhile, the politicians who gave away the store in bargaining with the municipal unions are dead or retired and are not bearing any of the burden for the problems they caused. The prevailing political philosophy is to promise anything because you will not be around to have to pay the bill. The answer lies partially in term limits but not entirely. Integrity and honesty are the real answer but they died in a muder-suicide pact.
     
  3. likes-to-shoot

    likes-to-shoot Well-Known Member

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    Detroit is a precursor to the US economy because it is run by the same type of individuals in more ways than one..
     
  4. Leo

    Leo Well-Known Member

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    Bird dog, In this modern age of automaking, direct union labor is only about 5% of the price of the car. If the autoworkers cut their wages in 1/2, you car price would only go down a couple of percent. Obscene executive salaries that now have trickled down to even the plant manager level have a far larger impact on the price of a car. (Even Lee Iococca is on record as saying todays executives are scandalous in robbing the corporate coffers) Lets not forget US government EPA and safety compliance and lawsuits are huge.

    There are always reports in the US bureau of labor statistics to check the facts and figures. My example is a bit outdated as I have not been in that industry for a number of years, but at one time, a fully loaded, top of the line Jeep Cherokee with everything was nearly $40,000. The direct material and direct labor cost on that vehicle was just over $6,000. All those corporate offices, you pay for them, all those research labs, you pay for them. All those millions of dollars donated to schools (and politicians), you paid for them. All the development and testing for NTSA and EPA compliance, you paid for that. And the list goes on. The executives that are taking 100's of millions in bonus and keeping all their crones well feed LOVE that the average American blames the union plant worker.
    What a perfect scapegoat.

    Also, do not forget that every worker that is actually able to make a living looses about 35% before they get the paycheck out the door due to tax burdens. ANOTHER half of what he does bring home gets confiscated for property tax, license tax, taxes on fuel, excise taxes on goods, taxes on your utilities sales taxes, personal property taxes, etc. Somebody is going to pay all that money, it is not like the politicians stop spending just because it is not coming in from factory workers. $30 and hour factory workers is NOT what has brought this country to the edge of disaster, and as long as we focus in the wrong place, we will not fix the right place.
     
  5. SirMissalott

    SirMissalott Active Member

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    likes-to-shoot,
    Unfortunately I believe you are spot on we are Greece we just don't know it .......yet!
     
  6. wrd

    wrd Member

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    Knock Unions all you want. If you had paid attention in school, you would know what this Country was like before Unions and why they came to be. There was no middle-class. There were wealthy and there were poor. Virtual slave labor. Children and adults working sun-up to sun-down in terrible conditions six and seven days a week.
    Unions came to be in the first place to improve working conditions to a humane level for everyone.
    And Middle-Class America came to be as we know it.
    And republicans have fought against it every step of the way and they continue today.
    It is not the Unions that killed Detroit. They took what they could get in the good times. It is managements short-sightedness that killed Detroit. Continuing to build shoddy shit-boxes when consumers were looking for a decent product. If management had taken notice of how well Honda was doing and made a attempt to emulate, they would still be Number 1. Instead they continued building 50's era automobiles and they outsourced many of the components to other countries.
    Under constant attack from the right,Unions are shrinking. Today the middle-class also is shrinking.Coincidence?
    If working men and women cannot afford to buy American products, American products will cease to exist along with the jobs that produce them.
    We will all be "landscapers".
     
  7. Setterman

    Setterman Well-Known Member

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    City of Detroit politicians gave the farm away to municipal unions. Now they don't have the tax base to keep their Ponzi scheme afloat.

    9,000 employees, 20,000 retirees. Gee, do you think their contract allows early retirement with too many benefits?

    Reality sets in when you run out of everyone else's money.
     
  8. wrd

    wrd Member

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    I agree Setterman. $18,000 a year is really living the high life. I'll bet they are all driving Bentleys.
     
  9. Catpower

    Catpower Molon Labe TS Supporters

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    $18,000 is a lot if there is nothing left to pay it with
     
  10. pendennis

    pendennis Well-Known Member

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    Unions, for lack of a better term, are cartels (think OPEC), nothing more. They have all the power of corporations without the legal oversight.

    Unions are notorious for their collective thoughts (think Marx/Engels). The collective is all that counts. No room for individual initiative or stardom. Why do union stewards berate those who want to do better than the norm? Ever work in a piece rate environment? When was the last time the union steward encouraged a worker to be all that he/she could be?

    Unions have been protected from their unconstitutional behavior through laws such as Taft-Hartley and Davis-Bacon. Companies have been forced to bargain at the point of a gun (court order). Since when does anyone have to bargain with another person or entity?

    Unions have been protected by progressive (liberal) courts, presidents, and Congresses, while bemoaning the "fat cats" on Wall Street. Just who provides the capital for manufacturing? When was the last time some poor shlump offered you a job. Whose money is it anyway?

    And contrary to popular, revisionist thought, the middle class was alive and well long before the UAW, Steel Workers, IBEW, Teamsters, etc., ever came into existence. The union creation of a middle class is merely union propaganda.

    This country was never founded on the concept of indentured servitude. That was a European concept. No one ever held a gun to your head, and kept you from going to work somewhere else.

    The Constitution, and its preceding document, the Declaration of Independence, enshrined the power, and provided for the protection of the individual. The collective didn't, doesn't, and never will.

    Best, Dennis
     
  11. timberfaller

    timberfaller Well-Known Member

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    Unions may have helped fix some of the working conditions but their "greed" got the best of them!!

    As indentured servants were a European custom, Unions were born by socialism/communism.

    I enjoyed my short time as a union member, had good pay for amount of work done, and the best health care.

    So what happened? It bankrupted the Cooperation I was working for.

    Once I left the union, I got "paid" for the amount of work I accomplished, which amounted to about 3 times as much.

    While a union member, others convinced me to "buy the Union label" That too was short lived!! Clothes carrying the Union label only lasted a couple of day while the non-union clothes would last a month.
     
  12. wrd

    wrd Member

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    Supposing you deposited money into a bank account for all of your working life and, when you finally retired, the bank said "Oops, sorry. We cannot afford to pay you". How would you feel about this.
    This is what Detroit is doing.
    And, Pendennis, You have obviously never opened a history book in your life.
    I have been a member of one Union or another since 1960. I have never been berated for doing the best work that I was capable of or for exceeding piecework output. Not once. In fact, I got many jobs because of my ability and a 8 for 8 attitude.
    Davis-Bacon simply creates a level playing field. Union and non-union must pay the prevailing area rate. Nobody can submit a lower bid based on expecting to pay a minimum or lower wage.

    During republican administrations the Unions get absolutely no protection from the courts ie. NLRB.
    When was the last time you were required to work in excess of 40 hours for straight pay?
    Thank the original Union, the Carpenters Union, formed in 1881. Before there was any semblance of a middle class as we know it today.
     
  13. Catpower

    Catpower Molon Labe TS Supporters

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    WRD the federal giverment is doing that everyday with social security, almost all pensions are real close to Ponzi schemes, they are established for the workers then someone takes the money that is supposed to be paid to them and uses it for something else

    It would suck to have it happen but it happens quite often

    Unions have done a lot to improve workers pay and conditions, but there is also a lot of corruption in a lot of the unions

    A few years ago I was pondering making our shop a union shop and called the Sheetmetal union to talk about it, as it would open up new markets for us, the two fellas they sent out looked like they came off the set of Sopranos, I don't know how somebody can look like they are in the mafia, but they sure did look like it

    Never did go union though said the hell with it and retired
     
  14. pendennis

    pendennis Well-Known Member

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    WRD - My great-great-great-grandfather was a quarryman, employed by various companies, in the 1830's, to the 1860's in Maine. He, like his fellow employees, were considered middle-class by everyone, including themselves. They owned homes, raised and educated families, and were prosperous in their own right. And this was years before any union, skilled trades or industrial, ever took power.

    I have been a student of political, American, and military history, for over 50 years. I have continuously studied labor, politics, economics, and have read hundreds of history texts, written by everyone from Plato, to Thomas More, to John Locke, to Thomas Jefferson, to Karl Marx, to David McCullough, to Stephen Ambrose, and many in between.

    My father was a loyal IBEW and UAW member, and a Roosevelt Democrat, until 1968, when he saw the light, and became a salaried supervisor. His first remark to me about his new status, was how foolish he had been to have remained in the union for so long. He had seen the corruption from the inside, and his epiphany was huge.

    You, like others, have drunk the union Kool-Aid, and have forgotten how people individually succeeded before they had a Doug Frazier, Jimmy Hoffa, John L. Lewis, or Walter Reuther, tell them how mistreated they were.

    At no time was anyone chained to a work station without pay. And yes, I've worked many an hour, over forty hours, for no extra pay at all. Whatever it took to get the job done, I did it. Yes, I was compensated for overtime, mostly whenever it was officially scheduled, and even times when it wasn't.

    Early in my career, I've seen UAW committeemen tell members they had to accept special paychecks, even if the employee didn't want or need one that week. Errors are made by people. I've seen intentional sabotage just to shut down an assembly line because of a minor dispute.

    When the UAW and Ford reached an impasse during 1977 negotiations, several employees took the opportunity, on the last night of work, to engage in mass theft from the plant. They were caught by plant security. The materials, several thousands of dollars in tires, radios, alternators, etc., were recovered. When the contract was settled, the first thing the UAW did was to go to bat for the thieves in the form of the grievance process. And this in neither the last, first, nor anything in between. It was common practice for the UAW to protect even the worst.

    Ford Motor Company is not the only example of the thuggery of unions. Anyone who ever crossed paths with teamsters can tell you of their difficulties.

    The example of piece work and the union steward comes directly from my best friend, who worked on the assembly line for General Electric, from the middle-1960's.

    Best, Dennis
     
  15. trapperwads

    trapperwads Well-Known Member

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    There was at one time an excellent reason for unionization. But those days and reasons are passed and the unions sometimes simply demand too much and its beyond the ability of taxpayers to dig deeper, especially with public employee unions. Contracts should be written to allow for reduction in pensions pending the shrinking of the tax base. ed nichols
     
  16. Setterman

    Setterman Well-Known Member

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    Prevailing wage is a union spun racket approved by union backed politicians.

    When the base labor force is less than 8% union, why would publicly funded jobs be forced to pay 100% union scale with tax dollars coming from the 92% non-union tax payers.

    In many cases, a public works project has no union contractors in that district, yet the contractors are required to pay union wages.

    Explain that one.

    Next time you want to build a house, shop, or garage, make sure you use union labor. Spend your dime, not mine.
     
  17. darr

    darr Well-Known Member

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    Unions much like communism are a thing of the past. Were working conditions at the turn of the century horrible? Undoubtedly. That however was over 100 years ago. I would submit that the pendulum has swung incessantly the other way ever sense. The ridiculous red tape and expense just to employ a worker, not including his wages, is enough to make most would be employers reconsider.


    Unions much like socialism set arbitrary wages and seniority of all workers no matter the skill or production. If I was a truly skilled craftsman working next to a lump of sh-t making the same wage as me I would be offended. This useless lump is making his living on my back. Is this fair or right? Is it American? Is it Capitalism?


    Wages and benefits like any other part of a capitalistic society should be earned through production and quality and the necessity for that production and quality. Let the market decide. It is precisely this incentive that made America great. And , there are still jobs for the afore mentioned lumps. But, the lump will be paid what he is worth.

    In todays society, with the endless safe guards for workers the union is something that should go the way of the dodo bird. In a global economy competing with nations that pay their workforces 10% of what the USA pays the only way America can compete is production and quality. China can't come close to production levels or quality that a motivated American workforce can. Unions are counter productive in this pursuit. Being guaranteed a wage and a job for sub par production will not win against goods produced by $1 an hour worker.

    The union mindset be it municipal workers, state or federal workers must end. The chickens are already coming home to roost.


    Darr
     
  18. likes-to-shoot

    likes-to-shoot Well-Known Member

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    wrd..........your not going to get anywhere with these people.............

    They are convinced that the 40 hr work week, holidays, (paid or unpaid) and being treated like humans are a result of corporate generosity.

    Unions have their place in the American workforce and all the crying, whining berating will not change that. You are seeing corporations reducing work hours, pay scales and condition as we speak so when the labor force has been pushed enough the membership rate will rise again. Its a cycle that has been going on since the 1930's.
     
  19. wrd

    wrd Member

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    Thanks likes -to- shoot. I was feeling a little battered.
    To the rest of you, "Together we stand, divided we fall." Never more true than in the workplace. I am sure that all of you are the most valuable employees on the planet but, if the boss has a hair across his butt some morning he can fire you for no reason and more importantly, no recourse on your part. And I have seen it happen.
    Cat power. I paid the max into SS for my entire working life. I have been collecting since 1996 and I have not had a check bounce yet. Life is good, thank you.
    Unions built this Country and, wether you are union or not, most of you would be living in company housing if it were not for the Union Movement. Don't be an ingrate.
     
  20. dhip

    dhip Active Member

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    Good points on both sides.I was UAW,retired.I agree unions were needed in the past because of worker abuse.I also agree the unions have become corrupt.Personally when I was thinking of seeking a union position I was told by several officals,even though I knew the Union bylaws and rules as well as anyone,I was too honest and would never make it.I also have to disagree with those who feel our pensions and benefits are killing America.Yes I retired early at 50.But also was forced to sign up early for S.S at 62.Less money and limited earnings by S.S. standards.Benefits??? I have to laugh at those who think we have it made.Lost eye care and Dental 5 yrs. ago_Only eye care now is for standard examine,everything else I have to pay for.Dental,lost that 5 yrs. ago_Only thing covered is cleaning.if dentist comes in and takes a look,it's out of my pocket.Remember,each time the contracts are renewed we are at the mercy of those in power and concessions seem to be getting more every year.I fell sorry for Union workers now,who knows what's going to be there by the time they are even allowed to retire.I'm sure that's changed also.Many are hired part time for a while first.It ain't NO picnic like some of the Union bashers want to sayAs above,Iococca hit the nail on the head,Management top heavy, and over paid salaries are what's hurting the business.

    Now.let's drop it and talk about Trap.


    Doug H.(pa)