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> Labor Unions, Still relevant?
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Shamalama 
Posted: 06-Dec-2004, 03:16 PM
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600,000-member union may strike because one member is being forced to tuck in his shirt.

London - A major British union on Friday threatened a strike over the case of a hospital porter who refuses to tuck in his shirt in contravention of the dress code.

The GMB union, which claims 600,000 members and is the product of union mergers over recent years, characterised as "pathetic" the action of the private company which employs the porter.

Daniel Ede, 26, says he suffers from "profuse sweating" and has a doctor's note to confirm that he should be allowed to work with his shirt out.

But ISS Mediclean says all employees have to tuck their polo shirts in while on duty to look "smart and tidy".

Union official Mick Molloy said Ede and another employee at a state-run hospital in south England were "being bullied for no good reason".

He said the union would ballot members not on the shirts but on the more general issue of victimisation, if the issue was not resolved to the men's satisfaction.

ISS Mediclean said it could not understand why the union was "wanting to make such a big deal of this".

http://www.news24.com/News24/Backpage/Offb...1631029,00.html

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Also heard on this topic from another message board:

- Behold, the power of unions, an artifact that have outlived their usefulness.

- What exactly is asinine about this? Do you not like seeing people organizing into groups to help enforce the rights of those with medical issues?

- Isn't this part of the document you sign when you are employed by the company, to obey the dress code?

- All unions do is fight to keep the rights of workers and fight to limit the power of large businesses.

- Union members tuck in their shirts?

- Who cares if it is tucked into your pants?

- I know an older woman who sweats all the time. She doesn't ask for anything else from the company. Excesive sweating is not a disability. My coworker who has only one leg is disabled. Not this whiner.



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Shamalama 
Posted: 07-Feb-2005, 02:00 PM
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10,000 autoworkers get paid without working
By JEFFREY MCCRACKEN
Knight Ridder
2/6/2005

DETROIT - About 10,000 autoworkers in the United States and Canada are getting full wages and benefits not to work, a Detroit Free Press survey shows.

All are hourly workers on long-term layoff at the traditional Big Three automakers and their biggest supplier, Delphi Corp., who are in so-called "jobs banks."

The number appears to be up from the last few years and will likely grow again this year, though it still won't be as high as a decade ago.

Most of the companies refused to say how much they are spending to pay all these workers, but it's likely well over $1 billion this year, given the number of workers and typical union wage-and-benefit packages.

Delphi told Wall Street it will spend $300 million in 2005 to pay the salaries and benefits for about 2,300 union workers who currently don't have jobs. Delphi Chief Financial Officer Alan Dawes called that cost "as high as it has ever been for us."

If Delphi's cost per worker is near the average - about $130,000 per person for full wages and benefits - then Detroit's three automakers and Delphi are paying those 10,000 workers about $1.3 billion in a year. Auto analysts note that's a cost foreign automakers like Toyota, Honda or Nissan don't have.

http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20050...206/1064268.asp

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Job Banks
Pay for work you don't even perform
Guaranteed jobs even though there is no work to be done

These workers are no different from welfare moms.

Socialism is alive and well in the US. And which party is it that these unions vote overwhelmingly for year after year?

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Mailagnas maqqas Dunaidonas 
Posted: 07-Feb-2005, 02:23 PM
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QUOTE (Shamalama @ 07-Feb-2005, 02:00 PM)
These workers are no different from welfare moms.

Socialism is alive and well in the US.  And which party is it that these unions vote overwhelmingly for year after year?


Dems provide socialism for lower class welfare; Republicans provide socialism for big business. Either way, those of us in the middle--most workers and small businesses--pay for it.


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MDF3530 
  Posted: 07-Feb-2005, 04:36 PM
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Are unions still relevant?

Yes.

Without unions, we'd still have child labor, seven-day work weeks, inhumane working conditions and people being forced to accept whatever wages the employer deems "equitable".

A sidebar about the airlines and their unions.

How come the airline executives are demanding concessions from their employees without a little quid pro quo?

In most European countries, executives earn anywhere between ten to fourteen times what the laborers do. Here in America, according to the US Department of Labor, executives earn on average 114 times the wages they pay their laborers.

Am I the only one who sees anything wrong with this picture?!

Wouldn't it be nice if these executives, the stewards of industry who are supposed to be watching the bottom line, would make sure that there is enough money in the kitty for when times go bad, rather then insulating their own pocketbooks?


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TheCarolinaScotsman 
Posted: 07-Feb-2005, 07:37 PM
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Unfortunately, big business and big unions both appear to have become so focused on the feeding trough that niether one seems to be aware of where the goodies in that trough come from. As a result, the consuming public pays more and more for less and less. When the public has finally had enough and starts looking for cheaper alternatives, then the blame gets put on "cheap foreign imports" and "outsourcing jobs to other countries". Companies want protection for their products and workers want protection for their jobs. Consumers want good products at a reasonable price. If outrageous executive salaries and overpriced labor put those products at a disadvantage, then whose fault is it. I think both sides can share in the blame of the current "globalization" of the economy. Greed on both sides is driving the marketplace away. When the "feed trough" is finally empty, where will either one be?


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Shamalama 
Posted: 10-Feb-2005, 04:54 PM
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Brother CarolinaScotsman is correct. The market will take care of itself one way or another WITHOUT any intervention by the federal government.

And what about child labor, seven-day work weeks, inhumane working conditions and people being forced to accept whatever wages the employer deems "equitable"? I have never had an employer hold a gun to my head and demand any of the above to me.

If a company is using child labor, then don't send your kids to work for them.
If a company is running seven-day work weeks, then don't apply for a job with them.
If a company has inhumane working conditions, then don't apply for a job with them.
If a company isn't paying you what you think you're worth, then quit.

Geez, Louise, how did we get to the point in this country when we think it's our RIGHT to have a job, and to be paid what we deem acceptable? You have no right to any job in the market, and an employer has no right to hire you. Unions had a place at the turn of the last century, but today they are a sad relic of days gone by. Not one union has assisted me in any way, and no union will assist me in the future - I have the ability to handle my employment all by myself.

"My" airline has no unions, and that's one of the reasons I chose to work here. The other "big" airline out of Atlanta (Eastern) had a union - they've been bankrupt for 20 years now. And I really don't care what the CEO makes - I have absolutely no envy of him. I care about MY pay, my benefits, my working conditions, my co-workers, and my future. When the time comes that I have no hope in my job then I'll leave, and it will be my choice.

Our execs have taken their 15% reduction just like the rest of us. The top 3 received no pay for the last quarter last year. And again, so what?

"In most European countries..." Oh my heavens. Not to appear rude, but I don't give a rat's butt WHAT they do in Europe. I don't live in Europe. Heck, half of them are Socialist anyway.

"enough money in the kitty for when times go bad"? Been there, done that. We had (can I say this?) $2 billion in a Swiss account in case of bad times. The problem is that the "kitty" is drying up and the income levels are nowhere near, and never will be near again, the pre-9/11 era. Even before 9/11 people were starting to move to the Jet Blues and AirTrans. During the 9/11 shutdown we were losing $5 million per day. In order to compete with the discount carriers we have to charge less that it takes to fly, so we're still bleeding $1 million per day. So if our CEO makes $1 million a year it is not even a drop in the bucket to the overall business. The airlines are going through a quantum change in the way we do business both domestically and international (which affects foreign carriers).

Again, the market is evolving, and companies have to evolve or die. There is absolutely no reason nor desire for the government to get their grubby hands in it. Likewise for the unions - all they want is union dues and the power to force a company to obey it's wishes. And I find very few union goons that have spent a lifetime at the CEO level and have the knowledge to run a large company.
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Shamalama 
Posted: 10-Feb-2005, 05:22 PM
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This is so nice.

Wal-Mart announced yesterday that it is going to close a store in Jonquiere, Quebec. This particular Wal-Mart was recently unionized. Now Wal-Mart says that the demands from union negotiators would make it impossible for the store to sustain business and to keep their prices lower than the competition (a Wal-Mart hallmark). So, the workers will all be fired and the store will be closed. The store will close in May.

Well union, you won. You really showed Wal-Mart that you're not going to be pushed around. You weren't going to stand for that low pay, even though you knew exactly what your pay would be before you were hired. Stand proud union workers - while standing in the unemployment line.

Should unions be outlawed? Of course not. People should certainly be free to form a collective to negotiate with one voice with their employer.

By the same token, the employer should be free to say "thanks, but no thanks" and either close doors, or hire employees who have a greater sense of their own individuality and do not require the help of others.

And you know what? The average shopper doesn't care one bit that you're unemployed. All they want is cheap goods and groceries.

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MDF3530 
Posted: 10-Feb-2005, 07:06 PM
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Maybe one of our Canadian friends can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that in some Canadian provinces,, it is illegal for corporate employers to hire non-union workers.
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Shamalama 
Posted: 11-Feb-2005, 10:27 AM
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Unions seek 'menstrual leave' for Toyota workers

Unions say they are negotiating a landmark industrial relations claim to allow women to take extra sick leave for menstrual pain.

The Manufacturing Workers Union (MWU) [Australia] says some women have particularly bad periods and are genuinely forced to call in sick.

As part of negotiations for a new enterprise bargaining agreement at Toyota, the union has asked for women to be allowed 12 paid days menstrual leave a year.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/20050...02/s1300583.htm

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WizardofOwls 
Posted: 11-Feb-2005, 11:19 AM
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I'm really torn about whether or to post here... I usually try to stay out of political discussions... feel like I'm throwing myself to the wolves! wink.gif

But here goes...

I am not in the union where I work and as long as I work there will NEVER be a member! The union where we work is so "clique-y." If you are not a part of the right clique, it doesn't matter how relevant or good your claim is, the union will do almost nothing for you.

2 cases in point -

I have a good friend - a black lady - who is in the union. She works jsut as hard as everyone else at the plant but because she is a woman, and smaller than most of her male co-workers she occasionally (not alot but occasionally) needs help lifitng some of the heavier stuff. Her male co-workers all help each other out in an "unofficial" buddy system, but becasue she is sorta new to the job, she gets left out and has to practically beg to get some help. She went to the union. They did nothing. Told her she knew the requirements of the job when she applied for it. Get used to it.

On the other hand, the leader of our local union is an alcoholic. And has gotten fired from work several times for issues related to that fact, but each time the union has stepped in to help him get his job back. He got completely stoned at a company Christmas party a couple of years back. Made a real show of himself and did some damage to restaurant that hosted the party for us. The company let him go. The union got him back. One of the stipulations for his rehire was that he had to get help for his drinking problem through AA. I've heard him saying several times in the locker room that he would have to stop by the store before his meeting so that he could get him some beer to drink when he got out. Sickening. He is one of the laziest people I've ever met and is constatnly filing grievances over the stupidest reasons, and because he is leader, the union works really heard fto help him. But if you are not part of his clique, forget it.

Anyway, that's just my 2 cents worth...


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deckers 
Posted: 11-Feb-2005, 02:02 PM
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QUOTE (Shamalama @ 10-Feb-2005, 04:54 PM)
And what about child labor, seven-day work weeks, inhumane working conditions and people being forced to accept whatever wages the employer deems "equitable"? I have never had an employer hold a gun to my head and demand any of the above to me.

Unions had a place at the turn of the last century, but today they are a sad relic of days gone by. Not one union has assisted me in any way, and no union will assist me in the future - I have the ability to handle my employment all by myself.

You never had any of those things BECAUSE of unions. You said yourself that they had their place in the early 1900s. But they came into being in response to child labor, dangerous working conditions, seven-day work weeks, etc.

Unions still have a place, because there are plenty of instances that don't make it into the news where working conditions -- whether it's time-related, working conditions, etc. -- are being negatively affected. And not just over a guy who sweats a lot.

We don't hear about THOSE stories because they're not sexy/funny/stupid -- not like sweaty guys who are causing a whole union to strike.




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MDF3530 
  Posted: 11-Feb-2005, 02:29 PM
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QUOTE
Unions still have a place, because there are plenty of instances that don't make it into the news where working conditions -- whether it's time-related, working conditions, etc. -- are being negatively affected. And not just over a guy who sweats a lot.


Allow me to further support your argument.

The IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) journeyman who works with a hazardous material-electricity.

The Fraternal Order of Police member who is risking his life everyday to catch bad guys.

The International Association of Fire Fighters member who runs into burning buildings when most people run out of them.

The Teamster who collects the garbage.
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Shamalama 
Posted: 14-Feb-2005, 10:40 AM
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Good points, Brother MDF3530, but I highly disagree that it is because of the unions that any of those jobs with their specific employers cause the job to be any safer.

Delta doesn't have any unions (other that the Pilots). Do you fear the work performed by our mechanics? Can you describe the last time one of our wings fell off?

While I was in college I'd work for the local utility (Georgia Power) doing summer grunt labor (mowing grass, cutting vines off fences, etc.). There were equally as many idiots doing idoitic things as with any company I've ever worked for. I still remember the time that a Mechanic's Helper reached up with a copper-tipped fiberglass pole to see if a line was de-energized (and NO, that's not what you're supposed to do). He caused an arc to a pole-mounted capacitor, blowing it up, and raining fiberglass and boiling oil over a wide area. The back of his shirt looked like he'd been shot with a shotgun. Nothing penetrated below the skin, but it could have been really bad. This was an IBEW-trained helper under the direct supervision of an IBEW Journeyman Electrician. But who got both a fine, had to pay Workman's Comp, and just barely escaped a lawsuit? Yep, the parent company, for "allowing" this to happen.

Unions support themselves first, and everyone else last.

And I keep going back to my initial point - if you don't like the job for whatever reason (low pay, high risk, etc.), then why is it that you just don't quit and find a better job? How is it that the company is obliged to support your wishes over its own? Delta belongs to its shareholders and creditors, not to its employees.
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deckers 
Posted: 03-Mar-2005, 10:08 AM
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QUOTE (Shamalama @ 14-Feb-2005, 10:40 AM)
Good points, Brother MDF3530, but I highly disagree that it is because of the unions that any of those jobs with their specific employers cause the job to be any safer.

Delta doesn't have any unions (other that the Pilots). Do you fear the work performed by our mechanics? Can you describe the last time one of our wings fell off?

You're missing MY point though. The unions may not make those jobs safer nowadays, but they did 80 - 90 years ago.

So, the unions can't protect their members from themselves, especially when those members are morons like you described. But they did protect the members from management back in the day when management abused its workers with 16 hour work days, unsafe working conditions, and excessive child labor.


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Shamalama 
Posted: 03-Mar-2005, 10:59 AM
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OK, you say "The unions may not make those jobs safer nowadays, but they did 80 - 90 years ago." I'll argue that point later. But I still go back to the topic of "Labor Unions, Still relevant?", meaning today. And no, for the most part that are remnants of an archaic, neo-Socialist, method of taking the control of a business out of management and placing it in the hands of the workers.

"back in the day when management abused its workers with 16 hour work days, unsafe working conditions, and excessive child labor". ??? That never happened at Delta. That never happened at any of the companies I've ever worked for. Which of the companies that you've ever worked at has a history of such behavior?

You work for Company A. Company A starts demanding that you work 16-hour days. What do you do about it? Do you organize a union and go on strike, or do you quit the company and find one that doesn't require 16-hour days?

You work for Company B. Company B has unsafe working conditions. What do you do about it? Do you organize a union and go on strike, or do you quit the company and find one that has safer working conditions?

You work for Company C. Company C employs kids and works them in unsafe conditions and makes them work 16-hour days. What do you do about it? Do you organize a union and go on strike, or do you quit the company and find one that doesn't abuse kids?

I support the right of free persons to voluntarily establish, associate in, or not associate in, labor unions. I also support the right of employers to recognize, or refuse to recognize, a union as the collective bargaining agent of some, or all, of its employees. Both entities have rights.
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