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Invisiblecarbonhoots
old hand

Registered: 09/11/01
Posts: 1,351
Loc: BC Canada
The effort to make unions disappear
    #2024455 - 10/20/03 02:48 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)



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  -I'd rather have a frontal lobotomy than a bottle in front of me

CANADIAN CENTER FOR POLICY ALTERNATIVES


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Offlineenotake2
Stop Bush's war
 User Gallery

Registered: 01/30/03
Posts: 1,457
Loc: Comfy chair in my lounger...
Last seen: 5 years, 11 months
Re: The effort to make unions disappear [Re: carbonhoots]
    #2024824 - 10/20/03 09:08 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Crazy stuff. My partner is not allowed to talk about unions at his work.


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Computer games don't affect kids. I mean if Pacman affected our generation as kids, we'd all be running around in a darkened room, munching pills and listening to repetitive electronic music.

"Being bitter and hateful is like drinking a vial of poison and hoping the other person gets sick" FreakQLibrium

"My motto from here on out is: If someone or something (including me) in my life is conducting themselves in such a way that they can be seen on Jerry Springer, it's time to take out the garbage!!! When you stop taking their behaviour personally and see their antics as a true reflection on their character, it becomes absolutely nauseating." Anon. on abusive relationships.


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InvisibleInnvertigo
Vote Libertarian!!
Male

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 16,296
Loc: Crackerville, Michigan U...
Re: The effort to make unions disappear [Re: carbonhoots]
    #2025073 - 10/20/03 12:01 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Unions had their time and place, too bad there are many nowadays who would rather bitch and whine than do actual work. Unions today cater to the lazy, simply put.

I'm anti union (if we're talking aboot the run of the mill types) but wish that the unions would weed out those that pull the hard working union man down with them. I believe a union can be a good thing when they kick those undesirables out.


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America....FUCK YEAH!!!

Words of Wisdom: Individual Rights BEFORE Collective Rights

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson


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Anonymous

Re: The effort to make unions disappear [Re: Innvertigo]
    #2025103 - 10/20/03 12:25 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

i know a guy who, thanks the the union he's in, gets paid $90 an hour as a construction worker. granted, a third of that goes to the union as dues, but he's still getting paid $60 an hour after that.

and people wonder why their jobs go overseas...


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InvisibleXlea321
Stranger
Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 9,134
Re: The effort to make unions disappear [Re: ]
    #2025118 - 10/20/03 12:33 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Yep, if only everyone and their 10 year old children would be happy to work for 15 cents an hour in sweatshops, being beaten for the slightest mistake, handling dangerous poisons and living in tin shacks. While the bosses wonder how many mansions to buy themselves today.

What a wonderful libertarian paradise that would be...


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Don't worry, B. Caapi


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Anonymous

Re: The effort to make unions disappear [Re: Xlea321]
    #2025172 - 10/20/03 12:51 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

what are you talking about?

the only thing i'm suggesting is that maybe unions get a little out of hand when construction workers are getting paid $90 an hour. then workers lose their jobs to somebody overseas and wonder why.

did i say that unions were a bad thing in general?

did i say that child labor was a good thing?

or beatings?

poisons in their shacks?

no alex. i didn't. if i make an argument which someone believes to be faulty, i welcome any rebuttal. this was nothing of the sort... i was not really even making an argument per se, just an observation. if someone other than me had made that post, i doubt you would have responded to it in the way you did. what's your problem?


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InvisibleInnvertigo
Vote Libertarian!!
Male

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 16,296
Loc: Crackerville, Michigan U...
Re: The effort to make unions disappear [Re: ]
    #2025342 - 10/20/03 01:38 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

what are you talking about?




we've all been wondering the same thing since Alex has been here. You have to understand that alex believes anything other than a union job pays poorly and they're beaten on a daily basis.

Never needed nor have i ever worked a union job, years ago they served a purpose.


--------------------

America....FUCK YEAH!!!

Words of Wisdom: Individual Rights BEFORE Collective Rights

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson


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InvisiblePsiloKitten
Ganja Goddess

Registered: 02/13/99
Posts: 1,617
Re: The effort to make unions disappear [Re: carbonhoots]
    #2026090 - 10/20/03 05:37 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

It is our ignorance as a people that has allowed our economy to continually plummet, our standard of living to get continually lower and corporations like walmart to put honest, decent paying companies out of business. Unions are a tremendous tool and their destruction bodes poorly for the american worker. Unions allowed power in the hands of the workers, deunionization has made us all expendable.

The biggest mistake Tech workers ever made was not unionizing. Look at where that has gotten us. Made, serviced and supported in India. WTG. Look at our shrinking middle class and growing work week.

Everyone things that they benefit from being an "individual", no wonder this country is falling apart. We have no sense of those around us.


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InvisiblePsiloKitten
Ganja Goddess

Registered: 02/13/99
Posts: 1,617
Re: The effort to make unions disappear [Re: PsiloKitten]
    #2026475 - 10/20/03 07:29 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Article Link

Roxie Bauer has raised a daughter ? mostly by herself ? paid a mortgage for more than 25 years and paid off her car, all on a checker's paycheck from Vons.

Bauer, after 29 years with the supermarket, earns $17.90 an hour, has good health benefits and a pension plan. But life stories like hers are rare these days, and she knows it.

"We are dinosaurs," Bauer said of herself and others in her position. "I don't have a formal education, but I've been able to eke out a decent living."

Fundamental changes in the economy over the last two decades have forced most people in jobs like Bauer's out of the middle class.

Assembly-line work, residential construction labor, work behind the counter of a bank, among many other relatively low-skill jobs, used to provide a comfortable living for millions of Americans. Now, for the most part, they don't.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in Southern California, said Ruth Milkman, director of the University of California's Institute for Labor and Employment.

"In the last 20 years, there has been a polarization of jobs into low wage and high wage jobs," said Milkman. "In Southern California it has been extreme. This is an attack on the remaining middle."

A generation ago the worker was in a far better position. There was little competition from abroad, industry was just beginning to automate and unions were strong. Over time, however, globalization, advancing technology and union busting allowed companies in many industries to slash benefits and keep pay levels down, experts say.

Supermarket checkers, and in some places janitors and hotel workers, are the last remaining holdouts. But even these workers fear that their days are numbered.

"We will eventually be replaced by technology," Bauer said. "We will go the way of the bank teller and gas station attendant."

They've already lost a lot. Seventy-five percent of the membership of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 135 consists of part-timers, said union president Mickey Kasparian.

Kasparian and other union members say a full-time checker making $17.90 an hour, or $37,000 a year, is the exception. Most grocery workers are not full-time and are not making the top wage. Wages for checkers start at $9.78 an hour, according to the UCFW contract that expired this month.

"This is a strike about whether supermarket workers will be part of the middle class or the working poor," said Harley Shaiken, a University of California Berkeley professor who specializes in labor issues.

The peak of union power was in the late 1940s and 1950s, said Milkman. Membership started declining during the Vietnam War years and dropped sharply in the early 1980s.

A turning point was President Reagan's decision to fire striking air traffic controllers.

"That gave businesses the green light to go after unions," Milkman said.

Then the collapse of the Soviet Union and 1994's North American Free Trade Agreement launched an era of increased globalization. Manufacturers began to have more freedom than ever before to move plants to Mexico, China and other countries where labor is far cheaper.

Grocery checkers and janitors have fared better than workers in other industries mainly because their labor can't be exported and they've had relatively good union representation.

"They can't employ a Chinese supermarket checker, but they can turn it into a low-wage job," Milkman said. "I see it as a deliberate strategy."

Deliberate or not, it is a key to survival for the supermarket chains, said Gary Wright, a Denver retail consultant.

"They either have to drive their labor costs down or go out of business," Wright said. "Wal-Mart has a 20 percent advantage in wage costs."

Whether Wal-Mart and the other "big box" retailers will be able to dominate grocery sales in Southern California like they have in other parts of the country is a bone of contention among experts.

Some say it's only a matter of time before a critical mass of San Diegans begin shopping for groceries at Wal-Mart, Costco or Target. Others argue that the supermarkets have already staked out the prime locations in a mostly built-out county.

But no one disputes the importance of unions to grocery workers.

"The unions are crucial, because there are thousands of immigrants who would love to have those jobs, and would take far less pay," said Barry Bluestone, director of the Center for Urban and Regional Policy in Boston. "But the unions have held the line."

Milkman said retail food is one of the few remaining industries where unions are still strong. Other industries have either busted the unions or restructured, she said.

Residential construction used to be highly unionized, but now it primarily relies on immigrant labor. Manufacturing also has changed drastically. Gone are the large, well-unionized aerospace and other manufacturing plants. Now the industry is dominated by smaller, non-union operations.

"The declining union density in key industries is extremely important," said Donald Cohen, president of the Center on Policy Initiatives. "A high (union) density creates a level playing field in an industry."

Another group that has held its own, at least in some cities, is janitors, Milkman said. Janitorial work, a well-paying job in the 1950s and 1960s, turned into a low-wage job in the late 1970s. Then janitors reorganized in the late 1980s, Milkman said.

Janitors at Harvard University made news last year when they won ? with the help of students ? a contract with a 16 percent wage increase.

Hotel workers in San Francisco have also done reasonably well in recent years. In 1999 they won a contract that pays room cleaners $15 an hour. The contract expires next summer.

"We anticipate the kind of war Southern California grocery workers are facing now," said union head Mike Casey.

Bauer has been on the picket line at the Midway Drive Vons in Point Loma by 6 each morning. She said she is fighting to maintain her lifestyle.

"I've been able to lead a decent and respectable life," Bauer said. "I certainly don't feel rich, but I don't feel poor either."



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InvisibleXlea321
Stranger
Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 9,134
Re: The effort to make unions disappear [Re: ]
    #2027433 - 10/21/03 02:04 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

the only thing i'm suggesting is that maybe unions get a little out of hand when construction workers are getting paid $90 an hour. then workers lose their jobs to somebody overseas and wonder why.

And what if someone overseas will work for 10 cents an hour? At what point would you think unions wern't "a little out of hand"? If they refused to work for 8 cents an hour?

Incidentally, how many construction workers are earning $170,000 a year?


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Don't worry, B. Caapi


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InvisibleXlea321
Stranger
Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 9,134
Re: The effort to make unions disappear [Re: Innvertigo]
    #2027437 - 10/21/03 02:05 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

You have to understand that alex believes anything other than a union job pays poorly and they're beaten on a daily basis.

*yawn*

Nope, I believe nothing of the sort. For once try and attack the subject, not the person.


--------------------
Don't worry, B. Caapi


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InvisibleInnvertigo
Vote Libertarian!!
Male

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 16,296
Loc: Crackerville, Michigan U...
Re: The effort to make unions disappear [Re: Xlea321]
    #2027923 - 10/21/03 06:51 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

for once try to make sense and i'll consider your lame request.


--------------------

America....FUCK YEAH!!!

Words of Wisdom: Individual Rights BEFORE Collective Rights

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson


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OfflineSquirtle
journeyman
Registered: 01/06/00
Posts: 83
Loc: Boston
Last seen: 13 years, 1 month
Re: The effort to make unions disappear [Re: Innvertigo]
    #2030786 - 10/22/03 12:19 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

while i am ostensibly pro-union, unions make it next to impossible to compete in the global market. our fierce capitalism has led to globilization, which is a natural outgrowth of information technology. for companies to remain competitive, they must trim their cost-structure as much as possible. for businesses in california, this means moving to new mexico where the workers comp. rates aren't astronomical. for others its putting call centers in india. the irony is that for american companies to compete with foreign corporations they are having to export work to the rest of the world. this is, however, how global economics is supposed to work. rich countries export low-tech labor to less developed contries, and everyone benefits; the US corp. realizes more profits and can grow, and the workers in india are able to transform their cities from slums to developed first world cities. that low-tech work used to be simply manufacturing. now its call centers. i dont think there is any doubt that GE (the largest foreign presense in india) would prefer to employ american workers, but in order to compete and stay in business they have to.

tech workers never could have unionized. the tech business itself is about cutting costs. corporations dont invest in supply chain management tools just to get a better idea of their operations, they do it to cut costs. the fantastic productivity growth that transpired over the past 20 years is directly attributable to technology, and means that one worker can make more widgets than he did 20 years ago. unfortunately, if productivity outpaces GDP growth, as it has, that means less workers. either way, tech didnt need to unionize. what were they going to demand? MORE stock options?

i think unions have an appropriate place in business today, but that place is not in the global market. it will take innovation, just like it always has, to generate the 2 million new jobs that treasury secratary john snow dubiously claimed will be created in the next year. NASA is actually pretty symbolic of old vs. new business models. old: big and bloated, but could still compete. new: faster, better, cheaper is the only way to go for success.


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Invisiblecarbonhoots
old hand

Registered: 09/11/01
Posts: 1,351
Loc: BC Canada
Re: The effort to make unions disappear [Re: Squirtle]
    #2030978 - 10/22/03 01:03 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

our fierce capitalism has led to globilization, which is a natural outgrowth of information technology




No way.

That's like saying technology has made democracy obsolete. No matter how many times that's repeated in certain university's economics classes, it still ain't so.

Rather, information technology would make it easier for governments to regulate the global economy.

The political will to do such things doesn't exist in most governments.


--------------------
  -I'd rather have a frontal lobotomy than a bottle in front of me

CANADIAN CENTER FOR POLICY ALTERNATIVES


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