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Michigan right to work law passes(part 1 at least)

  1. profile image0
    JaxsonRaineposted 4 years ago

    Yet another set of rights being restored to Americans. Today, at least, is a good day for rights.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/1 … 78021.html

    1. GNelson profile image82
      GNelsonposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Another loss for working people and another step towards becoming a third world country.  Low pay, unsafe working conditions, 6 day workweeks and 14 hour workdays for your children, like it was before unions.

      1. Repairguy47 profile image60
        Repairguy47posted 4 years ago in reply to this

        I see you have finally realized big government has failed you.

        1. GNelson profile image82
          GNelsonposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Not big government but bad government.

      2. GA Anderson profile image84
        GA Andersonposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        How do you get to that conclusion from the passage of a right-to-work law - that essentially only stops the unions from forcing non-union workers to join, (or at least pay compensatory dues), in order to get/keep their job?

        Nothing in the law(s) takes anything from the unions, or diminishes their collective bargaining rights, except - to deny them the power to make "closed-shop" environments where ever they have a unionized work presence.

        But, from the looks of the opponent's criticisms - their complaint is that the monetary loss, (from the loss of forced membership dues), will deprive them of their ability to bargain for their members. How is this so? Does it cost millions for a union to support a bargaining committee? Or do they really mean the loss of the hundreds of millions used for political purposes - not collective bargaining?

        If union's are so obviously great for the common worker - won't everyone want to join and gladly pay their dues?

        Does the fact that union memberships, in general, are declining, indicate a less-than-enthusiastic embrace by the "common worker" that receives such great benefit from their union membership?

        All this appears to be about is stripping the union of its power to force a business/industry to become a "union only" work environment.

        It also appears to be all about union money, not worker's benefits - no one lost any. No current contracts were abrogated. No bargaining powers were taken away. The law(s) only placed the onus on the unions to collect dues, and attract new members - themselves. Why is that so bad?

        Unions can still bargain/strike or do anything they have previously been allowed to do to achieve their desired goals - for their members - except force membership.

        Why is that so bad?

        So, once more... how do you draw your "regressing to third world" conditions opinion from this simple change?

        GA

        1. Barbara Kay profile image87
          Barbara Kayposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          The reason I don't like the law is that the union members will do all the work to get better pay and working conditions and everyone benefits including the non-union workers. How is that fair?

          I think it is just a first step in getting rid of unions. If you look at the history of the early part of the 1900's, unions are needed. There are fair employers that don't need unions. I have worked for a few that without a union they would treat the employees terrible.

          1. GA Anderson profile image84
            GA Andersonposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Barbara,
            Is this feeling of "unfairness" a gut reaction, or based on any real data?

            Just "shooting from the hip..." that would seem, to me, to equate to a position that it is unfair from anyone to benefit from any societal improvement - unless they participated in creating it.

            Also, I have not checked this, but I have seen anecdotes that indicated different union and non-union wage rates in a single workplace. If true, this would negate the "riding on coattails" argument.

            And, does your feeling of unfairness lead to an opinion that ALL employment should be "closed-shop" opportunities only - if there is any union presence?

            Once more, to me - it appears the union members have lost nothing through the new law(s) - so could not your complaint of "unfairness" be also portrayed as selfishness?

            It's mine - you can't have it! - It sure doesn't sound like the "brotherhood of man" or  the "human community," mantras you typically hear from some voices.

            GA

  2. psycheskinner profile image80
    psycheskinnerposted 4 years ago

    I didn't realize that getting union benefits without paying for them was a right.

    1. profile image0
      JaxsonRaineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      It's the right to work without being forced to join a union and pay them money if you don't want to.

      1. psycheskinner profile image80
        psycheskinnerposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        It's the right to get the pay raise the union negotiates without paying to belong.

        So actually it is forcing businesses to give workers benefits they did nothing to negotiate.

        1. profile image0
          JaxsonRaineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Nope. If a union wants to use their resources to negotiate for everybody, they can do that. They have that right.

          If an employer wants to give everyone a raise, he can do that. It's his right.

          It's NOT a right to force someone to join a union.

          If you're against this, then  you should be against minimum wage too, FYI. That forces businesses to pay everyone at least a certain amount, even if the person didn't want it, voted against it, etc...

          1. brimancandy profile image83
            brimancandyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            If there was no minimum wage requirement, which was brought about from the work of unions trying to get better pay for their workers, we would be like other countries, and working the same jobs we are doing today for $1.00 a day, and have no health benefits at all. Unions brought those things to the table not businesses. And, it is corporate america that is pushing these rights to work laws to reverse what unions have tried so hard for us to get.

            The only reason non union businesses pay just less than equal wages
            of union workers, is because they need to compete for those employees. Would you want to work for a company that does not want to pay the basic minimum wage? have no benefits at all, or work for the union that fought to get you above minimum wage, save or keep your job, and offer at least some benefits?

            In Chicago, there is a living wage, and companies like Walmart and Meijer, and other major corporations, are dancing all around that city trying to cash in on the millions of people that live there, yet not have to pay their workers a decent wage. While Walmart does not seem to care about those issues in the thousands of stores it is building in China.

            People who do not join the unions in a union shop, under the new law, will have no protection from their employers, and they can hire and fire them at the drop of a hat, and pay them whatever they want. An example. Some Meijer employees are non union, they get at least $2.00 less an hour in wages than a union employee, and pay more for their health care. If the company wants to fire them, the union can not back them up.

            1. profile image0
              JaxsonRaineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              I'm so glad the auto-workers union was there to back-up the Chrysler employees who were caught drinking and smoking pot at work. They all got their jobs back after the union fought for them for 3 years.

              Isn't it just wonderful?

              1. brimancandy profile image83
                brimancandyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                I know of a few people who have been fired for Alcohol and drug use while on the Job, and the Union did NOT back them up. If you come to work drunk, or are caught smoking pot on the job, in some cases, you are not only violating company policy, but you are also breaking the law. So, no Union will back you up. Stealing is another thing, the Union will drop you like a rock.

                But, we don't know the entire story behind what happened with the workers you  mentioned. Sometimes people who want someone fired will go out of their way to see that it happens. I once had a girl at work trying to get me fired for sexual harassment, saying that I made sexual advances toward her. I didn't even need the union to back me up, but brought them in anyways. Just to prove that she was a really good liar, and I was number 3 on her list, 2 guys fired because of her already.  All I needed to say were two words. I'm gay. They pretty much laughed at her, and demoted her for making up stories.

              2. Moderndayslave profile image61
                Moderndayslaveposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Non Union workers never drink or do drugs on the job,do they?

      2. Cody Hodge5 profile image60
        Cody Hodge5posted 4 years ago in reply to this

        I do agree with that.....but don't they get the same benefits as those who work in the union?

        And I also disagree with your price fixing comment. While I certainly feel like your point of view is a valid one, I don't see how collective bargaining is a bad thing. If anything, workers tend to be willing to work with management as long as they are being treated fairly.

        1. profile image0
          JaxsonRaineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          People should be able to get together and bargain collectively. I'm fine with that.

          However, an employer should retain the right to simply fire them all if he chooses. It's his business.

          Look at the longshoremen... clerical workers who were making $120k per year, and they were on strike, costing the nation billions of dollars. A few thousand workers could severely damage our country because they all want to throw a hissy fit about their work conditions. There shouldn't be laws protecting unions like that, because it takes the ownership and decision process away from the OWNERS of a company, and gives it to the employees. That's just not right.

          In this instance though, because of other laws, non-union members could get the same benefits as union members, in some positions. If you don't like it, change those laws. Don't blame free market principles on something that is caused by regulation.

      3. GNelson profile image82
        GNelsonposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        It is also a right to work for lower pay in a right-to -work state.

        1. Repairguy47 profile image60
          Repairguy47posted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Why do right to work states have lower unemployment rates than union states?

          1. wilderness profile image95
            wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Because unions, with their incessant greed and demands for more and more while providing less and less production have driven business to the right to work states?

            1. Repairguy47 profile image60
              Repairguy47posted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Yes, I know, I just don't think the pro-union side gets it. All workers are protected by federal regulations so there is absolutely no reason to have to pay to have a job! Better pay? Maybe but like hostess employees have discovered better pay doesn't protect you from unemployment. I don't see any manual labor job being worth more than 12 dollars an hour. Skilled employees can earn more but not so much that it drives the business under.

              1. wilderness profile image95
                wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                The problem is with the idea of "worth" of a job.  Jobs are "worth" what a business has to pay; employees are in competition with other people to sell their labor just as businesses are to sell their product.

                Unions (and govt. support of unions) have decreed that "worth" is whatever they can legally force a business to pay rather than using the concept of competition.  Strong unions have effectively produced a monopoly on the labor supply, something that very few other businesses are allowed to do, and it shows in that the prices they are able to charge are far above what the market would otherwise support.

              2. Cody Hodge5 profile image60
                Cody Hodge5posted 4 years ago in reply to this

                The propaganda that you willingly believe is just scary....

              3. Ralph Deeds profile image69
                Ralph Deedsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                "All workers are protected by federal regulations so there is absolutely no reason to have to pay to have a job!"

                In nearly all states, non-union workers are "at will" employees who have no protection against being fired for any reason or against unfair treatment of any kind (other than racial, age or religious discrimination). Union workers are protected by their contract which contains a grievance procedure which terminates in impartial arbitration. The arbitrator's fee is paid half by the employer and half by the union. The union represents the employee in the grievance procedure in the hearing before the arbitration, if a hearing is necessary. Before the unions "apple polishers" or relatives of the supervisor got paid more, got more overtime and were the last to be laid off if there was a business downturn.

          2. Moderndayslave profile image61
            Moderndayslaveposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            The average hourly wage is most likely less also

    2. profile image0
      JaxsonRaineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Also, business owners should have the right to do business as they please. If they want to offer wages that are too low, they won't get any work or won't get the quality work they need.

      We have laws that make price fixing illegal, but unions fix the price of labor, why is it ok for unions to do that, but not for anyone else?

      Unions in America are screwed up. The longshoreman(people who only make $120k+) are talking about striking again, which would cost the US billions of dollars a day.

      1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
        Ralph Deedsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        "Right to work laws" actually restrict the freedom of an employer to enter into a union shop agreement which requires employees to pay union dues.

        1. GA Anderson profile image84
          GA Andersonposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Could you explain that restriction?

          Trying to follow your logic, the only restriction I can see would be one of an employer being legally barred from forcing ALL employees to join a union in order to have a "closed-shop" workforce.

          But, I cannot see the employer's benefit of a mandated union-labor only workforce. And, understanding that I have an obvious anti-union bias - I cannot think of any situation where an employer would prefer a union workforce versus a free-choice workforce.

          So, what employer-restricted workforce freedoms - in a right-to-work environment, do you see that I don't?

          GA

          1. wilderness profile image95
            wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            As no sane employer would ever willingly require an employee to join a union in order to work, what it boils down to is that the union can't force the employer to make that restriction as it is illegal to do so.  Restricting an employee's right to work IS very much to the unions benefit and will be done everywhere possible - the law simply takes away that possibility.

            Whatever the wording, right to work states technically give a person the right to work in any shop without joining a union.  Whether he will walk out to his car every day to find 4 slashed tires is another question, but he has the legal right to work there if not the practical right.

    3. profile image0
      JaxsonRaineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      I didn't realize that getting food/housing/healthcare/cell phones/cash/etc without paying for it was a right either...

      1. brimancandy profile image83
        brimancandyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        I assume you are referring to people on welfare or seniors. All of those things come with requirements. For example, if you are a single male, and under the retirement age, you will be eligible for none of those things. Each person who gets EBT (food stamps) is only allowed $1.00 in cash each month. Every cent of money spent on rent, utilities, whatever has a set limit. Which is way below poverty level. Unless you are a single mother with infant children, or children under 18 in your home, you don't get jack.

        As for Cell phones, only certain people have access to those, and you only get so many minutes a month, any more than that, and the premiums are as nigh as 10 cents a minute, no matter where you call.

        So it may be not paying for it. But, some people would rather have a good paying job, live well, and have a normal life. As apposed to those things, unfortunately companies who piss and wine and moan about the poor, will not hire them. Companies pay even less to their employees, offer no cell phones, and want to eliminate health care for their employees. So, what looks more attractive to you?

        A majority of American's do not receive these free perks, that is why there are so many millions of homeless people. Because the government continues to care less and less about them. One new thing is a 4 year limit on how long you can receive assistance. After that, you get to chose which highways underpass you want to live under.

    4. Repairguy47 profile image60
      Repairguy47posted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Must be, you get government benefits without paying for anything, just take and take and take.

  3. innersmiff profile image71
    innersmiffposted 4 years ago

    This is the central moral conundrum of the state contracted into unions - we have 'services' being used to justify coercion. The non-union members never asked for those 'services', did not agree to join the union, yet are being forced into it.

    Are these the same people that are promoting 'freedom of choice' for women over their wombs? Does 'freedom of choice' not extend to personal choices in the workplace too? roll You're either a libertarian or not, and those who oppose right to work are in fact promoting violence and therefore have no base for arguing a 'pro-choice' position in any other area.

    Whatever you think right to work 'means', whether it's low wages or poor working conditions, does not liberate yourself from this basic moral inconsistency. You can't force any individual to join any group, whether it be a union, a party, a religion or a sports team.

    1. brimancandy profile image83
      brimancandyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      It's such a ridiculous argument to to say that people are forced to join a union. If go to an employer, and find out there is a union, and don't want to join, you also have the right to look elsewhere for a job. You can also look into what non union jobs that employer offers.

      Temp services have jobs in many union locations, and temporary employees are not forced to join the unions at all. I worked for a union for 15 years, and never had a problem with it, nor did I feel forced to join.

      What's next? The company wants you to provide your own uniforms, and pay for it yourself. Is there going to be a free to no uniforms law next?

      1. innersmiff profile image71
        innersmiffposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        It's a violation of property rights and right to free association enforced by law, so yes, it is violence. If the company agreed with the union then you might have a point, but then if the company agreed with the union there wouldn't be a problem in the first place. The worker and the employer is the relationship we're looking at here, which would be completely voluntary otherwise, but are being compelled to join a completely different party against their will, if they want to proceed with the transaction.

        Of course businesses have the right to ask workers to provide their own uniforms. Is there something weird with that proposition? Where I come from, parents are expected to provide their children with uniform for state school, and as far as I know this isn't considered a great injustice but a money saver. But we're talking about the voluntary sector - most businesses can afford to provide their workers with uniform, I wager.

      2. profile image0
        JaxsonRaineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Lol, that's like saying that gays aren't being forced to not get married. They could just find someone of the opposite sex to marry!

        Yes, FORCING someone to join a union, and pay a union, in order to work a certain job, is coercion.

        Explain this: Why should someone who invests HIS time, HIS money, HIS effort, and risks HIS future to build a company, lose control of his company decisions to a group of HIS employees, because they are in a union? Why should those employees be in a special, legally protected group?

        1. brimancandy profile image83
          brimancandyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          If he is going to build HIS company as you say, he should understand all of the risks that go with it. And, if he wants to hire employees to work at HIS company, he should be prepared for anything and everything that his employees want, even if that is to form a union. If he does not want to accept that risk, than he shouldn't be in business, union or not.

          Unions don't shut down companies. Companies go out of business because they refuse to deal with the unions, and are only looking out for how much money they can get out of closing up shop. Unions try to negotiate with employers who want to tear down anything that will give them a 50% boost in their profits, even if they are making billions, they always seem to want more.

          Also, an employer can reject a union. Walmart is a prime example of that, a group of people in one state talked of forming a Union, just talked about it, and instead of listening to what they had to say, they closed every single store in that state, and fire every single worker.

          This is why there are unions. To protect employees.

          1. profile image0
            JaxsonRaineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            They don;t protect the employees. They take the rightful decision making process away from the owner of a company. It's theft. It's price fixing.

            But, if you think that auto workers who smoke pot and drink on the job need to be protected, and clerical workers who pull in $120k per year need to be protected, and those poor workers can hold the businesses they work for and even the entire nation hostage... then you need to re-examine the principles of freedom.

            Your example shows the problems with unions. If my employees want to unionize, I can either accept it, or shut down my entire business. See how that takes away MY decisions on how to run MY company? The union laws allow MY employees, who are doing jobs that I created, to force me to change the way I run my company.

            MY company. Clearly you just don't believe in ownership.

            1. Cody Hodge5 profile image60
              Cody Hodge5posted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Or lock them out.......and then find non-union employees

              Or maybe work a little harder to treat your employees right so that they don't feel the need to form a union in the first place?

              1. profile image0
                JaxsonRaineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Yup... we really need unions to protect those poor employees who aren't treated like by their companies.

                Like clerical workers making $120,000+/year. Like auto workers drinking and smoking pot at work. We really need unions to protect them, right?

                There would be nothing to stop a group of employees from getting together and collectively bargaining with their employer. I have NO problem with that.

                They shouldn't, however, gain extra legal privileges for doing so.

                1. brimancandy profile image83
                  brimancandyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Again. I have never heard of any union protecting the rights of anyone who gets caught smoking pot on the job. Like I said, I worked for a union for 15 years, and anyone who is caught smoking pot, stealing, or showing up to work drunk or high, will get no help from the unions.

                  But, lets put the shoe on the other foot. In my union store we had a food court which had a Chinese restaurant in it. The manager of the department was also Chinese, and for some reason, thought that it would look better if the employees of his section, were also Chinese. He hired a young Chinese kid who always came to work high as a kite. The other grocery manager and the store fired him 3 times, with no Union back up, the manager of that department kept re-hiring him, because he was Chinese. (Based on theme of the restaurant, not because of prejudice)

                  Eventually, this little piece of shit, decided that he could do no wrong, and he would not do his job, and threaten other workers with violence. A new boss came, in and fired him for the 4th time. And, guess who wanted to hire him back. So, we all got together and filed a joint grievance against the re-hire of that kid. So, the Union will also keep crap out of a union shop. They agreed with us, that the guy needed to go.

                  Eventually, that manager left the company and opened his own Chinese restaurant, in which he now has two locations. He was a very nice guy, but, we always felt his grand vision of an all Chinese restaurant in a supermarket  was a bit lame, and not needed. At that time there could be over 1,000 employees in our store every day. down to just 400 today. 

                  Union UFCW 951

          2. innersmiff profile image71
            innersmiffposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Presumably, there are a significant amount of non-union workers who would be willing to work for this theoretical company, so perhaps it is the union members who need to think about the risks of joining one.

            There is also an assumption by anti-right-to-work people that unions' demands are always correct. Is there no such thing as an unreasonable demand by a union? Clearly there is, and there needs to be a mechanism in place that allows workers to work if they believe the union is being unreasonable. Their livelihoods should not be tied down.

            1. innersmiff profile image71
              innersmiffposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Unions are defined by 'collective bargaining', am I right?

              Whoever heard of someone going into a store that's advertising a 'good bargain' and being greeted by a store clerk who declares "I'll give you a good bargain . . . with my fist!"?

  4. Toolmantaylor profile image60
    Toolmantaylorposted 4 years ago

    Hope to see all states following in changing legislation to favor fair labor practices favoring the workers and employers so to PROMOTE growth and job creation.  Way to go Michigan!  Soon industry will be coming back your way instead of headed south to the right to work states.

    1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
      Ralph Deedsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Evidence that "right to work" laws promote job creation is inconclusive at best.

      1. wilderness profile image95
        wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Can't be any worse than the job creation promoted by unions; the only jobs ever created by a union are the political/leadership roles of the union VIP's and unnecessary make-work demanded in work locations to be paid for by an employer.

  5. Ralph Deeds profile image69
    Ralph Deedsposted 4 years ago

    The "right to work" campaign  was financed by out-of-state money from the Koch brothers and others whose motive was to cripple political activities by unions in support of Democratic candidates. It had nothing to do with worker rights. .

    1. profile image58
      whoisitposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Obviously you are pro-Union that's fine for you but what do you have against me finding a job as a non supporter of Unions?

      1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
        Ralph Deedsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Nothing, with an employer that has not agreed that all of its employees will maintain their membership in the union by paying union dues or an equivalent amount to the union, less the amount spent by the union on lobbying and political activities.

    2. GA Anderson profile image84
      GA Andersonposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Is there a reliable source that exposes these nefarious deeds by the Koch bros., and others, or is this just your gut feeling?

      And are you saying that the pro-union reasons for opposing these laws are because they reduce the income to their political war-chests?  Most accounts I have seen indicate the problem with these laws was non-union workers benefiting from union work benefits improvement efforts.

      Are you saying that it is really just about political power and money?

      GA

      1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
        Ralph Deedsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        The Koch brothers' role in Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana has been reported widely.

      2. Ralph Deeds profile image69
        Ralph Deedsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        GA, unions spend money on a variety of activities which serve their members-- grievance and contract administration, arbitration, research and political activities including lobbying for legislation which benefits their members and get out the vote campaigns. If 20 percent of their members stop paying dues (free riders) their ability to serve their members will be compromised.

        Before the UAW organized the U.S. car companies in the 1930s there were no paid holidays, health care insurance, pensions and no grievance procedure to assure fair treatment of union members.

        1. brimancandy profile image83
          brimancandyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          You should change that to the fair treatment of any employee, as before unions, there was also child labor, and, if you got hurt on the job, if you were still able to walk, you kept on working, and they did not pay for your medical bills if you were seriously injured or killed on the job. Unions also brought us those rights, not only from the employer, but the states as well.

  6. brimancandy profile image83
    brimancandyposted 4 years ago

    Just one more comment about unions, and being forced to join one. The only thing the union that I belonged to ever asked for was Union dues. Which was a mere $8.00 out of my weekly check. But, they also hooked me up with other benefits that they offered. Like finding a lower interest credit card, low cost health insurance with good coverage, and a list of which banks offered the best rates. They also offered discount tickets to Six Flags, and other forms of entertainment. Things that my employer never offered. The only thing our employer ever offered to us were rewards slips that you would put into a box, and one person in the entire store, out of several hundred, might get a $10.00 gift card, which they right off as a business expense.

    Like I said, I never felt forced to join. And, I don't understand why companies would bitch about them. It's not like they are paying them to be there. If companies would just give their employees better wages, and treat them better, there may eventually be no need for Unions. But the fact of the matter is, that a majority of companies don't care about their employees, and would rather pay them less in wages, cut their hours, and benefits, or find a way to eliminate their jobs all together.

    An example. There was a time when grocery chains had baggers, which were people who would pack your groceries and take them to your car. Well, it was Walmart that came up with the wonderful thing known as the carousel bag stand, which put the job of packing on to the cashier, and totally eliminated the bagger position, to which many chains followed.

    The company I worked for later installed these carousels, eliminating 6,000 jobs, just at one company. The Union tried to fight having these put in, and lost. The next thing that came along, was the self serve express checkout. And, later the self service grocery check out, until it won't be long until all grocery stores have nothing but self services check outs. This is another thing the union fought and lost.  Hundreds more jobs out the door.

    So, the argument, that Unions are no good, is garbage. They try very hard to keep good jobs, and good people working. But major corporations are constantly trying to find ways to get rid of as many of their employees as they can. At the company I worked for, some 20,000 or more in just the last 5 or 6 years. A company that takes in over 2 billion every year.

    1. wilderness profile image95
      wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Yes, that's the kind of thing unions fight for, all right.  Unnecessary labor, labor that doesn't add anything to the company but another drain on profits.  Baggers are neither needed or wanted by customers (or they wouldn't shop there) but the union demands they be paid. 

      Do you remember the furor over paying a man to ride in the caboose of a train some years ago?  Even when there was absolutely nothing to do a caboose operator had to be "on the job", drawing a paycheck for doing nothing.  As soon as the requirement was finally lifted trains no longer even had a caboose!

      I was nearly fired once (by the union), as a laborer, because I jumped into a company pickup with a hoist, drove a couple of miles, picked up a tree stump and returned to the shop.  No.  The company was supposed to call the union hall, 30 miles away, get a teamster to run the truck, an operator to work the hoist and me to hook the chain on the stump.  Three men to do the job one did in far less time and without hardship.

      That's one of the great successes of a union, though - to provide "workers" with a paycheck for doing half a job or none at all.  It's also a good part of why companies fight so hard to keep unions out of their business - most can't afford to pay employees for not working.

      1. brimancandy profile image83
        brimancandyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        You are so wrong about baggers. One of the biggest complaints from customers after the carousel lanes were added, is that the service was now 10 times slower, fewer checkouts open, having to put their own groceries in their carts, and nobody to take their groceries out to their car. I should mention that this was all company policy before the carousel lanes were added. If you refused to take a customers groceries to their car, or bag their groceries, you could be fired. Now with this new gadget, all that importance flew out the window...as dollars are more important than customer satisfaction and loyalty.

        Another thing that the carousel lanes brought in was injuries to cashiers and customers. Many cashiers ended up with tendinitis, and severe lower back pain. (I was one of them) Small children have also been hit in the face by the stand arms, thinking it is a toy and spinning it, or sitting on the stand where the cashier can't see them, and getting their jacket or shirt caught on the stand arm, and getting thrown off onto the floor. Yet the company could care less about those injuries...no matter how bad.

        As for your situation? are you skilled in that particular job, or are you certified to do it? In some positions like driving a high-low, and you drive it without certification the company can and will fire you. Because if you are not the person that is supposed to be doing that job, and you hurt yourself the company could be fined by the state, and lose their permit to use that equipment. And, that has nothing to do with unions.

        I sold hot dogs from a cart on the mall in GR, and every once in a while I had city people wanting to see my operators certificate. If you are doing something your are not supposed to be doing without a certificate you may even be pretty much on your own. The company also does not have to pay for your injuries if you hurt yourself on a job you are not classified for.

        1. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          If (a big if) customers truly wanted baggers then it seems obvious that the company lost considerable business by not having them.  About 20 times the business that baggers cost the company based on the profit margin of most grocery stores.  Did that happen, or was it just the union making up stories to justify the complaint?  You should be able to tell because cashiers would have also lost their jobs as business fell that much.  If business didn't fall, then why would a company give customers something they didn't want?

          If cashiers got tendonitis from bagging the groceries that would seem to mean that the baggers, doing nothing but that, got it much worse.  Did that happen?  Did all the baggers all have lower back pain?  Seems that if the injury rate was that high then letting customers bag their own, "working" just a few minutes per week at it, while giving them the wages that had been earned by baggers would be far preferable to a stream of injured employees.

          Skilled at driving a pickup truck?  That takes a special skill and training?  While the union will certainly claim it does we all know better - it just takes a drivers license.  The ONLY thing that required skill in that task was the ability to find the center of gravity of that stump close enough the chain didn't fall off and that was my job anyway.

          Allow me to give another personal example of union activity.  Same job, different day - an operator on one of the giant earth moving scrapers went to cross the freeway when the huge hydraulic cylinder holding the belly dump split open, dropping the cutting blade onto the road.  Impossible to move in that condition, it was completely blocking half of the interstate freeway in a rural, mountainous area.  I saw it and immediately began trying to shove traffic (thankfully light) over - no vest, no traffic cones, no flag, no signage, but I did what I could.  It didn't take long to get a mechanic out, jack the blade up and chained it, but now there's no operater - he had been scalded with hot oil from the cylinder and taken to the hospital.  No one would move the thing off the road, so I climbed in and figured out how to start it and move it 50' into the median.  Caught by the operators union rep I was immediately terminated (now a multiple offense), at least until the boss got word of what had happened whereupon I was promptly reinstated and put to work.  Needless to say I lost all respect for any union that would rather have a carload of kids come over the rise at high speed and smash into a scraper than let a laborer move it in an emergency.

  7. Moderndayslave profile image61
    Moderndayslaveposted 4 years ago

    Look at the employee compensation 30 or 40 years ago vs. today. Naturally there are jobs paying more,but  jobs that offer healthcare or pensions are now few and far between.This is due to the declining union membership and companies that are more concerned with their bottom bottom line than their greatest asset, their employees. Work doesn't get done by itself.  All that seems to matter nowadays is what wall st has to say. That's right, you do have the right to work for less, go ahead.

    1. brimancandy profile image83
      brimancandyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Workmen's Comp is a joke. When I had severe tendinitis and lower back pain (As a result of the work I did), my doctor put me on a weight restriction of 5 pounds, no pushing or pulling, and no work below waist level. I gave those restrictions to my employer, and guess what they had me doing. My regular job. That is until I went to the Union and filed a grievance.

      My manager complained that she was unaware of my injuries to the Union, even though she was the one that approved my visit to the doctor, and she was the person who signed the papers to administer a drug test which is required in a work related injury. So, she says. I must have forgot.  At any rate, I was supposed to be moved to a less physical demanding job, and was put on workman's comp, which means I would work for 80 percent of my wages at my regular full time hours

      My new job was outside, pushing a shopping cart through 3 feet of snow, and picking up trash on the ground. Even though my restriction was no work below the waist and no pushing. I complained to the Union and the Comp people told me. You have to do whatever job they give you, if you don't like it quit! I also told this to the Michigan labor board, who told me exactly the same thing, and offered no help at all.

      The only people who backed me up was the Union. As it was obvious to everyone, including my doctor, that the company was trying to force me out. Because companies are so great, and unions are so bad!

      1. wilderness profile image95
        wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Some companies (and bosses) are good, some are not.  Some unions are good, some are not.

        When I had eye surgery this past April I had the same restrictions as you.  Neither the company nor my fellow employees would let me pick up even 2 pounds, let alone 5.  I was barely allowed to do anything on the construction site, but still got paid for being there.

        It wasn't because of the "brotherhood" - it was because my fellow workers cared and so did the boss.  Our relationship with the employer was not dog eat dog - it was a cooperation to earn a living for both employee and employer, both doing what they could to make it possible for everyone. 

        If the majority of companies operated that way we wouldn't have unions, and if the majority of unions did the same we wouldn't see companies fighting them so hard.

    2. wilderness profile image95
      wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Not quite.  My last employer offered a 401 as well as health care - fairly rare for a small shop in the building trades.  At least they did until Obamacare came along and the price of health insurance shot up - an 80% increase in one year was more than the company could afford and it was dropped. 

      Fully agree that if you want to work for less, go ahead.  And if you don't then vote with your feet, not with the power of a monopoly behind you, and find an employer that does pay what you want.  If you can - most people have a rather inflated idea of what their work is actually worth. smile

 
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