Saturday, February 19, 2011

Collective Brutishness

I'll admit it, folks. My experiences with unions have been somewhat less than perfect. Just a few years ago, for example, the health-care workers union tried to organize at our facility and, youza/man, were those people ever obnoxious. They kept on trying to get people to sign these stupid cards and while, yes, some of the workers did it willingly/enthusiastically, most of the folks ended up signing one just to get these nincompoops off of our backs. Of course, what really ruined it for me (and, yes, I really did try and keep an open mind about it) was when two of the union ramrods, HELLO, came to my frigging house (I guess that they had me pegged as an "undecided"). THAT, I didn't care for AT ALL!.....Long story short, folks, when we ultimately ended up having the vote, the union lost and lost decidedly (something that wouldn't have occurred had that card-check legislation been in effect).................................................................................................Another bad experience of mine occurred in the early '90s. I was working for the state of Connecticut at a time when the state was experiencing a humongous budget deficit. The people who I was working with (at DMR) were almost unanimous in their willingness to make concessions. There were, however, a few exceptions. These were the people who had been there a long time and apparently had the most to lose - concession-wise. They were also, unfortunately, the most intimately connected to the union bosses. Bottom-line, folks, these bosses told Governor Weicker to stuff it - deciding that it was better to accept layoffs than it was to give a little. I guess that, yes, a deal was eventually worked out, but by that time I (and others) had already moved on (let's see, this was probably about a month after I had initially been laid off). I mean, I could have gone back and all but,.....nah, I couldn't...................................................................................................So, yeah, what basically happened was that the state lost a large chunk of their fresher, more productive work force and ended up with massive amount of dead-wood. Good goin', unions...................................................................................................Oh, and to make matters worse, one of these burnt-out individuals ended up abusing a resident. And they couldn't frigging get rid of her!! Collective bargaining - gotta love it, huh?

20 comments:

Vigilante said...

Pastor Martin Niemoller said,

First they came for the communists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the aliens, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't an alien.

Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me.


What do you say, Broker?

Rusty Shackleford said...

25 years ago over 40% of the workforce was unionized...its now at 7%.Unions were,at onetime usefull.They helped raise wages,improved safety in the workplace,got increased benifits and so on.Then the UAW,AFL-CIO and most of all the teaches union became more interested in politics then their members.They along with less then stellar management wrecked the auto industry.The benefits and pensions afforded the Steele Workers were the driving cause of the vanishing American steele industry and we all know the negative effect the teaches union has had on our failing public school system.
Its high time the teachers union and the public employees unions are taken to task.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

I say, Vig, that you're using typical extremist hyperbole. Nobody's "coming" for anyone. There was an election in Wisconsin. There'll be another one in 2 years.......I've tried to keep my powder dry on this, gents. And I don't really consider myself anti-Union, per se. It's just that the hand-wringing on the far-left on this has been SO DAMNED NAUSEATING. Enough already!!

Vigilante said...

Rusty tell me how
"...the UAW,AFL-CIO and most of all the teaches union"
wrecked the and industry? How does that go?

Rusty Shackleford said...

Well Vig,as an example UAW benefits add just about $3000 to the cost of an average american made car or truck.Just what do you think allowed Toyota and Honda to make and sell not only a better but a less expensive product...could it be a better cost structure?
And Vig,why dont you go check how much america spends per public school student per year versus say Japan,Korea,Finland,China and the results we get in math and science.Then come back and tell why the failure that is the teachers union has no responsibility for those rankings.Can you say tenure.

w-dervish said...

When someone refers to elected union leaders with the Right-wing propaganda label "union bosses"... I don't believe them when they say they aren't anti-union (per se or not per se).

Rusty Shackleford said...

Elected "union bosses." Is that like comparing an elected governor to Hitler?Hmmmm.

Rusty Shackleford said...

Oops...I'm sorry the Hitler pictures were carried by union "protestors" so that does'nt count...they are just voicing their rights.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Let me try and "broker" something here, Vig. No, I'm not a big fan of this Walker guy, either. In my opinion, he should at least consider the Union's offer (giving in on health care and pensions but not on collective bargaining). I'm just looking at this issue with a modicum of perspective. Say the bill passes. Yes, the union loses (at least for the time being) the right to collectively bargain. But they can still a) bargain on wages, b) collect union dues, and c) make donations to their beloved/joined at the hip Democratic party. And, like I've said before, there's another election in 2 years and another one after that in 4. This isn't the end of Western Civilization.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Like I said, wd, I've had some bad experiences.......And I don't seem to recall ever voting, either.

Vigilante said...

@ Rusty:

I thought you were going to say something about the Multi-million dollar bonuses to executives when the corporations, unintimidated by loose & lenient CAFE standard continued to produce and market gas guzzlers for Americans in the looming shadows of Peak Oil. (At the same time American corporations sold economy models in foreign markets.) No regulations, leaving the auto industry up to market forces was a complete disaster. It was unfettered corporate leadership which presided over the swirling drain as U.S. car industry went down the toilet.

Vigilante said...

@ Broker:

Before Wisconsin’s budget went bust, Governor Walker signed $117 million in corporate tax breaks. Wisconsin’s immediate budge shortfall is $137 million. That’s his pretext for socking it to Wisconsin’s public unions.

Beach Bum said...

Dammit, no one saw this but I went into a seizure after reading Rusty's comment and having to agree with a large part of it.

While South Carolina is a "Right to work state" my grandfather worked at a papermill from the late 40's to early 80's and it was unionized. From what he told me back then at one time the union worked to improve the conditions and benefits of members.

Some time around the late 60's something went wrong and the union became corrupt. Now company mismanagement helped but the papermill almost had to be shut down around 1979 because the union did not want to modernize which would have elimnated a couple of hundred jobs.

A restructured company and a new set of union leadership was able to save the mill and it continues to a huge employer in my hometown.

With that said I don't trust any corporation and while unions can overplay their hand like any other power structure I believe whatever abuses they were guilty of have to be looked in the context that if they did not exist corporations would, and are now, take advantage of their employees.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Without commenting specifically on the wisdom of the 140 million tax cut package, I will say that to call it corporate tax break package is quite inaccurate. 48 million of that package goes to people who will now be able to deduct from their taxes their health savings accounts. This, Vig, is a benefit that virtually EVERY OTHER STATE affords its citizenry. And another 25 million goes into fund that probably isn't even going to be touched for the next 2 years.....Vig, the projected budget shortfall for the next 2 years is going to be 3.6 BILLION. Of course, the unions are going to have to contribute. Even they know that.

Rusty Shackleford said...

Oh Vig,you guys always fall back on the typical liberal response...blame the greedy company management and lax government regulations.Never,ever would you cast a shadow on some guy who's union "bargained" him into a $45 dollar an hour job to put a friggin tire on a car on an assembly line and when the company finally realized they could either get a chimp or a robot do do the same motion for a third of the price and then had to pay this "skilled" worker's pension and health care for infinity...noooo,neither he nor the union had anything to do with the failure of the industry.

The failure of the american auto industry does indeed rest on the shoulders of inept management.The management that during the industries hayday did'nt have the balls to take a strike and stymie the obscene demands of the UAW.They deserve each other.

I for one applaud the likes of Walker,Christie,Daniels and perhaps Kasich...like CS&N said...its been a long time coming.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Hey, Russ, I finally got dusted from Vig's blog-roll. It's amazing that I lasted even this long - actually.......You were never on it, right? LOL

Vigilante said...

Is not your blog's title Contra O'Reilly? As in so many other things, Broker, your last statement is erroneous.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Sorry, must have missed it the first time.

Vigilante said...

You miss a lot, Broker.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Some of it I'm glad to.