GM Closing WY Stamping Plant, More (Months after union extorts higher wages)

prizrak

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I don't agree with everything the unions want or get. But the basic fact is that they have made it so common workers aren't modern indentured servants. If you really look into the history of the union, you would see that when things improve for them, it improves for the communities they are in.
The main thing that you don't seem to grasp is that unions have outlived their usefulness. There used to be no regulation over the industry and employers did whatever they wanted to workers and didn't pay a fair wage. Unions stepped in and made employers more reasonable.

Now with government set standards and OSHA there is no need for unions. Safety is taken care of and wages can be set by the market (as they are in any other industry). The country is mobile enough to be able to leave a job that you don't like for another job.

That they can afford to send thier kids to college. When lowly workers can send thier kids to college our society improves overall.
Oh please.... My g/f put herself through college by working as an assistant in a law firm for like 11/hour. She didn't go to a huge private school that costs 25k/year she went to a city school but she still got a good education. And before you say that private schools give you better marketability of all my friends once that are best off are the ones who didn't spend the money on a private school. There are plenty of state schools that are regarded just as highly as a large number of private schools. So really don't give me this BS, there is plenty of government aid for those w/o money. There are plenty of small scholarships that don't require you to be a physics genius to get.

Once again it is a question of laziness and lack of ambition. People who really want to make something of themselves won't stay in a stamping plant pressing a button all day or bolting shit together no matter how good the pay is. What UAW is doing is protecting those that are too damn lazy to even bother trying.
 

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Spectre

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I don't agree with everything the unions want or get. But the basic fact is that they have made it so common workers aren't modern indentured servants. That they can afford to send thier kids to college. When lowly workers can send thier kids to college our society improves overall. If you really look into the history of the union, you would see that when things improve for them, it improves for the communities they are in.
1. In case you hadn't noticed, the value of a college education is dropping swiftly. The price is going up, but the value is dropping.

2. Unions made it so that workers weren't indentured servants, that's true.... in the 1920s. They haven't done anything for the working man since the 1950s, at the latest. OSHA and federal/state regulation, plus the staggering mobility in this country renders a union pretty much pointless.

American unions had value historically. They no longer have value, as all they do is collect money from their workers, keep good workers out of jobs in favor of nepotism and graft, and provide low quality without accountability.

In the past if you were being treated badly by your employer, you were screwed as you couldn't just leave and get another job somewhere else due to things like employer blacklists and lack of mobility. Today, if your employer treats you badly, you can simply leave and get another job somewhere else - often within a week. If you're smart, you can get another job *before* leaving. You can even get another job across the country, should you so desire.

The American union has outlived its usefulness.

The main thing that you don't seem to grasp is that unions have outlived their usefulness. There used to be no regulation over the industry and employers did whatever they wanted to workers and didn't pay a fair wage. Unions stepped in and made employers more reasonable.

Now with government set standards and OSHA there is no need for unions. Safety is taken care of and wages can be set by the market (as they are in any other industry). The country is mobile enough to be able to leave a job that you don't like for another job.


Oh please.... My g/f put herself through college by working as an assistant in a law firm for like 11/hour. She didn't go to a huge private school that costs 25k/year she went to a city school but she still got a good education. And before you say that private schools give you better marketability of all my friends once that are best off are the ones who didn't spend the money on a private school. There are plenty of state schools that are regarded just as highly as a large number of private schools. So really don't give me this BS, there is plenty of government aid for those w/o money. There are plenty of small scholarships that don't require you to be a physics genius to get.

Once again it is a question of laziness and lack of ambition. People who really want to make something of themselves won't stay in a stamping plant pressing a button all day or bolting shit together no matter how good the pay is. What UAW is doing is protecting those that are too damn lazy to even bother trying.
priz, you got it! +1 for you.

To the person who left me negative feedback: Sorry, unions are NOT part of the free market when the government exempts them from the racketeering/organized crime laws. Unions are also not part of the free market when a state mandates that they be used - see the closed shop states.
 

Spectre

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I suppose it's possible. More likely he just has family who are UAW members and has been brainwashed by them - that's the typical explanation that I've seen when encountering people who defend the UAW.

Speaking of GRtak.... If unions are supposed to protect the employee from workplace abuse, how come there's a long and growing list of abuses that were either not dealt with by the unions and/or *perpetrated* by the unions? See the union meatpacking plants shuttered by OSHA.

Also, if a union is such a beneficial thing... why does the UAW discourage its office workers at Solidarity House in Detroit from joining the OPEIU? Should not the UAW's office employees be able to reap the "benefits" of being in a union? Could it be that the UAW knows that employing a union is a bad idea? 'Unions for thee, GM, but not for me, the UAW!'

There is a reason why union representation in the USA is down to 7% of the population and dropping.

On top of that, let's look at some typical behavior for the UAW:

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2006/jul2006/uaw-j12.shtml

Michigan auto union officials convicted in extortion scheme
The UAW in microcosm
By Shannon Jones and Barry Grey
12 July 2006

A federal jury in Detroit has found two United Auto Workers (UAW) officials guilty of prolonging an 87-day strike at General Motors facilities in Pontiac, Michigan in order to pressure management to give jobs to friends and family members. The jury returned the verdict June 26 after little more than one day of deliberations.

The federal investigation further showed that union officials used the strike to obtain thousands of dollars in unearned overtime pay for themselves and their cronies.

The facts of the case present a picture of a thoroughly corrupt organization that is deeply hostile to the interests of the working class.

Donny Douglas, former Local 594 president, now a UAW international service representative, and Jay Campbell, former shop committee chairman, presently retired, were convicted of extortion and conspiracy for prolonging the 1997 strike by 5,000 UAW members at the General Motors truck manufacturing complex in Pontiac. A third UAW official, William Coffey, a former zone committeeman for skilled trades, was also named in the original indictment, but died in 2003.

All outstanding issues were reportedly resolved within the first 30 days of the walkout. However, the three union officials demanded that Campbell?s son, Gordon Campbell, and Todd Fante, the son of another UAW official, be hired for skilled trades jobs for which they were not qualified. The strike continued until GM agreed to their hiring. GM also agreed to substantial payments for overtime claimed by UAW local officials.
Yes, I know, not the most authoritative site in the world, but the only non-AP link I could find. Please note that AP is now saying that if you link to any of their articles or copy and paste their stuff *anywhere*, you have to pay them a fee. They can go to hell as far as I am concerned, but they're starting to threaten lawsuits now. Bastards.
 
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GRtak

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Do you think GRtak is a union worker for GM? This could explain his defense of the union, he does live in Michigan, after all.
No, I am not a GM employee or curently a union worker of any sort. I even turned down a GM job recently. My parents did not work at GM or any other auto maker. I have however been a union employee at various points of my life and been helped by the union with problems at the workplace. The problem was being told to drive an unsafe truck with broken leaf springs.

There are laws that regulate many things that are often ignored or blatently disregaurded.


I also have a brother-in-law that works for GM that should not be there, so I see both sides of the problem.
 

Spectre

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No, I am not a GM employee or curently a union worker of any sort. I even turned down a GM job recently. My parents did not work at GM or any other auto maker. I have however been a union employee at various points of my life and been helped by the union with problems at the workplace. The problem was being told to drive an unsafe truck with broken leaf springs.

There are laws that regulate many things that are often ignored or blatently disregaurded.
And that is another matter entirely. Graft and corruption run rampant in forced-union states, oddly enough.

Down here, honest employers will not generally ask their employees to drive an unsafe truck, because all it takes is one call to the state police from said employee and that company gets shut down for at least a week while investigators swarm over the place looking for other violations, each of which nets at LEAST a $10,000 fine. We do NOT like defective commercial vehicles operating on our roads here.

And other than transplants from union states, we don't have unions here. In fact, the unions both up north and the few down here are far more lax than our local, state, and Federal law enforcement. Obviously, they cannot be everywhere at once and sometimes it takes them a while to get through their backlog - but usually, it's like calling Orkin. One call, gets them all.

And, in fact, it's quite amusing to compare UPS (a union company) delivery trucks to FedEx trucks (non-union). UPS trucks are invariably dirty, often in poor cosmetic condition and *just* this side of legal. FedEx delivery trucks are invariably clean, in excellent cosmetic condition, and I've never heard a single one that had so much as a suspension squeak. And as a motorcycle rider, I see a lot of both out in Dallas.

See, the way American unions foster their adversarial nature with their employing companies makes the companies not want to go the extra mile; the companies will do *just* enough that the union will let them slide. After all, the unions won't increase productivity, so why treat the employees better than the enemy lets you? It's not like you can get rid of the union. And those ever increasing union demands for more money will have to come from somewhere - why not facilities and equipment?

Non union employers, like FedEx, have every incentive to NOT send out someone in a defective truck. In fact, *because* they are not union, the companies have every incentive to treat the worker well, to give them good condition equipment to work with, and to provide a congenial and inviting workspace. If they don't, the worker almost certainly has enough morale and will to leave and go work for another employer that *will*. They can provide these because they are not union and don't have to pay extortion.

When I was younger, I worked as a Teamster (union member) on a UPS boxline. It was a dark, dingy place filled with old equipment where most work was done by hand and employee morale was low despite "union scale" pay. (You don't even want to know what we did to your packages - all without fear of getting fired or even disciplined; package hockey and truck slalom with your packages as cones and obstacles to run over was popular.) Later, after I'd quit the place for somewhere better and become wiser, I toured the equivalent FedEx facility, which looked like something out of Star Trek: The Next Generation - clean, well lit, efficient operations, happy employees and recently updated/replaced machinery (which I was told was a regular occurrence).

The difference? NO UNION.

In any case, the point is this - down here, companies will not knowingly send you out in defective vehicles because free market forces and state regulations make that a bad idea, and because we prosecute graft and corruption with a vengeance, whereas up in union territory, they have none of the former, bribe their way out of the latter, and corruption is a way of life (da Chicago way!).


VetteBoss: See? Family member in union.
 
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GRtak

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Nice to see you admit you were an ass-hat employee. That explains some of the packages I have gotten from UPS over the years. Looks like the union protected you. Puts you on the same level as a bad UAW member.

Part of the reason that unions got to be so popular, is because large companies owned local police and polititions. If I would have called the police and it was a non-union shop I could still get fired. This is an at will work state. I didn't work at that company very long.

And in reference to your posts about about the union officials: Corruption exsists everywhere, not just in union areas or shops. There are bad cops, although most are good and decent people, corupt polititions at every level, preists and other religious types, even employers and employees. Those guys should be punished, and the office workers should be able to join any union they wish.

And several members of my family have worked in union jobs. I listen to them about as much as I listen to Rush Limbaugh. I have seen the union abused by bad employees as much as I have seen the union do what it is supposed to. still doesn't make a union useless, it just needs constant attention, like an infant. Sounds like a company too.
 

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My old man was a supervisor at the Delco Remy plant in Anderson IN several years ago before he was forced to retire. At the plant where he worked, janitors were paid $14/hour, assembly line positions started at $21/hour then quickly shot up to $28.75/hour, forklift operators reeled in around $75-80K a year, etc etc etc. AND this was 10+ years ago, so figure for some inflationary adjustments.



Holy shhh..... No wonder everyone's jobs are sprouting wings and flying away, there isn't one employer on this godforsaken mudball Earth who can support that kind of payroll. So much for 'job protection' huh?

What's the rate of union membership again, around 7%? Sounds about right, but that's still 7% too high.
 
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Spectre

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Nice to see you admit you were an ass-hat employee. That explains some of the packages I have gotten from UPS over the years. Looks like the union protected you. Puts you on the same level as a bad UAW member.
Never said *I* did those things. We as in a collective we. The worst thing *I* ever did was drag/road race the forklifts around the plant; never knowingly destroyed or damaged a package, unlike the union lifers all around me.

Thing is... if I'd wanted to do more, I could have without fear of retribution. We all knew it, as the union lifers would deliberately do such things and never get more than a verbal slap on the wrist. If bad behavior is not punished, morale goes to hell and that's exactly what happened. There was no pride in one's work there, so everything was done halfassed. Even those like me who had some personal standards and pride of behavior found ourselves pressed to maintain our personal standards in such an environment.

And don't get me started about the strike that happened while I was there or the stupidity that came out of it.

Part of the reason that unions got to be so popular, is because large companies owned local police and polititions. If I would have called the police and it was a non-union shop I could still get fired. This is an at will work state. I didn't work at that company very long.
Whereas now, the police and politicians in Michigan and other closed-shop states are owned by the unions, from what I've seen and heard.

You have simultaneously gotten and yet not gotten the point of an at-will employment state. If an employer asks you to do something stupid and/or dangerous, you have the right to quit on the spot without giving notice (people didn't always have this right). If an employee does something stupid and/or dangerous, the employer has the right to fire them without giving notice (employers don't always have this right).

Thing is, if an employer asks you to do something stupid or dangerous outside of the norm for your job, you SHOULD quit if they won't fix the problem. That's part of the responsibility of a free market. The employer will have to hire someone else, train them, and face the possibility that the new person will quit as well when faced with the same situation, which will in turn make them fix the problem (if they have a clue). Likewise, you should also find a new employer because anyone who puts you into such a situation isn't someone you want to work for!

I had a similar issue myself. I quit, and got a better job two days later. That's what should be done, none of this idiotic filing of grievances, etc., etc.

And in reference to your posts about about the union officials: Corruption exsists everywhere, not just in union areas or shops. There are bad cops, although most are good and decent people, corupt polititions at every level, preists and other religious types, even employers and employees. Those guys should be punished, and the office workers should be able to join any union they wish.

And several members of my family have worked in union jobs. I listen to them about as much as I listen to Rush Limbaugh. I have seen the union abused by bad employees as much as I have seen the union do what it is supposed to. still doesn't make a union useless, it just needs constant attention, like an infant. Sounds like a company too.
Except for the fact that unions are *known* to be a haven for organized crime, more so than anywhere else in the US. See: Jimmy Hoffa.
 

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You know, I wondered why the UPS plants looked so much shittier than the FedEx ones. I considered working at both for a while but just went back to construction instead. Speaking of construction, I was a non-union welder ("ironworker", whatever). I considered union work, but my company had great benefits and the pay was okay. Plus I could work 40,50,70 hours a week if I wanted to. Can't do that in a union. I also heard a few stories of pretty lax safety standards (a union welder fell 50-60 feet building KU Medical in KC). That and I didn't want to put up with all the, "Hur dur I'm IN A UNION! WHOOO!"

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GRtak

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Whereas now, the police and politicians in Michigan and other closed-shop states are owned by the unions, from what I've seen and heard.

The cops are not in any way controlled by the unions.
 

Spectre

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The cops are not in any way controlled by the unions.
Tell that to the people who get attacked by union thugs when crossing the picket lines, while the police stand by, witness the whole thing, and DO NOTHING.

The police in the union states NEVER arrest union thugs for strike violence - but whoa, if you try to defend yourself against a union thug, well, you're instantly charged with inciting a riot and carted off to jail.
 

vikiradTG2007

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Tell that to the people who get attacked by union thugs when crossing the picket lines, while the police stand by, witness the whole thing, and DO NOTHING.

The police in the union states NEVER arrest union thugs for strike violence - but whoa, if you try to defend yourself against a union thug, well, you're instantly charged with inciting a riot and carted off to jail.
Who said anything in this world is fair? :mad:
 

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And, in fact, it's quite amusing to compare UPS (a union company) delivery trucks to FedEx trucks (non-union). UPS trucks are invariably dirty, often in poor cosmetic condition and *just* this side of legal. FedEx delivery trucks are invariably clean, in excellent cosmetic condition, and I've never heard a single one that had so much as a suspension squeak. And as a motorcycle rider, I see a lot of both out in Dallas.

See, the way American unions foster their adversarial nature with their employing companies makes the companies not want to go the extra mile; the companies will do *just* enough that the union will let them slide. After all, the unions won't increase productivity, so why treat the employees better than the enemy lets you? It's not like you can get rid of the union. And those ever increasing union demands for more money will have to come from somewhere - why not facilities and equipment?

Non union employers, like FedEx, have every incentive to NOT send out someone in a defective truck. In fact, *because* they are not union, the companies have every incentive to treat the worker well, to give them good condition equipment to work with, and to provide a congenial and inviting workspace. If they don't, the worker almost certainly has enough morale and will to leave and go work for another employer that *will*. They can provide these because they are not union and don't have to pay extortion.

When I was younger, I worked as a Teamster (union member) on a UPS boxline. It was a dark, dingy place filled with old equipment where most work was done by hand and employee morale was low despite "union scale" pay. (You don't even want to know what we did to your packages - all without fear of getting fired or even disciplined; package hockey and truck slalom with your packages as cones and obstacles to run over was popular.) Later, after I'd quit the place for somewhere better and become wiser, I toured the equivalent FedEx facility, which looked like something out of Star Trek: The Next Generation - clean, well lit, efficient operations, happy employees and recently updated/replaced machinery (which I was told was a regular occurrence).

The difference? NO UNION.

In any case, the point is this - down here, companies will not knowingly send you out in defective vehicles because free market forces and state regulations make that a bad idea, and because we prosecute graft and corruption with a vengeance, whereas up in union territory, they have none of the former, bribe their way out of the latter, and corruption is a way of life (da Chicago way!).


VetteBoss: See? Family member in union.

You are 100% right on that.

I work for FedEx Ground, and its great to not be in a union...Especially considering the Mechanics at the hub I work at are Union and constantly screw us over with the number of broken switchers we have (search Ottawa Yard Switcher to know what that is).

Most of the trucks we have/use are new (except mine, cause I'm still relatively new at this position I get the oldest switcher in the fleet. Although it was overhauled recently so it's like a new truck with a shitty body) and are always taken care of. About 200ft down the road is the UPS hub and everthing they have is garbage, the equipment, the working conditions it all sucks compared to FedEx...
 

Ezbok58a

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Well, the police are union members too....

Completely different Union/atmosphere...

Hell most of the police officers I know here don't even like the union they're apart of and don't do anything to help their union. (Unfortunately they can't leave the union, because doing so would require them to not be a police officer)
 
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