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GotOne

What gives union workers the right

124 posts in this topic

Ok, so I'm helping my company move into a new building (non union distribution company in Chicago). A couple of odd things on the building to finish (a little plumbing and electrical work). We start to move a few things into the warehouse and some union plumbers start bitcxxing about us being in the building, he says if we stay and continue to work they are walking off the jobsite. We had 14 guys onsite ready to build racks and start a the move, which is going to take about 2 weeks to complete. We had to leave so these babies could have the site to themselves, even though we weren't anyplace near where they were working. Ok, union guys, give me the reason you can do this? Keep it civil so we don't get the ax.

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A union negotiates a contract with it's employer(s). Quite often those contracts specify certain criteria such as what types of work can be done using non-union labor and what types of work must be performed by union labor. In your situation, it could have been that the type of work involved was required by their contract to be completed by union labor and most likely their union in particular.

The contract they negotiated and both parties signed is what gives them the right.

Bob

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We were onsite yesterday morning first thing, they complained-we left. The building mgr called at 3pm and said they left and we could come over (even though they weren't done). We worked until 9:00pm. Working all wknd. Monday we take over the building and our Operations Mgr said we will be back @ 7:00 and if they (union workers) threaten to walk off...don't let the door hit them in the arse on the way out!!! BTW, I got in a day earlier and went over to look at the building, our warehouse foreman told me that the union guy sweeping the floor and driving a sweeper/cleaning machine was making $23.00 an hour. Guess, even after paying union dues, he is still making good money. God bless the Democrates.

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crazy How dare they make more money than other people crazy

who do they think they are......

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Unions are no longer neccessary as they were in the early 1900's. No one is forced to work in very poor conditions for very low wages or extremely long hours for low pay. With all the federal regualtions and oversite on how employees are treated as well as the multitude of state regualtions the best things the union did which was protecting EVERYONE is really a mute point. They don't even insist the products and goods they use in the performance of their tasks are union made or even american made anymore. The best thing the union does is insure those who cannot keep a job based on their performance can stay employed.

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Ask the people at Delta Airlines why they then are trying to organize a union there. Before Delta's "bancruptcy", the company offered buyouts, that included health insurance. During bancruptcy, those that took the buyouts, lost most of thier pension and health insurance. The current employees want a contract to prevent this from happening in the future. The federal laws really have no teeth, do not include paid holidays, the overtime rules are vague, and if a new manager comes in and just doesn't like you for some reason, you can be let go, no matter how hard you work, maybe you don't have a college degree and he wants everybody to have a degree, even though it doesn't increase your worth or job skill...you are gone. Time on the job (seniority), means nothing..I agree, some union issues are a little far fetched, but certain jobs skills need to be protected.

As long as there are CEO's or plant owners raking in billions, while their workers receive little, there is a need for unions.

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SOUNDS TERRIBLE! somebody make a decent a decent wage,a decent pension and have health insurance.I guess thats alot to ask from a employer,I suppose 6 bucks a hour is more like it ,maybe your scab company should leave the plumbing and electrical to someone that has a license to do that kinda of work !

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Unions are no longer neccessary as they were in the early 1900's. No one is forced to work in very poor conditions for very low wages or extremely long hours for low pay.

The best thing the union does is insure those who cannot keep a job based on their performance can stay employed.

Dont take this the wrong way but, You are extremely out of touch with lower and middle america. good luck to you my friend.

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the union guy sweeping the floor and driving a sweeper/cleaning machine was making $23.00 an hour. Guess, even after paying union dues, he is still making good money.

Is $23/hr a high wage for Chicago? Big city, big cost of living, and $47,000-plus in gross income per year doesn't sound like much in that context.

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Alright, it is a gorgeous Sunday, and I am watching my 3 week old son while mom is out. He is sleeping now, and I should be getting something done around the house, but, I will bite.

The reason for the plumbers acting like two year olds is a form of solidarity. Any job that has union construction workers was supposed to have all union construction workers. This was true in the past, not so much anymore, I am a union electrician, and have been on many jobs with non-union craftsmen. The owner, the one that hired my union shop, has the right to choose whoever they want to do the work. If the plumbers were smart, they would have talked to you about the benifits of being in the union. Trying to get you to organize. You catch more flys with honey than with vineger, sort of thing.

Now as for the usefullness of unions, All non union labor owes the union a big "thank you" for setting their wage. Yeah, the union drives the wages. If it wasn't for unions the worker would get less and the "higher ups" would be getting more.

Also, skilled, trained, safe work practices. I had 6 years of school, and still get trained every 2 years.

And for you who say unions protect the lazy, true, to a point. They do have some protection. But.... the way that constrution is going right now, I can pretty much guaranttee that they are not working now. Also, most of the younger to middle age workers, are hard workers. Most of these so called "slugs" are on their way out, being replaced by guys and gals who want to work.

Also, for anyone that has worked in an office or similar job their whole life, don't you ever give a snide remark if you see a guy leaning on a shovel in the middle of a humid hot summer day. Lets see you dig for 8 hours strait with out time to catch your breath. It is harder than you think. If you can, I am sure we would hire you on the spot. wink

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" Unions are no longer neccessary as they were in the early 1900's."

If this is true then why are there multi-billion dollar organizations whose whole purpose of exitance is to bust unions?

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Excellent, sparky.

ULT, good point. Considering how many billions and billions over the decades unions have cost big business by forcing up wages and benefits, it's easy to understand why it's worth big bucks for those folks to try to bust unions.

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First, the unions have created the work environments we all enjoy. Safety, bennys, salary, security all are the result of the union movement.

Second take a look at the place you work and you will see the same kind of people employed there. I worked in a non union plant and had slackers, thieves, drunks, etc all working there and all protected from being fired for no reason at all. The only difference is some people belong to unions and others do not.

I agree some unions have pushed a little too hard and given themselves a bad name. Some union members may be a little too eager to defend their union. But if they did not exist anymore I believe companies would take a lot from the worker. Just the threat of the union coming in keeps a company honest. As far as getting upset while watching a person hold a flag on the side of the road and make 25-30 bucks and hour or whatever it is, remember the gentleman who recently died performing that job and tell me he only deserved minimum wage.

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Just got back to the hotel and thought would check the debate. I didn't want to sit around the hotel, so I went over to the warehouse and put in 4 hours, everybody else had the day off. I cut boards for the racks, straightened stuff up and even SWEPT the floors. That's the only time in my lift that I wished I was in the union, just think, I would have been making double time sweeping the floor 46.00 per hour!!!! membership has it's privileges.

So, I'm a scab because I work for a company that chooses not to be in a union...get real.

Will one of you union guy's explain to me, let's say you make 23.00 per hour. What are your union dues and any other costs involved with being in the union. What does the money you pay into the union do for you?

47,000 per year..not bad.......he must be a republican. A few more overtime hours and he will make enough money so Pelosi and company will take half of it away, give it to the illegals and welfare folks and then he will have to become a democrat again.

Any of you union guys ever shop at a store, buy a product that isn't make in the USA? Tell the truth!!!

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To quote one of my fellow stewards, "$50 a month is a nice insurance policy".

I have even had management tell me that with a contract, they have language to use to back their requirements. It is written down, whereas when they worked at a non-union place, they did not have anything to fall back on.

What actually do I gain from being union? I do not have to negotiate with a manager every year for a nickel merit raise, I have trained negotiators do that for me. My sick, vacation, overtime and days off are in accordance with seniority and contract rules. I did not work today, because I did not want to. I can refuse to work on a day off, because I can. I am a very poor negotiator, so you could count me in on the $9.00 and hour working poor.

Unfortunately as the world exists today, due to Corporate America sending most of it's work outside the US, there are things we want, probably really don't need, that are not produced in the USA. But then it was probably the unions fault for asking for exorbinate wages.

And yes...I do refuse to shop at Wally Mart!!!

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If I remember correctly, when I was a union member (and union executive committee member) the rate was 1 percent of my gross salary. That was the Communications Workers of American union.

And the contracts and salary and benefits scales we negotiated were for ALL newspaper workers at our newspapers, not just the union members.

There were quite a few folks at those newspapers who didn't bother to join the union and pay their monthly dues of approximately $25 to $45. Why should they? We were the ones working hard to give them a wage and benefit package good enough to raise a family on.

I'll tell you, we started to sound like the Minnesota Public Radio fund-raisers who shoot you the guilt trip if you listen to the station but don't support it. There will always be a percentage of people who either take for granted the work the unions have done and keep doing for them, or don't understand the far-reaching impact of that work on American familes, or who have some philosophical objection to unions. Of course, while I've met several folks who were against unions on principle at the newspapers I worked, not a single one of them refused the pay/benefit increases we risked our careers to negotiate for them.

Yes, it risks careers. If you think management doesn't look over the rank and file and try to find ways to get rid of effective union negotiators, whether through "downsizing and RIFs" or "moving them to other newspapers," you are kidding yourselves.

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I will weigh in with my life experiences with unions. In my job, I routinely hire subcontractors. Without a doubt, in my personal experience, the least trained, laziest, poorest attitude companies are union. Does that mean all unions employees are that way? No way. I have some friends that are union members that are fantastic employees. So in my experience, just like anything else in life, some union employees are good, some are bad. But I laugh every time I hear about all the quality you get when you go union. Yeah, right. If given a choice, I would pick the non-union company over the union one every time.

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Monday we take over the building and our Operations Mgr said we will be back @ 7:00 and if they (union workers) threaten to walk off...don't let the door hit them in the arse on the way out!!!

Perfect..

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Quote:
What does the money you pay into the union do for you?

I can answer some of this.

First, your union workers (officers, stewards, etc.) need to be compensated for the extra work they put in. Personally, when I was a member I thought we were more than generous with ours. But then, I have never served in one of those positions and have no first-hand experience with the amount of work involved. At the same time shouldn't we be in it for the benefit of the union and not because we can get paid?

Part of our dues is used to pay other incidental expenses of doing business. Yes, unions are a business and therefore have business expenses, office expenses, etc.

Part of our dues went into a fund to be used by striking members in other locals. When a union goes on strike, they aren't working and so they are not getting any wages. A union is only as strong as its members. When its members start getting hungry it becomes more difficult to remain focused on the strike. This is where the national union steps in to help by using this fund to help keep their striking brethren fed.

Part of our dues went into a fund to be used by laid-off members to help them as they look for other employment.

Some unions, such as construction unions, have implemented programs to help laid-off members find other employment. This isn't free and so some of the dues may be used in this way.

Hope this helps.

Bob

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I should stay out of this, but just had to throw in my $.02

To each his own, is how i look at it. If you need to have someone "represent" you, then so be it. If your trade is all or mostly union, then so be it.

The salary or wage offered will attract the skilled workers in a free market society. If you feel your under valued, then look for the opportunity where you are valued and compensated.

The part i absolutely hate about unions is that if/when they strike, it always seems like they have the right to harrass others. Being a member of a union doesnt' give someone the right to be a jerk-bait.

Also it kind of reminds me of the NBA, guaranteed contracts seem to take the drive out of the individual, because now it is just expected.

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To each his own, is how i look at it. If you need to have someone "represent" you, then so be it. If your trade is all or mostly union, then so be it.

The salary or wage offered will attract the skilled workers in a free market society. If you feel your under valued, then look for the opportunity where you are valued and compensated.

That's a nice way to put it. Union's give a cooshy life, and make any job an assembly line, factory job. Alot of the push for union is mainly for the benefits. Great for employees, and I can't knock anyone for wanting a good life. I just get tired of the "I work hard" bit. Maybe, maybe not, but you don't HAVE to work hard to make money. They make money just putting in time. That's the part I have a problem with. That and thinking they are better than others. Not everyone is like this, but most are.

If you can handle business on your own, there is more money, but much more personal responsibility. That is not a characteristic most people want to deal with.

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Quote:
The part i absolutely hate about unions is that if/when they strike, it always seems like they have the right to harrass others.

Actually that is not true. Our society seems to have accepted some of the activities of striking unions but it is NOT legal for striking unions to harrass or do worse to those walking across the line. They do it and the state seems to turn the other way up to a point but there are times when the state must step in.

Bob

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i have mixed feelings regarding unions. i am neither pro nor con. one one hand, i would hate big business to have free reign over everything. but i have worked for both union and non union shops and dont see any real difference. management can still do what they want and in union jobs i have worked i have seen some useless employees kept. the only thing a union can guarantee is they will take monthly dues from your check

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I sit on the union fence as well. Like Cody I hire lots of workers across the US. The jobs that I hate the most are the ones that I have to hire union crews for. I get billed for an 8 hour day but very rarely get over 6 hours of work per day. They are on the clock from when they leave the hall till they get back and they must all have the most underpowered cars made. A union job will cost me at least, at least 40% more than a non union job and it will take about 20% longer to complete. And, if you have to work with local 3 in NYC bring along big bottles of GOOD scotch to hand out! They do have good workers and bad. So do non-union shops but there never seems to be as many of the bad ones non-union. The unions bring bennies to a lot of folks and that is a huge thing these days! However seems like a lot of union bosses are WAY overpaid. Well there ya have it, my $.02. Take care and N Joy the Hunt././Jimbo

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Those of us that enjoy our non-union situations (me included) experience a union-like atmosphere every time we are reviewed, ask for a pay raise, or are competing for a promotion. The only real difference is that we negotiate with our employers on a one-to-one basis whereas in union shops all of the employees join together to negotiate as a group. The advantage being that there is strength in numbers. Imagine yourself in a negotiation with your employer for a pay raise and he is not budging. If you threaten not to work until he meets you at some midway point what do you suppose your chance for success might be? Now imagine if you and 300 of your fellow employees threaten to walk off the job. It’s a lot harder and far more costly to replace 300 employees than just one. This is bargaining power and it has its advantages.

On the other hand over the years many unions have gone too far not only with taking advantage of their power but also in their own politics. I’m not a supporter of socialist systems and unions are one example of a socialist ideal. But that’s just my personality. I prefer to know (or believe) that I got where I am based on my own abilities and not because the group negotiated for me.

Bob

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