Unless you live under a rock, Unions are under attack!


#1

Sure the Auto workers jobs have been outsourced, and the Unions are helpless. Sure Unions tried to protect workers but manufacturing for autos was outsourced to cheaper sources with no employee safeguards. But does anyone care that Union members fought and died for workplace safety and livable wages? There is so little made in the US we are barreling on path of being the next 3rd world country. Be American Buy American Is confounded by you cannot find anything not made in China. The idea of quality has been replaced by the idea of profit.


#2

We’re looking at big changes in our state if our new governor gets his way. Unions are played out to be the bad guy and the middle-class will take it on the chin again. Scary that the middle class is supporting this overhaul. As long as the supporters of union busters are willing to sacrifice and look in the mirror when things go south, I"ll at least respect their point of view. But that never happens. Half the immigration and employment problem would cease to exist if all employers had to pay minimum wage and their jobs were unionized for uS citizens. We are either in the process of moving production to third world countries or making our manufacturing sector a third world operation on our own soil. All by attacking unions.


#3

My theory,people to easily buy into the idea that one day you too can have my wealth. Just keep your nose to the grindstone, never take a vacation, commit any indescretion the boss asks and it could happen for you. Just what are the odds? one in a billion you say? but it could happen,I am in.The idea is to give the masses just a shread of hope and you can abuse them all you want.

Then on the other hand it was 1997 before I was offered medical benifits here in the states, the way I see it both sides are doing better than me.Buddy of mine needed a emergency appendectomy,even with the best medical benifits that Auto Nation (a place Bill Gates invests heavily in)provides, it still cost him 4k, working man almost lost his house over this, and this just is not right.


#4

While I’ve never been a union booster, it seems like they’re being scapegoated for the fallout resulting from the financial disaster of the last few years. Plummeting pension funds and tax revenues have nothing to do with unions, but with incompetent (or worse) financial ‘geniuses’ and the scams they perpetrated.


#5

I hear you. I was unemployed when our daughter was born. No Insurance etc. It took 6 years to pay off the medical bills for a C section and hospital stay. A few of the dumb things, they let me provide aspirin instead of them charging $10.00 per pill. They threw in a staple remover so I could remove the staples from the C section and save $150 for a nurse visit. They were really helpful in saving us money but it was still a $10k expense.


#6

You certainly did not expect anything else after the last elections did you? I suspect there will be a change at the next election.

My father was a government worker for about 30 years as I was after him (I was management so I was not union.)  Things have not really changed, the politicians are just doing the same things they have done before again and again.

 [b] Since after many years of study, I have found that no matter unions or not or what party is in office, cars still need regular maintenance and drivers still don't get them the maintenance they should. [/b]

#7

Let’s be honest. There is only one party in office who supports breaking Unions and putting the financial future of the middle class in the hands of for profit corporations. This supports my long held conviction that we vote for people who appear to think and talk like we do, even if their policies are in opposition to our own well being. Then, we scapegoat our choices on the backs of those who are financially worse off. This downward blame game starts at the top, works it’s way down and squeezes every one in the middle as those at the bottom are powerless and unable to pay their share, while those at the top are un willing.


#8

I think this is the only car-related group I’ve ever seen with such a preponderance of progressive-oriented responses. And that includes the car club that I run, where I’m generally the lone progressive voice when talk turns to politics.

I’m impressed.


#9

I understand what you mean.

I regular at several Porsche, Mercedes, Crossfire, and Ducati forums, and the moment you say anything that can be oriented around a non-conservative viewpoint, you get verbally assaulted, and blamed for every point their stock options lose over the past 15 years.

I think the difference on this website is that most of us are actual working stiffs, who actually rely on paychecks and feel the changes of things like the price of gasoline, and food price increases.

BC.


#10

It is very troubling to see the economic decline of working families in this country. A great many middle class families are 2 pay checks away from broke. And it is so very outrageous that here in Mississippi, the poorest state in the nation, the vast majority of voters are hard core conservative. They seem to believe every word spoken from the EIB microphone. Such a shame.


#11

Remember too that we are a forum associated with public broadcasting, a definite influence on types of persons who regularly participate.


#12

“Globalization” has allowed cheap foreign-made manufactured products to flood into our country. Much of this stuff has been made with literal slave labor. Now, we have reached the point, where if you want a job, you will have to work for those same $2/day wages… Corporations have no interest in paying any more, they have arranged global trade so they don’t have to…

What they haven’t figure out, who is going to buy all the stuff if the people who make it are paid $2/day???

The Public Service Unions need to be reigned in a little, they were getting pretty fat compared to the rest of us…But instead of negotiating some give-backs the new Tea Party folks want to break the unions completely…

A society, a culture, can not survive when 5% of the people control 90% of the wealth…That ALWAYS leads to unrest and revolution, as we see taking place in the Middle-East today…


#13

Mississippi also is highly religious. I’ve long said that the smartest thing the Republicans ever did was to convince the public that Jesus is on their side.


#14

The politicians, like corporate CEOs, look only to short term bottom lines, Caddyman. As long as they can make the chart slope upward they think they are winning. And THEY are. But WE are losing.


#15

“There is so little made in the US we are barreling on path of being the next 3rd world country. Be American Buy American Is confounded by you cannot find anything not made in China. The idea of quality has been replaced by the idea of profit.”

Actually, that is not entirely the case. I read two news stories recently about “on-shoring”. Many companies that buy subassemblies overseas are returning the work to the USA. Their overseas suppliers can’t provide products that work, and it takes weeks to discover this since the parts travel by ship. A local company was buying circuit boards in China, but the quality was unacceptable. They found a local supplier no more than 15 minutes away that could provide high quality parts on time, every time. Lower wages mean very little if the product is unusable, and it takes at least a month to correct the issue. Now it takes this company a day or two to address any issues that come up. And driving 15 minutes is a lot cheaper than flying 15 hours.


#16

Unions are both good and bad, as everything is. You pointed out the good, and I won’t rehash you excellent points. So, here’s the bad:

Unions are in the business of providing as many jobs as they can no matter what the cost is. I worked in a steel mill at the height of USW power. We told them that we were going to run a test and that engineers were going to collect the samples. They said nothing, of course, because they were going to submit a grievance immediately after the test because we collected samples. And they did. And they got paid. And the next time we ran a similar test, USW workers collected the samples. And cussed at me while I stood there and watched. I laughed at them and suggested they complain to their shop steward, who forced them to do the hard work.

And the USW negotiated many unnecessary jobs into the contract. We had about twice as many people on the operating crew as were really required, and about five times as many repairmen on shift as were needed. All that translated directly into the cost of the steel in your car, and it still does. Not as much now, since the USW saw to it that most steel mills in the USA were unable to make money. Most of them had decent pensions, so it was clearly in their interest to take the pension and not renegotiate the contract. Now you cover their pensions through the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation! Lucky you! I’ll get $196/month from the PBGC when I retire; lucky me.


#17

What they haven’t figure out, who is going to buy all the stuff if the people who make it are paid $2/day???

Yes they have…CHINA…The fastest growing market in the world…Faster then the US has ever been.


#18

There are definitely bad points with Unions…

Especially in the corporate world. Use to work at GE…Everyone who wasn’t an engineer in the plant was in the Union. You couldn’t move a chair if you wanted to…that’s a union job. Took 2 Union carpenters a whole afternoon to install ONE pencil sharpener. Cost my cost center $20k to paint 3 offices…took 3 painters almost a month…My wife and I painted the whole inside of our house which was BIGGER then those 3 offices…and it took us 1 week.

But I think in the public sector…unions don’t have that much power…And it takes a union to the towns/cities/states/feds just to get paid 75% of what comparable jobs are in the corporate world. Personally I’d NEVER work for the government. Too little pay…thankless job…I have all the respect for these workers…


#19

Mississippi is a right to work state where unions have an up hill battle. But when in high school I worked at a local tire plant at night and the treatment they handed out to workers there was bad enough that the URW was voted in. There were fist fights and the state police were brought in to back up the sheriff and city police when the first workers clocked in wearing URW t-shirts. I was fired during the turmoil. But the working conditions that management expected workers to put up with were outrageous. I learned first hand why unions are needed. Unions have often overstepped common sense in recent years but I hope they are able to pick their fights and succeed in protecting workers.


#20

Were it not for the Unions, we would all be working for $2/day RIGHT NOW…Have the unions gone overboard? Yes indeed, but without them, it’s back to $2/day and 60-80 hour work weeks…

Ford has a huge assembly plant in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, about 250 miles south of Tucson. They build the Focus there, hybrid model too…They rate quality at that plant among the best in the industry…The Line workers, 7500 of them, are paid between $12-$15 a day. 62% of these workers have college degrees!! That’s how many people applied for these jobs! Ford could be that picky! The real kicker is, Ford considers this to be a high-wage plant compared to other foreign assembly plants…