Retail gadfly Standpoint Research back at it


Standpoint Research is out with Strong Sell ratings on Starbucks (SBUX), McDonald's (MCD), and Wal-Mart (WMT) on moral grounds.

Analyst Ronald Moas has made a lot of noise on the issues of wealth redistribution and the unfair treatment of employees by corporate giants, but his rants have done little to move stock prices.

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Comments (61)
  • Patent News
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    that is stupid. warren buffet and george sleep well at night knowing they are making a difference usually.
    28 May 2014, 09:10 AM Reply Like
  • rbowden1
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    He had a great call on Aapl as well. Perhaps part of his manifesto is to bankrupt his capitalist clients.
    28 May 2014, 09:17 AM Reply Like
  • Rope a Dope
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    Wow, using the word ‘Research’ in their name is completely misleading.

     

    I have an Analyst ranking system I use as part of my daily screen of stocks receiving upgrades or down grades, and after reading this I removed Standpoint Research from the list. They are not worthy of consideration if they base ratings or PT’s on their personal viewpoints.
    28 May 2014, 09:24 AM Reply Like
  • dgy
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    I guess he can get away with "Research" being focused only on whatever he considers moral, and "strong sell" based on that judgement. However, it is deliberately misleading and (could) impact the stock. I'd like to see a securities lawyer open a class-action suit against him. He can drop/publish his opinions without trying to appear as an equity analyst.
    28 May 2014, 09:57 AM Reply Like
  • tc1000
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    What moral grounds? They serve public demand which all the morality that is required.
    28 May 2014, 09:47 AM Reply Like
  • wam350
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    There will always be people at the bottom of the ladder, but since its a ladder that means there are step that can be taken to move up. Paying more than the job warrants helps no one long term and short term may hurt many more.
    28 May 2014, 09:54 AM Reply Like
  • California Dividend Bull
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    In German there's a standard answer to all folks complaining about their low-pay low-skill jobs: "Haettest mal was gescheites gelernt!". Means "you should have learned a real profession/skill!"
    28 May 2014, 10:07 AM Reply Like
  • Rubygreta
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    He should have sells on every retailer. They all pay lousy. But always go for the big boys.

     

    I wonder how much this guy plays his cleaning lady?

     

    I think I'll get an Egg Mcmuffin and a coffee tomorrow morning, and a Starbucks drink this afternoon (can't think of a reason to go to Walmart).
    28 May 2014, 10:15 AM Reply Like
  • wwilliamss
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    Play or pay cleaning lady?
    29 May 2014, 10:07 PM Reply Like
  • brent_vossler
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    My Wal-Mart has a McDonalds in it and a Starbucks near by!!!!
    28 May 2014, 10:58 AM Reply Like
  • brent_vossler
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    Oh, by the way WMT is up today!!!
    28 May 2014, 11:00 AM Reply Like
  • jwfrazier
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    Why doesn't he just write a check from his firm to each Walmart employee he doesn't feel gets paid enough? Absurd you say? No more absurd than asking a company to pay more than market price to its employees. His firm is not as rich as Walmart you say? That's because he has never created anything of value like Walmart has.
    28 May 2014, 11:13 AM Reply Like
  • saugusbob
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    Can't comment on pay issues at McD's or Walmart but my wife works at Starbucks and even though the hourly rate is low the benefits are unreal. If she works an average of just under 20 hrs a week, she is eligible for health insurance, vision insurance, life insurance and long term disability insurance. As is her spouse. Starbucks covers about $350.00/month of the cost for these items. She also earns vacation pay, sick time, is eligible for participation in a 401k, a stock incentive program, and gets stock grants annually. It's kind of like working for a government entity used to be, lower wages but much better benefits. Don't judge a company only by the hourly wage unless you know all the facts.
    28 May 2014, 01:43 PM Reply Like
  • randyI
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    Wow! I think I'm gonna double up on my SBUX. SBUX is truly a great co. thanks saugusbob
    28 May 2014, 03:09 PM Reply Like
  • 153972
    , contributor
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    McDonalds and Wal-Mart are parasites on society masquerading as companies. Too many of their employees at their retail locations are on food stamps, housing assistance and medicaid assuming they don't fall into the gap that they earn too much money in some states then they just do without a modicum of nutrition, live on the streets or with friends or family and are more susceptible to disease which only increases the nation's healthcare costs in the long run.

     

    SBUX on the other hand offers very good benefits to its employees at its retail establishments, therefore is not parasite on society.
    28 May 2014, 04:09 PM Reply Like
  • California Dividend Bull
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    Comments (211) | Send Message
     
    without trying to slide into the political discussion but IMO it's the government's fault to offer such incentives for so many folks. If people would not be able to fall back into a social net that wide, they would take better care of who they work for and would fight for their rights. Have look at Europe, if people feel they're beeing treated unfair, they go on strike and organzie all klinds of resistance until the comps they work for and the local politicans meet their demands (at least the half way that is).

     

    Since I moved over the pond I've always wondered why Americans don't fight for anything (except for "bringing democracy" to countries where that word can't be found in any dictionary).
    28 May 2014, 04:37 PM Reply Like
  • Rope a Dope
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    This is what our country has become; blame everyone else for your problems.

     

    The current generation(s) believe they can pass on an education, start dropping babies at 15, invest in bling, shiny rims, booze and dope, and when they finally figure out they screwed up, they expect the government to make things ‘equal’.

     

    F that. Our country is sliding into oblivion because no one wants to be held accountable for their actions anymore. Those are the true parasites on America.
    28 May 2014, 04:40 PM Reply Like
  • saugusbob
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    Rope,

     

    I agree wholeheartly with your third paragraph as long as you count corporations and politicians in this category.
    28 May 2014, 05:39 PM Reply Like
  • Rubygreta
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    Comments (569) | Send Message
     
    These are entry level jobs. Certainly flipping burgers at McDonalds was never meant to be a career. And if I'm an employer, I will hire someone who worked at McDonalds for a year with a good reference in a heartbeat over somebody who has little or no experience.

     

    And with respect to Walmart, there is plenty of room for promotion. Sadly, the majority of Walmart employees I have seen do not appear to have much potential for promotion. Not sure where they would be working if Walmart wasn't around.

     

    Another point. When I was in high school in the 70's, high school kids worked at McDonalds. Today the only workers I see at McDonalds are Hispanic immigrants. Not that I have anything against Hispanic immigrants (they bust their butts at McDonalds), but I think we have too many unskilled LEGAL immigrants coming into the US. Watch wages rise if we put on stricter limits.
    28 May 2014, 05:39 PM Reply Like
  • 153972
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    California Dividend Bull,

     

    I don't know how you can blame the government for furnishing housing, medical and food subsistence to those that can't afford it otherwise. Should we let our homeless population increase? Should we have more starvation and lack of nutrition than we already have? Should we let more people literally die because of lack of healthcare?

     

    I squarely blame the corporations for this malady. If they can't afford to pay a sustainable living wage then they ought not to be in business. In other words, their charters to incorporate ought to be revoked. To be sure, prior to the all of wealth created by corporations during the Civil War and the bribery of politicians during the Gilded Age, corporation charters were often terminated if they exceeded their authority or caused public harm. Can anyone accurately state that McDonalds and Wal Mart are not causing public harm by poorly compensating their employees then relying on our tax dollars or government borrowing to make up the difference and in the meantime their upper management teams and the Walton family live lifestyles of the rich and famous. Who are the real welfare queens in this instance?

     

    Europeans can strike because they have a robust cradle to grave social safety net often subsidized by the US military-industrial complex.

     

    I do agree that our politicians are too quick to pull the trigger and go to war when the US has a crumbling infrastructure, a substandard educational system for the poor, working poor and "middle class" and millennial unemployment at Great Depression levels.
    28 May 2014, 06:14 PM Reply Like
  • Rubygreta
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    What is a living wage?

     

    A married couple who each average $10/hour (yes, you make more with experience) earns $40,000, which is more than enough to live on in most parts of the country. It's not great, but it's a living wage.

     

    A 21-year-old single mother who barely knew the father and is making $8/hour is not earning a living wage. But is that her fault, or McDonald's fault?
    28 May 2014, 06:56 PM Reply Like
  • 153972
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    And just how many as a percentage of the population have passed on an education, dropped babies @ 15, invested in bling, shiny rims, booze and dope, and when they finally figure out they screwed up, they expect the government to make things ‘equal’.?

     

    I do agree that we as citizens do not hold ourselves accountable anymore. This is true for all incomes. Corporations feed at the trough of big government. Our politicians are the best money can and buy. The rich are subsidized by government to augment their lifestyle. The middle class would rather watch CSI, Survivor, play games on the big screen and or go onto Facebook to read what is happening with their "friends" that they never met than read a newspaper for an hour, monitor their children's school performance, vote, protest a wrong, etc.

     

    Our nation's poor has increased largely because US economic policies and programs do not invest in them or provide preventative measures so that the middle class does not enter the underclass.

     

    I'll concede that there are lazy, violent, drug and alcohol addicts in the slums of our urban and rural areas that exacerbate their plight. I'll further concede that a small percentage of them are beyond hope of ever joining the working or middle class no matter how much assistance is provided. I don't concede that the majority of those living in poverty today can't be trained and move into or reenter a $50,000 a year income for themselves and their family.

     

    Why do I think this?

     

    The below link explains why.

     

    http://bit.ly/SRNcwv

     

    The American middle class, however, have to quit spending their time on Facebook, watching TV, etc, and quit focusing on what some of the rich and well connected want us to focus on, namely abortion, guns and religion and instead of act upon what really matters, jobs, education, equal opportunity but not outcomes, adequate housing, etc.
    28 May 2014, 07:07 PM Reply Like
  • 153972
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    When you answer my questions that I posed first, I'll be happy to answer yours?
    28 May 2014, 08:42 PM Reply Like
  • Rope a Dope
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    His (or her) question was rhetorical.
    28 May 2014, 08:51 PM Reply Like
  • Hayesni
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    I am sick and tired of hearing from these morons. True you will not become a millionaire working for these companies (whoops I forgot about all those who did exactly that working for these companies), but above that many people use these jobs as a bridge to work their way up, or to work their way back from problems. Many people would not have a job if not for these companies. More importantly many people who no one else will hire are welcomed by at least one of these companies.

     

    These idiots would have you think that everyone you see working at Wal-Mart is working for minimum wage. But then I have to give them the benefit of the doubt. They probably just didn't want to trouble you with the truth.

     

    The truth is that most of this c_@$ is simply an attack by unions that don't have enough union workers to screw any more and these companies are a goldmine if they can manage to lie their way in through the back door.

     

    God bless any company that doesn't give into unions. I'll shop there.

     

    Just wish the thieves that run the unions would set up picket lines in front of every Wal-Mart. It gives me a rush every time I cross one.
    28 May 2014, 05:04 PM Reply Like
  • 153972
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    How many millionaires came from working at McDonalds, Wal-Mart, Burger King, etc? I need a link to support your comment. I'll then provide my link reflecting how many Americans didn't.

     

    FYI: Private companies don't employ workers. They are just middle men. It is their customers that employ workers.

     

    Unions in general are good for workers. Just ask the MLBPA.
    28 May 2014, 07:20 PM Reply Like
  • Rubygreta
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    Yes, they were really great for the steelworkers, autoworkers, and a whole host of industries. They had no interest in the profitability of the companies. They just wanted more, more, more. And they got less, less, less.

     

    MLB is a monopoly. It has no bearing on the rest of industry.
    28 May 2014, 07:41 PM Reply Like
  • Rope a Dope
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    Unions have TRASHED American businesses and they won't stop until they bring down the entire country. The union pensions played a big part in bringing down GM and the union now owns a big chunk of the company they helped bankrupt. US taxpayers got the shaft when the government sold their remaining shares leaving taxpayers with $11 billion in losses. What a raging union success story that is.

     

    Ask the Hostess people how their union jobs are doing. Or maybe you can travel to Detroit, recently renamed Carjack City and ask them how great the unions are. If you go to Detroit, the poster child for Democratic economic knowledge, make sure you fill up your tank before you enter the city.
    28 May 2014, 08:21 PM Reply Like
  • 153972
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    Yes, they were as long as you worked in W.Europe or Japan? Could it be that these managements and governments were more interested in innovation, safety and reinvestment that their US counterparts?

     

    MLB has been a monopoly since the 1920s. With this in mind how do you explain the difference in salaries between Sandy Koufax's max salary of 100K per year, Willie Mays max salary of 135K per year and Bob Gibson's max salary of approximately 125K to today's MLB players?
    28 May 2014, 08:38 PM Reply Like
  • 153972
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    I'll concede that part of the reason that GM and Chrysler filed for bankruptcy was labor costs. At the same time Porsche, VW, Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Mercedes, Peugeot, Fiat, BMW, Land Rover, Volvo in their home countries have unions too and they did not experience bankruptcy. Are these workers paid less? Are their retirement benefits less? Are their healthcare costs less? A resounding no to all of these questions.

     

    So what was the difference? A lackadaisical upper management culture and a US government policy that did not pass a single payer healthcare payment system.
    28 May 2014, 08:54 PM Reply Like
  • Rubygreta
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    Not at all. In Germany, the unions and the companies are on the same page. The drunk, late and surly workers are thrown out of their jobs. The unions understand that in order to retain their high wages, they have to be incredibly productive. And you can't be productive with bums in the workforce.

     

    This is in contrast to our idiot unions in the US. First there is Grievance 1, then Grievance 2. Then it can go to mediation and arbitration. The union would bend over backwards to support the worst employees.

     

    Need the grounds maintained and the snow removed at the plant? I'm sure the companies would have loved to contract that work out. Sorry, you have to have $50/hour UAW workers do that.

     

    Need to change a light bulb? Only the plant electrician can do that. God forbid a management employee changes the light bulb and the union finds out. It's off with his head. Stupid work rules everywhere that made the plants unproductive.

     

    Bottom line - unlike their German counterparts, American unions blew it big time. They had no concept of competition. It was just more, more, more.
    28 May 2014, 11:39 PM Reply Like
  • Hayesni
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    Comments (116) | Send Message
     
    Can't figure out why the system will not let me respond to 153972's comment directly!

     

    153972 - Where do you think many of the fast food franchise owners come from and where did they get their training? Sam Walton was famous for all the truck drivers he turned into millionaires.

     

    As for unions, you can have them. I refuse to allow union workers on any job I have to deal with, and have spent my adult life making sure I did not have to work with them (I prefer to actually get something done).

     

    I worked on a union job one time in my life. I walked in and started doing my job. They assumed I was not union (they were correct) and walked of the job within five minutes. The union supervisor told my that they had walked off because I was not union. He asked what I was doing and I told him. He couldn't even spell it. He didn't have a clue what it was, but wanted us to call a union worker to the job to do it. That union worker would have to come from 97 miles away to do a job it took me 15 minutes to complete, and when he got there I was going to have to tell him how to do it.

     

    When my boss arrived, they were given 5 minutes to get back on the job or leave the job for good. It was about a two month job, and we never had any more problems with them after that first day.

     

    Thank goodness for RIGHT TO WORK STATES!
    29 May 2014, 01:59 PM Reply Like
  • Hayesni
    , contributor
    Comments (116) | Send Message
     
    Why won't this system let me respond to 153972's comment below?
    29 May 2014, 02:22 PM Reply Like
  • Hayesni
    , contributor
    Comments (116) | Send Message
     
    Why won't this page allow me to respond to 153972's question below?
    29 May 2014, 02:33 PM Reply Like
  • Hayesni
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    Comments (116) | Send Message
     
    Where do you think many of those franchise owners came from? Sam Walton was famous for the number of truck drivers he turned into millionaires.
    29 May 2014, 02:41 PM Reply Like
  • Hayesni
    , contributor
    Comments (116) | Send Message
     
    153972 I never worked at one of the ones you mentioned, but I did work at in the food service industry at a place right next to a McDonalds (yes at minimum wage $1.25 per hr.). Guess what I am one of those who started out at minimum wage and ended up a millionaire. One of my keys to success was after a union walked off the only job I ever worked with union workers on (five minutes after I got there), I never worked with union workers again in my life. Another key was that once I started hiring people to work, I never hared any union workers (and never will).

     

    Thank goodness for RIGHT TO WORK STATES!! Wouldn't have it any other way. There are those of us who actually like to get the job done.
    29 May 2014, 02:46 PM Reply Like
  • Hayesni
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    Comments (116) | Send Message
     
    I lived in Europe for four years. The automobiles cost about 50% more than you would pay for them in the U.S.
    29 May 2014, 03:07 PM Reply Like
  • 153972
    , contributor
    Comments (1240) | Send Message
     
    Haynesi,

     

    Thx for the link(s) supporting your statement. As I suspected your opinion was not supported by any facts but by a fairytale myth that has a few grains of truth in it. I prefer to read Cinderella. At least she could prove she was at the ball.

     

    Regarding unions and as often happens with SA commenters, they have strong opinions from their own limited life experiences then inveigh against others that have a different opinion.

     

    Regarding your experience with a union, I have better memories. In contrast to your story millions of workers entered or will enter into the middle class because they were members of a union.

     

    The track record of the American worker prior to the Wagner Act was immiseration at the workplace and rampant poverty in the country. Read some history about the garment workers fire in NY or the Ludlow Massacre to get a sense of what happens to workers when they work hard in the garment workers instance or when they try to improve their working conditions in the Ludlow event.
    29 May 2014, 06:09 PM Reply Like
  • 153972
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    Comments (1240) | Send Message
     
    Thx for only mentioning German unions in your riposte.

     

    I guess Sweden, France, Great Britain and Japan autoworkers unions are not on your radar?

     

    In any event, I've attached two links reflecting why it is better to be a German autoworker than an American autoworker since you only cherry picked Germany. Unsurprisingly it has no resemblance to your rant.

     

    FYI: One of the links is from the most capitalist of organs, namely Forbes.

     

    http://onforb.es/103agdH

     

    http://bit.ly/TY0l7T
    29 May 2014, 06:30 PM Reply Like
  • 153972
    , contributor
    Comments (1240) | Send Message
     
    I'm still waiting for a response from you Rubygreta re: MLB has been a monopoly since the 1920s. With this in mind how do you explain the difference in salaries between Sandy Koufax's max salary of 100K per year, Willie Mays max salary of 135K per year and Bob Gibson's max salary of approximately 125K to today's MLB players?
    29 May 2014, 06:32 PM Reply Like
  • Rubygreta
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    Let me guess. Because there was no union. BINGO! I win the prize!
    29 May 2014, 10:53 PM Reply Like
  • 153972
    , contributor
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    Rubygreta, Yes, you win the prize for acknowledging the obvious.

     

    FYI: Clayton Kershaw will make $30,000,000 next year. He would be Sandy Koufax's counterpart per most baseball gurus.

     

    Mike Trout at spry old age of 22 and per some analysts the next Willie Mays or Mickey Mantle earns an average of $22 million per year. He will not be a free agent until 2021 at the Rip Van Winkle age of 29. The great Willie Mays did not earn his 135K per year until he retired at the age of 42.

     

    Bob Gibson's modern day counterpart is difficult to assess since there are not many with his career statistics that are still active. I'll go with Adam Wainwright since he plays for St. Louis as did Gibson and besides Kershaw has been the most consistent pitcher over the past couple of years. His annual salary is a paltry $19,500,00.

     

    Even if you factor in inflation their salaries can only be as high today as they are because of the MLBPA.

     

    Oh by the way their salaries are also good for the owners. Their franchises have gone up more in value than any McDonalds franchise could ever hope for. George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees in 1973 for $10 million and today the team is worth an estimated $3.3 billion.
    30 May 2014, 01:07 AM Reply Like
  • Rubygreta
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    I'm not sure what your point is.
    30 May 2014, 08:38 AM Reply Like
  • Rope a Dope
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    I believe he is offering a comparison between apples and baseballs. Must be a union thing because I don't get it either.
    30 May 2014, 08:45 AM Reply Like
  • Rubygreta
    , contributor
    Comments (569) | Send Message
     
    I suppose he's trying to prove how great unions are. But this only works for the employees if the organization is a monopoly, like MLB, or the NBA.

     

    The United Steelworkers tried this in the 1970's. They would negotiate COLA (cost of living contracts). So if the CPI went up 5%, the companies would have to give them a 7% pay increase (COLA +2). When high inflation and the recession hit in 1973 and 1974, the companies had to give 7% raises when there was plummeting demand for their product.

     

    And when nobody was looking, Japan starting exporting better steel to us at half the price. Same story with cars. Thanks to the UAW, Japan was able to establish a foothold in the US with better and cheaper cars.

     

    Today, the UAW and USW are a shell of what they were.

     

    So the MLB example is totally specious.
    30 May 2014, 09:26 AM Reply Like
  • Hayesni
    , contributor
    Comments (116) | Send Message
     
    153972,

     

    Love it when the answer is "I know that's what happened to you, but that is based on fairytales and myths". Well I got to hire a lot of good people because they got tired of living in those fairytales and myths and decided to go somewhere they would work for a living and get paid according to their abilities.

     

    You have a point about the beginnings of the union movement. It was born out of hard times when business was bad, money was scarce and jobs were limited. Few people had any money to spare and business paid terrible wages. Those wages didn't allow much spending, so the death spiral was if full gear. The system was crashing and workers were caught up in it.

     

    The union movement did protect workers who needed protection, and the same can be said today. The trouble is that today unions have run themselves out of business. Business found it is much easier to treat workers fairly and not have to deal with the middlemen placed by unions between the workers and management. Most businesses stuck with unions today are the legacy groups who had them and the newer groups who deserve them.

     

    Most good businesses long ago learned that it is much easier and much better to deal directly with the employees and cut out the middlemen.

     

    Over the years, we got a lot of good people who came to us to get out of the union atmosphere they had been stuck in. I can't say some of them didn't move on after a while, but I can't think of one who went back to where they came from.

     

    I noticed you use links as a foil. People tell you their experience with unions and you call them fairytales and myths. Well let me give you one with names and places on it.

     

    I spent several years working for a manufacturing company that had a great many plants scattered all over the country and in a few foreign countries. I was considered a manufacturing expert (Lean Manufacturing, common sense, six sigma, automation etc.). Typically I traveled to a plant somewhere and spent two weeks observing processes and working with the manufacturing / engineering staff to develop better processes.

     

    We had three plants in California and as I was traveling from the eastern U. S. every few months, I would move to California and spend six weeks (
    30 May 2014, 10:04 AM Reply Like
  • Hayesni
    , contributor
    Comments (116) | Send Message
     
    153972,

     

    Love it when the answer is "I know that's what happened to you, but that is based on fairytales and myths". Well I got to hire a lot of good people because they got tired of living in those fairytales and myths and decided to go somewhere they would work for a living and get paid according to their abilities.

     

    You have a point about the beginnings of the union movement. It was born out of hard times when business was bad, money was scarce and jobs were limited. Few people had any money to spare and business paid terrible wages. Those wages didn't allow much spending, so the death spiral was if full gear. The system was crashing and workers were caught up in it.

     

    The union movement did protect workers who needed protection, and the same can be said today. The trouble is that today unions have run themselves out of business. Business found it is much easier to treat workers fairly and not have to deal with the middlemen placed by unions between the workers and management. Most businesses stuck with unions today are the legacy groups who had them and the newer groups who deserve them.

     

    Most good businesses long ago learned that it is much easier and much better to deal directly with the employees and cut out the middlemen.

     

    Over the years, we got a lot of good people who came to us to get out of the union atmosphere they had been stuck in. I can't say some of them didn't move on after a while, but I can't think of one who went back to where they came from.

     

    I noticed you use links as a foil. People tell you their experience with unions and you call them fairytales and myths. Well let me give you one with names and places on it.

     

    To be continued:
    30 May 2014, 11:13 AM Reply Like
  • Hayesni
    , contributor
    Comments (116) | Send Message
     
    153972

     

    I spent several years working for a manufacturing company that had a great many plants scattered all over the country and in a few foreign countries. I was considered a manufacturing expert (Lean Manufacturing, common sense, six sigma, automation etc.). Typically I traveled to a plant somewhere and spent two weeks observing processes and working with the manufacturing / engineering staff to develop better processes.

     

    We had three plants in California and because I was traveling from the eastern U. S. every few months, I would move to California and spend six weeks (two at each plant). One of those plants was in Fremont CA. While there on a visit, we got representatives from all three plants together to review operations and progress. As part of that meeting, the local staff arranged a plant tour for us, at the Automobile Assembly Plant in Fremont. At the plant, the tour guide spent a lot of time showing the plant and giving it's history. I was surprised by his comments. He said the plant was originally opened by a single auto company, but that after a short history, problems developed. RV's started showing up on the employee parking lot and employees began to visit them during work hours and afterwards. Supposedly there were ladies who worked in those RV's and alcohol and drugs were being used on the parking lots.

     

    Long story short, the plant was not successful and was closed. Then, after a period of time GM and Toyota negotiated a deal to reopen the plant and begin manufacturing again. They reached an agreement which included a clause that the former employees would not be given priority as the new employees were hired.

     

    Preparations for reopening started and later (after much preparation) the negotiations were reopened and according to the company representative the city of Fremont began to insist that the former employees be rehired first. That far into the reopening the auto companies were forced to reopen with the same elements that caused the problems the first time.

     

    This was a very large facility (500 car a day plant as I remember).

     

    I thought it strange that a representative of the company would be sharing this dirty laundry with strangers on a tour.

     

    Long story short, as you probably know the huge investment in auto manufacturing (the last auto plant still operational in California) failed for a second time.

     

    Today that facility has opened again for a third time. That is where the Tesla is being manufactured (about 1000 employees vs the 4700 that were there before). Wonder if they have learned their lesson yet?

     

    How many automobile assembly plants open and close twice in a matter for a few years?

     

    Have you by any chance heard about assembly plants having problems with union workers drinking and using drugs during work hours, or do you ever watch the evening news?

     

    Let me know if you need a LINK. I'll do what I can to teach you how to use a computer.
    30 May 2014, 11:43 AM Reply Like
  • 153972
    , contributor
    Comments (1240) | Send Message
     
    Rubygreta and Rope a Dope,

     

    The point is obvious as was the answer. Until the players had financing to support them in the event of work stoppage, organization, representation, and solidarity they would continue to be underpaid employees.

     

    http://atmlb.com/1ps13qG

     

    The second point is also obvious: despite one of the strongest unions in the US if not the world, the owners have thrived.

     

    FYI: The NBA is not a monopoly. We could discuss that wage structure before and after unionization and the outcome will be the same as baseball with variances in wages and the owner's franchise wealth due to other economic factors and management skills.

     

    As to why little steel went broke it is very similar as to why GM did:

     

    Incompetent management
    Lack of innovation
    Increased competition from abroad
    Lack of technological investment
    Labor costs

     

    The last reason had an impact but the other 4 were much more devastating. If you disagree, then how do you explain that Japan's steel industry was also unionized in their home country yet they thrived.
    30 May 2014, 12:49 PM Reply Like
  • Rope a Dope
    , contributor
    Comments (708) | Send Message
     
    Two words; Carjack City.
    30 May 2014, 01:39 PM Reply Like
  • 153972
    , contributor
    Comments (1240) | Send Message
     
    Hayensi,

     

    The fairytale myth was regarding the McDonalds and Wal-Mart truck drivers. You didn't and still haven't provided a link supporting your assertions. At least in my example of a fairytale Cinderella could prove she was at the ball. You cannot support your evidence that numerous McDonald workers have become franchise owners or that an abundant number of Wal-Mart truck drivers have become millionaires. Until you do your words have no substance.

     

    The union movement has been around since early guilds that were formed in medieval age. Again pick up a history book and learn something about the history of labor.

     

    As for the history of American labor it too is quite extensive and begins with John Smith, the Pilgrims, pre-revolutionary America, the early 19th century, the industrial revolution, the early 20th century, the Great Depression, post WW II and the 22nd century. It did not begin with hard times as you assert.

     

    I agree with part of your assessment that unions sowed the seeds of their own destruction. Some union leaders became inflexible in a technologically changing world. Some union leaders became inflexible towards work assignments. And some dug in and rightfully so when management demanded wage and benefit concessions but creditors, stockholders and management were not asked to sacrifice. The demise of Bethlehem Steel is an interesting case study regarding the last sentence. Google it and you'll find a classic case as to why the company failed. It wasn't labor that was the cause of the company's demise. It may've been the straw that broke the camel's back but hardly THE reasons.

     

    Unions, however, have lost their strength primarily because of Taft-Hartley and they also successfully moved their members into the solid middle class that heretofore was exclusively populated by professionals and business people. In other words many of Reagan Democrats became successful because of unions. I would argue that since 1978 one of the reasons (not the reason) for the maldistribution of wealth is so prevalent in the US vis-a-vis W. Europe and Japan is a lack of the trade union movement in the former.

     

    30 May 2014, 01:52 PM Reply Like
  • 153972
    , contributor
    Comments (1240) | Send Message
     
    I use to work at the Fremont, CA plant in the 1970s. The plant was historically ranked LAST in quality for ALL of the GM plants in the US. Almost all of the GM dealers in the US would not accept delivery from that plant.

     

    Yes, there was drinking and drugs at the plant. There was also drinking and drugs at the GM distribution center in Oakland. It was mostly on the swing shifts at both the assembly and distribution settings.

     

    With all this in mind, besides the few workers that were malcontents, needed to attend drug and alcohol counseling, were constantly late or absent, etc., why didn't management go through the process of filing grievances, mediation, arbitration, etc. It was because they did not care. Management did nothing to correct the situation.

     

    During my tenure at GM, I never saw a worker that was in the union fired for possession of drugs, intoxicated while on the job, leaving for work after getting their check before lunch and not returning, etc. Management was concerned with one thing, LINE TIME. Get the cars out and to hell with every thing else.
    30 May 2014, 03:37 PM Reply Like
  • Hayesni
    , contributor
    Comments (116) | Send Message
     
    153972 Fremont

     

    So of the personal experiences I have posted, the only one that is not a fairytale or a myth is one I HAPPENED to share and you happened to have personal knowledge of? Where is your link?

     

    My experience with large corporations has been that when a location or a division was not performing on par with the rest of the company, they changed management. They generally take someone (or even some people) who had proven successful at other locations in the company and put them in charge of the problem location to turn it around. In my experience that always managed to do the trick. You would have us believe that GM chose to abandon an investment worth hundreds of millions of dollars because the plant management was incompetent? Then along came a second opportunity and the new tenants happened to make the same mistake? And guess what the steel industry failed because of management incompetence as well?

     

    My experience is that at worst, problems can be corrected by replacing a few (fewer than ten) managers of a location. The only problems that can not be corrected by management changes are those inherent in the labor force or the local government. Our plant was located within a couple of miles of the Fremont plant you worked at. We also had a second plant in San Jose. While it is difficult to operate successful manufacturing plants in California as opposed to many other states, those two plants were reasonably successful, and there was no focus on closing them or moving them. The work force came from the same population and the government was the same at all of the locations we are discussing here. I wonder what was different that made one of the locations so unsuccessful?

     

    One clue that comes to mind is I have always refused to work with unionized plants.
    31 May 2014, 06:49 PM Reply Like
  • Hayesni
    , contributor
    Comments (116) | Send Message
     
    153972

     

    Where is your link supporting the idea that there are no franchise owners who actually started out working in the industry?

     

    Let's see here, I'm building one of the worlds largest businesses and I think I will do that by going through a bunch of franchise owners who don't know how to flip a burger?

     

    I live in a city that is populated by several millionaires who got there by working at an hourly job and working their way up through the ranks. They also took part in the employee stock purchased program. Few people know who they are and not a one has a LINK!!

     

    Another of those fairytales you as a union worker apparently have no experience with.
    31 May 2014, 09:22 PM Reply Like
  • 153972
    , contributor
    Comments (1240) | Send Message
     
    Hayensi,

     

    I didn't say no franchise owners. Reread my post. You on the other hand said many.

     

    I said once you could provide a link supporting your MANY franchise owners that were former employees I would then supply mine. Since you can't prove your assertion that many McDonald's workers own franchises let's do a little math with ratios and some probability analysis but first you have to do a little work. Since you are such a hard worker that won't be a problem, will it?

     

    First, find out how many franchises there are in the US. Try Google. I hear it is a great search engine. Then Google how many employees have worked at McDonald's in the US in just the past ten years or five years. For your research the smaller number of years the better because if you go out to far the ratio of restaurants to current and former employees will become much more difficult for you to prove that MANY (your word) are now franchise owners since the employee headcount of former and current increases faster than the number of franchisees.

     

    If you can't find the info you could use the current employee population at it's restaurants including franchises, factor in attrition and go from there. You can probably find the restaurant employee headcount on McDonald's 10K.

     

    In any event simple math will tell you that with a limited number franchises and MANY employees (my word), over a five, ten, year time frame many employees mathematically can't be franchise owners. If you have a problem with the term many, try Dictionary.com. It discusses it and defines it as one of a LARGE and INDEFINITE NUMBER; NUMEROUS.

     

    FYI: SOME (my word), franchise owners own multiple restaurants so your pool of former employees that own franchises is even smaller.

     

    When you've got the info, we can have another dialogue. Until then au revoir.
    1 Jun 2014, 04:57 AM Reply Like
  • 153972
    , contributor
    Comments (1240) | Send Message
     
    Hayesni,

     

    I don't have to provide a link. We both agree that the Fremont GM plant was a terrible work setting. What we don't agree on who is responsible for this. Management in any work setting sets the tone. If they don't , someone else will. In this instance, the malcontents, drunks, drug addicts, gamblers set the tone and management did nothing to fix it. As I mentioned the distribution center in Oakland had the same problem. What are the two common denominators: UAW and GM management.

     

    In another instance and from the same labor pool East Bay, Ford had an assembly plant. It too closed in 84' but it had more to do with economic and logistical reasons than the Fremont GM plant. What was the common denominator at the Ford plant: UAW and Ford management. Ford management actually rewarded it employees in the 1980s. I can recall every UAW employee receiving a $5,000 bonus one year. It was when Phil Caldwell was the CEO. I was a Warehouse Manager at one of their DCs.

     

    GM upper management has historically been lackadaisical about how it treats its front line, middle management and employees. It has been a culture that probably began sometime before the Corvair was assembled. As you may recall the problem with the Corvair was the suspension that a GM engineer had warned management about before it went into production but upper management did nothing about it. Sounds familiar to the GM Fremont culture. LINE TIME. WE ONLY CARE ABOUT PRODUCTIVITY. The GM culture may still continue today. It definitely continued until Rick Wagoner given the recent ignition switch problem and a whole host of other issues that occurred during his tenure and his predecessor. I read the other day that GM has recently recalled more vehicles than it made in one year. What does that say about GM and its management. I've attached a link for your edification about all of the recent GM recalls including the Saturn.

     

    http://bit.ly/1gSzxjp

     

    As far as the NUMMI plant, I did not work there so I can't accurately state what happened there. I do know Japanese management ran the facility and GM management was there to watch and learn. I also know that quality and attendance was much improved per an acquaintance that was rehired at Fremont.

     

    I've attached a link supporting this claim and per the article the reason it closed was that GM bailed out due to financial reasons and Toyota would not bankroll the plant.

     

    http://bit.ly/1gSzxjq

     

    I have worked in union and non union settings. I have also managed centers that were both union and non-union. The quality of the work depends upon the recruiting (management responsibility),hiring process (management responsibility), training (management responsibility), follow-up (management responsibility), attendance, safety, productivity, qualitative standards (management responsibility), pay, vacation, leave of absence, incentive policies (management responsibility), site selection (management responsibility), etc., etc., The employee is responsible for following management's directives. Employees should also contribute ideas, methods and practices that might improve the workplace. In union and non-union settings that I've been employed or managed suggestions were readily accepted by management and often acted upon. The only place that I ever worked at that did not have at least a safety suggestion box was the GM plant in Fremont. Does that tell you anything?

     

    This will be my last response to you because clearly you your bias overrides what business case studies have relayed time and time again: leadership matters.

     

    FYI: Not all steel plants went broke in the US. Only those that were badly managed, didn't invest in new technology, didn't innovate their processes, etc. It all comes back to management. In case you didn't hear some non union steel plants also went broke.
    1 Jun 2014, 06:25 AM Reply Like
  • Hayesni
    , contributor
    Comments (116) | Send Message
     
    153972

     

    One more time, you would have me think a large corporation would let a huge investment die because of it's management.

     

    I worked for a large manufacturing company for 25 years (about half that time at our largest plant). That plant was about 57% the size of the Fremont plant (on an employee basis). World wide the company had about 30 plants. I never remember that company closing a single plant. If a plant started to show negative trends in performance, the management was adjusted and the situation was corrected. Poor performance was never allowed to continue and shutting down a plant was never a remedy.

     

    I then spent 7 years with another manufacturing company where I worked with all of the plants. Same story there. If a plant was not showing improvement year after year, the management was changed. That company was more prone to acquiring other companies, so on occasion we would consolidate operations and close some unneeded plants, but no plant was ever closed because of poor performance of it's management or it's line employees.

     

    I find it hard to believe Government Motors didn't understand that management deficiencies can be corrected by changing management.

     

    1 Jun 2014, 11:20 AM Reply Like
  • 153972
    , contributor
    Comments (1240) | Send Message
     
    Hayensi,

     

    I don't think you understand what the GM culture was. It was infested with the mantra LINE TIME. Productivity at any cost. Don't shut down the line. This had to come from the top down.

     

    I do think upper management finally realized that their was a culture problem hence the reason the Saturn plant was initiated to correct the productivity at any cost mantra. The Saturn concept didn't last, however. The reporting structure changed, management blue GM badges from Dearborn came down and soon there were more blue badges in Tennessee than red badge management (Saturn employees). Prior to the blue badges arrival, the red badge GM management and the UAW implemented quality circles, employee feedback, QA could shut the line down and fix a problem, etc., and for a time it worked. You would think if it was successful that GM would offer more support, investment and begin migrating some of the cultural successes to the other divisions. They instead brought in the blue badges, alienated red badge management and the UAW became recalcitrant. End of the Saturn success story.

     

    In your vast experience, I am sure you've run into this problem that a certain manager or plant is so overwhelmingly successful that it breads resentment at the other divisions, sister plants, etc. Very few people root for other guy's success. In fact, they usually root against it or are apathetic and lament, Oh they were just lucky. Instead of implementing the successful plant, DC, practices where transferable, the bureaucracy digs in and "discovers" a multitude of reasons why it won't work at their plant, office, DC, etc. In my years of experience I have encountered this numerous times. And please don't be a whistleblower in a dysfunctional organization. You will be fired or ostracized faster than Grant took Richmond.

     

    But I digress, how many safety recalls do you have to have before you realize that the before bankruptcy organization was a badly managed company?

     

    Ford, Toyota, VW, etc have also had recalls. At times Ford recalls appear to be approaching GM's but not to the magnitude and the number of different platforms. Ford's for the most part are trivial and are resolved immediately and are contained within a platform. GM's most recent recall numbers from the old GM stretch in the 5,000,000 million range involving airbags, braking etc across all divisions, all platforms, etc. Doesn't that tell you anything?

     

    Companies can go bankrupt for numerous reasons but it usually comes down to two things: bad management and/or bad timing. In GM's case it was both.

     

    I don't know if GM ever replaced the plant manager. I agree with you that well managed and some not so well managed but nevertheless PYOA companies reassign management when the performance of the center is consistently substandard. Given what happened at the Saturn plant, GM probably reassigned him but brought in the blue badges from Dearborn and the Fremont plant remained in the quagmire.

     

    Obama rarely terminates people. They are usually asked to resign or are reassigned. Insubordinate generals aren't even fired. President Obama FIRED Rick Wagoner and rightfully so.

     

    Ed Whitacre from AT& T was brought into run the new GM. I won't go through the reorganization he implemented and the number of terminations that ensued because it was extensively reported by the media but nevertheless he soon realized that the GM bureaucracy was a cesspool and he flushed as many bad actors as he could.
    1 Jun 2014, 01:26 PM Reply Like
  • Hayesni
    , contributor
    Comments (116) | Send Message
     
    Why won't this system allow me to respond to 153972's comments above?
    29 May 2014, 02:23 PM Reply Like
  • SkipK
    , contributor
    Comments (1526) | Send Message
     
    I'm in trouble. I own all three (MCD, WMT and SBUX).
    29 May 2014, 03:37 PM Reply Like
  • wwilliamss
    , contributor
    Comments (89) | Send Message
     
    These companies give work for many....!
    Good job mcd,wmt and sbux!
    29 May 2014, 10:11 PM Reply Like
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