Seeking Alpha

The right-to-work issue in Michigan isn't going unnoticed by labor unions. UAW President Bob...

The right-to-work issue in Michigan isn't going unnoticed by labor unions. UAW President Bob King was at the state's Capitol building leading a protest against legislation that would allows workers to opt out of unions and not pay dues. The state House passed the measure yesterday by 58-42, sending it along to the Senate. Though the Big Three are deathly quiet on the issue, it wouldn't be a stretch to imagine weakened union laws in Michigan could help bottom lines.
Comments (87)
  • Ryandan
    , contributor
    Comments (1408) | Send Message
     
    We are approaching a "Great Day" for Michigan.

     

    Want to know what's wrong with unions, just look at the losers, thugs and goons attacking our Capital right now. Those people don't need representation - they need a bus ticket out of town.
    7 Dec 2012, 08:33 AM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    Great Idea... As long as half the bus is filled with the corporate racketeers and lobbyists that are buying congress,.
    8 Dec 2012, 02:58 AM Reply Like
  • Ryandan
    , contributor
    Comments (1408) | Send Message
     
    From what I understand - the unions have more lobbyists than any other group, but I appreciate your comment and believe a double decker bus would help both of us.................
    8 Dec 2012, 09:06 AM Reply Like
  • cbroncos
    , contributor
    Comments (878) | Send Message
     
    Then you don't understand very much.
    8 Dec 2012, 09:59 AM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    Look around the Web and post some some hard numbers. I'd be interested in knowing the facts.
    9 Dec 2012, 08:44 PM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    Ryandan... Found this in research article by Schlozman, Verba and Brady in Boston Globe entitled "People with no lobby in Washington". It doesn't seem to support your understanding. Over 50% of lobbyists work for business and 1% for unions. In terms of $ spent, its even worse. Interested in you comments.

     

    In analyzing our results, the most sweeping conclusion we could draw about the thousands of organizations active in Washington is that, in the aggregate, their interests tilt strongly in the direction of the haves. More than half represent the interests of business in one way or another. Only 5 percent represent broad public interests (whether conservative or liberal or neither) such as wilderness preservation, auto safety, national security, human rights abroad, lower taxes, reproductive rights, and citizen education. Only 4 percent represent people on the basis of such identities as race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, age, sexual orientation, or gender. A mere 1 percent are unions. And less than 1 percent advocate on behalf of, or provide social services to, the economically needy.
    10 Dec 2012, 11:26 AM Reply Like
  • moran
    , contributor
    Comments (214) | Send Message
     
    How true...He does not understand very much indeed....He is just a union hater I guess. Wonder what happened to him, maybe he was in a union and ran for office an lost..Now he is bitter.
    15 Dec 2012, 06:48 AM Reply Like
  • moran
    , contributor
    Comments (214) | Send Message
     
    I'm so glad you enlightened Mr. Ryandan...He really does seem to make an awful lot of off the wall remarks. Thanks again.
    15 Dec 2012, 06:53 AM Reply Like
  • CMears71
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
     
    I find it interesting that something as rooted in American values as freedom of choice is such a contentious issue. It goes to show that unions have indeed outlived their purpose, when to stay alive they must force their membership with the aid of government.
    7 Dec 2012, 09:04 AM Reply Like
  • moran
    , contributor
    Comments (214) | Send Message
     
    Does that include the State of the Union of this great nation? I suppose you and Ryandan are in favor of these states that want to secede from the "UNION".
    7 Dec 2012, 01:56 PM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    Workers who receive wage, health and pension benefits from union negotiations don't seem to have any problem accepting them. You are saying they should have the "choice" of whether or not they want to contribute to the cost of getting those benefits. Poor "business" model.
    9 Dec 2012, 08:44 PM Reply Like
  • moran
    , contributor
    Comments (214) | Send Message
     
    An awful lot of you union haters would not have the nice wage, health and pension benefits if it were not for unions. I repeat, I am not and have not been in a union.
    15 Dec 2012, 06:59 AM Reply Like
  • bondork
    , contributor
    Comments (25) | Send Message
     
    Right on
    7 Dec 2012, 09:30 AM Reply Like
  • model-t-car
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    Let Michigan keep their unions. Right to work states heap the benefits as business opt to leave to where workers have a choice and unions can no longer control their business decisions.
    7 Dec 2012, 09:37 AM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    Many right to work states attract new business with hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer paid for "incentives". We have yet to see that these costs are recouped by a state in job creation and economic stimulus. These gifts are usually far more persuasive that union/nonunion labor conditions and they are coming out of your pocket, your schools, your roads, etc.
    9 Dec 2012, 08:44 PM Reply Like
  • gmmpa
    , contributor
    Comments (471) | Send Message
     
    There was a time when unions benefited the workers and the communities where the companies that employed them were based. Both private and especially the public sector union leadership have jumped the shark. The unions have been destroying American industry and the economy since the early 60s. It supports mediocrity and less innovation in the name of protecting the worker. The dues that the workers pay have nothing to do with helping them get better working conditions. The funds invite criminal activity and are nothing more than Democrat party funding sources. They are definitely not on the side of the American people nor the workers they claim to represent.
    7 Dec 2012, 11:49 AM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    Ahhh.... So you really believe corporate sponsored Republican lobbys and PACs are committed to the American worker. I do not deny that unions have sometimes abused their power when the pendulum swung after WWII. Thru the 20s and 30s unions were, almost literally, fighting for their lives. If unions don't fight for the middle class and if corporations place profit over people, then the American middle class is really out on a limb.
    9 Dec 2012, 08:44 PM Reply Like
  • moran
    , contributor
    Comments (214) | Send Message
     
    What about some of the obscene salaries the corporate execs are getting....you don't hear very much about that, it's always that lousy old over paid hourly worker.....he doesn't care about quality, the louse. He only cares about getting those cars or what ever off the assembly line, get those numbers....OH! wait a minute that's manangent....darn blue collar workers, ruined this country.
    9 Dec 2012, 09:31 PM Reply Like
  • Ericbo
    , contributor
    Comments (45) | Send Message
     
    It is long past time that unions realize that they need to significantly change if they are to survive. Forced membership, just because you happen to have a particular trade, or work in a particular industry is completely out of fashion with a majority of the American public. Hence, the low level of acceptance unions now enjoy. Even more, unions need to change, reduce, and even get rid of their antiquated and destructive work rules. It simply isn't appropriate to require three union members (each from a different union) to change a light switch. Sounds ridiculous, but that's an example from real life (and from my work office).
    7 Dec 2012, 12:42 PM Reply Like
  • moran
    , contributor
    Comments (214) | Send Message
     
    Actually they would be from the same union with different job classifications. I too agree that this would be in-appropriate. Most unions today have and are working on these types of ridiculous situations.. by the same token, I have heard of many situations where people are let go because the boss just didn't like them...."personality differences", political differences, religious differences,etc.
    17 Dec 2012, 05:15 PM Reply Like
  • cbroncos
    , contributor
    Comments (878) | Send Message
     
    Wow most of the comments are from people so poorly informed!

     

    "Though the Big Three are deathly quiet on the issue, it wouldn't be a stretch to imagine weakened union laws in Michigan could help bottom lines."

     

    So the companines make more money and send many workers to the breadlines.

     

    You folks really don't know that most working people have not had an increase in pay in years! And most stock holders get free money in the form of dividends that the pay NO tax on. Great world for you guys, but payback is coming.
    7 Dec 2012, 12:57 PM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (3463) | Send Message
     
    Probably would be better not to equate disagreement and having a different point of view with being "poorly informed"; otherwise others can and will say the same about you. But that isn't helpful.

     

    All the legislation does is give workers the right to choose whether to join a union and pay fees. Anything extrapolated from that basic fact and then debated is an irrelevant "straw man" argument.

     

    As an example, the apparent widespread assumption that companies could suddenly fire all the union members and hire non-union "scabs", is false. Federal law permits unions to exist, and for employees to join the union, and for collective bargaining. Companies that would try to involuntarily replace the union workforce wholesale and hire only non-union replacements would be subjected to discrimination lawsuits, just as effectively as if they tried to replace all the women and minorities and seniors with young white males. Can't happen - at least in the US.

     

    But certainly companies would be able to hire new employees, and those new employees could then independently make the choice whether to join the Union themselves. But this does NOT for example empower companies to pick and choose. Again, the laws against discrimination would mandate equal opportunities regardless of union affiliation.

     

    The assumption that non-union employees would be cheaper than union ones is also false. Instead of all getting the same pay regardless of skills and experience and seniority and effectiveness on the job, non-union workers could theoretically be paid differently based on those factors. So for example, an individual who is more experienced, more skilled, and more efficient on the job than the average union guy, could end up with significantly more pay. Performance based pay ... just like the executives and managers! Imagine that.

     

    The ones ending up on "the breadlines" might be those that deliberately keep slowing down the line, and keeping everyone else in line, so no one worker does a better job than another. You see this all the time, where some fresh young whippersnapper comes in on the line and tries to outwork everyone else. A sharp rebuke from the "alpha leader" puts the young buck back in his place. Meanwhile the ones showing up late from lunch, drunk or reeking of pot, barely able to do the job, gets exactly the same pay, and thus positive reinforcement to continue to perform poorly. High performers get slapped down, while low performers get held up. Such are the current union ways.

     

    "Have not had an increase in pay in years"? You must have missed something. At least in the case of the union auto workers, they took huge contract signing bonuses, something like $10k each, and they also have profit sharing each year - works out to about $1000 for every billion in US profits. The base hourly pay may be the same, more or less, in order to remain competitive with the non-union automakers (Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, etc.) but the yearly pay is higher, and the fringe benefits are still very generous and mostly free.

     

    As for the stock holder dividends - they most certainly are taxed if taken as cash, and they are taxed again when spent on goods. Now if they are re-invested directly into a tax deferred (IRA, 401k, etc.) account, then correct - they don't pay taxes today, but they will pay taxes when the funds are cashed out later, at retirement or death. That is the federal (and state) law on tax deferred savings. Another straw man argument.

     

    The "Big Three" are silent, because the last thing they want to do is get the rank and file all riled up for no good reason. GM, Ford, and Chrysler have contracts in place, which have no reference to "right to work" initiatives. It is doubtful that the Automakers would want to re-open the contract negotiations at this point, and they certainly don't the workforce to go on strike over the issue. It is also doubtful that the proposed State Law would immediately trump existing contracts, and force the Automakers to start hiring non-union replacement workers. Implementation and enforcement of the law is going to be he interesting part - the companies are going to have to walk a fine line.

     

    So, what "payback is coming"? Are you making a threat against someone ("you guys"), or some company? Please say it isn't so.
    7 Dec 2012, 02:26 PM Reply Like
  • 214624
    , contributor
    Comments (7) | Send Message
     
    Finally, someone with a brain. If it weren't for unions all workers will be working for companies where the upper echelon gets even more millions and the workers will get less and less. It will be a very sad day .
    7 Dec 2012, 03:22 PM Reply Like
  • Ryandan
    , contributor
    Comments (1408) | Send Message
     
    Ah Tdot, you were laying in wait for this guy..............well played!

     

    "but payback is coming................" sounds just like a union goon doesn't it? I don't like your opinion so paybacks ah coming. you'll get punished for this because i think with my beer and my gun.

     

    now people can effectively vote against the corruption and BS in the unions. Michigan can only get better.

     

    "I see the light - and it brings a new day......................
    7 Dec 2012, 04:20 PM Reply Like
  • cbroncos
    , contributor
    Comments (878) | Send Message
     
    said they were poorly informed as they clearly had not considered both sides of this point. It is true to say that unions once had too much power, but that time is in the past. All one has to do is look at the contracts that the UWA signed with Ford. They took large pay cuts, they get "pay raises" via profit sharing, and also accepted changes in health care.

     

    It is people like the Koch brothers who are behind most of these actions. When you see billionaires trying to change workplace rules who do you think will benefit?
    8 Dec 2012, 10:07 AM Reply Like
  • cbroncos
    , contributor
    Comments (878) | Send Message
     
    The payback is the progressive senators they are coming in January. The payback will be progressive tax rates that start at 50% for amounts over 1 million and go up to 75% for amount over 500 million.
    8 Dec 2012, 10:10 AM Reply Like
  • cbroncos
    , contributor
    Comments (878) | Send Message
     
    Yes a union goon with a Masters degree in education. Yep thats me.
    8 Dec 2012, 10:11 AM Reply Like
  • Phantoms
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    Thanks Tdot for that, one of the most comprehensive explanations of the facts I've read in a while.
    8 Dec 2012, 12:41 PM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    I'm sure the payback you mean is in the voting booths not in the conservative second amendment frenzy we are faced with. Keep them comments coming!
    9 Dec 2012, 08:44 PM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    With the top 400 families controlling wealth equal to the bottom 150,000,000 how can it get much more inequitable?
    9 Dec 2012, 08:44 PM Reply Like
  • Ryandan
    , contributor
    Comments (1408) | Send Message
     
    Hey Mortbert, so you're a socialist then right?

     

    Anyone with more money than you has to give you some? That's exactly what the unions are all about.

     

    Your numbers are wrong (400 families) but just maybe those people earn that money. Maybe they work hard and make the right investments. But poor Mortbert wants a big screen TV and even though he didn't study hard, isn't business smart, he's entitled to some of that money cause we all deserve to be equal.

     

    My neighbor has got a new car - so I'm entitled to a new car. Is that where you're coming from? Where does it stop with taking stuff from other people just cause you want it?

     

    I'm in a union and I put bumpers on cars and I want to be paid like a doctor gets paid and me and my other thugs and goons are going to bring this company to a standstill until we get the money - even though my neighbors will have to pay an outrageous amount of money for the cars we make - yeah, "buy American". Am I close?
    10 Dec 2012, 09:22 AM Reply Like
  • Ericbo
    , contributor
    Comments (45) | Send Message
     
    Sure wish I could find out how to pay no taxes on my dividends. You must be from another country. Dividends are always fully taxable in the USA, both at the corporate level and again at the individual taxpayer level. I suggest you brush up on your understanding of the tax code.
    10 Dec 2012, 11:12 AM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    Ryandan, you're not even in the same universe as me.

     

    My father came from overseas as a child, washed bottles, delivered milk, worked seven days a week and eventually managed a hundred drivers for a large dairy company. Dumb old me managed to get a couple of graduate degrees and have a career at Bell Labs.
    When I got out of the Air Force, with not one but two strips, I built a brokerage firm with six offices in two states. I'm guess you would say I've been real lucky.

     

    I do not envy what others have. I do buy new cars every twelve or fourteen years, when I've saved the cash to buy then. I do not own a large sceen TV. You might say I'm fiscally conservative.

     

    I find we have a nice blend of capitalism and socialism in this country (social security, the VA hospital system). I don't worry about what others have; I worry about what the majority don't have.

     

    I just saw a graph that shows the deline in middle class income matches the decline in union member. Must be a coincidence, right.
    10 Dec 2012, 05:21 PM Reply Like
  • Ryandan
    , contributor
    Comments (1408) | Send Message
     
    I don't think you want to match bio's, but I will extend my gratitude for your hard work and even more - you military commitment. When I say you obviously "you" meant union attitudes.

     

    I would have to say if all union people thought like you, made the service commitment you made, we wouldn't be having this discussion. But they don't - most are filled with greed and self serving motives.

     

    They try to take over companies as a group of thugs and control management and production. Ever see them return anything to the community? They don't even honor other unions on strike anymore.

     

    A blend of socialism - what better way to take away the incentives that made this country great. You could be whatever you were capable of, now you have to drag your neighbors, illegals, and lazy people with you to the finish line. Sorry, just don't like the idea.
    11 Dec 2012, 09:58 AM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    Ryandan - I'm not comparing bios, I'm comparing attitudes. I was raised in a household of registered Republicans. In college I was offered the presidency of the local Young Republican Club. I believed we lived in the greatest country in the world where no one had to go hungry, sleep on the street or go without living necessities like healthcare. I believed our greatness was due to our hard work, fair incomes, opportunity, education, etc. Some people cut corners and gamed the system but most were dependable and worked hard. I don't feel that caring for the needy is dragging anyone along.

     

    For my fifth anniversary at a consulting company, I got a call that business was bad and I was out of work. They did what they had to do. I had a wife and two small kids so I scrambled and also collected unemployment insurance. Today it isn't as easy to get back on ones feet.

     

    Unions are run by goons and corporations don't worry about anything but the bottom line. What happens to the working stiff ( or middle manager) who falls on hard times? Are they, as todays Republicans seem to feel, mostly illegals and lazy and undeserving of a hand?
    11 Dec 2012, 12:04 PM Reply Like
  • Ryandan
    , contributor
    Comments (1408) | Send Message
     
    Mortbert - I think we're venting here - just a little. My dad was a plumber - worked two years then was laid off for a year - over and over again. As a young college kid I was in three unions. Then I went white collar to Ford and GM till I hit 30 and couldn't take the industry any more.

     

    I'm an Independent - I hate both sides - the extremes have taken over both parties. I'm watching the news now as the union goons are trying to take over Lansing and stop the R/W vote. Talk about a rag-tag group of misfits and beer drinking thugs. They say that half the cars in Lansing parking lots have out-of-state plates. I look at this group and can't generate a ounce of sympathy.

     

    The future generations will realize there's no loyalty either way any more. People quit all the time and go to work for other companies taking information and trade secrets with them. Companies having a hard time - lay people off - that's a good thing. It allows the company to survive and rebuild. But a union won't allow layoffs so companies go out of business - just try to buy a Twinkie now. 18,000 out of work instead of 16,000 working to save the company.

     

    "I believed our greatness was due to our hard work, fair incomes, opportunity, education, etc" Your words. I agree, I just don't think all that should be a gift.

     

    I believe unions forced more jobs overseas than anything else. They forced prices up by excessive demands, they forced companies to employ workers unfit for the job, and they demanded benefits equal to people who were more educated and productive - just because they worked as a mob of thugs and demanded it.

     

    Now people can buy goods made in China for 1/3 of what the going price was before. You work and make less? No worry, China is delivering goods here at a 70% discount. You think if we were still making bedroom sets and PC's you'd be able to buy them for the price they are selling at? I can buy a beautiful business shirt for $20, a full bedroom set for $500 and a powerful PC for $500 with a monitor bigger than my old TV.

     

    Heck I owe the unions my gratitude for making it possible to bring in imported goods that are so cheap.

     

    Anyway, I wish you and the family well. I appreciate your position and support your right to vote for anything that adds value to your life and family. (npi)
    11 Dec 2012, 01:40 PM Reply Like
  • bearfund
    , contributor
    Comments (1534) | Send Message
     
    "And most stock holders get free money in the form of dividends that the pay NO tax on."

     

    Well, here's something that's actually on topic for SA. Could you please describe this in more detail? I would be very interested in learning how I can receive dividends tax-free. Currently, the companies I own pay on average around 30% tax on the earnings that support the dividend (which is not deductible), and I'm required to pay an additional 25.3% income tax on the dividend itself. In other words, for every dollar my company earns, the government is taking about 40%. That's assuming I've met the requirements for treating it as a Qualified Distribution and it's not a REIT, BDC, or other differently-taxed entity, in which case it's typically 38.3% -- not much difference, really, unless it's in an IRA, in which case I will of course have to pay tax on it as ordinary income when I take my MRDs. So please explain how one can collect these dividends tax-free; I think everyone would very much like to keep 1/3 more money without doing anything! Thanks.
    11 Dec 2012, 03:14 PM Reply Like
  • Ryandan
    , contributor
    Comments (1408) | Send Message
     
    Well, as a small business owner, you're the target of Obama right now. Wait until you see your tax obligations next year.
    11 Dec 2012, 05:47 PM Reply Like
  • moran
    , contributor
    Comments (214) | Send Message
     
    Well said Mortbert, it's nice to see someone who realizes the importance of a middle class.
    20 Dec 2012, 01:55 PM Reply Like
  • moran
    , contributor
    Comments (214) | Send Message
     
    And you think you are not an extreme, unbelievable.
    20 Dec 2012, 01:59 PM Reply Like
  • acesfull
    , contributor
    Comments (321) | Send Message
     
    So does right to work also apply to public employees such as teachers, policemen etc? Can they opt out of their unions?
    7 Dec 2012, 03:50 PM Reply Like
  • Ryandan
    , contributor
    Comments (1408) | Send Message
     
    yup!!!! teachers can opt out, police and fire are still considered closed unions meaning because of the type of work they do they get collective bargaining as usual. of course, if they don't like the union they can always quit and do something else.
    7 Dec 2012, 04:20 PM Reply Like
  • cbroncos
    , contributor
    Comments (878) | Send Message
     
    Teachers can opt out - man those who like this bill are fools. You really don't know what unions did for you! And what it will be like 20 or 30 years from now if unions are gone. Just read the history book about the 1920's or maybe look at the reason the Bangladesh fire that killed so many might help you to think a little clearer about this. Companies if left to do business the way they want is bad for us. All of us.
    8 Dec 2012, 10:15 AM Reply Like
  • acesfull
    , contributor
    Comments (321) | Send Message
     
    Cbroncos, do you or anyone else know how much in union dues the average teacher is paying in Michigan?
    9 Dec 2012, 03:33 PM Reply Like
  • moran
    , contributor
    Comments (214) | Send Message
     
    Ryandan you are just so brilliant.....It's people like you that caused unions to be formed in the first place.
    9 Dec 2012, 09:53 PM Reply Like
  • Ryandan
    , contributor
    Comments (1408) | Send Message
     
    One summer in college I went to work in a union shop and started producing more production at my station than any other worker ever did. After a week I was told to cut my production 50% because the union negotiated a lower production number at that work station.

     

    I don't think I caused a single union to be formed - but thanks for thinking I had that kind of influence.

     

    I made some pretty good investments last year. How much money do I need to give you "entitlement people" so your self-esteem doesn't collapse?
    10 Dec 2012, 09:33 AM Reply Like
  • moran
    , contributor
    Comments (214) | Send Message
     
    One summer you worked in a union shop and you were so good they (that old union) had to step in and slow you down...wow not only are you brilliant but you are incredibly faster than any other worker. As for your comment of "you entitlement people" explains an awful lot about you extreme one sidedness. I personally have never taken or received any state aid, federal aid or "Union" aid. I do however see the need for the "blue" collar worker to have some kind of security against corporate giants.
    20 Dec 2012, 02:16 PM Reply Like
  • Ryandan
    , contributor
    Comments (1408) | Send Message
     
    I can live with that. Why don't you give something back. Why don't you tell the union to get rid of the troublemakers, thugs, drug dealers, drunks and take some pride in their membership? You can't even manufacture during a third shift because it's like a third world country in there at night.

     

    We agree on a lot Moran - Happy Holidays................. safe. We'll look for more common ground next year. ;-)
    20 Dec 2012, 04:50 PM Reply Like
  • frogola
    , contributor
    Comments (74) | Send Message
     
    question: has anyone taken the time to do a study on the other states that already have the law, to see how they fared.
    7 Dec 2012, 06:58 PM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    There is a lot of misinformation being funded by corporate interests like the Koch brothers but I have seen a Michigan State study that reports:

     

    "The data on wages tell a fairly clear story. Of the top 10 states in per capita income in 2011, seven were not right-to work states. Of the bottom 10 states with the lowest per capital income, seven were right to work states."

     

    As a retired Bell System manager I remember we looked forward to union negotiations. The benefits they gained tended to flow up to us fairly soon.
    8 Dec 2012, 02:58 AM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (3463) | Send Message
     
    The states with the lowest income per capita are also largely rural and southern ex-confederates, not northern industrial states.

     

    To have a fair study, you have to go back and re-parse the data, filtering out those low income states that have no active major industrial centers that would require large numbers of potentially unionized workers.

     

    But even before filtering, what about the three of ten states with the highest per capita income that have the right to work? Apparently Right to Work works just fine there, right? Does that not completely invalidate your argument?

     

    And what about the three of ten states with the lowest income that are forced to be unionized? What is wrong with your argument there?

     

    Remember - Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Hyundai, and other Asian and European automakers set up production plants in non-union right to work states, to avoid the insufferable work rules of out of control unionists. Those highly skilled and highly respected workers are also highly paid, well above average, about the same as their Big Three peers; and they love their jobs, and they want no part of unionizing and collective bargaining. Every time the UAW bosses shows up to try to convince the workers that they are being abused by The Man and need union protection and support and collective bargaining, they are laughed right back out into the street. the How can you explain that? Brainwashing? Some kind of drug slipped into their lunches?
    8 Dec 2012, 07:56 AM Reply Like
  • cbroncos
    , contributor
    Comments (878) | Send Message
     
    Yes they are the at the bottom in education, highest poverty rates, most divorces, highest rates of obesity and yes they all vote 60% or more for republicans.
    8 Dec 2012, 10:17 AM Reply Like
  • cbroncos
    , contributor
    Comments (878) | Send Message
     
    "to avoid the insufferable work rules" Think Worker Safety. We see what happens where there are no unions - think China, were workers jump off of the top of the factory, because death is better than working in that factory. I guess Tdot wants to see that in the USA.
    8 Dec 2012, 10:20 AM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (3463) | Send Message
     
    Did they teach you about illogical "Straw Man" arguments in your Masters in Education? Perhaps you skipped class that day.

     

    Union work rules and safety rules are not interchangeable. Arguing for simplification and consolidation of job roles and responsibilities, and improving the education and skills of skilled workers, does not imply that safety rules are out the door.

     

    Of course there was a time when worker health and safety was held at the bottom of the list of priorities at companies, after profits and production. Many workers were killed and grievously injured, unjustly and as a direct result of abusive practices by the companies. But that time is long past - as in many decades. Since OSHA came to be, accidents in the work place that can traced to be caused by insufficient safety rules and insufficient training are, for all intents and purposes, nonexistent. The rare accidents that do happen are generally due to distraction, inattention, fatigue, and deliberate acts.

     

    Yet to this day, union work rules can require three different skilled trades, plus two unskilled tradesmen, and a committee man and steward to change out the same light bulb you can change at home yourself. It is a tradition that dates back to the time of Edison and Rockefeller, when electric and gas or oil lights were competing, and electricity was considered as frightening as black magic, and there was uncertainty as to which skill was needed to make a repair; so they sent in everyone just in case.

     

    In any case, I respect your point of view. You know what you have been taught, and no other points of view can be considered valid. It is more like religion and politics than anything else - a system of beliefs and philosophies that have been passed down through the generations. It won't go away, regardless of logical or intellectual discussion. It goes nowhere, and does nobody any good. Converts from one side to the other are rare, because these are deeply held beliefs.

     

    In this particular case, right to work in Michigan, the sides are just as polarized as Christian vs Atheist, Conservative vs Liberal, Obama vs Romney, Right to Life vs Right to Abort, North vs South in the Civil War, and countless other ideals that polarize free thinking citizens.

     

    The interesting part is that the Unions and their generally liberal supporters are so frightened by Freedom of Choice when it comes workers joining unions, and so convinced that allowing workers to choose equates to outlawing unions and giving companies the right to maim and kill their workers, that they can only succeed by demonizing it with fallacious Straw Man arguments.

     

    If you want more information about Straw Man, by all means Google it, or see http://bit.ly/zrR413
    8 Dec 2012, 11:24 AM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    How about this study by the Corporate Research Project:

     

    "We have a development strategy based on a non-union workforce, the willingness of state and local governments to provide lavish subsidies, and the siting of plants mainly in rural areas hungry for manufacturing jobs. The foreign carmakers also have an advantage over the likes of GM and Ford in that they are operating in brand-new, state-of-the-art facilities.

     

    It is worth noting that this is not a low-wage model. The hourly pay of many transplant workers is not far below that of unionized workers at the Big Three and is usually well above the average for their local labor market. This should not, however, be seen as a sign of generosity on the part of the foreign firms. It is clear that they pay relatively well to make unionization less appealing. The UAW, in other words, deserves credit for indirectly raising living standards among transplant workers.

     

    A bigger discrepancy between transplant workers and UAW members is seen with regard to benefits, especially for retirement. Employees at foreign-owned plants invariably have defined-contribution plans such as 401(k)s rather than traditional pensions. This gives the transplants a huge competitive advantage over the Big Three, which have high “legacy costs.”

     

    And, of course, without union work rules and grievance procedures, the transplants can extract more output per worker than the Big Three. Consequently, the employment growth at the foreign-owned plants doesn’t begin to make up for attrition among UAW members.

     

    For now, it appears that transplant workers are satisfied with their working conditions as an improvement over what their rural areas otherwise have to offer. Similarly, state and local governments are willing to forgo substantial tax revenues to attract investment that they assume would otherwise go elsewhere. But it is not certain that these arrangements will pay off over the longer term. Once the threat of unionization seems more distant, will the foreign carmakers continue to keep wages relatively high?"
    8 Dec 2012, 12:40 PM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (3463) | Send Message
     
    If the foreign carmakers fail to keep (non-union) wages relatively high, and the workers become unsatisfied with their wages and benefits, then Federal and State laws still permit them to organize, and collectively bargain for the same. Right to Work does not address the rights of workers to organize and unionize in solidarity for collective bargaining, if they so wish. Right to Work simply permits workers to decide whether they want to enroll and pay the "Protection" fees to the union mob.

     

    But why should an outside Unionist be the judge and jury to decide whether a non-union shop has sufficient and satisfactory wages and benefits? The Union is certainly free to advertise the wages and benefits at their own shop, as a benchmark for the non-union shop to consider. The non-union shop workers must still be allowed to decide for themselves whether they are satisfied with their wages, benefits, and work conditions. It is not the Union's business to decide for non-union workers, unless and until they choose to join.
    8 Dec 2012, 01:05 PM Reply Like
  • acesfull
    , contributor
    Comments (321) | Send Message
     
    Cbroncos, go easy on China. They're the ones lending us all that money to support our entitlement programs. Let us not upset them.
    9 Dec 2012, 07:20 AM Reply Like
  • cbroncos
    , contributor
    Comments (878) | Send Message
     
    You have to look at the big picture and by that the whole country. We saw in this past year numerous attempts to limit the vote of the people. In most cases these changes were approved under republican governors and were later set aside by courts. This is nothing about wages and healthcare it is about stopping more people from voting. If the union loses money because some poorly informed members decide they don't want to pay the dues, then the union loses influence, and eventually ceases to exist. So people like the Koch brothers see this as win win. It bears repeating that billionaires do not have our interests in mind!
    9 Dec 2012, 09:35 AM Reply Like
  • cbroncos
    , contributor
    Comments (878) | Send Message
     
    Yes they love our 30 year treasury bonds. Those T-bills and bonds also pay for 2 wars.
    9 Dec 2012, 09:38 AM Reply Like
  • Ryandan
    , contributor
    Comments (1408) | Send Message
     
    it's about letting all people vote - do you want to pay union dues or don't you?

     

    if the union goes the way of the dinosaur it will be because it was voted out, not pushed out by thugs and goons.

     

    i grew up in a union house and kicked around some unions when I was younger. you couldn't live long enough to convenience me unions have any value except for union leaders.

     

    do you want to explain to me why union leaders have private golf course and huge retreat in upper Michigan that union members can't go to? could it be union members aren't the right kind of people?
    9 Dec 2012, 10:35 AM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    I'm glad to know that agricultural workers are doing so well they don't need unions, schooling, health care, etc. and they enjoy sleeping in shacks.

     

    A poor state that gets a few thousand union jobs is not going to move up the economic scale very quickly. I bet the people in those jobs are doing better economically.
    9 Dec 2012, 08:44 PM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    They are also paying for the Bush tax cuts, two wars, and an unfunded (Republican) drug entitlement.
    9 Dec 2012, 08:44 PM Reply Like
  • moran
    , contributor
    Comments (214) | Send Message
     
    It's easy...these people are paid on par with union workers only because corporat bosses will do what ever it takes to keep unions out........As soon as the threat of unions is history, you will see a land slide in wages (except the ceo types) in all states.....you can bet on it.
    9 Dec 2012, 10:06 PM Reply Like
  • moran
    , contributor
    Comments (214) | Send Message
     
    You don't believe corporations have private golf courses that you and I can't go to? Now that is funny.
    9 Dec 2012, 10:15 PM Reply Like
  • Ryandan
    , contributor
    Comments (1408) | Send Message
     
    wake up Moran and check with the UAW about their golf retreat in Michigan - then ask if you can go there. then come back here and tell the rest of us what you found. keeping your head in the sand only works some of the time.
    10 Dec 2012, 09:12 AM Reply Like
  • jefrank
    , contributor
    Comments (25) | Send Message
     
    You mean this one... http://bit.ly/SRS01p?

     

    The one with the large "Public always welcome" flag at the top of the home page?
    10 Dec 2012, 03:53 PM Reply Like
  • Ryandan
    , contributor
    Comments (1408) | Send Message
     
    my bad, it was private last i heard. but wait.....................

     

    http://bit.ly/UbpG7u

     

    if you're a UAW member your annual membership is $1000.
    if you're a family member your annual membership is $1800. (each)

     

    you would enjoy reading the membership requirements for the general public! even the mobsters couldn't afford a golf course when they ran the show.

     

    now tell me why the UAW needs a golf course north of Petoskey? they don't even have a plant there. and those membership rates - you think the average line worker can afford a family of (4)? do the math. it's run like a private club with private benefits where the average member can't go............ (but politicians get free passes).

     

    i'm thinking the UAW has it's own fat bloated CEO's just like the companies they try to take over.
    10 Dec 2012, 04:27 PM Reply Like
  • jefrank
    , contributor
    Comments (25) | Send Message
     
    Not disputing that it makes little sense for the UAW to own a golf course. In fact, economically, they're losing their butts on the thing, but I do get tired of reading diatribes that contain incorrect information laid out as the absolute truth.

     

    You should probably re-read the membership fees page... UAW member $1000 for self, $1800 for entire family (member, spouse, dependent children)... UAW retiree $800/$1400... general public $1200/$2000. $1800 for a year of golf for the entire family isn't that bad and beats the heck out of many other courses (granted, it's northern Michigan, the golf year is shorter there so it may not be a great deal).
    11 Dec 2012, 03:30 PM Reply Like
  • Ryandan
    , contributor
    Comments (1408) | Send Message
     
    Family is defined as spouse & children. That would make an annual membership fee of $2800. But I think even that is wrong - I'll check for us.

     

    Yes it is up by Petoskey - and yes they do have it set up so union members can't play there at those rates in the middle of nowhere.

     

    I'll get back with you on the membership. http://bit.ly/SRS01p
    11 Dec 2012, 05:58 PM Reply Like
  • moran
    , contributor
    Comments (214) | Send Message
     
    I think your head is in the sand....I don't want to golf at the UAW course or none of the countless private courses of the corporate elite. I merely play at public courses of my choice. You on the other hand must be a "corporate elite" the way you seem to hate blue colar workers.
    15 Dec 2012, 06:33 AM Reply Like
  • moran
    , contributor
    Comments (214) | Send Message
     
    Please do...you are so brilliant.
    15 Dec 2012, 06:38 AM Reply Like
  • Ryandan
    , contributor
    Comments (1408) | Send Message
     
    Hey my whole family was blue collar. I don't hate blue collar, I hate hard working middle class people being turned into zombies by union leaders and the thugs they use to keep law and order.

     

    I'm far more comfortable with beer drinkers, public golfers, hunters, and veterans than corporate bunnies. I haven't owed a white shirt in 30 years.

     

    I do have a tendency to be blunt and my wife is constantly beating that out of me....................
    15 Dec 2012, 08:40 AM Reply Like
  • moran
    , contributor
    Comments (214) | Send Message
     
    jefrank....wonderful article, once again our guy Ryandan popping off without the facts...Ry read the article.
    26 Dec 2012, 11:11 PM Reply Like
  • Ryandan
    , contributor
    Comments (1408) | Send Message
     
    The bill has been signed. Michigan now has a level playing field to work on. We have sunlight, we have opportunity, and we have given each and every citizen in Michigan the right to vote on their own personal welfare and to make their own personal decisions.

     

    ;-)
    12 Dec 2012, 09:36 AM Reply Like
  • cbroncos
    , contributor
    Comments (878) | Send Message
     
    If you really think that is good for workers than GOD help you, because no one else can.
    15 Dec 2012, 01:56 PM Reply Like
  • Ryandan
    , contributor
    Comments (1408) | Send Message
     
    God helps those who help themselves. Why do you think the Gov and Legislature and Court is filled with Republicans in Michigan. It was God's will and our votes. That's what unions got for themselves. Evil eventually succumbs to those who have faith............ ;-)

     

    You want to play the God card, you're going to look like you went through a tree shredder....

     

    All fun aside, please have a safe and happy holiday...to you and your family. This is America - we can disagree here.
    16 Dec 2012, 08:40 AM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    Ryandan
    I shall not give up on you. My current theory is that either you have a psychological block concerning the history of the labor movement or that you get your kicks simply from arguing with us folks. Your wife needs to work on you harder.

     

    Forgetting the head busting, private dicks, local police and militia called out on behalf of the poor helpless corporations, did unions contribute anything to passing child labor laws, the 40 hour work week, workplace health and safety standards...? And now that unions are on the way out and corporations are the only ones on the playing fields (since the corporations own much of government) the corporations see the light. Now that they have won they must not abuse works, they must offer health care, child care, retirement benefits.

     

    Now for the important stuff:
    Have you looked at LNCO for your IRA?
    We can still try and make money even if you are confused about unions ;-)

     

    Debate keeps the juices flowing.
    16 Dec 2012, 05:59 PM Reply Like
  • Ryandan
    , contributor
    Comments (1408) | Send Message
     
    Oh yeah, my wife needs to be told to work harder on my transformation. Like that's going to happen.

     

    OK M - let's admit that unions were good when they started because they established a better social conscience. I say they have gone well past their usefulness.

     

    Heck, even mafia families kept neighborhoods safe by ruling with an iron fist or gun. And they went past their benefits - even faster than unions.

     

    To many people use unions as a crutch to help them with their lack of ambition, energy or willingness to work for the benefit of the employer and neighbors not in the union.

     

    Successful companies pay their workers well. Those are the companies you want to work for. (Costco, etc.) There are exceptions, I believe Walmart treats employees very poorly - so I don't work there and I don't shop there. But union people I know shop there??? Sooner or later, they will start to sag and die. Look at Sears and Kmart, etc.

     

    How about this, we continue to let China bring in goods at a 70% discount. We all work for a little less money but have better buying power. With lower wages some of those jobs will come back. China is already under siege to raise wages significantly forcing more jobs back here. Finally - we're back to where we started and wages and benefits will start increasing again. What goes around comes around.

     

    And unions won't be there dividing neighbor against neighbor.

     

    I got a feeling we'll be talking about guns and cliffs next year. I'm doing my research now. Safe holiday season to you and Moran, I know he's around here somewhere. ;-)
    17 Dec 2012, 09:05 AM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    RyanDan

     

    Too "many people use unions as a crutch to help them with their lack of ambition, energy or willingness to work for the benefit of the employer and neighbors not in the union."

     

    I think most people work to improve the quality of their lives. Union dues are part of the cost of continued improvement as is rent part of the cost of keeping a roof over your head. Sure, some folks are fat, happy and without a need to do better. Many, if given a chance to do better will break their butts.

     

    The union folks who shop at Walmart, can't afford to shop elsewhere. When I was young (sigh) and poor in NYC, I furnished my $26/mo apartment in the Village by finding furniture left on the curb uptown. Nice stuff especially at the price. Did you ever try getting a table into an MGA?
    17 Dec 2012, 02:26 PM Reply Like
  • Ryandan
    , contributor
    Comments (1408) | Send Message
     
    ;-) I opened my first store and worked 365 days at 10 hours a day. The second year I took Christmas off. My employees did OK, without them I was toast, so they got the usual benefits and time off.

     

    $26 a month for an apartment? Did it have running water? How far was the outhouse? MGA, wasn't that about the size of a milk carton?

     

    Ok Mortbert - let's put this to bed and you go shopping for the holidays and we'll met afterwards - right after we go over the cliff.

     

    Good luck............! ;-)
    17 Dec 2012, 04:14 PM Reply Like
  • moran
    , contributor
    Comments (214) | Send Message
     
    cbroncos there is only one side to Ryandan..his side. I can't understand what he has against the middle class. One moment he is going on about his whole family is or are blue collar workers ant the next moment how the unions are ruining the country. He can't seem to see there never would have been a middle class without unions.
    20 Dec 2012, 02:49 PM Reply Like
  • moran
    , contributor
    Comments (214) | Send Message
     
    Mortbert....WELL SAID....
    20 Dec 2012, 02:53 PM Reply Like
  • cbroncos
    , contributor
    Comments (878) | Send Message
     
    So what will you say in 2014 when all of the republicans are thrown out? Gods work again? Actions like these set republicans back 30-40 years. And I love it. You magnificent fools walked right into a trap! And if you don't believe this I say to you read the history of the US from reconstruction to 1990.
    16 Dec 2012, 11:39 AM Reply Like
  • Ryandan
    , contributor
    Comments (1408) | Send Message
     
    Hey C

     

    We got all those Republicans in office at one time because........? Yeah, Democrats supported by unions screwed everything up for 8 years. I don't think we see a change just because a few union leaders got zapped.

     

    Let me remind you there are a lot of union people who don't like the unions or the dues or the money wasted buying politicians. And if I remember right, 18% of Michigan workers are in unions. That would make you a minority................. ;-) Happy Holidays anyway.
    17 Dec 2012, 08:45 AM Reply Like
  • moran
    , contributor
    Comments (214) | Send Message
     
    Once again...Those that you say (even in the unions) don't like unions or union dues....Yeh, they don't like paying dues but they do like all the benefits they get because of the union..Typical of a lot of people...I believe you are one of them.
    20 Dec 2012, 03:05 PM Reply Like
  • Ryandan
    , contributor
    Comments (1408) | Send Message
     
    Moran

     

    You're making things up. I don't hate the middle class. I don't hate unions. I hate union leaders who reward drug addicts, drunks, thugs and losers with a guaranteed job. The teachers union here wants to allow teachers to come to work drunk 5 times before the school board can fire them. Yeah - tell me how little you think of the kids by supporting that crap.

     

    Good people can turn bad - just like unions.

     

    I wished you a Happy Holiday season on another thread, but it looks like you want to pound on me here past the holidays......... ;-)
    20 Dec 2012, 04:57 PM Reply Like
  • moran
    , contributor
    Comments (214) | Send Message
     
    I guess you don't like teachers either....you said (in one of your many anti-union comments) teachers are over paid and under worked. Merry Christmas and a happy New Years to you and yours...I really mean that.

     

    By the way, I am against anyone that goes to work drunk. I'm not crazy about drug addicts, thugs or losers. Do you really think that is the purpose of unions? Also, do you not think there is none of this caliber of people in upper management of corporations?
    22 Dec 2012, 02:52 PM Reply Like
DJIA (DIA) S&P 500 (SPY)
ETF Tools
Find the right ETFs for your portfolio:
Seeking Alpha's new ETF Hub
ETF Investment Guide:
Table of Contents | One Page Summary
Read about different ETF Asset Classes:
ETF Selector

Next headline on your portfolio:

|