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A pair of right-to-work bills are officially passed in Michigan to set the stage for new...

A pair of right-to-work bills are officially passed in Michigan to set the stage for new employees at General Motors (GM +0.3%), Ford (F -0.1%), and Chrysler (FIATY.PK) to skip around union fees. While labor groups are still making quite a bit of noise on the issue, the Big Three have been deathly quiet.
Comments (83)
  • jaydill
    , contributor
    Comments (5) | Send Message
     
    It's about time! The US Government should keep it's noise out of the workers business.Workers and Employer have the right to work out their terms of pay and benefit's Unions have treated the working people like they are stupid and used the union dues to increase their own status in government, not to help the workers.
    11 Dec 2012, 03:21 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5744) | Send Message
     
    There's a reason the Big 3 are quiet. They're going to ignore this law. Because they know that, if Democrats take the state back in 2014, the law will be repealed and they'll be in difficulties.

     

    Labor wants peace with the big three. And the big three don't want a war with labor. As much as the Michigan GOP might want one.
    11 Dec 2012, 03:32 PM Reply Like
  • Floodkid
    , contributor
    Comments (5) | Send Message
     
    Itis time for the citizens to understand that the need for unions is past!
    We now hve a federal trade commission, enviornmental protection laws, Obma health care, and workers compensation requirements. Why do we ned a Union? Answer - We don't!
    11 Dec 2012, 03:41 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5744) | Send Message
     
    I have to call B.S. on that. We've seen what happened when, say, baseball players and football players and basketball players were unorganized. And what happened after. What happened after was everyone made more money.

     

    I know your ideology forbids it, but if money can be organized so can labor. I'm not for a race to bottom.
    11 Dec 2012, 03:46 PM Reply Like
  • Johann Galt
    , contributor
    Comments (235) | Send Message
     
    Dana:

     

    There is no prohibition of any sort to labor "organizing". But nobody in this country should be forced to "organize", simply because they choose to work for a certain company.
    11 Dec 2012, 03:53 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5744) | Send Message
     
    You're rationalizing. Management hires everyone. If they can get rid of worker rights, they will. We know that. Give them an out and they'll take it. They'll take away rights.

     

    Rights must be balanced or they lose their meaning.
    11 Dec 2012, 04:03 PM Reply Like
  • Whitehawk
    , contributor
    Comments (3129) | Send Message
     
    Dana: Yes, balanced, such as no requirement to join a union.
    11 Dec 2012, 04:41 PM Reply Like
  • DougBP
    , contributor
    Comments (13) | Send Message
     
    You are so right Dana, pro athletes certainly did start making more money after they were organized; way too much money and it is the fans who are paying for it. Salaries of $100 K to $200K for 5 - 6 years are becoming common and ticket prices reflect that. It is getting so that the common man cannot take his family to a game any more , let alone buy season tickets. That's progress?

     

    Right to work is not anti labour, it is pro worker. It protects the right to associate while allowing for the right to disassociate. That's democracy.
    11 Dec 2012, 05:15 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5744) | Send Message
     
    I have explained this, but you don't want to listen. It's unbalanced. There's a reason why 9 of our 11 highest poverty states -- 9 of our 11 worst markets for your goods and services -- are right to work states http://bit.ly/GRSf63
    11 Dec 2012, 05:27 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5744) | Send Message
     
    Right to work is pro-worker? You're dreaming. There's a reason why 9 of America's 11 worst markets, those with the highest poverty rates, are right to work states. Don't believe me? http://bit.ly/GRSf63
    11 Dec 2012, 05:28 PM Reply Like
  • Vipertom
    , contributor
    Comments (169) | Send Message
     
    Tell me how the fans won.
    11 Dec 2012, 05:33 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5744) | Send Message
     
    Twice as many teams in twice as many places. Higher ratings across the board. Higher attendance. What the fans want are good games, and huge salaries drew the very best athletes to play.

     

    You know, the market. Like the CEOs who claim they have magical skills no one else has, thus they deserve to be paid the Sun, moon and stars for losing stockholders' money.
    11 Dec 2012, 06:14 PM Reply Like
  • marketwatcher23
    , contributor
    Comments (935) | Send Message
     
    All they are saying is joining a Union isn't mandatory anymore. If the Unions are so awesome, they should have no problem. Right?
    11 Dec 2012, 07:12 PM Reply Like
  • dcantrell90
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    Your argument for unionization using professional sports is an interesting. I grew watching baseball as a kid (when baseball was unionized but not organized -- free agency). Back then, players were paid a lot less than today but still many times more than Average Joe. Back then, Average Joe could afford to go to the games. I remember getting outfield seats for under $5. Today, with utility players making $2 to $4 million per year, those same seats are around $30. That hurts Average Joe.
    Has the quality gone up? Nope, just the cost. That's the same reason our steel industry is a shadow of itself. That's the same reason GM, Chrysler, and Ford almost all disappeared.
    12 Dec 2012, 01:54 AM Reply Like
  • wes4rocknroll
    , contributor
    Comments (8) | Send Message
     
    Dana:
    I have to disagree because there are ton's of places to work in this country that don't have unions and still have worker's rights. I work for a company that doesn't have a union, I have rights and I feel like the company values me.

     

    To the big 3:
    If you ever get tired of dealing with all these unions, just come to my state, I know hundreds of people that would love to work for your company and those hundreds of people don't feel entitled enough to start a union.
    12 Dec 2012, 03:28 AM Reply Like
  • flumeride
    , contributor
    Comments (276) | Send Message
     
    I don't know Dana. When they talk about the "golden age" of football or baseball they aren't talking about times when the players were making 10 or 20M per year. I know that only the stars make that kind of money, but the average player salary is over $1M. Minimum in baseball is $484,000. I don't know what it is for other sports. No I don't think they have better players today because of the salaries. I think guys like Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Jim Brown, Johnny Unitas played for the love of the game above all else. The marketing of sports has gotten much better and that is where the money started to come into play. The stadiums got full, then the stadiums got bigger, now they are getting more expensive. That is not a result of actions taken by the players unions. Seriously do you believe a guy that is driven by the money is better than a guy driven by the love of the game. Of course, pro sports unions are not like auto unions. I think it is a poor comparison.

     

    Now back to auto unions. Why should a worker be forced to join a union? What if takes a little less because he doesn't have to pay union fees? You sound silly saying management will abuse a worker if given a chance. Companies need good workers. If you are a hard worker, a good worker, and are productive the company will not want to lose you. Unions take a way the incentive to be a creative worker. They want to put each worker into a box and they will protect them from losing their job as long as you tow the union line.
    12 Dec 2012, 03:37 AM Reply Like
  • untrusting investor
    , contributor
    Comments (9933) | Send Message
     
    whitehawk,
    No problem with the no requirement to join a union. But by like token, the union should not have to represent non-union paying workers either. Such that a two-tier pay system could happen, with union and non-union workers receiving different pay & benefits. No doubt management would take advantage of exactly such a differential pay-benefit arrangement and thereby pay non-union less. If non-union is prepared to accept such pay-benefit differentials, then no problem with the no requirement to join the union.
    12 Dec 2012, 05:38 AM Reply Like
  • dupuisp1
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    and the price of tickets reflects the organized labor of sports.
    13 Dec 2012, 10:09 AM Reply Like
  • bigbenorr
    , contributor
    Comments (764) | Send Message
     
    Wouldn't it be funny if management decided to pay employees based on their actual value rather than their union membership status?
    13 Dec 2012, 10:31 AM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    Bigbenorr, ideally there should be no difference if the power of the employer is matched with the strength of the union. Then an equitable deal can be worked out. If the union gets too strong, then the company can be in trouble. Blair Mountain, West Virginia shows us what can happen when all the power is in the employers hands.

     

    ...and what do you think about. LNCO?
    13 Dec 2012, 11:28 PM Reply Like
  • bigbenorr
    , contributor
    Comments (764) | Send Message
     
    What I am saying is, employees should be rewarded based on the quality of their work. Union or not doesn't matter. Simple as that.
    14 Dec 2012, 02:26 AM Reply Like
  • moran
    , contributor
    Comments (214) | Send Message
     
    Yeh...back then I was working in a chain supermarket for 64 cents an hour, go figure why seats were under 5 dollars.
    16 Dec 2012, 02:38 PM Reply Like
  • DougBP
    , contributor
    Comments (13) | Send Message
     
    Wages were pretty low in those days alright, but comic books, cracker jacks or a cup of coffee cost a dime. Hot dog or a hamburger: 25 cents and a new car cost 1 or 2 grand. Folks did alright.
    23 Dec 2012, 01:52 PM Reply Like
  • gcsmithbmc
    , contributor
    Comments (17) | Send Message
     
    I've never understood the idea of mandatory union membership. Union membership should be a choice. I don't work in an industry that is unionized so I don't have any direct experience with this. However, it would be quite unsettling to be forced to join an organization with which I do not agree, forced to pay dues, and have my dues go toward causes with which I do not agree.
    11 Dec 2012, 03:43 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5744) | Send Message
     
    It's really simple. Without a closed shop, management just makes sure it hires people who are anti-union, and gets rid of the union. Right to work laws really do mean the right to work for less. And those states without union rights are poorer by every measure. Including by the measurements so dear to Seeking Alpha readers.

     

    Give others the rights you demand for yourselves, or lose the democracy that makes creative capitalism possible.
    11 Dec 2012, 03:48 PM Reply Like
  • Matt Blecker, CFA
    , contributor
    Comments (168) | Send Message
     
    I'm not sure a state's wealth has any correlation with the fact that it does not have "right to work" on its books. Many "right to work" states are in the South. And while those states might have lower per capita income and net worth than some northern states, the cost of living in the South is dramatically lower.

     

    For example, California is an extremely wealthy state without a "right to work" law, yet the state's financial position is a disaster.

     

    I'm usually for choice. Just as a woman should not be forced into a certain choice by the Government, shouldn't a worker also not be forced into a choice by the Government? Why should they be forced to pay union dues? There are many non-union workers who are perfectly happy. Perhaps "right to work" will force unions to use their revenue to benefit workers not just the Union's political agenda, such as TV ads during an election year.

     

    Something also never mentioned is outsourcing. If we want less of it in the future, restrictions such as mandatory union membership, higher tax rates, and excess regulation are not the way to go. Corporations will continue to ship jobs abroad if their cost of doing business is excessively high in the USA.
    11 Dec 2012, 04:51 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5744) | Send Message
     
    I live in the South. I know you're not telling the truth. Poverty rates are just higher here because of policies aimed at keeping "workers" down, especially black ones. Policies discouraging education, policies against joining unions. Lower costs just mean higher profits, and a greater disparity between rich and poor, meaning more violence and a smaller market for goods and services.

     

    We're being hammered in the global marketplace by countries like Sweden and the Netherlands that educate their people and balance the rights of labor and capital. We're losing.
    11 Dec 2012, 05:30 PM Reply Like
  • Matt Blecker, CFA
    , contributor
    Comments (168) | Send Message
     
    Dana,

     

    The poverty information you are using is outdated. And there is no credible evidence that "right to work" laws create higher poverty rates.

     

    According to an article by the Huffington Post referencing data from the U.S. Census Bureau, California now has the highest poverty rate.

     

    In addition, the poverty rate in the South is no higher than the nation's average poverty rate. The West currently has the highest poverty rate as is presented in a link within the link below:

     

    http://huff.to/QUzINa

     

    I am not saying "right to work" laws alleviate poverty. However, there is no evidence they create poverty.

     

    Surely the housing bubble is partially responsible for high poverty rates in California and Florida. However, it does appear to me that border states with a large population of unskilled immigrants, are now the most impoverished. In addition to California and Florida, also Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.

     

    I am for "right to work" laws not because I feel they will alleviate poverty, as I have no idea if they will, but because I believe in the freedom to choose.

     

    And I am by no means bashing immigrants, as they are vital to this nation's economic growth as they have been since our founding. Perhaps part of the solution is providing immigrants with job opportunities through non-union work, since many unions are against immigration growth. Instead of being so protective of their interests, unions would be better off advocating worker choice and opportunity for immigrants.

     

    Please explain to me how we are being hammered by the Netherlands and Sweden? In what respect? Sure Sweden has a better standard of living than many countries in the world, but they are surely not considered an economic power. And have you checked unemployment in Sweden among younger people recently? It is sky high. If I had to live in another country I'd rather live in Hong Kong over Sweden due to Hong Kong's greater economic freedom ranking. However, I am sure some people would feel more comfortable in Sweden, living off a huge government safety net.
    11 Dec 2012, 09:42 PM Reply Like
  • caupachow
    , contributor
    Comments (382) | Send Message
     
    Umm no, are you kidding Mr. Blankenhorn?! "Especially black ones." After such a silly statement like that your credibility is laughable but I am sure Rev Jackson and Tavis Smiley would approve. Oops, I left out Sharpton.
    12 Dec 2012, 12:04 AM Reply Like
  • flumeride
    , contributor
    Comments (276) | Send Message
     
    So Michigan is at the top of the list for being a wealthy state. Right?
    12 Dec 2012, 03:40 AM Reply Like
  • flumeride
    , contributor
    Comments (276) | Send Message
     
    Move to Detroit and report back in 5 years.
    12 Dec 2012, 03:42 AM Reply Like
  • Ted Bear
    , contributor
    Comments (597) | Send Message
     
    Yeah, we don't need unions. Every shop can be like Walmart: they take the profits; you get the bill for food, healthcare and social services. No need to ask an employer to provide sufficient pay which covers those things when we can spread the cost to society/taxpayers.
    11 Dec 2012, 03:53 PM Reply Like
  • bondork
    , contributor
    Comments (25) | Send Message
     
    Every one should belong to a union ask for the moon if they don't give go on strick shut the whole industry down, every body can then fend for themselves, no innovation, no gas, only food is what we grow for ourselves, make our own clothes out of animals we kill with our bare hands, only lumber is what we cut down, burn wood for heat and cooking.
    AAh the Stone Age is back, unions are like the mafia, only protected by the Demacrates.
    11 Dec 2012, 04:05 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5744) | Send Message
     
    Rights need to be balanced. Your rights end at my nose. If one side has rights and the other doesn't we know what happens. We know what has happened in this country when capital ran all over labor. Poverty.

     

    Workers are your market. They're the buyers of your goods. If htey can't afford your goods you go out of business. Who else are you going to sell to?
    11 Dec 2012, 04:25 PM Reply Like
  • moran
    , contributor
    Comments (214) | Send Message
     
    It seems most of the folks on this board are anti-union, anti-democrat, anti-middle class etc. For those that don't believe the need for unions, just wait until they are gone and no longer a threat to big business....Then you will see the need...Do you really think the government would guarantee you the same living standards you currently are getting from union shops and non-union shops (you only get what's comparable to union shops because of union shops). If unions go by the wayside, watch out.....LIke I have said, i'm not in or have been in a union but I do know what the corporate people have done and will do if there is no legal opposing voice. Don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about the thousands of small business owners, I'm referring to the huge corporations that are controlled by a board of directors and a multitude of ceo, cfo's co's vp's, etc, etc...These people are concerned only about their own salaries.
    11 Dec 2012, 04:27 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5744) | Send Message
     
    Summary: Will we be Wal-Mart nation? Because we already have a Wal-Mart nation. It's called Mexico.
    11 Dec 2012, 04:31 PM Reply Like
  • nfultz1
    , contributor
    Comments (72) | Send Message
     
    This bill only takes away the requirement that an employee joins the union upon their employment. In your scenario, an employee that was treated unfairly could always decide to join the union later on. I think the real problems unions face is delivering incremental value for their cost. A union is not free for an employee, and to many they are just another big bureaucracy that is disconnected from it's members. Unions rake in large amounts of money that is funneled to the top just like any corporate organization. A right to work bill makes them work harder for their members.

     

    Also, unions still exist for small companies and not just large corporations. However, IMO they just seem to get in the way in smaller organizations, especially when the ownership/management (they are usually the same in smaller businesses) cares about their employees. I think unions have a place, but it's not to be another fat cat siphoning off of an employee's paycheck.
    11 Dec 2012, 05:01 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5744) | Send Message
     
    I think you're spouting ideology. Ideology isn't fact. It's opinion. We know what happens when workers lose their rights to organize under "right to work" laws. They lose economic ground, the markets in which they live lose economic ground, there's more poverty.

     

    What capital wants isn't always what capital needs.
    11 Dec 2012, 05:31 PM Reply Like
  • Ryandan
    , contributor
    Comments (1614) | Send Message
     
    That's all you are Blankenhorn - one opinion after the other. Some of us think unions are bad for business because we've been in them, around them, and watched them.

     

    You think raising union wages - which raises prices for everyone else - is a good thing. Why? because it's money in your pocket - you don't give a hoot about anyone else American or not.
    11 Dec 2012, 05:42 PM Reply Like
  • nfultz1
    , contributor
    Comments (72) | Send Message
     
    I'm not claiming what I said to be a fact, and I think most of what you present is also opinion. Using income without regard to the cost of living is not a good metric for measuring economic success. Consider the link below which uses 4 criteria to rate the best states to make a living including: income, cost of living, taxes and unemployment. Ultimately there is little correlation between right to work and non-right to work states. There are many other economic factors that would have a better correlation to a state's economic well being. As stated before, a right to work bill does not ban unions, and the evidence that it destroys the economies and lives of the states that pass it is just not there.

     

    http://bit.ly/YXRlAk
    11 Dec 2012, 06:02 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5744) | Send Message
     
    Take your hate into the political wilderness. I won't miss it.
    11 Dec 2012, 06:15 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5744) | Send Message
     
    What I got from Wikipedia is Fact. Not opinion. There's more poverty in right to work states, lower education in right to work states. I live in one. I know what I'm talking about.
    11 Dec 2012, 06:16 PM Reply Like
  • nfultz1
    , contributor
    Comments (72) | Send Message
     
    That's simply not true. First of all, the Wkipedia stats show only 2009 so it's hard to see how these numbers have changed over time, but if there really was a correlation between poverty and right to work, why is Virginia so highly ranked. I see more of a correlation in southern states being ranked low than right to work.

     

    Secondly, the poverty level is set federally and is a static number. Arguably, states with a lower cost of living would have a lower poverty line and states with a higher cost of living would have a higher poverty line. So the poverty level automatically favors states with higher costs of living. Using that as a measure is misleading, and still does not show a strong correlation between the two. You're obviously strongly pro union, but you're allowing your ideology to blind your objectivity. Unions have a place, but this law does not end them.
    11 Dec 2012, 08:44 PM Reply Like
  • flumeride
    , contributor
    Comments (276) | Send Message
     
    If you walk into a Wal-Mart in a closed shop state, how many of the customers do you suppose are union workers? And why would they shop at Wal-Mart.
    12 Dec 2012, 03:48 AM Reply Like
  • Ryandan
    , contributor
    Comments (1614) | Send Message
     
    Well said Mr. nfultz1
    12 Dec 2012, 09:49 AM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    Dana, I'm generally with you but beware of equating Wikipedia and fact. It easy to update info on the site and there are those who slip in agenda items... kinda like this site.
    13 Dec 2012, 11:10 PM Reply Like
  • moran
    , contributor
    Comments (214) | Send Message
     
    At least if you have corrupt officers in the unions, they can be voted out...
    16 Dec 2012, 02:52 PM Reply Like
  • moran
    , contributor
    Comments (214) | Send Message
     
    See....there you go, i'ts only those lousy over paid union guys that cause prices to rise. It has nothing to do with all those "under" paid VP's, CO's COO's, CEO's P's etc, etc....they deserve every penny.
    22 Dec 2012, 03:17 PM Reply Like
  • moran
    , contributor
    Comments (214) | Send Message
     
    BS.....
    22 Dec 2012, 03:18 PM Reply Like
  • moran
    , contributor
    Comments (214) | Send Message
     
    I don't get it. How come you guys always want those lousy old union thugs to work for nothing while you bright, ambitious, and hard working non union guys wouldn't work for nothing, or would you since you seem to believe the top bananas deserve every penny they get...or even more.
    30 Dec 2012, 03:33 PM Reply Like
  • Dana Blankenhorn
    , contributor
    Comments (5744) | Send Message
     
    If America becomes a two-class society, wealthy and poor, the wealthy will become less wealthy because they won't have a market to sell to.

     

    Wealthy people who don't understand that are ignorant. Those who do understand it and persist anyway are sowing the seeds of their kids' destruction.
    30 Dec 2012, 04:40 PM Reply Like
  • bigbenorr
    , contributor
    Comments (764) | Send Message
     
    Can they not sell to each other and leave the poor out in the cold??

     

    That's what I would do....
    30 Dec 2012, 04:56 PM Reply Like
  • kcr357
    , contributor
    Comments (560) | Send Message
     
    They could also have the gov. mandate they purchase goods/services from private corps. they own/invest in.
    30 Dec 2012, 05:31 PM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    There have been so many opinions on the rules/requirements of union membership, as it was yesterday, that I'm confused. The NYTimes (that commy rag) reports this was the real deal:

     

    "Business leaders say workers should not be forced to join a union against their will, but, in fact, workers in Michigan can already opt out of a union. If they benefit from the better wages and benefits negotiated by a union, however, they are required to pay dues or fees, preventing the free riders that would inevitably leave unions without resources."

     

    Sounds like fair deal to me.
    11 Dec 2012, 09:08 PM Reply Like
  • JohnBinTN
    , contributor
    Comments (3696) | Send Message
     
    The federal government has a minimum wage law. Several states have minimum wage laws higher than the federal minimum wage. So... With union membership such a small percentage of the US workforce, how can government come out against right to work? Seems to me, that is government sponsored elitism - if you're not in a union, you will be forced to work for slave wages (set by the government).

     

    Perhaps the government needs to mandate a federal minimum wage that is no lower than a first-term Congressperson. Also, benefits must be on par or better than that first term Congressperson receives.

     

    Government openly supports class warfare in this case, and I think it stinks.
    11 Dec 2012, 09:42 PM Reply Like
  • eagle1003
    , contributor
    Comments (1524) | Send Message
     
    While we are pulling the teeth out of the unions, why don't we bring back the 60 hour work week and lower the working age to 10 years old? Without labour organization, that is exactly what would happen. You have to be incredibly naive to believe that any government would protect the workers from employer abuse. We been there, done that and doesn't work.

     

    In many parts of the world, there are no unions and the workers are treated like fodder. Is that what we want in our country? Walmart is an excellent example of how big business operates without Unions to stand up for the rights of workers.

     

    Right to work advocates are either mouth pieces for big business or just too stupid to know any better.
    11 Dec 2012, 10:01 PM Reply Like
  • bigbenorr
    , contributor
    Comments (764) | Send Message
     
    Employer abuse.....maybe its just me, but I'm not seeing it . I live in a right to work state and I have never been part of a union, yet my employers continue to treat me better and better as my skills improve. Maybe that could be the replacement for unions, actual skills and work ethic. Imagine that.
    11 Dec 2012, 10:24 PM Reply Like
  • JohnBinTN
    , contributor
    Comments (3696) | Send Message
     
    You're joking, right? The majority of the US is non-union. You honestly expect me to believe you think without unions that child labor and sweat shops would return? C'mon - you can't really believe that...

     

    Walmart pays a living wage, contrary to semi-popular belief. You won't be jetting around the world, or eating caviar on what Walmart pays, but you also won't be standing in a soup line or pulling home a wagon of potatoes for the next month's potato hash.

     

    But that's right - now to be considered above poverty level, you must have a cellphone, cable TV, a car, and a house, right?

     

    WTF happened to this country?
    11 Dec 2012, 10:26 PM Reply Like
  • nfultz1
    , contributor
    Comments (72) | Send Message
     
    I don't understand the connection between going back to 60 hour work weeks and right to work. Unions could disappear and we would not see the 60 hour work week return because it's very well known that a shorter work week creates more productivity.

     

    You assume that all unions are working in the best interest of their members, but I personally think there are a lot of people that do not see the incremental value for the cost. If the idea is that the value the union adds is to prevent a collapse in wages, then the union should focus on reducing costs to their members. Either way, there is no evidence that right to work will result in any substantial change for employees.
    11 Dec 2012, 10:35 PM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    JohnBinTN - "Walmart pays a living wage". Do you jest? Are you referring to Mexico?

     

    Following from Newark Star Ledger about Mayor Booker:

     

    "Wal-Mart is the No. 1 driver behind the growing use of food stamps in the United States. As many as 80 percent of workers in Wal-Mart stores are forced to depend on food stamps. If Booker was serious about helping families on food stamps, he should be paying more attention to the root cause that drives the need for food stamps — poverty-level wages offered by America’s wealthiest corporations. It is time for the mayor to break his silence on this issue and bring to Newark companies that pay sustainable living wages and uplift the community."

     

    I think those are actually the facts!
    13 Dec 2012, 02:29 PM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    BigBenorr on Employer abuse.

     

    Or maybe you are lucky enough to work for one of the rare companies that cares about its employees like Costco or Ben and Jerry.
    Or maybe you have unusual skills that make you hard to replace.
    In any case, you employer decides how well or poorly you do and your opinions or needs are not part of the equation.

     

    An employer can "deal" with hundreds of individual workers one by one. An employer may have to listen to and negotiate with an organized work force.

     

    If you wish to trust in the goodness and generosity of your employer, fine. My reading of history makes me a bit concerned. I often find find that rich forget about what it was like to struggle and they need a little encouragement to share the wealth.
    13 Dec 2012, 02:45 PM Reply Like
  • bigbenorr
    , contributor
    Comments (764) | Send Message
     
    "Or maybe you have unusual skills that make you hard to replace."

     

    Bingo. My company only treats me well because it is making a ton of money on me. If the situation changed and my skills suddenly became less valuable I expect that my employer would either cut my wages or fire me, and there is nothing wrong with that. It's nothing personal, just business. That is what all you people bellyaching about the plight of the unskilled worker fail to understand. If I was in that situation (which I have been) I would not waste time with all these emotional appeals about the lifestyle that I deserve. Instead I would work towards understanding what skills are marketable, and figure out the best path to acquire them. Having accomplished this, I now have the ability to negotiate directly with my employer because he knows the competition will hire me if he doesn't keep me happy. I call that individual bargaining (much better than collective :D) So your comment: "you employer decides how well or poorly you do and your opinions or needs are not part of the equation." is actually not at all true in my case because I basically tell my employer what I want and most of the time I get it. Works even better with an offer letter in hand.
    13 Dec 2012, 05:40 PM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    Bigbenorr, I'm glad you think you've got your employer in awe of you. But should there be someone out there who can an will do your job, the door is over there.... and that's OK. I've worked in some pretty classy research orgs and, except for the Nobel Prize winners, there was always a new star showing up.
    13 Dec 2012, 11:19 PM Reply Like
  • bigbenorr
    , contributor
    Comments (764) | Send Message
     
    Don't worry about me, I'm always a step ahead of the game.
    14 Dec 2012, 02:32 AM Reply Like
  • Ryandan
    , contributor
    Comments (1614) | Send Message
     
    Well said "bigbenorr"
    14 Dec 2012, 11:20 AM Reply Like
  • moran
    , contributor
    Comments (214) | Send Message
     
    I have yet to see any business that want to pay "any" taxes and they want slave labor......As I keep saying, i'm not in a union, it's merely the way I see it. I DON'T BLAME ANYONE FOR MAKING A PROFIT, I KNOW WHAT IT'S ABOUT, but if a worker is not making enough to buy then what's the point, eventually the whole economy suffers.
    21 Dec 2012, 12:06 PM Reply Like
  • moran
    , contributor
    Comments (214) | Send Message
     
    Yeh... a lot of these guys want a 60 hour work week at $5.00 for the whole week but, they want it to be you doing the 60 hours and them paying the $5.00....
    22 Dec 2012, 03:31 PM Reply Like
  • moran
    , contributor
    Comments (214) | Send Message
     
    bigbenorr....A ton of money? Wow you must be worth your weight in gold. Keep that offer letter in hand. You sound like you could/should be a Congressman.
    3 Jan 2013, 08:44 AM Reply Like
  • bigbenorr
    , contributor
    Comments (764) | Send Message
     
    To my company's bottom line I am worth far more than that. I don't need to keep the offer, I can get another one pretty easy. Look I am not a genius or anything, there are some very simple factors that make me a good employee.
    1) I am reasonably intelligent and I stay focused on my task.
    2) I am willing and able to work long hours in miserable conditions for a month straight or sometimes longer without direct supervision and not allowing fatigue to affect the quality of my work.
    3) I treat the clients with respect and when we are having problems I work with them to resolve it. So many people don't realize how far it goes for a customer to see you out in the cold working your ass off to resolve a situation.

     

    I don't think I am inherently better than anyone else (which disqualifies me from running for congress) Almost any able bodied person could do my job if they would do the 3 things listed above. That said, I feel pretty secure in my job right now because at least 90% of the population refuses to do even 1 of them.
    3 Jan 2013, 10:01 AM Reply Like
  • caupachow
    , contributor
    Comments (382) | Send Message
     
    Can we thank the UAW and the Teachers Union for the billions and billions lost and our children's high ranking test scores compared with the rest of the worlds? I think we can.

     

    Unions; they have worn out their welcome. Bye bye now.
    12 Dec 2012, 12:24 AM Reply Like
  • kcr357
    , contributor
    Comments (560) | Send Message
     
    Ill take a 60 hour workweek with no union presence over the current zero hour union facilitated workweek.
    12 Dec 2012, 12:31 AM Reply Like
  • frogola
    , contributor
    Comments (76) | Send Message
     
    can you hear the sucking sound.
    12 Dec 2012, 01:46 AM Reply Like
  • The_Batman
    , contributor
    Comments (41) | Send Message
     
    I think it's terribly sad that some of you want unrestrained capitalism. Companies don't only have an obligation to shareholders but also one to their employees and our society. We only live once and hard working folks deserve a good wage if the company afford it. I'm not about screwing my fellow American so a company can make a little bit more.

     

    A strong middle class is good for us all.
    12 Dec 2012, 03:42 AM Reply Like
  • mikemarxs
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    I can't very well negotiate terms and conditions for my job on my own. The union made it possible for men and women to receive equal pay for equal work, demanded that people be qualified for the position in order to get the job in question without having to pay for it or be related to the boss. If the union goes away, so does most of middle class workers who will find poverty level wages unless they work 2 jobs.
    12 Dec 2012, 03:47 AM Reply Like
  • flumeride
    , contributor
    Comments (276) | Send Message
     
    Nobody has mentioned the mafia influence and control of many unions. It isn't as prevalent today, but it was huge in the 60's, 70's, and 80's. If you're not sure this is true just ask Jimmy Hoffa. It was a simply formula. The mafia controls the unions and then use that as leverage to win contracts and to influence politicians.
    12 Dec 2012, 03:57 AM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    Flumeride
    The Mafia, like Malcolm X, was a "I'm tired of turning the other cheek" movement. After being kicked around for years, the community turned to "self protection". Yes, it got out of hand, but it was effective.
    The Panthers I saw wore black suits, white shirts, were uniformly polite... and they demanded respect.
    There are bums high up in the union movement who take advantage of their position... Just like corporate execs.
    Lets remember the roots of the unionism are worker protection and the need for "respect". How else will they be heard?
    13 Dec 2012, 03:51 PM Reply Like
  • moran
    , contributor
    Comments (214) | Send Message
     
    Where do you think a lot businesses came from, mafia influence is in half the businesses in this country.
    3 Jan 2013, 08:50 AM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (3741) | Send Message
     
    Obviously passions are high over the right to work thing, almost to civil war levels. Fistfights are being reported, never mind the uncivil accusations being thrown around and over the walls like so many hand grenades.

     

    The law clearly does not void current union contracts, and would only apply to those that are open for negotiation after March 2013.

     

    The Detroit Three have contracts that last 4 years, until September 2015. It is highly doubtful that the UAW will be interested in opening up those contracts before then, because then the law could automatically apply.

     

    Meanwhile there is a lot of water to flow under the bridge from now until then, and political pendulums tend to swing equally far both ways when it comes to highly polarized issues of this nature.
    12 Dec 2012, 06:06 AM Reply Like
  • Ryandan
    , contributor
    Comments (1614) | Send Message
     
    as a resident of Michigan for over 60 years I would have to say this is one of the best days this state has ever had. and the only people who don't think so are people in unions who don't want outsiders to have a fair opportunity to succeed and prosper on their own without being slaves to union leadership.
    12 Dec 2012, 09:56 AM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    Ryandan
    Still drinking the big business coolade.
    Corporations = good, unions = evil.
    Corporations say "Just trust me, I'll take care of you; it's those unions that are robbing from you. I need that private jet and 15% tax rate on investment income to get by."
    Obviously, you are not an 18 year old entering the job market. You might want to take back those words in a few years. I hope I'm wrong.
    13 Dec 2012, 03:00 PM Reply Like
  • Ryandan
    , contributor
    Comments (1614) | Send Message
     
    Mortbert

     

    Those companies put food on your table, you don't like what they pay or what hours you have to work - leave. Go work where you think you're appreciated - and if you can't find a place you like - then maybe it's you that has a problem. If you don't have the skill set to succeed - then get some more skills. If you owned the company you'd act the same way, but you don't, but you think you're entitled too.

     

    My 18 year old entered the job market in 2009 with a four year degree in Geology. He's making 90k right now (with overtime) without a union because he got the right skill set, the right motivation, and he listened to every word I said which arrived in his ear everyday he was in college.

     

    But my point is - if you work hard and own a company, you don't need a union telling you what needs to be paid to workers.

     

    By the way - happy holidays and I hope next year is a little more peaceful and quiet for all of us.
    14 Dec 2012, 11:13 AM Reply Like
  • Mortbert
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    Ryandan
    Big been

     

    I don't worry about you guys. I care about you and I'm really on your side. I just don't trust corporations. They are not "people" and, for the sake of the bottom line, are amoral.
    I think we want the same kind of world for our kids and the next generation. My son graduated with an engineering degree from RPI, spent a year at the Gap (with a lot of other new grads), after several jobs became a plant manager, made me proud by earning a lot more than old Dad, negotiated with company unions (who he felt he could handle without too much trouble), and was just laid off by his new Chinese owners because he wasn't happy with the way "his people" we're being treated. He keeps the details to himself. I'm sure he will have several offers in a month because he his a fine reputation in several industries. But he is out of work (and that is the companies prerogative) not because of his performance, his results or his worth to the company. A case of bad company attitude.
    Enough of this. I don't want to moralize. I'm in shock from the deaths in Newton... Shooting your mother and 18 5 year olds...

     

    I wish you a healthy, happy, profitable New Year.
    14 Dec 2012, 03:37 PM Reply Like
  • frogola
    , contributor
    Comments (76) | Send Message
     
    OK the company put 50 people on an assemble line, 10 lines ,do you really think the company cares what you know or have learned. I think not. there just waiting to see if you can handle it or not. the amount of work you do has to be the same as everyone else.no union less pay.hell they'll pay by the day if the bottom line and the CEO's bonus increase. it's all about greed.
    13 Dec 2012, 09:01 PM Reply Like
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