Unions, have they overstayed their welcome?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by convicted1, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. convicted1

    convicted1
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    Bro. AresMan made the statement that labor unions have overstayed their welcome. Well, coming from a home where my dad lost his job on more than one occasion trying to organize a non-union strip mine, this hits close to home. Without unions, the mines will not have someone to keep them in check. Look at the Massey Energy mines here in WVa that have exploded in the last few years. Here's a link to the "Upper Big Branch" mine in Raleigh County, WV:

    http://www.msha.gov/performancecoal/performancecoal.asp

    Here's an excerpt from it for y'all to read:

    From the Sago mine explosion in Upshur County WVa in January 2006:

    http://www.wju.edu/sago/SagoMineDisasterReport_July2006.pdf


    So, here are two examples of mines failing to meet federal standards. With a job being union, they stand a better chance of maintaining these standards.

    Here is a story my dad told me a few years ago.

    Dad was at a doctor's office somewhere between 1973-74. There was an old man sitting there, who told dad he was 91 at that time, and in his shirt pocket, there was what looked like an old UMWA insurance card. They began talking about the mines, and he asked dad if the mines he worked at was union, and dad said that just a while back, they voted for the job going union, and lost something like 90-20. He then told dad, "Young man, I want to tell you how it was in my day. You went in to work @ 4:00am and worked until either 10:00pm, and sometimes until 2:00am the next morning. If you broke you tools, you paid for them. They said if you don't like the working conditions, take your bucket and leave, there's someone at the bottom of the hill, waiting to take your job." He then told dad that he would rather take himself and his whole family and go and stay in redhot hell for all of eternity than to go back to working before there was a union.

    Now, I am not saying that unions are morally perfect, because they are composed of humans, and humans aren't perfect. But I'd take my chances with a union any day, than not.
     
    #1 convicted1, Aug 25, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2011
  2. convicted1

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    http://www.matewan.com/History/battle.htm

    Here's an excerpt from this article:

     
  3. convicted1

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    http://homepage.mac.com/barbarap2/home/laborcrises/Harlan.htm

    Here's an excerpt from this article:


     
  4. convicted1

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Mine_Workers


    Here's an excerpt from wikipedia:


     
  5. Don

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    Nice.

    Now let's see your analysis of the unions in Wisconsin that were affected by that state's limiting of their collective bargaining power.
     
  6. convicted1

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    Here's is something I found interesting in this article:

    http://www.postcrescent.com/article...Scott-Walker-s-collective-bargaining-proposal



    State workers were already taking 16 unpaid days off to help Wisconsin out.


    http://www.journaltimes.com/news/lo...cle_bd39a0d0-38a5-11e0-b336-001cc4c03286.html

    So, workers are to keep their wages down, while all these state senates across america can vote themselves a raise?? Hmmmmm........


    I stand corrected about the pay raise:

    But, it seems that the state can unilaterally change things such as health care providers, 401k, etc., without any protesting from the work forces because of their decreased bargaining rights. Now, someone, anyone, tell me how the Republicans cry for less government, and then in Ohio and Wisconsin, pass a bill that limits the rights of the work force? How is the less government??
     
  7. convicted1

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    Massey Energy(which recently out to Alpha Natuarl Resources) is a largely(if not entirely) non-union coal operator, who has repeatedly failed to meet federal standards in regards to coal operation. I will provide a few links to prove this claim.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/17/AR2008011702838.html

    Here's a little excerpt:


    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=125864847

    Here's an excerpt:

    Same article:

    Here's an article where Massey Energy's CEO, Don Blankenship and WVa Supreme Court Judge Elliott "Spike" Maynard had been in France(French Riveria) in 2006, while Massey Energy was appealling a case that had them paying more than 76 million dollars in fines. Spike Maynard voted in favor of Massey Energy and the vote count was 3-2 in favor of Massey Energy. ABC's 20/20 did a show about this.

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/opinion/archive/s_548306.html


    I was born union, I live union(though my job isn't), and I'll die union. The union is what helped to keep this country going for years. You take the union out, and watch the pay scale drop like a rock.
     
  8. NiteShift

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    Taxpayers in Wisconsin likely don't consider the Walker bill to be more government when it saves them money, and in some cases is saving school districts:

    "Now the bill is law, and we have some very early evidence of how it is working. And for one beleaguered Wisconsin school district, it's a godsend, not a disaster.

    "The Kaukauna School District, in the Fox River Valley of Wisconsin near Appleton...has struggled in recent times and this year faced a deficit of $400,000. But after the law went into effect, at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, school officials put in place new policies they estimate will turn that $400,000 deficit into a $1.5 million surplus. And it's all because of the very provisions that union leaders predicted would be disastrous.

    "In the past, teachers and other staff at Kaukauna were required to pay 10 percent of the cost of their health insurance coverage and none of their pension costs. Now, they'll pay 12.6 percent of the cost of their coverage (still well below rates in much of the private sector) and also contribute 5.8 percent of salary to their pensions. The changes will save the school board an estimated $1.2 million this year

    "In the past, Kaukauna's agreement with the teachers union required the school district to purchase health insurance coverage from something called WEA Trust -- a company created by the Wisconsin teachers union...

    "Now...the school district is free to shop around for coverage. And all of a sudden, WEA Trust has changed its position. With these changes, the schools could go out for bids, and lo and behold, WEA Trust said, 'We can match the lowest bid.'"
     
    #8 NiteShift, Aug 25, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2011
  9. Matt Black

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    What alternative would anti-unioners here propose to protect the rights, bargaining power and safety of blue-collar workers against powerful bosses?
     
  10. NiteShift

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    In my state there is a fair labor board (have forgotten the exact title) to arbitrate labor disputes. Years ago I asked for their help with a former employer who was withholding pay that I was owed. The Board took care of the situation pretty quickly. A union couldn't have done any better.
     
  11. Matt Black

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    What sanctions have the Board got if the employer rejects their arbitration or fails to comply? Plus, how is it funded?
     
  12. Don

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    1) Did you notice the dates on the two articles you presented? Now, factor those dates with today's date, and ask yourself this: What happened to all the predicted doom-and-gloom? The schools are open, teachers are teaching, the streets are getting cleaned, and the prisons have guards (see the Journal-Times article).

    2) Did you see what Niteshift wrote? There is actually more than one school district in Wisconsin that is finding out they're actually now in better shape.

    3) Over the last few weeks, there was a recall election; did you happen to notice the results? The people of Wisconsin basically voted to keep the Republican-controlled Senate; so either they're just stupid, or they think the Republicans are actually doing something good for their state....

    As I posted in another thread: I really, really encourage you to do some reading and research into the opposite viewpoint. I don't intend that to be an encouragement to change your viewpoint; I just think it might help balance your posts.

    -----
    With regards to the coal mining - the question has to be asked: where was the government oversight? With what I personally know about environment, OSHA, etc., etc., rules and regulations that *have* to be complied with; how did any of those mines you've brought up *not* get shut down for non-compliance? Especially the ones that had been written up more than once? In a case like this, where the government is failing in its self-appointed watchdog duties, I wholeheartedly support the union that is fighting to ensure safety of the mine workers.

    In a case like Wisconsin, where the union is fighting to be able to continue requiring its members to pay dues; where the union is fighting to be able to choose its preferred healthcare lender, which costs the school districts more than it should and decreases their ability to properly fund the educational programs...well, that's a completely different ball of wax.
     
    #12 Don, Aug 25, 2011
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  13. NiteShift

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    I assume that any dispute would have gone to a full hearing had my ex-employer wanted to go that route. In the event they paid up quickly so I don't honestly know.

    It is a state agency and funded through state revenue.
     
  14. NiteShift

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    He sounds like a New Deal Democrat through and through:thumbs:
     
  15. convicted1

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    Being a New Deal Democrat is better than an "No Deal Republican". Here's a challenge for any anti-union person on here: show me where the Republicans ever did anything to support unions. I am sure there are some pro-union Reps out there, but as a whole, they have always supported big businesses.
     
  16. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Perhaps you have not seen the life of a miner prior to John L Lewis & the unions? I come from 6 generations of miners & I will tell you it was a slave labor job. My grandfathers both worked there one as young as 8 years old....it was not pleasant & you were literally owned by your employer.

    I would not want labor & their families to go back to that lifestyle.....however teachers unions are ridiculous. Thats another story.
     
  17. DiamondLady

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    IMO there are unions, and then there are unions. The miners union is one that still works for their members. Most unions work for the advancement of the union.
     
  18. mandym

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    Unions can be a good thing. But to support any and all unions blindly is a mistake. Many of the unions have become as corrupt as some businesses. The AFL-CIO is a corrupt and political arm of the left wing.

    When the union demands pay and benefits that far exceed what the industry will sustain then it destroys businesses like it did the car industry. There seems to be no top end level with unions. They just push and push.

    When the number of retired union employees receiving full pay exceeds the number of working union employees then it will destroy a company.

    Unions are hurting themselves with their excesses. By the way Ohio's credit rating was just upgraded after getting excessive spending under control to include the excesses with the unions.
     
  19. Matt Black

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    Slight correction (as far as it applies this side of the Pond): many (I won't say most) union bosses work for the advancement of themselves.
     
    #19 Matt Black, Aug 25, 2011
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  20. DiamondLady

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    I agree, but what I meant was that here many unions have become nothing more than a big political action committee, spending their time and money lobbying Congress and advancing the union rather than working to benefit their employees. The teacher's unions are a good example of this. They lobby Congress a lot and put a lot of money into politicians war chests but what benefit, if any, goes to benefit the children? Our education system is broken and the first thing that should go is the union. And before anybody jumps down my throat...I am a retired teacher.
     

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