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Any UAW members here? Or any experiences??

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Old 10-01-2003, 11:17 PM
  #11
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I can only speak from a manufacturing perspective and with that slant I will firmly state that my input in this matter is that a union-staffed domestic manufacturer will be out of business within the next five-to-ten years.

Manufacturing in this country is a true free market and wages are, on the whole, self-regulating without union assitance. Benefit packages are also part of the equation and the detrimental overhead of unionization to a manufacturer takes it that much further away from a competitive baseline when compared to import sources. Domestic manufacturing is stagering through a drunken cloud after having been handed their balls in a jar these years post-Nafta. Hostile foreign governments are aiming their guns directly at US manufacturing while masquerading as "Free Traders". These hostile governments are subsidizing their manufacturers with tax exemptions and free utilities and interest-free capital equipment subsidies. Combine that with the artificial "pegging" of foreign currency equivalents to the US dollar and you add another 30% of unethical advantage to the same countries that are using slave labor, no safety programs, no EPA, no OSHA, no EEOC, and no unions. People need to get their heads out of their asses and understand that US manufacturers are hurting in a big way and that it is up to the corporate management, the government administration, and the laborers themselves to do everything possible to exhibit efficient production practices and corporate profitability. It's no longer a "me, me" proposition. It is an "us, us" proposition. Do or die, actually.

Should your workplace become unionized? God, I hope not. I just wish like hell the unions would send "troops" to Mexico, Guatemala, Korea, Taiwan, Madagascar, and ESPECIALLY CHINA. Those are places that DESPERATELY NEED unionization. The US, at one time NEEDED it, now with the advent of comprehensive labor laws, safety programs, and other regulated guidelines the benefit of union versus non-union is now a miniscule measurement of benefit to the worker who wants to know that he can slack off a bit as long as he pays his dues. This is not what business or a career is supposed to be based upon.

Please take note that all of my comments are in regards to MANUFACTURING. I have no personal experience with areas other than that and cannot comment on the helpfulness or the beneficial nature of a union to non-mfg industries. My brother in law is a musician and claims that unionization is indeed a helpful structure in that cut-throat world. Another good friend is a musician and he says that the union part of it is just a necessary hassle, an evil of the trade.

I am not laying a slam on anybody who is a union guy. I made that mistake when I met Nasty Habit. He was most hospitable to me and was in the midst of treating me like family when we got into a casual discussion regarding business. I made some comments about unionization having a negative effect on my dealings without realizing that he was a union member. It was not at all my intention to throw him a slam at all. I have regretted that since it came out of my mouth. Similarly, I hope to not offend any readers of this post.

I am just relating my take on my area of knowledge and, remember, regardless of how strongly I feel about it - it is still only MY OPINION.

m
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Old 10-02-2003, 06:37 AM
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WOW!
I'm really surprised to see how many of you are anti union and/or feel that (in general) unions are a bad thing.

Well, at the risk of being beat up here, I'm gonna have to say that most of you are obviously ignorant to the facts.

While it is true that some shops are not run very well, it is the fault of that shop for not getting more involved and educated as to the needs of both their members and the company that employs them.

While "Iggy" stated a fact about an "open shop" as it's called, the non dues paying employee does have all the same rights as the dues paying member and must be represented in the same manner and diligence, or the union can be sued. The only difference is that he/she may be required to pay the fees of their court/arbitration case.

The point and fact that I want to bring up is along the lines of what a couple have touched on.
If it were not for the unions of the past the American people and America, for that matter, would not be where we are today. Including all management. It is because of this fact that the standards for the work place have become, well, standard and are now being taken for granted. Therefore, the feelings above are common place, evidently.

It was the unions that fought for:
40 hour work weeks
health benefits
safety
fair wages
paid vacation, and vacation for that matter
seniority
sick time
overtime pay
holidays
the list can go on

On the US1 comment, about not being able to count to two. Well, that can be true and I have defended such people. However, it has been my experience that it was the company's fault, in many cases, that let it get to that point. If these people were that bad, why were they hired? (management has sole right to hire)
The one way I can re-but that statement is I have seen many, many management people in that same boat. (no pun intended)

Getting back to my opening statements of shops not being run that well and the education involved. It is up to ALL employees, whether represented or not, management or hourly, to stay educated in the business and it's needs, which includes its people. If the employees do that then union and management can work together hand in hand.

In case you haven't noticed, I'm union and proud of it. I have sat on the executive committee and I now sit on the grievance and negotiating committee. I've been a shop steward for several years now.
Yes, in my business we have many "slackers" but again, I see them on both sides of the fence.

DAVE
PACE Local 2-901
www.local2-901.com
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Old 10-02-2003, 07:24 AM
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Dave

Nice Job,

Mike

Union member for 16 yrs TWU
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Old 10-02-2003, 08:58 AM
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The union is attempting to come into where I am right now. The CWA is attempting to come into the company here in FL, and so far has not been able to be voted in. They tried pretty hard, comming into the building around 5-6 times with food and such to butter us up. They could just not prove the value to many of us on what they could do. We have excellent benefits, and pay is not an issue. They just had nothing to bring to the table as far as we could see, other than the monthly dues.
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Old 10-02-2003, 06:23 PM
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The Unions were the only thing going for the people back in the early years, but has far exceeded its worth.
Most union pension plans are in financial trouble and you can bet, that in the near future, if you are union, the likelyhood of your job being eliminated and moved to the south or even to Mexico is high. I have too been in the union for many years and have watched them mishandle funds and stand behind the union members, when they my be worthless and should be fired. Yes, they do at times get something from the companies, but the damage done far outdoes the good.
There have been many companies that have had the union voted in here in NC and all but one closed its doors in less than 24 months after it was voted in.
If the unions come in, most the businesses will go south all the way to Mexico if necessary. Not a pleasant thing, but it is fact
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Old 10-02-2003, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dave F
WOW!
I'm really surprised to see how many of you are anti union and/or feel that (in general) unions are a bad thing.

Well, at the risk of being beat up here, I'm gonna have to say that most of you are obviously ignorant to the facts.

While it is true that some shops are not run very well, it is the fault of that shop for not getting more involved and educated as to the needs of both their members and the company that employs them.

While "Iggy" stated a fact about an "open shop" as it's called, the non dues paying employee does have all the same rights as the dues paying member and must be represented in the same manner and diligence, or the union can be sued. The only difference is that he/she may be required to pay the fees of their court/arbitration case.

The point and fact that I want to bring up is along the lines of what a couple have touched on.
If it were not for the unions of the past the American people and America, for that matter, would not be where we are today. Including all management. It is because of this fact that the standards for the work place have become, well, standard and are now being taken for granted. Therefore, the feelings above are common place, evidently.

It was the unions that fought for:
40 hour work weeks
health benefits
safety
fair wages
paid vacation, and vacation for that matter
seniority
sick time
overtime pay
holidays
the list can go on

On the US1 comment, about not being able to count to two. Well, that can be true and I have defended such people. However, it has been my experience that it was the company's fault, in many cases, that let it get to that point. If these people were that bad, why were they hired? (management has sole right to hire)
The one way I can re-but that statement is I have seen many, many management people in that same boat. (no pun intended)

Getting back to my opening statements of shops not being run that well and the education involved. It is up to ALL employees, whether represented or not, management or hourly, to stay educated in the business and it's needs, which includes its people. If the employees do that then union and management can work together hand in hand.

In case you haven't noticed, I'm union and proud of it. I have sat on the executive committee and I now sit on the grievance and negotiating committee. I've been a shop steward for several years now.
Yes, in my business we have many "slackers" but again, I see them on both sides of the fence.

DAVE
PACE Local 2-901
www.local2-901.com
Well said.... I work in a union shop also, and have been either a steward or chief steward for years now.
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Old 10-03-2003, 07:39 AM
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Dave F - I just wanted to point out that a few of the facts that you stated were inaccurate. In fact, it was Henry Ford that established a few of the items that you identified long before there was even a thought of the UAW or any other modern day labor union.

quote:
"It was the unions that fought for:
40 hour work weeks
health benefits
safety
fair wages
paid vacation, and vacation for that matter
seniority
sick time
overtime pay
holidays
the list can go on"

In fact, Henry Ford created the 8 hour day and 40 hour week as well as the establishment of education and health programs for his employees. The other items that you pointed I believe are true and have been benficial to both sides of the argument.

I have seen both sides of this situation first hand and as a senior leader within the manufacturing arena, I can tell you that the comments made about shops closing that get unions or have had unions are true. Most decisions that senior leaders make about the vitality of a business have to do with the overall performance and cost to do business. If the business in incapable of delivering on time with superior quality in a cost effecient manner then it will be closed, moved or eliminated. Period. I personally have handled several plant closing during the last few years for just those types of reasons.

I too have been to a few modern day automotive plants (supplier and manufacturer) some that are good and some that are bad. I just want to know one thing. When did it become OK for an employee (union or non-union) to make $50-60k+ and do absolutely nothing but watch TV and play cards? I have witnessed it but I don't think it's indicative of all union employees. I do feel, in the case of the automotive industry, that it has created a vacuum that I personally cannot see a recovery from during my lifetime. Unfortunate!

BTW - please note that none of my comments were intended to offend anyone personally.

Last edited by Vyper340; 10-04-2003 at 09:08 AM.
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Old 10-04-2003, 12:45 AM
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Vyper,

It is true that Henry Ford incorporated those ideas into his factory. He was a great leader, business man and human being for that matter. He treated everyone fairly, down to his janitor. He even made sure they had places to live, if memory serves me correctly.


My argument however, was not who founded those ideas, but rather who fought for them and the reason that they are now the standard way of thinking.

As for your statements about plants closing and moving. I'm sure you can't be naive enough to blame that problem solely on the union.
I think I can place some of that blame, and maybe even most of it on GREED. The manufacturer isn't making the profit he used to, because he has to start paying overtime, benefits and a fair wage. (Yes, I know alot of places already pay a fair wage).
Before NAFTA it wasn't cost effective enough to pick up and move the factory, but now it is. (Thanks to Billy Boy)

As far as people sitting around, doing nothing. It is managements sole right to hire, fire and make the workforce as big or as small as it needs and describe duties and hours of work.
It is also solely up to management to have policies in place for codes of conduct and to enforce such codes.
If the person sitting around watching TV is no longer needed then it is up to management to police their own needs. If he does have a function then I would think that watching TV would be against one of the codes of conduct and should be disciplined for that action.

Now, before you yell at me for the companies moving because of greed statement;
Does getting those extra benefits workout in the long run (assuming they didn't exist before) if the company moves to Mexico?
Well, of course not. But that goes back to what I said in the first post. Each side of the table must be interested in the other. Be educated in each others NEEDS.

The last point I want to make is; It is managements job to manage.
That means the business and it's people.
What I like to tell the company is a saying I got from my father...It's managements right to manage, no matter how poorly.

There are idiots, slugs and leaches in any business. Another saying is the workin' man is his own worst enemy. Unfortunately it seems very true.
I just cant believe it's all the unions fault.

DAVE
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Old 10-04-2003, 12:51 AM
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Vyper340, I also knew that Henry Ford was instrumental on implementing the 8 hour day and 40 hour work week (Hey, I've been working in the auto industry for 10+ years now and watch the History Channel often).

As stated, I'm worried that the uneducated, uninformed JCI employee will be making the decision for me. This is something I cannot stomach, and as of Wednesday this week, I have joined the anti-union group at my plant called Keep Control. I am NOT alone with these feelings. Quite a few people turned out to our first meeting.
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Old 10-04-2003, 09:14 AM
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"COMPANIES THAT HAVE UNIONS DISERVE UNIONS" That says it all, if they treated the employee fair the union would have not got a foot in the door. I sleep better at night I knowing I cant be fired for Religious,political or just plain difference of opinion.
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