Michigan signs Right to Work Bills

User Forum Topic
Submitted by ctr70 on December 11, 2012 - 6:56pm

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424...

This is positive direction. Like the pension reform ballot victories in San Diego, San Jose and Wisconsin that happened earlier this year.

Submitted by tc on December 12, 2012 - 10:09am.

And people wonder why this country is going down the drain.

Submitted by flu on December 12, 2012 - 10:22am.

Never understood why it would be requirement to join a union in order to be employed for a specific job.

Sounds like extortion to me.

Submitted by njtosd on December 12, 2012 - 10:20am.

tc wrote:
And people wonder why this country is going down the drain.

Are you saying that the new legislation is causing the country to go down the drain? Have you noticed how far down the drain Michigan has gone under the former system? The unions forced the auto industry out of the state and should be held responsible for the the results.

Submitted by Arraya on December 12, 2012 - 12:32pm.

DOOM is the operative ethic

Submitted by KSMountain on December 12, 2012 - 2:09pm.

flu wrote:
Never understood why it would be requirement to join a union in order to be employed for a specific job.

Sounds like extortion to me.

Wasn't this even more limited than that? I'm not an expert, but I read that part of this was to remove the ability for unions to force folks to pay union dues even if they aren't part of the union. That is crazy! Good riddance to that nonsense.

I saw some other union official in MI yesterday saying "well, these folks will benefit from our representation without paying for it". Personally, if I want representation, I'll choose it, hire it, and pay for it myself, thank you very much. And the teamsters probably wouldn't be my first choice...

Submitted by flu on December 12, 2012 - 2:38pm.

KSMountain wrote:
flu wrote:
Never understood why it would be requirement to join a union in order to be employed for a specific job.

Sounds like extortion to me.

Wasn't this even more limited than that? I'm not an expert, but I read that part of this was to remove the ability for unions to force folks to pay union dues even if they aren't part of the union. That is crazy! Good riddance to that nonsense.

I saw some other union official in MI yesterday saying "well, these folks will benefit from our representation without paying for it". Personally, if I want representation, I'll choose it, hire it, and pay for it myself, thank you very much. And the teamsters probably wouldn't be my first choice...

Um that happened recently on Long Island Power Company during Sandy... A bunch of Florida power company workers went to Long Island to help, but were turned back unless they paid for union dues...

http://www.newsday.com/long-island/fla-u...

Well, that was until public outrage at what was going on the first day the storm hit... Then obviously the union backpeddled after "assessing the severity of the storm"...

http://southampton.patch.com/articles/li...


That "letter of assent" was dated Oct. 29, the day Hurricane Sandy first started battering Long Island, according to Newsday.

But Don Daley, business manager for local 1049, told Patch it stopped being an issue soon after the extent of the damages on Long Island became clear.

"There hasn't been a union-non-union issue here since the severity of the storm became obvious. Our only goal right now is to restore power as quickly, efficiently and safely as possible and we welcome all the assistance we can get."

So let me get this straight. If the storm was only mildly destructive, then non-union help would have been turned away.. But since the storm was a complete disaster, we decided after assessing the severity of the storm, that we'll make an exception this time....

No coincident LIPA is one of the most messed up power companies in NY.

http://www.wbur.org/npr/165321973/sandy-...

Glad i don't live on Long Island....

Submitted by CA renter on December 12, 2012 - 10:48pm.

KSMountain wrote:
flu wrote:
Never understood why it would be requirement to join a union in order to be employed for a specific job.

Sounds like extortion to me.

Wasn't this even more limited than that? I'm not an expert, but I read that part of this was to remove the ability for unions to force folks to pay union dues even if they aren't part of the union. That is crazy! Good riddance to that nonsense.

I saw some other union official in MI yesterday saying "well, these folks will benefit from our representation without paying for it". Personally, if I want representation, I'll choose it, hire it, and pay for it myself, thank you very much. And the teamsters probably wouldn't be my first choice...

The unions are right about these freeloaders getting the benefit of representation without paying for it.

Let's take teachers, for example. A person has the right to work for private non-union schools, public non-union schools (mostly charters), or public union schools. The ones who gravitate toward the union schools do so because they perceive there is a greater benefit to working there -- usually better compensation or working conditions, etc. The reason the pay/working conditions tend to be superior is because unions fought for these things. Unions can only fight for workers' rights if they have funding.

Why should the people who don't want to join a union benefit from the pay and working conditions earned by unions and their dues-paying members? Let them work at a non-union shop and get whatever they fight for on and individual level (good luck with that!). They are totally free to work for any non-union employer they desire, but they do NOT have a right to the compensation and working conditions earned by dues-paying members. Hell no.

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on December 13, 2012 - 12:23am.

CAR: No disagreement with any of your points, but I would also hasten yo add that, in California, the CTA (California Teachers Assn) is the proverbial 800lb gorilla when it comes to throwing weight and peddling influence, often on issues completely unrelated to schools and teachers.

The CTA wields enormous influence and exerts tremendous sway in Sacramento and largely due to the huge sums of money at its disposal. Where does the lion's share of this money come from? Union dues. Does this money entitle rank-and-file members to have a say in its disposition, or what issues and causes are supported? Nope.

There are dozens of articles on the CTA and how far and where its reach extends and it is not a benevolent organization, believe me.

Submitted by sdduuuude on December 13, 2012 - 9:33am.

CA renter wrote:
They are totally free to work for any non-union employer they desire, but they do NOT have a right to the compensation and working conditions earned by dues-paying members. Hell no.

This really irks me. You make it sound as if it is not extortion because there are some non-unionized schools.

That doesn't mean it isn't extortion for the unionized schools.

Workers may not have a right to the compensation and working conditions that the unions have strong-armed their way into, but workers do have a right to work at those schools under different conditions by providing a service that competes with the unions. Giving the union monopoly power over a particular school is extortion and grants preferred status to a select set of private individuals.

Submitted by sdduuuude on December 13, 2012 - 9:36am.

CA renter wrote:
Why should the people who don't want to join a union benefit from the pay and working conditions earned by unions and their dues-paying members?

First of all, the answer doesn't matter. If people want to work and not join a union, they should be free to do so.

One answer may be - perhaps they have ethical issues paying dues to an organization that takes advantage of taxpayers the way unions do.

Submitted by barnaby33 on December 13, 2012 - 9:41am.

Why should the people who don't want to join a union benefit from the pay and working conditions earned by unions and their dues-paying members? Let them work at a non-union shop and get whatever they fight for on and individual level (good luck with that!). They are totally free to work for any non-union employer they desire, but they do NOT have a right to the compensation and working conditions earned by dues-paying members. Hell no.

Wow CAR evincing a conservative opinion. Those non-union freeloaders getting all the benefits without paying the union costs. Kind of like entitlement programs! It's amazing to see the same argument applied in almost the same way to two different groups.

Society is a closed system, just like a union. Why should people who don't contribute much to the system have a right to benefits provided by the system? Apply liberally and repeatedly.
Josh

Submitted by CA renter on December 15, 2012 - 6:46pm.

sdduuuude wrote:
CA renter wrote:
They are totally free to work for any non-union employer they desire, but they do NOT have a right to the compensation and working conditions earned by dues-paying members. Hell no.

This really irks me. You make it sound as if it is not extortion because there are some non-unionized schools.

That doesn't mean it isn't extortion for the unionized schools.

Workers may not have a right to the compensation and working conditions that the unions have strong-armed their way into, but workers do have a right to work at those schools under different conditions by providing a service that competes with the unions. Giving the union monopoly power over a particular school is extortion and grants preferred status to a select set of private individuals.

Is it extortion when employers demand that their employees work overtime or be fired? Is it extortion when employers demand that their employees take pay/benefit cuts or be fired? Is it extortion when employers take a greater share of the surplus value crated by labor...and threaten the workers with the loss of their jobs if they object? The list goes on and on...

"Extortion" works both ways, sdduuuude. I would rather see the benefits of labor go to those who do the work rather than see it go to those who control the system.

Nobody is forced to take a union job. I can see the logic if they initially took the job as a non-union job, and then the union took over later; but to say that they are "forced" to join a union when they apply for and accept a union job is totally ridiculous.

When you talk about a select set of private individuals having "preferred status," are you referring to the executives and owners of large corporations who have access to some of the top leaders of the world, and who create laws that favor themselves to the detriment of others? That wealth and power is not being shared, unlike the wealth and power that is collectively shared with many others via unions, and these most powerful individuals do not care one bit about you or any other Joe Sixpack "libertarian" as they stomp on your freedoms, take from you via low wages, excessively high prices, high taxes (that go to private contractors and other special interest groups that have nothing at all to do with unions), etc.

We have to look objectively at how power, wealth, and resources are allocated and do everything we can to maintain a balance between labor and capital.

Submitted by CA renter on December 15, 2012 - 6:52pm.

barnaby33 wrote:

Why should the people who don't want to join a union benefit from the pay and working conditions earned by unions and their dues-paying members? Let them work at a non-union shop and get whatever they fight for on and individual level (good luck with that!). They are totally free to work for any non-union employer they desire, but they do NOT have a right to the compensation and working conditions earned by dues-paying members. Hell no.

Wow CAR evincing a conservative opinion. Those non-union freeloaders getting all the benefits without paying the union costs. Kind of like entitlement programs! It's amazing to see the same argument applied in almost the same way to two different groups.

Society is a closed system, just like a union. Why should people who don't contribute much to the system have a right to benefits provided by the system? Apply liberally and repeatedly.
Josh

Which "entitlement programs" are you referring to? Social Security and Medicare? In most cases, the people who benefit from these programs are the people who contributed to these programs. These benefits were earned; they are not free.

I would also add, again, that the greatest "takers" from our system are those who extract more than they put in. Just because somebody contributes say 70% of the tax revenue, if they are taking >70% of the benefits provided by the government, then they are net beneficiaries ("takers" in conservative parlance). You can pay a tiny percentage of the tax revenues yet still be a net donor if you are using very little of the infrastructure and benefits provided by the government. It's very important that people understand this concept.

Submitted by jpinpb on December 15, 2012 - 6:55pm.

Thank you, CAR. Exetremely well said and I agree wholeheartedly.

Submitted by tc on December 15, 2012 - 11:59pm.

If more of the country was unionized we wouldn't need to worry so much about expensive government programs like food stamps, affordable health care acts, etc. Because unions make sure that employers are paying for it. At least private unions do.
America was at its best when the country was more union friendly. But whatever kill the unions and see where it gets us.

Our children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.

Submitted by njtosd on December 16, 2012 - 12:27am.

tc wrote:
If more of the country was unionized we wouldn't need to worry so much about expensive government programs like food stamps, affordable health care acts, etc. Because unions make sure that employers are paying for it. At least private unions do.
America was at its best when the country was more union friendly. But whatever kill the unions and see where it gets us.

Our children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.

See my earlier point about Michigan (which was the starting point of this post). If unions are so helpful, why is Michigan in such bad shape? I grew up outside of Detroit - the UAW drove the auto industry out of state. It created the need for the enormous amount of public assistance now going to Michigan's citizens.

And, I have to ask - who conquered our continent? I must have missed something in the history books -

Submitted by CA renter on December 16, 2012 - 4:26am.

njtosd wrote:
tc wrote:
If more of the country was unionized we wouldn't need to worry so much about expensive government programs like food stamps, affordable health care acts, etc. Because unions make sure that employers are paying for it. At least private unions do.
America was at its best when the country was more union friendly. But whatever kill the unions and see where it gets us.

Our children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.

See my earlier point about Michigan (which was the starting point of this post). If unions are so helpful, why is Michigan in such bad shape? I grew up outside of Detroit - the UAW drove the auto industry out of state. It created the need for the enormous amount of public assistance now going to Michigan's citizens.

And, I have to ask - who conquered our continent? I must have missed something in the history books -

Michigan is in such bad shape for a number of reasons: the over-reliance on a single, mismanaged industry; racial issues and tensions; economic recessions; and the gradual decline of domestic manufacturing, in general.

While the unions are certainly complicit to an extent, they did not cause the demise of the U.S. auto industry. The management teams did not keep up with changing tastes and responded to the oil crisis with poorly engineered and unappealing cars. The Japanese got a foothold in the U.S. as a result, and have basically gained market share ever since.

The U.S. automakers have also had to deal with crippling healthcare costs that their largest competitors didn't have to deal with because their governments provide universal healthcare, and their healthcare system is largely non-profit. That takes a HUGE burden off the shoulders of businesses and employees.

If unions are the cause of the auto industry's or Michigan's demise, why haven't unions destroyed industries in Germany, Austria, Sweden, etc.? The unions there are very powerful, yet these countries thrive. How can that be?

As to the question of who will conquer our continent? Some would say the capitalists whose sole desire is to amass ever more wealth and power at the expense of workers and/or the environment.

Submitted by flu on December 16, 2012 - 7:37am.

Oh, I don't know...
Maybe the Germans, Austrians, and Sweds are just more responsible and better people than us.

Clearly, they seem to be much better drivers than we do.

And clearly, despite having no drinking age, they seem to have a much better handle on responsiblee drinking and driving than we do.

Clearly, they seem to have a much better grasp at managing money the we do.

So I don't know...Maybe Germans, Austrians, Sweds have better work ethics that we do...

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on December 16, 2012 - 11:58am.

CAR: In fairness, you should also mention that the auto industries in those countries are protected by tariff, and foreign imports are extremely limited, thus providing the respective domestic markets with a captive audience, so to speak.

Those same limits aren't found here in the US.

And, yes, upper management at the Big Three was dreadful, no doubt about it. But pretending that unions were not a motive force as well is choosing to ignore the obvious.

The period between 1945 and 1972 was a historical anomaly. We will likely never see a period like that again, where the US is the single dominant manufacturing power in a world wrecked by a world war.

Submitted by ctr70 on December 16, 2012 - 2:02pm.

Can you imagine if Silicon Valley went Union like Michigan? Can you imagine a software engineer at Google saying to Larry Page, "sorry dude, I can't write that piece of code that's not in my job description". "Sorry Larry, it's 5pm, I'm done today, Union rules dude".

One of the reason high tech as a 4% unemployment rate and Silicon Valley has the highest incomes in the U.S. and the best companies in the U.S. (Google, Apple, Cisco, etc...) is b/c they don't have Unions. That is one of he reasons Silicon Valley is still a sector of the U.S. Economy that leads the world in innovation.

Bloated unions have been one of the reasons Detroit has gone down the drain and got it's butt kicked by Japan and Germany in the auto business. And GM had to be bailed out of BK by Obama. Can you imagine what Michigan and U.S. auto industry might be like if it was run like Silicon Valley with no unions? Might it be a little more competitive? Might they make better cars? Might Michigan's unemployment rate be a lot better and everyone better off as a whole? Hmmmm.

Submitted by CA renter on December 16, 2012 - 10:03pm.

The tech industry has a relatively low unemployment rate because that's the industry of the day. Just like the auto manufacturers of the 1940s and 50s, it will rise and fall...like many other industries before it. It has nothing to do with unions or the lack of them.

Tech, as it applies to "writing apps" and coming up with new ways to use a cell phone, will slowly fade, if it hasn't already started. Other competitors will take over, some of them from other countries, and while Silicon Valley will probably always be a thriving place for tech simply because of the people who are drawn there -- not because of a lack of unions -- it will also experience periods of boom and bust. The only question is when, not if, tech as the "hottest sector" will begin to fade. Sometime down the line, another sector will take its place and the people who work in that sector will think that they are invincible and that the good times will never end, just like every hot industry (empire, nation, etc.) that came before it.

--------------

I'd also like to draw your attention to the fact that GM was the ONLY union company to get bailed out by the govt during the financial crisis; many other companies and industries were bailed out, and are still being bailed out as we speak, to the tune of trillions of dollars in govt-backed loans/guarantees, lost savings for those who rely on interest income, taxpayer-funded asset purchases, under-market sales to well-connected people in the financial sector, etc. ALL of these other industries have NO UNIONS. How do you reconcile that with your assertion that unions were the cause of all of our economic problems?

Submitted by flu on December 16, 2012 - 10:15pm.

CA renter wrote:
The tech industry has a relatively low unemployment rate because that's the industry of the day. Just like the auto manufacturers of the 1940s and 50s, it will rise and fall...like many other industries before it. It has nothing to do with unions or the lack of them.

Tech, as it applies to "writing apps" and coming up with new ways to use a cell phone, will slowly fade, if it hasn't already started. Other competitors will take over, some of them from other countries, and while Silicon Valley will probably always be a thriving place for tech simply because of the people who are drawn there -- not because of a lack of unions -- it will also experience periods of boom and bust. The only question is when, not if, tech as the "hottest sector" will begin to fade. Sometime down the line, another sector will take its place and the people who work in that sector will think that they are invincible and that the good times will never end, just like every hot industry (empire, nation, etc.) that came before it.

--------------

I'd also like to draw your attention to the fact that GM was the ONLY union company to get bailed out by the govt during the financial crisis; many other companies and industries were bailed out, and are still being bailed out as we speak, to the tune of trillions of dollars in govt-backed loans/guarantees, lost savings for those who rely on interest income, taxpayer-funded asset purchases, under-market sales to well-connected people in the financial sector, etc. ALL of these other industries have NO UNIONS. How do you reconcile that with your assertion that unions were the cause of all of our economic problems?

Lol. that was comical...I guess since "tech" (as used as one big umbrella) is going away,we'll just all stop innovating and live in the dark ages.

Because after all, we'll reach a point when we don't need to people to be creative and innovate and for god's sake use their brains...

Um, CAR, don't bother commenting on subjects you absolutely know nothing about...

But thanks for the good laugh.

Submitted by CA renter on December 16, 2012 - 10:16pm.

Lacking knowledge about a topic (like unions and the public sector) has never stopped you from commenting, flu.

-------------

Just keep thinking that your industry is never going to fade. We'll see how well that works out.

Submitted by flu on December 16, 2012 - 10:22pm.

CA renter wrote:
Lacking knowledge about a topic (like unions and the public sector) has never stopped you from commenting, flu.

-------------

Just keep thinking that your industry is never going to fade. We'll see how well that works out.

CAR, it's worked out pretty well for me actually. But thanks for asking...

The difference is, I experience union sluggishness in the past and swore never to do it again. I don't think you can say the same thing about your experience working in a tech company. But please do tell your kids not to enter this field. They don't need to compete, because after all, it's going to be outsourced anyway...Fine by me. Not my loss.

You might not be interested in tech and never need to buy tech...But you're probably the <10% of the consumer that no one is trying to sell to. Which is fine by me too.

Whatever floats your boat.

The way I look at it a lot of us are actually much more versatile at working with the unknown. We don't have guarantees. We are use to uncertainty. So if things change we adapt... I think that's the problem with folks that get complacent with a false sense of security from entitlement programs. When the music stops and the rug gets pulled (which will happen much more likely than "tech" going away), then suddenly no one knows what to do. People that haven't stayed current and stayed competitive...

Submitted by CA renter on December 16, 2012 - 10:24pm.

You had one experience with a union in a single company, based on your earlier postings about the topic. I worked for a group of (related) tech companies for over six years, one of which outperformed (for one year) one of the largest blue-chip tech companies at the time. All of those companies, and many that were "hot" in those days (about 20+ years ago) are gone.

Submitted by flu on December 16, 2012 - 10:28pm.

CA renter wrote:
You had one experience with a union in a single company, based on your earlier postings about the topic. I worked for a group of tech companies for over six years, one of which outperformed (for one year) one of the largest blue-chip tech companies at the time.

Actually, I've worked at about 8-10 different companies and interned at a few defense companies (with unionized engineers), and one non profit that was contracted with the USAF...And I totally understand what it means when a "non-profit" company that operates on a "$0 budget" with a unionized engineering team does to productivity....especially when suddenly congress shrinks the budget, and suddenly the company needs to actually compete with other for-profit companies. Not a pretty picture...One of the reasons why I would never be caught dead working in a defense company (along with a long long list of other reasons..But that's a separate issue)..

Hey, I didn't see you comment on the post about Long Island Power? Care to?

You know CAR, I don't have any issues with "reasonable" worker's right...But you would have to be blind into seeing that some unions (not necesarily members of them) are basically extortionists now..

Submitted by CA renter on December 16, 2012 - 10:28pm.

So, you're saying that a company has problems when its primary customer contracts spending. And how, exactly, does that relate to unions destroying the company?

Submitted by flu on December 16, 2012 - 10:30pm.

CA renter wrote:
So, you're saying that a company has problems when its primary customer contracts spending. And how, exactly, does that relate to unions destroying the company?

Simple. Cost. Lack of flexiblity. Ridiculous work schedules and just about everything that would butcher a project to death and end up costing the customer (in this case it was the government and essentially in the end..taxpayers) a hell of a lot more money.

Submitted by CA renter on December 16, 2012 - 10:30pm.

Sorry, I must have missed the post about Long Island Power. Where is it?

Submitted by flu on December 16, 2012 - 10:31pm.

CA renter wrote:
Sorry, I must have missed the post about Long Island Power. Where is it?

Dig it up yourself. Google is your friend.

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