So what's the deal with all of the folks still on strike here in SoCal? They've been on strike for over a month now and there's no end in sight. And now it's starting to get ugly: delivery drivers are refusing to cross the lines, ostensibly in an effort to "starve" Ralphs, Albertsons, and Vons.
At first, I supported these people for standing up to management taking a dim view of worker issues. God knows I deal with enough brain dead management in one form or another at my job.
But now let's take a quick view of how these people have basically shot themselves in their own feet:
We've been told that the strike is over health benefits, and having to pay "more" for them.
Ok, fine. But let's dig a little deeper.
First of all, EVERYONE has to pay something for their bennies. Here in CA
(thanks to the Democrats, we not only pay for our own insurance, but about half of Mexico as well....no wonder my dad waited in the emergency room with stroke-like symptoms for nearly 11 hours before he was admitted...but that's a separate issue), insurance is very, VERY expensive. And it goes up, on average, about 30% a year. With that in mind, what exactly IS
wrong for the employer to go to the employee and saying "hey...it's getting pretty expensive...can you chip in a bit?"
I, as a single male with no dependents pay $40 per month. And that's for some pretty damn good coverage. My deductibles and copays are quite reasonable. For sake of argument, let's say that one of the workers is a "breadwinner" for his wife. At the rate I'm paying, for two people, that comes to $80 per month.
Now I don't know what the actual numbers, but being that these people are all Union, let's suppose a Ralphs cashier pulls in $500 a week. I'm sure that it's more, but we'll go with $500.
They've been on strike for what? 6 weeks now? Since they are not getting paid during this strike, that means that said cashier has lost $3000 in pay.
Three thousand dollars. At $40 per month, that comes to $480 per year. 3000/480=6.25.
To avoid paying that "extra" $40, he has now lost
OVER 6 YEARS OF
That's all I can say.
I hope they are proud of themselves.
Judging by how quickly the three chains were able to round up enough Scabs to maintain operations, what does that tell you about the job market overall here in SoCal?
And they are whining about $40?
So what's going to happen?
I see 4 possible outcomes. Which do you think is most likely to happen? This strike cannot and will not last indefinitely?
1. The workers go back to work, accepting the same agreement they walked away from, rendering the strike utterly pointless.
2. Vons, et. al. caves in to their demands, and as a result, all of our foodbills go up by 40%.
3. Vons, et.al simply FIRES them a-la Ronald Reagan and the air traffic controlers.
4. Vons, et. al simply say that it is no longer worth the hassle, and simply close their doors. Non Union stores such as Stater Brothers and Wal-Mart prosper beyond their wildest dreams for about 6 months when a bunch of new non-Union chains spring up from the ashes of a now defunct Ralphs, Albertsons, and Vons.
[Edited 2003-11-26 03:50:26]