CO767FA
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Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 12:09 pm

Many here think the union's are a waste of time and while at times I agree, it is articles like this that underscore the importance of keeping unions around. Airline employees for the legacy carriers (and some LCC) are examples of how worker productivity has grown, but the rate of pay/benefits hasn't kept pace.

Workers lose traction over the past 10 years
 
Lucky42
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 12:33 pm

You're not telling me anything I don't already know..Almost everyone I am friends with even the ones outside of aviation are making essentially what they did in the mid to late 1980's yet all the economists keep saying how great this economy is and the job growth. What they don't tell you is a lot of those jobs are part time or low paying. All the high paying jobs are disappearing along with benefits. To the economists..low unemployment you say? They gauge unemployment by who is drawing unemployment benefits. There are quite a few that no longer can collect or cannot qualify that are out of work..I do believe there is a place for unions but in the airline industry they are basically powerless due to archaic rules of the RLA and the bias of the NMB.
 
atmx2000
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 12:36 pm

Productivity gains are roughly increases in $ output per unit time. Gains in productivity don't necessarily come from better workers; it often comes from investments in productivity enhancing equipment, such as IT products or automation/robotics. The worker hasn't done much to improve his/her productivity, besides perhaps training to use the equipment. Why would pay/benefits keep up with gains in productivity in that case? If it did keep up, products would be more expensive, as the labor costs per unit output would be the same while the capital costs would be higher.

The entire benefit of productivity gains for workers is in buying power improvements. Goods cost less because the total cost of capital and labor that goes into producing a unit of output is less, allowing people who might not otherwise afford the good/service to be able to purchase it.
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ikramerica
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 12:43 pm

Quoting Lucky42 (Reply 1):
To the economists..low unemployment you say? They gauge unemployment by who is drawing unemployment benefits.

No, it's based on who is actively seeking employment. The unemployment rate is not based on who is getting paid benefits.

Now, the weekly changes in unemployment benefit applications are tracked as well, but that's not the same as the unemployment rate. It does help give an indication of how to ADJUST the rate, however.

Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 2):
Gains in productivity don't necessarily come from better workers; it often comes from investments in productivity enhancing equipment, such as IT products or automation/robotics.

And unions fight against the productivity enhancing equipment tooth and nail. Why? Because it often means fewer jobs for the same work or a need for a more highly trained union work force. Neither is in the union's best interest.

The Longshoreman's Union here in California is a prime example. The main reason our ports are so insecure is due to their fighting of technology on every front, despite ridiculous pay scales for the work they do.

Unions are good when they represent the worker and protect him/her from exploitation, but when they become a hinderance to progress and fight for more than they deserve, they tend to destroy the industry rather than help the worker.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
Go3Team
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 12:44 pm

Someone said something to me not too long ago, along the lines of that there are too many people working. It made sense, along the lines of supply and demand. 50 years ago, most of the time, only the head of household was the breadwinner. The wife stayed home and cared for the kids, etc. These days, kids are in daycare, while the wife is working. We also have immigrants who will work for basically nothing. As long as there are plenty of people looking for jobs, the employers are going to shop around for the cheapest employee. If you have few people looking, and the employer really needs someone, they are going to sweeten the pot as best they can to get who they need. The unions are looking for as many people they can to pay the dues for whatever purpose they are for. They also share a responsibility for the low wages. They are an obsolete bunch whose time has passed.

[Edited 2006-09-04 05:46:21]
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PanAm747
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 12:46 pm

Prepared to get MAJORLY  flamed  on this one!

Having said that, I will agree with you on one point - there are good unions and there are bad unions.

I am a proud member of a union that is constantly harassed and berated - public school teaching. Anything bad that happens is automatically our fault (and not the overstuffed, ivory towered, money sucking, couldn't-hack-it-in-the-classroom-so-I'll-become-an-administrator state beauracracy!), but when test scores go up (all anyone cares about anymore - not real learning, but filling in a bubble), do teachers get a thank you? Nope. Our newspaper editorial reiterated their call for total dismantling of "the union that is slowly strangling our state", despite the fact that we gave them the scores they wanted so desperately.

It saddens me to know that in so many occupations, most unions and workers are more than willing to be partners - but are never given a chance. Almost from the most moment of arrival, the new management has to prove that they can get results - and that means turning what should be a good working relationship into an adversarial one.

I will respect everyone's opinions, including the right to loathe unions. But I would hope that when someone here badmouths ALL unions, please put yourself in someone else's shoes - something that this world seems to have lost its ability to do. Would anyone here like their profession to be the next target? To be told by others to "just shut up, accept it, work twice as hard for half as much, and forget about your benefits?"

If a union is actively set on self-destruction or has been "hijacked" by a few when they cease to recognize the will of the majority, then they should be dismantled.

If a union fights to keep the benefits they have maintained and keep their members earning a wage that one can live on, then I say "fight on, Norma Rae!"

I've ranted enough. Enjoy before this is deleted!!
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HPLASOps
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 12:47 pm

Quoting CO767FA (Thread starter):
Many here think the union's are a waste of time

Proud to say I'm part of this group of folks.

I was a member of the TWU for the year I was on the ramp, and my current position in operations is non-union. The difference in pay scale and benefits between the two postions? The non-union position doesn't cost me 2 hours' salary every month. I get the same benefits, same type of pay scale with raises based on seniority, same amount of paid vacation, and bidding for schedules is done in the same manner. There is no difference except the dues.

Pro-union folks will argue that worker productivity increases because of unions - that's a laugher. Unions are about providing the worker with so much protection that it takes away the competitive will to be the better worker. I also hate the phrase "right to work." Propogandical nonsense. Nobody has the right to a job - a job must be sought, earned, and continually be proven to be worthy of keeping. People have the right to be fairly considered for a job, and for the application process to be honest and on the level - but nobody has a right to the job itself.

Unions had their place when the government had no laws to protect the worker, but said laws are sufficiently in place - and the employer should be allowed the flexibility to weed out the bad employees.
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F9Animal
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 12:48 pm

I have become a supporter of the unions. At first I could have cared less, but now I see the importance of them. If it was up to the airlines, they would pay everyone minimum wage.
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deltagator
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 12:52 pm

From the article...

"The State of Working America from the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal nonprofit research group."

At least they put the liberal right there in the description so you know which way the article is headed. Liberals love workers while conservatives hate workers.   

"Between 1995 and 2005, productivity -- a measure of the quantity and quality of what workers produce per hour -- grew 33.4 percent. But hourly wages rose only 11 percent."

Where is that wonderful world of technology The Jetsons had and why with all this automation and technology am I still working so damn hard. I shouldn't complain though as my salary has drastically increased over those years.

"When it comes to benefits, pension and health coverage has fallen in the past five years."

If you rely on someone else to supply your healthcare and retirement benefits you are just asking for trouble. They are both benefits of some jobs...not a God given or Constitutional right. I am lucky that my job provides both to me but in the event that they are removed as benefits I am prepared to take care of it myself versus complaining.

Here's my problem with unions in the times I have been exposed to them. I don't like it that union members are paid based on their seniority versus their productivity and work ethic. Unions have served a place and will continue to serve a place in the business world but lesser than they once were.

I want to reward people based on their production and quality of work...not how long they have been around. If you do the first I can guarantee you that you'll be around my company for a while. If you are more concerned about your smoke break and that the 4PM quitting bell means you are turning the keys in your ignition and not clocking out I have no place for you in my company.

Quoting Lucky42 (Reply 1):
To the economists..low unemployment you say? They gauge unemployment by who is drawing unemployment benefits.

Not the way I was taught. The metric was based on those out of jobs as well as those in transition between jobs.

[Edited 2006-09-04 05:54:57]

[Edited 2006-09-04 05:57:00]
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Go3Team
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 12:55 pm

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 7):
If it was up to the airlines, they would pay everyone minimum wage.

No one is forced to take a job at an airline that pays minimum wage. If they did pay minimum wage, they wouldn't be able to keep employees, and be competitive in todays airline industry.
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georgiaame
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 12:55 pm

Long live Eastern, Branif, PanAM, (Northwest?) and remember the number of 777s Delta flies.

Good job, unions!
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SLCUT2777
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 12:58 pm

From CNN;

Quote:
In terms of health insurance, coverage for all private-sector workers fell from 58.9 percent in 2000 to 55.9 percent in 2004, according to EPI's report. In 1979, by contrast, 69 percent of workers had health coverage from their employers.
Employers who do provide coverage are picking up a greater percent of the premiums than they did in 2003. However, even though the percentage of the premium that workers must pay has declined, dollar-wise they are shelling out more since premium costs have risen so steeply -- by 73 percent since 2000, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

When unions attempt to address the health-care issue all they do is find themselves beating a dead horse. Until the USA wakes up to reality and adopts universal health-care coverage, regulates the price of pharmaceuticals and restricts the activities of unscrupulous tort lawyers this will become a losing battle. Earlier this year Former Senator and Democratic Presidential candidate George McGovern had perhaps the most insightful commentary on the plight of unions and the working man and what they really need to campaign and work for in the USA. Rather than continual "ask for more" as legendary United Mine Workers leader John L. Lewis said he wanted, find a consensus with management and determine what can and will work. The USA is now at a serious disadvantage not just in the airline industry, but in all of the manufacturing sector due to out of control health care costs. Notice I'm not advocating or endorsing the USA go to state run health authorities and socialized medicine as they have north of the 49th in Canada. I'm saying unions and business leaders need to campaign for a less expensive health-care alternative than the sole employer benefit which has been the model here since the end of WWII.
From Senator McGovern's 05/22/2006 LA Times Commentary:

Quote:
General Motors and Ford -- the companies that have epitomized high-paying unionized jobs over the last several decades -- have stated that they will lay off 30,000 workers each. The United Auto Workers, General Motors and Delphi recently announced an agreement to offer voluntary buyouts to the UAW-represented employees at the companies. Wall Street thinks these are just the first steps.
It can be galling to hear companies argue that they have to cut wages and benefits for hourly workers -- even as they reward top executives with millions of dollars in stock options. The chief executive of Wal-Mart earns $27 million a year, while the company's average worker takes home only about $10 an hour. But let's assume that the chief executive got 27 cents instead of $27 million, and that Wal-Mart distributed the savings to its hourly workers. They would each receive a bonus of less than $20. It's not executive pay that has created this new world.
Maryland recently passed a law aimed at requiring Wal-Mart to spend more on health insurance. This is an extremely flawed path to healthcare reform. We need universal coverage, not piecemeal legislation designed to punish companies because they operate differently than their competitors.

As perhaps one of the most liberal, pro-labor Democratic, center-left presidetnial candidates George McGovern made it clear that in the full text of this archived commentary ($3.95 at LAtimes.com) that the airlines are going through what other blue collar industries like the auto industry have found themselves going through, and that labors old line strategy of asking for more will not fly in the face of reality.
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CO767FA
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:00 pm

Quoting HPLASOps (Reply 6):
Unions had their place when the government had no laws to protect the worker, but said laws are sufficiently in place - and the employer should be allowed the flexibility to weed out the bad employees.

37 States permit employers to fire a person just because they are gay....I'm sure there are other laws that are missing from the current federal and state statutes that would protect workers.
 
Go3Team
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:02 pm

Quoting SLCUT2777 (Reply 11):
The USA is now at a serious disadvantage not just in the airline industry, but in all of the manufacturing sector due to out of control health care costs.

Equals:

Quoting SLCUT2777 (Reply 11):
unscrupulous tort lawyers

A debate for another time, and probably going to be just as nasty as this one is going to be.

Quoting CO767FA (Reply 12):
37 States permit employers to fire a person just because they are gay....

Provided this is accurate, what kind of employer - in their right mind would do that, in the litigious society we have today. It might be an antiquated law on the books (there are plenty of them) but I doubt it is used.

[Edited 2006-09-04 06:06:48]
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SLCUT2777
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:10 pm

Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 5):
do teachers get a thank you? Nope. Our newspaper editorial reiterated their call for total dismantling of "the union that is slowly strangling our state", despite the fact that we gave them the scores they wanted so desperately.

That said the NEA is a classic example of a bad union gone out of control! Kind of like the aircraft mechanics at Northwest only at the state level in all 50 states.
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SLCUT2777
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:19 pm

Quoting Go3Team (Reply 13):
Provided this is accurate, what kind of employer - in their right mind would do that, in the litigious society we have today. It might be an antiquated law on the books (there are plenty of them) but I doubt it is used.

More than likely ONLY when SEXUAL HARASSMENT becomes an issue. But this can work in hetero-sexual interests as well.
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jasond
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:20 pm

Unions were borne many moons ago out of the simple premise that a large enough group of workers were being treated badly by their bosses (low wages, poor conditions) and they had had enough. The organisation created was a representative body to improve pay and conditions simply by weight of numbers. Over time unions became 'professional' outfits funded by member payments whose sole purpose was to be a single entity that could negotiate a better deal on behalf of its members and apparently prevent the circumstances that prompted the creation of the unions in the first place. Over time the union has failed to represent its members on occasion and also has not adapted well to fast changing ecomomic conditions while bosses and their attitudes and objectives have essentially remained the same. Unions are still very important but they need to become more relevant and flexible in fast changing times.
 
HPLASOps
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:26 pm

Quoting CO767FA (Reply 12):
37 States permit employers to fire a person just because they are gay

And all 50 states do have a "just cause" firing law in place.

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 7):
If it was up to the airlines, they would pay everyone minimum wage.

If the airlines paid everyone minimum wage, then no one would stay with them as they would be off finding someone paying better, and the end result would be ridiculously high turnover. Just as the price of an airline ticket is what someone is willing to pay for it, an employee is worth what a company is willing to pay - if you have a good employee, it is in the best interests of the company to pay whatever is needed to keep the employee there.

Quoting SLCUT2777 (Reply 11):
Until the USA wakes up to reality and adopts universal health-care coverage, regulates the price of pharmaceuticals and restricts the activities of unscrupulous tort lawyers this will become a losing battle.

 checkmark  Healthcare in America is so messed up, no union's petty plans will help solve the real problems with the current system.
"Just because I know how to get off a freeway doesn't mean I know how to get back on!" - Retard Joe
 
Go3Team
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:29 pm

Quoting Jasond (Reply 16):
Unions were borne many moons ago out of the simple premise that a large enough group of workers were being treated badly by their bosses (low wages, poor conditions) and they had had enough.

I propose we send all of the unions to the 3rd world countries, where the lower class are busy making our designer clothes in sweat shops making 10 cents a day or whatever it is they are making.

Quoting HPLASOps (Reply 17):
And all 50 states do have a "just cause" firing law in place.

Too bad it isn't used as much as it should be. I'm going to point my finger again at:

Quoting SLCUT2777 (Reply 11):
unscrupulous tort lawyers

[Edited 2006-09-04 06:31:46]

[Edited 2006-09-04 06:32:27]
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Molykote
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:37 pm

I don't support unions. I have held one union job in my lifetime. I am 24 years old.

My work experience has allowed me to compare the general attitudes and well being of union vs non-union workers in a variety of industries (regardless of job, profession, education, etc). I have worked in the nuclear, aviation, retail, education, and IT industries in jobs ranging from "material handler" to (aero) "propulsion engineer". As I am not at liberty to reveal any of my past or present affiliations consider the following as simply my own opinons.

My two largest and consistent objections to union behavior are below. These gripes are most applicable to union leaders or union members who have swallowed the Kool-Aid. I can't fault anyone for wanting to improve working conditions but method and execution are sorely lacking in the majority of cases I have observed personally.

- Unions often demand isolation from harsh market realities but are the first to demand increased compensation when times are good. If unions with to provide a relative level of economic stability for their members I have no problem with this being negotiated. However, a simple consequence of this insurance/hedging concept is that overall long term income will be lower than that which could have been received from a more irregular and more market based income stream. In this regard, unions want to have their cake and eat it too by ignoring economic downturns (or be dragged kicking and screaming into paycuts/givebacks) while being the first to demand higher wages at the first sign of profitability.

- I've seen unions defend immoral, unethical, and dangerous behavior of their members rather than foster excellence both within the union organization and within the realm of public visibility. These actions destroy the credibility of unions in the eyes of both the general public and the company under which they are employed.

- I've consistently seen unions breed bad attitudes within a number of job positions and industries.
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SLCUT2777
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:38 pm

Quoting Go3Team (Reply 18):
Too bad it isn't used as much as it should be. I'm going to point my finger again at:

The Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA) is another example of a big bad bully union that is out of control! Frivolous Lawsuits Now! Frivolous Lawsuits Forever!   
I just love B.S. lawsuits of any kind!   

[Edited 2006-09-04 07:05:11]
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billreid
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:42 pm

Quoting CO767FA (Thread starter):
Many here think the union's are a waste of time and while at times I agree, it is articles like this that underscore the importance of keeping unions around. Airline employees for the legacy carriers (and some LCC) are examples of how worker productivity has grown, but the rate of pay/benefits hasn't kept pace.

Unfortunately I do not think it has anything to do with Union vs, Non-Union, its all about your/our government who is cares less about labour.
Perhaps you should write to GW Bush, I am sure he is very willing to give you a chance to work at McDonalds at $6.50/hr.
Some people don't get it. Business is about making MONEY!
 
Lucky42
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:42 pm

Quoting SLCUT2777 (Reply 14):
That said the NEA is a classic example of a bad union gone out of control! Kind of like the aircraft mechanics at Northwest only at the state level in all 50 states.

Care to expand on that?? What was so out of control at AMFA? Gee a loss of 53 percent of the membership for openers? 53 percent of approx 4500 which was down from almost 10000 at the start of the contract in 2001. Then on top of that 26 percent paycut and reduction in vacation etc for the remaining and your only choices to work were MSP or DTW so if you live somewhere else you either have to commute or move. AMFA agreed to all the pay and benefit reductions they just wanted to save the jobs to which NW would not budge on any of it. Hardly what I would call fair bargaining. What if it were YOU who had 17 yrs like I did would you vote yes on a contract that would put you out of a job? YES that's right I would even after that amount of time would have been out on the street so for me going on strike wasn't a choice NW wanted us to strike and wanted us gone plain and simple.
 
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SLCUT2777
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:47 pm

Quoting BillReid (Reply 21):
Unfortunately I do not think it has anything to do with Union vs, Non-Union, its all about your/our government who is cares less about labour.
Perhaps you should write to GW Bush, I am sure he is very willing to give you a chance to work at McDonalds at $6.50/hr.

The minimum wage law is starting to become increasingly a state lawmaker responsibility rather than a federal one. Perhaps given the vast differences in economic conditions depending on where someone lives in the USA, this might be a better idea. If we had a REAL Federal Minimum wage law it should be at least $9-10/per hour. The "Jobs With Justice" people will tell you that it is higher than that: http://www.jwj.org/
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Go3Team
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:53 pm

Quoting BillReid (Reply 21):
its all about your/our government who is cares less about labour.
Perhaps you should write to GW Bush,

Last time I checked, he's not the one signing my checks. As a matter of fact, my checks are a little larger due to him.

Quoting Lucky42 (Reply 22):
What if it were YOU who had 17 yrs like I did would you vote yes on a contract that would put you out of a job?

I wouldn't be in a union, but if I were, I would do what I needed to do to earn money. I doubt the contract specifically said that Lucky42 was going to lose his job if he agrees to this contract. If you didn't like the terms along the line, you had every right to find somewhere else to work. Last time I checked, auto mechanics aren't exactly high payed workers, so why should an airline mechanic. They deserve a little more for the importance of the job, but they still aren't brain surgeons.

Quoting SLCUT2777 (Reply 23):
The minimum wage law is starting to become increasingly a state lawmaker responsibility rather than a federal one. Perhaps given the vast differences in economic conditions depending on where someone lives in the USA, this might be a better idea.

If you look at some of the states where the cost of living is higher, they usually do have a higher than federal minimum wage. Increasing wages, will increase costs across the board, and put people back where they started. Again, another debate for another time.

[Edited 2006-09-04 06:56:37]
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max999
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 2:01 pm

Quoting Go3Team (Reply 13):
Quoting CO767FA (Reply 12):
37 States permit employers to fire a person just because they are gay....

Provided this is accurate, what kind of employer - in their right mind would do that, in the litigious society we have today. It might be an antiquated law on the books (there are plenty of them) but I doubt it is used.

I think what CO767FA meant was that 37 states DO NOT have laws which protect gay people from workplace discrimination. I don't think there is a state out there with laws which specifically permit employers firing gay employees.

Quoting HPLASOps (Reply 17):
Quoting CO767FA (Reply 12):
37 States permit employers to fire a person just because they are gay

And all 50 states do have a "just cause" firing law in place.

I'm not sure if I understand you correctly, are you saying that firing someone because they're gay is a 'just cause?'
All the things I really like to do are either immoral, illegal, or fattening.
 
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SLCUT2777
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 2:01 pm

Quoting Lucky42 (Reply 22):
Care to expand on that?? What was so out of control at AMFA? Gee a loss of 53 percent of the membership for openers? 53 percent of approx 4500 which was down from almost 10000 at the start of the contract in 2001. Then on top of that 26 percent paycut and reduction in vacation etc for the remaining and your only choices to work were MSP or DTW so if you live somewhere else you either have to commute or move. AMFA agreed to all the pay and benefit reductions they just wanted to save the jobs to which NW would not budge on any of it. Hardly what I would call fair bargaining. What if it were YOU who had 17 yrs like I did would you vote yes on a contract that would put you out of a job? YES that's right I would even after that amount of time would have been out on the street so for me going on strike wasn't a choice NW wanted us to strike and wanted us gone plain and simple.

Then why is it that AMFA has such a good working relationship over at WN? The national leadership of AMFA even wrote a very pro-business letter to the members of congress urging the repeal of the Wright Amendment: http://www.setlovefree.com/pdf/SWASMacFarlane5-23-061.pdf Yet the socialistic leaches at NW thought they could get all sorts of sympathy from the rest of the country since they were doing battle with a CEO who wanted to run NW as if it were his own Amway multi-level empire. On the NW issue I think in the end both sides deserve each other, since I think Doug Steenland is one of the biggest "Pigs At The Trough", yet the union leadership at the local level in MSP and DTW overplayed their hand and didn't think about their overall rank and file.
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HPLASOps
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 2:08 pm

Quoting Max999 (Reply 25):
I'm not sure if I understand you correctly, are you saying that firing someone because they're gay is a 'just cause?'

No, I meant that every state has a just cause clause in place to protect said discrimination. If someone is fired solely for being gay, I don't think any state will protect a business that is getting the sh*t sued out of them even if there isn't a law specifically for homosexual discrimination.
"Just because I know how to get off a freeway doesn't mean I know how to get back on!" - Retard Joe
 
Go3Team
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 2:13 pm

Quoting Max999 (Reply 25):
I think what CO767FA meant was that 37 states DO NOT have laws which protect gay people from workplace discrimination. I don't think there is a state out there with laws which specifically permit employers firing gay employees.

It was the way he worded his argument that led to my response. I also feel that there are no laws that say an employee can be fired just because he is gay. I still stand by my argument, that an employer would be stupid to fire someone on the basis that he is gay. I think a good argument could be made on the basis of sexual harrassment, if one were dismissed due to being gay.

Quoting SLCUT2777 (Reply 26):
Then why is it that AMFA has such a good working relationship over at WN?

I could be, that its because WN is still profitable. I imagine if WN started losing money and asked its unions for pay cuts, that the relationship would sour.
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atmx2000
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 2:17 pm

Quoting SLCUT2777 (Reply 11):
Until the USA wakes up to reality and adopts universal health-care coverage, regulates the price of pharmaceuticals and restricts the activities of unscrupulous tort lawyers this will become a losing battle.

Then the lawyers/paralegals and pharmaceutical industry workers will start complaining about dropping wages.  Smile

I don't think universal health-care coverage will do squat. There is a significant labor cost component. It's already somewhat difficult to get an appointment with a doctor in some areas. We aren't producing enough doctors and specialists, and that is partly the fault of the medical profession at large and specialties who want to limit supply, and partly because it is somewhat difficult to get enough training resources (i.e. patients) for students and residents to see. And if you train more doctors, you probably will be training more marginal doctors who will have higher malpractice rates, because a) you are accepting more lower scoring applicants and b) wage reduction will reduce the attractiveness of the medical profession for some of the higher scoring applicants. The best solution is finding a way to improve the productivity of the medical profession in terms of number of patients seen by a doctor without increasing error rates.

As for drug prices, I would suggest shortening the period of exclusivity for drug patents and implement a 50 to 100 year 5-10% royalty period with compulsory licensing of the compound patent (but not the manufacturing process patents). That or levy a tariff on imported goods from countries that "regulate" the prices of drug, whose development costs in reality are being covered by the American consumer. If we regulate drug prices here, we are going to see a loss of jobs in the pharmaceutical industry.
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Go3Team
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 2:23 pm

Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 29):
whose development costs in reality are being covered by the American consumer. If we regulate drug prices here, we are going to see a loss of jobs in the pharmaceutical industry.

I would say, that it would reduce the drug company's desire to spend the money necessary to find and bring more drugs to the market. Giving them no chance to make money on something is going to reduce their desire to do so. It's the drug companies that find the cures for stuff, not the government.

Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 29):
Then the lawyers/paralegals will start complaining about dropping wages.

Those greedy bastards can complain all they want.
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Lucky42
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 2:28 pm

Quoting Go3Team (Reply 24):
I doubt the contract specifically said that Lucky42 was going to lose his job if he agrees to this contract

No the contract didn't state that..53 percent of membership eliminated 4500 workers with my seniority number at 3200 do the math? They had already eliminated all the low seniority people so guess what? I was now low seniority.

Quoting Go3Team (Reply 24):
They deserve a little more for the importance of the job, but they still aren't brain surgeons.

True, But we were not asking for surgeons wages either. But I have to wonder what those passengers on JAL 123 or AA 191 or UAL 232 were thinking as their a/c was heading for the dirt? I think they would have had a better day if their respective a/c maintenance problems had been caught before disaster don't you think? This is what seperates us or so it should from auto mechanics.
 
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 2:33 pm

Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 29):
If we regulate drug prices here, we are going to see a loss of jobs in the pharmaceutical industry.

Instead of regulating price - regulate costs. Limit the amount of money a company can spend on the marketing aspect of medicine - the perks given to doctors to "push" pills, the bombardment of advertisements in all forms of media - that drives up the costs of medicine more than the research. Regulate how much money they can spend on the marketing and that will control the price to the consumer. And for the free market argument - well we are talking about a potential necessity item as opposed to a luxury good - scales of ecomony should be different for necessity goods and luxury goods.
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SLCUT2777
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 2:40 pm

Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 29):
If we regulate drug prices here, we are going to see a loss of jobs in the pharmaceutical industry.

Along with the Trial Lawyers this is a group of greedy profiteering bastards who don't give a rats-a$$ about the general population other than they have physicians writing prescriptions that are drastically overpriced and insurance is paying for it no matter what cost. The USA is THE ONLY INDUSTRIALIZED nation that does not regulate the price of pharmaceuticals.

Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 29):
As for drug prices, I would suggest shortening the period of exclusivity for drug patents and implement a 50 to 100 year 5-10% royalty period with compulsory licensing of the compound patent (but not the manufacturing process patents). That or levy a tariff on imported goods from countries that "regulate" the prices of drug, whose development costs in reality are being covered by the American consumer. If we regulate drug prices here, we are going to see a loss of jobs in the pharmaceutical industry.

That would be all nice and well, but the "Pharmacuetical Profiteers" are the other twin relic of barbarism opposing medical system reform in the USA along with the Trial Lawyers. These two organizations on either side of the spectrum gain the most by having the status-quo where it is, and the big loser is the American public. The Pharmaceutical profiteers get research grants form Canada and other industrialized countries, but far and away more make up their R&D costs on the backs of USA patients. All that money does is go to prop up stock prices, pay the CEO a fat & leachy salary and pay for unscrupulous advertising on TV. The medical system in the USA is FUBAR thanks to the Trial Lawyers and the Pharmaceutical Profiteers.
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Go3Team
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 2:44 pm

Quoting Lucky42 (Reply 31):
True, But we were not asking for surgeons wages either. But I have to wonder what those passengers on JAL 123 or AA 191 or UAL 232 were thinking as their a/c was heading for the dirt? I think they would have had a better day if their respective a/c maintenance problems had been caught before disaster don't you think? This is what seperates us or so it should from auto mechanics.

I would think, that in performance based employment, a go getter with his eye on a raise because he busts his ass, would do a better job, than someone payed based on what the union thinks he should be paid. As for AA191, that was due to not following the proper maintenace procedures (Transport Workers Union - 514). JAL123 - if I remember right, blew the bulkhead because it wasn't put back together right (Repaired by Boeing - Union). UA232 - again, due to lazy maintenance (IAM). I don't know if they were union shops or not, but given the right amount of incentive, a go getter would get the job done right the first time. I just don't see too many go getters in the union world.

[Edited 2006-09-04 07:57:31]
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Lucky42
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 2:57 pm

Quoting Go3Team (Reply 34):
I just don't see too many go getters in the union world.

Yeah, my professor in college always told me what go getters those product relocation specialists were..Damn I should have listened to him.
 
atmx2000
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 2:59 pm

Quoting HPLASOps (Reply 32):
Instead of regulating price - regulate costs. Limit the amount of money a company can spend on the marketing aspect of medicine - the perks given to doctors to "push" pills, the bombardment of advertisements in all forms of media - that drives up the costs of medicine more than the research. Regulate how much money they can spend on the marketing and that will control the price to the consumer. And for the free market argument - well we are talking about a potential necessity item as opposed to a luxury good - scales of ecomony should be different for necessity goods and luxury goods.

Why are they marketing these drugs? In most cases because they aren't essential and they are trying to build demand. The drugs with the high marketing costs are typically lifestyle drugs, which improve quality of life but aren't saving someone's life. Don't have insurance pay for them, and the marketing will go away unless consumers are willing to pay for the product.
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 3:02 pm

Quoting Lucky42 (Reply 31):
True, But we were not asking for surgeons wages either. But I have to wonder what those passengers on JAL 123 or AA 191 or UAL 232 were thinking as their a/c was heading for the dirt? I think they would have had a better day if their respective a/c maintenance problems had been caught before disaster don't you think? This is what separates us or so it should from auto mechanics.

Sadly some accidents aren't always human error of one on the mechanic and maintenance end of everything. Look at the tragic results of numerous human errors in Kentucky just over one week ago. One controller in the tower who just did his job dispatching the CRJ and hit the desk for admin work. Two pilots not realizing some of the work on taxiway "A" would alter their path to runway 22 and lining up on runway 26 (1500' too short). and likely a contractor that didn't communicate alterations to the airport deputy director for airfield maintenance. The "Swiss Cheese" effect where multiple seemingly small mistakes that could be caught don't and then line-up with the tragic results all of us saw and feel terrible about.

Quoting Go3Team (Reply 34):
I don't know if they were union shops or not, but given the right amount of incentive, a go getter would get the job done right the first time. I just don't see too many go getter's in the union world.

On a happier note a few weeks ago in Los Angeles an AA 762 Captain and 1st Officer reported something highly unfamiliar in the left engine as they came into LAX. The Technical team towed it over to near the hanger and ran a stress test on the engine, and it blew with horrifying results that we all saw photos of here on A.net. This is where good professionalism and teamwork come together and avert a likely tragedy. Hopefully AA will make notice of the flight deck crew and tech team that spotted and caught this before it made front page news as another air disaster with massive loss of life like AA 191 out of ORD back in May of 1979.  goldmedal 
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Go3Team
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 3:06 pm

Quoting Lucky42 (Reply 35):
Yeah, my professor in college always told me what go getters those product relocation specialists were..Damn I should have listened to him.

If thats the case, then you probably should have. If mocking me because you lost your job as a grease monkey makes you feel better, than go ahead, I can take it. If you want to go into how ridiculous the Teamsters are, we can discuss that too. I respect most (if not all) aircraft mechanics (or whatever the position is called) more than I do a Teamster.

Quoting SLCUT2777 (Reply 37):
This is where good professionalism and teamwork come together and avert a likely tragedy.

I imagine this happens every day, and we don't hear about it. They just don't make the news like a multi-million dollar aircraft going up in flames does.

[Edited 2006-09-04 08:17:28]
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HPLASOps
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 3:14 pm

Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 36):
Why are they marketing these drugs? In most cases because they aren't essential and they are trying to build demand.

But it's also true that the same companies who make the more cosmetic drugs also make the more necessary drugs - the big companies dominate the entire market.

Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 36):
Don't have insurance pay for them, and the marketing will go away unless consumers are willing to pay for the product.

Not a bad idea man - quite plausable.
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Lucky42
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 3:16 pm

Quoting Go3Team (Reply 38):
If mocking me because you lost your job as a grease monkey makes you feel better, than go ahead, I can take it.

Wasn't really my intention but you seem to paint union people with a pretty broad brush. You obviously know little about what I do or how much training I have endured and make ignorant statements. While some of what you say has merit there happen to be slack asses in all professions not just in unions. By the way I happen to be just as ignorant about what you do for a living but I wouldn't profess to what I think you should earn either..
 
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 3:20 pm

Unions are diseased and so are most of the people who support them. In this day in age, if one is not happy with the company in which they work for, they should find employment elsewhere. Unions had their place back in the day, but this is not the 1930's anymore and anyone who feels they need some 'organization' outside their own company to represent them needs to get a grip. If someone feels they are unjustly compensated for the work in which they perform, then they should grow a pair and find another job or line of work. People who hide behind unions need to realize this is the way the industry is evolving and if they can't handle it, then they need to stop cowering behind some 'organized labor' group and find a new line of work.
 
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 3:22 pm

Quoting Go3Team (Reply 38):
I imagine this happens every day, and we don't hear about it. They just don't make the news like a multi-million dollar aircraft going up in flames does.

Sad, but very true.
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 3:30 pm

Quoting Go3Team (Reply 28):
I could be, that its because WN is still profitable. I imagine if WN started losing money and asked its unions for pay cuts, that the relationship would sour.

I doubt in my lifetime we'll ever see WN ask any of its organized unions for wage concessions. It is too well run a company to get into that mess thankfully, unless there is a drastic paradigm shift of the worst case scenario. Hopefully their pilots will look at what UA, AA, US, NW and DL pilots have all gone through in the last couple of years as they go into talks to extend or offer a new contract. I don't think well see a blow-up of a big fat rat outside WN headquarters near DAL-Love Field anytime soon as we saw near ATL last spring!
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Go3Team
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 3:36 pm

Quoting Lucky42 (Reply 40):
Wasn't really my intention but you seem to paint union people with a pretty broad brush. You obviously know little about what I do or how much training I have endured and make ignorant statements. While some of what you say has merit there happen to be slack asses in all professions not just in unions. By the way I happen to be just as ignorant about what you do for a living but I wouldn't profess to what I think you should earn either..

It's not my intention to bash the union worker, its the leaders of the unions I have issues with. The worker itself should be the one to make his own decision. If they have issues with the workplace, they should be able to address them, with their supervisor, or whatever, and not have someone make a broad decision that affects everyone.

I agree, there are lazy people in every profession. I feel that some union rules protect the lazy moreso than in a non union job.

You're right, I don't know how much training, etc you have, or what you have to lose by not being able to practice the trade you've been working in. By your previous statements, I assume you lost your job with NW. Correct me if I'm wrong. I don't imagine there are too many oppurtunities that offer the amount of money (or senority) that you had at your previous job. It's not my intention to belittle your situation, but this shit happens all the time. It's happened to my dad, who went from a white collar management job - non airline, to a self employed blue collar worker.

I am an ignorant ass, but I try not to show it most of the time. I said some stuff I shouldn't have, and I apologize, but this topic really burns my ass. I deal with Teamster thugs all of the time, and the shit they do really is unnecessary.
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 3:38 pm

Quoting SLCUT2777 (Reply 43):
I doubt in my lifetime we'll ever see WN ask any of its organized unions for wage concessions.

Are you expecting to die soon? I just read where the pilots' contract is up for re-nog and with those pilots being the highest paid for the aircraft type, they'll be looking to trim where they can - WN is in the middle of morphing into a legacy carrier, and all those "happy" employees they retain will max out and make their labor too expensive for their taste.
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MattMSP767
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 3:39 pm

Quoting SLCUT2777 (Reply 43):
I doubt in my lifetime we'll ever see WN ask any of its organized unions for wage concessions

You must be expecting to die within the next few years. Oil has been a huge player in airlines asking for cutbacks. As I'm sure you are fully aware, WN has hedges in place to protect them from such high oil prices. Those hedges will run out within the next handleful of years and then they will be in the same boat as most the airlines are in right now. That is, of course, if oil prices remain at the same level they are at today.
 
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 3:39 pm

Quoting HPLASOps (Reply 39):
But it's also true that the same companies who make the more cosmetic drugs also make the more necessary drugs - the big companies dominate the entire market.

Not particularly relevent if the marketing costs are not more than revenue generated by the marketed drug. The only question is the drug essential or not. There are only a few classes of drugs that are heavily marketed which might have medically necessity in at least some cases (statins, anti-depressants, and anti-herpes drugs). The good news is that when these drugs come off patent, generics appear and drug prices drop significantly. Generic prices are often lower in the US compared to many countries where patented drugs are subjected to price controls. As more of the latest generation drugs come off patent, we will see cost reductions, particularly when those drugs are truly good enough and no significant benefit is derived from some newer patented drug.
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 3:50 pm

Quoting HPLASOps (Reply 45):
Are you expecting to die soon? I just read where the pilots' contract is up for re-nog and with those pilots being the highest paid for the aircraft type, they'll be looking to trim where they can - WN is in the middle of morphing into a legacy carrier, and all those "happy" employees they retain will max out and make their labor too expensive for their taste.

How many times have we seen the price of oil drop like a rock? At the height of the Asian recession back in 1998-1999 how much were you paying for gas at the pump? Yeah, only about half of what you're paying now. It can and will happen again. Sooner or later all speculation bubbles can and will pop. It isn't a matter of "if" but "when." WN saw the spikes in oil prices coming and very smartly hedged against these spikes.  down 

Quoting MattMSP767 (Reply 46):
That is, of course, if oil prices remain at the same level they are at today.

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The market will determine what sort of rate the pilots will get. WN pilots know what UA and DL pilots especially got back in the late 1990s and they saw what happened. If the increase management offers isn't much based on the market prospects, they may merely demand a shorter term in return. Plain and simple collective bargaining.
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SLCUT2777
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RE: Why We Should Support Unions

Mon Sep 04, 2006 3:52 pm

Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 47):
The good news is that when these drugs come off patent, generics appear and drug prices drop significantly. Generic prices are often lower in the US compared to many countries where patented drugs are subjected to price controls. As more of the latest generation drugs come off patent, we will see cost reductions, particularly when those drugs are truly good enough and no significant benefit is derived from some newer patented drug.

However we have seen a great deal of patent manipulation lately, where a company merely repackages one for another and thus continues the patent for another term.
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