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LAXintl
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Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:27 pm

Last month we had a thread that the NMB authorized representation elections at Virgin America for its flight attendant employee group. ( TWU Wants To Unionize At Virgin America (by LAXintl Oct 24 2011 in Civil Aviation) )

Results are in, and of the the 547 voting flight attendant's, 324 (59.2%) voted against representation by the TWU.

Story:
http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/a...irgin-america-flight-attendan.html

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jetjack74
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:18 am

They'll challenge the results, string it out for a year like what happened at DL
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BMIFlyer
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:28 am

Sorry to ask but why do unions in the US insist that crews sign up??

If the crews don't wat to (and they have voted no) then what's the issue?
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LAXintl
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:55 am

Well remember unions are business entities. The more members they have, the more revenue, so there is a strong case to grow their representation base.

Also unionization drives are relatively easy to hold in the US. So its not unusual for a union to chase a company for many years attempting to get in the door with repeat elections. Good recent aviation example is JetBlue with its pilots – already having rejected two unionization votes, I’m sure a 3rd one is only a matter of time over the horizon.
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:17 am

First B6 pilots rejected a union (2 times), then Delta FAs, now VX FAs

I am thinking that after a decade of "Race to the Bottom" with the unions watching (while collecting 2%), many non unionized employees are starting to think "this isn't so bad, they treat me pretty well," and opting out of the older model when the choice is presented.
 
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:32 am

Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 4):

First B6 pilots rejected a union (2 times), then Delta FAs, now VX FAs

The Delta FA's went first. They've rejected union drives twice before. Before B6 existed.
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:43 am

They'll be back, they always come back   
 
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jetjack74
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:50 am

Quoting BMIFlyer (Reply 2):
Sorry to ask but why do unions in the US insist that crews sign up??

Pure and simple: Money. It's not just the unions who try to unionize workforces, it's lobbyists, the Democrat party also benefits from union membership

Quoting BMIFlyer (Reply 2):
If the crews don't wat to (and they have voted no) then what's the issue?

Becuase the union-organizors will fight tooth and nail to access to the property, and with any close elections, they demand interference investigations. They'll use the same tactics they used at the DL organizing campaign Virgin interfered, intimidated, hacked employee accounts, coerced employees. It's politics, it's everywhere and it's all about money. This will drag on at least 3-6 months, if not longer.
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:32 am

jfklganyc From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1865 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted Tue Dec 20 2011 20:17:17 your local time (1 hour 5 minutes 5 secs ago) and read 260 times:



First B6 pilots rejected a union (2 times), then Delta FAs, now VX FAs

I am thinking that after a decade of "Race to the Bottom" with the unions watching (while collecting 2%), many non unionized employees are starting to think "this isn't so bad, they treat me pretty well," and opting out of the older model when the choice is presented.


I say: wait until the company exercises it "right to manage" by screwing with the crews w/o recourse i.e. change work rules on a whim, play favorites w/ the kiss-ups, or treat "trouble makers" with an iron fist.

IT NEVER HURTS TO HAVE AN ADVOCATE because that aint managements job!

[Edited 2011-12-20 18:33:38]
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nycdave
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:57 am

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 3):
Also unionization drives are relatively easy to hold in the US.

Whoa, compared to where? Saudi Arabia? Singapore? The Moon? In the US, which is almost alone in the industralized world in its hostility to unions, unions can't solicit employees of a company, non-employees cannot engage in recruiting, advertising, or promoting a union to company employee, they basically have to do all their work outside of the workplace, except for those employees who undertake to start organizing. On the other side, management is free to use any and all resources at its disposal to undermine and attack unionization efforts -- including preferential treatment for employees who inform on organizers, who pledge to oppose unionization, etc. Union organizers, on the other hand, often find themselves put under the microscope, have shifts and responsibilities changed, be passed over for promotions, and otherwise have their work life made hellish -- which is entirely legal for management to do. It's not quite the Pinkerton Guards cracking skulls to intimidate and break the union ranks, but there's still plenty that is done - legally or semi-legally - to intimidate people from forming unions.

Quoting jetjack74 (Reply 7):
it's lobbyists, the Democrat party also benefits from union membership

Well, the deliberate grammatical error of "Democrat" in place of "Democratic" is enough of a tip-off as to where you're coming from, but that aside, you have a couple things backwards. First off, I am shocked to discover that unions apparently have far more high-paid lobbyists and campaign contributions to offer than, oh, I don't know, every industrial group, the US Chamber of "Commerce", and of course the CEOs and managers who buy tickets for all those 10,000/plate fundraisers. Second, I find it incredible that, apparently, joining a Union suddenly makes people compulsively vote Democratic... Maybe I'm just naive, but I would have thought the more rational explanation for why a majority (but by no means an overwhelming percent) of union members vote Democratic is because, er, the Democratic party is reasonably supportive of union rights and laws protecting workers. But what do I know.

Quoting GEN2STEW (Reply 8):
IT NEVER HURTS TO HAVE AN ADVOCATE because that aint managements job!

   Ain't that the truth. Everyone thinks their company is great, and their management is too good for them to ever need a union... until, of course, they get screwed over. But in this country, we always assume that those sort of things will never happen to US, personally... those things only happen to other people. That said, the best way for a company to avoid unionization is to treat its workers well, and hold managers to strict account for any unfair treatment of employees.

Lord knows unions in this country are far from perfect (and in that, they have something in common with most of our corporations), but they're often the only counterweight to a strain of politics in this country that looks back on the 1890's as a golden age...
 
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:37 am

Quoting GEN2STEW (Reply 8):
IT NEVER HURTS TO HAVE AN ADVOCATE because that aint managements job!

Indeed it never hurts to have an advocate. But an advocate that takes 5% of my pay, all while negotiating a raise for me to LESS THAN I'M ALREADY MAKING, isn't really an advocate at all. And when I got laid off? The HUGE severance package that the IAM promised? Yeah... ZERO DOLLARS. Nothing. Not even a thank you- just a reminder that if I didn't properly WITHDRAW from the union, I would be charged thousands of dollars AGAIN the next time I want a job that is represented by the IAM. Gee, thanks. Any idea how to buy my family Christmas presents that year? Like, with the severance package you promised but failed to negotiate for me?
And yes, that happened TO ME.... you heard it from the horse's mouth.

So NO, thankyou, I will not be joining the dearly beloved union any time soon. Been there, done that, want my thousands of dollars back.

And a lot of other Americans are just as smart as I am. We've watched unions push airlines (and many other types of employers) out of business, all while providing virtually no benefit to us, except for getting fired idiots their jobs back.


Good for the employees of Virgin American. Keep the union out, until the company screws you over, and THEN let 'em have it. But as long as you can, keep the union far, far away from your paycheck. Because dues go up every time you blink, even if benefits never do.
 
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:08 am

Quoting BMIFlyer (Reply 2):
Sorry to ask but why do unions in the US insist that crews sign up??

If the crews don't wat to (and they have voted no) then what's the issue?

In many states in the US, you may actually have to join a union to work..

If you are not a union member, you cannot get certain jobs.

Fortunately, we also have "right to work" states, which don't allow such rules.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-to-work_law
 
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:16 am

Pretty interesting the union rejection lately. Maybe I've just never paid attention. I do though wish they would allow you to choose whether or not to be in the union. Hey if that whatever number wanted a union I say let them. If they don't like it they should be able to say see you later. But sadly it doesn't seem like it ever works that way.
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:25 am

I've a friend, long-time pilot for US Airways (west). He contends every penny he has paid to the union has been wasted money, that they can kiss his... backside.

Still, it has been said that a company and its management get the union that they deserve. Treat people with a reasonable measure of fairness and respect, and they will not opt for union representation in most cases.

As for the poster above who suggests that it is not management's job to be an advocate for the workers in the company, well, I guess the companies in which that's the case deserve to have unions in their house. Many places of work believe that well-treated employees do a better job. And they are usually right.
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m11stephen
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:41 am

Quoting sccutler (Reply 13):
I've a friend, long-time pilot for US Airways (west). He contends every penny he has paid to the union has been wasted money, that they can kiss his... backside.

  I've payed $600 this year in union dues and I have absolutely no idea where that money went... I do know one thing my union leader went to Vegas four times this year.
My opinions, statements, etc. are my own and do not have any association with those of any employer.
 
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:44 am

Quoting GEN2STEW (Reply 8):
IT NEVER HURTS TO HAVE AN ADVOCATE because that aint managements job!

  

Quite the contrary! My job is ABSOLUTELY to be an advocate for the employees on my team. My job is to help them be as successful in their job - and beyond, if they choose to pursue other opportunities within the company - as I can. It's a win-win-win scenario, where their success equals success for the company, and ultimately success for myself as well.

Unfortunately, there are times where part of that job involves counseling employees on attendance or work performance issues, and even terminating their employment when the attendance or work performance either isn't corrected despite my counseling, or is so severe that it simply cannot be tolerated.

Despite what you may think, we in management don't have an agenda of finding ways to run employees out the door!
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:56 am

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 15):
Unfortunately, there are times where part of that job involves counseling employees on attendance or work performance issues, and even terminating their employment when the attendance or work performance either isn't corrected despite my counseling, or is so severe that it simply cannot be tolerated.

Despite what you may think, we in management don't have an agenda of finding ways to run employees out the door!

  If management didn't want you there they wouldn't have hired you in the first place.
My opinions, statements, etc. are my own and do not have any association with those of any employer.
 
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LAXintl
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:14 am

How about the best advocate of all ??

Each person represents themselves, and they are judged on their individual merits and performance, not by some all encompassing contract that sweeps the lemons up with the stars all in one big pile.


For 40 years now, I've relied on the best advocate possible. Myself. I either sink or swim based on my own actions and abilities.

  
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IndianicWorld
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:41 am

Quoting BMIFlyer (Reply 2):
Sorry to ask but why do unions in the US insist that crews sign up??

If the crews don't wat to (and they have voted no) then what's the issue?

Its the same in many industries. The only choice Unions want is a right to try and push their own agenda on the workers. They see it as a right to be in a union, but if majority rules, well they lose this one fair and square  

Happy to hear about this result.
 
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:59 am

Quoting nycdave (Reply 9):
Lord knows unions in this country are far from perfect (and in that, they have something in common with most of our corporations), but they're often the only counterweight to a strain of politics in this country that looks back on the 1890's as a golden age...

   Truer words have not been spoken...thank you.

IMHO unions have serious problems and desperately need to be cleaned up, but I shudder to think of what the world would be like if unions were done away with, or especially if they had never been allowed to come into existence.
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:50 pm

Quoting GEN2STEW (Reply 8):
Quoting GEN2STEW (Reply 8):
I say: wait until the company exercises it "right to manage" by screwing with the crews w/o recourse i.e. change work rules on a whim, play favorites w/ the kiss-ups, or treat "trouble makers" with an iron fist.

IT NEVER HURTS TO HAVE AN ADVOCATE because that aint managements job!

How do you define a kiss up? Those who work hard and raise the bar for an entire work group? If I'm hiring, that's the guy I want.
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cmf
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:05 pm

Quoting nycdave (Reply 9):
Lord knows unions in this country are far from perfect (and in that, they have something in common with most of our corporations), but they're often the only counterweight to a strain of politics in this country that looks back on the 1890's as a golden age...

Absolutely correct. And it is not just in US.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 15):
Despite what you may think, we in management don't have an agenda of finding ways to run employees out the door!

Of course the agenda isn't to run employees out the door. The goal is to get highest possible productivity at lowest cost.

You'r comments sounds like middle management. On that level people are employees more than management. They cary out orders, make things happen and do not have any real say in the direction of the company.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 17):
Each person represents themselves, and they are judged on their individual merits and performance, not by some all encompassing contract that sweeps the lemons up with the stars all in one big pile.

That works when you have a unique skill and is the best way under those circumstances. It does not work when you can be replaced by someone after a few hours or days training. In the later case the only equalizer to management is numbers. A single employee or even a few can be replaced without problems. More that that and the company is in trouble. That is what it takes to get management to take those employees seriously.

Discussions about unions in US is far to opinionated. Yes unions have a horrible history. Much because infiltration by mobs early on. Yes unions do really stupid things today. But so do many companies.

There are also many examples of unions and companies doing the right things, but they never get mentioned. For some reason...

Having international C level experience I was absolutely disgusted by many of the management practices I saw coming to US. Not every company, but a large percentage. The costs from poorly motivated employees who have little experience in how the company wants things to work is enormous and is so rooted it is almost impossible to change. And that is a management issue. Not an employee or union issue.
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:12 pm

Quoting nycdave (Reply 9):
Ain't that the truth. Everyone thinks their company is great, and their management is too good for them to ever need a union... until, of course, they get screwed over.

And Unions don't screw over their members? They are business entities just like the employers. They're in it for the money.
But it works both ways. I can screw over my employer any day by just walking out for a better job, without any advanced notice. They paid for my masters degree and all the trainning I have received over the 10 years that I have worked for them, just to stay current in my industry. And I can walk away with al lof that without so much as a day's notice.
 
sulley
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:30 pm

VX employees probably looked over at the mess of AFA at UA and said no way!
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T5towbar
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:45 pm

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 12):
Still, it has been said that a company and its management get the union that they deserve. Treat people with a reasonable measure of fairness and respect, and they will not opt for union representation in most cases.

So true.

If a company is forward thinking and treats their employees with respect and dignity and compensates properly, then there will be no need for a union. BUT, and that's a big but....... there are some politicians who want to strip away worker protections and laws, which were created so employers would not arbitrarily abuse and punish employees (in the name of so called "flexibility" and "competitiveness"), so there may still be a need for a union. Hell, unionized workers are down to about 7% in the private sector, so you really can't blame unions for most of the economic problems. (Don't let me get into the public sector, where I really know they are needed because of all of the political machinations)

Good capitalism need some socialism in order for it to work properly.

Companies get the union(s) they deserve.

[Edited 2011-12-21 06:47:53]
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ckfred
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:04 pm

I wonder how much the recent comments from the president of the TWU regarding AA's bankruptcy played into the vote at VX? Some of them were downright mean, such as hoping that some AA executives would lose their houses to foreclosure, as many working people have. That's the kind of language that gets management to "dig in their heels" during negotiations.

I read an article once about why people vote against unions. One of the top reasons is that people want to be able to talk to their direct supervisors and higher, without such talks being adversarial or requiring the presence of a shop steward.
 
gen2stew
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:09 pm

I define a kiss-up as the ones who are always in the office or bringing in goodies or doing grunt work to make them look good in the eyes of the supervisors.

Not every union is a blessing, not every industry needs union representation, but untill there is absolute equality in discipline and no bending of defined work rules a union is not a bad thing in this industry.
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T5towbar
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:52 pm

Quoting ckfred (Reply 25):
I read an article once about why people vote against unions. One of the top reasons is that people want to be able to talk to their direct supervisors and higher, without such talks being adversarial or requiring the presence of a shop steward.

That may be true in some cases, but if I am brought up on something entirely bogus and my job is on the line, I want the representation needed to fight such claim. Everybody cannot afford an attorney who specializes in employment law. At least with a union, you yourself do not have the whole full force of the company against you. At least you have an advocate, and trained lawyers at your back. It's only adversarial when it has to be.

A lot of workplaces have open door policies. Most of those companies are forward thinking and will work to keep things right. But that's not all companies, though. And everybody just can't walk up and ask for a raise or promotion, just like that.
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boilerla
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:25 pm

Quoting m11stephen (Reply 16):
If management didn't want you there they wouldn't have hired you in the first place.

LOL. Riiiiiight. Rule number one: a company has one obligation: to its shareholders. They do NOT care about you.

Trust me, I'm a hiring manager at a Fortune 100. When it comes to layoffs, the first question that I'm asked is "who costs the most". It's not who did the best job, or who is the most promising. I'm given X dollars to remove from my budget, and I submit then names to HR, who then decides which of them to lay off after doing a cost/benefit analysis. People ARE NUMBERS. Because we "lay people off" instead of firing them, there's zero chance for litigation, and zero recourse.

It's the kindler, gentler, way of doing what happened pre-union...firing somebody without cause and then replacing them with somebody who will work for 20% less.

"Management" wants who costs the least while doing an acceptable job. Period.
 
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:26 pm

I don't see the big fuss in this thread. The VX FAs don't want a union, that is their choice. Other groups chose a union. That's their choice. Nothing is black and white, one isn't better than another in all cases. To VX FAs, a union is not good. Maybe that will change in a few years, but those people who are NOT VX FAs have no right to say if they are wrong or not
 
apodino
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:51 pm

Quoting boilerla (Reply 28):

LOL. Riiiiiight. Rule number one: a company has one obligation: to its shareholders. They do NOT care about you.

This mindset is what got us into this problem in the first place. I always bring up Southwest because Herb Kelleher believed that the shareholders come last, because if you take care of the employees and they take care of the customers, this will automatically take care of the shareholders. The results over the years seem to back up this philosophy as well.

Companies need to stop looking at employees as a burden. Personally, I do not want to be a shareholder of a company that does not take care of its employees, because if the stock price goes up, I am making money at the expense of other hard working people that are being put on the street.

If this country shifted to a country where companies existed to help employees provide for their families as well as provide a product or a service that helps people, rather than one where companies exist to make money for shareholders, this country would be so much better off for it.
 
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EA CO AS
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:00 pm

Quoting cmf (Reply 21):
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 15):
Despite what you may think, we in management don't have an agenda of finding ways to run employees out the door!

Of course the agenda isn't to run employees out the door. The goal is to get highest possible productivity at lowest cost.

You'r comments sounds like middle management. On that level people are employees more than management. They cary out orders, make things happen and do not have any real say in the direction of the company.

Gee, thanks so much for the backhanded compliment.   

No, the goal is to get the highest possible QUALITY possible, along with high levels of productivity and low cost. But the quality piece is the key driver here, and without it it's immaterial what the other two are. Paraphrasing Gordon Bethune, if I ran a pizza joint I could cut costs and increase productivity but the result would be a pizza so lousy that no one would buy it. And that's not how you succeed in business.

An airline has assets that require a lot of care and are expensive to maintain, but when cared for properly they enable you to carry your customers in safety and comfort. And I'm not for a second talking about airplanes - I'm talking about the people. THEY are the true assets, and without them firing on all cylinders, your company cannot succeed.

You don't get that success by merely cracking the proverbial whip and demanding productivity increases.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
Maverick623
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:28 pm

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 15):

Despite what you may think, we in management don't have an agenda of finding ways to run employees out the door!

That's because YOUR bosses want it that way. At my job, draconian policies have resulted in thousands of people becoming unemployed, either through furloughs or terminations. Our managers don't want to do that any more than you, but their bosses do. If they don't comply, there's nobody to back them up, and they're out the door.

If you want to see how your company really wants to treat their employees, look at who they contract work out to (in some cases, their own subsidiaries).

Some airlines are great in that aspect, others, not so much.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 31):
Paraphrasing Gordon Bethune, if I ran a pizza joint I could cut costs and increase productivity but the result would be a pizza so lousy that no one would buy it. And that's not how you succeed in business.

Except airlines in the US are an oligarchy bordering on a cartel. The drop in service over the last 10 years has been disgusting, and only in the last 1-2 years have the airlines made an effort to improve their image.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 31):

You don't get that success by merely cracking the proverbial whip and demanding productivity increases.

The only successes upper management cares about are their bonuses. Having a BOD claim they can't pay their bills and file bankruptcy, only to give their CEO millions of dollars in bonuses says it all.
"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
 
ABQopsHP
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:50 pm

Quoting cmf (Reply 21):
The costs from poorly motivated employees who have little experience in how the company wants things to work is enormous and is so rooted it is almost impossible to change. And that is a management issue. Not an employee or union issue.

This is very true. The company I work for now has just completed a merger. The new company appears to want high attrition rates and poorly trained staff. They do not want someone making it a career working in customer service. You dont see many in the regional airline industry that have much experience, and yet the majors want the regionals to run ground staffing on the cheap, to avoid payroll and insurance expenses. Thus you create an enviroment where the employee seeks representation from a union to protect themselves. Yes there is a lot of politics in Unions, having once been a union steward at HP, I learned much from that. Not being a fan of unions in general, I do see a need for them in certain areas.

JD CRPXE
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LAXintl
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:40 pm

Quoting ABQopsHP (Reply 33):
he company I work for now has just completed a merger. The new company appears to want high attrition rates and poorly trained staff. They do not want someone making it a career working in customer service.

And nothing wrong with that.

Back in the 1990s I worked for one of the worlds (still) most reputable foreign airline. They clearly had a policy that they did not want front-line folks more than 5-years. The pay structure was set up in that manner. You either managed to be promoted to something new, or you hit a financial ceiling in your 6th year.

They simply preferred to get new, young energized folks in the front door, and let the haggard older ones out the back.

And this works, and it still works. People fall over each other to apply for this company and they are consistently held in very high consumer esteem. Its a working business model that provides good talent at a low cost base.
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rwy04lga
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:49 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 17):
How about the best advocate of all ??

Each person represents themselves, and they are judged on their individual merits and performance, not by some all encompassing contract that sweeps the lemons up with the stars all in one big pile.


For 40 years now, I've relied on the best advocate possible. Myself. I either sink or swim based on my own actions and abilities.
Couldn't have said it better

Quoting boilerla (Reply 28):
LOL. Riiiiiight. Rule number one: a company has one obligation: to its shareholders. They do NOT care about you

Then don't work for them.
Just accept that some days, you're the pigeon, and other days the statue
 
gen2stew
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:55 pm

The Company wants to and has lawyers, accountants, and consultants to get the most for the least. Fine it's their money. Employees especially in the airline business need representation to couter the bean counters "offers". Unions also hire, accountants, lawyers... to get more for thier members. It is the employess time, effort, and safety.

And, please do not mention Delta. They feel it is cheaper to pay a bit more in wage + benefits to keep unions out... From my seat they (DL) have benfited from every crontract fought for at other carriers (to keep employees quiet and union free).

When ever I hear "my team or my employees are an assett" it is no more than PC mumbo jumbo (especially true as the company grows) to make the employee feel "valued", "loved" to instill loyality etc. Those on the exit end of the balance sheet are LIABILITIES just as is the rent, A/C leases, etc... and are viewed so more and more.

This is not a Walgreen's commercial that takes place in the land of perfect. This business is just that a business. For profit. It gets nasty at times.
I don't know why blessings wear disguises. If I were a blessing, I'd run around nude!
 
coachclass
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:07 pm

You get what you pay for. It's a free country. But when management screws you over, who ya gonna call?

BTW, you don't see DELTA pilots without a union. Why is that?
 
cmf
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:20 pm

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 31):
No, the goal is to get the highest possible QUALITY possible

As far as I'm concerned production below defined quality is nothing produced, i.e. waste of time and resources. And that applies to hard products and soft products.
Don’t repeat earlier generations mistakes. Learn history for a better future.
 
StarAC17
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:54 pm

Quoting GEN2STEW (Reply 8):
I say: wait until the company exercises it "right to manage" by screwing with the crews w/o recourse i.e. change work rules on a whim, play favorites w/ the kiss-ups, or treat "trouble makers" with an iron fist.

That it what is bad about unions is that they look at seniority instead of overall productivity. You could have a new person whom has great potential but they are the ones per union rules that gets shown the pink-slip when belt tightening occurs. Once you get senior it promotes laziness because you know your job is safe.

Also when you mention kiss-ups know this quote "You have to kiss ass until you can kick it." Everyone hates the ass kisser but they are the one thats probably going to get the promotion.

Quoting boilerla (Reply 28):
People ARE NUMBERS. Because we "lay people off" instead of firing them, there's zero chance for litigation, and zero recourse.

Unions lay people off all the time as well, just look at the auto industry as an example but with a union lay-off you are obliged to hire back those same staff when business picks up again.

What your company might call a lay-off is firing without cause but in order to escape litigation you usually give a package of up to one years salary.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 31):
An airline has assets that require a lot of care and are expensive to maintain, but when cared for properly they enable you to carry your customers in safety and comfort. And I'm not for a second talking about airplanes - I'm talking about the people. THEY are the true assets, and without them firing on all cylinders, your company cannot succeed.

You need to start running some big businesses then because not a lot of corporate leaders have that attitude and despite the race to the bottom attitude that US airlines have had most legacy carriers are generally unprofitable.
Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
 
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mayor
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:13 pm

Quoting GEN2STEW (Reply 26):
or doing grunt work

As opposed to the lazy bastards that don't want to do the grunt work, I suppose?

Quoting GEN2STEW (Reply 36):
And, please do not mention Delta. They feel it is cheaper to pay a bit more in wage benefits to keep unions out... From my seat they (DL) have benfited from every crontract fought for at other carriers (to keep employees quiet and union free).

From MY seat, apparently, you've never worked for DL. You have the attitude that I see from alot of people on the outside, misguided as it is. From MY seat, having worked for DL for 33+ years, I can't remember a time, that, when we got a payraise or an increase in benefits, we were in danger of a union coming in. It just WASN'T there. There was no threat of unionization and if there was, it was just that.....a threat. We knew that nothing much would come from it. I believe the TWU's 17% votes FOR the union, says it all.

This last situation was much different. It wasn't like a union was trying to come in and organize ALL the work groups. You had roughly 1/2 of the workgroups already organized and the unions were trying to organize the other half. Didn't work now, either.
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
 
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jetjack74
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:01 am

Quoting nycdave (Reply 9):
Well, the deliberate grammatical error of "Democrat" in place of "Democratic" is enough of a tip-off as to where you're coming from,

No, I mean't Democrat, as I can't bring myself to calling it "Democratic", that's ring them far too much credit. Maybe I should say "DemocRat" next time.

Quoting nycdave (Reply 9):
but that aside, you have a couple things backwards. First off, I am shocked to discover that unions apparently have far more high-paid lobbyists and campaign contributions to offer than, oh, I don't know, every industrial group, the US Chamber of "Commerce",

I never said they didn't, but BMIFlyer was just asking why they don't give up, and I was just explaining why. The Republican party is not exempt, they have their special interest donors/lobbyists as well.

Quoting nycdave (Reply 9):
Second, I find it incredible that, apparently, joining a Union suddenly makes people compulsively vote Democratic...

When was the last time you heard a union-leader say "I can't wait for the next Republican to be elected"? I can't remember that

Quoting nycdave (Reply 9):
Maybe I'm just naive, but I would have thought the more rational explanation for why a majority (but by no means an overwhelming percent) of union members vote Democratic is because, er, the Democratic party is reasonably supportive of union rights and laws protecting workers. But what do I know.

I never said anything about the individual, but the dues go straight to the Democrat"IC" party. So while the individual vote may not be automatically for the Democrat"IC" party, all the money does. But yes, I think you are a little naive.
Made from jets!
 
m11stephen
Posts: 372
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:01 am

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 34):
Quoting ABQopsHP (Reply 33):
he company I work for now has just completed a merger. The new company appears to want high attrition rates and poorly trained staff. They do not want someone making it a career working in customer service.

And nothing wrong with that.

Back in the 1990s I worked for one of the worlds (still) most reputable foreign airline. They clearly had a policy that they did not want front-line folks more than 5-years. The pay structure was set up in that manner. You either managed to be promoted to something new, or you hit a financial ceiling in your 6th year.

They simply preferred to get new, young energized folks in the front door, and let the haggard older ones out the back.

And this works, and it still works. People fall over each other to apply for this company and they are consistently held in very high consumer esteem. Its a working business model that provides good talent at a low cost base.

  I've said it before and I will say it again; working as a F/A, CSA or the like is not a career, it is a job. If an agent or F/A chooses to treat it as a career that is not the fault of the airline. Front line customer service personnel who have been there six months are able to do the job just as well as someone who has been there six years. Unions have succeeded in turning these jobs into careers. There is no reason a F/A should be making $50 a flight hour or a CSA making $20 an hour. These are both low skill jobs. I always roll my eyes when I hear a CSA or F/A say, "I cant afford my mortgage!" As the CEO of Northwest said, "Flight attendants shouldn't have mortgages."
My opinions, statements, etc. are my own and do not have any association with those of any employer.
 
nycdave
Posts: 301
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:59 am

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 17):
For 40 years now, I've relied on the best advocate possible. Myself.

Well, you certainly are lucky to be able to be one of the best lawyers, workplace safety monitors, negotiators, and investigators! Most working people in this country certainly aren't.

Quoting cmf (Reply 21):
You'r comments sounds like middle management. On that level people are employees more than management. They cary out orders, make things happen and do not have any real say in the direction of the company.

This is one of the main reasons unionization is so low in the US as opposed to the rest of the world -- Unions are painted as things only "blue collar" people need... when, in reality, just because you have some token title and work in an office, doesn't make you any closer to the boardroom in any effective way. That lack of consciousness, though, has allowed work rules in this country that let a country work you as many hours as they demand, without paying you overtime or compensating you with time off... and if you don't like it or think it's unfair or unsafe? Tough luck, you're non-union and "employed at will".

Quoting airbazar (Reply 22):
And Unions don't screw over their members? They are business entities just like the employers. They're in it for the money.

As I've said before, unions have a lot of problems... but they are DEMOCRACIES, something no corporation ever is. Just like any democracy -- like, say, our government -- the quality of representation has a lot to do with how informed, involved, and active the participants are.

I've seen firsthand how lousy and corrupt some unions can be... my mother faught in her union against the president's attempt to remove term limits on his office. He wound up winning by spending union money to drive in, via limo, chapter representatives for the vote who had NEVER shown up for any vote before. A friend of mine who worked in M&A once had a union rep insist on post-merger layoffs, even though the new management, which had good relations with THEIR union (from that side of the merger) wasn't requesting any. The reasons? They wanted to get rid of some employees who had been challenging some leaders in elections, and wanted members to be "scared that things could have been worse without us".

But I've also worked my entire life in non-union positions, and working in investment banking got to see how decisions are often made in the executive suite. Those can be just as bad -- I saw people fired for everything from objecting to blatant safety violations, to refusing the advances of an HR head -- and without even a pretense of recourse by voting, or appealing to a union rep. Sure, you THEORETICALLY can sue for what few rights you still have... but how many people have the resources to hire a lawyer to spend up to 5 years investigating, suing, and appealing your case?

There are bad unions, and there are bad companies, and there are good ones. Most have bad parts and good parts. But saying that no unions are effective or necessary is as blinkered as saying no companies can treat their workers right. I'd rather have a good union, and a good company, than any other combination in the world. Many companies and unions have good relationships and view themselves - rightly - as being a valuable part of making a company productive.

Quoting T5towbar (Reply 24):
Hell, unionized workers are down to about 7% in the private sector, so you really can't blame unions for most of the economic problems.

Oh, sure you can. Haven't you ever watched Fox News? :P

Quoting apodino (Reply 30):
If this country shifted to a country where companies existed to help employees provide for their families as well as provide a product or a service that helps people, rather than one where companies exist to make money for shareholders, this country would be so much better off for it.

In a related thought, it would be great if no one ever got sick and died.  


Look, VX opted for an election rather than a card-check. That means they picked an adversarial approach, and one where either side can appeal and contest, and where the union can try as many times as the pro-union employees want. If the VX workers don't want one, or don't think the union organizing there will do a good job for them, that's their call. I'm just defending the basic idea and value of unions.

As for the closed shop -- which some people don't seem to understand -- the reason is that collective bargaining doesn't work if membership is optional (this is why "right-to-work" laws are really "right for companies to never have unions if they don't want em"). After all, if you're a company with a work group that's half union and half non, and the union negotiated a better deal than your non-union employees get, why not just fire the bastards? For that matter, why not only hire employees who swear to you they'll never join the union? In fact, hire some of those guys and promote them and give them preferential treatment... after all, what'll the union do? Strike? In an open shop, you can just tell them to go "f" themselves, and replace the lot of them... or, if any of them want their job back, maybe offer it to them at greatly reduced pay.
 
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mayor
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:05 am

Quoting m11stephen (Reply 42):
I've said it before and I will say it again; working as a F/A, CSA or the like is not a career, it is a job. If an agent or F/A chooses to treat it as a career that is not the fault of the airline. Front line customer service personnel who have been there six months are able to do the job just as well as someone who has been there six years. Unions have succeeded in turning these jobs into careers. There is no reason a F/A should be making $50 a flight hour or a CSA making $20 an hour. These are both low skill jobs. I always roll my eyes when I hear a CSA or F/A say, "I cant afford my mortgage!" As the CEO of Northwest said, "Flight attendants shouldn't have mortgages."

Then you insult all the fine folks that consider it a career and have been there for many, many years. At 33 years, I considered myself as skilled, if not moreso, than someone with 6 months. Did you ever wonder who the young folks would turn to when the sh*t hit the fan? It sure wasn't their fellow workers with 2 years or less......they turned to the experienced people with much more time than they had. Whether I was working on the ramp or in air cargo, I thought of myself as pretty damn well skilled as most of my fellow workers were and are. Have a little respect.  
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
 
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LAXintl
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Thu Dec 22, 2011 7:26 am

Quoting nycdave (Reply 43):
Well, you certainly are lucky to be able to be one of the best lawyers, workplace safety monitors, negotiators, and investigators! Most working people in this country certainly aren't.

No, I just don't need anyone to speak on my behalf.

I live and die by my own sword. I take the risk, and reap the rewards of my own doing.

If I fall on my face, shame on me, and if I hit a pot of gold, kudos to my brilliance.

Simple self reliance 101. Don't need anyone to be the middle man for me, while needlessly collecting their commission off my blood, sweat and tears.

Basic way my parent raised me.

[Edited 2011-12-21 23:28:35]
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
PI767
Posts: 192
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Thu Dec 22, 2011 7:51 am

Quoting m11stephen (Reply 42):
I've said it before and I will say it again; working as a F/A, CSA or the like is not a career, it is a job. If an agent or F/A chooses to treat it as a career that is not the fault of the airline. Front line customer service personnel who have been there six months are able to do the job just as well as someone who has been there six years. Unions have succeeded in turning these jobs into careers. There is no reason a F/A should be making $50 a flight hour or a CSA making $20 an hour. These are both low skill jobs. I always roll my eyes when I hear a CSA or F/A say, "I cant afford my mortgage!" As the CEO of Northwest said, "Flight attendants shouldn't have mortgages."

I know there is a way to add someone as a "respected user." Is there a way to add someone as a "non-respected user?" Seriously, man, you have just offended so many people I cannot believe it.

I remember my first airline job.... our ticket counter was next to another airline whos most JUNIOR agent had 25+ years with that company. Most of those people, had 30 or 40 years put in with that airline and most could remember the days before jet aircraft. (They had AWESOME stories, by the way.) Many of them had worked for multiple airlines....and not because they had QUIT one and left for another.... but because of multiple mergers over the years....and they were great people who, 30 or 40 years ago, decided to make being a ticket agent a career.

I have a good family friend who has flown for Delta for almost 50 years. She may not have decided to make being a "stewardess" a career in the early 60s, but that is what her career became.

Look at all of the people who have retired from airlines....who were hired in the 50s, 60s, 70s as ticket agents or flight attendants.....it WAS their career.

I'm sorry, but your comments are very disrespectful to them.

I, for one, am proud of the amount of money I make as an airline employee and I do plan on making it a career and I do not and will not apologize for the amount of money I earn.

You've mentioned you are a front-line airline employee and if you do not want to make a career out of it, then don't. But don't knock the people who have chosen to do so.
"Piedmont. The Model of What a Good Airline Should Be."
 
airbazar
Posts: 10224
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RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:52 pm

Quoting boilerla (Reply 28):
"Management" wants who costs the least while doing an acceptable job. Period.

You left out the word "Bad" at the beginning of that phrase. That's how you run companies into the ground.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 32):
Except airlines in the US are an oligarchy bordering on a cartel. The drop in service over the last 10 years has been disgusting, and only in the last 1-2 years have the airlines made an effort to improve their image.

And that is why fares have accompained the drop in service, and airlines have struggled to stay in business.
If all you provide is a crap product, eventually you will go out of business. If the US airline industry was a free industry (no limit on foreign ownership), there wouldn't be a single legacy carrier still in existence.
 
OOer
Posts: 995
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2005 2:10 pm

RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:55 pm

Quoting LTC8K6 (Reply 11):
Fortunately, we also have "right to work" states, which don't allow such rules.

Fortunately?

It is not a coincidence that the average wages in right-to-work states are about $5,000 lower then in the states that are not right-to-work.
 
BladeLWS
Posts: 358
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2005 12:41 pm

RE: Virgin America Crews Reject Union In Vote

Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:01 pm

Quoting ooer (Reply 48):
Fortunately?

It is not a coincidence that the average wages in right-to-work states are about $5,000 lower then in the states that are not right-to-work.

And precisely how much does that $5,000 goes to the unions when they collect their fee?

To many people have been watching hollywood movies. "Oh managment is the bad guy, Oh they're out to get me!"

I'd like to see a union do some good for once in the industry. In both the airline and auto industry unions have destroyed those companies, quality has gone down, service has gone down, companies have gone bankrupt and no longer exist. Workers in many of the unions got laid off because they were getting paid $20 an hour to hang a door on a car... I could go on.

Heck I remember a time where people working for these companies took PRIDE in the quality and service without needing to ask for a handout or demands.

A company builds a car (Toyota and BMW for example, both have non-union plants in South Carolina), they build really good quality cars. Cars that last a very long time, little maintenance. Second company builds a car (GM and Ford for example, union), used to have plants all over the Detroit area, then they started loosing truck loads of money to unions. What happens next is the companies move plants out of state or to another country. The service and quality of those cars goes down, the price stays in line with other car manufacturers because they had to cut loss' (image the price and quality of GM or Ford cars if they were all still being built in Michigan! Nobody would buy them!). Those union workers are now out of a job (Michigan has the highest unemployment in the US), and one wonders why there are so many people out of work there...

So to end the lesson of simple economics.
- Cost of manufacture stays low = lower total price = more profit for the company (this is NOT a bad thing, it means everyone doesn't get laid off).

-Cost of manufacture stays high = higher total price = less profit, company goes under OR (now this is what happened to the big 3) companies move operations elsewhere and lower quality of the product so they can sell the item and a price equivilant to a car being built by another company.

and before anyone starts yelling at me saying that I'm anti-union, I'm not. I think representation in the workforce is a good thing and support it. I do not support outrageous demands and payscales for low-skill jobs.

/end rant

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