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 Post subject: I HATE F#%$(# UNIONS!!!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 1:10 pm 
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I used to be part of a union - scratch that - I used to be forcibly represented by a union that I never joined. My union dues were diverted to charity. The one time the union went on strike, I worked from home and continued to collect my paycheque. I left not long after to a much better paying, more satisfying job in a non-unionized workplace. I'll never go back to a unionized job. I want to be judged on how good a job I'm doing, not on my seniority. Unions promote mediocrity. Do as little as possible to not get fired, and nothing more. Over achieve, and the other union members will give you hard time for making them look bad.

Here in Ottawa, the bus drivers and mechanics have been on strike for over 2 weeks now. Fine. They're a union, they have the right to strike. In these days of recession, where people are losing their jobs and their homes, the bus drivers are being offered a 7% raise over 3 years (3%, 2%, 2%) plus a one time $2000 bonus payable immediately.

Their complaint though, is scheduling. Under the old contract, bus drivers can choose their own routes by seniority. This allows the older drivers to pick routes that have them working as little as 6 hours/day while still getting paid for 8. It also means that the younger drivers have to pick over the remains, and often end up with routes that don't meet, requiring them to spend time traveling from one part of the city to another to start their next run. The city wants to change that, so the drivers and routes can be scheduled more efficiently. They seem to think (and the union boss has publicly stated this) that most workers get to pick their own hours (bullshit!), so why shouldn't they.

While these assholes are walking picket lines instead of doing their job, seniors are trapped with no way of getting to the grocery store, volunteers are unable to get where they're needed, small businesses are losing their shirts due to a drastic decrease in Christmas shoppers, emergency response times are increasing because emergency vehicles can't get through the traffic, and people are losing their jobs because they can't get there.

But to hell with all that, the union has a right to strike.

Ok, why is it that a union on strike has the right to block access to parking garages and city lots? They are stopping each car for 3 minutes before letting them in. 3 minutes doesn't sound too bad, until you are in a line of 50 cars, then 3 minutes becomes 2.5 hours! Traffic flow is being severely hampered, and causing traffic jams all over the place, and leading to dangerous situations with emergency vehicles getting stuck in traffic.

But to hell with all that, the bus drivers want to pick their own hours.

The World Junior Hockey Championships start here on Friday, a once in a lifetime event for a city. 25,000 visitors from all over the world are expected to come to Ottawa for the tournament. But one of the two venues happens to be owned by the city. The union has ordered all picketers to show up at that location at noon on Friday, to stop cars from entering the parking lot. If the union is successful in disrupting this tournament, it will be a major black eye on the city, and will affect other events coming to Ottawa in the future.

But to hell with all that, the damned bus drivers don't want to work for the hours they get paid.

Why is a union allowed to do things during a strike that you can't do any other time? If I gathered a group of people and we tried to block access to the parking lots, we'd find our asses in jail. So why is the union allowed to do this?

The people in this city are so fed up and so pissed off with the drivers right now, that if I was a driver, I'd be seriously thinking about not going back to work because of fears for my safety. The drivers are driving public outrage so high, and yet these are the same people they are going to have to interact with every day once this bullshit strike is over.

I HATE F(*#%$# UNIONS!

BTW, the union just walked away from the bargaining table - again.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 2:44 pm 
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hire scabs and replace them all. I also have little patients with unions. One not the only reason the big 3 are in trouble is the high price of wages paid to Union works and the union won't budge to help the companies survive. Talk about cutting off your nose despite your face.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 3:31 pm 
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ScottHadl wrote:
One not the only reason the big 3 are in trouble is the high price of wages paid to Union works and the union won't budge to help the companies survive. Talk about cutting off your nose despite your face.


The main reason the big three are in trouble is that they rely on people buying a new vehicle every 4 years, and often luxury cars at inflated prices on huge amounts of credit. If that's your business strategy, you're doomed the moment people are forced to make sensible decisions (like keeping their old cars longer and not splurging on unnecessary luxuries), and bailing that out is preposterous because it absolutely *has to fail* so that things can be corrected.

Paying your factory workers a fair wage for their productive work is hardly the problem. I've heard a few reports in blogs and editorials about factory workers getting $75 an hour, but I think we need to have our B.S. detectors analyzed for malfunction if we believe that. Maybe that's the net cost to the company if you factor in pension plans and health care insurance, taxes, liability insurance per employee, break rooms, air conditioning for the factory floor, and all that tangible and intangible stuff, but you could probably say the same about a lot of workers. And in spite of the current economic problems the company executives are still making millions (although some might be talked into taking a salary cut (but retain their bonuses and various other sources of income) in order to secure billions of dollars of public welfare money).

I'm not really commenting on the union issue because I don't know much about it in this case, but unions do piss me off sometimes; like when they force me to join them, which has happened.

On the other hand, unions are useful to keep this guy from screwing you over as you toil in the steel mill. The philosophy is that if enough people are desperate they will work for absolute peanuts, and without unionization it becomes impossible to earn a fair wage doing difficult, relatively unskilled, but economically valuable labour. I'm sure you can see how this works; with a large enough pool of people who are starving willing to work for next to nothing, pay rates plummet until everybody in that position is bad off. I think two reasons unions get a bad rap is that 1: sometimes they strike for selfish stupid things that nobody else in that position would get (ie, they fail to recognize that they represent unskilled labour and therefore *will* generally earn less than educated people with more rare skills to offer), and 2: sometimes the bad press comes more-or-less directly from those who obviously would benefit from the dissolution of unions.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 5:23 pm 
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Unions had their place several years ago.

My experience with them now is they are there simply to protect those who do not perform.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 5:25 pm 
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Kurt wrote:
My experience with them now is they are there simply to protect those who do not perform.


Yeah, there's that aspect of it.

I'm totally ambivalent about them. Good idea in principle, bad execution in some cases.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 10:41 pm 
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I'm no fan of unions either. I don't really think there is much of a need for them in North America now. As Kurt said, there was a need in years past, but not now.

What really bothers me is the union executive often (usually / always) gets full pay while the union is on strike. How does it make any sense for someone who will not see any downside to a strike to be in a position to recommend to the members that they go on strike? I often question just who's interest the executive is really looking after.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2008 12:12 pm 
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Well written Walter!

I was a union member when I worked at Chrysler. Before I was hired I had "donate" $10.00 per month to United Way via the UAW. No choice...donate or you were not hired. That was in 1973.

Anyway...if they block the parking garages do what we do in Detroit. Run their asses over. The picketers tried blocking entrances to areas in Detroit several years back and a few ended up in the emergency room. Suddenly blocking the entrances wasn't a problem. The injured union workers had no sympathy from the general public in a "union town." The injured picketers all lost in court trying to recover "damages."

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2008 3:37 pm 
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Fortunately the city and the union came to a compromise for the WJHC. The union agreed to have no more than 10 picketers at each entrance and to not hold up people getting in. In return the city will allow members of the union to come onto the property to hand out pamphlets. I think everyone recognized the very real possibility of violence when a couple thousand unpopular union members attempt to hold up several thousand hockey fans.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:33 am 
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Union's now and then have good and bad points, the argument that union members are overpaid and blaming the unions for it is only half the of the two parties that agreed to the contract, right?

Then there is the employers like Walmart that people will argue need a union so their massive employee pool can earn a living wage. The companies are aren't going to do it out of their sense of social responsibility are they?

But the main point of this is not the union, but they way they protested their grievances isn't it? Canadian labor has followed the European "model" of societal disruption to make the their grievances more widely known. From this kind of shutdown of parking to the rolling slowdowns of gravel trucks protesting high fuel costs during commute periods in urban areas and other techniques, Canadian unions AND business associations are not the problem it is their methods. These models of disruption have been dismissed as counter-productive in the US because of exactly this type of backlash from the general populous.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:44 pm 
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The bus strike is still on. Think people are getting more than a little fed up? Check this out

http://www.easyscreens.info/?v=4484

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:22 pm 
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mikealex wrote:
The bus strike is still on. Think people are getting more than a little fed up? Check this out

http://www.easyscreens.info/?v=4484

Funny!

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:57 pm 
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Quote:
I used to be part of a union - scratch that - I used to be forcibly represented by a union that I never joined.
Been there, been forced to do it. Hated every minute. Especially since the unions dues out here support political causes I abhor. My boss told me to call and ask my rep for the paperwork that would restrict the portion of my dues from going to those political causes, which out here is 100% legit, and my union rep laughed at me over the phone and hung up on me. 3 times. :evil:

Don't even get me started on the teachers union...

The only unions I kinda sorta get are the entertainment ones, such as SAG, the writers union, the sound engineer unions, etc, etc. There's so much profit that happens far after the fact that the actual creators (not the ones with the ideas, the ones who make it happen) really never see. That being said, I think it's a stupid time for SAG to strike, especially since they very well could be creating a contract that will undercut their future possible revenues. :? Only a very few in Hollywood make amazing amounts of money. The rest are working stiffs like the rest of us.

Hope the bus strike ends soon. Heaven forbid people have to work the hours they're paid for!!! What has this county come to...

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 6:17 pm 
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EyesLifted wrote:
Don't even get me started on the teachers union...


Oh, I've heard *all about* the teachers' union. Michael Savage's radio show was really really enlightening on that front last time I drove through the USA ;)

While I'm no expert (I only know what Michael Savage taught me), I believe they won't stop until they have lobotomized every single one of us and stamped us with DRONE ID CODES and put us to work in the salt mines doing hard labour so they can sit back and laugh in their teak & mahogany-finished Gentleman's clubs while drinking expensive port and smoking cuban cigars.

The Teachers' Union... bah!

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