Wal-Mart. Unions. The irony.

OK. So we all know Wal-Mart is respected around these parts for their opposition to unionized labor. (Er, wait. The point is irony, not sarcasm. Sorry)

The unions, of course, prove once again they don’t care about The Worker[sup]TM[/sup]. They care about membership numbers. And more importantly, membership dues.

The latest in union posturing.

Some highlights.

No. It really don’t make no sense. Paying $6 an hour to a temp with no bennies to further your cause to get more money and bennies to people? Why not unionize the temps? Oh, maybe something to do with the fact that won’t increase your income and power? Forgive my cemented cynicism of unions.

What is your wage and benefit plan, again?

Sounds like a better deal than working for the union.

Thought it was about the workers in general. Now you’re changing the specifics halfway through?

Way to look out for women, Big Union. :rolleyes:

Read: Go make enough money so we know you can pay us, then we’ll help you out. Because we care about The American Worker, but only if he can pay the membership fee.

Wow. You hired one? And it was a woman?1?!?1!!1? Sounds a little patronizing.

Just don’t pay attention to the fact we’re even more blatant in doing it.

Look, I know there are valid complaints against Wal-Mart. And the biggest one is they try to block unions. But really, these are the people you think really care about the employees. Wake up.

I worked as a temp at a union. They treated me better and paid me better than any other job I was assigned at. And everyone I met there actually did genuinely care about the workers, listened to them and tried to act in their best interest as best they could. That was SEIU, but we worked with UFCW a lot, too, and everyone there was earnest, as well.

Unions are nothing more than self perpetrating power structures that have long outlived their usefulness. Worse than used car salesmen or ambulance chaser lawyers, the lot of them. I had one job in my life that was unionized, all they did was steal part of my check. I wish Maryland was a right to work state, I would have told them to shove their union up their solidarity hole.

Full disclosure: I’ve worked in a UFCW shop.

I can tell you this: It beat the pants off working at a competing non-union outfit. Better pay, benefits, conditions, and bargaining power at the individual level that simply wouldn’t exist without the union. There was only one down-side – the employer’s strategy was to do everything in their power to keep the turnover high enough that new employees would bail before they got all the union benefits, so there was a wall of fire you had to get through.

So they only pay picketers $6 bucks an hour. People who do it are doing it more as a form of activism than as a career option – and it’s not, you know, labour. Strike pay is typically 50%, so yeah, if you’re got a decent union job you get payed more than $6 for it. In an actual strike, though, you’re taking a hit to strengthen the bargaining position.

I know it might not agree with your ideological point of view, but, honestly, unions aren’t about getting paid too much to stand around and do nothing.

I temped at an SEIU - most of them were awful! The pay was fine, but nobody was allowed to do their job without the woman in charge pfutzing in it. She opened every single piece of mail and filed every single document. And whenever a mailing needed to go out, everyone pitched in stuffing envelopes, no matter what their job title.

What really pissed them off was when I came up with some (simple, really) changes, things like creating spreadsheets instead of doing math manually. Oh, nooooo, Comrade, nobody can look smarter than the boss.

Larry, anyone here can attest to the fact I make no bones on my stace in regards to unions. I live in a right to work state. I make more in my job than anyone with less than 4 continuous year’s employment at the largest, highest paying union plant here. I was hired on 6 months ago. And my benefits are a damn sight beyond what they get. Better health/dental/vision insurance. stock options and 401(k). And they’re Teamsters at JR Simplot. They like to strike every now and then if you haven’t heard.

Does anyone remember that UPS union fiasco a few years back? Remember the PR parade they performed? With the part-timers taking the stage to tearfully lament they couldn’t afford health care and day care? Remember how they complained the managment at UPS was screwing them out of the full benefits? Even though they were part-time workers? It was PR. (I tried to google a cite, but couldn’t wade through enough to find it. I do remember the newsclips, but take it for what you will.)

I tried to find the link on Fark that quoted a union spokesman for the Northwest union mechanics, and found it. Mysteriously, there is no longer the quote of the union member that was hoping Northwest went bankrupt if the airline didn’t cave to them. Hte link is still listed under “dumbass” and mentions the crux of the story.

I just wonder how anyone can still laud the unions as looking out for the worker. They don’t. It’s shown time and again. The union is there to bully the company into allowing the union to graft some guaranteed payments.

Unions served their purpose years ago when the Industrial Revolution hit and the workplace underwent a fundemental change in structure. For the past few decades the unions hung on valiantly out of little more than tradition and the common beleif they offered the best way to advance in life.

No more. Right to work states have proven they are dinosaurs. Well, that;s not fair. At least dinosaurs help to fuel ny car and heat my home.

The really stupid part of this argument is you’re the type to also complain about EEOC, OSHA and minimum wage laws. You seem to think that the oh so magnanimous companies that own most of the wealth and production in this country would continue to supply the benefits we have without government regulations and unions. You’re an idiot. Look to the number of plants moved to third world nations and the conditions therein for evidence of their generosity.

And yet, somehow people find jobs every day. Idiot? Keep supporting your union, they seem to have all the answers. Care to mention anything in the quoted article? Or are you just going to stay in defense mode and convince yourself union is the way to go?

The really stupid part of your argument is that you refuse to acknowledge that unions and their unreasonable demands are one of the prime reasons companies are moving plants to third world countries. I have no problem with OSHA, etc…(in theory, in practice they are often runaway bureaucracies meddling just to justify their existence. Their job needs to be done, but they need stronger restraints on what they can and can’t do) because they provided needed guidelines and are there to prevent corporations from repeating the abuses that have occurred in the past, they also serve to make unions an anachronism now.

Wow, way to generalize from one circumstance.

You presume too much. I’m in a creative, not a labor, field. I don’t have a union or even a guild. But I recognize the valuable role that unions have in certain industries.

What unreasonable demands? Health insurance? Overtime? A 40-hour week? Companies move plants because they can hire people for $2/day and get around the scant pollution controls we have, not because of unreasonable demands from unions.

Overtime and 40 hour work weeks are long established in this country and regulated by law, if you think that’s what unions are “fighting for” then you need to do a bit more reading on the subject. There are very few, if any, companies in this country that are not small businesses (more than 50 employees) that do not offer health insurance benefits to their full time employees. Unions reduce the number of jobs available in a given area when they are formed (This is basic, BASIC economics. Unions raise the cost of labor so the demand for that labor goes down). What exactly is it that you think they are doing for the “working man” today, other than chasing his job down to Mexico by demanding “more, more, more” from his employeer?

How many negative union experiences would you like him to have before he can criticize unions? Ten? A hundred?

And, of course, overtime laws could never be weakened by, say, changing the laws and making millions of workers ineligible for mandatory overtime pay?

Factories are being moved for two reasons. It’s possible. The transportation of goods around the globe has changed dramatically and it is now possible to make just about anything anywhere. You don’t have to have conviently located raw materials. The world is much more stable politically.

It is also profitable because the workers there can be exploited. Because they haven’t figured out that a job destroying the environment is not a good job. Because their governments, for what ever reasons (usually cash) will let the American companies build there and screw their population over.

OMFG! They could also repeal child labor laws and eliminate OSHA, forcing everyone to put their children to work in coal mines! Quick, join a union! :rolleyes:

Wow, that’s a rational response. Or not.

I just pointed out that there are ongoing movements to strip away overtime rights from workers in response to your comment that overtime rules were enshrined in law and the accompanying implication that they were somehow sacrosanct.

But I forgot that you’re a complete idiot and incapable of intelligent, rational debate.

Could it possibly be because not all unions are exactly the same, and that there could be substantial variation in the policies and practices of unions depending on which one you belong to, where it is located, and what sort of industry it’s involved in? I mean, if you once had a shit job at McDonalds with a dishonest asshole of a boss, would you assume from that experience that all corporations are corrupt and evil? Sure, there are some fucked up unions out there that don’t give a damn about their members. There are also some really good unions out there that will go the extra mile to make sure their members are treated right and fairly compensated. Considering the relatively small number of jobs a given person is going to have in their lifetime, versus the very, very large number of unions that exsist just in this country, it’s pretty stupid to make sweeping conclusions about the utility of organized labor in general based solely off your personal experience and a whatever incidents of malfeasance that get picked up by the media.

My response was as rational as your post, which typical union screed aimed at creating a divisive us-versus-them mindset to scare people into joining the union. Anything “could” happen*. Using that as a justification for perpetuating an anachronistic organization desperate to hold onto it’s last vestiges of power is complete bullshit. If that’s your idea of intelligent rational debate, that I am proud that I don’t live up to it.
*And if it does, unions may have a place again. Right now they are a drag on the economy and a parasite on their member’s paychecks.


But rather than letting government decide, let’s let economics decide.

Unions stop collecting “fair” :rolleyes: share dues, and allow unions to negotiate separate contracts for unionized and non-unionized employees.

If the unions can bring a contract better than the dues, then people will join the unions. If they cannot (e.g. the employer is willing to give non-unionized employees equal benefits), then the unions will disband.

My question is what the unions so afraid of that they have to collect “protection money” from people who want nothing to do with the union.