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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » Another Bush Move I approve of

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Author Topic: Another Bush Move I approve of
LetterRip
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http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/4521738.htm

Of course, I'd much rather do automation, but replacing contractors with automation will likely be much easier than replacing government employees directly.

LetterRip


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Baldar
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quote:
Union leaders fear that the shift will mean lower wages, fewer benefits and inferior work.

Mowing the lawn (ever heard the phrase "close enough for government work"?) OK, I am good with that.



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Everard
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My objections here are along the lines of Enron business practices. On the other hand... lawn mowing? Contract that out. I'd probably want to look at each area of work being contracted out before making a determination on that one.

On the one hand, saving money is good. On the other hand, I don't want to see more people with lower paying jobs and fewer job benefits, in addition to other problems that can crop up in contract-bidding.


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maniacal_engineer
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correction

Union leaders fear that the shift will mean lower wages, fewer benefits and inferior work.

should read

"union leaders fear that the shift will mean less power for them, fewer benefits for them, and an inferior position of power in national politics"

don't bother to thank me for correctly translating that.
How much better off would union members be if they didn't have to pay dues, and if the didn't lose wages to strikes, and if the economy didn't have the drag of artificially higher wages?
(I hated the colonel, with his wee beady eyes and that smug look on his face "oh youre going to buy my chicken, oh" - this is similar to my sentiment towards labor unions today)


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TheSilentAssassin
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Personally, I think Labor Unions had their time and their place. When they came into existence, working conditions truly were horrendous, but now, very rarely do you see the kinds of unsafe working conditions and inappropriate pay that sparked this creation.

Now it seems all the Labor Unions are good for is ruining the game of baseball, and cancelling airline flights.

Hopefully, people will come to their senses and realize that the place of the Labor Union is in the past, and they will die out as people stop joining them.


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TomDavidson
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Out of interest, why do you believe the place of the labor union is in the past? Do you think that businesses will continue to preserve the privileges of employees once unions are eliminated?
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TheSilentAssassin
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perhaps I'm showing my ignorance here, but it seems to me that unions have outlived their usefulness.

Call me an idealist if you will, but I do think that businesses will continue to provide decent and humane working conditions without the pressure of labor unions. If they did not, one of two things would happen.
A.) Public outrage at these atrocious business practices would marginalize their profits, or
B.) When conditions began to worsen, the unions would revive themselves to work once again for fair working conditions.

Disagree with me if you like, I don't mind being proved wrong.


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maniacal_engineer
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I don't need a union to bargain with a company for me. I can do it for myself. If I am not of value to my employer then I shouldn't be there anyway. I am free to move to a new city and find a new job, I am free to work in a different industry (which I have had to do in the past) I want to be free to enter into the best contact I can, and not be told that I can't work for too little money. As industry gets more eficient employers at menial jobs have to pay more or lose workers to higher productivity employers. so even though cutting the lawn hasn't really changed in 30 years, the wage paid for it goes up. If the wage goes up because of unions artificially raising it, then all prices go up and we just have inflation.
I don't think unions were ever necessary, all that was really needed was some control over safe working conditions, and maybe child labor, and then let the market sort it out.

I am ranting here and others can discuss this better


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Pete at Home
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quote:
Hopefully, people will come to their senses and realize that the place of the Labor Union is in the past, and they will die out as people stop joining them.

I strongly disagree. In fact, I think that American teachers would do well to unionize against their union which has utterly failed to represent them.


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Baldar
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We are not deciding unions are no longer functioning or necessary, the work force is. Unions have trended and continue to trend downward making up less than 12% of the private sector workforce from a high of 40% a few short decades ago. Only in closed shops like teaching where you must belong to a union by law (in CA), do you see any kind of union growth. As unions have reduced in size union organizations have increased their political influence with money, since they can no longer carry out that influence by the vote. People are deciding the union is irrelevant, no one individual.
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LetterRip
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I think a law against 'closed shop' should be passed. There seems to be no compelling reason that an employer should be forced not to hire you because of your lack of membership in an association.

I wonder if there have been any recent legal challenges that are promising.

LetterRip

[This message has been edited by LetterRip (edited November 15, 2002).]


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Dan Allen
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Doesn't 'right to work' do essentially the same thing as an anti-closed shop law would do? I know that there are unions functioning here in AZ, but membership is not required. I believe that holds true for the teachers also; I know teachers at the charter schools are not NEA/AEA members - but that may have more to do with the charter/public school battle.
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Baldar
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In CA if you want to work in a public school you must be part of the union. The only exception is for religious reasons.
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Puretext
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I talked to a teacher here in Charlotte. Apparently the "right to work" banner is also being used to undermine standard work agreements, such as firing without reason. In certain situations, I understand, it's really easy to get fired for unstated political reasons. Right to work should be used to make sure you don't have to be a part of "the" union to get a job. Beyond that it just becomes an anti-union law.
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Baldar
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It is almost impossible to fire a teacher after two years here in CA. They can be grossly incompetent and the union makes sure they stay on for years sometimes. Closed shops are illegal in my opinion because they infringe on the right of association (or disassociation), but there is little I can do about it other than be a thorn in the side of the union and write all kinds of letters to editorial boards and school boards (the administration of the school boards don't like me either because I think they are paid too much for what they do).

In private life you can be fired for any nondiscriminatory reason in CA. I don't like your shirt, your fired. You pay higher unemployment insurance but you still have the right to hire and fire, however teaching is somehow sacrosanct and hence with a powerful union in CA teachers are becoming a privledged class. After 20 years you are paid 80K a year (remember thats with 3 months off and every holiday known to man) and your retirement will be equal to the average of your last three years pay.

I believe the union has overstepped its bounds from being a representative of the teacher to being a political power that seeks blatant featherbedding approaches to education.


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maniacal_engineer
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and this coming from a teacher!
part of my anti-union sentiment is inherited from my father, an MSEd from USC who got out of teaching, largely because of the support that the union gave to inept, but tenured, teachers.
If my employer is so stupid as to fire me for some trivial reason like 'idon't like your shirt' he will soon lose any other good employees he has and his business will fold. unfortunately the union monopoly and the govt monopoly on education have the thing so distorted that it cant work that way. If we just had vouchers, or even just vouchers in the bad inner city schools, then a lot of the problems would have a safety valve and would not be so explosive.

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Baldar
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My father was also a union president, not teaching though, a real union, the UMWA.
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seagull
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quote:
I think that American teachers would do well to unionize against their union which has utterly failed to represent them.

Great idea, I wish I had thought of it myself. I wonder what our local teachers think about it?
Ev, Baldar, Shawnee's wife?
Any comments?

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