Thursday, June 28, 2007

Shop Myrtletown Lumber

Myrtletown.net gives us the heads up today that pickets are up protesting Myrtletown Lumber and Supply. What I don't understand is why the picketing is being done over by the Eureka Costco, way across town from Myrtletown Lumber?

Dan Cruz, of Cruz Plumbing, is mentioned. It makes him sound like he's a bit put off by unions, his business having been the target of pickets for a few years. Actually, Dan told me he was almost sorry the picketing stopped at Cruz Plumbing. He said the pickets were like free advertising and business slowed down after the pickets went away.

If you need some good plumbing done, call Cruz Plumbing. If you need lumber or any other building supplies, head over to Myrtletown Lumber. It's on Hubbard lane over by Redwood Acres Fairgrounds in Eureka.

64 Comments:

At 9:31 AM, Anonymous darsh said...

Thanks for the post, Fred. Indeed, Dan was a bit upset when I started asking him about unions, but he did also tell me that in the end he figured the free advertising only helped his business.

 
At 9:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If it's a protest for union wages (aka living wages), it makes sense to protest next to a giant corporation (Costco) that pays fantastic union wages and still competes nose-to-nose with Wal-Mart and Sam's Club. More power to them. People deserve living wages.

 
At 10:00 AM, Anonymous darsh said...

Go down to Myrtletown Lumber and ask any of their guys if they are being paid what they are worth. Then ask them if they want to join the union. Don't you think they should be allowed to choose non-union work if they want to? Why does Carpenters Local 751 think those guys should /have/ to join the union? I tried asking them, but they wouldn't talk to me.

Anyway, like Dan Cruz said about his business, those picketers will probably help, not hurt, Myrtletown Lumber.

 
At 10:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Folks seem to forget that unions are people. You know, the people who do the work.

Being anti-union is a ridiculous stance to take. If you have a beef, take issue with a specific issue a specific union is fighting for. Otherwise, you\'re just a blanket naysayer. What specific issue do you have about the Myrtletown protest? I mean, besides the blanket point that they\'re pushing for a union?

 
At 10:15 AM, Blogger Rose said...

The Unions have lost all credibility with me. They endorsed Gallegos, a man who tells his employees he can fire them any time he wants, who promised in his first run that he would get them job protection and then threw snit fits and reneged, a man who has had no respect for the people who had seniority and longevity in his office, and who fires people on a whim.

Like Bill Lockyer, who also endorsed him blindly, they have given up the high ground.

 
At 10:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with 10:04. All that I'm hearing here is good old fashioned union hating.

 
At 10:24 AM, Anonymous darsh said...

At 10:04 AM, Anonymous said...

Folks seem to forget that unions are people. You know, the people who do the work.


Sorry if I misunderstood, but aren't the guys at Myrtletown Lumber and Cruz Plumbing people who do work? I just think workers should have a choice. Is it acceptable for Carpenters Local 751 to be trying to bully Myrtletown Lumber into joining when they clearly do not want to join?

 
At 10:52 AM, Blogger Anon.R.mous said...

Folks seem to forget that unions are people. You know, the people who do the work.

Sorry, after dealing with the trainwreck known as CSEA 509, I can say that 'Unions aren't always full of people that do the work'

Now that a union has moved on to a percent of what you are making as dues, sure they want more bodies. But here is the real kicker, these Carpenter local #whatever, never has talked to anyone else about going union, that I've known who worked/works in the carpenter field for over 25 years here.

What's the real deal now?

 
At 11:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Darsh, what you see as bullying I see as standing up for colleagues who may be afraid to speak for fear of losing their jobs--real or imagined. It does happen all over the country when someone mentions the word "union." It takes brave souls to speak out for a living wage. Shame on everyone here for blind opposition to unions and the people who benefit from them. Truly shameful.

 
At 11:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People who actually are in Unions rarely complain about being in them. The big issue today is medical coverage, and for most folks, being in a union is the only way they can get medical coverage. Their will always be anti-union folks such as Fred. They seem to never see the big picture about how it benefits everyone. Well, heres a challenge to Fred, why don't you apply for a union job with Safeway or Albertsons... After about three moths your union health coverage will kick in for you and your family. I want to see you complain about unions then.

 
At 11:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn those evil unions.
The gall of some people, expecting pay and benefits commensurate with their labor.

 
At 11:57 AM, Blogger samoasoftball said...

If you are the ones complaining about unions, you must not be supported by union wages. Union workers average 30% more in wages and benefits than non union workers. Union workers set the benchmarks for non-union outfits such as Costco and Winco. When Humboldt had over a 30% union workforce back in the 70's, most workers could afford to buy a house. Now around 10% of the workforce here in Humbokdt County are union. And only about 10% of our workforce can afford to buy a house, and our wages are lagging compared to the rest of the state. We need more organized workers in Humboldt County, not less.

 
At 12:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was supported by union wages, does that count? I wasn't impressed with the union or all the underhanded and backstabbing they did, and how they pushed memebers to take a cut in medical coverage.

 
At 12:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Samoa, I'm pretty sure this group's reaction would be, ahh, they're carpenters, they can build their own damn house. Let them eat cake.

 
At 12:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BTW, a union is only as good as the people you elect to serve you. Duh.

 
At 2:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have belonged to several different unions (Teamsters, SEIU, etc) continuously since 1977. They take your inflated mandatory dues and donate them to the democrats. Then, when you try to get some accountability from them they bitch and scream and threaten, even though ITS YOUR MONEY BEING TAKEN FROM YOU! Just like the democrats and your tax dollars. Aside from that, it isn't bad...

 
At 2:38 PM, Blogger Anon.R.mous said...

Hey Fred, how did you miss out that good Ole Mike Thompson voted himself a pay raise?

 
At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And you want union lobbying dollars to go to whom... republicans? Dude, get a clue. Republicans hate unions and living wage American salaries. Move to Bangalore if you hate unions so much. Exporting of jobs has accelerated under republican rule.

 
At 3:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Richard Marks forgets who helped CR block his union.

 
At 4:02 PM, Anonymous mresquan said...

Fred,were you a union member when you purchased your home?

 
At 5:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doesn't that pest , OK Gadfly...............Fred have anything better to do than talk about plumbmers . Maybe he should get a job ?

 
At 6:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The unions have helped in the past, but presently, they are fighting for relevance. Union membership is at an all time low and that does not look good for the massive numbers of union members looking to retire in the next 5-10 years. Not to mention the corruption.

 
At 6:55 PM, Blogger Fred said...

esquan asked, "Fred,were you a union member when you purchased your home?".

I'm not sure when I joined AFSCME, but I bought my home regardless of
that. All I remember is some money was taken from the paycheck.

Did well enough, though, since county employees are well taken care of, at least where I worked.

 
At 6:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

With out union representation there wouldn't have been middle class wages. Free trade agreements have weakened unions by allowing companies to offshore labor. Labor unions forced capitalists to the bargaining table. Union dues among other things pay to lobby congress because money is free speech. Corporations are the big winners. They spend more money to lobby law makers. And for the kicker---the front running presidential candidates will each have to raise over half a billion dollars if they want to make a serious run for the White House. That money will come primarily from corporations. Corporate media is a big winner with much of that money spent on thirty second political sound bites. Wonder why you don't have a representative voice in Washington?

 
At 7:38 PM, Blogger ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

WTF is a "living" wage? If you aren't paid what you think you're worth go elsewhere. Or is it wiser to intimidate the guy who hired you and force him into bankruptcy like the UAW has done to the U.S. auto industry? As a former member of the Oil Workers Union as well as a local union officer and bargaining unit secretary I have seen unions drive small businesses into the ground while the union fat cats take 3 hour lunch breaks and come back drunk. Labor is a commodity like every thing else. There are buyers and sellers. If a mutually beneficial price is not agreed on there will be no sale. That is why the AFL, NEA, AFSCME and the rest have backed the dimocrat party to artificially extort more than the market price through government power. Private business has had enough, so the leeches are forced to rely on the government sector where the taxpayer takes the hit.

 
At 8:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen!

 
At 9:02 PM, Blogger Anon.R.mous said...

Anonymous said...

With out union representation there wouldn't have been middle class wages. Free trade agreements have weakened unions by allowing companies to offshore labor. Labor unions forced capitalists to the bargaining table. Union dues among other things pay to lobby congress because money is free speech. Corporations are the big winners. They spend more money to lobby law makers. And for the kicker---the front running presidential candidates will each have to raise over half a billion dollars if they want to make a serious run for the White House. That money will come primarily from corporations. Corporate media is a big winner with much of that money spent on thirty second political sound bites. Wonder why you don't have a representative voice in Washington?


Are you completely high? Here are the top ten donors to political funds:

Top 10 donors:
American Fedn of State, County & Municipal Employees $38,133,049
AT&T Inc $36,992,735
National Assn of Realtors $30,298,348
National Education Assn $27,108,900
American Assn for Justice $27,107,056
Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers $25,779,741
Laborers Union $25,018,639
Goldman Sachs $24,902,461
Service Employees International Union $24,675,343
Carpenters & Joiners Union $24,422,870





Based on data released by the FEC on Monday, February 19, 2007.

Seems like there are alot of Unions in that party don't ya think? And then there are alot of union offshoots in there too!

 
At 9:09 PM, Blogger Anon.R.mous said...

In fact, the total money in the top ten breaks down to dems getting over 90% of the funds, and when you look at the union money, it gets closer to 98%.

 
At 9:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me get this right, Fred.
You have been getting benefits negotiated over the course of about forty years by the local chapter of AFSCME and now you are running unions down? Is that what's happening here? Say it ain't so, Fred.

 
At 9:27 PM, Blogger Fred said...

I left AFSCME when I left county employment. That was back in 1991(?). I believe that would make that sixteen years ago. I was with AFSCME for maybe 2 1/2(?)years while I was employed with the county.

Oh, and again, for those that didn't pick it up on Eric's blog: I only joined because the shop steward was a fox and I she kept browbeating me over joining. I finally just couldn't say no.

 
At 9:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boy, there's a real testament to your character.

 
At 9:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you are not paid what you think you are worth go to Mexico! Ford moved a manufacturing plant there and pays Mexican workers a small fraction of what an American auto worker gets. And when the Mexican auto workers went on strike for better wages and working conditions the Mexican army shot a couple of the strikers and the rest went back to work. The American auto industry led the world in profitability when there was a strong union. No tariffs on foreign competition and misreading the market is what is killing the American auto industry. And the fact that weapons manufacturing is more lucrative. Union perks are blamed for adding $1600.00 to the selling price of an American made automobile. That adds about $30.00 to your monthly payment over five years. What is a living wage? Fred will work the night shift for $8.00 an hour. But he is an easy keeper. Union fat cats take three hour lunch breaks and come back drunk? CEO's average salary is 460 times what hourly workers make at the same company. And they get multi-million dollar severance packages after they raid workers' pension funds. It is not about political parties either. They have both been corrupted by money that is expressed as corporate free speech. The poor and the middle class take the unfair hit when they have to pay income tax on their labor which is unconstitutional. And their children join the military because they can't find a working class, living wage job. Because it has been sent to China. China's economy is booming with a growth rate of well over 10 percent. Our own economy is dragging itself along at barely 1 1/2 percent and would expire if China wasn't pumping 2 billion a day back into U.S. securities. Income taxes that are unlawfully taken from the American worker services the interest on loans to the American government by the Federal Reserve Bank. The Federal Reserve prints our paper money. The Federal Reserve is a private corporate banking system.

 
At 10:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The top ten is meaningless.

 
At 10:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Labor is a commodity? Low wages is slavery.

 
At 10:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred, you're about as deep as a puddle.

 
At 12:56 AM, Blogger Anon.R.mous said...

Anonymous said...

The top ten is meaningless.

10:03 PM


Your post is meaningless. The fact is that unions dump billions and billions of dollars into dem coffers, outspending large "evil corps" at a huge rate.

 
At 5:19 AM, Blogger ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

Business CEO's contribute to their firm's productivity and are fired if they make poor decisions; no drawn out grievance procedures and arbitration. Union bosses are leeches on the members' dues. The secretary treasurer of OCAW local 1-128 was paid a factor of 5 more than his former job at Unocal as a pipe fitter. He often showed up at meetings drunk and passed out occasionally at his 3 hr lunch breaks. Talk about fat cats; he weighed over 300 lbs. It took 4 of us to carry him (and I was a lot younger then).
If the UAW had not through intimidation artificially driven up the labor costs of autos thus making US production noncompetitive, the plants would still be operating in South Gate, Flint and Dearborne.
Guess who's going to get stuck paying all of the juicy retirement perks extorted from the auto makers for retired and laid off assembly line workers? Taxpayers.

 
At 6:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OPERATING ENGINEERS (IUOE)/LABORERS (LIUNA)

New Jersey Mobsters Charged in No-Show Union Job Scam

To get a job on the massive Goethals Bridge reconstruction project, Andrew Merola was the man to see. Whether one actually did any work was a separate issue. Asking too many questions could get someone hurt – at least until late last month. The FBI and various state and local authorities in New Jersey, starting on May 21, arrested a reported 25 suspects involved in a wide variety of criminal schemes, including labor racketeering. A reputed Gambino crime family soldier with close connections to the Lucchese family, Merola, 38, allegedly ran a ghost-worker operation for International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825 (Elizabeth) and Laborers International Union of North America Local 1153 (Jersey City) from a taxpayer-funded construction site in Elizabeth underneath the Goethals Bridge (the section of I-278 connecting New Jersey with northern Staten Island, N.Y.), where he had obtained a job through Local 825. “Merola benefits from the activities of dozens of associates who report to him on their activities, which range from gambling to loan-sharking to a highly organized theft ring dealing in high-end merchandise,” said Union County (N.J.) Assistant Prosecutor Scott Kraus.



Two of these associates were John Cataldo, 44, and Joseph Manzella, 49, respectively, an organizer for Operating Engineers Local 825 and business agent for Laborers Local 1153. Merola and another Gambino soldier “would cover for each other in a no-show work scam that allowed them to collect full pay for not showing up at work,” noted Union County Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow. “Both men basically surrendered their control of the unions to Andrew Merola.” Romankow added that in one instance Merola had solicited a bribe of $20,000 in exchange for not reporting the use of nonunion labor. One of Merola’s chief enforcers was Martin Taccetta, 56, a resident of East Hanover Township (Morris County), N.J., and a reported Lucchese crime family soldier. Taccetta in December 2005 had been released from New Jersey state prison on procedural grounds after having done time for racketeering and extortion. That particular case involved a 1984 murder carried out with a golf club. His brother, Michael Taccetta, a resident of Florham Park, N.J. and also a Lucchese family member, is currently in prison.



The union corruption at hand is apparently part of a much larger criminal enterprise. Charges against the suspects include extortion of contractors, home-improvement store scams, loansharking, illegal gambling and assault. The gambling operation stretched from New York City to Central New Jersey, and included a website, www.topbettors.com. Merola, who sometimes goes by the alias Andrew Knapik, has a prior criminal record. And he’s known to have used violence or the threat of it to collect debts, which typically carried unusually high interest rates. Getting off the hook won’t be easy for him or his associates. The cop raids nabbed about $250,000 in cash, guns and some drugs, said an anonymous law-enforcement source. “A real-life Tony Soprano” has become a journalistic cliche this decade, but this might be as good an excuse as any to employ it once more, especially now that The Sopranos has completed its run on HBO. (Newark Star-Ledger, 5/23/07; Associated Press, 5/23/07).

 
At 1:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The fact is that unions dump billions and billions of dollars into dem. coffers, outspending large "evil corps" at a huge rate."

Nuts and no Christmas.

 
At 2:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not all unions are controlled by crime families. Buick closed it's doors in Flint and reinvested in weapons manufacturing in the 80's so they could make a fortune in government contracts. Cheap over seas labor has not dropped the price of cars but increased profits. Juicy retirement perks are defaulted on and retirees end up with one tenth of what they worked and planned for, making them uninsured and poor in their old age. Your income taxes service the interest on loans to the government made by the Federal Reserve. But your income taxes buy nothing. The Federal Reserve is a privately owned corporate bank that prints U.S. dollars. Our income taxes are used to make a few very powerful men richer. When the Government doesn't print it's own money to pay for it's own bills, the Government is no longer in power. And it's people are enslaved through illegal taxation and have no voice. The true power is no longer the Government, but the corporations, that our elected representatives answer to. If you are at the top of the food chain and print money, you no longer have to care about your country's laws.

 
At 7:36 PM, Blogger ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

2:54 PM: Last time I checked, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors was appointed by the President. The Fed is therefore a (collectivist) fascist system i.e. a private entity wholly controlled by the state.
Have you ever heard of The Federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (a government corporation)? I suggest you take a look before standing behind your following statement; "...retirement perks are defaulted on and retirees end up with one tenth of what they worked and planned for, making them uninsured and poor in their old age." As for the..."government printing its own money to pay for its own bills"... that worked out real well in China in 1938 and Germany in 1926. In case you are unaware, the Federal Reserve prints BANK-NOTES in dollar denominations. They are NOT money. They are promissory notes. I haven't seen any ExxonMobil bank-notes lately but granted I don't see many of the other kind either.
You are right about the income tax being a form of slavery. The seizure by force of ones labor is the definition of slavery.
"The true power is no longer the Government..." What parallel universe do you inhabit? I want to move there.

 
At 10:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Federal Reserve Board of Governors is appointed by the President but functions independently
and reports to congress once a year. The Federal Reserve Banks are distinct from the Board of Governors because they are owned by commercial banks and directly supervised in their daily operations by separate boards of directors---not the Federal Government. Paper bank notes are not money and are not backed by gold which is money. Inflation, interest, and income tax are the instruments used by this fascistic banking system to seize the benefits of our labor. When our Government gave up it's right to print it's own money to pay it's own debts it placed the responsibility for paying those debts on the shoulders of the U.S. worker and put us in bondage to the Federal Reserve. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Federal Government did not operate on money gained from taxes before
1913. I think we are in the same universe, but their sure seems to be a lot more going on behind the scenes than there was when I was younger. At least, more than I was aware of. I think that you are right about the Federal Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation. Though they don't guarantee medical benefits. I remember talk of the airlines going bankrupt and other corporations following suit a few years ago and the fear that the domino effect was going to create a huge shortage of money for benefits paid by the FPBGC. Sorry for the confusion. Oh, the power of our Government is shared and Corporatocracy and fascism are
interchangeable terms.

 
At 6:20 AM, Blogger ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

For an amusing account of the situation that obtains when the "government prints its own money to pay its own bills" check out: Zimbabwe if you are interested in a scenario where all of those eeeevil corporations are killed off by the "savior" of the downtrodden people. As a "corporation", among other interests can influence the selection of our rulers, a funny thing happens to the politicos when they get control of the monopoly on guns. It's sort of like if herr Krupp disagreed with a policy ordered by herr Speer, he was SOL. Herr Speer's real boss had control of all the guns. It's called "human nature". Fear the gun monopolist. Hint: it ain't Exxon.

 
At 8:12 AM, Blogger Pogo said...

10:19 PM: "Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Federal Government did not operate on money gained from taxes before 1913."

There was no INCOME tax before 1913 except for a brief period during the War of Secession and it was challenged several times. The Supreme Court unanimously supported the tax. After the war the tax was declared unconstitutional by the same court because it represented direct taxation on the citizenry which was not allowed under the constitution. The tax was repealed in 1872. In its place were installed significant tariff impositions that served as the major revenue source for the United States until 1913.
Tariffs are TAXES. The government produces nothing and therefore in order to operate it must seize assets from those who do, and it is always the individual. Corporations do not pay taxes. They simply include the costs imposed on them by the government into the prices of the goods and services their individual employees produce.
For a good explanation go here.

 
At 9:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the clarification, Pogo! Tariffs on trade goods coming from other countries used to protect U.S. Manufacturing and middle class jobs. Made with pride in the USA used to have meaning before we all got such an appetite for cheap goods imported from China. But I thought corporate taxes were due one month before April, 15th.

 
At 9:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sure don't want the government to have a monopoly on guns. But I don't want to fight F-16's with my 12 gauge single shot shotgun either.

 
At 1:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:14 you need to understand how goods and services are priced. Taxes, insurance, and compliance with regulation are all part of the equation. Yes, they pay taxes, but it is merely passed through from the consumer, just like sales tax, except you don't see it on the receipt.

 
At 8:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, that is a pretty simple concept, 1:37. On Pogo's link I came across this, "During the 1930's Federal individual income taxes were never more than 1.4 percent of GNP. Corporate taxes were never more than 1.6 percent of GNP. In 1990 those same taxes as a percent of GNP were 8.77 and 1.99 respectively." In my next life I think that I will come back as a corporation since they have been given legal person status by the Supreme court and money is free speech. Corporate CEO's often sit on multiple corporate boards which can include mainstream
media, energy and weapons manufacture. They often belong to think tanks like the Heritage Foundation which advises American Foreign Policy and often their careers include high political positions in our Federal Government. With power like that why would you not want the collective power of a labor union negotiating better wages? After all, is it not the job of the CEO and board of directors to keep wages low so that stockholders get a bigger return on their investments? I realize that some unions are run by the Mob. I would not want to belong to one of those. And I know that individual people with positions of power within some unions are often ineffective, but aren't there remedies that can be taken? Like impeachment? If not I would not want to belong to that union either. But the point maybe moot. Union power was weakened in the 80's under Reagan. Free trade has further weakened unions beginning with President Clinton. How can anybody make the argument that this is a Republican verses Democrat issue? Corporations used to corrupt third world leadership with the help of our Governmental institutions. Now corporations and
Government have merged. If I have no collective bargaining power and I need to make enough money to raise my kids, provide them a home, provide myself with transportation, insurance, and everything else, I can see only two choices. Either start my own business or.... No, can't go there, I'm not a criminal.

 
At 8:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just as you say some unions are corrupt, so are some corporations. I believe in both cases it is the exception, not the rule. It is not the job of the CEO to hold wages down, it is their job to keep the company profitable, which would include paying wages and offering benefits that will attract good employees. There is a cap on what goods and services sell for, it is whatever the consumer will pay. When that changes, the CEO must react in a way that preserves that long-term viability of the business. Sometimes that involves a few layoffs, other times it involves closing entire divisions. Is it more responsible to lay off a 10% of your workforce, or risk the jobs of 100%? If your working conditions are so terrible you need union representation, by all means, join up. I believe the reason the unions have been marginalized in the private sector is that conditions are pretty good. Retirement plans, health ins, paid holidays, etc. When different costs (including wages) get too high, it breeds innovation like automation. In that respect, the unions have caused a lot of job loss, making it cheaper to spend millions upgrading a factory than paying workers for inefficient work. What would you do if you were the CEO of GM and all the other auto makers were using robots at 1/2 the cost of labor? You don't have much of a choice, as soon as the competition innovates, you must change or die on the vine.

On the other hand the government sector is not bound by the above situations since they do not have to be efficient or produce anything, which is why, IMHO, the unions are still strong in those areas.

 
At 12:07 PM, Blogger Pogo said...

8:17 Gets it right!

 
At 3:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, 12:07 it's not right. The union vs nonunion debate is basically about distribution of power in the workplace. The factions of labor and management(capital) both want to maximize their power and they sometimes can find ways to cooperate, temporarilly. But fundamentally they are in opposition and seek to gain power at the expense of the other side. There no moral high ground, just competition for the same resource.

 
At 3:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

3:33 - which part is not right? I have always wondered why the unions don't buy out the ownership and run things the way they want to?

 
At 9:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's about getting a large enough slice of the pie so that you can afford to house and feed and clothe your family. To provide health insurance for yourself and those you are responsible for. It's about reliable transportation. Money issues are a big factor in the break-up of families. It's also about lower crime rate. It's about fewer people on the public dole. Unions created a middle class that could afford to send their kids on to higher education.
The Walmartization of America will be the undoing of the middle class. As samoasoftball said, "When Humboldt had over a 30% union workforce back in the 70's, most workers could afford to buy a house.

 
At 6:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And what happened to the industry?

 
At 11:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pogo must have meant to write "the War of Failed Secession."

Just trying to be helpful.

And historically accurate.

 
At 11:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred Said: "I'm not sure when I joined AFSCME, but I bought my home regardless of
that. All I remember is some money was taken from the paycheck..."

Just to be clear, dues were deducted from Fred's paychecks because he joined the union and authorized his dues to be deducted from his paychecks.

It wasn't something that the union did to Fred. It was something Fred told the union in writing that it could do so that he could join the union.

 
At 2:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

3:56. You're on the right track. Unions do have ownership interests and thats good IMHO. Unions have large pension funds they invest in shares of companies, mostly that are unionized. And there have been corporate restructurings where the union members were given equity in exchange for taking reductions in their compensation. I think the former Eel River Sawmill employees believed they had such an agreement.

And it works both ways, companies try to make all their employees "management" and thereby have "managers" do all the necessary labor.

In reality most folks don't care who's in charge as long as they believe they can keep up with the Jonses and they aren't being exploited.

Lots of people have been screwed over by both unions and owners. Whomever last screwed them over is the side they're now against.

 
At 5:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Patrick Shannon tried encouraging lumber workers to buy and operate their mill.

How did a grateful community reward him?

By questioning his motives and trying to ruin him personally and professionally.

His crime, it seems, was trying to pursuade non-union employees to act together for the common good.

 
At 6:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's interesting how much of the debate is how unfair things are for workers. Let's talk about workers' comp fraud, overstating hours on timecards, using company property for personal use, and pilfering products out the back door. The American worker is so protected now, it is really, really, hard to get fired. You have to be a fucking idiot. You can be a total screwup and you might not get promoted, but if you show up every day and act like you're doing something, you can keep your job.

 
At 7:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's really hard to get fired? That isn't always the case. Some companies are "at will" employers. They can fire you and give no explanation why.
But, that said, there are companies who exploit workers by keeping wages low, and there are workers who who will retaliate. If your workers feel under paid or in other ways abused, they probably won't have much respect for you our your property.

 
At 7:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Industrial due process documents three infractions of company rules. The employee gets a verbal warning and it's documented and put in his personal file. The second infraction generates a written warning that the employee must sign and a copy goes into his file. He is fired on the third offense. Time card fraud and pilfering are infractions that will get you immediately terminated anywhere that I have ever worked.

 
At 1:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you are doing a good job, why would you get fired?

 
At 1:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:33 -
that must be a large business with an HR department

 
At 4:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred was let go by the county. Was it an unfair action or was he not doing a good job? Inquiring minds want to know...

 

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