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(Buffalo News)   10,000 Detroit auto workers are being paid full wages and benefits--to sit on their asses and not work   ( divider line
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20009 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Feb 2005 at 12:30 PM (12 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2005-02-06 03:37:22 PM  
2005-02-06 03:41:36 PM  
Nice, so you make 5x less than what I thought and act 8 years less mature than what I thought.

Not that it matters, but I make enough to live comfortably. Why did my yearly income become an issue again? Oh yeah, 'cause you haven't got anything else to talk about.

To recap - Unions are no longer relevant. Changing economic situations (as supported by various technological innovations) and the current political scene have made them largely irrelevant and obsolete. Aside from the usual leftie class warfare rhetoric, nobody can really find a way to justify their continued existence either.

Now, back to my lunch.
2005-02-06 03:45:43 PM  
The teamsters built their office/union headquarters in Houston using nonunion labor because the union labor was too expensive for their budget. What a buch of hypocrits.
2005-02-06 03:48:41 PM  
The thing that Weaver95 and his followers don't get is: Without some MINIMAL system for protecting workers, things devolve quickly and will go down one of two inevitable paths:

1. The working classes can't overpower their rulers (we call it "Third World Dictatorship")

2. The working classes can overpower their rulers (we call it "The French Revolution")

I don't think these ultra-libertarians truly want either of these situations, but that's the way their policies go if left unchecked.
2005-02-06 03:49:51 PM  
Another success for Unions, what good they do.

Lazy momma's boys.........
2005-02-06 03:50:03 PM  
Lets see, $1.3B, we make about 1M cars per year. All of us get to pay $1,300 per car for the privilige of having unions. - Glad I drive an import.
2005-02-06 03:50:27 PM  
mitch234: Get a clue! vote republican!!

...and drive down the prevailing wage, kill middle-class discretionary spending and harm the corporate world. What goes around comes around. My "cushy" union job is allowing me to take a European vacation and have all of my hardwood floors refinished next week.

My union wage also allows me to plan for the future by heavily contributing to my 401k and putting more into SS than I would at a non-union job thus helping to keep it solvent. I also have recall rights if I am laid off which prevents the company from laying me off and hiring someone fresh out of school to do the job for half the price. It's called protection from corporate tyrrany ant terra.
2005-02-06 03:58:47 PM  
Hey, who's thinking about us people who actually owns these companies? All I hear is people complaining about how they used to have low wages and long working hours back in the day before the unions changed all that. Did you all ever think about how great life was for the rich back then? Especially since we had the police to make sure the lower classes stayed well away from our property. Since most people only think about themselves anyway, why can't I lament the fact that I can't afford the same luxurious lifestyle my grandparents could? Not to mention how hard it is to get good servants in this day and age? And just look at how crowded the Autobahn is nowadays with people in their little crappy cars that's not even staying well away from the left lane? Do you even begin to understand how many times I have to brake hard just because some schmuck thinks he's entitled to place his little annoying mass-produced car right in front of me when I am enjoying a decent cruising-speed?

Selfish bastids
2005-02-06 04:04:42 PM  
Why don't people RTFA?

"About 10,000 autoworkers in the United States and Canada are getting full wages and benefits not to work."

It ain't just a Detroit thing, asshats.
2005-02-06 04:05:45 PM  
2005-02-06 03:41:36 PM Weaver95

You really think unions have gone beyond their usefulness?

Every day Americans are working longer hours, taking shorter lunches and their wages are stagnating. Meanwhile corporations are outsourcing both manufacturing and tech jobs to third world countries where they can do all the things unions originally stopped them from doing.
2005-02-06 04:06:48 PM  
So many flawed arguments, so many arguments within a narrow range of vision--it's difficult to find where to start.

Are unions perfect? Of course not. In many ways, they've got problems; most of these problems are traceable not to the individual worker but rather to the administration levels of the union. Graft, greed, extortion, stupidity--these things exist in unions and they don't help the workers or the economy.

The problem comes in when people make ignorant statements such as 'all union workers are lazy'. It's a nice image, isn't it, backed by years of jokes and propaganda. The union 'coffee break', the fact that these guys get to take it easy. The UAW story that this thread is based on, bringing up the image of unskilled lazy men who are dumber than the commentators sitting there sucking on the giant teat of commerce and somehow screwing up our economy.

Do you really think that people prefer not to work in general? That they have no pride? That these men and women enjoy the fact that they have no jobs, and are sitting on their butts laughing about it? There are probably a few, of course, but idleness isn't something that people with a sense of self worth are comfortable with over the long-term.

Yes, they're getting paid. They are not getting paid /not to work/, they're getting paid /because there is no work for them/. There's no work for them because the company they work for, the company that they dedicated their work time to, the company that they have the skills to serve, has removed jobs from their area for one reason or another. Retrain? The union will help them with that, if that's possible. Pick a smarter job? Sure; I'm sure you would love to give up your career choice, your life's work, the things you are good at and start anew learning something completely different. That's just so easy to do, for everyone.

Laziness? How many of us sit around reading FARK, and when we aren't reading FARK we're surfing the web--on company time? How much work do you actually do? I'm sure there are those with perfect work ethic who work hard all 8 hours of that cushy office job day that they have. I'm equally sure that there's an equal number whose equivalent of 'drunk union workers coming in and waiting on line to paint parking space lines' is 'FARK comments then webcomics then personal email then some work then some surfing then some newsreading then some minesweeper then some solitaire then some work.'

Then there's the outsourcing. We should just continue to outsource all of our jobs to other countries, because we know that their cheaper labor produces so much better products and that they're just so glad to be making that 5 bucks a month that they've got excellent work ethics. Uh-huh. Our corporations are really just protecting us from our lazy American union workers by outsourcing, you know. UAW might be an exception, but damn, those automakers are just screwed.

Not all Americans are destined to be highly-literate computer professionals with flexible minds and good education who can or are able to jump between jobs relatively easily. We aren't all smart.

Is the solution of paying laid-off workers a perfect one? Of course not. But why aren't our energies here as smart analysts devoted to coming up with reasonable solutions, where workers get to work, our economy gets to thrive, people aren't treated like their next career move should be in the auditions to become the next new flavor of soylent green and the only problem is the faceless 'lazy Union worker' and the ubiquitous 'large corrupt Union which is a throwback to the past that is no longer useful'?

Lastly, don't you think we have other problems that cost us more than this? The last few years have seen corporate scandals amongst corporations like Halliburton, Enron, MCI/Worldcom and the like that make $130 billion dollars a year paid to people out of work look like pocket change. As an example, does anyone really think that the 'average' of those 10,000 workers makes $70K a year? Did you consider that maybe one of the problems here is that the cost to provide benefits to them is often more than their own salaries? Complain all you want about how this situation makes US cars cost more than Japanese cars, but $50K a year per person for decent medical coverage and benefits makes the $2-10K difference between the vehicles look miniscule in comparison.

In conclusion, there's a lot more to this argument and this situation than the ridiculously simplistic elements that Weaver and others would love to reduce it to. The unions are far from perfect, but they're also far from the only ones to blame.
2005-02-06 04:14:53 PM  
Unions were brought about by companies who treated their workers like crap for a long time. As far as I'm concerned, the companies brought this on themselves. I'm not a big fan of unions, but I do appreciate what they have done for me and the rest of America. As stated earlier in this thread, corporations are running rampant in our lives. They have taken over the government with lobbying and it is just a matter of time before workers get so pissed that they rise up again, it will be the second coming of unions.
2005-02-06 04:19:43 PM  
So how many people here who are complaining about this wholeheartedly endorsed the CEO's who get paid thousands of times more for nothing with their fat-cat retirement packages?
2005-02-06 04:37:39 PM  
Some in here seem to think the market should be based on the lowest price. Wrong.

The "Free Market" we try to use [we are actually a regulated market, not a free market] does not say the lowest price. It should be the "fairest" price, as determined by the consumer and the seller.

The fairest price requires that the customer know the entirety of that which goes into making the product. We cannot know all. Ergo, things like unions help to monitor the corporations. Sadly, the pendulum wobbles off the optimal position at time.

"Lazy" union members are weeded out, you dumbfarks. I bowled with one of them. He was written up often and is out of work, deservedly so.
I have known or worked with others who have given thier bodies to thier work: chronic carpal tunnel problems, lost use of limbs, one has a plate in his head from a robot that spun incorrectly and much too quickly [assembly robots, not from Lost in Space].

/Don't like unions a whole lot and wouldn't join one, but I hate unmatched power of corporations more.
2005-02-06 04:38:56 PM  
So how many people here who are complaining about this wholeheartedly endorsed the CEO's who get paid thousands of times more for nothing with their fat-cat retirement packages?

If I'm reading what you are asking correctly: It is probably close to a 1:1 relationship. "They have all the risk" bullshiat.
2005-02-06 04:46:35 PM  
Does it make me a commie to want to have people working, as opposed to machines? So what if machines can do the job better? When will you people be happy, when all jobs have been oursourced to China and everybody with minimal skills is working at Walmart?

Newsflash - Not everybody can be an engineer or a doctor. There will always be menial jobs, and we should have people doing them, not machines. Ever read Brave New World?
2005-02-06 04:48:25 PM  
Say goodbye to Unions, say goodbye to the middle class.

There's no shortage of people willing to work "Permanent Part Time Postitions" for minimum wage, while holding three jobs and having no benefits, and if it weren't for Unions there would be no shortage of corporations willing to hire them, on a permanent part-time basis.

Permanent part time work is the biggest pile of crap to hit the labour markets these days, just so companies can hire 2 people to do the work of one, and not have to offer them dental/medical benefits.

...and don't go telling me it's not true, my mom worked for the last 10 years of her career at exactly 19 hours a week so the company she worked for didn't have to pay her the benefits that a full time employee would have, and yes it was her and another lady that did the same job both on "permanent part-time."

Unions are what help to prevent this kind of abuse, and sure they aren't perfect, but I would rather be working at one full-time job then 2 or 3 permanent part time positions.
2005-02-06 04:51:01 PM  

I don't have to - I read the accounting department's emails, remember?

You are a farking criminal.
2005-02-06 04:51:50 PM  
I was too quick to submit. I should have added Player Piano after my mention of Brave New World.
2005-02-06 04:52:36 PM  
Considering that the big corporations pay next to nothing in taxes, corporate tax revenues was only 7.4% of what was collected by the Fed in 2003, I really can't be all boo-hoo for them.
2005-02-06 04:53:18 PM  
I love Weaver95 (not in the gay sense...well maybe)

newmoonpuppyhead just needs some happy music playing in the background with birds chirping and butterflies fluttering to make that little utopian world complete. What about the grocery clerks union in California whos members went on strike because their employers wanted them to pay $5 (FIVE FARKING DOLLARS) a week towards their own helath care costs. God forbid! I pay $400 a month for family health insurance because I CHOOSE to work here. Unions give a false sense of entitlement to people who then in turn think they are owed everything by the world around them.
Unions are a dinner guest that were nice to have around for a while but have FAR overstayed their welcome.
2005-02-06 04:56:03 PM  
Unions are a dinner guest that were nice to have around for a while but have FAR overstayed their welcome.

Just like civil rights. (sarcasm off)

When Unions are finally killed off here, what do you think will keep your employer from royally screwing you? Sure you can try to go find another job, but now that you have been blacklisted, labeled a troublemaker, that will not be possible.
2005-02-06 05:01:50 PM  
What about the grocery clerks union in California whos members went on strike because their employers wanted them to pay $5 (FIVE FARKING DOLLARS) a week towards their own helath care costs. God forbid! I pay $400 a month for family health insurance because I CHOOSE to work here.

That is what I don't get about the neo-con zealots. They see someone like them with a slightly better deal and their reaction is to chop them down to their level, doing the work of their fat-cat masters, yet their is no anger towards those who have a better deal a thousand-plus times better. Is it envy, the hope that someday you too will get to sit at the fat-cat table and get to rain your pee down on the lower class? If so, you are living for a false hope, as you will never be there, unless you win the lottery.
2005-02-06 05:06:03 PM  
Blacklisted?!?!?! You really need to loosen your tin foil hat a couple of notches.
Benifits & pay should = level of employment attained.
/not a neo-con, just a Libertarian that doesn't share your affinity for handouts.
2005-02-06 05:07:09 PM  
Unions have always seemed kind of antiquated to me, like something is wrong here, this system is being abused. I think they'll have to evolve to survive, like Blockbuster is trying to adapt to keep up with Netflix. Whoo, Netflix!

Network/cable TV might also have to do something like this soon, since TiVo is revolutionizing the way we view it. It'll be interesting to see what kind of things they come up with, besides the limited "On Demand" programming they offer now.
2005-02-06 05:12:23 PM  
We need two new Fark tags...

[image from too old to be available]


[image from too old to be available]
2005-02-06 05:20:18 PM  
2005-02-06 05:06:03 PM Turdis Maximus

Blacklisted?!?!?! You really need to loosen your tin foil hat a couple of notches.

wow... just... wow.

Blacklisting is a real thing that used to happen before laws and unions, the things you want to do away with, stopped it. If you were to get your little libertarian ideals passed we'd be back to that kind of situation in minutes.
2005-02-06 05:25:46 PM  
[image from too old to be available]
2005-02-06 05:31:11 PM  
My brother in law used to work at the Kansas City GM Leeds plant, which has since closed down. He told me once of a game the assembly line workers had, called "Hide The Bottle" where they'd try to get as creative as possible hiding empty whiskey bottles in new car door panels in such a manner that they wouldn't rattle.
I would tell him, "You'd better be careful or they're gonna shut down your plant." He would always answer with, "The GM Leeds plant will be there LONG AFTER the Catholic Church goes belly up."
On paper, the unions kind of make sense. In the real world, though, they've totally farked up this country.
2005-02-06 05:31:39 PM  
It's not their unproductive cost of labor that is making cars more expensive and Detroit less competitive; it is the healthcare benefits associated with each unproductive non-worker. No wait! It's both. I got nut'n.
2005-02-06 05:34:31 PM  
2005-02-06 05:31:11 PM multi-instrumentalisms

On paper, the unions kind of make sense. In the real world, though, they've totally farked up this country.

You can say that about almost any human institution.
2005-02-06 05:35:40 PM  
Agreed, Telos.
2005-02-06 05:54:11 PM  
This specific example is a bad one. The workers are temporarily being paid to do nothing because they will have work in the future and it is probably more efficient for the corps to pay them now instead of training someone later.

And now onto the rant:
Think about the future at least. If we go shipping all the jobs off to other countries, what the fark are we going to do in America? I always thought the globalization-protestors were nuts, but over time when looking at the issue, there is a problem. If we continue to ship work to wherever people are willing to do it the cheapest, eventually, who the hell will have the money to buy the product? The same applies for outsourcing and the such. If we continue to ship high-paying jobs elsewhere, where are we going to find the people to buy the product? The original workers won't be afford to buy it on unemployment, and the new workers will never be able to afford to buy the product on the dirt-cheap wages they are paid.

It is all great in the short run, but in the long run, there is less demand for the product because fewer people are willing and ABLE to pay the price for the product. You could claim that the corps cut prices to create additional demand, but most of the time they would rather just take the extra money as profit.

Thats where we get to my generation. I have no clue what my life is going to be like. I'm still in high school, but I have worked extremely hard. In my high school class of about 600, I'm in the top 5 right now. I will get shiat because I'm not number one, but it doesn't matter. If I can take the most rigorous course schedule possible and have a GPA .01 below some asshat taking lifetime leisure activities, Algebra I, and word processing all day, I know that I am the more attractive person.

In a year, I'll be applying to some of the most elite universities in the country. I know that my parents don't plan to give me much support, although they definitely have the means. Therefore, I will be stuck finding a way to pay for an education that will likely cost several hundred thousand dollars (with grad school). I hope I don't find myself in the position, but I should be able to find a good job with security rather than losing jobs to the lowest bidder.

I'd hope that my skills are in demand, but with jobs being shipped out of the country in the name of an extra dollar, who the hell knows.

I can definitely see where Weaver is coming from. He has probably worked pretty hard to get where he is and this work has formed his opinions. But if he finds out that someone is willing to do the same quality of work for a lower price, then what will he think? Hell, lesser quality work for a much smaller price?
2005-02-06 05:55:01 PM  
...But the world would cease to exist without the goodness of Unions.

2005-02-06 06:00:29 PM  
My 10th grade history teacher worked on a GM assembly line in the late fifties. At the end of his third day on the job, the senior union guy in his shop area (shop steward?) came over and told him to slow down or he'd be fired. He was making the regulars 'look bad' by being an efficient worker. They were afraid the higher-ups might expect this level of productivity from everyone if he kept it up. Eventually he grew weary of these shenanigans and quit.

He told us that he saw the Japanese car invasion coming from a mile away. And this was because his former co-workers were essentially "paid $20 an hour to snap hubcaps on station wagons". That comment stuck in my mind and it has been proved accurate over the years. The next time you see a $20k sticker on a P.O.S. compact car, remember to thank the union members of America.

If the evil corps don't get us, they will.
2005-02-06 06:13:50 PM  
I read threads like this and wonder how some people can function in normal society when all they have to contribute is sneering sarcasm and overpowering self-righteousness.
2005-02-06 06:18:36 PM  
This reminds me... I need to work on my plans of moving to a place lacking snow, sell my car, and ride a bike and public transit everywhere (like SF but not expensive).
2005-02-06 06:20:10 PM  
"10,000 Detroit auto workers ("Workers" defined as being "Low to Mid-level management ass-kissers) are being paid full wages and benefits--to sit on their asses and not work.

Same as it's always been.
2005-02-06 06:43:39 PM  
I've got an idea: Why don't they outsource these 10,000 to India, Philippines, or China? I'm sure offshore resources could sit around and do nothing far more cheaply, perhaps more efficiently. . .

//Just an idea. . .
2005-02-06 07:19:42 PM  
Turdis Maximus, it used to be that if you were heard saying the word 'Union' on the job you were fired and blacklisted. That isn't an exaggeration.
2005-02-06 07:50:53 PM  
I was in the United Food and Commericial Workers when I worked in a grocery store. They managed to keep the most inept peopel at their job and make sure that the guy with less experience but a better work ethic and better ideas never got to a position to use them for the company's gain. I felt ashamed to be a member of it, but given that minimum wage + my dues was less than what I was making, they were theoretically helping me.

Unions are a good idea, but in general they don't work with management to make sure that everyone gets a fair shake; they just want to make sure that the workers keep their jobs and make the most moeny, regardless.
2005-02-06 08:07:02 PM  
If brainpower is what makes the world of today work, I think we're in a heap o'trouble.....
2005-02-06 08:22:11 PM  
With dedicated and hard workers like these guys, why the hell do companies keep outsourcing?
2005-02-06 09:48:18 PM  
While I like the idea of unions in high risk jobs, I think they need a lot of reform.
2005-02-06 10:54:22 PM  
That's exactly why unions exist - they protect the lazy. There's absolutely no reason to work extra-hard or do a batter-than-average job when you're in a union. Promotions are based on seniority, so even if you're an expert you could have a total moron as your boss because he's been on the job two years longer than you.

You don't need a union for that...there's not a union to be seen where I work (Fortune 500 and in the top 100 best places to work for) and we've got a moron for a manager.

Inmates running the asylum, anyone?
2005-02-06 10:58:02 PM  
They are not getting my money - never buy an american car.
2005-02-07 12:56:09 AM  
Man, if this is news to any one of you... lol

[walks away shaking head]
2005-02-07 02:05:57 AM  
michigan...the state with the most union in the union

seems like a lot of detroit stories lately...
2005-02-07 05:43:18 AM  
That's exactly why they are in a jobs bank moron! Their work has been outsourced to Mexico, China, India,...
China is to Mexico = Mexico was to Usa. Thanks Dubya!
2005-02-07 07:31:40 AM  
A good Gig, if you can get it. Where do I sign up?
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