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(Salon)   As go the unions, so go the middle class   (salon.com) divider line 169
    More: Sad, steelworkers, live better, real dollars, division of labour, trade schools, European immigrants, big labor  
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1746 clicks; posted to Politics » on 31 Dec 2013 at 11:58 AM (34 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-12-31 11:26:02 AM
Not clicking on a Salon link, but I assume the headline covers it. Anyone remember single income families?
 
2013-12-31 11:29:53 AM
This is a shock to anyone? You get rid of the unions, you get rid of the check that kept companies in line from destroying the benefits the workers enjoyed. Now, you have private sector employees pissy that their public sector counterparts still have benefits while they've been getting hosed for the last 30 years.

Unions are needed to protect worker's rights. If you voted against unions, you should be the last people pissed that your employer is farking you over without a care in the world. Fark the anti-union asshats.

/yeah yeah, teamsters and teachers unions BAAAAAAAD because things
//reform does not mean dissolution of the unionized workforce
 
2013-12-31 11:36:54 AM
How's that steel mill coming along nowadays?
 
2013-12-31 11:49:49 AM
Oh you can't scare me, I'm stickin to the union
I'm stickin to the union, I'm stickin to the union
Oh you can't scare me I'm stickin to the union
I'm stickin to the union till the day I die.

http://youtu.be/eAzhz29eVec
 
2013-12-31 11:51:44 AM

Dancin_In_Anson: How's that steel mill coming along nowadays?


Unions aren't limited to manufacturing.  In an era of unprecedented corporate profits and a record high Dow, wages remain stagnant and benefits largely non-existent.  Collective bargaining is the only means of giving workers an advantage at the negotiation table to make sure that they see their fair share of the profits they create.
 
2013-12-31 11:52:52 AM

Dancin_In_Anson: How's that steel mill coming along nowadays?


IIRC, US steel mills are doing OK. Just focused on specialty products.
 
2013-12-31 11:55:35 AM

simplicimus: IIRC, US steel mills are doing OK. Just focused on specialty products


That is not really true.

Google "Bethlehem Steel Baltimore"
 
2013-12-31 12:00:00 PM

simplicimus: IIRC, US steel mills are doing OK


So it's still in operation. This is what you're telling me.
 
2013-12-31 12:02:04 PM
All the middle class will someday work for the government?
 
2013-12-31 12:03:28 PM

Dancin_In_Anson: How's that steel mill coming along nowadays?


You want  Americans to compete with dollar a day wages and no environmental or worker protections and then blame unions? You sound republican.
 
2013-12-31 12:03:57 PM

Dancin_In_Anson: How's that steel mill coming along nowadays?


Well, the previous owners only had a nice house and a cottage on the lake when Buddy had his shovel in hand. Now, I am sure if the Business Titans can't get at least 10 Mercedes and a couple islands out of running the joint for a couple years, it would be shuttered, because you know, shareholder value, synergy, break the paradigm, etc.
 
2013-12-31 12:04:55 PM

Dancin_In_Anson: simplicimus: IIRC, US steel mills are doing OK

So it's still in operation. This is what you're telling me.


Yep. Smaller and more specialized, sure, but still there.
 
2013-12-31 12:05:55 PM

Headso: Dancin_In_Anson: How's that steel mill coming along nowadays?

You want  Americans to compete with dollar a day wages and no environmental or worker protections and then blame unions? You sound republican like you rode the short bus to school.


FTFY.
 
2013-12-31 12:06:05 PM
Good. Unions are the death grip on the Job Creators and once the unions are gone then they can focus on hiring more workers and not having to deal with fat union reps and burdensome union rules and regulations.
 
2013-12-31 12:07:01 PM
But I was told by those super-geniuses in the Republican Party that Unions were outdated, and no business would dare make their employees suffer lest those employees all leave and no one will fill those jobs or the churn of new people working there would make the company collapse because Free Market.
 
2013-12-31 12:07:17 PM

somedude210: Now, you have private sector employees pissy that their public sector counterparts still have benefits while they've been getting hosed for the last 30 years.


Don't understand it.  "Those guys are lazy...they get a bunch of vacation days and sick days and all sorts of things."  The correct retort is:

a. "Let's find a way to take those benefits away from them."
b,. "Let's find out why *I* can't have the same thing."
 
2013-12-31 12:08:14 PM
Go/goes
 
2013-12-31 12:08:32 PM

Aar1012: Good. Unions are the death grip on the Job Creators and once the unions are gone then they can focus on hiring more workers and not having to deal with fat union reps and burdensome union rules and regulations.


Beauty. Even capitalized Job Creators!
 
2013-12-31 12:08:40 PM

purple kool-aid and a jigger of formaldehyde: Headso: Dancin_In_Anson: How's that steel mill coming along nowadays?

You want  Americans to compete with dollar a day wages and no environmental or worker protections and then blame unions? You sound republican like you rode the short bus to school.

FTFY.


one and the same
 
2013-12-31 12:08:50 PM

Aar1012: Good. Unions are the death grip on the Job Creators and once the unions are gone then they can focus on hiring more workers and not having to deal with fat union reps and burdensome union rules and regulations.


I work for a company with a ton of Union members. We solve our union problems by simply laying off entire groups of people with Union members in it. No new people get hired. In fact, we have shrunk heavily the last 5 years. But at least our C-level executives are paid 20% more than they were 5 years ago. Yayy Job Creators!
 
2013-12-31 12:10:20 PM

SovietCanuckistan: Aar1012: Good. Unions are the death grip on the Job Creators and once the unions are gone then they can focus on hiring more workers and not having to deal with fat union reps and burdensome union rules and regulations.

Beauty. Even capitalized Job Creators!


Oh, that was satire? It was almost word-for-word what a facebook friend put on his status a few months back. It's not fun when it's verbatim.
 
2013-12-31 12:10:53 PM

Headso: purple kool-aid and a jigger of formaldehyde: Headso: Dancin_In_Anson: How's that steel mill coming along nowadays?

You want  Americans to compete with dollar a day wages and no environmental or worker protections and then blame unions? You sound republican like you rode the short bus to school.

FTFY.

one and the same


touche
 
2013-12-31 12:10:54 PM
I love it how people cite unions as a negative force as opposed to a reaction. Before unions: hugely wealthy industrialists, a large and very poor workforce. Enter unions--employers and companies make somewhat less--but entire swaths of American workers can afford cars, homes, and even a vacation now and again. And now we have unions being actively destroyed and the gap between rich and poor is growing again, wages are shrinking, and instead of citing union busting, people double down on union greed being the problem.

We are a simple people.
 
2013-12-31 12:11:40 PM

Aar1012: Good. Unions are the death grip on the Job Creators and once the unions are gone then they can focus on hiring more workers and not having to deal with fat union reps and burdensome union rules and regulations.


This. Now, fetch me my shirtwaist!

:  )
 
2013-12-31 12:11:52 PM

Dancin_In_Anson: simplicimus: IIRC, US steel mills are doing OK

So it's still in operation. This is what you're telling me.


AK Steel and USX are at 52 week highs.  Nucor is at a 5 year high.
 
2013-12-31 12:12:45 PM

Dancin_In_Anson: How's that steel mill coming along nowadays?


Your head is SO far up your ass it's almost unbelievable.
 
2013-12-31 12:14:04 PM
Workers need to understand that the interests that they have and the interests of their bosses are not the same.

What unions effectively do (and I know a lot of conservatives think is a bad thing, but I think it is a great thing) is that it eliminates or at the very least lessens the competition among workers.  Competition among the workers is what creates such a hostile an volatile system.  It creates a system of alienation from your fellow workers and a sense of fear of losing out on your livelihood.  This is frightening aspect for anyone that has ever had to live paycheck to paycheck.

Competition among the working class only benefits the capitalists, you know the class of people that have completely emancipated themselves from having to labor and only benefit off of someone else's labor.

What unions need to stop doing is promoting the idea of "cooperation with management".  It has been an abysmal failure.  It has neutered unions and it has created a bureaucratic class within the unions.  What unions need to start doing is being more democratic and more militant.  Unions need to start bending and breaking the rules because the owners do it all the time.  When one industry goes on strike, you go on strike in solidarity even though sympathy strikes are illegal.  If workers are fed up at one particular location they should go on strike without union approval, even though wildcat strikes are illegal.  When the union negotiates a contract it should be for no more than 2 years.  The threat of strike should be every present to the owner.

The only competition that should be promoted and fostered is the competition among the capitalist class on how to get the best workers.  Every single person that labors for a living should be in a union.  Every single person should be militant and demand a more pain and less hours.  Stand up fight back and stop making people rich off of your blood sweat and tears.  Take the wealth from them that YOU have created.
 
2013-12-31 12:14:10 PM

TimonC346: I love it how people cite unions as a negative force as opposed to a reaction. Before unions: hugely wealthy industrialists, a large and very poor workforce. Enter unions--employers and companies make somewhat less--but entire swaths of American workers can afford cars, homes, and even a vacation now and again. And now we have unions being actively destroyed and the gap between rich and poor is growing again, wages are shrinking, and instead of citing union busting, people double down on union greed being the problem.

We are a simple people.


BINGO. The chart that shows Union membership and middle class wages go on pretty much a perfect 45 angle down from the 70's.
 
2013-12-31 12:14:24 PM

GoodyearPimp: somedude210: Now, you have private sector employees pissy that their public sector counterparts still have benefits while they've been getting hosed for the last 30 years.

Don't understand it.  "Those guys are lazy...they get a bunch of vacation days and sick days and all sorts of things."  The correct retort is:

a. "Let's find a way to take those benefits away from them."
b,. "Let's find out why *I* can't have the same thing."


Pretty much. They biatch and moan about moochers but don't do a damn thing to fight for their own rights as workers
 
2013-12-31 12:14:26 PM

Headso: You want Americans to compete with dollar a day wages and no environmental or worker protections


I said that where?

Yes. I'll wait.

SovietCanuckistan: Well, the previous owners only had a nice house and a cottage on the lake when Buddy had his shovel in hand. Now, I am sure if the Business Titans can't get at least 10 Mercedes and a couple islands out of running the joint for a couple years, it would be shuttered, because you know, shareholder value, synergy, break the paradigm, etc.


Sounds to me like a great opportunity for a civic minded soul like yourself to build a new mill and show the evil JR Gotrocks of the world how it's done. Make sure that you get the unions involved as much as possible in your business plan as well.

simplicimus: Yep. Smaller and more specialized, sure, but still there


Cool! So tell me again what the article is whining about.

purple kool-aid and a jigger of formaldehyde: You sound republican like you rode the short bus to school.


Is that the best you've got? Weaksauce.
 
2013-12-31 12:15:37 PM

Rapmaster2000: AK Steel and USX are at 52 week highs. Nucor is at a 5 year high.


Great news!

You own a union shop too, yes?
 
2013-12-31 12:17:16 PM

PC LOAD LETTER: Aar1012: Good. Unions are the death grip on the Job Creators and once the unions are gone then they can focus on hiring more workers and not having to deal with fat union reps and burdensome union rules and regulations.

I work for a company with a ton of Union members. We solve our union problems by simply laying off entire groups of people with Union members in it. No new people get hired. In fact, we have shrunk heavily the last 5 years. But at least our C-level executives are paid 20% more than they were 5 years ago. Yayy Job Creators!


Now those C-Levels executives can invest that money into new products which then grow the economy and create jobs or they can use the money to start new businesses and if they survive under the invisible hand then they make more jobs

Yay Job Creators!
 
2013-12-31 12:17:52 PM
If unions are so great, then why don't corporations form unions with other corporations?
 
2013-12-31 12:18:35 PM

Dancin_In_Anson: simplicimus: Yep. Smaller and more specialized, sure, but still there

Cool! So tell me again what the article is whining about.


Probably the smaller part. Fewer decent paying blue collar jobs, I'd imagine.
 
2013-12-31 12:18:40 PM

Hyjamon: If unions are so great, then why don't corporations form unions with other corporations?


They do, it's call Tranconglomoweownyouate
 
2013-12-31 12:18:55 PM

Dancin_In_Anson: Headso: You want Americans to compete with dollar a day wages and no environmental or worker protections

I said that where?

Yes. I'll wait.

SovietCanuckistan: Well, the previous owners only had a nice house and a cottage on the lake when Buddy had his shovel in hand. Now, I am sure if the Business Titans can't get at least 10 Mercedes and a couple islands out of running the joint for a couple years, it would be shuttered, because you know, shareholder value, synergy, break the paradigm, etc.

Sounds to me like a great opportunity for a civic minded soul like yourself to build a new mill and show the evil JR Gotrocks of the world how it's done. Make sure that you get the unions involved as much as possible in your business plan as well.

simplicimus: Yep. Smaller and more specialized, sure, but still there

Cool! So tell me again what the article is whining about.

purple kool-aid and a jigger of formaldehyde: You sound republican like you rode the short bus to school.

Is that the best you've got? Weaksauce.


It's good thing when your mother dropped you as a child that you landed on your head. Otherwise you might have hurt yourself.
 
2013-12-31 12:19:20 PM

Dancin_In_Anson: Cool! So tell me again what the article is whining about.


You may be shocked to hear this, but there are more industries than steel.

Might I suggest you RTFA?
 
2013-12-31 12:19:40 PM

Hyjamon: If unions are so great, then why don't corporations form unions with other corporations?


Mergers and acquisitions? Novel idea.
 
2013-12-31 12:20:27 PM

Dancin_In_Anson: Cool! So tell me again what the article is whining about.


the fact that unions have been busted since the 70s, both public and private and the idea that you think only the steel workers union matters shows how little you think about the outside world.

okay, I lied, that last part was paraphrased.
 
2013-12-31 12:20:57 PM

Hyjamon: If unions are so great, then why don't corporations form unions with other corporations?


they have, it's called "the fed".
 
2013-12-31 12:21:15 PM

Dancin_In_Anson: Rapmaster2000: AK Steel and USX are at 52 week highs. Nucor is at a 5 year high.

Great news!

You own a union shop too, yes?


You have become tiresome.
 
2013-12-31 12:21:16 PM

FarkedOver: What unions need to stop doing is promoting the idea of "cooperation with management". It has been an abysmal failure. It has neutered unions and it has created a bureaucratic class within the unions. What unions need to start doing is being more democratic and more militant.


Exactly.  The unions didn't pave the way for the American middle class by playing it safe.  They faced down the 1% and their hired thugs and stood their ground.  The ruling class is never going to give regular people their fair share.  It has to be taken from them.
 
2013-12-31 12:23:42 PM

Aar1012: Now those C-Levels executives can invest that money into new products which then grow the economy and create jobs or they can use the money to start new businesses and if they survive under the invisible hand then they make more jobs give their money to an investment banker who drops it into the Wall Street casino

 
2013-12-31 12:24:59 PM

imontheinternet: Dancin_In_Anson: How's that steel mill coming along nowadays?

Unions aren't limited to manufacturing.  In an era of unprecedented corporate profits and a record high Dow, wages remain stagnant and benefits largely non-existent.  Collective bargaining is the only means of giving workers an advantage at the negotiation table to make sure that they see their fair share of the profits they create.



Exactly.  It really misses the point to view unions as relics of a bygone era that only worked in a manufacturing-based economy.  The whole reason why unions are so vilified is because ownership and management hates the idea of employees having any rights or bargaining power.

The funny thing is that conservatives always come out to defend huge companies and banks that have massive bargaining power (because that's how the free market works, right?), but then turn around and claim that unions unfairly "extort" companies by "forcing" them to pay higher wages and benefits.   It's just plain and obvious that the only reason conservatives hate unions is because they hate the idea of workers organizing and realizing that together they can bargain for better pay and benefits.  It's just typical GOP - do everything they can to keep the poors in their place and their donors happy.
 
2013-12-31 12:25:40 PM
 
2013-12-31 12:25:42 PM

simplicimus: Not clicking on a Salon link, but I assume the headline covers it. Anyone remember single income families?


Its actually a well researched quality article. Here's a small bit from it.

In Nick Reding's book "Methland," he interviews Roland Jarvis, who earned $18 an hour throwing hocks at Iowa Ham...until 1992, when the slaughterhouse was bought out by a company that broke the union, cut wages to $6.20 an hour, and eliminated all benefits. Jarvis began taking meth so he could work extra shifts, then dealing the drug to make up for his lost income.
 
2013-12-31 12:27:13 PM
The Machinist union is real close to driving a bunch of high-paying Boeing jobs right out of Washington state.

Take that, upper middle class.
 
2013-12-31 12:27:28 PM
And how many people who hate their soul crushing, work you 60 hours a week with no OT until you are in a grave job, are applauding because all those union people will have to suffer like them now, when they should be trying to organize and get better conditions for themselves? It is a sad state that this country is in.

I'm just waiting for the people that will comment that they don't need a union because their skill is so needed that they can negotiate their employment terms for themselves.
 
2013-12-31 12:28:42 PM
most jobs have 4 people applying for every 1 worker they already have
most states are at will
most unions can't do anything, see detroit
how did the union save the hostess people during the twinkie rebellion of 2013?

face it, the idea of a union is a dead idea..it is not smart when your collection of people can be fully replaced in less than 90 days from hire to producing at a high rate
 
2013-12-31 12:29:11 PM

Cletus C.: The Machinist union is real close to driving a bunch of high-paying Boeing jobs right out of Washington state.

Take that, upper middle class.


Fark Boeing for extorting the people of Washington and the working class of Washington.  Washington and the workers should seize the factory from Boeing and keep it open and working.
 
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