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Yeah, unions are useless:

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    Posted: 29 August 2012 at 6:24am
Because no one would ever do something silly and ignorant like force their employees to attend a campaign event without pay upon threat of losing their jobs.

I especially like how the CFO says "There were no workers that were forced to attend the event. We had managers that communicated to our work force that the attendance at the Romney event was mandatory, but no one was forced to attend the event." Because, you know, mandatory means optional right?!?!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote impulse418 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 August 2012 at 9:30am
How much does entry level coal miner make?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote procarbinefreak Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 August 2012 at 9:36am
Heh... they just worded it like the hospital I work for worded their mandatory flu vaccination.  It's mandatory, but you don't have to get it.  If you don't get it, you're voluntarily resigning.  

Either way, that's pretty stupid.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lightningbolt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 August 2012 at 10:09am
So many of the topics we discuss here are based on extremes. One does something therefore it is a representation of all. It's put into play to force agenda and it really hurts middle America. I make it a priority to not allow the media to destroy my critical thinking.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lightningbolt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 August 2012 at 10:49am
Originally posted by procarbinefreak procarbinefreak wrote:

Heh... they just worded it like the hospital I work for worded their mandatory flu vaccination.  It's mandatory, but you don't have to get it.  If you don't get it, you're voluntarily resigning.  

Either way, that's pretty stupid.


Is the target of your frustration actually an "at will" employment policy?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tallen702 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 August 2012 at 11:26am
Originally posted by Lightningbolt Lightningbolt wrote:

So many of the topics we discuss here are based on extremes. One does something therefore it is a representation of all. It's put into play to force agenda and it really hurts middle America. I make it a priority to not allow the media to destroy my critical thinking.


How is this an extreme? It's an issue that unionization would have prevented from happening. What's more, I'm pretty sure there's a civil rights violation in there somewhere. There's been a ton of anti-union talk on here, some of it I've agreed with, most of it I haven't. I'm just pointing out that this is a fantastic example of where unions provide a protection that is necessary because people still pull crap like this with their employees.

Impluse, depending on their skill set and whether they're union or non union, the starting hourly rate works out to about 35-40k/year on a 40 hour work week with 2 weeks unpaid vacation each year. Remember, they aren't provided with lights, helmets, boots, clothing, etc. That all comes out of your pay.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lightningbolt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 August 2012 at 11:35am
Your points are well taken but unions aren't entirely useless. This is coming from someone that stands on the side of management generally speaking.

I think that the thread title threw me off and this was just one example of how useless unions are. My bad if I hgot it wrong.

Edited by Lightningbolt - 29 August 2012 at 11:45am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oldpbnoob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 August 2012 at 11:49am

I think pointing out one incident as support for unionization is a bit extreme. Maybe a line was crossed to a degree, but not that serious IMO. From listening to the entire audio, the explanation for closing the mine down for the day was because management wanted to attend the rally and it would have been impossible to keep the mine open with no management/supervisors in place. The guy went on to explain that it is not abnormal for the mine to close down and cancel various shifts for maintenance or broken equipment, so this really wasnt much different. Part of me wonders if this wasnt a mistake in verbage as it seems like the interviewer would have jumped all over the statement regarding it being mandatory , but not forcing. This is an obvious contradiction and any good interviewer would have taken advantage of this. The fact that he didnt question it leads me to beleive they already discussed this matter. Also as the interviewee says, there is no way of knowing who send or made the allegations. Again, another problem with the interwebz is not having to substantiate your claims.

Local union for the refinery is still on strike here. Apparently, almost $50/hour including benefits just isnt enough. Word is that the local union pres is trying to secure a position with the national union, but lacks experience in dealing with a strike situation. I've heard more than one person mention that they feel this strike is more about him making an attempt to strengthen his resume than it is about the terms of the deal. It will be interesting to see how long he stays around here if he successfully handles this strike and gets Husky to cave to their demands.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tolgak Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 August 2012 at 11:52am
Originally posted by Lightningbolt Lightningbolt wrote:

Your points are well taken but unions aren't entirely useless. This is coming from someone that stands on the side of management generally speaking.

I think that the thread title threw me off and this was just one example of how useless unions are. My bad if I hgot it wrong.

The title just couldn't be sarcasm.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tallen702 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 August 2012 at 12:18pm
Originally posted by oldpbnoob oldpbnoob wrote:

I think pointing out one incident as support for unionization is a bit extreme. Maybe a line was crossed to a degree, but not that serious IMO. From listening to the entire audio, the explanation for closing the mine down for the day was because management wanted to attend the rally and it would have been impossible to keep the mine open with no management/supervisors in place. The guy went on to explain that it is not abnormal for the mine to close down and cancel various shifts for maintenance or broken equipment, so this really wasnt much different. Part of me wonders if this wasnt a mistake in verbage as it seems like the interviewer would have jumped all over the statement regarding it being mandatory , but not forcing. This is an obvious contradiction and any good interviewer would have taken advantage of this. The fact that he didnt question it leads me to beleive they already discussed this matter. Also as the interviewee says, there is no way of knowing who send or made the allegations. Again, another problem with the interwebz is not having to substantiate your claims.



It's pretty clear from the written article that mine employees are backing up the claims with their own words. The shutting down isn't the issue, the issue is that they were told, by management, that attending the rally was mandatory and that contributing to the campaign was also mandatory. Mandatory is a word that management use to mean "This must be done, or there will be repercussions." Not "We want to go to this, and you are free to do so as well." That's where the line was crossed and a union would have protected the workers. There's at will employment, and then there's criminal coercion.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oldpbnoob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 August 2012 at 2:29pm

Right because a bunch of anonymous emails and phone calls into a talk show complaining about a local employer can't possibly be faked by former or disgruntled employees. I reread the article a couple of times and missed the follow up story about the firing of those employees that didnt show up to the campaign rally.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stratoaxe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 August 2012 at 2:48pm
While I find this despicable, aren't unions famous for very similar behavior? I could be wrong but it seems to me that unions use their money to support pro union candidates. I don't see the unions as being the solution.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lightningbolt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 August 2012 at 2:56pm
The local union physically intimidated a very feminine girl wearing probably about a thousand dollar outfit that I know opening a business. Just stressing that she didn't show up in bdu's wielding a bat. Nice
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oldpbnoob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 August 2012 at 7:09pm
Originally posted by Lightningbolt Lightningbolt wrote:

The local union physically intimidated a very feminine girl wearing probably about a thousand dollar outfit that I know opening a business. Just stressing that she didn't show up in bdu's wielding a bat. Nice
What?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote StormyKnight Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 August 2012 at 4:11pm
Originally posted by procarbinefreak procarbinefreak wrote:

Heh... they just worded it like the hospital I work for worded their mandatory flu vaccination.  It's mandatory, but you don't have to get it.  If you don't get it, you're voluntarily resigning.  

Either way, that's pretty stupid.
My friend is a Surgical Technician at a hospital I frequently work at.  She is up in arms about the "mandatory" vaccination.  She says the preservatives in the vaccine are harmful, but that isn't the worst part.  Everytime she has had a flu shot, she ends up getting the flu and is sick for at least a week.  Violently so.  She went to HR about it to see if she could get a waiver of some sort.  They told her, that if she did NOT get the vaccine, her employment at the hospital would end by the due date.
 
I wish hospitals were that fanatic about dealing with Staph infections...
 
/rant & thread hijack over


Edited by StormyKnight - 30 August 2012 at 4:15pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lightningbolt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 August 2012 at 4:17pm
You should be able to pass on any vaccine based on religious belief.

At will is so handy for them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rofl_Mao Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 August 2012 at 9:57pm
The city that I live in now used to have a shipbuilding business (Irving Shipbuilding). It is because of the union that Irving moved the shipbuilding out of Saint John. This year the Canadian government signed a multi-billion dollar contract with Irving Shipbuilding... in Halifax. That contract would've gone to Saint John instead if they still had the business here, and all that money would've gone right back into the city because of the thousands of workers working on the ships.

The union wanted more money from the company and locked itself out, Irving said F-that and pulled the whole business out to a more profitable location. Unions don't work as well as they are portrayed.

Another union dispute has been ongoing in the province for almost a year now affecting the only bus service throughout the province. Same thing: the union wants more money and is unwilling to work with the company and has locked itself out affecting service to everyone.

Unions are greedy and unrealistic.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tallen702 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 August 2012 at 10:11pm
Originally posted by Rofl_Mao Rofl_Mao wrote:

The city that I live in now used to have a shipbuilding business (Irving Shipbuilding). It is because of the union that Irving moved the shipbuilding out of Saint John. This year the Canadian government signed a multi-billion dollar contract with Irving Shipbuilding... in Halifax. That contract would've gone to Saint John instead if they still had the business here, and all that money would've gone right back into the city because of the thousands of workers working on the ships.

The union wanted more money from the company and locked itself out, Irving said F-that and pulled the whole business out to a more profitable location. Unions don't work as well as they are portrayed.

Another union dispute has been ongoing in the province for almost a year now affecting the only bus service throughout the province. Same thing: the union wants more money and is unwilling to work with the company and has locked itself out affecting service to everyone.

Unions are greedy and unrealistic.




On the inverse, companies no longer care about the individuals they employ and will do whatever it takes to squeeze every penny until it bleeds for their shareholders. Corporate responsibility is as extinct as the dinosaurs and rather than come to the table to negotiate with the union, the company decided it could pay people less money if it moved elsewhere, using the union demands as a convenient ploy to make the move that they were intending to make anyway.

That's not to say unions are perfect in every way. But back to the case at hand, a union would have protected the workers from the outright abuse of power that the mine was pulling.

It's always interesting to see people point to "The Union" as if it were a singular entity rather than a representative body. If the bus company is indeed willing to come to the table with reasonable terms, you shouldn't be pointing fingers at "The Union" but rather the people they represent.

I was just as guilty as you in putting the singular face on the union body when I was younger. But when you think about it, are you willing to walk up to a bus driver who is on strike and tell him face to face that you think he doesn't deserve what he's asking for?

I'm willing to walk up to a UMWA member on strike at a strip or MTM mine and tell them to rot in hell, but I won't do it to a deep miner. That's the difference. I understand that the UMWA is a representative body, it's alright to disagree with what the UMWA or AFL-CIO or any other organization is fighting for, so long as you understand that you're telling individual people that they aren't worth it. Be it a pay raise, affordable medical insurance, better safety equipment, etc.

With that in mind, remember, it wasn't the shipbuilder's union you should blame, but the individual ship builders themselves.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rofl_Mao Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 August 2012 at 12:36am
Eh, there still are good companies out there, you just have to look for them.

As for the unions protecting abuse, I believe it is up to the state (or provincial) and federal governments to uphold and stay on top of worker's rights. I know my province has strict human rights laws that must be followed and companies have to prove that they train the employees to follow the rules in the workplace, otherwise the company can be held liable for any kind of abuse. This motivates companies to have an active approach to worker's rights.

I do agree that each union member has a face, and that they are people. But also remember that union leaders and other members could go on strike for their own reasons and the other members would be forced to go on strike or risk being kicked out of the union. If unions get too powerful they start to become like the companies they work for, only interested in money and nothing else.

I hope I'm clearly getting my point across, I'm not running on much sleep right now.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tallen702 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 August 2012 at 7:48am
I understand what you're saying Rofl, but the reality is that workers aren't going to strike if they don't feel the potential benefits outweigh the risks, and that they honestly aren't being taken seriously, or compensated properly, for the jobs they are doing. It's the union members who talk to their representatives to file grievances, it's only when those grievances become numerous that the union reps go beyond talking to the individual shift managers and HR people at the company and escalate the situation to either strike due to the company not holding up their end of the CBA, or because the company doesn't want to sit down and actually talk about a new CBA on equal terms.

Trust me, I don't believe unions are made up of unicorns and rainbows, there are a lot of corruption cases involving them, and when the leaders aren't sensible people, and resort to old-hand tactics like threats of violence and whatnot, then they aren't acting in the best interests of their members and they need to be kicked out or hauled in on charges. But the basic job of protecting the rights of its members is what unions do on a daily basis.

Believe you me, when I was younger, having grown up in coal country, I hated all unions with a passion. But having been in the work force for some 16 years now, I can definitely see where unions have a place in the world, and the example brought up with this article is just one of the many reasons why.
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