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Archive for the ‘Unions’ Category

Irony Alert: Union Hires Scabs To Walk Picket Line

Posted by Thunder Pig on August 3, 2007

The Fifth Column Lance Thompson
August 2, 2007

In the 28 July Idaho Statesman, Joe Estrella reported that a local union was hiring homeless people to walk its picket line.

“The Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters Local 635 is paying $12.50 an hour to anyone willing to walk picket lines,” Estrella reports. “Mixed among a few union members and their spouses are homeless people.” The non-union picketers are protesting the use of nonunion labor on a 26-unit condo project in downtown Boise. Evidently, there is so much highly-paid union construction work in the area that union members are too busy to protest the fact that some carpenters are working for less.

When asked about the practice of hiring homeless picketers for the union line, Local 635 representative Rob Robbins explained, “We’ll supplement with anybody who wants to work. I don’t ask their addresses.” Local 635’s grievance with Commercial Constructors, Inc., a Boise area drywall and steel stud framing business owned by Steve Packard, is low wages and health insurance. Robbins said, “I have evidence that his average payroll is $15 an hour and that only 20% of his workers have health insurance.” Local 635 is paying its replacement picketers $12.50 an hour, and there was no mention of health insurance.

When an organization hires temporary replacement workers for less money and fewer benefits than their regular laborers are paid, don’t unions condemn such temporary workers as “scabs?” Aren’t such tactics by the organization known as “unfair labor practices?”

The temporary picketers hired by the union have no job security–the protest could end tomorrow, and they’d all be out of work. They have no right of collective bargaining–there is an endless stream of eager workers ready to step up if others tire of the conditions. Local 635 does not negotiate with the temporary workers–it’s $12.50 an hour, take it or leave it. The temporary picketers seem ripe for organizing, but, oddly, no one from the union has spoken to them about the benefits of forming or joining a union, the power of collective bargaining, or the exploitation they are suffering at the hands of an organization that enjoys a surplus of available labor to fill a small number of highly coveted jobs. Any company that employed such exploitive tactics would be excoriated by union spokesmen and labor activists.

Source: The New Media Journal

Read the rest of the article.

Commentary

Unions are not about worker conditions. Unions are about power. Power gathered into the hands of a few union bosses. Union Members make up only 12 percent of the workforce, and that number will continue to decline them into obscurity.

Unions once performed a useful service. No longer. The dustbin of history awaits them.

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Bar Fight in the Blue Ridge: Screwy Responds

Posted by Thunder Pig on June 18, 2007

Screwy Hoolie has taken up the gauntlet thrown by John Armor.

This could get interesting should John respond.

Here is a partial response by me…

Here is more information on Union Card Check procedure that Screwy leaves out:

The union is conducting a “card check” organizing drive at my workplace, and I am not interested in union representation. What are my rights?

If a union collects signed “authorization cards” from 50% plus 1 of the employees in a particular bargaining unit, your employer could declare that the union is the exclusive representative of all employees without a secret ballot election. Thus, it is vitally important for employees to know that signing a union authorization card will likely mean that they will never get to cast a secret ballot for or against the union.

Be sure to read more at this website.

And beware that going Union will cost your employer a competitive edge, as it has with GM (to pick an obvious example):


Healthcare costs alone impose an average cost of $1,500 per GM vehicle. Unlike most U.S. private-sector workers, GM’s unionized workers do not pay deductibles on their health coverage. According to the UAW contract in force until 2007, GM’s hourly workers pay only 7 percent of their total healthcare costs, compared to 27 to 32 percent paid by the average U.S. salaried worker. Recent “concessions” by GM’s unions will slow the hemorrhaging, but they may be too little, too late.

In contrast, most foreign-owned auto plants in the United States are non-unionized. Their workers are not as generously compensated as GM’s workers, but they are relatively well-paid with good benefits. And because their employers are not saddled with the uneconomic pension and healthcare costs of a UAW contract, they can produce cars at a more competitive price, creating more opportunity and job security for existing workers. Michigan-based GM’s toughest competition these days is not from Japan, but from Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, South Carolina and the other states where foreign-owned auto companies have established production facilities.


Source: CATO Institute

Posted in Blogs, Heath Shuler, john armor, NC-11, Right to Work, Scrutiny Hooligans, Unions | 5 Comments »