REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS

Wisconsin and 'Right to Work' law

POSTED BY: THEHAPPYTRADER
UPDATED: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 04:41
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Wednesday, February 23, 2011 10:27 AM

THEHAPPYTRADER


I live in a 'Right to Work' State were being a union member is optional, and some would say pointless. I have just begun my googling, so my info is limited, but from what I understand, having the right to choose whether to be in a union or not doesn't seem like such a bad thing. The democrat's fleeing the state to stall a vote seems especially cowardly and frankly, undemocratic.

I'm hesitant to assume the worst here, perhaps someone has more information and an explanation as to why the democrats here aren't acting like spoiled children (if we don't do things my way no one gets to play!). There's no shortage of vitriol in that direction, but is it justified?

Having lived all my life in an area where union membership is not mandatory and were folks tend not to think highly of them, my knowledge of what exactly a union is, is limited and biased. I am curious as to how optional union membership is dangerous to anyone. Wouldn't it just remove a mandatory 'union tax' and make that optional if you wish to have union benefits?

I'll be doing further research later, but I have a class and private lessons to teach (FYI to anyone curious, I am contracted to teach these programs and am not employed by the State or any Public School. I am certified to teach public school, but alas there are no jobs there...).

In the mean time, I was hoping to promote a more civil and less one-sided discussion on this topic. Yeah, I know calling out the dems seems to indicate otherwise, but I am open to new information concerning this and not opposed to being proven wrong.


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Wednesday, February 23, 2011 10:33 AM

QUESTIONABLEQUESTIONALITY


You seem to be on the right track. No-one should be forced to join a union as a prerequisite too working for their state. It is bully thuggary.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011 12:01 PM

USBROWNCOAT


Forcing someone to join a union is Un-American.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011 3:42 PM

RIONAEIRE

Beir bua agus beannacht


I agree that joining a union should be optional. I'm pro union mostly, but think one's participation should be a choice, unions can certainly encourage people to join, that's cool with me, but they shouldn't force. Why do they force in some states? I think its because the more people a union has the more power it has.

"A completely coherant River means writers don't deliver" KatTaya

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011 3:46 PM

KANEMAN


Quote:

Originally posted by RionaEire:
I agree that joining a union should be optional. I'm pro union mostly, but think one's participation should be a choice, unions can certainly encourage people to join, that's cool with me, but they shouldn't force. Why do they force in some states? I think its because the more people a union has the more power it has.

"A completely coherant River means writers don't deliver" KatTaya




Capt Mal "doesn't make it right"

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011 4:12 PM

FREMDFIRMA


I'll be more willing to discuss it when the reek of sockpuppetry starts to fade - seriously, how stupid do you think we are ?

Not you Happy, but the mutual circlejerk ego stroke thread (which they oughta have named fleabaggers vs carpetbaggers, you ask me) is so goddamn obvious about it that it's fuckin pathetic, really.

So not sure I wanna try to have a discussion if it's gonna get spammed by immature nastiness by folk too cowardly to do it honestly even on the internet, cause any decent points are likely to get drowned out by noise from the brownshirts wishing to shout down any voice but their own.

And I would say THAT, more than anything else, shows what their True Colors are.

-Frem

I do not serve the Blind God.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011 4:24 PM

KANEMAN


That's right run you flee-bagger...Whatever. Go blather in a mental health thread. I love that these issues have brought real Americans back here.....laughing at you flee-baggers. Run bitch run...

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Thursday, February 24, 2011 6:47 AM

THEHAPPYTRADER


I get that, don't feed the trolls and all. But no one here is defending those democrats, so should I assume their cowardly selfish label is justified? I know that sounds 'trollish' of me, but I was hoping to here an alternate explanation of their behavior. I guess they really are just being douches then.

After a little more research, I've basically come to the conclusion that union's are like insurance. The Government already requires that we buy various insurances (which I do not agree with) but at least those insurances theoretically protect others from harm (as in the auto insurance) or save your ass from being sued into oblivion. Health insurance can pay the medical bills to keep you alive, but what does union insurance provide? Theoretically job security, collective bargaining (not a terrible thing) but you may not need a union for that and you could possibly live without it. Also, being in a union can sometimes make it more difficult to find work.

So, mandatory union membership is looking kind of like government sanctioned extortion, from a certain point of view. Course, so does insurance, but that's still the law...

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Thursday, February 24, 2011 6:51 AM

CANTTAKESKY


Quote:

Originally posted by TheHappyTrader:
Course, so does insurance, but that's still the law...

It's a BAD law. We shouldn't make MORE bad laws.

-------
"It is not my thorns that defend me. It is my perfume," says the rose. -- Paul Claudel

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Thursday, February 24, 2011 7:59 AM

RIGHTEOUS9


mandatory union membership makes sense to me...if workers are going to unionize to get you better pay and benefits, seems like if you want those benefits you should have some skin in the game.

I'm guessing that corps are going to give those individual employees less because they aren't unionized...that is until the union is weak enough that they can do whatever they want to all the workers.

Tell me exactly how a union is supposed to function if a company can hire outside of union restrictions?

by the way, any other group that would result in collective bargaining would have to be called something, and would still in essence be a union, wouldn't it?

I've also heard stories about unions having a harder time getting a piece of the pie...but then that goes to the problem of just how neutered they are in this country.

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Thursday, February 24, 2011 8:41 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


Where are they trying to "force" people to join a union? I haven't heard that one anywhere...

I'll defend the legislators. It's very simple. Wisconsin has no "filibuster" provisions; Walker has demanded it be made into law asap with little or no discussion and absolutely NO compromises; the Republicans control the Senate, so the minute the lawmakers return, they'd take a vote and it would be a done deal; the unions have ALREADY given in to his every demand, willing to pay more into their pension plans, pay more of their healthcare expenses, etc. But that's not what it's about; it's purely and simply about busting the unions, and Walker is obviously the trial balloon. Other Republican governors are champing at the bit to follow suit, but they've already backed down in some states.

If one has no alternative and cannot filibuster, what else can one do to slow down the discussion?? The righties here who were so hot about the Republicans filibustering EVERYTHING The past two years would be jumping for joy if the situation were reversed; if a Democratic governor wanted to pass a bill going after businesses instead of unions and the Republican lawmakers left the state to avoid a vote; it's just because it's Democrats doing it that they can't see clearly.

It's as simple as that, to me. Walker planned this whole thing well, but it may not work out the way he wants. He came into office and almost IMMEDIATELY gave $140 million in tax cuts to BUSINESS, then began whining about how they had to cut $137 to balance the budget, and would do it on the backs of the union workers. It's a trick; and so far it's worked--I'm not hearing much in the MSM about the tax cuts he implemented and how they represent almost exactly the amount he's using to justify his actions against the unions. But it's there, all over the internet and occasionally I hear it on a news report somewhere.

What happened the that famous "liberal media"? They could jump on this, but they're not. I'm only recently hearing how the unions have AGREED to his demands...everything but collective bargaining, but that's what he wants, the rest is bullshit.

It never ceases to amaze me how people continue deliberately blind; the Republicans have made it abundantly obvious they'll do anything to bring Obama down, to gain power, to focus on social agendas rather than jobs (tho' they got elected on jobs), to INCREASE the size of government for the things they want, to get rid of Social Security/Medicare, to bust the unions, to cut the rich, big businesses and Wall Street every benefit they can...why doesn't nobody seem to notice this? It's been their agenda for DECADES, and they've been quite open about it from time to time...

They're good; nobody can deny that. They're far better than the Dems at obfuscation, lies, manipulation, but how people keep ignoring it and only talking about the specific steps they take, and so many buy into their slogans and lies...it's weird.

So in essence, as to the initial question: Why would legislators who leave their state to avoid a vote they believe is totally wrong and which will be made without compromise and is directed at the working class, when they have no other option? If that makes them cowards and spoiled children, what does tha make the Republican minority in the federal government who filibustered everything, even things they had AGREED with or PROPOSED previously? I'm as curious as to how people can say the two are different as others are as to what defense the legislators have.


Hippie Operative Nikovich Nikita Nicovna Talibani,
Contracted Agent of Veritas Oilspillus, code name “Nike”,
signing off




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Thursday, February 24, 2011 10:04 AM

THEHAPPYTRADER


Shiny! A discussion, I was hoping to attract opposing viewpoints, though I regret it seems this can't be accomplished without being aggressive

Quote:

mandatory union membership makes sense to me...if workers are going to unionize to get you better pay and benefits, seems like if you want those benefits you should have some skin in the game.


And if you don't want to pay union dues and would rather work on your own terms, shouldn't you have to option not to join a union? I'm not anti-union as much as anti mandatory-you-are-required-to-purchase anything. Although, you do make an excellent point concerning non-unionized works sometimes getting a 'free ride' thanks to union struggles. But then again, if unions truly have altruistic motives, should it bother them that all workers lives have improved and not just those who pay dues? I get that they need resources to continue to 'fight on behalf of the workers' and all, but requiring membership still seems wrong to me.

Quote:

Where are they trying to "force" people to join a union? I haven't heard that one anywhere...



Well... I guess you are only forced too join the union if you wish to be employed in whatever line of work the union has control over.

From what I understand, 'right-to-work' laws make union membership for these jobs optional rather than mandatory.

Quote:

Right-to-work laws are statutes enforced in twenty-two U.S. states, mostly in the southern or western U.S., allowed under provisions of the Taft-Hartley Act, which prohibit agreements between labor unions and employers making membership or payment of union dues or fees a condition of employment, either before or after hiring.


Now, maybe there is a lot to be said for what union's have accomplished and the benefits of membership. Maybe folks should also have the choice not to join one and still work. I'm not saying folks shouldn't join unions, but should membership really be mandatory for any job?

Quote:

If that makes them cowards and spoiled children, what does tha make the Republican minority in the federal government who filibustered everything, even things they had AGREED with or PROPOSED previously?


Spoiled children, cowards, AND hypocrites. I hope you weren't expecting me to defend them I mean, filibusters, abandoning posts... I guess democracy is only okay when it works their way... Two wrongs don't make a right, but sometimes three lefts will. Anyway, something else that republicans have done somewhere else sometime else ain't exactly related, but I kinda opened the door on that one by calling those Wisconsin democrats out on their actions.

My opinion is union membership should be optional and not mandatory. If you disagree with this, please tell me why you feel this way, I am very curious. It seems kind of simple to me, so I figure either people are trying to over complicate or obscure the picture, or perhaps I am not seeing the entire picture. More viewpoints may not lead to agreement, but it should promote a more complete understanding

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Thursday, February 24, 2011 10:21 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


I do agree; union membership should be by choice. I see where in Wisconsin union dues are taken out by law...I didn't realize that before. That's absolutely wrong. Change that law, in that case, which would be complicated because it would mean those who don't join unions wouldn't be given the same benefits, salary, etc., as those who do. It's a quandry, but it's also not true in other states; so if you really want to make things right, go after that law, not the union membership and collective bargaining.

Given it's wrong to mandate union membership, please tell us how you would solve the problem of those who aren't members of the union achieving salaries and benefits as those who are part of the union? Surely you don't think people should just have the benefit of the union bargaining without paying any dues? So how would you solve that problem?
Quote:

if unions truly have altruistic motives, should it bother them that all workers lives have improved and not just those who pay dues?
I never heard that unions were "altruistic". I believe the concept is to give workers at least a bit of a shot at bargaining for better conditions, and the union needs dues to pay for the people who do that bargaining, organize, etc. They're in it to make a living like everyone else. Why should they work for people who don't contribute to what they do?

So, give us a realistic scenario for union membership not being mandatory, and how it would realistically be accomplished that union workers get what they bargained for while non-union workers do not, please. I don't like mandatory membership, but I also don't see how it would work without it; I think it'd be an awful mess.

I still see NO difference between the minority filibustering where filibuster is available and legislators not allowing a quorum where it is not. How exactly is that different, please elucidate? The Republicans weren't doing their "job", they were collecting salaries for not allowing measures to proceed; how is that different from Democratic legislators not making a quorum possible?
Quote:

I guess democracy is only okay when it works their way
Freely granted; both sides try to defeat legislation. That doesn't make what the Dems do any different from what the Repubs have done.

Also, the Republicans filibustered virtually EVERYTHING, merely because it was the Dems who, again, proposed things THEY originally backed and/or put forth. The legislators in WI are protesting one thing, and one thing only, and I don't believe have ever done so before. In other words, it's not a consistent modus operandi based on ideology; it truly IS doing what they believe is right, in my opinion.


Hippie Operative Nikovich Nikita Nicovna Talibani,
Contracted Agent of Veritas Oilspillus, code name “Nike”,
signing off




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Thursday, February 24, 2011 10:46 AM

THEHAPPYTRADER


Hahaha, repubs, repubs, repubs...

What I was getting at, is that republican filibusters, transgressions, etc... is not really the topic of this thread, not unless it directly relates to the proposed legislation. Politicians are dicks, we all know this, and there's a whole bunch of 'em. I'd prefer it if we could narrow the focus to the dicks in Wisconsin, perhaps even further focusing on how they relate to this law, the union situation, etc...

Quote:

Given it's wrong to mandate union membership, please tell us how you would solve the problem of those who aren't members of the union achieving salaries and benefits as those who are part of the union? Surely you don't think people should just have the benefit of the union bargaining without paying any dues? So how would you solve that problem?


First off, I'm not entirely sure they are necessary, and I have no experience in one, so I don't know that I can really answer that other than by saying Unions are not mandatory in several States and things still seem to be alright.

I'm still expanding on my understanding of unions, and from what I understand so far, they must either be like a an insurance policy or perhaps a well meaning force advocating for workers rights (which I guess is just a romantic image that is been shot down). If they are closer to a business of their own, as in the insurance analogy, why should they get special legal privileges that require you purchase them? I guess I would solve it by saying, union members are entitled to union benefits, and employers would not be required to extend those same benefits to un-unionized workers. If an un-unionized worker is unhappy with what he's offered, I guess he could decide if he wants to pay union dues or find another place to work.

I get that scenario may end up ultimately changing nothing, the poor schmuck's prolly still gonna end up joining that union anyway, but at least he has a choice in the matter.


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Thursday, February 24, 2011 11:34 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


Quote:

union members are entitled to union benefits, and employers would not be required to extend those same benefits to un-unionized workers
Yes, but how would that WORK? Can you see all the implications, and the complications, of a system such as that? That's my point. While I don't agree with mandatory union membership, I'm not sure how a system would work which divided employees into two categories.

By the way, my husband works in admin at a company whose non-salaried employees are unionized. He gets some of the benefits bargained by the union, and gets financial compensation for some of the others. He CAN'T join the union because he's salaried, so that's their way of offsetting it. But if he wasn't union because he CHOSE not to be, I wonder how they'd handle it.

You'd like to concentrate on what the legislators in Wisconsin are doing. But I say it's pertinent and DOES pertain to the issue at hand because it's the same kind of move to have the "minority voice" heard as supposedly the Republicans were doing. I definitely don't agree with minority rule, but Walker's REFUSAL to discuss or compromise, his demand that it be made law post haste without debate, and the lack of ability to filibuster puts it in no worse category than the Republicans filibustering everything...in fact in a BETTER category, IMO.

I think they're doing the right thing. I think if Walker were willing to compromise, AS THE UNIONS HAVE, there'd be room to negotiate. He won't. How else do they try to slow down the system in hopes of getting a chance to debate the issue?

Walker has made it abundantly clear that he isn't interested in FINANCIAL compromises, he wants collective barganing outlawed, which has nothing to do with the supposed "fiscal crisis" (which he created for JUST this purpose). It's a power play; how does one deal with a power play on the part of the person ruling the state? Protests. How does one deal with a power play one cannot stop, which the people of the state have risen up by the thousands to protest? Avoid being part of allowing that power play.

How would YOU suggest they fight for what the people have made clear they protest? Walker gave NO indication of this when running; he talked about jobs. Now he's threatening to KILL jobs in order to get his way. That's not what he was voted into office to do.


Hippie Operative Nikovich Nikita Nicovna Talibani,
Contracted Agent of Veritas Oilspillus, code name “Nike”,
signing off




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Thursday, February 24, 2011 1:10 PM

RIGHTEOUS9




It wouldn't work in my opinion...

first, because the corporation or entity wouldn't have any real incentive to make the union look inviting by giving non unionized workers less...

then the union has to rely on the good sense of people to know why they pay union dues...otherwise why pay when there are no benefits that they are aware of?

even some who understand it might just appreciate getting the benefits while keeping their extra 100 bucks(or whatever union dues are), trusting in others to continue to support their rights while they don't.

That ultimately weakens collective bargaining and everybody but the few loses.

....

as to manditory unionizing...what does that mean exactly...how does that work? I've never been in a union, but isn't it just successful bargaining on the part of a union? there's no law that says you have to hire unionized employees, at least not for corporations, right? There's just an agreement that has been made with the employer through collective bargaining, that they will hire only unionized employees. Corporations after all, can set what ever standard of hiring they want. They can have manditory drug tests, they can have rules about tatoos and makeup, and hair length...

but there should be a law that says corporations can't have a policy to hire only union workers?...which of course they would prefer not to

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Thursday, February 24, 2011 1:13 PM

FREMDFIRMA


Well, first, a little background.
Every single workers right you have, weekends, eight hour day, forty hour week, sick time, EVERY SINGLE ONE, was paid for in blood, by the bucket.

The blood of union members, in the face of extreme aggression from both corporations and the state.
Here's a short precis on it.
Quote:

Union Busting In America
By Stephen Lendman
2-24-11


It dates from America's 19th century industrial expansion when workers moved away from farms to factories, mines, and other urban environments, with harsh working conditions, low pay, and other exploitive abuses. As a result, labor movements emerged, organizing workers to lobby for better rights and safer conditions, pitting them against corporate bosses yielding nothing without a fight.

During unionism's formative years, workers were terrorized for organizing. In company-owned towns, they were thrown out of homes, beaten, shot, and hanged to leave management empowered.

The 1892 Homestead Steel Works strike culminated in a violent battle between Pinkerton agents and workers. As a result, seven were killed, dozens wounded, and, at the behest of Andrew Carnegie, owner of Carnegie Steel, Governor Robert Pattison sent National Guard troops to evict workers from company homes, make arrests, and help CEO Henry Clay Frick's union busting strategy. It worked, preventing organizing of the Works for the next 40 years.

The Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions chose May 1, 1886 as the date for an eight-hour work day to become standard. As the date approached, unions across America prepared to strike. On May 1, national rallies were held, involving up to 500,000 workers.

On May 4, the landmark Haymarket Square riot protested police violence against strikers the previous day. Someone threw a bomb. Police opened fire. Deaths resulted. Seven so-called anarchists were convicted of murder. Four were executed.

Radicalized by the incident, Emma Goldman became a powerful social justice voice through writing, lecturing, being imprisoned for her activism, and finally emigrating to Russia after its revolution, then elsewhere in Europe. After her death, she was buried in Chicago near the graves of the Haymarket radicals she supported.

Led by American Railway Union's Eugene Debs, the 1894 Pullman strike was the first national one, involving 250,000 workers in 27 states and territories. America's entire rail labor force struck, paralyzing the nation's railway system. At the time, The New York Times called it "a struggle between the greatest and most important labor organization and the entire railroad capital."

At issue were unfair labor practices, including long hours, low pay, poor working conditions, and little sympathy from owner George Pullman. On his behalf, President Grover Cleveland sent federal troops. Hundreds of others were given police powers. At the time, unionists were seen threatening US prosperity.

The strike was broken, killing 13, wounding dozens and resulting in Debs' arrest, trial, conviction for violating a court injunction, and imprisonment for six months. Radicalized by the experience, he became America's leading socialist figure when released, later running five times for president, in 1920 while again in prison for opposing US involvement in WW I.

Founded in 1905, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or Wobblies) had 100,000 members at its peak in the 1920s. Led by Big Bill Haywood, Eugene Debs, and others, it was committed to help workers against abusive management practices. It's motto was "an injury to one is an injury to all." It's goal was revolutionary, saying in its Constitution:

"The working class and the employing class have nothing in common. There can be no peace so long as hunger and want are found among millions of the working people. (The) struggle must go on until the workers of the world organize as a class, take possession of the means of production, abolish the (unfair) wage system, and live in harmony with the Earth....It is the mission of the working class to do away with capitalism (for) a new society within the shell of the old."

As a result, corporate bosses and Washington sought to crush it. In 1917, the Wilson administration used the Espionage and Sedition Act to raid and disrupt union meetings across the country, arresting hundreds on the grounds that they hindered the war effort by opposing it. In 1918, they were tried, convicted and given long sentences, except Haywood. Released on bail after conviction, he fled to Russia where he remained.

From 1918 - 21, the infamous Palmer Raids ravaged the union further during the time of the first Red Scare, effectively busting it, though it's still around, a shadow of its former self. Visit its web site at iww.org to follow their latest activities, including comments on class warfare in Wisconsin.

In the early 20th century, Colorado labor wars raged, notably pitting mine bosses, National Guard troops, and strikebreakers against workers. In his People's History of the United States, Howard Zinn wrote poignantly about the 1913-14 Ludlow, CO coal strike and subsequent massacre, killing 75 or more strikers, strikebreakers, and bystanders for defying what he called "fuedal kingdoms run by (coal barons that) made the laws," imposed curfews, and ran their operations more like despots than businessmen.

Other Union Busting Efforts

During the 1902 coal strike, 14 miners were killed and 22 injured in Pana, IL. In 1904, a Dunnville, CO battle between state militia forces and workers left six dead, others injured, 15 arrested, and 79 exiled to Kansas.

During the 1909 New York shirtwaist strike, female garment workers were arrested, a judge telling them, "You are on strike against God." In March 1911, a fire at New York's Triangle Shirtwaist factory killed 46, mostly women and young girls working in sweatshop conditions. They still exist today. Earlier articles discussed them, accessed through the following links:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2009/03/modern-slavery-in-america.html

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/02/global-sweatshop-wage-slavery.ht
ml


In 1912, the IWW-led Lawrence, MA Bread and Roses textile strike was largely successful. It was credited with inventing the moving picket line, a tactic to avoid arrest for loitering. Also in 1912, National Guard forces were used against striking West Virginia coal miners. In July that year, striking Brotherhood of Timber Workers were confronted by armed Galloway Lumber Company thugs, resulting in four deaths and dozens wounded, the incident called the Grabow Riot.

In 1913, New Orleans police shot three maritime workers, striking against the United Fruit Company. One died.

In 1914, Butte, Montana militia crushed striking Western Federation of Miners workers.

On January 19, 1915, famed labor leader Joe Hill was arrested in Salt Lake City, UT on bogus murder charges. Nonetheless, he was executed 21 months later. Before his death, he wrote Bill Haywood saying, "Don't mourn - organize!" The same day, Roosevelt, NJ factory guards shot 20 rioting strikers.

In 1916, Everett (WA) Mills strikebreakers attacked and beat strikers. Police stood back without intervening, claiming the incident took place on federal land. Three days later, 22 unionists were arrested for speaking out. In October that year, IWW members were beaten, whipped, kicked and impaled for their activism. At their subsequent November 5 meeting, seven were shot and killed, 50 others wounded, and unknown numbers were unaccounted for.

Numerous other incidents at that time involved shootings, hangings, beatings, and arrests, unionists viciously attacked to disrupt them.

In 1919, nearly four million workers struck, including against against steel and coal companies. Management retaliated. The year's Great Steel Strike failed. Company owners called workers dangerous radicals threatening America. Federal and National Guard troops again were used, resulting in violence, deaths, injuries and arrests. From 1919 - 23, numerous coal strikes also occurred, government again siding with management.

In 1920, the Battle of Matewan resulted in nine deaths, later sparking an armed rebellion of 10,000 West Virginia coal miners at the Battle of Blair Mountain, the largest insurrection since the Civil War against which army troops intervened.

In 1922, the Herrin, IL coal strike massacre left 21 dead. In 1927, picketing coal miners were massacred in the company town of Serene, CO. In 1929, National Guard troops and armed thugs destroyed the National Textile Workers Union (NTWU) office during the Loray Mill Strike.

During the 1937 Little Steel strike, Youngstown Steel and Tube and Republic Steel employed hundreds of armed police who fired on strikers trying to prevent scabs from entering factories. On May 30, things exploded when Chicago police joined them, opening fire on picketing strikers and their families, killing 10 and injuring hundreds.

Earlier in the 1930s, unionists were convicted of criminal syndicalism. Vigilantes beat Harlan County, KY strikers. Police killed striking Ford Dearborn, MI strikers. Four cotton workers were killed on strike. National Guard forces killed two Toledo, OH Electric Auto-Lite strikers, wounding hundreds. Police attacked and fired on striking Minneapolis Teamsters. Other deaths, beatings and arrests occurred throughout the decade, even after passage of the landmark 1935 Wagner Act.

In 1932, the Hoover administration warred on WW I veterans, demanding promised bonuses. General Douglas MacArthur-led government troops burned their camps for marching peacefully for their rights.

In 1962, Jack Kennedy's Executive Order 10988 established limited collective bargaining rights for federal employees. It spawned state and local efforts to expand theirs.

In 1968, National Guard troops were used against Memphis, TN sanitation worker strikers, days before Martin Luther King's assassination, there to support them. Violence followed, including beatings. A young unarmed boy was killed emerging from a housing development.

Union busting post-WW II was mostly nonviolent, but just as determined to deny workers their rights after passage of the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act. It greatly weakened union clout, allowing stiff penalties for noncompliance.

It enacted "unfair labor practices," prohibiting jurisdictional strikes (relating to worker job assignments), secondary boycotts (against companies doing business with others being struck), wildcat strikes, sit-downs, slow-downs, mass-picketing against scabs, closed shops (in which workers must join unions), union contributions to federal political campaigns (now freely given candidates), and more while legalizing employer interventions to prevent unionizing drives.

Serious erosion of union power to bargain collectively followed. As a result, employers can illegally fire union sympathizers and receive only minor wrist slap fines after years of expensive litigation to prove wrongdoing. Moreover, they can fire workers for any reason like incompetence or none at all. In addition, strikes are further neutralized because companies can hire replacements or threaten to move offshore.

Since the 1980s especially, earlier hard won rights significantly eroded after Reagan busted PATCO strikers, discussed in a previous article, accessed through the following link:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/02/wisconsin-ground-zero-to-save-pu
blic.html


From then to now, it's been all downhill to where private and public workers face losing all rights unless mass activism resists. Despite Wisconsin heroics, national actions are sorely lacking, largely because union bosses collude with management and political leaders against their own rank and file.

"Confessions of a Union Buster"

In his book, Martin Jay Levitt describes from experience what happens, saying:

"Union busting is a field populated by bullies and built on deceit. A campaign against a union is an assault on individuals and a war on the truth. As such, it is war without honor. The only way to bust a union is to lie, distort, manipulate, threaten, and always (one way or another) attack. The law does not (intervene)....rather, it serves to suggest maneuvers and define strategies," pitting media-supported companies, government, and corrupted union bosses against rank and file unionists, on their own, their grit, resourcefulness, and staying power alone for strategy.

Levitt also calls the National Labor Relations (Wagner) Act a "union buster's best friend" because "its complexity....presents endless possibilities for delays, roadblocks, and maneuvers that can undermine a union's efforts and frustrate" members. The union buster's key tactic is delay ahead of elections, buying time to organize "counter organizing drives," targeting members and immediate supervisors to fear, not embrace, unionism as allied with their interests.

Efforts are also made to discredit unionists by "routinely pr(ying) into (their) police records, personnel files, credit histories, medical records, and family lives in search of a weakness" to use against them. When no dirt's found, targeted workers are called gay or accused of cheating on their wives. It works in blue collar towns.

Other techniques involve "sackings," even though illegal under NLRA's Section 8(a)(3), prohibiting firing workers for urging others to join unions. Nonetheless, union busters know that reinstatement procedures take time, often years. The idea is to weaken support prior to elections, focusing heavily on winning over supervisor support, who, in turn, can influence rank and file members.

Learn more on Levitt's web site, accessed through the following link:

http://www.unionbusting101.com/index.html

He also provides "Top Secret" information of what can and can't be said on the issues, accessed through the link below:

http://www.unionbusting101.com/Top_Secret.pdf

He calls his purpose an effort "to inform and educate WORKERS and Union Organizers about what to expect from management in regards to Union Busting Terrorist Tactics used during union campaigns by management and their consultants in their attempt to defeat their employees from forming a union....or destroy (ones) that already exist."

Nonetheless, the Wagner Act, though measurably weakened, lets workers unionize. Specifically, its Section 7 states:

"Employees shall have the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid and protection."

Levitt also provides information on union busting propaganda, tactics used by Walmart and other companies, labor union resources, for-profit union busters, and more.

Economic Policy Institute (EPI) and American Rights at Work Education Fund on Thwarting Union Organizing

On May 20, 2009, they cited a new five-year study, showing employer anti-union behavior intensifying. Cornell University Professor Kate Bronfenbrenner (a noted labor expert) said employers are more than twice as likely to use 10 or more tactics to thwart organizing efforts.

Titled "No Holds Barred: The Intensification of Employer Opposition to Organizing," it focused on coercive and punitive tactics against organizing efforts, including threats, intimidation, interrogation, harassment, surveillance, retaliation and firings to thwart it. As a result, most workers without unions who want them at best find their wish indefinitely postponed.

Even when workers successfully unionize, 52% have no contract a year later, and for 37% it's two years. Moreover, besides intensive union busting tactics, employers are less likely to offer incentives such as unscheduled raises, positive personnel changes, bribes, special favors, social events, promises of improvement, and employee involvement programs.

In addition, private sector campaigns differ markedly from public sector ones, at least during the 1999 - 2003 period she studied. Recent events in Wisconsin, Ohio and other states show this very much is changing. Though most states let workers freely organize, current tactics show they're subjected to similar private sector tactics to strip away their rights and leave them powerless.

As a result, unionists face increasingly hard times because companies, government, and corrupted union bosses use today's economic environment against them, pleading hard times reasons for cutting back when, if fact, they're exploiting current conditions to reward corporate favorites at their expense.

Joe Hill was right saying "organize" to fight back. So is imprisoned human rights lawyer Lynne Stewart, saying: "Organize - Agitate, Agitate, Agitate, Love Struggle!"

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.


So it's not gimme-gimme or entitlement, it's simply folks wanting their fair cut, to be treated as employees instead of serfs, which is in effect what dickheads like Walker wanna reduce us to - I am not being hyperbolic nor facetious when I say Neofeudalism cause that is EXACTLY what it is.

As for mandatory union membership, I don't favor it either, bein generally not in favor of mandatory anythin, obviously - in fact I had a screaming row over it with Hertz a while back since the union (a buncha weak kneed pansie asses) never managed to secure them a damn thing, and the dues reduced what woulda been good wages to less than minimum wage, and for what ?

Not to mention most conventional unions are one step short of a fucking mafia, corporate pacification tools and whatnot - you can thank that fucker Carnegie for that, and traitorous enablers like Sam Gompers.

The only union I fully support is the IWW, and reading up on their collective history will indicate why.

But I am no more in favor of being forced into a union on employment than I am of being forced into a homeowners org on purchase of a house - the latter often a very unpleasant surprise only revealed after the fact...

Problem is, the choice between serfdom to a corporation OR a union kinda sucks, and I am open to ideas on that one, I'll try to think of a couple, but I have a killer migraine from adjusting to my new glasses and my thought processes ain't all they should be right now.

-Frem

I do not serve the Blind God.

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Thursday, February 24, 2011 1:23 PM

RIGHTEOUS9




Frem, that is an excellent point about the problem with unions, which isn't that they are corrupt in the sense of bilking tax payers or employers, but that they are often corrupted from the very institutions they are supposed to be bargaining against,

which also seems to be the best argument against mandated unions...

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Thursday, February 24, 2011 1:28 PM

RIONAEIRE

Beir bua agus beannacht


When I was a little girl my dad was the president of the union where he worked, so I grew up being pro union, I still am because I believe that the people have a right to stand up and collectively put pressure on the higher ups to treat them better. My dad, despite his position, was fired from that company, which has long since gone under anyway. So its clear his union didn't have that much power, but they tried. I'm going to ask him this weekend what he thinks about manditory union membership, I think he, like me, will say it should be a personal choice: join the union and get the benefits of it, or choose not to, it should be your own choice. Though I think if I were in that situation I'd choose to join the union, but that doesn't mean everyone should have to, I think the reason some occupations have that rule is because the more people are in the union, the more power and influence the union has for bargaining etc.

"A completely coherant River means writers don't deliver" KatTaya

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Thursday, February 24, 2011 1:51 PM

OLDENGLANDDRY

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Thursday, February 24, 2011 1:57 PM

MINCINGBEAST


The solution to the problems posed by public employee unions is simple. So simple, that a gas huffing moron with a brain like a cigarette butt can articulate it: we must find creative ways to outsource public sector jobs to India, China, or wherever labor is cheap .

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Thursday, February 24, 2011 2:12 PM

THEHAPPYTRADER


Niki, I'm not entirely sure what you are saying there, but are you saying membership should be mandatory because otherwise it wouldn't work? If you have to force something to work... might be it needs to be reevaluated.

Just to play devils advocate, those in favor of 'Right-to-work' legislation claim this promotes jobs, jobs, jobs by making them available to anyone, and not just those paying for union privileges.

Righteous, it is my understanding that several government jobs in Wisconsin require union membership as a condition for hiring. 'Right-to-work' law as I understand it is intended to remove this union requirement. Say I want to teach public school in a stay where union membership is required. I have to join a union, pay dues that are often spent on political causes or politicians I might not agree with? To channel Frem for a moment, "Fuck that noise!"

Are businesses allowed to discriminate based off of race or religion? How about union membership? Are they really equal opportunity employers if they make you join their special club first? (Or refuse hiring because you are in a special club for that matter).

Frem, I agree with ya. Not a fun choice, but it should at least be a choice IMO.

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Friday, February 25, 2011 4:32 AM

KANEMAN


Quote:

Originally posted by Righteous9:


It wouldn't work in my opinion...

first, because the corporation or entity wouldn't have any real incentive to make the union look inviting by giving non unionized workers less...

then the union has to rely on the good sense of people to know why they pay union dues...otherwise why pay when there are no benefits that they are aware of?

even some who understand it might just appreciate getting the benefits while keeping their extra 100 bucks(or whatever union dues are), trusting in others to continue to support their rights while they don't.

That ultimately weakens collective bargaining and everybody but the few loses.

....

as to manditory unionizing...what does that mean exactly...how does that work? I've never been in a union, but isn't it just successful bargaining on the part of a union? there's no law that says you have to hire unionized employees, at least not for corporations, right? There's just an agreement that has been made with the employer through collective bargaining, that they will hire only unionized employees. Corporations after all, can set what ever standard of hiring they want. They can have manditory drug tests, they can have rules about tatoos and makeup, and hair length...

but there should be a law that says corporations can't have a policy to hire only union workers?...which of course they would prefer not to




Rightous, I understand your stance on unions, but you keep talking about corporations. I think the big debate is public-sector unions(those employed by government)

I like Ronald Reagans take...private unions have every right to strike...Public? Not so much. See, the general public relies on certain services and public servants are just that.

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Friday, February 25, 2011 6:16 AM

KANEMAN


Quote:

Originally posted by Niki2:
Quote:

union members are entitled to union benefits, and employers would not be required to extend those same benefits to un-unionized workers
Yes, but how would that WORK? Can you see all the implications, and the complications, of a system such as that? That's my point. While I don't agree with mandatory union membership, I'm not sure how a system would work which divided employees into two categories.

By the way, my husband works in admin at a company whose non-salaried employees are unionized. He gets some of the benefits bargained by the union, and gets financial compensation for some of the others. He CAN'T join the union because he's salaried, so that's their way of offsetting it. But if he wasn't union because he CHOSE not to be, I wonder how they'd handle it.

You'd like to concentrate on what the legislators in Wisconsin are doing. But I say it's pertinent and DOES pertain to the issue at hand because it's the same kind of move to have the "minority voice" heard as supposedly the Republicans were doing. I definitely don't agree with minority rule, but Walker's REFUSAL to discuss or compromise, his demand that it be made law post haste without debate, and the lack of ability to filibuster puts it in no worse category than the Republicans filibustering everything...in fact in a BETTER category, IMO.

I think they're doing the right thing. I think if Walker were willing to compromise, AS THE UNIONS HAVE, there'd be room to negotiate. He won't. How else do they try to slow down the system in hopes of getting a chance to debate the issue?

Walker has made it abundantly clear that he isn't interested in FINANCIAL compromises, he wants collective barganing outlawed, which has nothing to do with the supposed "fiscal crisis" (which he created for JUST this purpose). It's a power play; how does one deal with a power play on the part of the person ruling the state? Protests. How does one deal with a power play one cannot stop, which the people of the state have risen up by the thousands to protest? Avoid being part of allowing that power play.

How would YOU suggest they fight for what the people have made clear they protest? Walker gave NO indication of this when running; he talked about jobs. Now he's threatening to KILL jobs in order to get his way. That's not what he was voted into office to do.


Hippie Operative Nikovich Nikita Nicovna Talibani,
Contracted Agent of Veritas Oilspillus, code name “Nike”,
signing off







There is never a need to read your posts. I can watch Maddow the nite before and know exactly what blather will spout out of your hippie brain. Sad really. And we always hear about your husband, your girlfriend must get pissed.....Well, it's true....

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Friday, February 25, 2011 7:47 AM

FREMDFIRMA


Yanno, the simplest solution just occurred to me, about Unions, not just the question of whether it's morally right to demand union membership as condition of employment, but also an answer to the problem of corruption and influence from the corporation they're supposed to be holding to the fire.

Sure, let em make Union *membership* mandatory, now I don't like this, but I do see a point, cause here comes the rum-dinger....
Make the DUES Voluntary!

If you don't think they're representing you or your viewpoint, if you think they're selling you out, rolling over too easy, don't fucking pay them - you better believe the Union bosses would get off their asses and quit chuggin Corpie dick under the table if their income was directly linked to whether or not they were effectively representing the rank and file - that's actually how my relationship with the IWW works, I never pay them money, but rather provide goods and services, but ONLY when I think they're on the right track, if I think they're being wrongheaded about something, I'll not hinder em, but damned if imma support it neither.

Solves both problems, at a stroke, does it not ?

-Frem
I do not serve the Blind God.

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Friday, February 25, 2011 8:24 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


Frem: Cute, but no banana. If you make membership mandatory but dues not, who would pay dues??? Very few people, I would suspect, as they'd get the benefits of the union without it costing them anything. Or was that joke? Can't always tell

Trader, what I was asking was, if being part of the union isn't mandatory, how do you deal with two sets of employees; give the non-union employees the same benefits/salary as the union ons? That defeats the idea of unions and weakens them to the point where they can't bargain "collectively", and would eventually end them, I believe. Give non-union employees different benefits/salaries than those bargained for union employees? Watch the lawsuits follow. It's complex; I'd like to hear a VIABLE alternative to mandatory union membership, that's what I was asking. I don't see one, so I'd be really interested to hear how it could work.

The article linked makes some good points. Among them:
Quote:

The proposed law would not allow state workers to negotiate anything but pay increases, and even that would be capped based on the Consumer Price Index. This would essentially take away all formal bargaining power the union has. Additionally, the law would require annual votes to re-certify the union and would allow members to opt out of paying dues. It is a recipe for destruction.
Ergo, all the things unions have gained which Frem elucidates wouldn't be up for collective bargaining--I see nothing wrong with capping salaries via the CPI, but not to be able to negotiate for ANY benefits? Doesn't seem right to me.

Frem's right in that unions have brought ALL of us all the benefits he listed, and as it IS we still get far fewer benefits than many other countries. What about countries without unions, I'd be interested to know? What are their pay scales/benefits/etc. in comparison? Just curious to see if it's worked any way OTHER than collective groups bargaining on behalf of the workers.

By the way, one more hint TO ME is that unions BEGAN in Wisconsin; given the chance (i.e., Republican Governor and majority in legislatures), wouldn't that just be the perfect place to start destroying them? "If it works HERE..."

And yes, the issue at hand is about GOVERNMENT employees' unions...but that's just a starting point, everyone knows it and Walker even said it; if you can bust the government-employees' unions (which are the biggest remaining ones), you can bust the private-sector ones.

Okay, Kane, score one for you: You got me to respond.

A) I don't WATCH Maddow every night;

B) My searches on line begin with CNN and the Times--when I see something I might want to post, I look for other sources to get more information. If CNN or the Times' stories are verified elsewhere and seem to be the most concisely or best written, I post them. Sometimes I also see/hear things on TV...CNN, MSNBC or one of the three local news stations, and even when I hear something there, I look it up on line before posting about it;

C) I don't have a girlfriend.

That should make you happy; I actually READ your comment and you got the attention you wanted.


Hippie Operative Nikovich Nikita Nicovna Talibani,
Contracted Agent of Veritas Oilspillus, code name “Nike”,
signing off




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Friday, February 25, 2011 8:47 AM

PLATONIST


Weighing in here as a school district union member, first, the reason for mandatory membership is twofold, members and non members both benefit from the same contract which is negotiated through the collective bargaining process. Members paying dues essentially “carry” non members, which creates non- “union” like sentiment in the work place. Paying members see non paying members as wanting something for nothing, by expecting others to pay for it, pause for irony, here.

Also, non members, although able to file grievances, have no legal representation in the process, by law, union attorneys are unable to represent them, leaving non members vulnerable to attacks by crazy assed admins who want to give their new girlfriend the non members assignment (yes, this happens, been there) Non members have to hire their own attorneys which is costly, usually they join the union, it’s a no brainer by then.

As far as dues, I live in a state where our dues are tax deductable, and the state level dues can be reapportioned to a charity of your choice, it can be deducted before taxes to the charity, from your paycheck, reducing your taxable income. Local dues are necessary to pay the local chapter President who can make no more than a teacher’s salary; usually they are a teacher and return to the classroom after their term is done, falling on the pay scale exactly where they were when they left.

I think Gov Walker has good intentions, but he’s going about it the wrong way, the teachers have already given in on health care, retirement and salary, he’s already won the battle on the concessions he’s asked for, which by the way, teachers in my state made the same concessions several years ago. If he was smart or not, or just received better advice, he’d rewrite the bill to reflect what we ALL want, lower dues which go to state level unions, limit top level union bosses salaries to that of an average paid teacher, eliminate County Offices of Ed, none of us can figure out what they do, drastically reduce State Office of Education (like to three people, one could plug in the computers in the morning, the other could make a mid morning Starbucks run, and the last could give spelling awards out to children, with a photo of the Gov on it) create choice by funding alternative Ed programs, like charters, Independents, making himself a champion of not only the working middle class, but for big business (as he’s already, done). He’d have a possible run for the White House, the lil drop out.

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Friday, February 25, 2011 9:24 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


Thanx Palton, that's all very good information and I'm grateful for it. What state are you in, for reference? The way you put it, it didn't sound like it was Wisconsin ("I live in a state where..."). I think all the things YOU proposed make a lot more sense than what is happening in WI and what Walker is trying to attain. Especially "limit top level union bosses salaries to that of an average paid teacher". I think that would go a ways toward eliminating some potential corruption and some of the bad feelings about union higher-ups, aside from the simple fact of being logical.

You really think Walker has good intentions? Despite the fact that he won't even TALK to anyone about negotiating or compromising, and that the unions have given in on every financial position yet he still stonewalls them? I find that hard to believe.

It occurred to me while reading/writing on this topic that I've just joined the "tin-foil-hat" crowd. I'm convinced this whole thing was planned, quite possibly even before Walker one the governorship, in the hopes he WOULD win and could try this "trial balloon". Given the length of time the Republicans have been trying to bust the unions, among other things, and the way it's come about (giving out tax breaks almost the same amount as he then turned around and used to justify his bill), the other Republican governors being poised to do (or actually already having done) the same thing...there are just too many things for me that point to a "conspiracy" if you will. Certainly I could be wrong, but I don't think I am.

It's a shame they can't do the things you enumerated; they all sound like logical, reasonable things that would HELP the situation rather than further harm it.



Hippie Operative Nikovich Nikita Nicovna Talibani,
Contracted Agent of Veritas Oilspillus, code name “Nike”,
signing off




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Friday, February 25, 2011 10:45 AM

PLATONIST


Hi Niki,

I live and work in SoCal, and yes I think Gov Walker has good intentions by way of making good on his promises to his supporters and constituency, but he's ill-informed and misguided by those who manipulate the public into believing that their state budget woes will continue, unless teachers and other public employees, who on the average make about 40,000 a year, concede, not only their salary and benefits (which they’ve already done in good faith), but their right to negotiate collectively, which won’t, in anyway, effect the State's deficient coffers, either way. What it does do, is make public employees, who are essentially service employees, not want to work anymore or any less than they are paid to, it creates a self-fulfilling prophecy, low wage, low value, low return. Case in point, Sat/Act test scores in “right to work” states are dismally low, they fill the bottom rung on the scale ranking of States between 45th -50th, giving these students limited secondary options and less of a chance at National Scholarships. As a parent, a tax payer, and an educator, this would be unacceptable to me. Currently Wisconsin ranks 2nd in Nationally ranked testing, why risk a change, making something an issue, when it doesn’t have to be, make proactive positive changes benefitting all, don’t take away worker’s rights, by making them a scapegoat, in the state you govern, they’ll eventually exercise their last right, voting you out of office.

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Friday, February 25, 2011 3:10 PM

FREMDFIRMA


Quote:

Originally posted by Niki2:
Frem: Cute, but no banana. If you make membership mandatory but dues not, who would pay dues??? Very few people, I would suspect, as they'd get the benefits of the union without it costing them anything.


Actually if they felt the Union was effective, if they earnestly believed in its purpose and ability, they would - look at us browncoats, and how much collectively we'll shell out to what WE believe in.

The whole notion of free-riders is abhorrent to a Kropotkinist, and generally a statist idea that if you do not FORCE someone to pay for something which doesn't benefit them, or even does - they will not do it, assumption of guilt, assumption of sociopathy - which maybe holds true for politicians, but Joe Sixpack is a decent guy if you give him half a chance.

Now, when the laughable "wages" mean a person is living paycheck to paycheck on starveling rations, and that fifty bucks might mean the difference between real food and ramen for the week, he might tend to be a bit stingy, and who wouldn't - and in that case the Union *IS* to blame cause it's not a living wage if you can't live on it, yes ?

Hell, were it not for the tremendous burden of debt and taxes, on top of the "salary" scam of demanding sixty hour work weeks for a forty hour salary (which is common practice cause the Corpies collude about this the same way banks do about loans) and scratching and scraping every penny just to service the enormous debt required to even obtain a corporate level job, which is, IMHO, slavery by any other name....

If folks had more time and resources, if they didn't have to squeeze every fucking drop for survival - they WOULD be more willing to share it, and if they felt the Union was responsible for it, damn right they would toss some of it in the coffers!

Unless the Union decided to play the game of most large orgs and charities, which past a certain point getting the money out of you BECOMES the point, to the exclusion of whatever their original purpose was, at which point those folk would STOP filling the coffers.

Consider the notion that the local police dept around here has for the last two years been working on the same principle - do a good job, get paid, fuck it up, harrass/abuse the populace, get a budget cut... and it has IMMEASURABLY improved their behavior, and I consider this a pretty solid notion, myself.

Just my thoughts on it.

-Frem

I do not serve the Blind God.

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Friday, February 25, 2011 4:57 PM

THEHAPPYTRADER


Hmm... I thought I posted something but I guess it didn't take. I'll post the short version.

First off, excellent points Platonist, posts like yours were what I was hoping to attract. I freely admitted from the get go that my knowledge of unions is limited and likely biased, so I was happy to hear your perspective on things.

I am against taking away state workers rights to negotiate collectively, IMO they should have the same rights as private sector workers. What I'm not clear concerning this law, is if it is actually taking away a freedom, or making the state workers collective negotiating ability the same as is the case in the private sector, another reason why I would really like to be able to read the actual bill.

I'm not a fan of standardized testing, tends to make many a teacher 'teach to the test' rather than promote real learning, but we really don't have that many options for measuring students progress. Something else to consider, most 'right to work' states are in the southeast or southwest, which also happens to be where most migrant workers kids go to school and where there are more children speaking English as a second language. This and many other factors can also affect standardized test scores.

Add to that lower wages all around (minimum wage only being 5.15 rather than 7.25) poverty and older/poorer equipment and facilities and you've really got your work cut out for you. Arguably, 'right to work' legislation ain't exactly helping here, but it is not entirely responsible either.

Still, it's a correlation worth taking note of.

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Friday, February 25, 2011 5:32 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Our agency refuses to negotiate contracts with every single person. They will only negotiate collectively. Since every staff person then benefits from the collective bargaining, it make sense that every single person pay for the service, whether they belong or not.

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Saturday, February 26, 2011 9:47 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


Sounds like we in this thread are pretty much in agreement, with some variations. The difference between Platonist and I is that I don't think he's doing it in good faith; I think it was planned back when they decided who to run for Governor, and is being executed as a trial balloon.

Other than that, I agree with some of what each has said. And I, too, appreciate the addition of a new, rational voice; I hope you stick around.

Lastly, my apologies but I HAVE to commiserate with you for living in LaLaLand. That's pretty much what some of us No. Ca. folk think of ANYTHING South of Slo (San Luis Obispo--except San Diego! ). Just a regional prejudice...



Hippie Operative Nikovich Nikita Nicovna Talibani,
Contracted Agent of Veritas Oilspillus, code name “Nike”,
signing off



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Saturday, February 26, 2011 9:54 AM

KANEMAN




Smoking your dope early today, eh?

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Saturday, February 26, 2011 3:47 PM

FREMDFIRMA


Quote:

Originally posted by Niki2:
Lastly, my apologies but I HAVE to commiserate with you for living in LaLaLand. That's pretty much what some of us No. Ca. folk think of ANYTHING South of Slo (San Luis Obispo--except San Diego! ). Just a regional prejudice...


Well, you know what they say - when they shook America, all the loose nuts rolled into California.
And when they shook California, all the REALLY loose nuts rolled into Venice Beach.

Yanno, I've been to Venice Beach...
They're right.

-Frem

I do not serve the Blind God.

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Sunday, February 27, 2011 8:41 PM

RIONAEIRE

Beir bua agus beannacht


Okay so I had a chat with my dad about this whole thing. What he told me pretty much lined up with what Platonist and SigneM are saying, that whether you are a union member or not you still reap the benefits that the union's collective bargaining has brought to your work place. I asked my dad why that is, why the employers don't just have certain set ups for union members and another set up for people who don't want to join the union. He said it would be against the law to have different rules/wages/standards, so everyone benefits from what the unions are able to achieve. So basically he is for manditory membership in certain careers/sectors. He thinks that public employees already get lots of perks, but that isn't the point in this particular thread.

So after hearing his pro manditory membership arguments I think I'm swinging over to the manditory camp, but I haven't swung all the way over, I am leaning more towards it more than I was on Thurs. though. So technically I'm still in the optional camp, but I'm swaying towards manditory.

"A completely coherant River means writers don't deliver" KatTaya

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Monday, February 28, 2011 11:48 AM

THEHAPPYTRADER


Quote:

He thinks that public employees already get lots of perks, but that isn't the point in this particular thread.


Actually, it kind of is, the law in question is targeting mandatory union membership in some public occupations.

Unions have accomplished some great things for us, I'm not arguing that, but mandatory membership is kind like saying 'I'm going to do these things for you and you have to pay me.' I had a roommate once that would do grocery shopping for the whole apartment (no one asked them too, they just did it) and then they'd demand compensation for the money they spent. Not the best analogy, I know, but this person was doing something nice for us but demanding money without leaving us the option to not pay and not receive groceries. 'Course, there was no rule saying we couldn't refuse to pay and refuse to eat those groceries, which is how we ended that practice.


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Monday, February 28, 2011 12:33 PM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


Frem, that's cute. But it's not the "nuts", we're just as nuts as they are in our own ways. It's the RICH, who mostly run So. Ca., and the Hollywood types and all their absurdity. So. Ca. is the home of the Republican Rich--not completely, obviously, and we've got our own rich, but in general they vote Republican and have several huge bastions of very rich (OUTSIDE Hollywood, I mean).

Venice Beach, however, IS a prime example...we have nothing nearly its equivalent, thank gawd! But we HAD Haight Ashbury (now gentrifiedat one end, a disaster at the other). Speaking of which, I watched a movie called "The Sixties" last night and it pissed me off something awful...The Haight was shown with people dancing around in trances in the street and lots more which wsn't ANYTHING like it was...I hate the way the sixties have been re-imagined by Hollywood (and people like Wulf)!

Rion, thanx for talking to your dad. That was kind of my question, and, while I dont like the idea of mandatory membership, the reason I think it's kind of unworkable to do anything else, when it comes to this issue.

Happy, looking beyond the general idea of the shopping thing; unions HAVE done a lot for us beyond what has been paid for, if you think about it. Because unions forced so many things--child labor laws, 5-day workweek, 8-hour day, etc., etc., those things got adopted by others in order to compete for employees, to the point where we take many of them for granted today and many of us forget (or never knew) that it's unions we have to thank for them. So looked at another way; what unions gain may well eventually benefit many, many more people than those who are in their unions.


Hippie Operative Nikovich Nikita Nicovna Talibani,
Contracted Agent of Veritas Oilspillus, code name “Nike”,
signing off



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Monday, February 28, 2011 1:20 PM

THEHAPPYTRADER


Quote:

Happy, looking beyond the general idea of the shopping thing; unions HAVE done a lot for us beyond what has been paid for, if you think about it. Because unions forced so many things--child labor laws, 5-day workweek, 8-hour day, etc., etc., those things got adopted by others in order to compete for employees, to the point where we take many of them for granted today and many of us forget (or never knew) that it's unions we have to thank for them. So looked at another way; what unions gain may well eventually benefit many, many more people than those who are in their unions.



You speak as if we were in disagreement, lol. I have not once questioned the good things unions have accomplished. They have done some great things, but do they still work as the once have, and should membership be mandatory? Is it possible they are now obsolete? These are more what I am questioning.

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Monday, February 28, 2011 5:33 PM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


Ah, good points. I don't think they're obsolete, but they certainly need work. Just my opinion. I'm not into throwing babies out with bathwater I think if they WERE busted, we'd see some pretty dramatic (if slowly coming along and subtle at first) lessening of workers' rights over time.

I was respoding to your corollary of marketing. In that case, the person took it upon themselves to buy food, then asked others to pay for it. There was no benefit once the food was eaten. I was trying to say that the benefits garnered by unions can go far beyond their own members at the time, that's all.


Hippie Operative Nikovich Nikita Nicovna Talibani,
Contracted Agent of Veritas Oilspillus, code name “Nike”,
signing off



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Monday, February 28, 2011 9:14 PM

RIONAEIRE

Beir bua agus beannacht


Pushing me closer to the only-hire-union-people-camp: I just watched a well done episode of American Experience about the Triangle Shirtwaste Fire. I already knew about the event, read a good novel about it etc. But this show focused on the stuff that led up to it. The girls and women had gone on strike a year and a half before, demanding that they should have safe working conditions etc. Most of the shirtwaste workers in New York actually went on strike then, demanding that they be allowed to form a union and that companies only hire women/girls who were in the union, so that the workers could insist on rights and because they were all in the union/the union was so strong the employers would have to listen. Well many factories did go union, but not triangle. So fast forward to March of 1911, coming up on the 100th anniversary. This huge fire breaks out killing all these people who are unable to escape, sure some of them got out, but most of them couldn't. If the owners had aquiessed and decided to let the workers have manditory union, thus giving the workers enough power to insist on proper conditions, then I believe this wouldn't have become the huge tragedy we remember today.

As horrible as it was society isn't really good at prventative measures. As a result of this situation a lot of changes were made to workplace safety and letting unions form and enforce safety rules etc. So to me if the employers had only been allowed to hire union workers then the employees wouldn't have gotten such the shaft like this.

The only thing keeping me in the optional camp right now is that we are in 2011, not 1911 and I'd like to think things have changed, that we shouldn't have to demand in order to get things to be safe and fair. If I'm proven wrong though I'll swing the rest of the way over to the manditory camp.

"A completely coherant River means writers don't deliver" KatTaya

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011 4:38 AM

KANEMAN


Quote:

Originally posted by RionaEire:
Okay so I had a chat with my dad about this whole thing. What he told me pretty much lined up with what Platonist and SigneM are saying, that whether you are a union member or not you still reap the benefits that the union's collective bargaining has brought to your work place. I asked my dad why that is, why the employers don't just have certain set ups for union members and another set up for people who don't want to join the union. He said it would be against the law to have different rules/wages/standards, so everyone benefits from what the unions are able to achieve. So basically he is for manditory membership in certain careers/sectors. He thinks that public employees already get lots of perks, but that isn't the point in this particular thread.

So after hearing his pro manditory membership arguments I think I'm swinging over to the manditory camp, but I haven't swung all the way over, I am leaning more towards it more than I was on Thurs. though. So technically I'm still in the optional camp, but I'm swaying towards manditory.

"A completely coherant River means writers don't deliver" KatTaya




Your dad? really.....stop swinging and kill yourself. Idiot.

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011 4:41 AM

KANEMAN


Quote:

Originally posted by Righteous9:
mandatory union membership makes sense to me...if workers are going to unionize to get you better pay and benefits, seems like if you want those benefits you should have some skin in the game.

I'm guessing that corps are going to give those individual employees less because they aren't unionized...that is until the union is weak enough that they can do whatever they want to all the workers.

Tell me exactly how a union is supposed to function if a company can hire outside of union restrictions?

by the way, any other group that would result in collective bargaining would have to be called something, and would still in essence be a union, wouldn't it?

I've also heard stories about unions having a harder time getting a piece of the pie...but then that goes to the problem of just how neutered they are in this country.




Mandatory "anything" rubs me the wrong way...But I guess I'm not a Browncoat...idiot.

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