Nuts and Bolts and Unions

Pat Ryan

The positive impact of unions on progressive efforts is beyond dispute, but:

I was posting a response on the other union thread and things got a bit out of hand........

When I moved to Portland in 1980, I had a ten year old pickup with my tool box bolted into the bed. My wife and I drove around Portland every day looking for work, and drove up into the hills to sleep in the truck at night.

During those two weeks I had two disheartening encounters:

Temps

I tried out the temp places, where you had to show up at 6 AM and bid against other welders and equipment mechanics for short time work:

"I'll do those two weeks for $9.00 per hour."

"I'll do it for $7.50."

"I'll do it for $6.00."

I walked out in the first fifteen minutes. Very demeaning situation, even if you're really hungry.

Unions

I also went to the operating engineers hall and got my Union 101 education:

"I just moved over here from Central Oregon so my wife can finish her computer science education. I'm living in my truck, but here's my resume and references showing that I am qualified for XXXXXX, and I really need the work."

Union guy: "Great, just sign up here, pay us $XXX per month and you are number 1,234 on our list."

"No, you misunderstand, I'm looking for work now."

Union guy: "That's how life is. You may get called for some day work sometime in the next six months."

"I'm outa here."

************

The rest of my union experience is when I worked "prevailing wage jobs" and had to supervise union crews. That goes like this:

First day, union guys say: "Don't touch that tool, only a member of the carpenter's union is qualified to bolt that frame together."

I sit and watch to identify which two or three members of my crew are actually planning on getting the damned job done. At the end of the shift, I grab those guys and make a plan........

The Plan

Me'n the boys identify those who will not do anything at all for the rest of the week, but have to be paid as they have "connections". We put three of 'em on a job that should take about four hours for one guy. They spend the entire week doing nothing while my handpicked boys supervise the rest of the crew. At the end of the week we finish up the insiders job.

During the whole time we are sneaking around doing stuff, because we are unwilling to have twenty guys standing around with their thumbs up their butts waiting for an electrician to screw in a light bulb. Once in a while we take an executive decision to plug in an extension cord, but we all collaborate to lie to the head electrician who is driving around in a golf cart for the entire week with a big cigar sticking out of his face.

You see, the head electrician knows that we should have ground to a halt without electricity, and his concern is not that we get the damned electricity, but that we seek him out and go all Monica on him to get our crew going. He knows that we are going around him, but he still sweats us just for fun.

By the last day of job, the union guys and I are happily tossing wrenches back and forth, hauling wall panels up the stairs, etcetera.

Of course we have to bat clean-up for the "decorators" who have been sitting on their dead asses for the past three shifts, and ultimately do nothing at all. We wind up doing thier jobs for 'em as well.

Oh, and for the whole week, I'm being paid $10.00 per hour to supervise twenty + guys making $25 per hour.

*************

I'd love to think that the unions would do a little introspection as well, but as was the case in 1980, I'm not holding my breath.

Comments

  • Star Holmberg (unverified)
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    Yes, indeed, sounds like 25 years ago you had a very bad experience dealing with a few union folks. Your writing reflects a great deal of bitterness over this episode in your life. It also sounds like whatever led to you residing in your truck upon your arrival to Portland in the year 1980 likely was a great challenge. I have not had the misfortune of having to deal with life from such a perspective, though I do have a family member who is on the streets much of the time, and has been for 20+ years, so I have a hint of knowledge. And when he is fit for work, I assume that it doesn’t matter whether he has a union job or not.

    While you may have indeed been dealing with a group of electricians who were all 100% jerks, the electricians I have contact with (granted only a handful) are hopefully fair (and safe) in the execution of their jobs in relation to those they work with. As I rely on those trained and licensed workers to assure that I am not exposed to electrical shocks in my work place, it is fine with me if they are the ones most likely to control those life-threatening factors.

    Meanwhile, management over time has reduced their numbers and found ways to wedge some of their responsibilities into the job descriptions of lower paid workers, who are not electricians. While, granted, there are always going to be folks in desperate need of work who will gladly take those jobs…and do not care what the wage is or whether there is a working contract that affords job protection, safety standards and decent benefits…the bottom line is that this saves management money, reduces wages and lowers the bar for all working people.

  • Andy N. (unverified)
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    Back in the mid 1980s, when I was early in my career, I applied for a good job that I really wanted. On the announcement, there was a blurb about this position being subject to some union contract clause. I figured that meant I'd have to pay union dues if I got the job. Boy, was I wrong. What the clause said was that if there was an applicant for the job who already had a job in a similar or related position in the agency, that person got the job unless it could be proved that they weren't qualified. And of course, that is what happened. I didn't even get an interview. I went to college with they guy that got the job...he was a nice enough guy, but he was nowhere near as qualified for the position as I was. But due to union rules, he got the job over more a more qualified applicant...without having to compete for it.

    That was the day that I decided I would have nothing to do with any entity that didn't promote on the basis of merit. Which is why I've never ever belonged to a union. I can't support the union idea that the mediocre and the excellent get treated the same, and the poor performers get protected.

    I do think that unions served a useful purpose in this country, long ago - but now they are only about their own self-preservation.

    I always laugh when I hear people complain about our students not being able to compete with those from other countries...where do you think they learn that from? From unions of course, which are against competition in most forms. Merit pay, school choice, school competition, home schooling....all opposed by the teachers unions. Which is why I never became a teacher.

    So Pat, you certainly aren't alone.

  • TomK (unverified)
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    I think most of us at one time or another have had a similar, negative experience with unions (mine was being charged a $150 drayage fee to move a $12 FedEX envelope 100' in a union building). Such antics have soured the public until unions now enjoy marginal support, at best.

    Ultimately, the teacher's union will suffer the same fate.

  • jrw (unverified)
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    Interestingly, I've had different encounters with unions from the folks cited here.

    That said, my union experience has been with professional unions such as ASCME(?) and OEA, not craft or trade unions--which are something different.

    My father was a union steward in the post office. Until he started working a unionized job in the post office, he wasn't making a lot of money, much less earning decent benefits. Despite the impact on his Social Security from working for the Feds (he didn't earn SS during that time, I've forgotten the whatever for it and his retirement bennies were not that good), that was the best money he earned in his life, with the most reliable benefit package.

    My mother was a teacher starting back before WWII, when there effectively was no teacher's union, and employment was by yearly contract (we still have vestiges of that era where the contract is offered to us by a certain date on a yearly bases), and the school board could make her quit teaching because she got married. She later returned to teaching in the mid-50s, and taught until 1977. She didn't talk much about the union, but my understanding was that things improved significantly as far as working conditions were concerned once the teacher's union became more effective.

    My experiences--I have participated in a union organizing campaign, back when I was working for one of the companies now famous for its role in the Abu Gharab atrocities. If you followed any of their public comments about Abu Gharab, the line hadn't changed any from the BS they fed us during the organizing. The working conditions were sufficiently bad that even lawyers who were registered Republicans (this was during the Reagan era) were active in attempting to get the union in. While we didn't succeed, we did prevail in an unfair labor practice determination for back wages.

    I am now currently an OEA member. I was one of the Oregon Trail teachers out on strike. At first I was unsure about it, but as I watched management's handling of the strike, I realized that unions can and do have their uses. Like any other organizations, they have their problems. Having gone through past experiences with employers who were--urm--less than ideal, shall we say--I appreciate having that layer of assistance available to me.

    That said, unions need to think about dropping some of the tactics of the past and moving into the present. Adopting negotiating techniques more akin to that of professional sales negotiators rather than confrontational methodology, studying the same types of management processes that management studies to understand management perspective, and maintaining flexibility are all important skills to develop in this era.

  • theanalyst (unverified)
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    Andy H. writes: "That was the day that I decided I would have nothing to do with any entity that didn't promote on the basis of merit."

    Go work for a family-owned business and you'll find out about merit. There, merit is when the owner's pot-smoking nephew gets promoted over you because . . . well, because he's the owner's nephew. Merit is where the family members all get to rack up their own personal expenses on company credit cards while they can't afford to give you a raise.

    Or go to work in a regular private company and lose out on a job because the manager's friend needs a job. Go to work in the legislature and find out how "merit" works there. Go to work in the public sector and get laid off right after you've saved the agency $100,000, because you're manager is a dolt.

    I've been in the work force since I was picking strawberries at age 11 -- back when kids actually had to do something in the summer. Now in my geezerhood I am convinced that the idea of advancement through "merit" in the workplace is a very rare and fragile commodity. You occasionally do see it -- about as often as we see the giant condor here in Oregon. It does exist; at least people have told me that it exists, and I believe I have briefly experienced it once or twice. But if you think that outside of unions meritocracy is the norm, your experience is very different from mine.

  • (Show?)

    analyst,

    I've also experienced nepotism many times in the private sector. the difference is cultural in my opinion.

    In the non-union shops, the culture is a meritocracy. One gains status/respect of peers and management by:

    hard work smart work innovation nepotism

    In union shops, one gains status/repect of peers (no one cares about management's viewpoint in this scenario) in two ways:

    senority nepotism major theft (undetected)

    period.

    The central point for me is always fairness. If I can do the job better or learn faster than my peers, it will be tough to fire me, even if the Old Boy Network doesn't really care for me. I have been "laid off" once over this issue but no one dared to fire me, because I had the moral and legal high ground and they all knew it.

    <hr/>

    My argument here, is that until unions clean house on this fairness issue, there will continue to be a large block of blue collar workers that refuse to play.

    <hr/>

    I've only cited a couple of instances here, but Star, you should be aware that these are not isolated events. They are typical events.

    I've never filed a workman's comp claim in my life, although I've been injured on the job a few times. I've never missed a day for abuse of any substance, nor have I ever worked impaired. I work every minute for which I am paid, and I look for ways to work, better smarter, and more efficiently.

    I'm proud of that. In return, I demand repect from boss and peers.

    Outside of unionland, these are virtues. I'd like to see them become virtues in union shops too.

  • (Show?)

    One of my enduring memories of the early 80's was of some overpass construction work being done in Portland and a non-union outfit had landed the contract from the city. Predictably unions were unhappy and there were pickets at the job site. What I remember best was some TV footage for I think it was KATU showing these union picketers shouting and spitting on the non-union workers who were just trying to earn a living. That left a very negative impression in my mind.

    Fast forward a little over 15 years. I was working in a union shop in Beaverton. It'd been non-union when I was first hired and I had voted to bring the union in. Wages definitely improved and I was happy with that. A couple years later I was much less happy when I found out that our local had tried to cut a side deal with our employer which would have materially hurt the guys and gals on the floor but would have potentially brought more union dues into the local's coffers.

    I'm not anti-union by any means. But, neither am a knee-jerk pro-union. They, like virtually everything in life, are a mixed bag... some good things and some bad things.

  • Bert (unverified)
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    Sure looks to me like folks are working hard putting up all those new buildings downtown. Seems like those welders, masons, plumbers, glazers, etc. have their act together.

    Further, unions do a lot of public policy work that we benefit from such as minimum wages initiatives, tax policy etc.

    There are probably lots of unions that need reforming. What American institution doesn't need reform?

    There aren't just two choices between crappy temp jobs and weird work rules in union situations. There are progressive unions, we could form new unions. If we didn't have unions, pay and work conditions would degenerate in a flash. How about some creative ideas about how to reorder labor institutions broadly so that things improved. It is certainly possible, and other countries with stonger unions show the high productivity is certainly possible in other contexts.

  • (Show?)

    I think that unions have been crucial to the welfare of US workers for over a century now, and I really want them to remain relevant for the 21st century as well.

    Hopefully, there are folks inside the unions that acknowledge that as they continue to reach out to workers, there are structural mods that will make them more attractive to the generations coming up.

    This ain't about bashing. The good work done by unions past present and (hopefully) future, would be impossible to replace.

  • (Show?)

    Hey Pat,

    My experience for the most part has been in two unions, a sawmill workers union in Oakridge and as part of the AFT for the last fourteen years in various aspects from steward to president.

    My dad (RIP 1977) was a lifelong member of Local 701 - hoisting and portable engineers, and my mom was a longtime member of the postal workers union. If it wasn't for the pensions and health care benefits my mom receives from my dad's union and her own, she'd be S.O.L. and living exclusively on social security. In this day and age of employers increasingly putting the burden of pensions and health care on the backs of their employees (with the help of almost all Republicans and a good number of Democrats), unions are basically all that's left that's organized enough to fight back.

    Here's a couple of my experiences with "merit"... I used to be a fire fighter with the Forest Service, and I remember my third year on the job, when the F.S. trotted some out-of-shape, had-never-worked-in-the woods-a-day-in-their-lives locals. On one memorable fire where we had to hike up a couple of miles of steep terrain, one of these folks just couldn't go any further. I ended up having to carry this overweight clown down the mountain and then head back up again.

    The upshot? This person had put our entire crew at risk because they shouldn't have been hired in the first place. She had gotten her job "by knowing somebody at the local office," not by being in shape or knowing anything about the job. This of course was a non-union workplace.

    The second example was about five years ago in my classified unit where the employer implemented "merit" bonuses at the urging of the board. The union, while most of us didn't care for it, went along to see how it would work. (It was based on a point system).

    After two years, nearly every union AND non-union member voted almost unanimously to put an end to it. Why? Because every suck-up and ass-kisser got great reviews, while the folks who did the actual work were rated lower by their supervisors. Some of these supervisors also had another agenda, (as we found out later). They purposely scored union members lower than non-union members.

    To make a long story short, our experience with "merit" pay sounded good on paper, but its implementation was bad.

    Our union and the organization I head don't support bad workers, we have had occasion to represent them, but that is the job we have. We support everyone who pays dues.

    And when I say "represent them", sometimes we have to tell them "yes, you don't have a leg to stand on", or more often it's more like, "man, what were you thinking?".

    Having said that, 90% of our union grievances are cause by management mistakes. I have to put that in perspective as well, most management mistakes in my experience at the institution I work at are caused by 5% of the management staff.

    I would suggest that many of the problems experienced in the workplace are the sole responsibilty of poor management.

  • (Show?)

    I would agree with the 90% management issue cited by Mark. But I think that the same holds true with union management. I never ran across any problem whatsoever on the shop floor which wasn't handled equitably by union peers. The only problems we had originated with union management. And therein lays the crux of the issue.

  • christopher (unverified)
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    Every time you paint others with such a large brush (i.e. unions, whites, women, young people), you are bound to be largely wrong. Generalizing one negative experience to indict all organized labor is absurd. The right wing with plenty of help from some of the high visibility corrupt unions has done a masterful job over the last 2 decades of painting unions as the problem with what is wrong with America.

    Most Americans have little or no knowledge of the enduring contributions unions have made and continue to make on behalf of working people. What we need to do is support people that organize for fair wages and benefits, not tear them down. You are not better off when others make less.

  • (Show?)

    Pat, I don't have any background in trade unions, but I have been in a public sector union for 9 years (the one sector in which they still flourish). Work situations differ, but one thing unions provide is protection against the exploitation you describe in scenario #1. Collective bargaining is the single most important tool workers have to get equitable pay and benefits.

    If I were to to criticize unions, it's for focusing so single-mindedly on protecting current workers and not looking out for the next generation of labor. The factories we labor in now aren't outfitted with assembly lines, but cubicles. We may look like yesteryear's "management" as we dress in our khakis and type away on our computers, but we're laborors. We don't control how much we make or who gets fired. As long as that power exists in other hands, we need to organize collectively. Unions have been terrible about that.

  • Becky (unverified)
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    Just goes to show that human nature can ruin the best of intentions. I'd really like to see unions get back to doing right by workers and cut out this sort of nonsense, not to mention the too frequent corruption. We need unions, but they make it very easy to union-bash sometimes.

  • (Show?)

    Our union and the organization I head don't support bad workers, we have had occasion to represent them, but that is the job we have. We support everyone who pays dues.

    Thanks for summing it up so well Mark. This is precisely what needs to change.

    In this situation, the employer can attempt to identify employees with the work ethic, the intelligence, and the skills to lead the rest, but he can never, ever take out the trash.

    I see that as unfair to both the employer and the rest of the workforce, whether they be union or management.

  • Pavel Goberman (unverified)
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    Pat, you are right. In 1981-1982 I worked as Machinist in St. Paul, MN. Was member of Airspace and Machinist Union. Had $11.20 per hour. It was a gig company: American Hoist and Derrick Co.. About 950 employees. Union said not enough money. Went on strick for 2 months. We got $.50 cent per hour more. In a few months company closed. And many employees: Korea veterans, my good friends, got out of work. For what we need these 50 cents?

    Pavel Goberman - Candidate for US Repres. 1st Congr. Distr. against D. Wu www.getenergized.com/vote.html

  • Matt (unverified)
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    Pat -

    Sorry but, you are wrong about "taking out the trash..." and its connection to unions. A good manager can hire and fire anyone they want. Even in a union contract - just try looking at one.

    Your point is that unions somehow have the ability to control the quality of work. Unions can impact the quality of work but, neither management nor a union can control what happens.

    In terms of evaluating "talent" there are several contractual options other than just seniority. Management can have other assignment righs. Its a balancing act between best "new talent" and thinking that putting in time at a job means something.

    Basically, Mr. Ryan, you paint with too broad a brush. And, I don't think this is a call for reform as much as a complaint about labor.

    Its a common misconception that unionized workers are untouchable. Wrong, they are simply all held to the same standard, and judged using the same rules. If a manager can't figure that out, then the typical target is to blame the contract. Well, if its so bad, they shouldn't sign it.

  • AndyF (unverified)
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    Pat,

    I had to smile and nod as I read your posts. A few years ago I was a member of the Teamsters working at an aluminum smelting plant. One of the first things I was told by the older guys at the plant was that when I took a nap during the shift I had to keep my boots on. Evidently the union had negotiated an agreement that allowed workers to sleep on the job but only if they kept their boots on and were therefore "ready to work". If you took your boots off you could be fired. That was the rule and we all followed it. That plant went out of business a number of years ago and all those jobs went away. But I guess it was a good deal for awhile while everyone got to take long naps for union wages.

  • Jack (unverified)
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    I think you have to make a distinction between Building Trades and the "old guard" and the newer unions focused on the increasing service industry and lower wage jobs.

    Unions like SEIU, HERE, UNITE etc get it. They see the big picture. I have no patience for the Buildign Trades unions. They are the sterotypical worst of the union movement. Grounded in a 70's mentality their only concern is getting the most for the least.

    And don't get me started on their politics. They will happily endorse a troglodyte who is pretty much opposed to every pro-worker idea as long as he agree on something like Davis Bacon/Prevailing wage.

    Keep in mind that I was an union member. I was a shop steward and I was an union organizer. I just have no time or patience for the old guard folks and most of them come from the Building Trades.

  • (Show?)

    It's condescending crap like this post and many of the comments that's led to the erosion of the Democratic base over the past 40 years.

    Want to lose the working class vote to Republicans? Call them lazy goldbrickers. Say stuff like the building trades unions are a bunch of stupid, unwashed jerks. That'll win them over to your side.

    I worked at Powell's during the first attempt to form a union there in 1990, and the disdain people there had for unions -- even though they'd had no experience with them -- was pathetic. They didn't see themselves as "those type of people". Sure, they were making $6/hour but they considered themselves better than that. And they, too, had their little stories they fell back on, just like Ronald Reagan had his "welfare queens".

    Go ahead, write them off, it's not like the Democrats have a chance to lose.

  • (Show?)

    See Darrel, the thing is I spent thirty years "on the floor" as a fabricator. Learned to weld with a Lincoln buzzbox when I was fourteen. Have been a union member on two different occasions. Worked on union jobs may times.

    It is you that assumes that I called "them" lazy goldbrickers. What I was saying is that there are lazy goldbrickers in every environment and at every level of every organization in the world.

    What I was, and am pointing out is that unions are set up institutionally to protect them.

    I was working in a shop in Parkrose during the 1980 election when your Republican union buddies were jumping off the Carter bandwagon and into the arms of John Wayne Reagan.

    I asked 'em why on earth they'd vote for Reagan since the first thing he would do was start busting unions. Oh, no, he'd never do that and hey, we hate wimps. Reagan is a man's man.

    Sound familiar? It wasn't me that gave away the store.

    <hr/>

    Still I am "those type of people". I was out there getting my hands dirty for "the Man" from early adolescence, and I continue to run my little welding business from my home shop.

    I've got dirt under my fingernails right now. What are your bona fides?

  • (Show?)

    What does it matter what my bona fides are? Your argument is flawed no matter how much dirt you have under your nails.

    I said you (and others) called union workers lazy because of comments in your original post about thumbs up butts and "doing nothing" which you extrapolated to all union workers.

    Are some union workers lazy? Well, duh, there's a percentage of all workers who are lazy. Do some of them vote against their own best interests? There are a lot of people who seem to do that on a regular basis. But are unions set up to protect lazy people over others? You'd think only an idiot would say that considering the rights of workers unions have fought for over the past hundred years, but there you are saying that exact thing.

  • (Show?)

    But are unions set up to protect lazy people over others? You'd think only an idiot would say that considering the rights of workers unions have fought for over the past hundred years, but there you are saying that exact thing.

    Here's some more "condescending crap" from this "idiot". The above quote is what we welder/fabricators call a non-sequitur.

    The first sentence has nothing to do with the second, and neither has anything to do with my point.

    If you'd like to assert that this is just a little story I fall back on, that's cool too. Trade unions are representing less than 10% of the entire blue collar workforce these days. Just thought that they (and you) might be thinking that it might be time for a bit of introspection.

    Maybe not.

    It's always easier to blame the critics when the play bombs.

  • (Show?)

    Our union and the organization I head don't support bad workers, we have had occasion to represent them, but that is the job we have. We support everyone who pays dues.

    "Thanks for summing it up so well Mark. This is precisely what needs to change.

    In this situation, the employer can attempt to identify employees with the work ethic, the intelligence, and the skills to lead the rest, but he can never, ever take out the trash.

    I see that as unfair to both the employer and the rest of the workforce, whether they be union or management."

    I think you actually missed my point.

    What I'm saying, and Matt actually touched on it as well, its management in my workplace that hires and fires, not the union. We "represent" all employees, and when someone gets disciplined and/or fired, or files a grievance, we are the defacto agent for the employee, not the employer. It's specifically written in our collective bargaining agreement that management has the last say as long as they aren't discriminating, and following the rules of our contract.

    You seem to imply that unions should be giving up the right to represent employees, and that employers should have free reign in hiring, firing, and the union should have no say whatsoever. Well, excuse me, but employers already have that right to hire and fire. The union just makes sure that do that according to the bargaining agreement signed by BOTH PARTIES.

    I heard a lot of complaints on this subject on how to improve unions, but no actual ideas on how it would be done. Specifically, what would you change if you were running a union?

    As a union leader, I'm interested in progressive change both in the workplace, and in politics in general. 99% of the complaints in the workplace I hear about come from those who suffer under corrupt, inept management, not the other way around.

  • (Show?)

    Pat, you're trying to run away from your own words.

    You said in a comment about "lazy goldbrickers" that unions are "set up institutionally to protect them" (i.e. the goldbrickers).

    I said that anyone who believed that is why unions exist -- considering what they have done over the past hundred years -- is an idiot.

    That's a pretty direct line of reasoning; hardly a non sequitur. I'm not sure why you have a hard time figuring it out.

  • AndyF (unverified)
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    Mark, If I ran a union I would do exactly what the current union mgmt does. I'd try like heck to maximize my membership in order to maximize by income and my political clout. I'd try to control the pension funds so I could steal from them, I'd use whatever forms of intimidation possible to elbow aside competitors (other unions) and I'd try to force employers into accepting my control of their workforce. I'm not sure I have the political skills necessary to run such an organization but if I did my friends and I would all be as rich as the Teamster bosses. There really isn't much difference that I can see between the mafia and a union. Same basic principles at work. They both operate on a basis of intimidation in order to extract "rent" payments from others who produce goods.

  • (Show?)

    You said in a comment about "lazy goldbrickers" that unions are "set up institutionally to protect them" (i.e. the goldbrickers).

    Yep, that's what I said.

    I said that anyone who believed that is why unions exist --

    Here's one of your strawman arguments popping up. I made no assertion that this is why unions exist but your saying so sure puts me in a worse light in this "conversation".

    <hr/>

    In the original post I said:

    we are unwilling to have twenty guys standing around with their thumbs up their butts waiting for an electrician to screw in a light bulb.

    You followed up with:

    Want to lose the working class vote to Republicans? Call them lazy goldbrickers. Say stuff like the building trades unions are a bunch of stupid, unwashed jerks. That'll win them over to your side.

    and

    I said you (and others) called union workers lazy because of comments in your original post about thumbs up butts and "doing nothing" which you extrapolated to all union workers.

    Bullshit.

    Of course I never said any of this stuff. I said that union culture enables the lazy workers within the overall workforce. I, in fact, took pains to mention several times that good workers and the lazy exist in all environments. My specific point being that there were twenty guys from one union wanting to get on with the job, but were stopped cold because of a union cultural imperative that required an absent electrician to plug in a cord.

    Again you twist things intentionally or otherwise to portray me as having said what I did not say.

    There's more, but I'm done Tit for Tatting with you on this thread. I didn't just fall off of the turnip truck here. I've been watching true experts spin for decades now. If you're not intentionally spinning, I can only ask that you read my actual words and understand that I meant what I said, not what you imagine that I implied.

    As for calling me an idiot...........Well, Neener, Neener......or him that Smelt it, Dealt it......or I know you are but what am I.........or........well you get the general idea.....

    See you on another thread.

  • (Show?)

    Here's from one of your comments, Pat:

    In union shops, one gains status/repect of peers (no one cares about management's viewpoint in this scenario) in two ways:

    senority nepotism major theft (undetected)

    period.

    Maybe you can twist that around in your head to a statement that you're not calling most union workers sub-par, maybe you have a more positive view of how "status/respect" is gained through seniority or nepotism than most would, but that's what you said.

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