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#1 Dec 11 2012 at 5:25 PM Rating: Good
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Here in Michigan it's the only thing you hear about on the News. Public and Private bills passed, Snyder signed them. Protesters in the capital. Crying, cheering, what ever.

While I voted largely Democratic, I can't help but support Right to Work. The Union folk down at the Capital seem to be crying about losing Collective Bargaining rights, Diminished Union powers, etc. I'm not exactly pro Union, and I don't work in a Union shop (never have). Seems to me like making Union dues optional will force Unions to act in the best interest of ALL it's members instead of just the powerful ones. If someone in a workplace doesn't feel like the Union is representing their best interest they can choose not the pay. If the Union sees that as a problem, then maybe they'd talk with their members and find out why, change for the better.

Edited, Dec 11th 2012 6:28pm by TirithRR
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#2 Dec 11 2012 at 8:54 PM Rating: Decent
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At the risk of playing Devil's Advocate, the reason unions and their members oppose right to work laws is that in any workplace that is unionized the pay and benefits that the union negotiates apply to all workers, whether they are members of the union or not. So if you can't force them to pay union dues, who would choose to on their own? Most people would not. The fear is that if enough workers choose not to, then the union will no longer have enough workers to unionize them, and the union will disappear at that workplace.

Now, if you're like me and think that workers are really better off without unions, then this is just peachy and fine. If you're someone who is sure that the only thing standing between workers and slavery from their employers is a union, then you'll fight tooth and nail against the so-called "right to work" laws. I happen to believe that any labor organization which has to essentially force people to join in order to survive probably shouldn't survive. But that's just me. I'm just an evil heartless conservative, after all.


Edited, Dec 11th 2012 6:55pm by gbaji
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#3 Dec 11 2012 at 11:21 PM Rating: Good
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Now, if you're like me and think that everything you hear on conservative radio is right, rate me down

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#4 Dec 12 2012 at 6:11 AM Rating: Excellent
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TirithRR wrote:
While I voted largely Democratic, I can't help but support Right to Work. The Union folk down at the Capital seem to be crying about losing Collective Bargaining rights, Diminished Union powers, etc. I'm not exactly pro Union, and I don't work in a Union shop (never have). Seems to me like making Union dues optional will force Unions to act in the best interest of ALL it's members instead of just the powerful ones. If someone in a workplace doesn't feel like the Union is representing their best interest they can choose not the pay. If the Union sees that as a problem, then maybe they'd talk with their members and find out why, change for the better.


Pretty much my feelings on the matter too.
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#5 Dec 12 2012 at 8:07 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
At the risk of playing Devil's Advocate,
A refreshing change of pace, I'm sure.
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#6 Dec 12 2012 at 9:45 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
But that's just me. I'm just an evil heartless conservative, after all.


Smiley: disappointed

Got nothing against getting a fair wage for the working man or whatever, but I've been much less pro-union lately. Probably because we're struggling to pay for many of these union-won perks at the moment. Nothing other people aren't having problems with; the usual retirement packages and healthcare costs. Not some place where there a lot of good answers. Still it's hard to have sympathy when someone games the system, retires early to cash in, then comes back to work 'just for extra income.' Smiley: rolleyes
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#7 Dec 12 2012 at 5:25 PM Rating: Decent
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someproteinguy wrote:
gbaji wrote:
But that's just me. I'm just an evil heartless conservative, after all.


Smiley: disappointed

Got nothing against getting a fair wage for the working man or whatever, but I've been much less pro-union lately. Probably because we're struggling to pay for many of these union-won perks at the moment. Nothing other people aren't having problems with; the usual retirement packages and healthcare costs. Not some place where there a lot of good answers. Still it's hard to have sympathy when someone games the system, retires early to cash in, then comes back to work 'just for extra income.' Smiley: rolleyes


That's part of why I generally oppose unions. They create a work environment where gaming the system is the way you get ahead rather than being a more productive worker. This doesn't ensure bad results, but it sure does increase the odds of them. Add to that layers of contracts (and in some cases state laws) which give unions a ridiculously unfair advantage in negotiations and you've got a recipe for corruption and waste.


And as I stated earlier, I honestly don't believe that modern unions actually benefit their members in the long run.
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#8 Dec 12 2012 at 9:30 PM Rating: Default
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Years ago I on all sides of the Union situation from member and even organizer to the other side as management before, during and after workers filed to de-certify.

I believe there was a time and place in this country for unions. American steel mills near the turn of the century had an annual safety related death rate of 10%, OMG try to get tenure under those conditions. We had children operating industrial equipment, we had people working 80 hours a week for less than 40 hours of pay. The Unions put a stop to all of that and that was a good thing.
But now we have OSHA, EPA and federal work laws that don't allow any of that, so what purpose is left for the unions? To make sure Twinkie drivers don't deliver bread and bread drivers don't deliver Twinkies? Well, we see how that ended.

All along their credo has surrounded taking care of American workers and their families.
However based on the violence shown at Huffington Post(-0- network coverage save fox), I submit they are and have been just another business, just like any other with an income statement and balance sheet to protect. A fairly standard arrangement is 2 hours pay per month for union dues( very conservatively $720/yr.) x 381,000 just in the UAW makes it a $274mil/yr. business.

No one said the unions had to go, or that they couldn't collectively bargain on the behalf of their members, the law only allows that dues can not be made mandatory. Their members are free to continue to pay dues. The only difference is that they now have to earn the money they take in.

Personally, I'd like to see our government held to the same standard. The rest of us are.

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#9 Dec 12 2012 at 11:04 PM Rating: Decent
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At the risk of playing Devil's Advocate, the reason unions and their members oppose right to work laws is that in any workplace that is unionized the pay and benefits that the union negotiates apply to all workers, whether they are members of the union or not.


Does it ever get old being wrong?

Unions have no control over the wages or benefits that non-union employees make. At all. Those wages are entirely controlled by the company, not the union. The deal is between the Company and the union, not the company and itself. All payroll for company employees is determined by the company, all pay for the unionized employees determined by the union and the CBA.

However in the vast majority of cases, to be employed in a facility with a union, you must be part of the union. But that is an entirely different argument and one I personally oppose. I think joining a union should be a choice, not a requirement. But even still, the guys who are non-unionized are not under impression of union negotiated pay, or benefits.

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#10 Dec 13 2012 at 1:21 AM Rating: Excellent
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Unions have no control over the wages or benefits that non-union employees make. At all.

That's not entirely true. Teachers unions for example (here in IL at least but I assume its the same in at least some other states) negotiate a pay scale that must be adhered to. You're not forced to join the teacher's union to teach in a public school and you'll still get paid at the same scale, you really just give up union representation if you're fired or have a grievance.

There's a bunch of different unions and union businesses so I won't make any blanket statements but I wouldn't be surprised if at least some of them operated in the same manner even if only for sake of expedience on the part of the business. Benefits such as pensions might be another matter.
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#11 Dec 13 2012 at 7:55 AM Rating: Good
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Holy MOLY a new thread! Smiley: clap

I listened to the Mich gov this morning on the radio. He sounded like a used car salesman. He had no numbers, no data, nothing to back up his claims that this 'right to work' law would brings jobs to Michigan. He kept telling me it worked in Indiana, but again had no proof of that.

I'm torn on the Union issue - and really have been for years. My agency started requiring all members to pay dues 10 years ago. It's a pretty trivial amount and is deducted right out of your paycheck - still the employee has no choice in about joining or not. Membership is mandatory for about 90% of the employees. While my position is by design 'confidential', I'm not allowed to actually join the union, however, my position is in a union bargaining unit - so I get pay raises or not along with everyone else - based on the bargaining success of the union.

My union had typically done a good job representing us, bargaining on our behalf and keeping our pay and benefits moving forward (though NEVER has our compensation been on an equal level with the private sector). The last 5 years however we've gotten no cost of living raises. Longevity pay was froze 3 years ago. We were on reduced hours for two years (but are not currently), and most recently under our new sugar daddy governor our Health Insurance was farmed out to a new company at a drastically reduced level of coverage (and cost - yay!). The union has been hiding in a corner somewhere.

I guess I'm pro-union. Clearly they were necessary. Our framework of interaction between the industry the worker and the regulator haven't really changed much since the days of industrialization, so I can't believe that they are no longer necessary. I'm just not sure how an organization that is expected to represent an entire group can stay viable if the group they represent doesn't support them.

Our union had to make the changes they did a decade ago because they had no money to do what they were supposed to do. Prior to mandatory dues, employees were encouraged to 'join' the union - this cost the employee real money, but provided little additional real value above and beyond the bargaining and representation that was provided to all whether you officially joined or not. I think you got a newsletter if paid dues. Anyways only about 15% of the employees being represented technically joined the union and paid dues.



Edited, Dec 13th 2012 2:59pm by Elinda
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#12 Dec 13 2012 at 8:01 AM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
rdmcandie wrote:
Unions have no control over the wages or benefits that non-union employees make. At all.

That's not entirely true.


I would make a wild guess that in more situations than not, it's untrue.






Edited, Dec 13th 2012 3:01pm by Elinda
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#13 Dec 13 2012 at 8:14 AM Rating: Excellent
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I would guess the same but, given how many private and public sector unions and businesses there are out there, I'd rather not argue along the fringes each time we find one where it's not the case.
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#14 Dec 13 2012 at 8:24 AM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
They create a work environment where gaming the system is the way you get ahead rather than being a more productive worker.
How long have you been detached from a work force to not realize that's pretty much the same in a nonunion setting as well?
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#15 Dec 13 2012 at 3:02 PM Rating: Default
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Elinda wrote:
Our union had to make the changes they did a decade ago because they had no money to do what they were supposed to do. Prior to mandatory dues, employees were encouraged to 'join' the union - this cost the employee real money, but provided little additional real value above and beyond the bargaining and representation that was provided to all whether you officially joined or not. I think you got a newsletter if paid dues. Anyways only about 15% of the employees being represented technically joined the union and paid dues.


Elinda wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
rdmcandie wrote:
Unions have no control over the wages or benefits that non-union employees make. At all.

That's not entirely true.


I would make a wild guess that in more situations than not, it's untrue.


Hrm... Smiley: rolleyes

I should clarify that I'm rolling my eyes at rdmcandie, not Elinda. And she's not the only person who made more or less the same statement. Is it possible that there are employers who pay union and non-union workers differently? Sure. But that's got to be the exception and not the rule, if for no other reason that having two separate sets of pay scales would be a nightmare to manage.

Edited, Dec 13th 2012 1:28pm by gbaji
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#16 Dec 13 2012 at 3:24 PM Rating: Default
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lolgaxe wrote:
gbaji wrote:
They create a work environment where gaming the system is the way you get ahead rather than being a more productive worker.
How long have you been detached from a work force to not realize that's pretty much the same in a nonunion setting as well?


Well, first off, "gaming the system" in this case involves toadying up to the union rather than working hard for the employer. The union often has more influence on whether you get a promotion or are shifted laterally to a better and higher paying position. That's where the breads buttered, so that's who you aim to please. This creates a situation where the highest paid employees are often not the most productive or capable at their jobs, but are the most loyal to the union itself. This sort of thing can happen in a non-union workplace, but in that case the guy you're toadying up to and the guy whose livelihood is based on company profits are one and the same person, it's less likely to be done on a large scale and far less likely to be tolerated to the point of negatively impacting the bottom line. The adversarial condition that often exists between the union and the employer absolutely increases the odds of advancement being for non-productive reasons (and even absolutely counterproductive ones).

Even if we extend gaming to just include working the "rules" of the workplace to benefit you, there's a huge difference. The combination of union job protection and collective pay scales significantly reduces the incentive for each individual worker to be more productive and actually creates an incentive for each worker to be as unproductive as possible. I'm not saying that this is the case in every union workplace, but in sites where this can be a problem, it's going to be so more often and to a greater degree if the workforce is unionized than if it is not. In workplaces where work is contract or project driven, and wages are hourly, there's a huge incentive to work as slowly as possible so as to maximize the authorization of overtime when deadlines begin to loom. This become self enforced among the workers. If you work faster and harder to try to meet that deadline ahead of schedule, you're effectively taking money out of the pockets of your co-workers. That tends to not go over so well. While this can occur in a non-union workplace, it's less likely to be tolerated. Workers can more easily be fired if the employer suspects they're sandbagging, and workers pay is based on their individual performance, so there's a counter incentive for each individual to work harder. Basically, in a non-union workplace, the workers compete for higher pay by trying to stand out as the best worker, thus increasing productivity. In a union workplace, they all get the same raise whether they work harder or not. So very little incentive to work harder versus a strong incentive not to.


Those are just the most basic problems that unionization brings. Collective pay is really a terrible way to run any kind of business. It stifles individual effort. It reduces overall productivity (in most fields), and it creates opposition to changes in the workplace, which cause worker skills to atrophy relative to their non-union counterparts. Union membership often becomes a trap for the workers, where they realize that they can't compete in an open labor market, so the only way they can continue to earn a salary similar to what they're making is to support the union. The farther they get into this state, the stronger their need to do this. Which I suspect is precisely why the whole system is built that way. Unions are about power and control for the union. The workers are used to accomplish that. The romantic ideal of the union protecting the workers from evil bosses and unfair wages and working conditions is so far removed from the real world that it's laughable. In many ways the unions have become exactly that which they were originally formed to prevent. They took the power to oppress and unfairly control the workers from the employers and took it on themselves. And of course they use that power for their own ends.



Edited, Dec 13th 2012 1:25pm by gbaji
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#17 Dec 13 2012 at 3:29 PM Rating: Good
I work at a Starbucks inside a grocery store. A corporate grocery store, with other stores all over the country. Unions are in some departments in every store, although from what I've heard it varies. The store in my town only has a union in the seafood dept. Not meat, JUST seafood. There's a few stores up in Eugene and at least one of them has a grocery union as well. As frustrated as I get with asinine rules that I have to follow, I am so thankful I do not work for a corporation where there is no union representation at all, like Walmart.

I am just about two weeks shy of my 6 month anniversary at my store, and I am getting paperwork for health insurance. I also have the option of enrolling in a 401k, and management positions are always available if I wanted to move up in the store (I'd just have to move more than likely). I think corporations run better when there is a union presence. You guys have no idea how excited I am over the health insurance. My mom has been paying my health insurance to the tune of $155 a month for absolutely ****** coverage. Only the basics and a $3000 a year deductible. The insurance I'm getting through my work is only going to cost me about $91 a month, and I get an $800 deductible, plus vision and dental and a bunch of other stuff. So yeah, I'm pretty stoked. I actually feel like I'm going to be covered now.
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#18 Dec 13 2012 at 3:34 PM Rating: Default
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Ok. Maybe I'm missing something, but unless you serve seafood in the Starbucks kiosk, doesn't that mean that you aren't in a union? Yet you get those benefits and opportunities anyway, right? How does the seafood union help you? Seems like you'd get the same pay and benefits whether they were there or not. So kind of a great argument for why unions aren't really necessary IMO.
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#19 Dec 13 2012 at 4:06 PM Rating: Excellent
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"gaming the system"


In our case "gaming the system" is padding your retirement numbers.

If you're in a job that is part of the state retirement plan and offers overtime you can significantly increase your retirement payout. Your retirement benefits are based mostly on your highest 3 years of income. It's become rather popular for people in their last 3 years or so to do copious amounts of overtime; guaranteeing themselves a higher retirement income than they would normally see. It is one of those things that's rather controversial. You'll have people defending the idea that the higher amount of work should be rewarded, others point to excessive overtime hours that are of questionable value to the state.

Another policy guarantees an 8% return on money left invested in the retirement program once a person was no longer employed by the state. This was done away with several years ago, but those in the system before the change are still legally entitled to that return on their investment. As you can imagine getting an 8% return on an investment isn't an easy task. Especially in recent years, the state has been steadily falling behind here, and they have to make up the money somewhere. This shortfall has been made up through increased employer contributions to the plan (required contributions were projected to double over a 10 year period and are largely on track to do so). Unfortunately this is putting additional pressure on employers, such as the local school districts for example. Meaning nasty cuts or extra levees to break even.

In a sense we promised more to retirees than we could afford. Now making ends meet is a bit of a struggle, and we're all arguing over who should have to pay for it.

It just kind of sucks. Smiley: frown
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#20 Dec 13 2012 at 4:08 PM Rating: Excellent
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The insurance I'm getting through my work is only going to cost me about $91 a month, and I get an $800 deductible, plus vision and dental and a bunch of other stuff. So yeah, I'm pretty stoked. I actually feel like I'm going to be covered now.


Smiley: yippee
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#21 Dec 13 2012 at 4:42 PM Rating: Excellent
gbaji wrote:
Ok. Maybe I'm missing something, but unless you serve seafood in the Starbucks kiosk, doesn't that mean that you aren't in a union? Yet you get those benefits and opportunities anyway, right? How does the seafood union help you? Seems like you'd get the same pay and benefits whether they were there or not. So kind of a great argument for why unions aren't really necessary IMO.


Because all jobs @ the location have to compete with the union, and therefore they get the wages/benefits by the union merely being there.
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#22 Dec 13 2012 at 4:51 PM Rating: Excellent
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I work freelance in the entertainment industry, in production for commercials. Production is in charge of the hiring, the books, the scheduling, renting equipment, making sure everyone and everything shows up on time, etc. Up until a few years ago, people in production were THE ONLY people on the set of a commercial that didn't get health insurance. We are also the only people not in a union, we don't get money towards a retirement plan, etc.

So a group started rumbling about unionizing production, which I thought was great! We talked about it and talked to the production companies. They said no way, even though they were charging the Ad Agencies for P&W in every budget for every employee, including those of us in production. (They were essentially stealing from the Ad Agencies) But it meant that we might have to do a walk out. Which was doomed to fail. So insted, we organizes some picketing of commercial shoots in downtown L.A. When a commercial is rolling sound, one guy with a whistle can cost a production company A LOT of money. More then they were making by charging for our insurance that they were not providing to us, that's for sure.

ONE weekend of picketing, and the production companies gave us insurance, AND we don't have to pay union dues.
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#23 Dec 13 2012 at 4:59 PM Rating: Excellent
Technogeek wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Ok. Maybe I'm missing something, but unless you serve seafood in the Starbucks kiosk, doesn't that mean that you aren't in a union? Yet you get those benefits and opportunities anyway, right? How does the seafood union help you? Seems like you'd get the same pay and benefits whether they were there or not. So kind of a great argument for why unions aren't really necessary IMO.


Because all jobs @ the location have to compete with the union, and therefore they get the wages/benefits by the union merely being there.


Yup. Plus another cool thing I forgot to mention, is that the company I work for gives people pay raises based on how many hours you've worked for the company. Unfortunately, the ceiling for each department is different and once you reach it there are no more raises. But still. The cashiers top out around 13.50 an hour, people in the bakery top out at 15, us poor sad baristas top out at 11.35. I'd be sad about that, but I won't be working in this department long enough to see the ceiling anyways. Once I transfer back up to Eugene I'm going to try and move to a different department. Being beholden to the rules of two different companies sucks balls.
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#24 Dec 13 2012 at 5:21 PM Rating: Decent
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Technogeek wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Ok. Maybe I'm missing something, but unless you serve seafood in the Starbucks kiosk, doesn't that mean that you aren't in a union? Yet you get those benefits and opportunities anyway, right? How does the seafood union help you? Seems like you'd get the same pay and benefits whether they were there or not. So kind of a great argument for why unions aren't really necessary IMO.


Because all jobs @ the location have to compete with the union, and therefore they get the wages/benefits by the union merely being there.


Do they though? I assume that the reason the seafood folks are unionized but not anyone else in the store is because there's probably some requirement from their unionized source of fresh seafood in the area that the guys who handle the seafood in the store must be unionized as well (this sort of cross union support is not uncommon at all). I would not assume that this forces all the other jobs in the store to compete with the guys in the seafood section. I see no reason at all to assume that in the absence of that one unionized section that pay and benefits in the rest of the store would be any different.

There are lots of stores (grocery and otherwise) that have no unions yet pay wages and benefits comparable to those mentioned.
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#25 Dec 13 2012 at 5:26 PM Rating: Default
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PigtailsOfDoom wrote:
Plus another cool thing I forgot to mention, is that the company I work for gives people pay raises based on how many hours you've worked for the company.


This becomes dramatically less cool once you realize that this means that the guy who slacks off gets exactly the same pay after 1000 hours of slacking off as you do for 1000 hours of hard work. Just pointing that out in case you hadn't realized it. It's much much much better to work for a company that is free to pay you based on how valuable they think your labor is. The possibility that unfair favoritism could work against you is massively outweighed by the simple fact that it's possible (and common really) to get rewarded with higher pay for doing good work, something that can't happen if everyone earns the same pay raise after the same amount of time spent on the job.


It's not really cool at all.
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#26 Dec 13 2012 at 5:34 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Well, first off, "gaming the system" in this case involves toadying up to the union rather than working hard for the employer.
No. Really, just how far detached are you from a work force if you still believe that toadying up to an employer is less effective to the nonunion worker than it is to the unionized one?
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#27 Dec 13 2012 at 5:35 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
PigtailsOfDoom wrote:
Plus another cool thing I forgot to mention, is that the company I work for gives people pay raises based on how many hours you've worked for the company.


This becomes dramatically less cool once you realize that this means that the guy who slacks off gets exactly the same pay after 1000 hours of slacking off as you do for 1000 hours of hard work. Just pointing that out in case you hadn't realized it. It's much much much better to work for a company that is free to pay you based on how valuable they think your labor is. The possibility that unfair favoritism could work against you is massively outweighed by the simple fact that it's possible (and common really) to get rewarded with higher pay for doing good work, something that can't happen if everyone earns the same pay raise after the same amount of time spent on the job.


It's not really cool at all.


Pay based on individual performance is fine when you are a in skilled position. My salary is unique where I work, it is not tied to any other persons salary, instead tied to how my superiors rate my worth. But it becomes too much work for a lot of labor and service oriented positions. All machine operators have a set pay scale based on time. There are different "levels" of skilled floor labor, which all have a set pay scale based on time. The ease of handling pay and avoiding cries of favoritism outweighs the possibility of a 'slacker hitching a free ride' when you are dealing with a job position whose only requirement is a High School diploma and is filled by a few hundred people.
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#28 Dec 13 2012 at 5:35 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
PigtailsOfDoom wrote:
Plus another cool thing I forgot to mention, is that the company I work for gives people pay raises based on how many hours you've worked for the company.


This becomes dramatically less cool once you realize that this means that the guy who slacks off gets exactly the same pay after 1000 hours of slacking off as you do for 1000 hours of hard work. Just pointing that out in case you hadn't realized it. It's much much much better to work for a company that is free to pay you based on how valuable they think your labor is. The possibility that unfair favoritism could work against you is massively outweighed by the simple fact that it's possible (and common really) to get rewarded with higher pay for doing good work, something that can't happen if everyone earns the same pay raise after the same amount of time spent on the job.


It's not really cool at all.


It is cool if the jack hole that slacks off can be fired.
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#29 Dec 13 2012 at 6:13 PM Rating: Default
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lolgaxe wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Well, first off, "gaming the system" in this case involves toadying up to the union rather than working hard for the employer.
No. Really, just how far detached are you from a work force if you still believe that toadying up to an employer is less effective to the nonunion worker than it is to the unionized one?


Learn to read. It's not about which is more effective for the worker, but which one is more likely to result in a less productive workforce. I even addressed this exact point in the very post you quoted from.

Edited, Dec 13th 2012 4:32pm by gbaji
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#30 Dec 13 2012 at 6:31 PM Rating: Decent
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TirithRR wrote:
Pay based on individual performance is fine when you are a in skilled position. My salary is unique where I work, it is not tied to any other persons salary, instead tied to how my superiors rate my worth. But it becomes too much work for a lot of labor and service oriented positions. All machine operators have a set pay scale based on time. There are different "levels" of skilled floor labor, which all have a set pay scale based on time.


That's the way unions do it. That is not the only or even the best way to do it though.

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The ease of handling pay and avoiding cries of favoritism outweighs the possibility of a 'slacker hitching a free ride' when you are dealing with a job position whose only requirement is a High School diploma and is filled by a few hundred people.


I disagree. It's not the one slacker. If that was the only issue, you'd be right. It's that over time, the entire workforce becomes less productive because they are not competing with each other for higher pay. I could come up with a dozen examples of this effect all around us every day, but do I really have to? People work harder when their outcomes are tied to how hard they work. I don't see how this is even remotely controversial.

Professor stupidmonkey wrote:
It is cool if the jack hole that slacks off can be fired.


Which is why I mentioned both the fact that pay is evenly distributed *and* that it's hard to actually get fired when making my original point. When there's no negative to doing the bare minimum needed to not get fired, no positive for doing more than that, and then you add in positives for doing just that minimum (increased overtime), is it really that hard to see that more people will do the bare minimum at a union job? Again, while this sort of thing can go on at non-union workplaces, they are the norm for union workplaces. The existence of a union contract ties the employers hands when it comes to dealing with non-productive workers.
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#31 Dec 13 2012 at 6:44 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
TirithRR wrote:
Pay based on individual performance is fine when you are a in skilled position. My salary is unique where I work, it is not tied to any other persons salary, instead tied to how my superiors rate my worth. But it becomes too much work for a lot of labor and service oriented positions. All machine operators have a set pay scale based on time. There are different "levels" of skilled floor labor, which all have a set pay scale based on time.


That's the way unions do it. That is not the only or even the best way to do it though.


That's the way my shop does it, and it's non-Union. I've never actually heard of a factory, Union or Non, who weighs merits of each individual laborer and pays them separate pay scales. Our payroll gal ******* enough as is having to deal with single plant wide scales... I'd hate to hear her whine if that weren't the case.


gbaji wrote:

TirithRR wrote:
The ease of handling pay and avoiding cries of favoritism outweighs the possibility of a 'slacker hitching a free ride' when you are dealing with a job position whose only requirement is a High School diploma and is filled by a few hundred people.


I disagree. It's not the one slacker. If that was the only issue, you'd be right. It's that over time, the entire workforce becomes less productive because they are not competing with each other for higher pay. I could come up with a dozen examples of this effect all around us every day, but do I really have to? People work harder when their outcomes are tied to how hard they work. I don't see how this is even remotely controversial.


That's where things like Profit sharing come in. Before the industry crash the better our company did (which obviously factored in thing like the value of each man-hour worked) the higher percentage you received as the Profit sharing bonus. Obviously... that doesn't happen anymore, no sharing, no bonuses, no raises...
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#32 Dec 13 2012 at 6:44 PM Rating: Excellent
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I don't even know how one would go about '"toadying up to a union" - the union doesn't have any influence at all as to who gets a promotion around here, and in what universe would management (who are not unionized by definition) promote someone based on them sucking up to the union? That doesn't make any sense gbaji.

The only thing sucking up to a union -might- get you is a job working directly for the union. Given their salaries, that might be worth it I guess.

I'm in a weird position with respect to my union, due to the fact that my employer has a close relationship to the union, so there are times I get annoyed with the whole thing. (Three years of zero per cent wage increases.... weee)

But allowing people to get all the benefits of the union without paying into the maintenance of it isn't about "right to work" - it is about weakening unions. It's one thing to argue that unions are useless/too powerful/etc - it's another to pretend that a direct attack on unionization is about the "right to work."

Overall, despite my mild annoyance with my own union at times, I think the balance has already swung too far away from workers and towards management/ownership/businesses etc. The last decade of wage stagnation while income grew for the richest in North America is evidence of that. So, with that in mind, in addition to the whole dis-ingeniousness of calling this legislation "right to work," legislation... I am totally opposed to it.
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#33 Dec 13 2012 at 7:04 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Learn to read.
Learn to write.

I'd suggest stop pretending your point was relevant at all, considering what you're saying is a con to unions is equally detrimental to nonunions as well, but it's the only point you were told to have, and I'm not delusional enough to believe you'd think for yourself.
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#34 Dec 13 2012 at 7:11 PM Rating: Excellent
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Olorinus wrote:
But allowing people to get all the benefits of the union without paying into the maintenance of it isn't about "right to work" - it is about weakening unions. It's one thing to argue that unions are useless/too powerful/etc - it's another to pretend that a direct attack on unionization is about the "right to work."
...
So, with that in mind, in addition to the whole dis-ingeniousness of calling this legislation "right to work," legislation... I am totally opposed to it.

Yeah it's a completely disingenuous term. As if there are unemployed people out there who are turning down jobs because they don't want to be in a union. It should be called the "right to hire non-union workers."

In the end, I don't think it will make a huge difference. From what I just looked up, RTW states in recent history have had like 1% lower unemployment, but the employees make about 3% less salary. Of course, even if the net effect of higher employment -vs- lower salary ended up being zero-sum for the workforce, employers still make out like bandits because they're getting more labor for less cost. And income inequality will be further skewed.
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#35 Dec 13 2012 at 7:14 PM Rating: Default
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TirithRR wrote:
gbaji wrote:
That's the way unions do it. That is not the only or even the best way to do it though.


That's the way my shop does it, and it's non-Union. I've never actually heard of a factory, Union or Non, who weighs merits of each individual laborer and pays them separate pay scales.


Many factories copy the union way of doing pay because that's how the unions do it. Also, don't forget that in many states, whole industries are regulated to enforce certain pay systems so that they match the union pay system (Justified so the unions don't have a disadvantage when competing for bids). Look up "prevailing wage laws" if you're not aware of how this works. If your place of business has any contracts or work (or provides finished goods for such work) with any level of government, you're likely being paid that way, not because it's the best way to do so, but because labor unions got laws passed to force any competition into having to use the same inefficient pay structure they use.

There are lots of workplaces where pay is not standardized by position and time. There's absolutely no reason why the same can't apply to more fields except for this entrenched assumption that in those fields (for some apparently magical reason) they just wont work. And it's no coincidence that those fields happen to be those where unions are most prevalent. It creates a circular argument that has no real justification at all. It is that way because it is that way.

Quote:
Our payroll gal ******* enough as is having to deal with single plant wide scales... I'd hate to hear her whine if that weren't the case.


Your payroll gal isn't the one who sets the wages. She just writes the checks. Someone decides how much the total compensation pool will increase each year, and that someone decides how to divvy it up. It does take marginally more effort to do things like performance evaluations, but in the grand scheme of things, it really is worth it to any business.


TirithRR wrote:
That's where things like Profit sharing come in. Before the industry crash the better our company did (which obviously factored in thing like the value of each man-hour worked) the higher percentage you received as the Profit sharing bonus. Obviously... that doesn't happen anymore, no sharing, no bonuses, no raises...


Profit sharing methods are a step in the right direction. But I still think that's often too abstract to have sufficient effect on the workforce as a whole. Remember that each individual by nature desires to gain the maximum pay for himself possible while putting forth the least amount of effort. It's also human nature to measure success relative to those around us. So an incentive that allows you to earn more than the guy next to you if your work is valued more works very well. It makes it worth while to increase effort to put in that better work because you personally get a direct reward. It's a lot harder sell to say "if we all work harder, we all get more pay". Human nature is competitive. We compete with the people next to us. Call it a flaw if you want, but it's not human nature to work harder so that everyone around us (including us) gets more. It also doesn't counter the fact that the slacker gets the same share of increased profits, thus creating a negative presure on the desired outcome. Human nature in that case is to hope that others will do more productive work while you get to reap the benefits. But if everyone is doing this, then there is no increased productivity, no increased profits, and no increased benefits for anyone. But since *everyone* gets the same lack of increase, people will tend to accept it.


If you want, I'll explain how the red/green game works and how it's basically a proof of this. People will *always* take actions that benefit themselves in the short run over those that benefit everyone in the long run. They will do this even when they know that eventually it'll hurt them in the long run as well. Why? Because unless you can ensure that everyone works for the benefit of everyone, no one will. Also, since success is measured relatively, then personal benefit outweighs combined benefit and even combined negatives. If I gain X, and then everyone (including me) loses Y, I'll make that choice even if Y is greater than X. That's the nature of a red/green game situation. It happens every single time you play it. The lesson of the game is to not structure things that way. But unions are structured that way. Which is why they are not good for labor (or business, or really anything other than the unions own power).

Edited, Dec 13th 2012 5:16pm by gbaji
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#36 Dec 13 2012 at 7:28 PM Rating: Excellent
Gbaji, after getting fired back in May from another job for having my till nineteen dollars and some change OVER one time, I feel much more comfortable working a job where I know I have to do something really freaking stupid to get fired. FYI, Dollar Tree treats their employees like ****, barely gives them any hours, and is just an all around terrible place to work.

Seriously though, you're always going to run in to people who have terrible work ethic, doesn't matter where you work. Most of the people I work with now in my Starbucks kiosk are pretty good workers and I have few complaints about them. We used to have one girl that was a total slacker, and yeah it was annoying. But she decided to move and she doesn't work there anymore. No big deal. What was frustrating about her was that I liked her as a person, but she was terrible to work with because she was so lazy.
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#37 Dec 13 2012 at 7:57 PM Rating: Default
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Olorinus wrote:
But allowing people to get all the benefits of the union without paying into the maintenance of it isn't about "right to work" - it is about weakening unions. It's one thing to argue that unions are useless/too powerful/etc - it's another to pretend that a direct attack on unionization is about the "right to work."


That argument only works if you assume that the benefits of the union actually outweigh the costs and negatives. No one's preventing workers from unionizing if they want. And yes, I already addressed the issue that in most workplaces with unions, the compensation structure for non union workers is the same as for union workers. But here's the thing. If the workplace becomes non-unionized because too many workers choose not to join the union because of this, and then if the benefits and compensation decrease sufficiently that a majority of the workers want to unionize again, then they are free to do so.

It's only harmful to the unions *if* the union isn't actually a net positive to their workers. But along the way it gives all workers the "right to work" at that workplace without being forced to join the union. If unions really are so great, and if the assumption is that absent the union pay and benefits will nosedive and workers will get screwed over, why be afraid of this? If the unions (and those who support them) are correct, then this would strengthen union membership in the long run by proving to those workers how valuable the union is to them. But if they are incorrect, and workers would be perfectly happy in workplaces without the union at all (including not having it negotiating for them), then the union should not be there in the first place, right?

Unions are afraid of this because they know that they (most of them anyway) don't provide sufficient benefits to their workers to justify their existence. They can only continue to exist by forcing people to join and never giving their members the opportunity to see if the grass really is so bad on the other side of the fence. I don't see how giving people the freedom to choose whether to join a union is a bad thing. The only people who lose here are the unions which aren't actually benefiting their members.

Quote:
Overall, despite my mild annoyance with my own union at times, I think the balance has already swung too far away from workers and towards management/ownership/businesses etc. The last decade of wage stagnation while income grew for the richest in North America is evidence of that. So, with that in mind, in addition to the whole dis-ingeniousness of calling this legislation "right to work," legislation... I am totally opposed to it.


The richest in North America largely increased that wealth because they put their money into non-union industries. Workers in the fields where most of the wealth is being grown in the US have reaped the benefits of that wealth increase. The problem isn't with stingy bosses, but that unionization by its nature generates less productive workforces, which means lower profits, which means stagnant wages in the long run. Remove the unions and the workforces will become productive, and profits will go up, and you will do better over time because you will get a share of that increase in wealth generated by your industry.

What you're describing is exactly what is the predicted outcome of unionized industries over time. What's strange is that you don't see that it's the presence of unions that cause all of the problems you see. Worse, you think that they are somehow the solution. No amount of demanding better contracts from your employer helps if your employer simply can't afford to pay for those increases because profits are down due to the negative effects of the union itself. It's a negative feedback loop. Something that seems positive in the short term ends out being negative in the long run. Just ask all those folks who used to work for Hostess what happens when the unions keep trying to take money that doesn't exist.
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#38 Dec 13 2012 at 8:15 PM Rating: Decent
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PigtailsOfDoom wrote:
Gbaji, after getting fired back in May from another job for having my till nineteen dollars and some change OVER one time, I feel much more comfortable working a job where I know I have to do something really freaking stupid to get fired.


If we assume in the abstract that having your till be 19 dollars over is "bad work", you're basically supporting my argument. Being protected from being fired for doing "bad work" means that you will do so more often over time (or be less likely to do it less at least), right? That's the whole point of the protection. Change "till over 19 bucks" to "missed production deadline by a week" or "missed production quota by 15%", and it's a bit more clear why this is significant. Any workforce which protects you from losing your job (or suffering any negatives) as a result of poor work will end out with a whole lot of people who do poor work.

Quote:
Seriously though, you're always going to run in to people who have terrible work ethic, doesn't matter where you work.


Not really. You run into people who have terrible work ethics when those people don't fear the consequences of having a terrible work ethic. This is most prevalent among young workers for whom their wages is extra money rather than something they have to live on, and who are working low skill low pay jobs which can be replaced super easily. This usually disappears once you get into more career path jobs and people who actually need to live on their pay. But when you are protected from negative consequences, you don't fear them, and thus you'll continue to have a poor work ethic. Not everyone, of course, but you'll absolutely have a higher percentage of slackers in a workplace that can't fire them just for being slackers compared to workplaces that can.

Now if the rate of slackers in the total workforce was a constant, it wouldn't matter. However, it's reasonable to assume that someone working at a place that doesn't tolerate slacking will raise their work ethic and not slack (as much at least). Why? Because he's got an incentive to not lose his job. If he doesn't, he'll continue to slack off. Thus, the entire workforce improves its total productivity simply by not allowing people to get away with being non-productive. It's one of those things that sounds mean at first glance, but once you think about it for awhile, you realize that it makes a **** of a lot of sense. All those sorts of protections do is perpetuate and reward people who don't do good work. So those people have no incentive to change and improve their work quality. And this also means that over time they lose ground relative to people who've been working in a more demanding work environment all along. It's like having two groups of people learn to swim, then group A is kept in the kiddie pool, while group B is force to move on and swim in the deeper section of the pool. Guess which group will have better swimmers over time?


This isn't to say that being fired for that one thing was fair, I'm just making a general point about the harm of employment protection. Again, it sounds like a great thing in the short run, but it really is negative in the long run. You're basically being protected from becoming a better and more valuable employee. And that will hurt you if you stay in that sort of environment for too long.

Edited, Dec 13th 2012 6:16pm by gbaji
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#39 Dec 13 2012 at 8:49 PM Rating: Excellent
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I'll admit right now I skimmed through most of the posts in this thread and expect to be ignored for the low post count ffxi player that I am.
However, without unions how long would it take until wages were frozen, if not reduced across all industries. If you think that we live in a society with an enlightened and benevolent management that cares about the wage slave as oppose to increasing short term profits, no matter the human cost then you are delusional.
I fully admit that many unions have become bloated wastes of space filled with an upper tier just as bad as the bosses they are supposed to protect the working class from and those unions need to be taken down and restructured. But they still need to exist.
Weekends, came from the labour movement. No child labour, came from the labour movement. Wages that a family can actually live on without spending the majority of time working for someone else, came from the labour movement. Killing unions is just another step towards fascism.

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#40 Dec 13 2012 at 9:09 PM Rating: Default
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Peimei wrote:
However, without unions how long would it take until wages were frozen, if not reduced across all industries.


How about we find out instead of just assuming it must happen and the only way to prevent is is to continue to force workers to join unions even if they don't want to? If industries start ******** over the workers sufficiently that the workers now choose to unionize, then the problem is self solving, right? No one's passing any laws making it illegal to form a union. Most unions fail to form because they can't convince a large enough percentage of the workers to unionize. The solution to that should not be to force them to do so because we think we know what's best for them. Let workers make their own choices. That's part of living in a free society, right?

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If you think that we live in a society with an enlightened and benevolent management that cares about the wage slave as oppose to increasing short term profits, no matter the human cost then you are delusional.


No one thinks that. And neither is that required for wages to be "fair". This is the mentality I'm talking about. Way too many people assume that in the absence of a union forcing employers to "pay a fair wage" workers would become virtual slaves. But workers have power whether there's a union or not. In fact, "workers" (meaning the individual workers) have more power when there isn't a union around. You can walk up to your boss, show him how much value you provide to his business and ask for a raise. If he doesn't give you one, and you think you can get a better salary elsewhere, you can leave and get a better salary elsewhere. The likelihood of you getting that raise is based on some combination of your ability to do that and the value of your labor to your employer.


That's the "fair wage" for your labor. If no one is willing to pay more than X for what you do, then X is what your labor is worth. This process does not require enlightened employers who will pay you more out of the goodness of their hearts, but rather employers who will make sure to pay their labor a sufficient amount of money to ensure that they don't leave him and work for his competition. That's what ensures that wages match the actual market value of the labor. Unions don't do that.


Quote:
I fully admit that many unions have become bloated wastes of space filled with an upper tier just as bad as the bosses they are supposed to protect the working class from and those unions need to be taken down and restructured. But they still need to exist.


I'd rephrase that to say that the ability for workers to unionize if they wish needs to exist. No single union has an innate need to exist at all. As long as workers can negotiate individually if they want, and even act as a group if they wish (by striking for example) then the effect of unions remains. The problem is that unions have become institutions and no longer serve a positive function (most of them anyway).

Quote:
Weekends, came from the labour movement. No child labour, came from the labour movement. Wages that a family can actually live on without spending the majority of time working for someone else, came from the labour movement. Killing unions is just another step towards fascism.


But none of those required unions protected by law from having to justify their existence. Those unions and the movements they were a part of occurred as a response to problems in the workplace which needed to be addressed. Again though, it's the ability to unionize if things get bad that creates these sorts of changes and ensures that they don't disappear. Individual unions themselves don't do this at all. Unions today seem to exist almost entirely to ensure the continued existence of the unions. They don't do a whole lot more. If they really were so great for the workers they claim to be helping, then then wouldn't need to force workers to join them. Kinda obvious, but there you have it.
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#41 Dec 13 2012 at 9:18 PM Rating: Excellent
Being off on your till once (in my case this was twice but the first time was for three dollars and some change) is not an example of poor work ethic, it is an example of a mistake. After the first time I was off enough to get written up for it, I made sure to start counting back change to my customers every time. When I was off by the nineteen dollars and some change, I honestly had no idea how that had happened. One of my managers made the comment to me that I didn't even need to worry about it, because it was probably a computer error. The computers for the registers at that store are over ten years old and are still running Windows 95 for crying out loud. Now keep in mind, both times I was off on my till, I was OVER. I clearly wasn't stealing from the company, I was making errors. They have a margin of error of $3. That's it. If you are off on your bill by any more than three dollars, you get written up for it. After three write ups for this, or a total of $20 in errors, it is an automatic termination. I understand that it's a dollar store and they have to limit losses as much as possible, but this is ridiculous. Their turn over rate is insane at that store. There are a couple of people who have been working there for a year or two, but everyone else gets cycled through like garbage. I'm still kind of ****** off that I got fired for that, but at least it gave me the opportunity to find a better company to work for, so I have that going for me at least.
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#42 Dec 13 2012 at 9:24 PM Rating: Default
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Another way to look at labor and wages is that the same market force that prevents the goods on your store shelves from costing more than you can afford prevents wages from being less than you can live on. Think about this, and you'll understand what I mean. We don't have to pass laws to require that a box of raisin bran can't cost more than X dollars, do we? So what keeps the price from rising without limit? Competition and demand. Raise the price too high and most people will buy it from the store down the street that didn't raise its price. Raise it high enough and no one will be able to afford it and you'll make zero money. The store owner and the customer are in a constant unspoken state of negotiation over the price of that box of cereal.

Same factors apply to labor. Pay too little for labor and it will move to the employer down the street who's willing to pay a bit more. Pay below a certain level and no one will work for you at all. Remember that the employers own profits are based on the output of his workers labor. This is why strikes work in the first place, but it applies every day to every single worker in a non-union environment. In this case the employer and the employee are in a constant unspoken (sometimes spoken though!) state of negotiation over the price of that employees labor. Again, the same factors that ensure that the store can't charge too much for cereal ensures that the employer can't pay too little for labor.


The idea that you need unions to make that happen is a myth that has been perpetuated by unions themselves. Surprise!

Edited, Dec 13th 2012 7:42pm by gbaji
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#43 Dec 13 2012 at 9:41 PM Rating: Default
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PigtailsOfDoom wrote:
Being off on your till once (in my case this was twice but the first time was for three dollars and some change) is not an example of poor work ethic, it is an example of a mistake.


Yes, but mistakes affect the bottom line of the company and absolutely count in terms of being a productive workplace. From the markets point of view it doesn't matter if you caused harm to your employers business maliciously or accidentally, You still caused harm to his business.

Quote:
Now keep in mind, both times I was off on my till, I was OVER. I clearly wasn't stealing from the company, I was making errors.


Over is often considered just as bad (often worse) than being under. If you're under it indicates you might be stealing from the employer. But if you are over it means you might be stealing from their customers. At the very least, you are overcharging them somehow. The cost to a company for a reputation of ripping off their customers is often vastly greater than the cost an employee might cause by stealing from them.

I'll also point out that over can also mean you were attempting to steal from them (I don't mean "you" personally here of course). A common technique when stealing money at a register is when simple sale amounts come up, just punch in the number you know it'll come to, then hit the "no sale" button. Open the register and continue the transaction with the customer as though you rang it up, but pocket the money. A common problem is that the person doing this can't pocket the money right there because the customer (or another employee) might see them, so they have to remember to take the money out of the till later when/if they get an opportunity. If they forget, or are unable to take it, they will be over (because the money from the transaction is in the register, but they didn't ring up the purchase).

Point is any significant difference between the amount rang up on a register and the amount in the register at the end of the shift represents a problem. Whether a mistake or intentional really doesn't matter all that much. An employee who consistently fails to get a clean count on their shift is someone you don't want working your register. Imagine if it was your money. You wouldn't care so much why the number was off, just that it was.


Quote:
I'm still kind of ****** off that I got fired for that, but at least it gave me the opportunity to find a better company to work for, so I have that going for me at least.


Yup. That does suck. But hey, it's a learning experience, and you move on. Often we find such things work out because we find that the big bad world has better opportunities in store for us than what we were doing before. Blessing in disguise and all that.
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#44 Dec 13 2012 at 10:17 PM Rating: Excellent
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PigtailsOfDoom wrote:
Gbaji, after getting fired back in May from another job for having my till nineteen dollars and some change OVER one time [...]
For what it's worth, overages can be an indicator of employee theft. I'm not saying you should have gotten fired over one incidence of your till being over, but it's not like being over at the end of the night is a good thing.
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#45 Dec 13 2012 at 11:32 PM Rating: Good
I guess I'm too honest of a person then. I never would even have thought of doing something to purposefully charge customers more than they should be, and then pocket the money.That's just weird.
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#46 Dec 14 2012 at 8:32 AM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
It creates a circular argument that has no real justification at all.
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#47 Dec 14 2012 at 10:10 AM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
But workers have power whether there's a union or not. In fact, "workers" (meaning the individual workers) have more power when there isn't a union around. You can walk up to your boss, show him how much value you provide to his business and ask for a raise. If he doesn't give you one, and you think you can get a better salary elsewhere, you can leave and get a better salary elsewhere.


The luxury of an in-demand worker, who has the ability to move if necessary. Not sure that's a viable option for everyone.
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#48 Dec 14 2012 at 10:16 AM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
PigtailsOfDoom wrote:
Plus another cool thing I forgot to mention, is that the company I work for gives people pay raises based on how many hours you've worked for the company.


This becomes dramatically less cool once you realize that this means that the guy who slacks off gets exactly the same pay after 1000 hours of slacking off as you do for 1000 hours of hard work. Just pointing that out in case you hadn't realized it. It's much much much better to work for a company that is free to pay you based on how valuable they think your labor is. The possibility that unfair favoritism could work against you is massively outweighed by the simple fact that it's possible (and common really) to get rewarded with higher pay for doing good work, something that can't happen if everyone earns the same pay raise after the same amount of time spent on the job.


It's not really cool at all.


I agree. Workers should be paid the smallest flat rate possible because someone somewhere might be slacking. That way we can dangle this imaginary carrot and tell them if they would just "work harder" their pay will increase. We need to make sure that all employers are doing this. That way when our workers get fed up with minimum wage and no benefits, they have no place else to go that doesn't do the exact same thing. It is just common sense to let employers pay their workforce based on how "valuable" they think their labor is, without any union or government interference. This way we can keep the common rabble pinned to the ground while an elite and hardworking handful of men can make literally thousands of times more than the average worker.
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#49 Dec 14 2012 at 12:15 PM Rating: Good
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PigtailsOfDoom wrote:
I guess I'm too honest of a person then. I never would even have thought of doing something to purposefully charge customers more than they should be, and then pocket the money.That's just weird.
Smaller shops, Subway, Quizno's, Little Caesar's, where there's not an older person in the store managing, it's pretty typical. Watch their behavior when you pay cash, and they ask if you need/want a receipt. I don't know how other places have their registers set up, but where I've worked, there's not an option to not print the receipt. You tender a sale, one prints out. They typically will ask you before finishing the sale. If you say you don't want a receipt, they nosale it, pop the drawer, and remember to take the cash out later.

Another trick, with programs that allow you to see past sales and print out duplicate receipts (such as RetailPro, which is still used on Windows 95 machines today in plenty of stores I've visited), is to actually process the first cash sale of a typical order. Then, when someone later orders that, you can ask if they want the receipt (doing so makes it not seem atypical for others in line who may order something else), and if they say "yes" you do a nosale to take in the cash, and then print out a copy of the previous sale.

Edited, Dec 14th 2012 1:20pm by Spoonless
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#50 Dec 14 2012 at 4:19 PM Rating: Excellent
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Kuwoobie wrote:

I agree. Workers should be paid the smallest flat rate possible because someone somewhere might be slacking. That way we can dangle this imaginary carrot and tell them if they would just "work harder" their pay will increase. We need to make sure that all employers are doing this. That way when our workers get fed up with minimum wage and no benefits, they have no place else to go that doesn't do the exact same thing. It is just common sense to let employers pay their workforce based on how "valuable" they think their labor is, without any union or government interference. This way we can keep the common rabble pinned to the ground while an elite and hardworking handful of men can make literally thousands of times more than the average worker.


Relevant: http://business.financialpost.com/2012/12/13/mcdonalds-minimum-wage-workers-high-paid-ceos-highlight-massive-pay-gap-between-rich-and-poor/

Quote:
Johnson would need about a million hours of work — or more than a century on the clock — to earn the US$8.75-million that McDonald’s, based in the Chicago suburb of Oak Brook, paid then- CEO Jim Skinner last year. Johnson’s work flipping burgers and hoisting boxes of french fries, like millions of other jobs in low-wage industries, helps explain why income inequality grew after the 2007-2009 recession ended.

The recovery from the last downturn has been the most uneven in recent history. The 1.2 million households whose incomes put them in the top 1% of the U.S. saw their earnings increase 5.5% last year, according to census estimates. Earnings fell 1.7% for the 97 million households in the bottom 80% — those who made less than US$101,583.

The widening chasm is most pronounced in the restaurant and retail businesses. The total number of people employed in the U.S. at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and McDonald’s and Yum Brands restaurants exceeds the entire 2.7 million population of Chicago. Net income at those three companies has jumped by at least 22% from four years ago.


Quote:
While Johnson has benefited from small pay raises and some minimum-wage increases — the rate was boosted from $8 in 2010 in Illinois — he said he’s often knocked down to the lowest level when a McDonald’s franchise changes ownership. He’s been bounced to different stores in Chicago (he’s worked at six in all), which also results in pay getting cut to minimum wage, he said.

“Every time they transfer you to a different store, they lower your pay,” he said. “You have to climb back up.”


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#51 Dec 14 2012 at 4:48 PM Rating: Default
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someproteinguy wrote:
gbaji wrote:
But workers have power whether there's a union or not. In fact, "workers" (meaning the individual workers) have more power when there isn't a union around. You can walk up to your boss, show him how much value you provide to his business and ask for a raise. If he doesn't give you one, and you think you can get a better salary elsewhere, you can leave and get a better salary elsewhere.


The luxury of an in-demand worker, who has the ability to move if necessary. Not sure that's a viable option for everyone.


Labor unions increase the number of non in-demand workers though. In a free labor market, workers will shift their skills to match the jobs that are in demand constantly and gradually (in small enough steps that they can do this without getting stuck). Unions perpetuate workforces and jobs that are no longer as valued in the labor market as they cost. Thus, over time, those workers become increasingly less able to find a job on their own and more dependent on the union to protect the job they have (despite it being not as valued).

Another way of looking at this is that all employees in a free labor market are "in-demand". They have to be, or they wouldn't have been hired. The market doesn't tend to shift that fast, so absent some artificial factor preventing those natural shifts, an employee in the free market will tend to remain marketable and "in-demand" through his entire career (and will tend to increase his demand by increasing his skill and experience over time). Imagine if in 1998 the IT employees at my work had unionized. Today, we'd run a network with NT and Win98 on the windows side, and Solaris5 and HPUX9 on the unix side because the union would protect us from new and better and faster computers which might cost us jobs. After 15 years, I would be completely unmarketable because of this.

Unions tend to create the very problems that many people think the unions protect workers from. I'd much rather not have a guarantee of a job, but know that my job skills are current and marketable than be guaranteed a job (as long as the workplace stays in business), but have my skills become increasingly unmarketable over time. In the first case, my outcomes are my own. I'm in control of my destiny. Greater volatility, but greater ability to weather things and greater opportunity to advance. In the second case, I'm stuck. I'm dependent on an artificial market construct to ensure that I keep earning a salary. I know that I'm no longer marketable so I have to keep protecting and supporting the union. And if that day comes when the whole worksite gets closed down, now there's thousands of guys with atrophied skills all looking for work in the same area at the same time.


Unions are not better for the individual workers in the long run. They really aren't.

Edited, Dec 14th 2012 2:50pm by gbaji
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