Thursday, February 4, 2010

UNIONS

I got some interesting comments on my article about malfeasance of yesterday. There is quite a bit of animosity concerning unions in this country. But it is like a lot of other movements in life, it's life seems to be more like a pendulum than anything else. Back in the days of the SITDOWN IN ANDERSON, 1936 I believe, my grandfather stayed in the plant for the sitdown and my grandmother walked picket duty with a hog leg in her purse. Grandmother was no one to fool with at any time. Things were rough back then and the company, General Motors, was the biggest company in America and they acted like it. The strike back then was a rowdy, bloody affair. No kidding. They sent Walter Reuther down to lead the people and General Motors shut down Plant 1 for a day and made black jacks with which to greet Mr. Reuther when he got off the train. He got off in a little town North of Anderson named Alexandria and came in riding an automobile. Probably saved a few busted skulls with that little trick. But Management was mean as hell in those days. If you can find the book SITDOWN IN ANDERSON I would recommend reading it.

Bu the strike was finally won and everybody got back to work and life went on. Except the union kept getting more and more power and management kept getting less. The pendulum had swung too far the other way. By the time the 70's came around the union was damn near running the company and they got what they wanted. Too much power. Not enough balance.

And this is what affected our states and municipalities 30 some years ago. The firemen and the police started getting every thing they wanted. And they got too much. And it is coming back on them now that we are facing a long depression. What this is all about is that the management side of life shipped all the manufacturing out of the country and let the workers go straight to hell, which they are now doing by the millions. The big Idol of the Republican party, Ronald Reagan, got this all started by allowing the businesses to ship out. Then came Bush Sr, followed by Clinton, followed by Bush Jr. and now Obama. The politicians follow the money and the money was coming through goods imported from China and Mexico and Indonesia and Malaysia and Bangladesh and South Korea and Japan. Where ever there was cheap labor. The labels said the country of origin but it didn't say who owned the manufacturing plant. But the factories were owned by our fellow Americans. The people on OUR SIDE. HAH! What a joke.

I must quit writing now and watch the stock market unravel. When it is down 200 points by 11 o'clock in the morning we could be facing some major news. Hang on to your hats and stay alive if you can.

Michael

mboone@rtccom.net

6 comments:

Andrea said...

My great-grandfather took the steelworkers union into Ashland KY in the 20's or 30's and boy, did he have some stories to tell! He was shot at, poisoned, ran over, but managed to survive! I think that there was a legitimate need for unions back then, as working conditions were so unsafe/unfair.

My husband's union has saved his (and many other) job a number of times; the company is rabid about sending jobs to their Mexico plant...even going so far as to conduct an illegal lock-out and violate fair labor practices. Thankfully our union was there to protect it's workers or we'd be in the bread lines right now.

But like you said...there needs to be balance. Too much power on either side is a bad thing.

Shelly said...

I agree Andrea, there needs to be balance. My husband is union, but now afraid to admit that. Also, rumor has it when stocks go below 10,000 they may go way down and a new bottom will be set. Prep! Prep! Prep! Ohio's unemployment fund is out of money as of the end of this month and will need more money from the gov't to give the people, and a Rite Aid and another factory just shut down. The fact that a Rite Aid is closing scares me more than the factory, because of it being such a large chain store. Hope that's just a fluke, but they're selling everything at 50% off, so nothing is transferring to another store.

Great site here Micheal. Just found ya.

Chief Instructor said...

Companies are in business for one reason - to make money. They're not in business to give you or me a paycheck and health insurance. Their job is to keep their shareholders happy.

In a competitive environment, the company and I come to an understanding - I'll work for you for this much money and these benefits. They'll look around and see if they can get better value somewhere else. The value of my experience and know-how compared with the next guy's.

Our government has given business an incentive to look elsewhere for the "next guy". When you add in local, state and federal taxes, and top that off with unprofitable wages, suddenly the under-trained guy in Bangladesh looks pretty appealing.

Unions clearly had a place, but they evolved into socialist organizations. They're just like government: You're not rewarded for what you bring to the table - productivity - you're rewarded for longevity.

Where business failed their shareholders - and all of America - was by agreeing to union terms in the first place. What we're now witnessing is business correcting that mistake.

This, though, will likely bite them in the corporate butts. Who can afford to buy their products now?

A vicious circle, indeed.

Shy Wolf said...

Does anyone other than me find it interesting that the state with the lowest unemployment in the U.S. is a "right to work" state?
True, there aren't that many people living in the Dakotas, but the fact they're all working says a lot for the state. After all, how much hay can there be to mow?
As Chief said, companies want to make money and when they're taxed and waged to death, it's foolish to the investors to remain where they're being robbed- litterally- by the unions and gov.
Not to mention, if the Dark Lord wants it, then you know beyond any shadow of doubt, that it's going to be bad for America.
And he wants unions.
Some way, the window has to be cleaned so people can see and understand what's going on in this country.
Shy III

Mayberry said...

Unions are still relevant. We tried to organize the power plant I worked at due to tyrannical management. It didn't go through, and I was fired for my efforts. But my jaw hits the floor when I hear of assembly line guys working for $50 an hour or more, and the guy sweeping the floor making $25. I hear the guys at the toyota plant in San Antonio make around $30 on the top end, which ain't nothin' to sneeze at. They're not union. Anyways, greed on both sides is pulling that pendulum. Some smart dead guy once said "All things in moderation", but nobody pays attention to those smart dead guys. What a shame....

HermitJim said...

No such thing as a winning side any more! I'm just glad I'm out of the loop for a bit!