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Topic: Would You Cross a Picket Line?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 28 2013, 10:21 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My company has union and non union shops. My shop is non union and one line that I know of is supplied by a union shop that has rejected a contract proposal and went on strike. My company has sent employees from my plant, (temps and full time) there to keep up production. I suppose that if I were in dire straights that I might do it, but my conscious would take a major hit.
What say you? Would you care? Would you do it?

Just curious.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 28 2013, 10:27 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My Dad was a union worker for the telephone co., back when it was only 1 company. He crossed many picket lines because, as he put it, he had 6 mouths to feed and no matter what the raise ended up being he would never recoup the lost wages.

As for me, I was a union electrician and never crossed a line.  We had one set up after we got to work once, in Boston, and we all went home as soon as it went up.  Walking out of work that day felt good.  I wouldn't like myself if I was working behind a legitimate picket line.

Which brings us to another topic: When is a picket line authorized?  in the case of contract negotiations, it is almost always legit.  Some unions have No Strike clauses, so most of those pickets are not authorized.  Our contract negotiations had a binding arbitration clause, so the IBEW never authorizes a strike.  

We, meaning most of the US, cheered for the workers in Poland when they held their Solidarity strikes, but we hold unions in low esteem right in our own country.  I do not understand why, since unions have done so much for us, and continue to do so.


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 28 2013, 10:55 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(ol-zeke @ Aug. 28 2013, 10:27 am)
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My Dad was a union worker for the telephone co., back when it was only 1 company.

So was my dad.  He was a union steward for the CWA and a founder of the local union credit union.  He would never have crossed a picket but during one strike he learned that the union negotiators weren't even in the county at times during a long strike.

He left the union and became one of the plaintiffs in right to work  lawsuit against the union seeking to recover the portion of the mandatory union dues spent on political rather than negotiation efforts.  the district court determined that 21% of the dues were spent on non-negotiation activities and thus had to be refunded to the non union members who were forced to pay union dues.

The union appealed the case, but before it was decided by the Court of Appeals another similar case decided by the Supreme Court (CWA v. Beck) which held against the union. Shortly thereafter the union sent him a check for the 21%.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 28 2013, 10:58 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have been a working member of the UAW here in the aerospace industry in SoCal for over 30 years.

I does not do much for the concept of solidarity if Union members cross the picket lines and become scabs. It undermines the entire idea of collective bargaining.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 28 2013, 11:01 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Cross one, and have, in a minute.

I can bargain for myself, thank you.


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 28 2013, 11:34 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I think it depends...  But my criterion isn't so much "union vs. non union" -- but whether the union employees have legitimate complaints or not.  Is the company screwing its people? Or is the union milking the company?

Solidarity regardless is kind of like 'patriotism' regardless.


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 28 2013, 1:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(TDale @ Aug. 28 2013, 10:01 am)
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Cross one, and have, in a minute.

I can bargain for myself, thank you.

You don't, and you never have.

Union members have fought, and many have died, for a lot of the rights that you take for granted in your false "independence".

Congratulations on being a "taker".
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 28 2013, 1:45 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Ben2World @ Aug. 28 2013, 10:34 am)
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I think it depends...  But my criterion isn't so much "union vs. non union" -- but whether the union employees have legitimate complaints or not.  Is the company screwing its people? Or is the union milking the company?

Solidarity regardless is kind of like 'patriotism' regardless.

How many companies and corporations consciously work against their own self-interest?
Do you really think companies don't collude and combine to protect their own self-interest?

No, we don't expect them to work against their own interests or not to use any potential advantage, legal or not - that's practically the definition of the beast.

Yet, we are so easily persuaded to work against the self-interest of working people?

I too believe there are "silly" grievances, but the nature of what's "silly" and what's not should be worked out in a meeting that's among the workers themselves.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 28 2013, 1:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Completely missed my point, Gabby.

If I think companies never work or even collude to protect their own interests -- sometimes against the best interests of their own employees --  then I would be completely anti union.  But obviously I am not.

My point is that union members should not support fellow unions "as a matter of principle".  This is the sort of ideology that gets exploited -- much like 'patriotism' in a larger scale -- to the detriment of everyone concerned.

I trust cgap to be sufficiently informed to discern whether a particular strike has merits -- or not -- and lend his support when appropriate.


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 28 2013, 1:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

When I was a member (IBEW), no.

Otherwise it would depend on the basis for the action as some are straight on B.S. and when you add in the occasional thuggery and intimidation I get stubborn.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 28 2013, 2:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have been thinking that the decades long shrikage of real wages for the workers in America is going to cause a backlash of worker actions to reestablish some bargaining power with the multi national corporations.

When some intelligent, well organized and technically proficient leaders create a way to organize workers from small businesses into a coalition, using social media and the internet, we will have a new, and much more effective, voice for workers rights.

It took a lot of provocation and a lot of suffering by the workers to motivate the first union building a hundred years ago, but I think, and hope, that we may have an even more powerful force growing from the present exploitation of worker productivity without appropriate reward in real wages.

The corporations are making record breaking profits, and the workers should be making record breaking wages, right along with them.  

And both sides would benefit greatly if that happens, just as was true in the 20th Century.


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 28 2013, 2:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Ben2World @ Aug. 28 2013, 12:51 pm)
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Completely missed my point, Gabby.

...and you missed mine. (Why do you seem to have this same conversations so often? Think about that every once in a great while?)

If you actually believe that corporations don't ally themselves to support their own interests, even to their own short term detriment in order to defeat "enemies", whoever they are - you are most definitely naive.

My point is that, unlike corporations, who wield extreme power because of the very structure of that system, unions must depend upon solidarity and working together as leverage to get anything whatsoever.

To go up against the boss, you must be a united front. Internally, dissent is perfectly acceptable. In public, there must be a united front. The individual does not, by accepting the advantages of being in a union, get to make personal decisions. You make your voice heard among your fellows, but you shut up and accept the vote when it comes time to deal. Not much would be gained if it was everyone for himself. Abandon the simple principle of unity and everything else is lost.

It's hard enough to get a group of people to agree under the worst conditions - read labor history for examples - but, without some principle in less difficult times that can be exploited for advantage against a stronger foe, you got nothing.

Yeah, there are those like TDale who "bargain for themselves" and who are exploited by the boss as examples in order to break the will of the union, and who are eventually exploited more directly because, after all, even the boss doesn't really appreciate someone who'd do that.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 28 2013, 2:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Gabby @ Aug. 28 2013, 11:20 am)
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(Ben2World @ Aug. 28 2013, 12:51 pm)
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Completely missed my point, Gabby.

...and you missed mine. (Why do you seem to have this same conversations so often? Think about that every once in a great while?)

If you actually believe that corporations don't ally themselves to support their own interests, even to their own short term detriment in order to defeat "enemies", whoever they are - you are most definitely naive.

My point is that, unlike corporations, who wield extreme power because of the very structure of that system, unions must depend upon solidarity and working together as leverage to get anything whatsoever.

To go up against the boss, you must be a united front. Internally, dissent is perfectly acceptable. In public, there must be a united front. The individual does not, by accepting the advantages of being in a union, get to make personal decisions. You make your voice heard among your fellows, but you shut up and accept the vote when it comes time to deal. Not much would be gained if it was everyone for himself. Abandon the simple principle of unity and everything else is lost.

It's hard enough to get a group of people to agree under the worst conditions - read labor history for examples - but, without some principle in less difficult times that can be exploited for advantage against a stronger foe, you got nothing.

Yeah, there are those like TDale who "bargain for themselves" and who are exploited by the boss as examples in order to break the will of the union, and who are eventually exploited more directly because, after all, even the boss doesn't really appreciate someone who'd do that.

Think though what you wrote, Gabby.  Starting with your own writing...

"If you actually believe that corporations don't ally themselves to support their own interests, even to their own short term detriment in order to defeat "enemies", whoever they are -" --- whatever gave you that idea?

Again -- read what I wrote above.  If I thought companies always acted altruistically for the greater good of all -- never colluding -- never conspiring... then I would have been totally anti-union.  WHY do you think I am not at all anti-union?

Please stop dragging ridiculous points that no one here is believing in -- and then somehow attacking them for holding these beliefs!

My point is that there are sometimes legitimate grievances -- and sometimes not.  I would not blindly support unions just because I am a member -- just as I do not believe my country is always right just because I am a proud citizen of that country.  Get it finally??


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 28 2013, 2:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

So, Ben, what would be your suggestion for reestablishing a balance between the wildly profitable corporations, and the shrinking real wages of the workers?

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 28 2013, 2:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(tamarac @ Aug. 28 2013, 10:58 am)
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I have been a working member of the UAW here in the aerospace industry in SoCal for over 30 years.

I does not do much for the concept of solidarity if Union members cross the picket lines and become scabs. It undermines the entire idea of collective bargaining.

I worked in the SoCal aerospace business (Boeing's Long Beach plant) for over two decades.  It was a UAW shop.

I was never a member of the union, but I crossed the picket line during two different strikes.  It was a bit scary, but worth it to me.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 28 2013, 2:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

QUOTE
My point is that there are sometimes legitimate grievances -- and sometimes not.  I would not blindly support unions just because I am a member -- just as I do not believe my country is always right just because I am a proud citizen of that country.  Get it finally??
By sacrificing the only tool you have as a union member to effect change, you'd completely undercut the ability to get any change whatsoever. That is what you don't understand.

This is the principle that we seem to forget, even as a country. We vote for individuals to represent us (representative democracy), and then we must, at least for the duration of the term, accept that this is what we, as a nation (or a state or a county or a precinct), have chosen.

Yes, we absolutely debate the appropriateness of specific actions; we continue to be the "loyal opposition", but we don't attempt to dissolve the union because we didn't "get our way".

Dissenting internally and participating in the union - fine.
Abandoning the union's principles as an individual - despicable.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 28 2013, 2:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(wwwest @ Aug. 28 2013, 2:32 pm)
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So, Ben, what would be your suggestion for reestablishing a balance between the wildly profitable corporations, and the shrinking real wages of the workers?

Get them together in a big "Come to Jesus" meeting?
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 28 2013, 2:40 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Gabby @ Aug. 28 2013, 2:33 pm)
QUOTE
QUOTE
My point is that there are sometimes legitimate grievances -- and sometimes not.  I would not blindly support unions just because I am a member -- just as I do not believe my country is always right just because I am a proud citizen of that country.  Get it finally??
By sacrificing the only tool you have as a union member to effect change, you'd completely undercut the ability to get any change whatsoever. That is what you don't understand.

This is the principle that we seem to forget, even as a country. We vote for individuals to represent us (representative democracy), and then we must, at least for the duration of the term, accept that this is what we, as a nation (or a state or a county or a precinct), have chosen.

Yes, we absolutely debate the appropriateness of specific actions; we continue to be the "loyal opposition", but we don't attempt to dissolve the union because we didn't "get our way".

Dissenting internally and participating in the union - fine.
Abandoning the union's principles as an individual - despicable.

I had no idea that crossing another union's picket line was the same as " attempt[ing] to dissolve the union".

Who knew?
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 28 2013, 2:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

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just as I do not believe my country is always right just because I am a proud citizen of that country
This is my bitch with you on this subject as well.

Many times, I absolutely agree with you on a general principle concerning our country's foreign and domestic policies, but your selection of specific instances about which to complain is so arbitrary, and many times so downright erroneous that I see you as someone who simply "buys into" the most ridiculous propositions.

For examples, see any of your posts on the mostly spurious NSA/Snowden stories that have been all the rage on the right for the past few months, or the Syrian civil war. I often find myself asking if you ever support any foreign policy of the US? You come off as a knee-jerk idiot most of the time, at least to me.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 28 2013, 2:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ken, I know you're just being a $hit as "payback" (and I expect no less), but exactly how many tools do you think a union has in its "arsenal"? You may be anti-union, but you certainly know the answer to this question.

BTW: My jibes at you in other threads were about attempting to be ridiculous in order to "wake you up" to your own failings, which  comments are, seemingly, similarly as stupid as your comments here. So what is there about my attitude here that you don't like?

The worldview we create for ourselves is a trap, isn't it? (FYI: I myself have "crossed a picket line" to work for the boss. My reasons were naive and self-serving, as well as self-defeating. We grow older - hopefully, we grow wiser.)
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 28 2013, 2:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Get them together in a big "Come to Jesus" meeting?

I'm thinking, "Come to Gaea" will be more effective these days.

We need the young workers for this battle, not the old white guys.


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 28 2013, 3:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Q: Would You Cross a Picket Line?
A: In general, no.  But I would never say never.  Not all causes are created equal.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 28 2013, 4:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Dayum, I'm glad I have hip waders.

Scenario: You need a haircut.  Do you get your group to negotiate with their group to decide where and how and how much to pay for a haircut?  Or do you just go get a haircut?

Agreed, unions had their place.  HAD.


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 28 2013, 4:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

There are some things I just don't do. Crossing a picket line is one of them.  I'm many things, but I'm not a scab.  I've been involved in two major strikes, both very ugly.  The first time I was fired, illegally I might add.

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(TDale @ Aug. 28 2013, 1:05 pm)
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Dayum, I'm glad I have hip waders.

Scenario: You need a haircut.  Do you get your group to negotiate with their group to decide where and how and how much to pay for a haircut?  Or do you just go get a haircut?

Agreed, unions had their place.  HAD.

There's a distinct difference between a customer and a worker.  So I don't see how your analogy adds up.

That aside, I whole-heartedly disagree with your "HAD" comment.  The union I have belonged to for over 30 years has, and still does support important issues for worker safety.  My job is decidedly safer today than it was when I started back in early 80's.  Those safety improvements were realized through strong union support, not from benevolent employers.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 28 2013, 4:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(wwwest @ Aug. 28 2013, 11:32 am)
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So, Ben, what would be your suggestion for reestablishing a balance between the wildly profitable corporations, and the shrinking real wages of the workers?

No easy answer.

Not all, but much is based on simple 'supply and demand' -- more and more foreign workers are now able to do the kind of semi-skilled as well as skilled labor that American workers do -- and America must compete with the rest of the world -- so pressure on wages will always be a big factor now.

Two thoughts that come to mind...

Unions will continue to have their role.  Everything being equal, collective bargaining has advantages over lone, individual 'bargaining' -- an obvious fact that Gabby seems to think he alone understands.

Education is critical.  Kids need to focus on their skill sets -- real money is almost always in innovation -- thinking up ideas or making things that others either haven't thought about or can't do yet.


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(Gabby @ Aug. 28 2013, 11:42 am)
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QUOTE
just as I do not believe my country is always right just because I am a proud citizen of that country
This is my bitch with you on this subject as well.

Many times, I absolutely agree with you on a general principle concerning our country's foreign and domestic policies, but your selection of specific instances about which to complain is so arbitrary, and many times so downright erroneous that I see you as someone who simply "buys into" the most ridiculous propositions.

For examples, see any of your posts on the mostly spurious NSA/Snowden stories that have been all the rage on the right for the past few months, or the Syrian civil war. I often find myself asking if you ever support any foreign policy of the US? You come off as a knee-jerk idiot most of the time, at least to me.

I do not support arrogance -- e.g. America (or whichever other country) drawing up some red line arbitrarily to be applied to others.

I do not support hypocrisy -- e.g. the high decibel demonization of Chinese hacking coming from Obama and Hillary and Kerry -- and then after Snowden blows our cover -- the hypocrisy coming from Obama that, hey, EVERYBODY does it!

I do not support ignorance -- knee jerk reactions to "hey we need to do something now" -- without even an interest in thinking though consequences.  Esp. shameful coming in the aftermath of our misadventure in Iraq.


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 28 2013, 4:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Many of the workplace protections our union forbears fought so hard to win are now encoded into law.  Thus arguments that unions are vital to workplace safety are probably tenuous at best. The fact that union membership has fallen so dramatically in recent decades while work-related injuries, illnesses and fatalities continued to decline attests to a limited relationship between union presence and workplace safety today--at least in the US. As always, there are exceptions, but the data bears this out.

It's mostly about compensation nowadays, and I think most private sector union employees now understand the trade-off between higher wages and a reduced number of jobs. The bankruptcies of GM and Chrysler underscore this issue, as does the rise of auto manufacturing in the South.

Is is in the public sector, which is much more unionized, where the reality of constrained budgets and overburdened taxpayers is confronting the perks of public employment. It is hard to have a lot of sympathy for public employees that want the benefits of higher wages/benefits and lifetime employment.


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Ben2World Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 28 2013, 4:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Gabby:

Instead of your usual name calling's -- why not try to post something constructive -- telling us why you believe we are wrong and why you believe you are correct?   :;):


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 28 2013, 5:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

I think that they have a legitimate gripe. TDale is my friend, but I disagree with his post. I don't think that he has ever had the pleasure of working for a large corporation.  :)  

http://www.tennessean.com/article....n-plant
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