Monday, March 14, 2011

I ain't a union thug

So will all you motherfuckers please differentiate the difference between public and private sector unions before you start talking shit about Union Thugs?
The only person that I have make a difference between the two was the good ol' boy at Green Mountain Homesteading. Everybody else lumps all union members in the same mold.
We ain't.
I'm a union member and have been all my adult life, first Machinists and then Teamsters. And I'm so fucking conservative that I think Rush is a whiney liberal pussy.
While I do appreciate the fact that I make a good wage and have decent health benefits because of collective bargaining through my union, I do not agree (even a little bit) with my locals' political leanings, nor do I follow their voting "guidelines". Matter of fact, it's a great guideline for me to not follow - when I get it in the mail I study who or what to NOT vote for.
I was over at my folks house the other day and my dumbass California Girl niece started quizzing me about shit she heard on Fox News - shit like was I union thug and did I work for the Teamsters. I could not convince her (again, California Girl niece) that while I belonged to the Teamsters, I did not work for them and no, I was not a union thug by any means.
So will you please let folks know there is a difference? Some of us have to actually belong to a union in order to work at a particular job site. Just because we're there doesn't mean we agree with the politics.


Bella said...

I could go on a rant here, and maybe I will. You never work for a union and if we have our shit together, they would work for us! I get pissed off at anti-union youngsters that don't understand. Their benefits and wages are because of union members. There would not be a minimum wage if it wasn't for unions. If you haven't been locked out of your job or on strike....then you have been riding on the back of the union members that fight for the smallest of a pension, medical, dental, vacation, personal days, family days, just for an example.

A thug, maybe I am. I've also been on strike or locked-out for over a year and a half (in total)(without pay)for over 35 mofo years for our future generation. Sometimes I think that I should have just put down the picket sign, and kept my mouth shut.

I still miss Jimmy Hoffa. ;)

This generation better grow some balls.

Bushwack said...

Hell I worked in a union too a couple times in my life. For the same reason, A company wanted to hire me but I had to join the union first. I never liked some of the crap they did, didn't like where they spent my dues for political party's I didn't agree with.

I never put you in the "Union Thug" category. I figured you were a teamster or or something. The issue with unions that is front and center now is not with PRIVATE unions. The problem is with the PUBLIC unions. Here's why:

Public unions are DEMOCRAT voting machines. They ALL donate HUGE to DEMOCRATS which is FINE. Except when you see the policies THEY voted for causing the PRIVATE sector so much pain.
No jobs other than Government jobs means less revenue for the state which means less money to pay the public workers. Had these unions voted for GOOD leaders rather than party perhaps there would be money to pay their package?... Right now, the nation sees NO HOPE for employment in the private sector and see these union goons protesting about some bargaining power.... Fuck them. My company is barely hanging on, we've had to pay up for HC costs, we haven't had a raise in 2 years and these folks are whining? Again I say FUCK THEM.

wirecutter said...

Okay, I see something in both comments. Yeah Bella, I done some time on the strike line and would do it again if need be, although I seriously hope I would never have to.

Bushwhack, I can also understand the Companys' bottom line. I know company owners that haven't been paid in a year and yet it kills them to have to let their few employees go.

And I would be surprised if I got a raise that even came close to cost of living this year.

Christopher said...

Hey nice to hear this! I have really been getting tired of hearing how bad all Unions are. I'm a firefighter and we can choose whether or not to be in the union we are not forced. Our union fights for us all the time. Stupid IAFF(International Association of Firefighters) promoted the shit out of Obama though. That made me mad.

Joshkie said...

Fuck minimum wage and fuck the forty hour work week.

Pay should be like any other free market business transaction. You are selling your self and skills to the highest bidder. If I have to pay a high minimum wag I'm going to expect a high level of skill to go with it, and they better be willing to take out the trash to.

Who made our jobs responsible for saving for our retirment. We've became a bunch lazy ass whiners pushing off our personal responsibilities on to our employers.

There's been many a time I wanted to make a little bit of extra money, so I had to take the time to find a second job, because my curent job couldn't afford to pay the overtime; eventhough they had the work they'd just hire part time.
I don't make any more money with the 40 hour work week I just get to wast my time looking and filling out paperwork.

Union leader ship should be required to work in the fields they represent. Unions should be company specific, why should pay scale be set standard for a whole industry.

Fuck Unions,

Holden said...

FYI- it is against federal law for unions to spend dues money on politicl campaigns. They contribute using funds from PACs (political action committees) that were given voluntarily and specifically for campaigns.

Anonymous said...

I think the proper way to handle government sector unions is to have the public (whose taxes pay the union members salaries) vote on union proposals. Government officials don't have any skin in the game, it's not their money that they bargain with. Let the public have the last word.


Sevesteen said...

My experience with unions has been as a non-union computer tech in a union auto plant. Lots of decent hard working individuals, but the union protected the useless and lazy. There were times it took 3 different trades to accomplish something I could have done myself--not because I'm that awesome, but because of lines of demarcation prevented any one person from being allowed to do it all.

I don't have much problem with local unions. Where the balance goes bad is when a local strike affecting a fraction of a percent of (for instance) GM's workers can cripple half the company.

Anonymous said...

OK.. Up front... I've never been a union member. Never had to. Always worked in a 'right to work state' with an exception that one time In Missouri. Where I had a dust-up with a crooked Union Steward. During Union contract negoiations, he wanted corporate to cut a seperate deal for him and he would make sure the new contract went through. This really soured me about Unions. early in the last century, Unions were a good thing as they protected workers rights. I worked for several airlines, in a management capacity, over the years and always thought the Union thugs and rank-and-file workers had different agendas. Now retired and actively hating every thing Obama... and Muslim..

Alex in Georgia

Frankenstein Government said...

Glad to see the distinction here between private and public unions. Without private unions, we'd all be making chump change.

Public unions are an entirely different animal. There is no collective bargaining because the side arguing for taxpayers- quite frankly doesn't give a shit. It ain't their money and they don't have any skin in the game. In a classic owner v worker private co. negotiation both sides have skin in the game.

I grew up in a union mining town. Fucking mine owners were killing people left and right- offering nothing and making millions. It is was and still is class warfare. Same game, different century.

skidmark said...

Unions had their place back when the government believed that the business of the government was Big Business. Now that the government has turned into regulating everything under the sun there is a question if unions are still needed for their original purposes.

Lots of folks like me who never belonged to a union understand that lots of what we get (pay, benefits, holidays, etc.) would not be there if not for the folks who walked the picket lines years ago. But when my job that requires a college degree (not for fluff, but because of government regulation/licensing) and does what society consider essential service, yet pays me less than 1/3rd of what some guy tightening the lug nuts on the left rear wheel on a car rolling down the assembly line, I wonder about the continuing need for unions. I can't buy a new car every year - heck, I can't buy a new car every 5 years! But lugnut guy spends like a drunken sailor because he knows he has a cherry pension and health care plan waiting for him when he quits the job after 20 years. Me? My 401K went belly up years ago and Social Security may not be there much longer. I just hope Food Stamps are still around.

The thing is, all te really bad things that management used to do to labor are not only history but prevented by government regulation. What we are down to these days, from where I see things, is how much of a raise, if any, is coming next year, and how little of the total cost of health care and other benefits has to be paid by the individual employee.

And it's not all union workers, or all union jobs, but some - the ones that seem to get all the publicity - who are willing to pull the all-or-nothing stand. Meet their demands or close down the company seems to be more of a risk these days for the workers than for the stockholders. Stockholders can use writeoffs and credits to still make money off of an industry that's been run into the ground by wage/benefit demands.

And for Bella - you may still miss Jimmy Hoffa, but do you also miss the corruption and criminal activity that went on?

stay safe.

davidc said...

I'm no thug either, was in CWA for 35 yrs,in a right to work state, walked several picket lines but never bashed anyone verbally or physically. It is still one of the better paying and benefits jobs(for a no college degreed person) in the area. It's a conservative area and many of us would vote that way.

Zavost said...

Unions served a purpose once, now they are liabilities (Private Unions). Public sector unions may technically be unconstitutional(even FDR did not spring those to life in his new utopia). Private unions bargain against "The Man" for a slice of the profits. Fairness of income and all that. Private folks want to unionize, go ahead, but do it without the Federal government. Free market forces and all that. In the Public Sector, "The Man" is "YOU", John Q. Taxpayer. The union negotiates with our political representative in government (Republican government and all that). That government representative would gladly see a Public sector union get a pay raise since that means more money donated to their party. This means that I will have to pay higher taxes to pay for a service that should be handled at the lowest possible political level (county, city, township, etc.) If I don't agree with what my political representative is doing, I vote people into office that WILL do what I want...please look at what is happening in Wisconsin. The will of the people being expressed.
I can't leave this without something on the private unions. They are why very little is made here in America any longer. The cost to produce anything in this country is higher than China and Vietnam. We are now a nation of consumers and debtors.
Again, I have no problem with that, per se, but if you have milked the cow down to a skeleton, protesting around the fallen cow gets no more milk out of it than protesting in front of a bankrupt capitol building will produce money out of thin air. Lets have some common sense.

Fuck Obama.

-Michael (zavost stoa)

Anonymous said...

I was in a union once, waste of dues payments.

Bushwack said...

I'm not about to say fuck all unions. For example I honestly believe the PD needs a union. Especially in big cities. Here's why: A cop shoots ghetto rat A, the first thing that happens is the Ghetto rats family says he was a good man. then Al or Jesse shows up (If a white cop did the shooting) then the city council starts an investigation... WHO REPS THE COP?

Firefighters? Same thing I'd imagine. Teachers too in a way deserve some representation against this law suit happy nation. BUT they should NOT take your union dues to pay for political partys.

Thats the issue, Unions have become POLITICAL ACTION UNIONS.

Put it like this:
IF Wisconsin was a business, the shareholders would be the taxpayers. The ROI is NOT THERE. The is no return on investment for the taxpayers in regards to the piss poor teachers you cant fire, or the street sweeper sleeping on his shift....I don't blame the unions for this crap I blame the idiots in office and just think the Unions vote for them.. WOW what a racket.

Phillip said...

I grew up in WV. I know that unions there started because the mine owners ended up pretty much owning the miners, due to company stores, paying in company scrip only good at the company store, and so forth. Back then, unions were a good thing. They kept a lot of people from dying, they made it so a man didn't have to work in the mines until he was a few days from death because of no retirement money. Great.

By the time I was growing up, though, the unions had forced so many mines closed due to striking them out of business that most people didn't have any work at all. I knew men who said "I'm a miner" when asked what they did, but when asked where they worked, would say they were waiting on 'Ol number 7 to call them back, it's been five years now... The UMWA would 'negotiate' so hard with a mine that the mine had to close down, because they simply couldn't do business at those prices and still make a profit. Man can't make a profit, he's not going to run a business, simple fact. When a mine would open that was willing to use non-union workers, the picket lines would start and anyone willing to cross it would not only be verbally abused, but would be pulled out of their truck and beaten, stabbed, or shot. I've seen many a truck with bullet holes in the windshield because the owner crossed a picket line, both personal vehicles and dump trucks.

I'm going to go with Skidmark. Unions used to have their place, but a lot of them have outlived that time.

Wouldn't consider you a Union thug, though. That was reserved for the ones that did the aforementioned shooting, stabbing, and beating.

Toaster 802 said...

Thanks for the props, Wirecutter.

Not much more for me to say here except fuck public sector unions, most of all and especially the teachers unions. It is really starting to look like I am going to end up homeschooling to avoid coming home to a HitlerJugend in my kitchen.

Bella said...

I was absolutely kidding about Jimmy Hoffa. Never met the guy, but I'm sure he's encased in some type of cement or swimming with the fishes. :0

Did I mention that I'm 54 years old, worked at the same company for 35 yrs., and have just got off of disability, and the company is now downsizing (contracting out) my job. Sucks, eh? AND The union couldn't stop this from happening. Ya, right. I see both sides. I believed in them at one time. I kinda like being a bit of a thug tho, makes me feel good.

Niki said...

There is no such thing as a Union Thug. There are Negotiators, there are members on strike and there are
guys who take care of business.