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originally posted by: TheRedneck
a reply to: Pyle
There are companies who screw over their employees; I've worked for some. The last one wound up having a class-action suit filed against them. I wound up getting paid for some of my "free" time through that.
But there are also companies who treat their employees well.
The concept of a union was that the workers were so essential to the companiy's success that they could pressure the company into treating the workers fairly. That was a good idea, and it worked. The early days of the unions saw working conditions improved, wages rose, and benefits gained. But at some point the equation changed. The unions began demanding more and more, spurred on by their successes, and eventually began making demands that the companies could not comply with. A company had two choices: succumb to outrageous demands that would probably cause them to fold, or go ahead and fold due to lack of workers. That's not much of a choice, but struggling through a little longer is preferable to closing the doors immediately.
There are two sides to every negotiation. As long as both sides have equal power, the negotiation usually goes well; both sides get part of what they want. If that power balance is shifted, though, the negotiation will go badly in the end for both parties. Many of the companies that left the US for factories overseas did so because they simply could not afford to pay the wages and benefits a union required.
I'm sorry, but putting tab A into slot B is simply not worth $100,000 a year plus insurance, matching 401k, and three weeks paid vacation per year.
The unions of today are not the same unions that existed when all the advancements were made. We're not talking about people striking because the company is shaving time off their employees' schedules or because they're refusing to pay what they offered. We're talking about some demands that are simply not doable. People who do not run businesses do not normally understand what the results of their demands are. I have a good friend who is retired from driving, great driver, good man, good worker. I was talking to him one day at a truck stop when he mentioned that if he owned the company, every driver would have a new truck. I told him that wasn't feasible... but he just couldn't understand. Like you, he wasn't looking at the company making money; he was looking at it from his perspective only.
That company has already invested huge sums of money into you the day you walk into the plant. They have built areas for you to work in, bought machinery and tools for you to use, and developed procedures to help you do the job more efficiently. They made a deal with you: you work at a specific job for a specific number of hours per week, and they pay you a specific amount. That's the deal. You agreed to it. You can renegotiate that deal, of course, but when you do so with the power to close their doors, that's not exactly fair to the business owners.
That's what today's unions do. If there's a strike, it's not the workers at that plant that are standing outside; the unions bus in people to stand around and hold signs, making a lot of noise that damages the company. So what does the company do? They give in, start skimming as much out of the company as they can for as long as they can, and let it go bankrupt. The people behind that company have sunk a lifetime into it and they expect compensation too. In the end, the company quietly announces that they are moving to Mexico or China, lays off their workers, and closes the doors.
Who loses? Everybody. The workers are out of work and often unable to find another job quickly. The community loses the income the workers used to spend and dies. The company owners now have to either move or run their company from a distance. The only winners are in the places where there were no unions making unreasonable demands.
The modus operandi as of late is to move the companies to the South where unions are not in power but access to US advantages still exist. So we are the winners. We get the jobs you had, and they still pay well. Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee are the new auto industry... forget Michigan. Michigan wanted too much in high wages, outlandish benefits, and higher taxes/regulations. So Michigan lost their job base and the South gained it.
Thank you for that.
originally posted by: hopenotfeariswhatweneed
A wage that pays enough so the worker doesn't require handouts and charity to make it ends meet.