An America Without Unions

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Cammmpbell, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. Cammmpbell
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    Cammmpbell Senior Member

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    You remember the old song performed by Tennessee Ernie Ford " You Load Sixteen Tons And What Do You Get, Another Day Older And Deeper In Debt"

    That's not just the words to a song.....it happened. The railroads, the mines, every small enterprise or company paid the least amount they could get by with and there were no benefits at all. People worked 12 hours a day for less than a dollar and their mid day meal. If the company one was working for heard a complaint or a discouraging word an employee was told to collect their pay and find another job.

    In the 1940's and early 50's a corporate executive earned about $20,000-$25,000 per year.Along about that time the unions began to negotiate for and gain some salary amounts and benefits. Every time the union was about to be successful at some effort the companies(by default) gave it to their salaried people first........where I worked sometimes as close as two weeks before they awarded it to the union employees.

    By the 70's a corporate executive's pay had increased to several hundred thousand dollars a year because the unions were begining to accomodate base line employees with a living wage and new benefits each year.

    When I hired in with Union Carbide Corp. in 1952 they had a pension plan but cost was shared by the employee. A person earning $4000-$5000 a year who had a family of four usually didn't even take part in the guaranteed lifetime pension which was based upon their salary at retirement and their years of service. They couldn't afford it if they planned to educated their children. I was single and began the first day to pay into the pension plan.

    About 4-5 years later the union negotiated for and received a company funded pension plan and they negotiated for it to be retroactive. I received a lump sum payment for every penny I had paid into the plan and retired with a company funded pension after 41 years service.

    People today have no clue about what the unions did for ordinary employees. The only reason companies today pay anybody a goddam dime more than they have to is the threat of a union. If they weren't still on the scene companies would still have railroad workers living in side cars paying half of their salary in rent and miners would still be working in totally unsafe conditions for enough to buy their groceries at the stores the companies operated.

    The youth of today look around and think companies are on their side, and a few are, but for the most part a company operates for the highest bottom line profit and would screw their own kin for each employee to earn $10 a week less or to not be required to carry health insurance. Before unions there was no such thing as OSHA or the EPA and employees worked in asbestos, uranium, coal mines, and all manner of other potentially unsafe conditions and men bragged about working in the most adverse conditions. I know....I worked in the Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant(ORGDP) where the light green powdered form of uranium was everywhere and the operators didn't even wear masks or wear an individual badge to determine radiation exposure till the early 70's

    If there had never been such a thing as a union 90% of the employees of today would be working for a pittance in completely unsafe conditions. A company has never given anybody a dime they didn't have to and they never will. Thank goodness a few large corporations who employ mostly well educated technical personnel have begun to see the light and voluntarily treat the employees with respect and pay them good salaries.......It happens about as frequently as teeth in a chicken.
     
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  2. Big Fitz
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    Big Fitz User Quit *****

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    Private sector unions have their place. It's when they kill the golden goose (aka make their industries uncompetitive and fail) that there are problems. They were meant for and still can be useful in preventing abuse from corporations to workers, and this is a good and proper reason for unions. It's when they go beyond that original task they become cancers on the public.

    Public sectors should be criminalized. Contracts are not negotiated with those that must pay the tab, they are negotiated by a third party that is not directly affected if things fail because they can always take more money from those who do by dint of force. This ultimately creates a 'political class' who begins to think themselves masters, not servants of the people.

    A private industry cannot imprison or threaten to hurt the public for the sake of keeping up with contracts that are impossible. The government does so on regular basis.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 18, 2012
  3. Caroljo
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    Caroljo Gold Member

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    Unions can be great, and they can be your enemy. I agree that years ago they were needed and helped people to earn a decent wage. But i think since they've evolved, some are just greedy. I believe it's the fault of many unions that the prices of our everyday products have skyrocketed, hell you used to be able to buy a brand new car in the 70's for $3000.00!
    Unions protect people, which is great. But they also have to protect the people that are idiots on the job and think they can get away with whatever they want, and the union is right there to represent them. That's why my husband would never be a union stewart....he refused to help someone that did something stupid and now wants to get away with it.
     
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  4. Truthmatters
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    Truthmatters BANNED

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    people power is what runs this country
     
  5. Cammmpbell
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    Cammmpbell Senior Member

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    LOL..........prove it. Wall St. gets a $800 billion bail out while the annual cost of all welfare, food stamps, public assistance is $70 billion. Republicans have everything going their way and they will go like a man......hog tied and screaming.

    I might add that the annual budget for the defense department is $700 billion......the annual interest on the debt that the Republicans left is about $500 billion.

    We need to put things in perspective...not that the people who are bible thumpers with dental problems and soiled jeans would understand it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2012
  6. Katzndogz
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    Katzndogz Diamond Member

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    Unions are like vampires, they can take a little blood every day and both vampire and host are happy. Then the unions get greedy and suck the host dry.
     
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  7. GHook93
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    GHook93 Aristotle

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    See this is what libs always try to do. Go to the extremes in order to save the current system. They also toss up a red herring with the justifying the public sector union, by placing arguments for the private sector.

    First, I want to say Private sectors have their place. However, public sectors should be disband. Although private sectors have their place, there power should be limited!

     
  8. washamericom
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    washamericom Gold Member

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    unions suck... outdated... legalized extortion...
     
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  9. iamwhatiseem
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    iamwhatiseem Gold Member

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    The unions served a great purpose in this country many years ago.
    By the 1970's they were as corrupt as the mafia, and some were controlled by the mafia.
    Since the 1990's all unions do today is take dues from workers and do little to nothing in return. Meanwhile the union bosses are fat cats living the life of royalty off of the backs of the people they are supposed to represent.
    Unions are powerless as long as American consumers choose price over everything and don't even put in the smallest of efforts to choose products manufactured in America.
     
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  10. occupied
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    occupied Gold Member

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    People who are familiar with the constitution know that public sector unions cannot be outlawed or forcibly disbanded, but some republicans are familiar with the tactic of chipping away a little at a time.
     

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