By on March 16, 2014

welcome-to-ride-home-happy

When Subaru of Wichita hired a non-union drywall hanger to assist with the construction of its new location, the United Brotherhood Of Carpenters And Joiners Of America Local 201 protested by having people stand outside the dealership with a sign that says, “SHAME ON SUBARU OF WICHITA”. So the owner of the dealership had an idea.

You can see the photo here but I’ll spare you the click if you want: the new sign is being held by people standing right next to the people holding the other sign, it’s in the same font and color scheme, and it says “FOR HAVING UNBEATABLE PRICES”.

Authentic LOL. The Wichita Eagle (not to be confused with the Texas Eagle, which is a Steve Earle song about growing up) has more:

[The dealership PR rep] says Subaru respects the union’s right to protest.

“We’ve actually given them lunch. We’ve invited them to visit our facilities.”

Wirtz says he’s convinced the people with the sign are simply hired by the union to stand there.

“It doesn’t really look like they want to be here anymore than we want them to be here, to be quite frank.”

He says they won’t discuss what’s going on.

“We don’t do comments or anything like that,” says Carpenters representative Chad Mabin.

Instead, he refers to a union flier with a drawing of a rat that appears to be eating an American flag.

While this seems like a minor dispute, it’s worth remarking on the fact that the power of blue-collar organizer labor has sunk in this country to the point where a dealership principal can safely mock a union that is protesting his business. Fifty years ago his shop probably would have burned to the ground overnight. I wrote a piece about a jewelry-store protest a while back, and most of it’s still true. Nobody cares about union “shame” any more. They have problems of their own, and they no longer think that a dictatorship of the proletariat will fix them.

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97 Comments on “Local Dealership Handles Union Dispute A Bit Differently...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

    Kinda like the people who respond to religious protesters by standing next to them holding a sign espousing the opposite view.

    And the beautiful thing is each side is using its right to free speech. Carry on exercising your rights gentlemen.

    Darn it Jack, now I have to go listen to Steve Earle while I try to get some paperwork done in my office. I guess I’ll soon know if those two things are compatible.

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    Isn’t that what the right wants so desperately? That everybody be an individual in the face of mounting wealth and power. Don’t challenge the status quo because you can be outsourced and there is nothing you can do about it? Please, this argument begs the question of how we fell apart while the rich got even wealthier off of us.

    PS: You can’t seriously claim they would burn down the dealership as a way of resolving power and claim that’s a part of the decline. That makes inane claims and completely ignores the institutional power and corporate power involved.

    • 0 avatar
      MrGreenMan

      I think that the central beef has moved on – these private sector unions, God bless them, but their day is over, and, although many point to the UAW killing GM, it was the UAW 40 years before the bankruptcy. The UAW today couldn’t get a street name changed in Flint, Michigan. The only noise I hear on the political right – and, even from guys who are in private sector trade unions – is that the public employee unions are a rigged game, because they just raise taxes and buy offices (i.e., Democrat politicians) where the Roosevelt sense of WASPy noblesse oblige that looked down upon having a built-in constituency voting for its own pay raise is long gone.

      For private sector unions – I incline like many to the position of Lech Walesa espoused at a speech at the Ballenger Field House – get the best wage you can, but know that you and the business owners are in the same boat – the same business – and you both sink or swim together.

      I’m just confused what private sector unions really have on offer these days – when Honda pays well to build plants in Ohio of all places for a non-union workforce, and over in Indiana, down in Kentucky – good jobs without a union and with benefits – I don’t see it. When private sector unions incline to the CIO model instead of the AFL model and want to bring in lots more unskilled labor, it just seems wrongheaded, as the classic union proposition was to artificially restrict the labor supply, which makes me think they don’t understand economics on any scale. There’s a certain repugnance to making a union just a political voting group and trying to get enough people on the city council or state legislature or Congress to vote a certain way, but, if there’s another way that a union today could improve the lot of its people – go for it. Perhaps the criticism of the UAW and other private sector unions, that have been on a decline and seen maybe 75% reduction since 1979, is that they haven’t changed with the time and need to figure out how to reinvent themselves and deliver something to their people? If they can deliver something to their people (see Tier II wages as a sign they can’t), it really doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks, they would be doing their job of raising up their members’ lots, and they don’t appear to be doing that.

      When the stick approach doesn’t work anymore – like this story says – perhaps it’s time to figure out a new approach that would convince people that unionized workers are a better value.

      This sign is hilarious at the dealership, by the way.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Considering I know folks from deep in union country who were threatened to their face and had their work-sites razed to the ground in the middle of the night because they weren’t union, I’ll let Jack’s exaggeration pass. (And please, no apologetics–you can’t say that it didn’t happen, so don’t bother with the whole “They don’t do that” spiel.) Instead of thinking of it as losing power, I prefer to think of it as more people have human decency nowadays.

      And frankly, I don’t see this as a right/left issue. Both political parties want the same thing–power–and will promise anything to get it. They really don’t stand for anything or want anything more or less. That’s why despite all the rhetoric, the only thing that changes each election is whose friends get a slice of the pork.

    • 0 avatar
      SayMyName

      Seeing a company openly mock a union (and in a classy way, at that) makes me genuinely proud to be an American this morning. Unions have already done enough to decimate Wichita’s aviation sector.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      @Xeranar:
      “mounting wealth and power”
      “we fell apart”
      “the rich got even wealthier off of us”
      “institutional power and corporate power”

      Your reply to Jack’s article makes no sense, except to fully expose your sense of victimhood and class envy at the slightest opportunity.

      Please juxtapose your comments with the fact that the dealership hired a local non-union shop to hang drywall. Gimme a break. Maybe the dealership didn’t want to pay top dollar. And maybe – just maybe the workers they hired don’t have starving children.

      You’ve gone non-linear on a rather mundane issue. There’s no king-serf thing going on here, no master-slave relationship. The workers got paid what they asked for, and that should be the end of it.

      What you’re really angry about is that the non-union shop even exists.

      • 0 avatar
        BobinPgh

        And maybe – just maybe the workers they hired don’t have starving children.

        You mean some of these people decided not to breed and now can’t pull the “but my kids won’t eat” card? Good for them!

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        Please, if you actually follow my posts you would know I don’t think I’m a victim at all. You pulled a classic right-wing trope to assume any attack at class structure and acknowledgement of shortcomings in capitalism means I feel victimized. If anything my general demeanor is bordering on raging fighter on these issues. My post actually pointed out how this fight is being narrated as an individual against an individual and trying to equate them as equals because for the right’s view of capitalism to survive you need to assume a very false idea.

        To put it bluntly I called Jack out for using a false narrative to sell the agenda. Regardless of my personal views on unions and lets be honest, there is no need to be non-union except to be a vulture in the name of greed. It was and is irrelevant to the thought I presented. I’m merely pointing out how incongruent this idea is with reality. We can fight back and win but we need to know that we can fight back which is something I think lost on your side’s train of thought.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          >Regardless of my personal views on unions and lets be honest, there is no need to be non-union except to be a vulture in the name of greed.<

          Nothing could be further from the truth. Public employee unions and the most visible national private unions contribute to political campaigns for the party that wants to flood the labor market with unskilled labor while making energy expensive. Both of these objectives will make labor less valuable. Whatever is motivating you, it isn't concern for people that work for a living.

        • 0 avatar

          > To put it bluntly I called Jack out for using a false narrative to sell the agenda.

          I don’t think anyone in particular can be called out per se for this category of failure.

          For example, if a child were told everyday by practically everyone that the earth is flat, and the sun revolved around this 6000 year old flat surface, and it’s turtles all the way down, they’d have to quite smart if not genius to figure differently.

          Blaming people born dumb for not being a genius seems unfair.

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          “there is no need to be non-union except to be a vulture in the name of greed”

          So I was right, you’re just angry that the drywall company isn’t unionized. Thanks for clearing that up.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            SCE: So you were right at what? You’re inferring I was ‘angry’ from a statement that had no clear association with that emotion?

            This is what the right is required to do to discount views that counter their own basically. You need to make me out to be militant, angry, somehow out of touch, in order to justify your own personal views. If you want to get down to brass tacks if all workers in an industry were unionized the prevailing wages would be the wages people got. In this case the undercutting non-union workers are who get the job but create economic tension within the work force and clearly that Subaru dealership could afford the few dollars an hour difference between them.

            The whole point I was making was that the non-union workers are being greedy by driving down the value of the market in order to pickup jobs from unscrupulous groups willing to hurt everybody in order to shave a few cents off their bottom line.

            So why don’t you try your right-wing talking points elsewhere since I just blew up your terrible psycho-analysis attempt.

            Geeber: You’re like an ugly penny, I just can’t get rid of you. How many times will I have to explain how their undercutting of wages in an industry actually hurts all workers in that industry and since they would get UAW prevailing wages they are in fact exploited on the most basic level. Compounded by the fact they built these plants in rural areas to create a small labor market that relies on them these workers are effectively exploited and abused because they have no recourse or way to fight against the plant. They can be shut down and left in the cold if they press too hard. I’ve explained this atleast a half dozen times and you keep refusing to accept it. That’s the sign of ignorance, Geeber, it doesn’t look good for you.

            As for the lean system, I have no idea what you’re talking about. You’re merging two different statements. I first pointed out the lean system of manufacturing is what drove the UAW to do two-tier wages (which in fact saved many of the jobs of the younger workers). Then I talked about quality from Japan being not as high versus the big 3 as so many at this place make hyperbolic statements about. You jumped on both and frankly you were wrong on both. But don’t let facts get in the way of your own insanity, please.

            As for you being well-read, congrats. Now why don’t you pull your head out of your ass on economics and start reading something that involves actual numbers instead of perceptions written by people in an era when conservative non-sense was the mainstream of business history. See, as a historian I know when and how books got published.

          • 0 avatar

            > Then I talked about quality from Japan being not as high versus the big 3 as so many at this place make hyperbolic statements about.

            Except for a while they were *significantly* better as measured by CR, right at the height of japanese acme vs domestic malaise.

            Coincidentally the reason for this should be right up your alley. A lot of the deep insights into how the japanese came to dominate production process of sophisticated manufacturing can’t be determined by only studying the superficial stuff. I’ve mentioned before how a workforce they can’t easily fire was turned into a net benefit by long term investment in personal relationships. A lot of idiots simply dismiss the resulting close knit culture as some “japanese spirit” voodoo BS without proper contrast (aka science). For example, if we make the same people compete with each other for their jobs next year, it’d be no surprise if they became too busy brown-nosing upward and stabbing each other in the back to give a damn about long term quality.

            https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/uaw-vw-works-council-regrouping-under-voting-fallout/#comment-2810337

        • 0 avatar
          geeber

          Xeranar: Regardless of my personal views on unions and lets be honest, there is no need to be non-union except to be a vulture in the name of greed.

          I’m still waiting for proof from you that the non-union workers employed at the transplant factories owned by Honda, Hyundai, Nissan and Toyota are being abused and exploited.

          Last time I checked, they seemed to be doing well, and producing quality products to boot.

          For that matter, I’m still waiting for proof from you that the use of the Toyota Lean Production System by Toyota and Honda hasn’t resulted in higher quality vehicles from those manufacturers as compared to those produced by the Big Three since the late 1970s and beyond.

          • 0 avatar
            tonycd

            geeber, I wouldn’t suggest that the non-union transplant workers are being “abused and exploited.” But I would suggest that the presence of unions elsewhere in the industry, and the implied possibility that dissatisfied/underpaid workers could unionize, exerts a competitive pressure that encourages management to keep pay and satisfaction high enough to keep the union out. Remove that floor and you might gradually see downward movement.

          • 0 avatar
            geeber

            tonycd, I doubt it. Toyota knows that it isn’t going to get the type of worker it wants by paying low wages and abusing him or her.

            And I would also argue that the UAW workers have benefited the Big Three’s adoption of various aspects of the Toyota Lean Production System.

            Robert Dewar was a foreman at the Ford Sharonville Transmission Plant in the 1970s. His book, A Savage Factory, chronicles his experiences at Ford.

            He paints a picture of a factory at war – workers against supervisors; supervisors against Dearborn; even workers against workers. The plant was dirty (actually, filthy would be a better term), the work was hard and the union really didn’t want to change the status quo any more than plant management did.

            Mr. Dewar came back to the same plant in 2009, and even wrote an article about his visit for this site. He was astonished – both that the plant still existed, and at the changes within the plant. He found a very clean plant, with workers doing jobs in a much more ergonomically acceptable manner. The old tensions between workers and plant management had almost disappeared.

            Why?

            Because the transplant operations forced Ford and the UAW to change the way they operated. The old ways weren’t working. The company pensioned off the hardliners in plant management and among those working on the line. The result was a much better work place for everyone – workers and supervisors.

            Let’s face it, Ford and the UAW didn’t make those changes out of the goodness of their hearts. They did it in response to competition.

          • 0 avatar

            > I’m still waiting for proof from you that the non-union workers employed at the transplant factories owned by Honda, Hyundai, Nissan and Toyota are being abused and exploited.

            This is simply a poor linguistic understanding of what the words mean. For example, if you happily return from a dealership with a car + full undercoating/etc purchased at well over MSRP, many would use the word “screwed” to describe this. However, it can also be argued if the customer is content with this free market exchange they weren’t “screwed” at all, even though no facts of the case have changed.

            It’s just a matter of fact that most employees can get a better deal through collective bargaining. Whether people choose to call it “exploitation” if a group is pressured into negotiating poorly is immaterial except to how they *feel* about it.

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            @ Geeber….excellent book. I believe it was you that got me to read it.

            “Rivet head” is also a great read

          • 0 avatar

            > the work was hard and the union really didn’t want to change the status quo any more than plant _management_ did.

            This is a very confusing claim. It seems out of the two groups here one was hired specifically to *manage* things, and one to hammer screws or however they’re managed.

            Now I’m no rocket surgeon but if a guy’s paid to do X, another guy does Y, and X ends up a cluster it doesn’t seem fair to assume everyone’s culpable and spread the blame around, which is just another way to say nobody’s responsible.

            Though to be fair it’s better than the usual dogpiling on Y guy for not doing X, too.

    • 0 avatar
      jeffzekas

      +1 for Xernar

  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    There was a time for unions, once, a long, long time ago in a universe far, far away.

    But the unions took the power that was allocated them and abused it by collectively bargaining some of their employers into bankruptcy and the union members out of their jobs.

    Then the government stepped in and mandated many requirements and restrictions on the employers, and the unions lost their bargaining chips.

    Some say the union lost its marbles, like when GM and Chrysler were collectively bargained to death for ever higher wages and even greater benefits packages, while the quality of the assembled cars drove the real-world buyers into the open arms of the foreigners and transplants.

    Good on this dealership for standing up for employers’ rights! Employers can hire anyone they want to, not just union members.

    • 0 avatar
      tuffjuff

      THIS.

      Aalso, I don’t even want a Subaru, but I wish I did so I could support a company that handles such a ridiculous situation so awesomely.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      Oh goody! More union-bashing click bait.

      highdesertcat’s second-to-last paragraph needs to be decoupled into its two mostly unrelated parts. Did GM and Chrysler cave too readily in union negotiations to keep the assembly lines humming? Probably. Did the wretched quality of those companies’ cars drive buyers into the arms of import makes? Definitely, including this buyer. Did the first one cause the second? I’ll swim against the tide of this page and say, mostly not.

      When my American-built 1986 car (it happened to be a Westmoreland VW) was delivered to me new, it was tight, functioned perfectly and had superior fit and finish. In the ensuing four years, it developed 60 defects by the time I lost count.. As with the American makers, those defects were not the fault of the workers in the final assembly facility. They were the direct result of poor component sourcing and quality control, which is purely a management function and mostly involved sloppy oversight of third-party suppliers. This, along with lazy and gutless committee product planning, did in Detroit more than anything. But as pointed out above, it is very much in the economic interest of our benificent overlords to keep the house slaves and the field slaves each obsessed that the other is the source of all their hardships. Don’t delude yourself for a minute that this isn’t by design.

      There’s a multimilliionaire in my state running a lavishly self-financed campaign for governor right now. Even though he has already been publicly exposed as a hypocritical and corrupt influence buyer himself, every one of his many TV commercials strains to mention that as governor, Cyrus Moneybags will fight fiercely against “powerful union bosses.” I’m waiting to see how long it will take him to track down this particular woolly mammoth so he can then courageously slay it.

      • 0 avatar
        Good ole dayz

        Consider that all manufacturers have to build to a price point in order to be able to retail the product at the price the market is currently supporting. UAW-burdened companies have the extra costs of union featherbedding and work rules and slacker mentality on the line (not to mention the ones getting stoned at lunch that it’s near impossible to fire), plus the “Cadillac health care plans” plus the legacy costs of above-market pensions.

        I’ve read though can’t state as fact, but find plausible as it explains much, that the UAW manufacturers spec lower-quality components from suppliers to help offset the expense of the UAW millstone around their necks. I find this plausible as it would explain the now several-decades long superiority in quality and longevity of the Asian brands compared to the UAW brands (as anyone who reads Consumer Reports knows).

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Good ole dayz, when I raised your point,

          “…that the UAW manufacturers spec lower-quality components from suppliers to help offset the expense of the UAW millstone around their necks…”

          some time ago, I was severely chastised by some of the self-styled auto industry gurus on this site for even suggesting such a scenario.

          But let me tell you that this has been my belief all along because when the foreigners started building them in America using American suppliers the quality of their vehicles went down the sh!thole, and was no better and no worse than that of the vehicles from the Detroit 3.

          • 0 avatar
            tonycd

            highdesertcat, I don’t know what “self-styled” whatnots “chastised” you with what degree of severity.

            I can, however, tell you that your confidently held belief about transplant vehicle quality is not supported by independent quality surveys. This includes Consumer Reports, which if anything has been accused of being pro-Detroit (with, for example, its recent cheerleading on behalf of the new Impala).

            You can believe whatever you want. You can even congratulate yourself for it. If you want others to agree, however, it helps to be correct.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            tonycd, sometimes word-of-mouth can do more damage to potential sales than independent quality surveys, even CR’s.

            I bought a UAW-made 2012 Grand Cherokee imported from Detroit and it has been problem-free so far.

            But if you take the time to visit safercar dot gov like I did and look up the problems reported you’ll understand why I don’t want to keep that potential Turkey beyond the factory warranty expiration date.

            And the same applies to owners of old-time Japanese vehicles like Camry or Accord. Many of them won’t buy them today if they are made in the states. Others who have, dumped them at the earliest opportunity.

            What sells those transplants today is the reputation for reliability earned by their Japanese-built predecessors in years past.

            As an example, look at the Nippon-Denso gas pedals of the Japanese-built Toyota products vs the CTS gas pedals of the American-built ones. None of the Denso pedals had to be recalled. Ever!

            There are tons of examples and many potential buyers actually take the time to look things up and do their due diligence.

            I currently own a San Antonio, TX,-built Tundra and so far it has been no-problems. But to hear some to the B&B tell it here on ttac and putc, the Tundra isn’t worth a hoot.

            And many owners cite examples of things that have gone wrong in their ownership experience.

            I believe them because I, too, have had some people tell me about the problems they have had with American-made and American-supplier furnished Toyota products.

            I’ll be trading off my 2011 Tundra at the end of this year or next, but I will buy another Tundra as long as the one I have remains trouble-free.

            One other thing, when working on my buddy’s Japanese-built 1989 Camry V6, we found that many of the parts are not interchangeable with those of the 1989 Camry V6 built in Kentucky; common items like rubber CV-joint boots, muffler systems, trunk lid, windshield rubber gasket, shift-lever handle button spring.

          • 0 avatar
            KrohmDohm

            Is it even remotely possible that high UAW labor costs were partially responsible for the cheap parts in malice era cars? If you spend money in one area it has to come out of somewhere.

        • 0 avatar
          tonycd

          So, it’s the UAW’s fault that GM made the Aztek ugly?

          • 0 avatar
            ChiCarGuy

            Sorry–couldn’t sit on the sidelines any longer. tonycd–the UAW didn’t make the Aztek ugly, but it forced GM to build muliple minivans off of one assembly line in order to build the volume needed to amortize the high costs driven by the UAW. When UAW contracts make it most costly to NOT build something than to build as many as possible under multiple brands, it dooms GM to make unnatural decisions. And we can all agree that the Ass-tek was unnatural.

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            Less than 10 percent of the total build costs come from direct labor.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            ” it forced GM to build muliple minivans off of one assembly line in order to build the volume needed to amortize the high costs driven by the UAW.”

            I’m sorry, but that’s nonsense.

            Originally, GM’s brands were narrowly focused. They were more similar to the current concept of a nameplate than genuine brands.

            Over time, each of those marques wanted more turf. The brand managers and the dealers all wanted more product to sell, for their own reasons.

            That circumstance created the basis for badge engineering. GM should have either consolidated or killed off brands in order to prevent sprawl. But it didn’t, which meant that the loss of market share that began in the 80s was bound to blow up in GM’s face as each GM brand found that its strongest rivals were the other GM brands.

            Producing nearly identical vehicles doesn’t usually help to sell more units; if anything, it does the opposite by eroding the brands to which those vehicles are attached. But this is what happens when multiple mismanaged brands produce intracompany competition, instead of the segmentation that was supposed to allow them to complement each other.

      • 0 avatar
        RHD

        Union bashing is “in”. It’s easy to be led into thinking that what Rush and his ilk have a clear, unvarnished view on the truth and we should let them think for us.
        Unions are of the workers, by the workers and for the workers. The existence of an American middle class is directly attributable to collective bargaining, and the decline of the middle class has paralleled the decline in union membership.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          “The existence of an American middle class is directly attributable to collective bargaining, and the decline of the middle class has paralleled the decline in union membership.”

          Ah of course. Correlation always equals causation.

          • 0 avatar
            tonycd

            No, but sometimes it does. Or are you one of those who makes the same argument to suggest smoking doesn’t cause cancer?

            Collective bargaining obviously gives workers more power to press for higher pay. If it didn’t, workers wouldn’t have fought for that right for more than a century, and managements wouldn’t be fighting fiercely to deny it to them today.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          RHD, do you have any idea how huge a segment the middle class encompasses within our (American) society?

          And that’s before we even define the stratification of wealth allocation within that huge segment.

          So it is entirely possible that someone at the high-end of the middle class may have their liabilities far outweigh their assets and are damn near broke, while someone at the bottom of the middle class may have more money to spend because they have no liabilities, just assets and a stream of income that’s all discretionary.

          Union membership has always been a paltry number within the middle class.

          So to say that declining union membership is directly related to the declining middle class is stretching it beyond even Disney’s imagination.

  • avatar
    PRNDLOL

    Well now I know of at least one place in Wichita where the drywall was done with good workmanship and work ethic.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Not necessarily. A friend of mine was a drywall installer in 1985, just before he died. He was making $14/hour, about $30 today. There were lots of non-union installers during the housing boom and they kept wages down as well as produced shoddy work. A number of homes built back then now have problems with sagging drywall that has to be replaced.

      Today, the going rate for a drywall installer is $14.50-$16.50/hour. You could raise a family on that in 1985, but not today, so the few installers still working are entry level. Unions have been trying to boost installer wages into the $20+/hour rate, but there are so many non-union people who have some sort of experience and will work for less, that the craft unions have to resort to old tactics.

      Maybe the dealership got an installer with enough experience to do the job right (and quickly), or maybe they got a guy who barely knows the basics, will take more time, but was willing to work cheap. Union people on an assembly line may not be a guarantee, but in the building trades, there IS some assurance of competence.

      • 0 avatar
        VCplayer

        The problem there is really that so many houses were built during the housing boom as “investments,” during which speed was valued over quality when building homes.

        Hopefully the market will start to value quality product again.

      • 0 avatar
        jeffzekas

        After being a union member for 30 years, I retired. Now I work for Walmart, a non union and anti union shop. Working for a non union shop is horrible. You have no rights. No benefits. Nothing. “Hey, then just quit!” Yeah, and then you can be unemployed, since, although the official unemployment rate is 7%, the REAL rate is closer to 25%. Big business gets richer, and working class families are getting poorer (except for the few who still have good jobs and post anti union dogma on this site and others).

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        “Today, the going rate for a drywall installer is $14.50-$16.50/hour.”

        That may be true in your area but in my area, Southcentral NM, the rate for a drywall installer (union or non-union) is $55 per hour for one, $110 per hour for two drywall installers working as a team. Most drywallers in this area work as a team.

        That’s why I do all the drywalling myself for the houses we buy and rehab for renting. All I need is a helper ($12/hr) to help me position the sheets while I drive the drywall screws.

        If my helper is someone who has helped me before and is a keeper I will often let him or her mix the mud for me and lug it to where I will be applying it.

        Once the drywall is up, I can apply the mud by myself.

        • 0 avatar
          BobinPgh

          My “crazy cousin” who owns several rental properties told me something about drywall I wonder if it is true. I drywalled some of our basement and I asked him “how can people do this, it is driving me nuts with the mud and sanding and you keep finding something wrong all the time?” He then told me “well, they’re all a bunch of drunks!” Is that how they cope with it?

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @BobinPgh, this thread has reminded me of watching “Flipping Vegas” when they had a high end house and trying to find someone to do the very smooth drywall with 0 texturing. They had to do it four times after starting with a low skilled crew that couldn’t handle it. Would have saved a ton of money by paying upfront for better labor.

          • 0 avatar
            BobinPgh

            Dan, actually, I can make smooth drywall but I just cannot cope with the tediousness of finding defects everywhere and trying to smooth them. That’s why I don’t do it, how am I going to cope without hitting the Jack Daniels?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            BobinPgh, Regrettably, he’s right. Many drywallers are drunks.

            That was the reason I started doing it for my wife’s dad because he was fed up with the contractors he had hired in the past and the results he got in too many cases.

            One of the worst things someone pulled on him that I ended up re-doing many years ago was the Main Bathroom of a 1972-built house where the drywallers had installed drywall in a bathroom instead of concrete backer-board.

            Then they had proceeded to Mastic and tile the drywall.

            The finished product looked great but when the steam and moisture of the shower got into the drywall, it softened and began to buckle.

            Within weeks the tiles fell off, still attached to the drywall parchment that had come loose from the gypsum drywall material itself.

            And this was the good stuff – made in America. Not China.

            We have 49 rentals besides our own homes and we get calls at all hours of the day or night if a renter panics because of a problem.

            We encourage them to call us first because we won’t charge them (normally).

            A few days ago someone called my wife’s dad at 11pm because of a stopped up toilet. And he called me. I called Mr Nguyen.

            Mr Nguyen, my free-lance helper, responded first and I joined him about 20 minutes later because I had 26 miles to drive into town. Mr Nguyen lives in town.

            We had to pull the toilet and run the cutter and snake to clear that drain and found that this dizzy b!tch had been flushing loaded baby diapers down the drain.

            The cutter took care of that but we had to charge those people standard plumber overtime rates times 2, taken out of their security deposit for the time being.

            Normally we don’t charge the renter for maintenance and repair of our properties. We figure it is fair wear and tear.

            So talk about a mind-numbing experience! Landlords who do the work themselves endure them because it costs too much to have someone else do it for them.

            BTW, you wet-sand the finished joints. I found that helpful.

            But the proper use of your finishing trowel is what prevents a drywaller from finding something wrong all the time.

            Just in case you want to try it again sometime. BTW, I had an excellent teacher. It was the father of my American-born Mexican foreman, Federico. His dad helped me build my house and worked for my father-in-law until his death in the ’90s.

          • 0 avatar
            OneAlpha

            Bob,

            You ought to see the WTF way my parents’ house in Florida is put together.

            Nothing is square, nothing is plumb, everything is thin and feels cheap. The contractors all work in filthy shorts and T-shirts.

            Now, I’ve never seen an objective definition of the word “professional,” but I’m sure that this isn’t it.

            I swear, there are two companies that dominate the construction industries in that part of the country – Jimmy Buffett Contractors and the It’s Five O’clock Somewhere Building Company.

  • avatar
    carveman

    Free nationwide advertising. Hmmmmmmmm,

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Good on the dealer for taking the high road. They know they don’t have to directly confront these union thugs because everyone can see through their BS. It’s good to see that the independent drywaller (the REAL little guy) can get some representation when he needs it too.

  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    The problem with unions is the same type of problem that affects politics, business, pretty much everything right down to volunteer boards that run youth soccer leagues: too many people with their own baggage, be it selfishness, theft, dishonesty, ego, etc. And the rest of us somehow let them remain in power, or worse yet, continually return them to power.

  • avatar
    Bob

    As a Union Tradesmen I am always embarrassed by the large inflatable rat and union shaming. Striking, picketing and bullying gets unions nowhere. If this union was serious about getting the drywall work at this dealership then they should have met with the dealership owner when the building permit was applied for. The business agents have the power to negotiate wages for each job in some jurisdictions, making it possible to get work where it would have otherwise gone non-union. Having worked in the union and non-union construction industries I can honestly say that the laziness and poor work ethic is a thing of the past in todays competitive economy (union and non-union). In my union the slugs, bums, and thugs are fired immediately and sent back to the union hall. Unions have such a terrible reputation and everyone groups all unions together, they have no one to blame but themselves. Even today there are so many old school union bums in my local who absolutely hate hard working, educated, and motivated people like myself. Most old school union electricians call me a worm or a rat because I work hard and care about my job.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      I agree that instead of the shaming, the union needs to be competitive. But then, the very nature of Unions is to squash competition for the sake of their own prosperity. So instead of facing the facts, this union has chosen to stick to the old bullying tactics instead of finding a win-win solution that can keep their members employed. It remains to be seen how many union drywallers will get work from this, but I’m guessing it will be none. Maybe less, even.

      • 0 avatar
        OneAlpha

        You make a very good point about the union becoming competitive, but unions, at least American ones, exist almost exclusively to protect people who cannot compete in the free market.

        It’s not like it’s a skills problem – skills can be obtained. It’s their attitude that makes them dependent on the union for protection from those greedy, evil businessmen who have the audacity to demand they actually do a good job, or find another one.

        • 0 avatar
          Bob

          You are grouping all unions together. It’s ok I know that unions are done in this country and they deserve the reputation they have. Just please consider that not every union and union member is the same. Skilled, unskilled, trade, government, service industry etc. I am pointlessly arguing on in a obviously anti-union forum, just as I’m constantly arguing with old school union slugs and thugs about how they should be more open minded about labor issues. I can only hope to finish my degree and get a job in management.

      • 0 avatar
        smartascii

        “…the very nature of Unions is to squash competition for the sake of their own prosperity.” This is also the very nature of corporations. I’m certainly no fan of unions in the model of the UAW in decades past, but the fact that unions are largely dead in this country, corporations are more profitable than they’ve ever been, and a large percentage of everybody else is worse off should tell us something about the benefits of organizations that balance the needs of workers against the needs of corporations.

        • 0 avatar
          Bob

          There is a general misconception that unions are all the same. Skilled trade unions are much different from the United auto workers. Building trade unions provide training and representation for members. Personally I really don’t care who is hanging the drywall, I know it’s very hard work and I would never want to do it. I think the person who is doing that work deserves a decent wage. Is it possible for a non-union contractor to pay a decent wage? absolutely and most do because it’s difficult to find someone who not only has the skills but is willing to do such hard work. I think the inflatable rat is completely disgraceful and hurts the union.

          • 0 avatar
            BobinPgh

            It is hard to find a drywaller. My sister and her husband bought a house where the original builder did not drywall the garage ceiling. To sell the house the ceiling must be drywalled to be brought up to code. She is having a hard time finding a professional drywaller because they don’t call back and one who did had to go to rehab the next week and could not give an estimate. The one who did show up wanted $6000, a bit much and then never showed up. I may end up doing the drywalling, with renting a drywall lift and scaffolding and if I pay myself $20 an hour it will be about $1000. I don’t blame you for not wanting to do this work, maybe that’s why they don’t even show up!

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          >“…the very nature of Unions is to squash competition for the sake of their own prosperity.” This is also the very nature of corporations.

          The difference being that unions attempt to beat their competition in the labor market through intimidation, shaming and other bullying tactics while most successful corporations beat their competition by offering better product value.

          When they can’t sell their labor based on its merits, they resort to nonsense like what happened at this dealer.

      • 0 avatar

        >But then, the very nature of Unions is to squash competition for the sake of their own prosperity.

        All unionization fundamentally does is give a competitive negotiating advantage to previous weak parties through their union. Any and all other features of choice leveraged using this advantage are incidental to unionization per se.

        It’s trivial to recognize “competition” is an incredibly poor absolute metric. For example it’s best for those within a project to minimize internal competition and work together.

        This is either definitional or very simple logic and therefore uncontroversial. Unfortunately no matter how often various people (eg “libertarians”) pretend to understand fundamentals, usually they’ve already failed out of the gate by confusing what the words mean or not really thinking at all.

  • avatar
    CarnotCycle

    Unions, ironically, made themselves redundant championing the government taking over their social function via championing ‘progressive’ government.

    This whole thing with the President wanting to ‘redefine’ overtime rules for ‘executives’ regarding pay is reflective of where labor fights that matter exist: Buried deep in paperwork of the IRS and Department of Labor. I’m sure unions politically support that idea, and raising the minimum wage to boot. They’re giving their lunch away doing that, and have been for decades.

  • avatar
    Crosley

    What’s funny is almost all of these paid protesters receive zero benefits, they’re paid the bare minimum they can get away with. Do you really think people that hold a sign all day get full health care, paid sick time, and a pension?

    So the irony is delicious when the union is screaming that a business is not using union labor, when the union is also outsourcing their work for the lowest bid.

    These types of protests are beyond useless, if anything it makes want to patronize the company out of spite against the bullies.

  • avatar

    We’re presented with a somewhat sanitized and union approved version of the history of the American labor movement. It’s often been about keeping others out and protecting what they consider to be theirs than notions of social justice. The American labor movement has not been without issues of class, ethnicity and race.

    I’m still waiting for someone to explain to me why I have a greater obligation to the people from whom I buy labor than I do to the people from whom I buy anything else I need to run my business. Jack’s post at his own site about the H1B visa situation and the employment picture in the U.S. in general makes the hard point that unless you really are a special snowflake, someone who can actually bring something special to the table, you’re an interchangeable cog. If you don’t want to be an interchangeable cog, bring something special to the table, or strike out on your own and start your own business.

    That has nothing to do with justice, it’s just reality, the way it’s always been. Unions evolved precisely because their founders recognized that reality, that individual workers, particularly in an organized production process, have no “key man” leverage. One established, though, unions act like any other human institution, protect the institution first, then the members, and outsiders don’t count.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

      If American labor today wants the same golden age of high wages and a middle class lifestyle that their grandfathers had, then they need to go bomb the shit out of the rest of the world’s productive capacity first, like their grandfathers did. I reckon killing about 2.5 billion semiskilled laborers in low-cost countries ought to do it.

      • 0 avatar

        > If American labor today wants the same golden age of high wages and a middle class lifestyle that their grandfathers had, then they need to go bomb the shit out of the rest of the world’s productive capacity first, like their grandfathers did.

        The sort who believe appealing but wrong “theories” invariably fail to question their factual basis. A quick gander at post-war US export vs domestically consumed production shows this cannot possibly be true.

        An accurate historical deduction would be that the long term benefits of massive industrialization even outweigh just throwing away (or blowing up) its products for many years. Fortunately a number of people were cognizant of this trivial observation and have used it to lift their populations out of squalor.

      • 0 avatar

        > If American labor today wants the same golden age of high wages and a middle class lifestyle that their grandfathers had, then they need to go bomb the sh1t out of the rest of the world’s productive capacity first, like their grandfathers did.

        The sort who believe appealing but wrong “theories” invariably fail to question their factual basis. A quick gander at post-war US export vs domestically consumed production shows this cannot possibly be true.

        An accurate historical deduction would be that the long term benefits of massive industrialization even outweigh just throwing away (or blowing up) its products for many years. Fortunately a number of people were cognizant of this trivial observation and have used it to lift their populations out of squalor.

    • 0 avatar
      dartman

      “I’m still waiting for someone to explain to me why I have a greater obligation to the people from whom I buy labor…”

      It’s called a “Social Contract”. A good place to start is here:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_contract

      Philosophers and our founding fathers understood the concept, and the constitution was written to protect all, including the lowest with certain rights. People with money are able to obtain influence, privileges and power far beyond that accorded to the average citizen; think of corporate, llc, llp structures to protect wealth and status quo. The fact that wealth is usually gained by the use of the most basic and raw labor, it makes sense to grant that labor at least some basic rights and guarantees. To not do so would risk eventual societal upheaval and chaos. Unions serve(d) the purpose of representing the interests of those with the least power and influence by coordinating efforts and acting as one. Union is to Labor as Corporate is to Capital. Corporate/Capital is winning this battle by demonizing the latter and presenting their bought and paid for Government as a “straw man” in bed with the Unions/Labor. It is is fascinating that the strongest unions now exist in the public sector, including the government itself. In the world today, post war Germany probably “gets it” more than any other first world society in balancing the power of their economy while protecting their own citizens.

      I read Jack’s piece at his own site and was blown away at the truth and cynicism in his piece. The larger point I took was that organized labor used to be the province of the “great un-washed” those with the least education and social mobility performing the hardest and least skilled tasks. Now, it is the educated middle classes who are quickly being decimated by an unending pursuit of profit. Your college education means nothing to the faceless corporation if they can find an equivalent somewhere in the world for a penny less. Unions as we know them probably are an archaic throwback in their last death throes, but if we as a country and society don’t find a way to to take care of our own we may join them sooner than later

      I shall now climb down from my soap-box.

      • 0 avatar
        Carl Kolchak

        I work in an industry as one of those “educated middle class” workers that could could use a “Union”, but not a union such as the UAW or some of the trade unions. The UAW is probably one of the best examples of a “Parasitic Unions”, with no regard for the corporation and to some extent it’s members, just wanting more and more dues and members.
        The White collar lower to mid-level employees DO need some collective representation, but not a confrontation one, rather a collaborative one. The cubicle dwellers need some sort of protection from mass layoffs and corporate whims, but at the same time should have value to its members AND the businesses they work for. Not sure how that is to be done, but the days of the “Society of the the Inflatable Rat” days should be numbered.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Carl, an employer needs to make money, make a profit, to keep people employed.

          When the operating and labor costs exceed the profits of the employer, a little rain must fall in the lives of those let go.

          No one guaranteed tomorrow. And in today’s climate of uncertainty, no one is guaranteed a job.

          What we see today, in this here and now, is that many employers simply hold on to the status quo and are not hiring new employees or expanding their businesses. In effect, they are sitting on tons of cash.

          The reasons are many and there are just as many view points on why this is.

          But if the economic and tax climate is such that it encourages business expansion and the hiring of new employees, the employers would have done it already.

          • 0 avatar
            YellowDuck

            “But if the economic and tax climate is such that it encourages business expansion and the hiring of new employees, the employers would have done it already.”

            Exactly. So, let’s slowly get rid of all payroll taxes, and transition them to taxes on capital gains and corporate profit. Not because we want to screw the rich, but because the system should make hiring people (at a decent wage) as cheap as possible. Not all “business” is created equal in terms of how it benefits the majority of the country’s citizens. Business that creates good domestic jobs should receive very favorable tax treatment.

            “A tax climate that favors business expansion” helps no one if it just makes a few owners rich while they pay an offshore call center to run their operation.

          • 0 avatar
            el scotto

            HDC, I’m a contractor in DC. One night during a lull, one of the young guys said “Oh yeah XZZ Corp offered me this much money when I got out of the military!”. Myself and another senior employee looked at each other and started laughing. I piped up and said “they offered you X amount of dollars, right?” The young guy looked amazed and said “how did you know?”. Contractors all receive about the same compensation when you throw in their experience and skill sets. As a retired Senior NCO you’d make more than a kid with four years in the Air Force. The thing is, we all know what the salaries are. I think this is what Carl was meaning by a collaboritve union.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            el scotto, I understand.

            But collaboration as defined by unionists (those who advocate for unions and lobby on their behalf) differs from collaboration as defined by their employers.

            I grew up in a union household and I have never, ever seen a union that took into consideration what the employer faces in the market.

            All any union ever demands is better pay, better working conditions (as in less work for more money), and more benefits, all at the expense of the employer, none of it coming out of the pockets of the employees.

            I know of no union who voiced that their employer ever overpaid them, gave them too little work or lavished too many benefits on them. Ahhh, the dreaded Job Bank, remember that?

            Employees are employees. The owners/shareholders/managers of the enterprise get the work done through the tools who are the employees.

            Employees are just tools who get the work done and get paid for their time. They’re not entitled to profit sharing.

            It’s amazing how much effort a person will put into any job if they are doing it for themselves.

            Ever since I got drafted by my father-in-law to repair or work on the houses he and his business own, I don’t mind putting in 12-16 hour work days because my wife is part-owner in that venture so I feel like I am doing it for us.

            The fact that I get paid very, very well off the books, doesn’t hurt either.

            Frankly, I am surprised how many unexpected twists and turns my life has taken since I retired from the military in 1985.

            Never had an interest in new and used car retailing or dealership operations, yet I was drafted by my brothers and did that for more than 30 years (albeit behind the scenes).

            Then, after O***a got elected in 2008, my wife’s dad, a life-long Democrat and business owner, fired all the staff and downsized the business to include only family members as part-time workers, which included drafting me and the other sons-in-law to help out with the business.

            That is true collaboration in spirit and intent when everyone in the family pulls together to make the business work.

            And, to be honest, my wife’s dad has been more than generous in rewarding all our efforts.

            I don’t believe that any union has the best interest of their employer at heart. Their own (union) best interest, yes!

            The union doesn’t collaborate, the union demands. But they can be marginalized as in the case of Fiatsler, where Sergio does not consult with the part-owner UAW.

            In their case, striking Fiatsler would be like Quickdraw McGraw shooting himself in the foot!

            The UAW successfully outmaneuvered by Sergio. I’m amazed the UAW didn’t bring that grievance to the NLRB.

            Now I remember…., it would be like cutting off their own nose to spite their collaborative face.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @Carl Kolchak
          I read an interesting article last week regarding the demise of the white collar middle class.

          A union will not help. The same goes for manufacturing a union will not help.

          The article went on to state that at least 50% of all white collar middle class jobs will go due to computerisation and robotics.

          Even fast food jobs are going. The article was originally about a robotic and computerised burger joint they are trialling. It needs no one, but a customer. (I do think it’ll require a few techs).

          This is the future. Just look at how you check in at an airport, or how supermarket are heading with the self serve checkouts, banking and on and on.

          The article states the world will encounter a similar situation as the advent of industrialisation and it will take a few generations to resolve the social problems.

          So, the future will be a larger wealthy class a much smaller middle class and a greatly expanded lower class.

          So, the OECD economies might eventually end up with Dacia’s and Datsun’s.

        • 0 avatar

          > The White collar lower to mid-level employees DO need some collective representation, but not a confrontation one, rather a collaborative one.

          This a regrettable way to put it. Collective bargaining against management necessarily confronts those on the other side of the table. The conflicting interests here are genuine.

          There’s a point to not chopping the nose to spite the face, but pleasing the boss negates the original purpose.

      • 0 avatar
        Roader

        “In the world today, post war Germany probably “gets it” more than any other first world society in balancing the power of their economy while protecting their own citizens.”

        Protecting their citizens as if they’re children who need protecting. The current incarnation of Germany has only been around since 1945 vs. the US since 1776. Germany’s fashionable, “green” social democracy isn’t sustainable, particularly the manufacturing component. It’s committing economic suicide, although more slowly than France.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    I’ve driven past dealerships where the union is out picketing, along with their giant inflatable rodent, and I’ve always wondered why the dealership doesn’t just have them arrested for trespassing.

    And frankly, the word “rat” isn’t much of an insult these days.

    Organized labor isn’t a lumbering dinosaur – it’s a tapeworm, demanding the right to parasite off of a host, and society should treat it accordingly.

    • 0 avatar
      LALoser

      What are the odds that giant inflatable rat was made in Communist China…..

      • 0 avatar
        BuzzDog

        I’ve often thought the same thing about those inflatable rats’ country of origin…is there actually a union shop in the U.S. that makes inflatables?

        • 0 avatar
          Bob

          The unions aren’t as stupid an everyone at TTAC thinks they are. Everything the union uses to picket or protest with is most definitely union made in the USA. If you look closely at the sign in front of the Subaru dealership I guarantee it has the GCIU union label. Unions hate being called out on hypocrisy, you can check the business agents sox, they are UFCW made in the USA. As much as I hate the *inflatable* rats they are union made in the USA. The UFCW is the union famous for hiring temp workers to picket for them since they don’t have a reserve of laid off workers like trade unions usually do.

          • 0 avatar
            SayMyName

            I think the word you were going for was, “inflatable,” not infallible?

          • 0 avatar
            Bob

            YES SayMyName the word I was going for was, “inflatable” thanks for correcting me I’m just an uneducated union slug who can barely read or write. I can’t wait to smoke crack on one of my 20 coffee breaks tomorrow.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            “”barley?”

          • 0 avatar
            Bob

            Yep it’s my favorite soup!

          • 0 avatar
            SayMyName

            “I’m just an uneducated union slug who can ‘barley’ read or write. I can’t wait to smoke crack on one of my 20 coffee breaks tomorrow.”

            Hey, you said it. I didn’t.

    • 0 avatar
      BuzzDog

      “I’ve always wondered why the dealership doesn’t just have them arrested for trespassing.”

      Because depending on the circumstances and the state, it may be an unfair labor practice. The statutes regarding this are complicated, murky and the subject of multiple cases currently in the queue in the federal and/or Supreme Court system.

      Also, picketers are often on a right-of-way, and I’ve read of instances where a union had an area surveyed to make sure picketers were not trespassing.

  • avatar
    tklockau

    OK, I try to not get too political, but…

    We live in a free country. We can buy from Target, Kohl’s or whatever. It’s our choice. It’s also a business’s choice to use whatever plumber, electrician, TV repairman (OK, not so many of those anymore) or carpenter they want. If Eversham Pontiac or Dunsmere Studebaker wants to hire a non-union organization to repave the lot or facelift the showroom, isn’t that their right as a business in America?

    Oh, and good on that Scooby dealer for responding in an amusing way!

    I am always reminded of a comment my brother made years ago while going through some roadwork: “Five fat guys watching one not-so-fat guy work.”

  • avatar
    Onus

    I know people say Unions don’t serve any purpose. But, i beg to differ.

    The fact is we need to do more with the problem of income inequality in this country, which is one of the worst in the 1st world. Fact.

  • avatar

    > They have problems of their own, and they no longer think that a dictatorship of the proletariat will fix them.

    People are entitled to their thoughts, even if the ideas which fill their minds are terribly misinformed and incredibly stupid.

    The reality of the matter is frankly trivial to explain and grasp even for an average intellect.

    For example, why wages in the US are high:
    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/australian-supplier-association-warns-of-33000-jobs-lost-in-wake-of-producer-exits/#comment-2794273

    Or misconception of collective bargaining benefits:
    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/guest-post-jamie-kitman-on-the-battle-of-chattanooga/#comment-2816361

    Or the general serf mentality surrounding the entire affair:
    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/qotd-how-can-the-uaws-damaged-brand-be-fixed/#comment-2847497

    The basic concepts involved are straightforward and uncontroversial, so the more interesting questions surround the culture failure (esp Merica’s) to understand simple things.

    If a group of people for whatever reason denied trivial facts such as large disparity in power produces abusive relationships, or the world is >6k years old, or that humans shared common ancestry with apes, or 2+2=4, this should be cause for concern.

  • avatar
    shaker

    We’re all looking to spend less for what appears to be the same thing, and the migration of money into the stock market (accelerated by 401(k)’s) means that corporations seek double-digit growth rates to please shareholders.
    In the middle, workers get squeezed. Somewhere along the line, a “breadwinner” who could support a small family became both parents working (or one working 2 jobs), and employers treating people like disposable commodities.
    It’s no wonder that unions are being touted as a solution to this problem, but the general consensus is that their day has come and gone, which is why government is being petitioned to lessen the increasing inequality; and even this is being equated to “socialism”, “communism”, etc.
    The fact is that some sort of “plan” needs to be proposed to deal with globalization, immigration, and the downward pressure on wages – but the only entity that can effect this change is the “Government by and for the people”, which (sad to say) is influenced far more by embedded lobbyists than the people.
    Maybe capitalism will “wake up” to the fact that you can’t “foul your own nest” by starving and alienating the very workers that you need to buy your products — the only reason that it has continued to this point is that the government has been propping up the lower classes, and keeping interest rates artificially low while hoping that corporations spend some of the cash they’ve been hoarding to ease the pain – well that hasn’t happened. So, the calls to increase the minimum wage, increase earned-income tax credits, etc.
    All these measures are “reactive” to a looming crisis that speaks to an aversion of our society to avoid any sort of “planning”, especially if it’s possible that it could actually help. This could lead to a possible loss of faith in unfettered capitalism, which would be tantamount into a loss of the Deity.

    Edit: A recent trend in my workplace is a sharp increase in hiring immigrants from ‘Central Asia’ to replace American citizens who have been recently laid-off, along with an increase in outsourcing. The workers that were laid off received generous ‘separation packages’, but nonetheless, the current job market guarantees that a fair number of them will be filing for unemployment, or accepting jobs that pay considerably less than they were making. The conventional wisdom is “well, they should have worked harder” – well, maybe; but when a company is trying to maintain double-digit growth rates in a declining market, something has got to give – so the workers take it on the chin. /rant.

  • avatar
    Jeff Weimer

    For some reason, I’m not seeing a picture of the signs being discussed here. Here’s a link for those of you in the same boat:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/03/15/funny-business-response-to-a-unions-shame-on-sign/

  • avatar
    Jimal

    Oh great, another union debate. I’m sure some fresh concepts will be introduced and some minds will be changed…

    Guess I’m back to reading less.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Dang Jack, just got back from your Office Space, American Beauty, Clueless tribute and you do seem pissed. I remember when there used to be work done to jump through the H1B loopholes, I was temping in IT for an HR group that mostly solicited resumes to “prove” they needed to import the talent replacing the laid off at will natives. I guess they streamlined the process since then. Not that the fig leaf protected anyone’s income. The fresh PhD’s didn’t have experience, and the seasoned ones weren’t current. Somehow the Indian import was always medium heat porridge. In my current ‘hood my next door neighbors moved back to India walking away from Intel bucks so they could get their kids into a “decent school”. I’m hating the public unions now… (edited to correct horrrific spelling)

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