By on October 13, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Over 40 workers at the General Motors facility in Spring Hill, Tenn. recently found themselves on a list of “scab workers” published by United Auto Workers Local 1853, a list one anonymous employee says kicked-off an effort to pressure and intimidate into joining.

The Washington Free Beacon reports the list notes not only the names of the 40 workers employed at Spring Hill, but where on the floor each worker performed their task. The list also included the following call to arms:

The following individuals are NON-dues paying workers. They have chosen to STOP paying Union Dues and still reap the rewards of your negotiated benefits. If you work near one of these people listed please explain the importance of Solidarity and the power of collective bargaining.

Soon after, the anonymous employee said they were approached by three UAW members, two of whom were openly hostile, one going so far as to call the employee a scab to their face. The employee was a member until recently, having paid dues to the union for three decades before quitting due to the UAW’s predilection toward nepotism, and defending employees who would have otherwise been fired if the union weren’t there. Being on the list has all but guaranteed the employee won’t ever return, and has a warning for those at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga:

What they do behind the scenes is harass non-members, those who choose not to belong. The workers [in Chattanooga] can look forward to seeing their names on a list just like this one.

Local 1853 president Tim Stannard admitted to publishing the list, but claims it wasn’t meant to put the hammer down on non-union employees, but to “explain the importance of collective bargaining and solidarity,” adding that those who aren’t members “weakens” the union overall.

Meanwhile, National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation attorney Glenn Taubmann countered the president’s assertion. He warns that employees working at the VW plant who go against the UAW could soon find themselves on a similar list, especially with the establishment of so-called “voluntary” locals springing up nearby and in Alabama, where the union is attempting to organize the Mercedes plant in Vance.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

120 Comments on “UAW Local Publishes Spring Hill Scab List...”


  • avatar
    VW16v

    Not sure if the list was a completely of base. Why should people benefit from the union with out paying their dues.

    • 0 avatar
      celebrity208

      Ooooo, oooo. The “Gotcha, Rhetorical, Same Tired Old Meme, Question Game! I wanna play too:

      Why should pot smoking, beer drinking, slackers be protected by an org funded by the dues of a hard workiing line worker?

      • 0 avatar
        celebrity208

        I tried to post a non-cynical and very long follow up but it hasn’t been posted yet. I’ll try again soon.

      • 0 avatar
        kwbuggy

        Great point. Look at the drunk on the job Chrysler workers who were rehired
        after pressure from the UAW. Why should union dues be wasted on people who do not respect their employer or fellow workers enough to show up ready to put In a full day of work? No wonder Jeep’s have such terrible build quality!

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      Why should other workers have their right to make their own best deal trumped by a union they don’t want to be part of?

      Amazingly, the simpletons who spout the free rider nonsense about the unions will even go so far as to call hypocrite anyone who is against a federal program who takes benefits from them after that person has paid into the lousy programs, without choice, for decades.

      I suppose we should make you all go to church every Sunday. After all, you all benefit from God’s grace. Time we raided your bank account Brother, your tithe is late.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

      • 0 avatar
        VW16v

        The workers should have there own free will to not pay the dues. But they should also be payed less, a non-Union rate and not have any of the benefits of the Union worker.

        • 0 avatar
          Landcrusher

          Why should they be paid less? Why do you assume the union deal is better?

          Look, I don’t doubt that for most people the union is a better deal, but there are now lots of unions where the entry level guys are getting burned, badly.

          It seems to us on the outside that unions are generally getting a better deal by screwing the employer. It’s not always true, but if people would line up for a multi day wait just to apply for a job at the union rate, the rate is too high.

          That too high wage has ill effects for lots of people including young people planning their futures.

          Higher compensation is NOT all upside by any means.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            LC, stop living in a fantasy land. The basic statistics are out there for consumption. Any industry with an union has better wages for unionized workers. Simple as that.

            Confusing your opinion for facts is getting old to read. You can’t really deny that unions negotiate better deals for workers than workers can, it is a very settled scientifically studied fact. There has been zero evidence to support the counter view to ever even surface let alone be reviewed.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            I’m sorry, Xer. What precisely did I say that you disagree with? Nothing you said really contradicts my post. I think you are reading something into my points that was not intended. Perhaps I am not making my points clearly.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            PCH,

            Once again, as it’s been for years, you did not quote me.

            I can’t find where I used that term, and if I did, I didn’t mean it in a legal sense I suspect.

            As I have said, for years, when you use a non dictionary meaning it’s up to you to point that out or there can be misunderstandings. While I am no great communicator, I tried to avoid that problem. What is your reader to do if you are not clear but use the dictionary? Especially when it’s you, PCH.

      • 0 avatar
        tedward

        landcrusher

        We don’t usually agree on this topic but I love your church analogy, and you should keep using it. It’s hypotheticals like that which actually help to alter people’s perspectives.

        It’s pretty contemptible behavior on the part of the workers who harassed the workers in question (so long as the story is true and this wasn’t just a polite conversation). It’s also exactly the kind of “unsafe work environment” behavior that would immediately result in an employees termination in most work places.

    • 0 avatar
      namelocbob

      Because of VOLUNTARY Union/Company security agreements (which UAW requires in every contract), Non-dues paying members are forced to accept the benefits…. Whether they want them or not. If the UAW and its members don’t want freeloaders then BECOME a member’s only Union and toss out the exclusive bargaining agent clause!

  • avatar
    Timtoolman

    Legalized extortion. The non-union workers should tell the members that the union weakens the company that feeds their children. All you have to do is look and see what effect those higher wages had in allowing Toyota and Honda to get a leg up on the competition. Not to defend GM’s stupidity with the ignition switches, but it comes down to pennies in savings, when you sell millions of vehicles.

    The unions have to accept some responsibility in bankrupting two of the Big 3. I think most people would die if they saw what kinds of wasted money went to the UAW, when they were in their heyday.

    None of this paying big money up front. The workers should receive bonuses based on performance, not coddled and protected for sub-standard work. I’m sure most members are hard-working and put in an honest days’ work. But, they’d do that with or without the UAW “representing” them.

    • 0 avatar
      captbob2002

      Yup, legalized extortion. The non-members should have to negotiate their own salary and benefits package directly with the employer and not ride on the coat-tails of the union contract. They should have to represent themselves at any disciplinary hearing or pay for their own legal representation out of their own pocket.

      If they can get a better deal than what the union can negotiate for its members, then more power to ’em.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Heavy handed intimidation is always a favored tactic among organizations that cannot otherwise demonstrate a compelling reason for their existence. With all the regulations protecting worker rights and safety today, the role of unions is limited to protecting slackers that would otherwise be fired immediately for lack of performance and/or to funnel worker contributions to the campaign war chests of Democrat party candidates. Thus a person with a strong work ethic and/or not in favor of Democrat party policies sees little reason to contribute to a union.

    • 0 avatar
      captbob2002

      Oh, look, the “protect bad workers” canard pops up again.

      Let’s see, since the non-paying, non-member workers reap the benefits negotiated for members by the union and the union must represent those same non-paying, non-member workers in any labor dispute it is kinda’ hard to demonstrate the benefits of union membership since the non-member get them anyway – that would be why they are often referred to as freeloaders.

      No one has ever been able to answer the question as to why union members would want to protect the lousy or trouble making workers. They can’t answer it because there is no answer. Any good workers will not want to keep around the poor performers as it makes their job more difficult and makes all the workers look bad. The union’s role when the company wants to fire a poor-performer is to make sure the process outlined in the contract is followed. Defending everyone is about protecting the contract not protecting the problem employee.

      I never wanted to be in a union. I passed on jobs were a union already existed. After 8 years in my current position I was the first one to sign an organizing card fifteen years ago. since then I’ve served on negotiation teams, been a steward and spent time as chief steward. I defended more non-members than members at disciplinary proceedings.

      Funny how the loudest anti-union complainers, the ones that like to brag how they are getting all the union benefits w/o paying dues, they are quickest to call me when they have a job-related problem and how I “gotta’ do something the help them RIGHT NOW!”

      Wonder why management has more problems with the non-union workers.

      • 0 avatar
        Zykotec

        Where I work (not a car factory, and our unions are different to the UAW I hope) the trouplemaking low-performing lazy workers don’t really need any protecting from the union, as the upper management has put them there themselves to manage us bluecollar workers…

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Why do union members want lousy workers to stay on the job? Unless they’re lousy workers, they don’t. What they want matters next to nothing in the eyes of the unions, which care only about dues and agendas. Keeping the bums on the job gives them more dues and loyal soldiers for coercing and intimidating good workers. The Spring Hill thugs walking around with ‘scab lists’ aren’t doing their jobs. They’re just thugs staking their claim on the efforts of others.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Former ATW (and briefly a steward) here. At least with respect to my local, captbob2002 is right, CJinSD is wrong.

          Union leadership was occasionally infuriating because they would try to fight yesterday’s battles with management, but they had no interest in making life easy for the people who made the most trouble for them — bad workers.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          CJinSD, Amen! I always find it perplexing to see how many different interpretations exist concerning the same “facts”.

        • 0 avatar
          tedward

          cjinsd

          In my experience (never been a union member but I have to hire or work with them occasionally) many don’t want them protected. It really is a matter of some unions being better at managing staff than others, just like some companies are better or not than others. What makes it frustrating is when it’s a forced hire situation AND the staff sucks. When the union staff are good however, it means you get a real expert on hand in the subject matter, and one that is vouched for personally by the (union) hiring agency.

          A friend of mine in the hospitality industry works with many unions in each hotel and basically scoffs at generalizations about them. Her point of view is that you get the union you deserve as a manager. She also thinks that the unions she deals with are a fair counterpoint to the near monopoly hiring power she wields as a rep for a massive hotel management chain (a free market solution is her actual quote). It’s an interesting conversation to have that’s for sure. When I float the auto industry GM examples in front of her she immediately says, “well, then GM has had crap management if they can’t make it work.” Maybe she’s being overly simplistic but I haven’t run across any more convincing points of view on the matter.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            It sounds like she was brainwashed by a top marxist business school. A fair counterpoint to a free market solution? I’ve watched the Teamsters destroy a working environment between good management and a happy workforce through simple greed. I’ve tried to manage worthless Local Union #3 IBEW incompetents that were as useful on a job site as the Sopranos. I’ve seen that union held up as an example of a good one too. The grocery store unions in California are using their bought politicians to get a tax on shopping bags, just as they used them to inconvenience shoppers with limited utility of a self-checkouts via legislation. Teachers unions keep the worst teachers on the payroll in California. Efforts to get them removed take years and cost a fortune in legal fees. Making excuses for unions because of ideological insanity is already extracting a price and will precipitate the end of our viability.

          • 0 avatar
            tedward

            Damnit… Reply lost. CJ, the gist of it is she’s pretty apolitical. Her big beef is with her manager peers who get bad results and blame their workforce, while she is then sent in and it miraculously gets fixed. I can imagine that there are situations where a manager would inherit a really toxic dynamic though.

            Unions as Free market Entities, well yes it does follow. It’s government favoritism for either party that would make this not the case. Our system obviously does this with reckless abandon, but that’s a different claim.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        With or without unions there will always be free loaders. The dirtbag population will, of course, not pay anything they don’t have to and demand all sorts of benefits no matter what. Given an option, most dirt bags will of course choose not to pay. They also try to claim conscientious objector status in every draft. Shall we damn the pacifists as dirtbags?

        You have raised a canard, not dismissed one.

        The very fact that of the protections will create more infractions. If you don’t know this, you just are not paying attention.

        You can make a net net argument for unions, but most of the standard fare is much worse on the pro union side.

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    Read this in Darth Vader.

    “The following individuals are NON-dues paying workers. They have chosen to STOP paying Union Dues and still reap the rewards of your negotiated benefits. If you work near one of these people listed please explain the importance of Solidarity and the POWER (clenches fist) of collective bargaining.”

  • avatar
    mikey

    I know that many here assume, they understand, blue collar/plant floor culture. Unless you have worked, or lived it,”plant culture” is almost impossible to describe.

    No one likes paying union dues. I don’t know many folks that like paying taxes either. What if your next door neighbor opted out of his tax bill? Maybe he doesn’t feel the government is supporting the right causes.

    We all like to be treated fairly. Paying union dues is the price you pay to enjoy all the perks and benefits. Why should someone get a free ride? What happens when Mr “non union dues” makes a little error. Say he gets caught walking out of the gate with a 3/8 drive Snap On ratchet hanging out of his back pocket? Just a simple mistake, he made no attempt to hide the ratchet. {I seen it happen}.So management in their infinite wisdom, decide to fire this 10 year, perfect work record employee. Should the union represent Mr non dues?

    See, nothing is black and white. I would argue that if one feels, strongly about their cause, they shouldn’t have a problem with having their name published. If the company lays off 100 people. Does the company follow seniority rules, for the no union dues people? What happens if they don’t?

    I’ve been out of the plant for a long time. There was always a certain element of volatility on the plant floor.
    Between the union reps, the hourly group leaders, and the plant floor management it was kept under control. If everybody played by the rules, it all went pretty smooth.

    Today, you have up to three tier wages. Certainly a bone of contention there. Combine that with the ability to opt out of dues. Wow! talk about a ticking time bomb. I’m glad to be retired

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “What if your next door neighbor opted out of his tax bill?”

      He would be committing a crime. Taxes are not voluntary.

      Tennessee is an open shop state. Unlike a tax bill, the union dues in that state are strictly voluntary; nobody can be forced to pay.

    • 0 avatar
      stingray65

      Any company that would fire a 10 year veteran employee with perfect work record for inadvertently taking a socket wrench deserves to have a union. And if protecting the rights of these perfect workers was all the union did I think unions would be much more popular. But protecting the poor performers and the engaging in partisan political activities are what many think are the union’s main activities. It is also interesting that non-union plants seems to resolve such issues without the union overhead, and yet have happy work forces and long lists of applicants for new positions.

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      Mikey,
      I know you speak from your heart, and I respect that. I generally disagree with you, but I don’t doubt your sincerity.

      I’m going to point out a few things that came to mind when I read your post.

      First, the what if. What if your ten year employee never got a job because of the union in the first place. Either he refused to join in a closed shop state, the job was eliminated because of union inefficiency (this includes high wages), or he wasn’t accepted because he would not fit in to a union environment. There are plenty of what ifs. What if he was really good with that wrench and could command a better wage than the union negotiated? The reality is that the union may be much better for the average worker, but that isn’t the whole story. It may be worse for some workers, worse for a lot of managers and consumers as well.

      Most things are black and white. Really they are. Think about all your daily decisions, not just the grey ones. The grey are vastly outnumbered.

      You write about the really, really grey parts of unions as if they are black and white much of the time it seems to me. I know from my experience that unions attract and create bad management. It’s a closed loop. Yes, all management of big companies will end up treating many workers unfairly. Even when they are trying to do the opposite. That doesn’t mean unions are the best answer.

      Lastly, any system will likely work great if people all follow the rules. People don’t, and the best likely result is not going to come about with a bookcase full of rules.

  • avatar
    JimC2

    Sounds like a different kind of car company has the same old kind of union.

  • avatar
    mikey

    @JimC2…I see what you did there. Good memory dude.

  • avatar
    50merc

    “By any means necessary…”

    Here is a list of the license plate numbers of vehicles owned by non-union members. Please make sure the owners are made aware of what a shame it’d be if something happened…

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      ……….like four flat tires, heavy keying of the paintwork, omelets a-frying on the windshield…..

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        @HDC….Keying a guys car, and egging that’s so old school. Today it more like one of the plant girls giving you a friendly hug. Some how your wife will get the photo on her phone.

        I remember a story of a supervisor, that at a habit of handing out discipline for the most minor infractions. The same dude also had a habit of sitting in a bar after night shift and sucking back about 5 beers.

        Just so happened that one night the dude pulled his car out of the bar parking lot. I’ll be damed if there wasn’t an officer of the law waiting with his breathilizer . Nothing like walking for 15 months, and paying 5K a year for insurance, to change your attitude.

        As I mentioned earlier “plant culture” is a little different than life in a cubicle.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Yeah, but it was still effective, especially back then. “By any means necessary” has a dark connotation to it.

          The end result has to be that “whatever those means” have to result in an attitude adjustment on the part of the non-member.

        • 0 avatar
          Landcrusher

          Lol, that is life in a cubicle.

          It’s called office politics. In my old reserve unit they used to really play for keeps. Getting you fired or ticketed was bean bag. These guys tried to end careers, pull pensions, and get folks put in prison.

          Most sales organizations are full of people trying to burn their buddies on tens, even hundreds of thousands of dollars in commissions.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Life in much of the real world.

            Dirty tricks are not limited to the UAW or office politics.

            Dirty tricks even extend into sales competition between business rivals, as in the real estate business owned by my wife and her family.

            The key to success is to “Do unto others BEFORE they do unto you!”

        • 0 avatar
          cronus

          I know a former GM manager that had his tires slashed, of course it was a company car so he just called the motor pool to get a new car and had them deal with it.

  • avatar
    captbob2002

    Dumb move on the union’s part. The names ought to have been used by the membership chairman/committee to go and talk to the non-members to attempt to convince them to join AND listen to any reasons they might have not to join.

    Trying to intimate non-members into joining is a dumb idea.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      captbob2002, did you mean “intimidate”?

      Trying to intimate non-members into joining by having public group-sex with them on the assembly floor constitutes sexual harassment in America these days. :}

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        @highdesertcat- “Trying to intimate…” whoa, where do I get a job doing that?! :O

        • 0 avatar
          mikey

          @JimC2…..You might want to take a real good look at whats working on the plant floor…before you take that job.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          JimC2, hey, nothing like a little smokin’, tokin’, drinkin’ and pure unadulterated public intimation on the UAW assembly line.

          I can imagine the Village People singin’ “Y-M-C-A”… as all the UAW members gyrate in-sync while hooking up their transmissions to the engines and marrying the power module to the body…

    • 0 avatar
      captbob2002

      Well, some my be intimidated by attempts of being intimate, this is Tennessee after all.

  • avatar
    mikey

    So no matter what your point of view, we all aware that we have three different sorts of unions. We have “Trade Unions” that do a lot of admin. work. Trade Unions look after job placement, pensions benefits, and many other duties usually performed by management. Trade unions have a unique relationship with management. I cant see how these guys [in a right to work state} could ever opt out of paying dues.

    Then you have the flourishing public sector unions. I wonder how many government workers opt out of paying dues?

    Down on the bottom of the food chain, you have the struggling private sector unions. The private sector union membership work for companies that need to turn a profit.

    I would love to see the stats, on which union sector has the highest number of members opting out.

  • avatar
    Roader

    Membership in government employee unions dropped by one-half to two-thirds after Wisconsin decided to stop automatically deducting union dues from payroll. I guess union members voted with their pocketbooks.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I believe that former union members are the most anti-union of them all.

      And it certainly was that way after my dad and mom left their respective unions way, way back then.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I wonder if such data is truly public domain style information or if there is a legal gray area in such an action (ie my boss publishes my performance plan on a bulletin board in an attempt to embarrass me). Creating an unsafe/unfriendly workplace has already been argued in successful lawsuits. I also wonder if the correct recourse/challenge to such shaming is to publish the exact salary and compensation package of every union management position. If “solidarity” is a thing, shouldn’t everyone know where the money is going down to the person and action, or perhaps this information is already available? Mikey can you shed light on this?

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      Can I shed light on this? Let me put it this way. My best years were 02,03,04,05. I put a lot of OT hours in, and I flirted with ,though never cracked a 100k. Somedays I would bring in two lunches. My wife had a well paying high pressure job. Between us we paid the kids student debt off, cleared our mortgage, and we stashed some.

      I know Union guys that made more than my wife,and I combined. An 8 hour day was considered OT for those dudes. They would show on a Sunday morning clock in, sneak out. A good percentage of them pi$$ed it all away. Boats,ATV’s three ex wives, some drank it away,others put it up their nose. Today I see these same guys working at Home Depot. Oh yeah they will tell you. “oh I just do this job because I’m bored” Really? lugging bags of mulch around for 11 dollars an hour, because your bored?

  • avatar
    April

    I’m sure the non-dues-paying employees would not have a problem if management told them from now on they would be working 6 days a week, 12 hours a day with no overtime at half of what they are paid now. Just like the “good ol’ (before unions where around) days.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      And I’m sure the employer would have no problem when those workers sue them over violating federal labor laws.

      If the requirements and benefits of a job are not competitive with others in the area, then workers are supposed to switch. That’s basic economics. Over the last century, more things have changed than unions. There is no reason to think conditions would be worse without a union than other jobs in the area.

      • 0 avatar
        April

        Oh, yes. The paternalist captains of industry so care about their employees.

      • 0 avatar
        UAintWiinning

        Good argument that doesn’t hold water. Look at the rest of the southern auto plants. They don’t pay any higher than the McDonald’s workers in those areas.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          If that is the case, why have they not welcomed the UAW with open arms?

          The sad thing is that the people who really do need a union, never seem to be able to get one. McDonalds workers, WalMart workers, other miserably paid overworked service sector types. It’s a case of well-paid auto workers and even better paid autoworkers. Neither need a union at this point.

          • 0 avatar
            UAintWiinning

            Rhodes, Because they are products of the southern education system, that’s why. Keep ’em barefoot & ignorant of history. It’s the south’s way to keep the dumb hicks in line.

        • 0 avatar
          SpinnyD

          Just how much are they paying McDonald’s workers in your area? I’m making $30+ an hour here and I’m pretty sure the McDonald’s over on exit 129 aren’t making close to that.

        • 0 avatar
          MBella

          ????
          The average Mercedes worker in Vance makes over $20/hour, with great Diamler benefits including unbelievably cheap leases. I was not aware McDonalds workers in Alabama earn that much.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            McDonald’s in my area pays Federal minimum wage for their hourlies.

            For Managers they pay more, depending on location, size and the Manager’s experience, plus bennies, for a total package of anywhere between $30 – $45 per hour, including bennies.

            This info courtesy of my Poker buddy who owns several franchise outlets.

  • avatar
    UAintWiinning

    Scab list is not any different in substance than Mitt Romney complaining about 47% of the population not paying taxes.

    • 0 avatar
      SayMyName

      Oh bullsh!t, for too many reasons to waste time listing — but the most obvious is that to my knowledge, Romney didn’t name each individual leech.

      (And if anything, 47 percent was underestimating it.)

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      It won’t be any different when the Right starts living up to the Left’s hyperbole of them and makes a list and sends out thugs. Until then, only the Left act like the bogeymen they try to scare people with.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I have to concur with SayMyName. They are employing an old/questionable tactic instead of attempting to reform and offer their members a reason to *want* to belong/pay dues. The previous reasoning of we’re effectively (or literally) the mafia and you owe us a cut in order to work in “our” shop no longer applies.

      • 0 avatar
        captbob2002

        When the non-member is entitled to the fruits of the labor union: negotiated contract, benefits, and protection while not having to pay for any of it what benefit to membership can there be?

        They want to be rugged individualists, let ’em.

        Unions should NOT have to represent non-members. Non-members should be free and encouraged to negotiate their own compensation package and protections with an employer. Maybe they’d do better, maybe they’d do worse but at least they couldn’t complain about the big, bad union holding them back and the unions wouldn’t be forced to go to bat for the non-members if the employee finds them self in a jam.

        Had I not had to represent non-members it would have cut the number of grievances I’ve files by 2/3.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          You bring up an interesting point on some folks getting a “free ride” and yes I agree its not really fair. My initial thought is the same as yours, they are on their own. However the inability to enforce a compulsory membership may show the membership is no longer needed at all in the 21st century. I’m not going to claim to really understand how things operate in plant culture, but my understanding was essentially if you want to work at plant ABC, you must pay US for the privilege by joining our organization. What’s the line from MacBeth… there’s daggers in men’s smiles?

          My other thought is another new competitive union which would force the current union to reform or change if members want to opt out. Big, outdated, monolithic entities *without printing presses* tend to fail eventually.

        • 0 avatar
          SayMyName

          So fear and intimidation are the correct methods to effectively make that argument to those “scabs” in your view, capt?

          • 0 avatar
            captbob2002

            Had you read my other postings you would find that that is exactly the opposite of what I have said.

            No intimidation (or intimate activity, ha!) no fear. Talk to those that don’t want to join, try to convince them to join, listen to their reasons they do not want to join and either correct their misconception or fix the problem with the local as appropriate. (Works where I work quite well.)

            They don’t want to join, fine, but they should NOT receive ANY of the benefits in the union’s contract – they should be on their own and negotiate for themselves – I’ve said that twice above. Maybe they do better than the union members , maybe they do worse, but the unions won’t have to concern itself with them.

            Not sure why the term “scab” is being used. Isn’t that normally applied to substitute workers that cross a picket line at a location where a strike is taking place?

  • avatar
    hriehl1

    Once upon a time the U.S. had a vibrant steel industry. I grew up in Pittsburgh in the 50s and my father and half my friends’ fathers worked in steel or related companies.

    Ever wonder why we lost everything to foreign competitors? Cost of labor… pure and simple. There were lots of factors responsible… greedy unions, lazy management, government intrusion where it didn’t belong: but EVERYONE ended up losing.

    Closer to this discussion, NO ONE should be forced to join a union… but also, NO ONE who is not a union member should have any standing or benefits accorded to union members. They should be on their own in all dealings with their employer; wages, disputes, etc. Only when this is the case can each worker make the personal decision whether union membership is worth it.

    • 0 avatar
      captbob2002

      Don’t forget that part of the high cost of labor was the steel industry leaders not bothering to modernize their operations after WWII. They spent money on diversification and real estate holdings rather then reinvesting in their core business…similar to GM’s acquisitions under the “leadership” of Roger Smith in the eighties.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    The scabs are benefitting from the “right to work”, part of “freedom of association”, which is in turn, related tofreedom of speech. Funny thing about freedom of speech, it also means that you don’t have any recourse when people say things to you that you don’t like, like calling you out for not joining the union. Freedom goes both ways, dude.

    As to the steelworker jobs going overseas: yep, the steel industry of 50 years ago was a nasty beast, dangerous to the workers and dangerous to the environment. It needed to be cleaned up on both fronts. When we cleaned it up, other countries kept the old ways. Some jobs are actually worth losing.

    • 0 avatar
      hriehl1

      I think we’re in agreement… the “scab list” is fine… as long as it isn’t accompanied by coercion or threats.

      It is the idea that one must join a union that is disagreeable to those who believe in individual freedom.

      Worse was the practice (and may still be the practice) that summer workers had to pay union dues but received no benefits of membership. I had that dubious honor in my youth with two unions, and that was nothing more than legal extortion.

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    Oh I got the vapors! Somebody was called a scab! Quick, to the ballot box to outlaw all democratic pressure groups! How dare they express their views socially to promote their agenda! Oh the horrors!

    Please, explain to me how GM as the actual employer through threat of retaliation by firing, demotion, or general unpleasantnesses on the job is not the bigger player. Oh, wait, you can’t. Please go ahead and keep moaning that people are using their power of association to confront people who want to break solidarity. They didn’t hurt him, no laws were broken, so please complain louder. It makes me excited to hear unions fight back so vibrantly.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I know despite any snark you’re educated on this subject, has anyone ever challenged “shaming” style tactics in the courts as of yet? I ask because I am aware of several legal cases where employers lost after it was proven they created unsafe or unfriendly working environments. Most cases involved some sort of sexual harassment however arguments have been made involving other EEO regs and even cases of significant slander.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        EEO regs apply to employers, not individuals. In the case of an ’employee’ making another feel uncomfortable that would be a personal issue, usually for the courts to decide. There is a complicated issue where the union members could make the workplace unsafe and thus the employer could retaliate by firing them but the Union members have no real reason to harm them or create an unsafe environment because of two big reasons: They work there too and they don’t need to hurt people. All the right wing claims of ‘vicious attacks’ boil down to a few acts committed in a narrow range of actions over the last 50 years. Most of them stem from long strikes, namely the AK Steel battle. That went too far where they attacked a manager but that’s a situation where the example proves how rare these actually are.

        Employers are required to maintain the work environment, equals on the work floor can’t ‘harass’ each other in the company structure because they have no power over the other to compel them as a structure of their job. Hence it would be a criminal complaint of harassment but again, an union isn’t indefinitely protected but is given greater leeway because calling somebody a scab may be hurtful it doesn’t constitute a crime.

        Ideological differences are generally deemed acceptable battles of wills by the courts. There have been a few court cases if I’m not mistaken that have gone to court over ‘union intimidation’ and they all basically get decided in favor of the union because they understand the limitation of their rights and use their first amendment to the maximum under law.

        • 0 avatar
          Landcrusher

          I’m no lawyer, but one employee making another uncomfortable isn’t an issue. A group of employees making others uncomfortable is the issue.

          I suppose it’s fine if the group is a union, but not any other group? Is that how it’s supposed to work? If so, your side won. Gratz.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Define Uncomfortable.

            Under what group pretense is that group acting on? Is their intended goal illegal? Do they have a goal of enforcing their will through illegal or possibly violent means?

            If not there isn’t much of an argument. The big issue is that the employer has no converse group because that group ultimately has hire/fire powers. So they hold key power over another.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            PCH,
            I look forward to you quoting me, and posting a dictionary quote to show my mental illness and/or demagoguery. Until then, you have the floor, but I think it’s you acting wrongly.

          • 0 avatar
            tedward

            I’m not a lawyer either, but my understanding is that if one worker is making others uncomfortable (and the behavior can be reasonably construed to be offensive or threatening) then the employer has ample grounds for discipline and termination. If the employer doesn’t act, or acts ineffectively, (once notified) of the problem behavior then can be sued as a civil matter.

            If you get two complaints on the same matter by the same party over a period of time your goose is cooked as the employer has to act to limit their exposure to liability. But I’m not a lawyer, and I would like to know which reading is correct.

        • 0 avatar
          S2k Chris

          “Employers are required to maintain the work environment, equals on the work floor can’t ‘harass’ each other in the company structure because they have no power over the other to compel them as a structure of their job.”

          Completely incorrect. If one employee, of any level, makes another employee, of any level, feel as though he or she is working in a hostile working environment, and the employer has done nothing to prevent it after the harrassed has raised the issue through proper channels, the employer absolutely can be held liable.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Only if that hostile work environment wasn’t a protected first amendment right. They can’t mock your sexuality or question your gender or use racial slurs. They can come up to you and ask you why you refuse to pay dues but still receive benefits, free riders aren’t a protected group. The confusion over what represents a ‘hostile work environment’ is where you’re misinterpreting the issue all together. By and large the courts have upheld the right of union members to discuss in groups with non-paying members, it’s a first amendment right that is protected. If they were to harm that person that would be unprotected. But since the discussion isn’t an inherently protected right to not be questioned about there is nothing the employer would be liable for.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Xer,
            Under the present state of affairs uncomfortable is very loose. Your descriptions are also leaving a lot of wiggle room. How about we get some other professors to consistently attack your competence, field of study, and integrity?

            Would that meet the standard? Does the administration bear any responsibility? Could someone on the faculty not be as wronged by this as if their sexuality was being attacked? Are they only protected if they are a minority? Define minority? Will white males ever be a minority because they already are.

            And while we are at it, where is your union, scabby boy? Why not start one at your place of employment if they are so great?

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            LC – If anybody on the faculty decided to impugn my professional ability that would be at best a momentary discussion between them and I. The administration has no responsibility for us to get along, just for us to do our jobs. They aren’t impugning a protected feature, so no.

            If anything you should hear some of the faculty meetings where people clash, it would make you blush for sure.

            ‘Protected because they’re a minority’ is an irrelevant response, you aren’t allowed to attack a majority using it either, it just bears so little weight that it tends to never be used. White men in places of power are still the standard but thanks for the ‘but but..RACISM ON WHITES!’ remark, it made me chuckle.

            My Union? I’m covered under my home Union because that is effectively where my position lies. I was working on organizing NAU while I was there and my current University I’m visiting I’m talking with them about joining either the Louisiana Association of Educators or the NEA. I’m working right now on getting a meeting together for the entire department and then working out from there.

            Don’t call me a scab, my boy, I’m a Union Xer all the way through. :)

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “Hostile work environments” involve protected classes. That means discrimination based upon race, age (40+), gender, religion, etc. Copping an attitude toward a guy for not paying union dues is not going to be covered.

            Hostile work environments can be created by non-supervisory personnel. Employers are liable for those if they are aware of the behavior.

            A hostile work environment almost always has to be part of a pattern. A one-off event is usually not enough to qualify.

            The union isn’t violating any laws, to my knowledge. But it is acting unethically, and I would be personally inclined to reject a union that uses shakedown tactics to collect voluntary dues payments.

            Then again, it’s funny to see the hypocrisy of some posters here who had no problem at all with Bob Corker et. al. walking or crossing the line at the VW plant, yet are upset here when there are no laws being broken. The lack of consistency is the mark of hypocrisy, without a doubt.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Xer,
            Once again, you purposely misread my post. The what if isn’t about you and a single peer. This is about continued bullying and harassment from a group of your peers. An actual hostile environment. The sort of things that have led people to suicide in the past.

            The question about protected classes is also hypothetical. At what point do heterosexual males become a “minority” or protected class? I find it entertaining a guy with so much faith in “science” would not have some formula or threshold. If you don’t, how do you know it hasn’t changed? You just know? That’s not science.

            Clearly the scab comment was in jest. I’m confused though. Is your admin so atrocious you need protection?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I see that this is going to destined into devolve into Landcrusher-arguing-about-terminology-that-has-already-been-defined threads.

            Harassment in this context is a term of art, i.e. it has a legal meaning. Not every unpleasantness at the office falls under the definition of “harassment.” Being impolite to somebody because he doesn’t like to pay union dues is not the same as harassing someone for being black, Jewish, over 40, pregnant, or whatever. It may not be very cool, but it isn’t “harassment.”

            If you genuinely care about this stuff, then read this: http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/harassment.cfm If you don’t like what it says, then go argue with them and try to get them to change the law. I didn’t make it up, the definitions didn’t originate with me, and bickering with me won’t make a bit of difference with respect to the working definitions of these terms.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            PCH,
            If anyone wants to use harassment in a legal sense, I suppose that’s fine. I am using English. You seem to consistently think because some group uses a term in a technical meaning, that people who still use that word in the dictionary meaning are idiots.

            You also then love to play games and be a jerk about it. Everyone is aware of your habit here, and only morons are at all impressed by your supposed knowledge of these “terms of art”. If you can’t understand others because they are merely speaking normal English, you have issues.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “I am using English”

            No, you are using your own bizarro Landcrusher dialect, which involves using English words inappropriately and then taking them places where they don’t belong.

            There’s no legal protection offered to someone who gets shunned by his colleagues for his failure to pay union dues. I realize that you’d like such people to be treated as if they are victims of racism, but the courts won’t see it that way, no matter how much you try to mangle the English language.

            And as noted, I’m pretty appalled that the union would do this sort of thing. But I live in the real world, not Landcrusherfantasyland, so I am able to distinguish between what I find to be distasteful and what is.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            PCH,
            My response apparently got lost.

            Simply, what word do you think I misused here. Feel free to quote a normal dictionary.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            It’s the same problem that you’ve had for years.

            Apparently you’ve heard that “harassment” at the workplace is illegal.

            What you haven’t figured out is that your definition of “harassment” does not match the legal definition of harassment.

            You continually try to turn these little internet discussions into an argument over why we should be using your definitions for words. The reality is that your definition means nothing, carries no authority at all, and is relevant only to you.

            If workers want to sneer at a peer for not paying dues, then they are free to do that. It isn’t “harassment” to dislike a guy in your workplace because he doesn’t contribute money to the union. It may not be very nice, but it isn’t illegal, and your special Landcrusher dictionary isn’t going to change that.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Your claim:

            “This is about continued bullying and harassment from a group of your peers. An actual hostile environment.”

            As noted, you don’t get it. You haven’t figured out that your idea of harassment and hostile workplaces don’t match the actual definitions.

            You’re trying to turn union holdouts into a protected class. They aren’t.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Yeah, right. I think any reasonable reader is going to take that, even out of context, as not intending to be the legal term of art. I mean really?!

            And, the context is completely about me going in the other direction. It’s about the liability issue and plain wrongness of both behaviors.

            You can disagree with my point, only if you do it will be silly. I believe their is a great consensus on people acting badly being bad. I never was making the point that the employer should be liable for union thuggery. I would say they could still be negligent though if they do nothing at all about it.

            Xer was incorrect. I pointed out. Done.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            ” I never was making the point that the employer should be liable for union thuggery. I would say they could still be negligent though if they do nothing at all about it.”

            This is hilarious. You’ve merely prove my points for me: You don’t know the definition of harassment as it is applied to workplace regulations.

            If workers don’t want to like a coworker because he won’t pay dues, then they can do that. That isn’t harassment. Mistreatment motivated by race, religion, age, etc. is illegal, but union dues payments aren’t on the list.

            I know that you’d like to see the union holdouts as a protected class, but they aren’t. This is Landcrusher jargon, not the English used in an American court of law.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            First, I think one problem here is you have let comments by S2k Chris form your opinion of what I was trying to say. Add to that your own biases on what I am trying to say.

            Then, as usual, you can’t make a valid argument.

            “If workers don’t want to like a coworker because he won’t pay dues, then they can do that. That isn’t harassment. Mistreatment motivated by race, religion, age, etc. is illegal, but union dues payments aren’t on the list.

            I know that you’d like to see the union holdouts as a protected class, but they aren’t. This is Landcrusher jargon, not the English used in an American court of law.”

            Harassment is not, in the English or legal sense, equivalent to “don’t like”.

            Mistreatment, by means of harassment (English), is exactly what I was talking about as opposed to harassment (still English) of a protected class (acts of discrimination in the legal sense which is the term I would use).

            When the lawyers take over the dictionary business, I will still not conform, but then you will have a point. They haven’t, and you don’t.

            As for what I would like, certainly I would like mistreatment and harassment to be eliminated in the work place. Why would one not? Why should someone be persecuted for something so benign as not wanting to be in a union and still be able to sell his labor? Why does this even matter? What sicko nut bag is in favor of thuggery?

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Thx for the detailed reply.

  • avatar
    UAintWiinning

    Here’s the bottom line. The foreign manufacturers built in the south for a bunch of reasons not related to labor, i.e. cheap energy, MASSIVE tax breaks and being close to new, modern, non-union steel plants. On the labor side, they wanted CHEAP, easily molded, ignorant of labor history, workers of which the south has an unlimited supply. High school graduation rates in the 60 percent area, over 65 percent of graduating seniors need REMEDIAL math to get in to college. The south is an educator’s nightmare. Ask any northern teacher that moves there.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      “On the labor side, they wanted CHEAP, easily molded, ignorant of labor history, workers of which the south has an unlimited supply. High school graduation rates in the 60 percent area, over 65 percent of graduating seniors need REMEDIAL math to get in to college. The south is an educator’s nightmare. Ask any northern teacher that moves there.”

      The South isn’t one aggregate person that’s 40% dropout and 35% innumerate. The hireable part of the South is as civilized as you’ll find anywhere else in this country.

      Spring Hill looks nothing at all like Memphis and neither do the people that GM hires there.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    In Canada we do not have this problem.

    Once a union has been certified, everyone in the bargaining unit must pay union dues, whether they belong to the union or not.

    The reason is, as has been proven over and over again, union workplaces/jobs provide higher wages (on average by about 15%), more benefits and are safer, as they have stricter health & safety provisions/requirements.

    Therefore those workers who benefit from the collective agreement are required to help pay for it.

    As for unions defending poor workers, or as another poster put it: “defending employees who would have otherwise been fired if the union weren’t there”. The union is obligated by law to defend its members. Therefore it has no choice but to grieve dismissals.

    Those who believe that they can negotiate better deals individually are living in cloud cuckoo land. The balance of power between an employer and a worker, particularly a ‘blue collar’ worker is such that the worker has very little bargaining power. This is in spite of the strictly American interpretation of employment contracts being negotiated between two equal parties, allowing ‘at will’ employment. This interpretation is unique to the U.S. among first world nations and was the result of a great deal of lobbying on the part of corporate lawyers/representatives.

    As for unions ‘screwing’ employers. All collective agreements are negotiated so the employer only provides that which has been agreed upon. The D3 agreed upon many things because they viewed each other as the competition, not taking into account foreign companies. As long as GM/Ford/Chrysler workers all received relatively equal wages, then no D3 company or product was at a price/cost disadvantage. The advent of free trade agreements and non-union transplant plants has changed this dynamic.

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      We can all agree that unions get better wages for workers overall. And, the power argument is a good one. Still, the unions aren’t a better deal overall for many, many workers. I would argue most, actually.

      There are many sorts of unions, but I am talking here about the ones for company employees. It would take a LOT of money to make up for the trap the employees get into. Stuck in a job that may be ill suited for life, working under often ludicrous rules, putting up with medieval seniority systems (which do hold you back monetarily) worrying ceaselessly about their pensions, and having what is essentially a whole extra layer of office politics. What a deal!

      And let’s not forget the other victims. Think GM is gouging people on cars and abusing it’s oligopoly? You can buy from others, depend less on cars, or even buy GM stock and share in the wealth. But wait! No, you can’t. The unions are going to suck that well dry and take above market compensation by holding the management and owners hostage. And it’s legal. And, they will do it to every player in the market if they can.

      I’m all for workers striking against abuses, but unions have simply become a loony spouse that now holds potentially abusive partners at gun point 24/7 with government help to do so. No worries if it’s justified or about the rest of the population putting up with the effects. The current system is an anachronistic pile of poor policy gathered for over a century.

      Yuck.

  • avatar
    Roader

    Comparing a tiny country like Canada to the US is similar to comparing the US to the Scandinavian countries. Compared to the US, Canada is tiny and very, very white. It’s easy to get along with everyone when you look, talk, and generally think just like each other.

    The US gets around this with robust federalism. Each state was conceived as a small laboratory of democracy. As a result, today their are 23 states that are “right-to-work.” In those states you don’t have to pay any union dues if you choose not to. In the remaining 27 states you have to pay union “agency fees” even if you don’t want to belong to the union. Agency fees are the fraction of union dues that don’t go toward political lobbying, campaign contributions, etc. These are called “Beck Rights” because of the US Supreme Court ruling in Communications Workers of America v. Beck back during the Rehnquist Court in 1988.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      Unfortunately, your opening statement and assumptions were factually and historically incorrect. Thanks however for mentioning ‘Beck’ rights,

      Canada ‘tiny’ as in geographically? It is larger than the US geographically.

      ‘Very white”? Well Toronto is considered one of, if not the most diverse community on the planet. And we also have a very large Francophone population (historically just under 10% of the Canadian population), as well as a large aboriginal population. And a great number of immigrants from Asia, including South Asia.

      As for “The US gets around this with robust federalism. Each state was conceived as a small laboratory of democracy.” Well you need to enhance your historical/political studies. Many other nations have robust federalism, including Canada, and Great Britain over the past few decades is increasingly moving to a federal rather than unitary system, as demonstrated by the recent Scottish referendum. I believe that when parts of the U.S. tried to devolve it resulted in the federal government enforcing its rule, militarily.

      Canadian law is based on ‘common law’ principles. So is the U.S. to a degree. However Canadian law has more in common with that of Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and other countries that were part of the British Commonwealth. American law tended to veer in another tangential direction.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Roadster, I posted a rebuttal to your comments that unfortunately must have got caught in the spam filter.

    1) Canada is much larger geographically than the U.S., not ‘tiny’.

    2) Do you mean by population? Well Toronto is considered as one of the most diverse communities in the world (and is the 4th largest by population in North America). Also historically 10% of the Canadian population is Francophone. And Canada has very large Asian (Chinese, Indian and Sri Lankan) and Caribbean populations. Also a very large aboriginal community.

    3) Canada follows a federal form of government. Provincial powers are enumerated in the Constitution and laws very from province to province. One province (Quebec) has even held its own referendums on whether or not to leave the federation. I believe that when this occurred in the U.S. the federal government imposed it rights.

    4) Where you got “Each state was conceived as a small laboratory of democracy” is beyond me? The original U.S. constitution (the Articles of Confederation) was re-written to ensure federal powers.

    Thanks however for the reference to ‘Beck Rights’. Agency fees appear to be the American comparable to our Rand Formula. As unionization is based on collectivity, any weakening of collective action will result in weaker unions and therefore less compelling reasons to join a union.

    • 0 avatar
      Roader

      Various: Er, yeah, I was referring to Canada’s tiny and ethnically homogeneous population. Land doesn’t join unions nor can it have ethnic component. A single US state has about the same population as the entire country of Canada.

      Canada is 85% white, the Scandinavian countries exceed 90% white, Japan is 98% ethnic Japanese, China 98% ethnic Han. The US, at 65% non-hispanic white, is a paragon of ethnic diversity compared to any of those countries. There really can’t be any comparison. When you look and talk and think just like each other it’s very easy to come to a consensus about political matters.

      Are there any “right to work” provinces in Canada as there are in the US? The nice thing about the US is if you don’t want to pay union dues you can always move to a right-to-work state. I assume that isn’t the case in Canada but I could be wrong. In aggregate US right-to-work states are are gaining young adult population while mandatory union states are losing young adults, which tells me that people are voting with their feet. A look at Wisconsin’s continuing plunging public sector union membership certainly bears this out. Given a choice more than half the people dropped out and quit paying dues.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Visible minorities in Canada as of 2011 = 19.1% of the population
        Aboriginal status Canadians as of 2011 = 4.3% of the population

        Self-identified as a French/Francophone background = 15.8%. This is important as Quebec follows a different legal system (Civil Code) and enforces French language laws (a function of Federalism). Therefore many Francophone Canadians do not speak English and the vast majority of non-Francophone Canadians have little to no working knowledge of the French language.

        In Toronto visible minorities comprise well over 40% of the population and Toronto (the GTA) represents nearly 14% of Canada’s population.

        So certainly not a ‘heterogeneous’ population. In fact approximately 40% non-English speaking and/or non-Caucasian. The Canadian government endorses a policy of ‘Multiculturalism’, one of the few national governments to do so.

        And with a population of approximately 35 million it is larger than any American state with the possible exception of California.

        As for the increase in the population of right to work southern U.S. states, look to the rising Hispanic population (birth rates and immigration) not to 2nd generation plus Americans moving south.

        Then compare standards of living and wage rates between States. The American standard of living (and income) peaked in the mid to late 70’s and has been declining ever since. Coincidentally (?) union rates peaked at the same time.

        For a quick review, read the recent posting in Slate Magazine regarding social mobility. The social mobility rate of those in the U.S. is now about 17th in the world and below that of Canada and many western European countries. From WWII until the mid to late 70’s social mobility in the U.S. was the highest in the world.

        Add in the fact that the U.S infant mortality rate has increased greatly in regards to other nations since 1980 and that the life expectancy of those in the U.S. has declined sharply in relation to that of other nations (the U.S. now lags behind most other 1st world nations in regards to these statistics) and you have to ask what has changed in the U.S. since 1980 that has caused its standard of living measures to decrease so dramatically?

        • 0 avatar
          Landcrusher

          If you count French as minorities, you might as well count our entire South and much of New England/ New York. The South for culture, and the other for non English speakers.

          Give it up, US is more diverse by far, and has the political weight of slavery and segregation weighing on it. Somehow, I don’t see your immigrants (selected carefully for demographic suitability btw) having quite the same issues.

          Canada is not “tiny” but it is a large state compared to the US though I don’t know why that matters.

          Infant mortality is a lie. The US uses a different measure than most other countries. Just drop it. I lived in Calgary when they had an OB shortage, caused by Ottawa planning, so you aren’t going to win this one.

          Canada healthcare laws nearly killed me and left me scarred. I will stay here all day and argue healthcare with anybody over the evils of the Canadian way. I liked Alberta overall, but you should just quit on this one right now. Biggest regret in my life was not getting evacuated for what is a simple, common diagnosis and surgery in the US. You don’t no a thing about healthcare if you think the Canadian system is a good one. It takes willfully choosing dogma over fact to like the Canadian way on healthcare. It’s like me denying Texas imprisons too many people. Just Give it up!

          Slate is a biased source. Social mobility isn’t at all properly measured in the US. I’ll believe it has been reduced. I blame government. You don’t? Who else could be responsible? Some star chamber? Black helicopters?

          Okay, rant over.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            Very hard to have a meaningful dialogue with someone who will not accept facts.

            Check out these facts re: life expectancy and infant mortality:
            http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.DYN.IMRT.IN

            http://www.infoplease.com/world/statistics/life-expectancy-country.html

            As for diversity Quebec views itself as a ‘distinct nation’ due to cultural and linguistic differences. Very much different. The only American parallel would be the Confederacy. And Quebec has held multiple referendums regarding whether it should secede from Canada.

            Regards ‘visible’ minorities the facts were provided, close to 40% in 2011 and that percentage is growing rapidly due to immigration and demographic patterns.

            As for health care. The U.S.A. is out of step with all the ‘civilized’ nations. The U.S. government pays more per capita for health care than the Canadian government and still does not have a workable universal health care system. Yours is an argument that was lost decades ago in all other 1st world nations and any epidemiological study can demonstrate the reasons behind it. Instead in the U.S. private health care organizations and insurance providers reap profits and pay exorbitant salaries, while driving an appalling number of people into bankruptcy.

            You blame government for the reduction in social mobility but you do not say what they did to reduce it, since 1980.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Arthur,
            No need to be rude. I accept facts. You are presenting a well known and repeated lie. I told you why the stats you present are false. You have presented nothing to contradict that merely sourced the lie.

            First, it’s not a matter of fact that Quebec francophones should count as a minority. I have been there, and they are much less different from average white Americans and Canadians than many people in the US who you we don’t count as minorities. You can disagree, but it’s not over any facts. I would send you to southern bayous and the Appalachians for starters and see if you want to keep your position. Enjoy the food while there. And, if you go to a hospital note they don’t stop you to ask about payment until after they are sure you are not dying. I used not understand why that’s important.

            Second, the US defines a live birth as any birth where the baby breathes and/or shows other signs of life. Most other countries do not. Some have size requirements or other criteria that their health systems have prescribed. The result is that they simply don’t count the births of many of their most high risk babies. It’s that simple. Those deaths they do not count as deaths just as we don’t count miscarriages.

            Then, if you norm for that somehow (which you really cannot in most cases without guessing), you will not find the differences in the US are from lack of spending but rather the opposite.

            Now. It may be a shame if someone doesn’t get proper prenatal care due to ignorance, willfulness, or lack of resources. I was in Canada when women could not get checked by a doctor for prenatal care because the government had purposefully reduced the supply of OBs allowed to graduate and followed that up by not allowing enough of them to move their practices to Alberta and providing funding for them to treat there when it was attracting hoards of young Canadians looking for work. OBs in other parts of the country were just taking it easy while babies in Calgary were at risk. It was on public radio as an issue nearly daily.

            That’s not a shame. That is a good reason to change your government. Your own highest court found against your system and your government merely sidestepped the decision and kept acting abhorrently. What you have is a tyranny of the healthy majority over a minority of people who need health care and must (and often do) leave your country to get it. I hope you don’t ever see the dark side of your system.

            Facts have very little to do with a constructive argument. You first have to be willing to look for truth. Then you have to be willing to not attack the other party, but merely his position. Then, you can start discussing evidence of which what you think is a fact is one part. If you can’t give up your facts, then why argue at all?

            I can accept that there is lots of problems with US healthcare because the facts are not a matter of religion, ideology, or national pride. Canadians don’t seem to be able to do that.

        • 0 avatar
          Roader

          No getting around the fact that, compared to the US, Canada is a very small, very ethnically homogeneous country, and it is very easy to govern as a result.

          I don’t know where you get the idea that living standards have dropped in the US since 1980. Canada’s infant mortality rate is virtually identical to the US’s. Removing traffic fatalities and homicides – instant deaths that not even the most gloriously statist health care system system can reverse – shows that the US is either #1 or #2 for life expectancy in the world. The broadest standard of living measure, the Human Development Index, shows the US at #5, behind, very white Norway, Australia, Norway, Switzerland,and the Netherlands, and ahead of very white Germany, New Zealand, and Canada. In fact, the top ten are all very white except for the US and Singapore. A classically liberal system of government allows a fantastic standard of living in the very ethnically diverse US, while Singapore employs an arguably authoritarian government to maintain a high standard of living in their relatively diverse (74% Han/13% Malay/9% South Indian) population.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            Your statements regarding diversity and ease of governance. are factually incorrect, as any historian, political scientist, sociologist or student of demographics can tell you.

            The statistics were provided, you choose to ignore them.

            As for the U.S. system, the American Constitution and the system that it created is truly remarkable. Well balanced and logical. Thank your Founding Fathers for that.

            Blame your current education system for the recent problems.

          • 0 avatar
            Roader

            Mr. Dailey:

            Your infant mortality rate link shows the US at six and Canada at five. But could we increase the resolution? Here’s a couple more ratings with better resolution:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_infant_mortality_rate

            CIA: 4.78 Canada vs. 5.2 US
            United Nations: Canada 5.22 vs. 5.4 US

            For all intents and purposes Canada and US infant mortality rates are identical.

            Life expectancy is a bit more complicated. US citizens have more car accidents than citizens of other developed countries because population centers in the US are more spread out. And we have a robust right to bear arms (thank you District of Columbia v. Heller!), much more robust than any other developed country. Couple those two factors with a much more ethnically diverse population and you have a lower life expectancy due higher rates of instantaneous death: homicides, suicides, and car accidents. Control for those factors and the US has the highest life expectancy in the world:

            http://politicalcalculations.blogspot.com/2007/09/natural-life-expectancy-in-united.html#.VEAzeJ4UdsE

            I fully agree that the US is a much higher risk / reward country than other developed countries. It’s a riskier place to live but the rewards are higher, although Canada and the US are very similar economically. For example, per capita GDP vs. Gini coefficient, after taxes and transfers:

            Canada: 52K / 0.324
            US: 53K / 0.378

            From an economic perspective, the US is a slightly more rewarding place to live, but it’s also slightly more economically risky.

            On a personal note, I travel frequently to Europe and Asia and I find that Europe, for a whole lot of reasons, is boring as hell. Japan and China too. Everybody looks and acts the same…all are monocultures. And although I can’t comment on Canada because I haven’t been there in decades, ethnically diverse Brazil and the US are much, much more fun to visit and live in.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Here is a source for Mr. Daily. From http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/details/health/infant-mortality-rate.aspx

            Part of the answer may lie in international differences in the registration of babies with an extremely low birth weight or countries’ classifications of births as live births or stillbirths. Some researchers suggest that comparisons between countries should therefore be interpreted with caution.6 A European report on perinatal indicators, for example, noted a wide variation in how European countries define infant mortality, due to differences in birth and death registration practices (that is, differences in the cut-off points for acceptable weight or estimated gestation period to be registered as a birth and subsequent death).7 This discrepancy can lead to under-reporting of infant deaths by some countries, particularly when compared with countries that use a broader definition for live birth. The international discrepancies in data may have existed for some time, but they have been overlooked because of much higher infant mortality rates. Now that rates are so much lower, however, differences in registration may be more important in explaining inter-country differences in infant mortality.8

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    1) Landcrusher, I will refer you to Dr. Daniel Martin’s comments. Look them up. The U.S. is the model for how not to provide health care. All other 1st world nations provide a form of national coverage for all citizens.

    2) Roader, your comments regarding finding Europe boring I can only believe that reveals your parochialism. So many cultures and so much history within easy driving distance! As for Canada being homogeneous and easy to govern, history and demographics prove that statement completely incorrect.

    3) As for Quebecers not being an ethnic minority. They have elected provincial governments and federal Members of Parliament whose primary goal was/is to separate from Canada. They operate under a different set of laws (Civil Code) than the rest of the country and all business and commerce must by law be conducted in French. They also had a group which conducted terrorist bombings, kidnappings and killings which eventually resulted in the military being called into the streets of their largest cities. The USA has not had anything approaching that since Lincoln put down the Confederacy.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • kjhkjlhkjhkljh kljhjkhjklhkjh: Only of it has the awesome ecoboost ..
  • 28-Cars-Later: @dal Very unfamiliar with Ford products outside of the 5.0 and 4.6. The only other one I know a bit...
  • Lightspeed: Drive the Ford, at least it’s kind of a Mazda underneath. Burn the rest. I had a Malibu and it was...
  • mcs: The car involved was a 2015 with HW1. They’ve improved the hardware since the, but no matter what if there...
  • jack4x: Yep, I was young and dumb and my ’08 GT was the first one the dealer had allotted. I bought it sight...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber