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Author Topic: Unions suffer steep decline in membership Back to Topics
teacher_tim

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Maryland

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Message Posted: Jan 23, 2013 1:11:17 PM

"The nation's labor unions suffered sharp declines in membership last year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Wednesday, led by losses in the public sector as cash-strapped state and local governments laid off workers and -- in some cases -- limited collective bargaining rights.

The union membership rate fell from 11.8 percent to 11.3 percent of all workers, the lowest level since the 1930s.

Total membership fell by about 400,000 workers to 14.4 million. More than half the loss -- about 234,000 -- came from government workers including teachers, firefighters and public administrators."

It would seem that more and more people are realizing that union membership is not essential or even economical on a large or personal scale.Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/01/23/unions-suffer-steep-decline-in-membership/?test=latestnews#ixzz2Ip70aiSG
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streetrider
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Message Posted: Jan 28, 2013 10:20:15 AM

panama19

You said "So the majority of union members make no value added products."

It is true in a pure business / economical sense, but not to be misconstrued with not adding value to our society. Or in that fact doing important functions that are critical to our nation as a whole.

Make no mistake about it our economy will suffer for years, I had this discussion with an economics prof years ago when everyons want us to shift to a service economy.

Very basic my car breaks I take it to a mechanic, the mechanics refrigerator breaks ( if I was a refrigerator repairman) I fix it. The money only exchanges between us.
Then his refrig becomes unrepairable he buys a new one. Now the money is in china where the refrig came from and our country gets poorer by the day.

We cannot stay a world power by exporting our jobs and money.
The economy will never fully recover till the structural problems are fixed.

If we can create more producers by expanding manufacturing jobs there will be less takers.

Are we worried about how many takers there are or union membership?

Sadder yet nobody of either party is even considering working on the structural problems.


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AC-302
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Jan 27, 2013 8:51:23 PM

greentre - Even if you choose not to join the union, they still take dues in a RTW state (which Florida apparently is)? Huh? How is that legal if you are not being represented by the union? You're not getting their benefits, so why should you be required to pay dues?

Streetrider said: "If you think unions are are obsolite then you never worked in the real world. There are definately corporations that treat thier employees with great regaurd. Then there are the rest the reason unions exist in the first place."

--No, I don't think unions are "obsolite", but I do think they're anachronisms and OBSOLETE. And I have I never worked in the "real world"? Well, I've held positions as menial as "mop jockey" and porter, and as high as high as senior manager? Have I worked in the real world? Probably longer and under tougher circumstances than you have.

I do agree there are bad companies. I know, I've worked at some. And there are also very good companies that listen to their employees. I've also worked in the deep South, where there is a STRONG anti-union climate. Their factories seem even more productive than those in the North, truth be told.

You talk of getting fired. What about those auto workers that were on national TV (was it Chrysler or GM?) who were drinking on their lunch breaks at local parks. Some were smoking "weed", too. They didn't get fired. Their union actually defended them. And why? Who knows? But they fully deserved to get fired.

[Edited by: AC-302 at 1/27/2013 8:57:52 PM EST]
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Panama19
Champion Author Louisville

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Message Posted: Jan 27, 2013 11:43:18 AM


streetrider, "The government sector unions are a completely different animal than private sector unions, the government is not a producer, they make no value added products"

Union Members Summary

"Public-sector workers had a union membership rate (35.9 percent) more than five times higher than that of private-sector workers (6.6 percent).

In 2012, 7.3 million employees in the public sector belonged to a union, compared with 7.0 million union workers in the private sector"

Public sector union membership is higher than that of the private sector in both percentage and absolute terms. So the majority of union members make no value added products.

"lumping all unions together is also a mistake"

True in one respect. Public sector unions operate on the basis of bribery and corruption of public officials while private sector unions operate on the basis of extortion and strong-arm tactics against both management and workers.

But the two are similar in that when workers are not forced to join the unions, the union membership drops sharply.


[Edited by: Panama19 at 1/27/2013 11:51:10 AM EST]
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Bell30012
Champion Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Jan 27, 2013 10:37:11 AM

The time of labor unions has come and gone. There was a time when unions were needed but now we have all those regulatory agencies, laws and rules to comply with. To make matters worse, unions have forced stupid rules upon companies by threatening to strike, hurt or bankrupt a company. Things like forcing a company to haul bread in one truck and sweets in another on the same route. Things like requiring the position of crane oiler to be kept even though new cranes don't need a crane oiler.

I'm in management but have dealt with unions. I've seen some of the rules in action. Then the unions can't figure out why we don't want them any longer.

How about the New Jersey city faced with a union police department with rules that allow a 1/3 absenteeism rate. These kind of things KILL unions. Why do American cars cost so much? Union labor.
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Weaslespit
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jan 26, 2013 10:45:40 AM

"If you think unions are are obsolite then you never worked in the real world."

Yes, that MUST be the case. You really got me there!

Here, I'll post this again for ya since you glossed over it;

"It costs too much in training and quality (and loss of production efficiency) to mistreat employees in today's economy. Notice how you didn't come up with any viable returns from the past 20 (30?) years..."
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nstrdnvstr
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 10:01:39 PM

streetrider, "There are definately corporations that treat thier employees with great regaurd. Then there are the rest the reason unions exist in the first place."

And what about the unions that do not treat their members with great regard?

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Hiram 615
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 9:15:47 PM

"street rider, by mentioning oshaa, the epa, you just made a couple great reasons. for not needing unions any more."

OSHAA, the EPA, and Unions. All things big business Republicans want to eliminate. Three good reasons to vote Democrat!

[Edited by: Hiram 615 at 1/25/2013 9:16:18 PM EST]
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streetrider
Champion Author Gary

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 9:03:44 PM

If you think unions are are obsolite then you never worked in the real world. There are definately corporations that treat thier employees with great regaurd. Then there are the rest the reason unions exist in the first place.
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streetrider
Champion Author Gary

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 8:56:24 PM

Unions are needed to negotiate wages and benefits. Let alone if an employeer wants to dimiss you because they don,t like you it means you have no options but to file a law suit.

But we must agree Nixon did sign into law to agenies that protect workers.

That was long ago before Republicans turned against people that work for a living.
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Weaslespit
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 8:02:37 PM

"street rider, by mentioning oshaa, the epa, you just made a couple great reasons. for not needing unions any more."

It seems we have found something to agree on!
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noseatbelt
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 4:50:03 PM

street rider, by mentioning oshaa, the epa, you just made a couple great reasons. for not needing unions any more.
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Weaslespit
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 11:05:48 AM

"The government sector unions are a completely different animal than private sector unions, the government is not a producer, they make no value added products."

They are indeed different animals however to call firefighters, police officers and teachers (etal) as 'not adding value to products' is a bit of a misnomer. Products are a want, the services provided by these folks are far more essential.

Private sector unions are obsolete. It costs too much in training and quality to mistreat employees in today's economy. Notice how you didn't come up with any viable returns from the past 20 (30?) years...



[Edited by: Weaslespit at 1/25/2013 11:06:15 AM EST]
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Weaslespit
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 10:54:52 AM

"Really? When the unionized American car builders were facing bankruptcy the foreign car companies building vehicles in this country with non-union American workers were prospering.

That should be a clue."

Wrong. US Auto sales plummted across the board (regardless of make). Toyota was burning cash at a faster rate than GM...

Again - across all segments of the private sector (not just automotive) wages were stagnant or decreased and insurance premiums increased.

[Edited by: Weaslespit at 1/25/2013 10:58:37 AM EST]
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EZExit
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 1:29:53 AM

streetrider: <<<"The government sector unions are a completely different animal than private sector unions, the government is not a producer, they make no value added products.

lumping all unions together is also a mistake.">>>

***********

...or, in other words, "don't gore my ox". Everyone knows how unions work, they intimidate and strong arm anyone or any policy that infringes on their parasitic tendencies, protecting at any cost the parasite/host relationship with their associated employer. Arguments are grasped desperately to keep people from noticing this, thus responses as the one above. You did get the government right, though, a lot of it doesn't produce anything other than dead weight for the taxpayer to drag around.

[Edited by: EZExit at 1/25/2013 1:30:37 AM EST]
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streetrider
Champion Author Gary

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 12:57:04 AM

Panama19
The government sector unions are a completely different animal than private sector unions, the government is not a producer, they make no value added products.

lumping all unions together is also a mistake.

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Panama19
Champion Author Louisville

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 12:37:06 AM


streetrider, "Unions are not the threat stupidity is"

Actually the two are the same thing.

Did you notice what the unions have done to California and Illinois?

Wisconsin Goes From $3 Billion Deficit to $300 Million Surplus

"The repeal of much of Wisconsin’s collective bargaining law has already improved the quality and lowered the cost of Wisconsin government exponentially.

It has been well-reported that under collective bargaining, districts have been stuck with the teacher union health insurance company — like the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC) in Wisconsin — which can cost $3,000-plus per teacher more over a plan that is virtually identical to that which another company is willing to provide. In Wisconsin, WEAC had grossly abused that privilege for decades, resulting in the unnecessary siphoning of millions of dollars from Wisconsin public schools. Taxpayers were the big losers.

If one listened to the violent rhetoric of the public employee unions, one would have expected today to be a dark day for education in Wisconsin. “This is a disaster,” said Wisconsin Senate Democratic leader Mark Miller in February after Governor Scott Walker first proposed Act 10. Miller predicted catastrophe if the bill were to become law, a charge repeated thousands of times by his fellow Democrats, union officials, and protesters in the streets. Now the bill is law, and we have evidence of how wonderfully it is working. Instead of a catastrophe, it is a day of miraculous optimism, balanced budgets, educational improvement, and fiscal recovery"


[Edited by: Panama19 at 1/25/2013 12:37:35 AM EST]
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streetrider
Champion Author Gary

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Message Posted: Jan 24, 2013 11:55:19 PM

This topic is so funny I don't know weather to cry or laugh.
Its true union membership is dwindling right with the industrial manufacturing jobs. Chicken or egg?

The funny part my die hard Republican friend relies on his union. I laugh every time he votes.

More funnies right with the union decline is the middle class wage decline.

The crying part without unions there would be no middle class so we will all make up the differences is in taxes that those people once paid.

All this so the democrats dont get a little funding from them.

Really if the republicans want to start winning elections that count why dont you try to start representing the people, you know.

Like Ike building the interstate highway system that brought us out of the dark ages.

Or Maybe like Nixon you know the guy that thought workers should be protected, signed into law osha. Dam I hated that, had to give people grinding asbestos brake shoes respirators.

Or like the epa he signed into law, dam had to clean up all those pbc spills and give the workers full protective suits.

Or how about that Reagan guy his take on S.S. "It's not unreasonable for people who paid into a system for decades to expect to get their money's worth--that's not an "entitlement," that's honoring a deal. We as a society must also make an ironclad commitment to providing a safety net for those who can't make one for themselves"

Maybe if there were Republican candidates like the above the resort to under cut democracy would not be needed. Unions are not the threat stupidity is.
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Panama19
Champion Author Louisville

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Message Posted: Jan 24, 2013 11:20:41 PM


Weaslespit, "The economy set us all back - not just union or non-union members"

Really? When the unionized American car builders were facing bankruptcy the foreign car companies building vehicles in this country with non-union American workers were prospering.

That should be a clue.

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greentre
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Message Posted: Jan 24, 2013 8:17:58 PM

The insurance premiums went up two years before O-care and were a direct result of union bargaining. I show up to the meetings and actually pay attention to what is going on. Unfortunately, others are dazzled by the BS the union reps throw out.

Don't get me wrong there is a place and a time for unions. I have been a union organizer and supporter, but once the need is over, getting rid of a union is almost impossible. Then it becomes the classic case of taxation (dues) without representation.
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EZExit
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Jan 24, 2013 8:12:06 PM

greentre: <<<"The previous contract, which was non-union, I made $5 more per hour for the same job so there's your WAAAA! And my insurance premiums are higher!">>>

**********

The higher insurance premiums, to be fair isn't entirely the fault of the union, ObamaCare© has made health insurance more expensive for all producers, you can't add millions of people (takers) to health insurance rolls and not have the extra cost borne by the producers. That is, unless your union was one of the many unions granted favor and ObamaCare© immunity.
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Weaslespit
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jan 24, 2013 4:58:38 PM

"The previous contract, which was non-union, I made $5 more per hour for the same job so there's your WAAAA! And my insurance premiums are higher!"

The economy set us all back - not just union or non-union members.
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worryfree
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Message Posted: Jan 24, 2013 4:55:01 PM

It's cyclical. As pay and benefits get worse and job conditions deteriorate workers will again see the virtue of unions.
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Panama19
Champion Author Louisville

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Message Posted: Jan 24, 2013 4:44:14 PM


The time has come to cleanse the workplace from the unions' mob tactics.

If they cannot get workers to join their ranks without force and strong-arm tactics they need to slink away to their place on the ash heap of history.

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noseatbelt
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Jan 24, 2013 4:12:45 PM

the reasons for unions are long gone. R.T.W. is the way to go
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Bell30012
Champion Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Jan 24, 2013 12:31:13 PM

This is where the unions will have to step up their game. The unions will have to tout the benefits of joining the union. No more mandatory membership and dues.
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greentre
Champion Author Pensacola

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Message Posted: Jan 24, 2013 11:18:58 AM

Well Gocatgo,

The previous contract, which was non-union, I made $5 more per hour for the same job so there's your WAAAA! And my insurance premiums are higher!
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gocatgo
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Jan 24, 2013 11:10:36 AM

Fly, what I'm talking about is the fact that it is unions that are in the corner of blue collar America.

Weas, "firemen and police", thank you.

nstrd, "libs like declining wages and benefits". And here I thought it was cons that led the fight against the minimum wage while overlooking record pay and benefits for upper management.

green, you still have to pay union dues? I'll bet you still have to accept all the pay raises and benefits the union gets too. Can I get a Wha, Wha, Wha from you.
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greentre
Champion Author Pensacola

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Message Posted: Jan 23, 2013 10:11:27 PM

What burns me about the union here at my work is that if you don't want to be a member of the union, you still have to pay a union fee.
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AC-302
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Jan 23, 2013 10:05:50 PM

I also agree with RTW. That's how it ought to be. If a union is providing great service and benefits for their union dues, then it seems to me people would be clamoring for them. Since union membership is declining, I have to reasonably suppose that the unions are NOT providing good service, and merely taking money off of their membership and squandering it on needless crap (such as political causes that don't directly benefit their members.)

I agree with playtimeCLE that most union protections are now enshrined in our laws (safety laws, labor laws, etc.), and apply universally. The unions have outlived their usefulness. They use to be a good thing in protecting workers. Now they are simply fleecing their workers. That's why they're going down.

May it continue!
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Weaslespit
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jan 23, 2013 8:22:03 PM

"As right to work laws spread, membership drops... Here in Indiana the members left in droves after Indiana became a right to work state last year. If unions cant force members to join, thats all she wrote and the fat lady is singing!"

I 100% agree with 'right to work'.

"I know the union I'm in really doesn't accomplish much except for keeping 99 percent of us from getting fired. Oh, and making contract negotiation time miserable..."

I agree with regards to the private sector...

[Edited by: Weaslespit at 1/23/2013 8:23:19 PM EST]
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Weaslespit
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jan 23, 2013 8:20:51 PM

""...getting paid what they deserve..." says who - them or the people who say here is the job and its conditions? We will pay you what we, they employer, think the job is worth."

'The people' have no idea what the job is worth, hence your vitriol on the subject.

"Who sets pay scales or benefits packages - are you saying its a one party negotiation?"

The market sets the pay scales and benefits packages. If a district doesn't pay competitive wages they will lose their talent to ones that do - just like the private sector.
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regulate_now
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Jan 23, 2013 6:41:51 PM

As right to work laws spread, membership drops... Here in Indiana the members left in droves after Indiana became a right to work state last year. If unions cant force members to join, thats all she wrote and the fat lady is singing!

[Edited by: regulate_now at 1/23/2013 6:43:05 PM EST]
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playtimeCLE
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Message Posted: Jan 23, 2013 6:31:15 PM

Between OSHA & federal laws, & reasonably honest business men, there is little use for unions these days. I know the union I'm in really doesn't accomplish much except for keeping 99 percent of us from getting fired. Oh, and making contract negotiation time miserable...
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nstrdnvstr
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Jan 23, 2013 4:49:43 PM

gocatgo, "As Union membership declines wages and benefits drop too. Cons love it unless of course it involves their pay."

Apparently Libs like declining wages and benefits more. Under Obama, the median wage has declined almost 10% and libs voted for four more years of that.
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mudtoe
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jan 23, 2013 4:13:55 PM

Excellent news! Every union job lost is more dollars lost to the democrat party.


mudtoe
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flyboyUT
Champion Author Utah

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Message Posted: Jan 23, 2013 4:08:19 PM

"...getting paid what they deserve..." says who - them or the people who say here is the job and its conditions? We will pay you what we, they employer, think the job is worth.

Who sets pay scales or benefits packages - are you saying its a one party negotiation?
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Weaslespit
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jan 23, 2013 3:52:00 PM

"I'm quite sure that there are some public sector places where the voters have said through their representatives that they will no longer pay the high salaries and benefits previously extorted from the public trough. Is that what your talking about?"

Yeah, darn police, firefighters and teachers (et al) getting paid what they deserve - they should only get paid what the public 'thinks' they should be paid!



[Edited by: Weaslespit at 1/23/2013 3:52:36 PM EST]
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flyboyUT
Champion Author Utah

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Message Posted: Jan 23, 2013 3:47:11 PM

Really Gocat??? - - tell us where wages and benefits have dropped because of declining union membership.

I'm quite sure that there are some public sector places where the voters have said through their representatives that they will no longer pay the high salaries and benefits previously extorted from the public trough. Is that what your talking about?

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gocatgo
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Jan 23, 2013 3:27:32 PM

As Union membership declines wages and benefits drop too. Cons love it unless of course it involves their pay.
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