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Old Nov 26, 2012, 07:49 AM   #376
samiwas
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Originally Posted by thewitt View Post
Unions are big business, plain and simple, and businesses grow thru their own effort and business plan. I suspect the strategic plan for union growth is a very interesting document to read. They are not sitting in their offices waiting for disgruntled workers.
Hmm. I'm not sure what the top level of my union looks like (I'm sure it's not bad to be one of them), but I know our local branch had to ask for a donated copy machine, because they couldn't afford their own. The business agent has to use his personal laptop because the union itself can't afford one for him. The office is the size of a closet, is dark, and two people can barely fit in it. And even that is stretching their budget. It's not all unicorns and rainbows.

And no, in our meetings we don't discuss how to stick it to the man. We ask how we can help raise average wages for other workers, as some people doing work in our area are paid $7.50 an hour for "skilled" labor, which is insane. I say "skilled" because the field is skilled, but most making that wage are less than stellar. But there are some people who are very skilled who are having to work for that wage because it's all they can find.

And note that I am not "a union worker". I work both union and non-union in what I do. Union is probably currently 10% of my yearly work. Hopefully it goes up this year.

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The Teamsters are worse.
Well, yeah...

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The AFL-CIO brings in well over $1.5 billion a year in dues. Try to get a financial statement, you cannot.
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Originally Posted by hulugu View Post
What about this?
Oh, snap!

Let's see...dues....dues...I think that's "per capita taxes". Hmm..let's see...revenue...oh, here it is!! $89m. Now this was in 2004, so let's assume they've gone up 15% by now. So that's $102m. Or, less than 7% of $1.5b. To be at $1.5b in dues they would have had to increase almost 17-fold in 8 years. Laughable.

It should also be noted that individuals are not members of the AFL-CIO and do not pay them directly. The AFL-CIO gets a portion of the dues a union member pays to his union. There are approximately 12 million union members in the US, which would mean $125 per individual going to the AFL-CIO if the number were $1.5b. Again, laughable. The number is closer to $8.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 08:16 AM   #377
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Originally Posted by thewitt View Post
Actually, they don't.

Unions form where union organizers see an opportunity to grow their business. Unions have not been formed for workers rights in several decades.

The AFL-CIO brings in well over $1.5 billion a year in dues. Try to get a financial statement, you cannot.

The Teamsters are worse. Though they publicly claim Hoffa only earns $400k, it appears his total compensation is closer to $1.5M

Unions are big business, plain and simple, and businesses grow thru their own effort and business plan. I suspect the strategic plan for union growth is a very interesting document to read. They are not sitting in their offices waiting for disgruntled workers.

We've had the union come in and try to raise interest in several of our factories. No one reached out to them, they came calling trying to get their foot in the door.

Yet again, you post outright lies or crap you made up. Which is it?

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The Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA), which is enforced by the Office of Labor-Management Standards, requires labor unions to file annual reports detailing their operations. Contained in those reports are breakdowns of each union's spending, income and other financial information.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 08:32 AM   #378
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Yet again, you post outright lies or crap you made up. Which is it?
I can offer two scenarios for his continued behaviour.

1. He's got his, and is Hell-bent on maintaining the status quo.

2. He has nothing better to do than squander his time in PRSI.

You may have other 'opinions'.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 09:52 AM   #379
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So, heroes for being an American company sending jobs from America to China, leaving much of America without jobs?
Leaving much of America without jobs? What are you even talking about?

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Originally Posted by samiwas View Post
I'm supposed to see that as heroic? Thanks, but no thanks. W.T.F.?
Nationalism rears its ugly head here.

For Chinese workers, they should be viewed this way.

----------

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Well, ideally, workers would receive good wages (enough to buy a Model-T or an iPad) and in exchange be reliable, productive employees.
Ideally we'd all have Bentlys and robot slaves

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Originally Posted by hulugu View Post

Heroes is the wrong word because these companies did it in their own self-interest and did so because Chinese workers were a cheap workforce. However, the creation of a middle-class is a powerful shift in modern-day China that has, I think, beneficial consequences.
Being heroic doesn't mean you can't be self interested.


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Yes, I did. And, I once told him that the headquarters guys were overpaid and didn't understand the business and were making tactical, rather than strategic decisions that were ultimately foolish. And, I said that rather than cut hours, promotions, or bonuses for line employees, the executives should take a pay cut until the company was profitable and forgo any bonuses, because the line employees were hitting their marks and the executives were not.
To his credit, this executive made an argument (rather than having me summarily sacked), but I showed him why he was wrong with numbers I had in hand.
I can't wait until I'm in a position like this so I can make the good decision and hold my management accountable.

The best leaders listen to the bottom of the totem pole.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 12:27 PM   #380
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It appears that your main problem with unions is that they're competitive. You've defended salaries, but why isn't this true for the head of a union? Shouldn't he be well-paid to lead the charge?
that is something i simply don't with some... executives in a company have a god given right for salaries (to attract good ones) ... but union-executives shouldn't be attracted somehow by high salaries

same with success: is a company very successful it's great but heaven forbid if a union is successful monetarily ... even ignoring that a union _has_ to stock up on money reserves to actually have an ace up their sleeve for a labour strike and also gives back something to every union member


in other countries it is fixed by law that in any company with certain amount of employees, seats in the board of directors are only to be given to worker representatives
in germany for example it's set to 50%(!) for a company with more than 2000 employers (of which one has to be in a leading position in the company and 2-3 have to be members of an independent external union)

which obviously leads comical set ups:
VW Board of directors has 10 shareholder members and 10 worker council/union members ... the kick is that since Lower Saxony happens to be a 25% shareholder they own 2 shareholder seats (for their Lower saxonian prime minister and secretary for economy,work and transport) which are heavily influenced by elections ...
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 12:46 PM   #381
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Originally Posted by takao View Post
that is something i simply don't with some... executives in a company have a god given right for salaries (to attract good ones) ... but union-executives shouldn't be attracted somehow by high salaries

same with success: is a company very successful it's great but heaven forbid if a union is successful monetarily ... even ignoring that a union _has_ to stock up on money reserves to actually have an ace up their sleeve for a labour strike and also gives back something to every union member


in other countries it is fixed by law that in any company with certain amount of employees, seats in the board of directors are only to be given to worker representatives
in germany for example it's set to 50%(!) for a company with more than 2000 employers (of which one has to be in a leading position in the company and 2-3 have to be members of an independent external union)

which obviously leads comical set ups:
VW Board of directors has 10 shareholder members and 10 worker council/union members ... the kick is that since Lower Saxony happens to be a 25% shareholder they own 2 shareholder seats (for their Lower saxonian prime minister and secretary for economy,work and transport) which are heavily influenced by elections ...
The most union reps I've seen on the Board of Directors might be 1 or 2 in the U.S. I imagine management hates that. By having a more balanced group of representatives, management might have their hands tied somewhat, but the union members will be looking for moves that strengthen the company, not enrich the owners and definitely not screw over the workers. If workers are members of the team they should have some say, maybe not 50%, but be in a position to influence the direction the company takes.

Those who don't believe workers have any place on the Board of Directors clearly believe that all the power should go to management and none to workers, a vital part of the team that makes the company function. What the F do we care about them?
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 12:51 PM   #382
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The most union reps I've seen on the Board of Directors might be 1 or 2 in the U.S. I imagine management hates that. By having a more balanced group of representatives, management might have their hands tied somewhat, but the union members will be looking for moves that strengthen the company, not enrich the owners and definitely not screw over the workers. If workers are members of the team they should have some say, maybe not 50%, but be in a position to influence the direction the company takes.

Those who don't believe workers have any place on the Board of Directors clearly believe that all the power should go to management and none to workers, a vital part of the team that makes the company function. What the F do we care about them?
At least in retail I think members of the board should actually see what their decisions do on the store level. They sit in corporate and make their moves and never actually watch or see if it's even working. To me corporate was always out of touch with how a retail business works and their tinkering just makes it worse. Sears to me is a prime example of this.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 04:40 PM   #383
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Yet again, you post outright lies or crap you made up. Which is it?
I'm not sure whether he was referring to US based businesses. He has mentioned living in Singapore on multiple occasions.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 05:17 PM   #384
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I'm not sure whether he was referring to US based businesses. He has mentioned living in Singapore on multiple occasions.
He has long ago lost the benefit of the doubt.

I'd also point out that he started this thread and referenced the AFL-CIO and Teamsters in the post you are referring to.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 05:57 PM   #385
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He has long ago lost the benefit of the doubt.

I'd also point out that he started this thread and referenced the AFL-CIO and Teamsters in the post you are referring to.
I noticed the union references. He typically doesn't detail his posts, and he mentioned primary residence in Singapore, so I took it for a silly out of context anecdote that may not reflect US policies. This was in spite of the Teamsters references.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 06:41 PM   #386
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My only question is if the Government bailed out GM and it also failed because of poor management why not bail out Hostess? There are 18,000 jobs at stake. Shouldn't all large businesses be treated the same? Just food for thought.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 07:05 PM   #387
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My only question is if the Government bailed out GM and it also failed because of poor management why not bail out Hostess? There are 18,000 jobs at stake. Shouldn't all large businesses be treated the same? Just food for thought.
Why did the government bail out Frontier, Vanguard, Midway, America West, US Airways, United, Continental, Northwest, and American Trans Air, while not bailing out National, in 2001/2002? There were a few thousand jobs at stake there, but the government back then didn't treat them equally the same..

Just food for thought..

BL.

(hint: too big to fail)
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 08:21 AM   #388
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Why did the government bail out Frontier, Vanguard, Midway, America West, US Airways, United, Continental, Northwest, and American Trans Air, while not bailing out National, in 2001/2002? There were a few thousand jobs at stake there, but the government back then didn't treat them equally the same..

Just food for thought..

BL.

(hint: too big to fail)
You are going to have to clarify this statement regarding bailing out airlines. I was at NWA during its bankruptcy. It received no federal funds, that I am aware of. All companies entering bankruptcy must secure bankruptcy financing. My impression is that in GM's case, the Federal Government provided it. I don't believe they did with the airlines. Correct me if I am wrong.

--------------------------

This is too long a thread for me to review every page, so if this article has all ready been posted my apologies: R.I.P. Twinkies, which describes the long sad history of Hostess, including poor marketing, poor management decisions, and including surprise, surprise, venture capitalists.

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For many U.S. consumer brands, producing overseas, with local labor and for local tastes, has been a way to change their cost structure, to grow, and to cash in on the rapidly expanding consumer markets of China and India. Yet here again, Hostess was stuck with a 1950s worldview. Even though its products are loaded with preservatives, which means they can endure arduous travel to distant markets, Hostess does very little exporting.

The unwillingness or inability to update its business strategy and products for a changing world was more damaging to Hostess than the brief strike this month. A white-bread manufacturer that focuses solely on the U.S. market in 2012 is a little like a white-bread GOP candidate who focuses only on white voters in 2012.
For real illumination into the OP's perspective, read about this troubled company, and then understand the pronouncement that it was all the unions fault. It was one particular union's fault that they refused to take more concessions than they all ready had. It can be argued they walked off the cliff, they did. But to place 100% of the blame on the union who called BS and gambled their jobs, is not to hold a balanced view of the corporate team concept. As hard as they might try to divorce themselves from their workers as part of the team, management needs them just like the brain needs the arms and legs of the body to survive. You can't hold all the O2 for yourself and at some point, not expect the body to rebel. Oh, this is not to imply that management holds all of the intelligence in the company. They don't.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 09:29 AM   #389
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You are going to have to clarify this statement regarding bailing out airlines. I was at NWA during its bankruptcy. It received no federal funds, that I am aware of. All companies entering bankruptcy must secure bankruptcy financing. My impression is that in GM's case, the Federal Government provided it. I don't believe they did with the airlines. Correct me if I am wrong.

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The terrorist attacks of September 11 crippled an already financially troubled industry. To bail out the airlines, President Bush signed into law the Air Transportation Safety and Stabilization Act, which compensated airlines for the mandatory grounding of aircraft after the attacks. The act released $5 billion in compensation and an additional $10 billion in loan guarantees or other federal credit instruments.
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The Chrysler and airline bailout plans had a commonality: stock warrants. A provision inserted into the ATSS Act, which allowed the Treasury to purchase stock at below-market prices from any airline receiving a loan guarantee, allowed the Treasury to earn money. Reports varied on the total net profit, ranging from $141.7 million to $327 million. The loan guarantee program suffered one loss of about $23.2 million when ATA Airlines filed for bankruptcy protection.
http://www.propublica.org/special/government-bailouts
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 09:37 AM   #390
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My mistake, I thought the discussion was about bankruptcy and GM, not 911 compensation. Thanks for clarifying. I agree that the government is not necessarily consistent in which industries it wants to help, especially when it continues to subsidize industries making record profits...
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 09:57 AM   #391
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What do you get if you mismanage a company into bankruptcy?

How about a bonus!

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NEW YORK -- Hostess Brands Inc. plans to ask for a judge's approval Thursday to give its top executives bonuses totaling up to $1.8 million as part of its wind-down plans.

The maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Ho Hos says the incentive pay is needed to retain the 19 managers during the liquidation process, which could take about a year. Two of those executives would be eligible for additional rewards depending on how efficiently they carry out the liquidation.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 10:43 AM   #392
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What do you get if you mismanage a company into bankruptcy?

How about a bonus!
I am not a huge fan of unions, but giving the top executives this money is just ridiculous.

I have no idea how many people need to stay on for the 1 year long shutdown process but they should not get bonuses for doing it.

If I was that judge I would laugh at them, point to the door of the courtroom and tell them to get the F out. They can come back and submit a new filing when they decided to give that 1.8 million to the 18,000 works that ended up losing their jobs because of the mismanagement.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 11:08 AM   #393
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What do you get if you mismanage a company into bankruptcy?

How about a bonus!

What a crock of ****. Retention my ass. Who the hell would want any of these clowns running their company?

Last edited by rdowns; Nov 29, 2012 at 11:25 AM. Reason: typo
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 11:10 AM   #394
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What a crock of ****. Retention my ass. Who the hell would want any of these clowns runing their company?
Yeh right, lets hire someone who doesn't know what they are doing to liquidate a major corporation efficiently. Im sure one of the bakers can handle it.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 11:24 AM   #395
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Yeh right, lets hire someone who doesn't know what they are doing to liquidate a major corporation efficiently. Im sure one of the bakers can handle it.

What are you going on about now? This isn't about hiring someone. This is about retaining idiots who ****ed the company up to begin with, with bonuses no less. They'd probably be a lot better off hiring those who specialize in liquidating companies rather than the guys who ruinnd the company.

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Old Nov 29, 2012, 11:30 AM   #396
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Actually, they are not.

Have you ever worked for a company that actually has to sell a product for a profit in order to write you a paycheck?

Did you begrudge the CEO his infinitely larger check because it was so unfair? Do you still work there?
Yea, its called Best Buy. I laugh everyday when I see the stock, but its not of joy. I work my ass off providing a great experience in our store, and its the corporate leadership (not the on the ground retail staff) that is running this ****er into the ground.

Our workload has essentially doubled in the last year with nothing to compensate for it. It's clear that everyone is worn down and demoralized and theres nothing we can do but wait for the company to collapse.

We have ongoing bets for how big the golden parachutes will be.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 11:45 AM   #397
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What are you going on about now? This isn't about hiring someone. This is about retaining idiots who ****ed the company up to begin with, with bonuses no less. They'd probably be a lot better off hiring those who specialize in liquidating companies rather than the guys who ruinnd the company.
Good luck finding someone who is qualified, knows the company's assets, and is willing to quit their current job to join on a bankrupt company that is already shooting down the tubes for a limited amount of time without some outrageous numbers.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 12:23 PM   #398
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Good luck finding someone who is qualified, knows the company's assets, and is willing to quit their current job to join on a bankrupt company that is already shooting down the tubes for a limited amount of time without some outrageous numbers.
There are companies that specialize and have more expertise in liquidating companies than executives who have already failed at running the company. No one would have to quit their current job. As for knowledge of their assets, other than their brands, they have few marketable assets. As you've read, they failed to moderninze their bakeries which is one of the reasons they failed.

Why are you OK with poor executives being rewarded but are so against the little guy?
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 01:32 PM   #399
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Yeh right, lets hire someone who doesn't know what they are doing to liquidate a major corporation efficiently. Im sure one of the bakers can handle it.
Are you seriously suggesting that these executives deserve extra pay in order to sell of the company they couldn't manage in the first place? Seriously?

This is the BS I don't get: When a company is failing, cut the workers' pay or lay them off completely, but increase the executive pay.

If I was an executive, and I knew that no matter what I did, I would get compensated even more if the company failed, then what would be my incentive to really keep it going? Especially if I could collect my winnings and move to another company.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 04:21 PM   #400
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Why are you OK with poor executives being rewarded but are so against the little guy?
My theory is that there are people, and ZA may or may not be one of them, that dream of being a big wig and when they achieve big wig status they want all the 'perks' that go with it like getting paid millions to run a company into the ground and having a tax liability the size of gnat. This is really the only reason I can think of that so many middle and working class people vote against their own intests. They like to think their current situation is transient and that they'll 'make it big' one day soon even though the odds of that happening are pretty slim (especially in the U.S. that has surprisingly low economic mobility for a developed nation).
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