Labor Unions

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Huntn, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    Ok, where did the union thread go here at MacRumors?

    Of course, the GOP would be seeking to extract a pound of union flesh from budget negotiations, but I'd argue in times like these, unions are most important to the well being of labor employees. Tell me why should the management get to keep most of the wealth? Any good reason? I'd love to hear them.

    Ideas like: because the company was their baby, their idea? Well that is the brain speaking. What about the other 90% that composes the body? Any good reason why corporations such as fast food chains should be built on the backs of minimum wage labor? "Oh, what you do is not that important, anyone could do it, although it is specifically the hard labor of millions of employees that keeps McDonald's afloat...." Bah, that means nothing.

    And you think they are going to volunteer to pay these people higher wages? Unlikely. In most cases minimum wage is dictated by the Federal or State government. If not for that, who know what bottom tier labor would be paid and the rationalization for it?

    As highlighted in another MR thread, you can either pay living wages, or you can support a welfare state, or you can be like the GOP with the high hope of paying slave wages, dismantling all social programs, and hoping they don't find themselves strung up by the angry mobs. Maybe they are not learned in the history of oppression such as the French Revolution. ;)
  2. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    Few stay at the bottom tier. If you make the choice to stay there, no motivation to improve yourself, I have no sorrow.

    Those minimum wage jobs are a mere stepping stone. Nothing more. There's nothing wrong with stepping stone jobs.
  3. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2010
    I'm missing the context here. Is this apropos the shutdown, or, something else?
  4. AhmedFaisal, Oct 16, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013
  5. TheHateMachine macrumors 6502a


    Sep 18, 2012
    Santa Fe, TX
    Whatever ensures that the military service and product providers maintain their government handout really. You keep the American people thinking they need this stuff and they keep thinking that funneling huge amounts of tax dollars into the industry is ok. In the name of patriotism and as long as 'Murica is safe! :cool:
  6. SMDBill macrumors 6502

    Apr 12, 2013
    It's a huge social problem beyond just unions and the GOP. It's corporate greed without regard for politics supported by any political help they can buy. Unfortunately, most of that help does reside on the right, but would be just as welcomed by business if it were all coming from the left. I think they just have no regard so long as their greedy ends are met and they'll get in bed with anyone to meet them. One need look no further than our largest banks and our current economic situation to understand the height of greed and its destructiveness.

    I'm 100% with you on this one. Our entire economic system is built on expectations to churn out huge profits and to continually grow them. By giving more to the employees a company has to report less in the way of earning/profits. Almost an admission of failure as far as investors are concerned, when if companies paid better they would retain more qualified and better trained employees to continue bringing in profits. Seems to me as though companies have decided those bottom jobs are throw-aways and they'd rather pay nothing and report higher profits than pay more and have a better workforce with a greater level of stability.

    It's a crap system. Pro athletes seem to be the only ones who can demand huge salaries for bringing their owners huge profits. The rest of us get "market rates" predetermined by a line-in-the-sand minimum wage and a greedy investment system that is never satisfied (Apple investors? lol!). From an outside-looking-in view it appears to be a massive downward spiral hidden by huge corporate profits.
  7. appleisking macrumors 6502a

    May 24, 2013
    What if you're in an economy like today and the only jobs being created are "stepping stone" jobs. This is where our system fails. We can't pay these people more because then more of them will be out of work, but you can't just put them out on the streets either, they are working after all. So that's where we have to have a social-welfare state there's no other way.
  8. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    This is entirely false premise.

    There are lots of jobs available and being created that are above entry level.

    Therefore a socialist state is a solution in search of a problem... a problem that does not exist.
  9. lannister80 macrumors 6502


    Apr 7, 2009

  10. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    Sounds like a good thing!

    You can thank the government efforts of ramming the ACA at us for a good chunk of this:

    Employers don't have to subsidize healthcare for part-time workers.

    Your USAToday also states this contradiction:
  11. zioxide macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2006
    Hah. What's "entry level" by your definition here? 50 cents above minimum wage?

    The vast majority of jobs that have been created in the past few years are below poverty level.

    The US isn't even remotely close to socialism. Trying to claim that just shows ignorance.

    The main provision of the ACA hasn't even kicked in yet. I know it's fashionable with those on the right to blame Obama and Obamacare for every problem they've ever had in their life, but you can't really blame something that hasn't taken effect yet.

    Minimum wage employers (retail, restaurants, etc) have been forcing employees to work less than 40 hours a week so they don't have to provide benefits for a hell of a lot longer than the ACA has been on the books.

    That's just the attitude that these businesses have now. They don't give a **** about people, just profits. Employees are no longer considered an asset to a company, they're just a warm body that can be thrown away and replaced.
  12. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    1. I didn't say we were, I was responding to the previous poster who suggested we move to such a system.

    2. I never mentioned the words Obama, Obamacare, nor am I unskilled or an employer.

    3. This is true and reality for putting burgers and chicken biscuits in a microwave behind the counter at fast food chains, or dipping fries in a vat of oil. Assigning any higher value to people filling these roles would be disingenuous.
  13. citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Mar 22, 2010
    Did I miss something?

    I thought that post talked about social-welfare.

    Not socialism.
  14. appleisking macrumors 6502a

    May 24, 2013
    I didn't suggest such a system. I said we have such a system and that's why we need it we can't cut it. Or don't you think welfare exists? Notice I did not say socialism, you said that not me. And deny it all you want most of the jobs being created now are low-level (fast food, restaurant, and retail have been the highest growing sectors) we are having a lot of difficulty with mid-high level which is why people out of college can't find a job. Also your last statement was disgusting, value or not decent wages and proper work conditions should cut into corporate profit if we can solve that dilemma we wouldn't be having half of these problems.


    thank you :rolleyes:
  15. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    I'm a manager (I'm not in a union) and some of the union employees with much *less* responsibility and skill make more than managers with much more responsibility and skill. They have that rate of pay purely because they have been at the organization a certain length of time.

    While I believe that unions are often necessary to stand up to unsafe and/or unfair employer practices, I don't think that a worker deserves endless pay increases simply because they drag themselves into work most days. I could understand it if there was an increase in skill level or responsibility but not longevity alone.

    I think unions still have a role in helping organizations arrive at fair compensation packages--but you do have to take the level of skill and value to the organization into account.

    I believe that McDonald's could take steps to help train an employee who is currently a cashier to one day take a role with more responsibility that also gets paid more.
  16. appleisking macrumors 6502a

    May 24, 2013
    You know historically unions have been under the control of certain illegitimate groups, shall we say the mafia I don't know how true this is today but in the past it was certainly so and they were used as ways to keep local businesses in line shall we say legitimately. So in a way, unions only exist due to self-interest how about dem Apples lol.
  17. Huntn, Oct 16, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013

    Huntn thread starter macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    Are you suggesting that if every citizen of this country, got a a degree that they would all be basking in the gravy? If so, I'd counter that there is a bell curve of employment, and that bell curve was at it's highest point, post WWII and now the curve has been flattened substantially by a variety of factors such as globalization, but mostly greed. Why pay one of our citizens $15 per hour when you can hire foreign labor for $5 a day? Competition and greed are the factors. I'm not an economist, but I'd suggest if everyone got college degrees, this would not mean there would be enough jobs to provide everyone with high paying jobs. Work harder might work for some, but for many without proper education (for a variety of reasons), it does not. And gee, the GOP wants to cut education, viewing it as another free ride.

    It was reported that House Republicans want to include provisions that any union member involved in a strike is ineligible for food stamps.

    (Think Progress link)

    I used to think I understood it, but not now. President Eisenhower, YES, a Republican, when Republicans were respectable, warned of the Military Industrial Complex. That warning was prophetic. Conservatives in the forum, I dare you to say something bad about Eisenhower!! :p

    I'd be happy with a military 3x as big as the next country, not spend as much as the next 10 countries combined. Eisenhower, as well as myself believe that an economy built on infrastructure, science, technology, and social health is much healthier than one built on implements of war. I'm not saying we totally rely on war for our economy, but we sure do spend one hell of a lot on it, items that when implemented cause death and destruction, not build the country up. Unfortunately I believe our economy as it currently functions greatly depends on military contracts to pump money into the economy. And does anyone really have to guess which political party are the champions of the military-industrial complex?

    Agree 100%. CEO Salaries ballooned 1000% since 1950 and what has worker pay done in comparison?

    I agree with you 100%. In the hierarchy of a corporation, union members should not make more than managers simply because they are in a union. And I'll be the first one to acknowledge that unions are made up of imperfect people, just like management is. They have been known to make bad decisions and adversely effected companies, but this would not be a reason to eradicate unions, because I could make the same argument against greedy management, especially CEO's who have take huge pay raises from their BOD because they think they deserve 1000% more than the backbone of the company. Ultimately they have hurt their workers. So there is a lot of room to improve on both ends of the spectrum.

    Corruption is part of human being's makeup. It's up to us to eradicate corruption at all levels, law enforcement, city councils, corporations, politics. We don't propose eradicating all of those human institutions, so the solution is to not eradicate unions alone, but to not accept corruption where ever it is found and insist on a high moral standard.
  18. splitpea macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2009
    Among the starlings
    Actually, raising the minimum wage doesn't necessarily kill jobs. It tends to fairly quickly increase consumer demand because min wage employees then have more to spend on both necessities and small luxuries; the increase in demand motivates employers to increase employment to match (or encourages entrepreneurs to open new businesses to meet the demand).

    A too-low minimum wage is actually *bad* for employers in that everyone else's employees aren't making a living wage either and therefore can't spend money on the employer's products/services.
  19. Huntn thread starter macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    Great illustrative links! Does anyone think these companies should or will volunteer to pay the bottom rung of their team a living wage? Isn't that a moral standard we should all aspire to? Shouldn't the company business model be based on treating their "team" well?

    Let's look at one of the largest wealthiest corporations Walmart. A Cashier makes $8.51 an hour (40 hr week = $340, $1361 a month). Is this a living wage? Apartments tend to run $900- 2000 depending on what part of the country you live in. link. My guess is that a hovel can be rented for a lot less than that, but lets go with the cheap area ($900) that leaves you with $115 a week to live on. Doable? If you eat one $7 McDonalds meal a day, that leaves you with $66 in discretionary spending a week! Just don't get sick. Yeah doable. :rolleyes:
  20. zioxide macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2006
    This x1000.

    Improving on and investing in our infrastructure, science, healthcare, and new technologies are going to be the keys to economic success in the 21st century. We're already seeing it with countries like Japan and China... the US is starting to fall behind fast and will only continue to fade unless we do something to fix it soon.

    Investing our infrastructure will create millions of construction jobs and the benefits of a much improved infrastructure will trickle down to the businesses that use this infrastructure. A company is much more likely to invest in a place where they have new roads that don't jam up with traffic, don't cause damage to people's cars (potholes around here are getting ridiculous!) and have reliable and efficient utility services.
  21. appleisking macrumors 6502a

    May 24, 2013
    I get the interpretation, but the economic models I've been taught and looked at generally suggest that employers are not willing to hire as many workers beyond a certain equilibrium wage, and so raising the minimum wage could cause problems. Certainly initial demand for workers will fall, I admit to being ignorant as to what happens a little later though.
  22. MyMac1976 macrumors 6502


    Apr 14, 2013
    If there are no labor unions or no strong labor there is no strong America.
  23. localoid macrumors 68020


    Feb 20, 2007
    America's Third World
    From: Why Minimum Wage Hikes May Not Reduce Employment

    From: The Facts on Raising the Minimum Wage When Unemployment Is High

    From: Why Does the Minimum Wage Have No Discernible Effect on Employment?

  24. Sydde macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2009
    Frogstar World B
    Circuitously: May Day is a Communist holiday, based on an event involving labor unions (striking for an 8-hour day), so any talk of unions is red propaganda veering toward advocating socialism.

    We need to take this nation back to the days of U. S. Grant. Good times.
  25. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Wrong. Very very wrong.

    Not everyone is given the opportunity to start out at anything higher than that, especially if you have no experience. Not everyone lives in a big city where there are more opportunities. Not everyone can afford to move to a new city with no job and pay rent.

    What is the kid straight out of high school who needs to live on his own supposed to do? Pay rent making $7.75 an hour? Hardly. The "jobs are stepping stones" excuse is always a bad one. There is zero excuse for not paying a livable wage to your employees.

    Now, as far as "not improving yourself" you usually have to have a college degree to do this. Where I work you have to have a degree to get promoted, but many people can't shell out $90k + 4 years to make it happen.

    Employers need to pay more, plain and simple. The top gets far too greedy.

Share This Page