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Unions: The Cancer of Labor and Business Print E-mail
by James Reza    Tue, Oct 2, 2012, 09:20 AM

When I read my local newspaper (Fort Worth Star Telegram) I seldom find any balanced views of current event news. Like most newspapers, the Star Telegram in my opinion is a liberal rag. Most of their editorial writers are left wing nuts, so I don’t even waste my time in reading their pieces because I can almost predict the outcome of their one-sided liberal dribble. Folks, I don’t have any objections in liberals blasting conservatives in the news media, but, I’d like to see a fair and balance debate of whatever, as does Fox News in presenting their news to viewers and let viewers decide who’s arguments are more palatable to them. Fox News by the way cleans the clock of all TV news outlets.

Some days ago however, I read something in the Star Telegram that cheered me up considerably. The headline read: “Workers vote against joining union at Coca-Cola plant in Fort Worth”. According to a statement by Teamsters organizer, Chris Rosell, this was the union’s second failed attempt in less than two years to unionize the Coke facility. Coca-Cola employees, by a vote of 215 to 191, rejected a bid to make their company the first corporate-owned unit in the South with a union.

“Why were you happy about the union being ousted of the Coke plant James?” some might ask. My friends, we baby-sit for my daughter a lot (works the graveyard shift in the ER in JPS) and man the kids go through Cokes, Big Red, Dr. Pepper, and Caprisun big time. Thus, I foresaw that if Coke went union, the price of Cokes would skyrocket like almost all products made or represented by unionized companies or businesses. Thus, I would have to shell out more for Coke products, which are high already, but not due to unions, but rather, the high cost of fuel to transport them to market.

I’ve never been a fan of unions. Nor have I ever had a need for them. As a youngster, I remember Swift and Armour’s, two huge packinghouses in my former turf in North Fort Worth being unionized. I remember dad telling me how he hoped I’d get hired there to earn a good wage after I graduated. Little did dad know that I had zero interest in working at a packinghouse. My sights were already set in being a typesetter. A trade I learned at Tech High. Sadly, after I graduated and had won several statewide titles in typesetting competition, the Typographical Union in Fort Worth wouldn’t hire me without going through a two-year apprenticeship training at a low wage. Dejected I resume working at a mobile home company I worked during my high school days making cabinets and as an electrician at a salary much higher than as an apprentice typesetter.

At my mobile home job I worked with Rudy Martinez, a school and neighborhood chum who was a senior when I entered the 10th grade and when I graduated Rudy was still a senior. Poor Rudy was never able to grasp the curriculum at Tech High. Most of his credits he earned in PE and Auto Shop. After I graduated Rudy quit school.

Within time I got a job as a typesetter at a non union shop and later became a specialized computer typesetter. Rudy, on the other hand got hired at General Motors in Arlington, Texas, making darn good money I might add, as a union autoworker. Rudy’s brother, Victor Jr., on the other hand was a bright student. Their dad, Victor Sr., was a chef at TCU, a highly acclaimed college and thus Victor through his dad’s job at TCU got a low cost tuition and earned a degree in business. Later, Victor, Jr. married and moved to California where he earned mega bucks in an international company.

Sometimes as I drove to work, I’d see Rudy, who lived less than a block from my dad’s house for days on end. One day I asked Rudy if he was laid off from GM. He told me that GM was on strike and he loved it because he got 80% of his pay for the duration of the strike. I’d ask Rudy if he thought he’d work again. He’d tell me, “James, I’m sure the union will get us more money and benefits.” I’d asked him, “How Rudy?” He’d tell me laughing, “GM will just increase the cost of their autos and you, the purchasers, will have to shell up more at the dealerships!”

As they years passed, Swift’s and Armour’s shut down their doors at the Stockyards in North Fort Worth and thousands of workers were let go. After all the money the workers paid in union dues they were left out in the cold with no job, no benefits, no retirement, and many were plain broke. That also occurred in many union typesetting and print shops in Fort Worth, where many printers I knew worked. As the printing methods got more into computers and highly specialized printing methods, most typesetting companies and print shops couldn’t compete with the new technology and closed their doors. This left many printers who for years had paid the unions to protect their jobs out in the cold.

Today, one reads where unions around the country are demanding more in wages and benefits while the economy is in the tank and tons of workers are laid off. The teachers union in Chicago is a classic example of the greedy unions. The city of Chicago is in debt up to their neck and the teachers there went on strike demanding more money and benefits. And from where was the teachers union going to get the money? From the poor Chicago taxpayers whose unemployment rate is 9.10% that’s who.

Prior to writing this piece I searched the Internet for pros and cons of unions. In most evaluations unions got six plus reasons for their existence and 16 against their usefulness to business, workers and we the consumers. In fairness, here are two reasons from the pro and con comments: Pro No. 1. Unions protect workers from various company abuses such as unsafe/uncomfortable working conditions, long hours and arbitrary hiring & firing. Pro. No. 2. They give workers a chance to speak at the same negotiating & power levels of the managers and owners. Con No. 1. Unions lead to higher prices for consumers since companies must pay more for wages & benefits, which are passed on to customers. Con No. 2. Society and companies are often held hostage to the essential services of certain unions (e.g. teachers, police, construction workers, pilots, etc.); thus, negotiation becomes less about fairness to workers than about companies meeting the demands of union extortion.

I rest my case!

 

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Comments (12)add comment
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written by Joe Skalamera , October 03, 2012

"...there was a time for every purpose under heaven..." Unions served an honorable purpose at a time long, long past; Unfortunately, Big Business has been replaced by Union Leaders as major contributors to mostly Democratic politicians...and 2 wrongs never made a right! (I can't wait to hear what our friend Manny is going to say...God Bless you, Manny!) :-) and you also James.


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written by K. D. , October 03, 2012

James, What a great article of TRUTH


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written by B.C. , October 04, 2012

Today's unions truly serve just one purpose, their own existence for personal power and profit.


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written by Charlie Alvarado , October 05, 2012

Sometime back, we discussed unions on this board. I mentioned that I belonged to a musicians union; but I got out because they wronged me.
When working for the city of San Antonio, I never joined that union.
But I believe that in some cases, unions are good to correct wrongs by the powerfully rich.
By the way, the author likes to talk about his pass as if it mattered. He's a Republican living as a Democrat.
Quote"
“Unions served an honorable purpose at a time long, long past;"
Here are two statements; one from 1960, and the other from 2005.

"Our labor unions are not narrow, self-seeking groups. They have raised wages, shortened hours and provided supplemental benefits. Through collective bargaining and grievance procedures, they have brought justice and democracy to the shop floor."

JOHN F. KENNEDY, speech, Aug. 30, 1960

"To a right-winger, unions are awful. Why do right-wingers hate unions? Because collective bargaining is the power that a worker has against the corporation. Right-wingers hate that."

JANEANE GAROFALO, Majority Report, Jun. 3, 2005

God bless "ALL" of us.
Who's Manny?




...
written by Pope1944 , October 10, 2012

You are seriously quoting a stand up comedian to support unions. Geez. There certainly was a time that the unions protected the rights of the workers . And JFK correct that in the late 50's the unions made the life of the worker better. But, as has proven many times, power corrupts and the unions as they gained more and more power turned in on themselves and became the "legalized corporate killers" of our life times. People complain about jobs that went overseas and about products that come into the USA from Japan, CHina, India, et al. What caused the problem? Much of the answer lies in the increased cost of goods that was forced by higher wages and benefits. Now I know, you can talk about child labor and sweatshops and all of that, but the fact remains that in industries like steel, automobiles, electronics and other industries that were once dominated by the USA the jobs went overseas because of the unions. And I don't even want to get into the teachers unions. The fact that the unions don't want to have anything to do with a results based wage scale should tell you all you need to know.


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written by Charlie Alvarado , October 12, 2012

"The fact that the unions don't want to have anything to do with a results based wage scale should tell you all you need to know."

The facts tell you "ALL YOU" want to/should know; but you ignore all of them because it will prove you wrong. You mentioned child labor and sweat shops. Well evidently it didn't teach you anything. "OR" you will not let it stick because it would not help your cause.
This country could not function without labor. And the stinking rich want to get it as cheap as they can get it.
There is corruption in every aspect of our lives. But you have to find the ones who are responsible for it and "NOT" get rid of "ALL" the organizations.
There are people who speak out but don't identify themselves. To me that's chick-fil-A because they know they're wrong and lying.
Besides, you negative dudes probably belong to a union and don't make the money you should for your work. But you're die-hard anti freedom.
There's a food chain restaurant asking people to work for them at a starting salary of $8.00 per hour. If someone needed a job, I'm sure they'd take it. But would you be happy? Would you quit if you could find a better paying job?
What we need is for fair requests from both sides of the aisle. Not get rid of a party.
I really didn't have that kind of problem. My band was "ALWAYS" in demand. I was my own union.





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written by Charlie Alvarado , October 14, 2012


By the way, you stated:
"You are seriously quoting a stand up comedian to support unions. Geez."

Geez, a comedian doesn't have a right to speak? Well she also supports "YOUR" views. She turned Atheist a while back.
Here are a few other comedians' quotes.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt:
"It is one of the characteristics of a free and democratic nation that it have free and independent labor unions."
Abraham Lincoln:
"The strongest bond of human sympathy outside the family relation should be one uniting working people of all nations and tongues and kindreds."
Dwight D. Eisenhower:
"Only a fool would try to deprive working men and working women of their right to join the union of their choice."

I could go on, but you should be laughing by now.






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written by Pope1944 , October 16, 2012

Charlie, could you find someone (who is not running for office) that totally supports the unions in all they do who is not dead?
I come from a long line of union members but have always refused to join one. I preferred to negotiate for myself.
As for the teachers, do you know of any other profession where you can do a terrible job and not suffer any consequences? I'm sure there is an answer but I think most workers have to meet some performance standard in order to keep their jobs.
And, just so you know, I have worked in fast food for minimum wage a few times in my life. I just saw it as a stepping stone to something bigger.



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written by Charlie Alvarado , October 16, 2012

What kind of cop-out is that? "I" don't fully support any union. I'm just telling you that we need them because if we didn't have them, "YOU" won't have a stepping stone yourself.

You again fail to see the reasoning of this subject. Why? because everything is political to you. if the party/person whom you oppose wanted to give you a raise, you would be against it. That's all I'm saying. No reasoning behind your choice. Just plain politics. And in most cases, "HATE."
Of course workers must meet standards to keep their jobs. I've fired many a dude who didn't perform.
But if we didn't have some kind of rules/unions for hiring, we'd be back to the sweat shop era.
One more time, I don't need any union. But tyrants want to emulate slavery.
Aren't you glad you had a slave job? What did it teach you? Do you always vote against the needs of others even if you don't need it??




...
written by Charlie Alvarado , October 16, 2012

"Charlie, could you find someone (who is not running for office) that totally supports the unions in all they do who is not dead?"

Your girl "JANEANE GAROFALO."
And she wasn't joking. Is she dead?
I don't know how many "TOTALLY" support labor unions, but there are oodles who support those who help working (slaving) men and women. "AND" they are living and "NOT" running for office.

"The fact is that people who are not represented, in the service industries in particular, are the victims of policies which depress their wages"
BARNEY FRANK, speech, Jan. 3, 2007

Rick Santorum once supported unions; but recanted. Is he dead?



...
written by Charlie Alvarado , October 17, 2012

It seems that P is a moderator. I posted on Friday and Sunday, but didn't show till Tuesday morning. About an hour later I came back to this forum and we had a post already by the so called P. I guess some can't handle the truth. Here are my responses from yesterday. Lets see how long it'll take to post.

Friday:
What kind of cop-out is that? "I" don't fully support any union. I'm just telling you that we need them because if we didn't have them, "YOU" won't have a stepping stone yourself.

You again fail to see the reasoning of this subject. Why? because everything is political to you. if the party/person whom you oppose wanted to give you a raise, you would be against it. That's all I'm saying. No reasoning behind your choice. Just plain politics. And in most cases, "HATE."
Of course workers must meet standards to keep their jobs. I've fired many a dude who didn't perform.
But if we didn't have some kind of rules/unions for hiring, we'd be back to the sweat shop era.
One more time, I don't need any union. But tyrants want to emulate slavery.
Aren't you glad you had a slave job? What did it teach you? Do you always vote against the needs of others even if you don't need it??



...
written by Charlie Alvarado , October 17, 2012

The post before this one which I said Friday is a typo. It should say Tuesday as is the following.

"Charlie, could you find someone (who is not running for office) that totally supports the unions in all they do who is not dead?"

Your girl "JANEANE GAROFALO."
And she wasn't joking. Is she dead?
I don't know how many "TOTALLY" support labor unions, but there are oodles who support those who help working (slaving) men and women. "AND" they are living and "NOT" running for office.

"The fact is that people who are not represented, in the service industries in particular, are the victims of policies which depress their wages

BARNEY FRANK, speech, Jan. 3, 2007

Rick Santorum once supported unions; but recanted . Is he dead?




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