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US election poll

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Re: US election poll

Postby cjandme » Mon Dec 05, 2016 6:54 am

acotrel wrote:......... if he runs true to form as a fascist.
??
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Re: US election poll

Postby Fast Eddie » Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:43 am

acotrel wrote:I suggest that a lot of the prejudice against unions stems from managers' basic insecurities. I worked as a middle manager/scientist for many years in large organisations and on occasion had to front the unions in my workplace. I always treated them with respect as I recognise their right to exist and have their say. I've noticed that a lot of anti-union rhetoric on the web often comes from young guys who only know what they have been told. On occasion I have been annoyed at the weak representation I have received from my professional association. However much of my problem has been of my own making. Unions are almost invariably internally democratic and anyone can stand up and be counted. I did not do that, so I reaped what I had sown - apathy. I suggest that with Trump, unions will serve no useful purpose. They will probably be made illegal, if he runs true to form as a fascist.


I have also worked with many unions in my time, and I come from the 'enemy camp' by trying to introduce productivity and Lean etc and am someone who has personally never been a union member.

And I have to say that many union guys are simply pig ignorant individuals aiming to oppose anything and everything that is suggested by management 'come what may'.

However, many are reasonable, sensible people, who genuinely do have their members interests at heart and who want to 'do the right thing'.

In many different countries I have engaged with unions and, after properly explaining the overall approach and intent, have got full union backing.

So, on this occasion I have to say that I largely agree with Acotrel. Because I said nothing that the middle management could not have said IF they really understood and IF they really cared.

But I will add a 'Yin Yang' aspect by repeating what was said to me by a very clever, and rather aged gentleman (actually an Oxford Professor) some while ago: the problem is overly strong unions AND weak management.

But... I do think that unions need to change. They DID have a very valid place in society back when industry simply did not care and would willingly kill / maim / etc the workers.

In most countries this is no longer the case. Social expectations and labour laws now do what union used to do.

But unions do very much, IMHO, still have a valid role to play, but it is a different one, and they need to recognise that times have changed and their own reason for existence has thus also changed.
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Re: US election poll

Postby Danno » Wed Dec 07, 2016 5:56 am

frankdamp wrote:If unions were democratic, employees would have a choice of which to join or not to join at all. In all cases I'm aware of, for one trade at one company, there's no choice.


Sorry, but democracy is secondary. The USA is a Republic and we now have a President-elect who got 2.6 million less votes than the other candidate. So why should Unions be "democratic" when the whole country is not?

Really you should read up on the purposes and results of allowing people to not pay dues and join Unions which negotiate the contract and conditions under which they work. The purpose is not to allow freedom of choice and the results are not more money in the hands of the individuals who do the work. The purpose is the demise of the Unions and the result is lower wages, less or no benefits and deteriorating safety and working conditions. Look anywhere where so-called "right-to-work" laws have been instituted and you'll see those results. Secondarily, the States which have passed those laws have seen a drop in overall wages, Union and non-union alike and the drop adds up to a lot more than what people formerly paid in dues.

We now are officially becoming an oligarchy, with billionaires ruling to their own advantage and if that makes for a disadvantage for any person or group that does not wield the power of big money, it doesn't matter. Why do you think Trump is so admiring of Putin?
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Re: US election poll

Postby Danno » Wed Dec 07, 2016 6:07 am

Fast Eddie wrote:
acotrel wrote:I suggest that a lot of the prejudice against unions stems from managers' basic insecurities. I worked as a middle manager/scientist for many years in large organisations and on occasion had to front the unions in my workplace. I always treated them with respect as I recognise their right to exist and have their say. I've noticed that a lot of anti-union rhetoric on the web often comes from young guys who only know what they have been told. On occasion I have been annoyed at the weak representation I have received from my professional association. However much of my problem has been of my own making. Unions are almost invariably internally democratic and anyone can stand up and be counted. I did not do that, so I reaped what I had sown - apathy. I suggest that with Trump, unions will serve no useful purpose. They will probably be made illegal, if he runs true to form as a fascist.


I have also worked with many unions in my time, and I come from the 'enemy camp' by trying to introduce productivity and Lean etc and am someone who has personally never been a union member.

And I have to say that many union guys are simply pig ignorant individuals aiming to oppose anything and everything that is suggested by management 'come what may'.

However, many are reasonable, sensible people, who genuinely do have their members interests at heart and who want to 'do the right thing'.

In many different countries I have engaged with unions and, after properly explaining the overall approach and intent, have got full union backing.

So, on this occasion I have to say that I largely agree with Acotrel. Because I said nothing that the middle management could not have said IF they really understood and IF they really cared.

But I will add a 'Yin Yang' aspect by repeating what was said to me by a very clever, and rather aged gentleman (actually an Oxford Professor) some while ago: the problem is overly strong unions AND weak management.

But... I do think that unions need to change. They DID have a very valid place in society back when industry simply did not care and would willingly kill / maim / etc the workers.

In most countries this is no longer the case. Social expectations and labour laws now do what union used to do.

But unions do very much, IMHO, still have a valid role to play, but it is a different one, and they need to recognise that times have changed and their own reason for existence has thus also changed.


While your individual experience with Unions may have been negative, not all Unions are interested in slowing productivity and opposing management at every turn. Unions have been their own worst enemies in the past, and any members or officials who think you should get paid more for doing less are living in the distant past. To be viable in a modern world, Unions must form partnerships with management for mutual advancement. labor and management is a dichotomy and anything that negatively affects one will do the same to the other. The demise of Unions and the rise of the billionaires that commenced in the 1980s has only benefited a very small percentage of the population, to the detriment of the rest.
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Re: US election poll

Postby Fast Eddie » Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:36 pm

Danno wrote:While your individual experience with Unions may have been negative, not all Unions are interested in slowing productivity and opposing management at every turn. Unions have been their own worst enemies in the past, and any members or officials who think you should get paid more for doing less are living in the distant past. To be viable in a modern world, Unions must form partnerships with management for mutual advancement. labor and management is a dichotomy and anything that negatively affects one will do the same to the other. The demise of Unions and the rise of the billionaires that commenced in the 1980s has only benefited a very small percentage of the population, to the detriment of the rest.


Forgive me Danno, I obviously was not as clear as I intended to be. My personal experience with unions (in my line of work at least) has been, on the whole, POSITVE, and a lot more positive than many in my line of work claim or believe. My point was that when things are explained to them openly and properly, they have almost always been supportive. It seems clear to me that their prior lack of understanding in such cases is down to weak management who either could not, or chose not to, explain things properly!

However, I have also witnessed many examples of unreasonable unions, which is my point abut the need to change. Unions need to protect their members (the workers) and the future generations of workers too, that is there very reason for existence after all.

To do this, I believe they need to take a more active role in modernisation and efficiency drives. Engage with senior management directly regarding the big issues facing the business and how they can work TOGETHER to resolve them. Some more progressive unions are already doing this of course, which I hope others will follow.

It is not the case for every union of course, but for many in Europe in the past, the chief strategy was to block change, no matter what it was. I have seen businesses relocate under the heading of cost, when the real reason has simply been to escape a smothering union.

But I have also seen businesses in the US and Europe implement efficiency drives (via "Lean Manufacturing methods") that have made hitherto non cost efficient plants become equal to, or even more cost effective, than their low cost country sister plants. This SAVED JOBS. And IMHO it is the way to save more jobs in the future and, dare I say it, revitalise the 'rust belt' economy.

Interestingly, if the West can do this, unions in low cost economies may also help the west out. In China and India I have seen a growing strength of unions, demanding wage rises and making the progress of change slower than before. In some Indian plants unions have effectively stopped all progress and made the management impotent. This is (slowly) eroding the advantage / attractiveness of moving manufacturing jobs there.

If western manufacturers do embrace the efficiencies they are capable of, and low cost countries do continue to erode their advantageous position, then the economic situation may well take another turn !
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Re: US election poll

Postby Danno » Thu Dec 08, 2016 5:19 am

It is an endemic problem that doesn't have a singular solution. Until standards of living are raised in the Third World economies, the standards at the top will continue to be eroded. The super-wealthy seek to insulate themselves from this by accumulating even more wealth, but only so much wealth is created, mostly by those who slap on their boots and go to work every day. Lacking any new ideas, those at the top realize the only way to get wealthier is if a lot of those underneath them on the economic ladder can be made to produce more for less. This is the problem with globalization; as business moves to lower-wage, lower regulation, lower tax countries, the economic base upon which the wealthy stand is constantly eroded and requires shoring up. More and more wealthy folks are created in the process, but less and less of that wealth exists at the levels where it's actually made. China has billionaires, and a (reportedly) burgeoning middle class. But it takes millions of low-wage peons to support, and business constantly tells labor we must compete with that or die. When, in the unknown future, standards are raised in China, businesses will move elsewhere, to India or Malaysia, for example, and the cycle starts over again. Does anyone believe the oilgarchs will give up enough of their treasure that the whole world can enjoy the standard of living we in the US and most Europeans and Japanese have? I believe they will seek to consolidate control and further blur the borders (not strenghten them) so as to exploit the cheapest available alternatives. For the rest of us, it's a race to the bottom.
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Re: US election poll

Postby xbacksideslider » Tue Dec 13, 2016 1:21 pm

It's political. In the U.S. in the late 19th/early 20th century pro-management Republican courts frustrated unions. Then, naturally and justly, the pendulum swung and pro-union Democrats, with the following wind of the Great Depression and WWII, also went too far. They enabled monopoly power by exempting unions from the Sherman Anti-Trust statutes and by way of a multitude of other pro-union regulatory and statutory changes (including the creation of the US Dept of Labor) that put management at legal disadvantage and that led to post war union bargaining dominance.

Then the long decline.
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Re: US election poll

Postby Rohan » Tue Dec 13, 2016 3:14 pm

So you are advocating a return to slavery ??

Pay rates in the USA being notably low compared to much of the rest of the (developed) world....

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Re: US election poll

Postby Snorton74 » Tue Dec 13, 2016 8:09 pm

Rohan wrote:So you are advocating a return to slavery ??

Pay rates in the USA being notably low compared to much of the rest of the (developed) world....



Considering all the racists who voted for Trump, thats not too far off. Conservatwits like to blame our problems on unions, immigrants, liberal policy, etc, etc... Selective amnesia, projection and denial are the tools of their trade.

Corporate greed and shareholder value have done more to screw working people than any union bs. Not to mention the military establishment thats been pissing away blood and treasure since Korea. Unfortunately nothing will ever get fixed in our country till the self centered conservative boomers who ruined it are gone.
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Re: US election poll

Postby Danno » Wed Dec 14, 2016 4:52 am

xbacksideslider wrote:It's political. In the U.S. in the late 19th/early 20th century pro-management Republican courts frustrated unions. Then, naturally and justly, the pendulum swung and pro-union Democrats, with the following wind of the Great Depression and WWII, also went too far. They enabled monopoly power by exempting unions from the Sherman Anti-Trust statutes and by way of a multitude of other pro-union regulatory and statutory changes (including the creation of the US Dept of Labor) that put management at legal disadvantage and that led to post war union bargaining dominance.

Then the long decline.


The pendulum analogy is apt, but since the 1980s, the accumulation of massive wealth by a very small minority has held the swing artificially to the right. When it finally swings back the other direction (and it will), the shit is really gonna hit the fan. Then, all the survivalists who have been hoarding food and ammunition will look like geniuses instead of the nutballs they now appear to be.
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Re: US election poll

Postby Matt Spencer » Mon Dec 19, 2016 6:01 am

The Japanese response to ' styling ' , was to add more .
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Re: US election poll

Postby Matt Spencer » Mon Dec 19, 2016 6:03 am

The Japanese response to ' styling ' , was to add more .
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Re: US election poll

Postby acotrel » Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:15 am

There is an aspect of unionism which is not often considered. Unions are a legitimate expression of industrial democracy, which is necessary if improvements to industrial processes are to be achieved. At present, both in the US and in Australia, our manufacturing base has moved to China, mainly to avoid our OHS&E laws and exploit their poor labour conditions. In both of our countries we have a highly paid, well educated workforce. We cannot compete with China on the basis of price and quality while we cannot justify our overheads. So probably the only viable way to go is to move up-market and add value in the form of better quality, - the prices are higher. What this means is we must take ISO9000 Quality Management Systems seriously and become obsessed with doing our jobs better. The basis of ISO9000 is Continual Improvement. This is more difficult to achieve with directive management systems - so better to get the unions on board - perhaps through employee share ownership and productivity gain sharing programmes ?
Germany and much of Scandanavia do not have our problem - they work with their unions, not against them. And their market niche is at the top end.
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Re: US election poll

Postby Danno » Tue Dec 20, 2016 11:51 am

acotrel wrote:Germany and much of Scandanavia do not have our problem - they work with their unions, not against them. And their market niche is at the top end.


Apparently their populations are not nearly as ignorant as ours.
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Re: US election poll

Postby acotrel » Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:46 pm

I suggest the differences are mainly cultural. I think in Germany, the self-esteem of individuals is greater. In the olden days they used to have guilds which promoted the interests of professionals and the trades. The attitude is never one of reverse snobbery towards intellectuals. In Australia, we have the attitude - 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'. It is never 'do it right, first time'. My feeling is that if we don't move up-market in a hurry, we are done. The quality ethos is a mindset. What people such as Trump represents is rat-baggery.
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