Las Vegas Sun

April 20, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Unions are there to help workers

Do union bashers ever think about why unions exist?

Years ago, my father worked for a non-union corporation, where he was required to go into work half day on Saturdays for no extra pay. When surrounding companies went union, his company stopped the Saturday practice. After that he was paid if he worked on a weekend.

My wife worked for a union utility in the transportation department. Every morning her desk was covered with black soot. The company would not rectify the situation. She and her fellow workers complained to the union. Within a few months she and her fellow union workers were in a much cleaner environment.

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  1. The operative words in your post letter writer are "years ago." Unions and their way of thinking are obsolete and irrelevant. Don't need unions anymore. And Americans don't support unions anymore. Don't believe me? Look at Wisconsin and Stockton, California and they're just the beginning.

    CarmineD

  2. As long as cruelty, tyranny, acting above the law, and lacking decency exists, sympathetic unions are needed. There are management heads in organizations that still use strong-armed tactics, targeting, abusive job tasks, manipulating working conditions to where it is a miserable environment, and utilize unrelenting criticism to coerce employees. These practices are alive and well here in Clark County as well.

    In a perfect world, we would not need the intervention of union representation, because management would be in balance, making a profit(or reaping rewards for a job well done) while being fair to those who make that organization successful.

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star

  3. John, so why aren't the teachers union, the ff union, and other public employee unions doing something FOR their members? Why aren't they doing something for the public? Those two things should not be mutually exclusive.

  4. I suppose it's great to be a union buster when unemployment is over 10%. Don't vote for Republicans they're sure to kick you when your down.

  5. Over the years, I have been both a business owner with employees, and have been an employee. Throughout my lifetime, I have been in several unions or associations, and NEVER witnessed the abuse of or by union members (fortunately) that several of you have testified to (as Red Rocky, Re Freeman, and Bradley Chapline's accounts). Many, if not much of your accounts are aggregious and without excuse. It is definitely the very dark side of humanity, and I am angered, horrified, and saddened by this ever being practiced.

    This ol world ain't perfect, and the examples given of abuse sure attests to this. Here in the USA, we have a choice, or at least we should. When we don't value each and everyone, we have actions that do not show honor. This seems to be lost in the discussion of organized labor. I never realized that lawmakers have to approve of the public union/association/group in order for government agencies who employ members, to bargain with them. That is another, integral component, that could be politically driven with all sorts of outcomes. It sure is an undercurrent in negotiations.

    Thank you for sharing these stories, I am sure these are painful memories that can steal your joy if you let them.

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star

  6. I have no trouble admitting that unions in the private sector have accomplished a lot of good for workers in general.

    What I have a problem with are public sector unions.

    Public sector unions present a direct conflict of interest for elected officials who received support from such when it is time to negotiate contracts. Beyond that, the contracts hamstring the government entities when conditions change.

    Voters who are union members in the private sector need to realized that when they vote they are part of management, not labor. Although government entities are not in the business of making a profit, they do need to wisely expend resources (i.e. taxes) so as to be as little burden as possible on the citizenry.

    Public sector unions are in direct opposition to that goal in most cases and their ability to influence elections and otherwise restrict citizen control of government functions needs to be curtailed.

  7. The only takers I see right now are the wealthy and their corporations. Workers don't even have jobs. I suppose if we had jobs we'd have some power but conservatives have managed to wrest even that from us. The takers are definitely the trickle downers and we ought not cede anymore power to them.

  8. How many of the pro-union posters here support the Keystone XL pipeline? If so, why? If not, why?

    CarmineD

  9. Corporate power: Nuclear tipped missiles Union Power : spit balls

  10. You Anti-Unionistas....

    Like Fre-er... Windy, it's ALL ABOUT more profit for the Corporate Man, and scraps with crappy benefits for the worker-bees.

    Gotta get those PROFITS UP!!!
    We have to make the RICH RICHER;
    We gotta make shareholders happy...
    Who CARES about the guy who slaves away, day after day, making YOU MONEY, right? Right, windy?

    Teapublicans have this mindset that the worker-bee ought to be darn thankful to have a gig; no matter what it pays...it's the 'new formula' for amassing gross profits...
    SCREW THE WORKERS!
    Hey, isn't that what CHINA and 3rd-world hellholes do?

  11. Teamster:

    I hold Jimmy R. Hoffa is high esteem. I understand your feelings. BUT Hoffa is dead and his son is not the father and neither are you and others.

    CarmineD

  12. No answers from the union supporters here on their support for Keystone. Speaks volumes. Not surprising but it gets back to the question of honesty. Who is and isn't. I know the answer but had to give President Obama's supporters an opportunity to do so [be honest]. No takers.

    CarmineD

  13. Seeing only black and white precludes comprehension, agreement, resolution. So what have public-employee unions accomplished that wasn't legislated and required anyhow? But those same organizations show our children how to bully anyone who doesn't agree and conform exactly to what "leadership" tells them to do.

  14. How do Unions help workers if they keep jobs from coming in to the states they are strong in?
    http://money.cnn.com/2012/07/02/news/com...

    an excerpt from yesterdays' above link from CNN article on the Airbus 600 million factory to be built in Alabama:

    "Alabama's manufacturing sector has enjoyed surging growth over the past five years thanks to the state's low taxes, high-quality trade schools and union-weakening legislation. In addition to Airbus, firms including Boeing, Hyundai, Honda (HMC) and truck manufacturer Navistar (NAV, Fortune 500) are expanding in the state."

  15. Postal service union employees are staging a fast to protest ending Saturday delivery. It loses billions every year and has for years and is staging a hunger strike to protest discontinuance of Saturday delivery. Really? We need unions for this. Give me a break.

    CarmineD
    Former AFSCME Chief Steward.

  16. Our country has millions of laws on the books that are selectively enforced. We have the internet to use for discovering information that leads to decision making. Here in the USA, both capitalism and socialism have walked down the same roads in compromise. Americans enjoy the benefits and drawbacks of the Free Market's supply and demand system.

    Force and coersion have no place in the influencing of our decision making. We live in a country of choice. Having said that, NO one should ever be required to join a union/association as a condition for employment/work/their living, since properly enforced laws should already be protecting worker rights (in a perfect world). If E-Verify was used everywhere in the USA and enforced, and employers were provided proper supports towards securing and maintaining a viable workforce for their establishment, both business and workers would be far better off. The workers of this country have faced decades of UNfair labor practices, with little relief in sight. Their only recourse has been to join unions or associations for protections that have not been respected, that have not been enforced.

    The greatest help the United States government can give, is enforcing the laws already on the books in regard to illegal immigration and the utilizing of E-Verify.

    Commenter Peter Fritz gave the example of Airbus building a new plant in Alabama, found on link: http://money.cnn.com/2012/07/02/news/com...

    One commenter, Puck Swami, on the CNN article observed, "Aircraft manufacturing plants are coveted by every community who wants high-tech assembly jobs and the spinoff benefits that come from having these kinds of anchor facilities. For every job created in the plant, 5-10 more are created in the global supply chain, and most importantly, having these economic development anchors attract other high tech companies."

    When we view the Keystone Pipeline Project, it has the potential to create jobs, but with it, environmental concerns. Require E-Verify and enforcing laws on the books, and require environment supervision. There shouldn't be a need for or requiring of unions/associations if folks that.

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star