Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

PROTESTS: Support those who support workers

Letter by Gary B. Wilson, Fircrest on Nov. 9, 2011 at 10:52 am with 41 Comments »
November 9, 2011 10:52 am

The Occupy movement is a wake-up call to the citizenry to recognize that we have a choice to stand with organized labor that created the middle class or side with corporate America, which is in the process of taking organized labor down and, with it, the middle class.

It’s always been about money/power, not about wedge issues: sexual orientation, religion, abortion laws, race, gender, immigration – issues that generate hate/fear. The 1 percent could care less about these issues.

The wedge issues are used to secure votes to ensure that agendas are met to secure advantageous policies for Wall Street and corporate America – regulation reforms allowing capitalism to run amok, gutting our economic ststem.

The plan? Wise up. Do we want to return to pre-union United States? No vacation, no sick leave, 12-hour days, child labor, no retirement packages, wages that allowed barely enough to live on? Support those who support us, the workers. We built this country.

The plan? We are the plan.

Leave a comment Comments → 41
  1. PumainTacoma says:

    “stand with organized labor that created the middle class or side with corporate America.”

    You preach an adversarial relationship. Did organize labor or unions create smarter teachers? I understand labor’s past with child labor laws and safety, but you can not say that organized labor has benefited every portion of our society. Education is no better with unions nor are the teachers any smarter. And some of your 1% are “public servants” union members themselves with their hefty pensions, bloated overtime and grossly overpaid 6 figure workforce. There comes a time when reality sets in and excesses and greed run public sector unions as well.

  2. Why not try a cooperative relationship where business, labor, and government work together for the good of the Nation and all her Citizens?

  3. Pumain, All your comments seem to end up in an empeachment of public school teachers. If the teachers are so bad why did my children do so good. It seems to me that those children who choose to do well do so and those who choose not to do well have bad teachers. The problem is that both groups have the same teachers.
    If a child fails in school we blame the teacher but if the same child has cavities we don’t blame the dentist and if that child gets diabetes we don’t blame the doctor.
    If your house burns to the ground it’s not the firemans fault,and if you get robbed it’s not the policemans fault, but if your child fails it’s always the teachers fault. When does it become the parents responsibility to make sure there child does his or her part to obtain a good education?

  4. BlaineCGarver says:

    Since Union Labor is such a small percentage of the US Labor Force, I would call all of your opinions just that…opinins. Facts not in evidence. As long as you make this a union v. non-union issue, you will lose huge numbers of supporters. When Boeing goes on strike, or teachers go on strike, you see ZERO hard working, non-union flipping these stupid people off. I don’t know if you noticed, but there are Federal Laws that prohibit all the Sky-Is-Falling prediction of a non-union country. Stick to the facts, dangit.

  5. BlaineCGarver says:

    Stupid fingers struck again…..I was trying to say striking Boeing and school teachers had zero support from hard working, non-union persons…. Sorry

  6. PumainTacoma says:

    oldman: Are teachers smarter being in a union. That was the point.

  7. citizendoe says:

    Gary,

    Having been in a Union, for 4 years, thankfully got out and more than doubled my salary and total compensation in just a few years.

    If you want your children to toil at some lousy job, go for it. For me, I want my children to understand, that only they, make themselves valuable, and to make themselves so valuable that they get to choose their work and their compensation.

    Competition for your services and being willing to learn and evolve your career is the key to earning more and not becoming unemployable.

    There is no Typewriter union in the world that will give you a job, when no one wants them. Only you control the outcome of your employment.

    Unions are a primary cause for jobs going over seas. No you shouldn’t make 80K a year and 6 weeks off for putting mindless widgets together. Just as you shouldn’t be making 30+ dollars an hour to sell liquor in monopolized state ran liquor stores, when a kid at McDonalds makes a 1/3 of that with the same skill. Market level competition for jobs is a good thing. It prevents run away inflation.

    I know these concepts are foreign to you, because you really believe someone should be taking care of you.

    I pity Americans that think like this, when they have all the opportunity in the world.

  8. I have no problem with private sector unions, if the workers want a union they can have it, if their bosses don’t like it, they can lock them out or close his business and move elsewhere, ie; Boeing. I do have a problem with public sector unions who support their leftist politicians using my money that they steal from my wallet. Teachers are no better today then they were before the unions took over the education system. I would venture a bet that for the most part, they are not nearly as good as before. I also would add police and fire fighters to that list. Are they better today than they were 50 years ago? If you think so, prove it.

  9. I might also add that all of the technologies that teachers, police and fire fighters have today to help them do their jobs more efficiently was invented, produced and marketed by the private sector.

  10. oldman4 says:

    Pulmain teachers have no choice the law that you the citizens of Washington state passed requires them to be in the union. I have no idea how many would or wouldn’t join if they had the choice but they don’t. So Pulmain are you the people smarter for requiring the teachers to join? Thats the real question

  11. LarryFine says:

    “If the teachers are so bad why did my children do so good” well is the correct term…
    .
    oldman… are you opposed to “we the people” of Washington state voting to make this a right to work state ?

  12. NickDixon says:

    “Unions are a primary cause for jobs going over seas.”

    I would suggest this to be false. Tax advantages for outsourcing American labor, plus lack of patriotism are the primary causes.

    When I start seeing management pay themselves less than the labor force, I’ll be convinced that economics are the concern. In a country where executives make 200, 300 or 400 times as much money as the labor force, no one appears to be worried about someone making too much money.

  13. NickDixon says:

    In addition, the auto manufacturing firms tried to blame labor as the reason that cars cost so much.

    Labor makes up 22% of the cost of a new car. Their lobbyists and PR firms went searching for a new reason.

  14. NickDixon says:

    “Just as you shouldn’t be making 30+ dollars an hour to sell liquor in monopolized state ran liquor stores”

    False analogy. Liquor store clerks make much less than $30 per hour. Hyperbole is the greatest weapon of the anti-labor movement.

  15. alindasue says:

    BlaineCGarver said, “I don’t know if you noticed, but there are Federal Laws that prohibit all the Sky-Is-Falling prediction of a non-union country.”

    Those federal laws were put in place and remain in place due to the lobbying efforts of the unions. Do you honestly think that none of those laws would change if the entire country became “right to work”?

  16. PumainTacoma says:

    To add candy to the punch bowl, I might add:

    Q. Do unions produce better workers? Do unions make you smarter? Should incompetent employees be paid the same as “smarter” more productive employees?

    I doubt the premise…”all union employees are smarter than the average worker in the same profession therefore they should get paid more” than the private sector.

    I’d rather pay a competent engineer a higher salary than an incompetent engineer.

    This logic seems to work in the private sector.

  17. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Total compensation is the cost of labor to the companies, and for GM it is about $73 per hour and for Toyota about $48.

    I believe this factors in pensions, hence the higher cost than advertised in Kard’s stat.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oew-burtless-ikenson4-2008dec04%2C0%2C2031804.story

    Another look at auto salaries, but these ignore the costs after a worker retires. http://www.bls.gov/opub/cwc/cm20110419ar01p1.htm

  18. NickDixon says:

    Auto workers negotiated pensions in lieu of wages and then, after the fact, management wants to make that an issue. One might also point out that Toyota doesn’t pay as well on health care benefits.

    NickDixon’s point (that 3rd person stuff works for Cain) is that, all the while, there is not one company manager nor executive that is complaining that they make to much money, while being paid better than the union workers.

    What is simply seen is that the management of companies that negotiate union labor agreements are not very good at honoring said agreements after the ink is dry on the contract. They lack credibility and integrity, much like the political pursuation that urges such action.

  19. NickDixon says:

    Yes. Union workers are smarter.

    They are not dumb enough to work for chump change and get taken advantage of.

  20. NickDixon says:

    Why, in this capitalistic county of ours, is there such a movement to restrict the income of the working class?

    Seems just a bit hypocritical, no?

  21. scooter6139 says:

    Stupid fingers struck again…..I was trying to say striking Boeing and school teachers had zero support from hard working, non-union persons…. Sorry

    Sorry Blaine, these blogs/postings/comment sections are not an indicator of public support for or against the last teacher strikes. Try asking the teachers if they felt either support from the local community or lack thereof.

    Your ignorance (or blind desperation) is showing.

  22. LarryFine says:

    Who’s NickDixon Kardnos ?

  23. LarryFine says:

    How about we let the voters decide rather than ask the teachers??? scooter.

  24. scooter6139 says:

    We already did Larry. Ohio and Wisconsin are your indicators of voter intent.

  25. LarryFine says:

    Ohio and Wisconsin voted on Washington State teacher issues ? kooky

  26. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Kard/Dix, nice change of topic after I proved you wrong.

    And the auto unions demanded bonuses for giving up small amounts of wages in 2008-2009. All while the companies they work for still owe big dollars to the taxpayer.

    Our unions place us a disadvantage in a global marketplace. That is impossible to deny.

  27. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    … you shouldn’t be making 30+ dollars an hour to sell liquor in monopolized state ran liquor stores, when a kid at McDonalds makes a 1/3 of that with the same skill.

    Well citizendoe, it’s bad enough that WA Stat liquor store employees don’t make the same amount as McDonald’s employees, but did you have to demean the folks who work at Mickey D’s? I mean, they posses at least one key ability absent from every government service employee’s (generalizing here) already extremely limited skill-set; customer service!

    Can we supersize that pension plan for ‘ya?

  28. LarryFine says:

    Obama’s “shovel ready jobs” paying off ?

    U.S. roads and bridges being built by Chinese.

    Roads Cities hire Chinese instead of American workers for building projects. Built by Chinese Firms.

    http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/us-bridges-roads-built-chinese-firms-14594513?tab=9482930&section=1206853&playlist=14594944

  29. took14theteam says:

    “Who’s NickDixon Kardnos ?”

    Spell it backwards or frontwards or sideways, and you might find something. Like a snail or a sondra.

  30. stumpy567 says:

    I guess it comes down to being competitive on the global enviornment.
    Unions have their place and they have stepped wayyyyy over the line.
    If it’s about fairness, sure, not greedy, self serving, domination.

  31. Pacman33 says:

    Breaking News ; This just in:

    Obama promises to create thousands more economically neutral jobs.

  32. Using the same logic as the #ows denigrators:

    The riot “in support” of Joe Paterno proves that all football fans are violent supporters of child rape.

  33. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Let me be the first to say, as a huge college football fan and supporter, the PSU student riots are a complete and total embarrassment. Obviously these kids have no clue why they are rioting and should return to their cozy dorms immediately, before their movement is hijacked by the NFL Players Association.

  34. before their movement is hijacked by the NFL Players Association.

    ;-)

  35. NickDixon says:

    “And the auto unions demanded bonuses for giving up small amounts of wages in 2008-2009.”

    Pensions have been negotiated for decades. You act like it’s something new

    “Our unions place us a disadvantage in a global marketplace. That is impossible to deny.”

    You’re right. And if you want to keep the American economy alive with foreign wage rates from Asia, we need to follow the current path. BTW, did you happen to notice that housing rates just dropped again?

    Henry Ford stated – “I want my workers to be able to afford my cars”

    “In his 1922 book “My Life and Work” Ford, who was staunchly anti-union, dismissed the notion this was an act of charity. “We wanted to pay these wages so that the business would be on a lasting foundation,” he wrote. “A low wage business is always insecure.”

  36. Video Alert… Video Alert… in a video edition of “Voices from the Occupation” we seeing signs that a message is coming forth…

    http://vimeo.com/30224538

    Now I know that you are thinking… how do we propose to get there?

    patience my friends, patience…

  37. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Ford made cars available to his workers by making cheap cars, not paying them large salaries and lifetime benefits

  38. B-G-C
    We have Federal Laws that prohibit pro-union speech?
    Do we have similar laws that prohibit anti-union speech?
    Have you ever heard of Freedom of Speech?

    Citizendoe,
    Market level completion for jobs = right wing real speak for lets lower the minimum wage so more people can make less and a few people can make more.

    Frosty,
    When you work for a government you do not give up your civil rights.

    PurmianTacoma – would rather pay a competent engineer a higher salary that an incompetent engineer”
    Then don’t hire the incompetent engineer.
    And if you did – Blame Yourself.

    Concerned7,
    How much does it cost the companies when CEO’s and other high level executives and managers retire?
    How big were the bonus did the CEO’s etc get?
    It is also impossible to deny that most of the countries beating us use very low wage workers (ie peon, slave, or coulee wages).

    Larry,
    And you blame Obama because the US is now importing cheap labor to avoid paying decent wages?
    Kooky.

    Xx98,
    What signs? I don’t see no stinking signs or your link.
    At least we don’t see OWS signs saying ‘Keep you Guberment Hands off my Medicare’.

    Concerned7,
    Ford make cars available to his workers by making a quality product at a reasonable price, AND by paying his workers a decent wage.
    Ford was sued by his stockholders who felt Ford was cheating them by withholding and wasting their money by paying workers more than the prevailing wage.

  39. xring – are you now complaining about a positive video from ows… really dude…

    considering the wealth of ows related video with pissing, crapping, fires, clubbing, windows smashing, turning over dumpsters, yelling at Jews, yelling at blacks, yelling at business owners, just plain olde yelling, spitting on business owners, splattering blood on business owners, acting defiant and then the victim, crazy train displays and yes, the classic misspelled sign…

    you would be happy with a rainbow coalition of people speaking into a camera saying “I want… I want… I want…”

    so appropriate, don’t ya think?

  40. xring “when you work for a government you do not give up your civil right” .. Well said xring! I’ll just add a little to that comment, when you are a public servant, you work for the public, ie; taxpayer. The “taxpayer” is your boss, not the President, the Governor, the Mayor, or the section chief. Wouldn’t it be nice if the public, (the boss), had a voice in whether or not you should be in a union?

  41. The “taxpayer” is your boss

    Metaphorically speaking – yes – just like “the customer is your boss” at a retail outlet. But reality isn’t a metaphor.

*
We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0