Letters to the Editor

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UNIONS: Alternative is a race to the bottom

Letter by Cliff G. Benson, Lake Tapps on June 18, 2012 at 12:05 pm with 98 Comments »
June 18, 2012 2:09 pm

The article (TNT, 6-14) about organized labor by Harold Meyerson is spot on. The decline of unions and the middle class are inextricably linked, as his article so clearly states.

Some “unions” are thriving in this environment, such as the Business Roundtable, the National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Their goal of eliminating organized labor has made good progress for several decades. High unemployment rates are good for business; they are flooded with résumés, and only the few are chosen.

Of all economically developed nations, the U.S. has the greatest percentage of low-wage workers. That is one in four Americans earning less than two-thirds of the median wage.

Contributing to this are the attitudes of rugged individualism and everyone for themselves. Labor unions are about caring for something besides yourself – as in an injustice to one is an injustice to all.

Members understand the sacrifices made by earlier generations to obtain fair wages and working conditions. The alternative to union representation is the race to the bottom we are currently experiencing, where the serfs serve the rulers.


Leave a comment Comments → 98
  1. BigSwingingRichard says:

    On the other hand, I would argue in some cases unions and unionization has caused a race to the bottom.

    For example, public teacher unions are causing a race to the bottom for quality in public education.

    Municipal unions are causing a race to the bottom of affordability for cities and local governments who are burdened with paying inflated pension and disability liabilities.

    State worker unions are causing a race to the bottom in state worker efficiency.

    I could go on……

  2. aislander says:

    The UAW–with the collusion of long-dead management who acted like current-day politicians negotiating with public-employee unions–turned GM into a basket case that was “rescued” by the federal government.

    GM was losing about $1500 on every vehicle it sold that was not a luxury SUV due to the burden of pensions and retiree health care.

    The irony is that lefties excoriated GM for selling the “wrong” type of vehicle when gas prices exploded, killing the market for the only profit center that GM had…

  3. LeePHill says:

    The irony is that the people who say the most about unions know the least.

  4. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    Let’s face it, at least in private employment, labor unions are on the way out.

    Unions have been going downhill for about fifty years. There was a time when almost 35% of all workers on private payrolls were union members. By 2009 it had fallen to 7.2%.
    Unions probably deserve to pass the way of the horse and carriage. They have outlived their usefulness.

    Unions aren’t just dying; they seem to be killing jobs, too. Take a look at what’s happening in manufacturing. The number of manufacturing jobs is on the decline. Between 1983 and 2009 manufacturing jobs in America declined by about 5.6 million but most of that loss was in unionized jobs. The number of unionized manufacturing jobs fell from 5.3 million in 1983 to 1.5 million in 2009. That’s a 72% loss.
    During that same period of time, the number of nonunion manufacturing jobs only declined by about 13% from 13.7 to 11.9 million.

    American workers are hard working and productive. They can compete in a global economy but not when they have the additional burden of a union. All you have to do is look at what unions have done to Europe.

    It is no wonder that more and more workers are saying,
    “America works best Union Free”

  5. Fibonacci says:

    Yes, those evil unions. Why did we have them in the first place? What have they ever done that is good anyway? Eight hour days–who needs it? Overtime pay–not necessary. Child labor laws–get those 12 year olds back into factories, it will keep them off the streets. We don’t need unions, after all, business will do what is right because they are fair caring people.

  6. Fibonacci says:

    Big ricky
    Just how have the unions caused a race to the bottom for public education? Do you have any idea at all what teachers unions even do? Obviously you don’t by your letter. Just to TRY to educate you, they bargain working conditions for adults. They are never in the classroom, they have nothing to say about curriculum, the have no say in discipline, they have no say in teaching methods, etc. So, in your little mind, just what do they do that harms our schools? I have worked in both public and private schools, and my kids have gone to both public andy private schools, and well, I know this goes contrary to all you union haters, but the difference in public and private schools is not the union. It is things like class size, parent involvement, cherry picking students, and so on.

  7. Fib- is that what unions are about today? Or just money, politics, ad power?

    When given the choice, why do members bail?

  8. SwordofPerseus says:

    Well said Cliff, without labor unions and the right to collectively bargain for better pay, benefits and working conditions the US becomes a third world joke, no longer a place to emulate and aspire to. All the cheering from the right for the disbanding of organized labor unions is the death knell for America’s middle class. The Rockefeller plan to turn this country into a land of elites and surfs, a plutocracy, is nearly complete. In only 40 years we have gone from the leader of the free world to a withering drag on the planet. If the country elects Robme it will be the last nail in the coffin.

  9. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    CT7 said it best, “When given the choice, why do members bail?”

    It will be interesting to see if the liberals here can truthfully answer this question without their usual spin.

  10. Fibonacci says:

    CT7 and taxed
    I would LOVE to answer your question if you will answer mine. The reason that they bail is …let me say this slowly now..IT PUTS MORE MONEY ON THEIR PAYCHECK.

    Now, do you have the courage to answer mine? Why is it, that anti-union employees accept the benefits that the unions bargain for them? If they had any spine, they would decline the benefits since they are against the union. THEN I could respect them. They want the benefits without helping to pay to get them. If they can benefit without paying then they will. THAT is why they bail.

  11. The reason why they would want more in their paycheck? It’s simple; they’ve been deferring wages for decades in order to procure a decent retirement and benefits for themselves. It was never free money; it is DEFERRED pay that they chose to collect at a later date.

    All of a sudden we are threatening their deferred wages for budget’s sake.
    These days, folks don’t have enough faith in the markets. If the stocks can’t cover the bargained-for pensions, then…

    All of a sudden, the pre-bargained 401(k)s and pensions are back on the table, when the battle has already been fought decisively in favor of wage-earning working-class Americans.

  12. Honestly Sword — Likely, the righties win. Once they implement their nonsense? 2014 midterms swing back.

    Most people either don’t know or care because they’re jaded, or they don’t pay enough attention to recognize the difference in the parties. Mitt is the classic generic republican that has no substance, but it’ll be too easy to sway the ignorant with talking-points and fear…

    With corporate America sitting on the sidelines with multiple trillions in record profit…? They’ve made their choice on whether to side with the good of the country or profits. And it sure ain’t the good of the American people…

  13. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    Fib, thanks for an honest answer but I will add the following reasons:

    1. Because unions are no longer about working for the regular guy. They are little more than Political Action Committees that mishandle compulsory union dues to the detriment of not only their workers, but of business in general.

    2. OK, unions helped 50 years ago but unions have long out lived their usefulness and it’s high time they were put in their proper place of actually working for the people who pay their dues and not as some democratic special interest group.

    3. They bail because they are tired of being extorted and tired of being held down by some incompetent who have seniority and tell them to slow down and don’t work s hard.

    4. They leave because they don’t agree with the union loving progressive axis of evil;0bama,Pelosi & Reid.

    5. They tell themselves, “Why stay in a Union that won’t listen to me anymore and can’t do anything.”

    Now, to answer your question.

    What benefits are they getting without paying forced union dues? All the unions brokered deals in the past 15 years have resulted in:

    Pay cuts
    increased contributions to retirement
    increased contributions to healthcare
    lay offs
    cuts on OT pay (ask the ferry IBU members)
    furlough days off without pay
    dues increases
    democrat political payoffs with their dues
    Paying for audits that are proven wrong by a 6th grader

    This is why they leave. The extra pay in their pocket from leaving the union is the only benefit of the union.

  14. billybushey says:

    Contrary to the NeoCOn opinions above, when given the choice, they don’t bail, they join. Free-riders (those who benefit but refuse to pay dues) are just Jack London scabs with a better package. I’ve lost track of the number of Wal-Mart workers who have said they’d go for a union if they had a fair chance. The current system is so stacked in favor of management and union-busters that they can’t do it. Pass the Employee Free Choice Act (card-check) and watch the organized labor numbers take off.

  15. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    bly, billy, billy,

    hows that kool aid tonight? You said, “Contrary to the NeoCOn opinions above, when given the choice, they don’t bail, they join.”

    You must not have heard that Wisconsin union workers were given a choice of FREEDOM and 54% left.


    Your comments are that of a soon to be out of work union business agent that will have to work for a living in lieu of filing unfair labor practices, hostile work place violations and general grievances that stop work, drive up cost and accomplish nothing but make the union feel good.

    I have dealt with the unions for years, used to be a union guy. They do nothing for their members today, they are useless.

  16. Jelly- isnt the DNC line that the private sector has made 4.5mil jobs since BHO took the helm? Does that not go contrary to the ‘sitting on trillions’ line?

    And so what if they are? Its their money! With Obamacare and taxageddon looming, would you hire someone?

    If private sector employees want to unionize, have it. Those that do not want to join can negotiate on their own. Public sector employees should never been allowed in the first place.

    Once again, the proof that unions are a failed/dated concept is the rate workers run when given a chance. Only those that believe their pay is superior to their contributions stay and need the ‘protection’ and flattening of pay/merit.

    Fib- thanks for the response

  17. philichi says:

    If unions were so great, Detroit would be a thriving city.

  18. took14theteam says:

    And now we have the latest union situation in King County regarding the garbage recycle/ yard waste collection workers. They ride in a truck all day and pick up bins using onboard equipment. They don’t have to use any physical energy.

    And now they want to be paid 100K a year for that.

    That is what is wrong with unions now. I am all for people making as much money as they can, but you have to use common sense and pay an amount equal to the job.

    My garbage can has to weigh 40 lbs or less or I get charged. The wimp collectors complain when it is slightly over weight. I had to lift 70 lbs over my head when I worked for a major private package distribution company. I think those guys can pick up a little more than 40 lbs.

  19. aislander says:

    I blame both unions and management for the GM situation I referred to above. The unions will obviously ask for the most they can even if, in the case of pensions and health care, the math won’t work.

    It is the responsibility of management to say “no,” but management didn’t and impossible promises were made simply to avoid a short-term confrontation and keep the production lines moving.

    We have the same problem with the public-sector unions now. Trouble is the taxpayers were obligated by politicians who took contributions from the unions.

    Conflict of interest much?

  20. Ai- another problem with GM is they lost focus on their mission. To make a profit for their shareholders. In addition, the unions got so much power, they tipped the employee/employer relationship on its head.

  21. BSR – why not blame the school boards and district administrations that set policy and the curricula rather than the teachers.

    Not as much fun as ranting about the evil unions but closer to addressing the root causes of our education problems.

    When was the last time you say elected official volunteer or voting to take a pay and benefits cut? For the past several years public and private unions have done both.

    Taxed – and as union member has declined the country has gone down hill so has our country – aided by anti-american business and politicians who send US jobs overseas and keep their profits in offshore accounts so avoid paying US taxes.


    Maybe workers leave unions because the plants are closed and the jobs sent overseas.

    Corporations are adding jobs in this country – which without unions – are minimum wage no benefit slave wage jobs – just like we had between the Civil War and the rise of the American Labor Movement.

    Home Depot and other corporations, routinely tell their workers anyone advocating for a union will lose their job and any store that even tries to vote for unionization will be closed.

  22. took14theteam says:

    xring, please site a source or two. Otherwise, it is just your opinion, and we know what opinions are like….

    So are the ‘hill’ brothers ready for the debut of Bristol Palin’s show tomorrow?

  23. alindasue says:

    taxedenoughintacoma said, “hows that kool aid tonight? You said, “Contrary to the NeoCOn opinions above, when given the choice, they don’t bail, they join.” ”

    Employees will only put up with lack of respect from an employer for only so long…

    I was working part time at major car rental company a few years ago when they were taken over by new owners. The new owners started off promising better conditions for the workers. By the end of the first couple years, it was obvious their intentions were anything but what they promised. The non-union workers all across the board started seeing hours and benefits steadily cut until many of us had almost no benefits at all to speak of. Necessary safety repairs weren’t being made. Job descriptions changed on nearly a daily basis. Morale was in the toilet.

    When they started laying off car washers, then started having minimum wage temp workers come in after doing so, that was the last straw. Both the car washers and the mechanics decided to vote to join the Teamsters.

    The interesting thing is that we all benefited from that vote. Even though we drivers were still not union, they were so afraid that more of the employees would unionize that suddenly we started seeing our working conditions improving. Benefit programs and full time positions started opening up again.

    Last I spoke with some of my former co-workers a few weeks ago, conditions were still much better than before the mechanics and car washers chose to join the union.

  24. GeronimoV says:

    Union busting has been a Tacoma art form for for over a hundred years. Pierce County tries it’s best to mold individual locals into nothing more than management tools to keep the workers pacified, and The News Tribune has always been quite enthusiastic as mouthpiece to browbeat workers into going along. When was the last time you ever saw the TNT offer support to any strike or even to the hint of one?

  25. Strikes cost business, their customers, suppliers, etc money. Why would anyone support them in 2012?

  26. Alindasue- interesting story. If those employees left, could they be easily replaced? Not sure I buy that a car washer joining a union threatened a business. A good mechanic (i.e. skilled labor) might be challenging if not expensive. But car washers and part-time employees?

    I worked as an hourly employee next to unionized employees. I left work disgusted everyday at the laziness of the union guys. They could not get fired, even after serious drug problems. Their salaries were insane compared to the merit of their labor.

    It was public sector employees/union.

  27. tree_guy says:

    Cliff, you forgot to tell the readers what you have personally done to alleviate the “race to the bottom problem” that you seem so concerned with.

    Please outline for us the businesses you’ve helped set up which pay folks family wage rates regardless of how insignificant the skill level of the employee. You express so much expertise that I’m sure you must have a lot of hands-on experience in this area.

    I’ll be waiting for your response.

  28. ivedunnit says:

    taxageddon? LOL gotta love Cons… lowest taxest rates in decades and they are screaming ‘taxageddon’

    If unions and high taxes are so terrible, how did America ever become the world technological and military superpower during a time whne the top margianl tax rates were around 90% and union membership was at its all time highs during the 40’s- the mid 70’s?

    If higher taxes on the wealthy and strong are so bad for America, How did we ever thrive? Conservative historical ignorance knows no limits.

  29. If you believe in free market capitalism, why would you be against a group of people organizing to capitalize on their labor? What is the difference between a Union and Oil Cartels, Contractors organization or any other such organizations. They exist for the good of their industry. Why is it wrong for me to ask for my fair share? As a contributing member in the work force the deck is stacked against me. I want to provide for my family, if as I must carry those who are unwilling to help in our struggle for fairness, I will. My back is strong. You are welcome you enjoy somewhat decent wages because of my commitment, you are welcome you receive work place protections because of my commitment. Why do you blame me for the corruption of your government and corporations? Why do you let them run amuck whilst trying to shackle me? If you are a working person and you would like a voice indeed a stake in your living conditions you should consider uniting with your fellow workers and expressing such. Fair wages, Fair working conditions, Fair benefits. A CEO makes obscene amounts of money and you criticize me for asking for my fair share. I made those profits on my back. You are welcome.

  30. tree_guy says:

    I made those profits on my back. You are welcome.” ringer

    Flag comment

    Read more here: http://blog.thenewstribune.com/letters/2012/06/18/organized-labor/#comments#storylink=cpy

    The workers don’t MAKE the profits, they contribute to the making of the profits. That’s a big distinction.

    At some point someone took a risk and established a company. They provided the #1. Capital, #2 Business plan #3 Organizational structure, #4 marketing message. The owners of the business ultimately decide how much of the revenue to provide to the various contributors. Workers who don’t agree with the division of revenues are free to organize and start their own company (example WINCO).

    The difficulties of dealing with union activists contributes to the paucity of business formation in the US. Look around for yourselves. Do you see a lot of new businesses popping up who are seeking lots of high wage employees? I don’t.

  31. billybushey says:

    1) Not a business agent, but I am a working deck delegate. As to my labor, I have worked on US Government cargo ships for the last 14 years, US Navy for 8 and private sector shipping for 10. The work happens in weathers and places that would make Taxedenough soil himself.

    2) the Wisconsin workers did not have a choice. Their union was taken from them.

    3) One day people like taxedenough will have a car repaired, a house built or some other critical event performed by these low wage race to the bottom workers and it will cost a limb or life. Let us all know how that works out

    4)Unions are more important today than they have ever been. Ask the people at Massey Coal or Deepwater Horizon.

  32. The decline of the middle class runs hand in hand with the decline of unions.
    The right in this country has a lust to return this country to a 2 class caste society, the very wealthy few and everyone else.
    How they got the brain dead masses of their ‘base’, many posting here, to support their own economic demise is something I will never figure out.

  33. “I worked as an hourly employee next to unionized employees. I left work disgusted everyday at the laziness of the union guys. They could not get fired, even after serious drug problems. Their salaries were insane compared to the merit of their labor.

    It was public sector employees/union.”

    ct7, a*******r has the market cornered on out right lies, stop tredding in her water.

  34. “If and when Big Labor dies – it’s on life support now – America’s big middle class dies with it.”

    Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2012/06/14/2180393/if-organized-labor-withers-away.html#storylink=cpy

    The fact that middle class prosperity is declining at the same time that organized labor’s membership is declining is no coincidence. While corporate leaders are enjoying record wealth, those of us who make up the middle class are struggling more and more to make ends meet. America was built on the backs of labor. Unions strengthened labor which created a strong middle class and a prosperity that made us the envy of the world.

    The Right wing’s attack on labor unions is an attack on middle class Americans. Those on the Right applaud these declines and openly seek the end to labor unions and ultimately the middle class.

    The biggest reason some unions are doing as well as they are is that management hasn’t yet found a way to outsource the jobs that those union members enjoy.

  35. commoncents says:

    Taxed…you listed a myriad of reasons that people are leaving the unions that can all be summed up into a single sentence. Unions are no longer relevent and are now ineffective at protecting it’s workforce. If that’s the case then why, oh why, the constant attack on WEA and it’s supposed attempt at keeping on poor teachers. And don’t say it’s for the contribution as that would come to the union whether it be from horribly pathetic employee A or new and lively employee B.

  36. LeePHill says:

    As I said early in the thread – those who know the least about unions say the most

  37. LeePHill says:

    The reason why people left the public employees union in Wisconsin is because they were CONCERNED that they had no rights as outlined by law and were CONCERNED about using dues money for household expenses after giving up benefits and wages. They weren’t CONCERNED about taking advantage of what the union workers had negotiated for them because they were selfish.

    What happened to people being CONCERNED about others?

  38. tree_guy says:

    As I said early in the thread – those who know the least about unions say the most” LeeHill

    Read more here: http://blog.thenewstribune.com/letters/2012/06/18/organized-labor/#comments#storylink=cpy

    Thanks for reminding us about your inconsequential point of view.

  39. alindasue says:

    CT7 said, “Alindasue- interesting story. If those employees left, could they be easily replaced? Not sure I buy that a car washer joining a union threatened a business. A good mechanic (i.e. skilled labor) might be challenging if not expensive. But car washers and part-time employees?”

    The company must have found the unionizing of the car washers concerning enough or there wouldn’t have been across the board improvements of the other employees’ benefits in response to head off further unionizing. If they thought that they could have instead laid off all the workers and just replaced them and still have all the work done properly, don’t you think they would have done so?

  40. LeePHill says:

    I wonder when “tree” will provide a dissertation about organized labor

  41. Alindasue- I have no idea. Since you have not stated the name of the business, I will take your word that a company panicked when a job usually done by illegals decided to unionize.

    The unions have dug their own grave. They have become overly political, always on the hard left. They cost business money while adding nothing in terms of quality, so of course management hates them. Put yourself in the position of an owner/manager.

    As a reminder, we are talking private sector unions. The public sector should never of been allowed to form unions. Add that to the reason most of America hates unions.

    Mr Hill- what is your union expertise?

  42. philichi says:

    I sort of think that it is funny that a man goes on a job interview to get a job. Once he is hired, he turns on the company and considers the company his enemy. He lets a union boss come in a abuse the company that hired him and gave him a chance. That is truly evil! That is why I dislike unions.

  43. commoncents says:

    phil…do you think that the employer does not consider the unionized employee the enemy once they have hired? This is a relationship and any ill feelings are mutual. That being said…contrary to your statement, most employees and mgmt are actually adults and can separate out ill feelings created during union negotiations and work together for the common benefit of the company because after all – the company that is profitable benefits both sides.

  44. took14theteam says:

    Remember CT7, Larry has BTDT. He has done everything and knows everything, so I am sure he is an expert on unions as well.

    Did you make it to his Fathers Day BBQ?


  45. Lol! They did not want to pay the booze tax so I took a pass, drove south for my monthly bootleg.

  46. LeePHill says:

    “Mr Hill- what is your union expertise?”

    Membership and serving as an shop steward/negotiator, in addition to relatives that hold/held paid positions for two different unions and a spouse that is a member of a union.

    I guess the answer is that I’ve actually had first hand experience, otherwise, why talk about that which I don’t know? That would be like performing brain surgery without experience.

    So, Ms. 7, what is your union expertise?

    Have you ever been a union member or are you just a concerned citizen that knows nothing, but knows they are bad people because someone on TV said so?

  47. LeePHill says:

    “philichi says:
    June 19, 2012 at 11:42 am I sort of think that it is funny that a man goes on a job interview to get a job. Once he is hired, he turns on the company and considers the company his enemy. He lets a union boss come in a abuse the company that hired him and gave him a chance. That is truly evil! That is why I dislike unions.”

    You missed the comment by Taxedenough about how he and his family enjoyed union benefits until he was “promoted” to management and then took great joy in agitating a poor relationship with the union labor force – the same people that negotiated good wages and benefits for him in the past.

    When did you work for a union labor force, philichi? Never?

  48. LeePHill says:

    Remember the old classic song “Silence is Golden”?

  49. Ah, following the other hill and his partner Klu in using ‘she’ and ‘ms’. Very mature. Rather then use your head and debate facts/opinion, you choose the low road. Sad.

    As I stated earlier I worked as an hourly employee next to full time public sector union employees. No, I have never been in a union myself. Nor do I want to. I feel my work stands on its own merit. If you are truly an asset to an organization, your actions speak for themselves. I do not need a corrupt, far left power hungry group browbeating management on my behalf.

  50. alindasue says:

    CT7 said, “Alindasue- I have no idea. Since you have not stated the name of the business, I will take your word that a company panicked when a job usually done by illegals decided to unionize.”

    I do not mention the specific company because this is not the place to advertise and/or disparage any particular company. Personally, I liked working for them despite the problems we had when the new owners bought them. I will say that it is a major company encompassing three rental car brands that rent out of SeaTac Airport.

    While there are a lot of immigrants that work at and around the airport, the jobs done at the rental car companies are not “usually done by illegals”. Everyone who works there has proof that they are legally able to work there or they don’t have a job there. Most are American citizens or are working hard to become citizens.

    Given your obvious prejudices that show when you assume that our work at the rental car company is “usually done by illegals”, I have to wonder if it is also your prejudices that are affecting your perception of the “lazy” union members that you worked beside. It could very well be that your co-workers were no more “lazy” than mine were “illegals”.

  51. LeePHill says:

    “No, I have never been in a union”

    Contempt without experience. What else would you like to tell us about that you have no experience?

    CT7 – if you are offended by me referring to you as “Ms.” you might want to be concerned that the name “Lee” is female as well as male. There is no reason to ASSUME I’m male.

  52. LeePHill says:

    ” I do not need a corrupt, far left power hungry group browbeating management on my behalf.”

    And the Oscar for the most dramatic sentence in a blog goes to….

  53. LeePHill says:

    “I worked as an hourly employee next to full time public sector union employees.”


    Public sector employees are a closed shop. An hourly working next to them would have to join the union.

    It just doesn’t pay to BS when you don’t know the rules.

  54. I worked for part time 9 months a year for 5-6 years during school. Hourly employees were limited to 35 hours/week and I think there was annual cap. Right along side your prized public sector union employees, except I did not get the union coffee breaks and bank run on payday.

    No one at a school (i.e. summer camp workers) are part time working next to union employees? Event staff at any public venue? What a joke. Most cities offer summer jobs.

    Are sub teachers forced into a union (real question)?

    Glad to see you finally read up thread.

    As someone else pointed out your second and third hand experience is with PUBLIC sector unions. The scam of the century.

    And since you are well known here, no need to play games with your sex. Your monikers are very transparent.

  55. LeePHill says:

    Best Fiction story on a blog….

    “Summer camp workers”? Oh my!

    Why are you so concerned with my sex?

  56. LeePHill says:

    Sorry, I wasn’t aware of the sex of someone named “CT7″. I just went with my instinct based on what I was reading in your comments.

    Tell us more about your career as a part-time worker. Were you the same person that was harassing a letter writer for her husband being out of work? Maybe he should take a part time job for five or six years.

  57. In high school and college? Wow. Even after my college was paid for (scholarship) I still worked.

    And if one is out of work, shouldn’t they take whatever they can get?

    You just look desperate in your attempted personal attacks. Stick to the subject.

    And what is your motive here? To protect the bloated salaries of your public sector wife and child. At least be honest. Try it.

  58. LeePHill says:

    Then, of course, there is the difference between the Teacher’s unions and “Public Employees” which is usually known as ‘AFSCME’.

    There is no “public employees” union, per se, which further’s my stand about the fiction issue.

    Maybe, what we really have is a “teacher wannabe” that washed out and has a resentment.

    “Union coffee breaks” – state law requires a 10 minute break for every 4 hours worked and a 30 minute lunch break for 6 hours or more. If a company isn’t offering that, they are violating L&I standards.

    Should we keep going?

  59. LeePHill says:

    “bloated salaries” – LOL.

    Now we are really frustrated aren’t we?

    I was a member of the Teamsters union when I was attending college. You just needed a better job.

  60. LeePHill says:

    “You just look desperate in your attempted personal attacks.”

    “To protect the bloated salaries of your public sector wife and child.”

    No one is trying to be “personal”, are they?

    Maybe the boy genius would like to tell us where “bloated” starts. How big of a salary or hourly is “bloated”?

  61. LeePHill says:

    “And if one is out of work, shouldn’t they take whatever they can get?”


    If you are getting unemployment compensation at the $500 range, you’d be pretty stupid to apply for part-time minimum wage jobs. They won’t pay your bills quite as well as your insurance compensation.

    Leading with your chin will usually result in a knockout.

  62. LeePHill says:

    is a 235 to 1 salary ratio “bloated”?

  63. See, I find something wrong with that policy and you do not. Due to libs like yourself, we are paying able bodied people to sit on the couch when they could be earning something.

    And I woul still take the job. To move up you have to start somewhere. Take two jobs.

    A CEOs salary does not effect the salaries of the rest of a company’s employees. So I do not care unless I own stock in said company and I find it excessive.

    So you have no personal bias? Mine is I hate paying taxes. I do not feel the burden is shared equally (1/2 don’t pay) and the services do not match the cost.

  64. philichi says:

    leephill: I was in a union. I got a job has a dish washer when I was in high school. When I started the union rep came in and told me that I had to be in the union. Really, she just wanted to take a cut out of my pay check. If I knew than what I know now, I would have told her to take her form and shove it. I don’t need some silly union boss negotiating my wage. I am an adult.

  65. Took – I’ll show mine when you start showing yours.

    Tree_guy – re your 1 to 4 – you forgot that somewhere there has to be a product that is sold to produce the profits – and that product is produced only by workers. NO Product = No Company.

  66. LeePHill says:

    Nice fiction story, philichi. We’ll nominate you for an award also. You’d have to be awful damned old to have been a dishwasher in a local restaurant that was unionized, and I’m not sure that dishwashers were part of the local anyway. I thought only cooks, bartenders and wait staff were part of the local, when there were any union shops. Since the union provided medical coverage, a smart person would have realized the value in the dues as being something more than a “cut of my wages”. I wonder what you’d call the person that was allowed to sell retirement packages to union employees.

    I notice that CT7 did something very familiar from an a character that used to blog here who was concerned about things. When pointedly questioned as to what was the definition of “bloated”, CT7 disappeared and then reappeared attempting to change the subject.

    So, one more time – “what is bloated?” What constitutes a “bloated” wage?. Is it the $500,000 mid-level manager? Just pick a number and we’ll work from there.

    Anyone who would say this – “A CEOs salary does not effect the salaries of the rest of a company’s employees” hasn’t seen a P&L sheet. But I’m certain that there are not too many part time executives anyway.

    The difference between you and me on the unemployement insurance issue is “common sense”. I use common sense and you use macho bravado crapolla. I’ll tell you which one your mortgage company will appreciate. I’ll tell you which one will feed your family.

  67. The difference between you and I is that I am proud to be a man. I am proud to have hustled and worked, to much success.

    Bloated would mean an organization pays one more than they are worth. If one can be replaced for a lower wage, but only protected through politics and threats, their salary is bloated.

  68. alindasue says:

    LeePHill said, “Public sector employees are a closed shop. An hourly working next to them would have to join the union.”

    That’s not necessarily the case. My husband works for trucking company that is not unionized. However, the company does some contract work for the post office (amongst other contracts), so the drivers are working along side the post offices’ unionized drivers and employees. It is conceivable for that part of his story to be correct…

    By the way, you also said, “CT7 – if you are offended by me referring to you as “Ms.” you might want to be concerned that the name “Lee” is female as well as male. There is no reason to ASSUME I’m male.”

    I just thought I’d point out that while you guys are playing your new little game of calling those you disagree with “she”, indicating that person (usually known to be a “he”) is female, you might want to consider for a moment those of us who actually ARE female. Thank you.

  69. philichi says:

    LeePHill: You may accuse me of being wrong, however, don’t call me a liar without having your facts in order.

    My first job was as a Dish Washer at Knapp’s restaurant on 27th and Proctor. I started in 1978. Yes, you are right, the union has been run out of there thank God.

    I became very close to the owners. They would even give me a ride home after work. The union boss didn’t give me a job, or a ride home.
    They just wanted my dues. What a great scam.

  70. LeePHill says:

    How much is “bloated”, CT7? Try harder.

    Philichi – the “union boss” (probably shop steward or business agent) was being held responsible by a majority of workers in that business that had voted to have the bargaining unit represent them.

    You should have worked for less at a fast food restaurant. The old owners of Knapps were union people and by sharing their transportation source with you, were attempting to teach you about unity.

    Unfortunately, you didn’t learn.

  71. LeePHill says:

    Sorry, alindasue, if you think I smeared women by assuming that CT7 was a woman. Frankly, I have no way of knowing that CT7 isn’t.

    Philichi – I’ll stop referring to your stories as fiction, when you stop embellishing them.

  72. LeePHill says:

    “Bloated would mean an organization pays one more than they are worth. If one can be replaced for a lower wage, but only protected through politics and threats, their salary is bloated.”

    Sounds like an executive to me. Tell me one business that can’t live without an executive. In particular, offspring of CEOs that are hired because they were born to the right parents would be “bloated”.

    So, CT7 – tell us what a school principal is worth. Tell us what a legal secretary is worth. Tell us what an accountant is worth. Tell us what a teacher is worth. Then….tell us what YOU do.

  73. LeePHill says:

    Alindasue – I guess it all depends on how you view the statement “working along side”.

    To me, that means that you are employed in the same worksite, not a visitor or vendor, as I envision the case with your husband.

  74. aislander says:

    I’m not forced to pay for “bloat” in private companies, since I am not forced to deal with private companies.

    I AM forced–there’s that word that is so typical of liberalism–to pay for and deal with government…

  75. LeePHill says:

    Yeah….you don’t have to eat or use medical services.

    You have the choice to die

  76. aislander says:

    “– tell us what a school principal is worth. Tell us what a legal secretary is worth. Tell us what an accountant is worth. Tell us what a teacher is worth.”

    That’s what the market is for…

  77. aislander says:

    There are multiple sources for medical care and groceries. Government is a shameless monopoly…

  78. LeePHill says:

    Interesting how the same job performed in the public sector is bloated while a higher wage in the private sector isn’t, just because you’ve convinced yourself you have a choice.

    As we know, there are no monopolies or price fixing in the private sector, so you can choice your way to financial freedom. Let’s take the oil industry for starters.

  79. aislander says:

    Now there’s some pretzel logic!

  80. “Now there’s some pretzel logic! “

    You oughtta know.

  81. Larry tries to attack multiple people on a personal level since his position is indefensible.

    Everyone lies but him. No one knows unions but him (paying taxes, reading the news, and working along side them does not count).

    Admit your bias. Admit this your defense of waste and inefficiency is based on personal ties to PUBLIC employee unions.

  82. LeePHill says:

    CT7 – what salary level is “bloated”? You keep avoiding, I keep asking. You admitted that you have no union experience, why don’t you just cough up the answer that says you don’t know what salary level is “bloated”?

    Here. Let me make this easy for you.

    Is a legal assistant’s pay “bloated” if paid $40,000 annually?

    I’m getting concerned about your inability to just quote a number.

    “Government is a shameless monopoly…” Yeah, aislander, we need to privatize education, fire, police and such. History shows us how successful that was in the past.

  83. LeePHill says:

    “That’s what the market is for…”

    Then the market has already spoken.

  84. Private schools, Rural/Metro, volunteer firemen, etc. Better or equal in terms of service. There are options.

    A salary depends on location, industry, individual, etc. What is your obsession with a particular number? If it is private sector, they can pay the admin assistant $1bil a year for all I care, as long as I am not a stockholder.

    Since we are all stockholders in public enterprise, it does matter. It is my money funding that salary.

  85. LeePHill says:

    Bloated pay? You going to keep dodging the question?

    If you think volunteer firefighters are working you’d better check the community in East King county whose insurance rates are getting ready to go through the ceiling because their volunteer department has no volunteers.

    Of course, it’s not uncommon


    Keep dodging the question. It really enhances your alleged “manhood” that you love to crow about.

  86. LeePHill says:

    to hire quality people to perform the duties in the public sector, government must have a motivating factor – salary, benefits, et al – to compete with the private sector.

    Otherwise, the only thing they’d have to encourage people to work for the government is “take this job so that 30% of the people can whine and complain about you on a daily basis”

  87. aislander says:

    Perhaps we would all be better off if the public sector COULDN’T compete for employees…

  88. Let’s not forget job security being a huge factor.

    Professionals (with doc, lawyers as an exception) have to move across the country throughout a career to excel.

    I’ve answered your question on pay. Their is not a fixed dollar amount for most jobs (even fry cooks can be justified starting at a higher or lower rate in some areas).

    What do you consider bloated for public sector jobs? Any amount? Dave your whining on CEO pay, not only apples and oranges but comically stupid.

  89. aislander says:

    I job is worth no more than the salary point at which it generates enough applications to fill the position with qualified personnel. Any more than that is a waste of resources…

  90. Ai- notice he went away? No real argument. Just a cry for wealth redistribution. Sad, really.

    America deserves better. Waving the flag IS a proud act.

  91. Page 3-4 tomorrow Larry. Save your petty whining.

  92. LeePHill says:

    “went away”?

    No. Some of us have jobs to do.

    So, what constitutes “bloated” other than your bloated brain?

    Why did you change your moniker?

  93. LeePHill says:

    Funny how in conservative capitalism, organized workers don’t have a right to make as much money as possible.

    The hypocrisy of the right shining through.

  94. What is a bloated salary, lardnos?

  95. Did I really change anything? You like to play moniker games, not I.

  96. LeePHill says:

    i know ya r but wuttam i?

    CT7 is dancing the con shuffle.

    Public employees are paid less than their private sector contemporaries, thus no “bloated” anything.

    Once again, CT7 was caught with the proverbial talking point foot in mouth.

  97. took14theteam says:

    Are you really 61 now Larry? You sure act like a child. Wait, the older you get, you start reverting back to childhood. Now it is all clear with regard to your behavior on this site.

    To sum it up, pathetic.

  98. aislander says:

    Nailed it…

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