Discussion in 'Economics' started by MKTrader, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. This was a Yahoo comment--and a surprisingly good one.

    Government Union "Performance Review":

    Boss: "Are your dues paid up?"
    Member: "yes sir"
    Boss: "Ok , good job!"
    Boss "Have you been sick more than 90 Days this year?"
    Member: "No sir, only 89 days sir".
    Boss "Did you pay your dues during your sick time"?
    Member: "yes sir".
    Boss: "Ok, good job".
    Boss: "Your getting close to retirement, right"?
    Member: "I started here when I was 19 and now I am 37 sir".
    Boss: "Two years to retirement. You need to put in for maximum overtime from here on out".
    Member: "Why is that sir?".
    Boss: "Your Pension from the taxpayers will be based on your highest 2 years. We will add on your sick time and vacation time to this also. That will put you in retirement at about 150% of where you are now".
    Member: "What about inflation sir?"
    Boss "Don't worry. As long as you pay your dues, you will get inflation increases even in retirement".
    Boss: "I see we gave you two raises last year".
    Member "I know. It was a tough year".
    Boss "I think this year we might be able to do better".
    Member "How's that?".
    Boss: "Its time for our Contract renewal".
    Member: "What if we have to strike?".
    Boss: "We never have to. We always threaten to cut off essential services and the stupid taxpayers buy it".
    After they cave on the contract, then I can probably give you another 2 or 3 raises".
    Member: "Won't that put me up close to where you are now, sir?"
    Boss "Don't worry, when you get a raise, I get a raise. Just keep paying your dues".
    Member "OK sir".
    Member: "Sir, Your only 56 How come you are not retired?".
    Boss "I am. I retired at 38 and now I am on my second career. I only have 2 years left".
    Member: "I thought you worked here before?"
    Boss: "I did. Came back with a different Title. Same Job".
    Member "Sir, are you going to get a second pension?".
    Boss "Sure am. So I am starting to pile on the overtime now, makes it easier to pay my dues".
    Member "OK sir".
    Member "Sir, after this are you going to really retire retire?".
    Boss "No way. I can come back as a Consultant and double my wage".
    Member "I mean, whose going to replace you in your current position?"
    Boss "Hey you are retiring when I am right?
    Member "Sure, in two years".
    Boss "How would you like my job when you retire?".
    Member "Would I still have to keep putting in the overtime?"
    Boss "No way. Its a new job so 30 hrs a week will be plenty. The rest of time you can use sick days and vacation days. If you don't use them up you can roll them over to next year".
    Member: "OK sounds good".
    Boss: "Just remember, on vacation to keep paying your dues".
    Member "OK sir".
    Member "Sir, its time for my break".
    Boss "Oh yeah, what time is it? 1030?"
    Member "Yeah, I got here at 930 and its time for coffee".
    Boss "If we go much longer it will be lunchtime. You going out for lunch?"
    Member "Yes, I am meeting my wife for lunch".
    Boss "Look, lets have some coffee right now and then you can have 2 hours for lunch, OK?".
    Member "How's that?".
    Boss "This break and your afternoon break added onto lunch = 2 hours. Its ok with the Union as long as you pay your dues".
    Member "OK sir".
    Boss "How is your wife anyway? Still working for the City?"
    Member "Yes. But she is still out on long term disability. Stress related".
    Boss "That's too bad. She was only on the job 6 months, what happened?"
    Member "They had her working in the front office and she wanted to be in the back office... Migraines."
    Boss "Thats rough. Is she still paying her dues?".
    Member "Yes sir".
    Boss "Good".
    Boss "Well, looks like we are all finished here".
    Member "OK. Sir, when can I start training for your job?".
    Boss "Don't worry. I can start training you a week before I leave"
    Member "Will that give me enough time to learn the job?".
    Boss "Plenty of time. We can go over any loose ends when I come back as a Consultant"
    Member "OK sir"
    Boss "Just remember one thing".
    Member "What's that sir?".
    Boss "Just keep paying your dues".
    Member "OK sir".
  2. America's opinion towards unions is mostly biased and culturally inspired rather than based on sound economic principles.

    Sweden grew 5% last year.

    You think they don't have unions there?
  3. Dead on.
  4. S2007S


    Exactly, I know of a people who took advantage of the system a few years before retiring and right now they are sitting on 6 Figure pensions!!!!
  5. Hospitals in Canada are the same way - After a recent surgery of a relative, they spent the whole time informing us of tasks that they could not do - removing overflowing garbage from the premises, pushing patients down the halls - as not enough orderlies were available (so highly paid doctors had to instead, because perhaps they better knew the condition of their patients)

    This went on for a whole week.

    The most insulting thing- grown men who finally removed the garbage, could of course not help a bed-ridden patient to the bathroom even during an emergency. I found that very Orwellian. For those in other industries, non-union or not, who do multiple tasks at once, forget during a single day, this is all absurd to us.
  6. Marketer


    I think unions (in the US anyway) are going to eventually become something of the past. Although they started out with a good cause such as fair wages, and policies on breaks and so on, they are becoming simply an expense for both parties. It seems that we may now be in the phase where they are overused and unnecessary at times. For example, workers will always want higher and higher wages and will constantly vote for pay increases. These standards are pretty normal for just about any firm though. Most firms will give you a pay raise every year.

    Here's even something more interesting. Some firms will give EVERY employee a raise (not just the union employees) as a result. So would an employee be better off or worse off if they were able to more or less survive in a company as non-union employee? Well they wouldn't have to pay dues and the company wouldn't have to incur costs losing that employees production during a strike because he or she doesn't belong to a union.

    Right now we're still stuck in the middle. Some places have unions and still layoff employees regularly, but bring them back on later. Eventually employees will realize that they are putting money into a union and for the ones that don't vote on issues are having others vote on decisions for them. Which may involve a strike, and several weeks or months without pay. Sometimes you almost have to be a part of a union to be employed because the style of job is somewhat seasonal (which you can hire parttime or on call workers for this if need be). However, I definitely think the shift is coming which will be a very healthy alternative if businesses really listen to their employees and pay them fairly, then there will never be a need for a union which can cause trouble for both parties.
  7. Messi007

    Messi007 Guest

    Im little bit tired about the sweeden myth in the media. Anyway,
    You can't compared the Union structure in Sweeden vs the USA. In sweeden Over 90% of the blue-collar workforce is unionized, over 70% of Swedish white-collar workers, and about 70% of supervisors are unionized. These figures are among the highest in the world and considerably higher than the U.S., where only about 14 percent of all workers belong to unions. Second, the benefits that those union workers earn in the US is way way much higher than those benefits in sweeden.
  8. pegasys1


    Unions are a natural function of the free market system. They are workers answers to the power of corporations, many workers to one corp, means the corp has the power. When workers band together they take back some of that power. No union would destroy the company that they work for, and if it does then that company deserves to die because it obv can't afford the nessisary wage rate.

    There are always abuses, but so does everything. I wrote a paper back in college that demonstrated a statistically relevant correlation between the large decline in unions, decreasing real wages and benefits, increasing corporate profits, and a slowdown in consumer spending until the government put into place policies to use credit to fill the gap left by the decreasing wages. This fuled consumer spending until the credit stopped for a bit in 2008.

    Unions are ok, even for teachers. Teachers get very low pay for a very long time, spend tons of money on supplies themselves and have possibly one of the most important jobs in the country as they are forced to play sourrogate parent to kids whos parents both work or arent around for other reasons. Teachers work long and hard. Though I'm not against performace reviews to weed out abusers of the system. There are already classroom observations, though they are abused by the state, grades go down on the whole during economic downturns and budged shortfalls. Highlighting the need for unions, employers are out for theirs, the workers need to be out for themselves aswell.
  9. Messi007

    Messi007 Guest

    First of all sorry for my english. Im not from the US.

    From what I understand, Unions have been responsible for some of the largest bankrupcy in the US history, for example Eastern Air, GM, California etc. I went to NYC a year ago and the unions are destroying the transportation and sanitation system in that city. Those deparment are totally bankrupt because of the absurd contracts the union have, in fact, some of the train station in manhattan looks like a zimbawe hubs. Earning up to 130 thousand dollar a year, premium insurance and everything tax free after retirement is just absurd.

    I think that a better way to promote worker would be to let the workers be part of the stock option system in a company. I read once in the NYtimes, that some employee in google earn up to 600 shares anually as a bonus. I think that will be a better way to promote a employee.
  10. I hope English is your second language.

    Teachers get "very low pay" compared to whom? I used to have neighbors who were teachers, husband and wife. They lived well, had full summer vacations and were out walking or working in their yards on week days hours before most "overpaid" 70-hour a week types came home. It obviously depends where they are and where they teach, but given their very generous benefit packages and schedules, most are far from "underpaid," especially in union-controlled areas. Retiring at 50 after a 25-year "career" as a band teacher must seem nice to a construction worker or struggling small business owner.
    #10     Mar 4, 2011