Posted by Larry, a resident of Livermore, on Mar 19, 2013 at 8:43 am
So do I understand this right. A private auto dealer used some none union labor, and now they have picket lines and signs. Time to get rid of the unions when they think they have that right. Shame on the unions. Anyone that belongs to a union should quit the union, O' I just remembered, you can't quit, you don't the right to select anything on your own.
What is happening to our rights in the United States?
Posted by Downtown Guy, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Mar 19, 2013 at 10:06 am
Larry complains because union members are utilizing their right to free expression and to picket a business.
And then he asks "What is happening to our rights in the United States?"
That would be funny if it were not so sad. I will tell you what's happening. It's called "the hypocrisy of the right." The only free expression Larry seems to want is expression that agrees with his point of view.
Thankfully, that is not how it works in the U.S. Laborers have the right to picket and Larry has the right to complain and we have the right to disagree.
Posted by Lab, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Mar 19, 2013 at 4:42 pm
Not all of us had rich parents to send us to college, a lot of us joined the unions, went thru their apprenticeship and took all the journeyman classes that were offered to us, we gave 8 hours of work for 8 hours of pay, we have worked all over the Bay Area on small and large jobs, we are state licensed and continue to take refresher classes as construction methods continually change, it is a dangerous job and safety is always practiced, the only people complaining about union dues are the ones that can't seem to hold a job or some non- union want-a-be wishing they could get into the union. -- 35 years and going strong, no regrets!
Posted by Jana, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on Mar 19, 2013 at 8:36 pm
I do agree with you, not all of us had rich parent that send us to college therefore some of us just got loans by themselves, finished schools, got a job, and paid those loans off without having to use unions or such. We also put in on honest day of work, often a lot more then just 8 hours per day. We also earn honest living without unions putting rules upon us. I don't understand what is the problem with companies hiring private contractors instead of unions? Are you guys somehow better then we the private business owners are?? What makes you so special? We also have to obtain a license, pay dues, have workers comp and abide by their laws etc, etc, etc. we really do have much more costs imposed on us then any of you. We do pay our dues, you however don't. Forgive me but you lost me somewhere.
Posted by Buck, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 19, 2013 at 9:16 pm
Next time you get vacation with pay, or get double pay on holidays, or appreciate the safety and health of your workplace, or work a standard 8 hour day at at least minimum wage, and get week-ends off, and don't have to compete with child labor, and nondiscriminatory practices re. women and ethnic groups in your workplace ... do yourself a favor and give some thanks to this country's unions. Those poor owners you rave about wouldn't have budged on any of the above were it not for mobilization of unionized workers over the past century. Read a little labor history. Learn about workers. Learn about yourself.
Posted by pass the buck, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 20, 2013 at 9:30 am
Buck, once you take yourself down off that cross, could you also tell me how your union buddies plan to part the Red Sea? It's appropriate timing, given that it's nearly Easter, to understand how your union goons died for our sins. Did you guys nominate any members for the papal vacancy? Sainthood?
Maybe your loss of relevance these days, with your declining membership, makes you long for those days gone by where you violently attacked business and their workers. Good times...eh?
Posted by Buck, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 20, 2013 at 10:00 am
Yeah, way to stick to the facts. Because that's what the history books tell us, not. Oh, you haven't read anything on US labor history? Didn't think so. Instead of reading, I guess it's easier to reflect back on the good old days when kids were in the mines, women and ethnic minorities were excluded, 7-day work weeks were the norm, unhealthy and unsafe workplace conditions were simply a given and life expectancy for manual workers was in the low 50s (high 40s for miners).
Don't know about parting the Red Sea, but a 32-hour work week would suffice for this decade ... after meaningful immigration reform.
Posted by Jana, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on Mar 21, 2013 at 7:30 am
I never said that unions are bad, to each it's own. I just don't understand why is union picketing in front of a Mercedes? Maybe you can explain in to me since you are very verse on the union subject? Why is it wrong for them to hire non- union contractor? Private business owners also put in honest days work for honest pay. We (I mainly speak for myself and my business) also comply with safety codes, license codes etc. we do pay our dues in every aspect of the business. Further more, we probably finish the job faster since we put in more then just 8 hours most days, nobody makes us do it, we do it out of our own free will because the sooner we finish the sooner we get to the next job which results in more money made. Money is what working is all about isn't it? So what is the issue with Mercedes? Please explain. Thank you.
Posted by Buck, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 21, 2013 at 10:19 am
Jana says, "Money is what working is all about isn't it?"
Unfortunately, Jana, this is an area where your parents have failed you. You see, working may be about many things, some related to money, some not. Does your husband pay you when you do gardening in your yard? Or do you garden because it is intrinsically enjoyable? (Of course, I am open to the possibility that you may pay someone to do your gardening because your husband doesn't pay you enough.)
Were you taught to read history, you'd have learned that organized labor historically and in contemporary times has been concerned with many issues of which you're probably unaware. Human and civil rights, for example, with regard to hiring, firing, and treatment of human beings within the workplace. Justice -- i.e., having the right to engage in collective bargaining, with access to legally backed grievance procedures. Safety and health in the workplace. History has shown that owners haven't respected such things. Owners, and some of the toadies like yourself who identify with them, have reduced basic work relationships to mere money, with little regard for health and safety, justice, rights.
I have not read the contract involving Mercedes and its workers. My strong hunch is that when Mercedes contracted out with nonunion vendors, it was perceived as a violation of the company's contract with its unionized workers.
It always amuses me that the toadies complain about the 'power' of unionized workforces, when everyday we see millions and millions of dollars of advertising for companies like Mercedes. And, have no fear, the Business section in major newspapers -- unlike Canada, our American newspapers don't have a Labor section, this on account of the mainstream media's deference to capital -- will have plenty of opinion pieces by capitalist toadies lamenting how big bad unions push little guys like Mercedes all over the place. You, as Kathleen, and the other names you use, can then link all those little propaganda blurbs for our 'edification'.
Posted by pass the buck, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 21, 2013 at 10:35 am
You are right about one thing, amongst all the self promoting drivel in your posts, buckie---unions are history.
"I have not read the contract involving Mercedes and its workers. My strong hunch is that when Mercedes contracted out with nonunion vendors, it was perceived as a violation of the company's contract with its unionized workers."
And this is your background for your posts about the targeting of Mercedes by union thugs? Sounds like YOU need to do some reading.
Posted by Jana, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on Mar 21, 2013 at 11:13 pm
Buck I don't know why you insist on insulting me and all the others that don't share your views, that is unfair. I genuinely asked about those issues because I honestly don't understand them. I really meant no respect at all and my name really is Jana, I have no reason to hide, I simply wanted an explanation. Why are you so angry at all of us, I don't even know you so I'm sure I have done nothing to offend you. I just live my life and try my best to provide for my teenaged children whom I'm raising on my own, so no my husband does not pay me for the yard work I do, he passed away couple of years ago. Give me a break here, I am a contractor, I took the business over after my husband's passing and believe me it has not been easy but we hold our own. We do not ask the government for help. I decided to run the business by myself, I did not go to work for any union because I could not put 8 hours a day, I had little kids to drive to and pick up from school, there is no school in this country that lasts 8 hours a day. What was a woman to do?? No I have no family to help me with that, it is just me. How is it wrong of me as a private contractor to care about money given the circumstances. Work is all about money for me, I can't afford to work for the fun of if, I have 3 kids to think of, so forgive me if I don't share your enthusiasm.
Posted by Buck, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 21, 2013 at 11:39 pm
Bully for you, Jana. I suppose you didn't mean it when you wrote "I meant no respect at all...."
I go back to my original claim. You seem very confused about what unions have done and continue to do within society. People don't 'go to work for any union'; rather, they go to work for an employer but have a union represent them. You see, historically, the logic of capital is such that owners/employers seek to maximize their interests/profits. This meant hiring child labor, insisting workers work in ungodly conditions, for exceeding long hours, and for very little pay. Owners/employers still do this and attempt to do it by cutting corners, spending ungodly amounts to pressure pols to work in the company's interests, and even moving operations overseas in order to exploit child and sweatshop labor, which they do while raking in very handsome profits.
It's sometimes difficult for me to believe that someone like yourself wouldn't have any concept of labor unions in this country. It also pains me to hear that you only care about money, given your circumstances, and so apparently have no care or consideration for matters of justice, fairness, safety, health, human rights, and so on.
You say you can't afford to work for the fun of it, and that work is all about money for you. Well, workers voluntarily formed unions because they couldn't afford to work for less-than-subsistence wages while attempting to support a family; they could not stomach having to send their kids into the mines or, today, into the fields or sweatshops; they could not brook the idea of working themselves to the bone only to die over ten years earlier on average than their bosses.
It's a shame we are subjected to a form of economy that turns people like yourself into one-dimensional creatures who care only about money and have no understanding or empathy for those of us who desire more for ourselves, our children, neighbors, citizens, and world community members. All I can do is recommend that you find some time during your future mythical leisure to read a bit about labor and capital in America. You appear to have much to learn.
Posted by Jana, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on Mar 22, 2013 at 8:54 am
Point well made, I certainly do need to learn, we die without learning it all. Also I do apologize about the misprint, I hope you know that I meant to say "no disrespect" it was late and I was tired, I'm sorry.
Actually I'm well aware of the labor union history, however I still don't understand why is Mercedes obliged to hire union instead of private contractor. If you could shed some light on that I would appreciate it. Thank you.
Posted by Kim, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Mar 22, 2013 at 9:21 pm
Wow Jana. Good for you for making it work. From one single mom to another, I admire what you've done in the face of adversity.
My former husband was union and I always remember how he was discourage by the union to work harder, faster or more efficiently because if he did, the company would expect more from the others. Even if he needed to leave early from an appointment, he was told not to try to get all his work done in a shorter period of time and instead they'd put in another union person to cover while he was gone all because the union wanted him and all the others to pace themselves to avoid proving they could all be more productive. I had zero respect for those he worked with because they weren't doing a full right hours work for eight hours pay. And it was all organized with every one of them participating.
Screw unions. They are slowly losing their relevancy and I applaud mercedes Pleasanton for not caving to union pressure.
Posted by Buck, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 22, 2013 at 10:43 pm
Well, I guess we'll have to add Kim to the cast of cardboard cut-outs who don't know much about unions. Kim, perhaps you should have asked your husband why he simply didn't quit his job. Unions, you may or may not know, cannot prevent a worker from leaving his employ in search of another job. Or, was it that a nonunionized job in the same sector would have provided him with a lower wage, with fewer benefits, and far fewer protections in terms of safety, health, collective bargaining arrangements and the right to have grievances heard without fear of retaliation from the employer?
I realize it's difficult to think rationally when you're, say, working a part-time bartender's job as a scab and you're on the outside of a union looking in. But you should better utilize your leisure time. Maybe read a book on labor history. Until then, most of us will acknowledge that you (Kim) and Jana are the same person, capable of pulling the wool over a third-grader's eyes perhaps, but readily transparent to any adult with a brain.
If you desire to bring people around to your view, instead of playing make-believe with phony dialogue and trumped up dialogue partners, you might try actually attending to the arguments others have provided. But you don't have the knowledge or skill set to do that any more than you possess a capability to persuade anyone with your laughable stories.
Posted by Kim, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Mar 22, 2013 at 11:29 pm
@ buck: I'm going to take your thinking that I am Jana as a compliment. I quite admire her for what she's done.
Unions are dying. Thank goodness. By the time mine are old enough to care, I don't know how any union would get their claws into mine or the others of their generation. I know mine will give a full day's work for a full day's pay, unlike every union worker I've ever met. Their dad is teamsters, but that ends with him.
Posted by Buck, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 22, 2013 at 11:45 pm
Your husband was either a coward, Kim, or he was much smarter than you are. My guess is that it's the latter. That is, he was smart enough to be a Teamster, and you seem unable to marshal any response to the arguments posted above. I guess that's why he was a Teamster and you're a part-time bartender pretending to be his wife.
Posted by Jana, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on Mar 23, 2013 at 8:23 am
You are rude and bitter. I take it unions made you that way, I can't imagine parents raising anyone to be this disrespectful. Insults are not the answers to the one question I asked, which by the way you still haven't answered. You dance around it with your angry debates but you do NOT give a straight answer, I guess you can't. You are like all the Islamic extremists, it's either your way or "off with their heads". This is a free country, everyone is able to think for themselves. Kim and I and many others chose non-union for whatever reason, why can't you live with that? I have never insulted you in any way throughout those conversations, you on the other hand do nothing but that. Do you know the meaning of a gentleman or did the unions ripped that out of you as well? There is a way of debating and explaining things without degrading anyone, try that maybe you will get better response. And since you are bringing other members of our families into this then here is one for you, how does your poor wife live with a bully like yourself? You are one person I NEVER want to meet in person because the likes of you make this world an awful place.