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TOPIC: Lifecycle of a Democracy
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Unions, by and large, are good for the workforce and a necessity to ensure that their members get fair wages and benefits, along with the proper equipment, safety gear, facilities, etc in order to do their job safely and efficiently. Unions are the check to the company's balance.

There's no mistaking the fact that Hostess put itself in a hole with poor decisions and heavy turnover with their President/CEO/whatever the hell he was called. That is certainly no fault of the workers. But the bottom line is that the company was on the ropes and needed help. I know they were asking the union to take pretty big cuts, especially when it came to pensions. I don't know if they were asking to cut more than what they really needed or if it was a legitimate amount of cuts in order to keep the company afloat.

But I do know that unions rarely (if ever) back down. They dig in and don't budge. They take and take and take but never want to concede or give back. What's fairly obvious to me though is that Hostess was in a major bind and the union stood it's ground until 18000 people were left without a job. The sensible thing to me would have been to accept the cuts until the company rebounds when they will then sit down and renegotiate for more lucrative wages, benefits and pensions. Hostess should have (and maybe they did, I don't know) offered to compensate those impacted by the cuts once the company is out of debt.

Everyone bitches about loyalty. Companies have no loyalty to their workers but workers are often guilty of having no loyalty to their employer as well. In an ideal world, the workers would care about the company as much as their paychecks and the bosses would care about the employees as much as they care about the company. Both sides need to give and take equally. I feel for the workers, especially the non-union people who are out of a job. They made less money than their unionized counterparts for doing the same work. I feel for the union guys too because their leadership failed them tremendously.

What's really sad though is that the people at the top who made some really bad decisions that put the company in a hole in the first place are going to come out of this relatively unscathed. They've already got their mansions, their boats and their millions. They'll also probably slide right into another job with another company because the rich look out for the rich.

The workers will be jobless in a tough job market. Some will lose their homes, their cars, their families and whatever savings they may have had.

T

Danville PA
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Lucky:

Save your breath on the plight of the non-union workers in a shop with a union. If your shop has no union, that is one thing... Many places are without unions... But if your place of employment has a union and you aren't part if it, your plight is worthless. I will sooner listen to the plight of the management members over the plight of the non-union worker in a place with a union.

Hazle Township PA
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Lqqk:

We have that here in hazleton.

Years ago (70s) with a beryllium factory. (now torn down) and metal factories in general. Many of which hire part time only or simply offer no benefits and are sighted by the EPA/OCEA all the time. The judges make all the fines totaling to 50,000,000 into a single 50,000 fine.

My father saw this first hand when he was the president of his union. The reason for the OCEA inspection? Two deaths in three months by the same machine. Even while locked out and tagged, it would randomly kick on.

Then there were things like blocked fire escapes. Spilled oils and chemicals. Demands that workers lift loads a hundred pounds alone and without jacks and these were the simple stuff.

Before the company was bought out by southern business owners, the factory had twenty years of no accidents... But after the owners retired and their kids chose a different path, the owners sold the family business to southern business men who first tried to break the union, then tried to fire every union employee, when that failed they simply closed the plant saying it wasn't profitable...

It's equipment was newer than every other factory that company had, the building built specifically to do the task asked of it... Their other factories were still using 1920s tech in factories retrofitted to do the job. (one was a ship dock retrofitted to do metal working.)

Needless to say, the company didn't go out of business because of the union, it went out of business because the owners wanted to abuse northern workers like the southern workers enjoy being abused.

What was a middle class job, became a poverty job in less than 8 years. My father the union (president in the factory) didn't demand massive raises or benefits... Instead he urged moderate raises or to remain stagnate and fought demands from management that the the workers give up medical, bonuses and overtime whole accepting demands to work six days a week for less pay.

Because management didn't have total control, they closed what was a successful factory down. In negotiations the management reps refused to provide the books as to expenses and when required by aberration, the management pay and benefits were redacted. So the management always negotiated on bad faith.

FYI. My father was against striking, he had a family to feed and in his time as union president, he never had to strike to keep what they had. (instead he the higher union representatives and the unions lawyers ended up on first name bases.)

Hazle Township PA
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"It's been said before but it's worth repeating. Only in America can a bunch of idiots fight for the rights of the rich instead of the workers..."

We are talking about the Non Union worker who just lost their job because the Union didn't want to take a cut. 50% discrepancy between Union and Non Union workers in wages greedy can be described at both ends of the equation.

Imperial MO
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"I would have to disagree about the unions killing their jobs being a good thing, simply to spite the Romney like businessmen. In the long run, such out of control actions would be just as bad as union killing employers."

I agree, it works both ways and it is not a question of spite. I would rather see a company go out of business and it's employees out looking for work then to be humiliated at the expense of owners with more money then they could spend in ten lifetimes. It's also about more then just money. For example what if employees have to work under conditions that could lead to premature death or disability. I personally would rather see that company have to fold shop. Yes, those employees would be out of a job, but, at least alive and well to look for another.

Cape Coral FL
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"no retail store or fast food joint I have ever worked for or been involved with has evey give benefits to their non management employees. but then again maybe that was just the south, I don't know. maybe the rest of the country was doing something different. My point is they are all screaming that Oboma is making them do this, LIERS, they have always done it."

I have friends who worked for Target and Publics for many years down here in Florida, in non management positions and have benefits. Fast food IMO is different as many jobs are filled by High School kids saving up for their first car. I believe Publics was at one time considered one of the top five companies to work for. I will say that your point is well taken and that point is exactly the reason Unions came to be in the first place. As to the rest of the country doing something different, they did up North. It was called Unions.

Cape Coral FL
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Lqqk:

I would have to disagree about the unions killing their jobs being a good thing, simply to spite the Romney like businessmen. In the long run, such out of control actions would be just as bad as union killing employers.

All I can say is that if the right want to gen he government out of their lives... They best pick up their big boy pants and start providing for the people. Failure to do so will result in the government taking over more areas of the economy and taxing everyone for it.

I would rather have an employer healthcare plan than Obamacare, if the employer provided care provided more than empty promises and never ending threats of loosing the benefits.

I would rather not rely upon welfare, but if the private employer won't provide... Than they must be taxed so the government can provide a subsadized work force.

If the businessman doesn't start acting like big boys/girls... The government will treat the businessman like a child and reduce their freedoms.

Personally I must have had abusive parents growing up, because by now my parents would have paddled my ass red for the actions of these here businessmen.

Hazle Township PA
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"What democracies/republics does he discuss? "

Well, the first paragraph of the OP is generally attributed to Alexander Fraser Tytler. He studied Greece and Rome as well as others.

What democracies have you studied? What sources do you have that dispute the premise?

Pittsburgh PA
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"Your unions did wonders with Hostess. Guess 18,500 jobs is small enough to fail, aka destroyed by union demands."

I agree with you, they did. They made the Romney/Bain's richer. That was their (Romney/Bain) plan from the get go, but you will never see that. Honestly I'm glad they (Unions) destroyed the company, under those condition's. If Unions destroyed more companies there would be no Romney/Bain's left.

Cape Coral FL
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"So don't let these service businesses blow smoke up your ass, they arn't cutting anyones hours from full time to part time, you can't cut hours that you were never giving out."

It's not a question of cutting hours, but dividing those hours. Hiring two people @ twenty hours=no benifits or lunch breaks as oposed to hiring one person @ fourty hours and benifits. Besides you are only picking out one small part of the entire problem, it's more then just benifits.

Cape Coral FL
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TOPIC: Lifecycle of a Democracy