Comments for: Join the union club: It’s a good bargain

Posted Dec. 25, 2012, at 2:11 p.m.

Why do you shop at Sam’s Club? Is it because you believe that you can get a better deal there than at other stores in your area? But you also pay a membership fee for this privilege, correct? Your right to shop at Sam’s Club is dependent on your being …

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  • Anonymous

    Bent over, thats what you get with Unions.

    • Alec Cunningham

      Really? I see it the opposite. I see that people who don’t have unions are more likely to get bent over. I know that my employer wouldn’t be paying me as much as I am getting if it weren’t for the union.

      • Anonymous

        Why wouldn’t your employer pay you as much?
        Aren’t you worth it?

        • Anonymous

          Educate yourself on how Walmart treats it’s employees and you can answer your own question.

        • Anonymous

          Educate yourself on how Walmart treats it’s employees and you can answer your own question.

        • Alec Cunningham

          Do you really need to ask that question?  Do you really believe that all employees everywhere in this country are paid the amount that they are worth?

          • Anonymous

            “Do you really believe that all employees everywhere in this country are paid the amount that they are worth?”

            If employees were paid the value of what they actually produce then there would be nothing left for the middleman – aka the capitalizt.

          • Anonymous

            No.
            Many are overpaid.

          • Alec Cunningham

            What world are you living in?  Do you think everything is okay?  Do you think that everyone should just clam up and not do a thing to make their lives better?

        • Anonymous

          No employer ever pays any employee their true worth. It’s the dirty secret of capitalizm.

          • Anonymous

            And union folks often believe themselves worth more than they truly are. It’s the open “secret” of unionism.

          • You’re both right of course. Excesses in either direction is bad. :D

          • Alec Cunningham

            I’m surprised that you would make such a sweeping generalization.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, that whole 5 day, 40 hour workweek sure feels like getting bent over compared with the old 72 workweek. Worker’s Comp and Unemployment Compensation are defintely worse than a prostate exam.

      The weekend – brought to you by the Labor Movement.

      • Anonymous

        Unions were needed back then, but are no longer required.

        • Alec Cunningham

          Yeah.  Everything is perfectly hunky-dory now.

        • Anonymous

          Everything is fine now because the last four decades really haven’t displayed a steady decline in labor rights?

  • Anonymous

    A persons job is not contingent on paying for a Sam’s club membership and that’s the difference.

    • Alec Cunningham

      One knows the union situation before he or she accepts the job. He or she doesn’t have to take the job, so it’s not like it’s being forced on the person. It is very much like a free ride for those persons who choose to accept a job where there is a union but do not pay for the privilege of enjoying all the benefits the union has fought for and won for the employees.

      • Anonymous

        The writer made a poor analogy. That is not my fault.

        • Anonymous

          But your lack of critical thinking skills is entirely your fault.

          • Anonymous

            As are yours.

      • Anonymous

        A non-Union worker should not get those benefits. The employer should have to negotiate independently with the worker. If that isn’t the law, it needs to be fixed. I’m in favor of real right-to-work laws because I don’t believe in forcing people to join anything. However, I also believe people have the right to make a bad decision and if they want to deal with a corporation on their own: more power to them.

      • Guest

        Actually this is not the case. I entered into employment with a white collar job at an out-of-state University, moved my family, showed up first day to find out that I owed the union over $70 a month… I received that job using skills I learned from non-union employment. The health “benefits” where cheaper, but I also pay $40/month for parking on campus so it evened out. Since I’ve been employed I’ve not received additional training to further my development except from my own money and desire to do so. Additionally every year I have worked, the union has bargained away benefits that I had when I started. Also our salary increases are not based on merit and instead a flat rate so that both mediocre and excellent employees receive the same sub-inflation raises.

        So not everyone knows they are in a “union situation” before they start. Also the since I have not gained anything from paying my dues, I’d be happy to be given the option. This is about proving to employees that you provide a product worth purchasing. At this time if I had a choice, I’d be asking for a refund.

        • Alec Cunningham

          It sounds like your job was a union job and you didn’t do enough research to find that out.  I doubt they hid that fact from you.
          My experience is that the more people who join the union, the more powerful that union is.  When you have people who don’t give a damn and are happy with the crumbs they get, then you’re going to have a union that isn’t able to do as much as they can.
          There is currently a trend happening in this country where employers are taking an aggressive stance in the personal lives of their employees.  While I have often stated that Americans need to do more to be more healthy, I disagree with the idea of employers forcing their employees into joining wellness programs.  Wellness programs are great for those who want them, but others think that their health issues are better discussed with their doctor and not with a third party hired by the employer.  Others feel that they don’t want their health information put into another database.  Others just want to be left alone to do their job.  However, some employers are financially penalizing their employees for not joining and this is just the beginning.  There are devices that are being marketed to wellness programs that will track the movements of employees to see how sedentary they are.  What else is coming?  And this all appears to be legal.  I know that I can count on my union to help protect me from such invasive policies of my employer.  Who else is going to do that?

    • Anonymous

      Interesting comment Cheescake. There are those among us, myself included, who believe that shopping at Sam’s Club or WalMart will eventually cost you your job. When you buy products made in China, you put Chinese workers to work. When you buy products made in America, you put Americans to work. And vice versa. Thereby making your job contingent on NOT shopping there.

      • Alec Cunningham

        You also pour more American dollars into China and help support a Communist government that is NOT an ally of ours.

        • I don’t know if I would file them under “best friends”, though much of the anti-Chinese sentiment in this country is a leftover from the Cold war era, not reality. They are increasingly becoming more and more capitalistic – they are not a purely communist country and by no means an enemy either.

          Our relationship is after all reciprocal. Though some could certainly argue that China is getting the better end of the bargain. Do we dictate terms to them, or do they dictate terms to us? It certainly started as the former, though more and more we’re slipping towards the latter.

          So while I think Mr anti-walmart has his points – we need to get things back in balance and start making things, and not just being consumers – a complete reversal is not only unrealistic, but probably not in our best interest.

          Trade and interdependence is often the best diplomat and barrier against war.

    • Anonymous

      So, if everyone stopped paying Sam’s club membership nobody would lose their job?

  • Anonymous

    I’m sure that if forced representation of non-members is that much of a problem for unions, organized labor’s Democratic friends in Congress will be happy to rewrite the law to relieve them of the burden. The Republicans will be even happier.

    Problem solved.

    • Anonymous

      I think that is totally appropriate. Only those who pay Union dues should get the benefit of collective bargaining and Union representation. If you don’t join, you’re on your own. Only fair.

      I don’t know all the details of the various “right to work” laws, but if any of them compel the Union to bargain on behalf of a non-union worker, I wholeheartedly disagree. The law should be clear and compel employers to negotiate with each group separately.

      I actually abhor forced collective bargaining in principle, but it sounds like the laws are very poorly written: they need to be adjusted to be fair to both sides.

      • Anonymous

        They aren’t ‘poorly written’, they’re deliberately written that way to give unions an excuse for forcing workers into closed shops.

  • Alec Cunningham

    Ironic that Sam’s club is being used as an example, though. The Wal-mart family of companies aren’t exactly union-friendly. I’m sure that many of their employees feel like Sam’s and Wal-mart are bending them over.

    • Anonymous

      Anyone who shops at either place is part of the problem, not part of the solution. Buy local, buy American.

      • Anonymous

        Your statement brings to mind the old days of the Soviet Union when people only were allowed to drive the clunky old cars, use the clunky old TVs, washing machines and refrigerators, eat the potatoes and drink the vodka (much, much vodka) made in the USSR exclusively.

        Oh, for the good old days, eh komrade?

        How quickly we forget.

        • Anonymous

          Nice comparison. Fine American made products and Russian junk. Speaking of Komrades, where did your Christmas booty from WalMart come from? COMMUNIST China, that is where. Thank you for making it a Merry Christmas for the People’s Republic of China and the greedy Walton brats. We chose to support America this year by buying American.

          • Anonymous

            Jealousy is a very degrading disease.

            You should get that checked out, komrade.

          • Anonymous

            How in the world you got jealousy out of my last reply is mystifying, at best. I am sure it was the best you could do and I guess you deserve a star for trying. You know how it is these days. Everyone gets a trophy. Keep buying the Chinese crap and stabbing your fellow American in the back. It’s cheaper.

        • Alec Cunningham

          Maybe to your mind, but to most other Americans it brings to mind the old days of the USA when people worked in factories that made the appliances and products that we all bought and used as well as exported to the rest of the world.
          Yes, the good old days….

          • Anonymous

            There is a reason they are called the “old days.” You should probably figure out how to live in the here and now. The way things were in 1956 doesn’t put food on the table today.

          • Anonymous

            The One at the white house is who puts the food on the table for most now.

            No need to work, at least, not very hard.

          • Anonymous

            I was a little surprised to see you still here after the elections. I figured you for one of the ones that threatened to move if Obama was re-elected. It was nice of you to stay and support the president.

          • Alec Cunningham

            I know that when my boyfriend and I have our wedding, we will do everything we can to make sure everything is American made and locally grown. And, since we are both union men, we’ll be sure to have as many union-made items as we can, too.

          • Anonymous

            SEIU

            Might have known.

          • Alec Cunningham

            You know what they say when you assume.

          • Alec Cunningham

            You make it sound as if the way we used to do things isn’t a good way anymore because it isn’t here and now.  Yes, I am living in the here and now and the reality of here and now is that if the workers don’t work together then they will see their working conditions deteriorate to the lowest legal limit.
            The here and now of today is also putting Chinese citizens to work doing things that we used to do.  That isn’t putting food on the table of a lot of people here and now today.

          • Anonymous

            Once again Cheesecake, you have nailed it. The old days are gone and we all need to learn how to live in the new days. We need to get rid of all the old axioms like “An honest day’s work, for an honest day’s pay”. That one is gone. Or, “Buy American, the job you save may be your own”. That one is gone too. We need to focus on new axioms like “Any job is better than no job”, or “Your lucky to even have a job, never mind what it pays”. There was one other thing that we used to say in the “old days”. The American dream. Well, that is gone too for many. Apparently, the financial success of a couple of hundred “Americans” is more important than the good of the country. That is the new way.

          • Anonymous

            And what, pray tell, happened?

      • Alec Cunningham

        Yes-another interesting point to this.  I choose to never shop at either place for so many reasons-local jobs, American-made goods, treatment of workers, etc.

        • Anonymous

          Exactly. Very well said.

  • Anonymous

    American workers represented by unions have priced themselves out of their jobs to the extent that goods can be made elsewhere and shipped thousands of miles to their customers.

    How screwed up is that?

    • Anonymous

      “American workers represented by unions have priced themselves out of their jobs to the extent that goods can be made elsewhere and shipped thousands of miles to their customers.”

      This is possible because of externalized costs in energy markets not because workers wages are too high.

    • Alec Cunningham

      Yeah-it’s screwed up that we want more than the few dollars a day American companies are paying workers in other countries to make the same products.

  • Anonymous

    You are not compelled to have membership at Sam’s Club. If you don’t have a membership you do not loose your job. Your membership dues do not get used for a “political action” agenda. Unfortunately you end up being allied with someone like Bill Clinton who signed NAFTA into law. Then there are the job security rules you know, like having a fireman on a diesel locomotive at full wages and benefits for years after they were no longer needed. Will the world end as labor advocates claim if more states pass right to work laws? Stay tuned!

    • Alec Cunningham

      And in Maine, you don’t lose your job if you don’t pay the dues, either.  So, maybe it is a better analogy then you think.
      Again, people take these jobs knowing what the deal with the unions is.

    • Anonymous

      Ah yes, picking on those Rolls Royce driving free loaders over at the railroad. No target is too soft when you are shooting at a union. “Right to Starve” states have lower wages, lower benefits, and the owners are able to hoard much, much larger piles of cash. We will see more “Right to Starve” states in the future. The sheep spook easy.

  • Terryflygal

    Maybe union leadership should focus more attention on member satisfaction and retention than on compelling non-members to pay into the union. Labor unions have been instrumental in improving the collective lot of all workers, without question. Unfortunately, their leadership’s current strategies focus on external threats when the real threat is internal. Better, more principled leaders, are needed if labor unions are to survive and to continue to add value to their members’ work lives.

  • Anonymous

    I think this is a good analogy. It’s pretty easy to understand that membership=benefits and vice versa. Maybe someone knows the answer to this question: for the workers who don’t pay dues, do they become employees-at-will unprotected by the union as such? In which case the employer would be under no obligation to provide equal benefits?

  • Narsbars

    A list of ignorant beliefs about unions.
    Agency fees are spent on politics…………..A lie, not legal.
    You can be forced to join a union……………Not since 1947.
    Union wages are too high………..Not unless you will work for Chinese wages.
    Being a leech, a parasite is OK if you leech off Union members…Like freeloaders?
    Don’t need Unions any more……………Go work for Wal Mart. Still agree?
    Try working for Foxconn in China…..
    And for the guy who took the job and was surprised it was a Union job. He should be glad he doesn’t have to negotiate his own pay since he didn’t have the capability to research his own job, or find a better one since.

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