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Thread: Boeing Shuts Down Wichita Plant
02-09-2012, 05:44 PM #21
Bwaha come to my non union shop. Where the legals do as little as possible due to the wage that doesn't come close to the cost of living, while the illegals work like rabbits, and reproduce as such, for their $8 an hour jobs that they love so much. These are your new dominating shops in manufacturing. I miss my ol country boy shop, where we shoot the shit in English and had pride in our work. This whole union vs non union rant makes me sick.
When I started in the trade, I got a decent union apprenticeship at $14/hr. I got experience in the toolroom, on the floor, learned how to sharpen tools, make my own tools, ect... I got a good well rounded experience at what was a livable wage for me in 2004. Today, they are bringing those kids into non union shops and having them learn to do one thing, and one thing only. If they encounter a problem, someone else solves it and fixes it for them. They are being taught the bare minimum so that they cannot look for a better job, or climb the ladder. It is a terrible trade for anyone with a brain and a desire to learn. Wasn't like this when unions were a bit stronger from what I gather. O yea, and these kids are getting paid about the same as an illegal. It's an insult, and these are the types of shops doing most of the hiring it seems. So, do you want your trade to be passed down the way it's always been or what?
02-09-2012, 07:14 PM #22
I worked for Boeing, Seattle division "Phantom Works" as a project manager for better than ten years. Probably some of the more challenging and exciting work I've done over my career and yeah, we were "Union" but that didn't much matter in our division as everyone worked their proverbial asses off.
Sorry to see the Witchita plant go but I agree with others saying it has nothing to do with the unions. Having worked in union and non-union environments, I can tell you there are just as many slack-offs on both sides... actually I saw less of it at Boeing than any other union company I've worked for.
For those looking at wages, I find the doublethink interesting at best. One, that a union worker is "overpaid", yet the same people never stop and ask... "wow, am I just that under paid?". One look at wage trends since ~70, the increase in wealth of the top quintile and cost of living might give you a little better perspective on the issue.
Kurt Vonnegut hit it out of the park though...
"Americans, like human beings everywhere, believe many things that are obviously untrue. Their most destructive untruth is that it is very easy for any American to make money. They will not acknowledge how in fact hard money is to come by, and, therefore, those who have no money blame and blame and blame themselves. This inward blame has been a treasure for the rich and powerful, who have had to do less for their poor, publicly and privately, than any other ruling class since, say, Napoleonic times."
02-09-2012, 07:29 PM #23
Old School experience with Boeing
In 1981 Boeing got a gov contract to build centrifuges in Oak Ridge, TN. I was the 4th machinist hired at what was supposed to be the top rate. This was started as a IAM union shop. When the shop was up and running, Boeing had not been able to hire enough "Q" cleared employees at the prevailing wage to staff the plant so they went up $4 an hour to hire employees away from Union Carbide Corp. another OR contractor. Did the "old" employees get the $4? Not a chance. The contract with the IAM and Boeing had a clause that said if necessary, whatever pay was necessary could be paid to keep production going. Nothing was said about old employees so we weren't covered. I fought with our BA and finally the international rep told me personally if I didn't "shut my mouth it would be shut". I left at the end of the week. I figure Boeing and the union were in cahoots and had a contract Boeing drew up signed and sealed before the plant came out of the ground. This was my last hoo-rah with the IAM and Boeing. I think the people who think all unions are bad and non-union is good live in a lala land. If we hadn't had some good unions we all would be no more than slaves. I think all of this falls under "absolute power corrupts, absolutely" Rant over- Screw both Boeing and the IAM I knew. I've never been that hungry since.
02-09-2012, 08:24 PM #24
Hey Reis, have you read "Jet Age: The Comet, the 707, and the Race to Shrink the World" ?
Some interesting financial shenanigans about how the "war profits" were folded into the 707 project, while Douglas et al were fighting the guv-ment on how those profits could be devied up.
Apparently war profits were somehow "dirty" and couldn't be paid to share holders except under strict rules. Research & development, well that was something else. Gave Boeing a leg up on the competition.
02-09-2012, 09:30 PM #25
If union labor is at 50% production rate, why is it that 9 of the top 10 producing Auto plants in the US are UAW?
1- 'the union' is comprised of voting members, and the results of those votes is what the union does.
2- typically, the morons who complain 'the union nebber did nuffin fer me' are the ones who never show up at a meeting, never vote on anything, and just expect a free ride. Then, after they leave the union, badmouth it all over town.....while continuing to enjoy all the benefits all American workers enjoy, bought and paid for by union blood, sweat, hard work and tears. Typical scab.
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02-09-2012, 09:33 PM #26
I wonder what happened to the original poster.
What a jerk.
02-10-2012, 07:39 AM #27
"I wonder what happened to the original poster. "
Union brothers tracked him down, & "reasoned" with him.
02-10-2012, 10:53 AM #28
Union workers now make what they did back then, non-union workers make less.
So...the unions have not really gotten a bit nuts, the nation has raced to the bottom while unions protected their members.
At the same time executive compensation and the Gini index have exploded...go figure.
02-10-2012, 11:40 AM #29
02-10-2012, 11:52 AM #30
Cracker, you are a retard. I am a union member and I guarantee you I can be fired. Your posts indicate a level of intelligence that prevents rational discussion.
02-10-2012, 11:54 AM #31
[QUOTE=andywire;1751518]Bwaha come to my non union shop. Where the legals do as little as possible due to the wage that doesn't come close to the cost of living, while the illegals work like rabbits, and reproduce as such, for their $8 an hour jobs that they love so much. These are your new dominating shops in manufacturing. I miss my ol country boy shop, where we shoot the shit in English and had pride in our work. This whole union vs non union rant makes me sick.
I agree, the government should enforce the very strick laws that they have for hiring illegals. As it stands they seem to completely ignore them and this is having a terrible effect on wages for Americans.
02-10-2012, 12:18 PM #32
Let me tell you a little story about the union that's "not nuts".
A good friend's wife works for the local Wonderbread bakery. She's the scheduling person for deliveries. I believe she's a salaried employee.
The bakery is in receivership, and the salaried employees have taken a ten percent paycut, and have been forced to accept major changes in their healthcare coverage. The CEO has had his compensation cut by almost a third.
The delivery guys are teamsters and they will not budge an inch on wages or healthcare. They insist on requiring a seperate driver for bread, snacks and unloading. so for every grocery store they service, there are three trucks that HAVE to show up. One for the bread, one for the snacks and one for the unloading dude and his equipment.
The union will not allow any changes to this arrangment. they are driving this company into the ground and they know it.
But HEY! they're not nuts.
02-10-2012, 12:21 PM #33
my brother`s wife`s uncle has a friend that knows a guy that is in the union- he was hired years ago and the only day he ever reported to work was the first day- just so he could fill out the ppwrk.
he hasn`t reported for work since, goes fishing every day, and they can`t fire him because he`s not ever there.
he`ll be retiring soon.
02-10-2012, 12:26 PM #34
"The delivery guys are teamsters and they will not budge an inch on wages or healthcare. They insist on requiring a seperate driver for bread, snacks and unloading. so for every grocery store they service, there are three trucks that HAVE to show up. One for the bread, one for the snacks and one for the unloading dude and his equipment.
The union will not allow any changes to this arrangement. they are driving this company into the ground and they know it."
NPR did a story on this very thing, couple weeks ago. Of course, we had to listen to alot of fluff about the "Twinkie", as well.
as did the WSJ
The Wall Street Journal reported: “Hostess Brands, the maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread, filed today for bankruptcy protection and blamed at least part of its difficulties on outmoded union agreements and work rules. Hostess — based in Irving, Texas, and the employer of 19,000 people — pays $100 million a year into a multiemployer pension plan that covers workers at several companies and carries hundreds of separate labor contracts that impose cost burdens.”
If I may quote Samuel Gompers;
"We do want more, and when it becomes more, we shall still want more. And we shall never cease to demand more"
02-10-2012, 12:40 PM #35
02-10-2012, 12:49 PM #36
Here's my personal experience:
-very adversarial relationship with management
-half the workers would discuss ways to make the work last. The other half went way above and beyond thier job description, but spent most of thier time looking over thier shoulder to avoid the shop steward.
-Anyone who wanted to learn more and advance themselves could only do so if noone with more seniority wanted to.
-A guy pissed off a catwalk onto another employee he didn't like. He was fired, then re-instated. My father, who was in management at this plant, told me a few years later about how they 'traded' that incident with the union to keep a guy who STOLE tools, ON CAMERA, from being re-instated. Sure, the thief got canned, but why was this even negotiable?
-Wages were flat, layoffs were common, jobs rarely came back.
-Top hourly pay: $20. after a LONG tenure of service.
Non union shop
-for 12+ years, wages have gone up by AT LEAST 2.5% yearly, most of the time more. there were layoffs, but they typically are small and short lived. (I didn't live all of this, but the records are there)
-There was a period when we were ramping up where there was too much mandatory OT, but that was resolved when new staff got up to speed.
-all but three on the engineering staff are formerly hourly employees who took on more and more responsibility and company offered training and education.
-shitty employees are shed, marginal employees stagnate, and rockstars advance regardless of seniority.
-Management and hourly employees have a sometimes tense, but always cooperative, give and take relationship.
-unskilled, literally 'take a hammer and bang on the part here, here, and there" jobs pay better than $17 an hour. Top hourly pay? Not sure, but I think some do better than 35 to 40.
Keep this in mind if you are tempted by a union.
-They can only negociate with what YOU bring to the table.
-Subpoint: some here like to say that unions=the workers. This is not true. unions are a completely seperate, self-interested entity. thier primary motivation is to MAKE MONEY. They DONT care about the workers themselves, any more than they have to to MAKE MONEY. As a union employee, one cannot take thier business elsewhere when they don't get thier money's worth.
-They can't gaurantee you pay, benefits, or anything.
-Most workers, if they strike, LOOSE more money. The marginal increase in pay they miiiigggtttt negociate never makes up for the lost money when they're on strike.
-They WILL, and HAVE, let the company pay you LESS, to get thier dues automatically deducted from your check before you get it. Why? think about it.
And I'll take this moment to make a distinction between TRADE unions, and shop labor unions like IAM and UAW. Plumbers, electricians, etc ARE good unions. They provide a trained, paid, benefitted (health/401/pensioned) workforce to the company at an easy-to-quantify hourly rate. It may seam high... $60 a hour... but thats the whole package. Even if some guy gets $30 on the check he still costs that at the end of the day. There are some turds in the punch bowl, but these unions are quasi-contractors and they police themselves.
THEN you have unions like the UAW and IAM. They come in, skim money off the employees check, provide a rigid workplace format that locks good employees down and makes flushing the turds harder. They'll trade your legit grieveance for one they think is going to gain the more power. They'll reduce workforce flexibility and siginificantly reduce the competitiveness of thier host organization. They are parasites, by every definition.
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02-10-2012, 12:50 PM #37
smalltime, my post wasn`t directed at you or anyone in particular- we were typing at the same time.. your post wasn`t there yet.
as far as snarkiness, i concede- you are the king.
there are good and bad examples on both sides. someone else said it best "don`t throw the baby out with the bathwater"
we constantly hear stuff about "holding company hostages" and "can`t fire them" rarely do you hear of the good examples- how a union can actually benefit a company and in the *long run* make it more profitable.
this is interesting-
02-10-2012, 01:46 PM #38
02-10-2012, 03:30 PM #39
Why should the union sacrifice while the guy who ran it into the ground continues to make millions?
I can assure that the teamster will make wage concessions if the big wigs do. The National Master Freight Agreement has been rolled back to the point that my brother, who drives for a non union general commodities carrier, is making about a buck more than Roadway drivers.
02-10-2012, 03:55 PM #40
I worked for GE aircraft engines in Alb. NM for 5 years before they shut down. Yeah, it’s hard to fire people (for almost anything) including drug use. GE would fire them, and then have to bring them back after 6 months, and pay back pay, because they would try to sue. However I think our plant might be the exception rather than the rule. I knew a lot of good, hardworking people there, but there was also a lot of dead weight. That’s all I can say for now