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Possible strike!

Discussion in 'Jobs & Careers' started by rb11701, Feb 28, 2010.

  1. Feb 28, 2010 at 6:41 AM
    #1
    rb11701

    rb11701 [OP] Oh yeah!

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    Just an FYI, that workers for Super Stop and Shop in RI/MA/CT are in contract negotiations. The contract expired last Saturday at 12am. The union agreeded to a 1 week extension which expired last night at 12am. The agreement is day to day. The sticking points are the usualy big 3. Wages/healthcare/pensions.

    Some facts -> Stop & Shop MADE 2.7 billion dollars last year, grew at a faster rate than Wal-mart last year. They also had profits go up my 115 MILLION, opertaing income went up 25 MILLION. Market share is way up and they are the only supermarket to post profits during this economic downtime.

    They have come to table offering peanuts. Now, I am not looking to get any great windfall out of this. However, they wanted to stop funding the pension at its current rate ($69/month which is nothing tremendous) , no wage increase the first year, the rumor is .10/hr raise for years 2 and 3. (That's 4 dollars more a week for me) They also want to change the co-pay for healthcare to a percent rather than a flat rate. There are some other things, like reducing sick days, bereavment days, etc etc.

    Our union is holding strong and now have federal mediators invloved as 40,000+ people are invloved.

    Anybody who shops at either Stop & Shop or Giant knows who they see on the sales floor doing the work. Us, the union workers. The company has seem to lost touch with the fact that it is us that makes the difference. We are the face of the company, not the managers who sit upstairs and never are seen. However, make no bones about it, those same managers will reap record bonus this year.
    A little dirty secret is that Stop and Shop & Giant are merging thier offices so there will be doubles of all postions and people will be let go. The more they can get out of us, the less people of the "Admin" team will have to be let go. A big no-no as far as the company sees it. As THEY are the reason the company is so strong. BS.

    Our unions point is, that in a banner year you offer us almost nothing more after 3 years of good labor and great profits. (almost every store is posting pistive ID gains vs last year) while admin gets richer and richer.
    If I have to pay more for my healthcare, so be it. Make it a flat rate. $8/week more over 3 years as a raise? (no raise year 1, .10/hr years 2 and 3) and reduce my pension payments? How I bout I slice my wrist open and just pour it in?

    Anyways, I needed to vent alittle and for you guys who shop at these stores, your support is always welcome.
     
  2. Feb 28, 2010 at 7:14 AM
    #2
    cvillechopper

    cvillechopper Jackass to the masses

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    I don't agree with Unions at all. If you can get a better package working somewhere else, quit and go work there. Unions create a real kink in the Capitalist system because they skew the demand side of the equation for labor. You can easily view many of the problems that the big domestic automakers have had as being driven by unions. They have to pay higher rates, can't fire someone for doing a poor job, and can't down-size in accordance with demand. Unions make a company much less nimble.

    Companies like Toyota that do not use union labor are much more easily able to respond to market conditions and can get rid of under-performing employees as needed. Additionally, they don't have to worry about dealing with demands that are above what the market supports for labor in the area.
     
  3. Feb 28, 2010 at 7:21 AM
    #3
    Toyota Truck

    Toyota Truck Well-Known Member

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    X2!
     
  4. Feb 28, 2010 at 7:56 AM
    #4
    rb11701

    rb11701 [OP] Oh yeah!

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    I respect you guys thoughts. And to the reference to auto industry, yes you are right. However, if you looked into specifics you might see that what the auto union guys got was light years ahead of what we have and will ever get. And there will never be a robot stocking anything in a supermarket. The choking point with the auto union was when the factories became more self sufficient and needed less hands for the jobs. The companies were choked by the unions.
    When our company is at that point, I would make concessions to keep my job. no thoughts about it. However, AHOLD is very strong and sucking up real estate at an ridiculous rate and below cost. The company is very healthly and we deserve a piece of the pie as miniscule as it may be. Not things taken away. Even if they raised the healthcare and kept everything else the same would be fine by me. I mean they had fantastic sales with the current contract, why not keep the status quo and increase healthcare to help offset cost? That is cool by me. A % is not really what I am looking for. i would rather see a flat rate even if it is a tad higher than the first year percentage would be.

    Always good to hear both sides! keep it coming!

    just to be clear, I am not this super pro-union rah rah guy. I am just a regular guy making a regular wage who wants a healthy company and a fair wage.
     
  5. Feb 28, 2010 at 8:30 AM
    #5
    Snipe

    Snipe Well-Known Member

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    You will probably get flamed on this board because many of members like to talk trash about Unions here even though they have NO CLUE about the facts.

    You will hear the same old BS

    1....Unions protect Lazy workers because you can't fire them.
    Bullshit, I have seen plenty fired.

    2...You can't downsize
    Bullshit, I get laid off all the time and am currently laid off.

    3...Unions force employers to pay excessively high wages.
    Bullshit, I am highly skilled and believe that I should be fairly compensated for my skills, my union also knows the value of skills and provides lots of training opportunities for me to better myself.
    For instance I spent 10 hours yesterday in the classroom studying for an upcoming certification test, the instructor and all supplies were paid for the Union, not my employer, but myself, my employer, and the Union will all benefit from the new certification.


    4...The Unions are Greedy bastards
    many employers that pays shit wages and expects 110% out of it's workers are far more greedy.
    C'mon admit it, we have all we have all worked for some guy that has cashed in making big bucks and treated us the employee like shit but you put up with it because you needed to put food on the table.


    And another fact that Non Union workers almost always fail to get, I know I didn't when I was non Union.
    The wages of a non union worker many times get bumped up because of the Union worker simply because a Non Union employer has to compete for skilled employees.
     
  6. Feb 28, 2010 at 9:25 AM
    #6
    07trd4x4

    07trd4x4 Well-Known Member

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    Don't get me started on stupid unions
     
  7. Feb 28, 2010 at 4:29 PM
    #7
    SmoothFox

    SmoothFox Well-Known Member

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    I'm jealous of people with union jobs. Wish I was. Everyone I know who has a union job makes more money, has cheaper health insurance, and a better life than me and my non-union job. They are lucky SOB's.
     
  8. Feb 28, 2010 at 4:55 PM
    #8
    SmoothFox

    SmoothFox Well-Known Member

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    X2
     
  9. Feb 28, 2010 at 4:58 PM
    #9
    SC4333

    SC4333 Well-Known Member

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    The way I see it, if you're not happy with the way your employer is treating you, let them know about it and suggest a remedy to the situation at hand. If all else fails, go find work else where.

    The way you say "I just want a small piece of the pie" seems to be expressing some sort of notion that you are entitled to a specific amount of that pie. In the employers eyes, you are only entitled to what they decide your work is valued at. You knew what your value was going in, and they give you that, but then you demand more via a union strike and hurt the company in the process? Doesn't make much sense on my end, especially coming from a business perspective.

    Good luck with your situation.
     
  10. Feb 28, 2010 at 5:07 PM
    #10
    James08

    James08 Well-Known Member

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    I call bull shit friend. Myself, and most of my friends paid for college by having jobs and taking out student loans. I busted my ass to get through my undergrad degree, and I now pay the over $250 a month student loan payments every month to reap the benefits of that sacrifice (10 year note). After my career started slower than I hoped it was going to I went back to school, while working full-time, and I finished my MBA in about 2 years. I'm also paying an additional $550 a month for my student loans for my graduate degree (10 year note). I could get my payments lowered on both, but taking the easy road isn't really my style as you can see from the information above.

    I've now been finished with my undergrad degree since 2003, and I finished my graduate degree about 2 years ago and things are going very well for me. Don't play the I couldn't go to college because I wasn't a rich kid card. Get over yourself. If you wanted to make it happen you could have, so don't kid yourself and try to tell anyone differently.

    Unions have their place in this country, but they don't belong at the supermarket, restaurants or any other profession that anyone off the street could do with minimal training. Professionals like Iron Workers/Electricians and the like have the right to be unionized because they are skilled (dangerous) trades, but I don't buy for a second that the jobs of the common factory worker or the everyday Joe at the supermarket deserve to make anything more than what the market says they should make. If you want to control how much money you make improve your human capital and bring something to the table. Bring something to the table, make yourself a truly valuable employee that the company can't easily replace and you will be paid well at your current job or be scooped up by another company that will take care of you.

    I'm 29 years old, I've worked my way through undergrad and graduate school and I've worked for the same company for nearly the last 5 years. Because I have saved my company a considerable amount of money and had large positive impacts on my company as a whole my salary has been more than doubled and I was transferred from our corporate office in to the field at my request so that I can continue in my career and make more money for my company from another side of the organization. This country is full of lazy people waiting for their organizations to hand them something instead of getting off their asses, investing in themselves and just making it happen.

    Nut up. Find something better if you aren't happy.

    Rant over.
     
  11. Feb 28, 2010 at 5:08 PM
    #11
    shrekdaogre

    shrekdaogre Well-Known Member

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    agreed. I got a Union job 5 years ago. YES we are LUCKY SOBs:D
     
  12. Feb 28, 2010 at 5:15 PM
    #12
    James08

    James08 Well-Known Member

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    More BS. If you as an employee bring something that the employer can't just go find someone else to do they will talk to you about what you think is an unfair situation. Even beyond that, if you do a job that others can't do, have an education or something like that the market will require the company to pay you what is reasonable for your position and responsibility.

    It's no wonder companies send things overseas. Somewhere in the rise of this wonderful country everyone was told that they were going to be rich regardless of whether or not they properly prepare themselves for the real world. Then all of the sudden, when people realize that they are 30 years old and they're never going to make over $40k a year because they have no skills or education they get angry. We need to swallow this sense of entitlement, and realize that you are only worth what you bring to the table.
     
  13. Feb 28, 2010 at 5:15 PM
    #13
    22RE Powered

    22RE Powered New Member

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    I love this country...now where's the keys to my PreRunner??
     
  14. Feb 28, 2010 at 5:18 PM
    #14
    SC4333

    SC4333 Well-Known Member

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    I would have to disagree. At one time, I was working for a mid-sized private employer. I had worked for them just over a year with great success and had made quite a few accomplishments while I was there. After a while I decided my raise wasn't what I was expecting and had an offer to go work for another well known private company that was willing to pay 7 dollars an hour more, along with quite a few misc. benefits, and lots of over time. I came to the conclusion that I would enjoy staying with the company if all possible because I was happy there. I went to my superintendent after a few days and explained to him my situation. I let him know how If we couldn't come to terms, I would be leaving to take another job. In no way did I threaten him, I simply stated the facts.

    Right there I landed a 6 dollar raise, a new truck, and quite a few extra perks just from speaking up. I was fully prepared to bite the bullet and run if need be, but the card fell in my favor that particular time. If you are worth your weight to the employer, they will do what they can to keep you within all reason. If not, they will let you go, and I can assure you that someone is waiting to fill your spot and do as good, if not a better job for the same, or less money.
     
  15. Feb 28, 2010 at 5:31 PM
    #15
    James08

    James08 Well-Known Member

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    See my post towards the bottom of Page 1 for my background. I work for a small to midsized manufacturing company with office/plant/field sales and technical employees. For the first couple years I worked for the company I ran our Human Resources department, and now I am in the field as a salesman. At times in my years with the company everyone has went without raises, but when we have the opportunity we reward employees that deserve it. We've had employees in every department quit for one reason or another, and when the employee has been deserving we've tried everything we could to keep them. When they haven't, we've let them walk away, and at times we've excused the bad people that didn't leave on their own. Thank goodness for capitalism.
     
  16. Feb 28, 2010 at 6:36 PM
    #16
    James08

    James08 Well-Known Member

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    Let's go at this point by point.... I know that my sticking up for the man, educated rich kid mumbo jumbo will fall on deaf ears, but I'll say it any way. I've had this conversation in person and on boards before, and it always ends the same. I do however enjoy giving real life examples from personal experience and education and hearing the same unfounded rebuttals.


    1....Unions protect Lazy workers because you can't fire them.
    Bullshit, I have seen plenty fired.

    You have a point by the way that was phrased. It isn’t that union employees can’t be fired; it is that it is such a pain in the ass to do so. If a company wants to fire a union employee they have to ask permission from the union to do so or there will surely be a grievance filed. After that the company has to go through arbitration and blah, blah, blah. So management of the company has their hands tied to their backs, and they end up giving bad employees chance after chance because it is too costly and time consuming to do what they should.

    2...You can't downsize
    Bullshit, I get laid off all the time and am currently laid off.

    This is true. Employees whether union or not can be laid off, and union employers are actually more likely to do layoffs. Unlike a free market employer, the union organization does again have to jump through a ton of hoops and will likely be again taken to arbitration to get it done. In the end the company will probably have to give the laid off employees some sort of package, and therefore delaying the company the opportunity to turn things around and making the layoff longer than it otherwise would have been. If an organization is allowed to expect employees to work, and pay them according to the market value of their position layoffs are normally avoidable.

    3...Unions force employers to pay excessively high wages.
    Bullshit, I am highly skilled and believe that I should be fairly compensated for my skills, my union also knows the value of skills and provides lots of training opportunities for me to better myself.
    For instance I spent 10 hours yesterday in the classroom studying for an upcoming certification test, the instructor and all supplies were paid for the Union, not my employer, but myself, my employer, and the Union will all benefit from the new certification.

    This depends on the employer and the union. Some unions are completely out of control, and the individuals in that union make unbelievable money for their skills. Some unions are actually counterproductive when it comes to this because of union dues and lost voluntary benefits given to employees after they unionize. A broad statement from either side of this is never going to be correct. As I said in another post some Skilled professions still need to be unionized, but others are just trying to get employees paid more than they’re worth. In the 2nd situation the employer will be forced to relocate their operations overseas or to another area of the country where they won’t be strangled by the union.


    4...The Unions are Greedy bastards
    many employers that pays shit wages and expects 110% out of it's workers are far more greedy.
    C'mon admit it, we have all we have all worked for some guy that has cashed in making big bucks and treated us the employee like shit but you put up with it because you needed to put food on the table.

    This is also a correct statement at times. This however goes back to the free market economy and our old friend capitalism. If an employer treats their employees unfairly each employee has the right to do something about it. Sooner or later the employer will realize that turnover is more expensive than being fair to their employees. If they don’t they will just continue turning over their employee group and the expense will hurt their bottom line at some point because turnover is very expensive.


    And another fact that Non Union workers almost always fail to get, I know I didn't when I was non Union.
    The wages of a non union worker many times get bumped up because of the Union worker simply because a Non Union employer has to compete for skilled employees.

    This is nothing but union propaganda. Non union employers do not care what union employers are paying. The market for a particular job determines what a person in that position is paid. If there is a surplus of any one type of employee in any given area the pay and benefits for those positions will go down in that area. Simple freshman year economics. An employer is only going to pay a person in a particular position what they have too, and if you think about it from a profitability perspective why would they do anything differently.

    As I said before, if you are unhappy with your job get a better one. If you can’t get a better paying job in better conditions it is because your skills do not justify someone paying you what you “expect” to get paid. Prepare yourself for the real world and stop trying to blame everyone else when the market re-adjusts itself.

    I’m so tired of hearing, oh it’s the illegals, oh it’s the mortgage people, oh it’s the politicians, oh it’s whoever we want to blame at that particular moment. Illegals can’t do my job, it isn’t completely the mortgage people that screwed everyone because the people that are getting foreclosed on signed on the dotted line, and because of my education and experience it really doesn’t matter what the politicians do because I know that there will always be need for experienced and educated professionals. On top of all of that if times got really difficult I would go right back to waiting tables, working in retail and roofing houses like I did in college.

    To many people think they are too good for stuff in this country, and that is why we have so many financial problems.
     
  17. Feb 28, 2010 at 6:38 PM
    #17
    Snipe

    Snipe Well-Known Member

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    It is really no different for a Union employee, the Union only sets a minimum wage that can be paid, not a maximum.
    I am Union and make more per hour then the other guys that work alongside me for the simple fact that I have a wider variety of skills and have several certifications that they don't have, I know I am of more value to my employer and so does he so he chooses to pay me over scale to keep me from going next door.
     
  18. Feb 28, 2010 at 6:47 PM
    #18
    JeffRock

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    hmmm.. I'm a teamster, but i see pros and cons of the union thing. First, My wage is actually less than the non union branch employees make in the same company i work for, doing the same exact job.
    and i do see alot of similar non union companys paying the same, or more for similar jobs.

    keep drinking the kool aid and blaming unions for the downfall of the empire, and not greedy company's who would sell you, and your cuntry out for a dollar.
     
  19. Feb 28, 2010 at 6:54 PM
    #19
    t-frax

    t-frax Well-Known Member

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    I'm not in a union. but just like anything there are the pros and cons to union and non-union....which in my opinion seem to cancel each other out.
    The one thing that does tick me off though are some of the union leaders/negotiators....some are just greedy bastards that hold out way to long for a way beyond fair deal while in the meantime, the workers suffer.
    just my 2cents.
     
  20. Feb 28, 2010 at 7:15 PM
    #20
    Amos

    Amos Well-Known Member

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    you don't have to be a rich kid to go to college, you just have to be willing to take the risk (maybe on student loans) and put in the work to get the grants or scholarships and then a lot more work to earn the degree. OR you could join the military who will pay for your school. Bottom line is there are a lot of options out there if you don't like your job, then find another one. If all the employees leave because management treats them so bad then either management will have to change or the company will go under.
     
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