37 thoughts on “January 5, 2017

  1. Careful, Donnie! Words like that can get your keister unceremoniously tossed out.

    No wonder the stockroom’s always full; they never stack anything on the fourth wall!

  2. I remember when I worked at another big box store when I was in high school. One girl who went to the same school was talking about what she had learned in her history class about unions and the manager over heard and fired her on the spot.

      • However, the discussion about unions has to be during non-working hours (days off, lunch break times). If the discussion takes place while “on the clock” then all bets are off.

        • As I said – most countries, or at least most first-world countries, of which the US is only one. And I still think you may be wrong, or at least that it depends on which part of your country you’re in. My province is at-will (barbaric practice), but even here it is expressly stated in the Labour Code that you cannot terminate an employee for organizing.

      • Unions are corrupt. Everyone thinks they want to be part of one until they are, then they start crying afoul with the union screws them.

        • Says who?
          My father was a union trustee all his working life and lived a pretty blue collar existence (no fancy cars or big houses).
          If you’re talking about large unions, perhaps some have corrupt elements. But for smaller/medium-sized unions, there no room (and little money) to screw anyone over.
          In this globalized economy and so-called free trade deals which are literally the Magna Carta for multinationals, unions are needed more than ever.

          • I was a member of UFCW for two years. Their “major” accomplishment was negotiating a salary that was a whole $.10 above minimum wage. Well done.

          • I can’t go into details but my union deserves to rot in hell for the contract we just got foisted with. There’s a vote out to have the president recalled. It’s really bad.

        • As a member of a Union, I agree unions are corrupt and I would not pay Union dues. But due to the Rand law in Ontario, I am forced to pay. Unions in Ontario have guaranteed income but not enough accountability. They protect bad workers. Finally, from a economic perspective, they inflate wages and thus discourage hiring.

        • Really? Is that why back in the 40s & 50s, when union membership in the US was high, people made a living wage and could actually support a family on one job? Do you think people got days off, minimum wage, any kind of benefits, out of the goodness of management’s heart? You want to go back to the days before unions when people worked 6 or 7 days a week and it was legal to employ 5 year old children? When workers could be charged for the materials they used on the job, could legally be harassed and abused and were fired if they complained?

          No institution is perfect, but if someone joins a union and feels it is not doing enough or is corrupt, there is a solution. It’s call GET INVOLVED. A union is only as good as the people who do the work, and in most unions it’s a small core group of people who come to the meetings and do the work, while everyone else sits on their ass and expects good things to fall into their hands. It doesn’t work that way. If you are a union member, the union is you and YOU are the union. Be willing to work at it, it’s the only way things will ever change.

    • Like lots of things, there are good unions and there are bad ones. At one time in history, they were needed to right the wrongs imposed by the employers. But then unions got too much power and many became corrupt.

      Generally, I think the trade unions are ok. They make sure their employees are competent and spread the available jobs among the workers.

      The ones I dislike are the ones that take pride in blocking anyone from getting fired regardless of the reason. Even when their coworkers would enter a lottery for the privilege of giving a swift kick to someone who really, really needs to be fired.

    • Lothar, I’ll assume you’re familiar with what a union is; and the bottom line is unions cost the employer money and limit what the employer can and cannot do.

    • He’s asking “Like a union?” because another term for unions is “Organized labor.” Thus, “Get organized” can also mean “Form a union.”

      • This. “Get organized” frequently means getting non-union employees together to vote in/form a union. Needless to say, unions are frequently a pain in the side of management, so they do their best to discourage that.

  3. Years ago I moved from one store in the chain to another store as a department manager. One day, somebody came in to my new store who I had worked with at the old location, I asked her how things were going and she told me that she had recently been fired. I asked what happened and she said “I think the General Manager overheard me joking about starting a union.” I gave a pretty non commital answer to that like “oh, that’s crazy. Sorry to hear it.” Within an hour, the GM of my new store paged me to the office. When I got there, she said “the District Manager just called. He said somebody overheard you talking to a former employee about starting a union.” I learned from that that the walls have ears, especially with the U word!

    • When I worked as a waitress it was the same thing. One day I said to another worker that we needed a union and she told me to never say that or I’d be fired. It’s scary to think you can’t even talk about it or you’ll be fired, let alone do it.

  4. It’s funnier if you think Stuart was miles and miles away when Donnie said that and just magically popped up when he heard ‘the U-word’

  5. Unions suck.

    My last store was a Union store. I was hired at Min. Wage $9.15/HR. After my 60 day probationary period I got a 20 cent raise and put into the Union. A week later the Minimum Wage went up to$9.60/HR. One of my supervisors was making $9.65/HR which is what his last Union Raise had been. For then next 3 months he was only making 5 cents more than me who was the low-man on the totem pole in terms of job titles!

    The Union saved my job there once, but was unable to the second time.

  6. Unions can be a good thing but they can also be a terrible thing. I’ve heard stories from my older relatives about unions that forced employees into a protest. If they didn’t they would face trouble from other members. Of course this was mostly back in the 50’s and 60’s.

    The last time I was in a union it was when I worked for Meijer in northern Kentucky. I will freely admit they did do good things for the store. They negotiated employee uniform dress codes that allowed colored denim pants and Meijer brand hats. They also got a point system implemented for employees so they don’t get fired easily.

  7. Unions are like any other organization – they’re meant to serve a particular purpose, and sometimes they’re good at it and sometimes they’re not. They work out best when there’s balance between the unions and the companies.

    I do think we need more unions in this country right now, because big corporations have amassed ridiculous amounts of power. The breakup of unions is why wages have stagnated over the past few decades, and why companies can get away with abusing their employees the way they do.

  8. By the way, for those of you complaining that your union only got you a shitty raise, please realize that unions don’t just walk into management’s office and demand something. It has to be BARGAINED. Management always has the power to say no. Sometimes after months of bargaining you have to back off of a proposal because they simply will not agree to it. And if they do agree to it they will want something in return. What are you willing to give up for that raise? That’s negotiation: You get some, you give some. Sometimes the answer is no, we won’t give you that. I’ve been in bargaining. It’s not a picnic in the park. It’s hard work, and it’s harder when members refuse to take part in job actions, surveys, or even show up for a meeting: apparently 60 minutes once a month is too much to ask. Then they complain that they don’t like the agreement they’re being asked to vote on.

    Instead of bitching about stuff, more people need to get off their butts and get involved. If you don’t like your union officers, run for a union office. Go to meetings. Talk to your co-workers (do it off the clock if you must). Help with research, with documentation, with fighting injustice and working out grievances. There is no nebulous “union” that is separate from you. If you are a union member, YOU are the union. It’s not a vending machine that you put money into and services drop into your hand. It’s day to day showing up and doing the work.

  9. Fun story:

    My uncle used to be firmly anti-union. Until he got laid off, and had to get a job with Walmart.

    He changed his tune right quick after that…

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