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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:07 am
  

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BlunderVirgin

Joined: Feb 23, 2011
Posts: 2
Location: Merchantville NJ
You said it better than any of the so called experts on TV!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:45 am
  

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BlunderVirgin

Joined: Feb 24, 2011
Posts: 1
Your dad's guitar had "This machine kills fascists" written on it. Well, that's a little harsh for this situation, but let's hope that your machine helps to expose them, and ''surrounds hate and forces it to surrender," to quote another instrument's slogan that we all know well.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:48 pm
  

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The Folkslinger

Joined: Nov 23, 1999
Posts: 575
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Location: Housatonic, MA
We all have had gripes with unions over the decades, at least I have. What I'm talking about here, and what they're talking about in WI is whether or not the right to have and function as a union is being undermined by elected officials for political purposes by individuals who have taken money from people who have a vested interest in dismantling an American institution. Even if you will never join a union, or don't believe they have anything to offer you, you're wages benefits, and your weekends are what they are because somewhere, sometime someone had the guts to form a union and make demands on behalf of everyone who worked for a living. You may not owe them dues, but you owe them some thanks. Whatever peanuts you may be working for now, they are what they are because the going rate for your work was determined by the market in which the unions played a part.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:00 pm
  

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Senior ArloNetizen

Joined: Jun 08, 2009
Posts: 157
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Location: Kent ohio
adg wrote:
We all have had gripes with unions over the decades, at least I have. What I'm talking about here, and what they're talking about in WI is whether or not the right to have and function as a union is being undermined by elected officials for political purposes by individuals who have taken money from people who have a vested interest in dismantling an American institution. Even if you will never join a union, or don't believe they have anything to offer you, you're wages benefits, and your weekends are what they are because somewhere, sometime someone had the guts to form a union and make demands on behalf of everyone who worked for a living. You may not owe them dues, but you owe them some thanks. Whatever peanuts you may be working for now, they are what they are because the going rate for your work was determined by the market in which the unions played a part.


amen brother!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:57 am
  

Senior ArloNetizen

Joined: Jul 30, 2008
Posts: 374
Location: Washington, DC
Er...not to contradict Dave, because not every Federal employee is covered by a collective bargaining agreement (I'm also a Fed and am not), but many Federal employees are covered by agreements, and some are even union members (membership is voluntary). The unions I'm familiar with are the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE, http://afge.org/Index.cfm?Page=AFGEFacts) and the National Council of Field Labor Locals (http://www.ncfll.org/). The unions don't cover all of the same issues -- our salaries and financial benefits are set by statute and not subject to bargaining -- but they do bargain over non-statutory working conditions (e.g. smoking areas), bring unfair labor complaints, and provide representation to employees. There's a statute that governs the process -- the Federal Labor Relations Act -- and an agency that considers complaints, the Federal Labor Relations Authority.

I think some individual unions are really good, some are not. Much of the leadership of the Local at my agency sucks, and that's an understatement; and let us not forget the support Richard Nixon got from some of the big union leaders in 1972. But I agree with ADG in principle -- with rare exceptions, powerful interests have only been combatted by an organized effort and unions have been the leaders in that effort. If the public workers of Wisconsin had decided that they were dissatisfied with their union and wanted to reform it or build a new one, I'd say more power to them. But they're not. They're out there fighting for their rights. This fight is, as Mr. Guthrie said, about "whether or not the right to have and function as a union is being undermined by elected officials for political purposes by individuals who have taken money from people who have a vested interest in dismantling an American institution."


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:57 am
  

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Arlo Fanatic

Joined: Nov 11, 2004
Posts: 2010
Location: Left-of-center
News reports have credited unions with the forty hour work week. Well and good. I don't know if this still holds true but a few years ago I spoke with some one on the CT state labor commission about mandatory overtime. They told me that the passing of the Equal Rights Amendment negated a lot of workers' rights and the right to pass on overtime was one of them. I wonder how many more workers' rights were lost?

With jobs being outsourced, benefits being cut or eliminated, and stuff like pensions becoming a thing of the past it's pretty obvious that the workers are getting squeezed from all sides. Like them or not, it's the unions that have helped the workers in the past. Maybe they don't do much when times are good except send you a calendar and a quarterly newsletter but now ain't the time to take away bargaining rights. Without that what do you have left. A calendar & a newsletter .... maybe.

I'm not even sure that what the Cheesehead governor is doing is legal. This from Wikipedia:
"In the United States, the National Labor Relations Act (1935) covers most collective agreements in the private sector. This act makes it illegal for employers to discriminate, spy on, harass, or terminate the employment of workers because of their union membership or to retaliate against them for engaging in organizing campaigns or other "concerted activities" to form "company unions", or to refuse to engage in collective bargaining with the union that represents their employees."

also

"In 1962, President Kennedy signed an executive order giving public-employee unions the right to collectively bargain with federal government agencies."


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 8:22 am
  

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Arlo Fanatic

Joined: Feb 26, 2009
Posts: 1190
@


Last edited by len on Fri May 20, 2011 7:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:22 am
  

Senior ArloNetizen

Joined: Jul 30, 2008
Posts: 374
Location: Washington, DC
Captain Zap wrote:
News reports have credited unions with the forty hour work week. Well and good. I don't know if this still holds true but a few years ago I spoke with some one on the CT state labor commission about mandatory overtime. They told me that the passing of the Equal Rights Amendment negated a lot of workers' rights and the right to pass on overtime was one of them. I wonder how many more workers' rights were lost?


Captain...Do you mean the ERA as in the proposed amendment to the US Constitution that never actually passed? I don't see how that could've affected the right to pass on overtime...

I don't think mandatory overtime has ever been prohibited by Federal law; the Fair Labor Standards Act requires that workers be paid time and a half for overtime (and some workers aren't covered by that requirement at all), but it doesn't prohibit employers from requiring overtime. It's possible CT state law went further and was changed at some point. In any event, unions did (and do) negotiate through collective bargaining agreements to limit mandatory overtime. If the right to pass on overtime is becoming less common, it was probably bargained away, or it's attributable to there being fewer organized workplaces.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:39 pm
  

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Arlo Fanatic

Joined: Feb 26, 2009
Posts: 1190
@


Last edited by len on Fri May 20, 2011 7:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:28 pm
  

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Arlo Fanatic

Joined: Feb 26, 2009
Posts: 1190
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Last edited by len on Fri May 20, 2011 7:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:38 am
  

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Arlo Fanatic

Joined: Jan 09, 2003
Posts: 2486
Images: 5
Location: Rhododendron, Oregon United States
This just belongs here.

http://web.gusosborne.com/Arlo%20-%20Popular%20Demand.mp3

I'll take it down if you tell me too.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:46 am
  

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Arlo Fanatic

Joined: Jul 06, 2008
Posts: 2513
Images: 2
Location: Crawfordville, Florida
This is a great song on so many levels, so many.......


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:00 am
  

BlunderVirgin

Joined: Jan 30, 2010
Posts: 1
Great (but not surprising) to hear your support for the working people of Wisconsin, Arlo. My brother is standing in the cold in Madison today, letting his voice be heard, and looking forward to hearing some music from Peter Yarrow. I immediately thought of you. No plans for a road trip to a Wisconsin rally? Every voice is needed, particularly one like yours.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:30 pm
  

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Arlo Fanatic

Joined: Nov 11, 2004
Posts: 2010
Location: Left-of-center
@Eileen. It's possible that the person to whom I spoke meant the Connecticut equal rights laws. He didn't specify and I took it at face value. My bad. But when some new laws/amendments pass the can sometimes wipe out existing laws. Upon further lookin' into the subject I found that some labor unions opposed the national ERA not so much because they were against it but they were worried that it might cause them to loose some of the gains they had previously made.


Last edited by Captain Zap on Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:34 pm
  

Senior ArloNetizen

Joined: Jul 30, 2008
Posts: 374
Location: Washington, DC
Hi Len, I understand -- not questioning what you say, or what the Captain said about the erosion of worker rights. (I'll add that it works the same way for some of us white collar Federal employees -- as a lawyer, I am in the "excepted" service and not covered by FLSA. We do get some flexibility in how we log our time (we can claim "credit" for work we do between 6 am and 7 pm) and can accumulate up to 24 "credit hours" to use as leave, but we never get paid overtime, and if we work past 7 pm (or accumulate more than 24 credit hours) we have to get supervisor permission if we want compensatory time -- and it's rarely given (I've gotten it twice in 23 years). Theoretically, the government is prohibited from accepting "voluntary services" from anyone, but nobody's ever walked around and told us to go home if we're working past 7.

Really all I was wondering about, in terms of what the Captain said, was how the heck any of this is related to the Equal Rights Amendment!? That was what perplexed me. And the Captain has now answered that. I think there was and is still a bit of a "blame it all on women's lib" mentality in parts of this country -- I look at that mentality as related to the FUD you were talking about -- it's a way of distracting people from the real issues, turning them against one another so that they won't come together to oppose the real power abusers.

Gus -- Thanks for posting the song; it's great. I hope Mrs. G gets a video of it up soon!


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