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when my uncle came to this country.

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  • Jul 14th, 2012 1:51 am
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Sep 22, 2009
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when my uncle came to this country.

You know when my Uncle came to this country in the 70's one of the Big 3 recruited him right in the *****ing airport. He was a villager with very little education but was a hard worker and earned a decent liveable wage through the sweat of his brow and put his kids through university education. Now you have all these capitalist blood suckers busting up unions left and right and having people work for pennies while the few at the top rake it in.

Power should be in the hands of the workers, the producers. Anyone against unions should perhaps move to China, I hear they are outlawed there, and we can get you into a sweatshop position right away.

What the f#ck happened to this country?
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Deal Guru
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Dec 7, 2009
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The problem is that the lobbyists have done a great job at spreading anti-union sentiment among the proletariat. As a result, we have regular everyday people discarding their own interests in favour of some sort of "Atlas Shrugged" idealism that fails to take into consideration systematic imbalances of power and the tendency for unchecked capitalism to cannibalize itself, and instead, freely lobbying for large corporate interests. In a way, it was the greatest trick ever pulled.

Imagine you could get someone to pay you to whitewash your fence. The immensely wealthy have done just that and they are laughing at us from their ivory towers, complete with sparkling ivory fences.
In a perfect system, corporations would fear the government and the government would fear the people. - David Wong

Check out caRpetbomBer's picks in this thread.
Member
Aug 17, 2011
448 posts
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CALGARY
True dat, Comrade. I mean it worked so well in Russia after all.... :facepalm:

What happened to the country? It discovered something called "sustainability", something Greece and Spain are learning about now. Unions should take note.

"Some people regard private enterprise as a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look on it as a cow they can milk. Not enough people see it as a healthy horse, pulling a sturdy wagon." - Sir Winston Churchill
Deal Fanatic
Sep 23, 2007
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kabza wrote: You know when my Uncle came to this country in the 70's one of the Big 3 recruited him right in the *****ing airport. He was a villager with very little education but was a hard worker and earned a decent liveable wage through the sweat of his brow and put his kids through university education. Now you have all these capitalist blood suckers busting up unions left and right and having people work for pennies while the few at the top rake it in.

Power should be in the hands of the workers, the producers. Anyone against unions should perhaps move to China, I hear they are outlawed there, and we can get you into a sweatshop position right away.

What the f#ck happened to this country?
Unions are generally the PROBLEM. Not the solution. I agree there needs to be a balance between workers and institutions. But you have ZERO case. What the hell are you talking about unions getting busted up? Unions are precisely the reason why certain sectors have become nonviable. Manufacturing in Canada doesn't work simply because unions are asking for too much. It's cheaper to send the work to China BECAUSE unions exist. Businesses simply can't be competitive and many have gone out of business due to unions. In certain fields, unions serve to WORSEN the wage gap because certain unions insist on a minimum compensation. Organizations with unions are LESS able to hire more people.

Unions serve its member but often at the expense of society. There are many stories of union workers having a seniority system that make it nearly impossible for fresh blood to get into. These can be seen in the public sector. To meet these demands of unions of public sector, it comes out of our tax dollars. There are very few unions left in the private sector. So stop talking like unions are being slapped around by corporations. You're wrong. It's the unions slapping around the taxpayers. If you don't believe me, simply note the following: Name me the biggest unions in the country. No doubt you'll have trouble coming up with names of unions in the private sector. You'll probably think about the Police Union (funded by tax payers), or nurses (funded by tax payers), or public transit workers (funded by tax payers), or those people working at your municipal office (funded by tax payers). Union workers typically DON'T work at corporations. They work in public sector. The only notable private sector union are the auto workers. Last I checked, these are the guys that force you to pay ridiculous labour rates for fixing your car. These are the guys that are making our automobile industry uncompetitive.

The most commonly cited reason of CEO compensation is silly. These are a select few in the minority. Being a CEO is like winning the lottery. Chances are low. The reason for executive compensation growth is more related to globalization. As companies have greater reach, the risk and rewards are also greater. A 2% bonus of a large corporation today is worth significantly more than a 2%bonus of a large corporation 20 years ago. I don't even see how people are "working for pennies". I think if you compare to other countries, the compensation level in Canada is significantly more fair than many other developed countries. Also, many of the big CEOs you are thinking about come from USA. Not Canada. Canada DOES NOT have many internationally recognized corporations that have the same kind of glamorous CEOs that you see in magazines and the news.

You can't pin the problem on ONE single issue. The reality is due to a complex web of reasons:
1) Technology: While it has created many jobs, it has also displaced some. I think overall, technology has reduced the need for manual labour and many jobs that traditionally created unions
2) Globalization: Companies can get inputs from international sources. If you're not competitive, they can seek resources elsewhere.
3) Massive increase in educated people: This is good for the employers but not good for workers due to supply and demand, which dictates that employers would have the upperhand in setting wages.
4) Global economic slow down: Your whole argument fails because of this. In any economic condition, someone will find someone richer to blame. That's just human nature.

I can probably cite another 10 reasons if I really think about it.
Jr. Member
Dec 29, 2011
124 posts
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THORNHILL
kabza wrote: You know when my Uncle came to this country in the 70's one of the Big 3 recruited him right in the *****ing airport.
the big 3 (i believe you are talking about the auto industry), they are pretty much all done x_x. Their existence can still be traced in Oshawa, but they are ceasing for sure.
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Oct 20, 2010
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What's with these threads? Really.

Unions got overly entitled. That's what happened to this country. Initially, they had good reason to exist, to fight for workers and have fair working rights. Canada has robust laws now protecting such rights. Now, it goes beyond that.

A case study: public sector unions. They have done nothing but help perpetuate the inefficiency, mediocrity, and sloth inherent in government. Think of government as a morbidly obese fatbody, of the type that is permanently confined to a king-sized bed due to its massive, elephantine girth. Think of the unions as an entity forming a codependent relationship with the government fatbody, offering it a robust diet of soda, chips, and Twinkies to get its fix and in return, the government offering the unions the hard liquor they need to exhibit and justify their irrational behavior.

Today, you have unions feeling entitled to pay raises that are outside the market rate for the kind of work they do.

You have unions feeling entitled to unreasonable pay raises while being dismissive of economic hardship the company that employs them may have.

You have unions feeling entitled to pay raises that may not be commensurate with their productivity (esp. compared to private sector counterparts).

You have unions feeling entitled to fat indexed pensions that may no longer be sustainable, especially now in a more globalized economy.

You have unions feeling entitled allow its members to climb the ranks purely through seniority, rather than merit, impeding the employing firms' ability to increase efficiency and competitiveness.

You have unions feeling entitled to punish the public when their other party to the conflict fails to assuage its radical sense of entitlement, rather than working to compromise. I remember the OCTranspo 2008-2009 winter bus strike. There were people who lost their jobs because they couldn't get to work. That's right, the Working Man they purportedly represent was being punished. You read stories of senior citizens having to walk 4 hours in the cold to do their groceries. Uni students had difficulties getting to campus to write their exams; when they found a recourse to hire public school buses, the union's bestial wild instincts kicked in and picketed the bus lots to prevent them from leaving. Talk about karma; look at what happened to union boss Andre Cornellier now.

You have entitled unions impeding progress and perpetuating backwardness to keep jobs for the sake of keeping jobs. Example: the CUPW objects to Canada Post implementing technological advances in their sorting facilities out of fear jobs may be lost. I guess we'll also need to hire back drawstring knotters, and people to manually screw caps on toothpaste tubes.

Despite the unions bashing corporate lobbying, they also get in cahoots with politicians. You can bet the Liberals and NDP benefit from union political contributions.

Indirect consequences are increased costs, taxes, etc., to sustain their sense of entitlement without getting increases in services or efficiency in return. Of course, management and the company leaders must also be held accountable for shortcomings, but it would be ignorant to assume unions' innocence. The left-leaning Toronto Star, of all places, exposed this and this. Companies needing manufacturing workers will shun Ontario in favor of Ohio, Wisconsin, and Mexico. Bell Canada, everyone's favorite telco, is mired in inefficiency, and the unionized environment plays a negative role, and that has partially explained the company's high prices for its services.

They have gone too far. Usually, once you acquiesce to an entitled person's demands, you're only making things worse as they'll feel entitled to more and more. The politicians are guilty also for giving in too much to their demands, but, don't forget the codependent relationship...
The sea is behind you and the enemy is in front. — Tariq ibn Ziyad
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Jun 1, 2012
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I know what you mean. There was a time when fresh faced graduates were allowed to learn and work their way up to the top. I don't really know about unions and all that.
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Jun 29, 2009
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kabza wrote: Power should be in the hands of the workers, the producers. Anyone against unions should perhaps move to China, I hear they are outlawed there, and we can get you into a sweatshop position right away.
Yes, Union should be the rule!
Because it's good to spend $3,000 to do simple electrical outlet installation?
And it's good to bill for 70+ hrs of work when actually only about 4 hrs was spent to do the work?
And it makes sense to pay them 0.5% surcharge because they don't need to do the work since it was outsourced?

yes, union is the rule ... just look at how much TDSB is wasting money on working with a unionized group while at the same time they are complaining about lack of funding. They probably won't be in so much money trouble if they don't spend hundreds of dollar to install a pencil sharpener.
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Mar 29, 2006
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damnos wrote: And it's good to bill for 70+ hrs of work when actually only about 4 hrs was spent to do the work?
LOL, outsource the function to a big corporation, and this would become an example of frugality, corporate rule being "charge 70 hours of $100 consultant for a job done by $15 minwager for 4 hours" :D
Hansol wrote: True dat, Comrade. I mean it worked so well in Russia after all.... :facepalm:
It worked in Russia order of magnitude better than Capitalism does in Russia. Capitalist system in Russia is still a mere piggyback on Soviet-build everything. Housing, industry, transportation.
Hansol wrote: It discovered something called "sustainability"
FYI, Alberta's economy is not sustainable, as it built around digging a finite resource out of Earth.
Deal Addict
Jul 11, 2010
2959 posts
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The problem is not really unions, it's globalization.

Why pay an autoworker here ridiculous rates for building a car when you can get it done for a fraction of the price overseas? Why does Air Canada lose $ every year?

To be honest, nurses, teacher and bus driver unions will forever continue to exist. It's because you need a physical presence to operate/perform those jobs.
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Mar 16, 2004
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The hate for unions is strong here.

Unions are not the problem. What unions have become is the problem. Unions in America/Canada are not represented on management hence a "you vs them" mentality developed. If you look towards Germany and other European countries, you will find that the union is part, or at least represented, on at senior levels. Both sides know interdependencies they have on each other, hence are forced to work together and make compromises, which seems to be a lost concept to unions/management in North America. Unions in Germany are expensive but they are still exporting like crazy. Why is that? Well, they continuously improve and produce high quality goods. Even with globalization, it keeps them extremely competitive. Blaming globalization (or other countries) is a poor excuse.

btw, there are well known large private unions. e.g. America Steelworkers union: 800k members. Ver.di (Germany): 2.2 million members.

I'm not an union supporter as I'm on the opposite side of the table. However, I recognize they serve a very important purpose. It's just unfortunate they have evolved into the current form in Americas.
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Sep 22, 2007
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Unions aren't the problem, people are the problem. A union is just a group or people and people are greedy. Just look at any number of threads on here from people who graduated university in June and if they don't have a 6 figure job by September, it's societies fault.
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Jun 29, 2009
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Aristophanes wrote: The hate for unions is strong here.
As you have well described, the problem is what the union does esp in Canada/north America. Unions here are no different than mafia. And because they also own quite some power in politics (effect on political campaigns) it gets even worse for the taxpayers because the politicians they helped need to give back to the unions by granting them all these waste and exploit of taxpayers money.

Just follow that yet another public sector scandal of taxpayers money being wasted in millions.

I don't have much sympathy when tdsb, ttc, etc complaint about underfunding because even if they might genuinely need more money, they can't even manage the money that they get. Giving them more will just be more waste being spent towards cushy unions.

And for all the union defenders, you do realize the union leaders are part of the so called "1%" and they are earning 6 digit salaries and all they do is bullying taxpayers. All they care about is their own pocket rather than genuinely care about the workers.
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Nov 15, 2004
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Japanese auto plants: No unions
North American auto plants: Unions

Which ones went bankrupt again? And which ones paid their employees (including Canadians) good wages while ensuring their companies didn't need bailouts to survive and give them an actual job?

I'm not even going to get into government unions. They have no incentive not to bleed the taxpayer for as much as possible since they don't have to worry about their employer competing in the market.
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Mar 29, 2006
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Piro21 wrote: Japanese auto plants: No unions
North American auto plants: Unions.
Walmart in Germany went out of business because it could not compete with 100%-unionized local retail.

What's your point, again?
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NorthYorker wrote: Walmart in Germany went out of business because it could not compete with 100%-unionized local retail.

What's your point, again?
Last time I looked we were discussing this country (Canada), not Germany. When that happens here, let me know.
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May 14, 2008
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kabza wrote: You know when my Uncle came to this country in the 70's one of the Big 3 recruited him right in the *****ing airport. He was a villager with very little education but was a hard worker and earned a decent liveable wage through the sweat of his brow and put his kids through university education. Now you have all these capitalist blood suckers busting up unions left and right and having people work for pennies while the few at the top rake it in.
The fair value in today's market for the labor of people with "very little education" is low. Unions exist to try to circumvent this law of the market. A bunch of people with minimal education gang up together and blackmail society into giving them wages that they are not qualified to receive. Ask the janitor if the wants an $80,000 "decent liveable wage" to enable him to put his kids through college. I'm sure he would, but that's not the market's problem.

Now, because unions are staffed and led by people with minimal education, they have difficulty understanding the realities of today's marketplace. Given a chance, they will suck the lifeblood out of their company. Look at how their demands contributed to the downfall of the auto manufacturers. North American auto manufacturers were not able to compete with the Japanese and Korean automakers (who do not have unions). They unions would rather see GM die than give up any of their benefits. I'm not surprised -- very poor strategic thinking. The parasite wants to kill the host, but can't figure out that once the host is dead, they are unlikely to get another similar position.

Companies are not angels. Given the chance, they will exploit workers. It is important to have some form of worker representation. But you have two extremes here: greedy corporations who want to work workers to the bone if given the chance, and greedy unions who want $100,000 job plus benefits for their members who "have very little education". To hell with both of them.

You don't see doctors forming unions, do you? Or chartered accountants? Why? Because if their employer treats them badly, they can leave and find some other employer who will pay them a decent wage. The people who need unions are those who don't deserve the wages that they are ganging up to demand. As a result of the union's unrealistic wage demands, Caterpillar closed up shop and left the country. Big union fail, there.

It doesn't matter anyway. The fate of private unions is sealed. You cannot fight against the markets. Even if you win and get your unrealistic demands, Chinese products will take away the market of your employer, and you'll eventually be out of a job. Or, like Caterpillar did, the employer will just close up shop and leave. Unions can't figure such a simple cause-and-effect relationship, though. Why? Because their membership ranks are filled with people with "very little education".

The only unions that will survive are the unions of public workers, and that's only because the government can't close up shop and leave. But the public is in no mood to put up with their games, and so their wings are slowly being clipped. Politicians are cutting back on the silly strikes by legislating back to work laws. I'm glad that I don't have to put up with strikes by workers who cannot understand that the days of the defined benefit pension plan are over. Why can't they understand that the days of the defined benefit pension plan are over? Because their membership ranks are filled with people who barely completed their high school education, but want $100,000 jobs with solid benefits and a defined benefit plan. Ridiculous. Parasites.
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Mar 29, 2006
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Piro21 wrote: Last time I looked we were discussing this country (Canada), not Germany.
Last time I looked, we were subjected to a lot of hot wind about how very idea of union is bad in principle, without any geographical localization.
Piro21 wrote: When that happens here, let me know.
In a sense, it did. Costco eradicated Sam's Club in this country. Costco Canada, technically, is not unionized, but it has something called "Costco Employee Agreement". Which is (surprise, surprise) mirroring union agreement.

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