Friday, December 14, 2007

LOOK for the Union Label

So always look for the union label,it says
we're able to make it in the U.S.A.!

That was the song on television during the 70's
but unions has already put a sour taste in my mouth
by that time.

Now for the disclaimer..... not all unions are bad. And
a lot of them help a great amount of people.Especially
during the days of sweat shops and etc. During the
30', 40's and 50's It just wasn't true in my life time,
three times, three different states.

In 1960's the machinist union went out on strike in
San Diego, California. My husband was working for
the ship yards. It was the third week, that we finally
got some help. They were giving $25 a week for the men.
When rent was $50, utilities were running about $25 all
together, that gave us $25 to buy food for the 5 of us.
2 adults and 3 children. Talk about barely getting by.
It didn't give anything for extra's like car payments
(thankfully ours were paid for)and etc.for the families.

Yet, as I watched the news nightly waiting for word to
see if the union was getting closer to settling, I saw them
at the meetings. Sitting around the table. Fancy tables.
With drinks (not coffee and water) and fancy dinners, and
at one of the fancy big motels in Mission Valley.

Yes, the union boys were sitting there, meeting, eating
and their dinners cost more than we were getting for the
whole week. The men were ready to go back to work
after 3 weeks. Some were losing their cars, and homes.
But the union bosses said no. Stay tough... we will make
it. It lasted 10 weeks. We ate a lot of oatmeal and pasta,
as it was cheap and went the farest.
We never did make it up, the money lost for that strike.
As when we got close, it was time to strike again. We
left and moved to Washington state.
Strike One..

In late 1970's my second husband was working for a
meat packing company. After about a year, he was the
only mechanic they had. They fired one, and the other
left. He worked 6 days a week, 12 hours a day to keep
the trucks on the road. Then they brought in a boss and
one worker to help out, after 2 months. The new boss,
didn't know anything about mechanizing. He ordered parts
and etc, and kept the trucks scheduled for their repairs.

One day after working on a truck, the boss wanted it to go out.
My husband told him no, the brakes were not good enough.
He overruled. My husband told the owner, that the truck
could not go out as it was a safety issue. The truck stayed.
Then there was an incident over the wrong part. The boss
wrote my husband up, as he should have known the part
was wrong. It was the wrong part in the right box. My
husband was the one who found out it was wrong because
it wouldn't fit. But he was still written up.

My husband belong to the Teamster Union. He went to
Yakima to the big district office. He was listen to and then
was told, "You see, this would be a sticky situation for us."
We would have to have another mechanic at another shop
test you (my husband had 32 years of experience) and then
that would pit one shop against another. And that is not a
good thing for the union, So my advice to you is to go back
to your job, and just try to make the best of it, after all it is
the first time you have gotten written up. When my husband
told them that he pays them monthly dues to stand up for him,
he was told, "well... I am sorry but there isn't anything we can do."
He went back, the boss was smudge because nothing was going
to be done. Being my husband had a great working record with
this company and kept it going by himself for 2 months, the owner
told him, it would probably be best that he laid my husband off,
so he could get unemployment, before it got ugly with the boss.
The boss who had worked there for 2 months. My husband took it.
Strike two...

In Idaho, the right to work state. But the King worked for the
school district which has one of the strongest unions there is.
The teachers union, which mechanic can join. But they don't
really do anything for them, as they for the teachers primary. But
after having a horrible problem with his supervisor, he talked to
the union. While they tried to help out some what, they were
pretty toothless, as the supervisor was union too. Even though
this employee was a problem to several parts of the shop, he
still didn't have anything done to him. When the King saw the
writing on the wall, he retired at 55. Which I guess you could
say that was provided by the union... as the benefits are in
force by the union.
But Strike three anyway.

So you see, I don't care for unions. I have seen in the past,
that unions have kept bad employee, because they were
union members. I have seen where people had to pay
hundreds of dollars to join the union and pay a monthly
dues. Which amounts to paying to keep your job. No dues,
no job. So unions are not high on my list.

I know, I know, you are going to tell me that the unions
were wonderful for you. They did marvelous things. And
I say, I am happy for you..... but it doesn't always turn out
that way.

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