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Old 10-02-2001, 12:23 PM   #1
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I'm a scab

I'm at work right now. My co-workers (from my union and another) are outside picketing right now. It sucks. Any thoughts?
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Old 10-02-2001, 12:29 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally posted by Spiral_Staircase:
I'm at work right now. My co-workers (from my union and another) are outside picketing right now. It sucks. Any thoughts?
Good for you. You have the strength to stand against the tide. Only you know what you need to do, and I'm glad you found the courage to do so.
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Old 10-02-2001, 12:39 PM   #3
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Well, you have to do what you have to do, but I think you should picket along with your union. I'm sure you have reaped in the benefits the union has given you, but you don't want to work for it when such action is required?

Like I said, I won't judge, because I don't know the full situation. Good luck with your decision.

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 10-02-2001, 12:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon:
Well, you have to do what you have to do, but I think you should picket along with your union. I'm sure you have reaped in the benefits the union has given you, but you don't want to work for it when such action is required?
Melon
Melon, in many jobs, the union is forced upon the worker, whether the employee wants to eb a part or not. Spiral may be in that situation. Plus, it's easy to say he should picket if you're not in the situation. However, if he's not working, where's his money for food coming from? A man has to eat, and if he has a family, he has to feed his family. Money doesn't grow on a tree in Spiral's backyard.
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Old 10-02-2001, 01:38 PM   #5
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thanks for the comments guys. 80's, I gotta get one of those trees!
I just bought a house a few months ago, and it's hard to imagine how we'd get by if I wasn't working, but that's not my main reason for crossing the picket line.
This was a really hard decision for me to make, and unfortunately this is a really devisive issue. I'm actually not a union member. I'm represented by the union, but I'm a "non-member". Basically, I have a union job, but I didn't join the union. But because the union represents me, they have a right to charge me for the services they provide. They set that amount, and I pay it every month. I feel like I've fufilled my obligation to them, so I don't feel obliged to join them in their strike.
It's all a very uncomfortable situation. I take a lot of flack from the picketers when I drive in in the morning, and I'm sure it will be bad when they finally do come back to work. I've lost respect for a lot of people, based on the way they are acting out on the picket line: screaming at people, making faces, making threats. It's ridiculous. But the people I have the least respect for are the ones who are striking, but are sitting at home, afraid to come out and picket. At least the people in front our office are standing up and making a statement about what they want to change. But there are dozens who didn't have the backbone to cross the picket line or join it. So they're hiding out at home.

It's just a nasty situation all-around.
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Old 10-02-2001, 01:50 PM   #6
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Okay, I may be in the minority, but here is my opinion.
I work in the airline industry, with many friends that work for American, Delta, and United. These workers have no union contract, and when the axe falls on their jobs, they do not have the right to "bump" into other jobs that they are qualified for. If you heard "W"'s speech the other day, addressing the airline industry, there were workers there that have to move at their own expense, or lose their jobs. Do you think that that is fair, when other workers have less seniority? I do not. I personally know of American agents that either have to move to either Tucson or Dallas to keep their job, while other workers with only a year with the company, keep their job, without having to move.
These folks do not have a union that represents them, they have counted on the kindness of their employer. But where does that get them?
The airline I work for, is ALL union (except management, but thats another story) and if I was furloughed from my current position, I would be able to bump into the same classification in the same city I live in. If I had enough seniority, or I could move at company expense.
The reason unions are there in the first place was because the workers voted the union in for representation. Are you a dues paying union member? If you are, you have a responsibility to stand up for the contract that they worked for.
Stand up for your rights.

80su2isbest, frequently when a job is offered to a prospective employee, union membership is required. If you don't want to belong to a union, then don't work for that company.
The only way to make things better is to fight for them.
**getting ready with fire retardant shields**
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Old 10-02-2001, 02:07 PM   #7
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beardog, as I stated above, I'm not a dues paying union member. I'm a "fair-share" paying "non-member".
I agree that unions serve a purpose and are needed in some industries and in some jobs (not to the extent they were needed 100 years ago, but still needed), particularly in blue-collar jobs where workers may not earn enough to pay for legal representation when they need it. But the union that represents me is white-collar, most of the members are college-educated, and the average salary is over $40,000.

Anyway, I think you just have a different view of how employers should treat their employees than I do. Maybe it's because I'm just a young whipper-snapper (26), but I don't think seniority should count for as much as it does in unions. I want my employer to make a decision about me based on my skills and value to the organization, not on how long I've been able to hold onto a job there. I guess it's just a different view of how things ought to be run. The point you brought up about being able to "bump" into another position is, to you, an argument for unions. For me, it's an argument against them. What about the person who is more qualified, but has less seniority? They just get bumped out. That doesn't seem right to me. Oh well.

I definitely agree with your last statement (about jobs that require union membership). When I took this job, I knew I could end up in this situation. Again, I'm not a union member, but I knew that if the union struck, I would be in a bad place.

-Spiral
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Old 10-02-2001, 02:21 PM   #8
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Well, I do think that is a fairly legitimate gripe about seniority, one that I fear I will grudgingly have to deal with when I have to enter the work world.

However, I can see it from the flip side, and just imagine being a senior worker in one of these places. If you get fired after 20-25 years in one place, where do you go? You're screwed out of retirement, and no one wants to hire someone "old." So I guess I can understand both sides of the coin here.

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 10-03-2001, 03:19 AM   #9
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Yours is not a easy proposition, your co-workers are wrong to call names, make faces, or whatever to make your life more difficult.
I also agree that the ones that strike, but stay at home are weasels.
A few points I want to clarify though....even those that are white collar, had made a decision to group together and become part of a union. You had the choice, some employers will even terminate those after a period of time if they do not join them....thats a closed shop; you must work in an open shop. Since you pay dues, that still go to the union, I cannot understand why you don't join the union? Is it because you would be expected to strike when and if they called a strike? Some people I have spoken to have an aversion to unions and don't believe in them.

Since you raised the age issue, there are some pluses to a company when age/seniority/merit come in play. Usually the older employee has more experience. Case in point, when Boeing offered an early out program, they lost a lot of their older experienced employees, that they found out in a short while that they needed them back. So after paying them to leave, they were forced to hire them back.
You have an unenviable position, I know I have been exactly where you are now.
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