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Welcome! Please Introduce Yourselves November 10, 2004 10:25 AM

Greetings all, welcome to this new group to discuss workers' rights all over the world. I am excited to bring this new group to C2C because although I have seen a few similar groups, I have not seen one like this. Please feel free to contribute and discuss topics related to the Group.

Many Blessings,

Ravyne ~host~

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On Board! November 10, 2004 10:35 AM

Love this group concept! I`ve invited my network of friends.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 November 10, 2004 10:37 AM

Donna thank you so very much for joining me here! I just couldn't stand it that there wasn't a group specifically for Workers' Rights anymore. Several come close, but none addressed it specifically. I look forward to hearing your opinions about this topic.

Many Blessings to you dearest one,


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THANKS~~~ November 10, 2004 10:41 AM

Rayvne~~~I appreciate being invited to this group. When I worked as a nurse in the ICU of a county hospital we were unionized. I will say straight up that I think the concepts and the majority of unions are wonderful and greatly needed to protect workers, I have also witnessed the terrible abuse of it as well. I am not flaming here at all so do not misunderstand me. I feel that when the concept of a union is truly followed it is the best safety net we can have in the workplace, it is probably the ONLY safety net that exists! Blessings! Ann ^i^  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 November 10, 2004 10:53 AM

Ann welcome dearest one! Yes, I do know that occassionally unions are abused and it IS the workers who suffer for these abuses. I also agree that Unions ARE the only safety net many workers have. Your opinions and experiences will be valuable to us all. Thanks so very much for joining, and PLEASE relate to us some of your stories.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Yes, Yes, Yes November 10, 2004 11:00 AM

More later!  I'm leaving on my book tour (see for schedule updates Bush Doubles Oil Price and other stories tomorrow so won't be online much but will be loving all of you.  This is exactly what my book is about, that and global warming, etc.  Here's a quote from the book:

Worse than a tax increase, the oil price increase hits you where it hurts, causing day-to-day life to be more costly. SUVs have proliferated since 2000 and national oil consumption has actually increased 16%, which means we pay more to drive the same distance. For someone in say, a position at a WalMart-style store for $320.00/week, with no benefits, they'd take home $56.00 per day. Driving to work would cost more than they can afford. And with limited or nonexistent public transportation, whose funding is increasingly cut each year, what other options exist?



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 November 10, 2004 11:10 AM

Paul thanks for joining darlin'! So glad to have you with us. Enjoy your book tour and I do look forward to your return. Uggghhhsssss! Wal-Mart makes me ill!  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Hello November 10, 2004 11:11 AM

I am now an entrepreneur so I like the crazy freedom of my life compared to working days, but 30 years ago I was a safety steward in the Graphic Arts Workers Union and my uncle was for many years the president of a Textile Workers local.

I love discussions about labor history.

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 November 10, 2004 11:13 AM

Rosetta thanks for joining! Congrats on being your own boss now! I know it must feel great. Please share your stories about being in a Union with us. I am sure there will be members who have never been in a union and would love to know what it is like.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
anonymous  November 10, 2004 11:39 AM

While I am not a union worker (I work non-profit), I think that worker's rights are so very important and we should all make an effort to respect and help maintain those rights.  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
 November 10, 2004 11:47 AM

Caitlyn welcome to the group! I am not a union worker either, but my father is. I grew up in the pro-union atmosphere and I have a lot of respect for workers world-wide. Thank you for joining us here. I look forward to getting to know you better and hearing your opinions.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Thanks for the Invitation November 10, 2004 2:18 PM

Even tho, I no longer work myself, I always support worker's rights.  Workers are the backbone of this country's economics, and often times consumers and CEO's forget that!

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 November 10, 2004 2:30 PM

Margaret welcome to the group! So glad to have you here. Yes, without us lowly peons (workers) where would Corporations and Consumers be? I think they need to remember that more!  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 November 10, 2004 2:33 PM

Hello. I think I can offer a unique perspective. My father was a Conservative Republican who was union all the way. He worked as a custodian in the Postal System before it was privatized. His job is no longer done by Postal Employees!

I've always been pro-union. I'm living in a so-called "Right to Work" state here in South Carolina. There are all sorts of negative editorials around Labor Day here.

Currently, I'm disabled and haven't worked in several years. My wife would literally kill for a union job with benefits and pension.

It's so sad that our kids don't know the real history of how people died for the few worker's rights we do have.

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What a great idea November 10, 2004 3:00 PM

for a new group ! and just when I happened to have more free time on my hands I'm here, but if anyone has a problem with "straight up/shot from the hip" expression of views/opinions/feelings, please say so now and I'll quiety take my leave Otherwise, I'm most happy to be here... thanks for the invite, Donna .  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
I'm sorry! November 10, 2004 3:01 PM

I meant "thanks Rayvne for the invite" .................. 'scuse my brain this a.m... it's under a stress attack .  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
good stuff November 10, 2004 3:22 PM

Hi all,  what a great idea Ravyne!!! 

hope your all having a good day.


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Donna November 10, 2004 3:37 PM

Invited me to join this group. I also believe lt is a great idea to address the rights of workers all over the world.

Most of my jobs while I was able to work were Union, and I support all Unions. I was a member of the Teamsters Union for years.

Then I went back to college got my degree in Social Services then worked for a private company who subcontracted with the Mass Dept. of Corrections.

I lived in Arizona for a time and that is a right to work state. Right to work isn't what some people think it is. When I have more time I can explain how the system worked in AZ. I cannot comment on other right to work states other than Texas.

Thank you for the invitation. I certainly need a break from all the political groups...

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Rank-File Unionist November 10, 2004 3:54 PM

Thanks a lot for the invite. I'm definately PRO-UNION. When I lived in Sweden I was member of a rank-file democratic union, SAC. Closest equivalent here in the states is I.W.W. - I strongly believe in international union solidarity. As globalization proceeds - the corporations wants us to compete in sellingour hands and minds to them. The best remedy against outsourcing is not that we lower the rights and benefits workers have fought for, as they ship manufacturing overseas to slavefactories. The best we can do is to support the workers overseas in building strong unions. Soren  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 November 10, 2004 4:04 PM

Rev Skull and welcome to the group. Actually, I kinda remember the days when a lot of conservative Republicans WERE union supporters. I really wonder how things got so turned around. Thanks for joining and I look forward to hearing more about you and your father's experiences. What exactly IS "Right to Work" anyway?

Kat and welcome! Your strong opinions are definitely needed and wanted here so don't you dare think about leaving us!

Colleen and welcome! Thanks so much for joining us. Looking forward to hearing your opinions.

Stephen and welcome! So glad you are here. Please share your experiences with us and yes, do explain this whole "Right to Work" thing, please.

Soren and welcome! I totally agree that the best way to help jobs leaving the US is to support Unions world-wide. Only then will these big corps stop outsourcing jobs. Looking forward to hearing about your Union experiences in Sweden!


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Union Yes November 10, 2004 4:50 PM

Hi Everybody,

I have worked out of local 26 I.B.E.W. for16 years and I support works rights.

If you are wondering what I.B.E.W. means it the

International Brotherhood of Electrical Works.


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 November 10, 2004 6:36 PM


I am a retired IBEW member with 32 years as a member of various IBEW locals, I aslo served as chairman for the 14th Congressional C.O.P.E. and President emeritis of the Streator Trades and Labor Council.

Thanks for starting this group.

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Can I November 10, 2004 6:43 PM

start a thread for us old laborites to tell some stories???

I can remember some FUN times when we had to deal with a difficult boss!

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so here i am, November 10, 2004 7:56 PM

thanx for having me in these probably exellent group...  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Rayvne, November 10, 2004 8:02 PM

Thanks This looks like a great group gathering .  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 November 11, 2004 4:42 AM

"Right to Work" is an oxymoron that means no unions. Workers supposedly don't have to "worry" about having to join a union to be able to work somewhere. Many traditionally union jobs aren't done by union members throughout the South. Actually, the only unions with any power are the NEA, AFSCME, and the UAW. 

Employees have no protection whatever against unwarranted dismissal. You can be fired for a bad hair day with no recourse in the courts. 

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Old laborite stories November 11, 2004 5:31 AM

Hi comrades, I'm a Scottish Socialist, thoroughly disgusted at 'New Labour' even though my brother's a member. (He still believes you can change a Party from the inside. Ever been inside a leopard? Or is it a chameleon ...?) Rosetta, I'd love to hear stories from die-hard activists! You're the kind of folk who give us a heritage. I look forward to reading more. Solidarily, SarahJane  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Rosetta... November 11, 2004 9:18 AM

Yes, please do start a thread and tell us some stories. This is the kind of thing I hoped for with this group. I want people who are not Union members, never been around Union members, etc. to know what it is like to deal with a Union. Only through personal stories can they gain that knowledge. Many thanks!  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Welcome! November 11, 2004 9:24 AM

Wild welcome to the group! I look forward to hearing from you about your Union group. Please share some stories with us.

Ned and welcome to the group also. 32 years of Union experience. You really make us Pro-Union supporters proud! Please share some of your experiences with us.

Carl so glad you've joined us. Please feel free to contribute in anyway you can.

SarahJane thanks for being here. You will definitely have to tell me more about the Scottish Socialist group and how it differs from the New Labour group. I am afraid I have limited knowledge on UK politics.

I am so very pleased to have you all here with me as we work towards awareness for the Pro-Union/Workers' Rights cause. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart!

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 November 11, 2004 9:27 AM

Rev Skull, OMG! that "Right to Work" thing sounds just horrid! Do you think there is anyway to get that law off the books? It is very anti-Workers' Rights and I cannot imagine why anyone would agree to such a law, well, except the big corporations, of course. But the working class has to see that it is a bad law for them.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
RIGHT TO WORK November 12, 2004 5:45 AM

Talk about a euphemism from Hell.

Florida has been A RIGHT TO WORK state for many years.

Working in Florida has always been oppressive and downright dangerous in factories, day labor, etc but its been even worse since Repugs got in the Whitehouse (the 1st time).  Should be even worse now since they got in for another four.

Its like management is on speed using everything short of a whip and a cattle prod to pressure workers into unrealistic and irrational quotas.  The workplace, from office to factory is living Hell in Florida.  Locked doors and locked parking lots are not because of sensitive information inside but because management is afraid of former employees they`ve abused.

Its actually close to Slave Labor Shops in third world countries. Intimidation, threats, bullying, degredation, overwork, multi-tasking overkill, no free speech, few or very short breaks (15 for lunch, 5 for smoking and restroom) required weekends, etc.

All of this prison-like atmosphere has psychological repercussions on peoples private lives. Insecurity in the workplace (blue collar and white collar) breeds domestic violence and crimes of desperation. Good for Floridas Prison Industry.

possibly theres a method to their madness....

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Right to work in Arizona November 12, 2004 8:45 AM

In Arizona one does have the right to work, however the employer can talk you into working for far less than the minimum wage laws, and if one needs the work bad enough you will take the job. When I first arrived in Arizona I worked in a small Tangelo and Grapefruit grove where I made more money than the average migrant fruit picker. Then I went to work for a guy who owned a couple of trailor parks and one run down roach ridden apartment building. I was working for $10.00 a day. This was in the ealry 80's and the minimum wage law I think was around $3.50 an hour. I did not have to pay for rent for taking care of the trailor park, but I did minor maintenance that is what I was paid the $10.00 a day for.

The Right To Work allows prosepective employers to get you to work for next to nothing, and they are worse than slave drivers.Although this does not apply to all employers. I quit the job working in the trailor park and got a job in what was my profession at that time. I worked in the Builidng Trades as a painter, and I was paid a very decent wage for the work I was doing. I was earning $8.50 an hr. painting. It was a good wage for working in Yuma, Arizona. I made less than that doing the same work in Abilene, Texas.

This has been my experience working in Right To Work States. Massachusetts is not a Right To Work State and the only jobs that do not have to pay minimum wage or more are restaurant workers, Ie, waiters and waitresses, because a good waiter or waitress can earn much more than the minimum wage with tips included.

BushCo is trying to push Right To Work laws in all 50 states so his big business buddies don't have to comply with at least the federal wage laws. It is his impression with Right To Work laws everyone who wants a job will have one, but not earn a decent wage that someone can actually live on. Bush isn't interested in whether you are working poor, just as long as you have a job so he can say, "See, everyone has a job, and I have created jobs like I promised I would." He cares less if we have to work for next to nothing, or whether we can afford to put food on our tables with higher prices due to the increase in oil prices. Bush doesn't get it. He does not understand that shipping goods by rail or truck; that if it costs more to transport those goods the cost of everyday products we use are going to cost more for us because the cost of shipping those goods are going to trickle down to the consumer. Six months ago I was paying $1.99 for a gallon of milk at one store where I do my regular shopping. That same gallon of milk now costs $3.99. I buy my milk at a convience store for $2.19 for the same brand of milk that you would buy in a supermarket. Big business is raising hell about a minimum wage of $7.50 an hr. over the next couple of years. I would like to see some of those fat cats live on what some of us have to live on. This is wha

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Cont. November 12, 2004 8:46 AM

what they would be doing. Crying like a bunch of wussy babies!

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There is minimum for restaurants November 12, 2004 9:09 AM

I have done that kind of work, and back when I was doing it the restaurant minimum was $2.40  and the restaurant had to show that your actual table-waiting time was sufficient to justify that, because counter workers and kitchen workers could not be paid this rate. It is traditional for the waitstaff in certain types of restaurants to do a certain amount of table set-up and prep, so this is important to keep the owners from "sliding" kitchen staff into a lower pay bracket.

Restaurants which require a percentage of tips be paid over to the kitchen still have to pay the kitchen staff full minimum.

"Right to Work" states have nothing to do with breaking minimum wage laws.

Those are laws, not union agreements. If you chose to work "under the table", then you chose to participate in breaking that minimum law, because it is a federal law and has nothing to do with states' policies regarding union membership.

The laws are only as strong as the citizens who insist they be enforced.

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The Democrats lost because November 12, 2004 9:15 AM

They keep trying to push lies in such a way that those of us who agree with the principles that motivate most rank-&-file democrats still have to vote against them.

Stephen, your post is an example. "Right to Work" laws weaken union activity, but do NOT include a right to ignore federal minimum wage laws.

What good are you doing to promote a lie? Those of us who do value strong union activity (and who do recognize that business is better for all concerned when workers are respected) cannot join with you to help correct the problem, because we are being asked to join with another propagandistic lie.

There is no strength in lies.

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Rosetta, November 12, 2004 10:28 AM

First, let me make clear that it's not that the "democrats lost" - it's that "America lost", and to imply that is the fault of the "democrats" is ridiculous. It's also why those you call losers are so deeply, and urgently concerned and upset. They are very anxcious and afraid for their safety, their health, their civil liberties, and for their country, and it's amazingly important to them that somehow people learn to look past their personal ideals and (lack of)morals - whatever they are based on - when they are contrary to our nations founding principles and ideals, our laws, and what is for the greater common good v. a minority's version of what's best for everyone. And, with all due respect, Rosetta, please spare us the "democrat's lies" rhetoric ... Democrats are saints compared to BushCo's and Rove's army of defamation warriors; but the election is over now, so let the spin be over too... all "nonBush supporters," the democrats too, of course, would appreciate it I'm sure. I agree with you Rosetta, that the workers must bear some of the responsibility – but from my view, just a tiny bit. Considering most people will do just about anything to put a little food on the kids plates, and that employers don't care who they screw to make a buck, there's little choice left to the worker - ya know? When someone is forced to choose from "nothing" and "something" - the choice is obvious if one is to survive. .  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
America Lost November 12, 2004 11:16 AM

And evidence is mounting that the vote was hijacked.


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 November 12, 2004 9:29 PM

Hello all thanks Rayvne for the invite.  I hope to learn alot and probably vent alot on labor issues.  I personally am not in a Union but my husband is a steward with the IBEW.  Nice to meet you all and hello to those I already do.


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 November 12, 2004 11:02 PM

Hi I''m Mike, I have been a union member since 1972. Was a union rep for 10 years until 1999. I have belonged to the I.B.E.W., I.T.U., Teamsters (west coast and the largest local in the Northwest/Rocky Mountain Region) I.W.W. .I still carry my Teamsters union card although the current shop I work for is non union. This is the only job I have held in my lifetime that was not a union shop. We have no benefits here, this is the worst place I have ever worked at. The employer/owner is a total dirtbag. I have tried to organize a union here but the turn over rate for employees here is very fast. Most are afraid to even talk about a union. Washington is a right to work state but fortunately there are a lot of union shops here on the west side of the Cascades. The I.T.U. was one of the oldest unions in the United States and most unions in amerika based their charters on the I.T.U.  Unions in amerika have given the workers here many benefits enjoyed by non union workers today. Althought  during the Regan era unions lost members due to union busting tactics, union's are now beginning to make a come back. We need to organized and unionized to combat the fascist multi-national corporations that infect this nation and the world.   [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Kat W November 13, 2004 8:07 AM

Why do you sugggest i called anyone "losers" as in suggesting they are less intelligent or valuable human beings" I referred to the act of having lost the election, which in and of itself is no reflection of the worth of the people who lost.

The habit of those like yourself who speak for the Democrats, of A. LYING (as in attributing a word i did not use) and also of B. Devaluing PEOPLE is why the Democrats lost.

Face it, Kat W, lying and attacking people is not the way to victory.

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Another thing, Kat W November 13, 2004 8:18 AM

Democrats and Unionists are not the same thing.

So please let's consider that your strange mythology of hatred for Republicans is more than a little off-base. it is bigotry and prejudice based on ignorance.

John Trippi is a leading Democratic strategist and he was responsible for howard Dean's early success. He was addressing an audience of internet professionals and he seemed to believe was talking only to Democrats (because like so many democrats, he probably assumed a human face could not possibly grace anyone else) and he said "we (Democrats) have some work to do on our demographics, because although we have less money overall than the Republicans, our donations come largely from a few large givers while the average Republican donation is quite small, but they have a larger base of financial supporters among small givers" (a para-phrase from memory. The interview is available online and I can find it in my files somewhere)

What does this tell everyone about who really represents the average person? And that includes the average union worker.

Many Republicans highly favor unions. We also favor co-ops and other forms of genuine democracy in self-government and the provision of the needs of society.

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Kat W November 13, 2004 8:23 AM

"...They are very anxcious and afraid for their safety, their health, their civil liberties, and for their country..."

Uh, WHOSE country????

You have defined all others as non-citizens, Kat W????

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Rosetta November 13, 2004 4:33 PM

Hey, don`t give Kat all the credit....what about MY hatred for Rethugs? ... I`m feeling left out here...  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Rosetta, November 13, 2004 7:15 PM

I suggested you "called anyone losers" because you said, "The Democrats lost. That statement qualifies democrats as "losers." But, thank you for clearing up for what you really meant, i.e. "the election" "The habit of those like yourself who speak for the Democrats, of A. LYING (as in attributing a word i did not use) and also of B. Devaluing PEOPLE is why the Democrats lost." I'm not sure at all what you're trying to say there but, it doesn't matter which word you used. What you said was, "They [democrats] keep trying to push lies..." To me, it's safe, and logical, to accept that if someone is accusing someone of "pushing lies" they are calling them a "liar" or saying they are "lying" I said nothing about Democrats being "unionists" or vice verse. My post to you had nothing whatever to do with "unions" or any political party's relationship/non-relationship with, or support/non-support of them. I do not "hate republicans" and I'm highly offended by that remark and consider it a gross insult. I'll truly appreciate it and thank you if you would refrain from putting dirty words in my posts. And if you want to find someone quilty of "bigotry and prejudice based on ignorance" with all due respect, Rosetta, look in the mirror. It is yourself who needs to be careful of rounding the base before you tag-up at third, not me.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Kat W November 13, 2004 9:09 PM

Since this is a board about labor unions, why post about Democrats without relating the post to labor unions? Why bother everyone with this off-topic obsession of yours? Labor unions exist around the world, and in many parts of the world Democrats and Republicans do not exist.The issues that concern labor unionists don't necessarily concern Democrats differently from anyone else.

We Americans really need to try to be a little less blind to reality beyond our own small part of the world and show a little respect.

You do accept the equality of others on thsi planet, don't you, Kat? I have to ask because you always post as if no one but your hyper-politicized Democratic friends are worthy of even the slightest bit of courtesy.

We also need to try to relate to the subject of a thread or a board, which in this case is labor unions and/or workers' rights, which are global and encompass more issues than strictly partisan ones.

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Donna and Kat November 13, 2004 9:14 PM

Don't John Trippi's remarks resonate with you at all? He seems to have noticed that the average working American, who these days probably works for a small company or an independent contractor within a larger company, is giving his wages to the Republican party.

Do either of you have anything to say about what one of your own most effective party leaders has noticed, here?

And to everyone else, I would venture to say that the rise of the temp agencies has had a lot to do with the decimation of the union movement in America.

has this been happening in other countries, as well?

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 November 14, 2004 10:21 AM

"The Democrats lost because Friday, 9:15 AM They keep trying to push lies in such a way that those of us who agree with the principles that motivate most rank-&-file democrats still have to vote against them." It was that portion of your post I responded to, and I didn't read anything there about unions. Courtesy? I didn't call you a "democrat hater" .  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Temp Agencies November 14, 2004 10:30 AM

I don`t even have to guess that Temp Agencies are owned and run by Republicans.

The Dems who ARE working for them don`t even know what being a Democrat is "supposed" to be all about. They`re Repugs in Dem clothing.

Also, I am not, nor have I ever been a Democrat.

I`m a registered GREEN.

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 November 14, 2004 10:36 AM

I don't hate Democrats. I simply refuse to back down when one of them starts posting outrageous statements such as the one above in which you characterize America as "belonging" to Democrats and nobody else.

This type of thinking is a precursor to genocide. It is hate-based. It has to be challenged for what it is, every single time it is expressed.

Unionism is about workers banding together and speaking up for themselves about their needs. The Democratic Party is all about disenfranchising the independent freedom of every so-called "minority" it touches. Democrats want workers to get food stamps.

Workers who are voting Republican in increasing numbers are not doing so because we support the Republican leadership. We are doing so because they recognize the lesser of two evils.

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Rosetta, November 15, 2004 5:33 PM

I apologize if I wasn't clear and caused you to think I was characterizing America as belonging to "the democrats" - but, I'm pretty sure I didn't say that - or infer it. If I did, it wasn't my intention. What I meant to convey was that the urgency all nonBush supporters feel, whether they are democrats, independents, greens, whatever, about the next four years isn't because the candidate they voted for "lost" an election. And to suggest otherwise, which I felt your post did, is trivializing the real cause for their urgency and concern. That is why I was compelled to respond to you as I did. Then you proceded to attack me accusing me of hating republicans, and reading all sorts of things into my words that weren't there. Unions... I guess I should tell you that I'm still in the learning stages on this subject, so my opinions or contributions about unionization will be limited - like my knowledge of them. But I have definite opinions about how workers should behave and be treated by their employers, and likewise. There is a gross imbalance in the American workplace, and it's not in our favor. I'd love to see that change, and am willing to do whatever I personally can to cause real change. .  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Kat November 15, 2004 6:14 PM

In order to cause real change in the workplace we have to cut off employers unlimited power over the employee.

Employers can keep mistreating and underpaying employees as long as they keep getting bailed out of financial straits by Wall Street Banks. They don`t even have to be concerned with making a profit when they know these banks will keep helping them.

These same banks encourage American Companies to move their factories and offices to other countries as well.

So if we really want to make a real effect on Companies who have little to no regard for employees, we have to move our money out of these banks and into local Community Banks and Credit Unions.  As it stands now, they are using our money to undermine workers rights.

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Minimum Wage November 15, 2004 8:54 PM

I must appologize for not paying attention to this thread.

The minimum wage act only covers workers, who are in the employ of a business that does interstate business. Many businesses, particularly restaurants, hospitals and other service industries employees would not come under the protection of the act.

Now the ties between Right to Work and Minimum Wage. There are 22 RTW states. Of these states, seven, have no Minimum wage and one is less then the federal. The rest are the same as the federal act.

The states that have no RTW law, eleven, have a higher state minimum wage than the Federal. One has less than federal and the rest are the same.

Personally, I pay my employees over the minimum wage of the state, and I also have a pension plan for them, after 1 year of service. They are 100% vested after that year and I pay their contributions.

Of the

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Ned November 15, 2004 9:36 PM

Sorry I overlooked that loophole in the minimum wage law. In many states it is hard for restaurants etc to argue that they do no business across state line, but in the larger states that is not so true.

Also, another big loophole in labor law is "domestic work" such as nannies and various home-assistants. They are really at the mercy of the trustworthiness of their individual employers.

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anonymous Introduction November 15, 2004 10:38 PM

Good afternoon all (in Australia at least).I've been a stout union supporter for many years, inlcuding a union representative for the FSU (Financial Services Union) and more recently a union representative for the RTBU (Rail, Tram and Bus Union).

I'm looking forward to sharing our thoughts and beliefs on where unions throughout the world should be heading to ensure their vailidity when it comes to moulding a more egalitarion society for all and sundry. 

Alas, in the last Australian elections, the Liberals (similar if not identical to the Republicans in America) won control of the Senate which will obviously mean adverse changes to the Indutsrial Relations Law here in Australia. It won't be easy for the unions for the next four years or possibly longer...but where there's solidarity there's always hope.

I look forward to our conversations.


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an Alaskan intro November 16, 2004 11:58 AM

Hi Folks, I am a third-generation Union worker.  My maternal grandfather was an engineer for the Union Pacific RR, my father a member of Intl. Union of Operating Engineers, and I am a retired firefighter and member of Intl. Assoc. of Firefighters.  This is a great idea for a group, and I am proud to be a member!  my contact info is in my profile, and my website is:  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Something I have noticed November 16, 2004 1:55 PM

Is that when I was active in unions and my relatives all were, also, we all worked in large industrial settings.

Now everything is decentralizing and big companies are becoming collections of small contractors.

I am wondering if the unions have simply dried up because of these changes, or if they are able to form themselves differently in order to represent people involved in such complex work relations?

Are you guys active in unions today that are able to do anything?

I think we are now in some kind of post-capitalist phase, quite different from the industrial capitalism of the 20th century.

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Rosetta November 16, 2004 4:05 PM

It seems to be a common practice for a company to stay in business for 5 years, close its doors and re open under another name manufactoring the exact same item, providing the exact same service etc. They will even hire back some of the same employees, but at a wage that is less than they made before.

Sub contracting, in the industrial world, is a large problem for manufactoring unions. A corporation contracts out services, like janatorial, building maintainance and even some of the manufacturing of their product, thus cutting payroll and benefits.

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How can unions November 16, 2004 4:12 PM

fight this? whatever contractsthey had with the closing company cannot be enforcedwith the new compnay. Very discouraging.

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Rosetta November 16, 2004 4:17 PM

It is very discouraging, but it usually doesn't happen in a closed shop union represented company.

One more thing on minimum wage. This is also the act that requires time and one half for work over 40 hrs. The loop hole is, a company can work you 5 hrs a day for seven days and not pay one dime in overtime, as long as they give you a day off in a 14 day period, which usually is the 14th day.

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The Crafts Guilds of centuries gone by ... November 18, 2004 5:48 PM

I think this is the way to go.  Unions are the only answer to the problems faced by labor, but they are dissappearing and they are not doing that good of a job anyway.

Crafts guilds would not rely on having a job to be a member, just an interest in the craft -- be it building cars or other goods.

Using open standards, where this piece fits into that piece, everywhere, would allow manufacturing on the family level but all products would easily work with all others.

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Workers' Rights Support Group November 21, 2004 8:43 PM

Hi, I am not in a union, but live in a right to work state,VA.  I work in a nursing home, I'm a CNA, and was injured 3 yrs. ago.  I'm still on light duty and have been asked to retire early as I can no longer perform all of my CNA duties.  There really should be a union for the nursing profession, we are over-worked, underpaid and not appreciated.  When you get hurt, you find you are all alone.  I perform many other duties and I am still an asset, but I am now going to have to leave a job I really love.  I'm only 45 years old and still have much to offer.  We really do need a safety net and someone to help us when we need help.  Thanks for listening.  This is a really good group to have.  Blessed Be~~Joanne

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anonymous We need more Unions in Florida November 27, 2004 5:02 PM

Florida is a right to work state...Florida is a tourism & service industry state...wages are terrible and employers take advantage of the employee at will you have no protection or representation...really sad...WE NEED WORKERS' RIGHTS...  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
 January 06, 2005 3:49 AM

   Hi, I am a union member from California, raised in a union family.  This is a dear subject to me.  There are a lot of reasons for it but I put a lot of the of the blame of why the unions are weak in this country on the union leadership.   Until recently they had discouraged organizing training and teaching members on union/labor/cival rights history, laws, princibles, struggles in this country let alone others.  Even now the level of effort into it is pathetic.  They felt it was alot easier to just send big checks to lobbiests.  Plus the continuous disputes and bickering going on between the trades.   [ send green star]
workers must unite April 19, 2005 10:43 PM

Workers can only unite if they have the right information and solidarity.  We know of many such examples.  But we don't know of all the failed attempts due to lack of solidarity, lack of democracy, or capitalist brainwashing.

Thanks for the group.

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Unions built America May 08, 2005 9:02 AM

Its true

Without Unions the US would probably be like China.  Everything that the worker has in the US was won for him or her by a Union.  I challenge any person alive to find one thing that a Union has not affected in a positive way.

Safety, Wages, Benifits, Healthcare, education, job security, whatever.

May God bless union workers and their families and the USA.

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Unions May 09, 2005 2:35 AM

I am proud to be a union man.  But unions have had their problems with corruption, discrimination, bigotry, fighting double-crossing between locals and trades.  When it come down to a choice between what is good for the state, community, environment or jobs for the local, far too many will lobby for the jobs for the local.  You can look at the number of union members that voted for George Bush, and unions that supported and endorsed him.  My international even invited GW to come speak to them and have pictures taken with him.  That kind of crap does not make me proud to be union.
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 March 25, 2006 1:34 PM

I don't think I have ever introduced myself. My name is Caitlin. I am for worker's rights(even though I don't really work yet.) Workers deserve the right to form a union, speak their mind, and protest unfair conditions.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Good Day August 06, 2006 12:15 AM

Hello, my name is Paul I started making prosthetics 25yrs ago I have seen so many workers (Nurse`s,Professionals,Labourers) loose what rights their parents and grandparents fought for, stolen from them because no one took a stand. I now have my own farm but still see how many people are being diregarded  for the BOTTOM LINE   $. Take care and keep up the pressure when we stand together we do make a difference.

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 August 07, 2006 10:35 PM

Union Yes!  I can certainly agree with Chuck that it makes me sick when certain unions forget their roots and soul and senses when they allow themselves to get corrupted or manipulated to support Bush and others who are the biggest enemies of working people.

However, it's pretty safe to say that only through unions do workers have any chance of protecting their interests.  Also, those examples of bad unions are in the minority and stand out because they are such oxymorons.  The great majority of unions support mostly progressive social issues and help provide a strong educational alternative to what working people would get without a collective voice.

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Welcome Caitlin, Paul and Charlie. August 23, 2006 1:59 PM

I am sorry I have been offline for over a year. 
A number of unions are not progressive and infact endorse the Republican ticket.  I believe that it has been about 40% of union members vote Republican.  Most unions fell in line with Clinton after they first said that they would never endorse a canadate that supports NAFTA.  Nafta has hurt Mexico, with high unemployment and poverty.  They shut down factories there for cheaper wages else where.  We need to educate members and non-members on the facts of life for working people.  The Right wing has a strong propaganda machine.  It is too easy to get sucked into buying it for that is all that you hear.  We need unity across trades and across borders.  It is a global economy, and they are willing to take job accross the ocean for a cheaper wage.  I hear that in China, in the cities, the wages or getting to be over $300 amonth.  So they are moving factories to go to country for cheaper workers.   China has unions that does not allow for elections of leaders.  Management can be the leaders and for sake of productivity safety and workers rights and interests are put on hold.
Most of the Democrat leaders are still not showing any backbone.  A Roosevelt democrat is looked upon as a radical.  I am afraid that things will get a whole lot worse before most will see that light.  [ send green star]
 August 23, 2006 5:06 PM

Amen, Brother Chuck!

One of the worst mistakes a union can make is become isolationist - in either industrial or international terms. The problem of cheap labour comes from weak union power in countries where "capitalism" and "communism" have become interchangeable excuses and abuses, where greed for money and power are the only driving forces.

I've been shocked and saddened to read apparently enlightened individuals claiming that the blame lies with those who are prepared to accept lower wages and worse conditions than Western workers. The blame always lies with those who set those wages and conditions, and dupe desperate people into believing that they will somehow benefit from selling themselves into global slavery.

In solidarity,
 [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Teamster Power September 29, 2006 7:49 AM

Hi everyone. My name is Dan and I've set up an unofficial page for the Teamsters. My goal is to help bring the union online and reach out to folks who may not know much about the benefits of unions.

I'm new here, and I hope you can offer lots of tips, advice and support as I bring our issues to the C2C. Thanks for providing this group.

In solidarity.

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Welcome Brother Dan September 29, 2006 1:27 PM

Welcome Brother Dan, to our group and Care2. I am glad you joined.
Thank you Sister SarahJane. I could not agree more. When your family is hungry, you might be surprised at what you will be willing to do to feed them. That becomes economic slavery. That is why we workers need solidarity and unions. When things get really bad there will be someone a little more hungry than you who will be glad to take your job for less so he can eat. If things got so bad in the USA that the average pay was $1.00 a day, but landscapers in Mexico can get $5.00 an hour. Do not doubt that there would be 10s of thousand of Americans crossing the border a day to work in Mexico.
We workers accross the world want the same sort of things.   Descent pay, to be able to provide for, educate and take care of our families.  I do not hold a grudge for anyone for wanting that.  I do not want someone exploiting them for their own corporate gain, to hold everone else down, and try to get us to turn on each other, in a race to the bottom.

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Hello! Brothers and Sisters August 31, 2007 4:48 PM

My name is Nilda, currently am serving my co-workers and our union as president of CSEA (California School Employees) Chapter 123. It is a real pleasure to be here and be able to share experiences, publish our union or chapters issues and proyects and get support for others like me who believe in the power of the workers associated in a union. I will invite any of you to contact me in case you need some assistance, since I do not believe I could visit this site very often since I have a busy schedule, however I would make extra minutes for you Our chapter started our contract negotiations already, so I will be busy scheduling meetings, providing information to our members, etc, plus my full time job. In top of everything I am taking classes on labor laws during weekends as a reinforcement to my Bachelor degree on BA and Human Resources. I might apply for a position as LR. Thank you for accepting me as a member.
Best Regards

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Peter a wobbly in Kanada October 18, 2007 6:28 PM

Hi I am a wobbly been working full time for a year and almost a half now. I am in my late forties never really worked full time before. I am an activist.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
Union Organizer March 05, 2008 9:05 PM

Hi everyone!  Glad to have found this group.  I'm a union organizer with SEIU Arizona Local #5; just started 4 weeks ago. It's hard work and there's a lot to learn, but it's something I am so passionate about that it doesn't really seem like work at all. I spent 20 years working for corporations big and small in the financial industry (none of them had unions), and got so fed up with employees lacking any voice that I became an activist.

I would love to hear about the experiences of this group, and particularly about the organizing process.

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