Unions were good for the American worker, but like the company owners, they also got greedy for money and power. The worker suffered the consequences when unions became havens for socialistic dictators call union bosses. Had unions struck a balance and maintained a healthy well paying work environment, while assuring the company remained profitable, we'd live in a much different world today. I'm not barking up a tree either, my dad died a member of the UAW.
I need to vent a little
Posted April 11, 2015 - 08:29 AM
Many of you guys know me rather well by now so I won't elaborate too deeply. I gave up on manufacturing, my original trade I studied for metal fab & welding had turned into a joke, granted I was able to use the skills for jobs but as the economy continues to sink into the separation of rich and poor it has become the ideal wet dream. At least I have a long work history I can use to find jobs, young adults younger then me walk a even narrower corridor, so narrow that they have no choice, at all. So many with masters degrees are scared and desperate with $ 12,000.00 loans making for easy pray, with so many to chose from it makes for nasty high stress work environment with no communication between employees at all. I when back to the orchard job to drop off a few things and saw two very scared little girls. The look they gave me will stay with me for a long time. They survived the winter but barely.
I will not be able to retire any time soon, maybe never !, there is very little hope for us young adults.
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Posted April 11, 2015 - 09:18 AM
I don't blame you for venting. I have heard this often from many people I know. I can't blame it on a NY thing exclusively, but that's not a bad start. The economy seems to dictate everything. Companies want maximum profit. That's the way it is supposed to be. Along the way, the workers need to make a basic living and hopefully a bit more. As other posters have stated, through history, the middle class has risen. It seems under attack now, as things are outsourced, operations moved to another country, or the company just folds.
More and more people are saying it's lucky just to have a job. People want the feeling of security. I think that feeling has diminished in recent years. Private industry was always a pretty good way to make good money. An acquaintance of mine was a leader in a union at a factory. The factory paid great wages. It made a product that was needed across many brands in the industry. He then went on to tell me how people used the contract rules to make more and more money. A day shift person comes in early a few hours, but makes the shift differential bonus pay not only for the early hours, but all through the day shift. That company is no longer. Did the workers drive that company into the ground? I don't think either side won. A close friend of mine works for a global company. All they care about is profit. Period. People from different countries complain about how the "Americans"do business. A relative worked at a large brewery. The PHd's felt they were untouchable, a valued part of the process. The plant manager and security came up to them, tapped them on the shoulder, collected their id badges and were shown the door, just like everyone else.
My doctor thinks this is the first generation that will not do as well as their parents. He plans to let his grown children live with him as long as is needed to help them. I tend to agree with him. Mine have moved out, but are likely only a few weeks pay from having to come home if they were to lose a job. Getting fired doesn't mean the same thing either. It just means you go to another place until they down size. No one wants to get paid less for the same job.
I retired. I work part time in the same field making 1/3 the wages I used to. I got a promotion in "title only". More work, no extra pay. I have my pension and post retirement benefits. I'm working to kill time until my fiance can retire. People ask, why do you still work. I like what I do. It burns me to work for cheap, but I make the best of it. I feel fortunate I don't have to earn my living from it.
I'm glad you vented. It seems like I did too.
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Posted April 11, 2015 - 10:04 AM
This all started with NAFTA and CAFTA ! As far as not seeing it coming, our government did and it was good for them as they are the ones that made the deal that would fit their needs, then and now. Now I could lay the blame on all of our government but that would be wrong. We have aided in this by becoming complacent in the way we are led to picking our leaders. Well .... getting to far to the political side. In 2009 the company I worked for was in it's 3rd generation of owners. It had started as a small hardware and then evolved to a Hardware, Heating / stove retailer and then to a HVAC supplier for the middle and upper half of the state with two stores and 17 employees. Until 2005 when the original owner passed away and his son took over we were getting yearly if not half yearly bonuses. After the switch and the purchase of a boat and a divorce and some dealings that were not geared towards the business and employees. It was all about the dollar and profit for the owner. Employees were let go laid off and more work was put on those that were left. The old way of making things in house was replaced by buying them from out side because it was cheaper. 2009 was the end. 114 years of tradition gone in one phone call....... " Yup we are closing both stores on Friday and you might as well sign up for unemployment today while you are at work ..... sorry " ! It was and is still every where. Pride in work or service has fallen to an all time American low. Respect for authority and pride in a job well done has gone. I've tried to raise my children to expect nothing but always give the best they can when working. All three are doing well but one is still underemployed for his ability and desire to work and his pride in doing so.
The economy is strong they say. I believe it is a service economy and the manufacturing economy of our country is almost nil because it is the way it is wanted. It's more about ME at the top than it is about us as a whole.
Hang in there and I hope you can weather this through the bad times to get to a good time where you feel comfortable with what you are doing and for who you are doing it. Good luck. Roger
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Posted April 11, 2015 - 10:10 AM
I'm trying to do it the old fashoned way. My son lives at home and when he gets a job, he will be able to save up for the future. Hopefully, he will get the house when we are gone. I think the house and his education are the best major things we can do for him. Most of the younger guys that I know that are doing well are working a regular job and have a side business. That was common in the 50s and 60s too. Good Luck, Rick
BTW I have always had a problem with people trying to get me to work for less than I am worth. I just refuse. From my forty years of experience, I know that I am better than most of the other Civil Engineers. I've seen it many times where the employer or customer then goes to a cheaper engineer and ends up with a SNAFU project that ended up costing alot more. In one case they ignored the building regulations and couldn't occupy the building for over a year after it was finished. They got the other guy for $2400 less but it cost them over $10,000 extra. Short term savings, long term fiasco. That is what many people and companies do now.
Edited by boyscout862, April 11, 2015 - 10:13 AM.
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Posted April 11, 2015 - 11:55 AM
I work GM, good wages for me. BUT, everyday less jobs with more cuts, more temporary emplyees that stay for years at the low wages, hired even get way lower now to start. Much work is out of the house by others with no unions. I have 30 yrs and could get out, yet can't yet and afraid with contract year this fall might end up with less wage or take away retirements or what-ever. Scary! They work the heck out of the guys now and older ones can't handle it, new guys don't work hard or care, they drop out like flys now, and don't care to work. Unions gave workers what they have had for years, but is now letting stuff go to less just to keep everyone working, is sad there. Downsizing and selling to foreigners or moving over-seas seems to be the trend. Wait till some big war and we won't have capacity to build the machines needed and the others WILL have that. We have many trades that aren't being pushed anymore, the skills will be gone. China keeps buying or stealing all your product ideas and techniques and will be biggest producers in future.
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Posted April 11, 2015 - 02:58 PM
All the problems just laid out can be traced to one source, no leadership at the top. We have been drifting deeper into this leadership void since about 1989.
I'd say the void started in 1948 when Truman was afraid to fire Mac Arthur. It sure has gotten worse since 1981. Good Luck, Rick
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