Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Look for the Union Label

Here it comes:

Gov. Mark Dayton on Tuesday ordered a vote among thousands of child care workers across Minnesota on whether they want to join a union.

"I'm just giving people who are for and people who are against [it] what I think is the fairest way, the American way, to resolve their differences, which is to hold an election and let the majority decide," said Dayton, a DFLer who has had union backing throughout his political career.

The state Bureau of Mediation Services plans to send out ballots by Dec. 6. Child care providers will have until Dec. 20 to return them. The election will be limited to providers whose customers receive state subsidies for child care.

I can see why the unions want this: more dues. It's also easy to see why Dayton wants this: unions spend their dues money on behalf of the DFL. It's very difficult to see any benefit for child care workers. Maybe someone can tell me what this gives child care workers, other than a paycheck that has less money in it.


Gino said...

it opens the door to retirement at 50, with full health care benefits and anual COLAs, courtesy of the government.

notice its only for state subsidised workers? a reason for that...

Anonymous said...

where to start:
1) Being in a union typically results in higher pay
2) Being in a union typically results in better benefits for union members. Union members enjoy pay rates up to 30 percent higher than non-union members.
3) The odds of having a guaranteed pension increases for union members by more than 50 percent.
4) Unions also make it harder for employers to terminate employees unfairly.
5) Union members have more job security than non-union members.
6) Being in a union leads to better working conditions because unions take steps to ensure safety measures by forcing employers to adhere to labor laws.
7) Union members have representation. They are entitled to a vote on union issues.

Want me to keep going? I understand that you don’t like unions, but you aren’t exactly in a field that benefits directly from Union representation. I am thinking your question should have been “Why wouldn’t workers in a field known for historically low compensation who perform a vital service want to be in a Union?” Perhaps this was a rhetorical question.

Gino, how are you doing? I hope you are feeling better. Tak care of yourself.


Mr. D said...


We are talking about day care providers, in many cases mom and pop operations. There is no way union representation will lead to increased wages unless these providers raise their rates. Will they be able to do that and maintain customers, many of whom are struggling to make the payments in the first place? Seriously?

We aren't talking about a shop floor, Rich. We are talking about, in many instances, individual proprietorships, in an industry where there is a lot of turnover and almost no one stays in one place long enough to even worry about pensions and the like.

The likely result of this move is higher costs for working people who need day care services and fewer choices to boot. The only players who would benefit, at least in the short term, are larger chain day care providers, who would absorb the added costs because they'd pick up the business that the mom and pops would no longer have. Is that consolidation a beneficial thing for the workers or the customers?

What Gino is hinting at is the likely endgame -- eventually the private sector day care business would largely disappear, leaving a vacuum that the public sector would be all too happy to fill.

Night Writer said...

If this passes, the result will be that any parents receiving state subsidies will only be able to use union daycare (i.e., the subsidies will only be available if the parent chooses a unionized "shop"). The key word here is "subsidies." The cost of daycare will go up in order to provide those fat union bennies, but the consumer - the parents - won't experience the cost because the subsidies will get larger (that's what union+government does). That means the higher costs will be born by the taxpayers (including those parents). Will the care be any better? That's doubtful. Will the daycare providers be better off? Let's see what their dues will be and what happens to their taxes and determine if they've gained anything.

Will the union fat cats and campaign slush funds be better off? Indubitably.

Gino said...

Rich: i'm doing much much better. thanks for asking. :)

Bike Bubba said...

I'll help Rich out here:

1. Being in a union has resulted in no pay for hundreds of thousands of UAW workers who ran GM into the ground.

2. Being in a union has resulted in no benefits for hundreds of thousands of former UAW and USW workers whose exorbitant demands for pay, perks, and opposition to technology ran their employers into the ground.

3. The odds for a guaranteed pension for these workers is zero.

4. By preventing terminations, they ensured the terminations for hundreds of thousands.

5. Rich, you have got to be kidding me about job security. Again, ask those fired UAW members about their job security.

6. All those fired UAW members have no job conditions.

The only thing Dayton is going to get here is another level of insane bureaucracy for these poor daycare providers--the kind of bureaucracy many of them were fleeing by going into daycare instead of working a 9 to 5 office or factory job.

Gino said...

i am union, and wouldnt have it any other way in my profession.

Mr. D said...

i am union, and wouldnt have it any other way in my profession.

Which makes perfect sense. Day care workers? Not so much.

Anonymous said...

Glad to her it. Keep mending!

I understand your point. I really do. And I find the Dayton's actions to be over the top. This should be done with provisions for the size of the workforce in individual shops taken into consideration.

Bike Bubba,
your atttempt to blame the natural ebb and flow of a global work force on Unions is laughable. I suppose no one is working on spinning jennies anymore in Lowell, Mass. because the textile industry was forced to flee the US due to Unions. If you want to undersatnd what happened to many of the jobs in America, you might want to take a look at any number of the Free Trade agreements we have enjoined over the last 30 years. I am not saying there is anything wrong with fair trade, however, there is nothing fair about most of these agreements. We simply cannot compete with third world countries unless we are ready to lower our living standards to those of said countries. Countries which have no OSHA, no EPA nor many of the other regulations that we have here to protect our workers.

You also said that high Union demands were the reason auto manufaturing jobs left here. That is absurd. Look at the cost of any vehicle made 100% outside the United States and tell me how much cheaper you can buy it. I’m sure the savings on cost of production are significant on a car produced in Mexico, but they are still highly priced vehicles. The reason employers take jobs overseas is greed, which isn't necessarilly a bad thing. But don't lay the blame on Unions. If you can pay folks 10 dollars a day in China, or Peru or Thailand, to do something that would cost 150 a day in New York, or 90 a day in are probably going overseas in either case (and BTW, the workers in thise countries are organizing pretty rapidly. I was just talking to a relative of mine in Bolivia who owns a textile mill, and he sounded like an evil character out of an Emile Zola novel the minute the word Union came up.) The savings over using US workers, whether they are Unionized or not, is just too great...just too tempting.

I might also add that if it were not for Unions, there would, more than likely, be no minimum wage, no employee covered health care, no overtime pay, no vacation, no paid lunch periods, no break periods, no workmen’s compensation, no COLA, no retirement plans nor many of the other benefits now available for many hourly workers in this country. And many in our generation would not have been able to go to college and move into white collar jobs, or work good paying union jobs and afford to put their children through College. Those things were not given to us. They were fought for by our Unions, and those who walked picket lines across this country. I, personally, am thankful for all the benefits every worker has today thanks to the drive and determination of the Union workers who came before me.

Before you start talking about how much Unions have hurt the job market, maybe they should look at the amenities we all enjoy that are at least partially due to the existence of Unions. I have a lot of friends like Gino who are Union tradesmen, cops, firemen and municipal workers. Many of them have taken pay cuts, been laid off and had their jobs farmed out. I don't know one of them who hates unions.


Gino said...

I have a lot of friends like Gino who are Union tradesmen, cops, firemen and municipal workers.

now you're insulting me. i work for market wages, against competition that is just down the street as well as overseas.

i face constant downward pressure from forces i cannot control, others i can only hope to influence,...
and a government that works against me with nearly every bit of legislation that is passed, and every handout they give to favored classes, including monopoly unions.

i cannot choose, through financial contributions, who sits across the negotiating table from me... unless i want to go to prison.

i cannot demand a raise in profits unless i first increase my value output.
I dont COLAs. if anything, and 2%/yr the past 10, i've been recieving the opposite.

my pension, that i pay for, doesnt automatically get COLAs either.

i am honest union, i produce actual and tangible wealth, the way unions were intended to operate.
it is this wealth that we generated, and negotiated our fair share of, that built the middle class in this country.

i'm not part this organised theft/ wealth transfer ring that constitutes the majority of the AFL-CIO today.

Mr. D said...

i cannot choose, through financial contributions, who sits across the negotiating table from me... unless i want to go to prison.

No, that's a privilege reserved by public sector unions only*. And it's why Scott Walker has been under unrelenting attack for the last 10 months.

*And the UAW, at least until the subsidies end.

Anonymous said...

Of the groups I mentioned: Union tradesmen, cops, firemen and municipal workers, which do you find the comparison insulting? I am pretty certain they all think of themselves as professionals, and worthy of their pay. Especially the trades guys. And the trades pay for their own pensions. Just wondering.


Gino said...

the trades guys are cool, mostly. but they arent exactly free market in CA.
the various construction companies have to compete among themselves, but they only work they mostly get comes from taxpayer funded contracts.

its the law here: all taxpayer funded projects have to pay prevailing(union) wages.
by default, only union companies may bid for them ( with some exceptions). so, yeah, they are subsidised as well.
(i have lots of family who belong to the trades)

Bike Bubba said...

Um, Rich, take a look at the share of workers who are unionized today vs. 30 years ago and try to defend that nonsense you spread. Apart from government workers and those who have been bailed out by government, like the UAW, unions are on life support, and rightfully so. It's compulsion that ought to have no place in a free society.