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When Your Boss Asks You to Write Your Congressmen

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by unionguy, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. unionguy

    unionguy Portland Active Member

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    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_health_insurers_lobbying

    When your employer "asks" you to contact your representatives about an issue, it is wrong. There is way too much coercion, both direct and indirect, here. Would we let our corporations tell people who they vote for too? This is wrong, un-American, and deprives people of an essential freedom.

    Whenever your boss "asks" you to do something, its not simply an ask.
     
  2. claypigeon

    claypigeon Salem Member

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    I agree that it could be seen that way. On the other hand the employers would have no way of knowing if they did or did not. You could say the Employer is looking out for the best interest of the employee. If these reforms go through they could lose thier jobs. It is not always a case of "whats good for the company is good for the emoployee" but here I think it is.
     
  3. CEF1959

    CEF1959 Willamette Valley, Oregon New Member

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    Sorry, I'm with unionguy. There is no "other hand."

    It's bad enough that health care companies, corporate hospitals, and big insurance companies use their profits to twist the discussion to cajole simple-minded people into supporting a continued gravy train of corporate profits. If you think these companies have your interests at stake, you haven't read their annual reports: it's all about maximizing profit for shareholders.

    It's unconscionable for them to coerce their employees to support that position. For many such employees, they either are, or will be, victims of a corporate-focused health care system.

    Forcing them to choose between their job and a horrible corporate-driven health care system is just not right.
     
  4. Monkeyman

    Monkeyman Portland, OR Member

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    What's the big deal? The unions tell their people how to vote, and it's not "ask". I remember my union buddies being forced to buy fundraising tickets they couldn't afford and gamble with the local's house bookie. Unions used to bomb out bubblegums who didn't buy their booze from the right distributor.

    Given your forum name, Unionguy, your complaint is quite ironic.

    Sauce for the goose. . .
     
  5. claypigeon

    claypigeon Salem Member

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    I guess people forget that if it wasn't for these big bad evil corporations millions of people would be out of work. It is a very small percentage of the population who choose to be in control of their own employment. No they obviously are not solely concerned for the welfare of the employees. But if the company goes down the employees will have no work. It seems it may be good for them both to appose the health care reform as presented.
     
  6. unionguy

    unionguy Portland Active Member

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    In the union I'm in, the union doesnt' control your job...unlike how your boss does. So, I think the power of the "ask" is very different. Certainly, I don't advocate violence and never saw it in my union. Finally, do you really think unions have as much power as corporations do? Big biz already spends 14 dollars for ever 1 the unions do during presidential elections...so, i'm worried about them expanding their power into directly getting their employees to write/call congress etc.

    CEF--good point, but it is a slippery slope and the employer will know who worked with the 'advocacy specialists' and who didn't.
     
  7. claypigeon

    claypigeon Salem Member

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    The power of the union is immense. And when the union is the one who is supposed to step up and protect you when your employer is doing you wrong, don't you think people might think twice about going against the request of the union? Seems like its kinda the same thing here.
     
  8. Monkeyman

    Monkeyman Portland, OR Member

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    You are very fortunate to be in a union that doesn't require a "fee" to the union secretary to even get on the books. Or a mandatory contribution of union dues to the Union's PAC.

    I am not defending corporations who treat their employees poorly. But you should look into the conditions some of your union brethren suffer under back east. Not pretty, not fair, not beneficent.

    And as far as your spending numbers go, corporations are spending their own money. Unions are spending yours, and you can't opt out. How much is being spent is not the point, though I agree there is too much money in politics. There would be no need for lobbyists if the government didn't have so much power, and wield it so selectively.

    I don't blame corporations for trying to fight fire with fire. Special interests have destroyed our political system, and more government (like Obamacare, or Unioncare. . . oh wait, Union plans are exempt from Obama's confiscation of the insurance industry) is NOT the answer. Nor is confiscation of wealth by the same government made up of people who don't pay taxes and hide their wealth like Charley Rangel, the Great Champion of the Little Guy.
     
  9. CEF1959

    CEF1959 Willamette Valley, Oregon New Member

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    The oppression of workers by corporate America vs. oppression of workers by unions? If you think they're even on the same page, the media campaigns of corporate American have been very effective indeed. At least on you.

    Ooops. Gotta make it gun related or move it to Off Topic. So:

    If Jimmy Hoffa and John D. Rockefeller had a pistol duel at 10 paces, who would win? And if it was Hoffa, could I have Standard Oil? If Rockefeller, could I get a pension fund to play with?

    BTW, have you seen Jimmy Hoffa's body recently? It was buried in my backyard, but now it's gone.
     
  10. torpedoman

    torpedoman land of corrupt politicians Member

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    If you happen to work at a coal mine and your boss asks you to contact your reps about the cap and trade issue, you would be a fool not to in fact if he has to ask you arent the sharpest knife in the drawer.
     
  11. Monkeyman

    Monkeyman Portland, OR Member

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    CEF, not at all what I was saying. Both sides use rotten tactics, that's all.


    Speaking of coal mines, and guns, I like this.



    "T'ain't no guns allowed at t'dinner table!"
     
  12. el gringo loco

    el gringo loco PDX Member

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    I guess people forget that if it wasn't for the big bad unions and the labor movement, people would have the opportunity to work for $1/hour, six days a week 12 hours a day, with no overtime. People would still get the opportunity to get fired when they were sick,never get a vacation day, work in unsafe conditions, and live by the whims of their employer. People would still have the unique family bonding experience of laboring day in and day out beside their eight year old in the same factory.

    Yes, there are examples of union corruption, but unions have done more for all workers (union and nonunion) than most people realize. There needs to be a balance between corporate interests ( they need to make a profit) and the interests of the worker. However, the worker's interests have taken a backseat to corporate greed for decades.

    There are places to work, without unions, where employees are treated fairly. Those companies have good working conditions largely because of legislation and demands placed on employers, over decades, by organized labor.

    And.....the relationship dynamic between employer to employee is very different than union to member.
     
  13. Monkeyman

    Monkeyman Portland, OR Member

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    And please, let's not forget that a large number of profitable businesses in this country are run by fair and compassionate people who treat their employess like family because it's the right thing to do. And smart; good wages and benefits, and fair rewards for hard work, attract top people who know a good thing when they have it.

    I weary of hearing "evil greedy corporate" over and over and over. The corrupt immoral businessmen and women in this country are far outnumbered by decent human beings who've largely earned every penny of their wealth.

    Something our politicians know nothing about.
     
  14. claypigeon

    claypigeon Salem Member

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    That is where I am coming from. I worked for a large commercial contrator that was non union. Good people who respected their employees. I have changed proffesions or I would still be working for that company. Some people blindly follow their union thinking they are only working for them. Just like the politicians.
     
  15. simpleguy

    simpleguy Clackamas Active Member

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    I agree. Most corps. and employers are not big, bad, evil companies. I applaud employers asking their employees to get involved.

    I had a teacher in high school, over 20yrs. ago, he said the biggest problem in America was "Apathy"......or more simply, not caring enough about what is going on around you to get involved, ask questions and be part of the debate. He was right and it's only gotten worse.

    Having an employer that encourages you to get involved and call your representatives(the guys that often forget they work for us......) is a good thing. It doesn't mean we need to "toe the company line".
     
  16. probasco

    probasco abeaversboro Member

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    the reason i dropped out of the union i was in was due to them telling me what to do, how to vote and basically being dictators. its a slippery slope "asking" or telling employees what to do other than their jobs. not only are you subject to harrassment lawsuits but publicity could be very bad.
     
  17. slingshot1943

    slingshot1943 salem or Well-Known Member

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    I was 30 yr in the union and they never gave a damn about my freedom other than freedom to join a unoin. Never wanted to trade my frreedom for a mediocre job.
     
  18. Chee-to

    Chee-to Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Well I'm a retired union carpenter, only spent 12 years in the union before I started my own company. Don't tell me the union doesn't "Suggest" how to vote in the local and national elections, why do you think the Libs cater to them, they're a HUGE voting block ??. I had a union shop for almost 10 years, it was the only way I could bid commercial work, 20 years ago it cost me $68 per hour to put one carpenter in the field with the wage/benefit package. I ran a 20 man crew, you do the math, and who do you think that cost was passed on to ? The union go's on strike everything stops they have eminence power, and the top unions are "corporations" that control millions of dollars and the power to control commerce with work stoppage. Been there done that ..........:cool:
     
  19. el gringo loco

    el gringo loco PDX Member

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    Workplaces like this were not common before the labor movement created an expectation of decent conditions. I understand that some employers treat their employees well without a union. Those employers should be commended. But, if they already treat their employees fairly, they have nothing to fear from a union.

    The fact is many companies treat their employees only as well as labor laws, contracts, the labor market, and share prices let them. This is neither morally right or wrong, as a corporation is not a person, but an entity whose sole purpose is to generate profit. A small company may have an owner or CEO who is willing to make one or two percent less so that his employees earn a good living. But that personal moral compass is diluted when one answers to wall street. A union is often a check to the corporations drive to squeeze every last dime from a business.

    There is a reason that union members, on average, make better money than their non-union counterparts. There is a reason that the so-called "right to work" states have both lower wages AND lower standards of living than their pro-labor counterparts. There is a reason that non-union workers in pro-labor states make more money than non union workers elsewhere.
     
  20. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising White Is The New Brown Silver Supporter

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    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAaaaa................ 14:1 doantion ratio, huh? Maybe the donations that are ON THE BOOKS... but I KNOW about the "under the table" donations that are shunted through other avenues that MORE than make up for that... just like there are 47 million "Americans" without health insurance.... riiiiiiiiiiiight. :rolleyes:


    I'm in a union and that is a laugh what you just said... UNFORTUNATELY my union (as are most labor unions) is a part of the AFL-CIO and they gave MILLIONS AND MILLIONS AND MILLIONS AND MILLIONS to leftist political causes... care to guess where over $6,000 of THAT money comes from... EACH YEAR? Try my union dues... not my LOCAL dues, but the two different NATIONAL dues that get dinked from my gross earnings EVERY WEEK, and I get absolutely NO SAY in where that money goes.


    Unions have no power? Riiiiiiiiight..... ever hear of the SEIU and ACORN running a money laundering operation that Bernie Madoff would be proud of?!! Sure you have, "unionguy" think about it... money laundering, "card check" so the UNION thugs... er, I mean "ORGANIZERS" can see who voted to go union or not in any given shop and intimidate them into voting their way... BTW- have you heard about the ALF-CIO official that was just appointed to the board of directors in the NY Federal Reserve... or is that just about "social justice"?

    Now I'm not saying there aren't SLIMEY "corporate thugs" out there as well... THERE IS, but there is nothing wrong with an employer having a meeting any laying out the details that they perceive that will be a threat to everyone's livelihood in that company, and perhaps ASKING their employees to take political action (if they care to).... maybe with those home made "Astro-Turf" signs protesting big goverment and higher taxes, while those (sometimes paid to protest) with the PROFESSIONALLY made, "organized" signs advocate for big government health-care, gun control, and socialism... BAH!!!

    You should be more concerned with the union dopes who are trying to unravel this country at light speed and are SUPPOSED to be looking out for you... but aren't in the slightest. The kool-aid you're serving up is too bitter for my tastes, but it makes for some real nice shallow puddles on the roadside!! :D