April 12, 2008

After Further Thought

Justin Katz

I've most likely been overstating the number of Tiverton teachers who stand to lose their jobs if the union remains implacable. Thirty-four notices of potential layoffs went out to meet a deadline; one position was eliminated in the school budget as passed; so I've been saying that intransigence might result in the actual layoffs of the other thirty-three.

The probability, however, is that the school committee sought to allow itself options should circumstances require positions to be eliminated. Their situation would have to be dire indeed for such a large portion of the workforce to be let go.

My point remains, though: union persistence will cost some members dearly, and a negotiating collective that is willing to push things that far would seek to soak up any new funds that become available.

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Unions eat their young.

When they can they grab as much money for everyone.

But when they can't, the union officials (who generally have seniority) first protect the pay and benefits of the senior people.

If for no other reason to be able to tout the "union advantage" in pay / benefits for the union movement's own marketing purposes.

That is why they'll leave high pay and benefits for existing members, and reductions for new (subsequent) hires, creating a caste system (not that the younger hires will get a discount on their union dues). Or ...

Stand by and let the less senior employees gets laid off / terminated rather than reduce the pay / benefits of the more senior that will remain.

Just ask the UAW. Its members (generally now in their 50's) that still have their jobs have well-above market pay and benefits ... but the UAW has 500,000 fewer members than it once had.

So UAW "union advantage" pay and benefits look good on paper, so long as you're not one of the hundreds of thousands who are no longer employed in the auto industry.

Posted by: Tom W at April 12, 2008 6:15 PM

And left to the tender mercies of management workers get longer hours poorer pay, fewer benefits and no job security while their bosses get bonuses for moving jobs out of the country to places which offer no benefits and starvation wages while company profits accrue to a considerably narrower and narrower constituency.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at April 12, 2008 7:44 PM

What timing, OTL! I just posted about exactly your attitude: "The people need hope; they need handed to them what they could never really achieve on their own (right-wing rhetoric promise what it might). They need to pay their dues and contribute their votes for the benefit of those fortunate few with the brains (and, often, the high salaries) to coordinate their numbers."

Because, you know, when power is consolidated in the form of employment opportunity (which is ultimately what the manager's power amounts to), you can't trust individuals and corporations to wield it, but when it's consolidated in the hands of leftist politicians and social organizers, we can bank on their good will and selflessness.

What a truly belittling impression you have of your fellow human beings.

Posted by: Justin Katz at April 12, 2008 8:05 PM

Wrong again Justin. The belittling impression I have is of mega corporations and fat cats who exploit and take the money and run. How do you explain the widening gap between wealthy and poor?

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at April 14, 2008 6:24 PM
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