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Safeway CEO stands firm (SoCal grocery strike)
CONTRA COSTA TIMES ^ | 10/17/2003 | Janet Adamy

Posted on 10/17/2003 7:22:17 AM PDT by Snerfling

Safeway's chief executive said Thursday that striking Southern California grocery workers won't get a better contract offer as the Pleasanton grocer reported another quarter of lackluster sales.

The nation's third-largest supermarket chain said it is willing to take a temporary hit at its 289 Vons stores -- where picketers are turning customers away -- in exchange for cheaper labor costs in the long run.

(Excerpt) Read more at bayarea.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy
KEYWORDS: safeway
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1 posted on 10/17/2003 7:22:18 AM PDT by Snerfling
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To: Snerfling
Stand tough against unions.
2 posted on 10/17/2003 7:24:05 AM PDT by sarasota
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To: Snerfling
I'll be shopping at Ralph's tomorrow.



Actually it will be my wife. I don't want to get beat up.
3 posted on 10/17/2003 7:26:35 AM PDT by socal_parrot (sigh)
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To: Snerfling
These supermarket employees are trying to make a full-time, high-paying career of something that can be done by teenage school kids working part time for minimum wage. The only way they can do it, apparently, is by force.
4 posted on 10/17/2003 7:27:13 AM PDT by Agnes Heep
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To: Snerfling
-- in exchange for cheaper labor costs in the long run.

And lower prices for consumers!

I have repect for businesses that will stand their ground, it's better for us all in the long run....

Down with UNIONS!
5 posted on 10/17/2003 7:29:30 AM PDT by Roughneck (9 out of 10 Terrorists prefer Democrats, the rest prefer Saddam Hussein)
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To: Snerfling
The regular grocery chains are getting killed by WalMart, Target, Costco, and the like. These strikers are hurrying the process along and killing the source of their own livelihoods in the process. This is especially stupid because grocery jobs have always been pretty well-paying jobs for people without education and skills. But then, I guess you expect people without education and skills to do stupid things.
6 posted on 10/17/2003 7:30:24 AM PDT by lady lawyer
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To: BurbankKarl; Joe Hadenuf
I've made a point of crossing the picket lines and shopping each day of the strike so far. I've only had one instance of a worker saying anything to the effect of 'I hope you're not buying much'.

I think it's a joke that people are enduring X-mas shopping like parking situations, empty shelves and long lines at Trader Joes, Statler Bros, etc when the majors are fully stocked and ready to go. (The strikers' nightmare of the temp workers quickly learning their monkey skill jobs is also quickly becoming a reality.)

Whatever reticence shoppers may have had to avoid any confrontation seems to be dissipating. The first day I was the only person in the store; yesterday there was maybe a dozen. This weekend will be the breaker.

One Ralph's has gotten smart and put out a security guard; not to really protect anyone (the guy was 70), but to provide an independent witness in the case of assault, etc. It seems the strikers' tactics are already reflecting this reality as they move more towards cooperation (leaflets, etc) rather than beligerance.

The most inane part of this whole thing are those that support the strike as if higher wages will add more money to the local economy. If that's the case, why not treble their pay and unionize Home Depot, et al while we're at it?

We'll all be rich through the magic of economics. (/sarcasm)

7 posted on 10/17/2003 7:31:59 AM PDT by Snerfling
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To: Agnes Heep
These supermarket employees are trying to make a full-time, high-paying career of something that can be done by teenage school kids working part time for minimum wage. The only way they can do it, apparently, is by force

Your wrong. Many of the picketers I have seen ARE teenage school kids. Anyhow I will goto Food 4 Less, and Stater Bros rather then cross the picket lines at Albertsons, Vons, or Ralphs. Vons and Ralphs are outragously expensive, and I never shop there anyhow, and I don't have much sympathy for them since it's not a strike but a lockout.

People have a lot of choices for grocery store shopping in So. California at least here in the IE where I live so don't expect people to start crossing the picket lines anytime soon. Also the Food warehouse employees walkout soon in a show of support, so it's going to get a lot worse before it gets beeter.

8 posted on 10/17/2003 7:35:29 AM PDT by Smogger
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To: socal_parrot
Try the Albertson's at SeaCliff Village. I think the stikers have already given up - they're very complacent now handing out their little leaflets. Between the kids coming over from HB high school and the upper income make-up of the area, people aren't taking any guff.

Did note that all the women had their husbands/boyfriends with them. My wife is enjoying having me run all the errands this week.

9 posted on 10/17/2003 7:36:13 AM PDT by Snerfling
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To: Smogger
Food4Less is yucky - they always seem to be in the barrio. Reminds me of going down to Norwalk or Santa Ana to file any county paperwork. TJ all the way.
10 posted on 10/17/2003 7:40:45 AM PDT by Snerfling
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To: Snerfling
Thanks. That's not too far from my house (My kid HBHS '95). I am going with my wife to play bodyguard and make sure nobody messes with the car.
11 posted on 10/17/2003 7:41:01 AM PDT by socal_parrot (sigh)
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To: Snerfling
Did note that all the women had their husbands/boyfriends with them.

Women should not be afraid to cross picket lines. Not crossing is a courtesy only - to show support for higher wages for thse un skilled workers.

There are laws in this country that are supposed to prevent physical violence - if a picketer hurt a shopper - Hoo Boy! law-suit city for the union worker. . . .
12 posted on 10/17/2003 7:47:05 AM PDT by Roughneck (9 out of 10 Terrorists prefer Democrats, the rest prefer Saddam Hussein)
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To: Snerfling
"The strikers' nightmare of the temp workers quickly learning their monkey skill jobs is also quickly becoming a reality"

Good news, beautifully worded. Thanks for the update.

13 posted on 10/17/2003 7:47:46 AM PDT by laotzu
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To: Snerfling
Never go there anyway.
14 posted on 10/17/2003 7:49:06 AM PDT by riri
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To: Snerfling
All except for the most violent of the picketers, usually all the membership is offered amnesty to return to work (no matter how much property they defaced or customers they drove away). It just makes me sick to see all the damage they cause and then to have to welcome them back with open arms when the finally get hungry enough to do what they were already overpaid to do. Unions make me want to puke.
15 posted on 10/17/2003 8:04:04 AM PDT by showme_the_Glory (No more rhyming, and I mean it! ..Anybody got a peanut.....)
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To: Smogger
On Wednesday, I went to Pavillion's to pick up some groceries and I heard the sign-holding kids talking about how much they are getting paid to hold the signs. (Shouldn't this union money be going to the poor dis-enfranchised workers?)

The people outside the store are not the employees, they are people hired to "strike."

I doubt people will be able to stay away much longer. I gladly cross the picket lines, but even if I decided not to cross, there are no other stores near me where I can shop. It will just be a matter of time. Plenty people pay a co-pay on their health care plan, I can't imagine there will be much sympathy.
16 posted on 10/17/2003 8:10:44 AM PDT by diotima
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To: Snerfling
They're not strikers. They are locked out. The unions originally planned only to picket one store at a time starting with overpriced Vons. (I don't shop at any store that requires me to carry an ID card in order to take advantage of sales so they can track my purchases and build a database of what I buy) So management decided to lockout all employees out of all stores. No prob. I'll just goto Stater Bros and Food 4 Less (owned by Ralphs and covered under a different contract)
17 posted on 10/17/2003 8:32:33 AM PDT by Smogger
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To: Agnes Heep
Top grocery store employees earn $17.65 hr. plus benefits including full medical, dental and pension. Their replacements this week are earning $19 here in San Diego. And you wonder why you pay $4 for a loaf of freakin bread.
18 posted on 10/17/2003 8:36:20 AM PDT by Hildy
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To: Snerfling
Food4Less is yucky - they always seem to be in the barrio. Reminds me of going down to Norwalk or Santa Ana to file any county paperwork. TJ all the way.

Yes Food4Less's do tend to be in lower income areas, but SINCE I AM NOT ALLERGIC TO POOR PEOPLE I have no problem shopping there. Not to mention their prices on are unbeatable. No other grocery store chain even comes close to matching their prices. How can any other store compete when Food4Less doesn't have baggers or stockers?

Their meat is kinds of yucky though so I goto Albertsons for that.

19 posted on 10/17/2003 8:37:31 AM PDT by Smogger
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To: Hildy
$4 for a loaf of freakin bread.

You pay $4 for a loaf of bread in San Diego? What is their only one grocery store there? Your getting robbed.

20 posted on 10/17/2003 8:38:37 AM PDT by Smogger
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To: socal_parrot
I've gone there almost every day. Since there's so many other shops in the center, no one knows who's car is which shopper.
21 posted on 10/17/2003 8:40:50 AM PDT by Snerfling
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To: Roughneck
if a picketer hurt a shopper - Hoo Boy! law-suit city for the union worker. . . .

Or better yet, sue the union itself as the responsible management entity with oversight of the striker. That would do much more to end the "aggressive" nature of these strikes.

22 posted on 10/17/2003 8:46:25 AM PDT by been_lurking
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To: Smogger
They're not strikers. They are locked out

That's the great thing about this dispute. Originally, the union was only going to strike Vons, but Albertson's and Ralphs held together and locked-out their workers as well. I consider it a strike if they parade around out front with their signs.

BTW, the union is suing over the lockout claiming it violates the Calif advance layoff notice requirement. I'm not sure who is more stupid - the workers or union bosses.

If they can break the union, the bosses will have to go out and get a real job. With Doofus out, there aren't any sweet 'labor commission' positions available anymore either.

Cool.

23 posted on 10/17/2003 8:47:39 AM PDT by Snerfling
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To: Snerfling
Yeah I don't care about the semantics either. I crossed the line on Wed and will do it again. I decided I pay for health insurance and they can too.
24 posted on 10/17/2003 8:50:05 AM PDT by merry10 (Go Tony Strickland)
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To: Smogger
Brilliant plan. Food4Less is a Kroger owned banner (they also own Ralphs) and operates with non-union employees. So, despite your best wishes you are still supporting the parent company.

But, hey, you're a smart consumer...keep it up!

25 posted on 10/17/2003 8:52:08 AM PDT by Solson (Our work is the presentation of our capabilities. - Von Goethe)
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To: Solson
I already stated that Food4Less was owned by Ralphs/Kroeger or can't you read? I could give a sh*t about the parent company.
26 posted on 10/17/2003 8:54:34 AM PDT by Smogger
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To: showme_the_Glory
The unions won't win this fight. Two weeks or more of striking the unions start to go broke. Grocers, in these strikes across the country are determined to hold the line. Meanwhile, they've hired well over 10,000 temporary employees and IF the strike ends...expect many of these banners to shutter for 60 days and then re-open as non-union shops.
27 posted on 10/17/2003 8:54:44 AM PDT by Solson (Our work is the presentation of our capabilities. - Von Goethe)
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To: Snerfling
The union isn't suing because of the lockout. The union is suing over the announcement by Albertson's to layoff, initially, 2000 employees. There will be more.

But, the unions will lose this battle in a big big way. The grocers have no choice but to hold the line. They give in, they lose big time. I expect this strike to last quite a long time. The grocers are hiring temp workers by the thousands and more are always waiting...

28 posted on 10/17/2003 8:57:46 AM PDT by Solson (Our work is the presentation of our capabilities. - Von Goethe)
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To: Smogger
I'm just glad you're ignorant. Do you really think you're helping the union here? LOL!
29 posted on 10/17/2003 8:58:50 AM PDT by Solson (Our work is the presentation of our capabilities. - Von Goethe)
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To: Solson
I didn't think I was helping the union, but I don't have any sympathy for the grocer's either. Maybe if you live in the City of Los Angeles and Vons or Pavillions is the only game in town, but where I live there are dozens of different grocery chains so it's no sweat of my balls not to cross the picket lines.
30 posted on 10/17/2003 9:05:03 AM PDT by Smogger
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To: Solson
expect many of these banners to shutter for 60 days and then re-open as non-union shops.

I'm not a gambler, but if I was, I would bet they'll give in to the brotherhood once again, as always. The shareholders don't like strikes and are quick to call for settlements.
31 posted on 10/17/2003 9:13:35 AM PDT by showme_the_Glory (No more rhyming, and I mean it! ..Anybody got a peanut.....)
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To: Solson
The grocers are hiring temp workers by the thousands and more are always waiting...

The grocers are locked out employees from other chains by the thousands and more are always waiting...
32 posted on 10/17/2003 9:15:43 AM PDT by showme_the_Glory (No more rhyming, and I mean it! ..Anybody got a peanut.....)
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To: showme_the_Glory
The shareholders also realize the cost of health care has doubled in the last nine months and continuing to go forward with union contracts like this will kill any and all profitability. Then, those shareholders sell and buy other stocks.

I'm not a gambler either but I understand quite well the situation here. Grocers have expected and been planning for these strikes for the past 4 months. They do not expect a quick resolution but hope for one.

33 posted on 10/17/2003 9:18:42 AM PDT by Solson (Our work is the presentation of our capabilities. - Von Goethe)
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To: showme_the_Glory
The grocers are locked out employees from other chains by the thousands and more are always waiting...

huh?

34 posted on 10/17/2003 9:19:22 AM PDT by Solson (Our work is the presentation of our capabilities. - Von Goethe)
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To: Solson
But, the unions will lose this battle in a big big way. The grocers have no choice but to hold the line. They give in, they lose big time. I expect this strike to last quite a long time.

I agree. It will be a lose lose, and in the end, the employees will be the biggest losers. The unions will eventually fold and the companies will pay the lowest wages possible with no benefits....

It's a lose lose for everyone. But in the end the companies will win and get what they want. The standard of living, wages, benefits continue to decline, and this is just another *clear* indicator of this decline..

35 posted on 10/17/2003 9:24:32 AM PDT by Joe Hadenuf (I failed anger management class, they decided to give me a passing grade anyway)
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To: Joe Hadenuf
gimme a break. The companies will continue to pay benefits...just not 100%...and they shouldn't be expected to do so.

That's the reality not of mean greedy businessmen and women but the rising cost of US healthcare. End free healthcare in the US and bring torte reform and insurance reform to the industry and the costs can come back down.

"In the end", people have a choice about the companies they work for. If they don't like it, they can always go somewhere better or start their own company.

36 posted on 10/17/2003 9:28:36 AM PDT by Solson (Our work is the presentation of our capabilities. - Von Goethe)
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To: Solson
The grocers are locked out employees from other chains by the thousands and more are always waiting...
huh?
Sorry. Proof twice, post once.

The grocers are hiring locked out employees from other chains by the thousands and more are always waiting...
huh?





37 posted on 10/17/2003 9:32:04 AM PDT by showme_the_Glory (No more rhyming, and I mean it! ..Anybody got a peanut.....)
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To: Solson
gimme a break. The companies will continue to pay benefits...just not 100%...and they shouldn't be expected to do so.

Oh come on. You know as well as I, when they break these unions they will continue to get what they want.

Once the companies beat this, they will go for more and continue to reduce benefits and wages. Bet the rent...

There in business to make money, not lose money....

38 posted on 10/17/2003 9:33:08 AM PDT by Joe Hadenuf (I failed anger management class, they decided to give me a passing grade anyway)
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To: Joe Hadenuf
...and you can't make money without employees willing to work for you...especially in grocery.

If it was possible it would already be taking place across the country with a fury.

39 posted on 10/17/2003 9:34:29 AM PDT by Solson (Our work is the presentation of our capabilities. - Von Goethe)
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To: Solson
bring torte reform and insurance reform to the industry and the costs can come back down.

I agree with this. Fraud, waste, and spiraling administrative costs are the culprit here. I don't have any qualms breaking perscription drug monopolies either.

I work for a small company (where my employer pays 100% of healthcare costs for employers not their families) and our controller was telling me that premiums rose about 30% on average last year. Ridiculous. Who the Hell is going to the doctore all the damn time anyhow? I never go.

30% annual inflation on healthcare costs here in California and we are going to see this battle played out over and over no matter what concessions both sides make.

40 posted on 10/17/2003 9:36:05 AM PDT by Smogger
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To: Solson
and you can't make money without employees willing to work for you...especially in grocery. If it was possible it would already be taking place across the country with a fury.

I agree. However, once they break these unions, the companies will continue to reduce wages and benefits.

Thats what it's all about.

I imagine eventually most all the people working at the stores will be making near minimum wage with little or no benefits.

Eventually there will be few employees working at these stores, as soon as they develop a shopping cart that scans and totals it's contents. I understand they are looking at several different ways to significantly reduce their work force..

The real goal is no or few employees.....

41 posted on 10/17/2003 9:44:06 AM PDT by Joe Hadenuf (I failed anger management class, they decided to give me a passing grade anyway)
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To: Smogger
I work for a small company (where my employer pays 100% of healthcare costs for employers not their families) and our controller was telling me that premiums rose about 30% on average last year.

They are just politely preparing you. Eventually, few companies will offer any real benefits....

42 posted on 10/17/2003 9:48:34 AM PDT by Joe Hadenuf (I failed anger management class, they decided to give me a passing grade anyway)
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To: Snerfling
The most inane part of this whole thing are those that support the strike as if higher wages will add more money to the local economy.

Well, you understand this isn't about higher paid wages. It's about hanging onto their benefits. But but bet the rent, the companies will beat these unions. I am confident of this.

As I told another poster, eventually they will all be paid as little as possible, and there will be little or no medical benefits...This is the clear trend..... No debate...

43 posted on 10/17/2003 9:52:44 AM PDT by Joe Hadenuf (I failed anger management class, they decided to give me a passing grade anyway)
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To: Joe Hadenuf
The real goal is no or few employees.....

For an example of this goto Food 4 Less. No stockers (they just cut open a case and stick it ont the shelf) and no baggers (you bag your own). Most rich people don't like bagging their own groceries so Food 4 Less tend to be in low income areas. They want people to wait on them hand and foot with a smile, but don't want to pay. Personally I have no compunction about shopping at Food 4 Less, but most of you would cry about the lack of baggers.

As for completely automated systems they have systems like that installed at the Ralphs here in San Dimas, CA, and I have also used them at K-Mart. They are the biggest piece of crap every invented. You scan your own groceries and place them in the bag. If you can't place the paticular item in the bag because say for instance it doesn't fit the machine will whine and implore you to "Place the item in the bag" and won't let you scan the next item until you comply. If you decide you don't want something and try to delete it the entire machine has to be reset by a person. These things are a joke, and it's not like the grocer's pass the savings along to you for doing the scanning and bagging yourself.

In the meantime while the Grocery store workers union are just trying to hold the line (an endeavor I doubt they will be successful in) LA County Sheriff's are threatening to walk off the job unless they get a 3% salary INCREASE! Amazing...

44 posted on 10/17/2003 9:53:01 AM PDT by Smogger
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To: Smogger
I agree. As I said, the goals and trends of todays companies are clear. In the end, these employees will all lose.
45 posted on 10/17/2003 9:57:43 AM PDT by Joe Hadenuf (I failed anger management class, they decided to give me a passing grade anyway)
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To: Smogger
I had SAG extras manning the picket lines at a Ralphs store here in Burbank...they said they were getting paid $5/hr by the Grocery Workers Union. yes, the numbers of picketers are dwindling...the ones I see at the stores that I normally shop at are the married ones...all the single ones are probably trying to find temp work.

It is just frustrating...there is a Ralphs next door, and I usually hit it up for either a salad or sandwich at lunch, then get cash back when I check out. Now I actually have to drive around looking for an ATM (got some new $20s though) and then go to some other place...takes up more of my lunch, which I use to read the WSJ
46 posted on 10/17/2003 10:40:33 AM PDT by BurbankKarl
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To: Solson
Seven local chapters of the union representing striking supermarket workers are suing Albertsons and Ralphs for locking out employees in response to the job action against Vons.

Link

The lawsuit is about the lockout. If they give notice of a layoff, then it's within the confines of the law.

47 posted on 10/17/2003 10:41:07 AM PDT by Snerfling
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To: Smogger
I signed up under "Peter North" (porn star), tossed the card and used our work phone number...then told all our employees to just enter our work phone number for the 5% off. hahaha. Must give their computer fits with up to 3 to 4 different shoppers a day, ranging from Starbucks beans, microwave popcorn, sushi, candy, deli, gum...


>>>>I don't shop at any store that requires me to carry an ID card in order to take advantage of sales so they can track my purchases and build a database of what I buy)
48 posted on 10/17/2003 10:44:12 AM PDT by BurbankKarl
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To: Joe Hadenuf
eventually they will all be paid as little as possible

Joe, at some point you should become more familiar with economics. Higher wealth is not generated by higher wages/benefits - it's created through higher productivity.

Average living standards continue to rise because each successive generation develops previously untapped markets and/or invents new products/services.

Merely demanding higher wages/benefits through collusion and restriction of trade is always a losing proposition; onc which these poor deluded fools are going to soon find out.

49 posted on 10/17/2003 10:53:09 AM PDT by Snerfling
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To: Snerfling
Thanks for the clarity.
50 posted on 10/17/2003 11:11:20 AM PDT by Solson (Our work is the presentation of our capabilities. - Von Goethe)
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