Skip to comments.Washington Workers Union Flexes Muscle (State-enforced extortion!!!)
Posted on 08/13/2005 2:19:37 AM PDT by JRios1968
WASHINGTON Government workers in the state of Washington are being hit with a tough choice if they want to keep their jobs, they have to join the union or pay a hefty union fee.
"I don't like being forced. I don't like being told either join the union or I lose my job," said state employee Sharon Mathews.
The Personnel Reform Act passed in 2002 gives managers more flexibility in hiring, firing and outsourcing. It also allowed the workers union to bargain directly with the governor on provisions of their contracts. After taking office this year, Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire gave state workers a raise and then gave the union the power to have any worker fired who didn't either join or fork over a representation fee of up to $45 per month.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
There has gotta be something unconstimatushional about this one.
And people wonder why companies move their manufacturing businesses to other countries.
This is civil servants union. They don't manufacture squat but paperwork.
This happened to me about 15 years ago when I worked as a dockloader for UPS right out of high school. They told me I had to drive about 2 hours to go join a union or I couldn't work anymore. I told them I wasn't going to drive 2 hours and therefore not to expect me at work the next week. Monday rolls around and they sure seemed shocked that I wasn't there at 3 am. They called me and pleaded to come to work. But it was time to move on for me and I HATED being TOLD I had to join a union.
On the same line, I am getting out of the service with 15+ years and will not be getting any loving from Uncle Sam. Everyone I talk to tells me I got a screw loose, that I only need 5 more years to collect retirement. Well, my level of retirement pay does not justify 5 more years of misery. I am sure with the extra 40-60 hours per week I will be able to supercede that level of passive income within 5 years.
I just wonder how many more people will tell me I got a screw loose or how many will say it even when I tell them my plans. Well to them I say see you in 5 years and lets compare financial statements and passive income statements then.
Sorry for the rant but the whole being told thing is getting pretty old to me.
"This is civil servants union."
Yes, in a state where the governor got her job how?
Could we say the union way?
I won't shed any tears for 'em; they're getting exactly what they deserve in that State for allowing the Dems to literally steal the gubernatorial election.
NO pity. Reap it, Washington, and stop whining about it.
I'd love to see some union goon that tries to do this arrested for extortion. Hey, it could happen. :-)
Yeah, but like the old saying goes: "When the elephants fight, its the grass that gets trampled."
I lived in Washington state for a long time. I am very glad I left before it fell completely to the communists.
I understand completely.
I can't say that I disagree...
out source the jobs to india
You guys read this thread. The old school union heads still control in many places. You still have a lot of work ahead of you but keep at it. You will eventually win.
I know the article is talking about government workers but the collusion between the unions and the Democrats is an old one. Also note the experiences of several of the repliers.
Unions get support from the democrat political machine. Together they are destroying America.
I just saw, "The Great Raid". Can't we do a raid into enemy held Washington State and free the few sane people being held by the evil donkey?
You guys read this thread. The old school union heads still control in many places. You still have a lot of work ahead of you but keep at it. You will eventually win.
I know the article is talking about government workers but the collusion between the unions and the Democrats is an old one. Also not the experiences of several of the repliers.
Just sent you a private reply.
I am imagining an entrepreneural spirit replacing the socialistic or antagonistic spirit between labor and management. I visualize labor training and motivating its members, just like a small to medium company might do its employees, to be the best employees available in a particular profession. So much so, that employers would actually want them to the point of seeking them out because they are the best. Sort of a cross between a placement service and a union. There would be no strikes becaus labor would be in the drivers seat throughout. They could test the market, price wise, by withholding workers until their price was met but would not strike nor interfer with scabs. The unions' appeal would be having the best workers who turn out the best and most work. That won't happen as long as union management is self-promoting, socialistic, and antagonistic toward business. Were it possible, though, the members and the union would greatly benefit.
Sorry to pull you guys in to this discussion. I wanted to bend the ear of anyone that might have an interest.
What you describe is sorely needed by the market. Sometimes this has been traditionally provided by trade guilds similar to modern labor unions. Because of the 20th Century criminal associations with labor unions, unions are often cast in the same light as notorious Mafioso thugs.
Customers buy the best quality they can afford.
I'm in the merchant marine, and my salary is very sensitive to the availability and quality of global labor pools. When the market can afford Western standards, American mariners are in high demand. Because we live in such a litigious society, our paperwork and quality control must be spot on. But, when markets hiccup or hyper-inflation pops a bubble, American mariners are left standing in the union halls and unemployment lines. We're always training and refresher training so much that you'd think that we're at war. In an economic sense, we are even if we should ignore the war on terror.
A steady slow growth market is healthiest. What's unusual for American merchant marine unions compared to other domestic unions is that investors can easily dump American shipping for foreign flag shippers with a noticeable gain in profits. As the union leadership may say, "Our competitors' overhead for labor is low when the crew is eating fish head and rice for pay."
Did you know that 75% of all military cargo delivered to Southeast Asia was shipped on foreign flag ships?
What gutted the American merchant marine faster than a shipboard fire was our over-priced labor. Maybe I could get in trouble for saying that, but when I was a snot nosed cadet that didn't know belly button lint from a scupper plug, I heard stories of the American merchant marine's hey day of young junior officers fresh out of academy making $18,000 a month BEFORE overtime. This data is over 20 years old, so you can imagine how the value of money adjusts to today's dollar. We were some well-paid prima donnas.
The free market took care of that the same way Americans dump Detroit's crappy excuse of steel on four wheels in the 70's and 80's. The American merchant marine was very nearly scuttled. Some accuse the Bush family of starting wars just to help our economy. The Persian Gulf Wars were a shot in the arm for our maritime industry.
The fact of the matter is that the American merchant marine has to hustle like no other to win contracts--civilian and military. Our litigious society keeps us mariners looking over our shoulders for potential law suits. Our oil spill environmental fanatics will turn any captain's and chief engineer's hair bleach-white with worry. And, there are always up-and-coming contenders around the world willing and able to nab our piece of the service/transportation market from us (Eastern Europeans, Indians, Filipinos, etc). But we have lots of untapped strength that being obstructed by our very selves.
My easiest idea of opening up more of a labor pool for American shippers is to award US Naval Sailors their Merchant Mariners Document (Z-Card) and STCW (watchstanding certificate) upon an Honorable Discharge from the US Navy (correspondence training per requirements). If a military pilot can get equivalent licensing for civilian aircraft, and a similar rating awarded for heavy-lift equipment or truck operators for other military personnel, then why can't US Sailors get their maritime documents from the US Coast Guard?
Because there are conflicts of interests for control of man power!
Because Admirals already have a hard time holding onto Sailors cursing "FTN!", and because some labor unions want to keep the price of labor high, there's an artificial barrier to America's maritime global growth and competitiveness. We've castrated ourselves before we've even reached puberty.
Imagine how many military candidates would want to be pilots if the military denied pilots a civilian future? Sure, the military has to compete against the private sector for labor. Sure, Uncle Sam has to award bonuses for service members' abilities and qualifications. But providing opportunity in education and training has increased our military's quality, retention, and capabilities. Proof is how well our pilots hit targets in the first Persian Gulf War. The more the US Navy chains their Sailors to the oar, the worse the service will lose potential candidates to other services. (I say this admitting that I don't know the Navy's problems as well as the Navy knows its problems...but what I want for the American Merchant Marine is to have access to these highly qualified professionals when they leave the Navy--our pay is good, and our vacation time is better). If Sailors' experience is soured or the civilian equivalent future is snuffed like a prophylactic smothering the opportunity for creating life, then our nation's maritime loses what it needs the most: mariners.
Giving US Navy Sailors the opportunity of being in the American Merchant Marine means that both the Navy and the American Merchant Marine would improve. I can certainly use another Mate on my ship like I can use a good foot massage after walking on steel decks and climbing up and down ladders all day. (Honestly, I'm not that good at being a Deck Officer. It was a miracle that I even graduated. Thank God for Liberal Arts instructors and my schmoozing abilities, "Art appreciation, art appreciation, if only the world's war mongering fascists had a course in art appreciation then there wouldn't be so much killing!"...I got an "A" in the course.)
And, we need more women too. The thought of having women on ships is bad luck is just an old myth...but that can be saved for another discussion.
The other need for a better maritime is shipbuilding capabilities. The best method for this, from what I see of other shipbuilding nations, is to give the risk takers a huge tax break for developing new shipbuilding technologies. Perhaps this can come from slicing up the old rusting moth-balled fleets that do mankind no service (except for the weekend fisherman looking for an easy catch). Giving shipyards this flexibility of funds and opportunity for new builds can mean an Eastern Seaboard ferry industry that frees the congestion of I-95.
These are my thoughts. If I'm wrong, I'll pretend to know what I'm talking about until you can prove me otherwise. And upon such correction, I'll pretend to forget what I was saying in the first place.
Here's the last stupid idea of mine, and I promise to leave you alone (for a few minutes at least). Convert an old steam powered aircraft carrier into a nuclear-electric container ship. Maybe it doesn't have to be an aircraft carrier, but she has to be FAST! We've put enough cracks into our SL-7 boilers and it sure would be neat to make a super fast ship that doesn't guzzle fossil fuel to cover the long voyages. Sure, nuclear technology gives some the heebie geebies, but it's there and it should be used for the big jobs.
I've sailed from Japan to the Southern end of South America. Talk about some lonely water! We went THREE WEEKS without seeing another ship. By the time one appeared on the radar, the other ship's mate on watch was so ecstatic to see us, he hailed us in three languages and bemoaned his loneliness (English, Spanish, and Japanese...this guy had cabin fever REALLY bad). When he learned that there was no one behind us for about a month, he went from joy to despair at the speed of gravity.
Don't let anyone tell you that the world is too small. Don't be afraid to use a little power to accelerate and fast forward through the boring spots...I just had 6 shots of espresso, myself (I used it to chase the Red Bull).
And speaking of Red...ever notice how Communist nations use their civilian profits to fuel their aggressive militant creeds while we tend to bend our spears into plow sheers? Just a thought of a Reaganesque tactic of wining a Cold War and how the parallel can be applied against economic enslaving regimes.
Just for a little ha ha, here's an oldie but a goody:
US Naval Simulation
This guide was designed to assist those who would like to, but haven't had the opportunity or privilege to enjoy an extended period of time aboard a US Naval vessel (or for those who think they might miss the Navy).
When commencing this simulation, remember to lock yourself inside your house and board up all windows and doors with all friends and family outside. Communicate only with letters that your neighbor will hold up for four (or six) weeks before delivering, losing one out of every five. Have a bleary-eyed, overworked, disinterested slob yell "Mail Call!" at random intervals through one week of each month, only to tell you with a smirk, "You didn't get anything" nine out of ten times.
Surround yourself with people you would not choose to be with, roughly one person per square yard; those you do know, you don't like. Suggested choices are those who: chain smoke, fart loudly and often, snore like a steam locomotive on an uphill grade. Also, they must: complain incessantly, seldom shower and/or brush their teeth. Lastly, they must use expletives in speech like children use sugar on cereal. In-laws will do nicely.
Remove all radios and televisions to cut yourself off completely from the outside world but have a neighbor bring you last month's issues of Time, Newsweek, The Retired Officer, and Playboy (with all the photos cut out). On one lone monitor, located in the worst possible place, connect three channels. The first should play old TV shows that even a "normal" station won't play. The second channel plays eight movies a month, over and over and over. The last channel plays "Training" films on such engaging topics as: small engine repair, proper blender operation, paperwork routing procedures, etc. Each channel must randomly go off the air, preferably when there is finally something you wanted to watch.
Monitor all operating home appliances hourly, recording vital parameters (plugged in, light comes on as door is opened, etc.). If not in use, log as "SECURED." Make line drawing of all piping and electrical circuits.
Do not flush toilets for the first three days to simulate the smell of forty people using it. After that, flush and overflow once daily. At least every five days, post a sign stating "The Sewage System is Secured Until Further Notice." It is OK to forget to remove this sign. Shower water should be either hot or cold, when you have it at all. When you get all soaped up (soap on face or shampoo in hair), have neighbor turn off all water.
Wear only proper uniform attire or approved coveralls in designated areas (no special T-shirts or other clothing). Even though nobody cares, once a week, weather notwithstanding, clean and press one uniform (in the dark on a broken ironing board), go outside, and stand at attention for one half hour. After this, change back into coveralls (catch and rip the sleeve of your shirt on your way to change. Curse and yell, then wad it up and throw it back into your locker.)
Cut your hair weekly, making it shorter each time, until you are bald or you look as though you have tangled with a demented sheepshearer. Have on of your close quarters strangers tell you to get a haircut at least once a week, whether you need it or not.
Work in 18-hour cycles, sleeping only four hours at a time to ensure your body doesn't know or care it it's daytime or night. At random intervals, announce that you will either add or subtract an hour from the apparent time.
Listen to your favorite cassette six time a day for two weeks., then play music that causes nausea until you are glad to get back to your "favorite" cassette.
Cut a single bed in half lengthwise, and enclose three sides. Add a roof that prevents you from sitting in any position (18" is a good height). Replace the mattress with a steel plate and cover it with three inches of foam to duplicate a shipboard bunk. Place a dead animal under your bed to simulate the smell of your cubemate's sheets. Each "bed" should be equipped with: two sheets (with unidentifiable stains) that are twice the size of the mattress, one very scratchy wool blanket that is half the size of the mattress, one pillow that smells like dead, wet fowl, and one pillowcase (again with the same stains) that is about half the size of the pillow. Whenever possible, have someone take your pillow or blanket to instill a sense of camaraderie that exists on all US Naval vessels.
Rig up an alarm system that will go off at random interval for the first and last hour of your four-hour sleep period. This will simulate the various alarms of watchstanders going off at odd times, drills, and routine noise from inconsiderate people. So you will not get accustomed to ignoring your alarm clock, this alarm system should alternately sound like a fire alarm, police whistle, music you hate, or a plane landing overhead. Place your bed on a rocking table to ensure that you're tossed from side to side for the remaining three hours.
Nose-pickers and butt-scratchers should prepare all food while blindfolded, using all the spices that can be groped for (or none at all). Add salt. If the food (term used loosely) does not stick to an inverted plate when served cold, add more lard. Add more salt. If the food contains at least one part per thousand of fiber, dispose of it (unless it was mixed with a broom). Add more salt. Such food is traditionally eaten with eyes shut, nose plugged, and as fast as is humanly possible. Also a tradition, always take more than you can possibly eat. Beat your plate enthusiastically against the side of the trash can when disposing of your leftovers. Have week-old fruit and vegetables delivered to your garage between two and four in the morning by police helicopter, and wait two weeks before eating them.
Periodically have a neighbor shut off power at the main breaker and send a muscle-bound seventeen year old psychopath with a funny haircut and loaded rifle (simulated Marine) running through you house, repeatedly yelling at the top of his lungs "Get Down! Get Down!" If, at this point, you don't lie face down on the floor with your hands on top of your head fast enough, you will be beaten to a pulp while the psychopath screams "Don't Move!" This should last for at least twenty minutes.
Buy a gas mask, smear the seal with rancid animal fat, and scrub the faceplate with steel wool until you can't see out of it. Wear it for two hours every fifth day, even to the bathroom.
Have a neighbor prepare an emergency (i.e. burn down your house) that will require you to evacuate the premises, knowing that if you exit, a biker gang you hired (simulating sharks) will cut off your arms and legs. To ensure readiness for such a contingency, randomly start small fires and practice putting them out. Study an ancient first aid book to treat any wounds that may occur. If none occur, ask for volunteers.
Study the owners manual for all appliances in the dwelling. If you don't have a manual, have someone who knows nothing about the item write one. At regular intervals, take each one apart and put it back together again, then test operate it at the extreme limit of its tolerances.
Buy 50 cases of toilet paper and lock up all but two rolls. Give the key to a friend going on vacation to Tierra del Fuego. Ensure one of the two rolls is wet all the time.
Remove all plants, pictures, and decorations (except vulgar photographs). Paint all furnishings gray, white, or hospital green. Use a special "fading" paint that will require you to do it all again in three months. Stencil everything with numbers.
Smash your forehead or shins with a hammer every two days to simulate hitting the knee-knockers and overhead while walking through the passageways.
To ensure a clean and happy environment, sweep and dust twice daily. Every week clean the house from top to bottom. Work hard all day (even if it's only a three hour job) repeating your efforts as often as possible. When finished, have someone inspect your work, criticizing as much as possible.
Twice a day (or more if there is no need) get everyone together in as small a room as possible (a closet or bathroom should do) and have a meeting to listen to someone tell you what you did all day.
Since you have no doctor, stock up on as many antacids, aspirin, Band-Aids, Robitussin, and suppositories as possible. These have been proven (by Navy corpsmen) to cure any disease known to Mankind. For major injuries (broken bones, etc), use Band-Aids and Motrin.
To achieve the permanent, smelly, gray, dingy looks in your clothes, have a plumber connect the washer directly to the sewer lines. Additionally, throw clothing in a dark corner for a few days before drying.
Every three weeks or so, go outside directly to the city slums, wearing your best clothes. Enter the raunchiest bar you can find and order their expensive beer. Drink as many as you can pour down in four hours, then hire a cab to return you by the longest route he can find. Tip the driver even though he doubled your fare. Lock yourself back in your dwelling for three more weeks.
For the final touches, run a blender at a constant high speed the entire time to simulate the constant whine of the ship's machinery. Also, have the biker gang you hired bang on the plumbing to simulate men working on other floors at all hours of the day or night.
This simulation must run a minimum of 90 days to be effective. The exact date of the end of the simulation will be changed no fewer than seven times without your knowledge. This is done to keep you guessing as to when you can hope to resume a semi-normal life, and in the hopes that it will screw up any plans you might like to make. On the last day of the simulation, remove the boards from the windows and doors but do not go outside. Have your loved ones stand across the street while you stand at attention for four hours and look at them (this simulates having duty on the day you return).