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United Automobile Workers of America (UAW)

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,991

    In CA public employees all feed from the same two pensions. CALPers and CALStrs. Both are totally funded by the cities, counties and state. Those huge pension payments were a big part of Vallejo, Stockton and San Bernardino going bankrupt. The more public employees the bigger the liability you have to feed those monster plans. I should add very few K12 teachers will be in the $100k club. Lots of firemen, cops and of course University professors and administrators. At least one of the top paid pensioners are in Prison, still collecting.

    The club is no longer led by convicted felon Bruce Malkenhorst Sr., former top administrator for the city of Vernon. Malkenhorst, who collected $509,664 in 2011, pleaded guilty last year to misappropriating $60,000 in public funds, and using the money for political contributions and personal expenses. His pension was subsequently reduced to $115,000, so he remains in the club but is no longer as valued a member. Malkenhorst is appealing the downgrade while continuing to collect around $43,000 a year.

    The new No. 1 is Michael D. Johnson, a former Solano County employee, who retired in January 2011 after 38 years of government service and 19 years as county administrator. His pension is $371,043 a year.

    The top 10 has a representative from San Diego Superior Court, Los Angeles County Sanitation District No. 2 and California State University, one each from the cities of Bell, Indio, Santa Ana and El Cajon and two from UCLA. They all receive more than $268,000 a year.

    http://www.allgov.com/usa/ca/news/where-is-the-money-going/12338_retired_workers_in_calpers_100000_a_year_club?news=695482http://www.allgov.com/usa/ca/news/where-is-the-money-going/12338_retired_workers_in_calpers_100000_a_year_club?news=695482

  • steverstever Ex Yooper, en route to New MexicoPosts: 40,518

    29 views, 3 votes. Still time to get in on the action. B)

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,991

    Now here is an intersting twist on the VW vote for UAW membership:

    The crusade by anti-union forces in Tennessee, including the state’s governor and senior senator, is as much a fight with Volkswagen management as with the UAW.

    Not only are Republican legislators accusing Volkswagen of backing the UAW, some of their leaders on Monday threatened to withhold tax incentives for future expansion of the three-year-old assembly plant in Chattanooga if workers vote this week to join the UAW.

    About 1,500 workers will vote from Wednesday through Friday in an election that the National Labor Relations Board will conduct.

    The company plans to expand in Chattanooga or at a Mexican plant to produce a midsize SUV. Overall, Volkswagen intends to invest about $7 billion in North America over the next five years to achieve a goal of selling more than 1 million Volkswagen and Audi vehicles in the U.S. by 2018.

    http://www.freep.com/article/20140210/BUSINESS0104/302100100/volkswagen-uaw-chattanooga-tennessee-republicans

  • steverstever Ex Yooper, en route to New MexicoPosts: 40,518

    If VW says the heck with it, we'll expand in Mexico, there's really going to be some finger pointing.

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  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,811

    Wouldn't it be ironic if the union is voted in and VW then decides to go to Mexico because of the lack of incentives. "Sorry Tennessee. We were ready to spend $3 billion here in Chattanooga and hire another 3,000 people but Mexico made us a better offer."

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,991

    I cannot imagine VW really wants the UAW inside their factory. They did NOT have a good relationship last time. If they think they can have a company union like in Germany they are dreaming. I think VW management is using reverse psychology to end the UAW nonsense once and for all. If they wanted Union workers they would have gone to Michigan.

    When Volkswagen decided to open its first U.S. assembly plant in the 1970s, it assumed it would have to deal with the UAW, then at the height of its power as an industrial union and a force in American politics. Dealing with the UAW was seen as the cost of doing business.

    How the German automaker will deal with the U.S. union today at its two-year-old plant in Chattanooga is not so clear.

    The VW plant in Pennsylvania was troubled from the start with wildcat strikes and costly production shutdowns.

    UAW leaders say things will be different this time because they want to establish what they call a new kind of labor model in Tennessee, where the union would represent hourly workers in partnership with a German-style workers council. The UAW, which has said it has the support of the majority of the plant's hourly workers, has pushed VW officials to recognize the union without a formal election, a move the company has resisted.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/21/us-autos-uaw-vw-idUSBRE99K0XC20131021

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,180
    edited February 11

    @gagrice said:> http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/21/us-autos-uaw-vw-idUSBRE99K0XC20131021

    Interesting article. Well written without a bias. Best quote, reminiscent of "We have to pass it to see what's in it" kind of thinking: "The UAW, which has said it has the support of the majority of the plant's hourly workers, has pushed VW officials to recognize the union without a formal election, a move the company has resisted." They're hoping to get their foot in the door for the takeover.

    On the other hand:

    "Today, both VW and UAW officials said what happened in Pennsylvania has no effect on Tennessee. "It's such ancient history that it has no relevancy to today's situation," said Gary Casteel, director for the UAW region that includes Tennessee." Maybe there is hope for a real union operation for the benefit of workers rather than the enrichment of the House of Lords type leadership of past unions.

    Ooooops, wait. A dog doesn't change its spots.

  • steverstever Ex Yooper, en route to New MexicoPosts: 40,518

    The whole problem is just semantics.

    If the UAW would just rename themselves the United Auto Workers Confederacy, we wouldn't be having this conversation and Bob Corker and Bob King would be sitting down together with some peas and cornbread with a side of grits.

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,991

    This should widen the gap between UAW companies and non Union companies. With most companies off the hook on Obamacare, those companies forced to pay HC under a Union contract will be at a BIG disadvantage. My question will the individuals now be fined for not buying their own HC insurance?

    Health-Law Mandate Put Off Again No Fines for Most Employers Until 2016 as Firms Pressure White House in Wake of Troubled Rollout Under the original 2010 health law, employers with the equivalent of at least 50 full-time workers had to offer coverage or pay a penalty starting at $2,000 a worker beginning in 2014. Last year, the administration delayed the requirement for the first time by moving it to 2015.

    The new rules for companies with 50 to 99 workers would cover about 2% of all U.S. businesses, which include 7% of workers, or 7.9 million people, according to 2011 Census figures compiled by the Small Business Administration. The rules for companies with 100 or more workers affect another 2% of businesses, which employ more than 74 million people.

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304558804579375213074082656?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories&mg=reno64-wsj&url=http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304558804579375213074082656.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories

  • steverstever Ex Yooper, en route to New MexicoPosts: 40,518

    Reverse psychology?

    It almost looks like VW is giving the UAW all the rope they need to hang themselves. While a big part of VW officialdom back in Germany wants the union, the ones not so keen on the idea may figure the anti-union bias is too strong in the South to get too worried about it.

    So VW strews roses down the garden path, invites the UAW in house to lobby for votes and generally plays nice with the union. And when the vote goes against the UAW, Bob King won't be able to point fingers at upper management. And VW gets a year of peace.

    Volkswagen and UAW cooperating before today's union election (Detroit Free Press)

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  • berriberri Posts: 4,189

    Maybe TN just wants an excuse to get out of a bad business deal decision. Otherwise, this whole UAW TN thing strikes me as paranoia. Kind of like the Salem Witch Trials. I sincerely doubt the results of this election will impact unionization much either way. Those personal decisions are usually more a result of individual opinions and emotions at the time and location. However, if the economy ever improves much I wouldn't be surprised to see more union acceptance because I think workers in many places have been building up resentment toward their company executives for awhile now. The sad part is that if VW pulls out, the real losers will be the TN taxpayers. But of course, politics usurp impacts to the individual.

    The other thing I find a bit appalling is for government to interject itself into personal business matters in the first place. Unions, abortion, whatever - I don't think government should be involved in those personal decisions. It's Big Brother scary how the government seems to be inserting itself these days...and it's both political parties. Whatever happened to individual rights and freedoms? And I'm not really a big union fan either.

  • steverstever Ex Yooper, en route to New MexicoPosts: 40,518
    edited February 12

    I think the Pinkerton crowd convinced people that the feds needed to be involved in union organizing.

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,991

    I think if VW and a majority of the workers wanted a union, they would have been better off forming one on a local basis. With local control. If I was a worker in TN I would not like sending my dues to some fatcat in Michigan, living the high life style. Going union at that VW plant will not help the contract workers from Aerotek. I personally think hiring people through a temp company makes sense. You can watch them and pick the ones you like for permanent jobs. Just as VW has done. I think this will be a MAJOR stumbling block if the UAW wins the election.

    Aerotek Inc., the Hanover, Md.-based contractor supplying most of the hourly employees for Volkswagen, announced Wednesday it is taking more applications to fill many of the 800 additional jobs that Volkswagen plans to add during 2012.

    The production and assemby jobs at Aerotek pay from $12 to $13 an hour, but many of those intially hired by the contractor are being transitioned this year to jobs with Volkswagen, which start at $14.50 an hour.

    http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2012/apr/05/vw-contractor-hiring-more-workers/

  • steverstever Ex Yooper, en route to New MexicoPosts: 40,518

    Besides the usual "union busting" crowd, don't forget that unions can be union busters too. From Wikipedia:

    "The International Brotherhood of Teamsters “refused” to negotiate last year (2011) with a group of its own union organizers who voted to form a union called the Federation of Agents and International Representatives (FAIR), to negotiate with their employer, the Teamsters.[47] On 29 August 2012, after being found guilty of unlawfully union busting their own employees’ union, the Teamsters (IBT) posted a notice [48] “pursuant to a settlement agreement approved by a regional director of the Obama Administration's National Labor Relations Board NLRB,” that they will stop union busting."

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,991

    It is a dog eat dog world where Unions are concerned. I was helping pass out cards at Peak Oilfield services years ago. The Operating Engineers also wanted them. They would not join forces with the Teamsters to share the various groups of workers. As a result after a long hard battle the company won with the votes split 3 ways.

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,991

    Does Corker have inside information? Or just trying to keep the UAW out of TN?

    (Reuters) - U.S. Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee said on Wednesday he has been "assured" that if workers at the Volkswagen AG plant in his hometown of Chattanooga reject United Auto Worker representation, the company will reward the plant with a new product to build.

    Corker's bombshell, which runs counter to public statements by Volkswagen, was dropped on the first of a three-day secret ballot election of blue-collar workers at the Chattanooga plant whether to allow the UAW to represent them.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/13/us-volkswagen-corker-idUSBREA1C04H20140213

  • steverstever Ex Yooper, en route to New MexicoPosts: 40,518
    edited February 13

    Bob's going to go apoplectic if the union ekes out a win.

    "VW said in a statement that wasn’t true: “There is no connection between our Chattanooga employees' decision about whether to be represented by a union and the decision about where to build a new product for the U.S. market.”

    VW: No connection between union vote, SUV production (Detroit News)

    (Meaning the senator, not Marsha7. ;) )

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,991

    Notice VW is always careful to say they want to expand in North America. That gives them a lot more choices. I think Mexico is a smarter choice than dealing with the UAW.

    At VW’s Mexico plant, the biggest car factory in North America still has room to grow

    “I’d always had this idea of Mexico as a place of total disorder and chaos,” one of my colleagues was saying. But we were visiting a German car factory, the last place you’re going to find those qualities. As far as we could see, the Volkswagen facility just outside of Puebla, the largest car plant in the Americas and the second-largest VW facility in the world, was an international paragon of order, cleanliness, and organization.

    And it may only get bigger — depending on whether VW chooses Tennessee or Mexico for its next big SUV.

    Mexico has become the go-to spot for automakers wanting to build cars in the Western Hemisphere, offering easy shipping to many countries via free-trade deals. Last year, several automakers announced new plants or expansions in Mexico; the last new car factory built in the United States was VW's plant in Chattanooga in 2011.

    http://autos.yahoo.com/blogs/motoramic/vw-mexico-plant-biggest-car-factory-north-america-192656830.html

  • steverstever Ex Yooper, en route to New MexicoPosts: 40,518
    edited February 13

    Last strike at VW there was in 2001. As of 2010, auto supplier Johnson Controls was in a bit of a dustup in Puebla. (imfmetal.org - pdf file)

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,991

    Looks to me like the issue is the COL in the USA is way too high. When you can rent an apartment in Puebla for about $120 USD per month, That is not a killer like here where you cannot rent a room for under $400 per month. Rather than raising wages and killing our competitiveness the Government should look at ways of lowering our COL in the USA. I would love to have all my utilities for $29 per month, including gas, electric, water & garbage. Mine average more like $350.

    http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/city_result.jsp?country=Mexico&city=Puebla

  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,811

    Would you be willing to reduce any income you make from investments, real estate, pensions, et al in order to reduce the cost of living?

    Cost of living and be reducced without reducing income and standard of living.

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,991

    @robr2 said: Would you be willing to reduce any income you make from investments, real estate, pensions, et al in order to reduce the cost of living?

    Good point, and yes I have. I am renting two properties at half the current market price and still making 8% ROI. We have lowered the interest on the 3 first mortgages we hold. And looking at the UAW workers at the D3 they have all taken a big hit on the bottom tier. I see the over the top COL in CA as mostly due to horrible taxes. If you are a landlord with any holdings you will be paying about 50% state and federal tax. So that is about half the rent you collected on those apts. depending on the appraisal you could be paying up to half of what is left in property tax. It is feasible that $750 of the $1000 rent for a 1 bedroom apt goes to the various taxes.

    That is why I say the government should do something about the high COL they have caused. If they want to save any of the manufacturing jobs that are left.

  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,811
    edited February 13

    @gagrice said: I am renting two properties at half the current market price and still making 8% ROI.

    May I inquire as to why you are doing that? I presume for friends or family.

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,991

    @robr2 said: May I inquire as to why you are doing that? I presume for friends or family.

    Family to help them get ahead in this crappy economy. I happen to be one of those that was born before the social engineers had their way with this country. And before the 3rd World watched on TV what America had and wanted in on the action. The Unions like the UAW at one time helped guys like me at the bottom of the food chain succeed. Now they are pricing the US out of the world labor market. And pushing inequality in the USA.

  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,811

    @gagrice said: Family to help them get ahead in this crappy economy.

    Well that really isn't the same as giving reducing the cost of living for everyone. You are doing it as a favor for family. I'm sure that if the opportunity came up to get full value for that real estate, you'd do it.

    @gagrice said: The Unions like the UAW at one time helped guys like me at the bottom of the food chain succeed. Now they are pricing the US out of the world labor market. And pushing inequality in the USA.

    It's hardly unions that are pricing the US out of the world labor market. It's the desire by business to drive every last penny of cost out of product so that they can offer a 5 gallon jug of pickles for $1.99. Union membership in the United States is less than 12% of the workforce - IMHO not enough to create inequality in this country.

    IMHO, it's the top holders of wealth that are pushing inequality. I really don't understand why it's ok for the top 1% to have 40% of our nation's wealth and take home 25% of our nation's income. Yes I understand that some of the 1% worked hard and took risks but that's the exception and not the rule. The disparity between the top 1% and the bottom 80% is near where it was in the early 1920's. I'm not saying that we should redistribute wealth but there has to be a way to allow the bottom to have the opportunity to perhaps join the 60%.

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,708
    edited February 14

    I wonder if some would give up assets in proportion to COL decreases if they moved to someplace like Puebla? And I don't mean gifting it to family who will probably claim they built it themselves. In most high COL areas, there's a reason for it. I know it's a mixed bag in Southern California, but some areas still attract the bright and innovative, even though it costs a bit more to live there. People want to live in some expensive places.

    Lower living costs won't be driven by lower wages. Wages compared to education, healthcare, energy, et al, are already as low as they ever have been - and it's going nothing but making the situation worse. The US doesn't need lower wages. I don't see any evidence of greater "equality" in areas with less unions - but I see higher equality (from economics to opportunity) in places with many unions, such as first world Europe.

    "the top holders of wealth that are pushing inequality"

    That's the real "class warfare"

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,991

    @fintail said: Lower living costs won't be driven by lower wages. Wages compared to education, healthcare, energy, et al, are already as low as they ever have been - and it's going nothing but making the situation worse. The US doesn't need lower wages. I don't see any evidence of greater "equality" in areas with less unions - but I see higher equality (from economics to opportunity) in places with many unions, such as first world Europe.

    I think that is obvious. However higher wages will increase the overall COL. When You have a big disparity as in the UAW and in the Public vs the Private sector you have higher COL and more inequality. No way we will ever be in the 1%. When you have public employees averaging $100k per year with insane benefits and the median income in the same area at $50k, that is inequality. The people making the big bucks run up the cost of living. And when you try and raise the MW you just push everyone up by the same percentage and the COL with it.

    I lived in Mexico and traveled there extensively in the 1980s. In looking at the COL down there basics have NOT gone up much since the 1980s. Wages have not gone up much either. I looked at apartments in Mazatlan on one of my trips there. It had a nice little courtyard with lots of flowers within a block of a huge marketplace. Price then was $100 per month. According to the COL in MX website you can still rent a 1 bedroom in Mazatlan for around $120. Other things are closer now like gas. However utilities controlled by the government are still dirt cheap. They also do not have insane taxes in Mexico like we have. The house I rented and almost bought over looking the ocean in Rosarito Beach had yearly tax of $75.

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,708
    edited February 14

    So if lower wages don't cure COL ills, and higher wages supposedly increase it, what's the solution? Our treacherous business leader class has done everything possible to stifle wage growth, and look what it has created. I suspect most of the public employees sucking down the big bucks aren't union members, just those with insane work/tenure rules and undefendable pensions. And although they are a problem, I don't know if they count as a significant part of the economy.

    Mexico also has a lot of infrastructure development problems and social ills that make it hard to compare to most high COL in an apples to apples way. And government controlled anything - that's the definition of evil according to most pseudo-capitalists out there. Would you give up 90% of your assets to live in a place with a 90% lower COL?

    @gagrice said:

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,991

    @fintail said: So if lower wages don't cure COL ills, and higher wages supposedly increase it, what's the solution? Our treacherous business leader class has done everything possible to stifle wage growth, and look what it has created. I suspect most of the public employees sucking down the big bucks aren't union members, just those with insane work/tenure rules and undefendable pensions. And although they are a problem, I don't know if they count as a significant part of the economy.

    Mexico also has a lot of infrastructure development problems and social ills that make it hard to compare to most high COL in an apples to apples way. And government controlled anything - that's the definition of evil according to most pseudo-capitalists out there. Would you give up 90% of your assets to live in a place with a 90% lower COL?

    I hadn't considered doing that. I had considered taking my below average retirement and living like a King somewhere South of the US Border. If I had spent my 37 years in the Teamsters working for the Federal government in a comparable job, I would now be knocking down about twice as much. If we had gone with the IBEW instead of the Teamsters I would be getting about 50% more. I don't consider retiring with 60% of my salary a great retirement after 46 years. The first 9 years netted me $Zero. I am not complaining just pointing out the disparity between the private and public sectors that has been there for a very long time.

    Mexico is unique. Corruption by the Spanish ruled government is what it is. I just don't think we have much room to toss stones. Even the lowly waiter in a seaside restaurant has union protection. If they fire or lay them off they get a years pay. And our streets are more and more like Mexico every day, and we keep paying more and more taxes with no visible improvements. CA is also unique with 35% of all the welfare recipients in the USA. No where in the country is the inequality more noticeable. The yuppie town we moved out of 7 years ago is booming. I saw my first homeless person there this week. He stood out with his shopping cart piled high, as the cops usually pick them up. The Lowes and Home Depot have NO illegals waiting for jobs like every other one in the county. So the inequality is headed for the middle upper class suburbs.

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,708

    That was kind of the original question - would you lower your assets to have a lower cost of living? It's nice to look at lower costs with the security of investments and property, but what if you had them to a degree corresponding to those cost of living inputs? And as someone under 40, I don't want to hear about any older person complaining about unfair retirement benefits ;)

    I don't think the US has much room to throw stones either, but there still are developmental issues that some might not like. However, Mexico does have a lower gini coefficient than pseudo-capitalist (oligocracy) USA, which may or may not be surprising. It hasn't bought into the globalize/outsource/offshore pack of lies, perhaps. Upper middle class suburbs? I think a lot of those have been fading for some time. Now the upper middle class move to boomburbs or cities.

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