Thursday, November 14, 2013

Unions win in Enid

In another post I said that I'd take up the topic of workers/unions for my Chinese friends and hadn't had the opportunity of a relevant event to bring that up til now...

Previous city council discussions didn't want this to happen--even councilman Tammy Wilson didn't think it should be voted on this year--but here it is, and there ya have it.

As a former member of the IBEW union, you'd expect that I'd be in favor of unionization, but that's not actually the case, exactly.  While I'll agree that unregulated employers with Employment At Will Doctrine powers, plus Right to Work State powers are, as a rule, abusive without a contract in place, so can unions be especially when it comes to women in positions that haven't been traditionally female.

When I was in college looking for my first job, it was at a truck stop.  Kitchen work.  I applied for prep cook position and got it. Didn't know why my fellow co-workers didn't like my being there, either, until the shop foreman informed me that it was a closed union shop and I was considered a scab and that the union wouldn't give me the time of day.  Well, I told the foreman that if she expected me to join the union, giving me the time of day was the least I expected, otherwise I'd have no reason to join the union.

After graduating and getting the job at the power plant as a C&I technician, I was told up front that it was union contract only and I was expected to join the union, and so that went smoother at the outset, but it was a good-ole-boys club and the good ole boys didn't think I was up to snuff, professionally or with the union voting/fighting either. I'm not the only non-traditional female who has ever had trouble with good-ole-boy unions, either; I've heard the same stories from gals in the coal mines, too.  Hey, guys--you didn't expect us to fight for union contract issues, so we won't.  It's that simple. You guys think you can do it all for the brotherhood, then have at it--and today is the day where we can see the results of your cajones: unions have no power to do squat anymore.

You got what you had coming to you--it's what you wanted, so be happy.

It's my considered opinion that anything agreed upon by two or more people constitutes a contract, regardless of what arena the agreement entails, including labor.  I don't think it necessarily follows that an agreement between one employee and an employer should necessarily be exactly the same as the agreement between same employer and a different employee because people get hired for different positions.  I do believe, however, that the government should provide a workplace safety regulatory agency, like OSHA, to enforce workplace safety laws and wage/hour laws effectively.  The track record has been, though, that how effective OSHA actually is depends on which party is in power, and that shouldn't be the case.  Workplace safety and wage/hour mandates should be nearly absolute and without exceptions.

A good overhaul of labor laws should begin with changing the legal name of such law, which is NOT "labor law".   Its formal title is "Master Servant Law", which shows the entrenched attitude from the get-go.  A serious attitude adjustment from tradition is highly in order.

In other news, MSNBC has been touting its new website overhaul, and I see that part of the overhaul is its incorporation of Newsvine, of which I've been a member for a number of years and became inactive when one of the overhauls didn't work well IMHO. This rendition still insists that I drop a lot of the groups I've joined and I won't do that in this new overhaul anymore than I would during the last overhaul, so I won't be reactivating there anytime soon, EXCEPT via what's available via the new MSNBC website.  That means that Hypercrites on Newsvine will remain inactive.

Tammy, if you're still Googling up dirt on me because I'm a registered Republican, Google up "Listensprechen Newsvine" to see my actual liberal creds, hon.  If HuffPo hasn't buried my past participations in its Off The Bus project, you'll get results with "Listensprechen Huffington Post" too.

Not everybody who registers under one of only two political parties allowed to vote in primaries actually believes the crap of the party they're registered under,  and that's pretty damn subversive when you think about it.  Here's a reminder that I'm actually an INDEPENDENT, and independents can't vote in primaries in the State of By God Oklahoma.  My personal policy is to register in the party that's dominant, no matter what state I live in, because of the shenanigans factor.  Registration is one thing--when I vote on the ballot, that's something different.

If there is a choice between two candidates and I don't like either one of them, I will leave that position blank.  That's what I did when it was Bush vs Kerry--neither party can take my vote for granted just because it doesn't go to the party opposite.  Both parties pull shenanigans, and we all know it. Voting is NOT an entitlement program for either party; to get MY vote, you gotta EARN it.

UPDATE: I just got a question (laced with epithets) about not voting for Kerry and thus handing the election to Dubya.  Sorry, that's not how it works--it just isn't, and by design as a representative republic in terms of voting mechanism.  This wasn't even true in Florida's case with Gore.  If Gore had won his home state, Florida wouldn't be the only state in the union calling the election.  We have 50 states, not one, determining any given presidential election.

I will put this out there: I did not like Kerry because of his voting record and the manner in which Howard Dean's campaign got kneecapped by the same.  I still think that was dirty pool, and I consider "superdelegates" in the Democrat Party as dirty pool.  You heard me: DEMOCRAT Party--because they're anything BUT democratic.  If Howard Dean got the nomination, I would have actually cast my vote in his direction...and I'd still call the Democrats "the Democrat Party".  The problems I found with Kerry's voting record were centered around votes on unconditional MFN status of China, where he even voted against conditions that China deal with MIAs/POWs.  He (of all people) voted against such conditions, and there were numerous other problems.  As phoney as John Edwards was, Edwards still had a better voting record than Kerry's, but not by much.

Oh--FYI to those who don't already know: Tammy is a sitting member of the City Commission.

Also, I have just been notified by YouTube that my challenge to someone claiming that what I posted was a copyright infringement won out.  This is the second copyright challenge via YouTube that I won, having lost zero times.  Thank you, Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  I can and I will argue my case, and in the two times I've defended myself in court, I did not have a fool for a lawyer, and that includes beating a traffic ticket, so make note of THAT, Tammy.  Making a compelling case to the city council is actually small potatoes. :P

I've sat on one side of the bargaining table with both the company and the union lawyers on the other side, and won.  That's not brag, Tammy--that's fact.  Everybody else, now you know the rest of the story as regards to why I think what I think about unions.  You in particular, China, because that's the road you're on now.

And it's why I've got a blue-collar mouth, without apologies. 

Yup, I was a brother--one of the guys.  A member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.  Proud member, not so much.
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