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States going bankrupt, union members declining – when will they ever learn?

Since the 1970s, union membership has been steadily declining in the private sector to about 7.6% of the workforce, while unions have grown in the public sector to 36.8%. As a result, the public entities at all levels are going bankrupt because of a quid pro quo exchange of  – votes for jobs, with lavish pensions and health care.

One of the reasons for the decline in the private unions is that unions have priced themselves out of the international market. The loss of industrial manufacturing jobs is directly proportional to expensive union contracts and health benefits, that corporations could no longer afford trying to compete in a global market.

Americans also bought the cheaper goods, regardless of their quality, being more concerned with the upfront costs, rather than looking at the total cost of ownership. So, unless legislation mandating that everyone buy only American products, or raising tariffs so high, that people can’t afford to buy the foreign products, capitalism still allows the consumer the freedom to choose for themselves.

With public unions, however, consumers have little choice. Cities can’t declare bankruptcy and close up shop like private entities. The states, in turn promised pensions they couldn’t possibly pay for and then underfunded the plans. These expenditures are forcing the states to borrow more and more with taxpayers footing the bill – a retroactive 67% increase in income taxes in Illinois.

According to the Board of Labor Statistics (BLS), half of the 15.3M union members live in just six states: California, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan and New Jersy. Currently, 22 states have right-to-work laws and Republican governor, John Kasich of Ohio is moving to ban strikes by public school teachers. Powerful unions and high taxes have been a job-killing proposition for the blue states.

In the last 25 years, job growth in right-to-work states have been over twice as high as union-right states, according to the Manhattan Institute senior fellow, and former chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor, Diana Furchtgott-Roth.

In the last 20 years, according to the BLS statistics, New York has seen a net job increase of only 2.9%; California only 11.3%. In the last decade California has lost 365,000 jobs! In contrast to that are Florida and Texas. Since 1990, Florida has seen a 34.5% increase in jobs, and Texas an increase of 49%.

Now the state of Illinois wants to tax internet sales, see today’s guest column in the Rockford Register Star. Remember, the Gross Receipt’s Tax is still probably waiting in the wings in this anti-business state, and the Illinois legislature still hasn’t met a tax or fee they didn’t like.

The lyrics,  “When will they ever learn,” seems very fitting for the ongoing war against free enterprise by our own governments, both state and federal.

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36 Comments

  1. noboma4me

    Unions did much good many decades ago to improve workers rights, benefits, and working conditions. Now, there are laws that protect workers. I once belonged to a union. I became a steward, then a committee man. Helped negotiate a contract for 1,100 members. Then my eyes were opened to the fact that they fought with my dues to protect lazy people, people that missed a lot of work, came in late, left early, etc. The icing on the cake was when they defended a guy all the way to arbitration, who was discharged for intentionally sleeping on the job. He did not just doze off. He made a “bed” with shop towels and covered his face so the shop lights did not keep him awake. I never regretted taking a job out of the union. I was paid far more money than I could have ever made staying in the union and have been rewarded for my hard work. Unions tend to want to have their members slow down, to make a company hire more members to do less work, adding cost, and making tings cost so much. That is why, like your statistics state, the private sector has lost union numbers.

  2. Tyrone Slothrop

    Mr. Biondo – If unions “have priced themselves out of the international market” and “corporations could no longer afford trying to compete in a global market” how do you explain the record increase in corporate profits and shareholder gains during this same time period. Is it possible that instead of paying domestic market wages corporations opted to lobby the government to agree to allow the exportation of labor (WTO, NAFTA, etc.) while increasing compensation and dividends for management and ownership? The data regarding the massive redistribution of wealth during the past 40 years from the working and middle classes the upper income brackets suggest the latter.

  3. henry herrler

    Amen noboma4me.

    Ted, the idiots in our corrupt government will learn when the violence in the middle east shows up in the States. Sadly, it’s very close.

  4. Well said Tyrone! We have been told for many decades that it is patriotic to \"buy American\". They said that supporting our own companies was \"good for the country\" even though American made goods often were more expensive. It was considered a small sacrifice we all could make for a stronger America. Unfortunately, those same companies do not feel a similar sense of loyalty to the American worker (or the country). When they are asked to pay higher wages to support strong American families they to close shop and move overseas. They are not FORCED to do this in order to \"stay competitive\", they CHOOSE to do this to increase profit margins. So much for \"the good of the country\". Even though these companies control the political process, there is never a shortage of people like Mr. Biondo who blame the struggling middle-class for the state of our economy (THOSE GREEDY WORKERS). Tyrone hit the nail on the nail on the head when he mentioned a \"massive redistribution of wealth\" in our country. I bet when Mr. Biondo hears that phrase he thinks of welfare moms and all the \"undesirables\" he is forced to support.\" People like Mr. Biondo cannot see the forest for the trees. The amount of money spent on social services in this country pales in comparison to the massive amount spent on corporate welfare. Ted thinks we should all lower our standard of living by giving up wages, sacrificing benefits, and providing less for our children\’s futures so that these companies (making record profits even in this \"recession\") can continue to siphon more and more wealth from the middle class. I have news for Mr. Biondo, although he may think of himself as (and relate to) the upper class or those managing these corporations, when the once vast working middle-class of this country finally merges with the ranks of the poor (and the working poor), I am confident that he will find himself in the company of the latter.

  5. Ted Biondo

    Tyrone, the record increase in profit was due to superior creativity, products and product design coupled with manufacturing produced at labor priced at a level that was competitive in the global market. The company was able to compete with the international competition, superior marketing did bring in more profits, rather than go bankrupt, if they had done nothing but continue with the old ways of manufacturing.

    It would have been zero profit. if they couldn’t have competed. There are still jobs being created here in the USA, it’s just the workers must raise their skill levels to engineering design, programming, servicing the product – our workers need to raise their skill level so their work can’t be done by cheap labor in foreign lands.

    No longer will union workers simply graduate from high school or not, and expect a job at a factory where their dad worked and his dad. That era is gone. Dropouts from high school will be lucky to get a service job, because 80% of the new jobs require at least 2 years of college – this is the problem, not outsourcing, but lack of adequate training for the new skilled jobs in America. 1000’s of skilled jobs in the USA go begging every year.

    And the owners of these companies are stockholders like little old ladies, and old people like me and investors who learn how to become partial owners of these companies, and studying new ideas, training and finance, etc. at community colleges.

    Just going out from high school thinking that a diploma entitles you to a living wage in a manufacturing job that will be waiting for you are long in the past! Train, train, train for something new.

  6. Ted Biondo

    Welcome to the blog Thomas. Some of my response to Tyrone is the same for your comment. I agree with you on corporate welfare. I dont think companies should be paid just to work in our area, or paid subsidies just for doing their job. That might surprise you.

    The companies aren’t just the few rich corporate board of directors, they are people like you and me who buy stock, even a little – thats how the country works too, not just with your hands but your mind too.

    You are also right that I am in the middle class with respect to income and wages that I have earned my whole life and I was at the poverty level for the first 20 years, so that’s where my identity was formed. I don’t think people should lower their standard of living, I think they need to raise it, by making sure they get a good education. We need to raise our expectations and not just settle for something that has no future, because someone else in a far away land can do the same job cheaper.

    Redistribution of wealth implies that there is only a finite amount of wealth. That’s not true – the financial pie that you say these people are taking from the middle class doesn’t remain the same, it gets bigger. It grows! You don’t take the pie from someone else and they don’t take it from you. You make your own pie, if you are diligent and astute at learning how the process works!

    Thanks for your comments.

  7. kevind1986

    Oh, Ted, now you just blew it. You’re claiming that people are responsible for their own station in life? And can improve or waste it as they see fit? Blasphemy! Man I can see why the lefties don’t like you.

  8. Ted, So your answer to the problem is education? The very people you say need this education the most (would be and former manufacturers) have been priced out of higher education. While at first glance average income has remained relatively the same since the early 1970’s, actual purchasing power has gone down due to inflation, the price of energy, and the ever increasing cost of living. During this decline, the cost of higher education has quadrupled. Fewer and fewer parents can afford to provide their children with continuing education. That burden then falls squarely on the shoulders of the children. This generation is graduating from college with tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt due to student loans. It is apparent that you do not understand the problems that this generation is facing. Today there are more unemployed people who have college degrees than at any time in the history of our nation. They are competing for fewer jobs in exchange for lower wages. They are also beginning their adult lives with more debt than any other generation. Not consumer debt, simply student loans. My generation was able to find work, purchase a home, and start a family soon after entering the workforce, This generation is starting out with all the debt associated with those things without the benefits these things bring to their quality of life. We are NOT suffering from a lack of skilled workers. We are suffering from a lack of employment. Our labor market is ready and willing to adapt. Even those people who have been in the workforce for years are going back to school or receiving additional training in an attempt to make themselves more marketable. These people can just as easily find themselves unemployed as those with a simple high school diploma. Corporate profits have NOT gone up due to “superior marketing”, “superior creativity”, or “product design”. Let’s look purely at profits. Actual corporate profits have dramatically increased since the 1950’s. The percentage of those profits that labor has received has declined every decade since the 1950’s. That means that these companies are making more money but sharing less of it with their employees. If these profits had stayed the same I might be able to believe that the reason for the drop in employee compensation was due to the company’s “struggle to survive in a global market”. The fact that there has been a consistent INCREASE in profits tells me that it is greed more than anything else that is responsible for the decrease in workers compensation. It’s obvious that this paper is anti-union, anti-labor, and doesn’t support a strong middle class. Your bias shows when you assume union workers do not hold degrees but instead have high school diplomas “or not”. I have known many people in my lifetime who have belonged to unions but have never met one who retired wealthy. Your assertion that these hardworking people receive “lavish” pensions is offensive.

  9. Tom USPS

    Ted I think your preception of government pensions are way out of line. The media also picks up on the highest paid pensions. Most regular working people who get pensions from any government do not get rich by any means. I believe any elected official should not get a pension. Wasn’t elected officials suppose to be a part time job? I wonder what the median of county, state, or federal pensions are for a yearly basis. It is a travesty to think what you can get for being Senator after less than four years of work. It is also wrong to built up your pension on overtime. My USPS is based on base salary and nothing more. I am under the Federal Employees Retirement System and have to wait until 62 to be comfortable in retirement. I will not be rich by no means but comfortable., I realize I am lucky compared to most. I don’t think to blame unions for most of the government troubles county, state, federal, is really wrong. Our politicians make the rules, contracts and manage. It is amazing the rumors that circulate from what I hear at talk radio on my raises, pensions, work etc., from people what really have no clue. As always , I do enjoy reading your column. It is always good to hear various sides of issues.

  10. ricardo montalban

    I find it interesting that Ted thinks union workers should face the reality of the economic situation and take cuts.

    Yet Ted and his union bashing kind, never seem to think union workers should share in the good economic times. I’ve never heard Ted say that when the economy improves, union workers wages and benefits should rise. He just wants unions to go away forever.

    As far as the pie, Ted, it makes for a good bedtime story, but not reality. Corporate greed is destroying the middle class. Record profits go to CEO’s and investors, but not to the workers. Why? Greed, pure and simple.

    Glad to be back on the blog Ted, despite your efforts to censor me because you don’t agree with my opinions. Stay classy!

  11. Tyrone and Thomas,

    You two seem to miss the purpose of someone starting a business – to make money – as much money as they legally can. The purpose of a business is not to higher people and pay them over-market wages.

    For example, let’s say you have some handyman type work around the house that is beyond your skill level. You have two choices to do the work and both will do a job that meets your stds of quality. The first guy will charge you $500 for the job and second guy will charge you $400. Which guy do you chose?

  12. Tyrone Slothrop

    Mr. Biondo: While I totally agree that education and training are key factors in a labor force remaining competitive and vital, and I agree that both our educational system and to some extent unions have stifled this, I cannot agree that “the record increase in profit was due to superior creativity, products and product design coupled with manufacturing produced at labor priced at a level that was competitive in the global market.” While there are some examples of this (Apple and Google come to mind) many corporations simply used financial gimmicks to eliminate competition and create investment tools to maximize profits and dividends while outsourcing labor. The rapid rise of the speculation markets (which for any commodity other than agriculture make no sense and are anti-capitalistic) and financial “instruments” fueled this phenomenon. Perhaps you could call derivatives and credit default swaps “creative” but I call it destructive. Unions played a role in the current economic malaise but so did management and ownership. The idea that unions are to blame and their decline in the private sector is good is simply not supported by the data.

  13. Tyrone Slothrop

    Terry – I understand how a business functions. But when the $400 handyman outsources the job to someone who will do it for $100 and pockets the $300 – that is not how a business works.

  14. Blue State Blues

    Ted, don’t think for a second that Illinois’ current legisative leaders would be disappointed if they ran Illinois completely into the ground, with all private jobs having left the state and with no money left to pay government employees. Complete and total bankruptcy would just be an assurance to them that they left nothing on the table. If the legislators who control Springfield were interested in anything other than feathering their own next, they would behave in a vastly different manner.

  15. Blue State Blues

    Whoops, meant to say, \"nest\".

  16. Tyrone,

    “But when the $400 handyman outsources the job to someone who will do it for $100 and pockets the $300 – that is not how a business works.”

    That is PRECISELY how business works,as long as you were happy with the quality of the work performed by the $100 laborer.

    You negotiated to have the job done for $400 and the guy paid someone $100 to do it. You, the customer, is happy and contractually fulfilled. You should have negotiated directly with the $100 laborer.

    As for the term “outsourced”, that is exactly what you did when you “outsourced” the handyman work in the first place. You turned the job over to someone who could do it better and/or cheaper than yourself.

    We outsource things everyday. Everytime you pull into McDonalds, someone has just outsourced making a meal. Everytime you go to the grocery store, you have just outsourced raising/harvesting/processing your own food.

  17. Terry, The difference between you and me is that I would gladly pay more for a hanyman if it kept a friend, neighbor, relative, or fellow citizen employed. It sounds to me like Terry is only looking out for Terry and every one else be damned. You epitomize what is wrong with or counrty. We as a whole are morrally bankrupt.

  18. Ted Biondo

    Thomas, I really appreciate your well thought out comment, I disagee with some of it but that’s what the blog is about – dscussion, and you did very well until the end. I don’t mean to be offensive, and I wasn’t referring to the manufacturing, corporate type union member. The “lavish” pensions and health insurance I referred to was public unions in the state and federal bureaus that exist on our tax dollars – and I can prove it – I have the data.

    However, to the beginning – the federal education system has Pell Grants and the state MAP grants and student loans for the poor at low interest rates. 50- 60% of the students going to RVC are using these grants. I’m sorry that not everyone can afford to go to Harvard, Cornell, or Yale. When you can take your first two years at Rock Valley then transfer to Illinois University – a university excellent in Math, Science and Engineering – requires a 31 or 32 or the ACT, so it’s a great University and doesn’t cost the arm and a leg that you are discussing.

    Of course not everyone is smart enough to make it through the college, but that’s a different topic for another time.

    Some of those students are from the entitled generation, that think they should be able to go anywhere without paying for it, and there’s a lot more of them in the generation to which you refer.

    Parents shouldn’t have to pay the entire cost – where is the ownership of anything, when someone else is always paying your way. My parents couldn’t afford to pay for my college either. I took out the loans and took ten years to pay them off. My parents didn’t pay a dime. The kids today need to take responsibility for themselves, just like my generation did. I know some do, but they are becoming the exception.

    And I agree, some with degrees are in the unemployment lines. All degrees, just like people, are not equal. We are all equal under the law but not in ability, drive, tenacity, etc, etc. The unemployment in engineering is only 3-4% and they usually find jobs very quickly, because they were trained to do something, not just to sit around and think of reasons to feel sorry for themselves.

    I was unemployed also but got back in the workforce in a short time. Registered nurses, scientists, doctors etc. do very well, at least until Obamacare starts up 100%. Government can’t solve all our problems – They can’t usually solve any of them – the government is usually the reason for the problems, because they keep trying to make everybody the same – it doesn’t work.

    As far as profits, should the government limit the profit a company makes, based on what? and do what with the rest of the money give it to someone, so the government can increase its power more? That’s is all the government knows how to do anyway.

    The increase in profits are not just due to greed, although I admit there is more greed than there needs to be. I think technology had and has a role, automation, etc. has increased productivity, so the same amount of work can be done with less people. The people need to improve their skills and they can do it at a community college, not at Harvard – it’s a lot cheaper.

    What do you think happened to blacksmiths, those who made buggy whips or buggys for that matter. Should civilization cease moving forward to wait until everybody catches up? The government doesn’t have a program entitled “No Worker Left Behind”, yet – but they will, the way this country is going you can count on it!

  19. Tommy,

    I never said that either handyman was your friend, neighborhood, relative or fellow ciitizen. I also never said that I wouldn’t hire my friend, neighbor, relatove, or fellow employed citizen. I was asking what you would do.

    Let’s say both of these guys are yourneighbors, the guy charging $400 has to cover union dues and the guy charging $300 does not. Which one do you hire and why?

  20. Lucy/ricardo montalban,

    What I find interesting is that you can’t answer why teachers need a union.

  21. Tyrone,

    You state that corporations use “financial gimmicks to eliminate competition”. Can you tell me what one of those gimmicks would be?

  22. Lucy/ricardo montalban,

    “Record profits go to CEO’s and investors, but not to the workers. Why? Greed, pure and simple.”

    WRONG. Correct answer, as in most economic questions, is supply and demand. If the supply of workers that can perform a quality job is greater than the demand for workers to perform that quality job (as in now during the Obama Era), then wages will be suppressed.

    Five to fifteen years ago, the demand for workers that could perform the quality jobs was greater than the supply and the employees had the upper hand. I was a hiring manager about 12 years ago and the competition for good employees was tough. Corporations were trying to lock in college graduates during their sophmore years with internships, signing bonuses, etc…

    I heard Rockford has a college in town, perhaps an Econ 101 class would benefit you.

  23. Ted Biondo

    Tom USPS welcome – I think you are right about Senators and Congress in general – that their pensions are way out of line. As a matter of fact, if Social Security and Obamacare are so good, how come Congress, etc. are exempt from its provisions. They have their own plans. If they were forced to have the same thing they mandate for the PEOPLE, I’ll bet these plans would be fixed!

    Elected officials was supposed to be a part time job, but when they found out that the unelected bureaucrats were running the show and had the power, Congressman knew that it took a lot more than part time to rein in the bureaucrats.

    Please go online at RPS205.com and any of the other websites, the city the county, etc. that must now contain under the Freedom of Information Act – negotiated contracts. Pensions vary from 60 – 75% of the final few years of salaries with cost of living increases and Medical to 65 or 66 that private companies don’t provide, unless you pay half – even after 30 years!

  24. kevind1986

    Ricky / Lucy/ Ricardo / and other things that mattered 50 years ago:
    I can’t speak for Ted, but you are so harmless that I can’t see him spending any time or effort trying to block you. Your posts could be written by a 14 year old. Don’t flatter yourself as an opponent that has to be guarded against. The only time you even get attention is when you start to call names – and I believe that is why you resort to it. Just sayin’.

  25. Are we entitled to raise our standard of living when costs are going up, the population is growing and resources are getting less plentiful?
    Not everyone defines “the entitlement generation” the way Ted does… Our economic system is reliant on poverty to maintain the rising standard of living for those of us who “want to live better than our parents”… There isn’t more wealth, just a reallocation of it.
    Do we need more resources, per capita, for our modern lifestyle? You betcha.

  26. Tyrone Slothrop

    Terry – A couple of examples would be Clear Channel Radio buying out dozens of competitors, Sony Music doing the same, Even locally the decline of independent supermarkets replaced by corporations. Perhaps \"gimmicks\’ was a poor choice of words, but my meaning was the same…instead of competing with competitors they purchase competitors to gain market share and control.

  27. Tyrone,

    Those acquistions are approved by the justice department for any potential anti-trust violations. When a company pays a fair market price for a company or any other asset or commodity in an arms length txn, that passes ant-trust scrutiny, what is wrong with that?

  28. Tyrone Slothrop

    Terry – First off the Clear Channel acquisitions were the result of FCC rules changes – a deliberate change in policy to promote corporate and conglomerate ownership of media. When a large company moves in to local markets and undercuts the competition by selling for lower prices made possible by volume buying, they drive out good paying jobs by responsible employers and replace them with low paying jobs with corporate ethos. This is not healthy for local economies, small businesses, or the maintenance of a strong, vibrant middle class. Your view is different. I believe you are wrong and will continue to shop locally and purchase goods and services from small businesses when I can even if the cost is higher. Why? Because I have a set of values that transcends Ayn Rand type capitalism in favor of grass roots capitalism. My version (and a growing number of citizens’ version) of true free market capitalism.

    Your outsourcing analogy is odd. What I am referring to as outsourcing is specifically the exporting of labor. It will be fascinating to see what occurs as this trend in exporting continues to include management and eventually ownership. In the meantime, I guess I am enough of a nationalist to prefer to see the goods and services consumed in the United States produced by the labor, management, and capital originating in the Unites States.

  29. kevind1986

    Tyrone – since no business is “native” to our area, please give us the rules you go by to keep it fair for the local guys. If the new guy IS the small business, do you just not buy at all? Or do you then go to the Big Box if they were here first? Your method is impossible to maintain and thus foolhardy. You can’t even determine what is American made without spending a day on each item – if you believe the labels, you are being “had”. Even if you account for the materials, the labor and the factories – where do the machines come from? The computers in the biz? The paper they print their invoices on? You simply can’t prove that one biz is more American than the other in any meaningful way. If you do pull that off, which is unlikely, you better check back in six months to see what has changed in the biz’s you are comparing to each other. Because yes – it does change that fast. I agree with your intentions but I believe they are impossible to put in practice.

  30. Tyrone,

    Our examples of outsourcing are the same – they both deal with labor, you are just looking at national borders while I am looking at personal outsourcing of tasks that I do not have the skills for (for example – handyman skills) or that I have better things to do with my time (cutting my grass).

  31. ricardo montalban

    Ted

    Way to keep standards on you blog!

    Keep up the bullying and name calling, it is so threatening!

    Many of you like to insult people, but Ted, your hero, says you shouldn’t do that.

    Be good boys and girls and listen to Ted!

  32. Milton Waddams

    Tyrone:

    Gimmicks was EXACTLY the right word. Much of the consolidation in the 80’s and 90’s that gutted our manufacturing base and competition in many industries was made possible by a financial gimmick. The leveraged buyout. Buy up competitors with debt backed bonds, sell off the valuable assets, leave the shell of the former company with the debt. A perfect example of this is the lawn and garden market. Sure there are lots of brands, but very few actual manufacturers. MTD bought them all up using debt. The leveraged buyout is a financial “weapon of mass destruction.”

  33. Ted,

    Thansk for two great posts that rec’d a lot of good discussion this weekend. Keep more of these coming.

    Lucy/ricardo montalban ,

    “bullying and name calling”? Go visit the liberal guy in Applesauce and see what he does to the posters and to conservatives in general. Ted is a gentlement compared to the person that runs that blog.

    Milton,

    LBOs, so what. A willing seller meets a willing buyer, what is your problem? The buyer than sells-off the under-performing assets, not the valuable assets.

    “Debt backed bonds”? Are there any other kind?

    Abe Lincoln had a saying “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt”. You should try it.

  34. Tryone Slothrop

    kevind1986 – When possible I go to farmers markets for food or a few year round markets in the Madison area which stock locally produced baked goods, meats, cheeses and produce. I buy books at an independent seller in Woodstock and a few in Chicago. I buy music at stores in Madison or \\"Kiss the Sky\\" in Geneva. Clothing is tougher – it is almost impossible to find clothing produced in the USA so if anyone has any suggestions, I am open. Basically I stay out of Cherryvale, WalMart, Best Buy, and Road Ranger (which I boycott for other reasons). I try to eat at local restaurants, not the chains. It is not anywhere near perfect, but every little bit I and others can do to support locally owned retailers helps. I realized their raw materials are from a variety of sources, but enough small steps can start to make a difference. At least I believe it beats just giving up and joining the big box, corporate retail juggernaut.

  35. kevind1986

    I would rather drop dead than stop at Road Ranger – maybe for the same reasons.
    But how do you accommodate the fact that your neighbors, friends and associates work at those same stores you are boycotting?
    And if the local, small restaurant saves money by buying cheap (non local) goods, how is that helping?
    I know a dozen people in my local Borders and I shop there a couple of times a week. If I don’t shop there, what am I doing to their jobs and their ability to spend in the community.
    My point is – trying to buy local and/or small can backfire in unseen ways.

  36. Unions are not all equal. Union members have had to take wage cuts/freezes just like the non-union worker. In fact, in 2008/2009 a freight company took not only a wage cut/freeze, but also a year hold on any pension benefits paid. I believe this was extended after the first year was up.

    There are many Union workers that earn less than you would expect based on the work and/or area.

    What is hurting the Union and the economy has more to do with Health care and Pension packages. These are two areas that the Union has no control over ~ it is our own government!
    Then add the greed of the Benefit providers and they have priced the Union worker out of the market. The benefits that the Union worker actually reaps is ridiculus compared to what the employer has had to pay for him/her.

    There are no simple answers….greed has destroyed our economy and it knows no station in life….from the highest position to the lowest….we are all guilty. Each of us must look into the mirror and ask ourselves “how much did I play in this?”

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