American made shoes

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  #41  
Old 02-09-12, 04:33 PM
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How does that make them unAmerican? Are homeowner Associations unAmerican? How about the government?

Frankly, the legality of lobbyists is the problem. I elected my representative in Washington. I don't need a group of people with deep pockets sending their own reps down there to co-opt my representation.
 
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  #42  
Old 02-10-12, 08:09 AM
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The point is that unions are taking money from non-union workers without their consent.
 
  #43  
Old 02-10-12, 08:42 AM
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Wayne, federal law REQUIRES unions to represent ALL workers under a specific contract. That means that non-union workers employed under a union contract receive not only all the provisions of that contract but that the union also MUST represent those non-union workers in upholding any violations of the contract. In other words, the non-union worker gets all the same provisions and protections as the union worker BUT does not have to be a member of the particular union. Now THAT is what is unfair!

Change the law so that the unions do NOT have to represent the non (or anti) union worker and I'll back down somewhat from my position. If someone wants to work without union protections and for a lower wage I don't have any serious objections.
 
  #44  
Old 02-10-12, 03:37 PM
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The unions got their consent the day they agreed to work for the company that uses union labor. I don't understand why any person in that position wouldn't just join the union anyway. At least you have a say with your vote.
 
  #45  
Old 02-10-12, 04:42 PM
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This is not an opinion (well, maybe a little)...just a statement of facts.

My stepson found a job in CA after he graduated HS, before he moved and started college. It was a stocker at one of the big chain supermarkets. He had no intention of a career in the grocery business, just wanted to make some money. He had to be at work at about 5:30 in the morning most days and usually worked 6 hrs or so...4-5 days a week. They knew when he was hired he'd probably be leaving.

He paid about $18 per paycheck, along with all the other taxes for SS and such. That was equivalent to him giving about 2 hrs pay to the Union for no benefit at all. So his $240 check was more like $180 or so for a weeks work. I remember him asking why he didn't get what he was expecting. (Kids have no idea sometimes) It wasn't so much the dues or the fact that he HAD to join the Union...he just didn't understand what he got for his money. That was a question I couldn't answer.

I mean...we're talking sweeping aisles, stocking shelves, and collecting carts...and he had to join a Union?
 
  #46  
Old 02-10-12, 05:46 PM
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An equivalent of two hours pay for a month of union dues is about average. Generally there is also an initiation fee.

As for what he "got" for his union dues...first and foremost he got a higher rate of pay. Stocking shelves and sweeping aisles is minimally skilled or even unskilled work. As such one would expect getting no more than minimum wages for that work. I don't know when this occurred but I suspect that California minimum wage was significantly lower than nine dollars an hour at the time. He also received representation in case of some grievance he might have had with the company. Just little things like not being paid for all the time he was working (this happened quite a bit with a large department store headquartered in Seattle) or some supervisor not allowing him to take bathroom breaks or any of a myriad of possibilities. Just because he never had any grievances doesn't mean that he might not have had he stayed.

Often the benefits of belonging to a union are hard to see because smart employers know the laws and also the contracts (with the unions) well enough not to try any shenanigans. BUT, when a person has no one but them self to argue a point it is usually futile to go up against the company. Also, while a person may think they have a legitimate gripe against a company the union reps (and lawyers) will show that member when and where their thinking is flawed. An individual going to the boss (or boss's boss) mistakenly is just asking to be fired. By first asking the union steward and/or union representative can protect a person from making a fool out of themselves.

Finally, while stories have been made how unions protect incompetent, lazy and malcontent workers I have never seen this. I worked with a couple of men (in different unions) that used the company Internet connection to view and download pornography while on company time. While personal usage of company computers, copy machines and Internet connections WAS allowed (within reason) porn was absolutely forbidden. Both were caught by computing security and both were warned in no uncertain terms to cease and desist. In addition both were given time off without pay to think about their futures. Both re-offended shortly after returning from their unpaid "vacations" and both were summarily fired. Each one of them brought in their union reps and because the company had documented the infractions (one had a stack of files a foot high I was told) the union reps turned to their member's and told them, "Sorry, Charlie, you're out of here!"

Now maybe this isn't the way it works everywhere but it sure is the way it works in my neck of the woods.
 
  #47  
Old 02-10-12, 08:16 PM
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There is also the concept of "right to work" in some states where the wages paid are the same, but members can choose to be a union member or not, but they have to work shoulder to shoulder with everyone else for the same pay.

They is not always a lot of respect between the groups and I suspect the "problem children" that are union members get more cooperation from other workers and personal attention in a problem or grievance situation than the nonunion members.

The company maneuvered the work assignments and training to create qualification differences for the benefit of the good workers and the poor workers started to leave. A year later we went through a grueling NLRB election for decertification and the employees voted to decertify the union.

The cream always rises to the top.

Dick
 
  #48  
Old 02-11-12, 03:29 AM
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I was a supervisor at a union shop for a number of years. I knew going in that it was "eggshell" time. One of my basic jobs was issuing corrective actions to employees when necessary. EVERYTIME, they called their shop steward, which was their right, and I respected that. After a few years of it, when called, the shop steward would ask to talk to the employee, rather than come all the way there. He basically told them.....when Chandler writes you up...you are wrote up...end of conversation. I tried to be firm but fair with all of them, and never wrote them up frivolously or vindictively. When I left they had a small "party" day in the break room for me. It was touching, really.
 
  #49  
Old 02-12-12, 12:21 PM
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It is such a hard dilemma, like you said. It's so easy to go to any store and get something cheap, but it's not American made. One of the only popular shoes that are American made that I know of are New Balance. I will have to check out that site you posted.
 
  #50  
Old 02-12-12, 12:32 PM
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Although New Balance touts American Made, they also have Indonesian plants I believe. You just have to look on the tongue to see where they were made, I guess.
 
  #51  
Old 02-12-12, 12:43 PM
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Since I lost about 60# over the past 2 or 3 years, I ended up sorting them out for DAV donation.

I have bought all my shirts for the last 20 years from L.L. Bean from Maine via mail order because of the quality, durability and consistent sizing (no shipping cost, no sales tax and no gas cost to shop).

When I went through the shirts, I looked at the labels and virtually were 100% cotton and I found that theymade in Indonesia and Malaysia. These were not cheap shirts ($40-$50) - collars, stripes and wrinkle resistant. Not one ever had to be ironed (my wife and I hate ironing, so they were just out of the dryer and on to a hanger) through the 10-20 years and they lasted. Apparently, there were no American shirt manufacturers that could meet the seller's standards at a reasonable cost and guarantee the uniformity that was expected by the seller and buyer. When I bought them I did for the performance and not the "made in" label.

Dick
 
  #52  
Old 02-12-12, 04:35 PM
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Dick - I do lots of shopping from L L Bean. Most is on line but we have a store about 20 miles away. WHenever we are in ME we schedule a stop at the Kittery Trading post and L L Bean.
Their clothes may be made in Indonesia or wherever but they are all quality and the price reflects that.

Recently I quit buying Levi's in favor of L L Bean.
 
  #53  
Old 02-12-12, 06:46 PM
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Wayne -

L. L. Bean is an example that it is not the place where the materials are made, but the standards required by the retailer/importer. Granted, the Bean stuff is not cheap, but it is good, predictable, always fits by size and may be cheaper in the end. It is always nice to avoid state taxes, shipping and driving.

When I live in CT, we would take trips up 95 to Freeport, ME and all the real outlet stores (20 years ago). We usually spent a night near the Portsmouth exit. The NH exits on 95 always amazed me. If I remember, there were only two (one near the MA border and one near the ME border and all off ramps seemed to lead to the low/no tax (state?) NH liquor outlet with huge carts and the lot was filled with MA cars.

Dick
 
  #54  
Old 02-12-12, 08:50 PM
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Two brands of clothes I like are Ely Cattleman for their snap western shirts and Columbia ski jackets as the Columbia brand of jacket has great zippers,most other brands the zipper jams. Neither one unfortunately is made in the United States at least not anymore which is a shame but I wouldn't use any other brands as these just fit me right. I think though if people wanted more things made here that people should write the companies that make the things they like the best. Maybe it will not work but you don't know unless you try.
 
  #55  
Old 02-13-12, 04:28 AM
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Several years ago, New Balance contracted with a manufacturer in China to make some of their shoes. The manufacturer decided to make a whole lot more than he was contracted to do and sold them locally. It was a successful move for him. New Balance didn't like this so they sued him in Chinese court. Well, that didn't go well because the judge wanted a bribe from New Balance to rule in their favor. New Balance refused to play the game the way other companies are willing to play. They pulled out of China and never went back.

I found the original article. The story is more accurately portrayed there. FORTUNE: Not exactly counterfeit - May 1, 2006
 
  #56  
Old 02-13-12, 10:25 PM
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Drooplug I think you have touched on one of the biggest problems this country and other countries are having and that is counterfeit goods. Sometimes the counterfeit goods are innocent enough like a pair of running shoes and it doesn't really hurt anyone except the company that makes them and the legitimate worker who might lose his job because his company is losing business.
That is bad enough having someone lose their job but when counterfeit medicines come into play people lose their lives. I once also heard of a helicopter parts dealer who was having trouble with counterfeit parts and as a result some helicopters crashed killing all aboard. In both instances the government shut the legitimate business down too until they could figure out what was happening. The problem is some businesses are willing to buy knock off goods in some cases and in others the copy is so good it is almost impossible to tell the real from the fake.
 
  #57  
Old 02-16-12, 06:35 PM
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Counterfeit electrical products are a big issue.
 
  #58  
Old 02-22-12, 11:00 PM
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This thread is getting kind of old but as I said before Chandler I agree with you and apparently some other people do too who have been making things over seas. While not a complete turn around some manufacturers I have heard are going to be making things here again. So lets hope they do. While I would like to see made in the United States let's not forget are friends to the north and south. Canadian made things are not bad and some things from Mexico and other places in South America are of fairly good quality too and don't have to travel near as far too. Also for those worried about illegal immigration problem solved give them a job and they will work.
 
  #59  
Old 02-23-12, 07:38 AM
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Diane Sawyer had another segment of 'Made In America' last night, quite interesting.

Here's a four minute video:

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/business...ck-to-america/
 
  #60  
Old 03-05-12, 06:52 PM
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  #61  
Old 03-08-12, 03:25 AM
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Nice Story drooplug I am hearing more stories like that myself here and there. I guess for some manufacturers it still makes sense to them to do business in China. A few years ago I think I heard something about Mattel leaving China or at least considering it because they were using lead paint on toys. So maybe more companies will do the same.
 
  #62  
Old 03-15-12, 01:46 PM
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Someone sent me this link. I've referenced it several times for made in America products.

Made in the USA Products Directory
 
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