American made shoes

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  #1  
Old 02-05-12, 11:03 AM
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American made shoes

Whatta ya do? Go to Wally world and spend your hard earned money on shoes made in China? We're telling them to send us your crap and we'll buy it. Well I was out this weekend looking for some replacements, and my blood got to boiling, so if this sounds like a soapbox, so be it.
I am tired of shoes from China, t-shirts from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, jackets from Indonesia, radiators from Korea, and electronics from Japan.
We as Americans (and our friends to the north) have the knowledge, infrastructure, labor forces and raw materials to tell these countries to kiss our grits. We send money to them while our workers are on unemployment. If this makes sense, raise your hands. Aaah, I didn't think so.
Start today turning the table......American Made Shoes for men and women is one source that will help.
If it gets deleted or I get banned, it's been a good ride, folks.
 
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  #2  
Old 02-05-12, 03:44 PM
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While I prefer to buy stuff made in the USA, I often buy the cheaper made overseas stuff
It's all a matter of economics. When your income is limited, you have to buy what you can afford or do without..... wish it wasn't so but that's the times many of us live in
 
  #3  
Old 02-05-12, 04:10 PM
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unfortunately marksr is right. When everything is going up, except our incomes, we need to make do were we can. I wish my income kept pace with everything, but so do we all.
 
  #4  
Old 02-05-12, 04:17 PM
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I have bought better stuff (4 pairs of waterproof oxfords/shoes) - Rocksports that were made in China and Indonesia (I think). I have worn them through thick and thin for over 7 years yeas and never had wet feet, but it is getting hard to read the lettering. About 4 new soles on each pair.

The "Made In" concept is just baloney since every well developed country can make quality products if the importer/seller specifies the standards. Mine came from L. L. Bean and Orvis, I think.

It does not make much difference where they are made since the seller/marketer/importer dictates the properties and quality since the manufacturer can be anywhere in this small world.

Who would turn their back on a on a product made/sold by a foreign international corporation like a Toyota truck (TN) or a BMW Series 3, 5 or 7 (SC?) that was made to specified standards. The seller/marketer and in some cases, the manufacturer controls what is made and sold. VW/Porsche have unbelievable great products that they have chosen not to be made in the U.S. because of the confidence. The small V8s in the Bugatti Veyron ($2,500,000+ for 268 mph) is an example and cannot be shipped to the U.S. Just being made in the U.S. is not necessarily a sign of quality.

Dick
 
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Old 02-05-12, 04:55 PM
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Wrong foot, I guess. It isn't the "quality" of the items. Heck it's our technology to begin with! We set the specs and they build them.
My point is labor. Why do we send our products to be manufactured by cheaper labor? Our economy could stand a shot in the arm, too, you know. If we were to manufacture things we need here, eventually the labor cost would become more in line as would the prices. I object to sending money overseas for products we could make here. Yeah, most of the boots I looked at were in the $60 range, while the Chippewa brand was $119. But that $60 could be funneled to our workers in a manner that would make the existing manufacturers bring their prices more in line.
Dick, I wasn't dissing the brand name, either. I know many foreign named items are made here. I once owned a 1986.5 Nissan SE V6 pick up. Made in Spring Hill, TN. There were no foreign parts on it. Not even a metric bolt. We couldn't say that about my neighbor's Chevy 1500.
I wasn't comparing "quality". Surely there are quality items made off our shores. Bugatti is not an American product, and can't be sold here, so it is moot.
Again, it is the premise of making products here that we need with our labor forces.
 
  #6  
Old 02-05-12, 07:01 PM
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My Chinese and Indonesian shoes were all over $110 per pair, but I bought the shoes and not the country. The quality is there because of the retailer's and customer's standards and they can't be competitive with only U.S. labor and reliability.

How about the cars that advertise being "Imported from Detroit" that are made in Germany (Buick Regal(?) that is really a year old Opel with different badges), Buicks made with transmissions from Buick Shanghai or the many others. It is a very small world.

Walmart can get a tee shirt from China that is shipped from China in the fastest (many days faster), most advanced, largest and most energy efficient freighter that only has a crew of 13 and that saves millions of $$$s because they do not have to build as many warehouses for inventory. The ship is made in Europe (Belgium or Germany).

The demands of the customers ultimately determine the quality and price and where products come from.

Many countries refuse to sell cars in the U.S.. China makes more cars that any other country and has the largest auto market, so they are not interested in exporting.

An Indian company (Tata) has a car (Nano) that is $2800 for a 4 door sedan with AC that they refuse to export outside of India or SE Asia. The manufacturer does sell their Jaguars and Rovers elsewhere and did bail out Ford, so Ford could smartly avoid the U.S. "bailout"and restrictions. Tata bought Jaguar and Rover from Ford for cash/gold and might have been able to buy GM also because of their volume/size and cash reserves. I think the French (Renault that also owns Mack trucks) bought the Volvo large truck division and the Volvo car division was sold to a Chinese company.

It is a very amazing and interesting subject. Unfortunately, as the U.S. $ decreases in value, while other currencies increase, the purchasing power goes down and there may be more imported products of lower quality for the mass markets. There is also the crude oil from North America that goes to China because of shipping/transportation costs (water shipment is much cheaper) and minimizing the debt to China.

Dick
 
  #7  
Old 02-05-12, 07:29 PM
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I Agree with you Concretemasonry I think many products made overseas are of better quality and we certainly have to buy what we can afford. At the same time I also agree with Chandler we really need to try to make more products here in the United States but the problem we have in this country is two fold. The first problem we have is greed, greed from the people who own the plants that make some products and greed from the plant workers who every year demand more. Of course the greed can be understood as prices for things no matter what they are have increased including health care etc. The second problem I see is government blocking businesses from making products here both in higher taxes and ever increasing government regulation that is more restricting than it is in other countries. Of course on the flip side of that government has to pay for things somehow and we can't let businesses just run rampant without any regulation as we know what happens when that is allowed to happen. I just hope when the elections come that we get rid of some of the clowns who are in office now and then maybe we can really get something done in this country.
 
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Old 02-06-12, 03:29 AM
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"I bought the shoes, not the country".....How is that possible? You nurtured their economy and not ours.
I never thought that on this forum I would have run into such resistance regarding this subject. Wow.
Yes, we must buy what we can afford. Yes, we need to flush the toilet in November (not just one party). Yes our government is our own enemy on economy.
BUT some companies are surviving and trying to make us strong again. Why shouldn't we support that effort rather than just being complacent? "The US $ decreases in value, while other currencies increase".....just my point. Why is that? Because we sit back and rest on the laurels of a 1950's America, with no regard to its future, and buy products made with foreign labor from American companies that are too greedy to employ Americans. Sorry if I ruffles feathers, but opinions are like belly buttons.
 
  #9  
Old 02-06-12, 03:33 AM
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hedgeclippers;
There are some plants out there that are really greed. When I was in the service, we needed this special machine. The company, that won the bid, was right here in town, like 2 miles from the base. The machine was built here, put on as freight car, and sent to there plant out west, and shipped back here at uncle Sams expect, when they could have just driven it up the road, fore little or nothing.
 
  #10  
Old 02-06-12, 06:05 AM
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The Veyron was sold in the US until production stopped. Not sure about the Grand Sport. And it had a 16 cyl (yes, I know it was basically 2 V-8s...but it's still classified a 16).


Just sayin....
 
  #11  
Old 02-06-12, 06:25 AM
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The only example I can use is when I worked for JDSUniphase. They outsourced to Thailand.

JDSU - JDS Uniphase Corporation - Optical Products - Test & Measurement Solutions for Communications

I worked in research and development in the R&D department. Optical amps for telecommunication. When I got laid off I was entitled to the TAA.

Trade Act Agreement | eHow.com

This is how I got back into plumbing. They also gave me $30000 thanks for working here type of by out. After taxes it was pitiful.

Well the thing was that we can no longer afford american labor. That alone drives the price up on munufactured products.

On average from the guy sweeping the floors to managment americas labor averaged 19 hr. In thailand it averages to $11 an hr. That is huge. Factor in the new shipping/export of the product and still way cheaper.

Its sad to say but the people I worked with in the manufacturing lines where lazy, disappeared on various bathroom breaks, and walking talking type occurances. Late to work, many days off, etc....

In Thailand if one guy messes up they are gone and there is another guy waiting from the millions of farmers in that country. They are lined up for a job there. If they dont perform they are out. They get housing, health, food, and a small paycheck. $600 a yr or something like that. Its a good life for them and they work like machines.

Whats the quality of the products???? They are made to a standard, and the issue is who puts the standard in place?

There is a bean counter somewhere just tracking global profit and much else is not really cared about IMO.

I have seen it. We were flooded with Thailand people during the training process. I had the chance to go to Thailad for free to train but decided not to get in a plane for a 24 hr ride. This was in 2004. To close to 9-11 for me. I dont fly anymore and will not step ft in a plane.

Everthing I need is here in the US and I dont need to leave our country for anything.

Geez, I just started rambling....sorry. What point did I make? I dont know...ha,ha.....

Mike NJ
 
  #12  
Old 02-06-12, 06:39 AM
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There are lots of reasons that so many products that could be made here are now made overseas. The American shoe and textile industry tanked primariy due to labor costs. Along with labor you can add all the other expenses ranging from energy and environmental costs to government interference and mandates. American manufacturers no longer can compete in many markets.

I used to buy American whenever I could. Now I could not care less where a product is made. I buy for the best price. We did it to ourselves.
 
  #13  
Old 02-06-12, 06:44 AM
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The Veyron Grand Sport is certainly a different machine. I don't think VW/Porsche really wants to sell very many because of the production cost. An example is the $250,000 CASH down payment required and then wait to be measured before they start production and then deliver(or have you pick up the car in France) a car a year or two later that only goes 190 mph, so the buyer has to go to drivers school in Europe before they turn the internal switch to allow the 268 mph top speed that no one can ever use.

$25,000 for a set of special sized Michelin tires and another $20,000 for new wheels every 10,000-20,000 miles.

It started out as a V10 that had only about 800 hp, but the Germans wanted to prove what they can do, so they put in the 2 very small V8s, each with 2 turbochargers putting out over 1000 hp, added a few more computers (even the ride height and spoiler angle is computer controlled from sensors in and around the car) to raise the number of computers to about 12. Because of the wind resistance at the speeds over 200 mph, it empties the gas tank is 12 minutes at 268 mph. It does out run the Formula 1 cars in terms of top speed, but they are usually governed to 18,000 rpms.

Not a practical car but a very plush car with silver and leather and great radio. I don't think there will be many sold even where cost is not a consideration, but they proved what they can do.

In contrast to Thailand, every person making the car is a specialist or engineer and always wears a white uniform and never gets dirty. The Germany labor cost are so high VW built a plant that is all steel, glass and chrome that is 100% open multilevel and the videos of it show the virtual 100% automation with no employees. The moving floors are American wood with sensors embedded to control the curved movement and that plant makes only one model of car (Phaeton - a large VW) that is not sold in the U.S. and may not be exported out of Germany for all I know. The video of the plant is great and I will try to find the link to the plant with more customers in it than employees.

Dick
 
  #14  
Old 02-06-12, 04:13 PM
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The buying American concept failed a long time ago. The reason for so many of our manufacturing jobs going overseas is complicated. The reason we had so much manufacturing was simple. We bombed the crap out of the rest of the world and it took a few decades for them to rebuild.

The growing economies of other countries will be an opportunity for American business. The growing middle class in China view products made in the US and Europe as desirable luxury products.

These large global supply chains have also come into question after the tsunami in Japan caused such havoc. Companies are starting to rethink this strategy and are considering alternatives that would not leave their supply chains so vulnerable.
 
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Old 02-06-12, 04:57 PM
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We bombed the crap out of the rest of the world and it took a few decades for them to rebuild.


I love your analogy Droo.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 02-06-12, 05:25 PM
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I also think the ship has sailed. Buy American when you can, many cases you don't have the option.

On the up side I have been hearing that wages overseas will continue to rise as quality has been falling. Sad part is our wages will also continue to fall until it all balances out.
 
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Old 02-06-12, 06:31 PM
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Internationally, wages are changing the picture also.

I can remember when Japan had very cheap wages and knocked of German cameras and sold them cheap. Now they are known as Nikon and Canon, which are some of the best made. Japan now has some of the highest wages or labor costs in the world.

China has a problem with illegal aliens (sound familiar?). Their problem is the North Koreans coming in for the higher wages. China can still assemble electronics using U.S. parts and Mexican parts.

European countries have very high labor costs because of wages, taxes, benefits, vacations and holidays. As an example, in one Scandinavian country, a women that is pregnant gets a one year maternity leave minimum and her husband gets a 6 month paid leave to help in caring for her and the child after the free medical and hospital. On top of that, there are many holidays that add to that to extend the leaves. No wonder Volvo cars are now owned by the Chinese and Volvo heavy trucks are owned by Renault(French) and the trucks are made in the Mack plant (also Renault) in PA.

There are changes daily.

Dick
 
  #18  
Old 02-06-12, 09:26 PM
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I think one of the main reasons a company like Toyota or Walmart for instance has done as well as they have is that they have kept the unions at bay. Don't get me wrong I think unions have their place and yes they have brought about better wages and working conditions but some of them have started to learn they were getting too greedy. Take the airline industry for instance one of the main reasons Eastern Airlines went out of business is because of union demands. Now granted Eastern Airlines wasn't managed as well as it should have been so management was at fault too.
To keep unions out though people who work at places need better wages,decent health care and an incentive to learn new skills and have the chance for advancement. They also need people who really care about their employees instead of treating them more like a number.
 
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Old 02-07-12, 03:30 AM
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Sam Walton would turn over in his grave. Don't you remember his stalwart slogan...Made in America????? The company got greedy. Employees got greedy. Unions...well I won't even go there....oh yes I will....they are the greediest, least performing, economy crushers. But, since the employees are greedy, they demand union protection, and are willing to pay the price....no jobs. In early America, unions were the savior of the working class. Lately, they have become job killers by demanding more than a fair wage for fair workday. Covered air conditioned walkways to the parking lot, or we'll go on strike.....give me a break.
 
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Old 02-07-12, 07:35 AM
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We bombed the crap out of the rest of the world and it took a few decades for them to rebuild.

A few years ago I was part of the selection process to choose a contractor for a new DOD system. A small US engineering firm got the contract. They had all of the manufacturing done by a company in Italy. I was fortunate to make a dozen or so trips to their factory. I got a tour on my first visit where the Italian engineers proudly pointed out US bomb damage on one of the machine shop walls.
 
  #21  
Old 02-07-12, 07:41 AM
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Fortunately unions in the private sector are losing their grip on American labor. Unfortunately, public unions seem to be getting stronger. Where I live local politicians sleep with the unions. They concede to union demands in return for union support on election day. IMO the teacher's unions are by far the most dangerous and the primary reason the American education system is so screwed up.
 
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Old 02-07-12, 09:58 AM
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IMO the teacher's unions are by far the most dangerous and the primary reason the American education system is so screwed up.


As I read this I was stuffing two envelopes with a complaint to the NJ board of education. I tried to resolve at the local level to now avail.

This is the best the scholl board can come up with, and I am fighting this policy tooth and nail.

Below is the policy.

http://www.howell.k12.nj.us/policyon...CH ACCOUNT.pdf

So the reason I am appaled is two fold.

1) They will deny me access to my childs parant portal which allows me to keep tabs in real time of his geade. Tests, quizes, etc. To deny me access would be affecting my sons education. Since he is doing poorly in school if I did not keep tabs in real time he would most likely be doing worse.

How can they get away with that over an unpaid balance?

2) Alternative luch will be offered when you have an unpaid balance.

First off the luch is an alternative luch. My son said he got 1/2 a turkey sandwhich and milk and a fruit. Crazy right. OK I can see that in a way, but my issue is my son is on free lunch through the federal program for low incom families. Its paid for. How can they deny him his regular free lunch? Note that my balance is old from last year and is about $23 bucks.



Well most of you will say pay it but I am making a point here.

In summary this is what the school board came up with and put in effect in Nov. I am somewhat outraged.

I dont think a balance owed should trigger these two items. If anything they should simply state if the balance is not paid in X amount of days it will be sent to collections.

Yes the BOE has gone down hill. I have issues with his teachers and the schools in general. This no child left behind needs to start being enforced and complaints need to be files. Too many parents sit around and do nothing to get involved with school policys that are on a local level and not state mandated.

Ugg... You got me going.... Dont mean to go off topic but the school unions need to stop!!! Along with all the board members that have way too much time on thier hands...

OK I feel better now. Bringing the letters to the mail box. One to local level and one going to the capital, Trenton on the state level.

Hey if I dont get nowhere with it I can say I tried.

Mike NJ
 
  #23  
Old 02-07-12, 04:37 PM
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Unions

It seems to be real easy to blame the unions for destroying jobs and being greedy. I hate to break it to you guys, but there are barely any unions left. Most private sector union jobs are gone. The biggest unions are the public sector unions. Maybe they had some bite in the past, but for everything that has been going on lately, they are shockingly weak. While politicians get up on their soap boxes and demonize them, they sit around and say nothing.

When it comes to unions, it takes two to tango. Employers weren't powerless against them. They chose short term gains over long term. They do that about everything. GM is a perfect example. They readily gave employees these fantastic pensions that they knew they could never keep up with. But by the time that bill came due, they would be long gone from their offices. The public unions can't even strike. The only reason they got what they wanted was through votes. And now the politicians are crying that they were forced to do it.

Now I am not an expert in the German economy, but somehow they figured out how to make money with union labor. I think this is generally true of Europe as well. The CEO's of European countries also get paid far less than their counterparts in the US. Maybe if the US execs took their hands out of the cookie jar, they would be able to compensate their employees more fairly.
 
  #24  
Old 02-07-12, 05:21 PM
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I can't tell you how disappointed I am in some of the posts against unions.

Up here on the iron range the taconite plants have been running full steam for the last two years with next year looking as good. Funny thing is, we've been union forever with the companies making a good profits and the employees making good wages. Happy all around.


Unions...well I won't even go there....oh yes I will....they are the greediest, least performing, economy crushers.

Hmmm....blood is boiling! Larry, come on up north and see what some of our iron miners work in, not good. Working on production trucks and shovels when it's -30, working in the mud and crap in the buildings....come on....bring your nail gun and see how you do. Was that too strong? Hope so!

Granted, some unions probably suck, some employees sure do, but to make a blanket statement like that just rubs me the wrong way.

Have a nice day.
 
  #25  
Old 02-07-12, 05:35 PM
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At some point I could see China and the like getting unionized. I'm sure they will go through all the similar growing pains we did as a country.

Other food for thought: I also feel that with the world getting smaller it is turning into a global market. We just have to figure out what they want to buy/need.

On the good side, we are in the service industry and that is tough to replace overseas.
 
  #26  
Old 02-07-12, 05:44 PM
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So many companies are run into the ground with or without union labor. Why do they get the blame for it?
 
  #27  
Old 02-07-12, 08:13 PM
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Most Terrifying Moment

Gotta share this. New at the mine as labor I had to unplug a 36" crusher, from the bottom.

Foreman took me downstairs and shined his light in a door. You have to go up that 30' ladder (installed by the previous crew) and get the fines out with a jack hammer. Rock crushers don't like dirt.

I looked at him, "you're kidding, right?" Nope, in you go. It wouldn't have been so bad but they were dumping on that side and the noise and shaking was deafening. When you dump 90 tons of taconite in the 60, drops down in the tin can, then into three of four 36s, it shakes the building. Unfortunately, I was in the fourth one. Only took a few hours but I did get it unplugged.

Crude drawing:




Yeah, us union duds do work once in a while.
 
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Old 02-07-12, 08:23 PM
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Well its not 1978 no more...LOL

SNL did a good parity about the American dope growers union.

Dont know if y'all member dat one!!!

Could not find that parity to post but found the below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Lg4gGk53iY&feature=player_embedded Video of the Day: American Dope Growers Union [SNL 1977] - Toke of the Town
 
  #29  
Old 02-07-12, 08:28 PM
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My point is labor. Why do we send our products to be manufactured by cheaper labor? Our economy could stand a shot in the arm, too, you know.
Agree 100%.


I don't know if you watch ABC Nightly News but they have had a series about 'made in America'. There are a lot of companies coming back home for whatever reason. Very interesting.
 
  #30  
Old 02-08-12, 03:24 AM
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Baldwin, cool your blood. If your union was "performing" you would not have had to place yourself in a position such as that in the crusher. My point. For the money the unions rake in from the employees, the return just isn't there anymore. I am sure in certain areas, they are still protecting the workplace, but overall, such as Mike has stated with the Teacher's Union, they are inhaling rather rapidly.
I don't watch much network TV, but I will do research on the ABC stuff you mention. It may be interesting to see.
 
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Old 02-08-12, 05:24 AM
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I'm just going to keep quietly watching.
 
  #32  
Old 02-08-12, 06:35 AM
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Baldwin -

Could that have been at the Minntac plant? - Coarse crusher building with the deep, deep bottom or the long fine crusher building?

I worked there when the first stage of the plant was built with up to 2,500 people at one time.

Dick
 
  #33  
Old 02-08-12, 06:56 AM
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A couple of my union stories.

When I was 14 my father was a machinist at a plant where only the electrical workers (IBEW) were unionized. They went on strike and the rest of the non union members continued working. The union brought in some thugs from out of state to stop the "scabs". They busted all the windows on my fathers car with baseball bats. While he was in it. The plant shut down for nearly 6 months because of the violence. He had 4 kids to feed and a mortgage to pay and no job. All he was trying to do was provide for his family.

I once had an office as a DOD rep in a private shipyard. I was overseeing a mechanic and an electrician prepare a piece of government suppplied equipment for installation. With me was a construction foreman and a union rep. The mechanic was having a hard time holding a tool and a scale for a critical measurement. The electrician, the foreman and I all offered to hold the scale. The union rep insisted only a mechanic could do that and he would get one. We waited more than 2 hours before a mechanic showed up. I could write a book on the inefficient and wasteful union labor I saw in that shipyard.

If unions are disappearing all I can say is thank God and it can't happen soon enough.
 
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Old 02-08-12, 10:44 AM
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I suspect that this thread will soon be closed (and deleted) because it is simply too hot.

Thank you Drooplug and Baldwin. I, too get mad as he!! over the anti-union rhetoric. Union labor built this country and was instrumental in the formation of the middle class. As the unions have been disappearing, so has the middle class. All the benefits given through employers (or government) have come about due to unionized labor.

Certainly it is true that the history of labor unions is not pure, no one with even a shred of knowledge has said that but neither are most of the anti-union things being said today true across the board.

chandler

Baldwin, cool your blood. If your union was "performing" you would not have had to place yourself in a position such as that in the crusher.
Absolutely NOT true. Just because a job is dirty, noisy or dangerous does NOT mean that unionized employees are exempt from that job. What unionization DOES mean is that the union will fight to get mitigation to make the job less dangerous. Without unions (or now OSHA, which came about because of UNION pressure) the companies would tell the worker to do the job or leave the premises.

Tell me, Chandler, how many years, months, days or hours have YOU worked on union jobs?

lawrosa

Well its not 1978 no more...LOL
And if you think those days, or maybe 1948 or 1918 or whenever couldn't return then you are a fool. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance applies in the realm of labor vs. management as much as anywhere. [BTW, in this context you need an apostrophe between the t and the s in it's. It's is a contraction for it is.]


Baldwin

...we've been union forever with the companies making a good profits and the employees making good wages.

Granted, some unions probably suck, some employees sure do, but to make a blanket statement like that just rubs me the wrong way.
Most major companies prefer to be unionized because it makes dealing with employees far easier. Rather than having to deal with ten thousand individuals they instead deal with a handful of union representatives. Having a standard contract that covers thousands of workers is easier than having thousands of contract (or no contracts at all) covering each individual worker.

Yes, some unions DO suck, but mostly for their membership. Yes, some marginal (or outright duds) employees DO skate by under union protection but in every single case I have known of (and there have been several) IF the company has a documented case against the employee the union not only will not contest it but will help the company in getting rid of the employee. Unions do NOT want duds any more than do the companies. The real problem in getting rid of the duds is that management fails to document the case.



lawrosa

IMO the teacher's unions are by far the most dangerous and the primary reason the American education system is so screwed up.
Whassamatter, upset because you didn't get the education that your parent's and their neighbors paid for?

Communication is the paramount problem in education today. For at least the last thirty years it seems (not seams) to me the teaching of Americanized English is all but non existent. People have lost the ability, or were never taught, how to communicate with the written word. Misspellings and improper grammar and syntax is the norm these days and with the texting craze it has only gotten worse. Furthermore, when these people are corrected they lash back with the phrase, "Well, you know what I mean!" They just don't care if they can correctly get their point across.

No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is a HUGE mistake. It has resulted in schools "dumbing down" the curriculum to the least motivated and the least intelligent students. It has "lowered the bar" to the point that even average students simply no long care about learning. Schools no longer exist to impart knowledge or the desire to learn but instead have substituted "teaching to the test"; going over and over the material covered by the standardized testing for the simple expectation of raising the test scores. Everyone has lost something as a result of NCLB.

I could go on.
 
  #35  
Old 02-08-12, 10:54 AM
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Location: Northern Minnesota
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Dick,

No, this was at Erie. Probably the same set up though. Ground floor was the 2nd and it went down to the 7th.


Larry,

The job was safe, just scary with them crushers banging away around me. Turned out to be a piece of cake and you have to take into account this was around 1970 and I was just a teenager.


Wayne,

Ever see the movie Matewan? Great show, look it up.
 
  #36  
Old 02-08-12, 12:38 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 3,188
Baldwin - There is no movie on earth that can replace the sight of my mother and father at the kitchen table, my mother in tears as they discussed the possiiblity that they were going to lose their home. That was over 50 years ago and it still pizzes me off.

You can believe that the country and the middle class were built on the backs of unions. I prefer to believe that the country and the middle class are strong despite unions.
 
  #37  
Old 02-08-12, 01:29 PM
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the companies would tell the worker to do the job or leave the premises.
Furd, now what do they do? Tell the worker to do the job, or sit down and have a cup of coffee while we negotiate with the union while you are getting paid to do nothing? I have been in union shops for 13 years while I worked in Atlanta. I honestly felt sorry for the workers, because I could see the Teamsters weren't working in their favor, only in the Teamsters' favor. The workers received very little support beyond their local union steward, but they had to pay those union dues, regardless. It is probably regional, so don't get too upset if we have differing opinions. I'll remain on level ground.
 
  #38  
Old 02-08-12, 02:17 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 6,126
When I worked in MN on the taconite plants, every man, when he walked in the door and walked out and ran to the union was a different person and the union was there to appease them. No person worked for a single company but said they worked for the "the company" (whichever it was) and was represented by the union in the "war". This was a highly socialistic area and just a few miles north of the home of the "American Communist Party" where the proverbial Gus Hall was the annual candidate to be President of the U.S.. Most people were first or second generation people from Europe and they unfortunately relied on the union for representation and gave up on individual incentive and performance.

It was a strange place where everyone got drunk after work daily (more than twice the average rate of alcoholism in the state). As you went down the main street, it was just bars and as you went in one direction, everyone was worse.

It was a prime example of the unions and management not working together and concerned about the future of the employees and creating productivity and a good life and it was just a stalemate. - I saw this in the middle of booming expansion. Every weekend at 4:00 PM on Friday I had to get in the car to get back to the real world and get back in the car at 4:00 AM on Monday to go back to work. When I left, it took the company about 30 minutes to find two other jobs (South Chicago and outside Houston) and move me, but I chose to get out of the union/corporate battle despite paying all moving costs and paying for advanced education. The company was great to work for and very much oriented to employees, but the battle with the unions was well established.

There is no absolute line or conclusion on the value of unions, because they are localized and really run by the "rank and file" and if the BAs or leaders are not really strong or smart, it can be a disaster for everyone. I had several union leaders I fought with and negotiated with and they became good friends and a pleasure to deal with.

Dick

A laborers union president was great because he would present a list of requests (not demands) over lunch and he paid. Next, we offered alternates for operations and we paid. The next week we met to decide before we left and flipped a coin to see who paid. When we hired a new employee, there was a 90 day probation period. About 10 days before the end, he would call to remind me and ask "Do you want him forever?". He did want me to hire a problem child and would never object to me hiring a person that could haunt him for years. When we negotiated, he said "If they don't agree with what we decided, I will punch them out or run for re-election".

Another was a Mexican Teamster business agent that had worked for the company and was on withdrawal while being a business agent. After 10 years he lost an election and became a driver after not doing it for years. He ground a few gears, but did everything else right because he knew the rules. Whenever the was a job with a union/jurisdiction problem to be delivered, we sent him out and he knew when there was a picket or an informational banner and the just blew the horn a block away to run through anything improper. If we did not deliver and sell the work for his fellow employees would be reduced even though he had the seniority.

There is no definite dividing line between union and management if people work together.
 
  #39  
Old 02-08-12, 09:13 PM
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Wow when I said that unions were to blame for some of Americas problems I never thought there would be so much discussion. Well I still haven't changed my mind much about unions but to be sure as I said some unions have actually helped people or at least have tried to so not all unions are bad.
Here are a few examples of when unions actually do some good or at least try to. Example one I once knew of a guy who was offered some teaching from his union to become a certified electrician and the union was going to pay for his education at no cost to him while he worked at his job. The guy though was a real dead beat his pay had been garnished as he owed money to someone and just didn't want to pay it so what does he do? He quit his job rather than pay off his debt which could have been done rather fast at least within a year anyway. Of course when he quit he also lost his opportunity to further his education that the union would have paid for. Now who's fault was that the union? No way in this case they were trying as much as they could to try and give this guy a break. Instead he is probably still a dead beat somewhere and living off of others.
Example two an entirely different scenario I know another guy who worked for the telephone company way before they were forced to split into several companies by the government. Well this guy was also a union worker and took many different courses while he was with the phone company that were sponsored by the union. He learned so much that they would call him for special assignments as he had special skills that some of the other telephone workers didn't have. He was so good as a matter of fact that he was eventually assigned to the white house so he could take care of their phones.
My last example relates to mass transit as some union workers have complained about bus fires and worker safety as in some areas the cameras are not working and that has caused worker safety problems and traveler safety problems such as thefts and attacks on people. These unions want these things changed and I certainly agree with them buses that cause fires need to be removed and cameras need to be replaced. In our area as in many other areas though the mass transit is run by government entities and we all know how fast government is don't we.
 
  #40  
Old 02-09-12, 09:23 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 3,188
Another reason why unions are unAmerican. LINK
 
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