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Friday, November 19, 2010

QFC Just Asked Me to Cross the Picket Line

Posted by on Fri, Nov 19, 2010 at 3:33 PM

Wondering if there's still a grocery-workers strike looming in the week of Thanksgiving? So was I, but the official word is mum. According to both UFCW 21 (the union employees) and Allied Employers (the firm negotiating on behalf of the big four grocery chains) there is no news to report from the latest round of grocery contract negotiations wrapping up today.

But then I just got a call.

A woman from QFC called my cell phone asking if I wanted to interview on Sunday for a temporary job in their grocery store?

First question: "Would you be willing to cross a picket line?"

The background: The previous contract between the workers and employers expired on November 15, shortly after the last pre-deadline attempt at a new contract was voted down by 94 percent of UFCW voting members. Even though union workers did not like the proposed contract's reduced wage premiums and were unsatisfied by its seemingly large employer contributions to pensions and health benefits, both sides said a strike was unlikely the last time I spoke to them.

So maybe a strike is likely? And to answer the QFC lady's question, I said yes (being an unpaid intern is fun, but a guy's got to eat).

 

Comments (187) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
1
Scabbing, huh? You're a real peach.
Posted by Proteus on November 19, 2010 at 3:32 PM · Report this
Last of the Time Lords 2
If you cross the line you are a piece of shit. Sorry but that is all that you will be.

There's a point when you have to stand up for what's right and be a man. So put down your copy of Fountainhead and to the right thing. SUPPORT THE STRIKERS IF THEY STRIKE!!
Posted by Last of the Time Lords on November 19, 2010 at 3:33 PM · Report this
DOUG. 3
Ditto @1 and @2.
Posted by DOUG. http://www.dougsvotersguide.com on November 19, 2010 at 3:40 PM · Report this
4
Is this the same pseudo-anarchist who was dropping Randian knowledge bombs on us a few weeks ago?
Posted by Nick on November 19, 2010 at 3:42 PM · Report this
Last of the Time Lords 5
One other thing Sloggers, when/if the strike happens we as consumers do NOT go to grocery stores that are involved in the strike. That's how we show support for labor !!

Posted by Last of the Time Lords on November 19, 2010 at 3:45 PM · Report this
Last of the Time Lords 6
@4, yes the very same.
Posted by Last of the Time Lords on November 19, 2010 at 3:46 PM · Report this
care bear 7
Surely you just added that last paragraph to get reactions from people like 1-3. But for what it's worth I totally would too. I'm poor. I need money.
Posted by care bear on November 19, 2010 at 3:46 PM · Report this
Philly 8
I may be out of work but I'm no SCAB!
Posted by Philly on November 19, 2010 at 3:47 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 9
This does NOT mean that there will be a strike; it just means that they want to be ready for one. About a year ago, my local King Soopers (the face of Kroger in Colorado, as QFC is in Washington) had all kinds of signs up advertising employment for scabs and had even gotten some crowd control barriers out, ready to be set up for the picket lines, and no strike happened.
Posted by Matt from Denver on November 19, 2010 at 3:47 PM · Report this
emor 10
Nobody likes a scab.

Shop at local independent markets this Thanksgiving.
Posted by emor on November 19, 2010 at 3:49 PM · Report this
11
... if you're pro union do you have to support every decision a union makes and all of the effects/outcomes it may produce? if you think the base concept of a union is a good idea, but you oppose some of the shit that a union tries to pull does that you an enemy to the union?

just curious because they sure seem to fuck more up than help these days.
Posted by ddecounter on November 19, 2010 at 3:50 PM · Report this
12
@intern and @7: you could apply for a job at one of the many union stores not affected by this round of contract negotiations - Madison Market, PCC, W Seattle Thriftway just to name a few. And, of course, shop there...
Posted by Gompers on November 19, 2010 at 3:50 PM · Report this
13
The shareholders of Kroger Corporation and the executive millionaires who run the company thank you for your economic wisdom.
Posted by maddogm13 on November 19, 2010 at 3:52 PM · Report this
14
@11: if you're a union member, you abide by the democratic decisions made by the members. In this case, a 94% vote seems pretty convincing.
Posted by Gompers on November 19, 2010 at 3:53 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 15
Saturday, huh?

Guess I'm buying groceries tonight.

@13 is correct.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on November 19, 2010 at 3:54 PM · Report this
16 Comment Pulled (Threatening) Comment Policy
Will in Seattle 17
oh, and PCC is not part of this strike, fwiw.

nor is Costco.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on November 19, 2010 at 3:55 PM · Report this
COMTE 18
@11:

Yes, it's called "solidarity" and it's really the only leverage the workers have against employers when the shit hits the fan.

You know the old saying, "an injury to one is an injury to all"? If we don't support them, why should we expect them to support us, should we be unfortunate enough to find ourselves in a similar situation down the road?

And not being privy to the details of the UFCW agreement, I can't really say if there are things in it I disagree with or not. But regardless, if 94% of their members don't think it's a good contract, who am I to contradict them?
Posted by COMTE on November 19, 2010 at 3:55 PM · Report this
19
Hey man. I'm serious here so listen up cause I'm not gonna say it twice.

FUCK YOU.

You never, ever, ever cross a picket line. I gave you the benefit of the doubt and backed you up on the anarchism thing, but agreeing to cross a picket line just makes you a class traitor piece of shit idiot teabbager shortsightedly working against your own long-term interests and the interests of the people as a whole.

So yeah, FUCK YOU, right in the ear. I hope you starve to death.

(Okay I lied... I planned on saying it twice the whole time. Sue me.)
Posted by tired and true on November 19, 2010 at 3:58 PM · Report this
Josh Bomb 20
scabby scab scab scab.
Posted by Josh Bomb http://www.satanosphere.com on November 19, 2010 at 4:00 PM · Report this
I'm 85 Years Old 21
A scab carries their mark for life.
Posted by I'm 85 Years Old on November 19, 2010 at 4:00 PM · Report this
22
Great! Go be a scab! Don't bother looking for a part time job elsewhere, just STEAL someone elses rightful work, it's much easier. Those strikers will be poor too, but thanks to you, they will have a harder time trying to get the support that they deserve.
Posted by MissTaurus on November 19, 2010 at 4:00 PM · Report this
23
The Seattle Times is a union paper and the Stranger is a scab paper. Why do you union sympathizers read a non-union, scab paper?
Posted by Provocateur on November 19, 2010 at 4:11 PM · Report this
pissy mcslogbot 24
it is worth pointing out that "replacement worker" is merely the cleaned up management term for scab and blackleg miner.
Posted by pissy mcslogbot on November 19, 2010 at 4:11 PM · Report this
tabletop_joe 25
Matt Luby: He's got his.
Posted by tabletop_joe on November 19, 2010 at 4:11 PM · Report this
Fnarf 26
Greenwood Market will still be open. So will Ballard Market and Ken's. I'm not really going to be inconvenienced at all.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on November 19, 2010 at 4:19 PM · Report this
27
Is shopping at a store that usually hires union people but is currently staffed by non-union people because the union people won't agree to work under the conditions that have been offered less acceptable than shopping at a store that never hires union people?
Posted by Phil M http://https://twitter.com/pmocek on November 19, 2010 at 4:25 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 28
Maybe Unpaid Intern should strike against SLOG in solidarity in hopes of getting a living wage.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on November 19, 2010 at 4:25 PM · Report this
heywhatsit!? 29
Metro Markets will be open as well.

And FUCK YOU, scab. Piece of cumshit, twat-smacker.
Posted by heywhatsit!? on November 19, 2010 at 4:27 PM · Report this
30 Comment Pulled (Threatening) Comment Policy
31
@27, the workers at the nonunion stores benefit from union activity as well. For example, Whole Foods offers pay and benefits at the level they do largely for fear that without them their workers would organize in a heartbeat.

Whether to patronize such a place at all is a question for your conscience, but for now, keep it simple, and NEVER cross a picket line.
Posted by gloomy gus on November 19, 2010 at 4:35 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 32
#27.

Labor is a business.

Unions are businesses.

The provide a service...maximize the value of their members.

If the union failed in that job...then its a failed union.

If the union succeeds, then its a successful union.

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on November 19, 2010 at 4:35 PM · Report this
pissy mcslogbot 33
@28: he probably signed a piece of paper that clearly stated his position was unpaid.... otherwise known as a contract...
but as a rightwing shill you probably think that form of agreement only works and is enforceable in one direction, towards the elite.

christ bailo, you really are a daft jackass.

Posted by pissy mcslogbot on November 19, 2010 at 4:36 PM · Report this
michael strangeways 34
Such high principles from the Ayn Rand loving unpaid intern...
Posted by michael strangeways http://www.seattlegayscene.com/ on November 19, 2010 at 4:38 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 35
Don't forget Trader Joe's. U Dist and Ballard.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on November 19, 2010 at 4:38 PM · Report this
SPG 36
"I'm poor" is no excuse for being a scab. Nor is it an excuse for beating down and robbing old ladies.
Posted by SPG on November 19, 2010 at 4:41 PM · Report this
37
Obvious troll is obvious.
Posted by stimpy on November 19, 2010 at 4:43 PM · Report this
michael strangeways 38
#27 has a point (Hi Phil!)

My question: Is Trader Joe's union or non? I think non, but I also think they pay well/have good benefits
Posted by michael strangeways http://www.seattlegayscene.com/ on November 19, 2010 at 4:43 PM · Report this
emma's bee 39
Am I surprised that our rugged individualist unpaid intern is contemplating this? I am not.
Posted by emma's bee on November 19, 2010 at 4:55 PM · Report this
40
@care bear -- Ding ding ding! It's not like I'm thrilled about the idea of slinging groceries at QFC. But I would work my ass off at it and it would be nice to stop watching my bank account leak money.

@9 -- Yeah, I don't believe they will strike, either.

@12 -- Are you fucking kidding me? Do you think it is just like those stores are hiring anyone who shows up? I applied for jobs at just about every grocery chain in town. This is the first bite I've gotten from any of them, and that is even with a decent amount of grocery experience.

@COMTE -- It's 94% of voting members, not 94% of members.

@danindowntown -- Neocon, really? Do you even know what words mean? Try harder.

@ tired and true -- This made me laugh.

@ Supreme Ruler -- Like others have said, I work here by choice under mutually-agreed upon terms.

@ScottSut -- My, you are a cute one. Beating up poor people must give you and your thug buddies a real hard-on.
Posted by Guest Author on November 19, 2010 at 5:11 PM · Report this
passionate_jus 41
I will never cross a picket line.

My grandfather and great grandfather were both union men working in the factories of Chicago. They both went out on strike.

My grandma also worked in a factory during WWII, but never had to strike. (She also wasn't very please to find out that she made less $ than her male co-workers).

My dad was an air traffic controller.

He was fired by Reagan and rehired by Clinton.

I also once worked for a steel worker congressional candidate in Allentown, PA. We were taking on a very conservative first termer named Pat Toomey.

So yeah, labor is in my blood.

Plus, not going to QFC is a net gain.

The place sucks.
Posted by passionate_jus on November 19, 2010 at 5:15 PM · Report this
Gus 42
Scab! Filthy, disgusting scab. People like you are why corporations can get away not paying their employees a living wage. You're just a bad person.

I hope you "slip" while crossing the picket line. You deserve every misery life has to offer.
Posted by Gus on November 19, 2010 at 5:21 PM · Report this
43
@10 You mean the non-unionized independent markets that pay less and don't provide benefits?

Strikes are one thing when conditions are really deplorable. But eh, I'm not going to go out of my way because some workers are pissed over minor cuts to raises. BFD
Posted by giffy on November 19, 2010 at 5:26 PM · Report this
merry 44
Hey, UI, do you know why we HAVE weekends?

UNIONS

Do you know why we HAVE a 40-hour work week?

UNIONS

Do you know why we HAVE overtime laws in this country?

UNIONS

Unions exist to ensure that the working class gets a fair shake from all those evil capitalists, who would otherwise work their employees into early graves, for a pittance of compensation and no benefits whatsoever.

To say that you would happily bag groceries -- would, in other words, take the job of a hard-working person who is making a stand for better working conditions FOR THEMSELVES and ALL THEIR CO-WORKERS -- makes you nothing but a shallow, misguided, navel-gazing fool --

AKA A SCAB.

This is one instance where your youth, naivete, and idealism won't get you a pass.

HUMANITY FAIL
Posted by merry on November 19, 2010 at 5:31 PM · Report this
45
@44 And this fight is about none of those things. Its about an old silly rule that paid extra for Sunday work and some other minor issues.
Posted by giffy on November 19, 2010 at 5:34 PM · Report this
pissy mcslogbot 46
from the unwise intern @40 "@ScottSut -- My, you are a cute one. Beating up poor people must give you and your thug buddies a real hard-on."

framing it that way(thug buddies) does not absolve nor give you a free pass from your weasel strikebreaker intents, actions or deeds... you stepped into it, the very least you can do is own up to the beatdown you probably do rightfully deserve as one breaking the trust... sure violence may not be the answer but you as a "libertarian" should at least be cognizant that it is a very real possibility given your obvious troll nature...
Posted by pissy mcslogbot on November 19, 2010 at 5:35 PM · Report this
CripKev 47
Let's hope Matt's term as an intern ends soon. He's shown himself to be an annoying little twit.
And if there's to be more coverage of this grocery worker issue, the Stranger editors need to assign it to someone who doesn't have his head up his ass.
Posted by CripKev on November 19, 2010 at 5:45 PM · Report this
Dominic Holden 48
Hey, hey, hey... cool your jets, threatening commenters. Nobody has taken a job yet or crossed any picket lines. Just try to accept amusing/offensive/entertaining Slog fodder for the amusing/offensive/entertaining Slog fodder that it is--even if you disagree with it, even if you'd never cross a picket line. No need to threaten to stalk people/interns/fellow commenters or assault them. Carry on.
Posted by Dominic Holden on November 19, 2010 at 5:48 PM · Report this
49
Fuck you, scab.
Posted by Smell on November 19, 2010 at 5:54 PM · Report this
50
@pissy mcslogbot -- Do you realize how horrible of a human being you are? You are indirectly advocating violence against someone else, someone who has done nothing to harm you or indeed anyone. I bet you hate Republicans because they wage bloody wars on brown people in foreign lands. Look at yourself accepting violence against people right in your own backyard. What the fuck is wrong with your brain?
Posted by Guest Author on November 19, 2010 at 6:03 PM · Report this
CripKev 51
@48 .... Amusing? Entertaining?
Well, if you'd call diarrhea amusing and entertaining....
Posted by CripKev on November 19, 2010 at 6:05 PM · Report this
Love Smoked Salmon 52
Hey asshole intern it's because of people like you that corporations feel like they can get away with fucking their employees over... they know there will always be some piece of shit like you that will undermine other peoples efforts to make them pay livable wages and be held accountable for unfair labor practices...

By the way you just missed posting this on Nov 18 the National Day of Action Against Wage Theft... congrats you just missed being the biggest piece of shit in the world by about 18 hours...

As much as $19 Billion is stolen every year from American workers in the form of unpaid overtime... minimum wage violations... and the abuse of LEGAL immigrant laborers...

But hey why would you care about all that anyways... you are just out to get yours after all... besides holding corporations accountable for their actions is so 200 years ago...

http://www.iwj.org/index.cfm/national-da…
Posted by Love Smoked Salmon http://www.tonkaseafoods.com/ on November 19, 2010 at 6:07 PM · Report this
pissy mcslogbot 53
I love, "amusing/offensive/entertaining Slog fodder for the amusing/offensive/entertaining Slog fodder that it is" as much as the next slogger personhead..

but still ya gotta accept some people are going to react to such a blatant trollish post in the way that they do... shit, i would be disappointed if they didn't, so calling for restraint, seems to me a little late in the game, the horse is already out of the barn. as it were.
Posted by pissy mcslogbot on November 19, 2010 at 6:08 PM · Report this
Love Smoked Salmon 54
@50 "You are indirectly advocating violence against someone else, someone who has done nothing to harm you or indeed anyone."

The thing is you are harming someone if you cross the picket line to take their job... if you can't see that you are very very stupid... or a Sociopath... or a stupid Sociopath...
Posted by Love Smoked Salmon http://www.tonkaseafoods.com/ on November 19, 2010 at 6:15 PM · Report this
merry 55
@ 45 - Bullshit.

Management is trying to gut their healthcare package (to the extent that workers with kids can't afford healthcare for their kids), rollback raises they've already gotten, cut or eliminate future raises, reduce time off benefits, AND make huge cuts in pensions. There is NO PART of this contract offer that doesn't stink to high heaven. Maybe that's why 94% of the voting members elected to put their jobs on the line to make a stand for a decent offer.

Maybe try checking out the facts before spouting off?
Posted by merry on November 19, 2010 at 6:17 PM · Report this
DOUG. 56
Wrong, Dominic @48. Luby did damage when he told the Kroger woman that he'd cross the picket line to work. Kroger will use this information as leverage at the bargaining table, and there's nothing "amusing" about fucking with someone else's job.
Posted by DOUG. http://www.dougsvotersguide.com on November 19, 2010 at 6:18 PM · Report this
pissy mcslogbot 57
@50: keep reaching for strawmen, all you are going to get is a handfull of straw.
Posted by pissy mcslogbot on November 19, 2010 at 6:21 PM · Report this
merry 58
Agree w/#47. This is a big story already, could get bigger - please, guys, let somebody cover it who has a brain and some actual life experience to bring to bear.

@ 48 - Huh? pissy mcslogbot wasnt' saying HE was going to administer any beatdowns, he was saying that, by scabbing, UI would be opening himself up to the possibility. And that's a fact. Seems to me like a timely warning/something to consider if one is thinking of scabbing.

You guys are keeping this idiot around because of the page views he generates, aren't ya? Mm-hmmm.. I see what you did there.
Posted by merry on November 19, 2010 at 6:27 PM · Report this
59
@56, good point.
Posted by gloomy gus on November 19, 2010 at 6:29 PM · Report this
60
@ pissy mcslogsbot -- You are a glib little fascist, aren't you? You pop up to say "Golly gee, I sure don't think violence is right, but boy oh boy, if someone did beat the shit out of you, you would deserve it." You aren't passing that buck now. And you were dumb enough to post it online, making it incredibly easy to track your IP. That goes for your hero ScottSut, too. The only thing beating my ass would do is get you in trouble.

I don't know how it is that people can spit at countries like Russia for not respecting freedom of the press, then turn around right in their own backyard and advocate violence against journalists. Look at yourselves and be ashamed.
Posted by Guest Author on November 19, 2010 at 6:38 PM · Report this
merry 61
Violence against journalists??

So, you'd be taking a scab job in order to write a story about it? Oh okay, that makes everything alright then.
Posted by merry on November 19, 2010 at 6:42 PM · Report this
62
I'm a grocery worker. The proposed contract would cut my pay by roughly 200 bucks a month. I'm too embarrassed to tell you what percentage of my pay that is but it's a big deal and I'm already visiting the food bank once a month. The cuts they are proposing, to sunday and holiday pay, is our bread and butter. Not to mention healthcare cuts and pension cuts.

Thank you slog commenters for standing by me and my co-workers. You guys rock.

Intern...I'd love to meet you in the real world you little shit. You don't know what poverty is, other than an absolute moral poverty, you puss ridden cowardly scab.
Posted by seven on November 19, 2010 at 6:44 PM · Report this
tabletop_joe 63
@ 55. You're right. New hires and their immediate family members would have to wait 12 months to enroll in the medical program. There's also a reduced pension accrual rate and would cut all adjustable benefits--including disability.

You guys, I'm so glad to see so much support here! It means a lot. It seems like everywhere I look (The Lube here on Slog, the evening news , etc.) people just don't get why this dispute is so important. You do, so thank you!
Posted by tabletop_joe on November 19, 2010 at 6:49 PM · Report this
64
I worked at Safeway (one of stores that may strike) for more than a year. Started out at minimum wage, ended at minimum wage plus 15 cents, had decent health care, could only get 25-30 hours work a week, definitely wouldn't have been able to live on that. Thank goodness my boyfriend makes decent money. Half the people that work there need food stamps to feed their kids.

The companies' new contract sucks and will make life much harder, especially for the people lowest on the totem pole at the store. Please support the striking workers. They have it bad enough as it is. Please don't scab. Please don't shop there.
Posted by aurora f on November 19, 2010 at 6:51 PM · Report this
65
I am going to go cross the line and shop at Safeway right down the street from me if they go on strike just because of all the rude people on this site. I would support you guys if you weren't so heartless.

I have been trying to get on with those stores for like 3 years with no luck, and now this may be my only chance. The economy sucks, shit loads of people need jobs and there isn't enough jobs to go around. Sorry some of us aren't as lucky as you are to have a job.

You people are sick and should seek psychological help for threatening people like this, some people may be doing worse off than you and need a job. People deserve to eat, deserve to pay rent, etc. I wish your managers could see this site and see how psycho you people are.
Posted by Libitina on November 19, 2010 at 6:53 PM · Report this
66
Hey Libitina. You're gonna be a scab because of some rude people on this site?

You are a heartless coward. Those companies will fuck you worse than they are trying to fuck us.

Good luck with that. Bitch.

Posted by seven on November 19, 2010 at 7:00 PM · Report this
Last of the Time Lords 67
At all of you: when unions were strong salaries ACROSS THE COUNTRY were HIGHER for union and nonunion workers alike. Once the unions were broken wages went down (adjusted for inflation) and they are still going down.

If you can't see that then I suggest you read up on something that Reagan and the GOP pulled out of public schools; teaching of the labor movement in this country.

Glad you even get overtime? Thank a union. Glad we don't force child labor in the US? Thank a union. You want higher wages for everyone and a more level playing field against the capitalists? Support a union. Hell, start a union.

And to those who would cross the picket line I can only say this. Don't bitch about how corporations rape and pillage everything they can get their hands on. You are empowering them to do exactly that.

Posted by Last of the Time Lords on November 19, 2010 at 7:03 PM · Report this
DOUG. 68
Luby@60: No one should be advocating violence against you. That said, you're not a journalist.
Posted by DOUG. http://www.dougsvotersguide.com on November 19, 2010 at 7:04 PM · Report this
69
Unpaid Intern

Read a goddamn history book and take a look at the east coast Unions. If you don’t join and if you scab, bad things happen. That’s a simple historical fact.
I wasn't advocating violence but warning you what might happen when this very serious union sees the replacements. Not everyone (including you) is sane and logical. But thank you for taking my comment and flying with it like that idiot NWLSP.
When did I say that I would place a beat down on you?
Posted by ScottSut on November 19, 2010 at 7:07 PM · Report this
70
You guys think you have it so bad, you guys wouldn't last a week at Wal-Mart. People at Wal-Mart would think working at a place like Safeway would be paradise.

I was lucky if I got 10 hours a week there, when I got a 200 buck paycheck, I felt rich! Sometimes I would go weeks without working. I didn't even get holiday pay.

You guys have it so much better than most people at Wal-Mart.
Posted by Libitina on November 19, 2010 at 7:11 PM · Report this
tabletop_joe 71
I know it's premature, and I'm still hoping that a decent contract will be offered to avoid this whole mess--but just in case, what's the best way to help the strikers? I mean, would it be okay if I were to bring treats or something to the picket line? Anyone else have any good ideas?
Posted by tabletop_joe on November 19, 2010 at 7:15 PM · Report this
72
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wupToqz1e…

- David Trujillo, not Mr. Luby
Posted by Guest Author on November 19, 2010 at 7:18 PM · Report this
Love Smoked Salmon 73
@70 "You guys have it so much better than most people at Wal-Mart."

@ 65 "I am going to go cross the line and shop at Safeway right down the street from me if they go on strike"

So your goal is to help big corporations take wages and benefits away from their employees?... you want to help turn every workplace more like Wal-Mart?... evil...
Posted by Love Smoked Salmon http://www.tonkaseafoods.com/ on November 19, 2010 at 7:21 PM · Report this
passionate_jus 74
@70

Hey stupid.

That's exactly why I won't shop at WALMART.

And what is your fucking point anyway? Because Safeway employees have it better than WALMART employees, they should happily give away their benefits without a fight?

You know what else is true? You have a much better life than a slave living in the 17th Century.

So maybe YOU should STFU and stop bitching.
Posted by passionate_jus on November 19, 2010 at 7:27 PM · Report this
Love Smoked Salmon 75
@60 From unpaid intern to journalist to Anna Politkovskaya all within a few hours... interesting... also too and no one was advocating violence against a journalist... you ignorant cretin...
Posted by Love Smoked Salmon http://www.tonkaseafoods.com/ on November 19, 2010 at 7:28 PM · Report this
passionate_jus 76
@71

As someone who has helped out at picket lines before, exactly!

Bring over a box of donuts or some pizza.

tell everyone you know not to cross a picket line.
Posted by passionate_jus on November 19, 2010 at 7:29 PM · Report this
pissy mcslogbot 77
@60: kind of easy to throw around the "glib little fascist" label when by all accounts seen on this thread and commonsense discourse it is that it much more fitting to be applied to you; although glib might be a bit mild because basically you are just another dumb whiny ass fake provocateur.

and as far as violence against you. go back and re-read.
Posted by pissy mcslogbot on November 19, 2010 at 7:33 PM · Report this
tabletop_joe 78
@71

I've already been talking to people (even complete strangers) about it which is totally out of character for me. I'm wearing my UFCW button too. I really want to help as much as I can.
Posted by tabletop_joe on November 19, 2010 at 7:37 PM · Report this
79
Don't make me sic the ghost of Walter Belka on ya! Very scary! Very scary!
Posted by Julian in Seattle on November 19, 2010 at 7:38 PM · Report this
80
I was only saying, Safeway just seems so much better than Wal-Mart, even if your benefits were cut.

Mostly what I hate is how cruel you people are to those that are willing to work there if the strike happens, you guys must think that jobs are falling out of the sky. I don't want to support such heartless people and I wouldn't want such people working at my local Safeway or whatever, if I was in your shoes, I wouldn't feel that way because I know there are those who need jobs.
Posted by Libitina on November 19, 2010 at 7:38 PM · Report this
passionate_jus 81
@80

Let me get this straight:

because there are people on this blog who are talking "mean", you're going to cross a picket line and screw over someone else who is not even on this blog?

You show how illogical you are.

BTW, you crossing a picket line is more "mean" and vulgar than anything that has been written here tonight.
Posted by passionate_jus on November 19, 2010 at 7:48 PM · Report this
Fox in Socks 82
Matt Luby takes such pride in being a hateful little piece of shit is because it makes him less of a nobody.
Posted by Fox in Socks on November 19, 2010 at 7:55 PM · Report this
83
Strikers tend to get pretty psychotic, so I can see some on here actually harassing or even willing to beat up someone who is working there for strike relief. I also hear workers on the bus making threats if people cross the line. I also have a family member who works for Fredmyers and she hears the talk.

Just sick even on the internet how cold people are.....

Had an open interview for Safeway and the district manager said it's possible for those who work hard will be kept after the strike, I can see maybe why now, they may need to fire those who assault the people crossing the line.
Posted by Libitina on November 19, 2010 at 7:57 PM · Report this
84
There is nothing lower in life than a scab. An injury to one is an injury to all.
Posted by Smell on November 19, 2010 at 8:01 PM · Report this
tabletop_joe 85
@80
I understand what you mean, but with all due respect, your logic is flawed. Once what Kroger workers have is erroded away (which is already happening in cut hours and then the presentation of this crappy contract), it will be no different than working at Wal-Mart. Which is why so many people are so threatened and reacting by behaving so horribly. I'm not saying it's right, I'm just saying that's why.

If I can apply your logic to a broader problem: Don't the people working in sweatshops need jobs because they're worse off than the workers here? Should we be happy when well-paying jobs are shipped to cheap labor countries? They are, afterall, providing jobs to people who have none. Even if they're being exploited in the process and ruining the economy here.

Please don't let message board anger convolute the difference in your own mind between right and wrong. And don't be suprised, if you do end up taking a scab job, when your new employer screws you over too.
Posted by tabletop_joe on November 19, 2010 at 8:05 PM · Report this
passionate_jus 86
@83

You would do better in life if you returned to school and learn proper grammar.

You will never make a decent living if you don't first get an education.

PS The person at Safeway is lying to you. They will terminate your job as soon as the strike is resolved. The rest of the employees will not allow you to stay.

You get what you deserve.
Posted by passionate_jus on November 19, 2010 at 8:06 PM · Report this
reverend dr dj riz 87
baby.. baby.. you don't EVER cross a picket line..even when you're not sure of the politics involved..i mean think of it in the same way as you would going to someone's house for snacks and drinks. you get there but even before you walk in the front hallway, they hollerin and breaking shit and cussing each other out. you just politely pass until they work that shit out.. now i would normally offer to feed someone who was generally confused about this..but i suspect you ain't that damn hongry and that you talk too damn much.
Posted by reverend dr dj riz on November 19, 2010 at 8:07 PM · Report this
pissy mcslogbot 88
todays union people are gentle pussycats by comparison:

Jack London (yes that Jack London) on the Scab:

"After God had finished the rattlesnake, the toad, and the vampire, he had some awful substance left with which he made a scab. A scab is a two-legged animal with a corkscrew soul, a water brain, a combination backbone of jelly and glue. Where others have hearts, he carries a tumor of rotten principles. When a scab comes down the street, men turn their backs and Angels weep in Heaven, and the Devil shuts the gates of hell to keep him out...."[

http://dawn.thot.net/scab.html

Blackleg Miner.
They grab his duds and his pick as well,
And they hoy them down the pit of hell.
Doon ye go, and fare ye well,
You dirty blackleg miner!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackleg_Mi…

so i think we are doing pretty good, by comparison.
Posted by pissy mcslogbot on November 19, 2010 at 8:14 PM · Report this
89
@86 It's the internet, I don't care about my grammar, I can lazy if I want.

She did say people will be terminated, but those who work hard may stay. She said she would love for that if it could happen but she did not promise anything. Also shows how selfish those people are, sorry others have families to support too.

You strikers are more insane than Boeing strikers, they had more compassion at least. My husband works for Boeing, his fellow coworker was a "scab" when they went on strike, he stayed, they welcomed him and he has had no problems. You people are pretty sad...
Posted by Libitina on November 19, 2010 at 8:23 PM · Report this
90
@80 - Safeway is so much better than Wal-Mart BECAUSE of the Unions. Why do you think Wal-Mart's upper management is so scared of having any part of their workforce become unionized, that when one store DID vote to unionize (in Quebec) they immediately closed it?

This is the entire point of organized labor. If no one ever fights back against corporations, all the stores will be like Wal-Mart. You either support the unions, or you support employers like Wal-Mart - there isn't any middle ground here.
Posted by JenV on November 19, 2010 at 8:25 PM · Report this
91
I'll cross the line, no problem! Want a decent paying job? Should have studied harder at school and been ambitious. Most of the kids I went to school with who do this work were pot heads. Never studied. Well guess what assholes! You've graduated!

Now the only problem is I normally shop Whole Food buy I'm pretty sure Safeway has something edible.
Posted by Proud Scab on November 19, 2010 at 8:32 PM · Report this
92
@89

This strike is more about corporate bloating. Our grocery prices have been raised while Top Foods, Safeway and QFC make huge profits. They cut workforce and compensation, but raise corporate pay and bonuses.

You won’t have a job after this strike. Apply for Costco, they're the only non-union store that pays great and rewards hard work.
But improve your basic knowledge, it’s an important skill these days.

@91

Hi Unpaid Intern!! :)
Posted by ScottSut on November 19, 2010 at 8:35 PM · Report this
93
I hope Luby DOES scab. Because once he does, he'll have to leave town and never come back.
Posted by Scabs are vermin on November 19, 2010 at 8:40 PM · Report this
94
UI:
wow, can't beleive the kind of BS people here are spewing about crossing the picket line.

isn't it curious, so many of these sloggers are pro union when unions are not employers but exist only off the backs of workers weak enough to be brainwashed into thinking that they need a fat union bigwig getting an oversized cut of your pay each week to speak for you. sounds like i just defined scab.

one wonders if there is any sense that one day they wake up and say hey if i had that 50-75 bucks a week that the union took maybe i would actually have something to show for my hard work yr after yr.

the unions here go about paying plants inside companies to poison the well intentionally to create incidents, then take bs cases to the nlrb. the tactics are sickening but here they are so proud of their dispicable union buddies. the ends do not justify the means.

carry on UI.


Posted by herbie52 on November 19, 2010 at 9:02 PM · Report this
TheRain 95
It's time to organize The Stranger.
Posted by TheRain on November 19, 2010 at 9:05 PM · Report this
96
@67 -- Have you ever studied economics? Because I really don't think you have. You are locked into this zero-sum mindset in which workers and bosses are fighting over a piece of pie that never expands. Most of the time, there is economic growth and everyone can grow a bit more prosperous as the pie gets bigger. In a recession like we are in now, you can't draw blood from a stone. Unions can't take money from businesses that they aren't earning it. It's that simple.

@ ScottSut -- Are you worried now that your words are out? Let me repeat them, just so no one forgets: "I'm part of a union that tracks scabs down and beats the crap out of them for their greed. I myself have never practiced this, but watch your back and park down the street."

And let's not forget what danindowntown said, too: "I might cross the picket line just to punch your smary, neo-con face."

You can't run from it now.

@75 -- I would never compare myself to heroes like Politkovskaya or Natalia Estemirova. But there's not necessarily a huge leap between what people were saying to me earlier and what was done to Oleg Kashin just two weeks ago.

@ pissy mcslogbot -- Yeah, I think I am just going to ignore you now. If you want to call a raging market anarchist state-hating pacifist like me a fascist, then you aren't worth engaging anymore. Read a book.

@ Fox in Socks -- Guy writes blogpost reporting facts, people threaten to beat his ass, guy is hateful?
Posted by Guest Author on November 19, 2010 at 9:07 PM · Report this
97
here's a real update from a member of UFCW 21-

There is a federal negotiator/mediator in the meetings. To me, this says that both UFCW and Grocers are serious about coming up with a compromise.

I got a message from the UFCW about 2 hours ago saying that they're still negotiating and it's likely to be a late night.

Here's hoping we have jobs tomorrow, because no one can afford this.
Posted by piratesmile on November 19, 2010 at 9:11 PM · Report this
98
@ UI

Mince away. I hope you get to keep your internship because I'm not reading any of your future articles.
Posted by ScottSut on November 19, 2010 at 9:20 PM · Report this
tabletop_joe 99
@97 Thanks for the update. My husband goes in tonight to throw freight. My wish list:

1) A good contract compromise
2) No walk off tonight
3) Those of you who've applied intending to be scabs get a legitimate seasonal help position

Good luck, everyone! See you all on the other side of this!
Posted by tabletop_joe on November 19, 2010 at 9:28 PM · Report this
pissy mcslogbot 100
@96: calling yourself an anarchist doesn't make it so, give it up, you are just a libertarian without any book learning about what modern real anarchist thought is about.... c'mon dish about your knowledge colonial aspects of corporate-fascist regimes after 1987.
Posted by pissy mcslogbot on November 19, 2010 at 9:32 PM · Report this
Love Smoked Salmon 101
@96 That fact that you brought up Oleg Kashin to try and make your argument says to me that either something is not connecting right in your brain or you are incredibly self-delusional...

Oleg Kashin was beaten for standing up to large corporations trying to take advantage of the common man... you are advocating crossing a picket line of common men trying to stand up to large corporations... you are actively working FOR the things Oleg was actively working AGAINST...

Your stated actions, opinions, and desires closer mirror the people who had Oleg beaten... a child would be able to understand that...

The fact that you can't understand that makes me want to pour a very tall glass of cheap whiskey and drink to the ignorance of our "journalists" in America...

Also too and also the "pie" you speak of has expanded in favor of the owners and CEO's of corporations over the past 35 years... if you knew anything about "economics" you would know that since the 1970's the richest 1% of Americans have seen their share of the "pie" increase from 9% of all of Americas wages to currently over 24%... while the middle and poor class have seen their share of the "pie" decrease by that amount...

You are arguing that the middle class and poor people give something up to maintain that 24% for the richest 1% of America...

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/07/opinio…

http://www.slate.com/id/2266025/entry/22…

Follow the links and please educate yourself... please...
Posted by Love Smoked Salmon http://www.tonkaseafoods.com/ on November 19, 2010 at 10:00 PM · Report this
Posted by Fox in Socks on November 19, 2010 at 10:00 PM · Report this
Fox in Socks 103
Oh, wait. You'll need help with this one too:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/s…
Posted by Fox in Socks on November 19, 2010 at 10:18 PM · Report this
104
This contract would cut pensions of already retired people. How is that ok? It will cut wages that families depend on. Maybe read details before you spew imagined crap out of the anus. At least educate yourselves...

My spouse works for one of these stores possibly going on strike, this contract would mean a 200 a month deduction at minimum. Union dues are 50-70 a month depending on if you are full time or part time. So whoever said 70 a week...HAHAHAH no one would get a paycheck at that rate. Stores don't pay into the union only employees do.

And to all of you desperate for a grocery store job, its not that hard to get one. Your resumes must suck because every week over the last 5 years, I see a long list of openings...Oh and you wont have a job after the strike ends, if there is a strike. They are already cutting hours...you will be the first to go. Oh yeah and if you ARE kept on you would be required to join the union you hate....tell me how that goes for you. :)
Posted by nowayjose on November 19, 2010 at 10:28 PM · Report this
105
Let's make Unpaid Intern irrelevant. Whenever he posts future article's, let's post "SCAB!", and not anything having to do with his article. Ann Coulter's biggest fear in life is to be made irrelevant, so let's make this guy irrelevant. There is nothing in life lower than a scab.
Posted by Smell on November 19, 2010 at 10:50 PM · Report this
106
Striking as part of a union is essentially a group quitting in the hopes of convincing an employer that they need you more than you need them. But if that isn't the case, and they can find replacements, then replacing the people quitting is a rational thing for them to do. The economy isn't great, and nobody that is unemployed has any sympathy for people that want more money and benefits for menial labor. They'll happily take your job; and that will keep prices down for the rest of the grocery-buying public, too.

For expert labor, unions may make some sense, if you can convince everyone to join (rather than using dirty tricks like having the state force people to join); but it makes hardly any sense for entry-level workers. There's plenty more where they come from.

Neither people that want jobs nor people buying groceries should feel at all bad about crossing a picket line. It's just one more protest, and not everyone agrees with every protest. Heck, employers should be able to call the cops to remove picketers from their property; might as well get some use out of their taxes.

And the threats of violence and the massive ignorance here are just ridiculous. "Scab" is just a term for someone that isn't part of your gang or in on your negotiations. There's nothing wrong with that at all. The only wrong here is violence or threats thereof, or state collusion with same. If union members initiate violence against anyone, they are completely in the wrong and deserve whatever harm they come to if they find a "victim" that is armed and able and willing to defend themselves.
Posted by V is for Voluntaryist on November 19, 2010 at 10:54 PM · Report this
107
Hey Matt,

It's quite a vocal and unsympathetic audience you've got, for the most part, isn’t it. Heh! Seems they have very little in the way of brains or morality though, so you'll not be making much headway with them, I'd say. Kind of shocking, at first. But it can't hurt to touch on some of the economic and ethical realities of unionism, which is simply state sanction and legitimization of violence and intimidation against peaceful individuals attempting to carry on with their own private business. Unions are just an attempt at the cartelization of labor, and are no easier to justify than any state enforced corporate cartel. They are in place merely in the effort to artificially, and criminally prop up the wages of some, at the expense of others.

Reading these clowns, you'd think they feel as if a striker "owns" his job, or owns the company that hired him, and the pavement we must walk on to access the door of the property those enterprises are located on. It would seem that they think that it is an aggression just to work at that enterprise, when they willingly abstain from working there themselves.

In any case, as you seem to have noted, the union mentality attracts the criminal mind. And this is to be expected as these unions are criminal enterprises at their core. Watch your back, should you ever cross those sacred lines. These people believe in the rightness of their cause, and like the Gestapo of Nazi Germany, some are willing to commit any crime they deem necessary to forward it.
Posted by Pauled on November 19, 2010 at 10:59 PM · Report this
Love Smoked Salmon 108
@107 Congratulations Pauled you become the first "clown" on this post to prove Godwin's Law... and since i know you are way way to fucking stupid to know what Godwin's Law is here is a handy little link for you... way to show the whole internets that you are a weak minded idiot that has to resort to Nazi comparisons to try to make your transparently false points... remember just because Glenn Beck does it doesn't make it ok... fool...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_la…

Posted by Love Smoked Salmon http://www.tonkaseafoods.com/ on November 19, 2010 at 11:23 PM · Report this
tabletop_joe 109
"...the union mentality attracts the criminal mind. And this is to be expected as these unions are criminal enterprises at their core."

Union Madness, a film written and directed by Pauled. Women cry for it, men die for it!
Posted by tabletop_joe on November 19, 2010 at 11:57 PM · Report this
Fnarf 110
@62 is the new reality. Welfare? No, people with full-time jobs who still need to go to the food bank. If you're salaried, the last thirty years have been a godsend; if you're paid by the hour, you make less than you would have in 1975. Support the grocery workers.

@76, if they strike I pledge to bring a pizza to QFC Wallingford.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on November 20, 2010 at 12:57 AM · Report this
Hawke 111
Fuck you, you fucking scab.
Posted by Hawke http://facebook.com/thehawke on November 20, 2010 at 1:03 AM · Report this
Y 112
As a person who hasn't held a job in six months and depends entirely upon the mercy of his roommates...

I wouldn't do what you're willing to do, Intern.

It's called having standards.

Serf's up!
Posted by Y http://facebook.com/ymarksthespot on November 20, 2010 at 1:19 AM · Report this
113
@108 Granted Godwin's law is a rather amusing observation, but I fail to see how it offers any insight into whether Pauled's points are "transparently false." Sure its an overused analogy and is often abused for the sake of masking false claims. Like... "2+2 is actually 5, you know why? because nazis say its 4 and they're evil so if you think 2+2 is 4 you're evil just like them!"

So you're trying to assert that Pauled is wrong, but you provide no proof of your argument. Instead you finish by bringing up Glenn Beck and calling Pauled a fool. Can you please demonstrate to us through reason what makes his points false? If you can't or refuse, I just might be inclined to invent my own law in which all political conversations boil down to a discussion of Glenn Beck. Pointing out that an analogy is overused and statistically determined to emerge does not offer any insight into the arguments presented.

For once it would be nice to have a real debate absent of name calling and threats and an actual examination of competing ideas.

Now to return to the actual discussion at hand. I think its totally fair for workers to come together, strike and demand better conditions and benefits so long as these things are not acquired through the threat of or actual use of violence through the state or otherwise. I agree that the disparity of pay in the marketplace at large between bosses and lower to mid-level workers is often sickeningly high. Ideally, this sort of situation should encourage people to shop elsewhere thereby discouraging and eventually bankrupting an unfair business model. This would give businesses like Madison Market and PCC or local farmers at the neighborhood markets with a more fair business model a greater share of the market allowing them to expand and hire all those who were mistreated. Or else new businesses with similar models will emerge. So I encourage you all to keep taking your business elsewhere and drive those greedy CEOs out of business and if anything the fact that they are wanting to cut benefits indicates to me that they must already be losing market share. Lets show the world how we can peacefully bring about change.

More...
Posted by America-urination on November 20, 2010 at 1:21 AM · Report this
Love Smoked Salmon 114
@113 Well here's the thing America-urination... i've already commented repeatedly in a somewhat calm rational manner about the things that you actually talk about in the 2nd half of your post... if you would have read my previous posts you would have seen that...

But anyways back to your point of why i didn't specifically dispute any of Pauled's specific points... lets take a look...

Pauled says "In any case, as you seem to have noted, the union mentality attracts the criminal mind." Really you actually feel such a broad overwhelming judgmental statement like this deserves anything but ridicule?... "the union mentality attracts the criminal mind"... huh...

Pauled says "They are in place merely in the effort to artificially, and criminally prop up the wages of some, at the expense of others." The union in this case that we are currently talking about is trying to stop CUTS from being enacted against the employees... yet Pauled feels this is a case of "criminally" and the "artificially" propping up of wages... but you thought i should respond to that?... because why?... a three year old could tell you why that makes no sense...

Pauled says "Seems they have very little in the way of brains or morality though" really Mr America-urination and how would one respond to that?... intellectually with facts of course... according to your requirements...

Here's the thing... when someone takes the "debate" into purely childish name calling without any substantial facts... spouting such nonsense that my 11 year nephew can obviously see the falsehood in it... why should someone spend the time to refute it, or refudiate it if you are a Sarah Palin supporter...

And then when Pauled finishes their incoherent nonsensical rant against middle class people in unions with a Nazi comparison... then yeah i think they deserve nothing but contempt and ridicule... in any even i'm almost done with this tall glass of whiskey so cheers!...
More...
Posted by Love Smoked Salmon http://www.tonkaseafoods.com/ on November 20, 2010 at 2:22 AM · Report this
venomlash 115
I'm late to this party, but don't be a scab.
Posted by venomlash on November 20, 2010 at 8:21 AM · Report this
Jigae 116
I'm not taking the anti-union side here, but I don't really understand what power the strikers have in this situation. Aside from any possible contractual issues (which I imagine would involve one-time lump sum payouts) ... what leverage does the union have? As Americans we've become accustomed to substandard service and it QFC/Safeway spins this "momentary staff readjustment" as a way to "keep prices low and help stretch your dollar farther" then I think people will forget this quickly.

How does a (relatively) unskilled union maintain any leverage when at least 10% of the country is unemployed and willing to work for very little?
Posted by Jigae on November 20, 2010 at 8:27 AM · Report this
TheRain 117
"How does a (relatively) unskilled union maintain any leverage when at least 10% of the country is unemployed and willing to work for very little?"

You strike. You have a picket in front of every store, every day, and you make it so that people don't want to shop there and support a company that would treat it's employees so poorly. You make it so that assholes like Unpaid Intern who scab don't really have all that much to do, because the capital isn't walking through the front door.

It's amazing how much money the owners seem to be able to find when it's a chance to beat down the workers. They'll slash prices to get people to come, they'll pay the scabs quite well, while at the same time claiming at the table that there is no money. It's sad, it's maddening, it's been repeated tens of thousands of times in the last century.
Posted by TheRain on November 20, 2010 at 8:40 AM · Report this
118
@ Love Smoked Salmon -- God, you’re annoying. You don’t actually debate people, you debate what you want to debate. Like this thing with Kashin. Why don’t you read what I said: “and what was done to Oleg Kashin just two weeks ago.” I didn’t say I was the same kind of journalist as him, my point was simply that people here were threatening to punch me and telling me to watch where I parked my car. Kashin was beaten to a pulp with construction rebar in the lobby of his own apartment building.

And to say that my opinions mirror those of the people who beat Kashin is either a knowing misrepresentation of the facts or sheer stupidity on your part. I’m not discounting the latter. Please tell me what a nonviolent state-hater like me has in common with violent thugs in the employ of an authoritarian state.

Your gotcha stats about income inequality are exciting, but they don’t tell me a damn thing about the size of the pie, just how the pie is distributed. Even if a piece of the pie got relatively smaller, it could have still gotten absolutely larger.

@ 106 -- At last someone willing to denounce the crude violence and name-calling that has constituted the majority of this thread.

@ Pauled -- The noncompulsory nature of work is an important thing to underscore here. It’s like people who support smoking bans because second-hand smoke might hurt bartenders. No one put a gun to your head and made you become a bartender.

@ 108 -- “way to fucking stupid.” Impressive!

@ Y -- And I wouldn’t do what you’re willing to do. You’re in no position to lecture anyone on personal finance as long as you sit on your ass.
Posted by Guest Author on November 20, 2010 at 8:43 AM · Report this
Jigae 119
@117: That requires people to have conviction though and I think in the early 21st century convenience trumps conviction 9 times out of 10. Maybe I'm wrong but aside from the strikers becoming a literal physical barrier in front of the store, I don't think that many people will be dissuaded. Who knows: Capitol Hill is an intensely liberal area so people maybe the strike will work.
Posted by Jigae on November 20, 2010 at 8:50 AM · Report this
Jigae 120
@118: For what it's worth, that pie is absolutely NOT getting bigger. The overall size might be "larger" but it's getting a lot less "nutritious."

http://lifeinc.todayshow.com/_news/2010/…
Posted by Jigae on November 20, 2010 at 8:59 AM · Report this
onthequest4peace 121
Obviously Stranger is paying unpaid intern too damn much. A paper that dedicates ityself to the plight of the average man and is desidedly anti-corporate would even let a scab in the office. His ethics is in obvious conflict to your mission and your readers. A scab is the worst of the lowlifes.
Posted by onthequest4peace on November 20, 2010 at 9:50 AM · Report this
emma's bee 122
@121: Exactly. What do you think the chances are that a UI who said he was going to drive Fred Phelps' shortbus because he REALLY needed the money would remain employed by the Stranger? At a minimum, he would heartily deserve the scorn that would rain down on his head in comments.
Posted by emma's bee on November 20, 2010 at 10:19 AM · Report this
123
@114 Ok, so I was a bit lazy in the late hours; and as I was browsing the posts, none of yours previously must have had enough impact on me by the time i got to the end of reading through them. Sorry about that. If I can get the chance, I'll look back and respond to them.

[ Pauled says "In any case, as you seem to have noted, the union mentality attracts the criminal mind." Really you actually feel such a broad overwhelming judgmental statement like this deserves anything but ridicule?... "the union mentality attracts the criminal mind"... huh... ]

Can you explain to me how this is a broad statement? I'll explain why I think its not. Pauled is pointing out a fact that there are criminals in unions and criminals are attracted to the opportunities offered by unions. (If what someone said earlier about a union who beats up people for crossing picket lines is true, then Pauled's point has been verified.) Pauled didn't say "all union members are criminals" he simply accepts the fact that there are most certainly criminals in unions just like there are criminals amongst business owners. However, as soon as a union starts using violence to achieve its ends then yes, it is truthful to say that all people involved are criminals. In contrast to this, I support any union who organizes peacefully and does not resort to violence to get what it wants.

[Pauled says "They are in place merely in the effort to artificially, and criminally prop up the wages of some, at the expense of others." The union in this case that we are currently talking about is trying to stop CUTS from being enacted against the employees... yet Pauled feels this is a case of "criminally" and the "artificially" propping up of wages... but you thought i should respond to that?... because why?... a three year old could tell you why that makes no sense..]

Yes I agree with you in this case the union is trying to keep its current wages and benefits and I really don't mind that assuming it doesn't force the company to run at a loss. However, it is true that unions are in place to prop up wages at the expense of others (the money has to come from somewhere and most often the consumer) now whether this is always done in a criminal manner? Well you have to look at each individual case. What means are people using to get those wages? If you create a law that says "the wage should be x and if its not we'll steal it from you or kidnap you... if you resist we'll kill you" then you are "criminally propping up wages." Lastly I think what he means by "artificially" is that a forcefully raised wage does not reflect market demand kinda like how the federal reserve artificially changes the interest rate: it wouldn't be near zero right now if it wasn't artificially lowered like it is. Lastly saying you don't have to explain yourself and passing the buck to a 3 year old (to insult me? I feel mildly insulted) does not explain your argument. I still don't understand where you are seeing flaws. Humor me... humor us. What I just said above was my attempt to rationally evaluate Pauled's argument.

[Pauled says "Seems they have very little in the way of brains or morality though" really Mr America-urination and how would one respond to that?... intellectually with facts of course... according to your requirements...]

While I'm inclined to agree with the assessment wherever gratuitous name calling (not intelligent) and threats of violence (immoral) are present, I personally wouldn't use that statement in a debate. Name calling (to me) is just a knee-jerk aggressive response designed to defend against ideas that potentially threaten one's world view and their emotional attachment to it. Unfortunately, I'm seeing a lot of this instead of reasoned debate and no I have made no requirements... you don't have to use reason if you don't want to, but I highly prefer it. As to how I would respond to a statement like that if I wasn't sure what it meant I would ask "Can you please explain your point?" For instance...

[if you are a Sarah Palin supporter... ]

Can you please explain the point of bringing her up? If I am wrong please let me know and explain to me, but this seems like a non-sequitor. I don't think anyone here has expressed support for her or even mentioned her name. I certainly don't support her. In fact, I don't support any politicians since we're on the subject.

[And then when Pauled finishes their incoherent nonsensical rant against middle class people in unions with a Nazi comparison... then yeah i think they deserve nothing but contempt and ridicule... in any even i'm almost done with this tall glass of whiskey so cheers!... ]

I agree, the nazi comparison is not very useful; and as Godwin points out, its overuse tends to distract people from the point its trying to make. That point being: in both cases we have a group of individuals who are willing to let the end justify the means. This is an immoral philosophy since it allows for acts violence.
More...
Posted by America-urination on November 20, 2010 at 10:56 AM · Report this
Love Smoked Salmon 124
@118 *sigh*

Fact 1: No one has threatened to harm you for being a "journalist"... no one...

Fact 2: A couple of people threatened you for saying you would cross a picket line to take someones job... for being a scab... not for being a journalist... capish?...

Fact 3: Oleg was beaten for working against an "authoritarian state" AND large corporations taking advantage of their workers and the public... he was trying to help the common man... the middle class and the poor...

Fact 4: You as a scab would be helping large corporations take something away from their workforce... you would be harming the middle class... the poor... you would become part of the problem Oleg is fighting against...

Sure, what you are doing to help corporations fuck their employees is nonviolent... but it's still wrong...

Simple really... when you think about it...
Posted by Love Smoked Salmon http://www.tonkaseafoods.com/ on November 20, 2010 at 11:32 AM · Report this
Gus 125
Unpaid Intern, I hope you get pancreatic cancer.

Posted by Gus on November 20, 2010 at 11:33 AM · Report this
DOUG. 126
Luby's actions to undermine the union may be non-violent, but that does not mean they aren't physically dangerous. The grocery workers union is fighting to keep (or gain) some health care benefits. It's not a stretch to imagine that if those benefits are denied to workers, some will get sick. Maybe very sick. And maybe the wrong person will cough in your potato salad at the QFC deli, and you'll get sick too.
Posted by DOUG. http://www.dougsvotersguide.com on November 20, 2010 at 11:50 AM · Report this
127
What is the union doing for the unemployed or the ungainfully employed?

Why should the unemployed or the ungainfully employed do anything for the union?

A union is a great thing is a you're a mediocre, middle-of-the-road mouth-breather, but the presence of unions takes opportunities away from the brilliant or the motivated. One could talk about emphasis in unions of seniority over performance; one could talk of their frequently violent, manipulative (and often illegal) behaviors; one could also talk of how union monopolies take job opportunities away from other qualified or proficient potential employees who do not want to or cannot join a union.

Frequently, unions are filled with untrained, unskilled, technically deficient workers; the belief so predominant in the US that one stops learning with the completion of school works against the need for constant new training that even a technical labor force will need to be competitive with high value production in other nations; the standard of living is too high in the US to compete with poorer nations in low-tier production; thus, if the manufacturing industry is to return to the US, it will have to be in high-tier manufacturing, making us have to compete with countries more like Germany.

Nevertheless, unions are necessary to ensure most workers are not exploited by management. However, unions operate parasitically on non-unionized workers if they demand unfair or simply exploitative pay and benefits. Unskilled labor isn't worth 50k a year.
Posted by Central Scrutinizer on November 20, 2010 at 12:02 PM · Report this
128
@116, Jique:

“I'm not taking the anti-union side here,"

In these parts, probably wise - as amongst a lynch mob, one would also hesitate to announce one's black heritage.

" but I don't really understand what power the strikers have in this situation. Aside from any possible contractual issues (which I imagine would involve one-time lump sum payouts) ... what leverage does the union have?”

Logically, and morally, they have the power to agree to abstain from working at the firm, the power to attempt to persuade other people to voluntarily not do business with the firm, and finally to go find work elsewhere with people who are willing to pay them the wage they are willing to accept. Beyond those logical and moral means, in practice, they have the power to threaten to initiative violence against people, and engage the state, on their behalf, in legislating against private property owners and contractors, such as these firms, to restrict them from hiring those who are willing to work for the wage they offer, when others are unwilling to do so.

“As Americans we've become accustomed to substandard service and it QFC/Safeway spins this "momentary staff readjustment" as a way to "keep prices low and help stretch your dollar farther" then I think people will forget this quickly.

“How does a (relatively) unskilled union maintain any leverage when at least 10% of the country is unemployed and willing to work for very little?”

Either by state sanctioned, or pseudo state sanctioned aggression, and ultimately, by violent mob rule mentality. In short: crime.
Posted by Pauled on November 20, 2010 at 12:07 PM · Report this
Love Smoked Salmon 129
@123

"In any case, as you seem to have noted, the union mentality attracts the criminal mind. And this is to be expected as these unions are criminal enterprises at their core"

"Can you explain to me how this is a broad statement?"

It's a broad inaccurate statement in the same lines of "the terrorists were Muslims so Muslim organizations are terrorist enterprises at their core"... frankly i'm tired of bullshit statements like that and i feel if you spend the time to refute them with logic and intellect like you want to happen it actually gives them validation... instead they should be pointed at and ridiculed for making statements like that...

Ok here is the thing about violence and criminals in unions... sure a long time ago unions ACTIVELY used violence as a way to accomplish their goals... at that time they were fighting for things they needed to survive... things like safe working conditions in mines... enough money from a 12 hour work day to feed their family so they didn't starve and or freeze to death... remember there was very little social services at the time... it really was a life or death struggle... people were willing to kill for livable working conditions...

When people of our day and age call union members thugs and unions criminal enterprises it just means they are using fear rhetoric because they don't understand todays unions... or they are actively working for or in favor of big business... i mean for god's sake my sister is a 2nd grade teacher in a union... she bakes cookies for fun... if violence happens at a picket line in todays world in America it is tempers flaring by the INDIVIDUAL not an organized effort by the ORGANIZATION to harm or kill someone...

"That point being: in both cases we have a group of individuals who are willing to let the end justify the means. This is an immoral philosophy since it allows for acts violence."

By that argument football games are immoral because they occasionally they allow for acts of violence... you are once again operating under the false logic that todays unions are ACTIVELY using violence... instead of the fact that occasional acts of violence happen during picketing... almost all union activity today ends in either peaceful picketing... walk outs... everyone taking a "sick day" at the same time... or stressful negotiating until both sides reach an agreement...

The 3 year old comment was the whiskey talking... sorry about that...

I dropped Sara Pallin's name because i was using the word refudiate to be snarky... that word and her use of it will always crack me up...

More...
Posted by Love Smoked Salmon http://www.tonkaseafoods.com/ on November 20, 2010 at 12:24 PM · Report this
130
@ America-urination 123:

“Yes I agree with you in this case the union is trying to keep its current wages and benefits and I really don't mind that assuming it doesn't force the company to run at a loss. However, it is true that unions are in place to prop up wages at the expense of others (the money has to come from somewhere and most often the consumer) now whether this is always done in a criminal manner? Well you have to look at each individual case…”

Unions as we have them today are all fundamentally criminal institutions, as they are institutions of the state, aided by state legislation, and given their only real and aggressive power from the state. And the state itself is, as you may be aware, a criminal institution. (Let me know if you think this claim too is unhelpful hyperbole).

If not for the state, what would a union be: a group of people who voluntarily agree to quit their jobs, and not look for new ones, all at once, and stand around complaining that their employer does not value them enough. In the meantime, those who felt “valued enough” and accepted the wage that employer was willing to offer, would either continue to work, or would replace them. In a while, the union members would either recognize that the free market pays you and can only pay you the marginal utility that your labor provides the employer, and then go find a job that provides the value necessary to pay the wage they require. Or they would starve. Or, or like some on this list, remain dependent on the good graces of their generous “roommates”, in the false and pathetic belief that they are adhering to higher moral principles. Wow. Please, let’s not make me laugh.

Posted by Pauled on November 20, 2010 at 12:34 PM · Report this
131
Oh, this was a delicious post! I went from not knowing the word "scab" existed, to wishing I never knew the word "scab" existed.

Gotta say, I'm with UI on this one. He is clearly open to debating the problem of the evolution of income distrubtion over the past few decades, but nobody wants to challenge him intelligently on that front.

And what is with this sense of entitlement on the part of the "workers of America"? Why do employers need to cater to you beyond their financial interests? They only need to know how little compensation you are willing to do a relatively low-skilled job for, they are not your nanny or your state. Get a job with a government organization - they are competitive, but the rewards are great - and once you are in, its really hard to get fired! I know of a great person who almost lost her job because when an incopetent employee above her was fired, she invoked a union rule which allowed her to take the position from the newest member of the team.

I lost a chance at at two jobs myself because it is so difficult to fire somebody from a government job that I could not wait long enough for a position to officially open.

Unions are bullies, and the fact that you cannot work some jobs without joining the union is creepy and means that the unions do not need to meet any standards of effectiveness or fairness to attract members to join them.

Competition is GOOD.
Posted by give me pom on November 20, 2010 at 12:49 PM · Report this
132
I don't actually hate unions that much, but this thread is so heavily biased, I felt some pushback was warrented.

Unions are merely a labor supply side strategy which is perfectly fair to do in an open market, and an apt counter to labor demand side strategies such as threatening massive layoffs.
Posted by give me pom on November 20, 2010 at 12:53 PM · Report this
133
@131, if you don't want to join a union, don't work at a unionized workplace. Or, go to the south, and enjoy the right to work laws down there. See how you like the living standards and working conditions in Alabama and Mississippi. You have the freedom to do that. There are good reasons (just look at the South) why many union contracts have union security clauses in them. I'm creeped out by union contracts that say union membership is not mandatory. I work under one. I'm creeped out by people I work with, enjoying the same wages and working conditions that were bargained by my union, free loading off of the dues paying members. If they don't like the union, they should look for work elsewhere. And by the way, as a union member, I am the union. A union is the membership.
Posted by Smell on November 20, 2010 at 1:15 PM · Report this
Keister Button 134
I'm just relieved you have an employment option other than becoming a TSA agent.
Posted by Keister Button on November 20, 2010 at 1:30 PM · Report this
135
@Smell,

Like I said, I am not all against unions, just suspicious. And all my personal, albeit limited, experience with them has been negative (and yes yes, I benefitted from the work that unions did decades ago, but most of that stuff is basic human rights which nobody is disputing.)

Unions were and remain in many (most?) cases good things. But they are still imperfect tools to achieve what they mean to, which is essentially to force those in power to compensate their employees fairly, and in a way which reflects their contribution to the organization. There are better models to achieve this, including democratization of the workplace, a phenomenon observed mostly in high tech start-ups in silicon valley, in which the workers actually vote on things like executive compensation and other major issues. Its a better design for business, because fairly compensated workers are better workers.

Getting back to the QFC case, I have no problem with the union threatening to strike. But I think it is a perfectly legitimate bargaining chip on the part of QFC to call their bluff and start looking for potential fill-ins. What I do not understand is the vitriol being expressed at the UI for trying to make a buck, and the blind defense of QFC workers and sympathy for their jobs. Why are these QFC employees entitled to jobs? Why did they take the job if they did not offer enough hours to live on? Why did they assume that in a recession life was not going to get harder for them? Why do they not have another job on the side? Why did they not make any financial preparations?

Why not some sympathy for the UI who has no income?
Posted by give me pom on November 20, 2010 at 1:57 PM · Report this
136
@130 Thanks for making that a little bit clearer. Honestly, my general assumption has been that unions are primarily state institutions (and therefore criminal) from what I've read in history or heard in the news, but since I don't follow the activities of every union and don't make every effort to memorize these examples, I didn't want to get caught making any false assumptions or sweeping generalizations. This is why I try to keep to principles since I'm not willing to research all the historical examples to strengthen my case by making arguments that go like "so Union x raised money for y politician who pushed z legislation through congress, therefore..." because it saves me a lot of time(and I know you weren't doing that). Also, I certainly don't think your claim here is an unhelpful hyperbole so thank you. :) Lastly, of course, I am FULLY aware that the state itself is a criminal institution! Do you remember who you're talking to here? :P

I like your cogent description of what a voluntary union might look like. That presents one possible scenario (one which I think is more likely especially in this economy) where the market demonstrates in a non-violent way what value people place on the service provided to them. The other possibility though that i think someone else presented here is that peacefully demonstrating the disparity in pay between CEOs and lower level workers might be enough to encourage people to take their business elsewhere. Therefore, demonstrating that the market demands services rendered by individuals who are paid higher.

All in all if these workers think they deserve more they can speak their minds all they want and I encourage people to be assertive about their needs and preferences so long as they don't resort to violence to get what they want... and that includes state enforced legislation.

More...
Posted by America-urination on November 20, 2010 at 1:58 PM · Report this
137
@31: Nevertheless, if you support the basic principles for which the potentially striking union is fighting, then during the strike would be the wrong time to shop at uninvolved-but-virulently-anti-union Whole Foods.
Posted by d.p. on November 20, 2010 at 2:11 PM · Report this
emma's bee 138
@135: Why have sympathy for a guy who appears to be merely padding his resume for a gig at reason.com?
Posted by emma's bee on November 20, 2010 at 2:31 PM · Report this
139
@138 And the sad part is that the hysteria he has managed to produce on Slog is only going to sweeten up that resume for anybody wanting to give him a bigger megaphone.
Posted by give me pom on November 20, 2010 at 2:42 PM · Report this
140
@135, the work that unions did decades ago is constantly under attack by the right wing. Our basic human rights, safety, wages, benefits and working conditions in the workplace are things that unions today are trying to maintain. These items are, in fact, disputed by the right wing, to this day. Just look at how they are trying to dismantle Social Security, which was passed decades ago, but the right wing disputes it. Look at how the right wing tried to dismantle Washington state's Industrial Insurance (thankfully it failed) with initiative 1082. Dino Rossi supported cutting the minimum wage by $1.50. Unions' political and job actions are a bulwark against these attacks against basic rights. In states that don't have right to work laws, the living standards of all citizens, union and non union, are generally higher.

As far as the model of a democratized workplace, if it works in a particular business, then great. I'm sure it can be successful in some models. In other models, the boss wants to be boss, and wants to run things her/his way. My Grandfather was an employer in concrete construction. He was a dictatorial, boss minded person. He did, however, hire union labor out of the union hall in Longview, because that's where he found the most qualified workers. He followed the union rules and paid union scale, but he'd be damned if there was going to be any democracy in his workplace. And his business was successful for him and his employees.

Why do I have no sympathy for the UI, who has no income? He is consciously inserting himself into a fight where some fundamental wages and working conditions are at stake. He is fucking with people's livelihoods by saying he will cross a picket line. He is posting this publicly, and arrogantly bragging about it. Some of these grocery store workers are visiting the food bank. That's bullshit. He is helping feed the system that is eroding what little power our imperfect, but beneficial unions have today. That's what makes him a scab. I'd starve before I'd cross a picket line.
More...
Posted by Smell on November 20, 2010 at 2:59 PM · Report this
emma's bee 141
@139: Sad? Not in the least, if it hastens his exit from Slog.
Posted by emma's bee on November 20, 2010 at 3:10 PM · Report this
142
@ Love Smoked Salmon -- The bottom line is, if I hadn't posted this, I would've just been one more guy who said yes to a phone call. I didn't have to write the post. I didn't have to say I said yes. But I did because it was the honest thing to do.

Your whole understanding of the Kashin situation is ludicrous. If you want to talk about someone who is just a provocateur, much as I respect Oleg Kashin, he is mainly a provocateur. I mean, he was loudly pro-Kremlin just a few years ago and is now suddenly loudly pro-opposition.

And for you to say that I'm anti-poor and middle class when I take public transit and pack my lunch and do everything I can to save the money I don't have is just stupid.

@ Everyone -- I would recommend reading Pauled @ 130. "Unions as we have them today are all fundamentally criminal institutions, as they are institutions of the state, aided by state legislation, and given their only real and aggressive power from the state. And the state itself is, as you may be aware, a criminal institution."

@ Smell -- "A union is the membership." Yes, plus the schmucks at the top who are making six-figure salaries off of your sweat. Oh, and you'd starve before you'd cross a picket line? Would that I had the opportunity to test that statement. Do you really think I made this post to brag about interviewing for a temporary job at a grocery store? Do you think that makes me proud? I made this post because I wanted to break a story.

@ emma's bee -- My time at The Stranger has nothing to do with Reason magazine. I am working at The Stranger because I love working with the talented staff of writers that make up The Stranger. We may not agree on every issue, but these are some damn talented people and I am learning a lot from them.
More...
Posted by Guest Author on November 20, 2010 at 3:30 PM · Report this
143
@142, no officer of my union makes 6 figures a year. Their wages are tied into what the rank and file makes. In fact, some of the rank and file make more than the president of my union makes. And yes, I'm that militant, I'd starve before I'd cross a picket line. Look at all the people around the world who go on hunger strikes about principles. You make many generalizations about unions that are not true.
Posted by Smell on November 20, 2010 at 3:44 PM · Report this
Jigae 144
@143: What union are you a part of? That doesn't mesh with what I know of SEIU and several others. I have a number of friends who worked for unions (as organizers and "researchers") and they all left with very bad tastes in their mouths about the inequalities between administration, staff, and members.
Posted by Jigae on November 20, 2010 at 4:36 PM · Report this
145
From Kroger's website

KROGER INCREASES QUARTERLY DIVIDEND 10.5%
CINCINNATI, Ohio, September 16, 2010 – The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) today announced that its Board of Directors increased the amount of its quarterly dividend to 10.5¢ per share from 9.5¢ per share. The dividend will be paid on December 1, 2010 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on November 15, 2010.

This 10.5% increase is the fourth time the Board has raised the quarterly dividend since it initiated the program in 2006.

“We are creating value for our shareholders by reducing debt and returning value to them through dividends and share repurchases. We believe Kroger is in a strong position to continue to deliver shareholder value now and in the future and we appreciate the continued trust and support of our shareholders,” said David B. Dillon, chairman and chief executive officer of Kroger.

Kroger, the nation’s largest traditional grocery retailer, employs more than 334,000 associates who serve customers in 2,468 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith’s. The Company also operates 784 convenience stores, 372 fine jewelry stores, 932 supermarket fuel centers and 40 food processing plants in the U.S. Kroger, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, focuses its charitable efforts on supporting hunger relief, health and wellness initiatives, and local organizations in the communities it serves. For more information about Kroger, please visit...
Posted by justsayin821 on November 20, 2010 at 4:52 PM · Report this
146
@ America-urination

Re: knowing who i am talking to. I am embarrassed to admit, i am not sure exactly who you are, except by your name on the list (AU). Next time you get the chance, let me know.
Posted by Pauled on November 20, 2010 at 4:52 PM · Report this
147
@144, I'm in a small, democratic one.
Posted by Smell on November 20, 2010 at 5:10 PM · Report this
148
@146 I just sent you an email :)
Posted by America-urination on November 20, 2010 at 5:14 PM · Report this
149
Ooh this post really gets under the emotionaly unstable skin of the socialists now doesnt it.

Guess i would be a scab to. Im not a surf/slave to some economically ignorant collective.

And to the idiot who keeps referring to Rand. Dude get your ideologies straight. You sound stupid everytime you type. This guy does not represent randians, or objectivists. Dont be in such haste to pubicly reveal your idiocy.

Posted by Beaon on November 20, 2010 at 6:31 PM · Report this
150
Seriously, 90% of grocery workers could be replaced by illiterate Mexicans. Maybe you-all should have studied harder in school rather than smoke so much pot. When illiterate Mexican pot heads could do your job, and for less, you have to think 'how did I fuck up so bad?'.
Posted by Happy scab on November 20, 2010 at 6:33 PM · Report this
151
I applaude you. The unionism movement is a marxist scam designed to destroy American innovation.

Way to go...
Posted by Anarcho-Capitalist on November 20, 2010 at 8:39 PM · Report this
152
UI, you are young and you are wrong. Please trust people who have been around longer than you when they tell you not to become a scab. You will get a paying job soon enough. You don't have to get a paying job by walking across the backs of the people you hope to work with someday.

No one will thank you for taking this job. When the strike is over, the company will not thank you. They will fire you. When the strike is over, the employees will not thank you. They will be glad you are gone. If they strike, they will most likely make a condition of settling their strike that no scab employees get hired into the union. If they do not make this a condition of their return to work, the members of the union will never forget you crossed the line to get your money.

This has nothing to do with a political theory nor your book-informed understanding of economics. It has everything to do with people who work hard and ask that you don't help take pay from their pockets.

This is not about voting for Ralph Nader. This is about holding your head high and doing the right thing for your neighbors and friends.
Posted by six shooter on November 20, 2010 at 10:01 PM · Report this
153
Yeah!Let's support the slaves!
Posted by Fny on November 20, 2010 at 10:02 PM · Report this
154
Six Shooter - does your Jew brother have a cushy job with the union? is that what your soppy plea is all about? When you are FORCED to join a union when to take a job - somthing is very amiss and wrong. Most of the hardworking - blue collar workers I know hate their unions and wonder why the F@#k they are forced to join them and wonder why the hell the are FORCED to pay union dues... Unions kill companies and allow lazy employees to stay longer at a job than they should. Unions get in the way of an individual right to freely negociate with an employer... Unions are primarily concerned with their own existance - not with helping anyone but themselves - and taking more of your money... Unions - eliminate JOBS...
Posted by Anarcho-Capitalist on November 21, 2010 at 12:41 AM · Report this
samktg 155
@Anarcho-Capitalist, your remark about Six Shooter having a "Jew brother" with a "cushy job with the union" reveals you for what you are. No doubt you believe 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion' were real and that there is a plot run by Stalinists and Jews to turn the US into a gulag.

Now I could tell you how individuals have no power compared to enormous corporations and that without a union the individual will be beaten to a pulp by the corporation while as it cuts pay. And I could tell you that unions help level the playing field between corporations with bottomless wells of capital and the individuals just trying to get by and feed their kids. I could even tell you that employees and employers negotiating terms of employment is fine when all involved have a sense of human decency, but as a corporation is not a human and is really a machine that functions to funnel money to the top 2%, it does not have that sense of decency so unions must be involved. That said, I might suggest that scabbing is a terrible thing to do, as it undermines the strength of the people to make fair deals with their employers and empowers the people who wouldn't piss on them if they were on fire in order to minimize costs.

But I won't bother to explain, because you're an anti-semitic putz that values the power of corporations over the rights of human beings in the name of "American Innovation". How "American" is your innovation, anyway, when it only benefits the top 2% who would set up shop in the bowels of hell if it was cheaper?
Posted by samktg on November 21, 2010 at 3:03 AM · Report this
HellboundAlleee 156
I really want to support UFC. Really. But if they continue to ignore the bottom tier of workers in favor of the higher ones, what the fuck am I supposed to think? We pay our dues. They are pretty high. But we continue to not be eligible for health care and overtime, because he works at the "bottom tier."

Yeah, yeah, scabs are scum, blah blah. But don't tell me I am required to fucking slobber up the union's butt because "unions are good." They are all different. Not all unions are the same.

I just hate hearing "progressives" support fake representationalism. You all might as well tell me "America: love it or leave it."

Unions: Bless them all or you're a fucking Randian. Come on guys, a few of you are smarter than that.
Posted by HellboundAlleee http://hellboundalleee.blogspot.com on November 21, 2010 at 4:53 AM · Report this
157
@156 -- You're right. The debate often falls to "unions are good" and people who "don't support them are bad".

The debate falls this way because the unions often have a very little megaphone while the people who oppose them have huge megaphones.

The simple truth is: If you look closely into any organization, you will find things about it you don't like. If you look at the overall good versus the overall harms, the picture becomes quite clear.

America was her most prosperous, the distribution of wealth her most righteous and fair, her labor force the most productive (greatest return in dollars per hour of labor), and her position on the world stage the most respected in her history during the time when labor unions were their strongest.

Right now, only 7% to 8% of US workers belong to a Union. In the 60s and 70s, that number was closer to 30% or 40%.

If you measure our success as a country based on the total prosperity of its citizens, you have to conclude unions do more good for this country than almost any other social force. If "innovation" is your only benchmark for the success of our country, you still have to conclude unions do good for the country. The American laborer remains the best value, most efficient laborer in the world, despite our insistence on treating our workers fairly.

Unfortunately, we're still arguing against the imaginary innovator who feels like he has to employ imaginary workers who make unreasonable demands just to choke the life from his imaginary innovations. While this scenario seems like it makes perfect sense, it doesn't actually mirror the real word.

People like anachro-capitalist will talk all day long about these imaginary individuals, but cannot point to a single one of them. I have a long list of just about EVERY successful American innovator with at least some unionized power making his dreams reality in the real world.
More...
Posted by six shooter on November 21, 2010 at 9:36 AM · Report this
158
And yes, my jew brother got a job because of the union. He entered a workforce that otherwise wouldn't have allowed him because the union demanded an end to religious bigotry.

And my gay brother got a job with the union because the union demanded its workers be judged by fair and knowable standards.

And my black sister has a job that allows her to feed her children because of the union, even though her employer would like to fire her and hire a younger, whiter woman to take her place.

And my somewhat lazy older brother who has worked his job for twenty years still has a job because the union says his boss can't fire him just so his boss doesn't have to pay for the retirement he's almost earned.

If you are so worried about my jew brother, why don't you ask him what he would be doing if he didn't have access to the labor market.
Posted by six shooter on November 21, 2010 at 9:59 AM · Report this
159
Nice to see such nuanced discussion. Nothing sheds light on a issue than casting it in stark black and white. No critical thought necessary but name calling a must.
Posted by mussed on November 21, 2010 at 10:39 AM · Report this
passionate_jus 160
Dear Stranger staff:

It's time to get rid of the anti-union scab, Matt Luby.

And, even if you don't get rid of him, you need to have somebody else write articles about the grocery store workers' labor disputes.

To not do so would mean that we should not take your publication seriously.

The UFCW has done a lot of hard work on the issues that the Stranger and it's readers supposedly care about, like marriage equality, for instance.

The UFCW has consistently been one of the most pro equality unions around. Their support (along with other unions) of Approve Referendum 71 was instrumental in its passage.

Not only did they endorse Referendum 71, they voted to utilize their phone banks to help with its passage.

http://www.sgn.org/sgnnews37_40/page3.cf…

Many unions helped Referendum 71 pass.

http://approvereferendum71.org/08/organi…

Check out #144.

Just a reminder, in the next few years (as early as 2012 perhaps?) there will be an effort placed before the voters legalizing marriage equality in WA state.

It's going to be a very tough fight. And the outcome is going to be very close.

Your going to need all of the help you can get. You'd be better off with a strong UFCW on your side.

If you want to win in the future, you are going to need to support the people now who have supported your issues in the past.

Just a friendly reminder.

Politics is all about coalition building.

Don't fuck over the folks that have gone to bat for you in the past.
More...
Posted by passionate_jus on November 21, 2010 at 11:42 AM · Report this
passionate_jus 161
@ Anarcho-Capitalist

There's no such thing as an anarchist capitalist.

You need to read a few philosophy and history books, and then get back to us.
Posted by passionate_jus on November 21, 2010 at 11:45 AM · Report this
162
@157, I agree that union membership nationwide is low, but when you look at it on a state by state basis, union density is quite high in some. Washington state is around 20%. You can google union density, and the University of Hawaii's Center for Labor Education and Research has a state by state summary of union density statistics for each state in the nation (their data is taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics). When the right wing shills say that unions are dying, and they quote the low nationwide statistic. But they don't take into account the disparity in union density from right to work states and closed shop states. It is interesting that the right to work states generally have a lower living standard than closed shop states. Another interesting factoid is that union membership grew a little in 2007 and 2008, during one of the most hostile Labor Departments in our nations history.
Posted by Smell on November 21, 2010 at 12:35 PM · Report this
Posted by Jigae on November 21, 2010 at 1:01 PM · Report this
164
Reading these posts almost makes me want to scab in solidarity with Mr. Luby. Scabbing would be worth it just to stick it to you leftist asshole idiots. If it weren't for the fact that the job sucks, I would. Thank you Matt, and all the other proud scabs who keep stores running while lazy worthless union members try to get more money for standing around holding signs.
Posted by Morgan_in_Seattle on November 21, 2010 at 1:54 PM · Report this
165
And everyone knows Boeing has never innovated anything. And everyone knows that when they were pressed with bad deliverables and missed dead-lines, they cut production in the non-union shops and transferred work back to the people who take pride in the work they do (Union workers).
Posted by six shooter on November 21, 2010 at 4:36 PM · Report this
svensken 166
@ 161

Wikipedia is not a credible source.
Posted by svensken on November 21, 2010 at 5:57 PM · Report this
svensken 167
Oops

@163
Posted by svensken on November 21, 2010 at 5:58 PM · Report this
Jigae 168
@166: Ummm... that Wikipedia article cites an absurd number of dependable sources. Use the reference list and find a source that is "reliable." THis is a well-established concept. You may argue with the nomenclature but it's not a made up term.

Kind of like "neoliberalism." It doesn't necessarily describe what one might think it does.
Posted by Jigae on November 21, 2010 at 6:36 PM · Report this
svensken 169
Oh dear.....

I wasn't arguing your terminology, I was arguing your source material. You seem to be arguing with yourself at this point.
Posted by svensken on November 21, 2010 at 7:16 PM · Report this
Jigae 170
@169: Umm... so, wait, what's your point? The original debate was about whether or not there was such as thing as "anarcho-capitalism." See @161. You AGAIN weren't engaging with the actual issue but a convenient way of attacking another's argument without providing any evidence or new material of your own.

Also, your profile photo: Classy.
Posted by Jigae on November 21, 2010 at 7:27 PM · Report this
171
How come Randians can't spell?

Or is it just the rest of us sheep who simply can't understand their new, innovative approaches to grammar and spelling, because we're so mired in our dull, servile mindsets that we trust things like "dictionaries" and "schools" and "book-learning" instead of the bold individual initiative that says "I'll arrange letters on the page however I damn well please and everybody else will just have to figure out what the hell I'm trying to say" ?

Yeah, it must be that.
Posted by BrAyn Randumb on November 21, 2010 at 7:30 PM · Report this
172
Website with union density statistics:
http://clear.uhwo.hawaii.edu/density.htm…
Posted by Smell on November 21, 2010 at 8:13 PM · Report this
173
Anarcho-syndicalists have more fun than anarcho-capitalists.
Posted by Smell on November 21, 2010 at 8:29 PM · Report this
Y 174
Intern, it's not like I don't have a job for lack of trying, and it's not as though I, as you put it, sit on my ass in the meantime. I do something that fulfills me greatly - it just doesn't pay. And I'm okay with that.

So yeah, I think I will feel superior to you.
Posted by Y http://facebook.com/ymarksthespot on November 21, 2010 at 9:59 PM · Report this
175
I don't think this "Unpaid Intern" guy is an asshole.

But he is clearly an attention whore with a superiority complex.

Wait, that's the same thing.
Posted by Your Name Here on November 21, 2010 at 10:08 PM · Report this
cubbybear 176
I've worked in union jobs and non-union jobs and my experience was always that the non-union jobs were better in every way (better pay, more respected, more opportunity to grow, etc). When I worked for one of the major airlines my experience was that the hard core union kool-aid drinkers were the laziest, most self hating nasty people in the whole organization. They'd file grievances if someone looked at them the wrong way.

Unions have their time and place. There is nothing wrong with workers voluntarily getting together to negotiate as a group for better working conditions, but so many unions have become their own evil empires full of corruption. So I would strongly encourage all the folks that dogmatically take sides with the unions is to examine each union management dispute on a case by case basis. Unions are not always in the right, and they don't always do what is best for the workers, especially if you are young and just starting out in the work force.
Posted by cubbybear on November 22, 2010 at 9:54 AM · Report this
177
I'd temp with a temp agency before I'd take a scab job at a grocery store. There has to be better opportunities.

That said, I'd say Solidarity! and all but UFCW doesn't take all that great care of their clerks, baggers and counter people. They're paid like paupers, given few hours and no benefits (all benefits have to be purchased and they're crappy benefits at that), and nearly half of the ground-floor workers (this is not an exaggeration) are on food stamps. Meanwhile the leadership's paying themselves around $300K a piece. Some union.

Union Is Good only makes sense when the Union in question actually serves their workers. But that ship sailed with UFCW decades ago. It no longer stands for and serves what many of you think it does.

Thankfully it's settled and the issue is QED, but the pro-union stances I still see today reek of a mindless ignorance and shows that the people who utter such mantras don't actually pay attention to the world around them anymore.
Posted by Gomez http://misterstevengomez.com on November 22, 2010 at 10:32 AM · Report this
178
Unions are mafia type extortion rackets. No more no less. I worked for one for a very brief time before quitting in disgust at the lazy good for nothing ethic preached by the union 'representing' me.

In a nation of laws strikes in which the job one chose to abandon was still there after the extortion picketing should be illegal. Don't like the way your company pays? Quit. Otherwise an employee has no legitimate say in how the pay structure or other compensation is figured at his or her place of employment.

Without a union the Dreamliner would likely be on time. Without unions many companies which folded in the face of insane pay demands would still be in business providing employment. Without unions the job flight overseas would likely be stemmed.

Unions are bad for our economy. They are unethical. They are promoters of laziness and false senses of entitlement. In a civilized nation belonging to a union would carry a year in jail, while a strike would be a felony.
Posted by Seattleblues on November 22, 2010 at 9:46 PM · Report this
samktg 179
@178, A strike would be a felony? So in a civilized nation, we would not have the equivalent of our first amendment rights?
Posted by samktg on November 22, 2010 at 10:14 PM · Report this
180
Freedom of speech? How?

I respect my employees. I value their input on jobs and on the running of my company generally, and encourage that input. I picked the best, pay them well, and expect the best work from them. But, since they aren't worthless union employees, that last isn't really to the point. Since they aren't union they are proud of the skills they practice, and wouldn't do anything but the best for their own self respect.

That said, not one of these men takes the risks I do. When those risks pay off, I make a great deal more money than my staff. But then, it was my money that was risked in the first place. The employee gets paid whether a contract is profitable or not. The monthly costs of running an office are borne whether the business made money that month or not. Wnile I stand to make more money, I also risk losing potentially everything I've worked for the past couple of decades.

This is not a freedom of speech issue. This is a freedom of property issue.
Posted by Seattleblues on November 23, 2010 at 10:45 AM · Report this
181
@27,

Yes, because shopping at the non-union stores is a temporary tactic to help the unionized workers win a fair contract. Once the dispute is over, I would resume shopping at the union stores.

But, I would also try to find good stores that are either unionized or treat workers well that are not part of the strike as alternatives.
Posted by ML77 on November 23, 2010 at 12:36 PM · Report this
182
Someone said previously:
What is the union doing for the unemployed or the ungainfully employed?
Why should the unemployed or the ungainfully employed do anything for the union?

Nobody has answered this. So is the answer 'nothing, and no reason'? Or is it 'the union is making sure that when they do get jobs the jobs are good ones'?

So assuming we're not taking the first answer, you guys are arguing that unemployed people should support moves to raise/maintain the standard of living for their better off neighbours, on the assumption that they too will become one of them. Sounds like tax cuts for the rich.
Posted by Hannibals elephants on November 23, 2010 at 5:32 PM · Report this
183
They just suck! I just went to the QFC store where I normally do my purchases in Seattle and when the guy working there saw me taking pictures (actually I was taking video to send it to my brother in Russia to show him american stores) so the salesman told me that videos are prohibited on theit "Private property". I asked him what would happen if i kept taking pictures and he said that I would be asked to leave.

Watch my video at youtube look for seattleunted.
Posted by Russ on November 23, 2010 at 5:53 PM · Report this
samktg 184
@180, Wow, don't you stink of privilege. How dare those poor people exercise their constitutionally protected right to peaceably assemble. They are just so lazy, if they weren't lazy, they'd be just like you and have pulled themselves up by the bootstraps. Oh poor victimized big business, how dare those lazy people organize, how dare they demand living wages. They are transgressing property rights!!!
Posted by samktg on November 23, 2010 at 7:15 PM · Report this
185
@182, Organized labor is probably the main group right now lobbying Congress for extensions on unemployment benefits. Glen Beck had a funny snippet on his program recently where he was talking about the dangers of organized labor teaming up with the 99ers (those who've been on unemployment for 99 weeks or longer) to extend unemployment benefits for the long term unemployed. Beck urged charity, (soup lines? tried that) not benefits for people who can't find work.

Organized labor was the group that pushed for unemployment insurance in the first place. We lobby for benefits that are appropriate and rules that are fair. Some of us in unions don't have steady jobs,(our work may be seasonal, or a job may last for a particular length of time) so our unions are always working on fair unemployment insurance. Unemployment is not a generous gift that the benevolent state hands down to us, it was fought for.

What do unions do for people out of work? Well, some union members work out of their union hall, where the workers are hired by contracted companies. If the union has an abundance or work, and needs positions filled, they will recruit unemployed people to work. If the union doesn't have work, they might have a contact at a nonunion company where they could refer an unemployed person to work. Through my union, I was able to find work, even if it wasn't with a company my union had a contract with. More than a few times, someone (and they weren't necessarily members) has walked into my union hall looking for work, we didn't have any, but the business agent helped them find a contact for work.

Unions also help unemployed people when they negotiate appropriate staffing levels with their employers. Employers want to cut costs, so they may think that they can run with a lean number of employees. Unions, for sometimes safety reasons, will push for a higher staffing level. In my trade, we do that because fatigue is a big factor in my job. As the saying goes,"Many hands make for lighter work." And unions push for fair trade deals that keep Americans employed, not deals like NAFTA (which Ronald Reagan actually started, G.H.W. Bush continued, then Clinton signed) which kill jobs. I think a big part of our bad economy is due to NAFTA and China's most favored nation trading status.
More...
Posted by Smell on November 23, 2010 at 8:31 PM · Report this
cubbybear 186
Want to know why our public education system is failing? One of the biggest lobbyist groups in Washington DC is the National Education Association (the teachers union). The teacher's union is the reason this country has rooms full of teachers being given full pay and benefits while they sit around playing board games and checking their email. Some of these teachers have been physically and verbally abusive to students. And they can't be fired because of the contract that the union foisted upon the education system. Power corrupts.
Posted by cubbybear on November 24, 2010 at 11:13 AM · Report this
187
union gave you a 40 hour work week?

Well you lazy POS i work 80-90 hours a week for twenty years. And I don't owe any union slob Business agent a blow job for my house like you do. i work weekends, i work nights and i dont honeor any union cards at my company. Your so tuff you hoe someone gets hurt crossing a picket line well haow much backbome do you have when some lazy union presdident or vp comes gladhanding on your job? Yeah that;s right that feeling whrn you see him is fear that that man is really your boss.

An you know what else unions gave you?

Yeah thats right everything in every store you go to is mad in China. You can thank your union for that.

Get a life quit your union aand give up that commie bullshit. Because that union shit aint American.
Posted by john918170 on January 13, 2011 at 5:52 PM · Report this

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