Happy Labor Day 2013!

Enjoy the holiday, if you have it to enjoy. While union bashing is in vogue, remember what we have because of unions:

  • Weekends without work
  • All breaks at work, including your lunch breaks
  • Paid vacation
  • Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Sick leave
  • Social Security
  • Minimum wage
  • Civil Rights Act/Title VII – prohibits employer discrimination
  • 8-hour work day
  • Overtime pay
  • Child labor laws
  • Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA)
  • 40-hour work week
  • Workers’ compensation (workers’ comp)
  • Unemployment insurance
  • Pensions
  • Workplace safety standards and regulations
  • Employer health care insurance
  • Collective bargaining rights for employees
  • Wrongful termination laws
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)
  • Whistleblower protection laws
  • Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) – prohibits employers from using a lie detector test on an employee
  • Veteran’s Employment and Training Services (VETS)
  • Compensation increases and evaluations (i.e. raises)
  • Sexual harassment laws
  • Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Holiday pay
  • Employer dental, life, and vision insurance
  • Privacy rights
  • Pregnancy and parental leave
  • Military leave
  • The right to strike
  • Public education for children
  • Equal Pay Acts of 1963 & 2011 – requires employers pay men and women equally for the same amount of work
  • Laws ending sweatshops in the United States

Of course, all good things must come to an end and what with the union execs acting like, well, regular execs, the whole union movement got unsustainable. You’d think all these smart guys would tweak and evolve the program instead of it just being a game of demands and extortion on both sides.

Don’t worry–we won’t have to suffer with all of that socialism for much longer. So, let’s have a hot dog and a beer and not think about it.

This is an open thread.


60 Responses

  1. Happy Labor Day!
    Don’t forget the apple pie!

  2. This woman amazes me! I hope she reaches her goal today, she’s so close!

  3. Happy Holiday Uppityits. 🙂

  4. Yes I hope she makes it too. 🙂

  5. Did someone mention pie?! 😉

    Go Diana, Go! (I’ll be here eating pie, watching!)

  6. Here’s her website giving her real time location!
    2 miles from the Florida Keys!

  7. I want Diana Nyad to succeed this time. What an inspiration!

  8. OMG!! Could CNN’s coverage be any suckier?????
    The stupid reporter was positioned too far away from where she came in…..he was asking random people in the crowd….”did you see her? how did she look??” CNN had 2 days to prepare for this and they blew it! Now we’ll have to wait to see if one of the bystanders shot some video.

  9. CNN, one news failure after another. Bring Ted back!

  10. hahaha:

  11. Here’s a labor day video! Very well done!

  12. Nice video!
    Well, CNN did it again! They finally had some video of Diana Nyad on the beach. She started to speak…..she said….I have three things to say…..(held up 3 fingers)…..one, never give up…..2…….(CNN video freezes)…..cut to anchor {{facepalm}}…oh no, we lost the video…well…we’ll have it soon, I’m sure!!

  13. The cog video is very clever and has quite a twist. Love it!

  14. Happy Labor Day everyone !
    Despite the union that I was forced to join, I’m still working nearly 50 hours a week and being paid for 40. But I have a job and will be able to retire in a few more years. (I will be over 70 by that time, but I’ll at least have worked until then.)
    And I hope that by that time my colleagues will have paid sick, pregnancy and family medical leave. I was on a personnel committee at one place where I worked. The head of the clinic wanted to eliminate paid sick leave because one of the workers was “abusing” his sick time (meanig he was using it). I suggested that rather than punish the entire clinic, the employee’s supervisor speak to him about this alleged abuse. Turns out the head of the clinic was this guy’s supervisor and wasn’t “man enough” to speak with the employee directly. My head still reels from this memory.

  15. Yes it was Beata! I don’t mean to distract from the Labor Day post, sorry Sophie! I just find this swim by Diana Nyad so inspiring!

  16. Please, CNN, less Syria and more Diana.
    What a great day!

  17. Just got back from Ace Hardware’s Labor Day sale and heard that Nyad completed her goal. YEEESSS! I’m so proud to see a baby boomer woman pull off such a physical feat. Age is just a number and it’s mind over matter. I hope she write a book about her prep and the execution. I’d buy copies for some lazy youngsters I know.

  18. Happy Labor Day! Sophie’s post is spot on. I’m not on board with all the union bashing that’s occurring in recent years. I consider it acting against self interest. With that said, I am painfully aware of the need to reform within labor unions. I was once a union officer, and the officers who succeeded me were so corrupt that I quit the union myself. Still, there is no one else standing up for us cogs.

  19. I don’t mean to distract from the Labor Day post, sorry Sophie!

    Distract! Distract! This is an OPEN thread. Really.

  20. LOL Sophie!
    I agree with you Hugo. But what a lot of people forget is the word Union means to be UNITED. It’s the power of the many to balance the power of the money.

  21. Years ago I was a blue collar woman, working in what is known as a skilled trade. (It was considered a man’s job–I learned it in the Navy.) My first few jobs after the Navy were all union shops and I hated the union mentality. The fact that my supervisor could not show me how to do something because then he’d be doing work and thereby taking work away from a working man. Working 30 seconds past the break whistle was frowned upon, even if you were in the middle of a crucial operation. You were supposed be aware of the time and not begin if there wasn’t time to finish. Specialization was enforced meaning that the guy who loosened the nut had a different title than the guy who tightened it back up. The guys liked that kind of security. I thought it sounded boring. I also noticed the shop stewards drove very fine cars, even though they may have been unskilled labor. Year after year, we voted for more more money and time. I asked once if we could propose that the company implement an college educational policy and I might as well have farted in a crowded elevator.

    Eventually, I switched to a company that did not have a union. The CEO/founder was a visionary about how to treat people. (There was also a similar shop nearby with a union.) We had better benefits than the union shop and he always managed to stay ahead of them. We also had better people than they did–just sayin’.

    My feeling is that unions did not evolve. They became protectionist instead of expansionist. They should have insisted that their members be cross-trained, get an education, and they should not have attempted to solve everything by throwing money at it. Interestingly, union execs were more likely to socialize with corp execs than with union members. In other words, they were not us. They just wanted our dues so they could make political contributions and get invited places because of their “influence.”

  22. …continued…

    Now I am an exempt employee. What I am exempt from are the fair labor laws. I am not told to work over 40 hours a week. I am told to have this whatever thing done by Friday, which could take 60-70 hours to complete.

    Since the beginning of the Great Recession, we have had over half a dozen layoffs. Each time, we who remained had to assume the work of those who were let go. Meanwhile, we are not bonus class. Bonus Class gets rewarded for how well they get us to complete “our” work. I worked yesterday and I will do some more work later today because this thing has to be done by tomorrow.

    I used to find it demeaning to punch a clock, being a professional and all. Now I want the clock back.

  23. Unions have gone overboard with a lot of rules. Before I left my job, I was working extended hours and was expected to do so in order to coordinate efforts and meet time frames. I had no problem doing so. My dear director saw the need to get me a blackberry to help keep me connected and I welcomed that. However, the union prevented me from using the blackberry because they were trying to get pay for time used communicating after regular hours. I was furious. I voluntarily did work on my own time and was using my own cellphone. Their obstructionist behavior actually screwed me over. Given the nature of the work and the salaries, I was embarrassed by the union quibbling over minutiae.

    Unions are too inflexible. And, I have always had a problem with the intelligence level of many stewards. They were very disruptive in my office and caused a drain of supervisors and they tended to only represent each other in their own grievances. Nevertheless, we got good perks, such as flex time, alternate workplace, and alternate work schedules.

    Unions! Can’t live with them; can’t live without them.

  24. Happy Labor Day folks. Hope you are having a great time!

  25. I know there’s been a lot of corruption. But I think of the alternative. When unions began, the bosses/owners/CEOs were not concerned with treating their workers well. Workers were expendable in more ways than one. Look at what happens when our so-called progressive companies moves off shore (I’m looking at you Apple), and how do they treat their slaves employees? Why? Because they can.

  26. Unions mean United. Well said. Agree that unions aren’t perfect by a long shot, but the alternative is unthinkable. I hate Reagan for what he did to unions. Hubbie had a woman running his local and she rocked! Seriously, she fought like a lion and saved a lot of jobs and uncovered a ton of corruption.

    Anyway Happy Labor Day to all! Cool about Diana Nyad!

  27. Agree totally that the alternative is abhorrent. Management simply cannot be trusted to do right by the people (by and large). And that goes for union managers too! Especially since corporations no longer have charters and have only one directive: shareholder value. I think shareholder value is code for executive bonuses.

    I think it’s time for Unions 2.0. There was a time when unions represented the best in a given field. They prevented companies from hiring any old twit off the street simply because he was cheaper. So there was this implied (and often real) sense of quality that went along with hiring the union guys. But with graft, corruption, etc and then that quality wasn’t always there. Unions 2.0 could bring in the quality aspect along with a continuous improvement aspect and throw in an ingenuity/innovative aspect and there’s a winning formula. Only a really crappy company wouldn’t go union if that was available. Or a really stellar company.

  28. Good idea Sophie. Yes, back when they were called “trade unions”. Or Guilds. When there was apprenticeships.

  29. As part of Union 2.0, I suggest that unions not be obligated to provide representation to everyone who is disciplined or fired by the employer. If someone has committed an offense that is indefensible, the unions should be off the hook for defending them. Case in point: An employer fired an employee for using a vehicle from the employer’s fleet of vehicles for the purpose of delivering pizzas during said employee’s lunch hour. The union fought to get that employee reinstated and won. Seriously, I’m not making this up. And this case is the one that made me realize that my union dues were not being spent on worthy causes.

    So, I say unions should be able to walk away from guilty employees. Lining up behind riff-raff is not helping the reputation of unions.

  30. Hillary Clinton tweeted this about Diana Nyad!

  31. But everyone deserves due process Hugo. Innocent until proven, right?

  32. Great tweet!!!

  33. ROFLMAO!

  34. Not funny, just awesome!
    Diana Nyad:

    Did I mention that she Lebanese?!

  35. imust, yes everyone deserves due process, but not paid for by other union members when the facts are indisputable. Time to get a private lawyer on their own dime. I just think unions spend too much time defending really bad employees. I like what Sophie pointed out. there was a time when they represented the best in their field.

    Love the Hillary tweet. Hillary has been bopping sharks on the nose for decades now.

  36. I don’t know Hugo, I think we find ourselves on a slippery slope when we decide ahead of time that facts are indisputable. JMO.

  37. I think it’s appropriate to spend union resources determining innocence, but once guilt is determined, I think getting the person reinstated is a misuse of resources.

  38. I agree Sophie. I just wonder how often, statistically, that happens. We hear about outrageous things like that, but I can’t imagine it’s the norm.

  39. imust, although I agree about the slippery slope, it’s hard to dispute delivering pizzas in a car with federal government license plates. My objection is to wasting dues to help that person retain a job when they probably should have been charged with unauthorized use. And, Sophie, I agree it’s probably not the norm, but I’ve seen many examples of waste of dues in that manner. With that said, I fully support union activities that defend wrongly accused individuals or harassment. I’ve seen plenty of that, too, as I’m sure we all have.

  40. bad sentence. Should say, “Wrongly accused individuals or those who have been harassed.”

  41. Yes. Accused for vengeance, harassment, to get the person out to hire a friend or relative.

  42. I have some truly outrageous stories that really happened in the company I worked for. I think it has become the norm for a union to represent the employee regardless of circumstances. Kind of the same way defense attorneys defend all who commit criminal acts. But I am so tempted to tell you a story that is not only a perfect example of defending the indefensible, but also hilarious, but alas, R Rated.

  43. imust in industry, nepotism is rampant. But they rarely look for the union jobs, it’s the cherry exempt jobs they target. Make your nephew who is dumber than a brick a manager, or create a job for him/her. Exempt employees are not union so it’s done often enough, but if the company is large enough, they just shuffle people around. Usually some higher level manager’s dodo son in law is looking for the office job not the job that actually creates a product. Boy I’ve seen some real idiots in well paying jobs, and it doesn’t take long to find out how they got there.

  44. Well my, my:

    Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro found hanging in his cell


  45. Just saw it imust…

  46. No worries Fredster. GMTA!

  47. Fluffpo says that Hillary is on board with the Syria bombing proposal. I don’t know what to think.

  48. imust: LOL!

    socal: Do we have Hillary on record with that?

  49. Hillary’s current “statement” on Syria comes by way of an aid. Still4Hill has Hillary’s entire historical record on Syria:

  50. To be clear, this is the quote:

    “Secretary Clinton supports the President’s effort to enlist the Congress in pursuing a strong and targeted response to the Assad regime’s horrific use of chemical weapons,” the aide said.

  51. Is it just me or is our Media basically ignoring Diana Nyad’s incredible, historic achievement?
    CNN is all Syria, Syria, Syria and the New York Times didn’t even mention Nyad by name in their headline in the Health section!
    Is it because she’s a woman? Is it because she’s an old woman?
    I just wish Nyad could have gotten a fraction of the attention lavished on Miley Cyrus.
    Maybe, she should have emerged from the ocean waving a giant, foam finger.

  52. Nyad has been on NBC a few times this week and is going to do some fundraising thing in a pool on Rockefeller Plaza. Sweet Sue, you make a good point about the amount of coverage of that wayward child Cyrus versus the amount for Nyad. But, I’m grateful for the images of Nyad completing her goals. They help wipe those dirty little girl images from my mind.

  53. One of the news networks reported yesterday that Hillary and the then Sec of DOD had made a recommendation to Obama more than a year ago to intervene in in Syria. I am not surprised that she is now supporting his wishy washy semi-decision to do something there now. I think Hillary is no shrinking violet when it comes to defense and when it comes to the ME. Remember during a debate she was asked about defense of Israel and she responded with a ballsy answer while the weak one waffled. Also, she had a whole boat load of military officers who went on the record with their support for her in 2008.

    While I am not in favor of spending any more blood or treasure in the ME cesspool, I suspect that Hillary has a clear vision of what needs to be done, why it needs to be done, and what we expect to accomplish in doing it. I think that she could articulate that vision in a manner that would inspire support and confidence and she would control her administration in a manner that did not allow for any displays of indecisiveness. And she’d use the respect that she earned in the international community to put together a broad coalition so the US is not going it alone. It’s those pesky leadership qualities again.

    Bill is speaking now at his library and he’s ‘splaining obamacare. FOX said he is now the Secretary of Explaining things. Next he’ll have to explain Obama’s Syria policy.

  54. Karma is great, but I hope the rapist didn’t spread it to any other victims. I’m just guessing he’s not going to disclose the names of any other victims so they can be tested. Hopefully rape victims get tested repeatedly because there is a window period during which HIV will not be detected in a screening test. There are confirmatory tests that detect HIV DNA earlier, but I doubt those are used because of cost.

    Glad Castro is dead. And Major Terrorist Hasan was forcibly shaved in jail today. They need to just give him some rope.

  55. Major Terrorist Hasan was forcibly shaved in jail today.

    Oh Boo Effing Hoo, cockroach.

  56. Socalhubbie loves your tweet Upps. I just showed it to him. We couldn’t agree more.

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