It All Comes Back To The Simpsons

Thursday, December 22, 2005

"If You Don't Like Your Job, You Don't Strike...You Just Go In Every Day, And Do It Really Half-Assed!"

Finally, I get to use one of my favorite quotes, one I used to recite countless times a day back when I was working in a box factory!

I am one of the people fortunate enough to have been on strike, back a few years ago when I worked for UPS. That strike was pretty much a farce, it had nothing to do with rasing wages or adding jobs, like both sides said it was. Rather, it was centered around the fact that both the union and management wanted control of the employee pension fund. In the end, the union maintained it's control of the pensions, and UPS continually fell short on delivering the jobs that it promised, which the union did next to nothing about.

Later, at the box factory, I was working for the Teamsters again. I had thought that the union didn't always do what it was supposed to at UPS, but at the box factory, the union was out and out corrupt. That's kind of the dirty little secret about the Teamsters...they get their publicity and make their big noble stands against management with big companies such as UPS, but they make their money sucking up small shops around the country, where they do nothing but collect union dues every month. Hardly the same heroics that built the Teamsters, but then again they have been systematically hamstrung by the government since the 80's.

Of course, the big union issue these days is the NYC transit strike. Here is the TWU local 100 site, and here is Bloomberg News, of which NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg is founder and majority owner (actually, he's founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent company, Bloomberg LP, but samey-same). I first went to Bloomberg News, because that's what popped up first on a google search, but I found no mention of the union position on the whole mention of why the strike was called, what the demands were...nothing. Well, that's the liberal media for you.

I actually had to go to the union site to get a less biased view of the situation. It seems that the Metropolitan Transit Authority wants the union to bump up their pension contribution from 2% to 6%, which at first seems fairly reasonable, what with the "recovering" economy that is forcing everyone to be more frugal these days, but the union maintains that back in the 90's the mayor decided on huge tax cuts rather than fixing old, failing equipment, forcing the MTA to borrow much more money that it should have to pay for repairs and upgrades, which would basically mean that the TWU paid for the tax cuts, which is hardly fair. Also, and this is where my blood starts to boil, in 2000, the MTA extended to 9,000 management employees the same pension benefits as TWU employees. Yet, while the union members are being asked to raise their contributions from 2 to six percent, the management is still only expected to make a 2% contribution. So benefits that union members struggled to obtain were handed over willy-nilly to management, and then to help pay for those management benefits, they're making the union members pay out more...those magnificent bastards!!!

Yes, times are tough and unions may have to take it in the seat come negotiation time, but their amount of suffering should be on par with that of management. That said, I think that the TWU would find much more sympathy with the citizenry of New York if it conducted one or two day long strikes every week or two rather than an indefinite one, because there are people depending on subways and buses to get to work so they can afford to live in the amazingly overpriced market of NYC. But until the non-rich start supporting striking workers, we will hear more and more about Tycos and Enrons and massive layoffs with huge bonuses going to management, until our manufacturing base is gone and the rest of the world has us by the balls. And maybe you haven't noticed, but we aren't so popular outside of our borders.


  • They are all corrupt, but I'd still trust my future more with a union than a corporation!!

    By Blogger Sylvana, at Thu Dec 22, 06:17:00 PM 2005  

  • Interesting stuff about the Teamsters.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Dec 22, 09:00:00 PM 2005  

  • Thanks for posting that. I had no idea what it was all about, since the global news is more interested in interviewing New Yorkers with funny accents on their thoughts, rather than actually analyzing anything.


    By Blogger Elizabeth, at Fri Dec 23, 09:12:00 AM 2005  

  • sy- I know...unions have some bad guys in them, but corporations have crossed the line into cartoonish super-villainy.

    ag- after my less than flattering story, now I have to pay local kids to start my car for me...just in case, you know?

    elizabeth- thank's really sad that I couldn't find what the strike was about until I went to the union website. You'd think that somewhere in all the coverage of traffic jams and crowds of pedestrians, they'd put something in the news about why all this is happening.

    By Blogger sideshow bob, at Fri Dec 23, 11:55:00 AM 2005  

  • I didn't realize the American press was just as bad. I just assumed that with their liberal attitudes, EuroNews, the BBC and CCTV (China) just sympathized with the strikers no matter what, and went ahead with it. Actually, I'm fairly sure that's the case.

    "Corporations have crossed the line into cartoonish super-villainy."

    That's what's so exasperating about it! We can't even make jokes or satire, because they always exceed it. Argh!!!

    By Blogger Elizabeth, at Sat Dec 24, 02:35:00 AM 2005  

  • Bob, that quote is part of my "signature" on my personal email account. I freakin' love it!

    As for info on the strike, you SHOULD have been able to find a decent amount of info on the NYTimes website, unless, of course, it was part of the ridiculous "TimesSelect" stuff. A-holes.

    By Blogger ORF, at Tue Jan 03, 03:43:00 PM 2006  

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