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Unions Lose and the Public Wins Big in Wisconsin by avengador1
Started on: 08-04-2014 09:39 PM
Replies: 132 (1487 views)
Last post by: MadMark on 08-10-2014 06:35 PM
avengador1
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Report this Post08-04-2014 09:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for avengador1Click Here to Email avengador1Send a Private Message to avengador1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
http://dailysignal.com/2014...ok&utm_medium=social
 
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Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin had quite a good day on July 31 when the state supreme court upheld not only Wisconsin’s voter ID law, but also the 2011 budget legislation that severely curtailed the power of public unions to control the lives and salaries of state and municipal government employees.

In Madison Teachers, Inc. v. Walker, a majority of the court overturned a lower court decision that had enjoined various parts of the law and upheld it in its entirety. The 2011 law (Act 10) prohibited public unions from bargaining on issues other than base wages; prohibited municipalities from deducting union dues from the paychecks of public employees; imposed annual recertification requirements for unions; and prohibited any union agreement that would require employees who are not members of a union from having to pay union dues.

Various unions, including the AFL-CIO, challenged these provisions, claiming they violated their associational rights under the First Amendment and their equal protection rights under the 14th Amendment.

This ruling represents a huge victory for both Wisconsin taxpayers and the recipients of government services.

In tossing out these claims, the Wisconsin Supreme Court pointed out that, as the U.S. Supreme Court itself has said, public employees have no “constitutional right to negotiate with their municipal employer on the lone issue of base wages, let alone on any other subject.” Collective bargaining is “a creation of legislative grace and not constitutional obligation.” According to the court, “the plaintiffs’ associational rights are in no way implicated” by the law’s change to the state’s collective bargaining framework.

Union member are not restricted in any way from exercising their First Amendment right to associate together: they “remain free to advance any position, on any topic, either individually or in concert, through any channels that are open to the public.” But the union has no constitutional right to force the government to listen to what it has to say – or to require the government to negotiate only with the union.

Furthermore, unions can’t force the government to subsidize them through paycheck deductions for union dues from public employees who are members of the union – “no constitutional right exists for the deduction of dues from a paycheck to support membership in a voluntary organization.”

Unions also have no constitutional right to force employees who do not want to be members of a union to pay union dues. Because none of the challenged provisions involves constitutional rights and public employees are not a protected class, the unions’ equal protection challenge also failed under the court’s rational basis review.

The court also threw out an additional challenge to another Wisconsin law that prohibited the City of Milwaukee from paying the employee share of contributions to the city’s retirement plan.

This ruling, which removes the last legal challenge to Act 10, represents a huge victory for both Wisconsin taxpayers and the recipients of government services. Before Act 10, the Wisconsin state and local governments could not manage their workforces without union consent. Collective bargaining meant government unions had to agree with any changes to how the government operates. Government unions often use this power to hijack the government and make it serve their interests ahead of the public good.

Unions in the private sector cannot ask for too much without their companies prohibitively raising prices and losing customers to competing firms. But the government has no competition—it has a monopoly. Government unions do not have to worry about holding costs down or operating efficiently because the public has nowhere else to go. Without Act 10, Walker would have to either raise taxes or cut programs to balance Wisconsin’s budget.

Unions can’t force the government to subsidize them through paycheck deductions for union dues from public employees who are members of the union.

Government unions could live with either option, of course. What they did not want was what actually happened – eliminating the deficit by trimming their members’ benefits. Wisconsin government employees must now contribute toward their pension benefits and pay a larger portion of their healthcare premiums. They still make more than comparable private sector workers, but that gap has narrowed. These reforms allowed Walker to close a $3.6 billion budget hole and cut taxes by $2 billion.

Eliminating collective bargaining also allows governments to operate more efficiently. Local school districts saved tens of millions of dollars by shopping for more competitive health plans. The Wisconsin Education Association used to force districts to buy health benefits from WEA Trust. This plan charged inflated premiums. School districts can now spend those savings to better educate children.

Similarly union seniority systems meant Wisconsin schools had to lay off the newest teachers first—no matter how well they taught. In 2010 Megan Sampson won statewide recognition for excellence as a first-year English teacher. A week later Milwaukee Public Schools laid her off because the union contract required her to be let go first. That system benefited senior union members at the expense of new hires and children who need the best education possible. Act 10 eliminated this restriction. Wisconsin school districts can now hire and fire on the basis of what works best for the children, not the union members. Act 10 means the government can serve the public instead of unions.
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Report this Post08-05-2014 09:44 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ray bClick Here to Email ray bSend a Private Message to ray bEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
just an other attack by the 1% loving nut-con's on the middle class

------------------
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quote
Originally posted by ray b:

just an other attack by the 1% loving nut-con's on the middle class



Yeah, paying dues to be able to work is ethical.

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Report this Post08-05-2014 10:43 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by ray b:

just an other attack by the 1% loving nut-con's on the middle class



Care to explain how?
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Report this Post08-05-2014 11:33 AM Click Here to See the Profile for maryjaneSend a Private Message to maryjaneEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
public employees have no “constitutional right to negotiate with their municipal employer on the lone issue of base wages, let alone on any other subject.” Collective bargaining is “a creation of legislative grace and not constitutional obligation.” According to the court, “the plaintiffs’ associational rights are in no way implicated” by the law’s change to the state’s collective bargaining framework.

Union member are not restricted in any way from exercising their First Amendment right to associate together: they “remain free to advance any position, on any topic, either individually or in concert, through any channels that are open to the public.” But the union has no constitutional right to force the government to listen to what it has to say – or to require the government to negotiate only with the union.

Furthermore, unions can’t force the government to subsidize them through paycheck deductions for union dues from public employees who are members of the union – “no constitutional right exists for the deduction of dues from a paycheck to support membership in a voluntary organization.”

Unions also have no constitutional right to force employees who do not want to be members of a union to pay union dues. Because none of the challenged provisions involves constitutional rights and public employees are not a protected class, the unions’ equal protection challenge also failed under the court’s rational basis review.


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Report this Post08-05-2014 01:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ray bClick Here to Email ray bSend a Private Message to ray bEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 2.5:


Care to explain how?


unions are the enemy of the CORPrats
busting unions is a rightwing dogma
people get less pay in non-union states
and are paid far more with far more benefits on union jobs
many making middle class wages as a direct result of unions
less union jobs = less middle class union workers

who gains from no unions
the 1% who think their FAIRSHARE IS EVERYTHING
and hate being forced by unions into paying a living wage

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Report this Post08-05-2014 01:36 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ray bClick Here to Email ray bSend a Private Message to ray bEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
remember the same fascist nut-con court judges
said CORPrats are the same as people and have unlimited rights to bribe lawmakers

CORPrats will always claim to need more profits
and pay the CEO 100 TO 1000 TIMES THE WORKERS PAY RATES

THE SIMPLE FACT IS UNION JOBS PAY BETTER
all attacks on unions are simply attempts to cut the worker pay
and drive middle class union worker back down into the working poor class

and nut-con's support this attack on the middle class
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Report this Post08-05-2014 01:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by ray b:


unions are the enemy of the CORPrats
busting unions is a rightwing dogma
people get less pay in non-union states
and are paid far more with far more benefits on union jobs
many making middle class wages as a direct result of unions
less union jobs = less middle class union workers

who gains from no unions
the 1% who think their FAIRSHARE IS EVERYTHING
and hate being forced by unions into paying a living wage



I mean this specific situation.
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Report this Post08-05-2014 03:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for WichitaClick Here to Email WichitaSend a Private Message to WichitaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by ray b:


unions are the enemy of the CORPrats
busting unions is a rightwing dogma
people get less pay in non-union states
and are paid far more with far more benefits on union jobs
many making middle class wages as a direct result of unions
less union jobs = less middle class union workers

who gains from no unions
the 1% who think their FAIRSHARE IS EVERYTHING
and hate being forced by unions into paying a living wage



The largest unions and the majority of union membership is public sector government employees. Where is the evil corpRAT in government?

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quote
Originally posted by ray b:

just an other attack by the 1% loving nut-con's on the middle class




It is the middle class who were / are paying the taxes that support those unions. What you don't realize is that these unions ARE corrupt corporations. You actually support what Scott Walker did, you just don't realize it yet...
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Report this Post08-05-2014 05:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for firstfieroClick Here to Email firstfieroSend a Private Message to firstfieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
why is it that liberal assholes like you think that if I invest my time and millions of dollars in my money in building a factory I shouldn't make a profit. The problem with unions in this country ..and it is an issue in this country.. is they fight against the employer and instead of work with them. In other countries they work as partners. The company and it's employees rise and fall together. Here if times are good the union says pay us.. when the economy takes a **** or times our just tough they say **** YOU PAY US! Then they cry the blues when they move there factory over seas. Yes union jobs pay better but in the end they chase the company right of the state or worse yet the country.

I think I said before about what's going on here at the Harley plant. They have casual workers now who make $17 dollars and hour with no benefits give or even offered. They have to work whatever shift there called for and at any time they're called. The union doesn't back them or protects them in no way BUT THEY HAVE TO PAY UNION DUES JUST FOR THE RIGHT TO WORK THERE! lol Good deal for the union huh free money for nothing. They deserve the bad rep there getting and until they start working in partnership with management instead of enemies that will continue.

They know it's over for them in the factories and now there trying to get mcdonalds to pay there burger flippers $15 an hour lol The hustle never ends.
 
quote
Originally posted by ray b:

remember the same fascist nut-con court judges
said CORPrats are the same as people and have unlimited rights to bribe lawmakers

CORPrats will always claim to need more profits
and pay the CEO 100 TO 1000 TIMES THE WORKERS PAY RATES

THE SIMPLE FACT IS UNION JOBS PAY BETTER
all attacks on unions are simply attempts to cut the worker pay
and drive middle class union worker back down into the working poor class

and nut-con's support this attack on the middle class

[This message has been edited by firstfiero (edited 08-05-2014).]

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quote
Originally posted by firstfiero:

why is it that liberal assholes like you think that if I invest my time and millions of dollars in my money in building a factory I shouldn't make a profit. The problem with unions in this country ..and it is an issue in this country.. is they fight against the employer and instead of work with them. In other countries they work as partners. The company and it's employees rise and fall together. Here if times are good the union says pay us.. when the economy takes a **** or times our just tough they say **** YOU PAY US! Then they cry the blues when they move there factory over seas. Yes union jobs pay better but in the end they chase the company right of the state or worse yet the country.

I think I said before about what's going on here at the Harley plant. They have casual workers now who make $17 dollars and hour with no benefits give or even offered. They have to work whatever shift there called for and at any time they're called. The union doesn't back them or protects them in no way BUT THEY HAVE TO PAY UNION DUES JUST FOR THE RIGHT TO WORK THERE! lol Good deal for the union huh free money for nothing. They deserve the bad rep there getting and until they start working in partnership with management instead of enemies that will continue.

They know it's over for them in the factories and now there trying to get mcdonalds to pay there burger flippers $15 an hour lol The hustle never ends.




A lot of Democrats base their views and beliefs on pure emotion, rather than logic. Because of this, they are easily taken advantage of. Most liberals are generally really good people that have been conned into a certain way of thinking. When you think of a business, you think of an institution that is producing a product. When a Democrat thinks of a business, they are thinking about all the workers who aren't making very much money (whether this is actually true or not is beside the point).
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Report this Post08-05-2014 06:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jetsnvettes2000Send a Private Message to jetsnvettes2000Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Hey Ray B, as a experienced Wisconsin homeowner/ taxpayer take it from me the one living here not your articles. Thing are better under Walker period. My taxes went down 300 bucks, The roads are finally getting fixed and its only getting better as we go. All the saved money is trickling down into the communities. In the Menasha school system were I live the savings have allowed for teachers that would have been laid off keep their jobs. I call that a win for everyone as the class numbers are smaller as result. We are adding onto the high school something no one would ever had voted for with the taxes higher despite it needing to be done for years now. Whine all you want but those of us who actually live here are way better off now.

Go Walker!
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quote
Originally posted by ray b:


THE SIMPLE FACT IS UNION JOBS PAY BETTER


Don't forget they also prevent companies from terminating drunks, drug addicts, drug dealers, boot leggers, and other scum that bring criminal activity to the job. At best, they are just sent home for the day.
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Report this Post08-05-2014 07:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Old LarSend a Private Message to Old LarEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Wichita:


The largest unions and the majority of union membership is public sector government employees. Where is the evil corpRAT in government?


That is why the government is so screwed up, the government employee union has been bilking the taxpayers producing more incompetence of their union members. One in, you are unable to get rid of the dead wood.
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Report this Post08-05-2014 07:51 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ray bClick Here to Email ray bSend a Private Message to ray bEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by firstfiero:

why is it that liberal assholes like you think that if I invest my time and millions of dollars in my money in building a factory I shouldn't make a profit. The problem with unions in this country ..and it is an issue in this country.. is they fight against the employer and instead of work with them. In other countries they work as partners. The company and it's employees rise and fall together. Here if times are good the union says pay us.. when the economy takes a **** or times our just tough they say **** YOU PAY US! Then they cry the blues when they move there factory over seas. Yes union jobs pay better but in the end they chase the company right of the state or worse yet the country.

I think I said before about what's going on here at the Harley plant. They have casual workers now who make $17 dollars and hour with no benefits give or even offered. They have to work whatever shift there called for and at any time they're called. The union doesn't back them or protects them in no way BUT THEY HAVE TO PAY UNION DUES JUST FOR THE RIGHT TO WORK THERE! lol Good deal for the union huh free money for nothing. They deserve the bad rep there getting and until they start working in partnership with management instead of enemies that will continue.

They know it's over for them in the factories and now there trying to get mcdonalds to pay there burger flippers $15 an hour lol The hustle never ends.



WE HAVE SEEN THE EXPORT OF JOBS TO CHINA
just to max the profits
and screw the american workers

we have seen the bosses use thugs to break unions
we have seen the CORPrats lie steal and cheat the workers
the 1% already get hefty profits but want ever more more more
they are not happy with enough they want it all
they will not share anything or even care about the workers unless forced to do so
and unions are that force

people who hate unions
really hate the american worker
and want low wages to max their profits
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quote
Originally posted by ray b:


WE HAVE SEEN THE EXPORT OF JOBS TO CHINA
just to max the profits
and screw the american workers

we have seen the bosses use thugs to break unions
we have seen the CORPrats lie steal and cheat the workers
the 1% already get hefty profits but want ever more more more
they are not happy with enough they want it all
they will not share anything or even care about the workers unless forced to do so
and unions are that force

people who hate unions
really hate the american worker
and want low wages to max their profits



You realize that unions and high taxes are the REASON why companies have moved overseas, right?

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Report this Post08-05-2014 08:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RallasterSend a Private Message to RallasterEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Wait, RAY does realize this law only affects PUBLIC SECTOR workers( you know, state, city and town employees), right? Not private sector? Huh. You did know that, didn't you Ray? I mean, one could be confused with all of your ranting about CORPrats and such, one could get confused that you're really talking about private sector corporation jobs and not public sector governmental jobs.

Besides, it doesn't disband unions altogether it just limits their power and requires state employees to start contributing to their own pension. (Did Wisconsin state employees not pay into their own pensions before? Serious question I really don't know.) It would make sense for the employee to help pay for their own pension, wouldn't it?
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Report this Post08-05-2014 08:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for acemanSend a Private Message to acemanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Ray's answer will be... Blah, blah,CORPrats....Blah, Blah, Koch Brothers, blah,blah, The CORPrats will go after the private unions, blah blah, BLAH.
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Report this Post08-05-2014 08:51 PM Click Here to See the Profile for HudiniClick Here to Email HudiniSend a Private Message to HudiniEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Don't forget Nut-Cons. ray b loves to slam anyone who opposes the left view of any subject. No middle ground, no compromise.
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Report this Post08-05-2014 09:25 PM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Ray, you say some really idiotic things......and I'm pretty sure you are an intelligent person. Take the blinders off and look around you. Conservative principles are what made this country great, what made successful, prosperous businesses, and are the foundation of a strong family.
Did you spend more than you earned when you were still working?
If you had, where would you be now?
Think man, think!

[This message has been edited by olejoedad (edited 08-05-2014).]

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quote
Originally posted by firstfiero:

why is it that liberal assholes like you think that if I invest my time and millions of dollars in my money in building a factory I shouldn't make a profit. The problem with unions in this country ..and it is an issue in this country.. is they fight against the employer and instead of work with them. In other countries they work as partners. The company and it's employees rise and fall together. Here if times are good the union says pay us.. when the economy takes a **** or times our just tough they say **** YOU PAY US! Then they cry the blues when they move there factory over seas. Yes union jobs pay better but in the end they chase the company right of the state or worse yet the country.

I think I said before about what's going on here at the Harley plant. They have casual workers now who make $17 dollars and hour with no benefits give or even offered. They have to work whatever shift there called for and at any time they're called. The union doesn't back them or protects them in no way BUT THEY HAVE TO PAY UNION DUES JUST FOR THE RIGHT TO WORK THERE! lol Good deal for the union huh free money for nothing. They deserve the bad rep there getting and until they start working in partnership with management instead of enemies that will continue.

They know it's over for them in the factories and now there trying to get mcdonalds to pay there burger flippers $15 an hour lol The hustle never ends.



You really need to get your facts straight before you run off at the mouth and state things as fact that are not, facts. But then you couldn't be a union basher if you did that.
How Union Members Saved Harley-Davidson

Photo courtesy Matthias Schack

What do you do when your world-famous brand is so smashed by the recession that your stock price falls from $75 to $8? What do you do when your manufacturing plant has a culture that leads to high rates of absenteeism on Mondays and Fridays? What do you do when your product takes 18 months to get into the hands of the customers who want it?

Generally, you go out of business.

Unless, that is, your workforce is unionized and they become aware of the problems you face and they decide to be part of the solution. That's the story of Harley-Davidson, as told by Adam Davidson of the New York Times. Members of the Machinists (IAM) and United Steelworkers (USW) who work for the motorcycle manufacturer are paid living wages compared to manufacturing workers in many parts of the world, but officials at the company never considered moving their factories out of the United States. Their image and customer base are blue-collar Americans who want their hogs made in America by highly skilled labor.

Davidson writes:

Harley tore down the existing plant and built a new one. Unlike most factories I’ve seen lately, the new plant in York [Pa.,] has people everywhere. There are no robots on the main assembly line (they have various peripheral jobs); instead, hundreds of workers, operating in teams of five or six, manually build each motorcycle. This seemed like an expensive way of doing business, but Magee said that experienced, skilled workers, unlike robots, can constantly adjust to new information. The York plant makes four basic styles of motorcycle, but each has an array of customizable options. There are around 1,200 different configurations, and a new bike starts its way through the production line every 80 seconds. Virtually each one is unique, and workers have no idea what’s coming 80 seconds later. Surprisingly, robots can’t adjust on the fly like that.

Skilled union workers were able to do a job that was too complicated for machines to do and produce a product that revived the iconic brand. While Davidson was at the York plant, he saw a worker fix an assembly problem that literally saved the company more than a million dollars. That kind of worker innovation and cooperation, teamed with a company that is committed to doing things the right way has paid off. Harley-Davidson has gained back almost all of the stock value it lost and bikes get to customers in just a few weeks now. Costs have been cut by $100 million at the York factory, which recently won an IndustryWeek Best Plants award, the industry equivalent of a Grammy. The average worker at the York location has been there 18 years and they are extremely devoted to Harley.

No question that this is a model that other companies should be paying attention to, particularly if they want to be able to weather tough economic times.

http://www.aflcio.org/Blog/...aved-Harley-Davidson

Building a Harley Faster

JAN. 28, 2014

It’s the Economy

By ADAM DAVIDSON

While working the line at Harley-Davidson’s factory in York, Pa., Mark Dettinger noticed a small problem. The plastic piece that held electrical parts to the front of a motorcycle, a piece about the size of a hardcover book, wasn’t fitting correctly. Every time a new bike came down the line, it took a few extra shoves to push it into place. In fact, it took an extra 1.2 seconds. But Dettinger, who had spent some 20 years at the York plant, knew that every second counted. With 400 motorcycles built each shift, on two shifts a day, an extra 1.2 seconds per bike added up to 2,200 lost bikes annually. Millions could be lost in revenue. Maybe it wasn’t such a small problem.

Before the great recession, Harley-Davidson didn’t have to worry about counting the seconds. There was little competition for their core customers — “fat white guys,” as one Harley employee called them. Harley charged a huge premium for its bikes, and its customers waited as long as 18 months to receive them. (“Easy Rider” isn’t about a Kawasaki.) Inefficiency was part of the charm. Jim Waltermyer, the union representative at the York plant, said workers could assemble motorcycles at their own pace, music blaring, while sitting on chairs — if they even showed up at all. “We had 30 percent absenteeism every Monday and Friday,” Ed Magee, the York plant manager, told me. This all worked fine until, all of a sudden, it didn’t anymore. By 2009, during the worst of the recession, the company was close to collapse. Its stock price had fallen from nearly $75, at its peak, to $8. The inefficiency wasn’t charming anymore.

Deep Thoughts This Week

1. Unions can actually save some companies.

2. It happens all the time in Germany.

3. The question is whether it can happen more often here.
Harley’s York factory represents an alternative to the common narrative of American manufacturing. In recent decades, countless sleepy Northern manufacturers suddenly awoke to global competition. They often responded by breaking their unions, by moving to a Southern right-to-work state or out of the country altogether, and by employing robots on the assembly line. This strategy has been repeated so many times that even as overall manufacturing output has grown by nearly 25 percent, manufacturing jobs have fallen by 30 percent since 2000.

Union representation on factory floors has fallen even faster. There are two standard explanations for this phenomenon: Many business leaders and economists have argued the companies had no choice but to stop paying high union wages and benefits; others, especially on the left, argue that this is shortsighted, saying that unions, with their emphasis on skill and tenure, can make companies — and the country over all — richer.

Harley-Davidson seemed like a great place to test this theory. Keith Wandell, the chief executive, told me that even during the company’s worst days, management never considered busting its union. Frankly, it couldn’t. The company has an “American blue-collar, working man” brand, Magee said, and to get rid of its union or to make its motorcycles in Mexico would have been catastrophic. The company knew it had to keep employing members of the International Association of Machinists and United Steelworkers, who were paid far more than nonunion workers in the South and several multiples of the going rate in Mexico. The company could only compete by redesigning the production system so that each worker created more value than they cost.

Harley tore down the existing plant and built a new one. Unlike most factories I’ve seen lately, the new plant in York has people everywhere. There are no robots on the main assembly line (they have various peripheral jobs); instead, hundreds of workers, operating in teams of five or six, manually build each motorcycle. This seemed like an expensive way of doing business, but Magee said that experienced, skilled workers, unlike robots, can constantly adjust to new information. The York plant makes four basic styles of motorcycle, but each has an array of customizable options. There are around 1,200 different configurations, and a new bike starts its way through the production line every 80 seconds. Virtually each one is unique, and workers have no idea what’s coming 80 seconds later. Surprisingly, robots can’t adjust on the fly like that.

Human beings can also solve thorny problems that lead to major inefficiencies, like that plastic piece that took an extra 1.2 seconds to install. Dettinger and a small team quickly came up with a fix — a tiny plastic latch needed to be set at a different angle — and saved Harley millions. (On the day I visited, he solved two other problems.) In fact, his entire job is to continuously monitor his small section of the production line and search for better ways to make motorcycles. There are 150 problem-solvers like him in the factory.

Harley’s very existence was in question in 2009. Today it is a manufacturing role model, and that has a lot to do with its workers. The average tenure of a line worker at the York plant is 18 years, and these workers are extremely devoted to the company. (“How many factory workers have the company logo tattooed on their arm?” Dettinger asked me.) Magee said there was no question that the workers were earning their relatively higher wages. Costs have fallen by $100 million at the plant and quality has improved even more significantly. Customer demand is extremely high, especially now that people can get a bike within a couple weeks of ordering rather than waiting a year and a half. Harley’s stock price is back near the peak it reached at the top of the bubble in 2006. Craig Kennison at the research firm Baird told me that “it’s certainly the best turnaround I’ve ever seen.” Recently, the York plant won the Oscars of manufacturing: an IndustryWeek Best Plants award.

This sort of success wasn’t without a cost. The machinist union agreed to let Harley lay off 1,000 plant workers and implement a multiyear pay freeze. But every machinist I spoke with said that he understood that the alternative would be no jobs at all in York. I also wondered, as I watched Dettinger run off to solve yet another problem on the line, if Harley would have been able to turn it around without experienced union workers. It reminded me of the notion of “beneficial constraints,” in which government policy, notably in Germany, creates powerful work councils, which force manufacturers to pay and treat workers well. This has, arguably, turned much of Germany’s manufacturing sector into the equivalent of the York plant. German companies have no choice but to focus on making high-quality precision goods that merit the higher costs that can cover a more expensive work force. Motor-vehicle workers in Germany make around $60 an hour, well above hourly U.S. auto wages. It did strike me that while only 10 percent of American manufacturing workers are in unions, more than 30 percent of the IndustryWeek Best Plants finalists have been unionized.

Harley’s lesson is complex, but also clear. Organizing a nonunion plant does not guarantee manufacturing success, but for certain companies — with strong brand associations, customizable product lines and world-class equipment and processes — union workers can be not a cost but an asset. And that’s good news for much of the manufacturing industry. The United States, after all, is in the midst of the long shift from commodity competition, in the form of low-cost generic goods, to, well, just that kind of work.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014...ley-faster.html?_r=0

But don't let the truth stand in the way of a good union bashing.

Now as far as those people who are part timers I have no idea but think that would have been one more of the concessions the union gave the company instead of having a few dozen absentees on the union pay scale covering those people who are out on a day they had a doctors appointment or were sick or going to their kids graduations.

Steve


------------------
Technology is great when it works,
and one big pain in the ass when it doesn't



Detroit iron rules all the rest are just toys.

[This message has been edited by 84fiero123 (edited 08-05-2014).]

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Formula88
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Report this Post08-05-2014 09:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Formula88Send a Private Message to Formula88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Steve, I like the Harley story but what about it was only possible because of the union?
Did a union workforce to it - absolutely.
Could a non-union workforce also do the same thing - yes.

The key is experienced, skilled workers, whether union or not.
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Report this Post08-05-2014 10:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ray bClick Here to Email ray bSend a Private Message to ray bEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Formula88:

Steve, I like the Harley story but what about it was only possible because of the union?
Did a union workforce to it - absolutely.
Could a non-union workforce also do the same thing - yes.

The key is experienced, skilled workers, whether union or not.


no actually the key is germany
a very union high wage high tax country with social-paid-medicine
who makes stuff of high quality and price
what is doing fine with all that you fear and hate happening
and refutes every nut con dogma/fear
with the former red half to rehabilitate as a huge cost too

please explain how germany with everything you fear and hate
strong unions
high wages
workers rights
social med's
liberals
strong EPA style rules
is doing so well
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Report this Post08-05-2014 10:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for CoryFieroSend a Private Message to CoryFieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Good things in the news lately about these stinking Unions (First the U.S. Supreme Court and now Wisconsin). We don't want Unions and we definitely don't need them.

I'm so glad I work in a State that us Union unfriendly. It's working out great for manufacturing companies (and creating new jobs) and is one of the reasons South Carolina has Boeing and BMW . Yes, BMW in South Carolina has good hardworking people who don't have to join an union and the fact that there is no union is probably the reason they have a great paying job.
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Report this Post08-05-2014 10:21 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ray bClick Here to Email ray bSend a Private Message to ray bEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Rallaster:

Wait, RAY does realize this law only affects PUBLIC SECTOR workers( you know, state, city and town employees), right? Not private sector? Huh. You did know that, didn't you Ray? I mean, one could be confused with all of your ranting about CORPrats and such, one could get confused that you're really talking about private sector corporation jobs and not public sector governmental jobs.

Besides, it doesn't disband unions altogether it just limits their power and requires state employees to start contributing to their own pension. (Did Wisconsin state employees not pay into their own pensions before? Serious question I really don't know.) It would make sense for the employee to help pay for their own pension, wouldn't it?


yes I a former civil servant know how it works
first you attack one class of union
and then move on to the next one

this is a new old concept of paying into state pension programs
new because it is becoming more common now to start forcing payments
old because many plans did that years ago inc Fla
but just before I started the county who joined the state plan
instead of a pay raise the county paid the employees part of the pension payments
IRS also has better rules if the worker pays into the plan now

------------------
Question wonder and be wierd
are you kind?

[This message has been edited by ray b (edited 08-05-2014).]

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Report this Post08-05-2014 10:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 84fiero123Click Here to Email 84fiero123Send a Private Message to 84fiero123Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Formula88:

Steve, I like the Harley story but what about it was only possible because of the union?
Did a union workforce to it - absolutely.
Could a non-union workforce also do the same thing - Maybe if they were as familiar with the jobs as the 18 year workers who were there because of the union.

The key is experienced, skilled workers, whether union or not.


There fixed that for you.

Steve
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Report this Post08-05-2014 10:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by ray b:


no actually the key is germany
a very union high wage high tax country with social-paid-medicine
who makes stuff of high quality and price
what is doing fine with all that you fear and hate happening
and refutes every nut con dogma/fear
with the former red half to rehabilitate as a huge cost too

please explain how germany with everything you fear and hate
strong unions
high wages
workers rights
social med's
liberals
strong EPA style rules
is doing so well


I used to live in Germany....
People are serious about getting a good education....
People at work cooperate toward the goal of making the company more profitable.......
People take pride in their family, home and community.....

I never saw anyone with their hand out, looking for a free ride.

A lot different in many aspects from America....

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Report this Post08-05-2014 10:29 PM Click Here to See the Profile for CoryFieroSend a Private Message to CoryFieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 84fiero123:


There fixed that for you.

Steve


I work for a manufacturing plant (automotive sector) with very skilled workers who have been here for 20-30 years because they are good workers not "because of the union". I honestly believe our workforce would be less skilled if workers were kept around "because of the union".
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Report this Post08-05-2014 10:38 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ray bClick Here to Email ray bSend a Private Message to ray bEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by olejoedad:


I used to live in Germany....
People are serious about getting a good education....
People at work cooperate toward the goal of making the company more profitable.......
People take pride in their family, home and community.....

I never saw anyone with their hand out, looking for a free ride.

A lot different in many aspects from America....


cheap college

and apprenticeships =paid training

both socialist or at least called that here

or as this guy said
''The biggest and most salient difference in terms of youth labor market policy between the United States and Germany is that Germany takes vocational education seriously. In the US, vocational schooling became stigmatized as a way of shortchanging some kids' potential so we shifted to a mentality that's notionally focused on the idea of sending everyone to college. But of course we don't send everyone to college and in fact have lots of people dropping out of high school. As Berube and Parilla write, German vocational education is a serious option that "blends classroom education with on-the-job training through apprenticeships, equipping young people not bound for university with practical labor market skills."

I think we need less nut-conned dogma
and more socialist ideas that work
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Report this Post08-05-2014 10:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Formula88Send a Private Message to Formula88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 84fiero123:


There fixed that for you.

Steve


That makes the assumption that only union workers can be experienced. That's a flawed assumption.
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Report this Post08-05-2014 11:41 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RallasterSend a Private Message to RallasterEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by ray b:


cheap college

and apprenticeships =paid training

both socialist or at least called that here

or as this guy said
''The biggest and most salient difference in terms of youth labor market policy between the United States and Germany is that Germany takes vocational education seriously. In the US, vocational schooling became stigmatized as a way of shortchanging some kids' potential so we shifted to a mentality that's notionally focused on the idea of sending everyone to college. But of course we don't send everyone to college and in fact have lots of people dropping out of high school. As Berube and Parilla write, German vocational education is a serious option that "blends classroom education with on-the-job training through apprenticeships, equipping young people not bound for university with practical labor market skills."

I think we need less nut-conned dogma
and more socialist ideas that work


Ideas that work. In order to have ideas that work, you have to have a populace that wants to work. And that quote sounds like a Mike Rowe quote. Big fan of his. I'm seriously not a fan of Government intervention simply because our government is so corrupt in almost every way and anything that would actually benefit the people would be bastardized and warped into something completely different by the time it made it through the process.

You're always railing against the corporations and big industry, do you really think unions and big government are the answer? Maybe at one time the unions served a purpose, but the unions have turned into big corporations themselves and are no longer the benefit they claim to be.
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Report this Post08-05-2014 11:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RallasterSend a Private Message to RallasterEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by ray b:


yes I a former civil servant know how it works
first you attack one class of union
and then move on to the next one

this is a new old concept of paying into state pension programs
new because it is becoming more common now to start forcing payments
old because many plans did that years ago inc Fla
but just before I started the county who joined the state plan
instead of a pay raise the county paid the employees part of the pension payments
IRS also has better rules if the worker pays into the plan now


Interesting, but I'm not sure that's how WI did it, though. To me it seemed like the employees didn't pay anything into their pension, and haven't for a LONG time, but with the new law they have to now.
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Report this Post08-06-2014 06:50 AM Click Here to See the Profile for HudiniClick Here to Email HudiniSend a Private Message to HudiniEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by ray b:


no actually the key is germany
a very union high wage high tax country with social-paid-medicine
who makes stuff of high quality and price
what is doing fine with all that you fear and hate happening
and refutes every nut con dogma/fear
with the former red half to rehabilitate as a huge cost too

please explain how germany with everything you fear and hate
strong unions
high wages
workers rights
social med's
liberals
strong EPA style rules
is doing so well


Cool Germany. Now explain Greece, Italy, Spain, England, France, and Portugal? Same system, very different results.
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Report this Post08-06-2014 06:57 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Formula88Send a Private Message to Formula88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I agree that anything other than a white collar college degree job is looked on as "second rate." We need to change that. Skilled labor is vital to manufacturing. Not everyone is suited for college or wants to go. Apprenticeships should be encouraged. That is one thing a union is good at, but it doesn't require a union to do it.
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Report this Post08-06-2014 07:37 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 84fiero123Click Here to Email 84fiero123Send a Private Message to 84fiero123Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Formula88:

I agree that anything other than a white collar college degree job is looked on as "second rate." We need to change that. Skilled labor is vital to manufacturing. Not everyone is suited for college or wants to go. Apprenticeships should be encouraged. That is one thing a union is good at, but it doesn't require a union to do it.


Skilled labor is also vital if you want a job done right in a lot of non manufacturing fields,
how about that mechanic, ooh sorry those automotive techs, I wouldn't want to hurt their feelings.

But a union does test skilled trades members regularly where non union Apprenticeships don't always test or retest, just have to sit and watch dad for a few years.

When I welded at GM we had to be recertified yearly, how many Apprenticeships that are not union do that?

Say what you want because you think what you want about unions but they have been what created the middle class and though many say they are no longer needed because of laws, wait and see what happens to the middle class when they are destroyed by corporations that just want profit above quality.

Didn't I read that those college graduates who were doing some sort of computer tech had tried to unionize because of the industry wide pay freeze of those oh so above the median average weren't getting what they thought they were worth, and then the companies outsourcing of their jobs to countries like India, ever have to deal with someone from India over the phone in tech support? I can't understand over half of them, if I can understand that many, it is like when I lived in TN, I needed a dammed interpreter and they were speaking English, at least that's what they said !

Steve
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Report this Post08-06-2014 07:57 AM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 84fiero123:

(snip)
Say what you want because you think what you want about unions but they have been what created the middle class
(snip)

Steve


I would think that the creation of the middle class in America had more to do with World War II and the destruction of most of the manufacturing capability in the rest of the world, the GI bill that made college affordable to the returning soldiers, and America's already geared up manufacturing capabilities that were sorely needed to rebuild the rest of the world after World War II.
The unions played a part in the building of the middle class, but were not as instrumental as you say. The great majority of workers have always been non-union, even during the heyday of union membership and power.

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Report this Post08-06-2014 08:02 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jaskispyderSend a Private Message to jaskispyderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 82-T/A [At Work]:
You realize that unions and high taxes are the REASON why companies have moved overseas, right?


It isn't the unions that is driving companies away, it is the cheap labor. I know it is easy to blame unions, and sure, they are not perfect, but the reason companies move is to increase profits. Sure, that is good, and when they can pay someone $1 a hour to do something a US worker would get $15/hour for.... well, the writing is on the wall.

Of course, maybe we should all work for $1/hour, just to keep those jobs in the US. Who is up for it? Show of hands?


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jaskispyder

21510 posts
Member since Jun 2002
 
quote
Originally posted by olejoedad:


I would think that the creation of the middle class in America had more to do with World War II and the destruction of most of the manufacturing capability in the rest of the world, the GI bill that made college affordable to the returning soldiers, and America's already geared up manufacturing capabilities that were sorely needed to rebuild the rest of the world after World War II.
The unions played a part in the building of the middle class, but were not as instrumental as you say. The great majority of workers have always been non-union, even during the heyday of union membership and power.


Unions brought more benefits to employees. Healthcare, vacation, workmen comp., improved working conditions, more stable employment, etc. Those benefits helped the middle class somewhat by providing a more stable working environment.
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Report this Post08-06-2014 09:03 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 84fiero123Click Here to Email 84fiero123Send a Private Message to 84fiero123Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Vote republican and help pay to send jobs overseas with tax brakes.

Senate Republicans once again showed their stellar values by filibustering a bill that would have cut corporate tax breaks for moving jobs overseas. That's right, Republicans are fighting to keep giving companies money to move jobs out of the United States:

"Today in the United States, any time an American company closes a factory or plant in America and moves operations to another country, the American taxpayers pick up part of that moving bill," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. "Frankly, a vote against this bill is a vote against American jobs."
Republicans called the bill an election-year stunt. They noted that Democrats tried to pass a similar bill two years ago, right before the last congressional elections.
Okay, Republicans, let's say it's a stunt! It's a stunt that has now repeatedly revealed your desire to keep giving companies tax breaks for killing jobs in America. Are we supposed to see the "stunt" nature of bringing up a bill like this every two years or so as equivalent in moral bankruptcy to defending the existing crappy policy? How is this a political defense?
The bill would also have given tax breaks to companies that move their operations to the United States.

http://www.dailykos.com/sto...oving-jobs-overseas#

Steve
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