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09-16-2004, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by djhn579
For a time, a big part of my job was visiting steel mills throughout the US and Canada. I saw a lot of interesting things during those years.

One thing is that some union workers work 12 hour shifts 3 days a week, then get 3 days off. That's pretty good, right? But those 12 hour shifts are one hour on, one hour off. They actually only work 18 hours every 6 days and get paid >$25/hr for 36!

Another thing I saw is a video tape of steel workers deliberately doing something that resulted in $500K to $1M of damage to the company. You would think an employee doing something like that would get fired, right? No! The union had a clause that the cameras can only be put in to monitor quality, not to be used against somebody doing something wrong, no matter how deliberate!

Then I got to hear stories too. I heard how many steel jobs could have been saved if the unions agreed to salary cuts. But the people in the union making those decisions refused because they already had their retirement benefits and didn't care if the younger workers lost their jobs or not.

Unions played a large roll in bringing up workers salaries and improving working conditions for everyone, not just their members, and we will be forever grateful to them. But, these days, the only thing you hear from unions is maintaining benefits when companies are losing money. This is especially true in gov't unions. They don't care if the local gov't is losing money and they make more than most people in the community, they won't give up anything. Unions may have out lived their usefullness...
As someone who has dealt with Unions as well, I can echo many of the horror stories. They aren't just confined to steel mills.

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