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 Post subject: Teamsters and Kroger
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:08 pm 
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I know many of you try and shop at union stores so here is a heads up. I delivered this week to a Kroger DC north of Columbus. I noticed that they had replaced their union local drivers with an outsource company.

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 Post subject: Re: Teamsters and Kroger
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:18 pm 
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They own the Ralphs and Food 4 Less stores in southern California, but other than that Kroger isn't in my state. Yet.

They don't currently own the Food 4 Less stores in northern California, however I've heard they're trying to acquire them.


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 Post subject: Re: Teamsters and Kroger
PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:12 am 
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We shop at Giant Eagle which is union. Also occasionally at Heinen's which is also union.

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 Post subject: Re: Teamsters and Kroger
PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 12:04 pm 
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Kroger's are union stores. At least most of them are. United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) is their union, same as most of the other supermarket chains.

As unions go, and I have been a member, I feel they rate rather poor on the scale of providing heath and welfare to their members. Although they are working against constraints unions that do better do not have to face in the labor market. So maybe there are as good as they can be.

Unless their leadership is corrupt, and that union has a past record for that which rivals the Teamsters. A few years back in California there was a nepotism issue in that union which ... ... . It was pretty bad.


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 Post subject: Re: Teamsters and Kroger
PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:00 pm 
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The UFCW is a very good union, and their national leadership are good, honest, honorable folks. The grocery business is a thin margin business, and because of competition from non-union stores and Walmart, the union does as well as it can to negotiate better wages and benefits, while ensuring the businesses can stay competitive and profitable. But the UFCW has done some great stuff, including offering a completely free two-year college degree program for their members. Real college, too, with real degrees and credits that transfer, not the bullshit scam education the for-profits offer.


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 Post subject: Re: Teamsters and Kroger
PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:42 pm 
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The UFCW is a very good union, and their national leadership are good, honest, honorable folks. The grocery business is a thin margin business, and because of competition from non-union stores and Walmart, the union does as well as it can to negotiate better wages and benefits, while ensuring the businesses can stay competitive and profitable. But the UFCW has done some great stuff, including offering a completely free two-year college degree program for their members. Real college, too, with real degrees and credits that transfer, not the bullshit scam education the for-profits offer.


Perhaps they have better management on the east coast, and/or during the last ten years. :|


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 Post subject: Re: Teamsters and Kroger
PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:25 pm 
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It's easy to bash a union without knowing the full story. I wasn't on the west coast, but I've dealt with UFCW and their leaders for almost two decades, and I've always found them to be a great union. Can't say the same for many other unions. When we needed help, they were there.

There are VERY few unions in America that can be equated with the Teamsters when it comes to corruption. They are in a class by themselves. Maybe some of the longshoreman unions.


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 Post subject: Re: Teamsters and Kroger
PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:34 pm 
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That would be true if I were "bashing" this union without knowing the full story, but as I mentioned above I was actually a member of the UFCW.

I was a member for several years, and after being a member I continued working alongside rank and file grocer people until the day I retired.

My association with them is also in the realm of being two decades long. I've been there with them when they walked out on strikes, and I have heard first hand the rank and file brothers complain about their corrupt union officials who control their west coast UFCW union. Nepotism was mentioned frequently.


-----

The west coast longshoreman union is the ILWU. They are very different than most other unions including the east coast longshoreman union, even the differences between the LA and the Bay area ILWU locals is striking. The west coast longshoreman I've known, and I have known quite a few, do not complain about their union being corrupt.

They like their union being wild eyed and radical, because as a group they tend to be wild eyed radicals themselves. Insofar as a union representing their rank and file as they want to be represented the ILWU does a good job here.

I have heard more Harry Bridges stories than I have heard stories about any other union iconic figure from history. Harry is who ILWU brothers here love to talk about when they meet for drinks in a bar. They love Harry and their union.


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 Post subject: Re: Teamsters and Kroger
PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:58 pm 
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kroger is where Jimmy Hoffa started out. because of their treatment of workers is why he became an organizer.

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 Post subject: Re: Teamsters and Kroger
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:20 am 
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That would be true if I were "bashing" this union without knowing the full story, but as I mentioned above I was actually a member of the UFCW.

I was a member for several years, and after being a member I continued working alongside rank and file grocer people until the day I retired.

My association with them is also in the realm of being two decades long. I've been there with them when they walked out on strikes, and I have heard first hand the rank and file brothers complain about their corrupt union officials who control their west coast UFCW union. Nepotism was mentioned frequently.


-----

The west coast longshoreman union is the ILWU. They are very different than most other unions including the east coast longshoreman union, even the differences between the LA and the Bay area ILWU locals is striking. The west coast longshoreman I've known, and I have known quite a few, do not complain about their union being corrupt.

They like their union being wild eyed and radical, because as a group they tend to be wild eyed radicals themselves. Insofar as a union representing their rank and file as they want to be represented the ILWU does a good job here.

I have heard more Harry Bridges stories than I have heard stories about any other union iconic figure from history. Harry is who ILWU brothers here love to talk about when they meet for drinks in a bar. They love Harry and their union.

Ah, yes, there is always loose talk about corruption. I remember when I wasn't involved, how they said the elections were always rigged. So, when the local asked for volunteers to work the election, I volunteered to see the corruption for myself and raise hell. Instead, I found honest elections with controls and observers to ensure a completely fair and honest election. It was quite impressive.

But that never stopped the bullshit.

So, you can go with the scuttlebutt if you want. The truth is often far different. The UFCW, as I said, has a hard road, because they can't run their employers out of business, and the low-wage competition like Walmart keeps them from negotiating big raises and benefits. The wages usually ARE above the non-union employers.

The best unions are the ones where there's a lot of involvement. It sounds like you weren't involved in your union. I wasn't either, for many years. Getting involved opened up a new world for me. I'm very proud of my Union.


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 Post subject: Re: Teamsters and Kroger
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:53 am 
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Ah, yes, there is always loose talk about corruption. I remember when I wasn't involved, how they said the elections were always rigged. So, when the local asked for volunteers to work the election, I volunteered to see the corruption for myself and raise hell. Instead, I found honest elections with controls and observers to ensure a completely fair and honest election. It was quite impressive.

But that never stopped the bullshit.

So, you can go with the scuttlebutt if you want. The truth is often far different.

The best unions are the ones where there's a lot of involvement. It sounds like you weren't involved in your union. I wasn't either, for many years. Getting involved opened up a new world for me. I'm very proud of my Union.


In my first post about the UFCW I said:

"As unions go, and I have been a member, I feel they rate rather poor on the scale of providing heath and welfare to their members. Although they are working against constraints unions that do better do not have to face in the labor market. So maybe there are as good as they can be."

Now you're telling me:

"The UFCW, as I said, has a hard road, because they can't run their employers out of business, and the low-wage competition like Walmart keeps them from negotiating big raises and benefits. The wages usually ARE above the non-union employers."

What is similar about those two statements???



What is not similar about our overall statements is mine are not putting your experience down with sniping words like, "It's easy to bash a union without knowing the full story", "Ah, yes, there is always loose talk... .", "So, you can go with the scuttlebutt if you want. The truth is often far different.", and "It sounds like you weren't involved in your union."



Wasn't involved in my union???

I was an instructor at my union the last few years until I retired, teaching forth year apprentices market refrigeration two nights a week.


Go Union I'm proud of my union too.


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 Post subject: Re: Teamsters and Kroger
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:40 am 
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In my first post about the UFCW I said:

"As unions go, and I have been a member, I feel they rate rather poor on the scale of providing heath and welfare to their members. Although they are working against constraints unions that do better do not have to face in the labor market. So maybe there are as good as they can be."

Now you're telling me:

"The UFCW, as I said, has a hard road, because they can't run their employers out of business, and the low-wage competition like Walmart keeps them from negotiating big raises and benefits. The wages usually ARE above the non-union employers."

What is similar about those two statements???



What is not similar about our overall statements is mine are not putting your experience down with sniping words like, "It's easy to bash a union without knowing the full story", "Ah, yes, there is always loose talk... .", "So, you can go with the scuttlebutt if you want. The truth is often far different.", and "It sounds like you weren't involved in your union."



Wasn't involved in my union???

I was an instructor at my union the last few years until I retired, teaching forth year apprentices market refrigeration two nights a week.


Go Union I'm proud of my union too.

On your point, I was agreeing that yes, they ARE as good as they can be.

But you said this:

and I have heard first hand the rank and file brothers complain about their corrupt union officials who control their west coast UFCW union. Nepotism was mentioned frequently

Which I took as hearsay evidence, not direct knowledge of true evidence of corruption. Then you compared them to the Teamsters. Which, given my knowledge of both local leadership in other parts of the country - the south - and of national leadership, that wasn't hearsay, I disagreed with your hearsay assessment.

Nepotism is a charge often leveled, and it isn't always a case of someone being incompetent at a job they shouldn't have been given. Ask Tony Stark. :rw)

Being raised in a household of a union leader often makes you a strong advocate for workers from childhood. They often want to follow in their parent's footsteps. While sometimes a child or relative gets a gimme job, such jobs today are few and far between, as unions are necessarily leaner and every employee has to produce and work hard.

But I know a young woman who was raised by a union leader, and spent her childhood going to every protest and march she could, spending summers making sandwiches for strikers, and is today a committed, hard-working and smart activist who has worked in several organizations.

Just like a cop might have followed his father who was also a cop, I don't think that someone who wants to follow their mom or dad into being a trade unionist should be disqualified for their parentage. I followed my dad into the manufacturing plants, although we didn't work in the same one. My dad was also a Union Steward in the same union I'm in now, although I didn't get involved until after he passed. I guess that charge could be leveled against me.

When I work with someone whose parents were also union reps, I take them one at a time. While some aren't worth much, I've found most of them have trade unionism in their blood, having lived it their entire life. Hell, I think, for all the Teamsters' issues, Hoffa Jr. is a pretty effective leader. He certainly isn't sitting back and doing nothing for his members.


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 Post subject: Re: Teamsters and Kroger
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:07 am 
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Please explain why your information about a union you are not a member of, have no direct knowledge of, is not even in the same part of the country of, is not hearsay evidence as well.

When you say "I've dealt with ..." that is shorthand for, I was talking with ... .

Do you not hear and then talk,,, talk and then hear?


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 Post subject: Re: Teamsters and Kroger
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:25 pm 
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Call it nepotism....or...."It's not what you know, it's who you blow."
i like the reps. that have made their bones coming up thru the ranks, thank you. You can tell who they are after talking to them for 2 seconds. Trouble is they are few and far between.

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 Post subject: Re: Teamsters and Kroger
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 1:28 pm 
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Please explain why your information about a union you are not a member of, have no direct knowledge of, is not even in the same part of the country of, is not hearsay evidence as well.

When you say "I've dealt with ..." that is shorthand for, I was talking with ... .

Do you not hear and then talk,,, talk and then hear?

Because I've worked with them directly and they gave results. No scuttlebutt.

You can believe me or not. I don't care.


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 Post subject: Re: Teamsters and Kroger
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 1:31 pm 
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Call it nepotism....or...."It's not what you know, it's who you blow."
i like the reps. that have made their bones coming up thru the ranks, thank you. You can tell who they are after talking to them for 2 seconds. Trouble is they are few and far between.

I take it case by case. It's always hard for kids of reps to work their way up, it's an easy way for opponents to slam them. It works against them, and they have to be twice as good to succeed. Sometimes they are.


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 Post subject: Re: Teamsters and Kroger
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:34 pm 
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I take it case by case. It's always hard for kids of reps to work their way up, it's an easy way for opponents to slam them. It works against them, and they have to be twice as good to succeed. Sometimes they are.


Me too. It usually takes about (Honestly) five minutes to figure out if the earned the job vs having it given too them. A few pointed questions usually all it takes. And my bar has been lowered thru the years. i consider it a minimum that they know who Jimmy Hoffa was.

quote:
It's always hard for kids of reps to work their way up

i dunno if i can fully agree with that. Not from the experiences in my field anyway. (49er/laborer) They usually show up on the job (usually as a favor to some other union rep. ;) )for maybe a year operating roller or cleaning curb before they go on to a rep. job that pays more than the highest paid operating job. They get a fancy new truck with all the bells and whistles, per diem, and a host of other bennies. What do we get? Someone that has no clue as to the field, with their only true concern being that our dues are paid. Oh, ya. we also get a fancy key chain and a 49er sticker to put on our helmets. Whoopy. There's a problem there, a disconnect problem, a problem they don't seem to want to acknowledge. imho....

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 Post subject: Re: Teamsters and Kroger
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 3:21 pm 
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Me too. It usually takes about (Honestly) five minutes to figure out if the earned the job vs having it given too them. A few pointed questions usually all it takes. And my bar has been lowered thru the years. i consider it a minimum that they know who Jimmy Hoffa was.

quote:
It's always hard for kids of reps to work their way up

i dunno if i can fully agree with that. Not from the experiences in my field anyway. (49er/laborer) They usually show up on the job (usually as a favor to some other union rep. ;) )for maybe a year operating roller or cleaning curb before they go on to a rep. job that pays more than the highest paid operating job. They get a fancy new truck with all the bells and whistles, per diem, and a host of other bennies. What do we get? Someone that has no clue as to the field, with their only true concern being that our dues are paid. Oh, ya. we also get a fancy key chain and a 49er sticker to put on our helmets. Whoopy. There's a problem there, a disconnect problem, a problem they don't seem to want to acknowledge. imho....

Most of the reps in our union are elected. And if someone is a kid of a national rep, and they are running for an office, it's easy for their opponent to smear them because of their name.

And, of course, if you're put into an appointed job, there's the stigma of getting it because of your name that people don't look at your work or qualifications.


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 Post subject: Re: Teamsters and Kroger
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:39 pm 
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Most of the reps in our union are elected. And if someone is a kid of a national rep, and they are running for an office, it's easy for their opponent to smear them because of their name.

And, of course, if you're put into an appointed job, there's the stigma of getting it because of your name that people don't look at your work or qualifications.

Ah, but for(elected or not)bureaucracy. Can't remember fer sure but it went something like this......All organizations evolve into bureaucracies. All bureaucracies end up feeding upon themselves. They become complacent. Most forget what the battle was truly about.They have forgotten the faces of their fathers. Nationally, that is.

The disconnect comes between there and the field and the refusal to acknowledge the problem.

Kinda like the DNC ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Teamsters and Kroger
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:30 am 
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Ah, but for(elected or not)bureaucracy. Can't remember fer sure but it went something like this......All organizations evolve into bureaucracies. All bureaucracies end up feeding upon themselves. They become complacent. Most forget what the battle was truly about.They have forgotten the faces of their fathers. Nationally, that is.

The disconnect comes between there and the field and the refusal to acknowledge the problem.

Kinda like the DNC ;)

Oh, Unions became far too complacent and self-serving, and that's why we're where we are today. What we needed was a national strike when Reagan replaced the air traffic controllers. It didn't happen - the unions didn't have the stomach for it, and their members weren't interested in the problems of a tiny group - so war was declared upon the working class.

Many unions now understand how dire the situation is, and have woken up. Hopefully it's not too late.

And one can either join the fight, or join the circular firing squad. A democracy requires a strong labor movement to function.


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 Post subject: Re: Teamsters and Kroger
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:46 pm 
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Kroger's are union stores. At least most of them are. United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) is their union, same as most of the other supermarket chains.

As unions go, and I have been a member, I feel they rate rather poor on the scale of providing heath and welfare to their members. Although they are working against constraints unions that do better do not have to face in the labor market. So maybe there are as good as they can be.

Unless their leadership is corrupt, and that union has a past record for that which rivals the Teamsters. A few years back in California there was a nepotism issue in that union which ... ... . It was pretty bad.


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How many different unions have you been a member of?

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 Post subject: Re: Teamsters and Kroger
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:07 pm 
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We need a general strike if Mueller is fired, but I doubt that'll happen.

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 Post subject: Re: Teamsters and Kroger
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:42 pm 
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Ely wrote:

Sam
How many different unions have you been a member of?


My first union was the Sheet Metal Workers' Local 103, where I was in an aligned trade in the union shop, and as such wasn't afforded the full union umbrella of benefits. That union has since gotten better about that.


My second union was the UFCW local 4, who we've been discussing. There I was a market refrigeration tech working for a small chain of stores, again I was in an aligned trade situation in a union shop. They did afford me their full umbrella of benefits except for wage negotiation, I was making about three to four times their scale. And their benefits were scaled to that lower rate.

Insofar as discussing their benefits I have not been applying my expectations, instead I have been relating what coworkers were talking about and feeling.

After I left that shop and Montana, I moved to the Bay area and my association with those union brothers of the UFCW local 5 did continue because their work place was mine until I retired, however I was no longer a member of that union.


My third union I joined when I made that move to the Bay area, I joined UA local 342 where I still am a dues paying member, but no longer active because I retired early. I really like that union. It's aligned with my trade, and their operation and benefits are excellent. I supported them as much as they supported me, we were happy brothers together! :D


My forth union I joined in my retirement, I have a special needs son who we get a federal benefit for his care. To receive that benefit I have to be a State of California minimum wage employee. Because I am a State of California minimum wage employee I have to be a member of UDW the home-care providers union. They are a union where the federal legislature lays out our working contract in every detail. There really isn't any negotiation they are doing on my behalf. There are no benefits other than some shopping coupons they send out from time to time, and those life insurance accidental death free 4,000 dollar policy offers the insurance company use a sales hook. Basically they sell my personal information to a mailing lists to get all of these "free" benefits.

That is the kind of union which screws up organized labor. When Righty uses them as a bad example of how bad unions are, they are right about that example. It's a cash cow to line the pockets of organized gangsters. :(


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 Post subject: Re: Teamsters and Kroger
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:19 pm 
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I am not familiar with the UDW, so I looked them up. They are part of AFSCME, and I will say that AFSCME is not made up of gangsters. According to the website, they do more than you say. For one thing, a union DOES do a lot of lobbying to improve the laws for their members, for instance.

There are things that unions can't do in government service, and one of them is to negotiate wages and benefits. But even then, they can negotiate working conditions and such, so they still provide valuable services to the membership. I can't speak to this specific group that you're in, but my experience has been that AFSCME is a good organization, though. Now, SEIU, on the other hand, has done some VERY cagey stuff in some states when it comes to home health-care workers, and SEIU was once a very proud union, but after a takeover, they seem to have taken a turn to the dark side.

And one of the benefits that AFSCME offers is a free online 2-year degree program that is fully accredited, for you AND your family members. That's a pretty valuable benefit that's worth the price of dues by itself.


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 Post subject: Re: Teamsters and Kroger
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:53 pm 
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I am not familiar with the UDW, so I looked them up. They are part of AFSCME, and I will say that AFSCME is not made up of gangsters. According to the website, they do more than you say. For one thing, a union DOES do a lot of lobbying to improve the laws for their members, for instance.

There are things that unions can't do in government service, and one of them is to negotiate wages and benefits. But even then, they can negotiate working conditions and such, so they still provide valuable services to the membership. I can't speak to this specific group that you're in, but my experience has been that AFSCME is a good organization, though. Now, SEIU, on the other hand, has done some VERY cagey stuff in some states when it comes to home health-care workers, and SEIU was once a very proud union, but after a takeover, they seem to have taken a turn to the dark side.

And one of the benefits that AFSCME offers is a free online 2-year degree program that is fully accredited, for you AND your family members. That's a pretty valuable benefit that's worth the price of dues by itself.


Yeah I know about that, I give them a quarter an hour for lobbying, it is the only thing they can do to improve the labor agreement with the government for that program. It's currently state minimum wage without benefits of any kind.

When I say without benefits of any kind I'm talking about scorched earth, those wages don't even apply toward social security. Congress has exempted those earning from the payroll tax because they don't want to match them with an additional 6 percent from their end.

The union is claiming they've gotten us overtime time pay. What I got was a letter from the government which said I better not submit overtime in any pay period or else. So that didn't amount to anything.

That lobbying of Congress hasn't actually changed the terms of that "employment" at all. But I keep giving them a quarter an hour for them to keep trying.



I don't need an "a free online 2-year degree program." :roll:

That might be nice for some people who live in other states. In California a low income citizen can already get grants for a free 2-year degree program at a real community college with real class rooms, and real instructors and professors. The real deal, not some online thing.

If they have the ability and the grades they can get a free 4 year degree too.



Both me and my wife already have degrees. My daughter is currently finishing up her 4 year bachelors degree at a top UC school, and is getting set to enter grad school. My son wouldn't be able to do the school work. :|


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