Hoffa op/ed

Discussion in 'UPS Union Issues' started by CharleyHustle, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. CharleyHustle

    CharleyHustle Active Member

    James P gives his 2 cents.
     
  2. hypocrisy

    hypocrisy Banned

    Good read and I agree. Too often Unionized workers, only 12.4% of the total workforce, are blamed for all of the crap going on. Not one person in the whole Mortgage mess is Unionized and that had more of an effect on our messed up economy than anything else; yet they continue to try and misdirect your anger to the rank and file who have fought for a better life for themselves. How they can blame you for trying to get your fair share of the fruits of your labor is beyond my comprehension.
     
  3. island1fox

    island1fox Well-Known Member

    crowbar,
    I would like you to take a deep breath and try to keep an open mind --as much as possible of the way many American's are looking at this whole mess today. Number one I agree the Unions did not cause the finanacial mess in this country today. I also agree that rank and file Union members should demand and get a fair share of the fruit of their labor . See we agree on two main points.
    Now I will go a little deeper and hopefully you will see how government interference , greed, corruption and will do anything for power and thier own benefit have caused this mess.
    The government(mainly on the left) wanted more minorities to own homes. Banks were threatened with lawsuits for not having enough minority loans. Over the many years both Democrat and Republican Presidents bragged about how many more "poor and minorities" now owned homes.
    With regulations eased Banks lowered qualifications, no down payment s no financial backround checks etc,etc. This went on for over twenty years, the greed on some parts of wall street because of the government supposedly backing these loans with FANNY and Freddie got involved .\, bundled and sold loans as derivatives. Adustable rate loans go up, some inflation, food and fuel rises and the result --a fiasco -a meltdown of the entire economy which will hurt us for a very long time ---now leads us to your point. The Unions.
    Their are private sector Unions like the Teamsters and UPS and there are public sector unions for government workers.
    Why are UPS and Teamster Negotiations so contentious ?? Because the Teamsters fight for you to enjoy the fruit of your labors trying to get the best benefit and wage pkg possible along with operating concessions. UPS fight as hard as possible to maintain a healthy company with LONG TERM VIABILITY.
    The government or public sector unions negotiate with politicians that they have contributed tons of union money to get them elected. The Governors or Mayors know they are not going to be in office forever and agree to outrageous wage and long term benefit packages that will either bankrupt the state or city or YOUR taxes will have to be raised to levels you have never seen to pay for Government workers huge salaries and early and large retirement !! Is this within your comprehension. If you just take a step back you will see that much of this is just common sense.
    Most of our politicians are greedy, power hungry fools that do not know how to run a successful business and could care less of the consequences as long as they stay in power.
    I am not coming down on you or trying to be a wise guy --can you see my point ??:peaceful:
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2011
  4. 804brown

    804brown Well-Known Member

    Here is a excerpt from Robert Reich's article on public unions:


    "But now the right is going after public employees.

    Public servants are convenient scapegoats. Republicans would rather deflect attention from corporate executive pay that continues to rise as corporate profits soar, even as corporations refuse to hire more workers. They don't want stories about Wall Street bonuses, now higher than before taxpayers bailed out the Street. And they'd like to avoid a spotlight on the billions raked in by hedge-fund and private-equity managers whose income is treated as capital gains and subject to only a 15 percent tax, due to a loophole in the tax laws designed specifically for them.

    It's far more convenient to go after people who are doing the public's work -- sanitation workers, police officers, fire fighters, teachers, social workers, federal employees -- to call them "faceless bureaucrats" and portray them as hooligans who are making off with your money and crippling federal and state budgets. The story fits better with the Republican's Big Lie that our problems are due to a government that's too big.

    Above all, Republicans don't want to have to justify continued tax cuts for the rich. As quietly as possible, they want to make them permanent.
    But the right's argument is shot-through with bad data, twisted evidence, and unsupported assertions.

    They say public employees earn far more than private-sector workers. That's untrue when you take account of level of education. Matched by education, public sector workers actually earn less than their private-sector counterparts.

    The Republican trick is to compare apples with oranges -- the average wage of public employees with the average wage of all private-sector employees. But only 23 percent of private-sector employees have college degrees; 48 percent of government workers do. Teachers, social workers, public lawyers who bring companies to justice, government accountants who try to make sure money is spent as it should be -- all need at least four years of college.

    Compare apples to apples and and you'd see that over the last fifteen years the pay of public sector workers has dropped relative to private-sector employees with the same level of education. Public sector workers now earn 11 percent less than comparable workers in the private sector, and local workers 12 percent less. (Even if you include health and retirement benefits, government employees still earn less than their private-sector counterparts with similar educations.)

    Here's another whopper. Republicans say public-sector pensions are crippling the nation. They say politicians have given in to the demands of public unions who want only to fatten their members' retirement benefits without the public noticing. They charge that public-employee pensions obligations are out of control.

    Some reforms do need to be made. Loopholes that allow public sector workers to "spike" their final salaries in order to get higher annuities must be closed. And no retired public employee should be allowed to "double dip," collecting more than one public pension.

    But these are the exceptions. Most public employees don't have generous pensions. After a career with annual pay averaging less than $45,000, the typical newly-retired public employee receives a pension of $19,000 a year. Few would call that overly generous.

    And most of that $19,000 isn't even on taxpayers' shoulders. While they're working, most public employees contribute a portion of their salaries into their pension plans. Taxpayers are directly responsible for only about 14 percent of public retirement benefits. Remember also that many public workers aren't covered by Social Security, so the government isn't contributing 6.25 of their pay into the Social Security fund as private employers would.

    Yes, there's cause for concern about unfunded pension liabilities in future years. They're way too big. But it's much the same in the private sector. The main reason for underfunded pensions in both public and private sectors is investment losses that occurred during the Great Recession. Before then, public pension funds had an average of 86 percent of all the assets they needed to pay future benefits -- better than many private pension plans.

    The solution is no less to slash public pensions than it is to slash private ones. It's for all employers to fully fund their pension plans.
    The final Republican canard is that bargaining rights for public employees have caused state deficits to explode. In fact there's no relationship between states whose employees have bargaining rights and states with big deficits. Some states that deny their employees bargaining rights -- Nevada, North Carolina, and Arizona, for example, are running giant deficits of over 30 percent of spending. Many that give employees bargaining rights -- Massachusetts, New Mexico, and Montana -- have small deficits of less than 10 percent.

    Public employees should have the right to bargain for better wages and working conditions, just like all employees do. They shouldn't have the right to strike if striking would imperil the public, but they should at least have a voice. They often know more about whether public programs are working, or how to make them work better, than political appointees who hold their offices for only a few years.

    Don't get me wrong. When times are tough, public employees should have to make the same sacrifices as everyone else. And they are right now. Pay has been frozen for federal workers, and for many state workers across the country as well.

    But isn't it curious that when it comes to sacrifice, Republicans don't include the richest people in America? To the contrary, they insist the rich should sacrifice even less, enjoying even larger tax cuts that expand public-sector deficits. That means fewer public services, and even more pressure on the wages and benefits of public employees.

    It's only average workers -- both in the public and the private sectors -- who are being called upon to sacrifice.

    This is what the current Republican attack on public-sector workers is really all about. Their version of class warfare is to pit private-sector workers against public servants. They'd rather set average working people against one another -- comparing one group's modest incomes and benefits with another group's modest incomes and benefits -- than have Americans see that the top 1 percent is now raking in a bigger share of national income than at any time since 1928, and paying at a lower tax rate. And Republicans would rather you didn't know they want to cut taxes on the rich even more."
     
  5. island1fox

    island1fox Well-Known Member

    People can complain about Private company CEO salaries all they want --you missed the point --Private sector salaries both CEO'S management and Union are paid for by the COMPANIES. If Ups is paying its people too much the market will decide and use competition --fx or others.
    Public sector we the citizens --including you are held hostage --no competion -no free market !!
    Public sector salaries are paid by all of us --the taxpayers. It is very simple.
     
  6. 804brown

    804brown Well-Known Member

    So, we should have competition among cops and firemen and sanitation and teachers?? They provide basic services to all. Governmemt is there to "promote the general welfare" . You want private sector cops and firefighters?? "Sorry, we cannot put your fire out today, it was not in our budget. Please call back!"

    Listen I do not feel Im held hostage. Public sector workers do NOT get bonuses or stock etc. They go into the public sector to SERVE: teaching, protecting the public, picking up garbage, putting our fires. They should be admired, not attacked. Get off their backs! You are agreeing with people who want to see unions disappear. They want find $$ from somewhere and they decide to go after public sector unions and their wages and pensions. Ok, when the come after yours and mine, I hope these same publci workers will have our back!
     
  7. bluehdmc

    bluehdmc Well-Known Member

    Public workers are a good target for politicians. Much like the quotes of GM worker's making $50 per hour, politicians like to talk about excesses in public workers pay. Granted there are excesses, at least in NJ, a prime example is usually a higher ranking police officer retiring cashing out a 6 figure sum with accumulated sick days. Your typical road crew, sanitation worker, doesn't get those kind of payouts. Hoffa's op/ed mentions Gov Christie in NJ, NJ has not fully funded the public employees pension fund for years. This was set up years ago by the Christie Whitman administration, as long as investments did well, local politicians all went along with it because it kept taxes down. Well like every other pension fund the public employees fund in NJ is underfunded, and the bill has become due!

    Now the politicians attack the public workers, a relatively small voting block, instead of being honest and raising taxes. (political suicide). Christie Whitman's predecessor raised the sales tax in NJ and lost his reelection. Whitman won and promptly lowered the sales tax rate, this and other moves helped creat the crisis today. It's quite easy to sit in your easy chair and ask for lower taxes, but remember that when you complain, 'Why don't they do something?' about traffic problems, trash removal, potholes, crime, etc, etc.
     
  8. island1fox

    island1fox Well-Known Member

    804 ,
    I do not drink Management nor Union cool aid. You live in NY -a state I lived in for many years but could not retire there--way too expensive.
    The highest property taxes in the country, high state tax and high sales tax and the state is still going broke.
    Public sector jobs are paid by YOU. In NY if you want the public sector workers to make huge salaries, better benefits and earlier and better pension packages than you --so be it --who am I to argue ---you live there --live with it !!
    :peaceful:I do not live in LA-LA land !! Funny thing about this in reality --YOU are the management in NY--- you pay the public sector ----give them what ever they want --YOU pay them. While many of them sit at home after 20 years collecting 80% of thier salaries for the next 30-40 years--YOU have to work harder and longer to support them --Yeah but you are all union brothers ???
    I guess we will agree to disagree -each to his own--Management nor union is as important to me than my life and families security.:wink2:
     
  9. 804brown

    804brown Well-Known Member

    I am not saying there are not abuses. I personally think it is wrong for instance for some city workers(cops, transit, etc) to be allowed to work their last 3 yrs and bang out tons of O/T and then have their pensions based on those last 3 yrs only. That is unfair to every tax payer in the city.
     
  10. island1fox

    island1fox Well-Known Member

    804,
    I would bet that if we sat down and had a beer together we would agree on more points than we disagree on. There is always a sensible middle ground. The problem with the public sector is that it is managed by idiot and corrupt politicians --right and left--good pay--good benefits--good retirement --everyone o/k with ---good economy has hidden alot of many years of what you described ---many "banged out " ot last few years and the citizens --not the politicians, not the unions are paying for it.
    Peace --Good luck in NY --I love the city -spent most of my life there -but as I said cannot afford to live there now -cost of living way too high.
     
  11. grgrcr88

    grgrcr88 No It's not green grocer!

    Can you post any proof of this. Show me the rediculous public sector pay and benefits, early retiremants and such you speak of.
     
  12. island1fox

    island1fox Well-Known Member

    grgrcr88,
    It sounds like you believe that somehow I have made this all up. I am not your researcher and have nothing to prove to you. If you are truly interested in this subject I suggest You use the search engine on your computer. If you look at State budgets, public sector jobs ,benefits etc -you will find the info you are looking for.
     
  13. brownmonster

    brownmonster Man of Great Wisdom

    Wisconsin's new Gov. is going after public employee Pensions and Health Benefits. As a Union man I don't want to see any cuts but as a tax payer some of these people have a pretty sweet deal on my dime.
     
  14. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

    I just hate hearing when the unions are blamed for those sweet deals. Why doesn't anyone blame the GOVERNORS who agreed to the sweet deals???

    The radio's always harping on the Teachers Unions cuz contractually you can't fire bad teachers. Well who agreed to that in their contracts???

    Cities, towns and states killed themselves when they agreed to those sweetheart deals by signing all those contracts. You can't blame the Unions, they did for their members exactly what they were supposed to do. It was our elected leaders who led us all into bankruptcy by stupidly agreeing to those contracts.
     
  15. bluehdmc

    bluehdmc Well-Known Member

    Where do you get these figures? I believe property taxes are higher in NJ, I've heard sales tax in CA is around 9 or 10%. But the figure I would like to know the most about is the 80% figure. Living in NJ we hear a lot of news about NY and NYC, I've heard stories about workers loading up on OT in there last 3 yrs of employment but like most things one hears about in the media I'm sure it's not the majority. The media loves to tout headlines about the exceptions.

    I was in public employment in NJ, public employees there contribute to their pensions, can collect 50% of their BASE pay, OT is not included after 25 yrs. Most public employees, (road dept, park workers, etc.) make modest salaries, without the right to strike. The trade off being job security and the pensions at the end of their employment. They are not "getting rich" at the public trough. The ones that are getting rich are the ones in the patronage jobs, all by being buddy, buddy with the party in power.

    Your experiences may vary.
     
  16. island1fox

    island1fox Well-Known Member

    over9five,
    I can see that you did not read my post --I do not blame you -I get too wordy. I posted that the public unions contribute huge amount of monies to elect certain politicians who are than going to negotiate contracts with them. The unions go for whatever they can get --the politicians only going to be in power 6-8 years do not care about the crazy sweetheart deals. Bottom line TAXPAYERS suffer. The system is flawed and with a poor economy the sins are now exposed.
    If I told a previous poster of cops in oakland making 165,000 a year -he would say it is dangerous --If I told him the AVERAGE transit worker in NY makes over 95,000 he would say it is NY. Problem is nationwide and has beem many,many years in the making.
    It is the CORRUPT, GREEDY , POWER HUNGRY politicians --they are the ones at fault.
     
  17. 804brown

    804brown Well-Known Member

    Ok public unions give money to pols and what do they get ?? A good pension and good benefits. What does Big Business get for all the $$ they give to pols?? Tax breaks, less regulations on their businesses, etc. Good for profits and bad for our health and welfare and the environment.
    Pols have to get re-elected. Implement public financing of all elections and watch how fast the pols start listening to we the people and not the rich and powerful!
     
  18. island1fox

    island1fox Well-Known Member

    bluehdmc,
    You are the Boss, You are the Taxpayer .
    If you believe the system of financing a politicians campaign and than negotiating contracts with that politician that YOU will pay for is not a problem --than so be it.
    Could you Imagine the TEAMSTERS being able to get the UPS CEO elected and than he would pay them back by sweetheart contracts ----sounds great short time --in time with the high number of young retirees the money runs out.

    Remember YOU pay the salaries and benefits of Public Employees.
     
  19. island1fox

    island1fox Well-Known Member

    804,
    we can go round and round on this
    Look at the company you work for --they pay BILLIONS to the government in Taxes, are regulated , taxed and fined by many governments agencies and are subject to a different labor law than their competitor.
    If you think the public sector system is fine --enough said.
    I am being too repetitive on this subject.
    YOU pay the bill for the public employees--no call --no foul !!:wink2:
     
  20. CharleyHustle

    CharleyHustle Active Member

    The Teamsters have over the last score years, been targeting many public sector employees, police, fire, public works, bus drivers ect... So, in a sence our and Hoffa's ox is getting gored by much of this grand standing on public sector unions and their workers. I see island1fox's point, and the problem may lie in that many of these contracts overreach because they arn't backed up by the need for "profit". Public officials need to be held accountable by the electorate, and many republicans just got elected because demacrats are being held accountable for dropping the ball.

    Love or hate your boss, private or public, its their responsiblity to insure the pay checks keep coming, mostly by seeing to it that the worker earns his keep.