You want to know how dumb unions can be?

Posted by: Phineas on September 18, 2011 at 1:01 pm

**Posted by Phineas

This dumb. Southern California grocery workers are set to walk out as soon as tomorrow and shut down hundreds of stores over, at most, $23 a week:

Now, as in 2003, one key sticking point is healthcare. What’s at issue is a painfully common refrain in corporate America: medical costs are rising.

Under the latest offer from the employers, grocery workers would pay $9 a week for individual coverage and $23 a week for a family, company and union officials said.

The grocers say these premiums are necessary to help offset rising healthcare costs and augment the amount Vons, Ralphs and Albertsons are agreeing to pay into a trust fund that purchases healthcare for workers. But union officials say that what the employers have proposed to pay during negotiations on the complex deal is far short of what is necessary and would ultimately gut the trust fund. Instead, union officials say, the employers need to pay more in order for the fund to be viable long term.

Consider that California has unemployment of at least 12% and that many, many people are experiencing tight wallets these days. And the union bosses think it’s a good idea to put their own people out of work? Do the unions really expect sympathy from the public when all they’re being asked to pay for healthcare is $36 per month for a single person and $92 for a family? Do they really expect people facing far more onerous financial conditions to say “Oh yeah, man. You’ve got a real grievance here. I’m totally willing to drive 20 miles to find a non-union store while you fight to save 36 bucks a month!”

Really? I expect instead you’ll see a lot of people crossing the lines as the strike goes on, and plenty of “scab” workers — people who need jobs.

I supported the strikers back in 2003, because I felt they had a real grievance. Contrary to the article, the real issue then was management at Safeway trying to forcing workers to pay for management’s poor business decisions.

But this… this is dumb.

via Pirate’s Cove

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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7 Responses to “You want to know how dumb unions can be?”


  1. Kind of sad in a way. But stupid is as stupid does.
    When I was at Bombardier Learjet, we had our contract up for renewal. A lot of my coworkers got bent out of shape over our contribution going to forty dollars a month from thirty two dollars a month. We were well paid and the packages available were very, very good. But since a large number of them had that…..”this company owes me!” attitude, it was almost comical!

  2. Carlos says:

    When I was in school back in the 60s, one summer I went to work as a steelworker in a silicon-production plant. I worked 2 weeks, then they went on strike, so I got another job. The striking workers at our plant didn’t even get strike pay because steelworkers in PA were on strike, too, and they got all the strike pay.

    The upshot is that, after being on strike for about 4 months the workers got a small raise. One of the union negotiators sat down and figured out it would take approximately twenty-three years to make up in gained wages what they lost during the strike.

    Sounds like the California illegals union workers are just about as bright.

  3. MR R. says:

    I seem to recall that the last time these people went on strike they ended-up with zero gains in pay or benefits after many weeks of not being on the job. The companies had agreed before the strike to almost all of the demands. The workers lost much more in pay during the strike than they gained.

    Advice to shoppers: Check your grocery receipts carefully because basic math skills are not a prerequisite for being a grocery clerk.

  4. Kate says:

    As was stated…this isn’t even about work rules. It’s about healthcare costs and the fact that the UNION fund is out of balance and needs a big influx of funds. This is what the union workers should be asking the union leadership about.

  5. Liz says:

    I want Obamacare, but I don’t want to pay for it….I want YOU to pay for it!

  6. Steph says:

    They are complaining about $23 a week? I really don’t get it. Since we retired, we spend almost $800 a month for health insurance. That is between Medicare and Blue Shield. That is our biggest bill every month other than rent, of course. People are hurting here in California; lots of folks are out of work, have no more unemployment benefits and/or have taken lower paying jobs to eat. This is just stupid on the part of the workers to do this to themselves. And, guess what? These stores mentioned are the most expensive ones to shop in already! Just dumb, dumb dumb!!