Starbucks Busted For Union Busting

Another week, another round of Bad Employer news about Wal—oh wait, we mean Starbucks this time, which actually has a lower rate of insured employees than the discount chain (42% versus 47%). Last Thursday, the National Labor Relations Board accused Starbucks of “unlawful anti-union activity” at a store in Michigan, similar to the charges it’s currently on trial for in New York.

The Industrial Workers of the World—the union that’s been campaigning to organize Starbucks employees for a few years now—claims the chain “threatened to terminate a worker for union activity and denied union members access to the store bulletin board.”

Starbucks has until this Friday, September 28th, to settle the Michigan case or proceed to a Labor Board trial as in New York.

In the meantime, Starbucks just lost a motion to defeat a class action from 900 managers seeking overtime pay, and is being investigated over whether it failed to honor the terms of a 2006 settlement involving other anti-union conduct in Michigan.

We suppose Starbucks could start offering $4 pounds of coffee to its employees, but somehow that feels less satisfying than full medical coverage. So remember to tip your barista—that tip box might be doubling as the staff insurance pool.

“Starbucks: More Charges of Union-Busting” [Business Week]

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Industrial Workers of the World

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  1. Hobo-NC says:

    Wow–did the Consumerist’s liberal heads explode from the cognitive dissonance when you found out that Wal-Mart isn’t pure evil? Old memes die hard.

  2. mrmysterious says:

    Actually Starbucks gives their employees a pound a week of coffee (or at least the girl that I knew that worked there received that).

    Also, I always thought that Starbucks offered insurance to all it’s employees, even part timers. Just because 42% of the employees are actually insured does not mean that the other 58% want insurance but can’t get it. For many people working at Starbucks they may be under their parents plan, a spouses, or simply don’t care about it.

  3. bdgbill says:

    Thank You Starbucks for forcefully resisting union extortion.

    Starbucks is expensive because they buy good coffee, good equipment, have great training and are free to fire employees who do not measure up.

    If they are unionized they will be expensive because the loser behind the counter is making $37.00 an hour and could not be fired if he took a leak in your latte.

  4. MonkeySwitch says:

    Starbucks gives their employess 1lb of coffee per week, and offers expensive insurance to full and part time employees (minimum 20 hours a week)

  5. NickRB says:

    First of all, Unions are killing this country’s industry, by forcing companies to move their production and call centers out of the United States.

    Secondly, A STORE was accused of this, not Starbucks as a company. IT is VERY IRRESPONSIBLE to put that in the headline and mislead your readers with that sensationalism.

    Thirdly, it is common union practice to make things up in order to bring attention to the union and claim a company is anti union. For example, a few years ago at Verizon Wireless a woman claimed Verizon Wireless fired her for voting yes to join a union. They had her speaking to reporters from all over the market. It turned out though the woman was fired for being late to work over 100 times in 6 months! The union literally fabricated this story to get press.

    Fourthly, many companies that are non unionized have better pay and working conditions than unionized companies. For example Verizon Wireless employees earn up to 43% more than their Unionized AT&T counterparts. Starbucks is considered one of the best places to work in America and I have several friends that would agree. Also take a look at the Japanese auto manufacturers such as Toyota who are not unionized. Their workers receive an excellent 401k plan and also receive higher hourly wages. Toyotas non union status also means they have MUCH lower costa and can afford to produce better cars at a better price.

    Now, Unions have certainly had their place in time and continue to to some degree. Corruption and the attitude of many unions that they are working against their employers is causing Americas industries to become less competitive.

  6. headon says:

    One pound a week of coffee that tases burnt. Give me a union and health insurance any day. Keep your bitter beans!

  7. Jeff_McAwesome says:

    @headon:

    You have to remember that the vast majority of Starbucks employees are part-time and under 25. They don’t want or need insurance. When you got your first job at age 16 did you ask about their health plan?

  8. azntg says:

    Unions do make life miserable to employers (they can bring costs up and cause hell if you do anything slightly unfavorable, etc.), but then again, think about it. If some employers didn’t make life miserable for employees too (as in: layoffs, perhaps horrible work conditions, etc.), why would there be thoughts of forming a union in the first place?

  9. rg says:

    I totally agree with BDGBILL’s comments! Having worked for unionized BellSouth, I have nothing but distaste for unions. All they do is afford the lazy-want-to-do-nothings top pay. When you work your butt off, and can’t make any more money than those that do nothing, there’s no more incentive to work hard anymore. Unions have far out-lived their usefullness.

  10. BillyMumphry says:

    I already have a starbucks habit, but now I feel even better about it.

  11. bdgbill says:

    @headon:

    I was wondering when the “Starbucks coffee tastes burnt” comments would start.

    Here’s what you can do when you can’t find a Dunkin Donuts or Citgo to get the high quality coffee you are used to and must go slumming at a Starbucks:

    Order a “large regular coffee”. Take your coffee into the restroom and pour two thirds of it into the toilet. Now fill the cup to the top with luke warm tap water from the sink. Exit the restroom and add your normal 14 sugar packets and enough cream to turn the coffee gray. This should provide you with a nice Dunkin Donuts type coffee.

    If it still doesn’t taste right try adding more tap water or perhaps some styrofoam particles for that authentic Dunkin flavor.

  12. jtlight says:

    Unions are a sham, which have been historically shown to NOT INCREASE REAL WAGES over time. Unions are the largest reason for the downfall of American manufacturing, as they are rife with corruption, and rarely actually help those that need it.

  13. whereismyrobot says:

    I used to work for Starbucks. Some things I didn’t like so much, but the insurance was a good deal.

    The insurance was not expensive as someone suggested, but quite reasonable. Starbucks is one of the few places to offer part time workers insurance, and from my experience, they don’t try to keep you at 19 hours to screw you out of it.

    Also, it was Aetna, which was really good insurance, covering weird things like massage and alternative medicine. It is much better than the insurance I have now and I work for the state of Texas.

  14. Sam Glover says:

    Above all else, the subject of unions seems to bring out the empty catchphrases!

  15. Sudonum says:

    @NickRB:
    Is it common practice for the NLRB to make things up in order to bring attention to the union? From the article:
    ‘We have advised the employer that there is enough evidence to establish a violation,” says Stephen Glasser, director of the NLRB in Region 7, which includes Detroit and surrounding areas. “We are seeing if they are willing to settle the matter before a formal complaint is issued.”‘

    Look, I am no fan of unions. Like a friend of mine used to say “Union… Soviet Union… It’s all the same”. However here you have a company that is a darling of most Consumerist readers accused of doing some of the same practices that The Devil From Springdale is doing and most everyone here is making excuses for them.

    I’m sorry, I am not buying the argument that since most Starbucks employees are young they are all still on Mommy and Daddy’s health insurance plan. Those plans have cut off ages even for full time students. And while I agree that when I was that age health insurance was one of the farthest things from my mind, I still had coverage through my employer. Many of the people who work at WalMart are in the same age group, could that be bringing down WalMarts percentage of covered employees?

    And what about the managers and overtime?
    “In the suit, 900 Starbucks store managers argue they perform similar tasks to baristas and should be eligible for overtime. A ruling in the managers’ favor could cost Starbucks tens of millions of dollars in unpaid overtime wages, damages, and attorney fees.”
    Doesn’t that sound like something WalMart was doing?

    The icing one the cake would be Starbucks importing (lead tainted?) coffee from China.

  16. Sudonum says:

    One last rant, if Starbucks is such a great place to work, as other comments have suggested, then they have nothing to fear from a union. Employees will realize that they have nothing to gain by organizing and will be paying monthly dues for nothing.

  17. TehRev says:

    @SUDONUM
    “employees are young they are all still on Mommy and Daddy’s health insurance plan. Those plans have cut off ages even for full time students.”

    They do have a cut off but its up there. I think I could have stayed on my parents till I was like 28 if I had still been in school. Just requires some effort.

    As for unions. I’d say they are hit or miss. I have worked in a few union places. One was alright but the others? Well lets see…. Company stuggling… All the people over the age of 38 were union and not interested in changing anything or learning anything new… I was training on new computer/software for the industry. Let me tell you how annoying it is to watch 5 people pay attention while the rest sit in back and literally play card and drink coffee all day because they have been there 20+ years, are union, and “don’t want to learn, we’ll just do what we have always done”. When I mention it their bosses say “we can’t fire them, so good luck. and they wonder why the company is downsizing year after year.”

    unions can be good and bad. It can mean death for a company especially if it limits its ability to adapt.

    If I owned starbucks I’d probably fight tooth and nail against a union. but thats just me.

  18. Buran says:

    @azntg: Cause once you’re union, it’s nearly impossible to fire you, and people have figured this out. If they can get under a union’s protection, they can then do less work for more money, or lower quality and get away with it.

  19. Cowboys_fan says:

    @NickRB:
    My rule of thumb; Never trust anything invented by Jimmy Hoffa!
    So what if starbucks is anti-union, so am I. Its not like the union busting of the old days.

  20. BillyMumphry says:

    Ironic this union discussion comes as I watch the lazy ass UAW workers protest on CNBC. If I’m GM I hire all the outsiders I can tell the UAW not to let the door hit them in the ass on the way out.

  21. Greeper says:

    Just because they are accused of something doesn’t mean anything. Are you going to post a big story when they win the case?

  22. rjhiggins says:

    Consumerist really shouldn’t use words like “busted” when in fact all we have is an NLRB accusation. For those unfamiliar with labor law, that’s about as difficult to come by as a picture of Britney Spears’ privates.

  23. AbstractConcept says:

    the way insurance is giving is that an employee must work a certain amount of hours during a period of a few months. If that criteria is not met then insurance is not given.. Also, like most companies new employees have to wait another period before benefits will be offered.

    That is sad that Starbucks is looking bad next to Walmart, but all in all I’d say Starbucks employees are A LOT happier…. If you want proof go get a coffee and a pack of diapers.

  24. kenblakely says:

    I’ll make sure to buy an extra latte. Any company that provides a good product, generally takes care of their workers *and* resists the unions is a + in my book. This ain’t the 30′s Consumerist, and Tom Joad ain’t working at Starbux.

  25. jgkelley says:

    In regards to Starbucks – the coffee is bad. It’s been judged bad for years by every coffee taster who’s ranked it. If you have to drink coffee with sugar or cream (note: HAVE to), it’s bad coffee. We’ve just been led to believe otherwise by growing up on poorly roasted Folgers and Maxwell house. Get yourself some fresh ground coffee from some place like Green Mountain, and you’ll undrstand.

    As far as insurance goes, insurance does not alone a happy worker make. There are other important things that are not in this equation, and should be.

    In other news, it would appear that the consumerist comments board has taken a decidedly republican/libertarian/uninformed turn in the past few months. Kudos to all of you for being vividly aware of how useless unions are now, and for apparently being completely ignorant of how beneficial they were in the early to middle stages of the industrialization of the United States. It saddens me how thoroughly the media and government have, in the past 50 years, trashed the idea that workers should have rights.

    The idea of a union isn’t pure evil — what’s evil is that it’s so necessary under our current economic system.

    Read some history on the Taft-Hartley act and you will see how unions have been controlled by the government and the companies since 1935. Maybe read some Stetson Kennedy, Studs Terkel, and Staughton Lynd. Maybe get yourself educated before piping out the common line of “Unions make people lazy”. Who here has ever worked for a unionized organization? Were you lazy? Were your coworkers? Then where did you get this idea? Oh, right. Propaganda.

    Flames commence!

  26. it5five says:

    It’s saddening to see a bunch of empty anti-union talking points here on the consumerist.

    I’m a proud union member (APWU), and contrary to a lot of these commentators opinions, my wages HAVE risen thanks to the work of my union. I just got a raise a few weeks ago, and I am scheduled to receive another in February.

    I’d also like to dispel the myth that unions bring higher prices to consumers. The two cheapest grocery stores in the Phoenix-Metro are are the only two union grocery stores we have here. Fry’s (Kroger) is consistently the cheapest of the large chain grocery stores here. Some of the most expensive are the anti-union ones (Bashas).

    I’m glad I have my union. If it weren’t for them, postal workers would still be living below the poverty line and receive no benefits their employer (the federal government). Thanks to the efforts of the union, being a postal worker is now a well paying and desirable job for not only high-school grads, but college grads as well (my supervisor has an MBA). If it weren’t for the high wages I receive, I wouldn’t be able to put myself through college with this job.

  27. RvLeshrac says:

    @it5five:

    Totally.

    I worked at a Kroger for a while years ago. It wasn’t difficult for them to fire people. The trick is that WITH a union, you have to actually have a valid reason and proof (signed disciplinary forms) of that reason in order to fire someone. In many states, like Georgia, without a union, you can be fired for no reason at all.

    So don’t blame the union for the “inability” to fire someone – instead, blame the lazy-ass management that refuses to actually enforce any rules regarding conduct, attendance, appearance, training, etc.

  28. RvLeshrac says:

    @RvLeshrac:

    To clarify, you have to have a valid reason to keep the ex-employee from collecting unemployment, even in GA. You don’t have to have any actual proof or documentation of that unless the ex-employee challenges you in court, which takes more time and money than most jobless individuals have.

  29. shikkaba says:

    I do not understand something. Why is it a big deal if ONE chain that offers people part time, minimum wage jobs isn’t offering very good health insurance? I know so many chain stores that have lackluster benefits for it’s employees. I’m not saying it’s a good thing, but it’s EVERYWHERE. You don’t get anything decent unless you work in the offices.

    Blockbuster for instance offers employees 10% off retail, 20% off food and 10 free rentals a week, but there is nothing about any sort of health insurance, and their benefits were even cut at the beginning of the year in favor of a commission plan which doesn’t work very well at what it’s supposed to be for…

    So…
    If ALL the chains are doing something along those lines insurance wise, then why not do something about them all, or do nothing at all? It’s not very consistent.

  30. cuiusquemodi says:

    The Wobblies want to represent baristas? I don’t quite think this is what Eugene V. Debs et al. had in mind, but whatever makes them feel relevant.

  31. Lordstrom says:

    Unions are anti-American and anti-capitalist. Yes, those are more anti-union cliches, but they’re true. They’ve destroyed entire industries and have the power to put this country on hold. No one should have that kind of power.

    I’m going to buy a hot cocoa at Starbucks now to show my support(I don’t drink coffee, ha!).

  32. kidgenius says:

    IT5FIVE:

    And I doubt that Fry’s lower prices are due in any way to the ability to purchase more product for more stores, and are therefore able to get goods at lower prices from the manufacturer than a local chain like Bashas.

  33. bdgbill says:

    Want to know more about unions? Go watch some Teamsters “work”.

    Or try to setup an event in NY City. The Teamsters charge $40.00 to place each 5 lb folding chair and ANOTHER $60.00 to pick it up again after the event. All other costs are just as reasonable.

    The sterotypical Teamster we often see on the Simpsons is an understatement.

  34. jimconsumer says:

    I’m sorry, but you’re a fscking coffee shop worker. It’s akin to fast food; your basic, run of the mill minimum wage job. There’s absolutely no reason Starbucks should have to offer insurance or other benefits to it’s workers.

    Seriously, it used to be if you wanted bonuses and benefits and high salaries you went out and made something of yourself. Now you just sit in a coffee shop or a Wal-Mart or McDonalds and whine that you’re not treated like royalty?

    If I ran the company I’d fire anyone who tried to unionize, who cares about the law. If you want the salary and benefits of a real job, then get a real job. And yes, I know I’m an unsympathetic jerk, but I’m tired of the “gimme” attitude of today’s workers. If you’re doing a job my 10 year old daughter can do, you’re on the low rung of the employment spectrum and should expect to be compensated accordingly.

  35. Chicago7 says:

    Yay, National Labor Relations Board!

  36. Chicago7 says:

    @BillyMumphry:

    Lazy ass? What do you do for a living? Sit on a chair? Type things into a computer? My guess is, you COULDN’T do the work the Auto Workers do – you would be physically unable to work a second day.

  37. @bdgbill: I’m glad that all of your employers must have treated you so kindly all your life to come down harshly on people tying to organize to better their lives.

  38. Chicago7 says:

    @NickRB:

    First, companies that AREN’T union are moving production to China and India (most tech firms aren’t union, yet most tech work is being done in India) – that kind of kills your “unions are the reason for jobs to be moved overseas”. The real reason is cheap ass Executives who want the big bucks for themselves.

    Second, it’s TWO different stores from the same company – see a pattern here?

    Third, companies NEVER make up anything to make a union look bad, do they? Pbbbbttt!

    Fourth, SOME companies that aren’t union DO pay more and have better benefits – mostly that is done to KEEP UNIONS OUT. If there weren’t any unions, those salaries and benefits wouldn’t be that high.

    If you want fight corruption, I think you would be better off targeting companies, rather than unions. There’s a LOT more corruption in companies and it hurts the general public a LOT more than any corruption in a union.

  39. @jimconsumer: I assume you are for universal health care, because you made it clear that employers shouldn’t care about providing their employees health care.

    I think DCFS would be all over you for letting your 10 year old daughter handle scolding hot coffee.

    @Chicago7: Thank you.

  40. Major-General says:

    @bdgbill: How about it tastes burned because it usually is.

    Sorry, I prefer Peet’s, or a couple small local roasters, depending on where I am. Like PT’s in Topeka or Java John’s in McPherson (KS), Plantations in Norman, OK. And either Geels and Co. or Wijs & Zonen in Amsterdam.

    @Sudonum: Bentonville, not Springdale. Unless you mean Tyson.

    @it5five: Right. Sure, whatever.

    From my experience, Union is just another word for poor customer service. For most industries, I don’t see the need for unionization.

    Frankly, the reason jobs get moved overseas is poor tax structure, more than greed.

  41. zolielo says:

    I like collective action so I am all for fair and transparent forming of unions.

  42. jimconsumer says:

    @AngrySicilian: It is up to YOU to provide for your own medical needs. Not your employer, not the government, you. In the US today, you do that by getting a real career with benefits (not a minimum wage job), or by purchasing insurance or flat out paying your own medical expenses, or, if you’re not educated enough for the former and too poor or unhealthy for the latter, you sign up for state assistance programs that are there to help the poor.

    As for my 10 year old handling coffee, are you freaking kidding me? Are you one of those loonies who shelters your children from real life? She uses scissors and cuts her steak with a knife, too. Also cooks dangerous food, like bacon, bakes her own pastries in a 400 degree oven and boils water for soup and hot chocolate regularly. Oh, the horror. Someone should really lock me up and throw away the key for raising a child into a capable young lady.

  43. rjhiggins says:

    I was just waiting for the “burnt coffee” comments from the poseurs. You don’t like Starbucks coffee, fine, but to arrogantly state that the millions of us who enjoy it (black, thank you) are just stupid, mindless sheep who have been railroaded by the powerful marketing machine into thinking we’re enjoying the coffee is really annoying.

  44. Sudonum says:

    @Major-General:
    No, you’re right, couldn’t remember which berg old Sam started in. A friend of mine has made a mint in real estate in the Fayetteville area in the past 10 years, thanks in large part to WalMart, Tyson, and JB Hunt. Of course, even he’s sucking wind right now.

  45. mac-phisto says:

    @jgkelley: good post. i won’t comment on the coffee b/c i’m not the type to fork over $5 for a cup of joe. besides, i don’t frequent places where english isn’t the official language. a large is a large is a large. don’t correct me, just pour it.

    most people don’t realize how taft-hartley & red scare politics stripped most of the unions’ power. it’s amazing what happens when you call something like organizing an “anti-american” activity.

    the unions have been pretty good at accelerating their demise too. union corruption in the 60′s & 70′s still haunts them today & the AFL-CIO is more interested organizing abroad than at home. i’ve heard john sweeney speak 3 times & all he seems to care about is latin america & asia.

    then there’s the organizing techniques of today’s unions – for example, SEIU’s attempt to organize pittsburgh-area hospitals. instead of organizing those most in need of union representation (orderlies, custodians & support staff), the union is taking a top-down approach. DOCTORS -> RESIDENTS -> NURSES -> ORDERLIES -> CUSTODIANS -> SUPPORT STAFF. that seems directly at odds with union ideals.

    ideally, employees shouldn’t need a union. the problem is, you get folks like jimconsumer making statements like, “If you want the salary and benefits of a real job, then get a real job.” sounds like something a robber baron would say. “If I ran the company I’d fire anyone who tried to unionize, who cares about the law.” yep. definitely a robber baron. “If you’re doing a job my 10 year old daughter can do…” ahh, he’s into child labor, too. sorry, jim. there’s definitely a problem here, but i don’t think it’s employees looking for their fair share. you’d think a company touting “fair trade certified” would understand what that means.

  46. ahwannabe says:

    hoo boy, I wish all the Starbucks apologists would make up their minds as to whether the Starbucks haters are a bunch of unsophisticated rubes, or a bunch of elitist coffee snobs.

    Or, they could just admit that they like the taste of burnt coffee. Nothing wrong with that, I like burnt bacon and burnt toast.

  47. ahwannabe says:

    @jimconsumer: It is up to YOU to provide for your own medical needs. Not your employer, not the government, you. In the US today, you do that by getting a real career with benefits

    What? I thought it wasn’t an employer’s job to provide for medical needs. Pick a story and stick to it, please.

  48. Chicago7 says:

    @jimconsumer:

    That’s the model NOW, and it’s proven that it doesn’t work. A lot of other industrialized nations have decided that Universal Health Care works better, and most of them pay less money for better health care than we have.

    Maybe we should rethink this system that doesn’t work?

  49. Chicago7 says:

    @mac-phisto:

    Why do you think professionals don’t need a union?

    That’s what all the tech guys thought back in the 90s when they were making the big bucks. Now that it’s $30k per year for grueling slave work, they may be re-thinking that.

  50. @jimconsumer: People like you make baby Jesus cry.

    No seriously. Your views are so far off from mine that I am not even sure where to start. I think you suggested child labor in your first post about the 10 year old. I don’t think a 10 year old could handle making hot espresso drinks all day long… but to each their own.

    I don’t have children.

    I do think health care should be a right in this county. If we want to compete with the world, we need to have a workforce that is not bogged down in medical debt and worry. I’m all about providing hope for the future, not the solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short Hobbesian world you suggest.

  51. mac-phisto says:

    @Chicago7: did i say that?

    i did say that SEIU is doing a top-down organizing campaign, which sucks for the people that need the union the most. doctors (who already have benefits) are being organized first, while the servers in the lunch room (probably don’t even get sick days) are told to get to the back of the line. doctors already have bargaining power; a custodian not so much so. both are necessary to make a hospital work.

    their idea is that doctors don’t join the janitor’s union, but janitors will join a doctor’s union & a hospital that is 100% SEIU unionized is more powerful than one that is fragmented. makes sense – still sucks for those that need a union most.

    & then i said ideally [all] employees shouldn’t need a union. everyone should be able to collectively bargain (should they choose) without the need for an outside representative. just as superiors call subordinates in for a meeting to discuss goals & explanations, the subordinates should be given an opportunity to meet & discuss what they need in compensation to be able to focus on their job without fear of retribution.

    in the perfect world…

  52. mac-phisto says:

    @mac-phisto: ^^ EXPLANATIONS should be EXPECTATIONS. need…more…coffee…

  53. magus_melchior says:

    @mac-phisto: Fortunately, there are a bunch of caffeinated foods on the market, and most of them don’t use coffee. Which is nice, since a cup of coffee feels like a hoggle of coffee for me (which is why I generally avoid the stuff).

  54. Chicago7 says:

    @mac-phisto:

    How are you going to collectively bargain without a representative? Everybody goes to the boss’s office? Hee. Most of the time, the people doing the bargaining are people who work at the company and also act as union steward. They get help, of course, from the main union.

  55. jimconsumer says:

    @ahwannabe: *sigh*, it’s not the employer’s job or responsibility to provide insurance. That said, many employers do offer it. Therefore, if you want it, one option is to work for someone who offers it. Forcing an employer who doesn’t offer it to do so via union action is, IMHO, wrong. In other words, just because some employers offer it does not mean it’s a responsibility all employers must shoulder.

    @Chicago7: The system works fine as it is. I know many impoverished people. All of them have free health care provided by the state. I also know middle class people who don’t have health care (because they make too much money and their employer doesn’t offer it) and I don’t feel a bit sorry for them when they bitch about doctor’s bills while I’m helping them hang their new 52″ plasma. Basically, people who honestly can’t afford it do have bountiful access to care here; people who can afford it but choose not to, don’t. I see no reason to bail the latter group out.

    @AngrySicilian: Don’t be ridiculous. I never suggested child labor and you know it. I said “If you’re doing a job my 10 year old could do.” I didn’t say “We should hire 10 year olds to do it.” I’ve read your posts and I know you’re intelligent enough to understand the difference, so please stop playing stupid in a futile attempt to discredit me.

  56. @jimconsumer: No, was more of an attempt at poking fun at you for demeaning Starbucks workers by suggesting that a 10 year old could do their job. Reductio ad absurdum. I think my other points regarding health care were the more substantial parts of my response.

  57. gtr225 says:

    What’s with all this anti-union sentiment? I mean it’s not like people are leaving comments here maturely disagreeing with unions, they are outright hating on them with comments about them being anti-American and the like. It just really seems ignorant to rant on like that. What I really wonder is how many of the anti-union commenters on here are actually union members. I’m sure none of them are. Why the hate? Are you mad because I’m in a union (UBC Local 2090) and your not? Are you mad because your employer pays you less than or barely what you deserve, where as I make enough to support myself and family? Are you mad because I have full health benefits, a pension, and an annuity to look forward to when I retire? I know they’re are some lazy people in unions, there are also lazy people in non-union jobs, that’s life, get over it. In every industry you’ll find lazy people, just like no matter where you live, there’s always some asshole neighbor of yours living on your block. But does that mean unions are completely horrible? No, of course not, no union is perfect, some are better than others, but to go on about how they ruined America and all that crap is ignorant. The world of business is much more complex than to say that unions ruined it all. Also as far as people going on saying that Starbucks employees should be happy with what they got, that’s just because Americans have gotten so used to being screwed by their employers that they think it’s perfectly normal to make $200 a week with no benefits. They think it’s perfectly normally that when someone gets seriously injured the first thought that runs through their head isn’t “I wonder if I’m gonna make it through this ok”, but rather “Since I have no insurance, maybe I don’t need to go to that hospital and I can treat myself”. Regardless what everyone says about unions there is still one undeniable truth, if American employers treated and compensated their employees fairly then unions would not have been created, nor would they still exist in the first place. I’m proud and quite happy that I’m a union member. I’m not looking to make tons of money and get rich being lazy as some would think union members aspire to do. I’m just looking to make an honest days pay for an honest days work.

  58. WraithSama says:

    @Buran:

    Historically, I have always disliked unions. I worked for a grocery chain when I was in high school where we were forced to join a union and pay dues and it was a joke. My father works with several people at his current job that lost their jobs when their plant closed down due to unionized workers sitting around and not doing any work and bleeding the company dry.

    However, I will say that I love my current unionized job. I work for a major aerospace company where we build commercial aircraft for one of the biggest names in airplanes, and the pay and benefits are outstanding. We get quarterly raises and I have cheap, affordable health insurance with no deductibles or co-pays that covers me and my family. But we are not bleeding the company dry. Why? The union here is not corrupt. If you are fired for being incompenent or not doing your job, the union will *not* protect you. There is no union-mandated quota for the quantity or quality of work; the company decides that, and the union enforces it. The union expects you to work hard and abide by company rules, and we do. In return for our hard work, the union secures us the highest wages and best benefits of any employer in the state. The company profited over $4 billion dollars last year, and that was after paying the employee wages and providing benefit packages to the eleven-thousand employees that work at this plant.

    There are a lot of corrupt unions out there, just as there are a lot of corrupt companies, but I think the place I work at is a shining example of how if the union and the company work together, everyone wins.