Thursday, March 02, 2006

How About Labor News on WCPN?

Every Day We Hear Business News, but What about the Other Side of the Issues?

Every Friday WCPN has 5 or 6 minutes with Scott Ralston on local business and every night a half hour with Market Place. Then an hour on some weekend business report at 3 p.m. on Saturday. That is a great deal of time on business news. How about some balance in this huge union town? How about at least a weekly show on Union issues like mine safety or Wal Mart's impact on our community? How about an expose' on the Teamsters policy of forcing the temporary workers (even those working only one day) at the IX Center to pay a $100 initiation fee while they get no benefits? How about a look at the Air Traffic Controllers after 25 years of disbanding of the PATCO union? There is plenty of news from the labor movement. How about some balance from our public radio station?



Blogger Ed C:\> said...

What makes you think labor "is the other side" of business issues? Seems to me this is the very view that led unions to bleed to death.

10:50 AM  
Blogger Clevehomeless said...

There is a healthy tension between labor representing the workers and corporations representing stock holders and the bottom line. Unions that are not on the other side of the table are ineffective and just "yes" men.

Unions are suffering because of the hostile environment for the working man. The regulations that make it difficult for the unions to organize harms the movement. And the poor public perception because of some unions that were corrupt.

3:07 PM  
Blogger Ed C:\> said...

Unions made the mistake of not doing anything but taking care of themselves, and they were so incestuous with the democratic party they were more concerned with propping up their buddies than they were with taking care of their workers.

In effect, unions _became_ what they were supposed to opposes - they became big business and became investors and had no more concern for the future than the directors of corporations preserving the immmediate bottom line.

There is no more hostility toward the working man than there has ever been. Things are much better than 50 years ago. Did you ever consider that having to pay someone more than they are worth is a big part of the problem?

3:48 PM  
Blogger Clevehomeless said...

I disagree. I think that you have dismissed all unions for the indescretions of a few. The Hotel workers who work long hours for $10 an hour cleaning up for the rich and well off carving up the world in the dining rooms of our hotels are not getting rich. The janitors who clean up the failed promises made by Gateway executives certainly are not getting rich. The American teachers are certainly underpaid for all they do. My sister worked as a non-union teacher in the South with a starting pay of $12,000 to $14,000. Thank God we have unionized teachers in the north. The unions protect musicians from exploitation and truckers from being worked to death.

Take a second look at the unions, and don't rely on the media.

8:11 PM  
Blogger Ed C:\> said...

Hotel workers are the victims of living in a town no one wants to really visit. We have too many hotels.

(By the way, how is "cleaning up for the rich" or "cooking for the rich" somehow more sinful than, oh, cleaning up for the middle class, or for a non profit agency, or as a government worker? The rich aren't the problem. )

As regards to my blaming all for the "sins of the few", this standard applies just as much to Fortune 500 companies than it does to unions. If it's a valid criticism from your end I can use it within the confines of the same discussion.

I disagree american teachers are underpaid. They, who control the largest single chunk of the Democratic party delegates, are doing their damned best to monopolize public money for their jobs with full bennies. The make a great buck - for 9 months of work a year.

They are one of the few unions who have their act together, and have moved into the realm of social engineering. I hate that shit. I think things went to hell when they went from being "teachers" to being "educators".

Maybe your sister the teacher could earn more in the public sector if state-run education would worry more about educating than preventing vouchers.

Unions can only effect supply of labor if that labor market is not flooded with cheap labor. Why do you think racial integration took so long? You don't think those guys were the first welcomed into the unions, do you? Exclusivity was the original basis for forming guilds. By restricting access to the profession, you keep prices up. The medical profession is most effective at this practice.

Regardless, there are labor abuses, but I can't see, for example, that Wal-mart is one of them. If you don't like what they pay, don't work there. No one _has_ to stay in a job.

As far as musicians, I afraid those days are gone. Truckers are mostly independent operators these days, when the unions are (figurativeley) trying to run them off the road. Deregulation saw to that.

Like most things, I see the need for labor unions as cyclical. They will fade in and out as needed by conditions. When the conditions have changed, however, the union management needs to be able to re-assess it's mission lest it find itself impotent. That is what I am afraid has happened.

I don't rely on the media for union info. Anyone who lives in cleveland already knows a union nightmare story, such as having to drop $200 for two union guys to take down and rehang the cloth sign you already hung yourself. It's things like this that keep those hotels empty when the guy who was shaken down says he'll never come back.

I stated that I support unions. I just don't support big business disguised as unions _when they don't take care of their own_.

10:23 AM  

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