12-12-2014 08:04 AM
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  1. Kevin OQuinn's Avatar
    I fight (semantics, better word, I bargain) for better wages and benefits every year, but it's never physical, there's never fist pounding on the table, there's never yelling or swearing, It's all about the numbers, the mathematics, how much work there was and how much was paid out.
    Well I'm not sure I ever implied that there would be violence. There are plenty of other ways to force things. I'm sure employers weren't to keen on work week limits, vacation time, etc, and things probably got very "heated" for lack of a better word. Something had to budge, right? Sometimes, to get what you want, you do need to use a form of force. I think it's a little naive to think that force doesn't occur in these negotiations. Or those "veiled threats" that people talk about sometimes. It goes both ways, though. Both sides surely use the same tactics. Just seems like in a situation of "who's going to blink first" it's going to be the employer. I could be totally wrong about that though. So many other factors could come into play, and the laws vary from state to state, too, which would affect things.
    01-22-2014 01:09 PM
  2. Timelessblur's Avatar
    I wouldn't use Detroit or Michigan or the big three auto makers as a beacon. If not for the bailout many of those workers would have ended up like the workers at Hostess. Lets not pretend they turned it around on their own.
    But blaming the unions for Detroit is ignorance. Detroit problems was more management issues (to many brands, no good small car, SUV focused, bad reliability issue, ect) mix with the economy it was a problem.

    Again union not to blame their. Even now lets see Detroit new union works still make more than their RTW counter parts.
    01-22-2014 01:09 PM
  3. palandri's Avatar
    Well I'm not sure I ever implied that there would be violence. There are plenty of other ways to force things. I'm sure employers weren't to keen on work week limits, vacation time, etc, and things probably got very "heated" for lack of a better word. Something had to budge, right? Sometimes, to get what you want, you do need to use a form of force. I think it's a little naive to think that force doesn't occur in these negotiations. Or those "veiled threats" that people talk about sometimes. It goes both ways, though. Both sides surely use the same tactics. Just seems like in a situation of "who's going to blink first" it's going to be the employer. I could be totally wrong about that though. So many other factors could come into play, and the laws vary from state to state, too, which would affect things.
    Kevin, it's always a give and a take in collective bargaining. The contractors have their number and we have our number. Like I said, it's all about the numbers. We're looking for a 50 cent increase and the contractors are offering 40 cents. Then the contractors say, well if you modify mileage or start times or something else, we'll go to 45 cents. then we measure the cost and the benefits and maybe make a counter offer and then the contractors measure the cost and benefits. I've never seen things forced, but that doesn't mean it never happens.

    You are talking about the current day, correct? not the 30's or 40's, correct?
    01-22-2014 01:25 PM
  4. Kevin OQuinn's Avatar
    Kevin, it's always a give and a take in collective bargaining. The contractors have their number and we have our number. Like I said, it's all about the numbers. We're looking for a 50 cent increase and the contractors are offering 40 cents. Then the contractors say, well if you modify mileage or start times or something else, we'll go to 45 cents. then we measure the cost and the benefits and maybe make a counter offer and then the contractors measure the cost and benefits. I've never seen things forced, but that does mean it never happens.

    You are talking about the current day, correct? not the 30's or 40's, correct?
    Well, I was kinda mixing up the time frames without being very clear. Back when the big changes were made with 40 hour work weeks and such I'm sure the bargaining was very different than it is today.
    palandri likes this.
    01-22-2014 01:36 PM
  5. palandri's Avatar
    I'm in no position to judge that guys family bonds. lol
    LOL! What's inappropriate? It reminds me of a thread we had over at WPC, where a professional photographer posted a few model pictures he took with his Nokia Lumia 1020 41MP phone. A few of the pictures showed a thong. The majority of people saw the art work and beauty of his work, but a few people flipped out over it. You're from Chicago, and I am sure you've seen a few thongs at Oak Street beach and the pictures weren't any worse than what you see at Oak Street beach.
    01-22-2014 01:37 PM
  6. Kevin OQuinn's Avatar
    Here's a question. Have any Unions ever taken a voluntary permanent pay cut for the health of the business? Say, the business has fallen under hard times and is at risk of closing. Have any unions taken permanent pay cuts to keep the business open? I know there have been temporary things before, but I'm not sure if there has been any long term or more permanent concessions made by Unions for the benefit of the business.
    01-22-2014 01:38 PM
  7. Timelessblur's Avatar
    Here's a question. Have any Unions ever taken a voluntary permanent pay cut for the health of the business? Say, the business has fallen under hard times and is at risk of closing. Have any unions taken permanent pay cuts to keep the business open? I know there have been temporary things before, but I'm not sure if there has been any long term or more permanent concessions made by Unions for the benefit of the business.
    Yes the auto worker union did.
    But lets look at this this way. How often are employees pay cut across the board. not often. They ahve taken it but like other others it is very rare to have it done to employees either.
    For the Union to agree the company better make a strong case and I have seen them put a condition on them taking a pay cut means executives take an even larger pay cut and executive bonuses are killed first as it should be. It was none of this crap of upper management getting a bonus and pay raise while the union take a pay cut.
    01-22-2014 01:44 PM
  8. palandri's Avatar
    Here's a question. Have any Unions ever taken a voluntary permanent pay cut for the health of the business? Say, the business has fallen under hard times and is at risk of closing. Have any unions taken permanent pay cuts to keep the business open? I know there have been temporary things before, but I'm not sure if there has been any long term or more permanent concessions made by Unions for the benefit of the business.
    If we had someone from the AFL-CIO in here, I am sure we could get a long list. Here's what I can tell you. I know the residential carpenters union here took a $6 an hour pay cut 2 years ago. A couple of the laborers classifications here took pay cuts over the last couple of years. I recently went three years in a row without a pay raise, even though health insurance cost rose. The numbers weren't there. Our International sets up special lower wage packages for like the automakers, Tennessee Valley authority, special economic zones...etc..
    Kevin OQuinn likes this.
    01-22-2014 01:55 PM
  9. xchange's Avatar
    Here's a question. Have any Unions ever taken a voluntary permanent pay cut for the health of the business? Say, the business has fallen under hard times and is at risk of closing. Have any unions taken permanent pay cuts to keep the business open? I know there have been temporary things before, but I'm not sure if there has been any long term or more permanent concessions made by Unions for the benefit of the business.
    As a matter of fact, mine offered to agree to a wage freeze. We wanted deep cuts to our benefits taken off the table though. The employer would not budge and then launched a media campaign to tell the public we were arguing for a wage increase. We ended up not getting either, and then on top of that the employer IMPOSED a draconian cut to sick benefits that was never bargained AFTER the contract was ratified.
    palandri and Kevin OQuinn like this.
    01-22-2014 03:21 PM
  10. anon8126715's Avatar
    I wonder if there will ever come the day when Walmart employees unionize. As big as that place is, if they were to unionize and show some actual solidarity, I imagine the middle class would grow by a few million. Would be interesting to see how it would affect our economy. I'm sure the stock market would take a hit since there's nothing like a run on Wall Street to give ordinary citizens the illusion that something is terribly wrong despite the fact that millions of consumers have just been given raises big enough for them to get off of welfare, go to school, and purchase more goods and services.
    oz123 likes this.
    01-22-2014 09:38 PM
  11. Mooncatt's Avatar
    If that happens, say goodbye to those low prices. I worked for Wal-Mart a number of years, even after just being an "after school job." Even with the low pay, I never wanted to unionize, but not sure if the employees over all would want it. At the time, most of the ones I talked to from Texas, Kansas, and Maine didn't want a union. I think I remember hearing the company went so far as to completely shut down a store in Kansas to avoid a union scare. That was over a decade ago, so probably not something too easy to verify at this point.

    In interest of full disclosure, I haul groceries to the Wal-Mart stores from one of their dc's. I don't work for Wal-Mart, but the company I drive for has a contract to haul their freight, along with being a national carrier with both general freight and other dedicated accounts like mine. So it wouldn't be the end of the world if they closed down, but I do have an interest in them being profitable and opening new stores.
    01-22-2014 10:00 PM
  12. anon8126715's Avatar
    I don't shop at Walmart anyways. I think the loss of low prices would be offset by people actually being able to afford to spend a little more into the economy, more people getting off welfare, and maybe more tax revenue generated by higher paychecks to help fix our broken infrastructure.

    And, I imagine there would be more competition with other shops being able to compete, and other low wage paying companies asking themselves if they should bring wages in line else suffer their shops being unionized. It would be just like in prison, you attack the largest guy so everyone else will leave you alone.
    01-22-2014 10:17 PM
  13. oz123's Avatar
    Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.
    — U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, December 3, 1861[1]
    palandri likes this.
    01-22-2014 10:52 PM
  14. Mooncatt's Avatar
    You keep thinking that. Prices will go up, making a wash for those employees but harder on everyone else that shops there. So that either leads to less purchasing power, more government dependence, or other companies raise wages and thus their prices. We've already went over this, that artificially raising wages doesn't help the economy. Something else is that Wal-Mart doesn't buy into the "not in my job description" idea that many unions have. So I doubt that would fly anyway.
    01-22-2014 10:56 PM
  15. palandri's Avatar
    01-22-2014 11:37 PM
  16. Timelessblur's Avatar
    You keep thinking that. Prices will go up, making a wash for those employees but harder on everyone else that shops there. So that either leads to less purchasing power, more government dependence, or other companies raise wages and thus their prices. We've already went over this, that artificially raising wages doesn't help the economy. Something else is that Wal-Mart doesn't buy into the "not in my job description" idea that many unions have. So I doubt that would fly anyway.

    Here is something to think about. Prices would not go up the same percentages as the wages go up which is why that argument is pure FUD. Good example of FUD but still 100% FUD.
    01-23-2014 12:04 AM
  17. oz123's Avatar
    I know that I am from a different country, and there is a difference in culture, but we seem to get by, mandating Companies pay Australian citizens a Government enforced minimum wage. And the walls haven't fallen in yet. How Corporations get away with paying their employees such low wages astounds me!


    National minimum wage orders | Fair Work Commission
    palandri likes this.
    01-23-2014 01:49 AM
  18. Aquila's Avatar
    Here is something to think about. Prices would not go up the same percentages as the wages go up which is why that argument is pure FUD. Good example of FUD but still 100% FUD.
    I've gone through the expected increase in Walmart specific wages before in another thread (based on their actual revenue and expense numbers), but basically prices would rise as much as competition would allow in the approximate area that the % increase in total wages represents in total expenditure increase. For example, if a 100% increase in minimum wage ended up increasing Walmart's payroll expense by 30% and that 30% represents 8% of their total expense, then we'd expect to see about a 2.4% increase in expense, thus in order to maintain profitability and assuming that the prices of products would still be competitive, we'd expect to see an increase in prices between approximately 1% and 4% across the board as a weighted average. Most likely the prices would go up on some things (the things everyone must buy) and not on others (already high profit items that are competitive as luxuries).
    01-23-2014 05:44 AM
  19. Mooncatt's Avatar
    ...and that 30% represents 8% of their total expense, then we'd expect to see about a 2.4% increase in expense...
    Could you clarify how you came to this particular part of your results? It looks like you said an 8% increase in expense equals a 2.4% increase in expense.

    Either way, I don't think we can use those numbers with any big authority unless you've done some research on exactly how much their wages are as a percentage of expenses and how that would be affected with a certain minimum wage increase. I suspect the impact would be larger, simply because wages are typically one of the biggest expenses for any company.
    01-23-2014 06:15 AM
  20. Aquila's Avatar
    Could you clarify how you came to this particular part of your results?
    8-15% is fairly standard across most industries, and if it's at the 15%, something is dangerously close to being wrong.

    In this thread http://forums.androidcentral.com/pol...ml#post3256265 we ran Walmart's actual expenses with the 15% and it showed a strong possibility to be profitable for them to triple the minimum wage. Doubling it was also examined. That was a true worst case scenario, because we assumed 100% of costs were passed to consumers. Walmart can easily still make tens of billions of dollars in profit annually with minimum wage at over $22 per hour, but at $10-15 per hour they can remain as much, if not more profitable than they are now.

    The end result was a neutrally profitable Walmart, a much better off staff, a much better off economy, lower taxes (or same taxes, more paying away of the debt), a win-win-win and that's before taking in to account the savings to be realized by getting their ridiculous turnover under control.

    I don't necessarily think a union is the answer, but it won't hurt Walmart to raise wages if they do so intelligently and it gets their welfare off of our backs. That's the most important thing. Right now we're supplementing their profits in one of the biggest welfare scams imaginable, and most people don't care. They could handle it themselves responsibly and it'd SAVE us money while costing them little to nothing, and greatly improving the standard of living of their employee base.

    The reason they don't do this? It takes time for the cash-flows to break even. They'd see 2, maybe 3 or even 4 terrible quarters where their profits are only around $20 billion per quarter in profit, rather than $25-30. Shortsighted shareholders would riot, and even though Wal-Mart's stock has nearly doubled over the past 5 years, any dip can seem disastrous to a finicky market unable to see past the current or previous quarter.

    Scarcity and Infinite Growth are mutually exclusive. Eventually we have to choose one over the other, shift the game or let it all collapse.
    01-23-2014 06:36 AM
  21. anon8126715's Avatar
    One thing that I've also learned is that when people have money, even if they tend to have more than they need, they do their damnedest to keep that money. Thus, I can definitely understand why some people think that a raise in low wages would be passed on to the consumer as opposed to it coming out of upper management's bottom line. In a few years I suspect those at the top will have normalized their markups so that the $15-$20 wage paid by Walmart will once again be considered a poverty wage. That being a likely scenario, then what?

    IMO, what needs to happen is we need to change the way we view the hoarding of wealth. Way too many people use wealth to judge character. I've even seen a lot of it here, "Well the rich are hard working, that's why they're rich", "The poor are lazy, that's why they're poor". I'm guilty of it myself, from the gas guzzling 425 HP car I used to drive, to the extremely heavy 19" laptop I used to lug around on campus. And before anyone COUGHFoxNewsAvidViewerCOUGH tries to make a strawman argument that I should give away all my worldly possessions to those less fortunate if I'm such a "socialist hippy", I already temper myself to some extent. There are some areas in my life that I have no problem enjoying to the fullest extent I can afford, like my electronic devices (specifically my Android device), or what mode of transportation I decide for myself (Just an FYI, there's a certain amount of satisfaction in having a vehicle that has enough power to get out of its own way in heavy traffic even if most of the time spent it is in 2nd gear). We live in a wonderful time. Machines are doing most of the back breaking labor we used to do relentlessly. We are more efficient with our resources than ever before, and yet we still have children that go to bed hungry, people that die daily because they can't afford to sleep some place warm.

    Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members.~Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973), My Several Worlds [1954].

    The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children.
    ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

    A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization.
    ~Samuel Johnson, Boswell: Life of Johnson

    The most certain test by which we judge whether a country is really free is the amount of security enjoyed by minorities.~John E. E. Dalberg, Lord Acton, The History of Freedom in Antiquity, [1877].

    "...the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life; the sick, the needy and the handicapped. " ~ Last Speech of Hubert H. Humphrey

    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Ghandi

    "Any society, any nation, is judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members -- the last, the least, the littlest."
    ~Cardinal Roger Mahony, In a 1998 letter, Creating a Culture of Life

    The greatness of America is in how it treats its weakest members: the elderly, the infirm, the handicapped, the underprivileged, the unborn. ~Bill Federer

    "A society will be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members and among the most vulnerable are surely the unborn and the dying,"
    ~Pope John Paul II
    01-23-2014 06:42 AM
  22. Aquila's Avatar
    Either way, I don't think we can use those numbers with any big authority unless you've done some research on exactly how much their wages are as a percentage of expenses and how that would be affected with a certain minimum wage increase.
    Wal-Mart posts their income statement, sans a few details, every quarter. It breaks down even to the value of equipment assets used in build-outs, leased transport equipment, inventory on hand, you name it, you can get it. A relatively robust financial profile can be built on most publicly traded companies by anyone with any rudimentary corporate accounting experience.

    I suspect the impact would be larger, simply because wages are typically one of the biggest expenses for any company.
    It does tend to be huge as a piece of the expense pie, as anything taking up between 1/12 and 1/7 and sometimes up to 1/5 of the pie is, but just like our federal budget, defense can be enormous compared to other top 5 line item expense categories, but it's not even remotely in the realm of a majority.
    01-23-2014 06:45 AM
  23. palandri's Avatar
    I know that I am from a different country, and there is a difference in culture, but we seem to get by, mandating Companies pay Australian citizens a Government enforced minimum wage. And the walls haven't fallen in yet. How Corporations get away with paying their employees such low wages astounds me!


    National minimum wage orders | Fair Work Commission
    Don't laugh, but a couple of presidential candidates in our last presidential election brought up the idea of lowering our minimum wage to bring manufacturing back to the states.
    oz123 likes this.
    01-23-2014 06:55 AM
  24. Mooncatt's Avatar
    Don't laugh, but a couple of presidential candidates in our last presidential election brought up the idea of lowering our minimum wage to bring manufacturing back to the states.
    Believe it or not, I agree with you. There are some arguments to be made for lowering or even eliminating the minimum wage, but bringing back a massive amount of jobs is probably low on the list of reasons why. Assuming that's even a remote possible result to begin with.

    8-15% is fairly standard across most industries, and if it's at the 15%, something is dangerously close to being wrong.
    I accidentally hit the submit button before I finished that post you quoted. I'm guessing you responded before I could get my edit in because my intended question wasn't answered. Part of what I added was it seemed you equated 8% total expenses to being 2.4% of total expenses. That's what I wanted you to clarify.
    01-23-2014 07:18 AM
  25. Aquila's Avatar
    I accidentally hit the submit button before I finished that post you quoted. I'm guessing you responded before I could get my edit in because my intended question wasn't answered. Part of what I added was it seemed you equated 8% total expenses to being 2.4% of total expenses. That's what I wanted you to clarify.
    30% increase to payroll expense (not all payroll is wages (insurance, payroll taxes, other benefits) and not all employees are at minimum wage, in the example total wages would increase by up to 30%, including management wages) (this is based on an average wage that is approximately $3 more than the minimum wage, factoring out management, professional and executive wages and creating a weighted average of front-line hourly employees that are distributed somewhere between minimum wage and an amount not immediately affected by the proposed increase because they currently earn over the increase. 30% is probably too high, but it's hard to tell without access to their actual payroll database). 8% is the low end of the 8-15%, .08*.3 = .024 or 2.4% total increase to expense.

    I'm saying a 30% increase to 8% of the expense total = a 2.4% increase to the expense total.
    01-23-2014 07:40 AM
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