August 25, 2010 11:24:00 AM
I am writing in response to the anonymous bloggers who have offered their opinions about the ongoing strike at Omnova. I worked at United Technologies formerly American Bosch beginning in the union ranks then moving into a management position.
I saw firsthand the needs of the union body versus the company and how each played the other for what they hoped to gain for the duration of the contract.
Anyone who studied 11th-grade history and economics should know that in the early years of the Industrial Revolution, 16 to 20 hour days in unsafe conditions along with child labor was rampant in the American workplace. Early in the last century workers banded together demanding better wages and work conditions.
Did you know that a day off for a loved ones funeral or sickness could get you fired and replaced no questions asked or received? That getting hurt on the job was your fault and no compensation or insurance available? Did everyone think OSHA was part of the original Constitution? Does anyone think that because you demand better paying and working conditions and stand in unity to prove this "picket lines" that you are wrong?
Explain yourself to hundreds who gave their life in the 1920''s and 30''s to insure future generations would have a better life in the work place. How did they die? At the hands of bully corporate thugs who sought to break the worker''s will and local police forces who were also bought out by the corporations. Sound familiar?
I am afraid the aforementioned people will be crying spilt milk in the near future over another national dilemma. Who''s milk? Theirs if they are young enough due to Social Security benefits running out. Why? Social Security was the first pyramid scheme of the last century devised to tax present workers to compensate old and worn out workers who had no retirement, IRA''s, 401''s or savings to take them to their last days.
This was also to put fresh money back into the economy during the great depression thus helping jump start the economy. SS was short-term thinking by the FDR Administration to provide a shot in the arm to boost national spending and a false sense of security to the public''s future.
Speaking of corporations and bottom lines, I know for a fact that companies with strong CEO''s and staff down through the managers have a vision and goal of where they will be in their respective fields five to 20 years out and will plan accordingly to integrate new products to replace outdated ones. A corporation that needs to take concessions that was given in good faith from 250 plus workers to survive is already in its death throes and in need of strong leadership. Not narrow-mined leaders who still think wallpaper is here to stay.
I have not seen one person on picket duty sitting close enough to the road to be a hazard. If you have the right to use the highway, do they not have the right to use the right of way?
Even if you write online, man up and let people know who you are and not hide behind a ghost e-mail title.
plainjoe commented at 8/25/2010 12:58:00 PM:
And just where is the company you speak of in your article? Out of business. Look what the union did for UT? Nothing but help put them out of business and lots of local people losing their jobs in the process. Same thing is going to happen at Omnova and the finger will rightfully be pointed at a group of selfish individuals.
jimmy williams commented at 8/25/2010 8:46:00 PM:
plainjoe, what is your name,my name is Jimmy Williams U.T. is not out of business,they are out of country.Cheaper labor at other countries, CHILD labor and no safety rules. Just print your name.
disappointed in support commented at 8/25/2010 10:33:00 PM:
well said Steve Moore, everyone that is tired of being stepped on by their employers need to really think about what is happening to this country, not just lie down and accept the stomping.
plainjoe commented at 8/26/2010 6:53:00 PM:
@jimmy, the company is out of business in Columbus and many people and families have suffered because they up and left a community that had supported them for years. Not wanting to pay the high hourly wages the union wanted was probably the biggest reason they loaded up and went south. Can't blame them because some folks just don't know when they have a good thing. Their greed takes over and they want more and more regardless of the position of the overall company. Just look at the ones on strike at Omnova now. They are about to lose all they have worked for over the years because they are greedy. Serves 'em right. I know who you are and where you work and the fact that you are a union steward so you may never know when you might be out walking the line one day. As far as names go, you don't need mine. You know what I speak is the truth and it eats you up that another union is about to go down hard.
doj commented at 8/26/2010 8:11:00 PM:
What??? Tell you my name and get roofing tacks or worse in my driveway?? I ain't that dumb.
nativecolumbian commented at 8/26/2010 10:55:00 PM:
At the turn of the 20th century, unions provided a needed and useful service.. Today, they have outlived their usefulness and are one of the reasons America "outsources" almost everything today !
I worked in a union plant when I was young and going to MSU. I NEEDED the job to pay for college! I crossed picket lines and was threatened by groups of "Grown" men ! Well, I don't work in that kind of environment anymore, thank goodness ! Come on folks: you are honest, hard working, good Americans, who accepted the job when you needed it.Wouldn't you rather have a piece of the pie than no pie at all? Remember: THE TAIL DON'T WAG THE DOG !!
hope commented at 8/27/2010 9:22:00 AM:
To all you people that agree that the unions were responsible for our jobs going overseas, let's say it is corporate greed. I've stated before and no one has responded to the fact that the garment plants were the first to go under outsourcing and they were not "UNIONIZED."
doj commented at 8/27/2010 10:17:00 AM:
Hope, I guess you never heard of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. It merged with the Textile Workers Union of America in 1976 to form the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union, which merged with the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union in 1995 to create the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE). UNITE merged in 2004 with the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union (HERE) in 2004 to create a new union known as UNITE HERE.
hope commented at 8/27/2010 9:03:00 PM:
@doj,you named a lot of different unions, but the only one that I knew that was union was Garan in Starkville, but it could very well have been more. When I said that they were'nt unionize, I mean't the ones down here. I'm sure that all up-North were. But at any rate, union or non union could not compete against the sweat shops overseas. About six months ago, Barbour waved 200,000 dollars of tax this furniture company owed the state, or they would have to shut down and go to China. NAFTA is killing America. Unless changes are made, the rest of the states will be as poor as we are today and we will be even more poorer than we are today.
doj commented at 8/27/2010 9:42:00 PM:
hope, There were several unionized companies throughout the south, mostly in the Carolinas and Georgia. I have to agree with you. NAFTA was the beginning of the end for the clothing industry in the US. Prior to its passing, we had tarriffs that equalized the low cost labor on products produced from other countries.
pubby commented at 8/27/2010 10:20:00 PM:
Hope, please research comparative advantage.
td commented at 8/28/2010 9:53:00 AM:
Thank you Mr. Moore for your opinion. Now here are some facts.
Unions drove up the cost for automobiles to the point where Toyota, Nissan, etc found it profitable to build a car of equal or better quality and for less money in the USA.
Why not address how the teacher's unions drive up the cost of education. Are America's children receiving the BEST education? (A debate on the merits of private versus public education would be another topic well discussed).
The world's (and Columbus') largest retailer is Wal Mart. Why? Low prices, convenience, good working conditions and NO UNIONS.
doj commented at 8/28/2010 11:18:00 AM:
td, I agree. I may be old fashioned or something, but I never felt that the company owed me anything other than the paycheck that I agreed to accept when I started. If my work was profitable to them and they wanted to reward me with bonuses and pay raises,that was OK, but to demand that they met my terms was unimaginable . If I didn't like the pay or conditions, which for the most part were equivalent to every other job in the area, I felt free to leave for another job.
jimmy williams commented at 8/28/2010 3:20:00 PM:
@plainjoe, you are a chicken.
jimmy williams commented at 8/28/2010 3:27:00 PM:
Wal mart has been sued hundreds of times by its workers.
smmoor commented at 8/29/2010 10:53:00 PM:
TD, I just read your post and would like to know what info you base your facts on. A continued weak dollar made it a no brainer for Foreign Auto Makers to locate to the U.S. Higher labor, material cost including shipping made it more profitable to open plants here. Union wages here play no role in this migration due to Europe having powerful unions themselves. Why do prices of comparable domestic and import models match with most import brands usually higher? Where is the savings that should be passed to the consumer if it is as you say? You may like to subscribe to "Automotive News" an Industry newsletter or the Wall Street Journal to better understand how the new global economy drives this.
hope commented at 8/30/2010 11:22:00 AM:
@td------When these CEO's of Banks and Wall Street gamblers was losing our money to the tune of billions upon billions, with Bush asking for 700 billion dollars to keep from having a melt down, you were speechless to condemn those SOB's. Now, when someone is trying to save what they have accomplished by working for it, you think it is a disgrace.
These are some facts;when all that a business cares about is the bottom line, this is what happens. In China, where I'm sure this company, and hundreds of more American companies have dealings, some factories, because of sweat shop conditions, so many are committing suicide, that they have actually installed safety nets around the buildings to catch would-be jumpers. You read that correctly and Americans are part of the reason because we are buying so many of their products. American companies are doing it over there, why not here. With comments that I have read and the workers being replaced by new hires, it could happen here. These people that are being hired now are laying the ground work for it.
disappointed in support commented at 8/30/2010 12:36:00 PM:
These men stand up for their rights against the "rape" of the American worker and so many of you back biters put them down, well lets just hope you get the same to you one day!!!!!!!!!!! Where are the stand up and say "ENOUGH" people like these men. HANG IN THERE GOOD OLE BOYS, make a show for this community, even if they don't appreciate it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
citizenkane commented at 8/31/2010 10:53:00 PM:
Actually, UT is still running. Air compressors, that is, pumping into the ground to disperse the mess they left behind. Send a reporter to check. It went out of business here to set up in Mexico at the request of US, because of their military contracts. Send a reporter to check.
1. Ask Rufus: By the flow of the inland river LOCAL COLUMNS
2. Other editors: We must dispel stigma surrounding skilled jobs NATIONAL COLUMNS
3. Roses and thorns: 4-22-18 ROSES & THORNS
4. Partial to Home: Revisiting Highway 61 LOCAL COLUMNS