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Old 11-21-2011, 02:47 PM   #29
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The irony of the article is that one of the reasons I went over to Apple from being a lifelong Microsoft user is Apple's use of American Call Centers. When I have a problem with something made by Apple I get someone who actually speaks English as their first language. They are here in the US and they pay taxes here. Whenever I've had a problem with Microsoft I get someone on the other side of the world that butchers the English language like Steve Martin in the Pink Panther movies.

As to the evils of corporate greed....well, that's what drives up the value of your pension plan. Before you tell me how much it dropped this year, tell me how much you put into it and I'll be willing to bet that what you put into your plan is a lot less than where it is right now. Any business is entered into with profit as a motive or otherwise it would not survive. Is that greed? Yep, but it is greed that we can all profit from by investing in those companies that perform the best.

Unions were meant to even out the playing field and they did in fact create a blue collar middle class. When I look at the Great Lakes Cities of Buffalo, Cleveland, and Detroit I see cities that were created by the Unions and their high paying wages. I also see cities that were destroyed by that same Union mentality of more, more, more. Other companies had to pay competitive wages to get workers to work for them rather than in the auto and steel plants. Eventually those other companies had to move to lower wage areas to stay competitive. Then the auto and steel industries started to die and those cities died with them.

As both Corporations and Unions have grown in power, so has their political influence and the massive amounts of cash they each spend on political campaigns. This has resulted in an environment that has been the backbone of the gridlock we have in Washington today. Neither side will give and the country suffers,
Obviously you've never been in Union negotiations we pay much better attention to the economy than you would have folks believe. We take it all into consideration, we don't price ourselves out of the market. An interesting thing about the non union contractors, they know how much a union shop will bid for a job(they know the rate and how many man hours labor) so they under bid the union shops
by 10% and win jobs, now they pay their workers 25%-30% less so where does the extra 15-20% go, into the pocket of the contractor not to the client! I was a superintendent for 30 years I've seen it happen.
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Old 11-21-2011, 03:28 PM   #30
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Actually Mike in NY it is just the opposite. Any state or federally funded project has to pay Union scale no matter who gets the job. That means that the taxpayers have to bite the bullet. The only thing that doesn't happpen is that the Union does not get the dues from the non-Union employees.

As for Unions paying attention to the economy, well, it doesn't seem to be the case here. American Axle told their employees you have to pay some of your health insurance and the union said "NO WAY!" The union was going to show them. Yep, another closed factory. The average union employee at Ford makes $58 per hour with benefits. Our unionized teachers here in NY have it so tough that we have three Kindergarten teachers in our district who make over $85,000 per year and that doesn't count their $40,000 per year in benefits.

The one piece of logic that seems to have been missed by many of the unions in our area is that Companies DO have a choice. When the unions price themselves out of the market then the employer has to make a choice of either folding or moving on to a lower cost state. Mike, if you look to where the greatest bleeding of jobs has occurred in the past 50 years, it is in the most pro union states.

I'm not pro union, but all but one of the more than 40 cars I've owned in my lifetime have been American made. Yet I've done tax returns for union workers who worked at Ford or Chevy here in Western NY and they have a six figure income and they brag about how little work they do. They brag about how they will intentionally work on Saturdays and Sundays for the overtime when it isn't necessary. Sometimes it's hard for me to continue to buy American when union logic like that is out there.
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:12 PM   #31
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I have an extended family member who was told by the union rep when he showed up for work yesterday to go and sit it out in the cafeteria for the 'day' as the work he does wasn't ready for him. He spent 10 hours at $52 per hour sitting in the cafeteria and he thought he would be doing that the rest of this week. Who should I complain to for the exorbitant cost of my hydro, the company or the union?
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:22 PM   #32
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Actually Mike in NY it is just the opposite. Any state or federally funded project has to pay Union scale no matter who gets the job. That means that the taxpayers have to bite the bullet. The only thing that doesn't happpen is that the Union does not get the dues from the non-Union employees.

As for Unions paying attention to the economy, well, it doesn't seem to be the case here. American Axle told their employees you have to pay some of your health insurance and the union said "NO WAY!" The union was going to show them. Yep, another closed factory. The average union employee at Ford makes $58 per hour with benefits. Our unionized teachers here in NY have it so tough that we have three Kindergarten teachers in our district who make over $85,000 per year and that doesn't count their $40,000 per year in benefits.

The one piece of logic that seems to have been missed by many of the unions in our area is that Companies DO have a choice. When the unions price themselves out of the market then the employer has to make a choice of either folding or moving on to a lower cost state. Mike, if you look to where the greatest bleeding of jobs has occurred in the past 50 years, it is in the most pro union states.

I'm not pro union, but all but one of the more than 40 cars I've owned in my lifetime have been American made. Yet I've done tax returns for union workers who worked at Ford or Chevy here in Western NY and they have a six figure income and they brag about how little work they do. They brag about how they will intentionally work on Saturdays and Sundays for the overtime when it isn't necessary. Sometimes it's hard for me to continue to buy American when union logic like that is out there.
You're speaking of the Davis-Bacon Act, this is known as the prevailing wage rule, which was enacted to prevent out area low wage workers, from coming into an area and driving down the local area standard. In many but not all areas this is the union rate. Every year the Labor Dept. demands reports from all contractors in a given area. The average wage in an area becomes the prevailing wage. How non construction unions handle their issues I can't speak to, but if they do as you say they are very short sighted. For unions to work properly there has to be a non union competitor to act as a balancing factor, without competition there is no balance. This is why unionized government workers sometimes seem out of control, there is no balance. There is no excuse for the folks that brag about how little work they do. One of the ways I determine if someone is a good carpenter is to ask what is the best job you ever had, some will answer working down the refinery on night shift and doing little actual work, a good carpenter will answer and tell you about a particularly challenging carpentry task, guess who gets hired.
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:45 PM   #33
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This has got to be one of the most interesting threads I've read since joining. Particularly since it appears every other thread has at least a mention of Wal Mart in it. "boon docking at Walmart asking the manager for permission while pushing a full cart. Being in retail for the last 30+ years, I have seen it happen. Even back in the day, there were racks and racks of "made in the USA " with plenty of "made in china" tags. I commend those "I only buy American" folks, but know that when I have customers look at a $30.00 china item, then ask for an American item priced at $100.00, morals tend to fade. There is a reason Wal mart is the largest retailer in history, and the major financial supplier of china. If we don't reign in the government regs, the union chokehold, and the unfair trade policies, it's gonna be a long, cold, winter and we will all be feasting on the government cheese.
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:49 PM   #34
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What bothers me is not only Apple but many other firms have moved completly out of the US.. and in some cases it's not just a "Jobs" disaster but a potential MILITARY one as well.

Imagine if you will the captain of our latest and greatest floating battle cruiser, air craft carrier or other Vessel of war. Telling his navigator to set a course, and the computer which controls the ship.. Well the monitor is burned out and needs to be replaced.

So, who in the United States makes Monitors? NOBODY, Who makes the monitors now... Countries who have been on the OTHER SIDE in a war at one point or another.
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Old 11-21-2011, 08:13 PM   #35
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Unions were meant to even out the playing field and they did in fact create a blue collar middle class.
Unions had to level the playing field because government hadn't. The problem isn't and wasn't wages. The problem is now regulatory burden. If workers worked for free jobs would still go to China. EPA, EEOC, OSHA and a host of others make business expensive. Those costs don't exist in China. It's long past time to quit talking free trade and start talking fair trade. Ignoring the predatory trade practices of other countries is killing our living standard.

China has set the standard for market entry as technology transfer, we should charge them and others a EPAOSHAEEOC fee to level the playing field. Seems like a no brainer.
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Old 11-22-2011, 08:10 AM   #36
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This has got to be one of the most interesting threads I've read since joining. Particularly since it appears every other thread has at least a mention of Wal Mart in it. "boon docking at Walmart asking the manager for permission while pushing a full cart. Being in retail for the last 30+ years, I have seen it happen. Even back in the day, there were racks and racks of "made in the USA " with plenty of "made in china" tags. I commend those "I only buy American" folks, but know that when I have customers look at a $30.00 china item, then ask for an American item priced at $100.00, morals tend to fade. There is a reason Wal mart is the largest retailer in history, and the major financial supplier of china. If we don't reign in the government regs, the union chokehold, and the unfair trade policies, it's gonna be a long, cold, winter and we will all be feasting on the government cheese.
Welcome to IRV2 there are a lot of good discussions, stick around and join in, though we all don't agree, we can have a heated thread, at the end of the day we're all friends. That's what adult discussions are all about. Now that I've said that I think you're wrong about the Government regulations and union strangle holds, the real problems are unfair trade policies, to sell planes to china Boeing had to build a plant there, they get the benefit of all our technology. Pretty soon after we train their workers Boeing won't be selling them planes they will be selling planes to the rest of the world. So goes trade with China, they steal our technology the sell it back to us. No government yellow cheese for me, I remember them giving it out as a kid.
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Old 11-22-2011, 11:51 AM   #37
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I know nothing about manufacturing computers but before retiring I confess I was one of those rotten sobs that moved manufacturing (and jobs) overseas. It is oversimplification to say that cheaper labor is the reason for such a move (added costs of long term benefits like pensions and health care are more likely). Union issues in our case helped push our decision, not wages, but burdensome work rules. Government regulations and taxes were other reasons for deciding to move.

The big reasons for moving overseas in our case, however, was simply parts supply and market factors. Most of our suppliers were from overseas, even though in many cases the pricing was comparable or even a little more expensive than US suppliers. The difference was that suppliers from Asia delivered to our (the customer's) schedule. Suppliers from the US could not retool fast enough to do that and insisted that we build warehouses to store parts that they shipped on their schedules. Market issues also drove our decision. Our overseas customers, quite frankly, felt American made products were overpriced and low quality. They were wrong, in our opinion, but sometimes perception trumps reality.

I have no idea what drove Apple's decisions. Ours were driven by fact based business decisions. Our overseas plants were not sweat shops, but certainly different than their US counterparts. Sometimes there is more to the story than a reporter's bias will allow them to tell. Safe travels.
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Old 11-22-2011, 02:19 PM   #38
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The original theme of this thread was that Steve Jobs was responsible for moving Apple's manufacturing to China. All computers have been made in Asia for quite a few years. All Jobs did was try to keep his company competitive. If you try to buy a new Chrysler product with the larger video screen you'll find that there are none out there that were manufactured in certain time frames. Why? The earthquakes in Japan were a major cause. Now there is a shortage of computer hard drives courtesy of the floods in Thailand. This is the world we are in now, whether we like it or not.

There is one facet of globalization that seems to have escaped all the world leaders. What happens when all the billions of Chinese, Indians, Pakistanis, and so on need gas for their cars? At that point we will begin to all compete for a dwindling supply of natural resources. When one nation looks to hoarde their supply of a natural resource, how long do you think it will be before war breaks out? Globalization was supposed to bring world peace and prosperity. I'll bet the final outcome will be the exact opposite. Could globalization lead to the Apocalypse? Only time will tell, but I'm thinking that if China needs oil or wheat or water, they will get it from whomever has it. Whether that nation wants to sell it or not, the Chinese will get it.
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Old 11-22-2011, 03:45 PM   #39
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The original theme of this thread was that Steve Jobs was responsible for moving Apple's manufacturing to China. All computers have been made in Asia for quite a few years. All Jobs did was try to keep his company competitive. If you try to buy a new Chrysler product with the larger video screen you'll find that there are none out there that were manufactured in certain time frames. Why? The earthquakes in Japan were a major cause. Now there is a shortage of computer hard drives courtesy of the floods in Thailand. This is the world we are in now, whether we like it or not.

There is one facet of globalization that seems to have escaped all the world leaders. What happens when all the billions of Chinese, Indians, Pakistanis, and so on need gas for their cars? At that point we will begin to all compete for a dwindling supply of natural resources. When one nation looks to hoarde their supply of a natural resource, how long do you think it will be before war breaks out? Globalization was supposed to bring world peace and prosperity. I'll bet the final outcome will be the exact opposite. Could globalization lead to the Apocalypse? Only time will tell, but I'm thinking that if China needs oil or wheat or water, they will get it from whomever has it. Whether that nation wants to sell it or not, the Chinese will get it.
I don't think it has escaped any of them, ask Iraq
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Old 11-22-2011, 04:55 PM   #40
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I don't buy anything made in Vietnam no matter how
bad I need it.

A couple of my service buddies never came back from
there.
My dad was the same way about Japan because of WWII

He lost a brother in the pacific.

Japan bombed the USA, but Vietnam (not my favorite country BTW) never attacked the USA

How long do you hold grudges instead of embrace peace? I do not know the answer. It is all so very personal.
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:33 PM   #41
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Unions had to level the playing field because government hadn't. The problem isn't and wasn't wages. The problem is now regulatory burden. If workers worked for free jobs would still go to China. EPA, EEOC, OSHA and a host of others make business expensive. Those costs don't exist in China. It's long past time to quit talking free trade and start talking fair trade. Ignoring the predatory trade practices of other countries is killing our living standard.

China has set the standard for market entry as technology transfer, we should charge them and others a EPAOSHAEEOC fee to level the playing field. Seems like a no brainer.
The USA (we) are fat dumb and happy. Them (china etc) are lean and mean.

The USA (we) has various issues labor cost, pensions, health care costs, epa, osha, etc.

I do not want poor workers, dirty rivers, and work practices that injure workers.

Fair trade is a synonym for a tariff or other restriction on trade. Trade wars were a major contributor to the great depression.

I have opinions on solutions, but they do not matter. The USA (we) do not agree on solutions. One day the USA (we) will realize we need to WIN in spite of labor issues, pension issue, EPA issues, etc.

Right now the USA (we) do not realize there needs to be give and take on all these issues. The USA (we) needs to win. I do not see this sobering view of our issues for many years to come. Until the USA (we) address our issue WE will continue to lose.
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Old 11-22-2011, 06:05 PM   #42
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The USA is going through a major ++reset (some old IT techs will know)...

Housing prices are being reset (lower) due to the excesses from the 90's. High wages, easy credit resulted in housing prices going through the roof. With fewer jobs, lower wages as retail jobs become the norm, housing prices will continue to retreat to meet what the market will support.

Wages are being reset as traditional manufacturing, IT, customer supprt jobs are outsourced to lower cost countries. While some manufacturing jobs may come back over time, this does not mean a influx of jobs. Technology, automation, and productivity will result in less jobs needed to make things.

Over the past 20 some odd years union and government pension plans have become unsustainable. These will have to be renegotiated/cancelled and there will be much pain and hard feelings. With modern medicines and life expectancies it is unrealistic to have a teacher (only as an example folks) retire at age 50 and expect the state to pay for a 30-35 year pension. The same must be said for soc sec and medicare. There must be some changes to BOTH the funding formulas and the payouts (age and amounts). We need to protect those who are already in these programs and need the support.

We but mostly our kids are in for some hard times ahead.
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