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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fridmarr » Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:35 pm

Paxen That's not at all how things work here. First, each state really has their own laws, but it basically breaks down in a couple of way. Right to work states, have laws that keep the unions in check. Employees do not have to pay union dues or join a union. Governments can award work to the best fitting contractor. Unions have to be competitive.

Non right to work states means that unions can take dues from you whether you join or not. (Aubade, that's what Malthrax was talking about. In WA as a teacher you have to pay union dues. So in a sense you can't do anything without joining a union as a teacher, because you legally have to join. The reality is that you don't actually have to join, but you have to pay dues, there's little difference). Also in non right to work states government typically must award work to union shops if a union exists for the trade. Most large corporations are pressured quite hard to do the same.

Obviously, in right to work states, unions are not competing on a level playing field. As a result, unions are absolutely not associated with making profits for the corporation. Just the opposite, because of the lack of competition, those sorts of union workers tend to do very bad work for very high pay in aggregate. We have example after example of that, from state governments to large corporations who have been hamstrung by employee costs making it so they have a very hard time competing.

That's not to say that unions don't have a place. Collective bargaining is reasonable, IF the employees want it (I would not, as it inevitibly results in a situation where you don't get rewarded for doing good work, and slowly output degrades). The ability for employees to pool resources to fight against employers who are acting improperly is likely a union's most effective tool. Lobbying government as a collective voice is another solid benefit. Of course, you don't really need a trade union for that, a general "employee" union would suffice and it's true we do have other options there too.

Aubade, although I'm no union fan, and your logic is pretty sound about how they function here, it's probably in your best interest to join.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fridmarr » Fri Nov 02, 2012 1:00 pm

Brekkie wrote:Yes but let's use some critical thinking here. What facts does this article actually report? Snip...


That's all true, it's a poorly written article with very little real evidence. Certainly, that's not going to be NJ's position given who their governor is. It wouldn't suprise much if it wasn't true, but then again it wouldn't surprise me if it was. It certainly isn't unprecedented.

Whether it's true or not, I apologize for stooping to the same level as almost every other linked article in this thread. If I'm going to be critical of those then I shouldn't do the same.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Koatanga » Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:38 pm

Fridmarr wrote:No, it totally is. It proves that this isn't a woman's rights issue at all for folks who take that point of view. It's a baby's rights issue, which is exactly what it is for most pro-lifers. The disagreement then is when the fetus is a baby, and while that's an interesting debate, it's probably not something we should dive too deeply into in this thread (or on these forums).

Zalaria correctly points out, viability is not based on any concept of sentience, it's based on when our current technology could keep the baby alive if it were born. A lot has to do with size and lung maturity, and quite little about cognitive ability or sentience.

Of course that point in time is really the latest point one could argue that the fetus is not a human, since then you'd have to make the claim that women who do give birth at such a point gave birth to something that was not human...and man does that have all kinds of nasty ramifications. Anyhow, at least the discussion about when the fetus is human is an honest discussion. Whereas this notion of it being a woman's rights issue, from someone who is willing to take control of her body at a technologically determined phase of pregnancy, is hypocritical at best.


No.

It is a woman's rights issue the entire way. The woman has the right to do what she wants with her body the entire way. However, her action cannot be allowed to violate rights of another person, which becomes the case once the fetus is independently viable.

Prior to that, the fetus has no more rights than a tumour, because neither can survive outside of the host.

But it is the introduction of another independently viable person with rights of its own that changes what the woman can decide to do with her body. The woman retains the right to do what she wants with her portion of the symbiosis the entire way.

This is proven by women who legally smoke and drink during pregnancy, or participate in physically dangerous activities. It is not illegal to do so and does not violate the rights of the independently viable person in her womb, although it has been shown that those activities can damage that person in apparently legal ways.

So it is established that a woman has rights to do as she will with her body throughout the pregnancy. The only consideration to the fetus is whether or not it can be aborted, which as I have repeatedly expressed, changes when an independently viable being with rights of its own enters the picture.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Torquemada » Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:15 pm

Koatanga wrote:No.

It is a woman's rights issue the entire way. The woman has the right to do what she wants with her body the entire way. However, her action cannot be allowed to violate rights of another person, which becomes the case once the fetus is independently viable.

Prior to that, the fetus has no more rights than a tumour, because neither can survive outside of the host.

But it is the introduction of another independently viable person with rights of its own that changes what the woman can decide to do with her body. The woman retains the right to do what she wants with her portion of the symbiosis the entire way.

This is proven by women who legally smoke and drink during pregnancy, or participate in physically dangerous activities. It is not illegal to do so and does not violate the rights of the independently viable person in her womb, although it has been shown that those activities can damage that person in apparently legal ways.

So it is established that a woman has rights to do as she will with her body throughout the pregnancy. The only consideration to the fetus is whether or not it can be aborted, which as I have repeatedly expressed, changes when an independently viable being with rights of its own enters the picture.


That may be your take on the issue, but it isn't the official platform of the Democratic or Republican parties this time around. So hopefully single issue voters realize that neither major candidate has that position. Unless you're stating that the candidates can think independently of their party platforms, even though I've heard a lot of people trying to Romney down to the Republican platform even when he espouses differences from it (i.e., supporting abortion in the cases of rape, incest, and to protect the life of the mother when the platform doesn't make those allowances).

My own personal take is actually not that far from your own, save that while I think the procedure should be legal I don't support any funding for it from the government except for rape, incest, or to protect the life of the mother. I support a woman's right to do what she wants, but I don't support paying for it. It is indeed a choice, and the man and woman involved (Or parents of the children who couldn't be more responsible) can choose to fork out the money.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Paxen » Fri Nov 02, 2012 7:24 pm

Fridmarr wrote:Of course, you don't really need a trade union for that, a general "employee" union would suffice and it's true we do have other options there too.


What's the difference between a trade union and an "employee" union?
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Dantriges » Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:09 pm

Seems american unions are a bit weird.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Aubade » Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:19 pm

I could be wrong, but I think a trade union is tied to a specific trade, I.E. Teachers union, Machinist union, carpenter union, Aeronautical Engineer's union, Etc.

I'm not completely sure what an "Employee" union is.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Brekkie » Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:57 pm

Fridmarr wrote:Paxen That's not at all how things work here. First, each state really has their own laws, but it basically breaks down in a couple of way. Right to work states, have laws that keep the unions in check. Employees do not have to pay union dues or join a union. Governments can award work to the best fitting contractor. Unions have to be competitive.

Non right to work states means that unions can take dues from you whether you join or not. (Aubade, that's what Malthrax was talking about. In WA as a teacher you have to pay union dues. So in a sense you can't do anything without joining a union as a teacher, because you legally have to join. The reality is that you don't actually have to join, but you have to pay dues, there's little difference). Also in non right to work states government typically must award work to union shops if a union exists for the trade. Most large corporations are pressured quite hard to do the same.


That's one perspective.
It's not the only one.

Red states love demonizing unions and talking about how they lead to mediocre worker performance, stifle competition, an suck business owners dry.
They congratulate themselves on their "Right To Work" state laws.

Blue states view things differently.
To many liberals, "Right To Work" is a sick farce. It is really "Right To Get Fired/Exploited". Blue states love demonizing greedy corporate leaders who will pursue profits to the point of socially destructive immoral behavior.

They congratulate themselves on the social good of their unions by telling anecdotes about WalMart, etc, raping their work force by turning 1 full time job into 2 part time jobs for no other reason than so they can squeeze just as much work out, while not providing any benefits at all to anyway, and providing no livable-wage jobs to that community.


So what is the truth?
As with most issues, probably somewhere in the middle.

My only personal experience with unions was back in my days of doing work as a theater stage manager and lighting designer.

In professional theater, there is a labor union called IATSE, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. It served mainly as an indicator of excellence, and the barrier of entry was relatively high.

In order to qualify to join IATSE, you had to accrue a set number of hours of work on productions which were crewed by IATSE members. Effectively, this meant you had to be good enough at your job to be hired independently over any potential union-member competitors.
This was pretty difficult, and thus an IATSE member card was a great way of separating the true professionals from the wannabe amateurs, which is an important thing from a hiring standpoint in something as subjective as the arts. A producer may not know enough about lighting design or sound equipment operation to be able to figure out who to hire, and a resume is just going to be a list of plays each candidate participated in which doesn't always tell you a whole lot.

The benefits of being an IATSE member were largely networking and expanded job opportunities, which is a big factor in theater as work is so temporary. Additionally, all the IATSE members of the crew would have the advantage of having a professional contract negotiator to help represent them during the hiring process, instead of having to fend for themselves. A talented stage manager or props craftsman isn't necessarily also going to be talented at negotiating contracts.

Union rules protect members from abuse by producers or directors, which is also important in a field as high-pressure as the arts, where the temptation is high to make unreasonable demands of your cast and crew. If a particular producer or director got a reputation for being abusive, IATSE member technicians would simply not work for him any more, which would likely have a huge impact on the quality of productions they could put on in the future and likely drive them out of business. Can't get much more free market than that.


I have no experience and precious little knowledge on how unions function in the manufacturing field, though my tendency is to say "who cares?". Manufacturing jobs are dying, and they are not coming back. If you don't like the way manufacturing trade unions operate, don't worry about replacing union workers with non-union workers, just replace them both with robots.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Brekkie » Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:02 pm

Fridmarr wrote:
Brekkie wrote:Yes but let's use some critical thinking here. What facts does this article actually report? Snip...


That's all true, it's a poorly written article with very little real evidence. Certainly, that's not going to be NJ's position given who their governor is. It wouldn't suprise much if it wasn't true, but then again it wouldn't surprise me if it was. It certainly isn't unprecedented.

Whether it's true or not, I apologize for stooping to the same level as almost every other linked article in this thread. If I'm going to be critical of those then I shouldn't do the same.


Agreed, there's been quite a bit of liberal-slanted hyperbolic linking in this thread too.

I'm just saying, a spade is a spade regardless of who posts it, and I didn't expect that kind of thing to come from you.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Melathys » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:05 pm

without going to deep into the abortion thing (my wife is a post partum nurse, and my sister in law is a NICU nurse) so I hear about it a lot....

anti-abortion AND anti-birth control is just ridiculous...
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Aubade » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:27 pm

Brekkie wrote:They congratulate themselves on the social good of their unions by telling anecdotes about WalMart, etc, raping their work force by turning 1 full time job into 2 part time jobs for no other reason than so they can squeeze just as much work out, while not providing any benefits at all to anyway, and providing no livable-wage jobs to that community.


I have no experience and precious little knowledge on how unions function in the manufacturing field, though my tendency is to say "who cares?". Manufacturing jobs are dying, and they are not coming back. If you don't like the way manufacturing trade unions operate, don't worry about replacing union workers with non-union workers, just replace them both with robots.


I'm going to reply to these 2 paragraph's individually.

I think there's a lot of truth ringing to that anecdote about WalMart. It's no secret I worked at GameStop for quite awhile (Almost 2 years). They seperate their store-level employee's by 5 levels. SM = Store Manager, ASM = Assistant Store Manager, SGA = Senior Game Advisor, LGA = Lead Game Advisor, GA = Game Advisor.

Now SM is a salary position, making roughly 40-50k/Year, at least in Washington state (which is a livable wage) ASM is an hourly, full-time position (Guaranteed at least 36 hours a week.) NOT TO EXCEED 40. This part is important. GAMESTOP DOES NOT ALLOW OVERTIME in ANY instance. If an ASM is reaching 40 hours, he/she must change the schedule, call in an SGA or LGA to cover for them because they cannot go over 40 hours. They are paid about 15/Hr. Which is...BARELY livable wage without any opportunity for overtime.

an SGA is a minimum wage position, rate goes up with tenure. + $2/Hr (You get a raise during your annual review.) Same with an LGA, but +$1/Hr instead of 2.

All 4 of these positions are only held by 1 person in each store, and all of them can call themselves a "Manager" When speaking to customers, all are key-holders of the safe/store/backroom.

a GA is just a entry-level employee.

Now, at my store we were a tier 1 store, which means we ranked in the top 10% of the company for sales volume. Every week our SM would get a # of hours he could schedule for the next week. For an Example he would get 120 hours for the week. This does not count himself, since he is salary.

You would assume, since the LGA/SGA's have tenure and have proven themselves to be trustworthy employee's that the hour distribution would go something like this.

SM = 40-45 hours a week
ASM = 40 hours a week (80 left.)
LGA = 20 Hours a week (60 left.)
SGA = 20 Hours a week (40 left.)
GA's = 40 Hours a week.

In reality it went like this.
SM = 65-70 Hours a week
ASM = 36 hours a week (84 left.)
LGA = 15 hours (69 Hours left.)
SGA = 15 Hours (54 Hours Left.)
Ga's = 54 Hours split amongst 6-7 GA's.

This meant noone was really given a livable wage except for the Store manager, and the ASM depending on how good he was at saving his money/living somewhere cheap.

Now the reason it went like that in reality is because that's what the SM's are told to do. Not work so many hours themselves, but they are told that they cannot "Favor" Employee's by unfairly giving them hours over others. And are forced to over-staff their stores.

I had a new manager come into the company as a SM, Great guy by the name of Ron. (Still talk to him today, great guy!) He had the Idea that he would make life for all of us a little bit better, by moving the Management to Full-time, reliable employees (which we all wanted.) and only having a handful of Lower staff to work the rest, and cover when needed. Which we all agreed would've been a great idea. It would work as so.

SM = 40-45 Hours
ASM = 40 hours (80 left.)
LGA = 30 hours (50 Left.)
SGA = 30 hours (20 Left.)
GA's = 20 hours, between 2 people.

We did this for about 2 months, and things were GREAT. The Management was happy (Which led to better customer service), the GA's who were told upon hiring that it was a PART TIME position were happy. When we got the extra hours some weeks, the LGA/SGa's would move upto 40 hours a week, and the Ga's were given as many hours as they wanted. After we did this for awhile, we were getting more positive reviews from customers, pre-order/membership %'s went up. Everything was GREATT. Until the upper-management at corporate heard about it.

Our SM was promptly Fired (for "Selling an M rated game to a minor" Which never happened.) Our ASM quit shortly after, and they brought in new managers from Corporate who were complete tools. Numbers tanked, and pretty much the whole staff quit shortly after.

The reason For this was that they didn't want to risk having to offer the LGA's or SGA's the option to pay for benefits through GameStop.

We were also told throughout this process that we HAD to hire more GA's. We hired 1 more to satisfy our District Manager, that wasn't enough, he wanted at least 6 GA's on staff. Never given a reason why, never given enough hours to even give them 10 hours a week without sacrificing everyone elses hours, even then, nobody was getting 10.

I'm not even going to get into the fact that I was an SGA Without a pay raise. I was still working for Minimum wage (Plus my 4 cent an hour raise from my annual reviews.) for a Year and a half, while being in the system as an SGA, having my own set of keys and being a Keyholder. Multiple calls PER WEEK to Corporate to implement my pay-raise because of my promotion. Never happened.

I've kind of gotten off track here, but my point is. Large corporations DO screw over employees to save pennies wherever they can.


As to the Manufacturing jobs comment: I don't think they're going to be leaving, just upgrading. At least in the Seattle/Tacoma Area of Washington the Manufacturing industry is booming. The Jobs ARE requiring a slightly more skilled work-force to keep up with industry advances, but the jobs aren't leaving as badly as you would think, just evolving.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Torquemada » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:40 pm

Stories like that from a friend who worked for them when it was still Software Etc. before all the corporate merges and my own horrible experiences with Gamestop are one of the reasons I don't shop at that store. Horrible experiences at my first job at a movie theater because one of the managers took money out of my count every time she totaled my register were why I quit that shitty job for my first tech support position.

One of the powers of the market place is that negative customer experiences can and will shift sales which can prompt even assholes like the ones you mention to have to shift practices or face going out of business. A shit-ton of folks won't deal with EA Games anymore due to how terrible their experiences have been.

One of the reason a lot of companies put on at least the face of being "green" or recycling is the perception that customers want to see that. It also lets them charge more, but that's beside the point. Gamestop and the theater I worked at can get away with it because customers keep giving them patronage, and there are a steady stream of high school/college students et al willing to staff the shitty positions.

I hope you've moved up and on to better and brighter things. And I hope you let everyone know how shitty Gamestop is to its employees.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Aubade » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:45 pm

I do try to inform everyone of how shitty GameStop is every chance I get. But the problem is what alternative is there? If you want to buy games, and you don't want to do it digitally. (I don't care how convenient it is, nothing beats picking up a game I REALLY want at midnight, and with a physical copy in my hand.) There is nowhere else to turn. What we need is to pressure distribution companies to stop the monopolies that the larger corporations have, and promote small business again. But I am not going to claim to know much about how all that works. Just complain about the end-result on the consumer and employees...

And yes, I've moved to a job as a CNC Machinist, with a much better pay rate, and an actual career with pretty big opportunities in my future if I can keep up the quality of my work. I enjoy it quite a bit. =]

God, I hope this election comes faster, so I can stop writing posts with content in them, and go back to replying with "lol" or a picture of a cat.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Torquemada » Sat Nov 03, 2012 6:33 am

I don't mind posts with content, or actual discussions of issues. What we have now is a settup where both major parties hurl invectives at each other rather than a real debate of ideas, because it's easier to stir up fear and anxiety in their followers. I don't really like having conversations with most people about politics or religion because most people aren't seriously open to being challenged in their heart of hearts, so it's really a worthless enterprise. Plus you tend to piss your friends/coworkers off because you don't agree with them.

That said, here are some PA Gamestop comics. I hope you appreciate them.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Thalia » Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:12 am

My best employee came from GameStop...they only give him 3 hours a week.

And they pay him on some form of card...I don't know, it is so weird, I was like WTF? You mean they don't give you a check?!

Suffice to say, ya, I don't understand how they think they will get more productivity, enthusiasm, commitment, and drive from their employees, which = better customer service and sales, if they treat them like a number.

When things grow so big, when they become centralized, and they can't see what is working the best in certain areas it often goes to crap. Especially if they try a one-size fits all mentality.

As a comic store owner this rings so true. When I first did my order for the store I went and looked at a trending list for the previous month's best selling comics throughout the USA. Well I have a 40% off sale going on right now to get rid of all those comics I over-ordered 2 months ago. I learned that in Bellevue, Washington, people love the independent comics more.

Our best selling series is Lady Mechanika and Adventure Time!?@ lol And we have Bronies already subscribed to the Friendship is Magic Comic which is not out until late November. Also the Doctor Who Comic is also there up with our top 5. People here are crazy for Doctor Whoa and our Doctor Who Merchandise (like sonic screwdrivers) fly off the shelves.

Point being, this is partly why I am on the right side of the political spectrum. I see how centralization is not the best way to run anything efficiently. So I see how much the fed government has grown and is taking over areas that where never their business. I am more for states and localities taking on responsibilities because they know better what their constituents need.

IMO, people in Staten Island are still crying in hunger, dumpster diving, waiting in mile long lines for gas, freezing because they can't get any supplies in. This really only affected a handful of states, and though FEMA is trying, they haven't been able to get the help where needed as fast as it is needed. If FEMA can't handle this situation better...that reinforces my feeling that the central government will do a crap job of running Obamacare for the entire nation.

Anyway.

I am glad you are in a better job Aubade. Dedicated, hard-working people should be treated as such by their employers.
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