4 of 6
4
Detroit
Posted: 20 August 2013 08:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  629
Joined  2013-06-01

Unions killed Detroit

Detroit problems today started in the 1940’s, the auto workers had their pay frozen because of the war. Detroit had strong unions and the union stuck in the early 1950’s and got GM to agree to “escalator arrangement” labor contracts. The unions had been fighting the manufactures for control of state labor laws.

Once the unions got control of the state labor laws there were several Supreme Court cases where it was ruled that the state had helped the unions overstep the federal labor codes.

GM and Chrysler found it was better to move the parts manufacturing out of Michigan and away from the strong unions. 

Michigan is known as the most pro-union state in America.


Kyle Smith wrote an article this February for Forbes titled –
Detroit Gave Unions Keys to the City and Now Nothing is Left.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kylesmith/2013/02/21/detroit-gave-unions-keys-to-the-city-and-now-nothing-is-left/

Quote: All you really need to know about Detroit, which is facing a $327 million budget gap, is that last year it was discovered to still be paying for a “horseshoer” (or farrier) on the Detroit Water & Sewer Department (DWSD) payroll. This individual costs some $56,000 in pay and benefits, despite the city not having any horses to shoe in his department.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 20 August 2013 09:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4576
Joined  2008-08-14

Here’s a quote from the article in Forbes you cited Mike. 
It’s by Kyle Smith who describes himself as “I am a film critic and current-affairs columnist for The New York Post, for which I have covered such silly topics as the Harry Potter movies and President Obama’s attack on ATMs.

Union bosses insisted the DWSD (average compensation: $86,000) needs more, not fewer, such unionized employees, a view associated with a broad spectrum of thinkers from Jimmy Hoffa to the Keynesians running the United States. The DWSD has more than twice as many employees per gallon of water pumped as that other paragon of Midwestern governance, Chicago. An independent report said four out of five employees in the bloated department were redundant and discovered a thicket of union regulations driving up costs. Plumbers complained that, due to union work rules, they had to wait to fix pipes until duly authorized “operators” came along first to shut them off.-Kyle Smith, Forbes

The key here is twice as many employees per gallon of water pumped.
Pumped!
This isn’t a comparison of water and sewer service pipes(in miles) or a comparison of size of area served and number of customers.
Here’s the real facts:
Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, a sprawling network covering more than 1,000 square miles, servicing more than 40 percent of the state’s population, and employing over 3,000 people.-cited from the DWSD.
Notice Detroit water serves more than 40% of the states population..not just city!

Today, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) is the third largest provider of high-quality drinking water and wastewater treatment services in the United States.
So the Detroit Water and Sewer Dept has been serving Detroit and several surrounding Counties in Michigan for years.
The DWSD is self-funded(it sustains itself with rates, and receives no Property Tax money!) and is considered to be one of the hottest Bonds going right now
in the face of Detroit’s economic woes-according to Bloomberg.
What other type Yellow Journalism pieces would you like to cite Mike? 
The fact that you would get your information about a complex system like a water and sewer
utility from a film critic speaks loudly about what kinds of “information” you are “susceptible” to.

 Signature 

Row row row your boat gently down the stream.  Merrily Merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 20 August 2013 09:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4576
Joined  2008-08-14

This is from DWSD’s website as well.

DWSD provides water service to the entire city of Detroit and neighboring southeastern Michigan communities throughout Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, St. Clair, Lapeer, Genesse, Washtenaw and Monroe counties. The 1,079-square-mile water service area, which includes Detroit and 127 suburban communities, makes up approximately 40 percent of the state’s population. Wastewater service is also provided to a 946-square-mile area that encompasses Detroit and 76 neighboring communities.

So those same employees also serve a 946 square mile area of sewer service too!  That has nothing to do with drinking water being pumped!
So making a comparison about a water/sewer utility’s number of employees/per gallon pumped can be highly misleading and dishonest!
You should get your head around systems and facts before you just go randomly putting up garbage Mike.

 Signature 

Row row row your boat gently down the stream.  Merrily Merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 August 2013 04:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3256
Joined  2011-08-15

Michigan is known as the most pro-union state in America.

It totally depends on what you mean by that statement Mike. Are you implying that Michigan has the strongest unions? This study ranks it as number 5 well below Illinois. And I doubt that one union employing a ferrier brought down Detroit. It’s demise was created by a series of ills I listed on a previous post. And if you want to bring in historical references remember that they guy who founded the auto industry did everything he could to prevent and later destroy the auto unions (see the first sit down strike). Ford hated unions and while we’re at it, Jews as well.


http://money.msn.com/investing/latest.aspx?post=e568e049-1433-4623-9e2e-49baede19707


Cap’t Jack

 Signature 

One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.

Thomas Paine

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 August 2013 08:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  629
Joined  2013-06-01

You should get your head around systems and facts before you just go randomly putting up garbage Mike.

Vyazma, did you forward your remarks to the editor of Forbes? I did post the source. I am sure you must have. It would be good for them to know what crappy work they put to print.

I do not research each writer. I look at the source. If it came from Rolling Stone or Playboy I would think one way because of the editors of those magazines.
If the subject is of an economical nature then I think The Wall Street Journal or Forbes would have good sources.
Same with computer and cars, the trade magazines are more in depth and on point in the subjects.

I did see the article as one sided view point.

You are saying he is totally wrong and has bad data. I get it.

What are your views on the furrier?  That seems to be a bug with Kyle.


Coffee break talk here.

Back in the 80’s I took on a job connected with the C-17 at Boeing in Long Beach area of Los Angeles. We had to build a new wing box assembly fixture. They had built one that took Boeing three years to build, but it was no good. The fixture was a city block long and three stories high. We had three months to build the new tool before congress would vote to scrap the C-17 project altogether. They needed the fixture to save the project.

We brought in welders from Mexico and jig and fixture builders from Detroit because the auto industry had shut down and there were a lot of factory workers available. If I remember correctly the government got the York tank going to build up jobs in that area of the country.

Anyway, I am showing these guys from Detroit what their jobs are and where I want them to work. One of the guys asked me what sort of tolerance we work to in the aerospace industry because they were use to working to the tenth in the auto industry. 

We worked to the thousand in the aerospace. Master tools have tolerance down to two thousands and go up from there. A hair is four thousands thick. What we call a tenth in the aerospace was closer or a finer tolerance, ten thousands of an inch is what we called surface table work. Surface tables are five millionths in flatness and we would build off these tables.

It turned out these guys from Detroit were talking about one tenth of an inch. I knew I was going to have trouble. A big difference in building cars to building planes.

The Detroit guys were good workers and with talking to them they were surprised how we could work in California. They were really shocked about the illegal welders we had brought in from Mexico due to the fact that this project required security clearance. We told Boeing that if they wanted the job done in three months they had to let us do it our way with our people. The Boeing plant had several unions and the welders were in a strong union. We knew that we would not be able to get the work done by using the union workers in the time frame we needed.

The aerospace or aircraft industry has some to the strongest unions in California. Excluding the teachers union of course, which is in a class by itself. The guys from Detroit saw the unions here as very weak. They told me that what we were doing here could never have gotten done in Auto industry because of the strong unions.

We got the wing box fixture built in three months by working 12 hr shifts seven days a week and breaking just about every safety and union rule ever written. Saved the project and thousands of people were able to have jobs. 

I should explain that the wing box is both wings. The wings are built as one big wing making it the most important frame structure of the airplane.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 August 2013 09:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  629
Joined  2013-06-01

Cap’t Jack,
I was referring to trade talk.
I worked as a contractor in several union shops and you get to work with guys from all over the United States. You get a feeling for the problems in the different areas of the country. Like working in New York is different than working in Texas even if you are doing the same job. It is the work atmosphere created by the company or unions.
I have had my jobs sabotaged by union workers and have gotten into fist fights with union workers. And have been at other locations where we all worked together and it was great.
I myself have been a Stewart with the union and even started a union one time. 
There are certain areas I will not go to work at because I know I will not like the atmosphere. Detroit and New York is a couple of those areas. I should also state the United States is broken into seven economic areas.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 August 2013 09:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4576
Joined  2008-08-14
MikeYohe - 21 August 2013 08:25 AM

You should get your head around systems and facts before you just go randomly putting up garbage Mike.

Vyazma, did you forward your remarks to the editor of Forbes? I did post the source. I am sure you must have. It would be good for them to know what crappy work they put to print.

You posted the article with the heading “Unions Killed Detroit” Those were your words!
Then you quoted from the most ridiculous piece of crap journalism I have seen in a few weeks.  You posted it!  You own it!

I did see the article as one sided view point.

Oh yeah?  Did ya? 

What are your views on the furrier?  That seems to be a bug with Kyle.

What are my views on the furrier?  Are you serious?  Maybe there is a furrier there, maybe there isn’t.  Maybe there is no deduction for furrier in the first place.
The furrier bit was to attract the attention of simpletons who are drawn to sensationalism. I’m more of a whole picture kind of guy.
I don’t get distracted easily by shiny objects.
I deleted the rest of your long-winded post because it’s anecdotal.
Plus, I think you are a crackpot and a liar.  That’s just my opinion. 
You have the writing and spelling skills of 6th grade, yet you claim to have done everything from pick rutabagas in Juarez to installing the computer systems on the Space Shuttle.
Somebody with as much life experience and professional experience as you claim to have would never display the kinds of thought processes and cognition that you have shown. Even a stark conservative or radical leftist.
This has been most recently borne out in you asking me above on how I felt about the furrier. That makes me chuckle.

 Signature 

Row row row your boat gently down the stream.  Merrily Merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 August 2013 09:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4576
Joined  2008-08-14

Mike Yohe-I myself have been a Stewart with the union and even started a union one time. 

It’s STEWARD Mike, not stewart!

 Signature 

Row row row your boat gently down the stream.  Merrily Merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 August 2013 10:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  629
Joined  2013-06-01

Vyazma,
Spelling is not a skill I have. I was taught on the phonic alphabet that had no short or long vowels, double constants or even the letter “Q”.  So saying I have the spelling skills of a 6th grader is kind of nice. Thank you. Some days are better than others at being able to spell.
I have never been to Juarez, but have worked on the cargo bay section of the Space Shuttle at General Dynamics.

I was sent in as part of a crew to find the problem with the cargo bay doors closing. I do not know if you are old enough to remember that they were having problems with closing the doors in space.
And I do talk about my life experience, I am at the sunset of my life and I am passing on my thoughts and experience.

I like the idea that you see yourself as a “whole picture” type of guy.
More people should be looking at the whole picture and we would have a better world.
As a crack pot and liar, that hurts, but that’s a reflection on your life experience not mine.

I will tell you that when you spend your life working, the newspaper is all you have time for and the past few years I have had the time to read books and to look at the mechanics of the political, banking and religious system of our country. So age has nothing to do with understanding the system sometimes. Religion was the most surprising subject for me again proving age itself does not give you knowledge.

Pegging people or labeling people on what and who should be a leftist or conservative shows no actual on hand experiences dealing with people in the fore front.

Let’s talk about the “Furrier”.  I thought Kyle brought out a good point. What I see as the normal thoughts would be that:
One, the unions and city are badly mismanaged.
Two that the unions are so strong that the city cannot eliminate jobs that are no longer needed. This happened with the rail road. The rail road had firemen working forty years after they quite using coal burning trains. Why, because of the strong union.

My thoughts are that the cities were structured to operate when the nation was a manufacturing country. The United States has changed from a manufacturing base to a service based nation and the structures of the some local governments are feeling the results of the change.

Thank god for our agriculture base.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 August 2013 11:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3256
Joined  2011-08-15

Cap’t Jack,
I was referring to trade talk.
I worked as a contractor in several union shops and you get to work with guys from all over the United States. You get a feeling for the problems in the different areas of the country. Like working in New York is different than working in Texas even if you are doing the same job. It is the work atmosphere created by the company or unions.
I have had my jobs sabotaged by union workers and have gotten into fist fights with union workers. And have been at other locations where we all worked together and it was great.
I myself have been a Stewart with the union and even started a union one time. 
There are certain areas I will not go to work at because I know I will not like the atmosphere. Detroit and New York is a couple of those areas. I should also state the United States is broken into seven economic areas.


Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, what day is it Mike? C’mon, I know you can hear me! Hump Daaaaaay! God, I had to do that, sorry. Ok, with coffee (literally) in hand I’m going to be serious now that it’s out of my system, ahem. Yes, I have been involved in several unions as well, and have heard both sides. My father was a plant foreman and fought members of the Teamsters (I was a member working in the plant at the time).  Needless to say we had lively discussions at the dinner table after work. I can see both sides, and BTW I was also a member of the UAW as well when working for a company making sealing rings for semi engines. I am currently a member of the OEA/NEA and helped write ten contracts for our local. I was on the negotiating team and was a building representative (shop steward) for twenty years. that being said, a well written contract in which both sides contribute their concerns benefits union members and the management, for want of a better word. It clearly defines the parameters for each while allowing some leeway for special circumstances. There have been abuses form mgt. and union leaders and if this can’t be worked out it goes to binding arbitration or the NLRB is called in to settle the dispute. And remember that union bashing is a time honored trick management uses to exact the maximum amount of work with a minimum of expense. all of this, much like your post is anecdotal of course but I can site several incidences of abuse by mgt. still in effect, I.e. pensions. Several companies after going bankrupt, deny their former workers Their pensions e.g. Patriot coal, a subsidiary of the giant Peabody Coal company, but the top execs. Received millions in Rentntion bonuses. this is just one example of abuse by management that could have been halted by the courts.


Cap’t Jack

 Signature 

One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.

Thomas Paine

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 August 2013 01:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  25
Joined  2013-08-20

Mike:

“Two that the unions are so strong that the city cannot eliminate jobs that are no longer needed. This happened with the rail road. The rail road had firemen working forty years after they quite using coal burning trains. Why, because of the strong union.”

That’s not why the fireman was kept on the crew after the conversion from steam to diesel in the late 1940’s - early 1950’s Mike.

In many cases the passenger trains operated by private corporations up to and including the date when Amtrak took over passenger operations in the USA still used passenger cars that were heated by a steam generator in the nose of the diesel engine - a qualified boiler attendant was still required to operate and maintain it…and a steam era fireman fit the bill perfectly. In other cases the early diesel locomotives were designed to run with the long hood forward or had a high nose which obscured the engineers ability to observe the left hand side of the right of way to the front of the engine - hence a second pair of eyes to look out for him.

For the most case the handling of the fireman’s position during the transition period was negotiated between the unions and the companies in a fair and equitable manner. Fireman have been gone from the rail roads since the 1980’s but we still have two men in the cab of a locomotive - a conductor and locomotive engineer…still working as a team to keep freight moving.

And the rail roads have been very profitable in the interim.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 August 2013 02:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  629
Joined  2013-06-01

Cap’t Jack,
I was in Teamsters 12E and as union members we were fighting the Union mainly on a burial fee of five cents per hour. We never voted in, the union got a judge to pass it into law.
In the aerospace union (machinist union) I was fighting the company; I was working tool and die, using surface grinders but not the production types you were using in making rings. Did not make the negotiating team; four days at Palm Springs would have been nice.
I quit Ruhr and General Dynamic because they went on strike. Did not have the time to wait around.
I started a non-due union for the employees in a labor leasing operation. This was because I needed to be able to get the workers to better doctors and away from these Worker’s Compensation Medical Clinics that were doing more harm than good for the workers. Plus move them over to federal courts from the state courts. The loss ratio for construction workers at the time was 85%; we were at 12% by unionizing. It was my experience with unions in the aerospace that lead me to unionizing in the construction trade.
Northrop had a good union, where General Dynamic’s seem to be all about seniority protection.
What happen with me was that I always had some business or operation going on the side while working. So I started working as a contractor mostly in the union shops. Short terms but long hours and three to four times the take home pay each week compared to working 40hrs. The jobs would be from two weeks to six months. I could live on the per diem pay alone.
You can imagine contractors coming into one of your shops and doing union work for twice the money. Yes, I have had a few disagreements with union workers. But the only reason I was brought in was to save a contract or help get a job finished on time. 
The jobs were all over the country. But after a few years I only took jobs in Los Angeles and San Diego area do to the other business I had going.
I have been away twenty-five years now from the unions. 
As far as the unions I am on both sides to. All depends on the situation and the facts.
   
My feeling is that where the unions are needed the most they will not get represented because of the public’s feeling that the big government and teachers unions are to powerful. Watch as the government takes away Social Security benefits because of union pensions. This is wrong.

I did not think the courts could take away union contracted benefits that had been worked for. Now I am told that a federal judge can do just that. This will be interesting because no union will sit by and let this happen without a major court fight.

Our country runs best when the unions and company are on equal grounds.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 August 2013 05:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  629
Joined  2013-06-01

Rhodtpr,
The guy who told me about the firemen was a son of a friend of mine. He works as an engineer for Santa Fe Railroad in California. Makes as much as an airline pilot 250-300K per year. Drives his train from a computer in an office. He was part of the first group to do this for Santa Fe. I think all the trains pulling freight for Santa Fe are diesel-electric. This was several years back. There still has to be someone in the train, I think he said the conductor. What he was telling me was the union agreed to get rid of the firemen and the firemen had the opportunity for other positions or a big payout. And that most were taking the payout. He was telling me that the biggest problem with fires was the wheels locking up and sending sparks in the grass beside the tracks. Today they have heat sensors along the tracks that can measure the heat from the wheels. 

Once the railroads got unionized they became a great place to work.

Another guy I know was working for the railroad in Wyoming and was not making much. Wyoming is a right to work state. He went to work in Kuwait doing the same job and was being paid six figures.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 August 2013 06:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  25
Joined  2013-08-20
MikeYohe - 21 August 2013 05:12 PM

Rhodtpr,
The guy who told me about the firemen was a son of a friend of mine. He works as an engineer for Santa Fe Railroad in California. Makes as much as an airline pilot 250-300K per year. Drives his train from a computer in an office. He was part of the first group to do this for Santa Fe. I think all the trains pulling freight for Santa Fe are diesel-electric. This was several years back. There still has to be someone in the train, I think he said the conductor. What he was telling me was the union agreed to get rid of the firemen and the firemen had the opportunity for other positions or a big payout. And that most were taking the payout. He was telling me that the biggest problem with fires was the wheels locking up and sending sparks in the grass beside the tracks. Today they have heat sensors along the tracks that can measure the heat from the wheels. 

Once the railroads got unionized they became a great place to work.

Another guy I know was working for the railroad in Wyoming and was not making much. Wyoming is a right to work state. He went to work in Kuwait doing the same job and was being paid six figures.


MIke;

Your friend “who works as an engineer for the Sante Fe Railroad in Califonia” is pulling the piss on you…I can tell you without hesitation that no locomotive engineer working for any railway company in North America is making “250-300K per year.”

Secondly, Sante Fe railroad was merged into the Burlington Northern rail road in 1995 creating the BNSF rail road…owned by majority shareholder Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway Investment Corp.

Thirdly, the only remote control locomotives operated by BNSF are “belt pack” remote control yard assignments where the yard foreman on the ground near the engine controls the locomotive with a radio controlled transmitter whose commands are transmitted to the engine via a remote receiver in the specially modified locomotive.  No one - repeat, no one is driving trains “from a computer in his office in North America.”

Every railway company in North America (other than tourist operations using restored steam locomotives) uses either diesel-electric or electric locomotives…the last to use steam on a regular basis retired them in the late 1950’s.

There are at least two crew members on a freight train…a conductor and locomotive engineer - both located in the lead locomotive since the caboose was replaced by the EOT (end of train device) in the early 1990’s. On a regular yard job there will be three employees - yard foreman…yard helper…locomotive engineer. If the yard job is remote controlled then the engineer is absent and the yard foreman and yard helper operate the engine using the remote control beltpack.

As far as fires caused by “wheels locking up and sending sparks into the grass” - WABCO air brake system is specifically designed to prevent the wheels from locking up and skidding - most fires along the right of way are caused by sparks thrown from the exhaust stack on the locomotive.

“Heat sensors along the tracks” are called HBDE (hot box - hot wheel - dragging equipment detectors)...they measure the heat coming from the centre of the wheel - wheel rim - and detect equipment dragging from the train - some even have an audible detector that listens for any unusual sounds coming from the roller wheel bearings in the passing train.

Your friend from Montana was probably working for Montana Rail Link - a short line railway that bought up former unprofitable Burlington Northern track and made it profitable by paying the crews non-union wage and benefits.

Hope he enjoyed his time in Kuwait with the Islamist’s.

Anything else you want to know about railways in North America don’t hesitate to ask…I have spent the last 27 years of my life working as a locomotive engineer at one of the major players in the game…done the elected union jobs and just about everything else - still have another 8 years to go.

[ Edited: 21 August 2013 06:19 PM by rhodtpr ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 August 2013 06:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  25
Joined  2013-08-20

On another side…it’s tough to see the vital contribution that Detroit made to the war effort in WW2 go to this - what would the veterans and workers think if they saw the plant now?

http://www.youtube.com/embed/hRVWyZf5MQk”

:-(

Profile
 
 
   
4 of 6
4