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Fast Food Employees on Strike
Posted: 01 August 2013 11:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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macgyver - 01 August 2013 08:21 PM

Vyaz you have your prejudices and perhaps I have mine but I am not calling the people involved in this dispute “lowly fast food workers” nor do I think of them that way. There are lots of people who work in those positions who are hard working, good, intelligent people,

Most are not, though. This is the problem.

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Posted: 01 August 2013 11:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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MikeYohe - 01 August 2013 09:43 PM

All workers are unionized or covered by laws that were created by unions to some level by state and federal laws that deal with hours, overtime, unemployment, safety in the work place, working environment, safety clothing, breathing atmosphere, lighting, sexual atmosphere, discrimination, age limits, pregnancy, days worked before needing to pay the employee.

Items not covered are vacation, double time pay, holiday pay, retirement, severance pay, seniority and rate of pay over minimum wage unless it is Federal or State then prevailing wage laws go into effect.


So all workers are a little bit unionized by the government.

The government got involved only after unions got a foothold and pushed for laws to protect workers.  If it hadn’t been for unions those laws would never have been passed and working conditions would be similar to what they were in the 19th century. All workers have reaped the advantages created by unions, even those who never belonged to a union, even you.

Lois

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Posted: 01 August 2013 11:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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Lois - 01 August 2013 11:12 PM

But only labor is demonized. At one pointbin this country’s history, labor unions were claimed to e communistic.  business was never demonized on such a large scale. Unions were denigrated for doing nothing more than what businesses were doing—tringbto get the best price for their product.  But that, of course, was communism because it helped the common man. Anythingbhat helped the downtrodden was considered communistic and socialis and ot was only right to crush it. Worers were supposed to pull onntheir forelocks and be grateful for getting any kind of wages and working under the worst conditions. They were expected to work for long hours, with few breaks, under horrendous conditions. If they were injured or died on te job that was their hard luck. If they complained they were demonized. 

It was unions who pushed for a 40-hour work week, overtime pay, safety, health insurance, paid vacations and an end to child labor, while business owners fought tooth and nail against all of those things. Meanwhie they often had to suffer lockouts and firings by employers who refused to negotiate, and worse.  Read up on the history of inhuman business practices and the birth of unions. It’s not a pretty picture.

No, labor is not the only one that is demonized. Where have you been for the last several years? The left blames everything that this economy is dealing with on business owners. Business owners get demonized on a regular basis.

And whether or not it was used as a pejorative term, asking the government to intervene in worker/owner disputes IS socialistic. Many people are perfectly fine with that term, especially socialists.

And yes yes yes, I already know about the many benefits that have come from labor union involvement. Nobody here is saying that labor unions are bad. What people have consistently stated is that large and disproportionately powerful unions can actually be just as detrimental as large and disproportionately powerful businesses.

What people do not understand is that forcing fast food restaurants to raise pay significantly will have unintended consequences, and many of the same people advocating for this are going to be the ones who ultimately lose out.

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Posted: 01 August 2013 11:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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Lois - 01 August 2013 09:11 PM

Businesses negotiate with their suppliers and their customers on price all the time.  This is a given.  Businesses will even go so far as to withhold their product until they can get a higher price (which is no different than employees going on strike).  But when it comes to labor, businesses claim that asking for a higher price is going to ruin business, lead to inflation and ruin the economy, cost jobs,  you name it. Somehow their own lies and manipulations don’t do that, only labor actions.  Labor is a commodity like any other commodity.  Businesses need it and labor has it and wants to control its price, just as businesses control the price of their products.  But only labor is demonized for doing what it can to get the best price for their “product.” Businesses are never demomized for doing what they can to get the best price for theirs, often resorting to creating shortages and creating fear in customers about the quality of their competition’s products. Yet businesses, with a wink and a nudge, claim, “That’s business.” “What’s good for business is good for the country.” They use every trick in the book to make as much profit as possible, but when labor tries to get a better price for their product, suddenly all bets are off. Only labor is denigrated for their efforts, accused of all sorts of terrible tricks to get more, called greedy, called lazy, called criminal.  The pot calls the kettle black. 

With any other commodity, the buyer alone does not set the price of the product. The buyer alone does not set the standards of how the product is made, certainly without offering anything more for extras.  Selling something for whatever they can get for it, taking advantage of shortages or creating them is apparently only open to business, but not labor.  Why should that be the case? Why is labor different than every other commodity?


Lois

It’s different with fast food though, because fast food labor is frankly, worthless; it’s the lowest of the low.

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Posted: 02 August 2013 05:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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mid atlantic, I believe that the debate about what constitutes a fair, “living wage” could start a whole new thread.  I don’t have a simple criteria, but, for me, a simple test is to try to imagine having a neighbor, friendly regular sort of person, hard working, decent, with a child or two but not very able or intelligent .  If your neighbor works a full time job, how should they be able to function in your community?  I know it’s not a very good test, you might be completely comfortable walking past uneducated, malnourished children, or sharing public facilities with an individual with drug resistant TB, guarding your home vigilantly from the starving masses, or perhaps, you can imagine some more efficacious final solution.  And I, of course, might prefer giving them the opportunity to become some fat, lazy, parasite, irresponsibly popping out children, able to live in a mansion, drive a Jaguar and spend their days eating bob-bons and doing meth, sitting around their Olympic sized pool.  But seriously, I’d bet we could pretty easily come to a pretty realistic agreement on what a decent living wage really is.

I am not uncritical of labor unions.  In my limited experience, unions sometimes seem to forget that they are providing a service.  Unions which tolerate poor performance from their workers are not providing the service they claim to be able to deliver and may be as dishonest as any other form of commerce.  Sometimes unions serve as a means to prevent competent workers access to good jobs.  Good union leadership should bargain for the highest realistic wage possible, (that may entail asking for more than they expect to receive), and guarantee a high standard of labor by providing trained employees and policing their own ranks.

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Posted: 02 August 2013 08:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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Jeciron
… a simple test is to try to imagine having a neighbor, friendly regular sort of person, hard working, decent, with a child or two but not very able or intelligent .  If your neighbor works a full time job, how should they be able to function in your community?

In the system built by our government, your neighbor would be an idiot to be working a full time job at minimum wage with a kid or two. There is no way he could afford any sort of health care for his kids. Most people in that situation today are on a relief program. And in some states they can stay on the relief program while working a part time minimum wage job.

What nobody has said yet, is in the food industry in most states where there are benefit laws that go into affect for full time workers, so most of the food industry will work a majority of the people at fast food places 20/hrs per week or less because of these laws. Even the U.S. Post Office does this in states with required benefits for full time workers.

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Posted: 02 August 2013 08:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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[What nobody has said yet, is in the food industry in most states where there are benefit laws that go into affect for full time workers, so most of the food industry will work a majority of the people at fast food places 20/hrs per week or less because of these laws. Even the U.S. Post Office does this in states with required benefits for full time workers./quote]

This is also a standard ploy for wholesale companies such as Walmart and its affiliate Sams Club. Often employees are allowed only 28-39 hours a week to avoid providing them benefits of any kind. They also have no sick leave nor vacation leave. Many underemployed workers are forced to seek a second part time job or ask for public assistance. This is a standard for restaurant workers who now face a further cut back in hours to “compensate” for Obama Care. There are presently over ten million workers currently employeed in the business with an average annual salary of below $20,000 with very little chance of advancement. Many fast food businesses force them out after six months of employment in order to purge the disgruntled and bored who wonder from restaurant to restaurant working menial, thankless jobs with no incentive to improve either the food or the service. Incidentally, they are divided into front of the house ( greeters and servers) and back of the house ( cooks, fry and broil, and cleaners, dish tank operaters). Those in the front make less than three dollars an hour and rely on gratuity to make up the difference, sometimes above but often below the minimum while the back are paid minimum wage. This is life for the restaurant worker, ten million American workers.

Here’s a breakdown of wages and salaries:
http://www.foodservicewarehouse.com/restaurant-equipment-supply-marketing-articles/restaurant-management-and-operations/employee-wages-and-benefits/c28023.aspx


And it hasn’t changed for twenty years:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/02/minimum-wage-restaurant-workers_n_1515916.html


Thank you Herman Caine.

Lastly, believe in the power of a union, well organized and regulated with the ability to bring the corporate bosses to the bargaining table. it is the only protection and vehicle for advancement open to a collective body of workers and has been shown in the past to enable the workers both skilled and nonskilled to make a decent living for themselves and their families. Unions forced an end to child labor, guaranteed a 40 hour work week with extra pay for overtime, safer working conditions, and pensions to name a few. I fully recognize the excesses of some union organizations e.g. The Teamsters but the abuses by industrialists and corporate bosses far outway them. A little research on the Guilded Age in America will illustrate my point. Organizing a restaurant union will improve their wages and earn them the benefits they need. The restaurant industry pulls in over $600 billion annually and IMO can afford to share a pittance of the profits with their workers.

Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 02 August 2013 10:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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Lois - 01 August 2013 09:11 PM

Businesses are never demomized for doing what they can to get the best price for theirs,...

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Posted: 02 August 2013 08:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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Cloak - 01 August 2013 11:24 PM
Lois - 01 August 2013 11:12 PM

But only labor is demonized. At one pointbin this country’s history, labor unions were claimed to e communistic.  business was never demonized on such a large scale. Unions were denigrated for doing nothing more than what businesses were doing—tringbto get the best price for their product.  But that, of course, was communism because it helped the common man. Anythingbhat helped the downtrodden was considered communistic and socialis and ot was only right to crush it. Worers were supposed to pull onntheir forelocks and be grateful for getting any kind of wages and working under the worst conditions. They were expected to work for long hours, with few breaks, under horrendous conditions. If they were injured or died on te job that was their hard luck. If they complained they were demonized. 

It was unions who pushed for a 40-hour work week, overtime pay, safety, health insurance, paid vacations and an end to child labor, while business owners fought tooth and nail against all of those things. Meanwhie they often had to suffer lockouts and firings by employers who refused to negotiate, and worse.  Read up on the history of inhuman business practices and the birth of unions. It’s not a pretty picture.

No, labor is not the only one that is demonized. Where have you been for the last several years? The left blames everything that this economy is dealing with on business owners. Business owners get demonized on a regular basis.

And whether or not it was used as a pejorative term, asking the government to intervene in worker/owner disputes IS socialistic. Many people are perfectly fine with that term, especially socialists.

And yes yes yes, I already know about the many benefits that have come from labor union involvement. Nobody here is saying that labor unions are bad. What people have consistently stated is that large and disproportionately powerful unions can actually be just as detrimental as large and disproportionately powerful businesses.

What people do not understand is that forcing fast food restaurants to raise pay significantly will have unintended consequences, and many of the same people advocating for this are going to be the ones who ultimately lose out.

Business owners have used that argument since unions were in their infancy. It hasn’t happened yet.

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Posted: 02 August 2013 08:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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mid atlantic - 01 August 2013 11:33 PM
Lois - 01 August 2013 09:11 PM

Businesses negotiate with their suppliers and their customers on price all the time.  This is a given.  Businesses will even go so far as to withhold their product until they can get a higher price (which is no different than employees going on strike).  But when it comes to labor, businesses claim that asking for a higher price is going to ruin business, lead to inflation and ruin the economy, cost jobs,  you name it. Somehow their own lies and manipulations don’t do that, only labor actions.  Labor is a commodity like any other commodity.  Businesses need it and labor has it and wants to control its price, just as businesses control the price of their products.  But only labor is demonized for doing what it can to get the best price for their “product.” Businesses are never demomized for doing what they can to get the best price for theirs, often resorting to creating shortages and creating fear in customers about the quality of their competition’s products. Yet businesses, with a wink and a nudge, claim, “That’s business.” “What’s good for business is good for the country.” They use every trick in the book to make as much profit as possible, but when labor tries to get a better price for their product, suddenly all bets are off. Only labor is denigrated for their efforts, accused of all sorts of terrible tricks to get more, called greedy, called lazy, called criminal.  The pot calls the kettle black. 

With any other commodity, the buyer alone does not set the price of the product. The buyer alone does not set the standards of how the product is made, certainly without offering anything more for extras.  Selling something for whatever they can get for it, taking advantage of shortages or creating them is apparently only open to business, but not labor.  Why should that be the case? Why is labor different than every other commodity?


Lois

It’s different with fast food though, because fast food labor is frankly, worthless; it’s the lowest of the low.

I disagree. A lot of people work in fast food and it’s a multi-billion dollar business. Its employees are their life blood, even if you think they are the lowest of the low. Plenty of people spend a lot of money on fast food and the business is going to grow.  In case you didn’t notice, it’s the most lowly employees who need unions the most.  They are most vulnerable to exploitation, poor pay and bad treatment by employers.  They are the perfect group for unionization—poorly paid, exploited and powerless. They need professionals to go to bat for them. The owners have no problem in hiring professionals to prevent unions from forming or to negotiate when they are formed (or to bust them). Why shouldn’t the workers have professionals on their side, too? Maybe you just like unfair fights where one side is hobbled and has its hands tied behind its back and the other side has all the power?

Lois

[ Edited: 02 August 2013 08:37 PM by Lois ]
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Posted: 02 August 2013 08:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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Jeciron - 02 August 2013 05:16 AM

mid atlantic, I believe that the debate about what constitutes a fair, “living wage” could start a whole new thread.  I don’t have a simple criteria, but, for me, a simple test is to try to imagine having a neighbor, friendly regular sort of person, hard working, decent, with a child or two but not very able or intelligent .  If your neighbor works a full time job, how should they be able to function in your community?  I know it’s not a very good test, you might be completely comfortable walking past uneducated, malnourished children, or sharing public facilities with an individual with drug resistant TB, guarding your home vigilantly from the starving masses, or perhaps, you can imagine some more efficacious final solution.  And I, of course, might prefer giving them the opportunity to become some fat, lazy, parasite, irresponsibly popping out children, able to live in a mansion, drive a Jaguar and spend their days eating bob-bons and doing meth, sitting around their Olympic sized pool.  But seriously, I’d bet we could pretty easily come to a pretty realistic agreement on what a decent living wage really is.

I am not uncritical of labor unions.  In my limited experience, unions sometimes seem to forget that they are providing a service.  Unions which tolerate poor performance from their workers are not providing the service they claim to be able to deliver and may be as dishonest as any other form of commerce.  Sometimes unions serve as a means to prevent competent workers access to good jobs.  Good union leadership should bargain for the highest realistic wage possible, (that may entail asking for more than they expect to receive), and guarantee a high standard of labor by providing trained employees and policing their own ranks.

Unions only became as powerful as they are because employers refused to negotiate and resorted to the dirtiest of tricks and manipulations.  Powerful unions were the natural result. Unions knew they’d have to fight fire with fire to make any headway with the exploitation and dirty tricks of owners. If business owners hadn’t fought so hard and so dirty to prevent the formation of unions,  unions would never have become so powerful. Business owners have no one to blame but themselves for powerful unions.

[ Edited: 02 August 2013 08:39 PM by Lois ]
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Posted: 02 August 2013 08:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 02 August 2013 08:55 AM

[What nobody has said yet, is in the food industry in most states where there are benefit laws that go into affect for full time workers, so most of the food industry will work a majority of the people at fast food places 20/hrs per week or less because of these laws. Even the U.S. Post Office does this in states with required benefits for full time workers./quote]

This is also a standard ploy for wholesale companies such as Walmart and its affiliate Sams Club. Often employees are allowed only 28-39 hours a week to avoid providing them benefits of any kind. They also have no sick leave nor vacation leave. Many underemployed workers are forced to seek a second part time job or ask for public assistance. This is a standard for restaurant workers who now face a further cut back in hours to “compensate” for Obama Care. There are presently over ten million workers currently employeed in the business with an average annual salary of below $20,000 with very little chance of advancement. Many fast food businesses force them out after six months of employment in order to purge the disgruntled and bored who wonder from restaurant to restaurant working menial, thankless jobs with no incentive to improve either the food or the service. Incidentally, they are divided into front of the house ( greeters and servers) and back of the house ( cooks, fry and broil, and cleaners, dish tank operaters). Those in the front make less than three dollars an hour and rely on gratuity to make up the difference, sometimes above but often below the minimum while the back are paid minimum wage. This is life for the restaurant worker, ten million American workers.

Here’s a breakdown of wages and salaries:
http://www.foodservicewarehouse.com/restaurant-equipment-supply-marketing-articles/restaurant-management-and-operations/employee-wages-and-benefits/c28023.aspx


And it hasn’t changed for twenty years:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/02/minimum-wage-restaurant-workers_n_1515916.html


Thank you Herman Caine.

Lastly, believe in the power of a union, well organized and regulated with the ability to bring the corporate bosses to the bargaining table. it is the only protection and vehicle for advancement open to a collective body of workers and has been shown in the past to enable the workers both skilled and nonskilled to make a decent living for themselves and their families. Unions forced an end to child labor, guaranteed a 40 hour work week with extra pay for overtime, safer working conditions, and pensions to name a few. I fully recognize the excesses of some union organizations e.g. The Teamsters but the abuses by industrialists and corporate bosses far outway them. A little research on the Guilded Age in America will illustrate my point. Organizing a restaurant union will improve their wages and earn them the benefits they need. The restaurant industry pulls in over $600 billion annually and IMO can afford to share a pittance of the profits with their workers.


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 02 August 2013 08:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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Lois - 02 August 2013 08:12 PM

Business owners have used that argument since unions were in their infancy. It hasn’t happened yet.

So you’re telling me that you’ve never heard of people losing their jobs when the employer’s expenses increase? You’ve never heard of employers laying off the lesser skilled or less valuable employees to make up for the losses, while transferring those responsibilities to the more skilled and highly capable worker?

And before you respond, please hold the demagoguery, and just deal with the facts. Please don’t try to make me seem immoral, or try it look as if I’m “for employee exploitation” or that I love it when the “mean guy beats up the little guy”, or whatever way you want to word it.

Just deal with the facts. What do business owners do (today) with the least valuable employees when the cost of keeping them around exceeds the value they put out?

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Posted: 02 August 2013 11:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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Lois - 02 August 2013 08:27 PM
mid atlantic - 01 August 2013 11:33 PM
Lois - 01 August 2013 09:11 PM

Businesses negotiate with their suppliers and their customers on price all the time.  This is a given.  Businesses will even go so far as to withhold their product until they can get a higher price (which is no different than employees going on strike).  But when it comes to labor, businesses claim that asking for a higher price is going to ruin business, lead to inflation and ruin the economy, cost jobs,  you name it. Somehow their own lies and manipulations don’t do that, only labor actions.  Labor is a commodity like any other commodity.  Businesses need it and labor has it and wants to control its price, just as businesses control the price of their products.  But only labor is demonized for doing what it can to get the best price for their “product.” Businesses are never demomized for doing what they can to get the best price for theirs, often resorting to creating shortages and creating fear in customers about the quality of their competition’s products. Yet businesses, with a wink and a nudge, claim, “That’s business.” “What’s good for business is good for the country.” They use every trick in the book to make as much profit as possible, but when labor tries to get a better price for their product, suddenly all bets are off. Only labor is denigrated for their efforts, accused of all sorts of terrible tricks to get more, called greedy, called lazy, called criminal.  The pot calls the kettle black. 

With any other commodity, the buyer alone does not set the price of the product. The buyer alone does not set the standards of how the product is made, certainly without offering anything more for extras.  Selling something for whatever they can get for it, taking advantage of shortages or creating them is apparently only open to business, but not labor.  Why should that be the case? Why is labor different than every other commodity?


Lois

It’s different with fast food though, because fast food labor is frankly, worthless; it’s the lowest of the low.

I disagree. A lot of people work in fast food and it’s a multi-billion dollar business. Its employees are their life blood, even if you think they are the lowest of the low. Plenty of people spend a lot of money on fast food and the business is going to grow.  In case you didn’t notice, it’s the most lowly employees who need unions the most.  They are most vulnerable to exploitation, poor pay and bad treatment by employers.  They are the perfect group for unionization—poorly paid, exploited and powerless. They need professionals to go to bat for them. The owners have no problem in hiring professionals to prevent unions from forming or to negotiate when they are formed (or to bust them). Why shouldn’t the workers have professionals on their side, too? Maybe you just like unfair fights where one side is hobbled and has its hands tied behind its back and the other side has all the power?

Lois

Nobody is claiming that fast food is not a huge business. However, the fact is that it’s completely unskilled work, long term fast food employees are mostly individuals who can’t do anything else in life, and there are always more people willing to fill out applications; including immigrants who will gladly accept minimum wage.

You’re right that they are easily exploitable, but a union will fleece them just as bad as the board members.

The best solution for the non-mouth breathers among them is to get better jobs.

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Posted: 03 August 2013 04:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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MikeYohe - 01 August 2013 09:43 PM

All workers are unionized or covered by laws that were created by unions to some level by state and federal laws that deal with hours, overtime, unemployment, safety in the work place, working environment, safety clothing, breathing atmosphere, lighting, sexual atmosphere, discrimination, age limits, pregnancy, days worked before needing to pay the employee.

Items not covered are vacation, double time pay, holiday pay, retirement, severance pay, seniority and rate of pay over minimum wage unless it is Federal or State then prevailing wage laws go into effect.


So all workers are a little bit unionized by the government.

Mike the three biggest costs to a business are salaries, retirements benefits and one you left out, health insurance so the aspects that the government “unionizes” are relatively trivial compared to what they don’t

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