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Q: When does Labor Union representation cross the line from simple, bumbling ineptitude to criminal negligence?
A: Some would argue that a contract ratification vote of less than 38% of a labor union's membership qualifies for this harsher classification. All while our Union Thug Representatives maintain that our contract vote was "Overwhelmingly endorsed". 

Time for a Wake Up!
"The only reason that UFCW-1099 was put in place as the labor representation at Meijer's was in order to keep out the Teamsters; that is obvious."
      The above statement was made to me by an individual who has since quit his job at the DC. His voice is not alone in echoing this sentiment. Why, do you suppose, is this perception prevalent?
      Fast forward to February, 2004. The representatives of UFCW-1099 hold a meeting to discuss strategy for upcoming labor negotiations with Meijer's. The focus shifts to Wal-Mart and how large they are when compared to Meijer's. Then the hammer hits the nail with the statement, "Less union jobs mean less union-worker pay, and with Wal-Mart controlling the jobs market in this area (nation), it weakens labor's position in contract talks." Oh, really?
      The retail "pie" that Meijer has been feasting on over the last two labor contracts has continually grown larger, while average bargaining unit pay has barely kept pace with inflation. So how legitimate is the argument that union laborer's pay should continue to decline at the same time that corporate profits soar?
That's right, my friend, not legitimate
                                 at all.
     Legitimate union representation from nearby businesses (White Villa Foods, Xenia; Teamsters) should reflect these same low wages. It's a miracle, I know, but  they actually earn more for their labor than workers at this company's DC. They are engaged in the same kind of work with the same type of jobs. They are able to do this while sitting at the same retail, economic "table" and helping themselves to the same retail economic "pie". Even though their slice is much smaller. The reality of our world evidences this "union" justification, that keeps our wages low, to be a lie.
     That a corporation would think it beneficial to "stear" its group of laborers towards selecting a management friendly group for representing its labor force is only logical. But is this the only "smoking gun" we can find? If union representation exists primarily to control a workforce, and the wages and benefits of this workforce, what other evidences would you expect to find?
     Appointed union stewards would be helpful in maintaining control. A careful selection process that only installs people as stewards whose poitical and idealogical leanings are already in favor of corporate union thinking. Folks whose tendencies are to not "rock the boat", and who think that protecting the "status quo" is beneficial to the union brotherhood. Even to the point of subverting the will of the majority. Who could you think of who might fall into this category?
     And, if you have a Steward who is guilty of the high-crime of independant thinking, that individual would be summarily removed from the office of Steward quite readily if controlling the workforce is the objective of the union representation. How many instances of this can you count?
    Communication between buildings and retail outlets would be discouraged by your union representation. In fact, you would not expect to see much of an effort towards uniting the workforce at all, because maintaining a weak union presence eliminates the threat an active union presence poses; employees demanding various actions from their elected union representation.

     A weak union presence, that displays a complete lack of union participation would characterize a management friendly labor group that exists to keep the costs of labor down.

     Company union meetings occuring once every contract period (3 to 5 years) would be routine. These meetings would also be largely ignored by the workfoce.  Especially if the workforce determines early on that any efforts towards positive change in union leadership will be subverted by the ruling, elitist, union thugs. 

    Union Representatives (Union Stewards) and Union members are provided a forum for discussing Union business in a public setting (like a web site). Various people routinely visit the web site but are too chicken to enter into dialog over any issue. Evidently Union thugs only wish to enter into "debate" on their turf, in a closed room where they can shout down any opposition. Intelligent examination of the issues is not encouraged. A "window" for discussing contract issues with dues paying members is purposely restricted to a few short hours each contract. And that "window" is controlled exclusively by the Union Representation.

   Labor laws do not particularly favor labor interests. Controlling labor, and the subsequent harm that is detrimental to the political, and business establishment (inflation, strikes, the stoppage of goods and services freely flowing to the States- which is, by the way, the directive of the National Labor Relations Board, etc.) is best accomplished with the enlistment of aid from those entities who are most injured at the same time that common laborers benefit; i.e., Big Business. Who did you think wrote the laws? Do not be deceived here people, politician's wrote the laws and politician's are largely influenced by the parties with vested interests ( 
      Removing union representation, once elected is almost impossible. Best as I can tell, less than twenty people who were in the "bargaining unit" of the Meijer DC voted, in the original election, to secure UFCW-1099 as the Labor Representation. And every bargaining unit team member since has "paid" for this priviledge.
       Refusing to participate in union related events is detrimental to our collective workforce. Should we obtain 850 out of 900 voices to collectively say to our representation (for instance), "We want the ability to ELECT our union stewards", this current bunch of ruling elitists would be required to implement the policy or (after enough instances like this are brought before the labor board) face de-certification. Having 50 people out of 900 show up for a union meeting plays right into their hands. It allows management to dictate wages, benefits, and terms of employment to our elected representation. And this representation presents management's proposals to us as "fair".
     By continually getting a dismal turnout for union votes, it tells them labor will take whatever management deems "fair".
     Sound "fair" to you?
     Please wake up people.
     Digging our own economic grave is not a pleasing option. /\/\/\
Recent Survey at Meijer
Bob Caldwell
     In a casual survey at the D.C. I have been asking my co-workers this question; “If you had your way would you prefer that your Union Representation used your union dollars to:
1.) Organize Wal-Mart employees or;
2.) Educate people in your own bargaining unit on the importance and civic responsibilities incumbent upon all union members especially during the process of contract ratification voting."
     Some folks said “C; keep the money in my pocket”! Out of 20 people asked this survey, only two people did not answer “B” and they were both Union Stewards.  One fellow said, “Bob, you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink.” True enough. But if you only get 38% of our membership to the pond you haven’t led our (union member) horses to the water.
     What do you suppose the trail boss would have said if you started out from Amarillo to Houston with a hundred head of cattle and got to Houston with just 38 head? Do you suppose he would have thought that you did your job? Would you have thought that you did your job? What do you think our membership thinks about how our current Union Representation is doing their job? /\/\/\

 Q&A's: How Do You Vote On My Contract Or; How Do I Vote On Yours?
     Ever wonder how it is possible that members of the Distribution Center (working under a completely different pay scale) and workers at the Retail Store's all vote on the same contract? Ever notice how the contract is not posted on the World Wide Web for all the world to see? That might prove troublesome for union members to know what other members under the same contract are earning! As long as your union representative says it is in your best interests, by golly it is (legally there is nothing you can do when Lenny Wyatt or the gang make a ruling that you don't like; the power over your paycheck, contract and working conditions is entirely in their hands)!
     Why is there no Cost of Living Adjustment clause in our contract? If inflation goes up just a single digit of a percent increase will negate any monetary "raises" that were conceded in the last contract ratification. This means we will all be working for less than before this contract was ratified!
     *UPDATE* 1/15/05 effective 1/1/05 our union dues have been increased by our International Union Covention by 23 cents per week. These folks understand the need for cost of living adjustments and have no problem imposing needed changes on our wages! My wages have headed south since last ratification. And where is my labor contract? I could have hand written and delivered each one on horseback in this period of time (almost a year now)! /\/\/\

Last year, Forbes listed Meijer as No. 11 on its list of the 500 best-operated private companies. The magazine estimates Meijer's 2000 revenues at $9.5 billion, an increase of 14.5 percent compared to 1999. Net profits were estimated at $190 million. more>>
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