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  • authored by <David>
  • published Sat, Jun 21, 2003

Union dues

My wife works at Zehrs,working about 10 hours a week on average,still she pays the same amount than someone who takes home $ 500.00 a week.
Isn't that disgusting?
Another issue she was hired 2 years ago ,there are no union meetings first will come next week with this backroom deal where they will be cornered anyway.
Any opinion on this?
Iam a CAW member we have to have meeting once a month by our constitution.
UFCW is nothing else just a tool for the company.

  • posted by Blackcat
  • Sat, Jun 21, 2003 2:54pm

 -

More real working person cartoons here...

  • posted by <EX-UFCW 588 Rep.>
  • Sat, Jun 21, 2003 7:31pm

Why would some one Pro-Union? Throw that Cartoon here? even if there was any truth to it? and what happen back around 1913, The cartoon is Anti-Union! making the Orgainzer look like a asshole.
Why not write what happen in that State in 1910 instead of posting a cartoon that was design by a union buster.

  • posted by <Ex-UFCW 588 Rep.>
  • Sat, Jun 21, 2003 7:35pm

Even if that Cartoon is just showing the infight prior to the merging of the A.F.L. and the C.I.O. how does that help today's labor movement?
Distrubing to say the least!

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Sun, Jun 22, 2003 6:30am

My guess would be that the poster is expressing his/her frustration with the way that the mainstream labour movement and some of its largest unions treat members: As sources of dues revenue.

Consider the post that started this thread: It's from a person whose spouse just learned that her union's leader negotiated a secret deal for concessions with her employer. She's being asked to approve the secret deal to help her employer deal with non-union competitor Walmart. It seems to me that Blackcat is expressing outrage at this turn of events. The union's actions smack of the kind of "dues-centeredness" that is killing the labour movement. I think it's quite OK for people to express their disapproval and they can do it with words, pictures, any kind of media.

Rather than dumping on the poster for expressing his frustration, why don't you tell us what the member whose union is bargaining backwards ought to do? Should she suffer in silence or would it be OK for her to express her frustration?

  • posted by weiser
  • Sun, Jun 22, 2003 8:07am

I think you'll find that the IWW is anything but anti-union. The IWW's principles are the foundation of what unionism is all about. The cartoon shows how Business Unionism corrupted the notion of leaderless self-determination for workers. The believe in principles before personalities.

Business unions crushed the free will of North America's workers.

Tell me how one renovates the house of labor without stripping a few boards from the facade and chipping at the crumbling foundation to prepare it for reinforcing.

The CIO in AFL/CIO is three letters of the alphabet. There is little if any remenant of the original CIO beliefs or tennents alive in today's labour movement. What little there may be is carried by a few small local unions and the IWW.

Visit the IWW sites and read about what their members believe. It's what unions were born from but grew distant from as the years went by.

As for the seed comment in this thread:

quote:


UFCW is nothing else just a tool for the company.


The UFCW's talks like it's on double doses of Viagra in public. Listen to what the tough-guy Canadian Director has to say to the UFCW's partner Loblaw:

quote:


"This is a time for the Loblaw companies to be enjoying their prosperity and sharing those benefits with the workers who make the profits possible. Instead, there appears to be a coded message in these statements, and that is that Loblaws wants to lower the high benchmark our union has set for workers in this industry," says Fraser.

"They seem to be intent on trying to drive down the high standards that UFCW Canada members currently enjoy, all because they feel threatened by what they call 'non-union mass merchandisers' like Wal-Mart. Well, we're not dealing with Wal-Mart. We're dealing with Loblaw. When Galen Weston is taking home $20-million a year, and (retired president) Richard Currie gets a $10- million going-away present, this is simply unacceptable. Rather than making such unproductive use of its profits, the company should be reinvesting that kind of money into its most valuable resource, the workers who have made Loblaw such a leader in its industry. UFCW Canada will ensure that our members are rewarded for the contribution they make to the continued success of this employer."


How the dude can reconcile the sweetheart agreement to ensuring UFCW members are rewarded is beyond me.

It's obvious that when it comes time for the UFCW to perform, everything goes limp as you can see what the UFCW's official position after being propositioned by Loblaw:

quote:


Union leaders in Ontario recently struck a tentative deal with the grocery giant after Loblaw announced it would close a number of traditional grocery outlets to make way for larger hybrid superstores that will compete with Wal-Mart.

"We think of this as making the very best of a bad situation," said Brian Williamson, president of United Food and Commercial Workers local 1977, which represents 8,000 Loblaw workers at 47 Zehrs stores.

"If we don't find a solution to the problem, then our people would be affected in a far more harmful way. It's about making sure that anyone that happens to be affected is protected as best as they can."....

The proposal, which the grocer is presenting to [UFCW] locals throughout the province, would allow employees laid off from a closing location to take early retirement or severance packages or take a so-called "buydown" -- a re-hire at the new large store for a lower wage, Mr. Williamson said.

"[Loblaw] is convinced, and I believe them, that based on what has happened in the U.S. retail food market that Wal-Mart will come up here with Supercenters, which have had a devastating effect whenever they come into a conventional food market."


The big question is why would the UFCW believe Loblaw Red Herrings rather than published data showing all the reasons why they should tell Loblaw to pound salt? Investment analysts have no problem:

Mike Weir, managing director of Toronto-based Guardian Capital Inc. said:

quote:


Mr. Weir recently added shares of the Toronto-based retail and wholesale food distributor to the Canadian Equity Fund. He was drawn to the firm for a number of reasons, including its record of earnings growth, the outlook for further growth and its industry leadership. 'We think Loblaw can continue to grow and achieve better margins,' he said. On top of that, "there is a defensive nature to the investment," he said. "It . . . is a conservative growth kind of stock."

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. recently announced plans to bring its Sams Club warehouse store concept to Canada, beginning next fall. Mr. Weir says that will be a significant development, but he feels that the Sams Club stores will represent competition more for a Costco-type store than Loblaw....


Then you look at what the National Bank of Canada says about the Wal-Mart Supercenters:

quote:


NATIONAL BANK OF CANADA

Excerpt from: EVIL EMPIRES OF THE CANADIAN GROCERY INDUSTRY APRIL 27 2001 By Perry Caicco

WAL-MART AND THE CANADIAN GROCERY MARKET

No Supercenters

We believe that the highly successful U.S. Wal-Mart Supercenter operation will not be seen in the Canadian market for at least six or seven years, and probably not ever. The reasons are as follows:

• The existing Wal-Mart Canada discount stores are on fire, growing comp-store sales (sales at stores open from 12 to 18 months) at an estimated 8% to 10% clip, and are still not close to being maximized. Productivity in the Canadian stores, at Cdn$350 per sq. ft., is only slightly behind the U.S. discount stores at US$370 per sq. ft., but should easily surpass it.

• The company has plans for at least another 60 to 70 Canadian discount stores over the next five years. Although its share of the Canadian discount market is higher than its share of the U.S. discount market, the Canadian discount market is undeveloped relative to the U.S. and growing at a much faster pace.

• The U.S. Supercenters used pure pricing power to steal grocery share from higher-priced small-town conventional store operators with run-down physical plant. Canada has much lower food prices than the U.S. to begin with, a strong complement of low-priced discount or 'box' stores and plenty of fresh, modern assets even in the most rural of markets. Very simply, there are few sources of share growth vulnerable enough for Supercenters to feed from.

• With the single exception of Real Canadian Superstore (RCSS) in Western Canada, there have been no successful 'supercenter' formats in this country.

Loblaw's SuperCentre and Provigo's Maxi & Co. were unmitigated failures. Admittedly, they were poorly operated, but nevertheless the Eastern Canadian consumer developed no taste for an extended ‘one-stop-shop' environment. In Eastern Canada Loblaw has developed the better hybrid model in their 85,000 sq. ft. Loblaw format, combining food, drug and 'consumable/high-turn' general merchandise. The Western Canada RCSS format was entrenched before discount mass merchants were prevalent in that region and have evolved into powerful centres.

Always in Food
Wal-Mart Canada has sold groceries and related grocery-store products such as health-and. beauty-aids since their purchase of Woolco in 1994. Their typical assortment has consisted of 500 to 1,000 high-volume dry grocery products including a modest complement of refrigerated and frozen cases. By our estimation, the typical Wal-Mart grocery section - including volume HBA - produces between $8 and $9 million in sales per store annually.

In 1997, Wal-Mart experimented with an expanded grocery assortment in eight selected stores. The original idea behind this 'pantry' offering was to drive additional traffic through aggressive grocery pricing, which it could then lever into the higher-margin general merchandise. It didn't work. What did happen is that store traffic grew no faster than in non pantry stores, but customers in pantry stores added a few low-margin items to their baskets.


I wonder why the UFCW is so eager to swallow Loblaw's claims?

I would expect Loblaw to be self serving in their assessment. Wouldn't you?

  • posted by <EX-UFCW 588 Rep.>
  • Sun, Jun 22, 2003 11:48am

The Labor movement is a lot older that The IWW!
there are some aspects of the IWW that are to to the left for me, but do not get me wrong I am not anywhere near the right wing, with one exception I am 2nd amemdment and that's not right wing it's only a thing that they back.

  • posted by <EX-UFCW 588 Rep.>
  • Sun, Jun 22, 2003 12:04pm

The Main point I want to get across is that the UNION or UNIONS are a machine to empower working people, this machine has enemies inside and out side of the Unions, sometimes the leadership is "WHACKED" or unable to deliver!
Keeping in mind that the Enemies do not like "US" the workers anymore than they like the high paid Union bosses (unless they can buy them off or US off) there is frustration and confusion among unhappy members and workers "WHO REALLY A FRIEND OF LABOR" ? My family after finding out the wrongs that have been set on upon me by a leadership that stabbed me in back after years of being a 100 percent soldier of there administration and of the Labor movement said "Screw those assholes let's go shop at Wal-Mart!"

I WILL ONLY SHOP AT A UNION WAL-MART !
When the get organized and under a real union contract!

That kind of thinking does not even the score that only hurts the overall labor movent, when you have a dispute of an injustice FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS! And try to find a resolve but how do you fight without hurting the labor movement further.
Frustration is every where no one here is alone.

But the enemies of labor wait for this kind of anger to use for their own amusement and purpose!

Keep that in mind at all times.

  • posted by <David>
  • Sun, Jun 22, 2003 8:11pm

posted 06-21-2003 09:20 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------






My wife works at Zehrs,working about 10 hours a week on average,still she pays the same amount than someone who takes home $ 500.00 a week.
Isn't that disgusting?
Another issue she was hired 2 years ago ,there are no union meetings first will come next week with this backroom deal where they will be cornered anyway.
Any opinion on this?
Iam a CAW member we have to have meeting once a month by our constitution.
UFCW is nothing else just a tool for the company.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wake up call!!

All of you went too deep on this subject,
would anyone like to address what I was talking about??
Please??

  • posted by Blackcat
  • Mon, Jun 23, 2003 1:49am

quote:


posted by <David>:
posted 06-21-2003 09:20 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My wife works at Zehrs,working about 10 hours a week on average,still she pays the same amount than someone who takes home $ 500.00 a week.
Isn't that disgusting?
Another issue she was hired 2 years ago ,there are no union meetings first will come next week with this backroom deal where they will be cornered anyway.
Any opinion on this?
Iam a CAW member we have to have meeting once a month by our constitution.
UFCW is nothing else just a tool for the company.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wake up call!!

All of you went too deep on this subject,
would anyone like to address what I was talking about??
Please??


Sorry about posting that pic on your topic. I felt it related to your topic and since I love art and pictures I had to post it.

Almost all unions are 'tools of the companies'. Its to keep working people from rebelling (taking over factories, walk-outs, sit-ins, etc). Some are worse than others. The example you used is such. If you hang around this forum long enough you will hear people with similar stories about their union (or their spouses union) too.

Two forum members (from this site) are getting sued by the UFCW for this website. Another part-time UFCW grocery clerk is getting sued for his website critical of the UFCW. I don't have the linky link handy but if you search around the site you'll find it (maybe somone can post it?).

It is disgusting. Question is what can we do about? How can we change it? How do you turn a biz-union around into a real fighting for the membership kinda union?

  • posted by sleK
  • Mon, Jun 23, 2003 2:29am

quote:


Isn't that disgusting?


Yes.

quote:


Another issue she was hired 2 years ago ,there are no union meetings first will come next week with this backroom deal where they will be cornered anyway.

Any opinion on this?


Local 1977 (Page 1)

What WE can do to help Local 1977

Fact Finder or ???

quote:


UFCW is nothing else just a tool for the company.


Down and Dirty In The Backrooms

ufcw_partnering_2.pdf

kelloryn2.pdf

andy_affidavit.pdf

Welcome to the forums BTW! Glad to have ya here!

  • posted by Blackcat
  • Mon, Jun 23, 2003 3:03am

quote:


posted by <EX-UFCW 588 Rep.>:
The Main point I want to get across is that the UNION or UNIONS are a machine to empower working people


Sorry but I disagree...

As I stated above almost all unions are the 'tools of the companies'. Its to keep working people from rebelling (taking over factories, walk-outs, sit-ins, etc). Whats worse...giving the workers a couple of extra bucks an hour or losing major profits due to constant strikes or perhaps even losing the factory.

Hence the 1920-40's during after major industrial conflicts and general strikes...government (another company tool) created the NLRB - The Wagner Act (US), CLRB - Industrial Relations and Disputes Investigation Act (Canada). The purpose of these acts was to enable a system of control that allowed companies the ability to keep the workplace firmly in their hands while allowing workers a 'piece of the pie'. It allowed for the creation of business unionism. It set out the rules by which labour unions had to play. See the Gentleman's Game for more info on this subject.

quote:


posted by <EX-UFCW 588 Rep.>:
Why would some one Pro-Union? Throw that Cartoon here? even if there was any truth to it? and what happen back around 1913, The cartoon is Anti-Union! making the Orgainzer look like a asshole. Why not write what happen in that State in 1910 instead of posting a cartoon that was design by a union buster


The cartoon related to the topic in hand. The cartoonist was being critical of the AFL in general not just about an organizer in just one state. The AFL-CIO is one of the worst labour organizations in the world. The cartoon relates just as much today as it did back then.

That so-called 'union buster' cartoonist you mentioned is one Ernest Riebe who inspired union songwriter/martyr Joe Hill (There Is Power In A Union, Where The Fraser River Flows and The Preacher and the Slave) to write Mr. Block and Casey Jones-The Union Scab. More info an Riebe here.

quote:


Riebe's comic embodies a class-conscious worker's radical critique of the antiunion worker. Descended from a long line of blockheads, Mr. Block believes the boss is always right, politicians are honest, and you can trust what you read in the "plutocrats' press." Poor as a churchmouse himself, he remains confident that the existing social set-up is blessed with permanence. Spineless and superstitious, he is easy prey for the sleazy peddlers of hatred and of propaganda against the foreign-born.


quote:


Ernest Riebe served the cause of the One Big Union above all as cartoonist, and most especially as the author/artist of Mr. Block. A note titled "Our Cartoonist" in the Industrial Worker adds that he received no compensation for his services as cartoonist. "Every rebel should do his share for the emancipation of his class," Fellow Worker Riebe was quoted as saying. "I shall do mine." Mr. Block represents the fool, the deceited, the believer. A person who time and time again "falls for all the games of their many masters who exploit them to the limit."


  • posted by <EX-UFCW 588 Rep.>
  • Mon, Jun 23, 2003 9:45am

The National Labor Relation Act is a joke it has no teeth!
If fact The Union Busters tells the Employer's to embrace the Labor board they are the employer's friend!

Sad State of Affairs of Labor

They talk of reforming labor management and leadership, what North America needs Labor Law Reform, not tax breaks or more credit we need Labor Law reform to make organizing happen without employer intimidation,, could you image if the government elections had the same Creep's hanging out before the polling places just like a Union representation election? telling the voter's that if they vote the wrong way they will lose their jobs? Then it would be a crime where the union busters would GO TO JAIL for trying to stop workers from voting for the union.

  • posted by Blackcat
  • Mon, Jun 23, 2003 1:19pm

quote:


posted by <EX-UFCW 588 Rep.>:
what North America needs Labor Law Reform, not tax breaks or more credit we need Labor Law reform to make organizing happen without employer intimidation,


We don't need more laws. Laws for the most part are useless and can be changed at any time by any of the bosses governments as they see fit. We need to empower workers to be able to organize themselves. Just look at the IWW from 1916-1923. They organized the lumberjacks in the Pacific Northwest to the farmhands in the fields of the Midwest to the Miners down the holes throughout North America with NO laws.

They eventually became a threat to the system where state/provincial governments enacted anti-syndicalist legislation making it a crime to belong or speak of a union (specifically the IWW). This also pushed governments to produce the two Acts mentioned above which allowed business unions to flourish. There have been amendments and new laws since then that have curtailed this growth (Taft-Hartley); couple that with the dismantling of the Bretton Woods economic system, which almost all western governments have shaped their economies around since WW2, and what you get is todays labour movement.

You can find examples of worker empowerment today. Check out the link below for a good read...these bicycle messengers got big pay raises from their employer through collective struggle...and they were not an officially recognized union in any way. You don't need to vote for a union in some election to be in a union.

The Big DMS/Cityprint Raise
(Wildcat Gets The Goods)


The purpose of the NLRB is to diffuse labour militancy and anger and transfer that to a legislative body that is governed by a set of rules set up by the bosses government(s).

  • posted by <Ex-UFCW 588 Rep.>
  • Mon, Jun 23, 2003 6:42pm

Perhaps your right? We should immediately broadcast a A higher powered deep space distress signal in hope's that some more advance race will come to Earth and level the playing field and allow all worker's to have fairness and fair wages here on this planet!

The Message should be truthful and have a lot of thought put into it but be simple and to the point it should read as follows...

HELP WE ARE GETTING SCREWED!

Oh wait? We can't Broadcast any signals into deep space because in the early 1970's Then President Nixon Signed Executive order making it "ILLEGAL" to Broadcast any messages into deep space in attempts to contact other races.

I think I get out my old Ouija board and try to contact That dead president and ask him why he signed that Executive Order?

I'll keep the rest of you up dated!

  • posted by cointoss
  • Tue, Jun 24, 2003 12:06pm

I go to the quarterly meetings for my ufcw local and we are lucky to get three people out. many of my co-workers think nothing of shopping wal-mart or sobeys. now all of a sudden they are activists??

  • posted by weiser
  • Tue, Jun 24, 2003 12:52pm

Why would anyone want to go to a UFCW meeting? The UFCW stifles debate. It keeps members in the dark regarding their rights and how to exercise them in a general membership meeting. Most meetings are split up, so meaningful debate, if it happens at all, is confined to one small meeting. Union Meetings are for show and to fake that the Constitution has been adhered to.

If a woman in Brampton ON or a guy in Prince George BC is allowed to put a motion on the floor, the motion can't pass because there can't be general debate. To have general debate, you would have to have all members present at all meetings in the same room rather than spread around the province at different meetings on different nights.

When there is no democracy and no chance of it, why would anyone attend a union meeting? When you are talked at rather than listened to, why would you attend a union meeting? When all power is at the head table and none on the floor, why would anyone waste the time to attend a union meeting?

Members don't attend union meetings and the machine heads like it just like that.

Why do you think the UFCW would hold a vote on a crutial issue at a general membership meeting during prime vacation time?

When the members don't participate, it's by design.

  • posted by here we go again
  • Wed, Jun 25, 2003 2:07am

I am also an employee of zehr's and also get an average of 10 hours per week. Checking my schedule from last year at this time I was getting 34 plus hours a week . My availability has not changed , no one has been added above me in my department , yet my hours have been cut. The company has been cutting hours little by little all year and expecting the same level of service for their customers with less people on staff. And they wonder why so many of the employees are off on stress leave.

They wont be able to compete with wal-mart when they are turning away customers because of lack of service. One person cannot do the work of three . Kind of like bitting the hand that feeds you I would say. Our union used scare tactics to get that last contract signed and like a bunch of sheep we followed their lead. Now they are using the same method to get us to agree to this new proposal. Let me see what did they say at the meeting.?? Oh yeah, " If you dont agree with this the company has stated that they will close all 56 or whatever number of stores they now have and you will then all be out of jobs" . We called their bluff for awhile at the last contract with the 3 day strike ( something that our union leaders did not think we would do) . As much as most of us cannot afford to be off work , we should stick to our guns and say no to this amendment proposal.

  • posted by weiser
  • Wed, Jun 25, 2003 6:36am

Think of it this way. Wal-Mart should be the one worrying.

Wal-Mart Supercenters have lots of groceries. There are no plans for Supercenters in Canada. Sams Clubs are a threat to Costco, not Loblaw. However, Loblaw wants to get into general merchandise in a big way. That's the reason behind the RCSS format.

It isn't because Wal-Mart is comming after Loblaw with groceries, it's Loblaw going after Wal-Mart's general merchandise business.

Wal-Mart isn't becoming more like Loblaw, Loblaw is becoming more like Wal-Mart.

AND THE FRIGGING UFCW IS HELPING THEM DO IT!

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Wed, Jun 25, 2003 1:32pm

I am absolutely baffled about why when the company guys say, "Roll over for us or we'll close our stores", the union reps just believe them? Are they that stupid? Don't they know that pulling out of a market in which you're making money is the last thing that a business will do? The suggestion that a business will just up and leave runs contrary to the most basic principles of the market (maximizing profit - you don't maximize profit by leaving a market in which you're making a buck and especially if you're a leader in the market). Why do these boneheads swallow this bullshit? Is it because they're gullible, or because they're too lazy to say no or because they're just too damned close to the management guys?

Members may want to consider asking their union leaders "Why do you believe management when they say they will close the stores? On what facts do you base your conclusion that they aren't just pulling your leg to get what they want?"

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