MovieChat Forums > Norma Rae (1979) Discussion > I hate to tell you but unions are poison...

I hate to tell you but unions are poison, not remedy, to workers.


Sure, I agree, there should be laws to protect people from being treated unfairly but come on, how comfortable can working in a mill or factory be. It is going to be hard work and you do what you have to do to keep bread on your table and if that means getting up at 4.30 to go to work well so be it. Some things in life we have to do and they aren't going to be soft and cushy. It is a way to survive until maybe you better yourself by education and work your way up the latter. Now, because of so many of these demands (more break time, higher wages, less working time), it eventually cut into production and making a profit (that keeps producing goods that people and our economy have to have and jobs open to people). So, in order to keep producing the goods that people need, they have to find cheapers ways to deliever their services and if it means going abroad and setting up shop, well that is what they have to do.

Business have a job to do and that is deliver the goods that people need and as horrible as this sounds, they are going to deliver the goods and best quality as cheaply as they can.


So, unions had good intentions, but delievered poison to the working man. All these demands costed money and that was hurting the company. What else were they to do.

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You could not be more wrong. Not everyone is going to get out of the factory; societies need manual laborers, too, not just managers. That doesn't mean that workers should give up their rights to be fairly paid or to work in safe situations. Unions exist to be certain that workers are treated fairly, and given their government-mandated rights; too many workers don't understand their rights, or can't understand their rights due to lack of education...and the good ol' boy structure of many factory workplaces means that if you try to ask for your legal rights, you risk losing your job. Unions give the powerless a voice. Paying workers a decent wage isn't what caused the current economic crisis--that was caused by fat-cat CEOs raiding the company coffers for their own personal profit, not by giving longtime workers meager health benefits and cost-of-living increases. Nobody working in a factory or a mill expects it to be soft and cushy; they just expect that they have the right to be treated decently, and as more than just a means to fatten the CEOs bank account.

By the way, speaking of education and working your way up the "latter": your spelling is atrocious. You might look into a bit of education yourself, lest you find yourself stuck in minimum wage jobs that don't require any facility with text.

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[deleted]

Nobody expected the work to be "soft and cushy". Yes, we have to do what we have to do to put food on the table, but that does not mean the conditions can be unhealthy and even dangerous just so the company can get the job done as cheaply as possible. The management was porrayed to be indifferent even to basic safety. Anyone working in those conditions need ear protection and breaks, because if you get tired, you might get careless and then cause injury to yourself and maybe even to the product or the equipment.

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Euro4569, you don't seem to appreciate the history of the labor movement in this country.

Unions brought working Americans a living wage, weekends, the 40 hr work week, overtime pay, collective bargaining, health benifits, safety regulations, profit-sharing, retirement plans... the list goes on and on.

Were these things expensive? Did they cut into a company's profits? "You betcha!" (as Donald Rumsfeld would say). So, instead of OBSCENE profits, and the right to grind their employees up like so much cattle grain,company's had to settle for making REASONABLE profits and treating their employees like human beings.

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You're a moron. You obviously have no sense of history, and probably side with management all the time....and I'm in "management".

As far as I'm concerned, everyone making less than 200K per year should unionize. You're an idiot if you think leaving up to the "people at the top", and leaving businesses completely unchecked in their work ethics, is going to do anything good for consumers.

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I keep reading about "fat cat CEOs" and that they are the ones who caused the current economic crisis. It's so easy to blame rich, successful people for the woes of the poor and middle class(which I am), but I'm sorry to say it's baloney.

What caused us to really spiral into the crap can was the whole mortgage lending debacle, which involved corrupt bankers and--YES!--regular folks who bought a house they knew they couldn't afford. Begeez, why the hell would anyone with a brain cell buy a house with an adjustable rate mortgage?? If your income or credit's too crappy to get a fixed rate, guess what?? You can't afford a home! It really does not take a genius to know this.

So now Obama wants to tax the hell out of the so-called "fat cats," you know, the ones who EMPLOY people, and because of that the layoffs and outsourcing will continue. Brilliant, prez. Oh, did I mention the cap and trade agreement that will DOUBLE our energy costs?

But about Norma Rae, which I just got through watching...

The management of this textile mill was inhuman in that the employees were not given ear protection, or that a man saying his arm's gone numb was made to keep working till he dropped dead. This is what I thought unions were created for -- not so employees are treated "fairly," but treated humanely. That's 1979.

Fast-forward to 2009. Because of unions, Americans now feel ENTITLED to something they should count themselves lucky to have, like vacation days, profit-sharing, 401K, and yes, even health insurance is a benefit, not an entitlement. Our sense of entitlement is what's killing us, and by the way...where are the textile mills now? Norma Rae's sweatshop is in China now, thanks to unions with their constant and growing demands.

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@scarlettbees: Americans have, on average, the fewest vacation days of any major developed nation - and we spend the greatest percentage of GDP on health care, with very poor health indicators to show for it. It's easy to blame rich executives for the woes of the poor and the middle class because they're all too often a bunch of greedy, overpaid incompetents.

Black holes are where God divided by zero.

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With or without unions, the globalization of cheap labor has changed the game forever. If American unions are unwilling to stop acting as if we were still living in the 1980s, they would help their membership keep working in America. But they're not.

It's not greed that drives the outsourcing decision, though there are doubtlessly greedy people at the top. There may be greedy shareholders, too, but it's THEIR money they've invested, and they can pull it out tomorrow. They have to be kept happy. A company's ability to compete on the prices it can charge to the public is often a matter of a corporation's survival.The company with lower labor costs can sell its product for less.
How many foreign-made things do we own? How many times did we choose to buy something on the basis of its price?


Don will fix it. He knows what that nut means to Utz and what Utz means to us.

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Hey euro4569; ever hear of "Brown Lung?"

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euro4569, read "The Jungle".

SEE "THE RAP CRITIC":
http://www.youtube.com/user/AndreJaxon

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well with all the hate mail that I'm getting, and I posted this what, a year ago, I guess these must all be teachers.

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Ha ha... nope, not a teacher! I do have to do a report on this film for my class though.

SEE "THE RAP CRITIC":
http://www.youtube.com/user/AndreJaxon

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actually, that was sarcasm. If any profession needed to be unionised, it would be teachers. Where I live, it is unionised but the unions seem to concern themselves with other things than protecting teachers... such as selling car insurance.

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Sally Field is doing just fine. She's making millions selling bone-supplements at age 63.

But the factory is now located in Vietnam. The Americans who used to work there are destitute and dying while Sally rakes it in.

Think about it liberals.

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[deleted]

Oh,shut up, Tea Party bagger.

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Give us all a break you right wing loser. I'm from Buffalo, it used to be a steel mill town. All the steel mills closed and the city went into a major depression. It however had nothing to do with evil unions at all. Your typical right wing generalities and lies are sad.

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Yes, some work is out sourced to Asia, where labor is cheap and you can't live in this country for those kind of wages. But a great number of these manufacturing kind of jobs are being replaced by automation, so even great financial incentives to companies will not bring back the kind of employment we once saw in those industries. Sadly, I do!n't have an answer. If I did, maybe I'd run for President

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Not only do you not know what you're talking about, you obviously don't know grammar. It's cost, not costed. There is no such word.

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