Utah rally advances 'We Are One' events supporting labor and civil rights on Monday

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  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    April 4, 2011 10:26 a.m.

    Unions are needed.

    Because our goverment has not shown it cares about the working class.

    * 'Republicans kill Senate jobless aid measure' - By Andrew Taylor - AP - Published by DSNews - 06/24/10

    'The rejected bill would have provided $16 billion in new aid to states, preserving the jobs of thousands...

    * 'Senate Republicans again kill bill for jobless aid' - By Stephen Ohlemacher - AP - Published by DSNews - 06/30/10

    'Without an extension, 1.7 million of the 7 million people who have been without a job for at least six months will have lost their unemployment benefits by the end of this week, according to the Labor Department.'

    (After 2010 Midterms)

    House GOP blocks bill to extend jobless benefits By Andrew Taylor AP 11/18/10

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    April 4, 2011 10:11 a.m.

    Re: "My cousins [sic] wife makes a mere 17k a year as a prison deputy. Is it wrong for her to have a pension and health care?"

    It is, if you deny taxpayers, many making even less, enjoying fewer benefits, a say in the process.

    Therein lies the real problem with government workers unionizing. The people forced to pay for benefits won at the bargaining table -- taxpayers -- don't even have seat at the table.

    It's not collective bargaining. It's hidden, collusive, and ultimately destructive bargaining.

    And, it's got to be outlawed, if we are to survive.

  • Mick Murray, Utah
    April 4, 2011 8:45 a.m.

    Sounds like we have a bunch of bleeding hearts out there trying to "guilt trip" the private workers into supporting our poor firemen, police officers and other public employees like teachers. We support them. I am appreciative of their services/jobs. However, when quoting their salaries, they need to add all of the benefits including heath care and retirement. The public sector employees cannot even come close to touching these for their employees. Their retirement, again most private business owners cannot touch, is started at age 55 while the rest of us work until 65+. The tax payers have no say at the collective bargaining table. Where are our rights being protected?

    We cannot all work for the government, so don't suggest it as an option. And it is correct in saying that unions were needed in the early turn of the century. But 100 years later, they are being used to create mediocrity and as a political leveraging tool.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    April 4, 2011 6:04 a.m.

    Re: My2Cents | 5:29 a.m. April 3, 2011
    "@Rifleman, you misunderstand the Right to Work laws in Utah."

    No, I think I understand the Right to Work laws reasonably well.

    "Under the law in effect before the Taft-Hartley amendments, an employee who ceased being a member of the union for whatever reason, from failure to pay dues to expulsion from the union as an internal disciplinary punishment, could also be fired even if the employee did not violate any of the employer's rules."

    Non-union employees are expected to work but we're not asked to spill our blood, lose our lives, or devote ourselves to our companies.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    April 3, 2011 9:57 p.m.

    @ mountanman. You are wrong. There are very strict laws on what unions can do with members dues. Where are you getting your information? Where is your proof.

    I suggest since you have such disdain for government workers, that you should never call a cop, fire department, drive over a bridge, drink water from your tap, stop using your sewer lines, etc. Totally isolate yourself from society.

    My cousins wife makes a mere 17k a year as a prison deputy. Is it wrong for her to have a pension and health care?

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    April 3, 2011 9:56 p.m.


    I clearly stated how much money I make. I work hard for my money - doing rotating shifts.

    How much money do you make? What kind of benfit package are you given by your employer?

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    April 3, 2011 3:07 p.m.

    Re: CHS 85 | 12:11 a.m. April 3, 2011

    Federal employees can retire at age 55 (or 57 for those born on or after 1970). Non union workers typically work another 8 or 10 years.

    My employment has brought me around federal workers. Reminds me of a walk around the park.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    April 3, 2011 2:25 p.m.

    People who oppose unions forget that most of us are enjoying the lives we now lead because of the efforts of unions at the turn of the 20th Century. Should we go back to the days of child labor, unsafe workplaces, paltry pay, slums for everyone but the most wealthy?

    Be careful of what you seek. Be especially careful because the more power we hand to the huge corporations and their minions, the less security we ordinary people will have.

  • The Balloonatic Kearns, UT
    April 3, 2011 1:43 p.m.

    "All government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service."

    -former president Franklyn D. Roosevelt

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    April 3, 2011 1:15 p.m.

    @ Shaun. You are mistaken. Union bosses do indeed give millions of dollars to poltiticans (mostly Democrats) without the approval of the members! Sorry, but that is the sad truth! Americans are tired of paying for your entitlements with our taxes! Pay your own healthcare, pensions and perks like the rest of us do!

  • CougarKeith Roy, UT
    April 3, 2011 12:20 p.m.

    Hey Organized Labor, Kiss Our Butts!!! Move to China, or Cuba where you can live your SOCIALIST DREAMS!!! We don't want you bleeding America dry! You have lost sight of what "Union Labor" was all about and the principles it was built on IN THE U.S.A.!!! FAIR WAGES!!! Not BLEED OUR COMPANY DRY WAGES!!!!! There is a HUGE DIFFERENCE!

  • runwasatch Ogden, UT
    April 3, 2011 11:35 a.m.

    The word UNION is more appropirately spelled:


    There is no valid reason for government or public employees to be unionized.

  • tracer Paradise, UT
    April 3, 2011 11:16 a.m.

    In most cases, I have personally observed that Unions are bullies! As stated previously, there are multiple existing labor laws that protect the sexually harrassed, the over-worked, the overlooked, and the underpaid. What I abhor about our political system is that the unions can use their clout and mandated union dues to elect those public officials who will continue to support them. As an example, how can any democratic process possibly support the card check issue which makes the vote of union members public. I can't imagine the lengths that intimidation will escalate from union bosses for those who would dare vote against the union. Worst of all, has been my experience that I am unable to reward those employees who excel at their job as oppossed to those who do the minimum (or less) to just get by. The union demands that annual compensation increases and benefits apply to all employees the same. Whatever happened to the rugged individualism this country was founded upon.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    April 3, 2011 11:13 a.m.

    It is interesting to see all these comments bashing unions. How exactly have they ruined the middle class? People often cite that unions are expensive? Compared to what?

    I often hear people on national shows like fox news, cnbc and other say union labor is to expensive but then in the same breath they say it is absurd for anyone to think ceo's make to much. How come it is okay for executives to make tons of money, but it is not okay for the guy doing the actual work to make a decent wage?

    Do people in this country actually want a race to the bottom? Do you really want to compete with foreign labor that makes a dollar an hour with no benefits? Your argument that unions are not needed anymore is absurd. What if there were no unions in this country? Would corporations treat you well out of the kindness of their heart? If you want to try that experiment you can always move to china or india.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    April 3, 2011 11:01 a.m.

    @ Mountanman. Unions can not force their members to pay donations to any candidate. It is against federal law. Members can choose to donate to a political fund but can not be forced. Your next argument is also false. Do some public employees make a great wage? Yes, but the majority do not. My wife works for the DA and earns well below what see could in the private sector. So why does she do it? First she likes the idea of doing something about crime, second her benefits are decent but not over the top. She has had to take pay cuts, they stopped matching her 401k for over a year and she has also had to contribute more to her health insurance.

    You might say big deal. You might say you don't get any benefits. Well that is your fault. You could choose to stand up and do something about it or you can continue to bash public employees. But one day these people will have had a enough and quit. How much longer will Police officers, firemen, district attorneys, bridge inspectors etc take people like you bashing them all the time?

  • BH Tremonton, UT
    April 3, 2011 10:57 a.m.

    While unions must exist to protect employees from businesses that would abuse employee rights if not for the threat of organized labor, unions have become a drain on the American economy, and every other country which is heavily unionized. One only needs to look at countries like Great Britain and France to see how unions retard economic progress.

    One of my greatest concerns with unions is that, to justify their continued existence, long after having been successful at creating a good employee/employer relationship, they intentionally create discontent. And all this to assure the continued inflated wages of union bosses. So ironic. One of the biggest targets of union discontent is big wages of corporate upper management. And yet union wages in many cases at least match if not exceed that of corporate management. And without ever managing production of a single product that contributes to the GNP. Their only product is workforce discontent.

    If the American economy is to continue to be one of the greatest in the world, organized labor is in need of a major rework. Unfortunately, because of the awesome union lobbying power, it is doubtful this will ever happen.

  • Where's Stockton ??? Bowling Green, OH
    April 3, 2011 10:51 a.m.

    Where's the facts???

    I don't know which individual Union bosses you are referring to getting Millions of dollars from union dues...possibly in the UAW Auto industry maybe...but not elsewhere. But most of the Union dues after the comparitvely small salaries paid to execs and operating costs we pay are well invested and when they do exceptionally well we get a spill over payment into our pension funds. We're no longer the Unions of the early 20th century that your corporate bosses want to project us to be. They're not telling you the entire story. They intentianally project and misdirect your attention so that you don't see what they are doing. Which is basically denying you what you are really worth to them...that goes back into their pocket They don't keep their profits here on U.S. Soil. They send them overseas to hide them and to legally as intentionally and systematically designed to do avoid paying the higher corporate taxes. That's their bonus money in addition to their inflated higher salaries derived from the discounted money they denied you in the value that you are to them.

  • JimW Wets Valley City, UT
    April 3, 2011 10:31 a.m.

    You're confused about "At will employment" and "Right to work."
    At will employment is your right to quit or be fired at any time for cause or no cause.
    Right to work means I am not required to pay for the union boss's "conference" in Hawaii but I can if I want to.

  • conservative scientist Lindon, UT
    April 3, 2011 9:06 a.m.

    I agree with Ryan20. Unions of government employees actually hurt middle class Americans by increasing taxes.

  • Mick Murray, Utah
    April 3, 2011 8:48 a.m.

    Labor unions will be the downfall of this country. They are all ready the downfall of many of the "failed states" in the union. Too bad the UEA has such a tight grip on the education in this state. We could take a better look at teachers and get rid of the ones who are failing our students and finacially rewards those who are succeeding.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    April 3, 2011 8:46 a.m.

    Let's see! Unions can force their members to pay donations to union bosses who then give millions to Democrat politicians who repay unions with legislation to protect them and provide them benefits paid by tax payers who have fewer entitlements than themselves! We are really not "one" are we?

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    April 3, 2011 8:27 a.m.

    @ What in Tucket? - talk about getting the facts wrong. Federal employees do not make an average $130,000 a year. And I used to think that unions were dinosaurs, but then I saw what was going on with unfair practices and blatant discrimination, including in the government. I've seen outrageous examples, and in some agencies it happens over and over, including against those with disabilities. When there is a local union that is effective, a lot is done. The problem is that many unions are just not as effective as they could be (for reasons that don't matter here). But here's a fact: When union members are doing well, we are all doing a lot better. They lift the ship of the middle class, and we all have lots of things for which we should thank unions, including a 40 hour, 5 day work week, vacation and other leave, health benefits, safer working conditions, and the list goes on. Business likes to bash unions, and that spills over into the middle class, but happy, well paid employees means better business and more consumers.

  • Where's Stockton ??? Bowling Green, OH
    April 3, 2011 8:25 a.m.

    @LONE Star Cougar
    Ahhh yes...here we go. Must live in Houston... the home of the shell game corporation scheme that has been part of the Bush tax cuts for years now. I just mentioned this briefly in a previous post to this article. the one that was on on CBS's 60 minutes last Sunday. 60 minutes went to dozens of corporatins whose World Headquarters were supposedly located in a small Swiss Banking community of 25,000 people that is home to Billions of 2010 profit dollars that will either be taxed at a much smaller % rate or pay no taxes at all. Many of these so called Corporate Headquarters only had P.O. Boxes. Some had rented office spaces in existing buildings and had only a receptionist to refer anyone looking or calling for Corporate officers to contact them...guess where...in Houston of all places...at the company's quote...Field Headqurters...unquote. There was even a group mentioned including Haliburton and it's conglomerate subsideraries which were even more creative. They bought a bunch of Luxury Condominiums and assigned one to each of their Major subsiderie. For obvious reasons they got no intervies there either.

  • Right or Wrong Happy Valley, Utah
    April 3, 2011 8:06 a.m.

    Union are part of the problem with our society, aside from making a safer work place, they are corrupt and work against the national good.

    One only has to look at the auto industry to see how UNIONS destroyed that segment. As was stated above, look at right to work states, there you will find the more successful option.

    Down with unions, every one of them!

  • KM Cedar Hills, UT
    April 3, 2011 7:41 a.m.

    "Workers of the world unite. Its not just a slogan anymore."

    Isn't it great that we hired a community organizer to be President? Now we can organize revolutions throughout the world and "fundamentally transform" the way things are.

  • Where's Stockton ??? Bowling Green, OH
    April 3, 2011 7:33 a.m.

    Meanwhile...if you watched last weeks 60 minutes Large corporations and not the middle class workers are allowed to send every penny of profit to Banks in Switzerland and avoid paying taxes to the Federal government. GE was the prime example used. They would have owed only 3.7% but they were given a tax credit over a Billion dollars and now owe the Federal government nothing. Thier earnings if that money had stayed here would have been taxed at the 35% rate. It's not employee wages that are forcing companies to move overseas. It's taking advantage of the Bush related tax cuts. Yes Uthan's have the right to chose whether to join a union or not. Being a Right to work State works for big Corporations really well. They bring a dozen doghnuts to the table...keep 11 of them and then tell the non union workers that that's their doughnut left on the table but your union friend there is going to take it away from you. You people are so gullible it isn't funny. The corps have everything to their favor...even ring side seats to watch Union-vs-nonUnion fighting.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    April 3, 2011 6:08 a.m.

    Proud member Amalgamated Transit Union. Utah Transit Authority offered a terrible contract, voted down 99% against. Uta made no effort to engage in collective bargaining in violation of federal labor law. The union filed a lawsuit and won. I used to vote republican until the right wing tea party took over and is taking the party down a road to ruin. At one time the CEO was compensated about 20 times more than labor. Now it is 800% more. That is a recipe for class warfare as we see happening now. You can not have true
    prosperity when a few citizens control all the wealth. I for one am sick and tired of hard working public employees taking the brunt of the blame for our economic woes. To the person who made the post about federal employees earning $130,000 a year I would sure like to see your source. Started with the state of Utah in 1984 in the $6.00 range. That was with a bachelors. Left in 96 in the $14.00 range after completing a graduate level certificate. Everyone I know working in the private sector is doing far better than I am.

  • My2Cents Kearns, UT
    April 3, 2011 5:29 a.m.

    @Rifleman, you misunderstand the Right to Work laws in Utah. They do not grant or have anything to do with Unions. The state Right to Work law, if you bother to read it, is a 'shield law' for business that defines it as "Business Right to Fire" law. It's to protect businesses FROM any workers rights, its not even listed as a Utah labor law.

    This Right to Work law encourages employers to fire and dismiss individuals and its entire workforce wanting better working conditions or safety standards. The right to work laws prevents employees from organizing and going to OSHA, EEO, or any federal labor department without retaliation (fired). Complaining about chemical and physical endangerment of yourself or other co-workers. You get fired for their violation of your health risks.

    Workers spill their blood, lose their lives, and devote their soul to a company and deserve a share of the company. Is that really an unreasonable expectation? Some workers can't wait every christmas for that bonus check, but what happens when it stops too? Is that all your life and pain and suffering for a company is worth to you, $100 a year?

  • ER in EUR Belgrade, Serbia
    April 3, 2011 4:40 a.m.

    OK last comment.

    Remeber the $70K high educated white-collar worker in utah? And the $109K guy in San Fran?

    Well the 109K in SF is actually a cut in pay from $70K in Utah because the cost of living in SF is 74% higher so in agregate 109K in SF is $62K in SLC.

    That is why USG workers hate to go to NYC, LA, SF and the like.

    Is that becasue $70K or $62K is low? No, not if you are asking about a construction job there. But it is lower then thier apples to apples counterparts in those same cities.

    All I'm sayin.

  • ER in EUR Belgrade, Serbia
    April 3, 2011 4:21 a.m.

    So let's look at real life.

    $81K for white collar, high educated, experienced management. AVERAGE.

    In Utah we are "Rest of US" locality pay (the plan to equalize pay from higher cost locales to lower cost areas). It is 14.15% of base pay. So we are $81k / 1.1415 = $70,950.

    $70K is sky high for a white collar, BA, MA, Phd holder in management in a large corp in Salt Lake? I don't think so. Above a construction worker? Yes, but they will not get the job, or be able to do it.

    In San Fran its 35% locality pay scale. So the pay would be $81K X 1.35 = $109,350.

    Sky high for a high educated, management person with BA, MA or Phd? no.

    So please understand this is not comparing a security guard with a security guard. The real comparison is the head of security for a corp to the guy at the gate. The avg USG worker is higher paid than the avg us private worker.

    For reasons that can be understood if explained rather than hidden. There is no better way to lie than to use statistics.

  • ER in EUR Belgrade, Serbia
    April 3, 2011 4:02 a.m.

    To "What in Tucket?"

    You quote a figure that is being pushed around, but is not even close to being true. Feds do not make $130K average. Not even close. A high estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis is around $81K.

    Now $81K is pretty good, right?

    That averages all workers even SanFran, NYC, DC and other high cost locales.

    The average Fed vs. avg US worker are made up of different peoples. The fed is predominately more white-collar, more educated and of a higher age (higher pay for more experience).

    Lower-skilled jobs are contracted out, thus skewing the average. Blue collar jobs make up only 9.9% of the direct-hire USG workforce.

    Now competition for these higher educated, older (those focused on retirement) and more skilled and management focused workers can be fierce. Here is where the workers' wages diverge. The pay for these workers, these specific workers is lower in the USG (apples to apples), so the USG gives them better benefits. So the comparison should not be to the average private worker, but against their apples to apples counterparts in Private. Result? Higher pay than avg private, lower than similar in private industry.

  • Johnadams1776 Provo, UT
    April 3, 2011 12:23 a.m.

    It is so interesting to see the hypocritical unions say that they are merely standing up to big corporation donations to political campaigns. In reality, unions far outspend corporate and personal donations to political candidates, particularly Dems. It is no wonder the unions are worried because the writing is in plain sight and it doesn't look good for these fools unions who have the mistaken belief that they merit treatment higher than a private sector employee.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    April 3, 2011 12:11 a.m.

    @What in Tucket?

    Whose study are you using to determine that federal workers AVERAGE $130K per year?

    I am a federal employee earning way above average, and my salary is $80,276 per year (GS-12, step 6). I also do highly technical work that should earn above minimum wage.

    I guess if you take the top salary and averge it with the bottom salary, you could come up with that amount. Kinda like a large multi-national corporation where the preseident earns $20,000,000 per year, and the guy sweeping the floor earns $18,000 per year. The average salary in that company would be over $10,000,000 per year.

    Is that how you came up with your conclusion, or was it from the oh-so-impartial Heritage Foundation?

    Oh, and I also belong to a union - a union with NO bargaining power and isn't tied to organized crime. That's my right and my money to contribute as I see fit.

  • SLars Provo, UT
    April 2, 2011 11:56 p.m.

    The union lost my support when they supported amnesty and stopped protecting American jobs. The union's played a vital part in getting the immigration laws enforced, and being the watchdogs of bad business until the 1980's. That's when it fell apart.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 2, 2011 11:44 p.m.

    So, all the usual left wing suspects showed up again, with their customary demands that taxpayers fork over more money and that union workers should be immune from the laws of economics.

    This is merely part of a carefully orchestrated national campaign trying to defy the reality that governments at all levels are broke, and that greedy unions have played a major role in driving costs up past productivity. Taxpayers can no longer afford to waste money on union demands, and they need to accept that.

    No public employee should be allowed to be in a union. None!

  • Lone Star Cougar Plano, TX
    April 2, 2011 11:29 p.m.

    Right to work states are growing at twice the rate as states that make the worker forced to belong to a union. Those union states are suffering badly while right to work states are getting along much better. Unions were once needed but not anymore. Unions are corrupt and many times tied up with organized crime. They also force their members to donate to political parties that the union member may not want to donate. You want to kill jobs and companies? Unionize it!

  • Ryan20 Provo, UT
    April 2, 2011 10:53 p.m.

    If you think labor unions contribute anything positive to society, you need to take an introductory economics course. Unions purposefully create labor market inefficiencies by driving up wages beyond their natural equilibrium. When firms, or state governments, are forced to pay more per worker, they hire fewer workers, driving up unemployment. This isn't my opinion, it's an economic law. If you look at unemployment rates and unionization rates between countries, the correlation is stunning. Despite the AFL-CIO's hand wringing about state governments slashing middle-class wages, its very existence has helped prolong every recession in the United States since its founding.

    Moreover, artificially driving up wages in the public sector doesn't actually help most middle class families, it increases their taxes; not everyone can suckle at the government utter. In every other industry, wage increases are tied to productivity gains, giving workers incentives to get more education, specialized skills, and become more efficient. None of those productive force are operative in heavily unionized state governments. The result is a bloated, ineffective state, and the creation of a permanent special interest that will fight tooth and nail to keep things that way.

  • El Chango Supremo Rexburg, ID
    April 2, 2011 10:52 p.m.

    Not sure why public employees need to be unionized...

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    April 2, 2011 10:21 p.m.

    Unions are dinosaurs. There are plenty of protective labor laws. Public unions yep we want to break them. They have a strangle hold on state legislatures and Congress. Democrats do not want to give up their bribes. The poor tax payer is being strangled by public unions. I don't object to fair pay, but an average $130,000 a year for Federal employees is fair?

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    April 2, 2011 9:54 p.m.

    Re: Where's Stockton ??? | 8:07 p.m. April 2, 2011

    Your suggestion just won't work here in Utah. We have the right to chose whether or not we want to belong to a union and have them take dues out of our paychecks.

    English is a second language for Walmart's biggest customers in our community and they do their shopping where prices are competitive.

  • CougarClassic Orem, UT
    April 2, 2011 9:41 p.m.

    I hope the d-news will allow my comment: I am a employee who is being harassed, hassled and forced to work with a boss who is bullying me because I would not go out on a date.

    The problem is I have no real proof, save my word only and accusations always need to be documented and witnessed. I have a witness, but she is afraid to come forth and lose her job as well.

    Can the Union help me?

  • Where's Stockton ??? Bowling Green, OH
    April 2, 2011 8:07 p.m.

    Carpenter's Local 1138 Toledo Ohio....we're with you as well...Now Everyone go to Walmart...get a cart...pull all that cheaply made Chinese stuff off the shelf and let them know that we want our American Companies back here on our own soil and their store filled with American made products manufactured by American citizens here in our own communities. Fill them carts and leave everyone of them at the cash registers. Keep doing it til they either get the message or close their doors. This is where we have to start if we are ever going to get our country back. Right now the Chinese own us and Walmart is the bigest single reason as to why.
    United we Stand