Oh, That Ain’t Workin’ . . . .

| December 23, 2013 | 22 Comments

What would you say if you heard about situations where employees could

  • be drunk (or be caught in possession) up to 3 times before getting fired
  • show up for work drunk up to 5 times before being fired
  • show up drunk at work, act lewdly and in complete violation of their profession’s ethics, and later be reinstated
  • not show up for the job for which hired, and still get paid
  • unlawfully share the personal information of coworkers for political purposes
  • make videos actively discouraging potential new employees from applying for work
  • hold unlawful secret meetings

Me?  I’d say:  “Look for the Union label . . . . “

Yeah, there’s a reason unions are dead set against right-to-work laws, and loves those union shops.  It’s called “riding the gravy train.”



(Hat tip to watchdog.org for the above.  One correction to their article:  their link to the reinstatement story is broken due to a typo.  Here’s the correct link to the reinstatement story.)

Category: Dumbass Bullshit, Unions

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  1. One of the grossest misuse of Union privilege that I saw was when, in 1975, one of the drivers at the freight company I was employed by, fell out of his truck cab, (at 10AM), dead drunk. The terminal manager fired him on the spot.
    Next morning the fired driver, the union steward, and the local’s business agent had the terminal manager on the carpet and forced his rehire.
    He was supposed to have been given a verbal warning first, then next offense a written warning, next offense a one day suspension, and then finally a firing after a hearing. How many lives would be put in jeopardy in that time frame?

  2. UpNorth says:

    Then there were the Chrysler workers who were video’d while on their lunch break, drinking 40oz’ers and smokin’ a little weed, or crack. An arbitrator gave them their jobs back. http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2012/12/judge-rules-to-reinstate-chrysler-workers-fired-for-drinking-on-the-job.html
    Be sure to check Chrysler’s statement, and their desire to build “quality products that will firmly establish Chrysler Group’s position in the marketplace”. Yeah, I’m sure that those guys will produce quality products. Just don’t buy one that was built after their lunch break.

  3. joseph says:

    sorry bro I am retired ibew and none of the above is true anyplace I ever worked. bust out on a urine test, for either alcohol or drugs= no job anywhere until you have completed a rehab program. don’t show up for work don’t get paid. two no shows = no job. never played the political b.s. game. as for discouraging potential new hires never saw that as we try to organize all workers in the electrical industry. az is a right to work state so the main difference between organized and unorganized workers is that we get a pension upon retirement, plus we get better and more consistant medical benefits while employed, I do not kn ow where you got your info but I never saw any of that anyplace I ever worked after 30+ years in the trade. sounds like some company b.s. against a union organizing campaign?

  4. gitarcarver says:

    My dad once fired a guy for stealing money while counting daily receipts from buses.

    The union found a doctor that said the guy was a kleptomaniac and the company was forced to re-hire him with the provision that he could not work around money. The company transferred him to “customer service,” where he answered phones on bus routes, schedules, etc.

    He stole office supplies in that job.

    The union once again said the company could not fire him as he had a medical disease.

    The company eventually put him in a room with a desk and chair bolted to the floor as well as a phone bolted to the desk – all to prevent him from stealing anything. Of course, he couldn’t do any work, so for a year he sat in the room.

    Finally, my dad got a call from another company asking about the guy as he had applied for a job their.

    The union contract prevented dad from notifying the new company of the illegal actions of the guy, so dad verified his dates of employment and didn’t answer any questions.

    The guy resigned and that was the end of it as far as dad was concerned.

    So you had a thief, who stole multiple times, who could not be fired and a new company could not be warned of the guy’s actions.

  5. Ex-PH2 says:

    I worked at a company that had union workers once upon a time.

    I was there 6 weeks, the union members went on strike over something ridiculous, and the union workers wouldn’t let the customers enter the parking lot.

    The company lost so much business it had to close its doors.

    I really hate unions, just for that.

  6. Eagle Keeper says:

    Everyone’s got their religion. For some it’s The Union. For others, it’s The Military.

  7. Eagle Keeper says:

    (Now I’m gonna hear “Money for Nothin’” rattling around my head, at least until I can get out to the stores and get it replaced with Frosty the Snowman … And I LIKE “Money for Nothin’” …)

  8. Medic09 says:

    There are still places where the union is the last bastion of responsibility in the workplace. Our local hospital is one. When I worked in the ER, I estimate that maybe40% were union members. No one bothered the non members, and their rights were protected by the union same as if they paid dues. They couldn’t vote on contract issues without membership. I was not a member.

    When the hospital was taken over by a big corporation, they started cutting staffing and taking other steps that clinical staff all agreed were not good for patient safety and care. That’s when I realized how necessary a unified voice is in our locale. There was no way to fight the corporation without a union. I joined.

    Somewhere else I still might not join. I certainly don’t like the many abuses we see. But I learned that where we live now, the union really is necessary.

  9. Eagle Keeper says:

    Dad was a pipefitter in Cleveland. The Union was his religion. Seems to be the same thing for my brother, who’s a fire captain. It’s sad that b/c of managerial abuses and etc., the relationship between labor and mgmt has to be adversarial.

    I worked for Allied-Signal/Honeywell for 22+ years. It was mostly a good place to work — decent wages and bennies. There was one occasion where corporate tried to screw us out of accrued vacation with a change in vacation policy, but we howled (and scores joined a lawsuit, asking for triple damages under AZ law) — and corporate blinked. (And when they eventually came back to change the vacation policy a few years later, they PROTECTED our accrued time.)

    All of which is to say, in MY experience, mgmt/corporate might have been crooks, but I’ve seen too many examples that showed me the union officers were also crooks. So the couple of times we had a unionization vote, I joined the majority both times in voting NO. Why worry about having to keep my eye on TWO crooks?

  10. OWB says:

    All some of us are asking is that people not be forced to join a union. Choice. It’s a good thing.

    Very glad that it worked out for you, Medico9. All I hear are the reverse of that, so am biased against union membership. Still, it has never bothered me if others want to belong to one. Until they start telling others what we can and cannot do, violate laws, throw their weight around when it makes no sense to do so, etc. I had an employee a few years ago who left Detroit, and a very lucrative union assembly job, over the absurd behavior of union members both on and off the job. Some folks just do not like being around drugs and alcohol on the line, apparently.

    That is the biggest difference between a right to work state and one which is not. Unions still exist, but some of the tactics they use to force people to comply with their wishes are diffused in right to work states.

  11. NHSparky says:

    Depends on the union/local/location. I’ve seen some pretty egregious stuff, but I’ve also been part of a union with a no alcohol/no drugs policy.

    Oh, and joseph? You don’t think the union tells you how to vote, etc., and checks up on that? I got a bridge to sell you.

    And yeah, I was IBEW at one time as well. Sell it to someone who hasn’t been there.

  12. Jacobite says:

    @ #3
    “sorry bro I am retired ibew and none of the above is true anyplace I ever worked”

    And ‘every place’ you ever worked is what fraction of 1% of all the union places a person could work?

    Sorry, I’m not a union fan by any stretch. The nice thing about Arizona, is when the unions get to uppity, the companies can simply replace em with people who are just happy to have a job, and understand that THEY don’t own the company. If you don’t like your company’s business or labor practices, find another company to work for.

  13. Flagwaver says:

    My only experience with a union was when I worked as a coordinator for a Driver’s Ed program for a community college. Their paperwork was so borked up that they were given a 6-month window to fix it by the state or lose their D.E. accreditation. So, they hired me. From my first paycheck, I was paying union dues.

    After three months, I fixed their entire system by turning it into a military-style paperwork system. Besides this, I wrote up a cheat-sheet for when I went on vacation so my system wouldn’t be messed up too badly. It was shortly after this that I was fired.

    The reason was complete B.S., but that’s okay. I had a union. When I called them, they told me that I was fired on the very last day of my probationary period and they couldn’t help me. When I asked them what I was paying union dues for, they told me it was so I could be represented by the union if there was an issue.

    The only good thing I was able to do was to “misplace” my cheat-sheet.

    A month later, I was called by one of my friends who worked in another office and told that they hired someone new who wasn’t a vet. Vets were paid more. Another two months after that, and I read in the newspaper that the college had its program shut down for non-compliance with State standards.

    Thinking about it still gives me warm fuzzies in my dark little heart.

  14. The Other Whitey says:

    I’m a union member, actually part of several unions at the department and state level, all of which are part of IAFF. I’m not a union nazi, but I see where unions have their place. To be honest, the only reason I joined was because of the chickenshit “fair share” policy: pay $125 a month and be represented, or they take $118 a month out of your pay and you get jack shit. I haven’t yet figured out how that’s not illegal…

    Unions were absolutely essential in many job fields back in the day, and did a lot of good for a lot of people. Today, however, things are much better for the average employee, and many unions try to justify their existence by making demands for “fair wages”, etc. that are downright greedy. Add in the corruption that’s widespread in many if not most of the country’s biggest unions. Stuff like union-only shops, intimidation, union presidents with private jets, political cronyism, you name it. Union bosses care only about maintaining their power and perks and could give a shit about the members they claim to represent. Excessive demands by private sector unions have been one of the main driving forces behind American companies outsourcing overseas. How’s that for sad irony?

    At the same time, a work force with no collective bargaining ability WILL get screwed. I have an uncle who was a sheriff’s deputy in Idaho until he recently medically retired from multiple cumulative injuries sustained on the job. He’s ten years shy of normal retirement and his injuries affect both quality of life and ability to work other jobs. But he gets no compensation for that, just his crappy pension.

    So we need right-to-work laws, and we also need unions. And we need them both in moderation. And many existing unions desperately need a colossal enema.

    As for my local union, aside from the dues issue they’re not too bad, but they need to make some improvements. They do a pretty goid job of representing you when you’re in trouble, and will usually tell you when you deserve to get hammered. They ALWAYS endorse Democrats, period. Even when that Democrat has a history of screwing firefighters and cops, and the Republican has done right by us. So we (members) tell them to kindly go fuck themselves when they tell us how to vote. This is probably a big reason why my department doesn’t have a “union culture” like you find in some places, despite having a high rate of union membership. Even most of our union reps aren’t true union nazis. We also don’t generally mistreat veterans, guardsmen, or reservists like some agencies do. There’s exceptions to that, since it’s a pretty big department, but those are exceptions, not the rule.

  15. Jacobite says:

    “Unions were absolutely essential in many job fields back in the day”

    I hear that one a lot, and you know what?

    No they weren’t.

    “OMG how can you say that!”

    Easy, it’s called ‘walk away’.

    The explanation would take longer than I currently have, but basically there isn’t an employer out there that isn’t a slave to two things, a willing labor force and an interested market. If he can’t find those two things, he’s out of business and someone who does it better has the opportunity to replace him. No need for unions, period.

  16. Eagle Keeper says:

    The late AZ congressman and talk radio philosopher Sam Steiger once posited something he came to call “Steiger’s Law.”

    Roughly: Political organizations eventually wind up spending more resources to maintain the organization (the careers, the status, the donations, etc.) than to work toward its stated goals. Or as another fellow once said, “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.”

    An example on our “side”: the NRA compromising on gun legislation with antigun restrictions, thus keeping the gun-grabbing bogeyman alive; or endorsing sorry, gun-rights-compromising, lower-NRA-rated Republican candidates (ahem JONKYL ahem) rather than higher-NRA-rated libertarians, thus further enriching the GOP at the expense of real gun-rights progress.

    And on their side: Jesse Jackson (claiming that discrimination is a still major problem in America). If he admits that discrimination is pretty much over, he has to get a REAL job.

    And labor unions.

    “Everything’s gotta be a CONFLICT, a FIGHT.”

    No it doesn’t.

  17. Eagle Keeper says:


    Except those “slaves to the labor force” had the money to hire men with Tommy guns. And the laborers were in essence “slaves” to the jobs, in order to care for their families. We can’t relate today, because we have it so good.

    But it wasn’t always this good.

  18. Jacobite says:

    Bull, there are places in this country right here, right now, that are just as bad.

    There is no such thing as a ‘slave to a job’ in this country, and there isn’t an example you can give me that will convince me differently.

    The men with Tommy guns can’t shoot you if you’re not there. See how that works? :)

    Now if you want to give me examples of people who have made pretty bad decisions regarding their lives, and they and their families are paying the price for it, sure, that exists, and it’s still not an excuse for ‘organized labor’. It’s not an example of ‘slave to a job’, it’s an example of ‘slave to stupidity’.

  19. Eagle Keeper says:

    I agree. I was talking about a century ago. Matewan and stuff like that.

  20. Just An Old Dog says:

    I worked at a shipyard joined a union, paid dues for 7 years. They never did a damn thing for anyone other then tell us to vote Democrat.

  21. Hondo says:

    The Other Whitey: that (“fair share” contributions in lieu of union dues) is legal because of an exemption contained in the National Labor Relations Act and upheld by the SCOTUS in Communications Workers of America v Beck (1988). That exemption allows Union Shops in locations that don’t have right-to-work laws. If someone opts not to join the union, per CWA v. Beck they have to pony up a “representation fee”.

    Theoretically that representation fee is no more than union dues less (theoretically) any portion for political activities. Good luck on the last if you try it.

    IMO unions lost their reason for existing some 50 years ago with the dramatic increase of Federal regulation of and involvement in labor matters since passage of the Taft-Hartley Act. They’re now IMO generally little more than a strongarm racket and a political party adjunct.

  22. NHSparky says:

    @20–excellent example of which is Che-Pelosi. Jeb Bradley fought tooth and nail to keep Portsmouth NSY open, and it missed the axe. His thanks? The unions supported Shea-Porter because she was the Dem.

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