People before pensions – do you really have “the right to work”?

29 Nov

My step-dad was a truck driver, he built the freeways we use everyday. He was an owner operator who drove his belly dumps mostly for Lindeman Brothers. He is one of the drivers that dug out “Teichert Ponds,” named after one of his favorite people, “Old Henry” Teichert.

Ironically, Lindeman Brothers was essentially driven out of business about 10 years ago by Teamsters and the California Prevailing Wage Law.  The 160 people left unemployed blamed the company for being “anti-union” – they should have looked in the mirror, they cut their own throats with their outrageous demands. Lindeman Brothers/Yuba Agregate was a family  business.

Mr. Lindeman and his wife, Ethel, used to come to our house, in West Sac, for chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes, at our crappy old dinette set. They were regular people, trying to keep a business afloat. My dad was one of their employees but they were never too good to have dinner with us.

My dad did not receive a “substandard” wage – in the 1970’s he was making about $22/hour. He used to say, “Sure, that sounds like a lot of money, but there ain’t much left after union dues.” 

My dad was a member of Teamsters, but he didn’t like it. I’m glad he didn’t live to see what Teamsters did to his old boss. He always told us he was forced to join, but we didn’t get that. He complained that his union dues cost him more per hour than tires for his 18-wheeler.  We thought unions were supposed  to protect the working man,  but coming from my dad it sounded more like a shakedown.

Now I get it. I read about “right to work” legislation. Apparently, Chico PD are not the only ones who are allowed to force employees who don’t want to be members of their union to pay dues anyway. This is the core of “right to work” legislation – how can that be legal? That’s a fucking shakedown. 

According to wikipedia, here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-to-work_law

A “right-to-work” law is a statute in the United States that prohibits union security agreements, or agreements between labor unions and employers, that govern the extent to which an established union can require employees’ membership, payment of union dues, or fees as a condition of employment, either before or after hiring. Right-to-work laws do not aim to provide general guarantee of employment to people seeking work, but rather are a government regulation of the contractual agreements between employers and labor unions that prevents them from excluding non-union workers,[1] or requiring employees to pay a fee to unions that have negotiated the labor contract all the employees work under.

How interesting. I think this subject needs more study. 

 

 

 

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6 Responses to “People before pensions – do you really have “the right to work”?”

  1. Lee November 29, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

    California Teachers Assoc./CUTA/NEA etc. require membership of all teachers. Dues payments are required, but if one chooses, dues may be paid to a charity of choice instead. Or so it was in the past.

    • Juanita Sumner November 30, 2014 at 6:32 am #

      Thanks so much for coming over.

      That charity exemption sounds old, I don’t think that would pass now. Sounds like a “good faith” thing. The laws are so strict yet confusing now, I’d want a lawyer to go over my contract before I signed.

      I’d like to see a modern contract from the teachers’ union, do you have any idea where I’d find it? I haven’t had any luck on local websites.

      • Lee November 30, 2014 at 9:46 pm #

        You might find some employment and remployment contracts in the Board Meeting minutes for BCOE, CUSD, or any district or LEA for that matter. Too, the “charity exemption”, is/was not really an exemption, but more of a redirection of the monies.

      • Juanita Sumner December 1, 2014 at 6:22 am #

        Thanks Lee, I will have to check that out.

  2. Michael Jones November 29, 2014 at 3:12 pm #

    I think I saw in the MOU that the City withholds the money from the employee and gives it directly to the union. And they usually then use some of the money to fund a PAC to elect City Councilors. This was the first year they didn’t, so that was a step in the right direction.

    • Juanita Sumner November 30, 2014 at 6:27 am #

      Thanks Michael.

      The cops haven’t turned in their last report – we’ll find out in February. That’s how they usually do it, give the money at the end, after the October reporting period. We’ll see who else did that in February. February!

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