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Posts Tagged ‘Human Resources’

Bye-Bye Unions, Hello Jobs!

OK, before I get the boo-hiss from all my fellow blogging  buds that are part of some kind union, hear me out.  On light of what is happening in Wisconsin I am going to take my day I dedicate my soap boxes to this subject. 

I have to say I have never worked for a company that had a union, but I have worked in corporate America private and non-profit.  I have also been on the giving end of “no more work for you, we are sending your job overseas or to Mexico because it is cheaper to make and we can’t compete.”  I have seen the hard “back-room” numbers that come with strategic planning and how much it costs to run a company and the burden rate of employees and I have to say unionized companies have an exceptionally high burden rate and the only thing I see that unions do now for the country is driving up the costs and putting certain politicians from certain political parties in office, thus the very “invested” interest politicians are having on this whole issue.

I have studied employment and ERISA law more than I want to  recall and this country does not need the collective bargaining and union protection of working and wage conditions.  Labor Law is strong and can hold and has proven it can hold up on its own well.  Just ask Wal-Mart about that.  

I once did a study on the burden rate of Toyota vs. GM and it was staggering the difference. Notice, Japan was not bailing out Toyota even in the recent recall crisis they had on sticky throttles.   Once while I was doing a wage/benefit analysis on positions that were the same as county/state employees as those of the non-profit I was working for, we could not compete.  It was nearly 15k 25k more in benefits and wages per position for the county/state employee and we wonder why the state of California is broke?

Now don’t get me wrong, I think that if a company/agency has been promising a person that has invested more than 18 plus years to a company for a solid pension and retirement plan, that needs to be honored – they don’t have time to contribute to a 401(k), they counted on that promise to survive .  But moving backwards the further down in years of service you go, the less benefits you get until all new hires are promised a solid wage, good work conditions, state law and reasonable benefits.  That would give time for people to regroup retirement planning.   In doing this, would  encourage companies to compete with each other and if the employees don’t like how they are treated they go to a company that does treat them better which puts the heat on the companies that don’t to do better or they fail. 

Oh, yes good old capitalism and at its finest!  I hope that the unions are done away with and that we can get competitive again and be the great nation that we are known to be. 

On a caveat, those that are true service workers for our communities, the soldier, the fireman, the cop, the nurse, the doctor, and the teacher, they need to be compensated above and beyond since they go above and beyond each and everyday making a HUGE investments into the communities present and future and I have no problem my tax paying monies go to them. They deserve rich benefit plans, not the guy that is pushing a button on a machine putting out widgets or a clerk pushing paper.  

Unions had its place and was very needed, but we evolved from that time.  We are in a society that is natural litigious and very employee friendly that they are not needed.  And for you that work for the union based organizations, ask yourself when was the last time they really did something for you except take a chunk out of your paycheck?

And on another note, these young teachers that are trying to build their careers that walked off the job site of educating young minds, who are they picketing for?  It appears they are not picketing for the kids, they are picketing for themselves and doing nothing to help get those kids educated right now in the present.  Get back in the class room and quit worrying about your benefits and teach, that is what the taxpayers are paying you for!

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Not my jeep, but looks exactly like it.

When I was in my mid- to- late twenties I was a Human Resources Manager and Payroll Manager for a large car dealership with several locations.  There were about 220 employees that ranged from sales, service techs,parts clerks, managers, office staff, etc.  We had a color of diversity in culture, personalities and management styles.  The one department I very much loved and appreciated was the Service and Parts Departments.  It was a man’s world and I tend to get along very well with men; I am not easily offended and I love practical jokes.  Every day I would check in with the various service departments and get my fix of off-color banter and practical jokes.  I was far from being a conventional Human Resource Manager, which I was told made me a good one (I think many in my field would debate that).

I had recently bought a brand new bright yellow Jeep Wrangler (that was the love of my life until I got pregnant and had to sell that for my beloved Volkswagen wagon – somewhere in Idaho that little yellow Jeep is playing in the snow.).  The first day I drove it to work a bunch of the service technicians and managers were standing in the service bay drinking coffee and one yelled out, “Did someone call a cab?”.  They did that everyday, thereafter, it never grew old to them.   As I was getting out of the car, one of the service managers starting giving me the business that I must have decided to change teams.  “Change teams?” , I asked.  He said,  “Yes, you decided to become a “lip stick” lesbian.” He continued with,  “Everyone knows that when an attractive single woman buys a Jeep that is their “coming  out” gift to themselves.”  I just rolled my eyes and laughed and finished his banter with famous Seinfeld line, “Not that there is anything wrong with that!.” 

A few days later I had happened to pull into the local health food store and a woman just pulled in right behind me and started up a very friendly conversation. Once inside she kept following me and talking and finally she blurted out that I was so beautiful and she just has to go out on a limb and see if I am seeing anyone.  Me, being naive, yet obviously knowing that she was on the opposite team the minute I met her, I thought she was asking because she had a brother or a male friend she wanted to set me up with.  I told her I was single and she said, “Great, would you like to go to dinner with me tomorrow,”  My head started spinning since I had never been picked up by a woman before. I turned a million shades red and fumbled all over myself trying to find the words to say,  “I am not gay,  but flattered by your invitation.”  The woman then proceeded to ask me if that was my Jeep I was driving.  I was a little confused what my Jeep had to do with this, but I told her it was.  She looked really confused and then rejected and quickly excused herself. 

The next day I went into work and told the two service managers about my adventure in the health food store and they were just rolling on the floor in tears holding their stomachs.  One of them said to me, “See, I told you, that Jeep is going to open doors to your rather boring dating life that you never knew existed.” 

Over the next two weeks I had four more similar experiences happen like at the health food store.  Every time I would go and tell the service managers about it and they would just be hysterical over it.  I was starting to think they were right.  Wow! I never knew the type of car you drove determined your sexual orientation.  It was a shame that I was not interested in women because my dating life would have been resurrected from the dead. 

A few days later I was leaving work early and it was the light of day.  I went to put a box of employee handbooks in the back of my Jeep and there I saw it; the answer of why all the advancements from the same-sex.  It was a thin rainbow bumper sticker that ran along the length of my bumper.  I never saw this before, I had not put anything in back of my jeep until that day, the way I parked at home never gave me the opportunity to see it and I never left work before sunset. 

The sticker looked very closely like this.

The minute I saw the sticker, I knew who the culprits were.  I peeled it off my bumper and headed into the service manager’s office. As I entered in the office with the sticker in hand they exploded into laughter and asked me what took me so long.  They told me that they put that on my Jeep the very frist week I bought it.   They said it was a riot to hear me come in and tell of my encounters and walk away so puzzled by how a car could be that impactful. Now it made sense why each woman looked utterly confused when I would tell them I was not gay.   Apparently, the whole service and part department were in on this joke and were highly amused.  I had to admit after all the practical jokes I was in on with other people, I had it coming to me and I too had a good laugh.  However, I did tell them to fasten their seatbelts, the karma from the lesbian community coming back to them was going to be really bad.

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