Unions

Topic 1638 | Page 3

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PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Disorganized mob with a short-term shelf life. They will end up fading away like the "Occupy Wall Street" rabble did. Blocking interstate commerce and general traffic will accomplish one thing for sure: The general public will continue to believe most truckers are morons. That group strengthens those opinions.

Interstate Commerce:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Kit's Comment
member avatar

Granted, a wildcat strike would be fairly indiscriminate in terms of who would end up in the cross hairs. Your point is also well taken when you say that satisfaction is about much more than just money. Ultimately, the strike should be aimed at lawmakers (and to some degree, the judiciary) who could insist that workers in the transportation industry work reasonable hours and still receive compensation that is more in line with their productivity. This could be done in any industry, but as Frederick Douglass said: "Power concedes nothing without a demand." Trucking is uniquely situated (and perhaps teaching) to forcefully apply the demand. If the cause is just, this demand can be made in good faith. It isn't necessary to assume that a bunch of wannabes are just b*tching because they can't be as successful as certain company drivers who make loads of money and work whatever hours they like (although this assessment may not be quite as realistic as some people may wish other people to think it is). It's sort of like the bootstraps people telling all of the less worthy workers to suck it up and try harder. That plays right into the hands of society's owners.

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There are two ways to get increased wages for drivers - laws or unions. No one is going to pass a law that says you have to pay truck drivers more money, and with such a fractured industry where 97% of all of the companies in the nation have fewer than 20 trucks how to you intend to unionize?

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Wildcat strikes don't necessarily need a union to execute, as some recent teachers strikes in red states have shown.

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What are the demands of the strike going to be? Who is it directed at? How is it going to increase wages permanently across the board for all drivers?

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Again, with wildcat strikes, maybe it’s better that the unions don't currently have a lot of pull in trucking. The most effective strikes, lately, all over the world, have been wildcat strikes--leaderless strikes--where everyone involved has one or two simple issues that they all agree on and they all know when they are being fed a pile of bull. That way, the leaders wouldn’t pull the trigger, the drivers would. Union leaders have become way too cozy with management over the years and have sold out the American public right and left (conservative, liberal, radical, and anyone else you can think of). Union leaders, for the most part, are not our friends. It's probably better if this movement stays loosely organized around a few key topics (overall pay, shipper and broker ethics, quality of life, and safety) and allows for the regular people who actually do this for their livelihood to call the shots. When considering a job action, use the Duck Test: If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck—it’s a duck . . . So instead of leaders calling the shots and negotiating behind closed doors, drivers can decide when to pull the trigger and, even more importantly, when to come back to work. Union leaders typically want to call things off way too soon.

If anyone in the discussions leading up the strike have an agenda, the most honorable agenda to have, always, is to advance the cause of rank-and-file workers. If a win-win with owners is impossible (and it isn't), then it would be better to sacrifice the needs of the wealthiest for the needs of those who actually produce something in society.

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"Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you're talking about, they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community." George Bailey ~It's a Wonderful Life

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Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Ultimately, the strike should be aimed at lawmakers (and to some degree, the judiciary) who could insist that workers in the transportation industry work reasonable hours and still receive compensation that is more in line with their productivity.

Neither the lawmakers nor the judiciary are going to ensure that truck drivers get what they feel are fair wages. They could reduce the amount of hours we can legally work, but they're not going to get involved in wage negotiations of any sort.

As far as this "Wildcat Strike," Owner operators are not workers, they're business owners. You keep saying how management is the problem and they need to give workers their fair share. Well owner operators don't play into that at all. They are the business owner. So I still don't get what they think they're going to accomplish with a strike. If it's about ELD's, that point is moot. We're never going back to paper logs. It's odd that they would even try to fight that.

The only thing you could do to get owner operators more money is go back to having the government regulate the freight prices, which seems completely unimaginable to me.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
If a win-win with owners is impossible (and it isn't), then it would be better to sacrifice the needs of the wealthiest for the needs of those who actually produce something in society.

Let's not forget two things:

1) You're still teetering awfully close to Socialism

2) Rich people do produce something in our society - jobs and the overwhelming amount of tax revenues.

Most people have this image of rich people being fat-cat do nothings who feed off the poor. The reality is that most wealthy people have outworked the poor people they now employ many times over. They didn't build that level of wealth being stupid or lazy. If you had busted your ass your entire life, educated yourself, lived with fantastic discipline, and took enormous risks building a huge business you would not be too happy if you were told you had to give most of it away to people who didn't work hard, didn't live with discipline, didn't educate themselves, and didn't take any risks.

Again, I do feel we need a better balance of funds between management and the workforce, but I also believe that the rich are in the position they're in because the overwhelming majority of them earned it by being smarter, more disciplined, harder working, and taking bigger risks.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

This is a country of opportunity and free-will. Not happy with your pay? Go into another field or company.

My father grew up in USSR communism. He had to bury his Bible in fear he would be caught with one. He didn't have a fraction of the opportunities me and my generation are blessed with. Make the most of it because just being born in this country you're already way ahead. Redistributing wealth from people who are more wealthy and took more risks in their life isn't a solution to your problems.

We make a lot of excuses in this country. Like my dad said to me many times with a dead serious tone; "I didn't risk my life to come here so you can slack off or make excuses!"

Old School's Comment
member avatar

I just don't understand why all the "Black Smoke Matters" drivers aren't clamoring to get into those $140,000 dollar mining jobs. If the wages there were forced into existence by a shortage, perhaps they should put all this energy into meeting the demands of that shortage.

That would be far more logical than trying to force their illogical square pegged economic views into a round hole. Of course that doesn't give them the chance to puff out their chest and feel they really gave "the man" what he had coming. This very inconsequential movement is not really about better wages, but more about bragging rights and feeling good about themselves because they dare to be activists. Activism is good if it accomplishes something good. But ill-spent efforts, with no results but pride that you garnered five minutes of fame on YouTube, are completely wasted efforts with no honorable respect from those of us who are out here accomplishing our economic goals with each day's efforts.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

Trucking has allowed myself with a GED and no college to make 75k in my first year, this year should be as good or better.

I have been able to afford a vacation, tickets to any sporting event I want, I bought a classic pick up to that my father and myself are going to start restoring when it warms up a little. I plan on trying to buy a house this year, all thanks to trucking.

Enjoy your strike I'll toot the horn on my way past.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
This very inconsequential movement is not really about better wages, but more about bragging rights and feeling good about themselves because they dare to be activists.

An absolutely fantastic insight, as always. It's interesting because they also bought their trucks for bragging rights and to feel like "the man" in the first place. Buying one truck (or 10 trucks for that matter) makes no sense from an economic perspective. But if you want to give the impression that you're important and that you've accomplished something noteworthy then buying a truck is a great way to try to convince yourself and your friends of that.

So indeed there is no shortage of people who do things primarily for show and for bragging rights. They just like to kick up a lot of dust or ride around in something shiny they can call their own.

Kit's Comment
member avatar
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"Forty years ago, truckers formed one of the best paid and most politically powerful parts of the U.S. working class. Today, according to the Department of Labor, the average trucker makes about $40,000. In 1980, according to one industry analyst, the average trucker was, after adjusting for inflation, making the equivalent of more than $110,000 today."

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Yes, it's possible to work your way ahead of the pack. That's what we do. But at what cost? Is getting ahead of the other guy win-win or win-lose. It might even be lose-lose if you consider the context of how much less truckers get paid now, on average, than they did in 1980. Working your way ahead of all the others who are losing doesn't insure that you are a winner.

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"How do we build societies which prosper? Shall we do it through exploitation — or through liberation? Through subjugation and slavery, through hate and violence? Or shall we do it through equality, freedom, and justice?"

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https://eand.co/the-greatest-lesson-from-history-you-probably-never-learned-e73c861b9682

The point of the article quoted above is that it makes better economic senses, not just ethical sense, to work to build a society that rests on equality, freedom, and justice. If that clever business owner to which you are referring works hard and smart and is, perhaps, also lucky; then of course she or he might be peeved at having to give away all that prosperity to regular people who don't deserve it. The problem is that these bright people tend to figure out how to build moats around their success to keep out other (and future) bright people. It's like a King who resorts to murder because he was blessed with too many sons. There is also a stubborn insistence that people who are less bright, industrious, and lucky should not even have enough prosperity to lift themselves out of poverty, even though they are willing to work as many hours as others work. That's a pretty powerful judgment to be making on behalf of the rest of humanity.

As an aside, are we sure that job producers are worthy of praise simply because they produce jobs? Are not slave owners also job producers? My definition of slavery is removing a person from the benefits of her/his productivity. Job producers are great when the point of the jobs they create is mutual benefit. How many jobs in our times meet this criterion?

To get back to the point, one way these clever job-producing people could be induced to help society at large (although they may be peeved about it) is to make sure that a substantial percentage of their annual wealth (especially that above $10 million annually) goes to build roads, bridges, and rest stops with plenty of truck parking. Why should fuel taxes, tolls, and other forms of bleeding those who merely pilot the vessels of commerce be assessed to pay for these necessary items of our collective infrastructure? We are not punishing people for being clever. If they were truly clever, they would realize that such expenditures all will end up back in their own pockets. This is an economic phenomenon that escapes policy makers on all sides of the political spectrum.

By this same principle, it would make sense to raise shipping rates.

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"Following deregulation of the trucking industry in the late 1970s, during the Jimmy Carter administration, competition among truckers increased and compensation fell as commonly set rates went by the wayside. At the same time, the once legendary clout of truckers’ unions (the Teamsters, a name synonymous with union power, was originally a truckers’ union) began to disintegrate along with the political influence of unions throughout the country."

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http://amp.timeinc.net/time/money/4325164/trucking-worst-job?fbclid=IwAR0s7Ok09oGEV5pwPjJw-APj94fdPF-eDBBooklJrRZ3UbLaN0UMLFQjOZ8

Unpopular opinion: If deregulation led to a few people figuring out how to monopolize things, perhaps regulation is necessary to put regular people back into a decent standard of living. Should the clever job creators be allowed to starve the rest of us? If such an outcome is advisable, then the only way to do it is to take big money's influence out of politics and let the politicians do something other than serve as puppets to big money.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Kit, I had a little "Banty" rooster in my flock who used to kick up a lot of dust in the yard and had an air about himself that made him seem quite brilliant and dominant if you were merely an uninformed observer. But anyone who knew how the eggs got fertilized knew which rooster was really getting the job done.

You remind me of that little rooster who thought himself so important. You speak in platitudes. You do it so well that you've convinced yourself we need you to teach us something. I've got some news for ya. Those lofty ideas of yours may sound brilliant to your students, or some youngsters who've never accomplished anything on their own, but I've got a long list of accomplishments that recommend me to my employer, my fellow workers, and even my customers who oftentimes request me, by name, to be the person delivering their goods.

These arguments of yours are just like this nonproductive strike you're excited about. For us it's kicking up dust, bringing attention to yourselves, and will never move one simple stone toward building your utopian ideas. If you want to garner respect from hard working individuals like American truck drivers, you'll do it with results, not attention grabbing tactics.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

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