Doing that which the UAW won’t

You’d figure that something as simple as “Cake or Death” would be an easy choice for anyone.

Several ferry worker unions decided to forego their awarded pay raises for the year. The alternative was layoffs. Forced to choose between the two options, the workers decided to keep their jobs.

The decision by the ferry worker unions stands in stark contrast to four other unions, which are suing the governor in an attempt to get their pay increases and avoid layoffs -– a tactic described as “ill-timed greed.” At least the ferry unions recognize economic reality when they see it.

I mean, really. How tough is it to figure out “lights on and food in the fridge vs. dark and hungry” (aka: “paycheck vs. no paycheck”).

Especially when it’s a Washington State Ferry worker paycheck.

As an aside, why didn’t anyone mention what this decision would mean for the 189 union-represented ferry employees who have made more than $100,000 in a year? Are they going to be able to make it in this tough economy with six-figure salaries and no pay increases?

Yeah, that would be a real tough decision there if it were me.

(FYI: my employer has already informed my co-workers and I that we’re most likely not going to get a raise this year. After last year’s raise and watching the layoffs around the industry, I’m OK with that.)

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2 Responses to Doing that which the UAW won’t

  1. Joe Huffman says:

    No merit raises at Microsoft this year either.

  2. TheGunGeek says:

    Way back when I lived in Michigan, GM gave the workers a choice of taking a pay cut of X% or letting X% of the workers go. The union members voted and were very highly in favor of taking the pay cut. The UAW crunched the numbers and discovered that they would take in less money with the pay cut plan, so they voided the vote and signed a contract for letting workers get the axe.

    The union members actually had to take the union to court to get it changed back to what they voted for.

    Now, I’m not saying that the ferry workers union did the same thing, but it is a possibility. Sometimes when a union says it’s doing something for the good of the workers, the reality is that it was just a happy coincidence that what was best for the union and what was best for the workers were one and the same. Since the best spin is always to say you’re looking out for your members, that’s what you tell the world.

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