I guess a half a loaf is better than none - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15257527
“I know that many in Congress shared my reluctance to override the union ratification procedures,” Mr. Biden said in a statement after the vote. “But in this case, the consequences of a shutdown were just too great for working families all across the country.”

The action came a day after the House overwhelmingly approved the measure, which would force the companies and their workers to abide by the tentative agreement reached in September. That deal includes a 24-percent increase in wages over five years, more schedule flexibility and one additional paid day off. Several rail unions had rejected it because it lacked paid sick leave.

Senate Democrats, under pressure from progressives to insist on the additional compensated time off for workers, tried and failed to push through a House-passed measure to add seven days of paid medical leave to the agreement. It was defeated 52 to 43, failing to secure the necessary 60 votes needed to pass and prompting multiple liberal senators to oppose the agreement altogether."
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/01/us/p ... trike.html

I don't like it, either. But I know enough Union history to know that there will be another day, another fight.
#15257697
late wrote:I guess half a load is better than none
I don't like it, either. But I know enough Union history to know that there will be another day, another fight.

What this was was a bill to crush the union's bargaining power and prevent their strike.

The railroad had already been willing to agree to give them most of what they wanted, but the union was stubborn and was trying to hold out to get more paid sick leave. And they were willing to carry out a strike to get that.

Biden sort of shot the union down and forced their hand for the greater good of the national economy.

Biden would have tried to get more concessions to the union in the bill, but would not have been able to get that through Congress. So a compromise was forced, for the good of everyone.

late wrote:“I know that many in Congress shared my reluctance to override the union ratification procedures,” Mr. Biden said in a statement after the vote. “But in this case, the consequences of a shutdown were just too great for working families all across the country.”

Ironically it was easier to get Republicans on board with Biden's policy than to get many of Biden's progressive supporters.
The support and opposition to this bill did not exist simply along the usual partisan lines.
Both Conservative Libertarians (the type who are seen as "radical extremists" by the Left) and several of the "power to the people" types on the Left, who support worker's collective action, opposed this.

Of course many Republicans were happy to support any bill crushing the unions, while many Democrats are less enthusiastically supportive of workers unions when it is going to go against the government. And of course Democrats are now at the last moment trying to do anything to prop the economy up because an election is approaching, and price increases have been the main complaint people have had against them.

The media won't be reporting much about this, because on the Republican side half of them agree with this, and on the Democrat side they do not want to make the President who belongs to their party look bad in the eyes of their own voters.

I will guess that a news organization like NPR might give it some more attention, however. They are Left-leaning but have intellectual integrity, being idealists.
#15257718
Puffer Fish wrote:
What this was was a bill to crush the union's bargaining power and prevent their strike.

The railroad had already been willing to agree to give them most of what they wanted, but the union was stubborn and was trying to hold out to get more paid sick leave. And they were willing to carry out a strike to get that.

Biden sort of shot the union down and forced their hand for the greater good of the national economy.

Biden would have tried to get more concessions to the union in the bill, but would not have been able to get that through Congress.



Suddenly you're a *Biden* supporter, PF -- ?


Puffer Fish wrote:
So a compromise was forced, for the good of everyone.



I thought you said the workers wanted to *strike* -- wouldn't they have more *bargaining power* if they actually *strike* -- ?


Puffer Fish wrote:
Ironically it was easier to get Republicans on board with Biden's policy than to get many of Biden's progressive supporters.
The support and opposition to this bill did not exist simply along the usual partisan lines.
Both Conservative Libertarians (the type who are seen as "radical extremists" by the Left) and several of the "power to the people" types on the Left, who support worker's collective action, opposed this.

Of course many Republicans were happy to support any bill crushing the unions, while many Democrats are less enthusiastically supportive of workers unions when it is going to go against the government. And of course Democrats are now at the last moment trying to do anything to prop the economy up because an election is approaching, and price increases have been the main complaint people have had against them.

The media won't be reporting much about this, because on the Republican side half of them agree with this, and on the Democrat side they do not want to make the President who belongs to their party look bad in the eyes of their own voters.

I will guess that a news organization like NPR might give it some more attention, however. They are Left-leaning but have intellectual integrity, being idealists.
#15257745
I keep thinking if they won't even extend sick days to such an important industry, why should anyone expect significant reforms in healthcare for workers as a whole without strong arming representatives against lobby groups.

We don't need sympathetic words, we need results. A supposedly prolabor president not moving to meet such minimal requests.

The refusal to work of labor is it's strongest leverage and hence why it is resorted to and not for unreasonable demands here but basic ones. The bosses are the ones refusing to concede and out the economy at risk. If one finds the barest of workers rights as unreasonable then of course one sees it as a significant inconvenience and threat by the rail workers. But an attack on them is an attack on workers rights in general, a disregard for them.
#15257752
Wellsy wrote:
I keep thinking if they won't even extend sick days to such an important industry, why should anyone expect significant reforms in healthcare for workers as a whole without strong arming representatives against lobby groups.

We don't need sympathetic words, we need results. A supposedly prolabor president not moving to meet such minimal requests.

The refusal to work of labor is it's strongest leverage and hence why it is resorted to and not for unreasonable demands here but basic ones. The bosses are the ones refusing to concede and out the economy at risk. If one finds the barest of workers rights as unreasonable then of course one sees it as a significant inconvenience and threat by the rail workers. But an attack on them is an attack on workers rights in general, a disregard for them.



Politics is the art of the possible.
#15257753
late wrote:Politics is the art of the possible.

And what one considers worthwhile or possible is of course different. Hence the joke that there can be monryproduced for bailouts and foreign military support but not so readily available for domestic supports.
Somethings are foreclosed as possible in some ways of thinking so they must be broken open and made possible through an intervention of a different group. It's not so much is something possible but what one is willing to pursue, what is important enough.

The state tends to conservative answers as it's not for big change and big dreamers struggle to create bog changes outside of exceptional circumstances and tenacity.

But there is hopefulness in an increase in strikes and unionization across the US since covid. A lot of workers are flexing a bit more and class warfare is becoming a bit more explicit than it once was.
#15257766
Wellsy wrote:
And what one considers worthwhile or possible is of course different. Hence the joke that there can be monryproduced for bailouts and foreign military support but not so readily available for domestic supports.
Somethings are foreclosed as possible in some ways of thinking so they must be broken open and made possible through an intervention of a different group. It's not so much is something possible but what one is willing to pursue, what is important enough.

The state tends to conservative answers as it's not for big change and big dreamers struggle to create bog changes outside of exceptional circumstances and tenacity.

But there is hopefulness in an increase in strikes and unionization across the US since covid. A lot of workers are flexing a bit more and class warfare is becoming a bit more explicit than it once was.



Republicans are feral.

The votes were simply not there. Republicans started strip mining Americans in the 1980s, the Reagan years. While the American rich will always want to rob you to death, what has changed is the demographics. There are more jobs than workers, and that gives workers clout.

Finally.

But these things take time, the raping of the little guy has been going on for 40 years. It will take time, and more Progressives; to turn this around.
#15257768
late wrote:Republicans are feral.

The votes were simply not there. Republicans started strip mining Americans in the 1980s, the Reagan years. While the American rich will always want to rob you to death, what has changed is the demographics. There are more jobs than workers, and that gives workers clout.

Finally.

But these things take time, the raping of the little guy has been going on for 40 years. It will take time, and more Progressives; to turn this around.

My impression is that the increase in progressives and so I will only occur to the extent that the public itself is organized into increasingly leftist lines. You can't get politicians to push things on their own without enough of the public behind them.
Of course representatives can still be limited and not best reflect the interests of some demographics, but I find it hard to imagine say a center left labour party in my home country Audtralia able to achieve much without the public’s and unions support behind them.
#15257769
late wrote:
Republicans are feral.

The votes were simply not there. Republicans started strip mining Americans in the 1980s, the Reagan years. While the American rich will always want to rob you to death, what has changed is the demographics. There are more jobs than workers, and that gives workers clout.

Finally.

But these things take time, the raping of the little guy has been going on for 40 years. It will take time, and more Progressives; to turn this around.



So, according to you, we've been 'waiting' for 40 years for the balance of supply-and-demand to demographically (or whatever) tip in favor of *workers*, for a change -- ?

We're all supposed to be at the behest of some economics 'Invisible Hand' as it suffers *mood swings* -- ?

And, in the future, our lives should be better or worse according to the vicissitudes of this supply-and-demand over *demographics* -- ?
#15257770
Wellsy wrote:
You can't get politicians to push things on their own without enough of the public behind them.



Apparently we're a lot more corrupt than your government. If you're rich enough, you can buy enough politicians to usually get what you want.
#15257772
ckaihatsu wrote:
So, according to you, we've been 'waiting' for 40 years for the balance of supply-and-demand to demographically (or whatever) tip in favor of *workers*, for a change -- ?



I wouldn't say waiting.

But sure, "small changes in demographics make for big changes in behavior".

Btw, a small change in demographics in the Sixties was the root cause of the 'sexual revolution'. Yes, the Pill and other things contributed. But, fundamentally, it was the girls of the peak Boomer years chasing the much small cadre of males that were a little older than them. Supply and demand...

And to answer the obvious question, it's one of the reasons my handle is 'late'. I largely missed it. Even worse, I applied to a couple colleges like Vassar, which were admitting males for the first time, and didn't get in.

Oh, the troubles I have seen. ;)
#15257775
late wrote:
I wouldn't say waiting.

But sure, "small changes in demographics make for big changes in behavior".

Btw, a small change in demographics in the Sixties was the root cause of the 'sexual revolution'. Yes, the Pill and other things contributed. But, fundamentally, it was the girls of the peak Boomer years chasing the much small cadre of males that were a little older than them. Supply and demand...

And to answer the obvious question, it's one of the reasons my handle is 'late'. I largely missed it. Even worse, I applied to a couple colleges like Vassar, which were admitting males for the first time, and didn't get in.

Oh, the troubles I have seen. ;)



Sounds rough. I wouldn't want to see *home movies* of it, though.


= D


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portnoy%27s_Complaint
#15257812
ckaihatsu wrote:I thought you said the workers wanted to *strike* -- wouldn't they have more *bargaining power* if they actually *strike* -- ?

I think you're getting confused about what I was saying.

I don't understand what you think I was saying, so it's difficult to reply to your comment.


I do not really know for sure if the union would have been able to get more concessions out of the railroad if they had carried out the strike. I would guess probably yes, but it would hurt the workers a lot. I do not know if the workers would have overall benefited. The planned strike might have just been out of stubbornness, the union thought the railroad was taking advantage of them.

I don't think Biden was able to really win any concessions for the workers by this forced compromise. All of those stipulations the workers got were already things the railroad had told the union they would be willing to agree to.

(Maybe I am wrong about that? Someone can correct me)
#15257814
Wellsy wrote:I keep thinking if they won't even extend sick days to such an important industry, why should anyone expect significant reforms in healthcare for workers as a whole without strong arming representatives against lobby groups.

The workers can take sick days. They just will not be paid for those days they are not working.
I think that's what this was about.

It was a small thing the union was asking for that the railroad would not agree to, but the union had already asked for other things that the railroad had agreed to. The railroad probably thought it was too much, since they had already been willing to agree to those other things, to also, on top of that, be willing to pay workers for (additional) days they were not working.
#15257819
Puffer Fish wrote:
I think you're getting confused about what I was saying.

I don't understand what you think I was saying, so it's difficult to reply to your comment.


I do not really know for sure if the union would have been able to get more concessions out of the railroad if they had carried out the strike. I would guess probably yes, but it would hurt the workers a lot. I do not know if the workers would have overall benefited. The planned strike might have just been out of stubbornness, the union thought the railroad was taking advantage of them.

I don't think Biden was able to really win any concessions for the workers by this forced compromise. All of those stipulations the workers got were already things the railroad had told the union they would be willing to agree to.

(Maybe I am wrong about that? Someone can correct me)



Perhaps this will all wind-up being *academic* in the context of real-world developments, but for the sake of argument it boils-down to *supply-and-demand*, right -- ?

I liken it to the consumer-tech dynamic, parenthetically, in that the longer one can hold-out (as a consumer) from *purchasing* the latest desirable tech toy, the more *bargaining power* they have, implicitly. Less demand overall means prices have to *decrease* to be competitive / 'chase-after' fewer dollars.

Likewise the longer the railroaders can *hold out*, *independently*, the more collective bargaining power they have as a collective of same-industry, like-employed coworkers.
#15257862
I'm not sure where I stand on this issue.
I side with the workers mostly. IMHO, the RR corps are just being greedy in not adding more workers to cover for those who get sick.
OTOH, a national RR strike, that shuts down almost all rail traffic, would be a disaster for all Americans.
Truckers can't keep up with the demand now, so they will not be able to carry more during a strike.
It doesn't surprise me, in the least, what the final result was.

The workers should consider a 1-day national general strike to show their power. At least, if they have that much power. If they don't have enough power, they need to find a way to get that much power. Maybe, a recurring 1-day general strike.

I have not seen much coverage of the 3 main reasons why there are more jobs than willing workers. They (not in order) are:
1] Mothers are taking care of their kids at home. Federal aid to pay for most of child care would allow them to get jobs. But, somehow the corps. can't see this; or they can't get their lackeys in the Repud Party to spend the Gov. money to do that. IMHO, most working families can't afford to raise 1 child, because child care costs too much to let the mother keep working.
2] Many workers are not working because they died from covid.
3] More workers than that can't work because they are sick with long covid. YMMV on this one.
.
#15257873
Steve_American wrote:I side with the workers mostly. IMHO, the RR corps are just being greedy in not adding more workers to cover for those who get sick.

I'm not so sure. The railroads are not as profitable as they once were 50 or 60 years ago. There have been many railroads that have gone out of operation. You can read about how the railroads are in trouble right now.

You can read this Times article: https://time.com/6213399/railroad-strike-impact-trains/

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