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Philadelphia Transit Union Strike

 
 
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 06:36 pm
@maporsche,
You said you would fire them all, rehire and add more service. I'm not saying it couldn't be done, I'm saying in the end, you'll be running at pretty much the same cost.
If you paid those low wages, you would have a continuous revolving door. Training cost 3 times more than actual work.
You're paying two wages for training and the job still isn't getting done and won't be for 6 weeks. If for every person you hire, you're letting one go because they can get a better paying job... How are you saving money? Isn't it better to pay people more, keep them around and hire only when the demand is there?
I'm going to guess and say you've never actually run a business.
This formula doesn't change. I ran bars for years before I was hired by the city. Bottom line a revolving door hurts no matter where you work.
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 06:48 pm
@Ceili,
I currently run a small department where I make hire/fire and salary decisions all the time. I understand exactly what you are saying. I'm not proposing that we pay these guys $7/hr; I realize all those costs you speak of exist and I'm still CERTAIN that you can find well qualified, quality employees who will maintain a high length of employment for less than you are paying these guys.

And let's not forget, these guys have the nerve to walk out on their jobs and demand something that no one else in the country is getting right now, and it's not like these guys are underpaid.
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 07:02 pm
The paramedics in this province walked out in January. They are a core service so they couldn't not do their jobs, but did some funky on demand stuff.
I'm not exactly sure why they called it a strike, even though the picketed and all, they were still on the job.
They asked for a huge raise, something akin to 27% to bring their wages on par with the police, which force I'm not sure as there are 10 cities in the Vancouver area alone, not all have their own forces some use the Mounties.
Anywho... They were just ordered back by the provincial government. A lot of people were stunned they had asked for so much, many would have gladly given them the raise. I didn't. They make $90,000 a year as it was. They were offered a 4% increase and a $4800 incentive/signing bonus in May and they turned it down. Stupid.
Now, they have no more than they had when this began 10 months ago and they missed the bonus, in this economic climate. Unbelievable.
3 - 4% is reasonable. It is the standard/contract raise for most municipalities/governments here. It is based on cost of living expenses. Whether or not the United States government agrees or not, costs have and will continue to rise.
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 07:13 pm
@Ceili,
Ceili wrote:

Whether or not the United States government agrees or not, costs have and will continue to rise.


Those paramedics do sound stupid.

Regarding COLI, I'm fine with standard COLI tied to inflation or some widely accepted calculation.

In 2009 though, I agree with our government, I don't think many things are more expensive this year than last year. Healthcare probably, but these workers and the people on Medicare don't have to worry about those costs. But other than that, what else has gone up (besides the price of gold)?
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Nov, 2009 07:28 pm
@maporsche,
Up here, nothing's gone down. Our provincial government introduced a carbon tax last year and this year they're about to add another. They are combining the provincial sales tax and the federal goods and service tax into what they are calling the HST, @ 11%.
Gas is still way more expensive up here. I think we in Van pay the highest in the country, right now it's 109.9 per/litre. I can't do the math/conversion into American, sorry.
My cable/telephone/internet bill goes up every three months, regardless. Groceries are way more expensive here than in the States, because we import so much.
Housing prices did lower but have climbed up higher than the boom, partially because of the olympics. Mind you, my home in Edmonton during height of the market could have sold for 420,000, it fell to below 300,000 but it started to climb again.
Rent has never been lowered, neither has electricity.
So I'm not sure where governments get there figures, because the Canadian government has said the same. i think because it saves them having to up Welfare, unemployment, pension et al.


0 Replies
 
hamburgboy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Nov, 2009 10:55 am
@maporsche,
Quote:
I am CERTAIN that the city of Philadelphia can find employees that meet ALL of the standards of the CURRENT employees, at a lower wage.


that's quite some definite statement imo .
what makes you CERTAIN that philly can find " fully qualified " employees at a lower rate ?
has a reliable study been published ?

and just an aside , should the aim of wage administration really be to drive everyone down to the lowest level ?

personally , i don't like strikes .
imo the parties should be forced ( by legislation ) to review their contracts annually under the supervision of arbitrators .
i don't understand why "reasonable people" can't come up with reasonable agreements .
perhaps we do live in a "dog-eat-dog" world after all .
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Thu 5 Nov, 2009 10:56 am
@hamburgboy,
Quote:

and just an aside , should the aim of wage administration really be to drive everyone down to the lowest level ?


To the free marketers, yes. It reflects their worldview that some are far better than others, and those that are, deserve more.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Nov, 2009 11:05 am
@hamburgboy,
hamburgboy wrote:

Quote:
I am CERTAIN that the city of Philadelphia can find employees that meet ALL of the standards of the CURRENT employees, at a lower wage.


that's quite some definite statement imo .
what makes you CERTAIN that philly can find " fully qualified " employees at a lower rate ?
has a reliable study been published ?


Not that I'm aware of; but the fact that there are millions upon millions of people unemployed right now and we're talking about only 5000 transit workers; I'm certain that there are at least 5000 other people in Philly (out of the hundreds of thousands there w/o jobs) who would be qualified and willing to do this job at a lower wage than the current crop is receiving.

Quote:

and just an aside , should the aim of wage administration really be to drive everyone down to the lowest level ?


To the lowest level (above the minimum wage) that allows the busines to find qualified employees and keep turnover low? Yes, I think that should be the goal. Keeping costs down, especially in government or government subsidized industries, should be a priority of everyone. This allows programs like mass-transit to expand to areas where there is less money to support them. This is the most efficient process.

Quote:

personally , i don't like strikes .
imo the parties should be forced ( by legislation ) to review their contracts annually under the supervision of arbitrators .
i don't understand why "reasonable people" can't come up with reasonable agreements .
perhaps we do live in a "dog-eat-dog" world after all .


It does look that way. This union is trying to do to the mass-transit program in Philly, what the auto unions have done to our domestic auto companies; bankrupt them.
hamburgboy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Nov, 2009 11:18 am
@maporsche,
Quote:
This union is trying to do to the mass-transit program in Philly, what the auto unions have done to our domestic auto companies; bankrupt them.


we've chewed this over many times .
THE MANAGEMENT of the BIG 3 dictated what cars would be built - not the unions .
the big 3 lost money produces cars that not enough customers were willing to buy . so the public purse - including union members - have had to bail them out .

what should the union members have done ? should they have refused to build the cars that G.M. managament put on the production schedule ?

it's interesting to me that ( finally )at least some u.s. built cars get good initial responses from car testers !
why took it so long to design and build cars that consumers actually appreciate ?
( of course , this does belong in a different thread ) .
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Nov, 2009 11:22 am
@hamburgboy,
We have been over this; and there is another thread for this topic.

But you need to take the price of the car into account.

The big 3 lost money producing cars that not enough customers were willing to buy .... at the price that the big 3 had to charge to make a profit.

This price was dictated, in no small part, by the strong arm tactics and legacy costs agreed to by the union and management.
0 Replies
 
 

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