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Thread: How will the union supporters spin the Hostess situation?

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    Quote Originally Posted by luvmylabs23139 View Post
    That point can be argued from both sides, but what about the fact that even if certain products (wonder bread and Twinkies for example) are made at the same bakery they had to be delivered to the retail locations on seperate trucks per the unions?
    Why send 2 trucks rather than one? Just from a fuel expense angle it is not a good business practice.
    Possibly there wasn't room on one truck to deliver the complete order of both items. One truck hauled the bread and the other hauled the twinkies. Quite possibly the loading doors for twinkies and bread were not the same for where the products were produced. Twinkies production could quite possibly be in an entirely different building. Logistically it may be more efficient to use 2 trucks to deliver at the same time, rather than have one truck make another trip back to the dock to pick up the remainder of the order.

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    Senior Member luvmylabs23139's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by murral stark View Post
    Possibly there wasn't room on one truck to deliver the complete order of both items. One truck hauled the bread and the other hauled the twinkies. Quite possibly the loading doors for twinkies and bread were not the same for where the products were produced. Twinkies production could quite possibly be in an entirely different building. Logistically it may be more efficient to use 2 trucks to deliver at the same time, rather than have one truck make another trip back to the dock to pick up the remainder of the order.
    Gotta love that liberal spin.
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    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by murral stark View Post
    Possibly there wasn't room on one truck to deliver the complete order of both items. One truck hauled the bread and the other hauled the twinkies. Quite possibly the loading doors for twinkies and bread were not the same for where the products were produced. Twinkies production could quite possibly be in an entirely different building. Logistically it may be more efficient to use 2 trucks to deliver at the same time, rather than have one truck make another trip back to the dock to pick up the remainder of the order.
    Another scenario: if one loaded Twinkies and bread to go to the same store, and you needed two trucks to do the whole load, it might prove more efficient, and result in fewer hours for each driver; and also less fuel for the trucks used.

    But, then, the union might not allow for the workers to be given less hours for the week. And other union rules might not allow those workers to be put to work at other jobs for which they were qualified to use up the newly available hours.

    We do forget that unions are not only involved with the wages and benefits, but often with complicated union rules that make it difficult to utilize worker time as efficiently as it might be if such rules did not interfere.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    Another scenario: if one loaded Twinkies and bread to go to the same store, and you needed two trucks to do the whole load, it might prove more efficient, and result in fewer hours for each driver; and also less fuel for the trucks used.

    But, then, the union might not allow for the workers to be given less hours for the week. And other union rules might not allow those workers to be put to work at other jobs for which they were qualified to use up the newly available hours.



    We do forget that unions are not only involved with the wages and benefits, but often with complicated union rules that make it difficult to utilize worker time as efficiently as it might be if such rules did not interfere.
    that would be a problem that should be addressed during the contract negotiations so the company has the right to operate the business and assign work in the most efficient manner.
    In my experience, it goes to the seniority topic. there is an old saying, "The oldest may, and the youngest must." Translation, the senior employee has to option to pick up the hours or turn them down. When it comes down to getting the job done, the least senior employee must pick up the hours. another term used is, "Low qualified operator". Meaning the company can force the lowest senior employee that is qualified to do the job, take the assignment to accomplish the task.
    Last edited by murral stark; 11-21-2012 at 06:30 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by luvmylabs23139 View Post
    Gotta love that liberal spin.
    that is not liberal spin. The shipping part I was talking about is something that I actually know how it functions. since that is what I do for my job. I also happen to work in a food production company and have been involved in the food industry for 25 years. this is one topic that I actually know something about.
    Last edited by murral stark; 11-21-2012 at 07:24 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by murral stark View Post
    that would be a problem that should be addressed during the contract negotiations so the company has the right to operate the business and assign work in the most efficient manner.
    That certainly would make sense, but it appears that it doesn't necessarily happen that way. Remember it took a very long time for the railways to phase out "firemen" by attrition. (The fellows who fed coal into the locomotive engines ... whose job was made absolete when the trains stopped running on coal.)

    Even today, auto workers who cannot be officially laid off, spend time getting paid for sitting in a room doing nothing. Surely there is SOMEthing constructive that these idle workers could do ... even if it meant some kind of volunteerism/public service, if the union would allow it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    That certainly would make sense, but it appears that it doesn't necessarily happen that way. Remember it took a very long time for the railways to phase out "firemen" by attrition. (The fellows who fed coal into the locomotive engines ... whose job was made absolete when the trains stopped running on coal.)

    Even today, auto workers who cannot be officially laid off, spend time getting paid for sitting in a room doing nothing. Surely there is SOMEthing constructive that these idle workers could do ... even if it meant some kind of volunteerism/public service, if the union would allow it.
    I can't speak to how the other industries operate in a union environment. I know in my industry that there is no sitting in a room getting paid to do nothing. There is a contractual amount of guaranteed hours. If there is not enough work there are 2 ways we handle it. We ask the employees if they want to waive their weekly guarantee and go home. If so, they sign a waiver form, witnessed by the shop steward and they get paid for the actual amount of hours they work that week. If they want to get their guaranteed hours, it is our responsiblilty as managers to find them work to keep them busy to get their hours. In my industry there is never a time that we can't find something for them to do. It may not be the most desirable task, but it is work that needs to be done. Cleaning, painting even transferring to another department to work.

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    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Murral, that makes sense.

    I had a client who worked for Lucent Technologies. He was in a maintenance position. When the company began to begin its descent into the toilet, and workers were being reduced, several workers were transferred from one dept to another. However, the union contract prevented that for those in maintenance. So, for one year, he and about 4 other workers, reported to their workplace to sleep (he worked the 3rd shift). They had absolutely nothing to do. They were bored silly, but the union rules would not permit them to do anything but their assigned job.

    So, sometimes things make sense ... and some times they are just wasteful.
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    I am pretty close to this situation. In fact, I know several guys who are on the creditors committee.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    Murral, that makes sense.

    I had a client who worked for Lucent Technologies. He was in a maintenance position. When the company began to begin its descent into the toilet, and workers were being reduced, several workers were transferred from one dept to another. However, the union contract prevented that for those in maintenance. So, for one year, he and about 4 other workers, reported to their workplace to sleep (he worked the 3rd shift). They had absolutely nothing to do. They were bored silly, but the union rules would not permit them to do anything but their assigned job.

    So, sometimes things make sense ... and some times they are just wasteful.
    You are absolutely correct. That is very wasteful and senseless. Stuff like that is what gives unions a bad name. I would think that if someone really wanted to push the issue, they could have given them option A and B. Option A would be to go work in another department as a production worker or Option B is that your position has been eliminated and your services are no longer needed. Grievances would be filed, but if the company stood their ground, and took it all the way to arbitration, most likely the company would win. Even with my union roots, that scenario you described is way out of control.

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