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Simplnomics for beginners..

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    Chet -- The problems about inequality, good paying jobs, and tax/economic policies in the global market place are very complex. There is no quick solution to solve the inequality problem largely because we have a segment of Congress (the so called Freedom Caucus) that has made the institution dysfunctional and refuses to even acknowledge that we have a problem.

    Having said that, my liberal friends and particularly union leadership, also seem to be out of touch with reality when it comes to adjusting to the market place and technology. I would rather see a much more collaborative relationship between unions and management like they have in Europe. In Germany unions have representation on the board of directors of major companies, so the unions have a better appreciation of the corporate risks and market trends and will likely be more accommodating to the proposals of management to remain competitive. It should not be "us versus them" as it seems to be in many of the union negotiations in America.

    I mentioned my former hometown of Butte Montana. ARCO pulled the plug on mining operations in the city when they could not reach an agreement with the union leadership. It might have eventually happened anyway because copper prices were down after the Vietnam war was over, but the adversarial relationship didn't help.

    Outside of mining and oil and gas, workers in manufacturing industries have also been hit by automation and the export of jobs overseas. I have written about this in my blog post, What is really happening to jobs in America? We can discuss if you like.

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    Unions unions in this country originated from abuse of workers . There is no precedent for co-operation. When I was a union officer I made a deal with the company about absenteeism. I said absentees caused a safety issue because it disrupted the workings of the crew. I got the mine to agree to a $500 gift plus a free dinner to reward attendance. The mine would monitor attendance and all the workers that did not miss a day in a month would be placed in a lottery pool. A name would be picked from that months pool and awarded the money and dinner. Shortly after the plan was instituted I was called to District 6 Headquarters. I was instructed to file a grievance to stop the plan. Headquarters said there would be no attendance plan outside of what was outlined in the contract. Unions are a result of an action and have no place in developing relations with a company outside of official contract negotiations. I am going to read your blog now.
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    Schmidt said:"I mentioned my former hometown of Butte Montana. ARCO pulled the plug on mining operations in the city when they could not reach an agreement with the union leadership. It might have eventually happened anyway because copper prices were down after the Vietnam war was over, but the adversarial relations".

    Chet: CONOCO bought Consolidated Coal in 1981. Oil company buying coal company. Similar to Atlantic Richfield in your area. Similar in my opinion that a large oil company has the ability to challenge mining unions.