John Deere strike imminent?

jbhtexas

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Oct 20, 2006
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Deere's real problem is that they have a horrible corporate culture. Much of that is due to the antics of the UAW, and much of it is due to the company retaining terrible middle managers. Both constrain the productivity that would grow the pot of money.

I used to work in and around the USPS, and that was another toxic culture. The APWU at the time was full of some of the most venomous unproductive individuals I've been around in my entire life. Not all, but a LOT. And of course you can probably imagine the skill level of much of the USPS middle management.
Pretty much the situation my company was in a few years ago. Owned by a much larger company, whose solution to problems was to stick another manager between the problem and the person who was supposed to solve the problem. On the shop floor, the union prevented workers from flexing between tasks, so the shop labor was way bloated. Shop workers were ticked off because they liked flexing (reduced boredom and gave them additional skiils). The result: big losses, and the big company decided to shut the place down.

One of the persons who came in to buy some of the assets looked the place over, and decided he should be able to make money. So he bought everything, hired back the key people, and reopened. Now, we are making excellent profits with between 1/2 and 2/3 of the previous workforce (both shop and office), and getting higher wages. We've gotten performance bonuses every year so far since the reopening. Shop is non-union, and no rumblings whatsoever about organizing.
 
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qwerty

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On the shop floor, the union prevented workers from flexing between tasks, so the shop labor was way bloated. Shop workers were ticked off because they liked flexing (reduced boredom and gave them additional skiils). The result: big losses, and the big company decided to shut the place down.
My first job (many moons ago) was in a strong union facility. I was young and trying to be helpful and was always getting in trouble for helping floor members load or move parts or assist with their job in some manner. I was office (engineer) and was "depriving union member" of a job by helping the floor person. Have been in non-union last 30+ years and still help floor members, just don't get in trouble for it anymore.
 

BryceC

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I don't feel bad for them mainly because if I was in their position I'd quit and look for work elsewhere. They were hired for specific office type roles, not to manufacture on the floor. If they don't want to use the current employment climate to their advantage then let them work extra.
Using this logic the union guys should do the same thing. It's just a faulty way of looking at things IMO.
 

jmax71

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Oct 21, 2006
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Well in my case about 20 years ago at UPS that certainly wasn't true. I was told if I had a grievance I was on my own. Which I was perfectly fine with and expecting since I didn't join. Maybe things have changed, maybe different locals do different things, maybe they were just lying their a**** off to me. I don't know, and didn't care. I would have turned down their help anyway. If the management was that bad I needed to run crying to Mr. union rep every week........time to find a different employer.
Hey, I can’t argue you may not have gotten that response. To be honest that is the initial feeling you have when someone doesn’t want to join but wants all the benefits. My previous posts just outlines your basic rights under law. If you didn’t want to join that was your prerogative but don’t expect your union rep to nursemaid a person who chooses not to join.
Don’t know what your issue was but I would also say that not everything that makes someone unhappy is a grievable issue and a good union rep is someone that will tell you when you don’t have something that violates the contract not just always tell you what you want to hear.
 
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Stormin

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Apr 11, 2006
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For sure. But why don’t they just get a better job like you said?
Because they like their job and want more money. Does John Deere want to give up experienced workers to hire new workers when there is a shortage of workers? Management has head up their ass?
 

theguru1

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Using this logic the union guys should do the same thing. It's just a faulty way of looking at things IMO.
John Deere is a union shop and the company has no problem advertising themselves as a proud union shop to attract new employees. In a union shop there has to be a contract for union members to work. When that contract is about to expires, it is literally the only chance for union workers to ask for a raise and set rules for both employees and management to abide by. So why wouldn’t the union ask for better terms. Once a contract is ratified individual union members can still quit and look for something better if they personally don’t like the terms of the contract.
 

jmax71

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John Deere is a union shop and the company has no problem advertising themselves as a proud union shop to attract new employees. In a union shop there has to be a contract for union members to work. When that contract is about to expires, it is literally the only chance for union workers to ask for a raise and set rules for both employees and management to abide by. So why wouldn’t the union ask for better terms. Once a contract is ratified individual union members can still quit and look for something better if they personally don’t like the terms of the contract.
Exactly right! Once that contract is ratified and workers go back there is no re-negotiating or going back in to redo anything whether economics or language until the next expiration date. Currently they have been working on a new agreement that, if ratified, will stand for 6 years. I personally believe that is a good length of term allowing for both Company and employee to be able to plan ahead for 6 years knowing what the rules of the game are (my own editorial opinion.) You can’t blame the workers for trying to get the best contract they can because you can bet your bottom dollar that Deere is doing their best with their proposals in planning out for the next 6 years!
 
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FallOf81

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Striking workers be glad they don't work for TPI in Newton. What a cluster ****.
 

cyfan21

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Because they like their job and want more money. Does John Deere want to give up experienced workers to hire new workers when there is a shortage of workers? Management has head up their ass?
Public school districts do it to older teachers all the time.
 
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BryceC

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John Deere is a union shop and the company has no problem advertising themselves as a proud union shop to attract new employees. In a union shop there has to be a contract for union members to work. When that contract is about to expires, it is literally the only chance for union workers to ask for a raise and set rules for both employees and management to abide by. So why wouldn’t the union ask for better terms. Once a contract is ratified individual union members can still quit and look for something better if they personally don’t like the terms of the contract.
You’re misunderstanding me I’m sorry I did a bad job. I’m just saying a simple “I’d quit if asked to go to the factory” is just as absurd as saying the union guys should just find new jobs if they don’t like the contract. It’s a complex situation on both sides and it does a disservice to everybody to pretend otherwise.
 

theguru1

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You’re misunderstanding me I’m sorry I did a bad job. I’m just saying a simple “I’d quit if asked to go to the factory” is just as absurd as saying the union guys should just find new jobs if they don’t like the contract. It’s a complex situation on both sides and it does a disservice to everybody to pretend otherwise.
I see what you’re saying. I agree that it’s a complex situation. I guess I get annoyed when people just throw out the old “if you don’t like it go find a new job“ argument. It’s not that simple for a lot of people.
 

theguru1

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Exactly right! Once that contract is ratified and workers go back there is no re-negotiating or going back in to redo anything whether economics or language until the next expiration date. Currently they have been working on a new agreement that, if ratified, will stand for 6 years. I personally believe that is a good length of term allowing for both Company and employee to be able to plan ahead for 6 years knowing what the rules of the game are (my own editorial opinion.) You can’t blame the workers for trying to get the best contract they can because you can bet your bottom dollar that Deere is doing their best with their proposals in planning out for the next 6 years!
Deere absolutely is looking out for #1.
 

BryceC

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I see what you’re saying. I agree that it’s a complex situation. I guess I get annoyed when people just throw out the old “if you don’t like it go find a new job“ argument. It’s not that simple for a lot of people.
I agree, I was using it as an example of ridiculous things people say. I poorly communicated that and that’s my fault.
 

theguru1

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Anybody who doesn’t think a publicly traded company is looking out for their shareholders and only their shareholders is delusional.
And they should but doesn’t mean the Union has to bend over for them especially when they have a strong hand to play with. Most of the rank and file union members know this and is willing to make sacrifices to fight for a bigger slice of the pie. My opinion is Deere will blink.
 
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