05.22.2014 15

Food workers union sues grocer for offering employees higher pay

UFCW LogoBy Brad Tidwell

Ironic, coming from the union advocating for a $10.10 minimum wage… Defending this industrial-era practice is stopping a local UFCW union from letting their members earn more money:

Why did Local 23 oppose higher pay for its members? Because it upended their seniority system, allowing junior employees to make more those with more seniority. Local 23 wanted uniform pay scales—even if that meant cutting some of their members’ wages.

This kind of thinking is very much in line with the kinds of jobs that were prevalent in the days when unions were being started. In those days, there was a real concern that there would be employers that would show favoritism as a method to separate employees from their union. There were many jobs that were interchangeable, such as production lines or industrial positions.

Nowadays, the labor market has changed significantly. While automation has significantly reduced low-level industrial jobs, customer service as a service is becoming a commodity. Manufacturing jobs are disappearing as service jobs increase. This means less people are on production lines and more people are dealing with customers directly in a personal way.

Additionally, there has been a significant shift in attitudes towards long-term jobs. During the industrial era, it used to be more common for one person to stay with a single company for many years. Now millennials, the youngest generation in the job market, are more likely to hop from one job to the next. This undercuts another key benefit of seniority, that employees staying with the company longer get paid more. In an economy where there’s been a lot of turnover and many people have lost their jobs and found new ones, longevity is less and less of a motivating factor in payment.

This shift creates a different motivation for service-based companies to differentiate themselves from their competitors. A company known for good customer service can set itself apart from their competitors even if they offer a more expensive product because of the experience customers have buying their product. In fact, according to the Small Business Administration, poor customer service is the biggest reason why people discontinue business with a company.

The fact of the matter is that people respond to rewards. Without added incentive for people to invest more effort into their work, why would they put any more energy into it than what’s required? The concept of seniority only works if there are no additional benefits for additional work. And in today’s consumer service-based economy, that is no longer the case.

Seniority is outdated. What today’s worker needs is a system that rewards extra energy and effort, and rewards doing a good job. These days, seniority only protects those who don’t care to invest more in their own work. The only people who benefit under seniority system are workers who may not care about their work as much, but stay at their jobs longer.

Today’s worker also needs a union that provides benefits for what they need, not just taking their money and spending it on their own needs. The UFCW has its own share of corruption, mismanagement and scandals that they should be focusing on rather than trying to make sure their workers don’t get paid more.

Brad Tidwell is the web editor for Americans for Limited Government

  • Terri Vik Centerbar

    wow that’s pretty sad..
    ,keep the fight up

  • vsevolod4

    Unions. The antimeritocracy. I there any wonder that their Harrison Bergeron parasitism and political action correlates strongly with the decline of every industry sector they infest? F

  • Myrtle

    All agencies related to the government have completely lost every nugget of commonsense, they are totally irrational in their dealings and the decisions they make, since the communist Kenyan took over.

    John 15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you!

  • Death2Unions

    Unions are gutting America to the bone. We will be a 3rd World country in short order. This is simply a Fact of Life.

  • marylou

    Easy fix..leave the Union..don’t pay dues..and get a bigger pay check!

  • Myrtle

    Perfect of the New Socialist America!!! Let’s get to work, and change it back to the Christian America that GOD created it to be.

  • regulus30

    this works ;; it is how I kept the slimeball union out of my restaurants;; better than the unions can offer and no extortion fees to boot……

  • al003

    Unions are the end of being paid for what you can bring to the job…. In a Union you are harnessed to the dumbest slug in the herd…. Go for it if you have no merit or desire to perform…. Me, I have never been in a Union and would never join one…. I go to work and show my company who I am…. Then after five or six months I give them the option to keep me or let me go. Pay me what I am worth to the company or I will leave…. I have never been let go from any company and today I own my own company….. And I have never had one employee leave my company in 20 years…

  • al003

    Actually, the government worker was beat down by the malingering crowd many years ago and today if you work for the government, you can perform or not, it is up to you…. And 80 percent do squat and 20 percent carry the load…. My kid is in the Government in upper management and the stories are legend…. Nothing changes in government except the number of people employed and it always goes up and up….Thank God for that 20 percent…

  • Art Hock

    I’ve found out first hand that the unions have forgotten their original purpose to help their members to succeed honestly. Now it’s the boys in Washington like the politicians are only their to fill their pockets and screw both the employers and the employees.

  • Graywolf12

    Unions = ATM for DNC

  • aRareSaneOne

    Especially with Dear Leader!

  • aRareSaneOne

    Unions leaders’ purpose, like govt rulers – is to serve themselves and keep their power. PERIOD.

  • FloridaJim

    Unions have ruined education, unions have ruined government employment everything a union touches smells like corruption. When a union enters they cause chaos with grievances, mischief, laziness, slowdowns, time off, more employees and eventually closing as the steel mills, autos, aluminum, paper and all they infest.
    I dealt with them for 40 year and fired many because I was a strong manager not afraid to confront problem like Obama is a weak manager and politicians are useless because, like Obama, they do what unions demand to get the massive campaign contributions, which are 10 times what the dreaded KOCH Brothers give to Conservatives, . Look at the quality of the employees unions are using to force MacDonald’s to give in to their silly wage demands. Get a job, work hard and advance through your effort and skills and one day own a MacDonald’s as thousands have done. Dress like fools, demand never ending work and end up as Al Sharpton’s lackey for decades as has happened since the Great Society enslaved the poor. Listen to Dr. Ben Carson talk about having your dignity stolen by democrats.

  • CaptainDLW

    Seniority is helpful in stopping the good ol boy system,,BUT seniority should be ignored when that senior employee become lazy and doesn’t preform the job he/ she was hired to do. Only when the workers are equal in work productive, attendance and keeping their end of the work done should seniority play into promotion, layoff or raises be allowed. The unions protect seniors members even when those same employees are a real drain on the company. The companies need to become more employee friendly while looking out for profits and stock holders interest. Without the last two, companies (UNLESS owned by the government) will flounder and all of its employes will suffer. When governments take over the companies, they don’t care about anyone. The employees will not be able to advance ot get the raises and promotions unless they have am inside track with the government management!!!

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