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Palm rejected Apple's no employee poaching offer - report

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
Ed Colligan, the former chief executive of Palm, reportedly rejected an offer years ago from Apple co-founder Steve Jobs to agree to not hire each others' employees.

The information comes from a U.S. Justice Department investigation that obtained communications between the two CEOs, according to Bloomberg. After rejecting the offer, Colligan reportedly told Jobs that what he proposed was "likely illegal."

The conversation took place in August 2007, just after the launch of the iPhone, and when Palm appointed Apple's former senior engineering VP, Jon Rubinstein, as executive chairman.

According to the communications between the two, Jobs told Colligan he was concerned that Rubinstein, as a former Apple employee, was recruiting existing Apple employees. "We must do whatever we can to stop this," Jobs reportedly said.

The documents say that Colligan told Jobs he considered the proposal, but ultimately decided against it.

"Your proposal that we agree that neither company will hire the other’s employees, regardless of the individual’s desires, is not only wrong, it is likely illegal," Colligan said to Jobs, according to the communications.

However, Jobs' specific proposal was not included in the communications. It was only referenced and discussed by the two executives.

"Jobs said Apple had patents and more money than Palm if the companies ended up in a legal fight, according to the communications," Bloomberg reported. Apple spokeswoman Katie Cotton declined to comment on the matter and Jobs did not return e-mails.

Since Rubinstein came on board, Palm has hired a number of former Apple employees. Also in 2007, Apple's former chief financial officer, Fred Anderson, joined as a general board member. Most recently Jeff Zwerner, a former creative director from 2001 to 2003 at the Cupertino, Calif., company, now serves as Palm's senior vice president.

The proposal from Jobs sounds similar to a informal agreement that was reportedly held between Apple and another rival, Google. Earlier this month, it was revealed that the two companies shared an agreement to not poach each others' workers while the Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, served on Apple's board. It is believed the unwritten agreement may have sparked an antitrust investigation from the U.S. Justice Department.
post #2 of 48
I don't blame Colligan. I wouldn't have agreed to it either unless it was some legally binding non-compete clause in an employee's contract. Jobs was doing what was in the best interest of Apple (keeping them on top), and Colligan was doing what was in the best interest of his company -- even if it means taking employees from his competitor.

It happens in business all the time. Palm is in the weaker position, so it's expected that they would want to hire people from a more successful company.

Hell, Chrysler hired Toyota's Jim Press (formally the President of Toyota North America) back in 2007... not that it helped them out any
post #3 of 48
Palm has been recruiting Apple employees for a damn decade now. It's like they are playing Pokèmon. As soon as someone leaves Apple, they pop-up instantly with an offer. Now I don't know if this conversation between Steve and Palm actually happen, so I can't comment on that, but as far as Palm collecting folks from Apple, this is old news. With all the high rankings that Palms gives to the Apple recruits, you'd think they would be out of that slump.
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post #4 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

I don't blame Colligan. I wouldn't have agreed to it either unless it was some legally binding non-compete clause in an employee's contract. Jobs was doing what was in the best interest of Apple (keeping them on top), and Colligan was doing what was in the best interest of his company -- even if it means taking employees from his competitor.

It happens in business all the time. Palm is in the weaker position, so it's expected that they would want to hire people from a more successful company.

Hell, Chrysler hired Toyota's Jim Press (formally the President of Toyota North America) back in 2007... not that it helped them out any

Exactly, as I just stated a while ago. This has been happening for the longest, not to say that the moves aren't wise ones, but no results as of yet, maybe a little bit from the buzz with the Palm Prē, but other than that, nothing.
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post #5 of 48
If these types of agreements are illegal, is there any difference between agreeing not to hire anyone coming from the other company vs agreeing not to actively recruit them (cold calling)? The difference would be that in the 2nd example the employee would be free to look for work at the other company if they chose to, but in the 1st they would not.

Then again, I don't see this as any worse than a union saying you can't work here unless you join the union first. Either case the potential employee is being interfered with in seeking employment.
post #6 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

If these types of agreements are illegal, is there any difference between agreeing not to hire anyone coming from the other company vs agreeing not to actively recruit them (cold calling)? The difference would be that in the 2nd example the employee would be free to look for work at the other company if they chose to, but in the 1st they would not.

Then again, I don't see this as any worse than a union saying you can't work here unless you join the union first. Either case the potential employee is being interfered with in seeking employment.

I think there's a tremendous difference between "refusal to hire" and "refusal to recruit". It's likely the DOJ would consider them quite different as well but then again, I'm not in the losing business of predicting what the government thinks.

As for unions, they seem to be exempt from anything involving anti-trust laws.
post #7 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

Hell, Chrysler hired Toyota's Jim Press (formally the President of Toyota North America) back in 2007... not that it helped them out any

Exactly! Palm hired all that Apple secondary help and what did it get them? According to customer satisfaction, a secondary product closely resembling the iPhone. Go Figure!

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #8 of 48
People steal employees all the time, hence a no compete clause. Crazy.
post #9 of 48
"Also in 2007, former Apple's former chief financial officer, Fred Anderson"
post #10 of 48
Interestingly enough this revelation may help Apple's case in terms of the agreement between Google and Apple. Apple had a connection to Google but did not have a connection (via the board) to Palm. I wonder if this could show that Apple was willing to consider the same deal with a variety of similar-sized firms, thus making it a public offer and not an inside deal?
post #11 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsavage View Post

Interestingly enough this revelation may help Apple's case in terms of the agreement between Google and Apple. Apple had a connection to Google but did not have a connection (via the board) to Palm. I wonder if this could show that Apple was willing to consider the same deal with a variety of similar-sized firms, thus making it a public offer and not an inside deal?

That might be true, but wouldn't it land Apple in a whole other "bag of hurt" if it really is illegal to have such a deal?
post #12 of 48
University and pro sports teams do it all the time, with and without contracted players.
post #13 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

University and pro sports teams do it all the time, with and without contracted players.

Not to mention employment contracts that say you can't go work for a competitor for X years if you leave your job.
post #14 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsavage View Post

Interestingly enough this revelation may help Apple's case in terms of the agreement between Google and Apple. Apple had a connection to Google but did not have a connection (via the board) to Palm. I wonder if this could show that Apple was willing to consider the same deal with a variety of similar-sized firms, thus making it a public offer and not an inside deal?

It's amazing how people try to make excuses or find some 'silver lining' message in this stuff when apple is involved. It's not a public offer of any kind, it's a wink wink nod nod type of back room deal that does happen often, but typically it's a no poach deal rather than a no hire deal. A no hire deal is illegal from the best I can tell because you are discriminating against a person who is qualified for a position and willing to apply/fill that role.
post #15 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

University and pro sports teams do it all the time, with and without contracted players.

And it's called collusion, supposed to be against the rules in pro sports.
post #16 of 48
If Palm doesn't come back from the brink with the Pre then their employees will be lining-up to work at Apple.

Besides the Pre and WebOS what else does Palm offer as value?

Does Apple have this kind of agreement with RIM or is this just for California companies?
post #17 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsavage View Post

Interestingly enough this revelation may help Apple's case in terms of the agreement between Google and Apple. Apple had a connection to Google but did not have a connection (via the board) to Palm. I wonder if this could show that Apple was willing to consider the same deal with a variety of similar-sized firms, thus making it a public offer and not an inside deal?

I'd say the 'deal' with Google is less controversial, as the boardroom link could be used/seen to be used as an unfair advantage in access to staff for the purpose of poaching; the 'deal' with Palm would've been with an unlinked company, so they have the same opportunity to access staff as any other third party.

I don't like the idea of going to work for one company, and finding that agreements at board level have reduced my opportunities for advancing myself by moving to a competitor; it also reduces any reason for my employer to incentivise me to stay with him if he can agree with other companies in the industry not to even consider employing me.
post #18 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

If Palm doesn't come back from the brink with the Pre then their employees will be lining-up to work at Apple.

Besides the Pre and WebOS what else does Palm offer as value?

Does Apple have this kind of agreement with RIM or is this just for California companies?

webOS has enough potential to keep them afloat
post #19 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

Then again, I don't see this as any worse than a union saying you can't work here unless you join the union first. Either case the potential employee is being interfered with in seeking employment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post

As for unions, they seem to be exempt from anything involving anti-trust laws.

I know it's very popular with some to engage in union bashing at any opportunity, but those who do, do so out of either an ulterior motive or out of complete ignorance of history. The latter case is an egregious example of the failure of the education system in this country. The former represent the people who are exactly the reason why unions are necessary.

Without unions, working condition in this country would not be, and were not, any better than the conditions in China today. (In fact, before unions, working conditions were in this country, arguably worse than in China today.) Unions are largely responsible for the prosperity of the U.S., particularly in the post World War II era. Union organizers died, yes died, killed by company 'goons', and in some cases government forces (law enforcement and military), so that the majority of working Americans could have better lives. Their sacrifices are no less important to the greatness of this country than any other "patriot" who died defending this country and its people.

So, yes, unions are rightfully exempt from laws intended to limit the ability of rapacious corporations from imposing their will on society because unions serve exactly the same ends as anti-trust laws.
post #20 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

webOS has enough potential to keep them afloat

Probably not 'afloat', but it will be the primary bait for the ultimate buyout by someone like Nokia or MS.
When PALM gets low enough, I'll buy some to position for its ultimate buy-out.
post #21 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

I know it's very popular with some to engage in union bashing at any opportunity, but those who do, do so out of either an ulterior motive or out of complete ignorance of history. The latter case is an egregious example of the failure of the education system in this country. The former represent the people who are exactly the reason why unions are necessary.

Without unions, working condition in this country would not be, and were not, any better than the conditions in China today. (In fact, before unions, working conditions were in this country, arguably worse than in China today.) Unions are largely responsible for the prosperity of the U.S., particularly in the post World War II era. Union organizers died, yes died, killed by company 'goons', and in some cases government forces (law enforcement and military), so that the majority of working Americans could have better lives. Their sacrifices are no less important to the greatness of this country than any other "patriot" who died defending this country and its people.

So, yes, unions are rightfully exempt from laws intended to limit the ability of rapacious corporations from imposing their will on society because unions serve exactly the same ends as anti-trust laws.

THANK YOU!!
I second and third that.
Its hilarious to watch the mini-Ayns in the tech world delude themselves into thinking they have any leverage as individuals against mega-corporations when it comes time to bargaining. They take what they're offered, keep their mouths shut out of fear, and blame immigrants when they're down-sized.
Add to that that EVERY benefit they take for granted were fought for with the blood of unionists before they were born.
post #22 of 48
Shouldn't this article read:

"Palm hired ... failed product designer Jon Rubinstein, and disgraced former chief financial officer Fred Anderson?"


The way I heard it, Rubenstein was the guy arguing (very forcefully) that the iPhone would be a better device if it used Linux instead of OS-X, and Fred Anderson got caught cooking the books.
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post #23 of 48
And if Steve gets real pissed, Apple will (try) to buy Palm, then fire all of those folks who use to work for Apple, who now work at Palm
post #24 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

I don't blame Colligan. I wouldn't have agreed to it either unless it was some legally binding non-compete clause in an employee's contract.

there likely is such a clause, at least for the folks that work in Cupertino.

also, there is a difference between saying you won't actively recruit (cold call etc) each other's companies, which might be what Jobs was suggesting, and turning down a good employee (outside of the hold of any non compete) just because he/she once worked for Apple at some point, which is what the other guy is suggesting.

since we haven't seen the proposal's details we don't know. if it was the first, I see no issue with it. both sides have a lot of R&D invested in their work and neither would fancy it given away to another side. if it was the latter, that just isn't cricket. but i'm not going to assume either way until I see the full facts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

Then again, I don't see this as any worse than a union saying you can't work here unless you join the union first. Either case the potential employee is being interfered with in seeking employment.

actually in some states that is 100% legal. You can be made to join the union if you want to work in that particular industry. Teamsters and transportation is one example that is big in California, especially in film/tv.

Quote:
Originally Posted by steviet02 View Post

It's amazing how people try to make excuses or find some 'silver lining' message in this stuff when apple is involved. It's not a public offer of any kind, it's a wink wink nod nod type of back room deal that does happen often, but typically it's a no poach deal rather than a no hire deal.

if you read the comments you will see that most folks are asking the question if this was in fact merely a 'no poach' rule. and not has Palm is painting it a 'never hire'. in the end, Palm would have a reason to want to paint Apple in a darker light because then they look better for refusing to play.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #25 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by iGod 2.0 View Post

With all the high rankings that Palms gives to the Apple recruits, you'd think they would be out of that slump.

Hiring away former Apple execs does not turn Palm into another Apple.
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post #26 of 48
It seems Palm should have been a little less confrontational and negotiated with Apple. Palm had a lot more to gain by having good relations with Apple than pissing them off. They might have even been able to get Apple to give some access to iTunes or some other concession. Palm was shortsighted. When a bigger, stronger competitor asks for a favor, that is the time to seek advantage through partnership, not confrontation. Palm seems to be badly mismanaged and stupid as a box of rocks.
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post #27 of 48
We have no idea if Steve made a proposal, or suggestion. If he did we have no idea if he meant it.

On the other hand Colligan's motivation is quite clear, in referencing something possibly illegal in a document he is making it a matter of record, whether it happened or not.

Fred Anderson was chucked out of Apple for dirty tricks and tried to blame Steve, it cost him a couple of million and a chunk in lawyers fees too. I get the idea that he would quite like some revenge.

Steve was probably just pulling Colligan's chain, diverting his attention, making him think Palm was more important than it was.

.
post #28 of 48
Quote:

Steve was probably just pulling Colligan's chain, diverting his attention, making him think Palm was more important than it was.

I agree.

Ed Colligan's a former Apple employee himself.

Not sure how he and Steve Jobs got along on the first go round, but there was something about the tone in his short reply that didn't feel especially warm.
post #29 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

I know it's very popular with some to engage in union bashing at any opportunity, but those who do, do so out of either an ulterior motive or out of complete ignorance of history. The latter case is an egregious example of the failure of the education system in this country. The former represent the people who are exactly the reason why unions are necessary.

Without unions, working condition in this country would not be, and were not, any better than the conditions in China today. (In fact, before unions, working conditions were in this country, arguably worse than in China today.) Unions are largely responsible for the prosperity of the U.S., particularly in the post World War II era. Union organizers died, yes died, killed by company 'goons', and in some cases government forces (law enforcement and military), so that the majority of working Americans could have better lives. Their sacrifices are no less important to the greatness of this country than any other "patriot" who died defending this country and its people.

So, yes, unions are rightfully exempt from laws intended to limit the ability of rapacious corporations from imposing their will on society because unions serve exactly the same ends as anti-trust laws.

Unions have done good things, but to suggest that every thing they have done has been good is just as blind as to say that everything they've done is bad. And I was not union bashing. Only pointing out one particular union behavior that is more about protecting the union than about protecting my ability to get a job. And it was a point that was relevant to this discussion...the ability of a person to get a job without interferance from another party.

I have personal experience with family members who were forced to join a union and pay union dues to work at a company which was well respected in our town and never had any labor issues. She didn't want to join the union because she felt there was no need for it in this situation. And yet they took money out of her paycheck every week for union dues.

Again, not saying unions are bad, just saying unions have done bad things. Just like not all companies are bad, but some companies have done bad things (in which case unions are necessary).
post #30 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

Its hilarious to watch the mini-Ayns in the tech world delude themselves into thinking they have any leverage as individuals against mega-corporations when it comes time to bargaining. They take what they're offered, keep their mouths shut out of fear, and blame immigrants when they're down-sized.
Add to that that EVERY benefit they take for granted were fought for with the blood of unionists before they were born.

Whats really hilarious is watching the armchair mini-Che's in the comment world make calls on topics about which they have zero knowledge whatsoever.

The only people who take what they're offered are the stupid, the lazy, and those who don't have the courage to negotiate a better position for themselves. "take what they're offered?" REALLY? What was the last Silicon Valley tech firm you worked for?

Its called COLLUSION, and it is illegal, and no goddamned union can do jack squat about it, except bump up your dues and donate the proceeds to whatever Democrat a-hole is running your district on the city council, who, in return, promises to strong-arm the company until such time as the company gets fed up with the corruption and leaves.

If the Government actually did its job and investigated these scenarios, then the playing field would be returned to a level state.
post #31 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by steviet02 View Post

And it's called collusion, supposed to be against the rules in pro sports.

Better get your dictionary out.

Until a player is designated as a free agent, he/she is tied to the team and nobody else is allowed to even make a phone call to him/her to see if they are interested.

Look at the pro drafts. Once the player is chosen, nobody else is allowed to go near, let alone hire, him/her.

What is the difference that prevents kids from transferring from one public school to another just to play for a better team?
post #32 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

Better get your dictionary out.

Until a player is designated as a free agent, he/she is tied to the team and nobody else is allowed to even make a phone call to him/her to see if they are interested.

Look at the pro drafts. Once the player is chosen, nobody else is allowed to go near, let alone hire, him/her.

What is the difference that prevents kids from transferring from one public school to another just to play for a better team?

I'm guessing it's in the contracts that all three parties enter into; whereas the suggestion regards Apple/Google/Palm is that the employers are entering into agreement that effects the employee, without the employee being consulted.
post #33 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

I have personal experience with family members who were forced to join a union and pay union dues to work at a company which was well respected in our town and never had any labor issues. She didn't want to join the union because she felt there was no need for it in this situation. And yet they took money out of her paycheck every week for union dues.

So, basically, she wanted to work there and enjoy all of the benefits (wages and other benefits) that the union had worked to insure for it's members, but not pay the union dues. Yes, it's always nice to get something for nothing, isn't it?

It doesn't really seem fair to the union members that she not pay for what they negotiate on her behalf. And, this sort of thing isn't restricted to unions. Trade organizations force companies in their industry to pay dues that are spent on advertising and other promotional activities, and the courts have upheld these "anti-freeloading" policies.

If you're an employer, "right to work" and being able to hire non-union workers are basically code words for union busting and driving wages and working conditions to the ground. It's possible that the company you refer to had no labor problems because they were kind-hearted, gentle capitalists, but it's just as likely they had no labor problems because they knew that it wasn't worth trying to pull one over on the union.

Quote:
Originally Posted by echosonic View Post

Its called COLLUSION, and it is illegal, and no goddamned union can do jack squat about it, except bump up your dues and donate the proceeds to whatever Democrat a-hole is running your district on the city council, who, in return, promises to strong-arm the company until such time as the company gets fed up with the corruption and leaves.

If the Government actually did its job and investigated these scenarios, then the playing field would be returned to a level state.

Well, either you're an employer, and, "then the playing field would be returned to a level state," is code to you for, "then I will be able to drive wages through the floor and pay workers as little as I like and treat them however I want," or the educational system in this country has failed you. In either case, you seem to have a lot of misdirected anger that you need to deal with. I suggest finding a good therapist and getting on medication, as soon as possible.
post #34 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

So, basically, she wanted to work there and enjoy all of the benefits (wages and other benefits) that the union had worked to insure for it's members, but not pay the union dues. Yes, it's always nice to get something for nothing, isn't it?...

Maybe she recognised that she was far better at her job, and far more conscientious than her colleagues, shed like to sit down and agree this with her boss and rightly receive better numeration than the union member at the next desk... unfortunately she has to enjoy the union agreed wage for that pay scale level.
post #35 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpw View Post

Maybe she recognised that she was far better at her job, and far more conscientious than her colleagues, shed like to sit down and agree this with her boss and rightly receive better numeration than the union member at the next desk... unfortunately she has to enjoy the union agreed wage for that pay scale level.

Even in "union shops" not all employees are union members and covered by the collective bargaining agreement. And, yes, if she's doing work covered under the agreement, she gets paid the agreed to wage. But, collective bargaining isn't just about wages, it's also about other benefits and, more generally, about overall workplace conditions, so, she would still be "freeloading" on the union if she were free to negotiate such a deal for work covered under the agreement.

And, it's quite obvious that nearly all employers would rather not have to negotiate with unions. Employers to this day will engage in campaigns of misinformation and intimidation to keep unions out. I think it's equally obvious that if they were able to undermine unions by temporarily (until they get rid of the union) paying slightly higher wages to non-union employees, many of them would do so.

Of course, your argument also implies that union workers are somehow less competent than someone who is new to the job. An implication that is both without foundation and insulting to anyone who belongs to a union.

The truth is that unions have undeniably been a major force in advancing the standard of living of the average American, in promoting workplace safety, and in making the U.S. the economic and political force that it is in the world. And, as I stated previously, without unions, working conditions in this country would never have advanced significantly beyond what they were at the beginning of the 20th century. Union bashing and other anti-union rhetoric ignores that reality, either out of ignorance (or at least a lack of honest reflection) or for self-serving ends.
post #36 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpw View Post

I'm guessing it's in the contracts that all three parties enter into; whereas the suggestion regards Apple/Google/Palm is that the employers are entering into agreement that effects the employee, without the employee being consulted.

What is the difference in the pro drafts? Kids aren't under any pro contracts at the selection time. Yet the only team that can negotiate a contract with the draftee is the team that drafted him/her.

Many of the top restaurants also have the same deals with their chefs.
post #37 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

So, basically, she wanted to work there and enjoy all of the benefits (wages and other benefits) that the union had worked to insure for it's members, but not pay the union dues. Yes, it's always nice to get something for nothing, isn't it?

It doesn't really seem fair to the union members that she not pay for what they negotiate on her behalf. And, this sort of thing isn't restricted to unions. Trade organizations force companies in their industry to pay dues that are spent on advertising and other promotional activities, and the courts have upheld these "anti-freeloading" policies.

If you're an employer, "right to work" and being able to hire non-union workers are basically code words for union busting and driving wages and working conditions to the ground. It's possible that the company you refer to had no labor problems because they were kind-hearted, gentle capitalists, but it's just as likely they had no labor problems because they knew that it wasn't worth trying to pull one over on the union.

I'm sorry, I usually try not to get caught up in discussions like these with people who are so entrenched in their position that they can't see things from any perspective but their own. But I have to say that you are making some very bold statements considering that you have no idea what town, what company, or what union we are talking about. Your broad characterizations of all unions as good and all companies are bad is as naive as anyone claiming the opposite.

You assume that she was asking for union "benefits" without paying union dues. You are assuming that the union ever negotiated any benefits of significance for the employees at this particular company. I'd have to go back and get the exact details, but as I recall, the union convinced the employees how good it would be for them to be unionized (there was no labor dispute at the time), and one of the first things the union did was threaten the employer with strike if they didn't agree to be an all-union shop. And as a matter of fact, the employess of this grocery store in a small Midwestern town kicked the union out a few years later because they were tired of paying union dues when they realized that they didn't in fact need the union to protect them from the "big bad company."

Any organization when it becomes too powerful can get a little full of itself and do bad things. That applies to companies, governments, unions, etc. That whole "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely" thing.
post #38 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Employers to this day will engage in campaigns of misinformation and intimidation to keep unions out.

Are you suggesting that unions have never engaged this this type of behavior to get unions in? Or have never intimidated an employee who wanted to "cross the line" and return to work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

The truth is that unions have undeniably been a major force in advancing the standard of living of the average American, in promoting workplace safety, and in making the U.S. the economic and political force that it is in the world. And, as I stated previously, without unions, working conditions in this country would never have advanced significantly beyond what they were at the beginning of the 20th century.

I agree with this. But why is it so hard to accept that some union activities are questionable? Perhaps a little honest reflection is due on both sides.
post #39 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

...Of course, your argument also implies that union workers are somehow less competent than someone who is new to the job...

No it doesn't, but I guess to admit that would weaken your argument.

Unions do some good, in some instances; they also cause problems in other instances. I should be free to join or not join; the benefits afforded to me by my employer are afforded by my employer to me by mutual agreement, and I don't ask the union for anything.

If an employer wants to employ me, and I want to be employed by him, then no union should be able to interfer with our agreement.
post #40 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

I'm sorry, I usually try not to get caught up in discussions like these with people who are so entrenched in their position that they can't see things from any perspective but their own. But I have to say that you are making some very bold statements considering that you have no idea what town, what company, or what union we are talking about. Your broad characterizations of all unions as good and all companies are bad is as naive as anyone claiming the opposite.

Actually, I never characterized individual unions (or particular locals) in any way as good or bad. I merely pointed out that without unions, employees would be, and prior to unions were, poorly paid and poorly treated. You can try to argue against history here, but past and present the facts contradict assertions to the contrary. The weakening of unions in recent years is almost directly correlated with the wage stagnation (or decline) that the American middle class has experienced. It's indisputable that working conditions and wages improved when strong unions developed, and it would be absurd to claim there was not cause and effect in that case.

In fact, I think most unions (and most union workers) are good, despite the fact that there are some few that are corrupt and exploitative. But the larger point is that anyone who truly believes our standard or living, working conditions and wages would not revert to levels far below what they are now if unions were eliminated is naively ignoring the harsh realities of capitalism, human nature and history.
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