5 largest employers in the world

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRIVIA GENIUS)

 

5 largest employers in the world

Unless you’re a trust fund baby, you probably work for a living. We go to a place of business on specific days and earn a wage so that we can afford to live. In the United States, many people are employed by small businesses, which according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, can range from a staff of one to as many as 1,500 employees. But many firms employ an international workforce or have so many employees that they are considered some of the largest employers in the world. From smallest to largest, these are the five largest employers in the world according to the World Economic Forum.

5. China National Petroleum Corporation – 1.7 million employees

Credit: Piotr Swat / Shutterstock.com

Regardless of your feelings about oil discovery and production, it’s a major industry with activity around the world. You might think that a multinational company like Royal Dutch Shell or British Petroleum would make this list, but they don’t. China National Petroleum Corporation is a state-run organization that operates rigs and refineries in 30 countries around the world, even north of our border in Canada.

The organization employs roughly 1.7 million employees, making them the fifth largest employer worldwide. Additionally, they’re also the third largest incorporated energy production firm in the world that specializes in oil and gas. Not only do they explore for new deposits, but they also focus on refining and marketing their products beyond their home country.

4. McDonald’s – 1.7 million employees

Credit: Ratana21 / Shutterstock.com

Even if you’re not a big fast food fan, you’re familiar with the Golden Arches, Ronald McDonald and his wacky crew of friends, and iconic sandwiches like the Big Mac and Fillet ‘o Fish. McDonald’s makes the list as the fourth largest employer; they operate in over 100 countries and serve over 69 million customers. Between franchise and corporate employees combined, the eatery employs 1.7 million people. If you narrow the criteria to private companies, the burger chain rises higher as the second largest employer in the world.

3. Walmart – 2.1 million employees

Credit: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

Depending on who you talk to, Walmart is either the savior of budget-focused families or the bane of small business owners. Either way, there’s no denying that the big box conglomerate is a major employer in the United States and abroad. Often, they replace positions lost when factories and manufacturers move production elsewhere. Because of this, they are the third largest employer in the world.

Walmart also beats out McDonald’s as the largest private employer in the world. The retailer isn’t limited to the United States: The family-owned firm also has subsidiary locations in the United Kingdom under the supermarket name Asda and South Africa as Massmart. Across all of its verticals, Walmart employs 2.1 million employees worldwide.

2. People’s Liberation Army of China – 2.35 million employees

Credit: Hung Chung Chih / Shutterstock.com

War is big business, which explains why the second runner-up and leader of this list are two major military operations. China holds the title for the largest population at 1.42 billion people. So, it makes sense that they have a fairly large army. The People’s Liberation Army employs 2.35 million active military personnel or 0.18% of the nation’s population.

Just like in the U.S., China’s army is segmented into branches: Support Force, Navy, Air Force, Ground Force, Rocket Force, and a reservist branch. While the U.S. still has the largest military force in the world, China is quickly ramping up its assets. The nation’s military is currently classified as the fastest growing military outfit in the world thanks to numerous technological advances.

1. United States Department of Defense – 3.2 million employees

Credit: Sergey Kohl / Shutterstock.co

We round out this list with the United States Department of Defense. At 3.2 million employees worldwide, they eclipse China’s army by nearly 1 million. However, the U.S.’s figure doesn’t just refer to active duty military and reservists of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard or National Guard. This also includes members employed by the other 38 critical agencies that fall under the Department of Defense.

So why does the Department of Defense have such a huge workforce? This is because the U.S. has the largest military budget in the world and eclipses any other nation in money allocated toward technological defense advancements.

The above list might be a big surprise if you were expecting only Fortune 500 firms. This top five list reflects the fact that China’s influence as a nation and economic force continues to grow while the U.S. is able to maintain a strong presence since more than half of the countries with the largest work forces are headquartered in the United States.

Saudi Arabia: Unemployment Declines to 12.3% in Q2

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Saudi Arabia: Unemployment Declines to 12.3% in Q2

Friday, 13 September, 2019 – 10:45
Riyadh- Asharq Al-Awsat
The unemployment rate among Saudi Arabian citizens dropped to 12.3 percent in Q2 2019 compared to 12.5 percent in Q1, according to data from the Saudi General Authority for Statistics (GaStat).

Unemployment in the kingdom (citizens and residents) fell to 5.6 percent in the second quarter, compared to 6 percent in Q1 2019.

The economic reforms implemented within Saudi Vision 2030 have proven efficiency through the continuous drop of the unemployment rate in Saudi Arabia.

There has been an increase of 23.2 percent in the economic participation of Saudi women in the second quarter of 2019 compared to 20.5 percent in the previous quarter. The overall economic participation of Saudis reached 45 percent in the second quarter compared to 42.3 percent in the first quarter.

The decline is attributed to Saudi Vision 2030 programs aiming at boosting the involvement of citizens in the private sector and creating jobs in new fields of entertainment, cinema, and sports for women.

The Saudi government leads several government initiatives such as developing a specialized agency to empower women in the government sector through the Ministry of Civil Service, as well as the support provided by Saudi Vision 2030 programs for women such as eliminating social restrictions that limit them from taking part in the labor market.

The estimated total of Saudi job-seekers during the Q2 is one million. Yet, not all of them meet the unemployment standards known by the International Labor Organization.

The GASTA clarified job seekers as Saudi men and women registered in the government in search of a job through the Jadara and Saaed portals of the Ministry of Civil Service and the Taqat portal of Human Resources Development Fund.

The data was collected from the administrative records of the relevant authorities such as the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, Ministry of Civil Service, the General Organization for Social Insurance, the Human Resources Development Fund, and the National Information Center.

Flight attendant union head fired for supporting Hong Kong protests on social media

Flight attendant union head fired for supporting Hong Kong protests on social media

Rebecca Sy. Image from inmediahk.net. Used with permission.

Airline Cathay Dragon, a subsidiary of Cathay Pacific, has fired Rebecca Sy, the chair of its flight attendant union, after she confirmed the posting of three posts on her Facebook timeline in support of Hong Kong protesters.

The taming of Cathay Pacific

The Cathay Pacific saga started on 9 August 2019 when the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) informed the airline that its staff members who had taken part in “illegal protests” and “violent actions” would be banned from China’s airspace beginning 10 August.

On 14 August, the airline fired two pilots and two ground personnel who had taken part in the recent protests. Two days later, Cathay Pacific CEO Rupert Hogg announced his resignation from the company.

On 20 August, the company reminded its employees that social media content expressing support for anti-government protests in Hong Kong could violate CAAC’s new policy. The warning not only covers public posts but also private conversations on Facebook, Telegram and other apps since these messages could be exposed through doxxing by pro-government trolls or China’s immigration checkpoints.

On the same day, lawmaker Jeremy Tam from the pro-democracy Civic Party told the press that he had resigned from Cathay Pacific to “protect the company from unreasonable attacks”. Tam had been a pilot for the air carrier for nearly two decades.

Cathay Dragon labor leader fired

Cathay Dragon fired Rebecca Sy, the chair of its Flight Attendant Union (FAU), after she confirmed that three screen captures of Facebook posts about the Hong Kong protests were from her account. Sy was still able to fly to Beijing and back to Hong Kong on 19 and 20 August. However, she was told not to work on a scheduled Hangzhou trip the following day.

FAU was one of the worker unions which participated in the 5 August general strike. Together with six other airline worker unions, the airport strike led to the cancellation of more than 200 flights. As head of the FAU, Sy has been vocal about her support of the protests.

The company said the decision to fire Sy was not related to her union activities but did not explain the reason behind her dismissal. In a statement issued on 23 August, it affirmed the company’s compliance with Chinese regulations:

We are a leading international airline with global operations and therefore we are required to comply with all applicable laws and regulations in the jurisdictions where we operate.

Sy was not the only victim of what has been described as politically-motivated dismissal. The Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) said that at least 14 airline personnel had been sacked in relation to recent protests and eight of the cases were related with their online speech. The union coalition plans to stage a protest outside Cathay Pacific’s office building on 26 August.

‘White terror’

Sy described the crackdown on free speech as ‘white terror’:

This is not just about me. This is about the whole industry. This is about Hong Kong. When will this white terror end?

It is unclear how Cathay Pacific obtained the screen captures of Sy’s Facebook messages. However, in the past few weeks, Chinese immigration has started inspecting the mobile phones of travelers for images and chats related to Hong Kong protests at border checkpoints. When suspicious content is identified, the travelers would be questioned and interrogated. Although majority of the questioned travelers were not detained or arrested upon checking, it is likely that the Chinese government could use the data for other purposes.

The pressure exerted by Beijing authorities on Cathay Pacific is seen by some analysts as a warning intended for other multinational companies in Hong Kong that they have to be in compliance with China’s Hong Kong policy or else they risk being sidelined from the Chinese market.

In addition to Cathay Pacific, a number of international accounting firms have issued a warning to their personnel about social media posts and conversations supporting the protests.

Over the years, China has cultivated close relations with local business leaders by appointing them as representatives of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and giving them extra voting rights in the functional election of the legislative council and the election committee of the city’s Chief Executive.

However, the participation of professional groups and labor unions in the protests has shown how Beijing can also export other coercive measures to force the business sector to support its political goals by disciplining their workforce.

But even if the international firms do not control the political behavior of their employees, Beijing could mobilize party affiliated media outlets and online patriots to put political pressure, or to submit ‘evidence’ to corporations and force them into taking disciplinary action against their ‘errant’ employees.

If such trend continues, there are fears that Hong Kong could face a brain drain by forcing skilled professionals to leave and settle in other places where there is freedom of expression.

To read more about the anti-extradition protests in Hong Kong, visit Global Voices’ special coverage page.

India: Center working on a plan to create 50,000 jobs in Jammu and Kashmir

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

Center working on new plan to create 50,000 jobs in Jammu and Kashmir

The measures include a paramilitary and military recruitment drive in the two newly-formed Union territories and efforts to develop the food processing and dairy industries, an official aware of the details said on condition of anonymity.

INDIA Updated: Aug 27, 2019 23:42 IST

Sudhi Ranjan Sen
Sudhi Ranjan Sen

Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The Centre is set to announce a slew of development measures for Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh soon to boost the local economies and generate employment, according to officials aware of the development.
The Center is set to announce a slew of development measures for Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh soon to boost the local economies and generate employment, according to officials aware of the development. (AP Photo)

The Center is set to announce a slew of development measures for Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh soon to boost the local economies and generate employment, according to officials aware of the development.

The measures include a paramilitary and military recruitment drive in the two newly-formed Union territories and efforts to develop the food processing and dairy industries, an official aware of the details said on condition of anonymity. The government is considering recruiting as many as 50,000 young people for the paramilitary forces from Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla on Tuesday held a high-level inter-ministerial meeting to discuss the measures to be rolled out. “A meeting was held with various departments to access the implementation of central schemes in Jammu and Kashmir and initiatives to be taken to expedite the return of normalcy,” a home ministry spokesperson said without giving details.

The Center stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its special status and divided it into two Union territories earlier this month. Restrictions were imposed on people’s movement and telecom connectivity was suspended as a pre-preemptive measure to prevent unrest and protests against the move.

The government has said that curbs are being removed in a phased manner. High schools in areas unlikely to witness agitations will be opened from Wednesday, the Jammu and Kashmir administration said.

Officials said the proposed development measures will be presented before the Union cabinet soon. The measures to be announced are primarily aimed at achieving fast-paced development, helping the young acquire skills for employment, they added.

Officials said a pilot project is being launched in seven districts of the Kashmir Valley and two in the Jammu region and Ladakh. They added district-level “skill planning” committees will also be formed and will comprise industry representatives, academics and corporate entities. Developing the food-processing and dairy industries will be one of the keys areas of focus, they added.

Officials said the Center was keen that the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh understand the benefits of the removal of Constitution’s Article 370 that gave the erstwhile state special status.

“The Centre is keen that the people understand that removal of special status is not detrimental but on the contrary beneficial for them and the next generation,” said a government official, who is a part of the exercise of rolling out the measures, on condition of anonymity.

The government is also considering opening career counselling centers. And with the help of the corporate sector, it also wants to hold “job melas,” or fairs, in the Union territories.

First Published: Aug 27, 2019 23:28 IST

Total Trade Stoppage With China Could Be A Good Thing For American Workers

Total Trade Stoppage With China Could Be A Good Thing For American Workers

 

I know that many people here in the U.S. will in the short term be hit financially if this ‘trade war’ with China continues. The American companies on the U.S. Stock Market has taken a hit with these tariffs the White House is talking about, I know this is hurting some American businesses like WalMart who import a huge amount from China, so be it, they need to be hurt, badly.  There is a reason for my view, I just hope you can see what I am talking about.

 

American businesses need to be hurt because of their treason toward the American Nation and her people. How many thousands of businesses have been shuttered because of companies like WalMart who for a penny or two lower price per product will buy from other countries like China (whose Leaders hate us) instead of buying from U.S. Companies who have their factories here in the U.S. giving jobs to American workers. Companies like WalMart cater to low income people yet how many of these people are poor because of these companies ‘buy foreign first’ business practices? The rich, especially the super rich like to complain about the poor as people who suck away their profits and produce nothing and how they say the poor don’t pay their fair share. If an owner of a company moves their operation out of the States thus firing all their American workers it should be the Companies Leadership who should be punished, not the workers. These companies should have to pay a tariff of about 90% on all goods they import back to the American market. Make it not worth their bottom line to close American factories and fire their American workers. In the business world everything is always about profits, the money that goes to the top is the only thing that has mattered for decades not. Most businesses and government officials should be charged with treason against the the American Flag and Her people, not profit from their demise that they themselves are causing! Rebuild America’s factories and infrastructure now, create jobs for American workers first. Our exports like grain and soy beans can easily be sold to other world markets. There is no logic besides greed that dictates us selling anything to or importing anything from other countries like China whom is trying to wipe us out. But then again, these words to you today are just the opinions of an old poet.

My Thoughts On The Economics Of Americas Slave Systems Past And Present

 

My Thoughts On The Economics Of Americas Slave Systems Past And Present

 

Here in the U.S. if you have gone through the education system and paid any attention to the History of the ‘Americas’ then you should know of our ‘Slave History’. When the Europeans started coming across the Atlantic Ocean looking for land and natural resources they knew they would have to have physical human help to harvest these resources. For the purpose of this letter to you today I am only going to speak of events I know more about so I am only going to be referring to events here in the U.S..

 

When the ‘Settlers’ started coming to North America (U.S.) there were those who sought more than a new start and a couple of Acres of land. Some of these folks had some money along with some big dreams of becoming even richer. Think about it for a moment, you or I are in possession of a thousand acres of prime land in the “New World” in the early 1500’s. We have money or we can get the money to create mass wealth for ourself, if we can find the people needed to do all of the physical labor for us. We would also want to get this labor as cheaply as is possible so that our initial outlay of cash is as low as possible. (This is a basic business reality that still exists today.) So, now, who can we get to do this work for us? Who is going to build our houses and stores for us, who is going to maintain them for us?

 

Our History Books tell us that first the wealthy white men who came to the New World to start their Plantations and the such tried to hire poorer white folks to do their bidding but they couldn’t get anywhere near enough whites who would agree to work for them. So, next they attempted enslavement of the Native Indian Folks, trouble was the ‘Indian Folks’ knew the land well and were always escaping, mostly never to be seen again. Next came ‘indentured’ White people. This system was set up to where if you were a poor white person in Europe and you wanted to leave there and go to the ‘New World’ you still needed to be able to get a ship to take you. If you had no money you tended to be out of luck, unless you would agree to be an indentured slave for a period of seven years. If I was rich and you were poor you would agree to work for me for the first seven years to work off your cost of the ‘passage.’

 

The reality of the situation on the ground was that the land owners couldn’t get enough White folks to accept this ‘indentured’ program. The land owners needed more workers and they needed workers more ‘acclimated’ to that type of hot hard work. So, their logical choice was to kidnap Africans as slave labor. Was this ethical or ‘right’ to do this, my opinion is absolutely not. The wealthy of the time obviously disagreed.

 

Modern day slavery: In the U.S. slavery is not a legal enterprise but it still does exist as an ‘underground’ reality especially in some of our biggest cities. Think about it for a moment, why would ‘Business people’ today still want slavery or at least as close to slavery as possible? The answer is simple, the less overhead you have, the more money you get to put into your own pocket. If I own a business here in the States the less I have to pay to get my product out the door, the better for me. Businesses are supposed to pay at least the Federal Minimum Wage of $7.25 per hour, which has not increased in the past 10 years. Companies want higher profits, employees want to be able to make a ‘livable’ wage. Why do you think that companies hire illegals? Simple they don’t want to pay the minimum wage so they hire or bring in ‘illegals’, pay them even less with no overtime pay, no benefits and if they gripe they get turned over to the authorities to be deported. To me, I personally believe that the world’s Stock Exchanges are the biggest single tool of businesses that is in its design made to starve the ‘lowest caste’ of people around the industrialized world.

 

I am going to finish this letter to you with why I believe it is best for the world’s businesses if they were all forced to pay livable wages to their employees. If a country has no middle class then they are not buying anyone’s products, not even basic things. If the workers don’t get paid enough to supply food and basic housing for their families or themselves they are not buying any other products either. If you are working full-time jobs, and in many cases more than one job and you don’t make enough for the existence of a minimal living you are not buying cars, furniture, clothes, medicine, or anything else. This is why Jesus said that “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter into Heaven.” It is called greed folks, pure greed cares about no one but themselves.

 

Folks: How Do We Personally Believe In The Independence Of OUR OWN: Supreme Court?

Folks: How Do We Personally Believe In The Independence Of OUR OWN: Supreme Court?

 

Well Folks, do We? This is a case where 1/3 of Our National Government is in the hands and minds of just 9 of Our own People. I personally would not want to have to be a judge, at any level. Not with all the sins that I know that I have  committed. I don’t want to have to have a job of being a Judge where what the 9 of you say, is final. Folks, that’s just like being one step away, or below, God! I am not saying that this Job can’t be done, but to be Truly Independent of the Other 2 Branches of Our Government, at every level is necessary. To me, and I know that I could be wrong, but I believe that in Our Country’s Supreme Court Job Description, that Job Description is to make sure that all Laws are Constitutional! Now again, do the Nine Folks we now have on The Nations Top Court realize the weight upon each of them to be in charge of 1/3 of Our Government? Personally, there is no way, no amount of money that could get me to want that Job. Think of the pressure on all 9 of these folks to be, Honest. Has Our Nations Supreme Court become nothing but pawns of Big Politics, and Big Money? Do you have the Intelligence, and the Morals, do you Mr. Kavanaugh? What are you walking into Mr. Kavanaugh, do you really know? Well folks, as a very dear friend of mine used to say once in a while, “we shall see what we shall see.” Fore without an independent Supreme Court, there is no Democracy and as little as 9 people holds in their hands the weight of 1/3 of the Constitutional Government. Their sort of like those “Super Delegates” the Democrats been hosting, aren’t they? Except if you can totally control one of these 3 Branches of our Government, 9 people could control our Country. How much weight is on Mr. Kavanaugh? How much weight is on all 9 of these people? As I said earlier, I wouldn’t want this job no matter what the pay. When we add in the reality that another 1/3 of Our Government is in the hands of just One Person. Folks this means that 2/3 of Our whole Government is the Hands of 10 people. That is too much power if those positions aren’t filled with quality persons, now who decides what “Quality” is. Now Folks, does this help you see why I would not want to ever have to be in the place of one of these nine Folks.

Real World Poem: Life Through A Windshield

Life through a Windshield

 

In 81’ the story began, first with my brother and then with a friend

Seeing life through a windshield like a gypsy on eighteen wheels

But when you do this for a living it’s life you omit

White line fever they call it in movies and in song

White lines on the concrete is to what you belong

 

 

The back rows of the truck stops and the cab of a truck is your home

From Bean-town to Shaky to Big D then Windy once again you roam

Dispatch can get you a load to anywhere except the state you belong

Driving your shiny KW or Freight Shaker is not just a job now you see

Through the windshield is your life on this unending concrete sea

 

 

Back braces, Aspirin, Doan’s Pills and of course Preparation H

Always part of your luggage because that hot freight just can’t wait

Truck driving is a hobby for the homeless no roots do you need

Life through a windshield is now a life you can’t ever really leave

Theology Poem: Their Is Only One Thing We Own

Their Is Only One Thing We Own

 

We bought us a Hector of land about 3 yrs ago

It even had a three bedroom planted upon its face

We’re even blessed with two old sleds, but they ride

Could we all be more alive if we just owned more toys

Own the Business, but, do we really ever own the fame

 

There are many generations of those whom have owned this land

How many striped backs have worked this very place that I stand

Grass to timber, back to grass, then back to trees, again and again

Did a Red Man before me own it, if so, which people were they of

Did a Cave Man or maybe a Monkey or even a Chimp lay claim to it

 

Do the Trees think they own the Stars as well as the Ground below

The Skies hold the Rain but are the Skies beholding to the night breeze

How is it that I think to my self, yes I do own this, and I also own that

The Air owns the Man, the Man has never been in control of his Air

The Only Thing that We Own is Our Own Name, waiting in Line Up There

Personal Experiences With Labor Unions Here In The U.S. Both Good And Bad

 

 

A couple of days ago I read an article from another Blogger concerning his experiences with Labor Unions, it was his article that gave me the idea to write this article to you today. The Author’s name is Dan Antion and you can find his article on his site at http://nofacilities.wordpress.com/

 

I was born in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia back in the mid 1950’s, this was an area where there simply were no Union jobs. All of the jobs in the area all paid what ever the Federal National minimum wage happened to be at the time. None of the factories, silk mills or saw mills paid anything to their employees that was not mandated by law. Besides the people being paid the minimum wage there were no benefits at all for the employees, no health insurance, not dental or vision insurance, no paid holidays, no vacations or vacation pay, no overtime pay when you had work on a holiday, unless in doing so put you over the 40 work week. Another big thing was there was no job security at all, you could have been at a job for 20 years and the foreman or “Boss Man” as most were called could come into work one morning in a bad mood and fire you for any reason, or no reason at all and there was nothing at all that you could do about it. Needless to say my Mom and Dad whom were both factory workers were in favor of Unions but it was something that they had to keep quiet because you would definitely get fired if the Bosses ever even thought you were talking pro-union even if you were not at work when they heard that you were condoning the concept of a Union. The reasons are pretty simple, if the Company was forced to have a Union then the bosses would have to have a real reason to fire you or to suspend you. The company would be forced to pay much higher wages and be required to pay for benefits like vacation pay, health insurance, paid sick leave. To me I believe that there are two main financial reasons for a company to treat their employees this way. One is pure greed from the ownership stand point. If you own a company what you don’t pay out in wages and benefits you get to put into your own pocket. Two, competition, you as an owner had to be able to keep the wholesale prices of your product in line with what other companies whom made the same products as you were charging. When you paid more out for your costs than your competition then the customers would buy from your competition and not you, thus putting you out of business. Back then competition was mostly all domestic, now days everything is international. This is some of the reasons why so many factories have closed here in the States and moved overseas, competition and cheaper production costs.

 

Now to the crux of this article to you today. I was a long haul truck driver from 1981-2013, I drove all over the lower 48 states and all of the Provinces of Canada. Most of my driving was here in the U.S. so I am only going to speak of my Union/non-Union experiences here in the States. I my self do believe that the concept of Unions is a very good thing for the working class poor people but as a truck driver I really did not like having to go to Union customers. Companies simply want to get employees to get as much product out the door as possible for the least amount of cost. Unions want to make companies pay the employees as much as possible and they want the employees to have to do as little as possible for that higher pay. Also Unions want to have as many members as possible so their theory is if the employees of a company do less and less than the company will have to hire more Union employees to get the finished product out the door. This in turn creates more revenue for the Union via the employees Union Dues. The problem between the companies and the Unions are just like the problems we all see in American politics between the Republicans and the Democrats, they are total polar opposites.  The only way to make things work whether it is in politics or with companies and Unions is if both sides of the issues will decide to ‘meet in the middle’.

 

Examples of why a driver does not like to go to Union companies: There was a large Paper Mill in Lamar Louisiana that I went to several times, once you backed in the dock to get loaded you walked about 200 feet back into the Mill to the Shipping Office to sign and pickup the paper work for your load. By the time you walked to the Office then back to your trailer, it was loaded. These are big rolls of paper that are loaded with a clamp machine (adapted forklift). This Mill is non-Union and you could always hear the tires squealing on the forklifts as they were loading the trailers and your trailer was only in a dock for a total of about 15 minutes and you were ready to leave. One time I picked up a load from this Mill and the load was an (in-house) move, meaning that it was going to their own warehouse in Indianapolis Indiana. The difference here was that the warehouse in Indianapolis was a Union Shop. I got to the Receiver about a half hour early and was given a door assignment to back into which I did. This warehouse had about 40 dock doors and I was the only trailer in any dock. I waited for two hours and they still had not entered the trailer for the first time so I went back to the Receiving Office to ask when they might start, about another hour and a half passed before they pulled the first roll out. From that point it took them two hours to unload the trailer, my total time in their dock to get unloaded was 5 1/2 hours. Remember, at their non-Union Mill they loaded this load in 10-15 minutes.

 

One time I picked up a load of car fenders that were on either 5 or 6 racks that took the loader literally no more than about 5 minutes to load. This load was going to a General Motors Assembly Plant in Michigan. General Motors is very strict about incoming freight and they only give you a half hour window in which to be arriving, if you are late the company that you drove for gets a big fine so you don’t dare be late. My appointment was for 5 AM. I checked in at 4:30 and was told to pull in front of door #5 and to stay there until someone comes out and tells you to back into the dock. All of the dock doors had trucks lined up waiting just like I was. A couple of times during the day I went in to check with the Receiving Supervisor to see when they might get started as my dispatch had me a reload to get picked up and that customer was wanting to know when I might show up. Turns out that all of the Receiving Department employees were sitting in the break room doing things like reading newspapers and books, playing card games and watching TV. When the Supervisor asked them to please go out and unload these trailers they cursed him quite badly and told him to go F-off. The Supervisor one time even got a hold of the Union Representative who showed up on his little three-wheeled power cart and he asked the employees to please go unload the trailers, he got cursed just as the Receiving Supervisor had before him. Turns out that at about 6 PM I finally got to back into my dock door and they did get me unloaded in about 10 minutes. That was the one and only load that my company ever hauled into or out of a U.A.W. (United Auto Workers) location. Is it any wonder why the Company built factories in Mexico to get away from the Union here in the States?

 

Twice I had to pick up a load of flooring tile at a manufacturer in north-east Illinois. Both times I had gotten appointments for about 10 AM. The Shipper had a good-sized parking lot for the trucks to wait in until they were called to back into a dock door. Both times the company I worked for ended up canceling the load and the reason was simple economics. This was a Union Shipper, after waiting for a couple of hours past my appointment time I went inside to see what was going on as no trucks had moved from the docks yet. Just like at the GM Factory the shipping department employees were all just siting around in their break room. I was told that the Union had gotten a deal where the employees only had to load 4 trailers per shift, figuring 2 hours per trailer x 4=8 hour shift. Reality was that when the day started at 7 AM the employees would hustle to get their 4 trailers loaded. But, it actually only took them about 30 minutes to load a trailer so, 4 x 30 minutes =2 hours. Then the employees would just go to the break room each day until their 8 hour shift was finished then they would check out and go home. The reality was that they had a whole lot full of trucks waiting to get loaded that they didn’t give a damn about.

 

Folks, here is my take on this issue. We all know that all companies are in a global economy, if your company makes a product, lets say widgets, you are not only competing with other Widget Companies in your State or even just in your home Country. If I have a company here in Kentucky, Union or not, and I make Widgets at a cost to me of 48 cents each and another company in lets say China and or Indonesia comes into the market selling Widgets for a total cost of 35 cents each having a production cost of 20 cents per Widget then I have a tough choice to make. Either I get my production cost down to no more than 20 cents per unit so that I can stay competitive, or I close my factory before I go bankrupt. The other option is to close up my factory here in Kentucky and to open up a factory in a place like China or Indonesia where I can be competitive. Either way, I must close up my factory here in Kentucky.

 

My Mom instilled in me a major ‘work ethic’, the concept that when you are at work, you bust your behind, you work. It has long been my belief that if you are an employee and you are lucky enough to have a Union job then you should always work as hard as you can and to always put out the best possible product for you employer. If you are  employed in a Union Business I have always believed that you need to produce at a higher level because you are being paid at a higher level than your non-Union neighbor. Getting contracts where you can work for two hours and sit on your butt in the break room for the next six hours is how companies either go bankrupt, or move away to a non-Union location, like China. Either way, you now have no job at all.