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Unions

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Stewart is an idiot. I think he's pretty much off base on everything he said in that article. I love how the rich throw pennies at the masses, keeping them poor and desperate, but as soon as something organized comes along to spoil the fun, well, then they aren't making enough money. Trust me, I'm not really a Union guy, but I can see the need sometimes. I think this is one of those times.

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Stewart is an idiot. I think he's pretty much off base on everything he said in that article. I love how the rich throw pennies at the masses, keeping them poor and desperate, but as soon as something organized comes along to spoil the fun, well, then they aren't making enough money. Trust me, I'm not really a Union guy, but I can see the need sometimes. I think this is one of those times.

You are 100% right. Perez represents the people of the City of Hartford, the poor neglected city full of needy residents. Not the Region of Hartford with it's immense riches and resources. He has to speak up for who he represents, period. The people he represents need an advocate so that they are not taken advantage of by greedy corporations. When will America learn that we need to control our corporations and not the other way around. I'm tired of big business bullying the little guys. And I include all of us and the government in the little guy category. That aside I do support big business and would love to reap the riches of capitalism. I still think I will be a Democrat and fairly liberal, even after I get rich. I don't agree for every man for themself government when the Government is the one that stacked the deck in certain people's favor in the first place.

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i am a republican but i think this guy is a total idiot. i will side with the democrats on this one.

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There is no difference between the city and the region. One of the huge problems with the area is that type of thinking. Rich versus poor, city versus suburbs.

The pendulum is way, way over on the side of the unions in Connecticut compared to other states. The Sikorsky union almost drove their employer out of state. Unions have a place and have done a lot of good. But politicians shouldn't be shoving unions down the throats of the hoospitality industry. That is FAR OUT OF BOUNDS.

Anyone ever hear of Eastern Airlines?

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Unions are useless self serving organizations now. When unions were first organized, there were no labor laws, no overtime pay, no OSHA, etc. The creation of these laws has all but made unions obsolete.

As for the notion that without unions, rich corporations would under pay workers is BS. Its a free market. If you don't like your wages at company A, then look for a new job at company B. If you are a truly valuable worker with valuable skills, you have bargaining power. Its the balance of a capitalist system. People seem to think that if they have a job, they are entitled to it for a lifetime. Furthermore, they seem to think the job should be on their terms.

When I first graduated school, I went to work for an automotive parts manufacturer in their marketing department. In this very competeive business, the factory workers and their union refused to negotiate at contract time. At a time when margins were being squeezed, management needed some give from the factory workers in order to stay profitable. Management asked that workers give up things like their 15 minute "cleanup" time (on the clock) and agree to layoffs in order to stay competitive. The union refused to give, ownership became frustrated after a year of this and sold us to a competitor. Everyone - union workers, management and front office all lost our jobs.

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What would the next would be Hartford hotel operator think? Should he invest in Hartford, or should he take his money elsewhere? Why would a grocery store come into Hartford if they know the mayor of the city "created and got passed an ordinance specifically allowing union organizers to recruit Wal-Mart workers on the store's private property."

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I think Unions DO serve a purpose. Despite national laws, some corporations still look to exploit their workforce, which isn't right. Given the right circumstances, a union is definitely the way to go. In this case, I think it is the right way to go. In some cases, no, in this one, yes....

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Vlad, shouldn't that be up to the workers whether to unionize or not? Perez is taking away workers rights!!!

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Unions are useless self serving organizations now. When unions were first organized, there were no labor laws, no overtime pay, no OSHA, etc. The creation of these laws has all but made unions obsolete.

As for the notion that without unions, rich corporations would under pay workers is BS. Its a free market. If you don't like your wages at company A, then look for a new job at company B. If you are a truly valuable worker with valuable skills, you have bargaining power. Its the balance of a capitalist system. People seem to think that if they have a job, they are entitled to it for a lifetime. Furthermore, they seem to think the job should be on their terms.

When I first graduated school, I went to work for an automotive parts manufacturer in their marketing department. In this very competeive business, the factory workers and their union refused to negotiate at contract time. At a time when margins were being squeezed, management needed some give from the factory workers in order to stay profitable. Management asked that workers give up things like their 15 minute "cleanup" time (on the clock) and agree to layoffs in order to stay competitive. The union refused to give, ownership became frustrated after a year of this and sold us to a competitor. Everyone - union workers, management and front office all lost our jobs.

To be totally honest we are talking about hard working people with no marketable skills. They need protection from corporations. These are the types of workers completely at the mercy of their employers. The types who if they lose this job may or may not find another one, and more than likely it will take months or years for them to do so. Now consider that these people live paycheck to paycheck anyway and you start to see how very serious this is for these people, who by the way make up the people who support Perez and have lived in THE CITY OF HARTFORD in basically bad times and worse times. Not that the suburban residents shouldn't be considered, but these are living wage issues. Perez saved hundreds of jobs by showing his support for the workers and Hartford residents during the Hilton Renovation. In my opinion, this is one issue where Perez should not bow down to the high and mighty. They will come back to Hartford soon because it's a good market. We really shouldn't be that desperate as to accept employers who may not be big on worker's rights.

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Vlad, shouldn't that be up to the workers whether to unionize or not? Perez is taking away workers rights!!!

Yes.The thing is, sometimes the workers get bullied into not going with a Union by the company, "you guys Unionize, I'll fire you". I'm not saying this is the case, but it could be. But I agree, it should be up to the workers.

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Yes.The thing is, sometimes the workers get bullied into not going with a Union by the company, "you guys Unionize, I'll fire you". I'm not saying this is the case, but it could be. But I agree, it should be up to the workers.

It should definately be up to the workers. These are the type of workers without much of a voice though. Many of them are not aware of their own rights and the company won't tell them. So Perez and Unite! Here will, I guess. I don't trust the Unions anymore than the corporations. I guess I don't trust anyone really.....

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To be totally honest we are talking about hard working people with no marketable skills. They need protection from corporations. These are the types of workers completely at the mercy of their employers. The types who if they lose this job may or may not find another one, and more than likely it will take months or years for them to do so. Now consider that these people live paycheck to paycheck anyway and you start to see how very serious this is for these people, who by the way make up the people who support Perez and have lived in THE CITY OF HARTFORD in basically bad times and worse times. Not that the suburban residents shouldn't be considered, but these are living wage issues. Perez saved hundreds of jobs by showing his support for the workers and Hartford residents during the Hilton Renovation. In my opinion, this is one issue where Perez should not bow down to the high and mighty. They will come back to Hartford soon because it's a good market. We really shouldn't be that desperate as to accept employers who may not be big on worker's rights.

I completely disagree. How would you like to buy a large business in Hartford and have the mayor tell you who your workers are going to be? New hotel and new owners who spent millions should have the right to staff appropriately. Have you been to the new Hilton? The place is beautiful and has a boutique hotel feel. Much of the staff and service is horrendous from the front desk to the bartenders and this is the problem you cause with the entitlement mentality. Perez didn't save any jobs - the jobs were still going to be there and the most qualified people would have been hired - including pre-renovation Hilton workers. If you were experienced, did your job well and worked hard, there is no reason why you wouldn't have been hired back. You don't deserve a job just because you belong to a union.

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I completely disagree. How would you like to buy a large business in Hartford and have the mayor tell you who your workers are going to be? New hotel and new owners who spent millions should have the right to staff appropriately. Have you been to the new Hilton? The place is beautiful and has a boutique hotel feel. Much of the staff and service is horrendous from the front desk to the bartenders and this is the problem you cause with the entitlement mentality. Perez didn't save any jobs - the jobs were still going to be there and the most qualified people would have been hired.

I can see your point there. I do have a personal distaste for mass layoffs though. Those people did depend on those jobs though, and they are still subject to employment guidelines and could face disciplinary action from the new employer. I have been there and really did not have anything to complain about. I am pretty easy going though.....

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Vlad, there is no "bullying" going on except by Perez.

In 2006, the way companies stop employees from unionizing is by giving better benefits than the union would. This drives the unions nuts and they use their political muscle (the mayor) to pass laws to force their way in.

The workers are actually being exploited by the unions. And in this case, one particular union with backing from its political lackey Perez.

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I can see your point there. I do have a personal distaste for mass layoffs though. Those people did depend on those jobs though, and they are still subject to employment guidelines and could face disciplinary action from the new employer. I have been there and really did not have anything to complain about. I am pretty easy going though.....

I have a distaste for it too Tycoon. I think preserving jobs in Hartford is just as important as you do. I just think that hard work and experience should determine who gets hired for those jobs in a free society. Like it is in the non-union world. It works out best for everyone involved - employee, employer, consumer and the economy.

What no one looks at is the other side of the coin. While there is competition for jobs (as we discussed), there is also competition for skilled experienced workers. If you do not pay what other hotels pay or do not offer benefits other hotels offer, you are quickly going to find yourself with high turnover and a shortage of employees as everyone flocks to greener pastures. Trust me, as a corporate recruiter, I can tell you it happens all the time.

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I have a distaste for it too Tycoon. I think preserving jobs in Hartford is just as important as you do. I just think that hard work and experience should determine who gets hired for those jobs in a free society. Like it is in the non-union world. It works out best for everyone involved - employee, employer, consumer and the economy.

What no one looks at is the other side of the coin. While there is competition for jobs (as we discussed), there is also competition for skilled experienced workers. If you do not pay what other hotels pay or do not offer benefits other hotels offer, you are quickly going to find yourself with high turnover and a shortage of employees as everyone flocks to greener pastures. Trust me, as a corporate recruiter, I can tell you it happens all the time.

It definately happens all of the time. I'm an Underwriter at Chubb and everyweek someone goes to the Hartford or Travelers and I don't think I'm too far behind them. I just think that unskilled labor needs more outside support due to the education levels involved. I don't know if a union is the best way to go, but the true little guys do need some kind of advocate because they are ignorant to many complex issues that contol their fate. I speak as someone who grew up around those less fortunate. If you haven't trully experienced it first hand and for your entire life it's hard to understand to what extent these people need help. We view these jobs as menial, but to a lot of people it's the best job they've ever had. I just think we need to keep that in mind before we are so quick to displace workers from jobs that they have held for years and depend on.

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Stewart is an idiot. I think he's pretty much off base on everything he said in that article. I love how the rich throw pennies at the masses, keeping them poor and desperate, but as soon as something organized comes along to spoil the fun, well, then they aren't making enough money. Trust me, I'm not really a Union guy, but I can see the need sometimes. I think this is one of those times.

Sorry, I have to DISAGREE with you. The Union presidents-- and was a member of it when I worked for the LATE AMES Department Stores -- lined their own pockets. The union is not necessary, because all the workers will do is pay for the 'right' to join a union - Ames took my union fee out of my paycheck - and get NOTHING in returned.

Now as a member of one of the best Office Supply chains -- I am non-union and I don't have my HARD EARNED $$ taken out to give to the UNION BOSSES --who use it to buy VOTES -- LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC VOTES!!

JimS

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Unions are useless self serving organizations now. When unions were first organized, there were no labor laws, no overtime pay, no OSHA, etc. The creation of these laws has all but made unions obsolete.

As for the notion that without unions, rich corporations would under pay workers is BS. Its a free market. If you don't like your wages at company A, then look for a new job at company B. If you are a truly valuable worker with valuable skills, you have bargaining power. Its the balance of a capitalist system. People seem to think that if they have a job, they are entitled to it for a lifetime. Furthermore, they seem to think the job should be on their terms.

When I first graduated school, I went to work for an automotive parts manufacturer in their marketing department. In this very competeive business, the factory workers and their union refused to negotiate at contract time. At a time when margins were being squeezed, management needed some give from the factory workers in order to stay profitable. Management asked that workers give up things like their 15 minute "cleanup" time (on the clock) and agree to layoffs in order to stay competitive. The union refused to give, ownership became frustrated after a year of this and sold us to a competitor. Everyone - union workers, management and front office all lost our jobs.

Luca:

So true!! Take a look at some of these UNION PRESIDENTS homes -- they like to say there are for the 'WORKING CLASS' but their homes aren't in Hartford -- more likely behind a GATED DRIVEWAY in Avon. Union when first started were needed, but now -- as the case of AUTO MANUFACTURING, look at where the new plants are -- in 'RIGHT TO WORK' states.

When will Unions learn that Companies will move -- either to a RTW state or OVERSEAS. Companies still have the RIGHT to do that...at this time!

JimS

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I think Unions DO serve a purpose. Despite national laws, some corporations still look to exploit their workforce, which isn't right. Given the right circumstances, a union is definitely the way to go. In this case, I think it is the right way to go. In some cases, no, in this one, yes....

They do EXPLOIT their WORKFORCE? Come on... name one COMPANY? I know I'm not exploited by the company I work for -- and I have a great medical plan and a good vacation plan. Do I need a UNION to give me whart I want? No... I told my boss what I want or I'll go elsewhere...I have skills and I don't need to give a UNION BOSS $$ to tell me what I need to live on.

I guess Perez don't want trade shows to come to the CONVENTION CENTER. I guess Perez doesn't want retail (and most stores are non-union) in Hartford.

JimS

To be totally honest we are talking about hard working people with no marketable skills. They need protection from corporations. These are the types of workers completely at the mercy of their employers. The types who if they lose this job may or may not find another one, and more than likely it will take months or years for them to do so. Now consider that these people live paycheck to paycheck anyway and you start to see how very serious this is for these people, who by the way make up the people who support Perez and have lived in THE CITY OF HARTFORD in basically bad times and worse times. Not that the suburban residents shouldn't be considered, but these are living wage issues. Perez saved hundreds of jobs by showing his support for the workers and Hartford residents during the Hilton Renovation. In my opinion, this is one issue where Perez should not bow down to the high and mighty. They will come back to Hartford soon because it's a good market. We really shouldn't be that desperate as to accept employers who may not be big on worker's rights.

Tycoon:

Tell me you said you have a business? Does your EMPLOYEES have a UNION? IF not -- WHY NOT??

JimS

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They do EXPLOIT their WORKFORCE? Come on... name one COMPANY? I know I'm not exploited by the company I work for -- and I have a great medical plan and a good vacation plan. Do I need a UNION to give me whart I want? No... I told my boss what I want or I'll go elsewhere...I have skills and I don't need to give a UNION BOSS $$ to tell me what I need to live on.

I guess Perez don't want trade shows to come to the CONVENTION CENTER. I guess Perez doesn't want retail (and most stores are non-union) in Hartford.

JimS

Tycoon:

Tell me you said you have a business? Does your EMPLOYEES have a UNION? IF not -- WHY NOT??

JimS

My business if family run and we don't have employees yet. If we did I don't think it would be on a large enough scale to require a union. Since you asked I'll go ahead and plug it (I have refrained in the Past):

Yakety Yak Wireless 38 Tunxis Ave. We sell T Mobile and Sprint/Nextel Phones and calling plans as well as Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, Vonage VOIP, Blue Tooth and Other accessories.

flierfrontsmall.jpg

(860) 656 9039

Yakety Yak Wireless Superstores

Don't get me wrong, I don't really like Unions and have never been a member of one or think I would find it necessary to be a member of one. My only point really is that corporations do exploit unskilled workers. It's not something that skilled workers have to worry about. Unskilled workers are replaceable at the drop of a dime and thats why I say they need a little more protection and that Eddie is 100% right to stand up for the citizens of his city who would have lost their jobs. I'm sorry I just don't agree with you guys. Jobs are hard to come by on my side of town. When you get a decent one it's nice to have someone going to bat for you to help you keep it. It's easy for you guys to say oh service is a little slow fire them all anyway, get some new people in. I just don't feel like that. Maybe it's because the affected people are my neighbors and friends, just remember they are Eddie's friends too. He's just a Peurto Rican guy from the slums in the North End. I think he goes with his heart on these issues and sometimes you have too when you are in his position coming from a background like his. You can't forget the community you come from.

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HartfordTycoon, since jobs are hard to come by, don't you think if someone get a decent job, they should value it, appreciate their situation, and try to do a good job, and get their raises and promotions that way? Believe me any employers that have their wits with them value good workers, and will reward them accordingly. In the same token, they should have the right to get rid of workers that cannot pull their weights. No one is saying if service is a little slow fire them all. I think what everyone is saying job, incentive and promotion should be base on merit, not base on collective bargaining. One of my economic professors used to say egalitarianism just means everyone is equally poor. I think the more you try to level the playing field, the more you lower the standard of the playing field. Ultimately, if the hotel and convention workers felt they are being exploited and asked to form a union, they should be able to vote on it. It should not be some outside union or mayor coming in telling them they need a union, one picked by the mayor, to represent them.

Let's put it this way, if the Mayor decides to unionize Goodwin Hotel owned by Northland, and Northland decide to take their money and play elsewhere. Who really lost? And why single out Convention Center and Marriot Hotel, why not all hotels in Hartford?

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HartfordTycoon, since jobs are hard to come by, don't you think if someone get a decent job, they should value it, appreciate their situation, and try to do a good job, and get their raises and promotions that way? Believe me any employers that have their wits with them value good workers, and will reward them accordingly. In the same token, they should have the right to get rid of workers that cannot pull their weights. No one is saying if service is a little slow fire them all. I think what everyone is saying job, incentive and promotion should be base on merit, not base on collective bargaining. One of my economic professors used to say egalitarianism just means everyone is equally poor. I think the more you try to level the playing field, the more you lower the standard of the playing field. Ultimately, if the hotel and convention workers felt they are being exploited and asked to form a union, they should be able to vote on it. It should not be some outside union or mayor coming in telling them they need a union, one picked by the mayor, to represent them.

Let's put it this way, if the Mayor decides to unionize Goodwin Hotel owned by Northland, and Northland decide to take their money and play elsewhere. Who really lost? And why single out Convention Center and Marriot Hotel, why not all hotels in Hartford?

I get your points. The problems here are that the projects at Adriaens Landing are publicly subsidized. As such the city and state have a say in how they conduct business. Anyone who wants to come in, put up all of the money from private sources, and get a project built should be able to do so without any stipulations regarding unions or organized labor. The same is true of the Wal Mart in Charter Oak Marketplace, it was built on city owned land, all the Mayor said was that the unions are allowed on city owned land. Whenever the developers start putting their own money on the line, I'm all with you guys. Until then they have to play by Eddie's rules. And Eddie is held accountable by the liberal minority voters who make up the vast majority of his city. Bottom line, If Eddie didn't stand up for the workers at the Hilton and Marriott and Convention Center he would have political hell to pay up here in the North End and in the South End. He can hardly afford that. Politics are crazy in this city. All it takes is for a strong black candidate to emerge, bad mouth Perez in the North End and his little ride could be over next election.

And c'mon I know you guys aren't naive enough to believe that only bad employees would have lost their jobs. They would have fired everyone at the Hilton, due to seniority and other complications the company may face with these incumbant workers. If you think the new workers would have been of such a high standard of quality that it would justify destroying lives, I think you are also mistaken.

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First, Jim, you need to calm down, brother. This isn't war here. Second, there are indeed companies that would exploit their workers if they could. I actually work for one, and the Union has saved me from being reduced to under half my pay, or outright outsourced...

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I am chiming in a little late on this topic but this mess is not good news for the City of Hartford. One of the first developers to develop something new in Hartford, the company that entered into the Adriaens Landing project when noone else wanted to is now is now receiving all this trouble. Adriaens Landing is a publicly funded project and on that note there are lots of other new projects in the city that are receiving tax breaks, special incentives, etc. meaning they will have to follow certain rules and this will possibly lead to more uproar in the years to come because many developers and companies were lured by these incentives.

I am not against the workers being allowed to unionize BUT they should be allowed to choose if they want to unionize, whom they want to unionize with and if with whatever they choose the Mayor, the union and the developer should not be harassed or harassing others about there decision. Every job in the city is crucial and by scaring away meeting planners, conventions, and new developments we are only hurting the city we all love so much. I hope the union and the mayor realize there are hundreds of other convention centers and conference centers to hold trade shows, meetings and conventions at and so just as easily as they choose Hartford they can easily choose to have there event somewhere else. This would in turn have a ripple effect because now why would we need these workers if theres noone coming to the city?

On a more personal note I did a senior project this year at my school (Watkinson) and I went out and interviewed the mayor, a journalist, and some of the developers investing in downtown including Len Wolman (head of the waterford group). This man has true faith in Hartford, he is not your stereotypical real estate developer (can anyone say Donald Trump), he cares for the city and wants to see it succeed. Mr. Wolman started the Waterford Group with his brother after coming to the USA and working in various hotels in CT - like the very workers who are in the middle of this union situation...Mr. Wolman worked hard to start this company which jumpstarted development in Hartford and now this is what he is getting. I know this is also not going over well with other developers who are investing in the city and this could hurt the city's future and we cant let that happen.

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