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"....Without some sort of cohesion, solidarity, and honesty, there will never be workers rights....".
Workers have never, in the history of the world, had more rights than they do now. You're mixing 'rights' with comments on job applications and other issues. Also, never in the history of the world, have we had so many people with drug and alcohol problems, police records, graduating high school barely literate, etc. Of course applications are going to be tough and geared to trying to screen these people out.
And yes, unions have seen their demise. As you stated, they blew it ---- corrupt, outrageous rules, outrageous salary/bene demands. You don't control unions by third party --- that was their responsibility and they crashed and burned in so many ways.
We mostly have an issue with the skills gap --- there are many jobs going unfilled because there is no one with enough background to go into them. Some companies are addressing this and have some type of variation on the old idea of apprentiship. More community colleges are working with local businesses.
The world has changed. We have too much population chasing fewer jobs due to globalization, robotics, immense increases in productivity, , and immense leaps in technology.
And don't forget, Walmart became a huge corporation because they instituted so many forward thinking ideas on marketing and logistics. If they didn't have those minds that expanded the company, the jobs they do have wouldn't be there.
Also, many of us don't like Walmart as they sell almost everything foreign made. Some of us don't shop there. But, many people choose to shop there, and have done so since Obama was a baby, and made Walmart the large company it is today. That is not an issue with workers rights -- it is an issue on how Americans choose to shop.
"...Why is everyone a victim? Take personal responsibility for your life..."
Found this article called "My Personal Walmart Nightmare"
It's one story of many seniors who work for this company and many other smaller companies who treat their workers as such.
- When I woke up to see the news, I could hardly believe it: President Obama is planning a visit to the Mountain View Wal-Mart where I work . . . But the excitement quickly passed when I found out the store would be shutting down hours in advance of his visit. I wouldn’t be able to tell the president what it’s like to work at Wal-Mart and what it’s like to struggle on low wages, without the hours I need. I am living at the center of the income inequality that he speaks about so often, and I wanted to talk to him about how to change this problem.
That's the idea! At NO point has Obama ever said he supports the lower economic classes, those who have the least. Tavis Smiley of PBS and Dr. Cornell West (Graduated Magna Cuum[Intentionally misspelled here] Laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at Princeton.) have been on a national crusade to get more attention for the have-nots from the administration. One of their tenants has been to get Obama to even mention anybody BUT the middle and upper classes - They have yet to accomplish this.
Shutting the store down is not only for regular security but helps minimize and control any possibility of your getting to tell him anything like this.
- I wanted to tell the president I am scared. I am scared for my health. I am scared for the future for my grandkids. And I am scared and sad about the direction that companies like Wal-Mart are taking our country.
Wal-Mart, along with the other big companies put lots of money into seeing that the elected representatives represent them first and not you! To change this the worker has to unite. This is called solidarity. This is why any talk of unions (solidarity) is so taboo on many, if not most, jobs, especially in Right to Work states, and why many, if not most existing unions, are weak and ineffectual. Unions give the worker that power where the Obamas have to listen, like it or not. Remember, they are YOUR servants, not visa versa. - They are there to do the bidding OF THE PEOPLE!
This is why those who represent the people need to be DRAFTED BY THE PEOPLE, FROM THE PEOPLE, they represent, and not from some list of rich supporters of big business! (This would carry the question of abolition of the Electoral College!) The worker is not represented by most presently elected representatives, especially at the top. To gain this representation, the system, as it is written, allows the voter options. This is theory - Try and get it to work in reality!
- I don’t wish the struggle I’m facing onto anyone. But sadly, my situation isn’t unique. I know that I am one of many living in the Wal-Mart economy who has no financial stability. We expect to work until our deaths because we don’t have any retirement savings and are concerned about the future in front of our children and grandchildren.
- There are so many of us who have it so hard – trying to live paycheck to paycheck. While the president is here visiting my store, I want him to look inside at what is really happening at Wal-Mart.
Obama, a constitutional lawyer, and this administration are not dumb. They know well what is happening at Wal-Mart and the work place in general. Workers have had their power taken away. This is by no accident but the result of aprolonged and systematic campaign to do away with unions and the power they wielded. Ronald Reagan, who was a master union buster from his Hollywood days, started the big push. Add greedy, parasitic, third parties (staffing agencies, "temps", and the like), to the picture, and you have low wages, bad treatment, and no voice - no redress for any actual or percieved wrongdoing. You can be fired for almost ANY reason and NOBODY is going to come to your aid! "Right to Work" states are worse for this. In many places, any mention of union is "reason" for dismissal.
Allowed also are pre application screens that are allowed to operate with impunity. In order to get many jobs, especially lower paying jobs, one is subjected to pre application test that asks your opinions about matters off the job, about how you think and feel. They seen to have been carefully built to "trick" the person into certain answers (This may or may not be true but here the perception of the worker rules. They are seen as another sham that makes getting a job harder.) They will argue their case but the fact is, these tests keep many from jobs.
Without some sort of cohesion, solidarity, and honesty, there will never be workers rights. Employers and especially the third parties have jobs in a chokehold, and to maintain that hold, the worker has to be kept powerless.
Past unions were known for their corruption and helped forster some of the organized crime of their day (which has outlived the unions themselves). That process is well known. In this day and age it is possible to better scrutinize this. The third parties need to be regulated also! This has to start from the ground up. It has no reason to come from top down, considering the rampant greed and decadence.
The complete article can be found at: http://www.alternet.org/corporate-accountability-and-workplace/my-personal-walmart-nightmare-you-won...
- and since this is your issue.. perhaps you should offer some solutions that you think others will accept and that have the possibility of being initiated.
There is nothing in here that says this is My issue. This is not just My issue but an issue for all. It is a special issue for those who have, in the face of the economic gap between those who have and those who don't. Those who feel exempt, please state your cases and exactly why. There is a large number of people who subscribe to this exemption.
There is a certain book that has a part in it that says
I don't have to cite the book or the part - it is That well known and accepted. This tenant carries the same weight both within its tome as well as standing alone. It is That strong!
Given this, what is the problem with those who have, helping freely, without judgement, those who don't, and, especially, why so much resistance to having meaningful dialogue about it?
As well as Facebook, email, and entertainment, the computer does actual work. Because of its connection to the internet, it is THE major tool today, in some places replacing "pliers & screwdrivers" altogether. The jobs it did before the internet are still done, like word procesing, graphic design, accounting. The beauty is that now all these and more can be used at home.
Being a semi retired technician, one can't help but notice the sheer number of seniors who don't use the computer for any more than email and social media. Having one at hand, as most folks do, is one of the major keys, especially for any senior with little to no funding, to finding ones way forward in this world. Nowadays nearly any idea, at only the cost of your own time (which is very expensive ), can be expand by modeling it on your computer, through your goal, without ever leaving your desktop, by way of the internet and free software. Budget, time, feasibility, can be estimated.
One of the greatest tools for becoming computer familiar is a series of books called the Dummys series. This is now a whole library of computer related subjects designed with a tongue-in-cheek approach to learning that has proven its worth over the years. You can find them in many places from Amazon to thrift stores. Half-Price books is a good resource if you have them in your area. Or - Use the Internet. Look for the yellow and black cover. It's good to have the book beside you with the computer in front of you.
Got a computer? How about printer, preferably a laser printer?
I've mentioned this one before. These are two of three major tools that can be extremely useful, even profit making, in retirement. There is a world of opportunity in home printing: Menus, Flyers, Obituaries (Careful here due to the nature of the job), Programs, Who knows what else. A lot of action from small businesses and individuals here.
One of the keys to getting any of this business is being able to produce your own flyer for your own business and getting that flyer out by hand. I found the half page format, 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" to be the best handout. That's half a normal page so it can be cut in two, doubling your flyer output. The size itself is an excellent drawing card to help attract business. The laser printer is the most economical printer, and can be cheaply obtained or scrounged, and repaired. They are fast and give sharp, waterproof prints.
A third tool is OpenOffice, the open source, free, counterpart to Microsoft's Office suite. This one of many free tools that allow one to set up pages. There is extensive help both built in and on the web., Check the licensing though, depending on what you want to do, otherwise it's free to use.
With the growing economy in China as well as other countries, is the demand for goods tagged Made In America that are actually made in America. These products are not only status symbols, but, many times, better products, not cheaply made, And with higher grade materials and workmanship that are only found in certain places, like American steel.
Small shops, mini operations that supply product to bigger assemblers, manufactuers, can be profitable here.
If you have a hobby, know some skill, even have some dream that can be realized, about producing some product, there is a growing market internationally. The challenge is finding what sells and how you can produce it.
Reality is harsh, especially when benevolence is on crutches, being ushered out the door by our ol' buddy, Greed.
Man has yet to invent any system that can withstand catastrophic events. When Social Security first came into being, there was no way to forsee the present day. Health care is debated heavily today. We're straddled with having to carve out a new way.
The choices are self reliance, self reliance, and self reliance. That self reliance can also be group efforts. Families working together. Friends working together. Folks helping other - (Huh!). (Shhhhh. Some of that requires trust.)
THE biggest challenge today for seniors who need to make money is to figure out what We ourselves, Can do since "Jobs" are not happening. Options are look and see what we have, look and see what we have, and look and see what we have. Now we have choices. Lets select option 1.
We've all done a ton of things, had a crapload of experiences. With some thought, a little imagination (dreaming), some of it might produce an idea that has potential to make profit. As previously mentioned, even the introduction to the kind of thinking that makes that easier, was going away when we were in early high school. So we are where we have to learn How to make money as well as work for it at retirement age - a lot harder than when we were young - Or is it? I try to make it sound easy when it really is one of the most difficult questions.
Once that money is made - jumping ahead to success not gained - how to manage and expand it to do our bidding - another sport that taken off many carriculum before many of our high school times - becomes the issue. A lot of the information needed though, to learn about starting and doing business, can be found on the web for free. The Small Business Administration is an asset here for information. They have complete models for a lot of businesses if you go that deep.
Lets look at something more grass rootsy:
One of the popular money-makers in this part of the world is barbeque. Some folks have mobile rigs and sell in parking lots and the like. Some of the rigs are rudimentary, 55 gallon drum cut in two, bolted to a set of wheels, is a popular low end starter. Check your local regulations, though when it comes to selling any kind of food. You may already make something that can be a seller. Another of popular home made item sold is the tamale.
The beauty of selling a food item is that usually the recipe can be found at home with many being family secrets of superior taste. Many a recipe has been tested, tweaked, and proven for generations. One can find home recipes sold at the corner stores, profitable for both store and cook. There are clubs, bars, and pubs, who buy certain products made locally.
Simply put - How much does it cost to make it and for how much can you sell it. (Don't forget to figure time.) Then the question is Will it sell.
Think of the fun you have in the test stages. You can't lose with food, whether it sells or not.
Hi Mick and Ed,
Thank you for your thoughtful comments.
One thing that tends to "hit a nerve" with me in general with people is that they never think that anything bad can ever happen to anyone in life. You can "plan" all you want for your retirement, and guess what? It can be wiped out in no time by illness, accidents, or more than one job loss. Then, you have to start out all over again. That is what happened to us.
Nope I'm not going to jump on you. I commend you. I don't think we're screwed though. We're products, not victims, of an evolution that no One person controlled. I thought I was screwed too once I bottomed out on the streets. My vehicle was gone, pockets empty. I could grab a meal at any one of many soup lines, maybe spend the worst nights on some gym floor because the shelters were too crowded otherwise. I wasn't eligible for Social Security yet. I didn't ask anybody for help because from the bottom up one can readily see the apathy of those who have for those who don't. I've been asking for discussion, explanation, of that rationale.
The first priority was to get to some source of money short of crime. (In reality, of course, for many, crime is a part of the equation.) Having camping gear made possible sheltering near some job. Finding a job turned out to be easier in a smaller town where word of mouth was thick. So I left the city. I asked and found. Camping near that, finding a bathing source, were then done. A week's work for cash, even at $10/hr, a popular under the table directly paid wage, and there was a glimmer.
From both asking and listening, a small, broken, 80s pickup was found, for less than junk price. The priority was to get a vehicle. As I have said, one can live in one's vehicle, but can't drive their apartment. With a $15 set of tools and a book, the truck was running. I had a new home, some dollars, and a way to work. This job was continued through finish with the money and truck used to return to the megalopolis. IF you are homeless, please take example as I have used this multiple times to pull myself off the street itself. Nothing works for everybody, though, OK.
I started this discussion in hopes of collecting ideas on how to overcome this situation. True, it Does look like we're screwed. I'm glad you pointed that out. Hope is not gone. It's just on vacation.