November 2019

Monthly Archive

Unions as I see them

21 Nov 2019 | : blog

In the early 1970s, I lived in Provo, Utah.
Needing a job, a man at church said go to the Missionary Training Center Building
project where he worked.
I did only to learn that it was a union job and if not already a union member, I
couldn’t get hired.
Later I was employed by a construction company, Distinctive Structures.
We build pole buildings in northern Utah and southern Wyoming.
One job we had was for a dairy in West Mountain, Utah, on the south west side of
Utah Lake, just north of Santaquin. we were constructing a milking shed.
Treated forms were installed for the base between the poles, then metal siding
and roofing over the trusses. The cement floor would be poured later inside those
One day two new men showed up for work. Both from the carpenter’s union.
They were older that me and had been carpenters with the union for many years.
So they took over as the boss was not there that day.
They started to build it wrong at the base which would cause problems when
we reached the rafters. I informed them of their error to no avail.
They were union men and knew it all.
When the sides reached the roof area, the error was very apparent and needed
to be remedied.
The two know it all union men came cap in hand to me begging that I help
solve their problem, saying, “Afterall, you’ve built these things before.”
I solved their problem so that we could continue building.
The owner had made some kind of contract with the union that only their
members could work for him and former employees, who were non-union,
couldn’t join. So I was fired,
Utah is a right to work state and a person doesn’t have to join a union to work.

An attorney said that since the job was such a low paying one that fighting the
issuse woluldn’t be worth while.
Maybe so, but the principle was the point.
Had I know about the National Right to Work Committee then, I may have
pressed the issue. I dIdn’t, so I dropped the matter.

My take on that, unionism promotes arrogance, poor workmanship, poor
quailfications, and a host of other ills.

Later while living in Cottage Grove, Oregon, I worked at a manufacturing plant.
I held several positions. One was cleanup. I went from doing one man’s job to
doing 5 men’s jobs and still had time to clean windows on the south side of the
plant, not cleaned in anyone’s memory. And this all on a daily basis.
Did I get paid more for more work? No. Pay only increased per union schedule.
I didn’t have to join the union, and was glad I didn’t.
“Some hot shot young man shouldn’t get paid more than the old guy who’s been
here a long time.” Was the union attitude.
The shop foreman of the International Machinist’s union asked me why I
didn’t join. Later he complained that they paid dues monthly, but the international
union did nothing for them.
Why should I join? So I didn’t.
The retirement pay was good at 1cent per hour worked. But the owners most
likely would have paid that or more anyway.
A year or so later, the local union went on strike. The company hired scabs
because this was their tax write-off comapany, so it didn’t matter to them.
And even though the 2 men at the pickett line sat there for over a year, the inter-
national union never did anything for them.

A cousin in Las Vegas couldn’t work for a year or two because of union strikes.
Are unions any good?
I’d say no.
Unions are run by men who don’t work but get paid well by those who do, dues
paying workers. They don’t have to help workers because they are now set.
The value unions once affored workers no longer exists.




Who are the Real Criminals?

17 Nov 2019 | : blog


Seldom do people read what I write or listen to what I say,
but I feel I must write and talk about this.

A few years ago, I thought I should inverst in gold and silver.
Not having much in the way of funds, I choose to buy on options.
I infested in a company that seemed reputable.
Things went well and I started getting checks every month or so on earnings.
Then my broker was no longer with the company.
The new guy seemed very concerned that I not lose money, telling me when to sell
before the market dropped.
The company motto being “Buy, Sell, or Trade at any time.”
One Monday he called, “May need to sell”.
The next day, he called, “Don’t need to sell. Check on Friday.”
On Friday I called. He was at lunch not to return that day.
On Monday the market fell and I lost all unless I put in more money.
I did. Shortly after that, the owner of the firm was caught with his car trunk full
of gold bullion leaving the firm. He had priviosly withdrawn large sums from the
local Wachovia Bank on a daily basis over several months time. During that time,
he kept informing his reps to sell more.
It was learned he had stolen $29 million from the firm and investors.
He was caught, tried, sentenced to 12 years in a gentleman’s prison, replete
with a furlough system, and ordered to pay back $19 million to investors.
A law firm for the victims started the process of liquidating all holdings of the
company, obtaining judgement against every principle broker and advisor of the
company and any other means possible to raise the $19 million plus their fee.
What had this guy done with all the money?
Wachovia Bank was bought out by Wells Fargo, so they even went after Wells
Fargo for $3 million for allowing the improper withdrawing of monies by the owner
of the investment firm.
After liquidating every property, even the office furniture, the Wells Fargo money
was needed for investors to get paid back.
I was only out $21,400, but spoke to an Atlanta investor who was out $140,000.
One man even had lost $538,000.
Wells Fargo lost and made a payout of $1.3 million, with their attorneys and
the victims’ attorneys getting paid their time on the case out of that settlement.
After the victims attorneys had collected $650,000 wages(only by the hour the
judge said. $350 to $500 or more per hour. Wouldn’t that be a nice hourly wage?),
they determined there was no more for them to get from this case and made a
settlement among the victiims of a penny on the dollar.
My $21,400 became $214.00.
“Accept or get nothing.”
The guy with the $538,000 loss had died, his heirs got about $5,380.00,
not even enough to pay for his funeral.
Why bring this up?
Who were the crooks in this case? The owner of the investment firm?
Or the Judge and the attorneys?
You decide for yourself, but I tend to believe that the legal people were the real
criminals here.


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