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Greg Worden

Entrepreneur and Adjunct Professor of Sustainable Business, Worden Associates

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Are unions in the US still relevant?

Hostess is closing eliminating 18.500 jobs due, in part, to 5,000 bakery union members striking while the Teamsters had already accepted a deal. True, the company had been mismanaged but this appears to be an example of a union cutting off its nose despite its face. The US has some of the best worker-protection laws in the world. Is this an example of good union leadership or is it an example of unions acting as though it was still 1905? Are unions still relevant in the US today?


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    Nov 20 2012: If you have the choice of a Chevy volt(without the government rebates) or a Prius which do you choose? One is a product of a union and one is not. If you drive a Prius and you believe in equality brought about by unions you are a hypocrite as Toyota does not have unions.

    This article will learn you something about unions. If you are capable of Looking.


    MSRP for the top of the line Prius $30,000

    MSRP for the top of the line Volt $39,145
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      Nov 20 2012: Thanks for posting, Pat. I thought your article was going to be pro union but it certainly is not. What it does do, is point out some of the inherent difficulties with union contracts. The fact that Twinkies (yuck) could not be loaded onto the same trucks as Wonder Bread (double yuck) is not surprising in a union scenario but insane by operations management efficiency standards. I remember a story about Chrysler pumping out Jeeps as the recession deepened. They couldn't sell them and had so many they had to rent parking lot space from other car companies. It was because the union contract specified how many Jeeps they had to make at that particular plant.
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        Nov 20 2012: The story that I found interesting is that Toyota and GM had a joint venture in Freemont Calif. The Freemont plant was a GM plant which was the worst performing plant in the United States. When the joint venture started Toyota threw all of the work rules and implemented TPS (Toyota Production System) soon had them as the most productive GM plant in the U.S.

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