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Thread: Antiwork

  1. #401
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    Pitting workers against workers while the literal railroad barons rake in record profits is not a battle Iím ever going to condone.

    Unions (other than maybe police unions) are pretty critical for workers to have any semblance of security in todayís workforce. Just ask Twitter employees.

    In a monopolistic industry, it might be the only leverage they have. Itís not like they can walk from Chipotle across the street to Panera for an extra $.50/hour. Thereís only one game in town.

  2. #402
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supermoon View Post
    Thereís only one game in town.
    Technically there are 7, but since the union(s) negotiate simultaneously with all of them...

  3. #403
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldnew_guy View Post
    I just donít see how they can be overpaid if all of the sudden they left the economy tanks.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox_of_value

  4. #404
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    Quote Originally Posted by jono View Post
    Technically there are 7, but since the union(s) negotiate simultaneously with all of them...
    Yeah. I think there is usually only one company per region, though, right? Workers could move to change jobs, but not change and stay.

  5. #405
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supermoon View Post
    Yeah. I think there is usually only one company per region, though, right? Workers could move to change jobs, but not change and stay.
    I don't know how usual that is, but it's certainly true in some places. I live in a hub where there are many rail companies that come through and use the same tracks to some places, so along those routes there would be a few options, I guess. But I'm not sure if the current arrangement leaves much incentive to change employers.

  6. #406
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldnew_guy View Post
    If the construction crew doesnít show up it doesnít fuck the entire downstream economy and supply chain. Their value per hour worked is way higher to the overall system than a nail pounder.

    Evidence for this? Congress just stepped in a legislatively mandated their contract so as to not screw the entire economy currently running at $25 trillion GDP.
    exactly we don't need the economy to come to another grinding halt
    but the problem is the different news media companies what are we down to about 3 who control what you hear and see these days?
    they use this act of congress as a way to change the narrative spin it whatever way they can to get people upset and make politicians they don't like or unions look like idiots

  7. #407
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. Barron DeJong View Post
    Expanding on this: some workers are in a position to extract more of the economic value they create than others. Maybe even above what create individually.

    As an example, a relative of a relative was co-lead actor on a moderately successful television series on a second tier network.

    When the show took off the two lead actors had their contract renegotiated. Neither actor was known before the show, could have been replaced by any number of equally talented actors initially, but once the show gains traction itís pretty hard to sub a different actor in, so they could demand some of those new unforeseen profits.

    The writers were not able to extract the same concessions.

  8. #408
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    A million years ago when I was a college drop out-ski bum, I knocked up my girlfriend. She turned into my first wife. Her father was a long time engineer for Union Pacific. He got me an interview and I was pretty much a shoe in. I was basically in the hiring process when they started to explain the schedule details to me. Until you had seniority (10 years?) you were basically on call, all the time, unless you had prescheduled vacation. If memory serves, vacation was signed for once a year, and you didnít get your pick without seniority. So on call meant, you need to be within 20 minutes of the rail yard when they call you.

    My brain started to short out. No skiing, basically no anything? Ever? Except for a couple weeks vacation a year? Fuck that. I stepped out to make a call to my dad for advice. I never walked back in.

  9. #409
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    Quote Originally Posted by zion zig zag View Post

    Until you had seniority (10 years?) you were basically on call, all the time, unless you had prescheduled vacation. If memory serves, vacation was signed for once a year, and you didnít get your pick without seniority. So on call meant, you need to be within 20 minutes of the rail yard when they call you.

    My brain started to short out. No skiing, basically no anything? Ever? Except for a couple weeks vacation a year? Fuck that. I stepped out to make a call to my dad for advice. I never walked back in.
    I live in a rail road town, i know lots of old/ new/ retired train drivers and its pretty much this ^^

    They make lots of money if you go by the rail yard which is 2 blocks away there are lots of nice PU's the problem is quality of life

    In those first years its not so bad for a single guy but eventualy it gets old and its hard on marriages

    one ski bud told me he had been sleep deprived for 20 yrs
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  10. #410
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    I eventually became a firefighter and have been sleep deprived for the last twenty years. But the schedule kicks ass.

  11. #411
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supermoon View Post
    Pitting workers against workers while the literal railroad barons rake in record profits is not a battle I’m ever going to condone.

    Unions (other than maybe police unions) are pretty critical for workers to have any semblance of security in today’s workforce. Just ask Twitter employees.
    No shit. 100B in Class I revenue and plebes focused on other plebes.


    Schedules can't suck when there are none. Railroads own freight crews who are perpetually on call with few exceptions.

    Healthcare costs are not capped under the new agreement. The proportion of premiums paid are fixed (at a higher rate than previously paid). The result is a net increase in healthcare costs.

    28 days off in a calendar year sounds great until realizing 2 days are needed to guarantee 1 full day off.

    Made vacation plans that includes a flight on Tuesday? Sorry not sorry, your train leaves Monday with an overnight so you will not be back until Wednesday.

  12. #412
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    Quote Originally Posted by zion zig zag View Post
    A million years ago when I was a college drop out-ski bum, I knocked up my girlfriend. She turned into my first wife. Her father was a long time engineer for Union Pacific. He got me an interview and I was pretty much a shoe in. I was basically in the hiring process when they started to explain the schedule details to me. Until you had seniority (10 years?) you were basically on call, all the time, unless you had prescheduled vacation. If memory serves, vacation was signed for once a year, and you didnít get your pick without seniority. So on call meant, you need to be within 20 minutes of the rail yard when they call you.

    My brain started to short out. No skiing, basically no anything? Ever? Except for a couple weeks vacation a year? Fuck that. I stepped out to make a call to my dad for advice. I never walked back in.
    That's about my understanding of it. Plenty of guys have gotten fairly good at gaming the system so they get more leeway in their schedule, but it's still a lot of on call time.

    The guys that seem harpy with the situation are either young and willing to deal with the schedule because they're making bank, or older and have switched into a lower paying (but still very good paying) position that has a more amenable schedule. Maintenance, yard work, etc.

  13. #413
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    Quote Originally Posted by jono View Post
    I don't know how usual that is, but it's certainly true in some places. I live in a hub where there are many rail companies that come through and use the same tracks to some places, so along those routes there would be a few options, I guess. But I'm not sure if the current arrangement leaves much incentive to change employers.
    there are 8 class 1 railways in the us(including amtrak) and 21 class 2 railways, there arenít many options. Amusingly, this is the situation the rail barons of the late 19th/early 20th century wanted, but were blocked for decades in getting because of obvious market issues.

  14. #414
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    I went out with a gal who worked the spare board at CN and she spent a good 2 hrs a day figuring out how to game the system and not work

    A lot of fire fighters have extra trades like electrician/ DW/ carpenter which they do on their days off, I used a DW guy who did a real good job but more importantly showed up when he said he would which i have since learned not a given with trades so i am assuming they are better at scheduling becuz they can more easily fit it between the FF shifts
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  15. #415
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunfree View Post
    there are 8 class 1 railways in the us(including amtrak) and 21 class 2 railways, there arenít many options. Amusingly, this is the situation the rail barons of the late 19th/early 20th century wanted, but were blocked for decades in getting because of obvious market issues.
    There could be 10x as many as long as they don't compete for each other's workers. Meanwhile the Air Force hires pilots who never have to leave the base and needs less of the kind with really fixed schedules as a result.

  16. #416
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    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    You don't deserve a low wage. You deserve a wage that is commensurate with the obligations and difficulties of the job. Right now, railroaders are making twice as much as the guys pounding nails at the construction site. Part of the reason for that is because the railroaders have a shitty schedule. If you make their schedule not shitty anymore, then there isn't any reason for the premium on their salary.
    When people point out how much better RR workers are paid relative to other jobs what they're really pointing out is how poorly paid so many American workers are paid. There was a time when blue collar workers could make a decent living, when American families could do ok on one income if they chose to, when we didn't have so many people with 12 figure net worth. We could go on and on about the causes.

  17. #417
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    Quote Originally Posted by old goat View Post
    When people point out how much better RR workers are paid relative to other jobs what they're really pointing out is how poorly paid so many American workers are paid. There was a time when blue collar workers could make a decent living, when American families could do ok on one income if they chose to, when we didn't have so many people with 12 figure net worth. We could go on and on about the causes.
    Sure, but thats a far messier discussion. RR workers are a wage outlier. They're paid far more than other comparable occupations. I'm no economist, but if we raise the wages of all those other occupations to be on par with the outlier, I don't think that's going to work out very well.

    But more to the point of the present discussion, the wage outlier is asking for a raise. I think that's a bit silly. Congress apparently agrees. But that's not too say there aren't bigger structural problems with the American labor force that need fixing.

  18. #418
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    That sick days are framed as a raise says everything.

  19. #419
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mazderati View Post
    That sick days are framed as a raise says everything.
    What is it then? Their compensation is improved without any change in their obligations. That's a raise.

  20. #420
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    Quote Originally Posted by zion zig zag View Post
    A million years ago when I was a college drop out-ski bum, I knocked up my girlfriend. She turned into my first wife. Her father was a long time engineer for Union Pacific. He got me an interview and I was pretty much a shoe in. I was basically in the hiring process when they started to explain the schedule details to me. Until you had seniority (10 years?) you were basically on call, all the time, unless you had prescheduled vacation. If memory serves, vacation was signed for once a year, and you didnít get your pick without seniority. So on call meant, you need to be within 20 minutes of the rail yard when they call you.

    My brain started to short out. No skiing, basically no anything? Ever? Except for a couple weeks vacation a year? Fuck that. I stepped out to make a call to my dad for advice. I never walked back in.
    My dad put himself through college as a brakeman on the caboose every summer. He made bank but had no life whatsoever. When fall hit and it was time to study he felt like it was a vacation.

  21. #421
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supermoon View Post
    Workers could move to change jobs, but not change and stay.
    Quote Originally Posted by jono View Post
    ...a hub where there are many rail companies that come through and use the same tracks to some places, so along those routes there would be a few options, I guess. But I'm not sure if the current arrangement leaves much incentive to change employers.
    The disincentive is loss of seniority when changing jobs.

  22. #422
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    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    What is it then? Their compensation is improved without any change in their obligations. That's a raise.
    Framing sick days as a raise? Bootlicking. What sick days at companies paying c-suites tens of millions should be? Compulsory.

  23. #423
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    Quote Originally Posted by zion zig zag View Post
    Until you had seniority (10 years?) you were basically on call, all the time, unless you had prescheduled vacation. If memory serves, vacation was signed for once a year, and you didn’t get your pick without seniority. So on call meant, you need to be within 20 minutes of the rail yard when they call you.
    Flying is the same. And unless Uncle Sam picked up the tab, you've invested five to six figures into education. And when you get your fist job, you'll likely qualify for food stamps. If I had it to do over again, I wouldn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzworthy View Post
    My dad put himself through college as a brakeman on the caboose every summer. He made bank but had no life whatsoever. When fall hit and it was time to study he felt like it was a vacation.
    A friend did that exact same thing. Plus a commercial pilot's license. He characterized it as a revokable deal with the devil.

    To the "not steering" comment above, my friend told me lots of stories about good and bad rail engineers. So there's definitely some skill involved. But really what they're paying them for is the responsibility.

    Apparently there's a crazy amount of slack in the train from all of the couplings (IIRC typically over 100' on freights). He said the good guys could plan, manage, and finesse the slack so that the uninitiated wouldn't even notice, but the bad guys were fucking brutal. Like stopping bunched on an incline, and the back of the train starts rolling backwards, or pulling too hard from a stop, and breaking the back clean off. At that point the guys who don't drive have to get out and replace the coupler in the snow, while the guy who did it sips coffee in the heated engine.

  24. #424
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Striker View Post
    Apparently there's a crazy amount of slack in the train from all of the couplings (IIRC typically over 100' on freights). He said the good guys could plan, manage, and finesse the slack so that the uninitiated wouldn't even notice, but the bad guys were fucking brutal. Like stopping bunched on an incline, and the back of the train starts rolling backwards, or pulling too hard from a stop, and breaking the back clean off. At that point the guys who don't drive have to get out and replace the coupler in the snow, while the guy who did it sips coffee in the heated engine.
    For better and worse, that's exactly the kind of problem the (non-train) engineers love to solve so the talent of the operator isn't required. As you know--it's why Boeing kept that third seat for a dog in case one of you uppity pilots started touching stuff!

  25. #425
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    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    Sure, but thats a far messier discussion. RR workers are a wage outlier. They're paid far more than other comparable occupations. I'm no economist, but if we raise the wages of all those other occupations to be on par with the outlier, I don't think that's going to work out very well.

    But more to the point of the present discussion, the wage outlier is asking for a raise. I think that's a bit silly. Congress apparently agrees. But that's not too say there aren't bigger structural problems with the American labor force that need fixing.
    RR workers salaries are comparable to what most blue collar salaries were like in the 50's and the economy did just fine. The marginal income tax rate was as high as 90% and the economy did just fine. Since then the corporations and their employees in Congress and the WH have engineered a stunning transrer of wealth from workers to the bosses, in the name of protecting us from "socialism".

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