Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tea Workers on Strike Over Machines

BusinessDay -- "A strike by tea workers in Kenya over the use of picking machines by companies went on for a second day yesterday. The tea-industry strike is aimed at protecting the livelihoods of thousands of Kenyan families who will be affected if machines continue to be used, Adam Baraza, personal assistant to Central Organisation of Trade Unions secretary-general Francis Atwoli, said on Monday."
MP: Maybe the union can negotiate a "tea jobs bank?"

27 Comments:

At 10/20/2010 9:19 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

GM and the UAW might have to reinstate the jobs bank they gave up during the bankruptcy. Our 2011 contract, spelled out by the U.S. Treasury, says that GM/UAW has to be competitive with the Japanese transplants :)

My source at Nissan told me they did not run production several weeks this year but still retained their workers in the plant while not building a single vehicle. Isn't that just a jobs bank with a spin? This was also the same factory built on land provided and cleared by the citizens of the state and government provided employee training and screening with millions of public dollars (bail out/subsidy?). And, no, they are not going to pay it back like GM did because it was a gift/payoff for coming to the state and not a loan.

 
At 10/20/2010 9:34 AM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

The tea picking machines are called tea pluckers !. Somebody might want to start selling these machines in California to harvest the marijuana crops after the Nov. elections.

 
At 10/20/2010 1:29 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Somebody might want to start selling these machines in California to harvest the marijuana crops after the Nov. elections."

What?! Don't even think about it. At 12% unemployment (or whatever it is in CA today), there are millions of workers lining up for those good, high paying green jobs they have been promised but didn't get from solar and wind energy boondoggles. :-)

Besides, I don't think there will be much commercial activity, as anyone who wants to can pretty much grow it in their own back yard. Sort of like tomatoes.

Do you suppose there will be many Federal indictments under the commerce clause? After all, growing your own could affect interstate prices as the SCOTUS sees it.

One likely effect will be an increase in unemployment among drug traffickers in Mexico.

 
At 10/20/2010 1:49 PM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

Ron H, the unemployment problem in CA may be helped by Mendocino becoming the Napa Valley of Marijuana.

 
At 10/20/2010 2:13 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"GM and the UAW might have to reinstate the jobs bank they gave up during the bankruptcy."

Right! That seems like a good thing to demand in tough economic times with such high unemployment rates.

"Our 2011 contract, spelled out by the U.S. Treasury, says that GM/UAW has to be competitive with the Japanese transplants :)"

I would think that's a good idea, don't you? Otherwise it might be hard for GMUAW to stay viable, unless you're anticipating continual taxpayer bailouts. Doesn't competition get us better & cheaper cars all around?

"Isn't that just a jobs bank with a spin?"

Well yes it is, except this isn't just a "bank" of workers that Nissan no longer needs, and has no jobs for. It seems to be a good business decision by Nissan to keep valuable skilled workers, and give them one more reason to decline membership in the UAW.

"This was also the same factory built on land provided and cleared by the citizens of the state and government provided employee training and screening with millions of public dollars (bail out/subsidy?)."

Although I'm not in favor of subsidies, wooing businesses is a common practice everywhere. It would be interesting to ask those citizens how they feel now about their forced "investment" and the money and employment it now brings to the state and communities.

"And, no, they are not going to pay it back like GM did because it was a gift/payoff for coming to the state and not a loan."

Oh Walt, how disingenuous to pay off a "loan" with unspent bailout money and then exclaim "What a good boy I am!"

 
At 10/20/2010 2:56 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

By the way, Walt G., you have been strangely silent about recent reports of union hypocrisy such as these:

here

here

here.

And of course it appears that as UAW leadership finds itself managing a car company, the view changes a wee bit.

 
At 10/20/2010 3:10 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Thanks for the link, Buddy, Ain't free enterprise great?

I had to laugh at this:

"I'd hate to see people coming up here because of what they think we are, instead of who we really are," says Lark Melesea. She sells hemp clothing at a Mendocino shop called Twist and wants the "sacred herb" used for healing rather than "getting blotto."

Don't worry Lark, people know who you really are: the pot growing capitol of the Western US.

LOL

 
At 10/20/2010 4:12 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Don't worry Lark, people know who you really are: the pot growing capitol of the Western US"...

Oh damn!

That struck me as truly hilarious Ron H!!

Very good comment sir!

What I still don't quite get is what are companies who have people doing delicate or dangerous work going to do if the reefer rule passes?

Won't these companies be liable for the product or service their potentially stoned employees (of course I don't imagine any real professionals with pride in their work would climb onto the cannabis train) turn out and then later find said product or service flawed?

 
At 10/20/2010 4:26 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Calfornia may balance its budget not only on "smoking" taxes, but also on smoking fines:

Santa Clara set to pass smoking restrictions
10/20/2010

SAN JOSE, Calif.— County supervisors voted unanimously on Tuesday to ban smoking at county parks, motels, hotels and multiunit housing, including apartments and condos.

 
At 10/20/2010 4:34 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"What I still don't quite get is what are companies who have people doing delicate or dangerous work going to do if the reefer rule passes?"

The same thing they are doing now about people using alcohol or drugs at work. It won't be tolerated.

"Won't these companies be liable for the product or service their potentially stoned employees..."

Yes, just as they are now.

"...(of course I don't imagine any real professionals with pride in their work would climb onto the cannabis train) turn out and then later find said product or service flawed?"

Nor can I. People who are likely to come to work stoned, are probably already doing so. There are already laws against various activities, including driving, while impaired: None of that will change.

IMO those who want to use pot already are, and those who don't want to aren't. I don't think that ratio will change significantly due to legalization.

 
At 10/20/2010 5:30 PM, Blogger Jason said...

Prof. Perry, the ghost of Walter Reuther will visit you tonight bringing a message that you will visited by three ghosts of Union Labor: The Ghost of Union Past (a bitter retired old guy with a fat pension), The Ghost of Union Present (looks suspicously like Barak Obama) and the Ghost of Union Future (a bitter, unemployed man with no boat, cottage and jet skis).

(Michigan residents will get the joke about boat and cottage)

 
At 10/20/2010 9:37 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Hey Ron H, let's just for sake of this particular situation set aside what the federal law enforcement people will do about the potential of what California's voters might do...

"Yes, just as they are now"...

O.K. that was my initial thought but 'if' California legalizes it doesn't that change the situation?

"There are already laws against various activities, including driving, while impaired: None of that will change"...

Again I also was thinking that but now I have to wonder considering the possibilities...

I mean I've seen some goofy situations ooze out of California over the last four decades...

"IMO those who want to use pot already are, and those who don't want to aren't. I don't think that ratio will change significantly due to legalization"...

Good point Ron H...

Thanks..

 
At 10/20/2010 11:33 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

juandos said...

"Hey Ron H, let's just for sake of this particular situation set aside what the federal law enforcement people will do about the potential of what California's voters might do..."

If marijuana is legalized in California, I suspect the Feds will not be inclined to prosecute, as there just aren't enough federal resources in the state to prosecute millions of people openly possessing and smoking pot. The system would overload. If I'm not mistaken, the feds aren't currently pursuing cases involving medical marijuana.

In fact Gonzales vs Raich, one of the most outrageous cases in history of Federal government overreach using the Commerce Clause, began with a long standoff between Butte County, CA sheriffs deputies, and federal agents intent on destroying pot plants legally grown - under CA law - for medical purposes.

In that case: "The government also contended that consuming one's locally grown marijuana for medical purposes affects the interstate market of marijuana, and hence that the federal government may regulate—and prohibit—such consumption."

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a blistering dissent in that case, suggesting, in effect, that if the Commerce clause could be stretched to cover this activity, then there was NO activity outside the scope of federal government control. It's well worth the lengthy read.

Employers are now liable for their products and services whether employees are impaired or not. Employers will deal with impaired employees just as they do now, whether the impairment is due to legal or illegal substances. The legality of the substance is not the issue. You will still be just as fired for use or misuse that affects your work.

 
At 10/21/2010 6:27 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Ron H.,

When I loan people money and it is paid years early with interest, I don't check the serial numbers on the bills to see if it is the same money I loaned them, do you? I just refinanced my house and paid the old loan off years early with proceeds from a loan. Like GM, I thought the loan payoff was a good financial decision, but I did not really care what the public thought about it.

Don't mistake my belonging to a union in my primary job as agreeing with everything we do. I don't agree with everything my family does either. I do think the UAW does not receive enough credit for what they do, what they have done for ALL workers, and how much they have changed in the last few years. Many of the benefits non-unionized workers routinely receive were won through the U.S. labor movement. I work other jobs that are non-union, too, so I try to see both sides.

The jobs banks were supposed to temporary for the nature of the cyclical auto industry employment in the U.S., and they were modeled on the Toyoda production system. It turned out the loss of jobs would be permanent; that was unprecedented and therefore not foreseen. Most bureaucracies do not respond fast or well to change, and the jobs banks were not used as they were designed by the language in the contract that established them in 1984. There is nothing in the contractual language that said workers would be paid for sitting in a room all day—that was a contrived method of punishment to try to get people to quit or retire. If I can find my 1984 contract book, I’ll try to quote the jobs banks section in a post in the future. Either way—they’re gone.

Don’t fault someone if they attempt to obtain false job security. As we recently found out, a business has to be profitable for true job security. CEOs have golden parachutes, sports stars, and TV and movie stars have contracts. Even free-market economists accept tenure at universities to try to hold onto that golden ring. Why deny the same pseudo job security to the little guys in the factories? If you know any Delphi salary retirees, ask them if they wish they had been unionized.

Yes, as you related to, the UAW has a huge job ahead of it trying to be a health care provider for a huge number of retirees while still representing a shrinking active work force. It will be interesting to see how that juggling act plays out. It’s not unlike the unfunded public liability crisis we are facing (estimated at $1 to $3 trillion). The rank-and-file is already upset with the UAW leadership at Indy Pressed Metal and Lake Orion. Nobody said this was going to be easy, but we are trying to be solvent, viable, and profitable in the long future we hope to have. I will do my part to see that happens. We could use your help, too—we ARE your friends and neighbors who spend money in your businesses and support your towns and schools whether you believe that or not.

 
At 10/21/2010 9:43 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Hey Ron H re: Gonzales vs Raich and Justice Thomas' dissent thanks for that info...

Some good reading...

 
At 10/21/2010 9:52 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

if you guys want to see some real fraud at GM, take a look at the volt.

now that it's coming off the assembly line, it's clear that government motors has been telling porkie pies about the car.

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=550957

not only is the mileage over 80% lower than advertised, but the car is really a hybrid, not an electric with a gasoline motor just to charge the battery.

this calls into question the $7500 federal subsidy that the car gets as an EV.

this is fraud, pure and simple and a monstrous abuse of governement power to provide a fake subsidy to take 1/3 of the vehicle price off.

this is worse even that i feared it would be.

the astounding thing is that despite the clear fraud, there is now way the feds will rescind the subsidy (as they certainly would if this were toyota). the volt is a signature project for obama and would be utterly unsellable at $21k, so the subsidy will be maintained to prevent it from being an abysmal failure and repudiation of the "green from above" policies of the current administration.

failure and charlatanry dressed up as a green victory and US innovation all wrapped up in government incentives is no way to run a company.

 
At 10/21/2010 10:13 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

morganovich,

you can always tell you are reading biased reporting when someone parodies the company name to the populace in the title and the first few words of the first sentence: Right Morg?

I guess that's what you get when the news turns into entertainment and we fixate about the color of Paris Hilton's panties or lower body grooming habits with a razor when she is without.

 
At 10/21/2010 12:01 PM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

morganovich, the electric range of the Volt is 40+ miles. If you took a drive out to Napa Valley and then returned to San Francisco's hills the gas engine would kick in when the battery is depleted.

From General Motors: "Once the battery is depleted, the Volt's gas-powered engine engages to create the power needed to extend the range of the vehicle several hundred miles."

The Volt is all electric for 40+ miles which is unlike the current hybrid vehicles (as far as I know). Bravo to GM, to the designers as well as the guys who make them.

 
At 10/21/2010 1:45 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"you can always tell you are reading biased reporting when someone parodies the company name..."...

You have a salient point about that Walt G but the inescapable fact is that the Volt's alledged qualities in its original sales pitch could be considered questionable at best, right?...

Maybe its O.K. to disregard this IBD editorial: Volt Fraud At Government Motors

But what about this one?

From USAToday: GM denies having 'lied' on Chevrolet Volt electric claims

Oct 12, 2010

 
At 10/21/2010 1:58 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

juandos,

I drive a one-ton dually, Chevrolet Silverado, four-door Duramax deisel, 8-foot long bed, pickup truck. That's about as far from the Volt as you can get. I think the story of the Volt will be written on the future edition of electric cars. Volts will be mostly experimental vehicles. Lot of hype here.

 
At 10/21/2010 2:08 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

morganovich, where did you see a Volt for $21k? Your link mentions $41k. Also here, and here.

This car sure sounds like a plug-in hybrid to me. To say that the gasoline engine only recharges the battery is to really count on people's ignorance of electrical systems.

Even with the tax incentive this car is way more expensive than a Prius, which is at least a proven product that owners appear happy with. (at least the people I know.)

Care to comments on the Volt, Walt G., or is only the parody of GM's name and Paris Hilton that interest you?

 
At 10/21/2010 2:46 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"If you took a drive out to Napa Valley and then returned to San Francisco's hills the gas engine would kick in when the battery is depleted."

Buddy, the goal is now to make a round trip to Mendecino, remember? This is further from San Fran than Napa is. This trip isn't possible on battery alone, thus the concern about how the battery gets recharged. :-)

For GM to claim that the gas motor doesn't directly drive the wheels is extremely disingenuous. The gas engine, through an electric generator, provides power to the drive motors and the battery. To say that it charges the battery which then drives the car is a play on words. It sounds like this car operates just like every other hybrid available except that you can plug it in to recharge it. It's a plug-in hybrid: Period.

 
At 10/21/2010 2:56 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"I drive a one-ton dually, Chevrolet Silverado, four-door Duramax deisel, 8-foot long bed, pickup truck"...

Ouch! My wallet just had a hernia after I read that Walt G...:-)

Nice truck though, real nice!

"I think the story of the Volt will be written on the future edition of electric cars. Volts will be mostly experimental vehicles. Lot of hype here"...

Yeah, good point...

I still think that lots of folks are miffed (truly t'eed off) that there tax dollars are floating this thing before and after the sale...

Still, got to start somewhere...

 
At 10/21/2010 4:15 PM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

Ron H, I think you nailed what type of car the Volt is: plug-in hybrid. Basic urban driving on electric but stillable to get oneself to Mendocino at 38 mph.

BTW, isn't it interesting where comments threads can go?

 
At 10/21/2010 4:31 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Ron H.,

I know I should be more concerned about the Volt that I am because a lot of people thinks that GM will sink or swim with it. I just don't see that scenario for a while. I believe that GM/UAWs future lies with cars like the Cruze and Regal and expanding into emerging markets like China and India. I could be wrong. You know, a lot of people laughed at me when I went back to school during our 1998 strike to build credentials because I said GM would have to declare bankruptcy within 10 years (I was a bit off).

We'll see what happens, but if the price of gasoline reaches $5-per-gallon or more, things can change rather quickly. On the upside, a lot of the engineering costs will be built into the Volt's platform that will decrease the costs of that technology in the future.

 
At 10/27/2010 12:21 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

not only is the mileage over 80% lower than advertised,

=================================

The advertized slogan was cleverly contrived: run the car on batter for as long as possible and then burn one gallon of gas. Voila, high gas mileage. Until you burn the next gallon at which point it drops in half.

So the figure might be true, but it is still basically a lie, and don't try it on a cold day.

I don't see there is much difference between a hybrid and an electric car with a backup generator diesel-electric if you will.

The main advantage of these things is not that they run on electricity, which of course has to be generated somewhere. It is that running on electricity gives the advantage of allowing the car to re-absorb energy as it slows down, so it can be re-used for the next bout of acceleration.

It is a matter of choices how you size the electric motor vs the engine. Having a small engine and large battery means you can essentially run the engine at constant, most efficient RPM.

As small or medium engine with a small electric motor and battery gives you adequate acceleration (electric motors have max torque at zero RPM) and the ability to re-absorb energy for economy.

A large engine large electric motor can give you radical performance, and still get adequate mileage.

Any combination will save you gas, engine hurs and brake wear, but the hype over the volt is a near fraud experience. It makes little sense to fully deplete the battery and then start to recharge it because this means the engine generator needs to be bigger. Anyway, it ought to recharge somewhat, whenever it is slowing down and bleeding off energy.

 
At 10/27/2010 12:40 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

BTW, isn't it interesting where comments threads can go?

==================================

I have seen software used at large meetings which allows the discussion to be diagrammed real time on a large screen by a mderator of sorts.


Dropped thoughts appear as dead ends on the thread, and the moderator can guide the comments back to complete unfinished threads and keep the process on topic.

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home