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MNB had a story on Friday about the worsening labor situation in Colorado, as unionized employees seem to be rejecting what is said to the final offer by Safeway and King Soopers and vote to authorize a strike, though no date has been set for a walk-out.,

In my commentary, I wrote: I simply cannot believe that during a recession and a time of high and growing unemployment, the union will go on strike and that the two sides won’t come to some sort of accord.

One MNB user responded:

Wow...I can’t believe how biased you have become!

Before you print your opinion on most everything you post you seem to always get both side of the story. In this post I do not see anything from the employee side. You make a statement that says to me, that because the economy is so poor the employees are lucky to have a job and that they should simple take whatever the employer is willing to offer. I wonder how the companies that you side with are performing. Will they open up their books to prove that they are struggling and that this offer is a fair one, or is this only about leverage? What increases/concessions is there for the top wage and benefit earners?

I would have to say that average wage increases of $8,000 over five years sound fair but what are the cost increases being shifted to the employee for pension and health and welfare? Is it more then $133/month that is being offered in wage increases? Let’s take look at the whole package before condemning the employees.

Kevin, please get all sides before you post your opinions... otherwise you risk becoming irrelevant!!!

Another MNB user chimed in:

Granted these are difficult economic times, but to agree to a 4 yr bad contract is hard to do. These workers have been working w/o a contract for almost a year. They aren't overpaid. I don't know all the details, but it's been reported that the company has offered a 25¢ raise per year, but the employee will contribute $15/week to health care, simple math this is a pay cut. The grocery stores are making money, maybe not as much as in the past, but there is no reason to be slamming the already underpaid workers who make the profits for these chains. I know there will not be a lot of public support for anybody on strike, but get all the facts before you speak against these union workers.

I suppose what I should have written was that it seems unfathomable that in this environment workers would even consider going on strike or that management would consider a lockout. Though I have to say, I don't think I was being all that biased against the union side.

One MNB user offered a view of why management should avoid labor strife:

It seems obvious that the real winner in a Kroger and Safeway strike will be non-union Walmart. They have lots of super centers in each state and no one minds saving money. If Walmart gets a bunch of forced trial, I’m sure a fair amount will “stick” as people discover that the experience isn’t so bad and the prices are great. And you don’t have to mess with a keychain full of “ loyalty” cards. Seems like a replay of the US automobile industry.... non union Japanese manufacturers in the south prospered while unionized Michigan based manufacturers went bankrupt.

That’s not to say that there isn’t plenty of anti-union sentiment out there.

Yet another MNB user wrote:

The better question is when has the union ever done anything that makes sense? They clearly don't have the best interest of their members at heart!

And another MNB user wrote:

I don't know what the unions are asking for, but it sounds like the contracts were an improvement. I say let them go on strike, fire them all and hire non-unionized workers. Unions had their place at one time, but now they are just a drain on the system.

MNB user Maggie Solberg had may what be a common idea:

Humm, let’s see. 1) 10-12% unemployment. 2) Colorado is a very popular location to settle into. This is not rocket science – It stands to reason that there are going to be lots of people standing in line for the jobs that these union employees are rejecting. I’m packing now and can leave tonight.

Do I think that people who have jobs ought to be grateful for their employment? Absolutely. Do I think they should risk that? Not for me to say … but if I were dependent on my supermarket job to feed my family in this economy, it would be very difficult for me to entertain the idea of walking out.

And let me repeat something I’ve said here before. I am not anti-union; Mrs. Content Guy is a third grade teacher and is a union member.

However, I also am not blindly pro-union, and do not kid myself that union leadership positions are filled with Gandhi-wannabees. Let’s get real. This is all about power and political posturing.
KC's View: