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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 13, 2007 / 30 Tishrei 5768

Profits, not unions, save jobs

By Linda Chavez


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Workers at Chrysler's U.S. plants went back to work six hours after the United Auto Workers union struck the automaker this week. The once powerful UAW, which in its heyday had more than 1.5 million members, used to be able to bring Detroit to its knees. No more. Today the UAW claims only 640,000 active workers, and its major goal in negotiations with the big car companies is to keep that number from shrinking. But the battle ultimately may be a losing one — and the union is largely to blame.


It costs Chrysler an average of $75.86 an hour to employ each worker, according to the Associated Press, which is the highest in the American auto industry. The costs include not only what goes into the average worker's paycheck, just under $29 an hour, but more importantly the contributions the company makes to employees' health and retirement benefits.


Like General Motors, which settled after a two-day strike last month, Chrysler also pays retirees' health care, a roughly $19 billion liability. Chrysler's agreement with the union included a promise to create a health care trust similar to the one GM and the UAW set up to take over that company's $55 billion liability for the retiree health care program.


Last year, GM lost $10.6 billion, while the Chrysler division of DaimlerChrysler — the German company that owned Chrysler until it was sold recently to a private equity firm in the U.S. — lost $1.5 billion. Companies that lose money can't continue to increase salaries and benefits, much less pay out billions in benefits to people who no longer work for the company. But unions rarely demonstrate an understanding of this basic economic fact.


Even harder for unions to grasp is that there is no such thing as job security. Sure, a company can foolishly promise never to lay off workers, but it can't keep its promise if it doesn't make a profit. And unless productivity rises — which means producing more with fewer workers — profits will decline.


So what's a union to do? As the UAW's short-lived strikes against GM and Chrysler this fall demonstrate, trying to force employers to make concessions that are economically unfeasible doesn't work anymore.


Unions would be far better off abandoning their adversarial role and trying to become helpful partners with employers. It's in everyone's interest — from the lowest-paid worker to the CEO — that a company maximizes its profits.


But doing this would require unions to abandon outdated work rules, which prevent union members from doing jobs outside their specific category, working flexible schedules without demanding overtime or sitting on employer-employee committees except those sanctioned in collective bargaining. As a result, non-union companies often offer workers more individual choice.


In a non-union environment, a mother who wants to work a few extra hours one week in order to take time off to attend a school activity the next can do so without making it more expensive for the company through mandatory overtime pay rules. Similarly, unions prevent employers from rewarding the best hourly workers with bonuses and other special benefits outside the contract, and they won't allow penalizing, much less getting rid of, slackers. But a non-union company can reward innovation and industry among its workers.


The most constructive thing unions could do to help their current members is to ensure that those workers are more, not less, productive. But even a union's best efforts to hold onto its members' specific jobs won't stop capitalism's creative destruction engine. Some jobs in some industries will always be lost in order for other jobs to be created.


The UAW's new contract with GM promises to limit outsourcing of certain jobs and commits the company to hiring 3,000 temporary workers as permanent employees. The union hasn't yet made public the details of its deal with Chrysler, but it's a safe bet they've attempted a similar bargain there.


In the end, however, it will be the companies' profitability, not the union's efforts, that will keep good-paying jobs available for those workers.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


JWR contributor Linda Chavez is President of the Center for Equal Opportunity. Her latest book is "Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate

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