Monday, August 31, 2015

Eating Lunch At McDonald's With Browning-Ferris and the NLRB....US of America, Once Again Going Into Labor Over Labor Damns.

.......On Thursday the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled the owner of a California recycling plant was a "joint employer" with the contractor that hired workers at the plant, essentially forcing both to bargain with the union together or risk violating U.S. labor law.
Business groups, arguing that the ruling could lead to higher costs and hurt the economy, are pushing the Republican-led Congress to overturn it, in part it because the company named in the decision - Browning-Ferris - cannot challenge it in a federal court without overcoming a number of procedural hurdles.
Unions see the decision as a breakthrough not just in efforts to help employees organizes at franchisees of McDonald's Corp and other chains but also as a tool to counter the proliferation of subcontracting in other industries in which workers are one or two steps removed from the companies indirectly controlling them.........”

.........In a 3-2 decision involving Browning-Ferris Industries of California, the National Labor Relations Board refined its standard for determining joint-employer status. The revised standard is designed “to better effectuate the purposes of the Act in the current economic landscape.”  With more than 2.87 million of the nation’s workers employed through temporary agencies in August 2014, the Board held that its previous joint employer standard has failed to keep pace with changes in the workplace and economic circumstances. 
In the decision, the Board applies long-established principles to find that two or more entities are joint employers of a single workforce if (1) they are both employers within the meaning of the common law;  and (2) they share or codetermine those matters governing the essential terms and conditions of employment. In evaluating whether an employer possesses sufficient control over employees to qualify as a joint employer, the Board will – among other factors -- consider whether an employer has exercised control over terms and conditions of employment indirectly through an intermediary, or whether it has reserved the authority to do so........” 

Mike Patrick Dahlke

Here's the deal.
In the recent Browning - Ferris Industries decision, The National Labor Relations Board simply stated that two separate entities having control over the same employee were two separate entities having control over the same employee.

Not all that profound of a statement due in large part to the fact that the employees named are, for all practical purposes, really not doing jobs that require either a lot of skill nor do those that hire them provide those same employees with any realistic chance of improving those skills in the hopes of moving up into the world of upper management at Browning-Ferris.

None the less, the AFL-CIO is jumping on this ruling thinking that as a result of it, those unskilled laborers who work for Browning-Ferris will have that much more collective bargaining power if they're unionized. As this concept does on one level, have some merit, the argument for this ruling rapidly begins to loose steam once, and, if a national minimum wage is established. As this new minimum wage will put even more pressure on employers to pay a decent wage to entirely unskilled workers to begin with, once this wage is no more than a few years out, inflation alone will destroy that cost of living argument attributed to that minimum wage increase just as sure as it will put assunder yet another poorly designed American company who will then be forced to pay that same unskilled labor twenty dollars an hour once the AFL-CIO gets their paws into the dimwitted work force to begin with.

While the above statement might sound a bit on the harsh side, essentially and after several years of doing this type of negotiating, the AFL-CIO, Browning-Ferris or the NLRB have done little if anything to prepare the workforce of Browning-Ferris or the workforce of many other companies just like Browning-Ferris with even an inkling of education that might prepare such a workforce to be employed in something other than sorting through a fifty five gallon drum of household trash for the rest of their lives. When you take the time to think about the fact that supposedly well educated and well paid lawyers that the NLRB, the AFL-CIO, and, a host of companies have hired to discuss for the most part the hiring and managing of the lives of entirely under educated people to do tasks that require little to no functioning knowledge whatsoever to accomplish, one has to wonder just how under educated America's army of attorneys have litigated themselves into becoming themselves.

As the question is; what possible benefit can be gained from the ability to unionize stupid people who work for useless corporations to begin with, the obvious larger question is why aren't those same stupid lawyers using their legal minds to draft corporate entities that are in fact able to produce well defined jobs in high skilled industrial professions that effectively challenge stupid people who work for useless corporations to leave the corporation entirely to begin with?

Growing up in a white collar/blue collar industrial family, the notion of union was embedded into my industrial consciousness decades ago. As it remains just as firmly entrenched in my whole approach to building anything that I get involved with today, the overall managerial mindset of the AFL-CIO over the past twenty years has become increasingly delusional. Focusing its' otherwise historical energies of organizing the labor forces that built America's homes, communities, highways, hospitals and airport hangars on what can only be considered as the organization of clerical workers who work for governments that produce hopelessly useless NLRB decisions, without ever even for a moment taking an honest look at its role in the development of advanced energy building codes and the subsequent supportive dialog with the industries that are heading directly towards the development of residential energy based technologies that will employ highly educated Americans for decades?

The problem with the AFL-CIO is that as it originated in an industrial era where the labor force was skilled enough mechanically to produce such remarkable things as an automobile or steel for a sky scraper, not to mention the skyscraper itself, but, not necessarily educated enough legally to understand they had collective bargaining rights, the influence of the AFL-CIO was in fact demonstrated by the sheer volume of its wholly dedicated membership. As time went on, however, that same membership clearly became both complacent and arrogant, and, in doing so, ushered in an era that saw America's industrial brilliance being entirely upended by technological and industrial advancements in other countries. As this was taking place, America's unions lost membership and the AFL-CIO essentially became the nascent organization it is now today in 2015. Whereas at one point in time it represented tangible worker protections, for all practical purposes today, it represents nothing more than an under educated and industrially passionless labor force that have been culturally trained by government to do something entirely useless for their entire lives while in turn being cared for financially and represented legally by two institutions one being the AFL-CIO, the other being the US Department of Labor (an oxymoron if there ever was one).

As it is quite fascinating to me that a company such as McDonald's is now viewing this NLRB decision with disdain, it is equally fascinating to me that a company that really does nothing more than make hamburgers and employ a broad host of marginally educated people can be looked upon by either the AFL-CIO or the NLRB as being anything more than a temporary American target for a halfwit band of union organizers who can't seem to do anything at all about revitalizing virtually any construction sector in the United States of America, or, even begin to sit down with a broad host of emerging industries and plan comprehensive education and job growth strategies with these industries as well as the communities the products and services these industries represent are actually designed to benefit.

As it is quite clear to this author that long ago the AFL-CIO became nothing more than a mouthpiece for organizations looking for federal funding handouts, this so called ruling of NLRB is simply an extension of that mouthpiece that enables more and more marginally educated people to be represented by marginally focused labor representatives.

Whereas a decision by the National Labor Relations Board supposedly broadens the definition of what an employer actually is, the definition of what an employee is essentially stays the same even though organized labor would like everyone to think a new understanding of what it means to be a worker in America is about to unfold.

Ultimately however, these people are not American workers anyway. They are instead, social science experiments for the US Department of Labor which basically has as its philosophy “Now, if we raise the wage of stupid people, these stupid people will have more money in their pocket to go out and buy........................more McDonald's hamburgers. We of course, will get more income tax revenue from these higher wage earning stupid people up until these stupid people loose their job and go on welfare, which of course is then no longer our problem as that stupid person will be transferred to DCFS, which of course, will loose its funding due to the fact that the stupid people working for a higher minimum wage for the stupid company that is yearly loosing market share to other newly formed stupid companies hiring more stupid workers to wrap the same goofy hamburgers in different colored wax paper. The insanity never stops and the AFL-CIO is smack dab in the middle of this overwhelming morass.

The National Employment Law Project, a group supportive of labor unions, said that the issue is increasingly important because contract staffing has moved beyond its roots in white-collar clerical work into a broad array of industries, including traditional blue-collar and lower-skill jobs like construction, janitorial and food service. When you hear organizations such as the one above make such blanket generalized statements about entire segments of America's workforce, the writing on the wall becomes that much more clearer to interpret, instead of a nation being led by a new generation of 21st century mixed energy, job creating industrialists, we are becoming a nation of social science experiments being conducted by people who developed their broader intellectual industrial insight while waiting in their cars at a McDonald's for a latte that will be thrown in the trash can owned by Browning-Ferris, barely employing hundreds of thousands, if not millions of complete socioeconomic halfwits in the process.

According to the US Department of Labor, subcontracted and/or “nonstandard work structures” are now in 2015, experiencing the greatest job growth. Yet, while that job growth is barely audible, it is also a prime example of how a nation of virtually leaderless and hopelessly abstract economists have entirely overlooked the fact that the reason such nonstandard work structures are becoming widespread, is due exclusively to the fact that people in America have to find some sensible way of making a living during a period of time when their government seems only capable of granting same sex marriage licenses while overlooking entirely the fact that the bridges these folks and all others walk on are about to drop them collectively into the Chicago River or any other river in the country that runs through a town that has a McDonald's franchise with Browning-Ferris dumpsters setting beneath one of the imaginary Golden Bridge Arches that are themselves about to financially collapse. None the less, the US Department of Labor has concluded that these fast-growing industries are marked by “high rates of outsourcing" which is of course, a euphamism for “overall managerial bewilderment” on the part of the US Department of Labor.

Going further, someone is now saying that the NLRB's Browning-Ferris decision also could have ramifications for “the sharing tech economy” which is made up of the people you see on the streets of America babbling on their cell phones while walking blindly into oncoming pedestrian, bicycle or conventional vehicular traffic. These techies are of course launching America and the world into an entirely new world order of “electronic enlightenment” all of which revolves around whatever the newest gadget they are holding in their hand while walking blindly into the path of unsuspecting strangers. Then of course is the small army of Uber-ites both the NLRB and the AFL-CIO now see as having the potential to unionize when in fact these folks are just another segment of the American population that is using their cars to drive people around because they can't find any other jobs to begin with. As Uber, which in this author's opinion, is the one company in the whole mix of companies that could be negatively affected by the NLRB decision in quite the unnecessarily unfair manner, as Uber is itself clearly attempting to provide an active and intelligent solution to America's overall failed public transportation system, the last thing in the world the US Department of Labor or the US Department of Transportation wants as well as all types of state based regulatory commissions is to have a group of guys and gals driving around in their own vehicles taking people where they actually need to go.

As a bunch of the tech companies are more or less saying that while their subcontractors are busy texting and walking into traffic, they are as well connecting other techies to other techies, the fact of the matter is techies aren't either welders or master carpenters, bricklayers or pipefitters, they are simply babbling idiots attempting to find yet another means of electronically communicating the fact that someone might want to purchase their start up company stock on the NYSE where in fact that company will exist for maybe six months before yet another techie changes the color of his cell phone to blue as opposed to black or pink or invisible altogether. What I'm simply saying here is that tech companies simply will not be around long enough to either unionize or tax due simply to the fact that virtually no one in the world has a long term need for the more or less entirely redundant information that is exchanged on these devices to begin with.

"Our laws today are geared to protecting the interest of employees … (leaving) out a large swath of people who aren't employees," said Ravin Jesuthasan, a managing director at the consulting firm Towers Watson. "I think both individuals and companies are going to want legislation that recognizes this isn't a binary decision. I think it's more about coming up with hybrid legislation ... that goes beyond simply defining a worker as an employee or not." 

I don't know who this Jesuthasan guy is nor do I know anything about the consulting firm he works for, but, his statement to the affect that our laws protect the employee are as about as abstract and superfluous as any can possibly be. When in the same breath this guy states that there are an equal amount of people who comprise the category of those who aren't employees, the one thing this guy states as being obvious is the fact that virtually everyone in America is in fact looking for some sort of legislative leadership that not simply pertains to the definition of an employee, but, the actual growth of real industries that would revalidate from a highly disciplined regulatory framework, the actual purpose of working in America once again.

This whole AFL-CIO thing then, remains at the fundamental core of what in fact needs to be accomplished on the regulatory level for our collective American industrial prosperity to once again blossom. Thus the under educated work force of both McDonald's and Browning-Ferris, once educated, and now the work they are educated to do has the capacity to truly expand the fundamental corporate philosophy of any business entity, such expansion as it is defined on the McDonald's corporate website on the issue of sustainability, has that employee now as an individual not only employed by McDonald's as a hamburger wrapper, but as well, a carpenter or architectural designer or structural engineer engaged in the wholesale energy retrofitting of the building they actually wrap the burgers in. In the same breath, that same employee, now fully educated, can just as easily look to Browning-Ferris who as a corporate waste recycling entity has now fully articulated all waste streams it is managing and specifically to those waste streams that have direct bearing on the waste McDonald's produces daily at their facilities nationwide.

As the point here is to grasp a much larger industrial blueprint of and for the whole corporate entity, the managerial onus the AFL-CIO can and perhaps should be bringing to this larger industrial expansion dialog, is in fact the AFL-CIOs' overall ability to train once again a vast army of 21st century bricklayers, solar array installers and urban traffic managers into the finer aspects of everything industrial that is in fact needed by every company in America today to basically function both economically in the black, and, subsequently, environmentally in the green for many more American industrial decades to come.

Thanks for stopping by.

Mike Patrick Dahlke

Please take the time to visit some of my other essays.

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