Is It Ironic That This Is Labor Day?

Tyler Durden's picture

Peter Tchir chimes in with some observations of supreme irony:

It is also ironic that more time has been spent trying to figure out the impact of 45,000 Verizon strikers on NFP, than has been spent on trying to figure out what sort of a system we have where 45,000 employees feel comfortable going on strike when there are NO jobs, and management caves in to their demands.  Maybe Obama should address that sort of mentality in his jobs speech next week.  Maybe the problem is more at the core of what this country has become than what some new tax incentive to hire can fix.  If anything, the tax incentive will likely be good for lawyers who will be paid by big corporations to figure out how to get the most benefit for the least amount of actual change.  Maybe I'm being too cynical or maybe that is another core problem that should be addressed, but guess that is too much like hard work for politicians, and might even affect some politicians' friends and campaign contributers.

I guess now I can wait for the Europe going home rally and the QE3 rally, or can start enjoying the beach for Labour day and wait for next week to see how long any bounce (if there is one) lasts.

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the not so mighty maximiza's picture

It is ironic, satan worshippers have a sense of humour.


BaBaBouy's picture


Like We've Been Saying For Eons Bitchez...



And what the Feck Is the EU Waiting For... Throw the Greeks out Already.

Everybody there gets free Fiat Drachmas, and Greece opens up for business

and Cheap Vacations for all of us!

Undecided's picture

Correction through the greek leaders out.

redpill's picture

Zero jobs.  All along I thought it was spelled Obama, I guess it's 0bama.

Gully Foyle's picture

Nader pointed out a long fucking time ago that every paper has a business section but no labor section.


Moneyswirth's picture

There are plenty of papers focusing on "Labor".  One in particular is called The Daily Worker.'s picture

The labor market is covered in the "Help Wanted" and "Situation Wanted" sections.

trav7777's picture

yeah, OMG fuckin workers striking and management CAVES IN.

Wow...what a way to characterize things.  Workers have caved in to management for decades. 

Oh but we should just CAVE IN more so execs can get even bigger bonuses like vultures feasting on the carcasses of workers' salaries recovered by laying them off.  Awesome.

It never amazes me how many oligarch bootlickers there are.

DaveyJones's picture

got my tongue pierced cause they like their feet tickled

boiltherich's picture

Love your sense of humor DJ, keep it coming.

DaveyJones's picture

comedy is just a coping mechanism for tragedy 

Leopold B. Scotch's picture

Straw man.

What you need is free flow of labor and individual rights restored. 

Big labor was a response to corporatist collusion in government attempting to rig the system of smaller competitors running circles around them, which in turn crimped the labor market and limited options for workers.  Inefficient, bad for the economy as a whole, and most certainly NOT FREE MARKET CAPITALISM.

In a free market, labor that deserves a higher wage due to productivity / capability, will garnish a higher wage.  Labor that mails it in stagnates or is dumped.

Big labor stepped in and said "the corporations are screwing everyone else" and rather than addressing the problem -- corporatism, Big Labor carved out its own form of screwing everyone else fiefdom.  It also looked at all the saved capital that was being reinvested in compound fashion, resulting in an ever increasing standard of living for all workers fleeing the rest of the world and coming to the U.S. shores, and demanded a cut of that amount going to investment in the future / betterment of the economy.  Receiving strike privilege from Congress (vs. being fired and replaced with someone of equal skill, ready to work) merely enabled unions to run off with the nations' economic seed corn and use it to feather union members nests and, especially, cement union leaders power.

But in the end --- What big labor got in benefits, the average non-union joe had to pay in higher prices or lower wages left over elsewhere. (if everyone became union, there'd be no benefit... just higher prices for all...)

Bottom line, though, unions did nothing to solve the corporatist problem.  They only compounded it by adding another parasite on the backs of real wealth producers and innovators.

100 years later, big corporatist biz has totally screwed up competition in the U.S., while big banking has totally robbed the common man through legalized counterfeiting, while the economic policies it has pushed (along with its puppet, the Fed and its partnership in Congress) and economic structure that is so F'd up it's DOA.

Meanwhile, Big Labor has played its roll is screwing up the labor market / viability to do biz.

Both looking out for their interests only at the expense of the common man / a viable economy.  F the m both, hard and often.   These Verizon Workers are out of touch Dipshits of the First Royal Order.

MisterMousePotato's picture

Your comment, if not outright brilliant, is a very perspicacious skewering of the Hegelian dialect/false dichotomy we see so much, even here.

boiltherich's picture

"...a system we have where 45,000 employees feel comfortable going on strike when there are NO jobs..."

A better question is "How bad were things for workers at Verizon that they felt they had to strike even when the economy is this far into the toilet?"  They must have been bad enough that labor felt they had nothing to lose.

sun tzu's picture

Not bad at all. They weren't contributing to their health insurance at all. When I was under the AT&T bargained unit, we paid $30 per paycheck (bi-weekly) for health coverage for the entire family. It didn't matter how many children you had. Verizon bargained workers paid nothing. That was the main sticking point for the strike.Apparently, you've never dealt with the CWA

DaveyJones's picture

but analyzed outside the vaccuum with record profits, record exec pay and nothing "tickling down" except the vice president's urine...?

Leopold B. Scotch's picture

They are always free to test the labor market.

On the other hand, if you want to discuss corporatist benefits / monopolies afforded to Verizon that allows them massive benefits at the expense of smaller competitors who might hire those Verizon workers at a higher / more competitive wage, I'm happy to discuss that angle since it is the angle that is good for the economy / everyone in the economy, will make the nation wealthier as a whole, as opposed to these workers looking out only for themselves at the expense of all else.

These striking workers will, in the end, result in verizon charging more to the end consumer, who always picks up the tab either directly or by having to deal with 1-800 number phone calls to heavy-accented foreigners.

Yours Truly,

Another Verizon Consumer Whose Bills are High Enough from Feathering the Nests of the Politically Connected

MacGruber's picture

Well stated Trav, "oligarch bootlickers", more like oligarch salad tossers. It never ceases to amaze the level of dislocation in the view that somehow if regulation went away and if labor was truly destroyed somehow the nation would be a better place. History is prologue in this arena. Before organized labor kids worked in factories to support their families, and the same families were owned by the company store. Strikes were met with national gaurd troops who shot and killed people looking to get a fraction of the money that the elite bathed in daily.

Say what you like about unions, but we all owe a great deal of gratitude to organized labor. Without it, most likely all of us would be under the heel of a much larger and uninsatiable corporate boot.

The real irony of labor day is that the lowest classes of society were the ones that were supposed to have a holiday, and instead they are working this weekend at all the super sales to keep the well heeled classes satisfied. Another cynical joke that is modern America.

MisterMousePotato's picture

Anyone who reads about the struggles of labor in this country up to and including the early part of the twentieth century without rooting for the workers is a sociopath, but anyone who looks around today at the political, social, and economic landscape and sees Matewan, West Virginia is completely out of touch with reality.

wang's picture
wang (not verified) Sep 2, 2011 9:04 AM

what matters (sadly() is how the equity markets react

day finishes green

SheepDog-One's picture

And further proof of no QE...what ya see is what you get from here on out, slow grind to Gamorah.

papaswamp's picture

I'm wondering how someone can go on strike and collect unemployment. That is some bull fucking shit right there.

DefiantSurf's picture

they probably can't collect, but the BLS counts the applications, not the payments.


midtowng's picture

They can't. They filed for unemployment is all. Don't believe the hype.

ReactionToClosedMinds's picture

..... yes they can file & collect ... it is state law dependent and 'waivers' for 'friends' (big labor ... nothing more than a cartel in it's own way) ... who help dead people vote three times

midtowng's picture

No they can't. There's been court decisions concerning this.

SokPOTUS's picture

They can only collect if the company doesn't appeal.

It works like this:

1. Striking worker files for unemployment.  Reason: Lack of Work.

2. Striking worker is awarded unemployment due to lack of work; collects $0.00 for the first week of unemployment because that's how the system works.

3. Company files appeals for all strking workers awarded unemployment.

4. Striking workers collect unemployment checks while not working (while it counts) until appeals are heard within a few weeks.  Individually, one-by-one.

5. Company wins all appeals by demostrating that there was a strike; Individually, one-by-one.

6. Striking workers receive notice from State to repay UI benefits received due to loss on appeal.

7. Striking workers repay UI funds now that they are working and collecting pay checks again.

Objective achieved.

Cash flow received when needed, repaid when not.  Company management made to jump through hoops an forced to appeal and document each worker, their empoyment dates, earnings, etc.; attend appeal hearings.  Taxpayer foots the bill for all of it.







Surly Bear's picture

New York State:

Q: What if I'm out of work due to a strike?

A: If you lose your job because of a labor dispute (strike, or other industrial controversy (except for lockouts)) in the establishment where you are employed, you will not be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits for 49 days. You may be eligible sooner if:

  • the labor dispute ends and you are still unemployed or
  • your employer hires replacement workers

The Department of Labor (DOL) advises anyone with doubts about eligibility to collect UI benefits to file a claim for benefits.


Dr.Evil's picture

No wonder the management caved!

GeorgeHayduke's picture

The upper 8%'s propaganda to make us fight each other instead of them works once again.

That's it...seeth with hatred toward those folks who are taking on their owners and managment when they should just comply and work.

For being a country full of tough talking hardasses about war on terr'rists or Muslims or whoever we might hate, we're a rather compliant and obedient lot when it comes to bending over and taking it from our owners. In fact, we will really kick some ass on those people who stand up to them.

I've always found this behavior quite ironic and hard to comprehend.

papaswamp's picture

I'm not saying they cannot or should not strike...but it is their choice to walk out thus they should not collect unemployment versus the person who had no choice because their job was terminated and/or moved overseas.

Striking is a choice that includes risk of the employer not agreeing. That risk should not be transferred to everyone else. 

rwe2late's picture

 They are NOT eligible to collect.

I'm amazed how easily a misleading headline to an article so easily becomes urban folklore,

even here on ZH.

trav7777's picture

bingo.  WTF needs to happen here, CEO payscales need to go to 500:1 to regular joes?  THAT is a desirable outcome?

Or maybe it's that these tough talking full of shit lardasses are just jealous that the VZ workers had the balls to demand that management stop FIRING PEOPLE to feast on the carcasses of their former salaries like mfing vultures?

I worked at one of VZ's competitors and this is exactly what I saw.  H1Bs and even they got laid off when the mgmt chain above them needed to make a bonus.

DaveyJones's picture

With a first name like George.

As many have said,

passivity is complicity

and your worst enemy

sun tzu's picture

You have a choice to work for them or not. Go start your own fucking company and give all your employees free healthcare and great pay. I don't side with anyone in these strikes. The employer decides the pay and benefits. The employee chooses to work under those conditions or not. No laws are being broken. Why do you seeth with hatred towards employers who provide jobs to these unions?

GeorgeHayduke's picture

Gee...we have a Libertarian in our midsts. Who would have guessed? It appears you've swallowed "free market" fairy tale whole.

I don't seeth with hatred toward employers, but I don't tolerate double standards too well, and there seem to be lots of them in companies between managment and workers.

Also, what difference does it make if no laws are being broken? Since 2008 we've already seen that there are two sets of laws in this country, one for the wealthy and connected and one for everyone else. You can bet if the striking workers broke laws people would have been arrested or beaten. If the owners broke laws, it's likely nothing would happen, or it would drag out forever until nothing happened.


DaveyJones's picture

it's not a "free" market and we are not "free" citizens. The extremely wealthy are running this place...into the ground, working with the government, stealing the citizens wealth through complicated criminal systems and the laws clearly do not apply to them.'s picture

It's a matter of perspective. Lots of folks exhibit knee jerk support of "labor." But if a guy came to their house with a lawn mower and insisted on being paid more than the homeowner was willing to pay to cut the grass most folks would tell him to go away. If he did not go away but insisted that you must hire him at the rate he demands and he says that you can't hire anyone else and that you can't mow the lawn yourself folks would get pissed.

GeorgeHayduke's picture

Yeah, some people have this knee jerk support for the employers. But if a guy hired you to cut his grass for an agreed price, but when you finished and he started balking on paying you and complained that he didn't like the work, you'd just have to take it right instead of demanding your pay?

All of these little stories can be told make the point you want to present.

However, the reality of where things stand today is that the ultra wealthy (corporations) have enriched themselves at everyone else's expense via the government that they own. So yeah, fighting against them seems to be the good fight in my mind. Sorry if that's to low rent and blue collar for you righteous business guys.'s picture

But if a guy hired you to cut his grass for an agreed price, but when you finished and he started balking on paying you and complained that he didn't like the work, you'd just have to take it right instead of demanding your pay?


That has happened to me and I simply stopped working for those people.


However, the reality of where things stand today is that the ultra wealthy (corporations) have enriched themselves at everyone else's expense via the government that they own. So yeah, fighting against them seems to be the good fight in my mind.


The fact that there are bad people in the world is no reason to ignore property rights and freedom of association.

Here's an idea -- why don't the unions simply purchase their own factories or other means of production? Wouldn't that be much simpler than working for bad people and constantly bitching about it?

RKDS's picture

"why don't the unions simply purchase their own factories or other means of production?"

Intellectual property law, for starters.  Then there's zoning law and regulatory capture, combined with state-sanctioned monopolies.  And did I forget to mention how they they don't have billions of dollars to invest or bribe with?'s picture

Unions have very deep pockets. Intellectual property rights can be purchased. Any regulatory obstacles which managers and investors can overcome can be overcome by the new unionized owners as well. What specifically do you believe makes it impossible for rich and powerful unions to acquire productive capital when do-nothing, exploitative factory owners and managers do it all the time?

During the 2009-10 election cycle The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees donated $87.5 million to the Democrats, SEIU donated 44 million and NEA donated $40 million. They certainly seem to have lots of money available for bribing the politicians and regulators.

However, you are correct in suggesting that the current regulatory structure inhibits commerce. Will you also recognize that the unions are part of the regulatory system and are therefore one of the causes of decreased economic activity?

Free markets exist when such constraints are removed. In a free market anyone who wants to work can simply start working without fear of falling afoul of the IRS and the endless parade of regulators.

Not For Reuse's picture

first of all, unions with deep pockets have sweet fuck all to do with what union "members" actually make. Second, do you seriously expect anyone to believe there is no barrier differential between an extant company with full lobbyists, etc., vs. a new company starting from scratch? Crazy thing is, I actually supported the same candidate that you did last election; the difference is, you seem to be a brainless bitch

Dismal Scientist's picture

Dead cat bounce, bitches

Irish66's picture

Reopen on 9-6.....look out 6666

TruthInSunshine's picture

Zero job market change – first time since 1945

Even with 20% of every dollar circulating in the economy coming from government transfer payments (i.e. SNAP, Social Security, Medicare, etc.), take away credit cards, and there will be riots involving tens of millions all over the United States, within 6 to 10 weeks, at most.

And if I'm to be believed, what does this fact say about the incredibly precarious state of the State?

cossack55's picture

Seems we had some nuke situations in Japan in August 45'.  What comes around, goes around.

Ausperity's picture

I don't think the riots will start until after the Super Bowl, when there is no NBA season to follow.


I do think that the Keynesians believe that the riots will be good for US GDP, because they will create demand for things like cleanup, reconstruction, and security.


We will have to see if the SuperCongress can effectively implement enough benefit cuts in the budget in time to make my predictions correct...

IMA5U's picture

we will have riots if obama is not elected.  it will be worse than rodney king or o.j.