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Mike Hegedus

Mike Hegedus

Posted March 7, 2009 | 04:21 PM (EST)

Workers of the World Unite! or at least those that are left...


Question--Why do they call them the 'jobs numbers'? Shouldn't they be called the 'lack of jobs' numbers? There's no way around how dismal the government's report on unemployment is--8.1 per cent in the U.S.-- thanks in large measure to revised numbers on the two previous months of an additional 100,000+ folks out of work. What that means of course is that this latest report is also going to be revised----up, next month. You can likely bet you're assistance check on double digit unemployment figures soon. And who's to blame?

Labor.

Now before you drop your tool belt and come out swinging, think about it for a second. While all those 'fat cat' Republican CEO's were raking in the cash and taking all those 'loser' homeowners to the cleaners where was organized labor? Still fighting the battles of the 60's. Still trying to hang onto '..all that we've gained...' to quote one fellow. Who by the way I think is a little over weight and a Republican. My point is this. 8.1 per cent is a heck of a number and when it hits 10 per cent, '..all the we've gained..' won't mean bubkiss.

There's something weird about the UAW still 'negotiating' with General Motors as it slides inexorably towards bankruptcy. Negotiating what exactly? Where to build the monument to Walter Reuther in Flint? You'll find few people more labor and union friendly than yours truly. I'll match my shop steward credentials with the best of them. However, the 'union' employees should be embracing at this point is the one that works with management to save JOBS--not territory, not pay raises--but pay, period. I challenge every CFO to find a way to SAVE as many jobs as possible---cut everyone's salary in half? Fine, as long as it includes his and his boss's. Work fewer hours? You bet--as long as he and his boss are working longer hours to figure a way to keep the plant open.

That's why I'm disappointed in labor,get fired up, not fired. I say challenge that CEO--challenge that CFO--challenge that COO--tell'em you're willing to do anything it takes--anything--to keep your friends and relatives working. As long as they are willing to do anything too. It's about good faith, it's about a willingness to truly compromise, to go the extra mile, to be honest with each other.

Like I said--unemployment in double digits soon.