What is the role of unions in the workplace today?
In this episode of the Hire calling podcast, Pete and Ricky share their opinions on unions and whether or not they are still beneficial in today’s workforce.
As a huge supporter of the freelance market, Pete suggests this is a great alternative for anyone who wants to be in charge of their own career.
After discussing their perspectives and the existence of unions, Pete and Ricky can both agree that happy workers equate to a happy world.
All in all, continually nurturing and promoting employee respect should be an objective for every organization.
Tune in to this episode for a lesson on unions and a great conversation about the freelance market.
Share your thoughts or ask a question at firstname.lastname@example.org, we would love to hear from you!
Our Thoughts on Unions in the Workplace
- Freelancing is an extremely healthy, beneficial way for workers to earn a living. It is the most significant route for employee freedom, respect, and dignity.
- If more people win the freelance route, we won’t need unions. But there’s a specific hunger that it takes to become an entrepreneur and a freelancer that not everybody is cut out for.
- If no one wants to be in that role, then the employer must figure out how to make it more attractive.
- The union is still alive and well today for the same reasons, to negotiate wages, paid sick time, etc.
- As far as membership and numbers, unions are struggling. Their relevance has a lot more to do with tradition than anything else.
- Unions benefit employees who work for an organization that does not listen to the employee concerning their safety.
- The best way for someone to feel valued is to be treated as an individual and to be paid in the case of compensation for non-comp related things.
- There’s a big curve ahead for us as a society, and we need to figure out how to really embrace that and help young people realize that the default path of going to college is not required for success, happiness, and satisfaction.
- Employers need to keep doing their part to perpetuate and promote happy workers.
- Reasons Employees Are Leaving Their Jobs & How To Prevent It
- Highly Effective Strategies for Employee Retention
- How to Reduce Turnover with These Employee Retention Strategies
- Empowerment in the Workplace: What it is and Why it Matters
Pete Newsome 00:03
You’re listening to The Hire Calling Podcast, your source for all things hiring, staffing, and recruiting. I’m your host Pete Newsome, and I’m back today with Ricky Baez.
Pete Newsome 00:11
Ricky, how are you today?
Ricky Baez 00:13
I’m doing amazing Pete amazing ask me why? I always well, why today, I tried that new bacon ranch potato tots things from Zaxby’s today that I saw on a commercial. And it looked beautiful in the commercial, but the exact opposite when you actually buy it.
Ricky Baez 00:35
And it was horrible.
Pete Newsome 00:36
So that’s why you’re doing great.
Ricky Baez 00:39
I’m doing great because I’m trying to find a way how to recover for the rest of my day.
Pete Newsome 00:44
Ricky Baez 00:46
Here we are right now.
Pete Newsome 00:47
You just wanted to bash those that aren’t in no way an answer to why you’re doing great. You. You just wanted to bring up whatever they are. I’m not familiar with those, yet.
Ricky Baez 00:58
Well, good. Good, because you’re not missing anything.
Pete Newsome 01:00
Go out and get them now.
Ricky Baez 01:01
That’s how I’m doing, sir. All right.
Pete Newsome 01:04
What to do with that you throw me for a loop. But here we are. It’s another recording. So I’m gonna throw you for a loop today. We didn’t. I didn’t ask you to advance your opinion on this. So I’m going to hit you up right now. And we’re going to talk about Bernie Sanders. How’s that?
Ricky Baez 01:23
Oh, is he still sitting down in the cold with his little mittens on with this chair in his chair with somebody go get him? Somebody go get him, poor guy.
Pete Newsome 01:33
He does show up quite a bit there.
Ricky Baez 01:35
Pete Newsome 01:37
No, I thought I thought you were gonna use that as an opportunity to make a Colonel Sanders comment.
Ricky Baez 01:42
But that’s next week. Yeah.
Pete Newsome 01:45
So Bernie’s been a little bit on Twitter this past couple of days, commenting on the rail strike. So if I’m sure you’re familiar with that, I think most of us are.
Pete Newsome 01:58
And there were a couple of comments that he made that I wanted to pick your brain on as an HR professional because in a way, I see those as sort of contradictory in nature.
Pete Newsome 02:12
And so I wanted to talk about that for a minute. You’re talking. You’re comfortable talking about unions and rail strikes, and Bernie that sounds boring, but we can make it not boring.
Ricky Baez 02:22
Oh, unions are everything but boring, sir. Let me tell you, I’ve been in grievances left and right. And they’re not boring at all.
Pete Newsome 02:30
So let me share it being a Southerner, even though we recruit and staff nationally, unions are very, they’re not really prevalent here. Right?
Pete Newsome 02:41
That goes without saying, and most of our business does revolve around companies who have some sort of presence in Florida, or the southeast. And that’s how we’ve evolved.
Pete Newsome 02:52
So even though we do business with companies in the Northeast, where I think of being mainly associated with unions, it’s not been something that has come up on a very regular basis in my two decades of staffing.
Pete Newsome 03:06
So what caught my attention this week was the weekend, was a comment that the two comments that Bernie made in a column Bernie as if I know Senator Sanders.
Ricky Baez 03:19
I think we know him as Bernie Sanders.
Pete Newsome 03:22
Ricky Baez 03:22
Yeah, just we kind of call them Bernie. We have to.
Pete Newsome 03:24
Bernie made, one was focused on the number of sick days, which I think is what the big dispute is all about right now guaranteed sick days, or lack thereof, for the rail workers.
Pete Newsome 03:38
Now, I think people should be able to, of course, not have to work when they’re sick. But put that aside, this isn’t really what I wanted to talk about it.
Pete Newsome 03:50
But what I think of as unions and what Bernie was going for, with this comment that he made was, all workers should be guaranteed sick days.
Pete Newsome 04:04
And I thought, Okay, this is sort of the opposite of what I think of in the freelance market, where no one is guaranteed anything.
Pete Newsome 04:17
So I’m a huge proponent, as I believe you are to have freelance and what it can do, and I think it is an extremely healthy, beneficial way for, for workers to go about earning a living, but nothing is guaranteed there. Right.
Pete Newsome 04:35
So I want to, I want to talk about that a little bit because I’m struggling with that right now. Because I don’t really see how that factors into the equation.
Pete Newsome 04:46
So give me your thoughts first on unions as a whole, what purpose do they serve?
Ricky Baez 04:53
Well, let’s talk about why they started. Right now from an age. I’m going to talk from an HR perspective right? Not from a business owner’s perspective, but from a union perspective.
Ricky Baez 05:02
But I’m talking, I’m gonna talk about unions from an HR point of view. I’ve been involved with unions for about 15 years now, working with them, and I’m gonna, I’m gonna sum it up in a nutshell, I understand why unions exist.
Ricky Baez 05:16
They exist, because back in the day before 1934 when the NLRA became effective was the National Labor Relations Act. And that is a law that is governed by the National Labor Relations Board, which does everything union.
Ricky Baez 05:32
And the reason it came about is that there was a lot of progression in the United States economy as far as factories and work are concerned.
Ricky Baez 05:41
And employers were focusing just on the bottom line, like just on it, forget employer safety, from employee safety, forget benefits, they will work them like 80 hours a week with minimum pay pretty much what the rest of the world kind of looks like, to us when it comes to a working economy or most of the world, I want to say, I don’t want to get the rest of the world, but it’s surrounded around safety in the workplace pay and the tools necessary to perform their job.
Ricky Baez 06:14
Because remember, back in the day, I don’t know if you know, the history of the Hoover Dam, when the Hoover Dam was being built many moons ago, their safety record was horrible, you had a line of people in the parking area, almost a parking lot, because when that made the cars back then in the staging area, waiting in line until somebody got sick, or died or got injured because they will be replaced within 30 minutes.
Ricky Baez 06:40
They’ll drag the body out, and they’ll bring the next person waiting in line. Right. So that’s before Union started. And then people started complaining, you know, just you know, lobbying their, their, their Congress person.
Ricky Baez 06:54
And then next thing, you know, these laws come into play. So we don’t have enough time to talk about all about unions, but at the end of the day, is an organization that steps in to be the in-between the employer and the employee to negotiate wages in an into negotiating work environment, and safety in the workplace.
Ricky Baez 07:12
So at the end of the day, that’s what it is.
Pete Newsome 07:14
Okay, so Hoover Dam is testing my history and paying attention in history class was built during the Great Depression, was it not?
Ricky Baez 07:25
I believe so.
Pete Newsome 07:26
I believe the situation, the labor situation in the US, was vastly different than in what would be considered modern times.
Ricky Baez 07:36
Very much so. Yeah.
Pete Newsome 07:38
So what you’re describing in terms of safety conditions and excessive work hours, my first thought when I hear that is why would anyone wait in line for that job?
Pete Newsome 07:52
It sounds like a job that no one would want, you know, that I believe very much and letting the market dictate. Just economics, one on one supply and demand in the labor market, it’s the employer’s obligation or the employer’s role to make a position attractive enough for someone to want to be in that role.
Pete Newsome 08:16
And if no one wants to be in that role, well, then that is on the employer to figure out how to make it more attractive. What you’re describing is a very unattractive job by any reasonable definition.
Pete Newsome 08:31
And yet, again, as your you explained it, a line out the door, in the most literal sense. So I don’t know if that was exaggerated to illustrate the point.
Ricky Baez 08:40
No that was true.
Pete Newsome 08:42
Pete Newsome 08:43
So so what do you know the basis for that why there was so much demand for an unattractive role?
Ricky Baez 08:52
Well back then, exactly as you said during the Great Depression area, you know, jobs were not easily found like they are today.
Ricky Baez 08:59
So men, specifically men, and some women, would take some dangerous jobs just to put food on the table, just because there was nothing else available. So you know, again, that’s before the 1930s Great Depression was 1920. Oh, great.
Ricky Baez 09:13
Depression happens around the end of the 1920s. Right? Yeah, in 1920 it started, whereas the roaring 20s was the rise of the economy of the US back then.
Ricky Baez 09:24
But once the once 1920-1929 hit, that’s when things really got bad. That’s when the traditionalist goes. We talked about generations, that’s when the traditionalist would save a lot of stuff.
Ricky Baez 09:36
They normally wouldn’t save their hoard left and right, and they’ll take dangerous, dangerous jobs by today’s standards because back then there was just nothing else to do.
Ricky Baez 09:44
And I don’t want to see if that alone sparked the union movement, but situations like that sparked the union movement, and then fast forward to 2022.
Ricky Baez 09:54
The union is still alive and well today, for the same reasons different ways of looking at it, but it’s still to negotiate wages, paid sick time, and things like that.
Pete Newsome 10:07
So what’s that Joe Rogan’s guy that he has it always?
Ricky Baez 10:14
We need Jamie to bring something up.
Pete Newsome 10:15
But while you were speaking, I did look up and yes, it was built during the Great Depression and you know, a couple of these sources that I’m immediately seeing mention that it was provided much at work for 1000s who are desperate, right?
Pete Newsome 10:30
And so that that, you know, in desperate times, desperate acts, so that that makes sense why people would be willing to suffer through a terrible situation like that, right, they felt probable they were the only way to feed their family back then put food on the table, etc.
Pete Newsome 10:49
So that those days aren’t here. We’re in an era right now, where, as of the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics report that I just happen to be looking at earlier today, we have 10 point 3 million job openings and 6 million people looking for a job. So there are more jobs.
Ricky Baez 11:08
Let’s do some math here.
Pete Newsome 11:10
So the math indicates pretty clearly that no one has to suffer through that kind of situation unless they’re willing to.
Pete Newsome 11:22
So those conditions don’t exist today. Right? This is what I truly am trying to understand in this because I’ll finish the thought on what Bernie was going with Bernie, what Bernie tweeted.
Pete Newsome 11:39
The other message was, let me quote it for you now that I’ve, of course, get away from this. Let me be clear, the struggle is not over.
Pete Newsome 11:51
And this had to do with what they were trying to put in place, I think, again, was specific to sick days, which was passed over the weekend.
Pete Newsome 12:02
So his quote was in response to that, let me be clear, the struggle is not over. I will do everything I can to make sure that rail workers in America are treated with dignity and respect. Okay. Sure. I mean, fine.
Pete Newsome 12:14
Yes, we want that no one in their right mind would dispute that workers should be treated with dignity and respect, nonworkers should also be treated with dignity and respect. Stating the obvious. I don’t know that I’m having trouble equating these things.
Pete Newsome 12:32
Because what, again, maybe missing something obvious? And if I am, I want to understand I’d love to bring a union boss on, to enlighten me on this.
Pete Newsome 12:46
But I see that as anything but dignity and respect when it comes to treating someone’s profession and how they spend their professional day and time and effort and put their body on the line as a team sport.
Pete Newsome 13:02
I think that is diminishing the individual. And I know that I’m missing something. I just don’t know what it is. What say you to that?
Ricky Baez 13:15
So here’s it, there’s a huge difference from the mental difference. Not fundamental, but there’s a huge difference between back then and right now, as far as unions are concerned back then the struggle was real. Right?
Ricky Baez 13:26
OSHA was their safety standards in there, people were dying, right, just for simple mistakes, right? Now, unions now I gotta tell you, with me pulling some data, they’re struggling, they are struggling right now. They’re still really powerful in the United States.
Ricky Baez 13:43
But I think as far as membership and numbers, they are struggling because the reason unions are really are are are still relevant now. It has a lot more to do with tradition than anything else.
Ricky Baez 13:56
You’ve got people in the workforce today, blue collar, folks, you know, plumbers, electricians, you know, the backbone of America, that come from a long line of plumbers and electricians who believe in unions, and they grew up in an environment that says Do not turn into a corporate person, right?
Ricky Baez 14:16
You get a union job so you get your benefits you get your pension, that’s what they’re told right when they’re growing up. And right now unions again are relevant just because yeah, more tradition than anything else.
Ricky Baez 14:29
But there are some organizations around the repeat that the safety issue is not as big a concern as benefits and pay are right because you still do have some leaders that are looking at the p&l so closely with blinders on.
Ricky Baez 14:45
They forget about the employees and when that happens so much. They voiced their concerns to Union halls now real quick, here’s what happens with a union hall right? If let’s talk about Florida, because I can’t talk about Florida is a right-to-work state, which means you don’t have to join a union for you to get a job in Florida versus another state.
Ricky Baez 15:06
In order for you to get a union job, you got to go to the union hall, right, and they provide that talent. But in Florida, if somebody doesn’t like the situation that’s happening at work, let’s see, they got 1000 employees, right, they got somebody goes to the union hall, they complete the union hall, and then they send some people over to the job site, there’s a lot of regulations about how that works.
Ricky Baez 15:29
If they rally everybody, and they get 30% interest, meaning cards 30% interest of all the employees, so 30% of 1000 is about 300 people, right?
Ricky Baez 15:42
And then if you get 300 people in there, the next thing, you know, you’re going to have a union campaign, you’re going to have an election going on.
Ricky Baez 15:49
And now you have union people coming in and telling you what to do from the business perspective, that kind of tells you where I lie. I’m a union conversation. And that’s to me personally, that’s a voice that’s a cook in the kitchen that does not need to be there.
Ricky Baez 16:05
But we’re not done yet. Once you get that 30%. And they have an election, what ends up happening Pete vast, when the business needs to go all out and communicate all the benefits, they have to communicate all these things about how awesome things are right now.
Ricky Baez 16:23
Because the only thing people need to ratify a contract to ratify a union is 50% of the votes plus one more of the people that show up. So let’s do some math real quick. If there are 1000 People in the center, and only 10 people show up to vote, all you need is six votes to ratify a contract. Wow. So 1000 people.
Pete Newsome 16:47
So is general and I know there was recent talk of unions that I believe Starbucks, yep, Amazon, and Amazon to big companies.
Pete Newsome 16:59
Again, I’m not it wasn’t close enough to what was actually taking place to have an opinion. But generally speaking in a situation like that, is it a vocal minority?
Pete Newsome 17:10
Who is pushing for it? Or is the majority typically pushing for it? What I’m really asking is on the surface, right, without slanting the information, if there’s a better way to phrase it, it’s not immediately coming to mind.
Pete Newsome 17:28
Is it beneficial to the employees? The forming of a union, I realized that with the rail workers that already exist ringing that bell is an entirely different conversation.
Ricky Baez 17:42
It’s beneficial for employees who work for an organization where the organization does not listen to the employee in this net respects the employee’s safety.
Pete Newsome 17:52
Okay, so you’ve mentioned safety a lot in this conversation. And I think of safety as transcending unions. OSHA is who comes to mind for that, as its existence is entirely based around providing safety for workers. So where does that overlap with what a Union’s responsibility would be?
Ricky Baez 18:20
Because from an OSHA perspective, safety is their only goal, from a union perspective is only part of the overall existence, because the other one is having the tools they need to perform the job and having the benefits that they need and having equity in the company, just all overall benefits. If it and again, that is aside from safety, because OSHA takes care of that now.
Ricky Baez 18:44
It’s as profits started getting bigger wages did not follow. And when you have a bunch of employees who feel like they’ve been cheated, if 30% of them decide to get to a union hall, you’re going to have some issues, right? So what I tell clients is, listen to your employees, listen to them.
Ricky Baez 19:05
And if you cannot provide the pay, and the benefits that they’re asking for, let them know why is it better be a really good reason, otherwise, they’re gonna go and unionize on your next thing, you know, for every because to me, in case you haven’t noticed, folks, from an HR perspective, I don’t like unions.
Ricky Baez 19:24
I do not like unions. That’s just my personal opinion. Because I rather deal with the employees directly. If there’s any kind of a situation with a union for example, if there’s an investigation or something needs to happen, I have to have a union rep there and a union representative that’s there.
Ricky Baez 19:42
It’s sometimes the ones I’ve been involved with, got really really hostile really has to because remember their whole reason for existence as a union rep is to look out for the best interest of their member against me the man right
Pete Newsome 20:00
Okay, so your, your, you in this capacity as you’re referring to or HR, the employer, right that you’re the corporate entity if you will.
Ricky Baez 20:10
I’m the evil guy, according to them.
Pete Newsome 20:13
Okay. So here’s where I’m struggling in this. I’m I believe that the freelance market is the greatest route for employee freedom, respect, and dignity, the things that Bernie Sanders says as is necessary.
Pete Newsome 20:38
It seems to be tied to a union. And I’m, I’m struggling to connect these dots because I think as a freelancer, you only choose work where those things exist. Right? Not in so if it’s being forced upon, if it’s not if it’s unnatural, right, it where someone has to, it’s sort of like a parent making a child apologize, right?
Pete Newsome 21:12
The words may come out, but there’s no sincerity behind them. Yeah. As someone who’s made my children apologize to their siblings, many times, it’s hard, you know? Yeah, well, I’m sorry, it would be even nice. It’s usually I apologize in the most, you know, in the most insincere way.
Pete Newsome 21:29
And so, if, am I looking at this right? Or am I miss again, missing something really obvious? Because I think, wow, if the conditions are such that you have to have this overriding policy, or you have to band together to get it.
Pete Newsome 21:47
My first question is why don’t you leave? Why get the if it’s so bad? Why take it in the first place? And I will, I think, if you’re a rail worker, that’s all you know, maybe jobs are limited in your area, you may feel locked into that role, I think, right?
Pete Newsome 22:10
Is that is let’s just let me stop there and ask you Is that sort of the basis for why they deem this necessary in the first place, rather than just leave, go somewhere else don’t remain in that bad situation where you need this third party, sort of groups to seven.
Ricky Baez 22:27
So I see what you’re getting at. And I agree with you, Pete. If more people win the freelance route, we won’t need unions. You’re right, we because they will be in charge of them, right?
Ricky Baez 22:39
People will be in charge of their own destinies when it comes to that. The reason I don’t think that whatever happened, is because there’s a specific hunger that it takes for you to be an entrepreneur and a freelancer that I don’t think everybody’s cut out for.
Ricky Baez 22:54
And the reason people stick to Union life and union mentality again is how they grew up and be as easy is easy. You go in you clock in at five, it’s 8 am, and you clock out at 5 pm. The contract specifically dictates what your job is like no, if and or buts, you going you do that for 30 years, and you get a pension.
Ricky Baez 23:18
Right, that union is made now, these days 2022. For people who will like to keep that status quo over their career, there’s nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong with that. But what you’re seeing from a freelance perspective, I agree with you that if more people did that, we would need fewer unions.
Ricky Baez 23:39
But I don’t think that’s going to happen just because of how easy a union makes work for some people. I’ll give you a great example. A great example of why I don’t like unions, right?
Ricky Baez 23:50
And this is the most basic example they can come up with. Let’s say we have a company and my job here is to turn a knob 20 times an hour, that’s my job turned the knob 20 times an hour, turn, turn, turn, turn turn. In the unit environment, it says I turn the knob 20 times an hour.
Ricky Baez 24:10
And that’s it. What happens if I stop at 45 minutes? I wait until the hours are done. Because that’s what the contract says. The contract says I’m not to work above and beyond that, versus the same situation in a non-unionized environment. The boss says, Oh, dude, you finish that in 45 minutes.
Ricky Baez 24:30
Let’s see what you can do in an hour. And they keep pushing those boundaries and pushing those boundaries a good boss, however much more money this person makes above and beyond what they did against their colleagues will pay them more.
Ricky Baez 24:42
But the reason units come into play is that they keep forcing these folks to work more and more and more and not get any of the extra profits and then boom units have to be there to keep everybody honest, from that perspective.
Pete Newsome 24:54
And there’s so much going on in that in that analogy. because it’s, it’s unhealthy in a significant way. And that’s how I describe freelance relationships as the most healthy form of, work that you can do where someone is choosing to, trade their time and expertise, and labor for income, right, or whatever they might, they might do an exchange, right?
Pete Newsome 25:30
So for a wage, and on the other side, you have an organization putting a value on that time, expertise, and labor that they need and offering that and if there is someone willing to take it, you know, even at scale, right, if I’m talking about this as if it’s one at a time, but really, that’s what it is, because what you are describing is demoralizing in in the opposite of what I think this, this idea of dignity and respect, is it for another person I’m in?
Pete Newsome 26:08
I’m trying to find out why the workers in the IT field that this is in their best interest. Once again, it seems like just treating it as a team sport.
Pete Newsome 26:21
And I don’t I’m really struggling with that. It sounds like one step above indentured servitude, and locking someone, into something that where if what you’re, you’re saying is what I heard in the past, I think about unions is that whether you do your best whether you do your worst, as long as you’re checking the boxes.
Pete Newsome 26:47
So your income is going to remain the same, and your job will remain intact. And that’s it. Which is not, which is not healthy. It works.
Ricky Baez 27:01
So for me, it’s not working now. It’s not working. Now, historically, union memberships have been dropping year over year.
Pete Newsome 27:09
Put the real workers aside for a second because I saved for the last time the caveat that there are clearly things that I don’t understand at work with that no pun intended there.
Pete Newsome 27:20
But looking at these Starbucks employees who have if you are eligible, capable qualified to be hired at Starbucks, there’s a very good chance you know, Starbucks is not putting their restaurants are there, their coffee shops, what I mean, they’re at their stores casual, I don’t know, they’re not putting their stores in desolate areas, right?
Pete Newsome 27:51
They’re not there. So presumably, there are other jobs you could take. Right? So if Starbucks isn’t satisfactory, if they’re not offering you as an employee, what you deem necessary for you to be happy and satisfied.
Pete Newsome 28:09
Why would you fight that system? Instead of walking away and finding a better job? Now, if there’s this concept of greater good at work, you know, where someone’s like, I’m going to help my brothers and sisters and do and fight this together?
Pete Newsome 28:27
Okay, that’s a noble thing. I mean, I get it, but as an individual, why are you Why just leave, and if enough leave? Whatever is needed is changed. Starbucks will change that.
Ricky Baez 28:38
I mean, I can tell you why. It’s, it’s now this is just my opinion, nobody else’s. If you Google, somebody named Norma Rae, she was instrumental back in the day, back in the day for you didn’t it? Because she stood up for people. Right?
Ricky Baez 28:56
And I think today these days, the reason people don’t do that, and they stick, you know, and they dig in, is because they want to go down in history somehow, in human history.
Ricky Baez 29:07
They were the ones who organized Starbucks, and there’ll be known as the person who organized this organization it’s more about recognition than anything else because it’s really easy to leave Starbucks and go to Dunkin Donuts is really easy to leave Starbucks and go do something else.
Ricky Baez 29:22
I mean, unless he I just, I’m with you, I don’t really understand the rationale about unionizing, if they have that many concerns because you can easily go somewhere else like you couldn’t do that 80-plus years ago. So it’s got to be because of recognition.
Ricky Baez 29:37
And why else and then not everybody wants to lead the way when it comes to making a business profitable?
Ricky Baez 29:46
These are folks that really go in thinking I’m going to go to work, and I’m going to stick it to the man and I’m going to get my benefits, and then go home. That’s the mentality right now. I’m overreached.
Ricky Baez 29:56
I’m painting everybody with a broad brush because there are some organizations that need to be unionized because they are treating their workers unfairly. Right? Workers. I’m sorry. Give me an example.
Ricky Baez 30:09
Let me I’ll give you one example. There’s one or I don’t know if I can mention it. Now, this is one organization that actually I’m not, I’ll tell you afterward. This is one organization that I do know of that how they treat their employees is absolutely horrible. It’s a call center operation.
Ricky Baez 30:29
And what they do is they have, they don’t have a schedule, they have people come to work. And out of the 100 people that show up to work, only the top 25 People get to stay to work for the day.
Ricky Baez 30:41
And nobody knows who the top 25 are, because they don’t share the numbers from yesterday. People still show up Pete, why do 75 Go home because they know nothing else?
Ricky Baez 30:52
They don’t know any better. They think that’s how that job runs. One of the wins of the union hall, the union hall went over, and now they’re in the process of being unionized. So we’re able to know better, you’d be surprised.
Pete Newsome 31:08
Hold on, I am more than surprised.
Ricky Baez 31:11
Some people, not all people, because people still show up.
Pete Newsome 31:15
But I get it. I get it in the past, right?
Ricky Baez 31:21
This was last year.
Pete Newsome 31:22
Okay. But we’re having record unemployment right now. 3.9%, as we said, 6 million job seekers, for 10 point 3 million jobs. No one that has to put up with that anything remotely close to it.
Pete Newsome 31:37
So is that extraordinary is it if they do make the cut for the day? There has to be some overriding reason why someone would tolerate that.
Ricky Baez 31:49
It’s I think, I honestly think you are underestimating how many people don’t follow those numbers. They don’t follow them. I’ve seen so many people who because you follow those numbers to the tee are so done. That’s our job. I want to know what unemployment is.
Ricky Baez 32:08
You’ve got people out there that are working people that have no idea what unemployment is and have no idea what’s happening.
Ricky Baez 32:14
They just want to go to work, do what they need to do, and go home. The fact that that business is still open and operating the way that it is about to be unionized, is the baffling man. It’s baffling. But people still do it.
Ricky Baez 32:26
And the reason I know this is because I used to recruit for them. Actually, I think I think I told because I can tell you when I worked for Sears Home Improvement, I used to go to this organization’s parking lot and put fliers on their windshields telling them like, look, we give you your schedule.
Ricky Baez 32:44
You don’t have to go home if you’re in the bottom 75%.
Pete Newsome 32:48
That’s insane. I don’t. Yeah, yeah, I probably should have shut down a little more research for bringing this up on the fly today. Because these tweets just stood out. It means it’d be in the other pieces. Back to the freelance conversation.
Pete Newsome 33:07
There’s a very strong feeling among many workers, I may say most who are employees of very just general employees somewhere.
Pete Newsome 33:23
And that the feeling employer should be obligated to provide things beyond the scope of the job, right beyond doing this job for this wage, do Is there an agreement to do that, to both parties? Want to enter into that agreement?
Pete Newsome 33:45
If so, yes. So in benefits, I’m of the mindset that MD employees would win, if companies weren’t beholden to so many things that the government impresses upon employers for providing where they can instead put the money in the employee’s pocket and let the employee choose.
Pete Newsome 34:07
So when we talk about it, they’ll just focus on sick days since that’s pertinent here.
Pete Newsome 34:16
Bernie Sanders, others, many others, maybe most others would say and it’s, it’s quite, I mean, some of the replies of the tweaks, I looked at him, you know, it’s crazy that in a modern society, and employers are don’t have to do this and the US in particular, like, what a backward place.
Pete Newsome 34:33
Meanwhile, I’m thinking, though, in many ways, the opposite where let me pay you on the front end. And you have the ability to like as an employer, you think the money’s coming from somewhere, right? It’s less on the front end.
Pete Newsome 34:55
So again, if we’re treating it like a team sport, this is Is this is what you’d end up with where but if you’re treating it like an individual sport where, Ricky, I’m going to pay you what, what you’re willing to work for what we agree is, it’s good value to me it’s good value to you, however, we determine it. Right?
Pete Newsome 35:16
That is a very personal and individual thing. And then you live your life accordingly. But once I’m obligated to do things for you, when you’re not working, well, then I’m taking it from someone else. Right.
Pete Newsome 35:29
And that’s how I see it. It’s not to shortchange you, as the employee, quite the opposite. It’s giving you everything you’ve earned and deserve, and not sharing the pot, so to speak.
Pete Newsome 35:44
So why do you think that is not looked at that way? Because I wanted to be the advocate of freelance, I think it is the most healthy way to have a relationship for work that needs to be done.
Pete Newsome 36:02
Why do you think that’s such a, I don’t know that we’re ever going to get past this, because we’re so far from that being a prevalent thought.
Ricky Baez 36:10
So again, I can only give you my opinion, based on my experience with it, in my opinion, is Pete is that you’ve got in, in the workplace, you have all kinds of people everywhere from your rock stars that move mountains free for the cause and actually do for the people who just do their job. Right.
Ricky Baez 36:30
And if organizations want to appease everybody, right, it’s not just eSports because if all if you only a piece of the top 10%, like Elon is doing, you’re gonna have to figure out how to work how to how to run the business with a top 10% only.
Ricky Baez 36:45
Right? But you are going to need some people that do their job, and not nothing more and nothing below, right?
Ricky Baez 36:54
So if that’s your middle 70% of your folks, top 10%, middle 70 bottom 20 you get rid of the bottom 20 Top 10% gets most of the money in the middle 70% If you do something, as an organization that takes away what they find valuable, what are you going to do as an organization to find the right talent for you.
Ricky Baez 37:17
So to me appeasing the folks is appeasing everybody in the bucket. Again, that’s just I’m just pulling that out of the air based on my experience.
Ricky Baez 37:25
The same thing goes with the fight for 15. I’m sure you’ve heard of the fight for 15, which has been the basis for restaurant unions. You know, they’re fighting for, you know, for $15 an hour.
Ricky Baez 37:36
And I’m a big, it’s I don’t believe in that, because I believe you should be paid what you’re worth, but at the same time, there are some people who just because of their skill set or the mentality, they cannot be paid what they’re worth, but they need at least a livable wage.
Ricky Baez 37:52
That’s not everybody. But that’s what I’m assuming I think why things are the way they are today, Pete
Pete Newsome 37:58
Yeah, I don’t, I don’t know where this is going to ultimately end up because I get the argument don’t get. Make no mistake. But I think it’s not looking at the bigger picture.
Pete Newsome 38:10
And you mentioned people don’t pay attention to unemployment numbers and that sort of thing. I am certain that most employees don’t realize what could be in their pocket, as an employer what we often call the burden, right, which is an interesting phrase, not my word.
Pete Newsome 38:35
That is the taxes and fees that go into what an employer has to pay to cut a paycheck to an employee. And as the things that are mandated by the government, that things in the things that are just used as recruiting tools and retention tools by employer employees.
Pete Newsome 39:00
It also treats the employee base for any organization as if it’s a team sport, I keep using that phrase, because I can’t think of a better one versus individual which is what, which is what freelance does.
Pete Newsome 39:14
So I don’t it’s not my mission in life to have more to be a proponent of the freelance market. But I truly believe that it’s a path to a much healthier relationship between workers.
Pete Newsome 39:36
And, though See, I wouldn’t even call it employees and employers at that point, because that has, in many ways the wrong connotation to it.
Pete Newsome 39:45
Where, for example, you’re a freelancer who works with 4 Corner Resources, but you’re not our employee, you know, far from it, and you weren’t used to being an employee for 4 Corner Resources.
Pete Newsome 39:59
And go ahead and say right now. Which way do you feel better? Do you feel more respected? And now that you are not an employee? I mean, hopefully, you didn’t feel disrespected before.
Ricky Baez 40:21
No with me, it’s got nothing to do with respect. It’s I don’t feel disrespected either way. I feel respected both ways. They each have their pros and cons Pete in, it’s somebody who just flipped over and I was I was attending part-time for 10 years.
Ricky Baez 40:36
And somewhere in there, I did it for nine months.
Ricky Baez 40:39
And so the con is the pro, obviously, as of your calendar, you are in control, you literally are your own boss, depending on you, Lee is on your leadership skills, that could be a very good thing or a very terrifying, right?
Ricky Baez 40:56
And whereas, on a 1099 employee, somebody who’s not talking to a W two employee, an actual employee who works for an organization where you know, where their next paycheck is going to come from, that safety doesn’t exist in the 1099 world, right? In 1099? Well, I actually have to go on and fish. Right.
Ricky Baez 41:15
Whereas in a W two world, I’m already in the pond, where I know their fishes, and I know where I’m going to eat every Friday.
Pete Newsome 41:23
Really, because there where there’s been how many layoffs? And in that? Well, among me, yeah. Well,
Ricky Baez 41:35
Pete Newsome 41:37
But this is see this is my point. We don’t think of it in those terms. But just because you are a W two employee, there’s no safety associated with that.
Pete Newsome 41:48
You know, I think we’ve had what 170,000 tech workers, companies, people laid off from tech companies, that they’re not very technical employees, that those are the ones who’ve kept their jobs. Probably just incidentally.
Ricky Baez 42:02
But it proves the point, though, right, Pete? Because as a W two employee, I don’t have control over that. Rice obtain that and unemployed I do.
Pete Newsome 42:10
So you don’t right? So there is it’s a false sense of security. Yes, that is where I’m going.
Pete Newsome 42:15
So when we say pros and cons in, we can explore this in another, another show because they’re, I think their perceived pros more often than not, is that there’s secured I know, I know, the employer has my back, or, you know, takes care of me and my needs to some level, right?
Pete Newsome 42:37
And that’s the feeling that I think, oh, no, no, don’t, you don’t want to rely on an employer for that.
Pete Newsome 42:43
Because when times change, or the tide changes, what that perceived security is going to work against you when you’re an independent contractor, or you approach your professional life that way, you know that you have to take care of yourself, right?
Pete Newsome 43:03
When you’re a W two employee, all these other employees at Facebook and Twitter. And all the other tech companies recently had been laid off.
Pete Newsome 43:12
They just thought they were being taken care of until they worked. And so I think it’s, it’s doesn’t there’s potential for it to do more harm than good.
Ricky Baez 43:25
I’m with you. I’m with you. In in. I think I said that wrong, man. Right? Because yes, as a 1099 employee or attended in a contractor, yeah, I have to go fishing.
Ricky Baez 43:35
But I have the capabilities to do so. Right. And it’s up to me. If I don’t eat this Friday, it’s nobody’s fault. But mine. If I do eat this Friday, it’s nobody’s fault. But mine. Right, right. Versus as a W two employee, I can do everything I want in the world. There are people right now on Facebook being laid off who are Rockstar workers.
Pete Newsome 43:57
Sure, because of course, and now they have to as long as they anticipated the possibility of that or even the probability of that, then fine. Right.
Pete Newsome 44:10
But it’s those who didn’t because there’s a false sense of security. And I will say if you eat Zaxby standard, it’s nobody’s fault, but yours, but they had to get that out before I missed the window.
Pete Newsome 44:23
But so that that false sense of security ultimately works against them is my concern. Yeah, this isn’t so nothing. I’m saying it’s from the employer’s perspective.
Pete Newsome 44:37
I don’t I’m looking to shift the dollars not save the dollars, that employers pay for benefits that are shared by the greater good and let everyone benefit from their own efforts. Right equally because when you start putting that burden and excessive burden on employers where they take it upon themselves.
Pete Newsome 45:04
As you can see, like some of the stuff at Twitter with just the overage that was it, well, the numbers just don’t work.
Pete Newsome 45:13
And so it’s going to not end well, where a freelancer who can set their own schedule and their rate and be paid what they’re worth and every dollar that they earn, they that goes directly to them.
Pete Newsome 45:29
That’s a when it’s when companies don’t save money when they’re hiring freelancers, in fact, they probably end up paying more, but they get more for it. So everyone benefits.
Ricky Baez 45:39
I like how you put that you’re not looking to just sit to save the dollar, you look to shift it, right? I like how you put that. Because you’re not focusing on just cutting costs at all costs.
Ricky Baez 45:50
You’re looking for shifting resources to where they’re better worked to where those resources are better acquired. They’re used better and more efficiently.
Ricky Baez 45:59
That makes I think that right there is the point of this episode. Seriously, how do you shift that dollar? Right? Do you need unions to do that?
Ricky Baez 46:09
Some companies, some, but I’ll tell you this, for everybody out there listening, if you are a leader of people, obviously, and you listen to what they say, and you take care of them, whether they’re employees or contractors, employees, because contractors are unionized, whether they’re employees or contractors, if you take care of them in their values, they’re there.
Ricky Baez 46:32
They what they value you value, no human would ever come into your office. It’s not going to happen.
Pete Newsome 46:39
No, you’re absolutely correct.
Pete Newsome 46:42
And I, my theory until proven otherwise, is that the best way to show for someone to feel valued is to be treated as an individual and to be paid in the case of compensation given you know, in the case of things that are non-comp related, what they’re worth, and I don’t think that’s easy, and maybe impossible to do. If it’s done based on the group versus the individual.
Ricky Baez 47:18
That makes sense.
Pete Newsome 47:19
So I mean, here’s what I do if an employee is going to be employed and makes $50,000 a year. Do you think most employees know and I suspect not a W two employee?
Pete Newsome 47:35
When when you add in what I consider to be the weighted cost of that, which is what I mentioned burden before but the burden is really just taxes and payrolls in the call that somewhere between Texas payroll fees, call it somewhere between 11 and 20%, depending on the state, maybe 1213 to 20%.
Pete Newsome 47:57
That’s off the top that’s right out of the employee’s pocket. So the employer pays it doesn’t go to the employee, it goes to the government. Right, go by you’ll never get it back.
Pete Newsome 48:08
Is that coming back to you? Maybe incrementally, but for the most part, it’s not. And then you add have other benefits on top of that so far, and those vary wildly from the extreme to minimal, depending on the company.
Pete Newsome 48:24
So for the but on average, I tend to just rough math that always thinks if someone’s getting paid 50 It’s costing their employer 75 grand. Do you think that’s close to 50%?
Ricky Baez 48:36
That’s not including benefits?
Pete Newsome 48:38
It is? No? Oh, God. Yes.
Ricky Baez 48:42
Pete Newsome 48:42
So do you think most employees are faced with the choice? Alright, Rick, you’re going to do this job and do 40 hours a week? Here’s, we agree on what the work is. Great.
Pete Newsome 48:53
Everyone’s happy there. Do you want $50,000? And I’m going to pay for all these other things, including taxes and fees, or do you want 75,000?
Ricky Baez 49:03
I know you want a simple answer, man, but I can’t give you one.
Pete Newsome 49:08
What the 75 means? You’re only gonna get paid for when you’re working. Yeah. Because that’s what I need of you. Right? That’s what you’re agreeing to do.
Pete Newsome 49:19
That’s the agreement but with that extra $25,000 you get to save it you get to prepare for if you’re sick, you get to prepare for when you want to take off to take vacations and we’re gonna have much more flexibility as a result of that.
Pete Newsome 49:34
Because you’re not going to be tied to what I’m also obligating to everyone else, only what you get.
Ricky Baez 49:43
So since you put it that way you put numbers to numbers. Here’s what I anticipate is gonna happen and we ever come to a life where that’s a reality.
Ricky Baez 49:54
The smart people, the smart employees who don’t want the aggravation of running their own business doing their own taxes are gonna say no to that. The smart people who want more freedom, and they want more control, they’re gonna say yes to that.
Ricky Baez 50:12
The NASA strategic people who see those numbers and like, Oh my God, I want $25,000 More, and don’t understand what it means to be your own employer, your own boss, they’re gonna go with the with a bigger amount and fail. That’s what we have.
Pete Newsome 50:30
We have prepared people to operate under that we have that. We’ve, we tell people Yeah, we tell young people to focus on getting a job. not know, but know that.
Pete Newsome 50:47
Don’t take that approach. And we, we always end up here and you know how strongly I feel about that I know you agree to solve, it’s an entirely different challenge. So maybe we’ll tackle that one at a later date.
Ricky Baez 51:00
Here’s, well, I’ll tell you how I’m gonna throw in my two cents on solving this. I grew up in an era Pete when I was it was beaten into my head, the only way I could succeed is not by being a plumber not by being an electrician by getting a four-year degree.
Ricky Baez 51:13
That turned out not to be true. Not 100%. True, right? Because right now, man, you got those trade workers, men that are making money hand over fist, I don’t know, a couple of them who I went to school with who went to trade school afterwards.
Ricky Baez 51:25
They’re millionaires right now. Right? So that turned out to be not the case. How I can combat this is how I raise my son, I’ve got a nine-year-old, right?
Ricky Baez 51:35
And he’s got just what, 10 more years before he gets out there. And my lesson to him is going to be Look, do you want? Do you want to make money? Start a business?
Ricky Baez 51:46
Be your own boss, start a business, you want to be a lawyer, you want to be a scientist? Yeah, you are going to have to go to school for that, right?
Ricky Baez 51:55
But if you want to make money, and really, really be in control, you should start your own business and forget about this corporate nine-to-five, and whatever he likes, right?
Ricky Baez 52:06
Because I’ll tell him look if he wants to be an electrician, go ahead. I’ll help them with it. And right, because that’s that doesn’t demand right now, along with a lot of other trades out there.
Ricky Baez 52:16
So I think the best way I can combat that is to the person that I brought into this world or helped bring into this world of debate. I’m gonna go ahead and reason to be a citizen to where he stands on his own two feet. And then he makes his own decisions about his financial future.
Pete Newsome 52:32
Yeah, I think that’s, that’s really good advice. I mean, I, I think I think there’s a big, there’s a big curve ahead for us, as a society, if we can to figure out how to really embrace that and help young people realize that, that default path of going to college it is not required for success, and happiness and satisfaction.
Pete Newsome 53:04
And yeah, the world doesn’t really tell you that very often, at least not here in our country. And insects, like staying in school? Well, maybe. Maybe.
Ricky Baez 53:15
I mean, yeah, it’s, it’s, well, this is another episode of Department of Education was started by who? Right? Okay, that’s another show.
Pete Newsome 53:26
So, okay, so, Bernie, thank you for providing the content. For today in your tweet, I don’t think that is necessarily the path to respect and dignity that you want for employees.
Pete Newsome 53:44
I’m gonna think more about that because just I don’t know how we reconcile it. I don’t know how we get from what seems to be a situation that no one’s really happy about to one that the free on the union side, because no one seems it just seems like a big fight.
Pete Newsome 54:06
And every time I hear union, the word union because I’m in Florida, it’s always someone’s fighting about. I don’t hear anyone fighting in the freelance world, Ricky. I know. No one’s complaining.
Pete Newsome 54:20
Alright. Happy people on both sides.
Ricky Baez 54:22
That is true.
Pete Newsome 54:24
Happy workers. Happy World. And that is something we need to keep doing our part too, uh, to perpetuate and promote. So we’ll keep doing that.
Ricky Baez 54:37
Absolutely in if Bernie Sanders ever becomes president, it’d be interesting to see who still calls him Bernie. I don’t think nobody’s gonna call him president Bernie.
Pete Newsome 54:49
Hopefully, he can stay in his chair with his mittens and his arms folded and in a tweet, tweet, tweet occasion, I think that’s I think we’re getting up Are we oh, we need that. Bernie.
Ricky Baez 55:01
Hey, Bernie, what’s your biggest accomplishment in your entire political career? I was a meme.
Pete Newsome 55:09
He’s done a little more than that. I think. I don’t know. I don’t know. I think the Presidential ship has sailed. On that, we will get a chance. He’s done it.
Ricky Baez 55:21
I love listening to him talk right. It is a hilarious train wreck.
Pete Newsome 55:25
He’s, that’s for sure. But um, all right, man. Well, thanks so much. As always, we will tackle another subject next week, and have a great rest of the day. Thanks for listening.
Ricky Baez 55:36
Have a good one, folks. Remember? Check us out on your favorite podcast platform. Right, Pete?
Pete Newsome 55:44
Ricky Baez 55:45
Pete Newsome 55:46
Yeah and you can email us anytime with questions. Hirecalling@4cornerresources.com. We would love to hear from you.
Pete Newsome 55:56
And I think we have some questions that have piled up recently. So q&a Next week. Let’s do it.
Ricky Baez 56:02
We’ll do that Pete!
Ricky Baez 56:04
Have a good one folks. Goodbye.
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