Does Our Profession Need a Union?

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums GENERAL DISCUSSION Does Our Profession Need a Union?

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    Pat S. Rosend

    Does management get any blame at all for the destruction of the auto industry or just the union workers who did as they were told? (While being paid middle class wages)

    Pat S. Rosend

    Giggle. I laughed a lot at your post. +1

    Thomas J. Johnson


    Do we have to go right for the kneecaps? Like most people, I really enjoy being able to walk. Couldn’t we ease into things with a few cigar burns, some c-clamp fun or maybe loping off a digit or two? I’m sure I’ll get the picture quickly. I’m a fast learner. You wanna know what really hurts like hell? Stick a pencil between your toes, near the web, and squeeze those toes around it. I kid you not, it will make a grown man cry. White hot black-out pain. And there’s always pressure points… Good stuff…

    OK, back to work, er, um, looking for work. Know anyone who’s hiring?  

    Scott Lebsack

    Haven’t been to Detroit, but do understand that Unions bargained against Corporations… To claim unions are at fault for the decisions Corporations made against their own interests is ludicrous.

    Corporations at least since the ’80’s have moved to a Quarter focused mindset, cut corners today to get a good share price get my bonus and hopefully I’m gone before the s*** hits the fan. Let those managers that come after deal with the increasing price of healthcare and pensions I was willing to promise in order to avoid pay raises or other concessions today…

    Unions are one of the last lines protecting this country and it’s middle class from having to directly compete with third world countries on an even footing, except that the footing is not equal, for that to be the case we would have to eliminate all environmental regulations and the like. I hope we are never that desperate but seems the direction many pro business politicians favor.

    David J. Chirico

    I would respectfully disagree in that its not unions but free markets that separate us from third world countries.  There are other factors such as a free press, an educated populous, universities and free elections.

    Just look in the news and you can see the infectiousness of a little freedom.

    Trace One

    you are kidding me, david markets in the third world – you obviously have not travelled at all..the ‘free market’ has caused an international global shut-down, on the backs of the tax payers..The free-market gives you the slums of lagos, the slums of Manila, of which I am highly conversant..It is NOT the JOB of industry to look out for the common good – they don’t care about p ollution, about poverty, about global destruction..why should they..? It is the job of the government to look out for the common good – it is a balance..

    wow, you are seriously off-base..

    free market separates us from the third world! jTell that to the rag-pickers of Manila, to the slums of Lagos…It is the common good, the ability to see what benefits the good of all, that separates us from the third world..

    How is the free market going to sustain the enviroment, against global warming, or just against enviromental pollution..? Tell me, David, why should the free market care about enviromenental destruction, if they are making their buck right now?

    David J. Chirico

    I’ll just point to two amazing economists for that answer.  And please know, if your reply is to discredit either man for his incompetence or denigrate the web site they write for, you’ll be arguing in bad faith and making no point at all.  Argue against their claims.




    Trace One

    never heard of either of your amazing economists..and they both have a the same reagan like use of small examples..But they don’t answer the question – why should Monkey ward, or Walmart, care about environmental destruction? Why should they not stop at paying workers 13cents an hour, if they can, because the workers have no power? Why should they not put melamine in the dog food, if they can make a million bucks on the deaths of a hundred dogs?

    Your ‘amazing economists’ fail to address that issue at all!!!


    Additionally, are you in the Least aware of how our government goes to bat for CORPORATIONS, on the international stage? Walmart workers seek a higher wage – good old Abramoff is there in the senate, arguing against it..Our diplomats are out there arguing for the benefits of GM foods, for MONSANTO..did you know that? So I  highly doubt Penney or Monkey Ward survived without some serious GOVERNEMENT SUBSIDIES!!!! (NO! It can’t be!) Like we weren’t working for the sugar trade? Like half of america wants slavery back – the good old days, the south shall rise again..

    David, you like to read, that is good. You need to read Paul Krugman every day, you need to read wider and broader..What do you read, where do you get your info?It is seriously limited, if those are your best examples…

    David J. Chirico

    I knew you couldn’t avoid a little discrediting, even if requested not to.  One more for good measure:



    And thanks for the suggestion, I’ll check out Krugman!

    Trace One

    Ididn’t do ANY DISCREDITING AT ALL, I just noted that their arguments are anecdotal..That is it! You still didn’t answer the question of why corporations should care at all about the commons, over profit..Why should they? And could Monkey Ward have succeeded without WWII, without the POSTOFFICE, without federally subsidized highways, cotton industry? Get a grip, man, the subsidization of corporations has a grip on our society…Corporations caused the global financial meltdown,and while they are walking away with 12 billion dollar a year salaries for the CEO’s, we are laying off teachers and firefighters who are not allowed to make $51,000 a year!!!

    too stupid! I am sorry, but it is! Dont’ work for LLOYD BLANKFEIN, he already made 460 million dollars LAST YEAR!! The teachers just want wages and heath benefits, and they are giving on that, to just retain NEGOTIOTING RIGHTS, which is all we got left!!! Fot god’s sake..


    On the original topic, if anyone is still reading.. I was thrown by the public vs. private union dichotomy, for a bit, but after looking into it, I don’t see any downside to private industry  unions, either..Good god, people, you are the grass-like masses, ground up by Wall Street, and you are arguing for WALL STREET? did you know wall street is heavily subsidized by the GOVERNMENT???

    Cara Scohy

    No unions. 

    Trace One

    oh, that is thoughtful, Cary, and how do you propose to balance the  power of Walmart, to not pay the women in Mauritius 13cents an hour? Are you ok with the triangle shirtwaste factory fire – why did they ever need unions to argue for not having their doors CHAINED CLOSED when the fire started? yeah, unions haven’t done anything for us at all..jWe should each individually go and argue with Blue Cross about what I want to pay for health benefits..great idea, I am sure Blue Cross has heard of me..

    good god, what do they teach children these days? No history..No history at all..

    David J. Chirico

    Well, to answer the question I don’t accept the premise.  I don’t think companies should work for the common good.  I think they should work for profit.  The common good is the responsibility of the common man and certainly not the governments responsibility.  I am my brothers keeper is not the phrase of a corporation, its a phrase for you and me.  Too many people wish that one away by letting government handling it, and so starts the release of responsibility.

    No one inivests in a company that doesn’t make a profit. And I have more faith in the private sector.  Had the government not created the post office or roads, they would have been created by private companies and probably more efficiently, and at less cost.

    No one really argued for Wall Street.  The numbers are going that way all on their own by show of American workers.  Unions are down, membership is down.

    I really do like your passion tho, I bet over a beer there could be some great conversation.  Take care.

    Trace One

    David, my dear, that is the point – companies SHOULD NOT care for the public good, for the commons, other than as it will affect the long-term bottom line..THE GOVERNMENT CARES FOR THE is a balance..!!! Private is good, but government is ESSENTIAL to protect communal rights..

    to balance corporate greed..


    Andrew Garulay, RLA

    We can argue about the pros and cons of unions all day, but even if you think unions are the greatest thing since sliced bread, what do you believe about “labor” in our profession? Do you think it is something anyone can be hired off of the street to do? All too many of you ever seem to do is talk about how great the profession is and how no one else can do things as good as “we” can in one breath and then bitch about how no one values us in another. You either believe it or you don’t. People either value landscape architecture or they don’t.

    So many of you always go back to the same thing. That is that you want some entity to make you more valuable instead of figuring out what you can do that is already valued by someone with the means and motivation to compensate you for bringing that value to them.

    Last year someone wanted a non-profit organization to start up and give her a job, but she did not start one. Last month someone wanted a co-op started so he could have a job, but he did not start one. Every couple of weeks someone is looking for the “stumu-less” money to make up landscape architecture projects. ASLA is always getting ripped for not educating the public so that they all come running up to us handing out fistfuls of money.

    So many of you want water to run uphill. The only time that happens is when it is pumped uphill which takes more energy than you can get out of it when it finally comes down again.

    Why am I valued enough to get paid and so many of you are not getting jobs? Is it my BLA from a small land grant university in the middle of nowhere? Is it because of my inability to draw well with my hands? Is it because I do not have 3D cutting edge software knowledge? Is it because of my lower side of middle class family ties? Maybe it is from my lack of political ties? Actually, maybe it is all of the above.

    I know enough to expect nothing given to me. I know enough to know that no one is going to give me money unless I give them reason to pay me and reason to keep me around. I might sound like someone you don’t want to work with when I’m on this message board, I don’t know. But, I must be pretty good to work with in reality because whether it was a gas station, a custodial job, a warehouse, a concrete form crew, a hide & fur trader, a few landscape companies, an engineering firm, or one of the eleven companies that I have been employed by on the payroll  AT LEAST TWICE (some of them three or more times) throughout my life, I must be doing something right to be hired back after leaving for one eason or another. Do I have my dream job? Hell no, but I’m working and getting closer – very slowly getting closer at the moment.

    Find the closest thing to landscape architecture that is available to get your foot in some door. Do all the crappiest miserable things that no one else wants to do or has the patience or tolerance to do, don’t let anyone see that you are frustrated, stressed, and hate what you are doing, and either work your way up or get something out  of it (even if it is only patience)while looking for a better opportunity. Make the most of whatever is available and learn patience.

    Use the elevator if it is running, but if it is not, you’ll do better to use the stairs, or a rope, suction cups, or anything other than staring at the door with 50 other people waiting for it to open.

    Like it or not, the people who are working have made themselves at least as valuable as they are being paid to the person paying. If you are not working it is because you place more value on yourself than the opportunities around you do. You think you are too good for what is available instead of using what is available to you.

    I think all of you are better than that. I think you can take a crappy opportunity, use it for what it is worth, and then do it again when the next not so crappy opportunity is there. Respect yourself and not your vanity. Unions, non-profits, co-ops, educate the public, ….give me a break. Make it happen for yourself.


    Come out of this economy strong and everything will seem so easy when that happens.

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