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Norm and Jim,

It is much more difficult to fire or lay off workers in Europe than in North America.

While I am no fan of unions who sometimes seem willing to bankrupt companies while trying to squeeze benefits out of them, I am also not a fan of the US managements habit of trampling on non-unionized employs (sometimes I suspect for the sheer joy of showing power). Armies exist because of wars, unions exist because of bullying management.

Five years ago I watched a grocery store manager in Oakland inform a check out clerk (while she was waiting on me) that her vacation that was due to start the next week was cancelled. When she said she had already paid for her flight and hotel his answer was, "Be here tomorrow or don't come back at all". The tears rolling down her cheeks were probably not forgotten. This store (Albertsons) now has a union and they are on strike.


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