Why did it have to be snakes?
It's not the sole reason, but it's a huge part of the problem. As life expectancy increases across the board, then the amount of money required to fund pensions for retired employees increases at a staggering rate. You can't simply push back the retirement age because the employee unions will revolt -- never mind that having an aged workforce presents its own problems -- and having to fund burgeoning pensions means that you need to cut costs elsewhere. Typically, the first place those costs are cut is from the pockets of the employees who aren't yet collecting benefits.
Originally Posted by SCOTTY
Unions have their place, but there is a reason that the most heavily unionized industries in America are also the ones suffering the most during hard economic times. They simply can't compete on cost due to obligations that came about because management decided not to play hardball with an employee union twenty, thirty, or even fifty years ago.
People love to **** on 'management' as the root of all problems, but the simple fact is that when GM collapsed in 2008, the average fixed cost per car produced was about $2,000.00 higher than it was for Toyota and Nissan, and if you bother to examine the cost breakdown, well, let's just say the UAW has been damn successful at the negotiating table.