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Comparisons:

Correlation, we're correctly told, doesn't demonstrate causation. At best, it's a first step towards making causation more likely. But it's striking how some stories hint at causation without even showing correlation.

Here's an example, with thanks to reader Adam Sofen. Slate ran a piece last week on mining accidents, and included the following (emphasis added):

The real obstacle to safety reform is that miners no longer have a powerful union sticking up for them. History shows that when miners have: 1) been organized and angry; and 2) had the strong national leadership of the United Mine Workers of America backing them up, they've been able to push for the legislative changes necessary for lasting advances in safety conditions. Sadly, neither of those two factors exist today. In fact, mining in the United States is only safer today than it has ever been because organized mine workers pushed hard for reforms a generation ago—reforms that are still in effect. Whether those reforms are enough is now in question. The majority of mining deaths in the past few years have occurred in nonunion mines. Sago was not a unionized mine, and, according to public records, federal inspectors noted 46 alleged violations of federal mine health and safety rules at the Sago site during an 11-week review that ended in late December.

Perhaps I'm mistaken, but it seems to me that this suggests that the stated fact -- "The majority of mining deaths in the past few years have occurred in nonunion mines" -- at least tends to indirectly show causation -- lack of unionization decreases safety.

But here's another fact, noted at the end of the sixth paragraph following the quoted ones:

Today, according to the union's own optimistic estimates, only about 30 percent of all mines are organized.

So the majority of mining deaths have occurred in the about 70% of all mines that are nonunionized -- how does this even show a correlation between lack of unionization and lack of safety? And given this, how is the assertion that "The majority of mining deaths in the past few years have occurred in nonunion mines" remotely probative of anything?

Of course, it's possible that the author could show correlation between danger and nonunion status. For instance, if "majority of mining deaths" was 90% of all mining deaths, that would tend to show correlation. If the 30% of all mines that are unionized (aan "optimistic estimate[]") contained 80% of all miners, that would tend to show correlation. But the story gives no such data; the only directly relevant data it gives are the statements that "The majority of mining deaths in the past few years have occurred in nonunion mines," and, six paragraphs later, "only about 30 percent of all mines are organized." (I tried to find such data -- many thanks to UCLA Law School research librarian Jill Fukunaga for her help -- but the closest I could get is that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2004 28.9% of coal mine employees were union-affiliated, which I realize may not indicate what fraction of miners were union-affiliated.)

So, an elaboration: Correlation doesn't prove causation. But a statement that "the majority of Xs occur at Ys" doesn't even show correlation. It's at best irrelevant, and at worst misleading. Yet I've seen this sort of "evidence" time and again; watch out for it.

xx:
It seems like another obvious problem with the causation argument is that if all of the safety improvements at mines are the result of legislation pushed by previous unions but still in affect, and legislation covers all mines, then there shouldn't even theoretically be any safety difference between unionized and unorganized mines. They all would have received the benefit of the legislation.
2.13.2006 7:24pm
Kovarsky (mail):
"Rushing the football wins games because winning teams have high rushing totals."

In other news, today a sportscaster conflated correlation and causation.
2.13.2006 7:41pm
Curmudgeon (mail) (www):
This is a perfect opportunity to mention one of my favorite books on the abuse of statistics by the media: "A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper" by John Allen Paulos.
2.13.2006 7:49pm
RichC:
"Rushing the football wins games because winning teams have high rushing totals."

In other news, today a sportscaster conflated correlation and causation.


That's why Football Outsiders exists.
2.13.2006 8:11pm
Robert Anthony Rabbat (mail):
Professor: This is the single greatest use of an audience I can imagine. I am greatful every time I come across one of your posts exposing bias, bad-reporting, poor use of facts, etc.. There are not many people who can do this as effectively as yourself, while maintaining a consistently civil tone. My sincere thanks for doing this on a regular basis.
2.13.2006 8:13pm
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
I am not a statistician, but took enough at some point in my checkered past to get myself in trouble. Regardless, I am not convinced yet that even if 90% of the deaths were in the 70% of the nonunion mines, if that would be that probative. The death tolls are so low any more, that I would think that the margin of error might just swallow that difference up. Add to that, that mine deaths seem to go in clumps - most of the deaths in any one year would be from one (or this year, two) mines. So, if you have one mine disaster in one year, all the deaths that year are likely to be either all union or all nonunion.

Of course, my pet peeve is that those mines probably shouldn't be operating in the first place. The open pit coal mines out west are, last I knew, much more efficient, in terms of manpower and cost. But legislative roadblocks were put up at one point in time to protect all those (then, I think union) underground mines (and thus, mining jobs) back east (notably here, in WV).
2.13.2006 8:32pm
GDead (mail):
Bruce:

You are correct about there being so many fewer deaths from mining than before so that the numbers may not prove anything unless looked at over a longer time period than 12 months. The same could be said about airplane crashes. They are so rare in the US today that one accident doesn't prove anything. I remember growing up (during the regulated 60's) airline crashes were not that rare.

During the Sago mine deaths someone at another site showed that mining deaths since 2000 are the lowest in history, even lower than during the good old 1990's. Because mining deaths are relatively lower today, each accident has to be judged on their own to determine the cause(s). Extrapolating from such a small total is meaningless and I doubt most magazine writers are not capable of dealing with statistics. Last I checked most journalism schoools do not require a class in statistics.
2.13.2006 8:52pm
BU2L (mail):
The thing I find most offensive about this is the apparent confidence of the article's author, that his transparently awful logic would result in no consequences. This is the kind of work that would get a high school student a B-, at best. Surely Mr. Sofen should be subject to more serious repercussions, following such a sophomoric lapse of professionalism. (Yeah, I know it'll roll of his back - because the point was "make a good faith effort to advance the agenda," not "make a responsible report.")
2.13.2006 9:23pm
Kieran (mail) (www):
The Slate piece should at least have quoted a rate -- a comparison of the number of deaths (days lost to serious injuries) per million man hours (or whatever the appropriate denominator would be) between different sorts of mines.
2.13.2006 9:27pm
PD Shaw (mail):
In reading the piece, it seemed to me that the true assertion was a correlation between safety and "legacy mines," i.e. mines that have a long-term vested interest in the "brand" versus those interested in an immediate profit. Increasingly mines in my part of the country have doctors and stockbrokers in their ownership/control group. The fact that these newer mines may not be union may not be the issue.
2.13.2006 9:38pm
Kieran (mail) (www):
The death tolls are so low any more, that I would think that the margin of error might just swallow that difference up. Add to that, that mine deaths seem to go in clumps - most of the deaths in any one year would be from one (or this year, two) mines.

You're right about the clumpiness. Mine deaths, like air crashes, should follow a poisson distribution.
2.13.2006 9:38pm
Barb (mail):
I absolutely agree! This is the sort of thing that teachers never teach students, but is 1000-fold more valuable than reading Beowulf or learning about the War of 1812.
2.13.2006 9:53pm
byomtov (mail):
according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2004 28.9% of coal mine employees were union-affiliated, which I realize may not indicate what fraction of miners were union-affiliated.)

Come on. Surely it is an indication.
2.13.2006 10:14pm
arbitraryaardvark (mail) (www):
I'm guessing that as the percentage of non-union mines/miners increased during the twentieth century, death rates fell.
Mechanization affected both personpower and unionization rates, so the two are correlated without causation.
Another way to approach the issue is to chart deaths per ton of coal or ore.
2.13.2006 10:49pm
Tony (mail):
Sigh.

This sort of thing drives me crazy.

Do you have any idea how annoying it is to work as a "statistician" when this is the primary public perception of statistics? I'm fond of the quip that authors like this use statistics like a drunkard uses a lamppost: "for support, rather than illumination."

It's a very sad fact that superficially authoritative-sounding statements like this can be both literally true and completely misleading. But does the fault lie with Slate, or with a readership that lacks even basic critical thinking skills?
2.14.2006 12:16am
enfo (www):
This isn't even a correlation debate. I don't think both statements are correlations. They're mere percentages-- pieces of a pie chart.

Correlation statements look something like this: As the number of of X increases, so does Y (and vice versa), or As the number of X decreases, Y increases (and vice versa).

Causation is already tricky enough in multiple regression and structural equation models. Implications of causation in correlations are even more dubious, and implications of causation in percentages are just plain sloppy.
2.14.2006 12:20am
enfo (www):
Hmm is it just my imagination (given my lack of sleep over the past few days, a very plausible possibility) or did the original post change slightly without an edit note?

Anyways I wanted to make another (perhaps trivial) point.

Consider the following paragraph


Of course, it's possible that the author could show correlation between danger and nonunion status. For instance, if "majority of mining deaths" was 90% of all mining deaths, that would tend to show correlation. If the 30% of all mines that are unionized (aan "optimistic
estimate[]") contained 80% of all miners, that would tend to show correlation.


I don't think this is entirely accurate either. The method pointed out above is called standarization, and not really showing correlation either. For example, the crude mortality rate for Sweden is higher than it is for a third world country. If you were to conclude that living in Sweden causes you to die faster, your conclusion is both invalid and misleading. It is invalid because the mortality rate in Sweden is only higher because age composition isn't accounted for-- Sweden has a lot more old people than a third world country, so they have higher mortality rates. And like what Eugene pointed out, if you standardize coal mining deaths to the number of coal mines, the proportion suggests something opposite to what the slate authors are trying to claim. But this still doesn't suggest correlation.

For example, suppose 50perecnt of mining deaths occur in non-union mines, and non-union mines only make up 10 percent of the total mining population. But suppose over ten years the number of non-union mines drops to 5 percent, and the number of mining deaths that occur in non-union mines drops to 45 percent. Then there is still no correlation, even though both points drop (neither positive nor negative).

In general, don't you need three pieces of information to determine at a minimal level whether something is positvely correlated, not correlated, or negatively correlated? ....In the same way you need three pieces of information to determine if something is monotonic or not? The slate article only seems to provide one cross-sectional piece of info.

Either way, the slate article can only just grow more and more wrong and misleading.
2.14.2006 1:57am
finec:

From the text quoted, it is not clear that Sofen is trying to draw a causal link between mine unionization and fatalities on a per-mine basis.

In any case, most economic historians would probably assert a causal link between union activity as a whole and mine safety. And most ordinary people would, too. Just like most folks would agree that rape occurs at an alarming rate, without even taking the bias against reporting rapes into account.

These statistical "gotchas", while technically valid, are tending to fall on a certain side of the debate...

I would love to have seen conservative statistical nitpickers get involved in the Bell Curve debate. Or in debunking some of the alarmist tripe that Califano's outfit at Columbia, the "National Center on Addiction Substance Abuse" put out. Remember the teen drinking scare? Seems these guys couldn't figure out how to back out their oversampling correctly. (For a summary, http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=express&s=cottle030102)

Bad statistics upsets me too, but let's not pick and choose. If you want a more current (and important) example of statistical (or at least numerical) malfeasance, recall the SOTU comment on cutting "non-defense, non-discretionary spending." Perhaps we can blog that one.
2.14.2006 2:08am
enfo (www):
finec:
FWIW: I don't think conservative statistical nitpickers need to debunk bad statistics on the side of the right-wing propagandists-- the mainstream press does that enough. Also the blatant and crude mistakes that Slate has made is different from the errors in the Bell Curve, which had to do with how H&M defined intelligence, and constructed their models (such as the SES scale). Those were paradigmic and adjustment errors that even the best statisticians with no background in sociology would probably make.

I do agree with you on some level concerning the inherent empirical relationships independent of the gross misleading statements about them. But here is where political pundits on both sides might use the label "a true lie".
2.14.2006 2:18am
finec:
[Correction to previous post:
"non-military non-discretionary" --> "non-military discretionary"]

enfo:

I'm not sure the level of mainstream press coverage on economic policy rises to the level you assert -- particularly on budget stuff. For example, both WaPo and NYT described a proposed $50 billion budget cut (to be phased in, of course) as though it were a Very Big Deal and a heroic move, which, of course, it was not. Innumeracy of reporters is a really big flaw in reporting on budget issues. And this affects all of us, not just critics of the current administration.

The interpretation of numbers is driven by context, and context inevitably is a matter of taste. Pointing out that $50 Billion / $8000 Billion = some small number adds context. Pointing out that slowing the growth of non-military discretionary spending has at best a minor impact on our budget situation adds context. Is providing this context pejorative?

In the same sense, Sofen provides two numbers: 50%+ and 30%. He leaves it to the reader to draw conclusions. One _could_ argue that there is no literal dishonesty here. But not effectively. To defend Sofen, one really has to argue about the conclusions he expects the reader to draw.

(As far as the Herrnstein and Murray stuff is concerned, I agree with you that their problems are in the misapplication of methods, rather than in getting the methods wrong. Their sins, however, are akin to what is alleged against Sofen: the desired end result appears to be driving the statistics and resulted in some shoddy work that doesn't really play by the rules.)
2.14.2006 3:32am
Freder Frederson (mail):
Aren't you just using the statistics with the very same carelessness you accuse the Slate author of doing. By your own admission, you didn't bother to find out if the statistics made sense or actually proved the author's assertion, you just assumed they didn't through your brilliant use of simple math.

Which of course dodges the central issue--that it is ridiculous to argue that the current state of safety in U.S. mines is almost entirely due to the efforts of the UMW in the twentieth century. The fought for improved mine safety and working conditions and it often cost them their lives to achieve their goals. They even had to resort to calling a strike during World War II when more miners died in the U.S. in the first year of the war than soldiers did in combat.

To dismiss the the efforts and successes of the UMW and unions in general in improving working conditions in this country, which has saved and improved the lives of literally millions of workers, is dishonest and shows a shocking ignorance of history.
2.14.2006 7:48am
ralph:
This is an example of a word-game that selectively uses numbers (not statistics) to make a point. To the non-statistically-educated, it seems to be statistical, and therefore based on a "scientific" observation, which is the whole point of the deception. It is a subtle version of an "appeal to authority" argument. The authority in this case is statistics/scientific method.

I was amazed that the reports from the recent study on fat consumption did not try to spin the results like this - the food fascists are running neck-and-neck with environmentalists in a race to see who can get the most use out of this technique.
2.14.2006 7:50am
farmer56 (mail):
Sad fact

A huge % of the population is mathmaticaly stupid. There are more examples of reporters showing their stupidity of numbers, than can be counted, But, that is an example of reporters, not reporting, but, advancing their own political agenda. This can be seen in almost every area of reporting. Set an agenda, then, search out non related numbers to back up the predetermined facts.

The second most dangerous proffession is farming. Therefore, since farmers are not union, the article makes perfect sense to me. Oh! I forgot more people died in cars yesterday than airplanes. And! of those people dying in cars, half ate carrots in the previous week, Seems like the carrot lobby is working overtime for their own benefit
2.14.2006 9:22am
frankcross (mail):
Finec, did you see how Paulos mathematically demonstrated how, even with 99% screening accuracy, the vast majority of those wiretapped for associations with Al Qaeda would be innocent?

The problem is that people buy bad arguments that conform to their predispositions. The Slate argument is a bad one, but not because of statistics. You see arguments made all the time without any supporting numbers.
2.14.2006 10:08am
alkali (mail) (www):
Bruce Hayden writes:

... I am not convinced yet that even if 90% of the deaths were in the 70% of the nonunion mines, [] that would be that probative. The death tolls are so low any more, that I would think that the margin of error might just swallow that difference up.

This illustrates a different kind of error in the use of statistics, although not an error of statistical methodology.

It is correct that as a general matter, scientists and academics do not accept the results of statistical tests as meaningful unless those tests succeeds at the 95% confidence level. The 95% confidence level is sometimes expressed as a confidence interval or margin of error.

That having been said, in the real world we frequently face choices that are not informed by statistical results at the 95% confidence level. Suppose, for example, that you are a presidential candidate considering whether to allocate your resources to one of two equally-sized states. In state A the polls show you 50-50 with your opponent; in state B, you are behind 48-52. The polls have a 5% margin of error. If you throw up your hands and say, well, the numbers don't tell me anything here, you are being foolish: the statistics suggest that you are doing better in state A, even if you can't say whether that is so at the 95% confidence level.

Here, supposing that nonunion mines have a disproportionate share of deaths -- "supposing" because as Prof. Volokh points out, the article does not establish that -- that would suggest something about the influence of unions on mine safety, even if the difference were not significant at the 95% confidence level.
2.14.2006 10:17am
Anonymous Coward 12345:
Ask a law enforcement officer which jobs have the highest fatality rates.

Many other occupations have higher fatality rates than police officers (see Forbes 2002, CNN 2003, CNN 2005, and Volokh 2002). Yet, LEOs will often assert that their job is the most dangerous because ____________ (fill in blank with some tortured logic).

For whatever reasons, they fail to understand that while the nature of the danger is different, they do not have the most dangerous job in the world.


Fatalities per 100,000 workers (CNN 2005)

01_Logging workers_____92.4 deaths per 100,000

02_Aircraft pilots_____92.4

03_Fishers and fishing workers_____86.4

04_Structural iron and steel workers_____47.0

05_Refuse and recyclable material collectors_____43.2

06_Farmers and ranchers_____37.5

07_Roofers_____34.9

08_Electrical power line installers/repairers_____30.0

09_Driver/sales workers and truck drivers_____27.6

10_Taxi drivers and chauffeurs_____24.2
2.14.2006 11:01am
farmer56 (mail):
I stand corrected Farming is more dangerous than minning. Minning is way safer than Fishing, Farming, Roofing, Logging. Etc. All I listed are largely unionized? Hence the proof of the statement of the original quote.
2.14.2006 12:04pm
Visitor Again:
Hear, hear Freder Frederson.

Bless the shriveled little hearts and minds of those who would like us to believe, as an intuitive truth, that unionization had nothing to do with improved worker safety, perhaps that improvements in safety came from the goodness of the bosses' hearts but at the very least that they would have come with or without unionization. But on this point a page of history is worth a volume of logic and who knows how many volumes of statistics.

Euguene is clever at debunking mistakes in logic and statistical analysis, but it is often a cleverness removed from a concern for truth, as if there were no real world consequences at stake, as if he were playing an intellectual dilettante's game. Invariably he uses this cleverness to make a political point favorable to the right wing cause. He always leaves himself an out, of course--"I didn't say that" although he certainly implied it--but it is still irresponsible, cleverness employed to try to make a political point without regard for truth.

There are many courageous union organizers who gave their lives and liberty in the struggle for improved working conditions. There are even more workers, including mine workers, whose loss of life contributed to improved safety, although they never lived to see it. The likes of Volokh ought to honor their efforts and sacrifices in a worthy cause instead of dismissing them as having no proven causal effect on worker safety.
2.14.2006 12:50pm
Silicon Valley Jim:
Didn't OpinionJournal's Best of the Web cover this last week?
2.14.2006 1:14pm
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
A number of posters above have suggested or pointed out that the UMW, et al. can take a lot of credit at making coal mining as safe as it is today. Fine.

But the past is the past, and that really has little, if anything, to do with whether or not union coal mines are safer today than non-union mines. Rather, a lot of the safety today appears to be a result of WV having apparently some of the strictest mine safety laws in the country. (And, then there is always OSHA). Do union mandated additional safety requirements result in additional safety? I really don't know, and from what we have seen here, none of us do.
2.14.2006 1:15pm
Freder Frederson (mail):
But the past is the past, and that really has little, if anything, to do with whether or not union coal mines are safer today than non-union mines. Rather, a lot of the safety today appears to be a result of WV having apparently some of the strictest mine safety laws in the country. (And, then there is always OSHA). Do union mandated additional safety requirements result in additional safety? I really don't know, and from what we have seen here, none of us do.

The past is far from past. The current level of mine safety is due entirely to the efforts of the UMW pressing for the mine safety regulations that are now in place. In fact, if you want correlation and causation, look at the level and number of mine and worker safety laws implemented in this country. The vast majority of them were passed at the zenith of union power in this country in the sixties and seventies. Mines are safe today because of those regulations. I would much rather work in a union mine than a non-union mine because at least you can complain about safety issues without fear of reprisal.

The reason that WV has some of the strictest mine safety laws in the country is precisely because it was one of the most heavily unionized.

If you want a really good example of what de-unionization does to worker safety, look at the meat packing industry. It used to be heavily unionized, and although it was a hard and dangerous job, it paid well and was relatively safe. Now the unions have been totally destroyed (by moving the plants out of the cities into small towns), wages have plunged and much of the work force is undocumented workers. Injuries, especially repetitive stress injuries and amputations, have gone through the roof.

And by the way, MHSA, not OHSA, is responsible for mine safety.
2.14.2006 2:00pm
JosephSlater (mail):
We can agree that the Slate article has the flaws that E.V. and others pointed out. On the other hand, there is a whole field of study, or at least subfield of the industrial relations field, that does careful statistical studies on the actual effects of unions. And while this field is hardly monolithic, there is broad agreement that unions, for example, generally raise compensation rates. And there's pretty good evidence that, as a generalization, they increase safety, at least in a number of fields.

Why would this be true, even today, even given the increasing prevelance of laws that govern safety? Well, here's a couple of examples. First, let's take OSHA (yes, I know MHSA governs mines, but the point is similar). OSHA covers union and non-union employers and makes no distinction on its face between them. OSHA gives employees certain rights, e.g., the right to have an employee accompany OSHA inspectors when such inspectors do inspections and point certain things out to OSHA inspectors. Now, employees in both union and non-union plants have this right, but can we guess which group exercises this right more frequently? Of course the unionized employees do. And that's not just because the time spent walking around doesn't even count as paid time, unless an employer agrees that it does, which employers often don't absent a union contract.

Second is a point I would hope libertarians would appreciate. Isn't it a good thing to let private parties like employers and workers (through actually effective representatives like unions), figure out how to make a workplace safer? Individual workers lack the bargaining power or effective ability to convince employers to change certain dangerous business practices; workers bargaining collectively have a much better chance.
2.14.2006 3:09pm
farmer56 (mail):
Freder Federson

Meat packing injuries have sky rocketed>? Amputations are higher? Just not reported? I know you can back those statements up with, facts? That dont get reported.

I have spent just enough time in union shops to know the union cares about only one thing. MONEY. Thats it. Money. they only thing that matters to the union is cash.

Time.

Notice if overtime.

Vacation.

Shift schedules.

Senority.

Paycheck.

Etc.

Saftey is only a concern if it can make a slackers job more easy than it already is.

Lets not forget that any employer must pay workers compensation insurance. So!? Employers go thru self audits to make sure they have the safest work place they can provide. To lower their own nsurence expense. Oh ! and make sure the employee shows up the next day. So they dont have to spend thousands of $'s training a new employee.
2.14.2006 3:14pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Farmer56:

Since the original point of this thread was to critique imprecise claims about what unions do and don't do, I breathlessly await your statistical rebuttal of the considerable amount of data that indicates unions have a whole bunch of positive effects on workers, as regards wages, hours, and working conditions. You can start with Freeman and Medoff's _What Do Unions Do?_
2.14.2006 4:01pm
Freder Frederson (mail):
Meat packing injuries have sky rocketed>? Amputations are higher? Just not reported? I know you can back those statements up with, facts? That dont get reported.

Actually they do get reported, although the employers probably underreport injuries because they can get away with it because of lax enforcement. If you bothered to look up government statisitics you would see it is true. But here is a link to a Human Rights Watch report on the state of the U.S. meat packing industry. As you can see, it backs up my statements.
2.14.2006 4:23pm
Kurt:
Sadly, BU2L, this is NOT the kind of work that would earn a high school student a B-. At least not any more. These days, he'd probably get some sort of an A. And when he got to college, if someone had the courage to call him on his bad logic and give him the poor grade he deserved, he'd probably complain that the teacher was too hard on him.
2.14.2006 5:16pm
farmer56 (mail):
JoesephSlater

I did that. Unions today, not a hundred years ago, dont care about saftey. Union shops. All of them spend millions of $'s on saftey programs and personel to implement them. They also spend a few $'s on workers compensention insurance. Unions today do not give a hoot about safety. Dollars and time and benefits. Because an injury cost the employer, not the union. The employer has a bigger interest. Want to make a safer work place? How 'bout the union pays the worker comp premium? Pony up or shut up. You can read this and then exhale.

And I have to add..It will be brought up. The employee pays for the workers comp premium. Just like every one pays 100% of their social security cost. If no one realizes this, dont bother with a response.
2.15.2006 9:40am
JosephSlater (mail):
Farmer56:

You did what? You certainly *didn't* even try to respond to the many, many studies that show what unions actually do as described in my original post -- studies that show that unions TODAY increase safety. Check out studies of the construction industry, for example. You are a parody of what Eugene was criticizing in the first place -- people that can't use facts correctly. But at least the Slate piece had SOME facts, and you have none.

Further, unions care about worker safety because unions are *composed of workers*; and workers, like the rest of us, generally speaking don't want to be hurt. But it's much more likely workers will be able to achieve the goal of increased safety when they have the power collective bargaining brings to make effective changes to their working conditions.
2.15.2006 10:59am
farmer56 (mail):
Joeseph

IF unions cared? Unions would take hold of the workers comp insurance premiums. I repeat myself. workers comp is paid 100% by the worker. I Have worked for large mult-national Companies. If an accident happens, they do a work stoppage. All of the plants that do the same kind of work stop 100%.Stop. They disscuss what happened and how to avoid it. This is Non Union. Union shop? Nothing Why? Because an injury cost the company. So, don't preach to me about the union as savior. I repeat, unions only care about hours, pay, and, benefits. I have worked union and non union shops. The non union shops spend more time on safety, Union shops spend their time on benefits. Those are just facts. Sorry to burst your bubble. Want to get unions involved in saftey? Pick up the workers comp premium. That is an action. Action speak louder that Babble.

You have not a concept of running a company and taking care of employees. You dont have a Clue. A good manager cares to Their employees. they do not want to be without, and they do not want the expense of retraining. If you knew anything, this would all be obvious to you
2.15.2006 1:41pm