> “We win only when our customers win.”
> Fast, Deliberate, Accountable, With Integrity
> Resourceful, Empathetic, Inclusive and Creatively Frugal
Creatively frugal. Check.
Not sure about the others.
Organisational values focusing on the customer is for me a big red flag for how workers will be treated.
You probably have seen the dotcom crash yourself - there were a lot of developers feeling lucky to even have a job. There probably will be another IT bubble burst, and a lot of people will regret they did not form a union when they had at least some say in the matter.
(Ironically, the intensely anti-union environment actually makes for worse unions. When you're struggling to survive it's hard to be on your A game)
Neoliberalism seeks to roll back the welfare state, deregulate industry, and - above all else - crush unions. It's an ideology created and propagated by and for the billionaire class, who resented the limits imposed on their power in the mid-20th century, and it captured both political parties by the 1980s.
A couple good articles on the subject, looking at it from both a Republican and Democratic perspective:
From what I read, unions eg in Germany are more realistic and also get much better results. But they're often accused of being too "business friendly".
"The U.S. is different from Europe and other industrial countries in this respect. The U.S. is, to a very unusual extent, a business-run society. There are all kinds of reasons for that — it has no feudal background, so institutions that remained in place in Europe did not remain in place here. There are a lot of reasons. But the fact of the matter is that the U.S. is run by an unusually class-conscious, dedicated business class that has a very violent labor history, much worse than in Europe. The attack on unions has been far more extreme here, and it has been much more successful. Also, the business propaganda has been far more successful. Anti-union propaganda has been considerably more successful here than in Europe, even among working people who would benefit [from] unions. In fact, a rather striking aspect of business propaganda in the United States is the demonization of government, starting after the Second World War.
The Second World War ended with a radicalization of the population in the United States and everywhere else, and called for all kinds of things like popular takeovers, government intervention, and worker takeovers of factories. Business propagated a tremendous propaganda offensive. The scale surprised me when I read the scholarship — it’s enormous, and it’s been very effective. There were two major targets: one is unions, the other is democracy. Well, [to them] democracy means getting people to regard government as an alien force that’s robbing them and oppressing them, not as their government. In a democracy it would be your government. For example, in a democracy the day when you pay your taxes, April 15, would be a day of celebration, because you’re getting together to provide resources for the programs you decided on. In the United States, it’s a day of mourning because this alien force — the government — is coming to rob you of your hard-earned money. That’s the general attitude, and it’s a tremendous victory for the opponents of democracy, and, of course, any privileged sector is going to hate democracy. You can see it in the healthcare debate.
The majority of the population thinks that if the government runs healthcare, they’re going to take away your freedom. At the same time, the public favors a national healthcare program. The contradiction is somehow unresolved. In the case of the business propaganda, it’s particularly ironic because while business wants the population to hate the government, they want the population to love the government. Namely, they’re in favor of a very powerful state which works in their interest. So you have to love that government, but hate the government that might work in your interest and that you could control. That’s an interesting propaganda task, but it’s been carried out very well. You can see it in the worship of Reagan, which portrays him as somebody who saved us from government. Actually he was an apostle of big government. Government grew under Reagan. He was the strongest opponent of free markets in the post-war history among presidents. But it doesn’t matter what the reality is; they concocted an image that you worship. It’s hard to achieve that, especially in a free society, but it’s been done, and that’s the kind of thing that activists in the IWW have to work against, right on the shop floor. It’s not so simple, but it’s been done before."
I'm aware of no country democratic or not where paying taxes is a "day of celebration". I have never seen anyone celebrating paying taxes. To believe that in other countries people love taxes and government, and the USA is uniquely special in this being not the case, makes me wonder to what extent Chomsky really understood the world at all.
Nor does Chomsky appear to understand conservative philosophy. He simply divides the world, Marx-style, into "workers" and "business owners" and then assumes business owners must hate democracy because taxes. The actual divide is between conservative and leftist, and conservatives like their government small and local i.e. the opposite of Federal. Many business owners happen to be conservative but so do many workers, as the number of Trump voters in former rust belt states will attest.
Chomsky can't even stay consistent on what this strawman of "business owners" actually want - he starts out by claiming they hate democracy (=government) and then later claims they both hate and love government at the same time.
Not surprisingly after inventing a non-existent class of people with non-existent beliefs, he then struggles to understand them. And this guy is supposed to be some great intellectual. Sad. Thomas Sowell has far greater understanding of the political philosophies and views that divide the people.
You should read his work on Marx and Lenin.
The divide between left and right is a propaganda technique used to limit the acceptable range of discussion anyways (see the propaganda model/Manufacturing Consent)
Yes, government = democracy (except when it's authoritarian, or most of the population is effectively excluded from participation because it's run by an oligopoly, pls give example of a case where government isn't coercive towards a majority of it's population)
I have read a lot of Thomas Sowell and Milton Friedman, they are good salesmen. Friedman is actually a liberal, supported a basic income, land value tax, etc. It's just the people in the american libertarian movement are horrible
Have you ever actually read any of the classical economists? Say Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, it was a class analysis
If you're from Europe you should know about the greek debt crisis, but you just blame them for being lazy so we should destroy their GDP by imposing austerity and perpetual loans they can't repay.
Business owners care about profit over people, that is their stated objective, their institutional role. In the US, it would be illegal for them to do otherwise. If the CEO decided to leave, someone else would just take his place
People in Europe don't care about what happens one border away. The events in Greece, Italy, Ireland and Spain generated very little sympathy in the rest of Europe. I sometimes get the impression very few people care about what happens one city away.
That's one thing that always amazes me about America. Every tragedy, or big event generates big reactions across the US. New Yorkers care about San Franciscans, Alaskans care about Texans. We could use some of that in Europe.
I find it incredible that there is no massive protests in Holland about what their Finance Minister is doing to Greek pensioners. There is no real argument made in the press about Greeks being lazy, as far as I can tell. They just don't care, and therefore it can't cost a dime. Even if that means tens of thousands of people's lives are destroyed. Not a peep.
Europe survives because it's providing such a sweet deal for it's politicians, and because it makes a certain kind of economic sense. Normal people, in Holland and elsewhere, are dead against it. And the EU knows this: the EU was already strongly opposed to any election or referendum about the EU (because they lost EVERY election they ever ran about the EU, they are aware of this, that's why you have Macron declare that he must prevent at all costs a referendum about the EU in France). The EU is not democratic, and it can't be : it would be voted out of existence in any fair election almost anywhere in it's borders.
Ironically the EU's leaders, who proclaim themselves democrats, are preventing referenda and elections exactly because they know they'd lose them.
Of course it'll be it's undoing, as exactly that is being used as an excuse for extreme centralization of power (since the parliament, in a fair vote, would get voted out of existence, all the commission has to do to get whatever it wants is to threaten to organize it. And of course, the commissars are exactly the people who have the power to do exactly that. But there needs to be a show for "democracy" so the parliament exists). It's a matter of time until one or the other opposing interest actually gets another referendum through. For instance, Le Pen got as far as she did, further than the extreme right ever got, by promising just that. So did five star, according to the press. Sooner or later the dam will break.
Note that most referenda, according to the rules, required approval in all member states. Note how there's essentially 3 cases :
* a few member states voted, but much fewer than there actually are
* a few member states vote, and after one defeat, suddenly the votes stop
* a vote fails, and then the vote question is changed, and another vote organised on the same issue (ie. redo elections until desired result is achieved. Note that there is always much lower turnout the second and third time)
In the vast majority of cases the will of voters was overturned and the EU forced on people.
There is one big exception: Switzerland, where generally the results of referenda have been upheld. Needless to say, as a result, Switzerland is not a member state.
If the voters will was respected, France, the Netherlands, Ireland, and Spain would not be member states. Many evolutions in the EU would also not have happened, like the EU constitution.
Recently French president Macron surprised by stating publicly on UK radio that if a referendum on EU membership would be held in France today, he was fairly certain the answer would be that voters would want to leave:
I feel like that message understated things. If you listen, you can clearly hear that Macron matter-of-fact stated that the UK will remain despite the vote.
> I have never seen anyone celebrating paying taxes.
He doesn't claim that people do that, he says people should do that (if there is a reason).
> The actual divide is between conservative and leftist
I think you're wrong. There is left/right divide and liberal/conservative divide. The latter deals with the size and definition of the ingroup, the former with the inequalities within the ingroup.
> claiming they hate democracy (=government)
Democracy is not the same thing as government.
> For example, in a democracy the day when you pay your taxes, April 15, would be a day of celebration, because you’re getting together to provide resources for the programs you decided on. In the United States, it’s a day of mourning
... he claims that people celebrate taxes "in a democracy". So either he thought there are no democracies anywhere or he thought that in other countries which are democracies, people do in fact celebrate their tax day. Neither possibility seems rooted in reality.
Yes, that's kind of correct. In the original meaning of the word, government of the people. That means, for example, because U.S. doesn't have universal healthcare despite some 85% people wanting it, that the U.S. is not really a democracy (in fact there was an interesting paper about that who really decides things in the U.S.). I don't think he thinks that there is a true democracy anywhere.
And again, he is not saying "people celebrate taxes" but rather "people should celebrate taxes". I don't think people will for various reasons, despite the fact that I somewhat agree with him even on this point.
Addendum: Despite the popular idea that people generally hate taxes, there has been several successful referendums in Switzerland (and also I think elsewhere) that actually approved increase in taxes. So you can consider that as a sort of "celebration".
Switzerland has referendums on everything, so yes they have raised taxes sometimes, but they also have very local government and their canton's have spent years engaged in vicious tax competition that at times got so intense some of the local governments started losing money...
And you can easily measure it, you just ask honest questions what people want, and compare it to what the government gives them. Having referendums doesn't completely imply democracy, although it is quite close in free societies like Switzerland.
I think this is sometimes confusing, because people who are really pro-democratic (in the above sense), like Chomsky or me, hold two moral stances at once, and those stances can be contradictory. Kinda like "doublethink" but well-intentioned.
The first stance is the prodemocratic stance, that the society should decide things in democratic manner. The second stance is a personal moral view. So for example, I can be personally for more taxation (2nd stance), but I have to accept the will of the democratic majority, which is for less taxation (1st stance). The reason why these are not really in contradiction is because they operate on different levels.
What people (and that includes, I think, you) find confusing about this, is the fact that sometimes we have to defend democratic will of the majority even if it contradicts our own personal moral stance (in other words, we can hope to convince others to eventually accept our position in majority, but we cannot force our minority opinion on them). For people, who think their moral stance trumps everybody else's, this is irrational nonsense.
So in this interpretation, presumably Chomsky has his own opinion about taxes, but it may differ from the democratic view of the majority of voters, which may well result in tax competition and such.
Democracy isn't a clearly defined concept, there are competing theories. Namely the madisonian and the jeffersonian, more recently the battle between deweyite and the Walter Lippmann variety.
I mean aristotle was basically right, he saw the solution was a social democracy and a welfare state
they are just worshippers of the state capitalist system, ideological managers keeping the party line "top of mind"
Considering how frequently politicians change positions, that would make hypocrites of us all. Instead, I'll support Trump for the things he does well, and I'll disagree with the things he doesn't, same as I would for anyone else.
Today, in many places, unions have developed into primarily civil servant organizations.
e: it looks like they're in the salesforce ecosystem, so perhaps they're glomped onto the Benioff philosophy of "No Software". i guess they're ok with the 1.5 nines of uptime and universal agreement that the software is crap that this implies
Don't confuse "disruptive companies" with "mismanaged companies". The first implies they are on to something, the second implies they don't know how to reach it.
Louis Borders founded Webvan (the guy who founded Border bookstores). They went bankrupt in 2001. Mick Mountz and a few other Webvan employees started Kiva Robotics a few years later... In 2007, Amazon launched AmazonFresh, and then in 2012 Amazon purchased Kiva... and those former Webvan employees started work at Amazon (IDK if they still work there).
And if you click on the ref in wikipedia.. you'll see it's an article from 2013 saying Webvan was alive at Amazon because former webvan employees came to work there when amazon bought kiva.
That's not the way acquisitions work... Webvan is long dead.
For example, using your employer's Slack to discuss improving things like healthcare, overtime, wages, etc. would be a textbook example of something that would be protected. You need at least two employees (non-managers) leading the discussion though to qualify as concerted, one person complaining is just a malcontent and doesn't qualify for any protections under the law.
As per the article:
> Outsourcing jobs abroad for the purpose of punishing or discouraging union organizing, as opposed to a valid business reason, would violate the National Labor Relations Act.
Realistically, it's enough to likely get past motions to dismiss, which means that the company will negotiate against a BATNA of a lawsuit instead of binding arbitration, which means you get much more money.
How many thousands of years has the pattern repeated?
Isn’t the strength of a union in that everyone stops working collectively? Firing all of them is basically calling their bluff.
Such legislation or judicial decision-making may or may not include making it illegal to do destructive bluff-calling, since an argument can be made that employers shouldn't harm the economy just because they find it offensive that people want to collectively-organise themselves in order to reduce the power imbalance inherent in an employee-employer relationship.
 https://www.affarsvarlden.se/juridik_affarer/facken-stoppar-... (Swedish)
Why is this?
It's not quite clear why anyone thinks that. As far as I know Sweden has a pretty typical welfare state and union laws, comparable to the UK. It's a very politically left society in general with respect to things like identity politics, but economically it's not much different to France or the UK or other countries with publicly funded healthcare.
Economically in those countries and much of central Europe (notably Germany), large old companies, their unions and government are merged to some extent or at least highly cooperative. The result is a sort of company based welfarism in exchange for incumbent protection. Good and bad aspects to that, but it takes a lot of stress out of the system. It's very hard to fire people. It's also hard to build new large companies.
I'm not sure if the system is transferable elsewhere or even buildable if it doesn't already exist. You can't just conjure up a Siemens.
It's certainly not Marxist, itd probably be classed as right wing structurally if we go by the terms of the late 19th.
Think also of the insanely high CEO pay.
The others are worse: war and revolution.
The core of a union is having an iron grip on the privilege of working in an industry. A bad union can't be sidestepped or replaced - that's the entire point.
Your "labor contracting corporation" would just be one competitor among many. If it tried to increase the price of labor, it would be bypassed.
Right-to-work solves the problems of unions. It also eliminates most of the power of unions, so it is unpopular with trade unionists.
The only unions I really want to see eliminated, though, are public employee unions (prison guards, especially, but also police, fire, teachers, etc.). Those employees have other means to redress grievances. I'd also like to see AMA and ABA (which are effectively unions, but for people making far higher wages) de-fanged as well.
Inequality between middle class and upper class, maybe. Inequality between lower class and middle class? It blasts it out of proportion.
Unions create a lot of unemployment, and thus poverty.
Finally but not least, add wealth in that graph and see what happens.
Are unions anti-startup? are startups anti-union? or is it really just a PG ideology trickling down?
What can we do to bring about unionization efforts to the industry?
He told me union trucking agencies do tend to lay a lot of people off after the busy seasons, but their contracts allow them to take other loads during those times, and many of them get hired right back on in a month or two. If you really compared union and non-union shops and factor in benefits and healthcare, you come out way ahead in union shops.
He talked about FexEx and all the videos they put out showing they're a better company to work for and how you can go from truck driver to pilot. He told me UPS is a union shop and they spend less money on that bullshit advertising and more giving their workers benefits, better wages and hours. (FedEx is non-union and UPS is union right? I might have this backwards ..was a long time ago.. anyway...).
I watched him debate with a hard core, franchise owning (he owned like 8 Jimmy John's), libertarian, anti-union guy at brunch once and they had a really good rational argument about unions.
My father worked his way up into management in a union shop in the 70s and 80s. The union was completely insane and basically declared war on the company. It was hacking computers, stealing mail, working with the cleaners to rummage through wastebaskets looking for corporate info they could blackmail management with. And of course they kept interrupting service to the customers via strikes.
The solution was simple enough in the end. The company replaced the striking workers with machines. But lots of people's lives were harried and disrupted in the intervening years.
This happens when people become full-time employees of the union, rather than doing union stuff while being employees of the company. The only paid staff an honest union needs are maybe some people to do admin. Union bosses always seem to be paid as much as managers or more too, they don’t have anything in common with the Workers anymore, if they even ever did
Because 'we' all think we're way better than the average coder. There will be winners and losers in any collective bargaining scenario, and we're all convinced that we're the special one that can get a much better deal arguing out own case. 'We' don't want to be dragged down to the median by a bunch of dead weight 'losers'.
At the moment, I still appreciate the idea of unionizing to improve the voice of non-management in certain decisionmaking, and especially for salaried workers, I think a group mentality making sure people aren't getting abused on hours is great!
But is it worth the risk to talk about it? After all, I've been told you might get fired by management! Oh my, well, I'd have to elect members, and sign papers... let's just keep working.
• Require employees to strike even if they don't want to / can't afford to.
• Prevent employees being fired, for any reason or under any circumstances.
• Harass or even force non-members to join.
• Get involved with extreme-left politics and use union fees to fund the union leader's own political views / ambitions, regardless of the views of the workers themselves.
• Segregate workers into types, and attack the workers themselves if they do the "wrong kind" of work. The attendant removal of any flexibility cripples working speed and causes great frustration. For instance imagine being ticked off or even fined because you wrote a Docker config or created a monitoring dashboard, and that's the job of devops only, not developers.
• Block any kind of labour saving automation. Imagine being told you weren't allowed to deploy a script that checked your dependencies for CVEs because that was Joe's job and he's been doing it by hand for the last six months, so he's going to keep doing it by hand for the next 10 years. Now imagine that any task that anyone ever mentions is immediately given to a human to do instead of waiting for it to be scripted, so effectively nothing can ever be automated.
• Losing interest in advocating for workers rights.
These examples may sound absurd but unions of all types across all industries have engaged in this kind of behaviour in the past. It's a power thing. Because unions use their power to fight the government they can often get laws passed in their favour, granting them even more power, giving them even less incentive to work for the workers instead of themselves, etc.
Imagine the same craziness applied to which kinds of code you would be able to work on. I don't see the need for crippling the actions that enable our employers from innovating quickly for what amounts to more beaurecracy.
This whole thread is made from 93.4% paper tigers and straw men.
It has no bearing on the validity of labor collectively bargaining for better conditions.
I'm personally quite opposed to unions since they all seem to abuse their power in the long run, but I am curious what you would want a union to do for you.
Alex is probably referring to their settlement offers if they prove their case to the NLRB. But the truth is the penalty will probably be far less... they'll likely just be required to rehire the employee and back pay wages from the date they were fired to the day they're rehired (if they win).
I live in a country with a very strong union movement and the only reason I'm able to sit here typing this message is because my parents and grandparents unionised rather than live off of slavery wages. That may mean nothing to Americans where it's every man for themselves, but don't think yourselves so lucky that you got to the position you're in without workers uniting with one another and ensuring they get a fair share against the greed of the few.
It might not have affected many of you with the silver spoon you have in your mouths but the only damn reason that kids still aren't working in sweat shops and you get to go home at 5pm is because of workers organising and having each other's backs when abuses and overreach occur, and a little bit of solidarity for each other is necessary when you see such flagrant abuses like this.
There is another side of this coin too. I just finished reading The Box, a book on the advent of containerization, and it's appalling how unions fiercely fought any sort of mechanization. A job that required only 1-2 longshoremen mandatorily needed many more because unions said so. Days, and sometimes weeks, were wasted on strikes when a consensus couldn't be reached. Jobs that weren't needed anymore were still forced to be kept because any labor-saving innovation was undesirable. In the end, it was more cost-effective to compulsorily retire the longshoremen with a guaranteed income than to fight them.
I don't deny that the unions serve a purpose but the exploitation of their dominance can surely set back innovation by years. I wouldn't want to part of an organization that mandates that I can't touch PHP code because I am a Frontend Engineer.
In argentina, unions are constitutionally protected. Union leaders are defacto politicians, as they cannot be arrested for many crimes without congress approval. What is unique about argentina is that unions are right-wing and shut the left-wing parties out.
And the left parties (socialist, communist) always denounce that the unions are constantly selling off the workers.
Today, the strongest union leader is getting indicted because it used union's funds to sustain his own soccer club.
Bravo, well said. Solid working conditions, meaningful employee input to company decision making processes, and excellent remuneration for all doesn't really impact the bottom line but significantly improves quality and productivity in most cases.
German unions are less antagonistic because they are required by law to get representation on the boards of all companies with more than 500 employees.
To be fair, that's a failing with those unions, and in a sense part of the systemic problems with US unions; plenty of unions elsewhere saw automation as inevitable and got training for their members to find jobs in other areas.
Do you think this is because the Unions are different, or perhaps maybe the people/culture are different?
What is a union if not a collective of its members? i.e., is there a difference between unions being different and people/culture being different?
The only country I've ever seen held up as an example of productive unionisation is Germany, and unions there don't seem to bear much resemblence to unions anywhere else. Possibly because of its unique history with respect to socialism.
There's several other Germanic examples, including Sweden/Norway (and I'd be surprised if Denmark wasn't the same here) and Austria, and I believe Switzerland.
Concentrated power in the hands of capital has had utterly devastating effects on millions if not billions of people. It has easily cost 7-digit numbers of lives. Yet in general, capitalism is taken for granted as a good, discussions of problems always get tons and tons of "yeah, but even if it did that bad thing here's a bunch of good that outweighs it", and at best people suggest only very moderate restraints as a remedy.
Putting even small amounts of power in the hands of labor... does not get that kind of pass. Instead, the focus is almost exclusively on harms, flipping the story to "I guess they did some good, but..." and then bringing up criticism after criticism, either implying or outright saying that unless labor unions manage to somehow be perfect angels at all times it won't be worth allowing them to exist.
What's even more ironic is that a labor union is just a legal form that pools a resource, for the benefit of those who provide that resource, in ways that wield more power than any of them could individually. The only difference between a labor union and a for-profit corporation is the resource being pooled.
I wish that unions pursued more contracts of the form "we get X percent of revenue/profits" and then distributed those profits amongst their membership the way they saw fit. This way decreasing the amount of work per person does not decrease the amount of money per person and business and union interests are aligned. I'm sure there are practical reasons why that's difficult though.
Witness the complaint about unions pushing back on automation -- yet how many companies and corporate cartels have attempted to quash, or even outlaw, new technology they saw as a threat to their revenue streams? Why do we not simply say that we live in a greed-driven system, and this is the consequence, and try to address the root of it? Instead we get endless "well unions do some bad things" comments, imposing a far higher standard of perfection than we'd ever apply to a corporation.
Sure, some executives would have rather not paid for the retirement of the longshoremen. Without unions, they would have fired all of the longshoremen in one fell swoop, and made a few millions more in the short term (for the exact same results in the long term). But what happens to the longshoremen in that universe? Do they tend to commit suicide more than the average? Develop an opioid addiction? etc.
I don't think a fair society is one where it is acceptable to fuck over an entire subsegment of the population for the profit of "investors", "the market", "technological progress", or whatever you want to call it.
All of us.
I, for one, am glad that I'm not sending this message via pigeon by the light of a candle, because I wouldn't be sending it - I'd probably be spending my days plowing some field somewhere were it not for "job killing" technological innovation.
50% of the United States used to be farmers, now it's 2%. We sure as hell don't have 48% unemployment, and I'd guess that nearly every American has it better now than they would have in the same social strata then.
Tesla saw the promise of electricity and automation as a magical force that would free men from toiling away doing things they actually needn't do. And I think he was largely right! Think of where we would be if Tesla, Edison and Westinghouse refused to work on electricity, lightbulbs, and electric motors because it would put the people that stoke fires for a living out of a job.
What happened when tractors came and took all of the farming jobs away? Food became much less expensive, and we all ended up doing different things - the vast majority of which are much better than farming. And the luddites would have smashed the tractors?! What a counterproductive way to try and help people.
It's not always beautiful in the short-run, but the economy cures itself relatively quickly, and the people that fill the gaps are handsomely rewarded. To fight innovation for the sake of jobs, so far as I can tell, is almost always short-sighted.
Have you heard of “The Grapes of Wrath”?
No one is talking about fighting “innovation” for the sake of jobs. I questioned to point to the central conflict of who benefits from all of this. The old socialists were the most technologically hopeful, because they believed new technologies would spare workers from drudgery. Yet if you look at the vast interior of the United States, almost every community is worse off now than it was 25 years ago. Old, bad jobs at least gave people dignity and a sense of place.
Your naïve faith in high school economics fails to address a key question of our times: as technology races ahead of social ability to adapt and integrate it, how will people manage? Leave behind Ayn Rand and look to history: this same crisis has played out in the 1st century BCE in Rome and the 18th century in France just to name two famous examples. Depriving common people a decent living leads to disaster.
People need to make a living. Immigration alone has provoked widespread resentment. When self-driving cars and the like displace more workers at an unprecedented pace the outcome will be violent. Rhetoric and greed will not stem the high tides of blood.
We don’t need to look to Rome for that. It’s happened a dozen times in the United States. This isn’t a new scenario. Though it certainly is simple to call anything that disagrees with your understanding of the world “high school economics.”
And you can quit it with the Ayn Rand strawman. Just because someone is discussing economics doesn’t mean they’re Randian any more than it makes you a Marxist.
I think you're being too optimistic. The only time I can think of where the US made the switch successfully was when creating entirely new job sectors. e.g. from Agriculture to Industry meant there were similar numbers of jobs in Industry, and then to the Services. But Automation seems to be a dead end: one worker is so productive he/she can manage an entire fleet of autonomous trucks (e.g.)! So there will most certainly be a lot of people losing their jobs and the kind of jobs opening up for them... don't seem to be many.
Secretary went away (and wasn't simply replaced with a new title like admin assistant) because of IT. We don't have a secretary shaped hold in the economy. They mostly got other jobs, or retired.
Genuine question (not trying to flamebait): why are these failing communities "America" any more than the metro regions are booming like crazy and creating prosperity for so many Americans? Again, I'm not blaming them for their predicament, but I've met many Americans who grew up in rural areas but migrated to other places to seek work. Why should the rest of us be heavily taxed and regulated just to preserve these anachronistic, unproductive communities?
They aren't. They do represent more of the population and land area. Also many cities, probably most, are awful. Memphis, TN or Dayton, OH are much more representative of the nation then New York or San Francisco.
> Why should the rest of us be heavily taxed and regulated just to preserve these anachronistic, unproductive communities?
That really hasn't been a question in this discussion. The international order is built on nation-states. Whether you like it or not, the nation implies collective responsibility. This was the "fraternité" part of the French revolution, for example. Your remarks reflect the prevailing liberal sentiments that we are all just individuals. If we are these atomic subjects, why should we be obligated to help some random other atoms? This is one of the reasons why liberal democracies are failing. The left and establishment have no good response to this. The alt-right has pushed people to revive ethnic (Richard Spencer) or civic (Steve Bannon) nationalism.
But increasing tariffs to protect coal miners? Killing solar and renewables for the sake of those communities? That is not a tradeoff I want to make.
You do make a good point about why liberal democracies seem to be in crisis though. I'm kind of embarrassed to say that I too was influenced very strongly by libertarian beliefs (specifically Rand's system of less Government) in most of my youth and only recently have started understanding how poisonous and selfish that can be when taken to its extremes.
> But increasing tariffs to protect coal miners? Killing solar and renewables for the sake of those communities? That is not a tradeoff I want to make.
What you've said in general makes sense. I'm only responding to point out that the question isn't just rural people and coal miners. Cities, suburbs, and towns are also affected. A few economic centers are doing well while _everywhere else_ is not.
Automation and the changing economy threaten the vast majority of Americans. Technical jobs will increasingly become critical, and tech workers can organize together to gain significant influence. If we don't, it will be up to the "masters of the universe" – Zuckerberg, et al. This industry is transforming politics, society, and culture. My hope is that we technicians take our role seriously.
> Who is automation for? All of us
Your arguments have largely been innocent either by design or accident from the terrifying reality of daily life under our glorious economic system. I meant no personal insult to you of course. Your words reflect a broader notion that questions like automation are problems to be solved – a fine mindset from a technical perspective. But these are not just technical questions, they are grave conflicts where millions of lives hang in the balance. Slate Star Codex has a better exposition of this difference.
> Think of where we would be if Tesla, Edison and Westinghouse refused to work on electricity, lightbulbs, and electric motors because it would put the people that stoke fires for a living out of a job.
This is nearly identical to the plot from Ayn Rand's book "Anthem".
> The next day he presents his work to the World Council of Scholars. Horrified that he has done unauthorized research, they assail him as a "wretch" and a "gutter cleaner" and say he must be punished. They want to destroy his discovery so it will not disrupt the plans of the World Council and the Department of Candles.
-- Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, introduction to Book IV.
If the latter then fake busy work is good for society, regardless of why it’s being done.
"I might lose my job and watch my children starve, but at least my bosses will be making more money and I might get marginally cheaper consumer goods in a few years time?"
There is a reason why developers need to leave a place ever few years.
2) Do you not see the flaw in the logic of “something worked before, so we should keep doing it regardless of changing circumstances.”
3) American tech workers make much more than tech workers everywhere else (except Switzerland I think). Most companies know its better to give us great benefits and perks, give us autonomy and control over our work, not overwork us, etc. some startups are run by people who don’t know what they’re doing. Employees there should leave if they can.
I've never signed a non-compete and refuse to. In the past most companies that had them would just take them out. "Oh they're not enforceable anyway, so if it makes you uncomfortable we'll remove it for you." I still sign NDAs, waver of patent rights, waver of copyright, anti-poaching, agree to all IP transfers, etc. etc. I just refuse to sign things that say "For 6 months after your employment with x .. you have to ask us if you can work for y" (I've never even worked for a direct competitor of a previous company).
Lately it's been getting more and more difficult to fight for this right. It's getting to the point where I've considered moving back to California just because I know this right is protected by law.
Tech workers don't have unions. We don't collectively bargain. But a lot of us also don't fully read contracts and hold to certain labor standards.
And as a side note, if we had unions and they drove down wages a bit so everyone gets paid more fairly, wouldn't that help a lot in cities were rising wages drive a wedge into income inequality? People in Seattle and The Valley who run restaurants and Starbucks have to live pretty far away and commute 1 ~ 2 hours on a train/bus/car to be able to afford to live in cities where only a few decades ago, they could live and work easily within less than an hour bus commute.
If unions could drive wages more equal (even if they'd go down a bit with everyone getting paid more equal), wouldn't that be beneficial? Wouldn't it be nice if everyone's wage wasn't a secret? If you're a Junior or Senior or SA-I or SA-II, everyone with that tile gets paid the same so everyone knows what everyone makes and you make that same amount no matter if you're black, white, male, female or other?
For example, Walmart could stomach some unionized workers, but they straight up close down stores in retaliation, and I bet it's not just Walmart.
Those stories then get played as "unions destroy jobs" when it's really companies are so beholden to stock holders they wont let workers get any standing to bargain.
That's just one example, union busting and breaking is a business at this point and companies pay for advice and strategies.
I get you're probably not trying to seem biased, but it just shows how deeply the US culture has turned against what seems like such a reasonable thing, workers being able to lobby together for fair treatment. Otherwise it's really just letting companies set the rules and workers being forced to play by them.
Do you not see the flaw in the logic "Something is imperfect, therefore discard it"?
I work at one of the most rewarding (financially) Information Security employers in the country, I believe, and I enjoy most parts of my job. Does that mean I should not be allowed to coordinate with my coworkers on fair pay and overtime conditions? At what point should I "suck it up" and who gets to say?
Companies aren’t allowed to coordinate together to get what they consider to be “fair” prices. I think it’s crazy that you actually are, because it’s everyone else that loses out because of your collusion.
Employment is a voluntary relationship between two people. Sounds like you're trying to make it voluntary for you but not me.
Your decision to callously let one employee go, when your pre-tax income is $1,000,000,000, is negligible. The impact to that person is the security of their family and future.
Maybe if your PTI is $100,000, and you're a local startup or a bar, or a small MSP, it's more reasonable that you need flexibility in staffing and can't support any "slack" in employee output.
But yes, it is absolutely asymmetrical, to the benefit of the party that has the power to withstand ending the relationship more. Which one is that?
This is such a spurious comparison. First, it compares the workers wealth to the employer's wealth in an attempt to make a redistributive argument.
Making it hard to fire people is not the way to tax the wealthy to help the less wealthy. There are much better measures for that.
The second is that it conflates what you think is right as a narrator of the argument but with other people's money. It's always so easy to make other people pay for things you believe in!
But for most people, this is not true; it might take anywhere from months to years to find a new job. Now, you can easily argue that this is the same for employers, and I would agree that you are correct; it can take months to years for an employer to find someone capable of doing a job.
So, it might logically seem like both parties are making an even trade, with equal risk for both. Either side can walk away from the deal at any time, and both sides have the risk of taking a while to find a replacement for the other.
However, if you think about it more, you see why the employer has a huge advantage over the employee, and why I think it is a bit simplistic to just say 'both sides enter and leave the agreement voluntarily, so we don't need any protections for anyone'
When a person loses their job, they are losing 100% of their earning power. That has a HUGE effect on the quality of life for that person. On the other hand, a company is only losing 1/n of their productive capacity. Even if you assume the person is worth 10 other people, any decently sized company is going to be able to absorb the loss pretty easily.
Now, I am not saying that we need super strict worker protections, but I don't think we can just wave away the concerns about the power imbalance between workers and employers.
Personally, I think good unemployment benefits is probably the best mitigation that maintains everyone's freedom while still mitigating the power imbalance somewhat.
You are also misrepresenting the power imbalance a single worker who needs to eat has against a multibillion dollar company or industry.
Unions try to correct the power imbalance between labor and capital.
Edit: was beaten by a more elegant response 15min ago.
Cause and effect mix the other way around in public opinion. This is why the weakest and most populous workers actually dont have strong unions, because there's not enough money to build one.
This stuck out to me. More than a few companies require developers to put in a lot of unpaid overtime in order to finish a project close to the original schedule. There's even a lovely name for it.... crunch time. It is endemic in the game industry, and pretty common in regular IT organizations.
And don't a lot of startups, especially in the very early founding days, expect devs to put in long hours without additional compensation?
And I worry that this has knock on effects such that some folks are locked out of employment opportunities. Got a young family or starting a family? No need to apply. Older and wiser and not willing to trade quality of life so the company can meet a busted schedule? No need to apply.
At its core, unpaid overtime, is caused by management mistakes (unrealistic project schedule). And not often enough will managers face up to the consequences of their mistakes.
Since the work isn’t rote and the talent is super creative, this means it’s frequently better for the individual to not need a union.
I’m sure there are other professions, but I’ve seen more copies of Atlas Shrugged on programmer bookshelves than other professions.
This isn’t even accounting for all the entry positions at $40k and all the google stories of $500k after stock.
I’m always surprised that BLS shows the average national salary to be like $80k.
What do you define as rote programming? The interview process seems pretty rote to me. Literally the same questions recycled over and over again.
If they want people to sympathize with them they have to modernize and address modern issues. They can't live off their 1920s laurels.
Could you explain specifically what you mean by "modernise"? Or how they are not addressing modern issues? I could point to hundreds of examples in Australia of very successful industrial action that addresses "modern" issues, so you'll really need to be more specific.
1. Base promotions on skill, not seniority.
2. Address problem members properly -fire transgressors.
3. Allow cross-industry move (people change jobs)
4. Eliminate corruption
5. Think of workers + company (not union for the sake of the union, etc)
6. Don't politicize (cozy up to one candidate or another) fight for beliefs not political parties.
7. Don't promote luddism.
8. Don't get in the way of work (only union members from local 783 can turn that screw and we won't have one in the shop till Monday next week)
9. (almost forgot) Stem outsourcing.
I have always been curious about the long term efficacy of that policy. At its face, it seems good, but I wonder if it disincentivizes expirenced people from training promising young talent.
The longshoremen union is a great example of a union that stops technology.
The auto workers and steel workers unions didn't help the Midwest stay afloat either.
The industry is still afloat despite foreign car companies eating US car company's lunch (because of poor quality on the US side, and that's not on the linepeople), and many people in those industries are getting proper paychecks.
The only difference I see in a non-unionized auto industry is even lower wages and less time off. Unions didn't cause bad car design.
Today, it seems pretty clear that police unions in some cities are a big blocker when it comes to meaningful reforms.
Which is not to say I'm anti-union, but there are some cautionary tales. It's mixed. Scorched-earth tactics (on either side) are not the answer.
Old technology meant steel coming out of PA was expensive. Steel should have presented a united front (labor and employers) demanding Carter and Reagan address dumping and drive for modernization --even if that meant fewer workers in the future --but at least the industry would remain.
After US announced 30% tariffs on imported solar panels, a Chinese company said they'd build a factory in the US .
We should demand fair reciprocal trade. None of this WTO, promises we put up with.
Nope. At my employer, anyway, engineers and the managers they report to are pretty similarly compensated and pretty similarly motivated to achieve the team's goals. Somewhere between Manager II and Senior Director you start to be meaningfully distinct from the engineers, but "your boss" as a software engineer is a (sometimes, not always) slightly more senior version of you who made a lateral move to management which you may or may not be planning soon.
If they want people to sympathize with them they have to modernize and address modern issues. They can't live off their 1950s laurels.
My father went from being a union steward to having grievances filed against him as a member of management during his ~40 years at GE.
I've seen both sides.
imo, unions are best suited for workers who have no leverage: at jobs where the worker is an interchangeable part, or is unspecialized, or where the labor market is flooded, or when they want to minimize changing employers - software development is none of the above.
Personally, I think software developers should be paid 2-4x what they are now - I say that as a developer, and as an employer who cut their checks at a company I helped start. Their value-add is just way higher than the current pay rate reflects.
How to achieve that? Maybe a professional organization is needed - similar to doctors - but a union and all its trappings? Meh.
Why would they need to have those agreements if people were being paid a fair price?
Note that I'm not saying that every software engineer (let alone line cooks) at Google has been paid fairly. But some of us have been fortunate, and I don't think I'm all that atypical.
Your claim that people working at a company with enormous cash reserves cannot possibly have been paid fairly is wrong, and it's condescending to tell people that they are "weird" for understanding their own situation.
I didn't say that it wasn't possible for someone working for a company with huge cash reserves to have been paid fairly.
What does that have to do with anything?
It’s the same thing as poor whites clinging to racism because they think it elevates their class position. False consciousness abounds.
Software and the internet, thankfully, is generally libertarian because thats how the internet generally behaves. Otherwise, the U.S. would bar foreigners from practicing software engineering, and limit the amount of people that can have a software license.
No they are not, for any sense of the word.
> and it is one of the reasons of high cost of health care and under-supply.
No, they are not. Aside from the fact that doctors collectively have about zero control over the total supply, physician earnings account for about 7% of healthcare expenditures. That's a drop in the bucket, even if you reduced that to zero.
> Otherwise, the U.S. would bar foreigners from practicing software engineering, and limit the amount of people that can have a software license.
This much is completely true, and you can look to the incredibly long and xenophobic history of labor unions for evidence of that.
It’s an issue with the tool startups use to run their businesses: either C or S corps.
What if a startup used a DAO instead of a corporation? I’d suspect you’d see the rate paid out by the smart contract would be proportional to an engineer’s contribution.
Measuring the engineer’s contribution is non-obvious though; it’s not a simple metric like LoC, bug reports closed, feature requests completed, etc.
I'm not the person complaining about CWA. That's the user "packetized."
That would be much worse than the current situation for software engineers, where if you find your boss's decisions to be piss poor, you can go get a better offer down the street.
We were represented by IBEW at GTE, and when my mother's job was moved to Florida, they got a pretty decent severance deal. Curious to hear how things were handled elsewhere.
Today, let's take an controversial issue like say: climate change. There are actually quite a few secular scientists that don't agree with a lot of the man-made climate change ideas. Al Gore would have you believe differently. Many of them even get their ideas published, but they're often criticized heavily and often pushed out of Universities, even though they have tenure.
There are also documentaries like Waiting for Superman that place every fault of child development on bad teachers and teachers unions. It's a pretty bias film and doesn't even consider other factors like bad neighborhoods, bad parents or poverty and tries to squarely place all the blame on teachers unions.
Quite a few credible experts in relevant fields of study?
I recognize that if there’s genuinely an academy-wide bias that pushes these people out or discredits them it might be hard to give examples, but could you try?
I’d really like the see the other side of an intelligent climate debate.
Here's also a somewhat more editorialized report about the recent adjustments/recalibrations to the Remote Sensing Lower Troposphere Data:
I don't like some of the political/Orwellian stuff he goes into in the beginning, but the remote sensing data is interesting to me as I'm currently working on a project to get soil moisture data in Ethiopia to use it to re-calibrate satellite (remote sensing) data.
I've also talked to some farming/loan startups that talk about data variability in remote sensing data and accuracy problems. There's a lot of current climate change work that directly depends on RSS data.
So good example but that just sounds like someone who is generally in agreement but a bit of an outlier. Doesn’t strike me as “quite a few”, but I’m not asking you to list them all. Just hoping there was a half dozen examples or a list somewhere :)
Doesn't labor productivity increases and spending some of that new found wealth on leisure time also have something to do with these things?
The wealth created by productivity improvements due to new technology.
Programmers make a lot more money now than they did 20 years ago. Not because of unions (which are extremely rare for programmers), but because of productivity improvements. A single programmer can accomplish vastly more now than was possible in the past.
The same is generally true for all professions though the rate of improvement is obviously generally much much slower.
You're certainly right to claim that unionization can somewhat move the needle when it comes to the distribution of earnings between capital and labor, but overall this effect tends to be pretty small when compared to improvements due to productivity gains as long as we're looking at things on the scale of decades and not just the short term.
That is complete nonsense. If your hypothesized productivity increase were true, it would be reflected in a decreased demand for programming labor (just like the advent of combines and tractors made farm workers more productive and decreased the demand for farm labor). The only reason programmers are paid more now than 20 years ago is because of an increase in demand for their labor.
The productivity improvements come from the product of this labor: software. This explains the growth in demand for programmers - telecommunications infrastructure improvements and ubiquitous computers mean that companies now have many more opportunities for automating processes with software than they did 20 years ago, and are trying to take advantage of these opportunities to increase profits.
Because wages had risen sufficiently that workers valued an increase in leisure time more than they valued an increase in income. It required productivity rising to get to this point.
That's how I know that the labor protections brought up by OP are not solely the creation of organized labor but also part of a long term trend of increased wealth and productivity due to technological advancement.
I grew up in the Detroit area, through the '70s and the '80s, which was a time of great decline for the city and for the American auto industry, which neither the city nor the industry ever recovered from. I was a kid, I didn't really understand the details of what was going on, so I would appreciate opposing views of what was going on if anyone's more informed than me. But what I absorbed from the adults around me was a sense that the UAW (United Auto Workers) had a stranglehold on the American auto industry, and it eventually killed the golden goose. It helped raise wages and benefits over the years, but in the same way that monopolies in business can be detrimental to the consumer, monopolies in labor can be detrimental to an industry as a whole.
Which is not to say that unions are bad- I think they are a net good. I'm just providing an example of why many Americans have negative associations with labor unions, even on the left sometimes. America may have soured on unions because of a black swan; I don't know how true that narrative is, but that narrative is the basis of how many Americans see unions.
.. when minimum wage should be ~50% higher at least. Yay for market distortions.
It wasn't always this way. The federal minimum wage used to be livable.
I've been thinking about that a lot lately due to the mass robotization of jobs. Not sure how I feel about it, but it seems like an important conversation to have.
Are we there yet? I'm not sure; but... maybe in some areas of the US...? Lots of issues with abuse though until post-scarcity is widespread. Lots to think about, we live in an interesting time.
Waiters make quite a lot of money off of tips. They actually have been upset with the changes in places like California that "raise" their base salary to minimum wage, because it results in a lower take-home pay overall.
Talking about $15/hour as a "slave wage" is honestly insulting to people who, you know, lived under actual chattel slavery.
You may not like that threshold, but lumping the two together undermines your own point. This sort of racial insensitivity is one of the biggest reasons that leftist movements have such difficulty gaining traction with minority voters, and black voters in particular.
> Talking about $15/hour as a "slave wage"
Isn't happening, because that's not the US minimum wage.
> is honestly insulting to people who, you know, lived under actual chattel slavery.
I'm pretty sure they are the ones who actually coined the phrase in reference to crushingly inadequate post-formal-emancipation wages.
> This sort of racial insensitivity is one of the biggest reasons that leftist movements have such difficulty gaining traction with minority voters, and black voters in particular.
Being (partially) black, left-leaning, and actually having studied American political history more than a little bit, I tend to think racial distrust and the absence of as critical mass of visible black leftist leaders is more of a factor; as is a kind of existential despair in the wake of the civil rights movement and nominal victories that have still left blacks far behind.
Obsessing over details of wording is more an issue of concern among
a narrow group of elite intellectuls than the broader community, and I'm not even sure most of them would be concerned in the direction you suggest.
Side note: The minimum wage is a slave wage, as it’s not indexed to inflation.
-- Adam Smith
But that was a century ago. What have they done for us lately besides bankrupt state pension systems?
If you fell short because the market shrunk and you told your workers it was privately vested in mutual funds, that's fine and just pay out everyone less. But most cities and states backed them by bonds and then borrowed against pensions when they started running out of money thinking they could make it up later. What the actual fuck?! No. You're not going to be able to do that. You're an idiot mayor/governor for even thinking that. Leave money that isn't yours alone.
This is not factually accurate, in the sense that nothing could have stopped this in a bunch of states. The rate of pension payout growth in a bunch of states is far above what they could ever pay back, no matter what the investment and how well funded. It was only a matter of time.
(and the union response in most cases was .... not great)
It's certainly not the case everywhere, but definitely the case in some places.
You are basically arguing that the problem with a ponzi scheme is that they did invest enough up front and leave it alone.
I have never seen a state that funded them properly
but i have never seen a union that acted like they understood (i'm sure they understand, they just look out for their members) that if you are paying out pensions at a unsustainably growing rate, everyone loses.
As many comments like this in this thread have shown, the arguments for and against unions can be applied wholesale for corporations. Why is it that everyone gets something stuck in their craw when it's labor that's pooling it's power and not capital? Hell if you were super laissez faire capitalism like some libertarians you shouldn't care at all as it's consenting adults joining a contract together
I just don't think unions actually solve any problem in that realm, and any problem they could solve, i believe there are more effective, less risky, less problematic ways of doing.
If you hadn't lied and set up the pension, they would have had advance notice that their retirement is entirely up to them. Instead, they get screwed out of their retirement and somehow the unions are the villains for fighting that.
Again, you act as if this is simply black and white.
Meanwhile, they work to vote out everyone who won't commit to doing so, do everything in their power to make it complete political/etc suicide to not make the pensions happen.
It's just as obscene to do this, and then not expect that, eventually, someone who says "well wait a sec this will bankrupt us", will have to undo it. That's on the people who did it, the union leadership, and the state.
It's not like the unions can't do math. They knew this would happen just as well, as did their membership, and they fought tooth and nail for it anyway in order to "get theirs" while they still could. This argument that "well they should and that's okay and it's everyone else's fault for letting them" is just silly. If that's how you see unions "helping people", good riddance to them. There are very very few innocents here. The innocents are the other taxpayers, honestly. And yes, they absolutely all are villains for the part they play in doing this.
Again, it's 100% not the one-sided thing you present where the poor unions negotiated a fair deal against the evil state and people got screwed later.
Do you want me to pull up the history of votes in these states, and how the union usually campaigned heavily for decades against any attempt to reduce or taper the pensions (IE not give them to new recruits) at all to try to make them more sustainable right up until the state had to kill them entirely to avoid bankruptcy? This is why people got "screwed out of their retirement" (in plenty of cases, they voted to approve the union doing this, so ....)
You're giving them way too much credit.
What makes you believe that's a concession that would be willingly granted?
Office workers never had unions, so why the need today?
The fact is that, today we have many government controls in place that protect workers. We don't owe unions a share of everyone's salary for eternity for work they take credit for.
> today we have many government controls in place that protect workers
You're joking right? You brought up America so I assume you're discussing America. How can you possibly, even slightly claim that the government protects workers rights when 90% of your country has at-will employment?
Is that seriously what Americans think passes for satisfactory workers protection?
The best part is that you can point out all of the really horrible and repulsive things those same unions did at the same time - like lobbying to strip non-white Americans of citizenship and pushing the government to round them up in internment camps - and somehow they don't have to take responsibility for that part of their history as well.
Unions also openly shut out non-whites and burned down competitors businesses, and many other things.
The unions were the Mafia. They lost power over the things the Mafia likes to do. It's a minor a miracle they survived.
I won't try to argue that at-will employment is the primary reason, but I do believe that it is an important one.
Incidentally, that's one of the first things labor unions seek to prohibit in their contracts.
Yes, we have minimum wage laws, child labor laws, OSHA, laws in place to ensure you get paid, wrongful termination laws, and so on.
I rather not revere employers that way.
You'd make a great union organizer with fear mongering like that. I've worked in a variety of places in a variety of fields, and I've never seen that done. What's more, the times when I have seen people fired they usually get a fat severance package that ends up putting a lot more money in their pocket than otherwise.
I'm sure that there are terrible places like that, but generally speaking doing business that way is much more expensive than treating your people well. When I was in management, turnover was one of the most expensive things to have happen. In some cases the people were irreplaceable (the experience and history they had in their brains was not possible to transfer). From time to time we'd have someone that just wasn't working out, but most of the time we treated people exceptionally well so they wouldn't leave and go to the startup down the street that pays more and keeps the fridge stocked with beer.
If things really were like you say they are, I'd be supporting unionization as well. However, in a couple years of management and a dozen or so as a grunt, that has not been my experience.
I've also been threatened before with concerns about my "culture fit" in a meeting my boss brought me into 5 minutes after I told him I disagreed with his approach but would do it if he said so.
I've had good managers but it only takes one asshole getting Peter principled above them to neuter most of their ability to run a team well
The stories are all too common, even at companies that supposedly treat their employees well. At will employment is a terrible thing.
While you're waiting for your wrongful termination/retaliation complaint to wind its way through the existing systems, you don't have a job and you aren't paying rent. It's good to have multiple layers of protection so ordinary people don't get screwed by a business operator looking to save a few dollars.
fwiw the US's current government infrastructure is absolutely miserable at enforcing labor rights laws, so that makes unions a regrettable necessity no matter how bad they are. It'd be awesome if the country was in a good enough state to make unions no longer necessary.
And once you dive in to the details, thats where life gets muddy.
I do think it's controversial that a single boss that might hate you for totally irrelevant reasons be able to fire you on a whim. Made up performance standards and the like.
Unemployment should be insured by the state. I've heard social workers tell me "Of course you should apply. It's your money" but I've also heard HR people tell me companies in most states have to pay out unemployment which is why they fight it so hard.
Anyone care to chime in on how unemployment generally works and who pays for it in the US?
Many early innovators never had corporations, so why the need today?
The fact is that, today we have many government controls in place that protect corporations. We don't owe corporations a share of everyone's money for eternity for work they take credit for.
(shall I keep posting comments like this?)
I want to make it clear that I am not against unionization. What I am against is the use of rhetoric and promises of fair treatment to create a mob-like organization that uses threats and coercion to not only manipulate the local government but the people who exist within that organization's industry.
> It might not have affected many of you with the silver spoon you have in your mouths but the only damn reason that kids still aren't working in sweat shops and you get to go home at 5pm is because of workers organising and having each other's backs when abuses and overreach occur, and a little bit of solidarity for each other is necessary when you see such flagrant abuses like this.
Not only it is debatible that unions eliminated child labor, but even if you take that as the only way to stop it, that happend a century ago. Today's unions do not have the same plight that those did.
In any case, there is no problem with unions existing, if they actually organize workers and give them better conditions and productivity, employers will be happy to deal with them and share the spoils. But thats never where unions stop.
You're on a predominantly American site, commenting on an article about American unionization, admitting that your situation is different than Americans, and yet are sickened by predominantly American opinions towards these things? You can't admit regional differences and then be sickened by others contextual, region-biased opinions. You have flawed logic.
Oh, it's worse.
It's the typical "you only don't share my opinion because you are ignorant, not because you could reasonably disagree with me"
Here's another: (AFAIK) where I live there is a strong link between companies with high rate og union membership and company profit.
I learned this while I worked in the industry.
I was never unionized myself, -I've considered it more than once. It seems however that every union must have terribly misguided ideas about everything from supporting local political parties to international politics.
I don't want to support that. It's not so much about the money but rather that when they say that x thousand members of y are behind the boycott of z then I'm not one of them.