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View Diary: Future of Work, Unions? Let’s Talk. (167 comments)

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  •  I'm guessing (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, basquebob, elwior, ferment, Yamaneko2

    that this has occurred to them and other union bodies.  There must be some impediment to unionizing white collar labor.  If I knew more about the history of labor I'd probably know why.

    •  There is much more resistance (6+ / 0-)

      to unionization in the tech field for various reasons. Mostly having to do with the top down style that is too common in the big unions. I've always said that we could just use the IWW model and call it a guild and tech people would jump on board in a minute.

      If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

      by AoT on Mon May 06, 2013 at 02:20:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Could you point me towards some literature? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior, Yamaneko2

        It'd help fill a knowledge gap of mine.  Much appreciated.

      •  I work in tech (2+ / 0-)

        I would never join a union.

        For example, there is very little difference between a good mail carrier and a bad one. The guy has certain skills, learns the job, does it. Above a certain skill level people are interchangeable. It's advantageous to be in a union when that's your job.

        In software coding, hardware development, etc good people are literally worth multiple times the salary of mediocre people.

        Good people don't want unions because they feel (with some justification) that the mediocre people are going to be laid off, not them, and in the meantime the good people make a lot more money. And if they do get laid off, another job is around the corner.

        So that leaves just mediocre tech people who might benefit from unions. But they need the higher skill people to join them, and they won't. Why have your bonus and raises averaged with people who aren't as good as you?

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Mon May 06, 2013 at 02:43:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're also a libertarian and (11+ / 0-)

          couldn't have enjoyed it more when WI public workers got shoved out of their jobs.  Thankfully those of us who support labor outnumber people like you who care only about themselves.  

          And by the way, "Left Libertarian" is an oxymoron!

          "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." - from the prophet Jeremiah

          by 3goldens on Mon May 06, 2013 at 02:55:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  They aren't "their jobs" (2+ / 0-)

            They are jobs serving the people of Wisconsin.

            If the people of Wisconsin want to decertify their union, it is their right. That's what democracy is about.

            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

            by Sparhawk on Mon May 06, 2013 at 03:02:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Spoken like a true libertarian. n/t (4+ / 0-)

              "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." - from the prophet Jeremiah

              by 3goldens on Mon May 06, 2013 at 03:04:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  You aren't a left libertarian (11+ / 0-)

              If you support the government's right to destroy unions. You're a standard issue libertarian pretending to be a leftist.

              If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

              by AoT on Mon May 06, 2013 at 03:07:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I have no opinion about private unions (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                johnny wurster, nextstep

                I don't see why taxpayers should shell out extra money for public unions.

                Even FDR thought public unions shouldn't exist. Was he a libertarian?

                Why should taxpayers who themselves are only paid what corporations deign to pay them have to pay more for services than they otherwise would have to?

                (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                by Sparhawk on Mon May 06, 2013 at 03:12:56 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  That makes no sense (6+ / 0-)

                  By that argument minimum wage laws shouldn't apply to government employees either. Of course, given your position on minimum wage I'm sure that won't be any sort of argument to you. But no, you aren't a left libertarian if you want to bust up unions based on who employs them.

                  If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                  by AoT on Mon May 06, 2013 at 03:16:10 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  When have I ever opposed the minimum wage? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    johnny wurster

                    I just want the best price/performance ratio for government services, just like you do for auto and health insurance).

                    And not just for me, for all the $10/hr 7-11 workers who pay sales and property tax bills.

                    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                    by Sparhawk on Mon May 06, 2013 at 03:21:12 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I don't have auto or health insurance :) (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      3goldens, elwior, CA Nana, Kit RMP

                      And even with government workers unions they still manage to do things far more effectively. The profit motive is what screws people out of their money.

                      And not just for me, for all the $10/hr 7-11 workers who pay sales and property tax bills.
                      Until the minimum wage gets raised I don't think there are a whole lot of 7-11 workers making $10/hour. And I might have mistaken someone else for you in the diary about raising minimum wage.

                      Either way, by your argument minimum wage shouldn't apply to government workers because we should try to get the most work for the least money out of them. I'm not sure why that would be different for the non-government employees. Why do government employees not have a right to organize? It can't be because we want to pay less, because then you're saying there's no right. And then no one would have a right to organize, but you are fine with private sector unions.

                      If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                      by AoT on Mon May 06, 2013 at 03:26:01 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Why are you so hung up... (0+ / 0-)

                        ...on asking me about minimum wage?

                        Public sector workers should get the same pay, benefits, and protections as private workers. And the private sector should set the market in this regard. Public workers can always jump to a private job if they don't think they are being paid enough.

                        The government has a responsibility to use precious tax dollars taken from private individuals as reasonably frugally as possible. The government isn't there to make jobs for people, it's there to serve its constituency (most of whom these days are not rich by a long shot) by providing services at a reasonable cost.

                        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                        by Sparhawk on Mon May 06, 2013 at 07:36:31 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

          •  Left libertarian is *not* an oxymoron (6+ / 0-)

            Leftist libertarians predate right wing libertarians and the right actually bragged about how they managed to steal the name from the left in the 50s. Left libertarians support unions. I know because I'm a left libertarian.

            If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

            by AoT on Mon May 06, 2013 at 03:06:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, we know you would never join a union (6+ / 0-)

          You aren't exactly representative of the entire industry.

          And the problem is that folks like you don't understand that you're going to take a hit next.

          You couldn't be bothered to stand in solidarity with your fellow workers and it will come back to bite you in the ass, I guarantee.

          So that leaves just mediocre tech people who might benefit from unions. But they need the higher skill people to join them, and they won't. Why have your bonus and raises averaged with people who aren't as good as you?
          Not everyone in a union makes the same amount of money. And there's a reason I mentioned using the IWW method instead of the traditional method. It allows these sort of decisions to be made in the workplace among the workers. As it is you're basically playing into the plans of the company and will end up with he short end of the stick unless you're lucky. Or you may be one of those people who really is the best and you'll be fine. Most people aren't.

          Plus, the "mediocre" workers are just as necessary in every work place. If they weren't then they wouldn't be working there in the first place. It isn't as if companies are just going to have employees for no reason. Given that they actually can organize without you.

          If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

          by AoT on Mon May 06, 2013 at 03:04:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Re (2+ / 0-)
            And there's a reason I mentioned using the IWW method instead of the traditional method. It allows these sort of decisions to be made in the workplace among the workers
            Why would anyone want that? As it is, other workers aren't the ones who are helped by my accomplishments or feel the pain of my failures. The last thing experts want is having their compensation decided by other workers.
            Plus, the "mediocre" workers are just as necessary in every work place. If they weren't then they wouldn't be working there in the first place.
            They are necessary but replaceable. Mediocre tech people are a dime a dozen. The good people aren't replaceable easily.

            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

            by Sparhawk on Mon May 06, 2013 at 04:36:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Like I said (5+ / 0-)

              you don't understand solidarity.

              Why would anyone want that? As it is, other workers aren't the ones who are helped by my accomplishments or feel the pain of my failures. The last thing experts want is having their compensation decided by other workers.
              Why would anyone want to have a say in their workplace? Why would they want to organize with their coworkers so they could have a better place to work? Obviously, you're better than everyone else so you don't need other people. I hope for your sake that this continues to be true.

              If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

              by AoT on Mon May 06, 2013 at 04:41:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Indeed (5+ / 0-)

                His comments are typical of the individualistic chauvinism that says I Am The Best and Will Always Have Power Over the Market Because I Am So Best-est.  Sadly this is endemic to our society.  Produces a lot of bitter people in the end as their rosy visions of success crumble, and perpetuates the power of capital over the people.

                Convincing people of the need for organized labor first requires educating them of the fragility of their position, that is to say, as individual standing alone in the market. Our society that celebrates the entrepreneur conveniently leaves out the much greater number of sad stories of persons destroyed by the market, even those hard working professionals happy to serve as an employee to make a firm private profits.  Guess they're just "inferior" programmers.

              •  Solidarity with who? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sparhawk

                If I'm a Googler and I'm in their top 10% of programmers doing cutting edge stuff I've almost certainly got options and a likely promotion path into management.

                Should I feel solidarity with the guy in the cubicle next to me who's a 50%er and does well enough not to be fired but not well enough to be promoted and get options?  Or with my manager, who was a star programmer like me a year ago and with the shareholders, given that my options make me effectively a shareholder?

                •  Yep, you're a special little snowflake (0+ / 0-)

                  And you're better than everyone.

                  You clearly don't understand solidarity and folks like you are part of the problem. Keep on screwing the rest of us though, I'm sure the folks in charge will never fuck you over. They never do that to the nouveau riche.

                  If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                  by AoT on Tue May 07, 2013 at 10:20:25 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Well, this thread is long past (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Jeffersonian Democrat, Kit RMP

              its sell by date, so I'll just say, "Congrats." You are an island unto yourself and you need a hand up from no one.

              I'd merely point out, though, that, eventually, you will. Or at the very least you'll notice injustices at your workplace and, possibly, want to do something about them. At that moment, a labor union- even for tech folks- would be of great use.

              Until then, no, of course a union is a horrific thought for you. You're king/queen of the world and gazing down from your lofty heights of superiority allows you to revel in it.

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