Striking - remind me why that's allowed

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by SuperWatto, May 7, 2010.

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  1. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    SuperWatto coming at you from another angle this time.

    [image=http://www.abc.net.au/reslib/200801/r215178_834956.jpg]

    That looks like what I'm seeing from my window. The garbage men want more money; they earn a 'measly' ?1800 per month.

    I'm thinking... if the work don't pay... try and get a job that does. It's not like you're in garbage because of big ideals, probably.

    Also:

    [image=http://www.reenactor.net/rnet_admin/marsh/uploaded_images/truck_strike2-700222.jpg]

    Gooooo French truckers!

    Cripple Western European economies for a few days, why don't you. Oh, you did. For the buck, right.

    So why can't these people just be fired?
  2. Vader_vs_Maul Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 4, 2003
    star 3
    They can, but if you fired that many, you would have nobody left to fill in. They dare to strike at all because they know/assume this.
  3. shanerjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2010
    star 4
    Because of "teh sozalizum!" :p

    Seriously, it's because of the power of their union representation and having an upper hand in negotiations and the system of worker protections codified in law.
  4. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    And here's an even stranger angle from someone like me: Why should those striking give any **** about us or you or the world economy? Not like we give a **** about them. So why should they care that their strike does damage or inconveniences you? They're first in their mind, and rightly so.
  5. Lady_Sami_J_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    Why are people allowed to strike for higher wages?

    Well, back in the middle ages, there was this thing called the Black Plague, that killed off a good portion of Europe's population. All of a sudden, there weren't enough people to fill the jobs and you couldn't coerce them with slavery because all they had to do was say "No," and your crops didn't get harvested.

    So, manual labor suddenly had worth. And it has gone up from there, until here we are at the end of the beginning decade of the 21st century and workers still want more $$$.

    It makes no sense for people to expect to be paid a fair wage for a fair day's work. :p
  6. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    What is the labour law attitude there? Is this "why aren't they fired?" or "why is there no way to fire them?"
    I would say that, on one hand, I think people being able to strike is good because it protects them, but on the other hand, I think the companies should have the same leeway to fire people if they can manage it, because I think that's the other side of things. It would mean that if the union got too high in the demands compared to the services needed, that they could be undercut by workers that could do the same jobs for cheaper.
  7. shanerjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2010
    star 4
    What is the percentage of union workers in Europe anyway?

    Are there enough non-union that they could undercut union workers at all?
  8. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    'It's historical' is not a very good reason.
    Under Dutch law, it's rare that a judge forbids a strike; under European law, it's even more rare. Employees employ vast protection, compared to over in the States. The attitude among the populace about the strikes is: *shrug*. For now. But it hasn't started smelling yet.

    Around 20%. But the rest goes along with whatever the union says.
  9. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    Because everyone deserves a good living and we should not have terrible jobs with terrible pay? As demonstrated, they provide an indispensable service and should be paid accordingly. Closing income gaps is a good thing. Unions may occasionally get grabby, but all in all I'd vastly prefer their existence to going without because as you've just mentioned, if a single individual has problems with the company, there's absolutely nothing stopping the company from firing them. Since most people have bills to pay to continue existing, they are basically held hostage and have to hope that the company will look after them. But as demonstrated by the financial meltdown among deregulated banks, there are companies out there who are perfectly willing to sacrifice the well-being of many individuals to enrich a few. This is why checks and balances are vital in all aspects of society. If you do not like striking unions, push for a regulatory body that will defend all laborers and ensure that they are able to live a good life. "Find a new job" doesn't cut it when the job has to be done by someone and no one should be forced into a terrible economic condition.
  10. Vezner Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 29, 2001
    star 5
    Why does everyone "deserve a good living"? Last I checked, there's a few dead beats out there that contribute little to nothing to society (or themselves, for that matter) and I find it curious that you think they deserve as much of a good living as someone who goes out and actually earns it.
  11. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    I would assume the implied statement was "Everyone [who works an honest job] deserves a good living," since we're talking about labor law disputes and not welfare state issues.
  12. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    I know what you mean, I saw this couple with children and a dog and I asked them why they were allowing those parasites to suck down their income when they don't actually go out and earn a living.
  13. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Although, I would think they're already making a moderate living at that, which is, what, $27000? I would think that the line comes in that... if they want to make a good living, why not pursue a job that has the income they desire rather than picking a job and MAKING it's income become what they want?

    While I see your tone, I would agree with the dog part.
  14. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    Well, unless you intend to garnish your offspring's wages, you're probably more likely to see a positive return of investment on the dog, and it costs an order of magnitude less.

    Personally, I'd avoid passing judgment on the "value" of what people do with their time and money. As demonstrated, someone needs to take care of the trash or else it piles up. Telling them to find better jobs is rather selfish and short-sighted because it devalues the work they do and assumes that no one would ever work that job were it not the only option available (and that there should be jobs that no one would work unless there was no choice). Paying them more seems perfectly acceptable to me.
  15. Vezner Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 29, 2001
    star 5
    Except you're forgetting the difference between labor that requires a higher level of education and skill versus labor that doesn't. Last I checked, you didn't need to go to college to learn how to pick up trash since pretty much any one with half a brain can do it. If it requires time (years in most cases), money, energy, and sacrifice to learn the skills to do a particular job, don't you think it only fair that said job should pay more? Typically jobs like that, such as doctors, lawyers, accountants, businessmen, and etc, make more money because their skilled services are in greater demand. I'd certainly be willing to pay my doctor more money to take care of my health than I would be willing to pay the garbage man to haul away my trash. If push came to shove, I'd be willing to haul the trash away on my own if I had to choose between a doctor's and a garbage man's services.

    It all seems like pretty common sense to me.
  16. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    Have you ever actually done such a job? It's not just 'pickup and delivery.' It's handling other people's refuse. Unless you've got no issues with the smell or the disgusting attributes that go with it...

    Garbage is not a desirable thing to handle and I wouldn't want to deal with it for such a low wage. And I wouldn't expect others to do the same. Besides, if you have to pay more to get rid of your garbage, you'd be more inclined to reduce what you throw away. And I'm all for that.
  17. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    Except our legal and medical systems are terribly unfair. Paying doctors more and more just ensures that their services are left to fewer people and may draw people into the industry who are extremely interested in making money by wasting your money. Legal schools basically became a license to print money which led to everyone and his dog flooding the market with T3 and T4 students who are barely qualified to serve as lawyers. While I'll admit that it takes a lot of study to become a doctor or lawyer (though not a businessman or economist, which is one of the few careers where you can admit that everything you knew about your job was absolutely and positively false, built on pixie dust and illusion, and still stay employed), I would not so easily dismiss maintenance workers as something anyone can do. It takes experience, training and ability to do a job well just like any other. In addition, refuse workers have a higher fatality rate per 100,000 workers than doctors or lawyers (in fact, fishermen have the highest fatality rate yet only make less than $20,000 on average. Would you say that it is a fair wage given the risk involved?). Teachers and caretakers also require a lot of specialized education, experience and skills in order to do a good job (like doctors and lawyers) and are put in positions where the well-being of lots of people, yet no one ever seems to want to give them a higher pay for it. And the system doesn't have to be that way, we could make sure that higher education, health care and legal services are affordable and available for everyone.
  18. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Well, there's a crisis in the world. Nobody can make a dependable profit assessment for next year. My country may have to scrape itself out of the gutter soon. So how reasonable is it for an entire workforce to demand a wages increase for a job that requires no training if they're already making 30% more than minimum wage? I'd say, not very.

    I have to work round the clock to get that kind of dough, and I've studied for years to do the work I'm doing. Now I'm not saying that I should earn more, but you'll never see me strike. If the market doesn't pay, I either work more or get an extra job. Your destiny is in your own hands, not in the hands of your employer.
  19. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Your final sentence is where the difference lies... I do associate somewhat with the problem with unions now, which is that it's less about protecting the basic interests that all employees should have and more about just trying to milk companies/govt for as much as they can.

    They do seem to have forgotten that management and labour are partners in making sure everyone does well, and while businesses/gov't do forget this as well, it seems that they're kept in far greater check than the unions are, who carry a sense of entitlement with it.
  20. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    Don't forget that unions came to exist during a time when factories in the US were little more than sweatshops. Unionization did allow for the laborers the chance to earn a decent wage for a hard-day's work, which worked very well for both sides.

    Henry Ford resented unions, but had a concept of providing for both the consumer and the producer by paying his workers very well. In balancing the wealth more evenly across the Ford labor force, his workers could earn enough to then be able to afford a car. In ensuring that everyone gets a fair wage, it would provide more stability for both producers and consumers.
  21. Vezner Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 29, 2001
    star 5
    Then we'll simply have to agree to disagree. I agree that some areas like law and health cost too much but I disagree on the reasons for why and I still disagree that people who work jobs that require less skill and education should be paid more "just because". It just doesn't make sense unless you prefer to have doctors and lawyers that have less specialized skills.

    You see, one of the reasons people go into professions like that (and the years and years of schooling that go along with it...to say nothing of the debt that is incurred to pay for said schooling) is because they know they are going to make loads of money some day. If you take that incentive away, why go through the hassle of learning the profession to begin with? Why learn to become a brain surgeon if you're only going to be making a comparable amount of money as a factory worker?
  22. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    Factory worker, computer technician, carpenter, lawyer, warehouse heavy lifter, geologist, roofer... not all professions have the same level of difficulty. I know that I wouldn't opt for the agonizing conditions for a roofer, despite higher wages. Sometimes people choose to work on a computer because they don't want to be physically taxed, nor have their future limited by their lack of skills.
  23. GrandAdmiralPelleaon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 6
    Lol, the reason that they rack up such debt is because the higher education in the USA is ridicilously expensive. It doesn't have to be that way, at all. E.g. the same eduction here (and yes, we do have departments that are ranked among the best in the world) wouldn't indebt you at all, or at most for a couple of 1000 ?. Furthermore, the idea that they just do that for the money, shows from which mindset you come, but it's not exactly accurate. The idea that only monetary incentives would get people to go for 'brain surgeon' is ridicilous. Have you ever worked a brain-dead job? It's excruciating.
  24. shanerjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2010
    star 4
    Whatever happened to loving what you do for a living? It's not all money.
  25. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    Eh, that seems a bit strange, Shane. When we talked about highly reimbursed professions (physicians, lawyers) you were going on about the importance of financial incentive over personal interest in career choice. But now that we're discussing careers with low reimbursement (factory worker, garbage collector) you are suddenly arguing that financial incentives should be subordinate to personal interests. Which is it? Either they both play a role all the time, or one is always subordinate to the other. Otherwise, it looks awfully like you're just warping arguments about motivations to whatever happens to support the status quo.
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