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Time for IT to Organize?

By Oldefar ·
I have stated from time to time that perhaps it is time for IT workers to think about organizing. I ran across this link in the Dallas Morning News today - http://tinyurl.com/ixhg.

The link is for US workers and is sponsored by the CWA, a US union. However, anyone working in IT who feels they are being exploited should look at this site.

So what is the answer? Is it time for IT workers to look to unionization? Is there an alternative approach such as cross company and cross border trade guilds that work on behalf of all IT workers? Or do we all simply press on looking out for number one?

Personally I think the issues go beyond single companies and single countries. The Indian developer pulling work away from the first world developer today will see the Chinese developer pull it from him tomorrow. Work will move tomorrow even easier than today. Call centers, NOCs, data centers, and all aspects of engineering and production are no longer tied by geographic constraints.

I see no incentive for company management, rewarded by short term profit margins, to take a broader or long term perspective. However, the same technology that makes my job so portable makes every IT worker my peer and coworker. In the end, we are talking about how we, the global IT worker community, makes our livelihoods. That is a sizable community if we make it one.

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My Point Exactly

by Oldefar In reply to Pragmatic Politics.

Complaining without acting on that complaint is tolerating the situation. :)

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member action

by john_wills In reply to Member actions

Most union members do not bother to participate, and either tolerate the loss of their funds to a political movement they disagree with or trust the union leadership's politics. But if, say, 60% of members approve political donation they are still stealing from the other 40%. Much the same is true with corporations: who is going to collect the votes to put on the corporation ballot a proposal to end political donations? PACs are one thing, unions and corporations are another.

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Most people just don't give a dam

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Member actions

Unless something directly impacts upon them most people just don't care what goes on around them. Over in the US if you don't want to vote you don't have to and here in Australia where you are by law required to vote these same people just write in 123 from top to bottom if they bother to fill in the ballots at all.

Unfortantly there is no way around the public aphathy and until most people strat taking an active interest things will remain the same.

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No kidding?

by maxwell edison In reply to Most people just don't gi ...

People in Australia are required - by law - to vote?

I did a quick search of your voting system and found (if I read it right) that it's a person's choice to enroll (register) to vote, and once a person is enrolled (registered) to vote, he or she is indeed required by law to vote.

I'm curious, what is the penalty for failing to do so? And once enrolled to vote, can you un-enroll? And don't you think that's a little heavy handed? What's next, them telling you that you MUST vote for a particular person? If you don't like any of the choices on the ballot, cna you write in a candidate?

I'm not suggesting that people not vote, to the contrary. But if someone doesn't want to vote, I suppose it is (or should be) his or her prerogative. (Actually, I'm kind of glad that many ill-informed people don't vote, since they haven't the vaguest idea what or whom they're really voting for anyway.)

Public apathy: It's everywhere. And the ones who don't understand the system and/or the process and/or the implications and/or don't get involved at all are the ones who cry the loudest, or so it seems.

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Yep I fully agree with your last sentence

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to No kidding?

Maxwell the position here is that when you turn 18 you are susposed to enroll on both the State and Federal Electrol Rols although in the last few years they have simplified this and now you only have to fill out one enrollment form and you can't opt out.Aboutthe only way to get off the roles is to move and not notify the electrol office and when they do their routine checks if you are no longer living where you are enrolled your name gets removed.
The penelty sought of varies from a "please Explain Letter" to court action where a fine of up to $200.00 I think or at least it once was as it may have increased since the last time that I looked to improsiment if you are a serial offender but you really have to try for the last alternative and I've never actually ever heard of this being imposed.
It all depends on the sisuation at the time and if it is a first offence something as simple as I just forgot or got there too late will normally surfice.
As far as being "heavy handed" well it's something that I've never thought about as it is just the way it is {in other words we don't know any better} the same applies to the 5 year censis yo9u have to fill the bloody things in no matter what but like every good little antisocial person there are ways around this as all you have to say is I was some where else at the time which is midnight on the night. My favourite one is I was at a Censis Party getting drunk! Actually I wouldn't mind these so much if they wern't so personal and just stuck to some general questions but being so specific they sought of get my back up and I avoid them whenever possible but as quite a lot of people do the same the powers that be have now placed some heavy fines in place for not complying but they never follow up if you tell them you where else where.
I actually know a few people who arn't on the electrol role and while most are parinod as they believe that the role is only in place so they can be tracked {as if there wern't other ways} they are the ones who moan the lowdest when they don't get the government that they want and don't attempt to get them in.
Personally I think it is stupid being forced to vote but then again I think 3 year terms are a waste of time as well so I'm out of step with most of the people over here. As we only have a population of something like 20 million I think that all the pollies are too afraid that no one will turn out to vote if it isn't mandatory. Just think of it they hold an election and no oine votes other than the people standing and their families. Wouldn't that be a trully represintive group? From ther people that I talk to they just don't trust any of them and there is a popular saying over here that goes something like this "How do you know when a politicion isn't lying? Answer when he's not talking!" or another favourite one "What do you call a waste? A buss of politicions going over a cliff into the ocean with empty seats!"
I think that gives you the general idea.

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You hit the nail on the head.

by admin In reply to No kidding?

"the ones who don't understand the system and/or the process and/or the implications and/or don't get involved at all are the ones who cry the loudest, or so it seems."

My observation has been that once people get and stay on the journey of knowledge, discovering how and why things are the way they are, they often find their initial conclusions transparently lacking. :)

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John wouldn't it be nice

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to union corruption

To have government return to its original conception where they serve the people rather than build their own little empires for self gratifaction?

This is something that I have been against for as long as I can remember but in actual fact these organisations arn't stealing from their members/shareholders but in actual fact trying to buy our elected representives so they can get a better deal for their own organisation whatever it is.

This is not an attack on the US political system but rather on the Democratic System as all Democratic countires have the same problem.

I really don't see a problem if an indivual wants to contribute to an election fund but I do see problems when organisations who ever they are are allowed to do this as it is nothing more than a bribe by that organisation to gain favour.

Wops I've broken one of my rules again don't talk about religion or politics.

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problem in democracy

by john_wills In reply to John wouldn't it be nice

This particular problem of democracy can be brought to an end by a paycheck protection law. We may be fairly close to this in the U.S., because a hefty majority of Republicans favor it and it would have passed last year except that all the Democrats were against it. The politicians do not know how the pattern of support would develop if candidates had to rely on private, PAC and party money; a majority of them still do not want to take the risk.
In Yookeigh the unions traditionally fund the Labour party, but union members can get a proportionate part of their dues back if they do not want to support the Labout party - this is case law, going back quite a number of decades.

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Sounds like an excelent idea John

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to problem in democracy

But as I'm naturally a sinical person I just don't believe that any group of politicions will ever willingly vote away any of their perks.

Maybe it's different in the US hoever I've been privy to some meetings where members from both major parties have got togrether and riged a vote on something for political advantage, you know to make one side look good in the publics eyes hopefully I'm wrong in this case but as I have friends who are federal pollies over here I'm quite often invited to meetings because for same unexplained reason these people value my opinion or think I know what I'm talking about and bno matter how often I tell them that I'm no expert they continue to believe that I know more than what I actually do and they know I'll keep my mouth shut. It is really quite funny as both major parties invite me to meetings or more correctly their elected representives invite me and they all know that I don't become involved in party politics and that I only offer my opinions when asked something directly.

Like recently over here durring the gun buy back scheme what a total waste of money that lot was when all that they had to do was licence the ammo and reloads rather than go to all the expence of putting in a levy and buying back all those weapons and destroying them. Some smart people made a mint out of this as they started making barrells for M16's without case hardning them just in mild steal and totally useless they could make them for about $15.00 and where paid $300.00 each for them. And I won't go into the issue of them buying back anti aircraft guns {because they where called gunns they where eligable if they had of been called cannons they would not have been.}

Well one of the current Government representives had a meeting at her electrol office with some very senior members of the government involved to show just how much they where doing for us plebs and I was invited as usual I stayed quitely in a corner until Kay asked me what I thought of how effective the Gun Buy Back Scheme was going and I just had to tell her that I thought it was a waste of money and it made normally law abiding citizens into criminals because they wanted to keep some firearms that where family treasures and the like I then suggested it would have been far cheeper an eaiser just to control the ammo as any firearm without ammo is nothing better than a cricket bat and did they propose to ban cricket bats and buy them all back? Well the person in charge of this scheme took this very badly and had a very long talk to me and the whole thing ended up in her suggesting that I become a paid advisor to the Government as what I said made far more sence than what all their Experts had told them.

I've also been to meetings on both sides of the fence where ways of getting around the disclosing of electrol donations where discussed at the moment any donation above $10,000 {I think} has to be declared so every one was instructed to only accept donations up to $9,990 or get anyone who wished to donate more to just make multipal domations of less than the then $10,000. To me this was against the spirit of the Law but as both sides where involved there is little that will be done to stop this from happening.
I've also noticed at these pre election meetings that a lot of effort is put into raising money and very little effort is put into the issues involved everyone of them seems to think they can buy their way into power which unfortuntally seems to be the case over here unless the current governmewnt has really stepped out of line and are on the public hit list.

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As a union member (Teamsters)

by admin In reply to Problem with Unions

I think it's better to have 2 greedy kings than only one. The pawns seem to benefit more in this scenario.

:)

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