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  • #2183768

    Unionize IT Now!


    by squaredge ·

    Every two years a new OS comes out. Every two years a new crop of young freshly studied certs show up and underbid the the entire industry. I live in Boise. I just saw an ad in the paper here for a lan tech for $12/hour! When I first started in this industry I was making very good money. I had a new cert and a master’s degree. Microsoft has promised the industry captains that the cost of doing business will go down. It’s because Microsoft has trained way too many MCSE’s and/or we are letting people into the industry without MCSE’s. They haven’t earned their space. I say we unionize the IT sphere!
    I say we apply rules of work that apply to a 40 hour work week and serious overtime. I say we demand $50/hr for any IT related work, as a minimum. If we join together we have the power to run this world!

All Comments

  • Author
    • #3252353

      Iowa Salaries

      by bfilmfan ·

      In reply to Unionize IT Now!

      I’ve noticed that salaries in Iowa tend to be very low. I am sure it costs less to live there than in a number of other places.

      My advice is to relocate.

      • #3132797

        To what end?

        by propellerheadus ·

        In reply to Iowa Salaries

        What exactly would unionizing IT accomplish? If its more money you want, try consulting (but that is pretty hard work and not everybody can hack it, trust me).

        You have to pay your dues before you can sing the blues. Work five years or so, be good at it, get noticed, keep learning, and you will find success. That’s the IT game in a nutshell.

        • #3132639

          To what end: redux

          by tonyackerman ·

          In reply to To what end?

          “Work five years or so, be good at it, get noticed, keep learning, and you will find success.”

          Simple response, no offense intended:


          By the time you’ve spent enough time learning the niche that you service, some muddle manager will determine that you’re now too expensive and the same work can be done by two headcount at Wipro India for half the cost. You’ll be out on your ear faster than a single bit down an empty fiber pipe.

          Read the writing on the wall folks. The work is being offshored faster than it’s being created. Like any other decent paying industry that had it’s roots in this country, we’ve mananged to export this industry also, tho’ the turnaround time on this was remarkably short. If you think it’s going to stop, you better take a good long hard look at the economics of this industry and realize the bottom line is all that counts. In short, anyone worth a damn is going to be too damn expensive.

          There’s a reason why companies want the H1B visa cap lifted and it’s not because they can’t find qualified people here, there are plenty! The folks from overseas are cheap and end up essentially as indentured servants. If they don’t like the way they’re being treated, worked or payed, the sponsorship for their visa can always be yanked and they can go back home (and don’t tell me it can’t happen, it does, I was on the sidelines watching it happen ).

          There will always be some degree of IT work onshore, but unless you think working for Geek squad is a real career, these are difficult times for our line of work. Forget trying to find a new position if you’re over 45 in this business unless you’re Mark Lucovsky. Forget about the halcyon days of the dot com era, it’s gone.

          Do we need to unionize? Absolutely! If for no other reason than to establish a political front where we can influence the machinery that has some modicom of control over how much of our industry does and does NOT get exported. Maybe, just maybe we can exert some influence how the poor bastards in India are being treated and make it better for them, and in the process level the playing field. It’s too late to stop it, all we can do now is try to slow it down and influence how it develops from here.

          Otherwise, you want to work in the business? Start packing your bags and head to India.

          (I’ve been in the business since ’86, degrees in CS, Physic and Mathematics, worked at some of the biggest names in the industry. I have the street creds so don’t even think it.)

        • #3132480

          Well said, Tony

          by davidlburkett ·

          In reply to To what end: redux

          I just re-read your posting. I think that you’ve said it all.

          I hate to be so negative, but I simply don’t see any light at the end of the IT employment tunnel. I would NEVER advise anyone to choose IT as a career path.

          I too have credentials and a lot of experience. Fortunately, I’ve found a way to support myself that is not IT-centric.

        • #3103234

          Reply To: Unionize IT Now!

          by phurcum ·

          In reply to Well said, Tony

          I am lucky i have a very good job now. After two years of waiting. I just finished working for one of the largest banks in the world,your local bank. i can say that in my group what Tony has described was accurate. while no one in my groiup was “shipped home” that methodology was very much implied on the level above in the States. it’s too bad really, i found the Indians very knowledgeable, bright and wonderful people, mostly operating with this threat hanging over their heads.

        • #3272489

          IT is safe

          by scifiman ·

          In reply to Well said, Tony

          Certainly, some types of IT jobs can be outsourced, whether overseas or some other state. But I consider most of IT to be hardware related. When Betty in accounting can’t print invoices, she isn’t going to sit on the phone troubleshooting with India. She needs a onsite body to fix the problem. Can India swap out a bad video card. Swap drives in a server? Pull a cable? Go up on the roof and realign the Hughes VSAT dish? No, outsourcing sounds scary, but it doesn’t bother me. But then, I’m not a maint. programer. Seems to me that half the companies that try outsourcing come back inhouse when the contract expires, if not sooner.

        • #3273775

          move the whole shop to India

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to IT is safe

          If free-market $12 wages are elevated to $50 by unions, the whole brick & mortar operation will go someplace where workers are reasonable.

        • #3273723

          NO UNION has ever done any good

          by aaron a baker ·

          In reply to move the whole shop to India

          Unions thrive on the bottom line. That being the there is never enough money,or the hours are too long, or the Maternity leave isn’t what it was, there’s always some excuse.
          Funny how there always seems to be a strike at the most inconvenient times for the innocents, “Us” who by the way, pay the Unions, but the Unions make damned sure that they nail us everytime.
          What are they really doing?. What is their end Goal? That THEY will remain needed by the people who they are supposed to be serving.
          Look around you, The Teamsters,The Lumber Industry, The Government Unions, are ANY of them broke? I wonder why. When they call a strike, do they care that it might devastate you financially, hurt your family, wipe you out? Not the Unions.
          So now we’re talking about allowing this Rat Pack into the IT business. Sure let’s do it and then watch as everything we’ve ever worked for is whittled away and taken from us with little or no help fro the God Almighty Unions.
          Oh they would put on the usual “Show” but the result would be the same.
          Man, Don’t talk to me about Unions.They are not about People, they are avarice, greed and their own self interests.
          So by all means open the door and invite the Bloodsuckers in, then watch the IT industry die a slow and painful Death
          Good Luck, especially if THEY get in.
          Aaron 🙂

        • #3273717

          conspiracty theories are crazy…

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to move the whole shop to India

          only if the people “in charge” are completely honest. I know I don’t believe that they all are, and I believe that coercive wage controls are irrational because “value” of all goods and services are determined by the phenomenon competition, which only exists in systems where there is freedom of choice. Without economic competition and choice, the term value itself is meaningless. So, without knowing the history of labor unions in as much detail as you seem to have, I can say that all seems very plausible.

        • #3272057

          To Aaron, not true in the UK anyway

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to move the whole shop to India

          I’m alive because of my union, I did 19 years in heavy industry, without my union management would have found it cheaper to risk my life. Without unions there would be no legislation safeguarding employees rights as pitiful as they are. Without unions my kid’s would be sweeping up under the machines I worked on. Without unions I’d be letting my boss shag my duaghter in order to keep food on the table. Now the legislation to force employers to acceed to some basic human rightsm is in place and it would be politically inadvisable to hamstring it too much we simply don’t need them as much as we used to.

        • #3271553


          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to move the whole shop to India

          That’s a pretty low level of respect you just showed for yourself.

        • #3088763

          Is it DpeTrak?

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to move the whole shop to India

          Different histories ?

          You look up the early inception of unions and the labour movement in the UK. I come from a mining village, so I guarantee that in order to keep food on the table at some point I got at least one strain of owner’s blood in me.

          You’ve got to look at it from a historical perspective as well. A lot of my ancestors would gave started working before they hit twelve. My dad used to go out picking coal to earn a few bob and left school at 14 for his first full time job.

          That’ll have been 1954. What do you image it was like in 1854 ?

          Only the union and the labour movement itself gave me the right to vote.

          Before all those people with no self respect got together and fought for their rights and mine, you had to be rich to vote. In fact they fought for yours in a way as american notions of individual empowerment didn’t come from King George and his mates did they ?

          So show them some respect they deserve it as much as the patriots who set up your constitution, it was an effort in some ways even more heroic.

          I’d have probably been there with them, there again several times they lost so I could have been dropping my daughter off at the squire’s place in order to stay healthy enough work for bugger all to feed the rest of my kids, who can say.

        • #3273583

          All your eggs in 1 basket

          by alexp023 ·

          In reply to IT is safe

          Adding to that, do you think every small company is going overseas for their IT work. Consider that each small company needs IT work, but can’t afford a full time “Consultant”. How about a part-time consultant and the consultant finds a few small companies. Isn’t that what Accountants and Lawyers do in the private sector.

          You’re working for one large company that has many Consultants and you’re putting all your eggs in one basket.

          It’s what you make it. It you want it to be miserable, then it will.

          Have a great day!!

        • #3086015

          Reply To: Unionize IT Now!

          by pkr9 ·

          In reply to IT is safe


        • #3265639

          IT is NOT safe

          by oldmainframer ·

          In reply to IT is safe

          There are aspects of what some would call IT that are safe, but pulling wires, replacing a burnt-out power supply or dead hard drive is not really IT. That is just a computer repair. It does not pay that well and has little room for growth.

          PC support can be done from anywhere. The company I am at uses remote access to do maintenance. They just log on to YOUR computer from theirs and fix most problems or install upgrades – this COULD be done from anywhere – including India.

          “Development” is what most of us probably think of as IT. Programming, Data Analysis, etc. This area has been moved in a lot of shops to foreign countries. Sure a lot of the code is poor, but they make up for it in volume. This is the scariest area.

          I would NOT advise most people to enter the IT job market. The outlook is shaky at best.

          As to a union… Remember what the big companies dis in times past. They just hired others to do the work. Only now, they won’t have to walk by the picket line. They don’t even have to live in your town – or even your country.

        • #3101944


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to To what end: redux

          Collective entities are what got us into this mess in the first place, and now you want to “fix” it by creating more collective entities. There hasn’t been an industry improved by unions in at least thirty years. Unions, like minimum wage laws, increase unemployment by forcing business to consolidate talent, and increase unemployment by destroying businesses. People who advocate unionization typically want something for nothing.

          I’m not saying you necessarily don’t deserve to get paid more: I’m saying that demanding higher wages doesn’t come without a price. If you think entry-level IT is tough to find now, try it after unionization. The domestic IT workforce will be decimated inside a few years if the industry gets unionized. It’ll be prohibitively expensive just to get into this line of work, too. There will be no room left for people who [b]enjoy[/b] the work, ensuring that people who care more about their paychecks than about their work rule the industry.

          Screw that noise. I prefer opportunity over strongarmed handouts.

        • #3101200


          by it survivor ·

          In reply to odear

          Your comments make me think of a time when we had no unions. The Standard oil Trust dominated the land and JP Morgan ran the country. We had 12 year olds works 12 hour days for $1.00 day. People need to study the economic history of this country. We had better wake up before we are the next 3rd world country with a working class that is condemmed to poverty and working conditions that replicate the beginning of the last century.

        • #3102659

          Served their purpose

          by noyoki ·

          In reply to ITSurvivor

          We now have laws preventing 12 yr olds from working, laws preventing 12 hr shifts, and a law stating the minimum wage.

          Sure, Unions were great when the people needed them, but they have outlived their usefulness imo.

        • #3102621

          laws preventing 12 hr shifts?!

          by dkirkham ·

          In reply to Served their purpose

          Laws preventing 12 hr shifts?
          Man what planet are you from?
          There are lots of industries/companies that use a rotating 12 1/2 hour shift, and if you don’t want to work 12 1/2 hours a day then your working for minimum wage.

        • #3102615

          12 hr shifts

          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to Served their purpose

          Perhaps it would have been better stated:

          Laws preventing 12 hr shifts without being appropriately compensated and with adequate breaks.

        • #3102495


          by noyoki ·

          In reply to Served their purpose

          > “Perhaps it would have been better stated:
          >Laws preventing 12 hr shifts without being appropriately compensated and with adequate breaks.”

          I was actually referring to children. I meant that a child cannot work more than 20 (or so) hours a week, and much less than 8/day. That’s for kids around ages 14-18?

          Sure, adults can work 12 hrs a day, but yes, with breaks and compensation.

          Sorry for the confusion.

        • #3285953

          Unions are a double edged sword IMO

          by ssmaguire ·

          In reply to Served their purpose

          I now begin to realize that unions are a double edged sword. I work within a school where one of my co-workers is absent so much I don’t even realize she works there. On the other hand when she’s there she eats voraciously, word to the wise don’t put your hand in front of her month, otherwise you won’t be able to work in IT anymore.

          Unions are like insurance, they are there we you need them. They have served as a “check and balance” system, thus keeping employers from overstepping bounds and abusing their employees. They in reality bring to the table a sort of “Purchasing Power Parity” or PPP for short. The unions of today have lost their strength, since no one really belives they have power anymore. This is misinformation, that employers love to instill in their employees. Fear motivates people to sometimes be complacent in things.

          The whole tenet (principle) of capitalism is to capitalize your assets. An employer’s asset in this case would be the workers. Without workers, an employer cannot sell goods or services.

          Well that’s just my take. But as of today, the labor market is so fluid, that employers look for comparative advantage in any way possible. They do not see the consequences of using lowest cost inputs to make their products.

          Take for instance Dell, which had to replace millions of motherboards in their PCs since they burnt out after a year. Now if Dell didn’t decide to cut corners and save on production costs, they wouldn’t have to pay the increase in support costs.

          The only problem is, is that Dell’s profit margin is razor thin, about 15% to 20%. They don’t really have much wiggle room to weather storms. Their existence is rooted upon the prinicple of volume, and Just in Time manufacturing.

          It’s like walking on eggshells, eventually things will crack.

          Another instance of extreme outsourcing is Boeing, who is sourcing parts for their new aircraft from about 10 different countries, to be shipped to Everett, Wash. where they assemble the pieces.

          Considering each plane costs upwards $16 million dollars, while development costs are in the tens of billions. One small mistake costs big money.

        • #3102854

          Third World Country

          by kriaken ·

          In reply to ITSurvivor

          Oh where to start.

          Heavy subsides propping up inefficient and outdated practices.

          A political system which sees the man with the most money and family connection take power.

          Major government appointments going to friends (some with significant criminal records) with no discernable qualifications other than political connections.

          Military terror to force opinions upon people whom disagree with their dogma.

          Economic displacement of a major portion of the population and health services which are near non existent to the majority of the population.

          God Bless America, the third world country without compare.

        • #3101195


          by justanotherguy ·

          In reply to odear

          It can bad enough answering to the boss you have now. Imagine now you have to kiss some union steward’s arse just to keep your job. Unionism leads to cronyism, retired in place (teacher’s unions for example).

          Is there anything wrong with unions per se? No. But like any other human-centered group, it provides a place for power grabbing and complacency. And who needs more BS (and that’s not Bachelor of Science) in IT anyway?

        • #3101720

          Unins are not the way

          by equintie ·

          In reply to Bravo!

          I had the displeasure working for a major financial paper that had a union for its non-managers. It was the worse `8 month I ever had on a job. It was a trail to get them to perform the simplest of tasks. Those who knew they were protected by the union would use this advantage to the fullest. Below are just a few example of what I had to deal with. From my experience UNIONS are definitely not the way to go. They were cripple the IT innovation the US has become known for and push companies to use other courtiers as resources quicker.

          – After we had sent 3 engineers to a 5 day class on XP for MS certification, they were expected to take a MS cert exam within 6 months. After which, they went to the union with a compliant about the cert exam. The union in turn demanded that the company provide them PAID TIME OFF TO STUDY for the exam! I thought those who wanted to better themselves should do it on there own?

          – Part of our requirement is a contact phone number so a person can be reached at all times for shift changes. When a member moved to another apartment, they refused to give us a phone number until they were provided paid time off to wait for the phone company to install a phone.

          – Several times I would ask for a laptop or desktop to be rebuilt. Knowing these systems are rebuilt the same way each time with auto disks, the union insisted I provide documentation with step by step instructions to address every troubleshooting situation that could happen. When I tried to engagement the engineers to assist with this, the union insisted the manager were responsible for this documentation. They also suggested (which was NOT approved thank god!) if certain situation was not documented the union worker did not have to try and resolve the issue.
          – Also ? I cannot tell you how many times I had to pay for OT to an engineer because they spent an extra 10 to 15 minutes finishing up work with a user before they left for the day. Of course if they were late, I was not encouraged to be negative towards them.

          This is not to say that some of the professionals managed were not good. They were exceptional. One of the problems was I was really not allow to address them individual in public for their good work. The union indicated it was not positive feedback to praise one member and not all. Ridicules! Needless to say I left the organization. Funny thing was 6 months later when I spoke with a couple of the people I managed they indicated the union actually thought I was a decent manager, but they could not admit that while I was there.

          It that the type of union you want IT to have?

        • #3102639

          The solution

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to odear

          to that would be to change the way everyone is compensated… by defining a unit of work output besides time. It would probably be unpopular in some circles though 😉

        • #3268439

          Never Charge by Time

          by jkowolf ·

          In reply to The solution

          If I can create a program that could save the trouble of hiring one minimum wage employee, my value is the biggest piece of this savings I can negotiate. I don’t care if it takes me 5 minutes or 5 months to code.

        • #3102625

          I can’t agree more

          by halibut ·

          In reply to odear

          I can’t agree more at Apotheon’s reply. Unions are great for certain industries. Industries that require certain safety and workplace needs but unionizing for the money is the wrong reason and will backfire to the industry. Would this union include the offshore IT industry or not? If not how would this change a company’s view of the inhouse IT staff?

          I currently work for a company that uses outsourced IT support in Malaysia and India, and our support it has been an absolute nightmare when dealing with them. No local support for this infrastructure has proved problematic, and as the industry sees issues the whole setup will change.

          As for the $12/hour tech, don’t be too worried, there is always bound to be someone that under charges to get the work and as their skill increases their price will go up.

        • #3088849

          That’s no fish story, Halibut!

          by mc68000 ·

          In reply to I can’t agree more

          “I currently work for a company that uses outsourced IT support in Malaysia and India, and our support it has been an absolute nightmare when dealing with them. No local support for this infrastructure has proved problematic, and as the industry sees issues the whole setup will change.

          As for the $12/hour tech, don’t be too worried, there is always bound to be someone that under charges to get the work and as their skill increases their price will go up.”

          I agree with all three of your statements.

          1) Unions can be a Godsend or a curse depending on how and when they’re instituted.
          2) My organization’s costs have gone up as a result the vendors we deal with outsourcing their IT support to Malaysia and India. This is due to increased turnaround time on repairs in the shop. It takes longer to call in the problem, go through the diagnostic process & get them to ship the parts than it does to replace them, re-build the PC’s and get them back on the floor.
          3) I started out as a $12/hour tech 10 years ago and now earn right around $30/hr. Not too bad for guv’nment work, I suppose, when you consider my skills have been aquired 90% OJT and 10% formal training. Not a king’s ransom, but as in Ohio, I’m in a region with a typically lower-than-average pay scale.

        • #3103403

          unions and minimum wage

          by ·

          In reply to odear

          Hey lets remember that unions gave us minimum wage, the forty hour work week, OSHA laws and don’t forget your OSHA breaks.

          Just because the UAW is struggling and has become a bloated corporate/thug entity don’t forget that the concept of unions is to protect it’s workers.

          So many times I hear people poo-poo the unions for being a means to protect the lazy. It protects the hard working too.

          Those people who do not like unions tend to be those people who boo-hoo and cry foul when they are randomly downsized and have no recourse except to work a hotdog stand.

          United we stand, divided we crash…

        • #3100542


          by decimumaximus ·

          In reply to unions and minimum wage


        • #3100498


          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to unions and minimum wage

          Unions did such a good job, we don’t need them anymore?

          They have come full circle and now exist just to exist?

        • #3272483

          Bannish unions

          by scifiman ·

          In reply to So…

          Yes, they are really not much needed any more. Not that I wouldn’t mind high pay for little work, but it’s a different era, and raise your hand if you think the end of unions will bring back 8 year olds in sweat shops in the U.S. Decades ago in the industrial ear the were important, but no longer. Time to evolve.

          Unionize, and if my son wants an IT job in the future, he’ll need me to get him in. Then if he sucks at it or is just a slacker, no manager can fire him. Big benefits and pay, light work. Or my son will have to pay $5000 to start his “apprentiship” somewhere. Look at United Airlines, GM, etc. Unions are flushing this country down the tubes.

        • #3087751

          HEAR, HEAR !!

          by bigbadfish63 ·

          In reply to unions and minimum wage

          Unions are good for you, your family and your community!If they are run right!! People forget or just don’t know the history of unions. I agree with cmcarlson! I didn’t pay the money for colledge to earn $10-$12.00 an hr.School cost me a lot of money, sacrfices and hard work.

        • #3087663

          “If they are run right!!”

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to HEAR, HEAR !!

          Unfortunately, whenever humans are involved, nothing is ever run right. I would, however, settle for “less wrong”.

        • #3272487

          Reply To: Unionize IT Now!

          by scifiman ·

          In reply to odear

          I agree. For the most part, unions are evil. Except for certain safety areas such as mining, construction, etc. -or standards need to be followed such as electrical work, etc. sure keep unions. All the rest should be bannished. It certainly helps the wealth of the union leadership, but it mostly just another drain on union members paychecks. I for one would change jobs or careers before joining a union!

        • #3272296


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Reply To: Unionize IT Now!

          The only reason unemployment rates aren’t even worse in union-dominated industries than they already are is that unemployed people in union industries can’t afford to get back into, or stay in, the union. Thus, they change industries. Voila, unemployment rates in that industry drop.

        • #3089718

          Apotheon and I Agree on Something!!!

          by rkuhn040172 ·

          In reply to odear

          No to unions. They are a waste.

          Does the IT industry need more political clout? Sure, but not by using unions.

          I’ll let the free market determine my wages and if I don’t like it, I’ll move, change jobs, change careers, get more certs or education, etc.

          Whatever it takes, I’ll be there.

          But absolutely, 100% no way to unions.

          BTW, I have made a decent living in IT for many years now and one piece of advice for me: don’t work for the big boys. They screw you over everytime.

          There are plenty of consultant jobs available, small employers, etc.

        • #3087615


          by decimumaximus ·

          In reply to Apotheon and I Agree on Something!!!

          Just wanted to clarify the meanning of a consultant. On who cannot obtain a real job or one who cannot retain a real job.

          This should get some hostile posts….

          Seriously I look in the local phone book once a year. When it’s new just to see how many of those schmuck’s who applied at my company started their own consulting bussiness and sure enough the worst applicants have the biggest adds. but Next year they are gone………….ussually see them working the computer Isle at Costco or Worst buy….Consultants what a joke… With that said there are a small few who are worth a Damb and for those I give cudo’s.

        • #3087543

          how nice

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Consultants

          What about all the worthless pieces of crap holding down 9-5 jobs for corporations?

          There’s deadweight everywhere. The best consultants usually don’t bother getting ads in the phonebook because they get enough work by word of mouth that they don’t need it — until they’re successful enough to hire other people to expand the business, at which point they advertise in trade rags rather than somewhere useless like the yellow pages.

          Don’t judge consulting by your obviously limited experience. Friggin’ troll.

        • #3087527

          Nice thing is

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to Consultants

          They sink or swim based on their value. Exactly the way it should be.

        • #3087517

          consultants and unions

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Consultants

          You’re right, adunlap, that’s exactly as it should be. Unions, on the other hand, tend to sort for “sink or swim” based on how long and how reliably someone has been paying his union dues, and they tend to make consulting impossible.

        • #3090365


          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to Consultants

          Some people worry more about how much other people have than about whether they are worth what they’re wanting.

          Frankly, compensation is between the employer and the employee and the tax collector. Nobody has any business knowing how much someone else makes.

          The socialists are losing though. Union membership outside of ‘closed shops’ is falling fast (and if union membership is so advantageous, why even have closed shops?)

        • #3090302

          adunlap: one point of disagreement

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Consultants

          The tax collector has no (ethical) business knowing how much money I make. Damned thief.

        • #3089463

          That’s not a disagreement

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to Consultants

          That’s a clarification.

          The only people who [b]ought to[/b] know how much you make are you and your employer. How’s that?

        • #3089322

          fair ’nuff

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Consultants

          That works for me!

        • #3088953

          aDunlap : A socialist’s perspective on unions

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Consultants

          It’s vastly annoying to me that I have to basically agree with all you rabid capitalists.

          The main reason I have to is because the opponents you are painting as socialists don’t even start to meet the definition. Anyone in favour of sinecure’s, closed shops, restrictive working practices etc is not a socialist, they are capitalist hypocrites.

          Socialism is inclusive, it’s about bettering the lives of all individuals, not a small minority who paid at the door.

          The guy who started this thread off is a case in point. Many including myself the archetypal socialist tree hugger have jumped on his ass.
          He wants $50 an hour, if the rest of us end up on $10 and have to blow our employers to get that much, he don’t give one. Even worse he wants us to give him $10 a week of our $40 and vote for him so he can get his money and for us to feel happy about it.

          Socialist my f’ass.

        • #3086877

          Yet even among the socialists

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to Consultants

          There are those who get favor based on who they know. Human nature is a thorn in the side of all ‘isms’. 🙂

        • #3086659


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Consultants

          I’d say “especially”, not “even”. Especially in Socialism, who one knows helps to determine one’s conditions. Socialism relies on bureaucracy, and bureaucracy is effectively synonymous with corruption.

        • #3076479

          Is that a tongue in your cheek ?

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Consultants

          Bureaucracies make you rely on bureaucracies. Got naff all to do with being socialist.

          Certainly most socialist governments tend not to be minimalist, but there again so do most ‘capitalist’ ones. They both have as many rules they just have to enforce, the only things that changes is who is the bad guy.

          Socialist governments tend to squeeze the middle class, capitialist the lower. Upper class never get squeezed that’s what campaign contributions are for.

          You could have a mimimalist socialist agenda, or a minimalist capitalist one.
          It’s just no one has had the bottle for steps one and two
          1) Shoot all the lawyers
          2) Shoot all the civil servants who think we work for them.

          While they are out of the way, go through the rules and get rid of the self perpetuating cruft that these two groups have wedged in there as part of their early retirement plan.

          Then anyone who wants to add anything similar back in, shoot them as well.

        • #3076410

          Most Socialists have a logic problem.

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Consultants

          The problem most Socialists have with logic is that they seem incapable of examining the consequences of the policies they envision and espouse within the larger context of the world in which they live. Important factors get left out of their theories, thus providing inaccurate conclusions to arise from their misconceived premises.

          That all applies in this case for this reason:
          You’ve completely misjudged how socialism relates to capitalism in terms of the requirement for bureaucracy.

          Capitalism is, by definition, an economic system wherein the means of production are privately owned and operated for profit (typically by means of gainful employment of labor). The “for profit” part of that is a statement of the mechanism used to sustain the system’s administration so that it doesn’t collapse in upon itself, and requires no outside intervention for sustainability.

          Socialism is, by definition, an economic system wherein the means of production is collectively “owned” and democratically operated by the society at large, with employment of labor being at the whim and behest of the democratic process. In small enough groups, this is viable in a minimalist system that can even equitably deal with the democratic process and ethical treatment of participants, so long as it is assumed that a person may exile him or her self from the system at any time (the converse being a state of slavery). By “small enough groups”, I mean (by my own personal guesstimate) roughly twenty or thirty people at most. Beyond that, bureaucracy is necessary merely to manage the democratic system of operation itself.

          Thus, any significant socialist economies require bureaucracy, and increases in the size of the economy have a tendency to require disproportionately greater increases in the size of the bureaucracy.

          No tongue in cheek here.

        • #3076315

          Excellent (apotheon)

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to Consultants

          As the size of bureaucracy grows (not just in socialism), and the more of society’s work product is used to maintain it, the lower that society’s standard of living becomes.

          Big government, no matter who is running it, is a leech.

        • #3076220

          Apotheon: Great Response!

          by the.erinyes ·

          In reply to Consultants

          Could not respond below, so I will do it here. Please read Apotheon’s response; and for those that still do not get it I suggest you read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand for a complete education.

        • #3076180

          Tony Hopkinson’s *modern capitalism* strawman argument

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to Apotheon and I Agree on Something!!!

          Tony, your discussion of the bureaucratic bloat associated with capitalism and socialism ignores the absolute fact that pure capitalism has never been practiced, and that the degree of capitalism is exactly defined by the amount of government interference in economy. Furthermore, when western governments were most capitalist, from the early nineteenth century until the first Great War, their governments [b]were[/b] minimal in their scope, and the complaints of modern socialists were unheard. Until Marx & Engels presented their irrational utopian daydreams.

        • #3076124

          On Government!

          by the.erinyes ·

          In reply to Tony Hopkinson’s *modern capitalism* strawman argument

          Thought I’d share some professional comments on the job market!

          In France, the young people are rioting. It?s not March Madness. It?s just everyday insanity. They are protesting a new law that would make it easier for employers to hire and fire people below 26 during a two-year trial period. You?d think this would be welcome news to the slackers: youth unemployment in France is over 20%.

          In the States, however, where almost everyone can be hired and fired (unless you?re a member of the New York teachers? union), the 2006 crop of US college graduates is facing the best job market since 2001. ?Business, computer, engineering, education and health care grads in highest demand,? writes a Reuters correspondent. Here in Baltimore, there are help wanted notices in shop windows, on business signs, on billboards, even jingles on the radio.

          ?We are approaching full employment ,? said the chief executive of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

          In fact, competition for young workers is heating up. Employers have to compete on salaries, perks and benefits.

          Writes the blogmeister of

          ?You don?t have to be Adam Smith to notice that there is an inverse relationship between the health of an economy and the degree of government interference. A demented state of affairs in which private businesses are not allowed to fire employees goes a long way toward explaining why the jobless rate of French youth is 23% nationwide, and 50% among the poor.?

          ?Anglo-Saxon? Adam Smith, however, may have a difficult stand against the institutionalized statism bred by generations of Marxists and neo-socialists who have used the past half century to turn large layers of French and European society into passive dependents on state largesse.

          It reminds me of some fellow students I met at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland back in the 1980?s, who were planning to ?go on the dole? for a few years after their graduation. This way, the young Scots would be getting paid by the state for doing nothing, could do anything they wanted – and still feel like victims of ?the system,? the English AND Maggy Thatcher.

          That?s called the European Trifecta!

        • #3076114

          I don’t think any pure ‘ism’

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to Tony Hopkinson’s *modern capitalism* strawman argument

          has ever been practiced on a large scale. Human nature won’t allow it.

        • #3076074

          Maybe not, adunlap, HOWEVER

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to Tony Hopkinson’s *modern capitalism* strawman argument

          Although capitalism has never been fully implemented anywhere, citing 21st & late 20th century economic dysfunction on capitalism is completely dishonest. There was more capitalism in the United States before World War I, before taxes took a virtually uninterrupted upward turn, which coincided by the way with an ever-increasing disparity between rich & poor.

          Today’s neo-socialists have one thing exactly right: the extreme disparities in distribution of wealth do not correspond to productive ability. What they have not yet admitted is that those disparities are directly caused by the government’s right to interfere in the free function of competition, which they continue to support.

          Worthless morons.

        • #3076148

          Right on! Did you see what happened in France?

          by jeffin90620 ·

          In reply to odear

          Unionization has been a hindrance to economic expansion for decades. In the socialized economies of Western Europe, economic growth has been a third of that in the United States, in part because it is so hard to fire people that businesses don’t hire. Unemployment ranges from 12-24% in unionized countries in Europe.

          Last weekend, there were riots in France over the proposal to make it easier for businesses to fire people. The unions (and the governments) look at jobs as the property of the employees (i.e. the means to pay people money outside of the government dole), instead of what they are (tasks to be performed).

          If businesses cannot adapt, jobs cannot be created and unemployment rises.

        • #3101813

          As in auto industry?

          by raintree ·

          In reply to To what end: redux

          Sure, unionize. Like the auto industry. How many jobs are left there? And, let me see, we all know that jobs there are increasing every month, right?

        • #3089555

          Reply To: Unionize IT Now!

          by pkr9 ·

          In reply to As in auto industry?

          The US autoindustry has not reached the bottom due to labor unions. GM, Ford and whoever hit bottom because they turn out oldfashioned products nobody outside the US wants to buy. They aren’t even at the bottom yet, but it is only a question of time.

          In a time where fuelprices skyrocket, unrest and unstability in the middle east gets worse by the hour, the demand of fuel from China rises by the minute, they market 2? ton 4WD 6-litre V8 powered monsters mostly used for going to the local supermarket.

          In the field of using alternative fuels they are absolutely nowhere, a growing market owned by Japanese and European companies.

          All this is due to poor management, and not labour unions. The cause of most bancrupts can be found in the management floor, not the factory floor.

        • #3087545

          Try Greed

          by raintree ·

          In reply to Reply To: Unionize IT Now!

          The US auto industry (among others) has been brought to its knees by greed. That includes management and the planned obsolescence mentality and labor unions wanting more and more pay and perks until they price themselves out of a job.

        • #3090134

          I have. Greed is good.

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to Try Greed

          There are two basic methods of pursuing greed: rational and irrational. The “planned obsolescence mentality and labor unions wanting more and more pay and perks until they price themselves out of a job” are irrational.

          Greed is good.

        • #3101370

          Well said Tony but…

          by technicallyright ·

          In reply to To what end: redux

          Well said Tony and although I agree with what you are saying I also agree with Apotheon.

          The IT world is definitely changing and I can’t say for the better.

          I don’t think many people are saying unionize for more money but perhaps to keep the jobs and the money they are currently getting. I don’t think I have ever seen before an industry where the salaries are declining.

          Having said that I don’t think unionizing is the way to go, the auto industry is an excellent example.

        • #3101183

          “Poor Bastards in India”? ARE YOU KIDDING???

          by ralford100 ·

          In reply to To what end: redux

          Are you kidding? THEY LOVE IT! Some H1’s are going home so they can make more money (relatively speaking).

          No.. Access to alternate work via exter-national outsourcing is always going to be cheaper and easier. The solution is to provide quality work in shorter time, something that the American industry has been lacking mostly due to greed, greed, and more greed. And… Unions propogate greed even more.

        • #3102667


          by ontheropes ·

          In reply to “Poor Bastards in India”? ARE YOU KIDDING???

          I spent 6 months in New Delhi and the surrounding cities working with Engineering staff and management for Whirlpool of India. I can tell you that the vast majority of Indians don’t have a clue of the things we take for granted. Simple things like electricity, clean, drinkable running water, gas heat, air conditioning, clean working conditions… I could go on.
          I paid more for my hotel room for a one night stay than the senior engineers made in a month. Sure they love IT. It’s a job that might keep them warm by burning cow dung and sheltered in a dirt floor packing crate for a family of 6.

          If they’re really successful they might be able to buy a scooter.
          Unionize? No. Change the way our government allows the trade deficits to continue? Good luck! We’re living in a service oriented country. The manufacturing base has long ago gone byebye. $50.00 an hour? Sure. Earn it. The Indians work for $50.00 a month! That’s before THEIR union dues are taken out.

        • #3103219

          You just paid too much…

          by onbliss ·

          In reply to India

          …for the hotel. The salaries in India have been raising to the satisfaction of the IT workers there. Money has been made to rotate, and the middle class in India is now about 300 million strong.

        • #3102360

          Thoroughly chastised.

          by ontheropes ·

          In reply to You just paid too much…

          You… assume too much. Have you ever heard of an expense account/contract/reimbursement?
          What do YOU say is the median income and median satisfaction level of the IT employes in India in Rupees/USD in comparison to the US poverty levels?
          What are your references? (Data/Surveys)
          Have you ever been to India, are you from India or are you just “onbliss”?

        • #3272957

          Read how India is changing

          by scifiman ·

          In reply to India

          Just for the archive record:

          Sure, 400 million in India make less than a $1 a day (relative to their local costs, of course) but they’re on the verge of great changes. They’ll get there, and the USA needs India.

        • #3102911

          Lesser of 2 Evils

          by boogaloodude ·

          In reply to “Poor Bastards in India”? ARE YOU KIDDING???

          I’m not sure if I understand, are you saying that American unions would send the IT Jobs overseas out of Greed?

        • #3273747

          too little greed

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to “Poor Bastards in India”? ARE YOU KIDDING???

          to exercise enough discipline to acquire enough skill to compete on a level playing field with the rest of the world. And unions stifle the greed that fuels healthy competition even more.

        • #3273732

          That’s not Greed.. that’s self-respect

          by ralford100 ·

          In reply to too little greed

          Greed is when you join a union, then think you’re better than
          everybody else, so you should get better benefits and better pay
          and when the corporation (AND THE ECONOMY) don’t agree with
          you, perform acts of sabotage, violence, and other unethical
          actions. Greed is when you will say and do ANYTHING to get
          those benefits, regardless of truth.

          Yes, I realize that it’s a stereotype of unions, but that has been
          my experience.

        • #3273721

          Thank you, Ralford.

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to That’s not Greed.. that’s self-respect

          Since self-respect is so often disparaged as “greed”, I defend acquisitiveness, ignoring the negative connotations of the word “greed” that are assumed by imbeciles who consider self-respect a personal affront, simply because they have earned none and experience envy when in the presence of another person’s self-respect, instead of admiration.

        • #3273662


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to That’s not Greed.. that’s self-respect

          You sound like an Objectivist.

        • #3272140


          by absolutely ·

          In reply to That’s not Greed.. that’s self-respect

          Thank you.

        • #3272119

          You’re welcome.

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to That’s not Greed.. that’s self-respect

          I guess that answers the question of whether you consider yourself an Objectivist, then. I take issue with some of the details of Objectivism, but I definitely sympathize with the basic principles of Objectivist economics.

        • #3101167

          Nice Rant; Poor Economics

          by mollenhourb9 ·

          In reply to To what end: redux

          Your rant shows why IT types aren’t taken seriously in the rest of the business world. If all you know is technology and not business processes or who the company functions (not how the LAN, WAN, etc. passes information around the company), then you are “just a tech” in the eyes of the organization. The sad truth is that a trained monkey can learn technical skills, and India (and soon China) have the best trained monkeys in the business. It is no different than what happened to the auto industry, the accounting industry, etc.

          As any job becomes mature, the gut level work becomes less skilled and more “factory” oriented. Declining wages are inevitable. Unionizing will only serve to further isolate you from the rest of the business world and give the big-wigs more reason to outsource your job. Find a different career. I had to.

        • #3102573

          precisely so

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Nice Rant; Poor Economics

          When a domestic industry gets into a routine, repetitive work in the industry gets cheaper. When workers start pulling extortionist crap like unionizing for better wages, the industry starts moving to other countries. Once that happens, jobs disappear, and the unions become useless tumors sucking the remaining domestic workforce dry while convincing them that unions are their buddies.

          If you think outsourcing is bad for your career, just wait until the company isn’t outsourcing any longer because it followed the outsourced jobs overseas.

        • #3103011

          I could not have said it better!

          by james ·

          In reply to precisely so

          Right on! A fellow Conservative! 🙂

        • #3103005

          not really

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to I could not have said it better!

          I’m a libertarian. Some would call me fiscally conservative and socially liberal. I would just say I’m a free-market capitalist who believes government shouldn’t be all up in my sh*t.

        • #3087620


          by the.erinyes ·

          In reply to precisely so

          2. When a product becomes indistinguishable from others like it and consumers buy on price alone, it becomes a commodity.
          When your industry reaches this point, then the migration to lower cost producers will always occur. Usually it starts with things like manufacturing and other blue collar trades, and then moves to white collar professions as developing countries churn out lots of college grads.
          Specifically for IT, as business knowledge is codified and abstracted, it is developed into COTS applications which reduces the need for one-offs and custom applications. This is evident in all of the ERP, CRM, Accounting, etc. packages that exist in the marketplace.
          Since there becomes less of a need to develop custom software, there becomes less of a need to hire developers. So the value moves up chain to the implementors which requires little or no coding, just customization of the application to fit the “unique” needs of the new COTS customer.
          All businesses seek to drive cost out of their product or service to make it more appealing to their customers. This has been going on in the computer industry for decades and we are now seeing the effects.
          Once commoditization occurs, the margins evaporate and the primary mission is to drive out cost or you concede the business to someone else.
          The bottom line is this will happen whether there is a union or not. If you are in a union and this happens, more likely than not you will have to now rely on your own individual skills to become employed again, just as you would if there were no union!

        • #3087537

          good analysis

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Commoditization

          That’s a pretty good analysis of the situation — and I like your username.

        • #3102596

          Tony’s Rose Colored Glasses

          by too old for it ·

          In reply to To what end: redux

          The US is on the way to becoming the next third-world cesspool. Hell, in some places (major cities) it already is: Turf ruled by gang leaders and war lords who would sooner shoot you as not. The Crips, the Bloods, the MS-13 .. THEY are in control now. The elected government just goes through the motions. The police send out a raiding party on some schlep with Danish porn on his PC, and hope they don’t annoy the gangs shooting each other for control of the crack trade on the corner of Walk and Don’t Walk.

          Get a job you say? Where?? All the good factories are gone. Hell, all the mediocre factories are gone. “Shareholder value” is just code for screw the workers, blue coller, white coller, doesn’t matter. Same with IT. Worse, because now you have an educated workforce enemployed and living under the Town Street bridge. All who have been sold the “retool and retrain” bill of goods.

          Service economy, hell. While the near term shows an increase in the number of people who will need service, there will be a larger increase in those who don’t give a damn any more, and quit buying anything.

          The coming economy in the US will make the depression of the 30’s combined with Pol Pot’s Cambodia look like the good ol’ days.

        • #3074967

          Finally someone old enough to remember

          by it survivor ·

          In reply to Tony’s Rose Colored Glasses

          I just wanted to say that I am finally glad to see a posting of someone who (appears) to be old enough to remember. Most of these posting seem to be from the 20-30 something crowd who hasnt been initiated by Big brother yet. Just wait all you who spit on unions and think that the free market is the next comming of Christ. Youf get a a chance to see first hand when the free market chews you up and craps you out.

        • #3102476

          IT is a Trade

          by p_piluk ·

          In reply to To what end: redux

          My father is a union plumber and I have always been astounded at how similar my job is to his. IT basically is the first White-collar trade. We should set it up like any other aprentiship, including organizing…

        • #3102473

          Please flesh that out

          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to IT is a Trade

          How is your job like his?

        • #3103214

          White Collar Trade

          by p_piluk ·

          In reply to Please flesh that out

          Aside from Programming, which I have done plenty of it, most IT work is very similar to the trades. It is very difficult for me to explain but if you have spent any time around tradespeople and compaired their stories to those of two IT people you will see my point. We have far more in common with them than we do with an Electrical Engineer. Saying that, setting IT up as a trade would provide a standard method for ensuring the high quality of IT in North America. My union plumber father is constantly upgrading his skills as technology changes in his field…at a better rate than many of my friends in IT. I consider myself a tradesman and am proud of it!

        • #3103207

          Not for me

          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to White Collar Trade

          I don’t consider it a trade. Not what I have every done. (I worked my way up, too.)

          So, unless you are able to provide more depth, I’ll respectfully disagree.

        • #3102442

          Great idea!

          by peter.l.scalzi ·

          In reply to To what end: redux

          Yes. Let’s unionize.

          Let’s do for the IT industry what unionization has done for the US manufacturing sector. After all, China needs more jobs.

        • #3102771

          to what end?

          by heml0ck ·

          In reply to To what end: redux

          well said tony…
          Having worked for unions before there are pros and cons.
          The main reason I agree that unionizing is a good idea is to protect us from exploitation. All too often, employers are demanding 50+ hrs /wk while offering no further compensation. That is a violation of most labour laws in NA, and needs to be addressed.
          As to the money, well I believe if you’re good enough, you’ll never want for work.

        • #3101722

          Truer words were never spoken.

          by eureeky ·

          In reply to To what end: redux

          If in doubt – read about it here:

          Enjoy the day…

        • #3088163

          union blues

          by paolo2k6 ·

          In reply to To what end: redux

          Firstly check to see if your union would gain any lawful recognition and isnt covered by some office & general workers union or the telecomms unions like here in the UK. Two toothless tigers if there ever was such a thing!

        • #3087740

          Union or not..

          by doug m. ·

          In reply to To what end: redux

          we no longer have any job security. I worked at a union job at one of the largest telecom companies in the country. Guess what, I and about 125,000 of my colleagues were still laid off. And the union had no qualms about taking their dues out of my severance checks. Unions have given us some good things over the years, 40 hr. weeks, decent benefits, but some of them have gotten downright greedy, like the steelworkers and autoworkers unions. Not to mention the teachers unions. But unions are not always the answer to everything.

        • #3090260

          To What End: Redux

          by codebubba ·

          In reply to To what end: redux

          (I’ve been in the business since ’86 …)

          Yeah … I’ve been in it since ’78 and there’s some credence in what you say though I don’t agree with all of it. In my case I’ve found that I’ve always been able to find work. I’ve had very few periods of unemployment myself. Back in 1991 I was laid off during the recession. At that time I had a job offer in-hand but decided to make a go of it on my own developing custom software. Had a great time for 4 years. Lost my shirt at the end of it but had no problem re-entering the market.

          Yeah … job hunting can be tough, but my personal opinion on the matter is that if you focus on being very good at what you do and you demonstrate the willingess to PERFORM that you will seldom have real trouble finding something to do.

          As for this Unionizing Idea … I simply don’t agree with it. Want to completely ruin the industry? Let’s send the REST of the work offshore by unionizing. Unions had their place back in the 1920’s – but now all they do is burden business with inflated expense and lazy workers.


        • #3132600

          what union(s)?

          by tomaaa19 ·

          In reply to To what end?

          T be effective a union must cover a large number of workers.

          I cannot see this happening in IT unless you get a number of very large number of shops organizing at the same time.

          At this time the attitudes of potential members is too divided for large scale unionizing to happen

          Also concerns about striking, dues etc will depend on the particular union and who actively participates in the running of your local……get involved or be prepared to be bossed around by another level.


        • #3101943


          by pokyokie ·

          In reply to what union(s)?

          would be best choice.

        • #3102978

          CWA is handling the tech sector

          by bndplus2 ·

          In reply to what union(s)?


          CWA is the same union that handles Verizon and many of the telcos.

          Although at one point the telcos workforce may have been considered “tech”, I think that’s much less true these days (or, should I say, we’re “more” tech).

          I went to a CWA meeting once, and all I heard was whining and moaning about doing much of ANYTHING without getting compensated.

          As much as I hate to admit it, a union would stop a lot of us from doing our jobs effectively. If there’s a problem and Joe Blow isn’t around, we all step in to figure out the problem. In a union shop that could prove far less likely.

          I’m tired of 60 hour workweeks without additional compensation, too. And believe me I think we have a diluted workforce because of the Cert-Monkeys out there. I think employers DEPEND on their ability to have us do more work than we rightfully should, taking advantage of most of our “can-do” attitudes. Yet when we get raises, we compete for the same percentage pool as the non-exempt workforce. What motivation is THAT?

          Is anyone aware that most of us (admins, at least) should probably NOT be exempt from overtime? The rules are pretty clear… Look into it. Unless you’re making at LEAST 50 some odd K per year, or if you are supervising 2 people, you probably should be paid overtime… In California I think it’s 100K per year to be exempt!

          Do we need a union? I think it couldn’t hurt, but it’d have to be a good one, designed by US, with OUR guidelines. Given the choice of union or no union, if it was the CWA, I’d rather break rocks for a living.


        • #3103362

          Overtime exempt

          by chuck ·

          In reply to CWA is handling the tech sector

          I researched the laws and it was clear to me that I am (and most IT people) are not exempt from overtime pay. However like any other law they are written to be interpreted by lawyers, It is not so black and white.

          I brought this up with my superiors along with all supporting documentation and they swept it under the rug and told me their lawyers said that we are exempt. Complete BS, I?m a Network Engineer making less than 45K, 5 years experience, it is ridiculous. What am I going to do? get a lawyer and sue my company who is gracious enough to employ me, but cant quite afford to pay the wages? Small company, good people, but uncompensated overtime is what gets me the most. I will continue to go above and beyond to complete the tasks, but sure would be nice to be compensated for it.

          You say find another job, but its tough, I apply to 40+ positions a year that I qualify for, I get maybe 5 interviews/testings a year each competing with 50+ other additional applicants/interviewees. I feel I do well in the interviews but I never get that call. A lot of competition out there, its a tough market, I?m not sure if unionizing will help. If we do unionize we have to take a different approach than traditional unions.

        • #3103231

          Check your state dept of labor

          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to Overtime exempt

          Call them, explain your situation. They may clarify things for you, and you won’t have to pay for a lawyer.

        • #3087657

          Check the laws again

          by klfarrell ·

          In reply to Overtime exempt

          I know we do not want to admit it, but as IT professionals we fit the definition of administrative staff.

          The requirements are:
          The employee must be compensated on a salary or fee basis (as defined in the regulations) at a rate not less than $455 per week;
          The employee?s primary duty must be the performance of office or non-manual work directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer or the employer?s customers; and
          The employee?s primary duty includes the exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance.

        • #3087556

          States, too

          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to Check the laws again

          Each state also has its own versions of that.

        • #3132499

          SAP Consultants Unite!!!!!

          by rw17 ·

          In reply to To what end?

          So, you think that consulting is where the money is…? Not anymore! Not unless you are an independant!
          I’m a Canadian working for a large SAP consulting firm. I have 9 years of SAP experience and still make far less than $100K Canadian per year!
          There is no training in SAP (thus, no one ever seems to get certified in it anymore) offered by my company – they tell you there is but then they say “You can’t get training when between clients and when you are on a client there is no time for you to get training!”.
          There is no pension offered!
          Bonuses are tied to world-wide sales and max out at less than $4K per year… not even worth working for!
          Overtime is not paid until you pass 48 hours per week.
          I was billable 155% per week last year… that’s 62 hours per week… not including 10 hours of unpaid travel per week and administration hours unpaid (time reports, etc).
          3 weeks vacation! (IF you are allowed to go!)
          Stress, stress, STRESS!!!!!
          I was on the road 100%
          I was pressured to cross the border for work illegally – without a Trade Nafta Visa.
          It is expected to work early, work through lunch, and work later than my client to show them my “good work ethic”.
          AND MORE!!!!

          I think that SAP consultants should unionize!!! We get billed out at some rediculous rate which we receive less than 15% of! We aren’t trained anymore! The turnover rate at my company is 100% in less than 3 years at the consultant level! Burnout is a huge factor! Travel is rediculous!
          I got into the consulting to create a nest-egg… there is no way I would have sacrificed so much for so little… I have no life outside of work and all work and no play has made me a depressed man in my 30’s!

          I hate unions! But, in cases of slave labour, I understand the need for unions!

        • #3132486

          In your case

          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to SAP Consultants Unite!!!!!

          If the company is doing nothing illegal, then you chose to work there, no one is forcing you to.

          If they are doing things illegally, then you have a duty and an obligation to report it. Only then should you expect to be compensated in the correct manner.

          Would unionizing stop that? As corrupt as your employer sounds, I doubt it. They’d likely own the union leaders anyway…

        • #3102029


          by pkr9 ·

          In reply to In your case

          Scenario 1
          EACH person should sue their employer privately with own private money against a corporation with own lawyers and a much bigger wallet. Even being able to subtract lawyer expenses. Or sacking the employee if it looks like they’re losing.

          Scenario 2
          The employee contacts his/her union and the UNION – the sum of all employees nationwide, take up the battle, hiring legal advise ad needed and acting with the full power of the entire union. With the threat of a strike or blocade behind them.

          Do you really believe scenario 1 is the best?

        • #3102026


          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to Naive

          Imagine a small shop having to hire a union guy, and not being able to fire him. It goes both ways.

          But now we have labor laws. So if law suits are your thing, any company up against the federal government… which do you think is bigger and has more power?

          I’m not naive. I just don’t like unions for IT.

        • #3102006

          Naive perhaps not

          by flowahpla ·

          In reply to Likewise

          I have to chuckle at anyone who thinks that labor laws alone are going to protect them, or that governments even care.
          Just ask a temp. They are predominant way to get around labor laws.

        • #3101985

          Quite right

          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to Likewise

          My wife is a temp at a place for about 7 years. She makes about a third more than the average worker there…

          That’s just a headcount issue. Hiring a temp is a different type of accounting cost, so it actually works out more in the company’s, and our, favor.

          Win win for us both.

          Naive not, indeed.

        • #3102008

          Typical management response

          by flowahpla ·

          In reply to In your case

          It is statements like that, that strengthen the need for unions.
          The employers know that there are dozens of individuals “on the street” that are capable of doing the same job I do.
          By denying them, you open yourself up to being let go in a “creative manner”

        • #3101979

          At the moment

          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to Typical management response

          I feel like I could get another job almost anywhere. I might or might not be able to make as much money. But that also depends on the industry, teh location, and how good a fit my skills are to their needs.

          I don’t think a union would help me find another job. I think that a union ould hire less than qualified people to fill spots, just to fill spots (whether needed for the operation of the firm or not).

        • #3102001

          If you don’t like the lifestyle…..

          by matthew.procter ·

          In reply to SAP Consultants Unite!!!!!

          Of course the one option everyone has missed is MOVING. If you don’t like where you are, move. Its simple. I know that Australia is crying out for SAP skills, as well as anyone who knows which end of a mouse goes where.

          New Zealand has some similar trends too, with about a third of our IT team being imports from the UK.

          Wages may be less, but the cost of living is too. And ther lifestyle is much better.

          IT already gets a bad rap becuase of bugs, viruses and idiots who think they know what they are doing; do we really want to add “stevador’ also?

          After 8 years I get ~NZ$25 per hour. And its moer than enough.

        • #3102604

          Moving versus Unions

          by rw17 ·

          In reply to If you don’t like the lifestyle…..

          I hear you Mathew… moving is a very serious consideration. However, if someone moved every time that they desired their situation to change, what would ever be accomplished? Surely there would be no automobiles, trains, planes, phones, etc!
          $25 / hour is not great if you are an SAP consultant… but if the cost of living is low, then it’s all relative.
          I suggest Unions for my, and my co-workers situation. In North Amjerica, it would appear that we have become slave labourers… and Canadians are even more of a victim of this for American companies because of our perceived inexpense. Canada may be a cheap cost of living generally, but Toronto and Vancouver are NOT!
          The issue is: I want to work with SAP like I have for the past 9 years… I just can’t do it much longer at 70 hours per week (much unpaid) with hardly any vacation, stress of an unbelievable nature, and the like.
          When you work for a major consulting company like I do, and the average life of consultants there is 32 months, something is obviously brutally wrong! If the company won’t remedy it, then the employees should!

        • #3102582

          Check your labor laws

          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to Moving versus Unions

          I’ll bet you can’t be forced to work that many hours without being compensated. Well, I won’t bet much, but you really should look into it.

        • #3102493

          Hours Breakdown

          by rw17 ·

          In reply to Check your labor laws

          …. well…. from 40 – 48 is unpaid OT hours… then, the 10 – 12 hours of travel is unpaid per week… then, the administrative hours are unpaid as there is no billcode and is “expected” by the company…
          Hence… unpaid hours…

        • #3102643


          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to To what end?

          It would create a safe haven for the mediocre 🙂

        • #3100502

          brother, you hit the nail right on the head…

          by sctang73 ·

          In reply to To what end?

          But I must say I can not help but synpathize w/ the author of the original post. Too many wannabe’s out there in a world that does not give the IT world enough respect. We really should have some sort of way to properly “license” technicians out there… turn it into a “practice” of sorts, like a lawyer or a doctor. Certifications can & do help, but certs alone are never enough.

      • #3102070


        by dnellis74 ·

        In reply to Iowa Salaries

        Boise is in IDAHO. IT people with such a poor understanding of basic geography shouldn’t be giving relocation advice.

        • #3102671


          by bfilmfan ·

          In reply to Iowa?

          Thanks for pointing out that I misread the city and increased the size of Iowas to include North and South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming as part of the state.

          That being said, my advice still stands. The salaries in Idaho aren’t great since companies like HP have down-sized a great deal to overseas locations.

    • #3252346

      You think $12/hr is bad?

      by cactus pete ·

      In reply to Unionize IT Now!

      Go ahead, unionize, then see you get $16/hr and pay 25% of that to your union dues… Then you have to strike, because someone told you to. At which time you’re not working. Oh, that person demands you get paid more per hour, so the dues also rise…

      How about you don’t take that job for $12/hr because it doesn’t pay what you think you’re worth? That’s what we call a free market. Supply and demand work it out…

      What can a union do for you (other than wages related) in the IT field? If it’s just wages you’re wanting, then find something that pays more.

      Do what you love. Work hard at it. The money will follow.

      • #3252748

        Fear & loathing of Unions is unfair

        by questor1 ·

        In reply to You think $12/hr is bad?

        The real reason Unions get a start in companies with employees is that workers feel they are being unfairly treated by that company. I have no idea where you get a 25% cut in pay that goes to union membership. You’re unsubstantiated threat of 25% union membership fees only amounts to fear and loathing of Unions which is unfair.

        I view Unions as a form of insurance for employees… a standardized set of rules, work hours, and compensation are negotiated by the Union with the company to arrive at a fair wage and working conditions for the employee-union member.

        Your idea of a free market allows these jobs to be abruptly taken away to outsourcing companies (often overseas) with lower wages. There is no competitive advantage other than a temporary reduction in wages for outsourcing. These abrupt changes cause absolute havoc with families when IT is outsourced, I have experienced it several times. Perhaps you want to move overseas for an IT job in your twisted view of “free market”, I prefer to work in the USA where real value is created from union IT jobs.

        The real advantage of Unions is fair treatment of union members. If a company unfairly treats a union member, they are permitted by the Union to voice they complaint for a negotiated agreement. Most companies do not permit this for employees without union membership.

        Unions foster social stability where “free market” IT outsourcing causes chaos.

        • #3252737

          Unions have served their purpose

          by blead3 ·

          In reply to Fear & loathing of Unions is unfair

          In a manufacturing economy, where work was tied to capital and equipment, unions allowed workers to bargain for better conditions/pay/etc.

          In a knowledge economy, where work is tied to ideas and the Internet can transmit those ideas across the world, unions are a relic that would only be worked around by the corporation (whatever the size). Read Thomas Friedman’s “The World is Flat.” The Internet has changed everything, especially for knowledge workers. Trying to put up barriers and organizing unions to combat it would be like building a sand castle wall to keep away the tide-all the effort would quickly wash away.

          Those economies that put up fewer barriers to trade (and outsourcing) in the end become stronger because they grow more jobs and become more diverse. Witness the difference between the US, the EU, and Japan. The US economy has grown at a healthier rate in the past 10 years than the EU and Japan, where trade barriers are high. Millions of jobs were added in both the Bush/Clinton administrations because US trade barriers are relatively low (but still here) compared to the other two. These new jobs weren’t just low end (i.e. burger-flipping), but were a combination of low, medium, and high end work. Now the employment rate is below 5% (and shrinking), you’ll see salaries rise in order to fulfill the classic supply/demand tension that always exists.

          Do unions foster social stability when teacher’s unions fight ANY education reform to link pay for performance?

          Do unions foster social stability when police unions draw a ‘blue wall of silence’ when it comes to rogue cops?

          Do unions foster social stability when GM and Ford have to lay off thousands because their workforce makes them uncompetitive w.r.t. foreign auto makers?

          Union membership has shrunk as a % of the total workforce in the US economy, and we’re stronger for it.

        • #3252714

          Unions continue to serve theit purpose

          by dougprechtl ·

          In reply to Unions have served their purpose

          I would have to point out that the purpose of a union is to fight for better wages and benifits for its members and that there is a highly sucessful model for this based on a knowlege commodity rather than labor: The American Medical Association. The while not a union per se, has been the most sucessfull union that I believe has ever existed. It controls the number of new members by controlling the number of doctors that are graduated, lobbies on behalf of the medical profession to prevent regulation by the government, and prevents forign doctors from practicing without going through AMA controlled redidencies. Further, fees are set through AMA publications that provide average fees per procedure.

          This model can be utilized by any knowlege based profession including IT. It would require a tremendous organization, and years to implement but it would work.

          Preaching free market is a disservice to the profession. We do not want a free market, and no business wants a free market. You want a market that you control, and until we all realize this we will continue to work for $12/hour while Doctors and Lawyers make $200-$600/hr.

        • #3132794

          Not quite

          by dougl4 ·

          In reply to Unions continue to serve theit purpose

          Only a very small percentage of doctors and lawyers make what you suggest, and then not for every hour of the work day, so their annual comp. is much less than you suggest. I know a number of successful examples of each profession, and their numbers were never that big. Additionally, most doctor salaries have been shrinking significantly over the past decade, and lawyers are becoming a dime a dozen.

          The beauty of our US labor market, is that if you are unsatisfied with anything, you can go somewhere else. I happen to be working on a project in the heart of auto country. Around me, I see very healthy IT wages being paid, and thousands of auto union workers in absolute fear for their work and finanical future.

        • #3132725

          Stand By the Numbers

          by dougprechtl ·

          In reply to Not quite

          Based on working for 2 doctors practices, these are conservative numbers for my area (NY Metro). I should not have compared it the IT guy’s hourly rate of $12/hr from the midwest. A guy here should expect about $30 an hour on salary for the same position. My point is that the AMA and ABA provide “Guidelines” for these fees, and the Doctors and Lawyers stick to them. In this area, a low end lawyer is $150 per hour. Call any lawyer and none go lower. Doctor’s office visits are a minimum of $85. None go lower.

          We would all do well to do the same.

        • #3132673

          Small Sample Size

          by cptnemo2 ·

          In reply to Stand By the Numbers

          A sample size of 2 practices is simply insufficient to make the conclusion you have, especially when talking about such an inflated area as NYC.

          The reality of Union activity is present for all to see…in education, unions have ‘dumbed down’ America so that excellent teachers are often forced out to keep ‘union’ teachers from looking bad (read Linda Chavez’s book…that is Cesar Chavez’s daughter and co-founder of the United Farms Worker’s Union). Unions are now either big business or organized crime rackets. But don’t believe me…read about Jimmy Hoffa…

        • #3132548


          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to Stand By the Numbers

          In NYC, none go lower because they can’t.

          Does anyone there hire “LAN techs” for under a certain rate?

          Also, remember what your’e comparing. You’re saying an in-house LAN tech should make certain wages. Would you pay more or less than that number for someone who is a consultant?

          Basically, attorneys and doctors are consultants. They are specialist who you need every once in a while. If you needed one constantly, you would try to negotiate a decent rate for 2000 hours a year.

          Now this also presents a problem. Most in-house attorneys are at the high level. So it’s like hiring a CIO, then outsourcing all of the other work, and then only when you need it.

        • #3102443

          Not a valid comparison.

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to Stand By the Numbers

          How many IT technicians have a staff (and have to pay them out of their wages)?

        • #3085519

          AMA may sets fees but not disbursements

          by dilbert9 ·

          In reply to Stand By the Numbers

          The AMA may set recommended fee’s but they don’t have an influence on what the doctor actually gets paid. His actual payment is set by his contract with the insurer which sets his rate at a small percentage over what the govenment pays for that procedure under Medicare. The doctor can bill the insurance company any amount he wishes but he will have to write off the difference between what the insurance company pays plus the copay and deductible paid by the patient. The only thing he accomplishes by raising his fees far above the rate paid by insurance companies is to artifically inflate his AR on his books.

          Doctors are not really hurting but their income has dropped compared with the inflation rate over the past 20 years while the CE and malpractice insurance premiums have increased dramatically.

        • #3132557

          Doctors and lawyers

          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to Unions continue to serve theit purpose

          So you’re saying it’s supply and demand. The AMA holds back the number of doctors, thereby increasing each doctor’s wages.

          That’s terrible. If such a scheme could be proved in court, I’d have them broken up! Letting people die or even just suffer a bit more so your members can make more money is horrendous.

          And I believe the government would find fault with that, as it would be running up bills they have to pay.

          Lawyers negotiate their rates with their clients up front. Not all make a ton of money (but most do make at least $60 an hour based on 40 hour weeks).

          And believe me, lawyers in Boise don’t make as much as lawyers in NYC.

          But your model doesn’t fit all. IT support can easily be managed from anywhere in the world. It’s somewhat more difficult to have a surgeon perform on you from the next room, let alone anywhere else. Lawyers need to be present for most of their procedings as well.

        • #3102038

          Reply To: Unionize IT Now!

          by pickleman ·

          In reply to Doctors and lawyers

          > But your model doesn’t fit all. IT support can
          > easily be managed from anywhere in the world.

          No, actually it can’t be.
          Stop talking shit. It just makes you look more retarded than you actually are.

          > It’s somewhat more difficult to have a surgeon
          > perform on you from the next room, let alone
          > anywhere else.

          And it’s equally as difficult for someone in India to fix your database server problems when the machine that holds the data won’t even power up. That’s just one example. I have a thousand others I can give you where the person doing the work has to be on-site.

          > Lawyers need to be present for most of their
          > procedings as well

          I’m guessing (based on your naive statements) that you seem to believe that “I.T. support” is nothing more than working in a call center, answering the phones from people wanting to know why their rebate checks haven’t arrived yet. If that’s your view of I.T., then yes, that type of work can certainly be done from someone in India.

          But for those of us that understand what real I.T. means, we’re not the least bit worried about outsourcing because we perform REAL work that our clients can’t possibly outsource no matter how much they may want to.

        • #3102030

          You should watch the name calling – I have

          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to Reply To: Unionize IT Now!

          I’m not retarded. I’m not naive.

          In fact, I’m anti-outsourcing. But the argument to unionize to prevent that fails.

          Yes, the datacenter can be managed remotely. Should it be needed, a tech can be dispatched to the site to provide hands on support.

          Get this, I manage office sites in Chicago, Washington DC, NYC, Albany, and Milwaukee. Along with some people having VPN access from anywhere. How can I do this if you can’t provide remote support? I have support people in DC, but only because the numbers dictate it. I don’t need people in the other offices (at this time) so I don’t put them there.

          I build my systems to withstand most outages, and if I need someone to physcially be there, we talk someon through it, I go, someone else goes, or we pay for someone to show up. (That is, of course, if the vendor support isn’t applicable.)

          Now, I can run most of my remote offices from one centralized location, and I’m not talking about being a call center.

          Yes, there are thousands of reasons someone may need to be at a kayboard or hold a screwdriver in their hands right there… But how many days can’t you work from home over a high speed connection?

          Great, if you need to be in front of the machine, physically, ever moment of every day, then that’s your situation. I don’t need to be on every server every day. I don’t even need to be at the users’ desks to fix most of their issues.

          So compare apples to apples. I’m sticking to the argument, and you’re calling names and providing narrow cicrumstances when generalizations don’t fit.

          Stick to it or move on, please.

        • #3101805

          You are not as safe as you think

          by e_196 ·

          In reply to Reply To: Unionize IT Now!

          >But for those of us that understand what real I.T. means, we’re not the least bit worried about outsourcing because we perform REAL work that our clients can’t possibly outsource no matter how much they may want to.

          You should be worried if you don’t know the difference between outsourcing and offshoring.

        • #3089962

          But your model doesn’t fit …

          by codebubba ·

          In reply to Reply To: Unionize IT Now!

          >> But for those of us that understand what real I.T. means, we’re not the least bit worried about outsourcing because we perform REAL work that our clients can’t possibly outsource no matter how much they may want to. << That's very well put. I think you hit the nail on the head there, especially to those who are worried bout outsourcing. The majority of the jobs that get outsourced are non-specialist jobs (IMHO). In my case, for example, I am the sole individual in our organization that completely understands the business-rules logic of our product. Can you "outsource" my knowledge? No way Jose'. Oh sure ... in a few years you might be able to get another developer trained to replace my knowledge but what do you do in the meantime? Am I worried about being "outsourced"? No way. We tried to outsource the development of a key section of our application and it was a DISASTER. We had to rewrite most of it because the individuals in the Indian firm did not have the core knowledge of our product. (They were lousy coders to boot - but that's a different story). This whole idea of "Unionization" of the IT field is driven (I believe) by individuals who either have not, or won't specialize and WORK to become valuable to a specific company or marketplace. If you just want to be a "code weevil" (I.E. ditch-digger) and don't really learn the business you are working in, then you're likely to be outsourced. Anyone (I mean, relatively speaking) can just write code (dig holes). You have to learn to figure out WHY you're digging the hole and learn how to dig said hole better than your competition. -CB

        • #3085513

          Find a good small company to work for-

          by dilbert9 ·

          In reply to Reply To: Unionize IT Now!

          And it’s equally as difficult for someone in India to fix your database server problems when the machine that holds the data won’t even power up. That’s just one example. I have a thousand others I can give you where the person doing the work has to be on-site.

          I totally agree. As a IT “generalist” with a small medical software company, around 60% of my calls can be handles with a phone call or a Logmein Rescue session but there ate those 40% that require hands on access. My advice is to find a small, growing comany that needs your skills and you will find that not only the pay rate will exceed what the more structured scales in a larger operation will pay but you will have more freedom and job satisfaction than being a faceless droid in a huge company. The one drawback of a smaller operation is fewer benefits like health insurance or 401K contributions but less stress and more job satisfaction makes it worth the trade off.

          I retired in my 40’s from a trade (electrical and control technician) with a strong union tradition because I was tired of all the union BS. Too many deadwood “workers” whose primary job duty was hiding until lunch or time to go home, depending on those of us who actually enjoyed working to carry their sorry a**. Since I was much “too old” by most IT standards I decided to stick to the small mom and pop companies. Not only did I weather the dot-bomb bust but I prospered through it. I just passed my tenth year in my current position.

        • #3102097

          You’re not comparing apples to apples

          by blueknight ·

          In reply to Unions continue to serve theit purpose

          The AMA is not a union as you suggest, but an organization “to promote the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health.” There’s a big difference there.

          Likewise for the ABA whose mission statement says it “is to be the national representative of the legal profession, serving the public and the profession by promoting justice, professional excellence and respect for the law.” The “national representative of the legal profession” part sounds kind of [i]unionish[/i] but when you read their goals, there is nothing union about it.

          We don’t need to unionize IT. What we need is for those who work in IT to become more intelligent with respect to their rights as workers and have the [i]brass[/i] to stand up for those rights. Overtime is NOT mandatory, and if you work overtime, you must be compensated for it. If you’re going without lunch, you’re screwing yourself. Has your employer called you a manager to avoid paying you overtime? Guess what — if you don’t manage anybody, you’re not a manager and you must be paid for the overtime. If your local labor laws aren’t strong enough, then you need to contact your legislators and push them to make the laws tougher. You still have federal labor laws behind you so do your part to see they are observed by your employer.

          One thing you overlooked in your comparison to doctors is that doctors are exposed to malpractice lawsuits, thus they command a higher price to offset the cost of malpractice insurance.

          Those who promote the idea of unionizing IT scare me. It’s like promoting offshoring and outsourcing. You [u]know[/u] what happens to your job then. You’re telling them “Hey, over here… send my job to India.” Not me!

          I’ve worked several places that were “closed shops” during my 39+ years in IT and the unions don’t do a darn thing for employees except take their dues. Sure they make a lot of promises when the shop wants to unionize, but once they’re in you don’t make any more money… you get a “step” increase setup and COLAs and once in a great while they may step in to save some turkey’s job if he did something stupid and got into trouble. Once the luster wears off, you almost literally can never get the union out… they keep sucking up your dues and the union bosses get rich.

          If you’re into unions so much why not become an electrician or a plummer… or even a truck driver.

        • #3102013

          Reply To: Unionize IT Now!

          by pkr9 ·

          In reply to You’re not comparing apples to apples

          Those who promote the idea of unionizing IT scare me. It’s like promoting offshoring and outsourcing. You know what happens to your job then. You’re telling them “Hey, over here… send my job to India.” Not me!

          If your afraid of what happens to your job if you unionize – then you need to unionize.

          My union got me a full years salary in compensation. My boss developed a psychological illnes and turned the workspace into a mental battlefield – and sacked me because I was the ONLY one daring to tell him he had problems and should seek counselling.

          I saw how many binders of papers were written, and the countless number meetings that were held to solve this. I would NEVER had the power, money or energy to drive that through to a succesful end myself.

          If you think you’re more worth than a truck driver, plummer or electrician, I think you have more than a problem with more than your social attitude. You might be a bit surprised if you looked up just how much a plumber actually makes – in normal working hours.

          I have been an IT manager for 20 years, worked in the business for as long as you. I respect anybody working, we are all needed to keep society running.

        • #3103100

          Maybe look at it this way

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to Reply To: Unionize IT Now!

          Suppose you are the best. You have honed your skills to razor sharpness and work with rapid efficiency. Not to mention the fact that you haven’t been off on sickleave in over 20 years.

          So you go to your boss and asked to be compensated for your higher work output and quality,

          More than likely your boss says: “Sorry, if I give you a raise, the union will demand it for everyone in the same job classification.”

          So it’s easy to understand the view that unionization might discourage innovation and efficiency, and promote mediocrity (Why innovate if you’re not going to gain from it? Why work any harder than you absolutely have to?).

          If you’re among the best at what you do, you should be pissed at any unionization attempts, because what they get for your “buddies”, they’ll be taking away from you!

        • #3102568

          Closed Shop

          by raintree ·

          In reply to You’re not comparing apples to apples

          I worked in a department store in the late 60s that was a closed shop… for a short time. I had just been discharged from the military, this was the first job. When they had their charity drive they wanted 100% participation. The charity they were pushing was one I didn’t go along with because their “management expenses” were ridiculously high. I tore up the participation card and threw it away. The company withheld my paycheck and would not give it to me until I responded. Now, I believe that is illegal (even then) from a federal or state perspective. It should certainly have not been tolerated by the union. I was not the only person this happened to. I don’t see that the union was any help there. I worked there for a few months until I had a chance at a job where they actually respected their employees. It was a non-union shop, of course.

        • #3102045

          Reply To: Unionize IT Now!

          by pickleman ·

          In reply to Unions continue to serve theit purpose

          > We do not want a free market, and no business
          > wants a free market. You want a market that you
          > control, and until we all realize this we will
          > continue to work for $12/hour while Doctors and
          > Lawyers make $200-$600/hr.

          Utter nonsense.
          The people who are charging $12/hour are doing so because that’s what they’re worth. The lawyers charging $600 are doing so, because that’s what they’re worth.

          If you have serious legal problems, are you going to head over to Bill & Bob’s Legal Service for $50/hour, or are you going to hire someone with an established reputation for winning cases? If you want Bill & Bob, go for it, and see where that gets you. If you want to win your case, you’ll be heading over to the high-priced lawyers you’ve seen on TV who make the nightly news.

          The I.T. sector is no different. If a company wants to bring in some kid for $12/hour to solve their problems, I just sit back and laugh and wait until they call me after several days of realizing they’re getting nowhere. It’s not the first time I’ve seen it. I’m self-employed, and I definitely DON’T charge $12/hour. With my established clients, they’ve learned not even to waste time bothering to call someone else. But my new clients, they always do something stupid during the first few months that I’m with them. They’ll call me up to describe a problem they’re having…at which point I’ll either tell them on the phone exactly what it will cost, or I’ll have to come in to look at the problem and then tell them afterwards. Sometimes, there’s always that know-it-all office manager who moans and whines and tells me that he thinks he can bring in someone for $15/hour to do the job. My immediate reaction is always the same – I look him right in the eyes, I smile, and I say “Be my guest. You have my number..”

          In every such case, I have always proven to each and every one of my clients that the I.T. business is just like any other business or service or product — YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.

          Unions in I.T.?

        • #3272424

          Lawyers are the worst …

          by too old for it ·

          In reply to Reply To: Unionize IT Now!

          I’m helping a data center / disaster recovery center get going. And a lawyer I know, while may be not needing something so grand certainly needs something better than his server sitting in the middle of a loft-space office.

          First words out of his mouth were: “Good idea, but I need a discount.”

          Well, there is s discount schedule after the first piece of rack-mounted equipment. And there is a further discount if you lease an entire rack. Anything over 3 racks and we can get the boys in accounting to sharpen up their pencil.

          But there is not nor will there be a discount simply because the only thing you know how to do is spout off “I need a discount” before even seeing if the idea of putting a rack server offsite to back up your in house server makes sense.

          Back when I still did independent break/fix for people, I had a universal answer for “Can you sharpen up your pencil, and get me a better price?” I said “No.” Then I closed my portfolio, and left. Funny, about 50% of the time after the guy with the sharp pencil balled up the works, I’d get a call back, and it would cost more than if I had been fired the first time. The usually whimpered, but they always paid.

          I pretty much defer lawyers elsewhere, tho some of my better competitors no longer take lawyers either. One firm was installing a new PC, and the lawyer kept bumping into the tech with his electric wheelchair, finally running up on the guy?s foot, sending him to the hospital. Of course, he wanted a discount, because the work was not completed to his satisfaction.

        • #3101925

          Free Market or Not?

          by mot_esach ·

          In reply to Unions continue to serve theit purpose

          If you want a controlled market – try China. They have a very well controlled market.

          Not one I would want to be in – but tightly controlled. Good luck on “asking” for a wage increase.

        • #3101801

          which is which

          by bms ·

          In reply to Unions continue to serve theit purpose

          Unions are for laborors and professional associations are for professionals. What are you people. If you are professionals then start an association like other profesionals ie. doctors and lawyers but not teachers. Professionals set their own wages but collectively agree on minimum standards. They are self policing like AMA. If you want to organize then someone take the lead and begin the American Information Technology Association (AITA). not to be confused with Alabama association or the truckers association.

        • #3102445

          “Unions continue to serve theit purpose”

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to Unions continue to serve theit purpose

          Yep…. fundraising for the DNC.

        • #3103019

          Well Said

          by decimumaximus ·

          In reply to Unions continue to serve theit purpose

          Well Said I agree Whole hearted!

          We are the Doctors and Lawyers of the IT world but with so many Spineless Cowards willing to take 12$ and hour and bitch about free trade BULL and how the auto industry suffers we’ll never make it.
          Comparing us to the auto industry is assanine comparing the IT feild to Doctors is so much more accurate and look what union’s have done for them !
          I dont know about you but when I deal with an end user I am a doctor, shrink, mechanic, engineer and even a maid! not to mention a Lawyer. If I got a dollar for every time I am asked legal advise “Mostly Software Licensing” I would’nt need to worry about wages !
          So Why should’nt we get paid like a doctor or lawyer? I have gone to school just as long. I have more pretty little certificates in my office then they do! I SAY WTF you cowards need to find another feild to go corrupt and those of us with a SACK need to ban together and fight for what is ours.

        • #3103228


          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to Well Said

          Do you know economics? People pay what they are willing to pay for something.

          You will never make as much as the top heart transplant surgeon. Live with that fact.

          The $12/hr was for what? A small company with small needs? Did they just want an entry level guy? Maybe they didn’t want someone with all the certs and years in college.

          Maybe they just wanted someone worth $12/hr.

          What’s wrong with that?

        • #3103017


          by decimumaximus ·

          In reply to Unions continue to serve theit purpose

          Ponder this
          Without doctors the world would be sick and there would be alot more death.

          Without I.T. the world would not function.< PERIOD ...Hmm Why don't we make more than Doctors? Cowards! Get a spine and stand up for yourselfs!

        • #3103395

          Get over yourself

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to Cowards!

          Do you honestly think someone on a helpdesk or fixing PCs (both jobs I have done by the way) deserves more than a doctor, who by the way, has a Bachelors degree, 4 years of medical school, and 4 or so years of low paid apprenticehsip as a resident(where in some areas they may make as little as $10-15 an hour)?

          If you do, I hope you think better of it when you have a medical emergency. If they doctor seeing hasn’t done a lot more than take a 3 year degree and/or write the MCSE, I’d be very concerned.


        • #3100535

          Doctor’s pay

          by decimumaximus ·

          In reply to Get over yourself

          Sure I Agree we ..”that is those of us that have actually put in the time and have the training, degrees <--TWO and certifications <-- OVER 40" Should get paid... But the reality of it is licensing would cure the pay issues doctors dont rely so much on union as much as the licensing .. require a license to practice and that'll cure the $12 hour BULL$

        • #3100493


          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to Get over yourself

          Why should I pay you $50/hr if all I want from you is $12/hr worth? I don’t care if you can solve the world hunger problem, if I need some cables run I’m not paying more than what it’s worth.

          If you won’t do the job for what I’m willing to pay, I’ll find someone who better fits.

          If you DO have two degrees and over 40 certs, and you’re unemployed, perhaps you won’t mind spending a few hours at $12/hr running cables for me.

          Your choice.

        • #3102200

          In fact dpetrak

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to Get over yourself

          A few years back I was laid off, and I did some contracting work while looking for permanent work. One agency had got me a good interview but the job had been put on hold. They knew I had been contracting at $40 an hour – the market in our area was pretty soft.

          I asked them for an update and it wasn’t looking good. I aked them if they had anything else happening. They told me they had a short contract and needed people, but it probably wouldn’t pay enough – $25 an hour. I told them that if it paid more than unemployment and since I didn’t have anything else lined up, I would take it. They were happy, I was happy, I made new friends and contacts – it was a very positive experience.

          Always better to be working than sitting at home.


        • #3103190


          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to Cowards!

          what if I am superior in skills, efficiency, and even work ethic compared to most of my colleagues, and am compensated more because of it. After we unionize, the union will exert pressure on the employer to increase the wages of the other employees to match mine (after all, we all do the same thing). This will make it more difficult for me to negotiate better compensation as I further increase my skills.

          Not only that, the increase in others’ wages causes the employer to raise the cost of his product, which I happen to buy so it results in a decrease in my buying power, which effectly is a REDUCTION in my wages. An even further reduction occurs because I am to start paying Union Dues.

          So tell me, Mr. IT UNION YES, how does this benefit me?

        • #3100519


          by decimumaximus ·

          In reply to But

          “”what if I am superior in skills, efficiency, and even work ethic compared to most of my colleagues, and am compensated more because of it.””

          Your probably not.. But lets think you are for now. How long do you think that will last? when your employer thinks he can get someone almost as good as you.. and alot less whiney for $12 an hour do you think he’s gonna keep you. NO WAY!
          unless you are that $12 hour guy…or is it $15 now? since your such a good boy! Fools like you are what a union wouldn’t want and that scares you… oh by the way most of my family is in some sort of union and each one has great benifits, Awesome retirement, long vacations and doesn’t have to worry about some snot nosed brat taking there job for 1/3 of what they get…
          YOUR SCARED I understand… you could always go to flipping burgers… Mickey D’s pays 60k to managers and I am sure that your superior skills will get you there… Good luck.. don’t let the door hit your……………

        • #3100488


          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to But

          You’re making a lot of assumptions there.

          I have great pay, long vacations, more than enough benefits, etc. Why do I need a union? A union would just cost me money and be another layer of bureaucracy.

        • #3101108

          re: Your probably not..

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to But

          “How long do you think that will last?”

          As long as I continue to keep abreast of new methods and keep my skills sharp. If someone comes along and offers my employer more bang for the buck, more power to him. I certainly don’t want to be kept around simply because I’ve been around.

          “Fools like you are what a union wouldn’t want and that scares you…”

          The union doesn’t want me because I make the others look bad. I don’t catch the three-day flu (Friday, Monday, and Tuesday). The only thing scary about the union is that it forces employers to pay certain amounts to certain positions, regardless of how good the current holder of that position (ranging from outstanding to barely adequate). Because he has to pay the lazy ones as much as me, he can’t afford to pay me more, and because the lazy ones have more seniority than me, he can’t post a higher position lest the lazy ones bid on it.

          “oh by the way most of my family is in some sort of union and each one has great benifits, Awesome retirement, long vacations and doesn’t have to worry about some snot nosed brat taking there job for 1/3 of what they get…”

          That’s hilarious. I guess you should read my profile before comparing me to a snot-nosed brat. I’ve been working here for longer than the average poster here has been alive! and like I said, if some snot-nosed brat thinks he can beat me out of my job, he can just bring it!

          (added: Oh, and when you need a job done around you home, do you shop around for price and references, or do you just automatically accept the guy that’s been in business the longest? Why should your employer not be allowed to do that?)

          If you think the company is “giving you” benefits, you’re the fool. They don’t just pull benefits out of their ass. They come from money they [b]could[/b] be paying you, and/or money they could be saving the consumers of their product or service (at least some of which are likely to be union memgers) by lowering prices. It’s a shell game, and your family seems to have been suckered by it.

          Oh, here, in case you missed it.

        • #3151870

          no one said….

          by heml0ck ·

          In reply to But

          membership was mandatory.
          If you are that good, you can continue with the consultant line.
          For me right now? Get the pointy headed managers in line, and quit abusing their staff.

        • #3103164

          B.S. And that not a college degree

          by mot_esach ·

          In reply to Cowards!

          This world functioned rather well without all of our durrent IT gadgets. Industry is so deperate to sell the gadgets that they do mix and match to try to attract sales.

          Every one has to have a gadget. Most can’t even use them correctly or to their fully capability.

          Get a life. If all of us IT folks dropped dead tomorrow, the world would still go on. 80% of the world lacks basic food, medicine or shelter and you think it will go away without you. Pooh!

          Many people in my state of Oregon can’t even afford simple health services. Face it. A lot of the world needs IT due to corporate infrastructure, but IT only makes it easier – it does not replace the human condition nor become a panacea to existance.

          IT is not the “God of All”.

          If you want a real understanding of the necessity for IT live in east Tiajuana for a week. Then go home and be damn glad you have one to go to.

        • #3272457

          nobody dies

          by scifiman ·

          In reply to Cowards!

          Because if my email server goes down for a week, nobody dies. Thus, most doctors make more than I do.

          Oh no! The CEO’s Blackberry isn’t working. Dear lord, he might have to actually use his telephone and actually speak to a person. Nobody died.

          Network crashed at store 87. Oh well, just send the JIT truck shipment across town anyway, and we do the paperwork later. More work, but nobody died.

        • #3132643

          I agree

          by spaltd ·

          In reply to Unions have served their purpose

          Unions can make people lazy and quality suffers.

        • #3101976

          Very true

          by flowahpla ·

          In reply to I agree

          This is true and I have seen it.
          Perhaps not in IT, but in the manufacturing sector.
          Some people wrap themselves in the blanket of union protection, and become complacent.
          The onus for them to perform, and their job depending on it is not there in the conventional sense.
          Seniority can also ply a role in that an individual who is the best fit for a position may not necessarily get the job, as someone else with senority who is “trainable” in that position will take it.
          As pros and cons go, this is definately just a couple of serious cons.

        • #3100676

          My favorite

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to Very true

          is “The most senior employee who meets the minimum qualifications.”

        • #3132589


          by deaton ·

          In reply to Unions have served their purpose

          50+ years ago, there were little or no labor laws. That caused the union movement out of desperation. Now that we have labor laws that make the workplace safe and sane, the job is done.

          What we need to do is spread the ideas of labor laws like ours to other countries that don’t have them, like India. Humans are greedy and would like similar treatment. That would level the playing field.

        • #3132491

          Unions continue TO SERVE THE PEOPLE

          by questor1 ·

          In reply to Unions have served their purpose

          I read that you believe the USA should give away any and all trade secrets or proprietary information to foreign countries with lower labor costs. Prominent economists have stated that outsourcing jobs for lower wages are merely the temporary lowering of an opportunity cost and not a competitive innovation. Lowering IT wages or outsourcing does not make any company more innovative. Perhaps you should transfer to work in a foreign country where your ideas are more accepted than here.

          The real problem is that the business playing field is stacked against the American worker and Unions in both the USA and the foreign country… Corrupt governments here and abroad block the formation of Unions because they are often viewed as a poltical threat to that government. IT workers througout the world continue to be abused because they often are not allowed to organize unions.

          When IT is outsourced to foreign countries, particularly Asia, there are no “trade protections” to US citizen personal data like bank or financial records. The US Courts have no jurisdiction in Asia. This is why most companies are hesitant to outsource R&D to foreign countries – they are afraid their technology secrets will be stolen by competitors in foreign countries with no legal recourse. Outsourcing personal financial data service and management from banks and brokers in overseas markets is a bad accident just waiting to happen to US citizens. Unions create a stable work environment where there may be less incentive to cheat clients if their workers needs are already fully met.

          You claim the USA is doing well with a robust economy, but why are IT people not benefiting and why is the general public’s attitude so negative? American & IT workers do not feel they are getting their fair share of the American economic pie. Income levels of the rich have risen far higher than the median American family income that has declined $1700 over the past several years in buying power. IT wages have fallen in some segments in the USA up to 30% while the cost of living keeps going up. Perhaps this is why IT college enrollment has declined an estimated 35% in the past several years where IT is no longer considered viable by grdaduating college students. Why go to college when it does not have a positive impact on IT wages? Unions establish a negotiated and agreed set of rules between Union members and the company to make sure that workers are fairly treated on wages and hours.

          The United States used to set the standard that other countries looked to for leadership in human rights and benefits in the workplace. Sadly, this is no longer true when some foreign counties abuse their workers with slave wages and conditions to lower prices. IT workers are not benefiting when jobs are moved overseas and wages decline in the USA. Why has the USA government abandoned these basic protections in favor of lowering wages at any cost to the worker?

          More IT workers in the USA are getting sick or dying from work-related stress. The growth of the American economy trying to do more with less is killing american workers because more stress is thrust upon the American workforce. The USA is currently ranked 12th in the world among modern western countries for population longevity. We used to be ranked in the top three nations. Unions protect members from overwork abuse companies impose to supposedly be “competitive” in a race to the bottom.

          If you say that Unions are obsolete, just look around… the federal and state governments do not adequately protect the rights of workers in the USA. Unions help protect the rights of workers where the government has failed to do so. The current Congress has taken a “pro-business” attitude that is forcing US workers into lower wages in a race to the bottom of a economy solely based on services.

          We need to level the playing field for workers and businesses. I say that if counties based in foreign countries want to sell products in the USA, they should be forced to adhere to the same wage, benefit, and government regulations that countries in the USA have to follow. Companies that outsource operations to overseas markets should be held by the government to the same rules and regulations that companies within the USA follow. If you want to sell products in the USA, you have to play by USA rules.

        • #3103096

          I can’t believe that….

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to Unions continue TO SERVE THE PEOPLE

          “there may be less incentive to cheat clients if their workers needs are already fully met”

          … you actually said that. What a kick in the gut to American workers.

          If American workers [b]were[/b] like that, they would deserve firing, not union protection!

        • #3272053


          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Unions continue TO SERVE THE PEOPLE

          US set the standards for human rights in the workplace, are you having a laugh? You’re slave labour compared to us commie europeans. Our employment costs are much higher than yours. In the netherlands for instance there is a statutary four month notice period and if you get laid off you get your average wage as welfare for the first six months. Now do you want to pay the necessary taxes to get those rights. No do you f***.

          I’ll go with a level playing field anytime you want, US standards would have to increase dramatically to get to where western europe is. That would make us more competive not you.

          A country that believes in the goals of free market capitalism, but wants to impose controls, tariffs, etc on others so it can compete. Hypocrite.

        • #3101872

          Unions weren’t GM & Ford’s problem…

          by spitfed ·

          In reply to Unions have served their purpose

          but lack of trade barriers to the US were. Once preferential access to US markets were offered to Japan and other ‘Tiger economies’ (in exchange for military bases with which to fight the cold war which the Pentagon insist on still fighting) imports flooded in, leading to a hollowing out of US manufacturing. No amount of unionisation would save US jobs.

          Read ‘Blowback’ by Chalmers Johnson for a fuller account rather than my crude summary.

          I’d like to know what sectors these new jobs (” a combination of low, medium, and high end work”) are in. Call-center work perhaps?

          Just like to add that unionisation would probably have a negative effect on my sector, Games software development, where start-up struggle to pay salaries, have insane deadlines to meet and are expected to meet most of the risks.

          My 2 euros worth.

        • #3272051

          Yiou can only afford trade barriers

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Unions weren’t GM & Ford’s problem…

          if your home market will support your economy, other wise those you raise them against will simply go tit for tat.
          My ?2 * 0.67s worth.

        • #3271963

          If I may summarize

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to Yiou can only afford trade barriers

          Trade barriers violate the rights of “the market” — people — to decide for themselves what is in their self-interest. Most people, when their rights are violated, tend to retaliate. Unfortunately, the most intelligent and productive tend to be the most patient and tolerant, otherwise there would be much less dead weight in the gene pool.

        • #3271833


          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to If I may summarize

          Trade barriers are stupid. They are a reaction to a global economic condition and simultaneously a denial that the economy is global.
          Theoretically, they could be a short term measure to spread out the social consequences of an ecomonic change, more usually they simply build up the pressure resulting in an economic upheaval.

          Not a tariff as such, but I watched my local industry get de-nationalised. It was overmanned vastly unprofitable and unable to compete on the world market. One set of dogmatic idiots kept the situation going for a long while, so when the idiots suffering under the opposite dogma came in to power, we had 10k direct job losses in a very short period in town with a population of 75k. You may be able to imagine the consequences socially.

          Maintaining an ecomonic imbalance is not a long term proposition, therefore stupid, eventually the restraint snaps and shit goes everywhere.

        • #3252722

          “Free Market” vs “Union”

          by mikeetemple ·

          In reply to Fear & loathing of Unions is unfair

          There is no “free market” when it comes to wages without a Union. Only the Union has an interest in establishing a balanced salary. CEO’s and CFO’s from the employer market get togother and agree to set salaries without a union is what is going on now.

          We need to have our concerns “heard” in the Market place. We cannot do it as individuals any differently than the CEO’s and CFO’s.

        • #3132724

          Free Market Salaries.

          by stan20 ·

          In reply to “Free Market” vs “Union”

          Unions prevent free market salaries. If a company isn’t willing to pay my price, I won’t work for them.

        • #3132615

          Union Representation

          by tonyackerman ·

          In reply to “Free Market” vs “Union”

          Interesting comments in this thread wrt compensation. I side with the unionists at this stage of my career, tho’ I didn’t always. I too thought that as an individual that my opinion was valued and that I could make my voice heard through reasoned arguements. I thought that by making my voice heard and when my arguements were evaluated, I would be justly compensated, and initially that seemed to be the case.

          Then my education began. The initial promotions and rewards were the bait to get me in deep enough to where the company felt they had control over me and my life. I was blinded to what was happening, and when you’re in a position like this, you work even harder to get that level of recognition and reward response back. It’s like a drug, you gotta have it. When you don’t get it, you’ll prostitute yourself in unimaginable ways to get it back.

          When you finally reach the point of realization, you think you can again approach those in charge and reason with them, and THAT’S when you come to find out that you’re all alone. Classic divide and conquer strategy, the individual against the machine. You have no leverage since there are now others who can step into your position (you did your job well and trained your subordinate(s) to do your job) and since you’ve already prostituted yourself before, the company knows that if push comes to shove, you’ll fold.

          People in our business have to quit thinking that they can make all on their own when dealing with management. You don’t stand a snowballs chance alone.

        • #3132535


          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to Union Representation

          Sounds like it was just time to switch companies.

        • #3132539

          Precisely wrong

          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to “Free Market” vs “Union”

          A union will tend to stretch across corporate lines. That gives the union more power against each individual company. This lowers the “free market” of labor…

          In a market, each exchange is independent of the previous or next one. When there is collusion or monopoly you don’t have the liquidity necessary for competitive rates. Competitive rates permit fair market value for each resource.

          Companies see the workforce as a cost of business. If Joe is worth more to them than Jack, why not permit the firm to pay the workers respective to their contributions?

        • #3271824

          Common Myopia

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to “Free Market” vs “Union”

          At their worst a union will try to get a sinecure for it’s membership, whether their employers can support it or not. Always a long term losing proposition.
          At their worst a company will seek to reduce it’s salary overhead, whether the workforce is either capable of doing the work or the salary is capable of supporting them individually. Also a losing proposition.

          One put’s off being unemployed until the firm goes bust, the other put’s off employing until the firm goes bust. So they are both imbecilic positions.

          The only reason employers get away with it is because some individuals with capital milk as much profit out of the situation as they can and then bog off without facing the consequences of their withdrawal of capital.
          When either side goes for us and them whichever gets the upper hand is damaging someone else, can’t really expect them to like it can you ?

          On a personal note, my concerns do get heard by the market, if remuneration and conditions are inadequate I go elsewhere. This is a privilege I worked my ass off to get. I aren’t giving it up so some twit with money can buy my ability cheaper and I aren’t giving it up for some twit without my ability or his money can get part of my money.

          Anybody who want’s a piece of the cake should pay me for mine, learn to cook, or ask politely.
          If the latter, don’t presume on my generosity too often.

        • #3252695


          by cartermofgurnee ·

          In reply to Fear & loathing of Unions is unfair

          Unions foster social stability – yes. The stability of the lowest common denominator. It does provide a sort of ‘insurance’ – insurance that if you’re an idiot, a bungler or just plain lazy you can still, for a short period of time, get a paycheck and use the club of the state to keep out competition. Unions are the last resort of the incompetent.

        • #3132738

          Real Reality

          by mitchschultz ·

          In reply to Reality

          I have to agree with with your statement. That is the story where I work. The most common phrases I hear on a regular basis is “Its not my job”, “It isn’t in my job description”, or “I don’t know”. I am the only employee in my department that is not a member of the union. This is only because I am classified as Professional (eventhough I am paid hourly) and the others are classified as Support. It is me against them. I have no desire to be a part of a union that promotes laziness.

        • #3132610

          Union workers are better

          by wbblack1 ·

          In reply to Reality

          Union workers are better trained, more productive and have less work place related injuries. You don?t know what you?re talking about. You also don?t understand much about economics from the perspective of the average person.

        • #3102025

          from an unionized IT worker

          by techsupport79 ·

          In reply to Union workers are better

          union promotes ultimate job security which fosters laziness. I have a coworker who constantly call in sick (called in and said “I WILL be sick next week” !?) yet he is still here after 8-10 years.

        • #3101913

          shame on your boss

          by maryacats20 ·

          In reply to from an unionized IT worker

          sounds like the boss either likes the person or is to LAZY to fire a that person ,the right way . I am a retired (27 years UFCW local 1000 ) union member. I worked in retail I can see where you guys could use a Union too; you have input as to wages, benefits,vacations , & holidays.Your UNION will only be as strong as YOU the members will make it . Been there done that . good luck organizing . I read your tech site to learn from you .

        • #3101884

          The Boss – What about the Union????

          by mot_esach ·

          In reply to shame on your boss

          Don’t blame the boss! I had a guy just like this and fired him for misuse of sick leave and lying to me.

          The union could not find a contract problem but they supported a lawsuit. The judge told me I had to hire hime back. Not because I didn’t have grounds for dismissal – he agreed I had that justification – but because his ethnic origins didn’t provide him with an adequate work ethic – and I had to make allowance for that or I was discriminating.

          It is not always managements fault.

        • #3100659

          I heard that faulty work ethic

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to shame on your boss

          is now covered under ADA 🙂

        • #3101956

          Um thanks for playing but no

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to Union workers are better

          You may have read my other posts about the place where I managed two desktop teams, one unionized, one non unionized. They both had access to the same amount of training. They both had the same opportunity to be productive. The unionized group was less productive. Why you should ask? Because it was difficult yo get rid of the deadwood in the union shop, and that made those who would normally work hard slack off, because they were upset we were forced to carry the deadwood. The non-unionized group worked hard because they knew that their own personal performance would impact the raise they received.

          Is there a lesson somewhere in there?


        • #3101833

          Union vs. Non-Union Comparison… Contractors

          by questor1 ·

          In reply to Um thanks for playing but no

          It seems that your company does not have control of its IT staff if slackers pass off the work to others. Your company likely needs to develop better metrics to measure and compare workers in the same area(s).

          Employees (both union and non-union) need to know what management expectations are for the quality and quantity of work, as well as hiw their performance is reliably measured. These results need to be regularly shared with both employees and staff so they know where they are.

          I once worked for the US EPA as a help desk manager for contractors and was tasked with clearing out deadwood staff and improving contractor response to EPA clients. The prior contracting company tried to pack as many unneeded contractors as possible into the contract to jack up billing rates. We started daily 5 minute update meetings, better time to open and time to close statistics and a staff rating system that was updated weekly. No system is perfect for emplyees or managers, but I was able to fairly and completely show staff where improvements needed to be made. If a staff member did not improve, they were put on notice and given a 2 month period to improve.

          Some improved and some did not. Those who did not were regularly shown the ratings results and eventually the exit door from the contract. Our 40 person staff was cut in half within 1 year, but there was a very noticable improvement in staff morale and customer satisfaction once the deadwood was cut loose due to their lack of action…

          When employees are motivated, satisfied, and doing a good job that shows up in results – relations between management and staff are much easier regardless if the staff is union or non-union.

        • #3101185

          Nice set of assumptions there

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to Union vs. Non-Union Comparison… Contractors

          If I weren’t mature I might feel insulted.

          I inherited the unionized group, and when I arrived they were somewhat demoralized. There was a performance review program in place, and though on the outside it looked the same for both union and non-unionized employees, the union’s collective agreement put some mighty bog handcuffs on what we could say and how we were to rate their employees.

          Nevertheless, I did clean house, it was just far more difficult. I convinced the union president’s wife, one of the worst slackers, that she should take early retirement.

          We did make major productivity improvments over the course of a year. But the point was and is, that it waqs much harder to do so in a unionized environment and that was as hard on the staff as it was on management.


        • #3101415

          Not always the case

          by mitchschultz ·

          In reply to Union workers are better

          The union employees where I work are not better trained. I have more certifications and training than they do, and 95% of that I obtained prior to this job – on my own and out of my own pocket. It seems training is not a necessity in our IT department. Their productivity leaves a lot to be desired. I don’t need to understand economics to know that I am the only employee in my department who has worked several 20 hour days and comes in and works on holidays in order to get my work done and they wouldn’t think twice about working overtime – they will, however, sit at their desks after-hours to claim the time and a half.

        • #3272036

          Right . . .

          by gimpy0509 ·

          In reply to Union workers are better

          I live in an area where Unions are/were dominant. My father is a union representative. I’ve listened to these “Highly trained, productive union people” around where I live talk. “Less Related Injuries” — Yeah, most are not doing their job or sleeping. “Better Trained” — Most love training — for the food, free coffee and sleep time. I am a self taught programmer. I held 1 of the 2 top Technical Positions at the Worlds Largest Options Exchange. I ran circles around those with degrees and certificates. It was always the one’s who could not perform that wanted a Union — so that they would be protected. “Economics” — Do your job well. You will get recognised and paid accordingly. If not there are a lot of IT jobs out there and I have never had any problem getting a job and getting paid based on “MY” perfromance. If you can’t cut it, find a new line of work — drive a truck or something.

        • #3100504

          Careful…your management is showing

          by flowahpla ·

          In reply to Reality

          That’s funny, but it isn’t unions that put individuals with degrees in wood science “in charge” in charge of IT departments working for large multinationals.
          However, it is unions that protect the individuals in these departments from uninformed and incompetent decision making with regard to IT staff, and services.

        • #3132805

          Make a good case

          by hangin_online ·

          In reply to Fear & loathing of Unions is unfair

          There is a couple of points here to be made. Your reason for unions getting started is only half true. If you work for a large corporation and don’t have the ability articulate what your needs/wants are to management, then maybe yes, you need someone to speak for you. I work for a non-union company and negotiate my working conditions for myself. Key word NEGOTIATE. When you got hired for the job you do, you made an agreement to work in x conditions for x dollars. if you or the company can not live with those conditions any longer, you renegotiate terms or you go your separate ways. i don’t want someone else talking for me and especially not negotiating for my $$$.
          And by the way, a union will not stop outsourcing over seas. there is always a clause that can break a union, corporate america isn’t that stupid.
          Keep your knowledge and abilities up to speed and keep yourself valuable to your company. this way you have bargining power.

        • #3132802

          Are you nuts?

          by davew ·

          In reply to Fear & loathing of Unions is unfair

          Creating an IT Union is very likely the worst idea that I have ever heard.

          Unions are great for say Coal Miners but in an industry with such a broad base it would be almost impossible to manage union classifications.

          Also, Why should I make the same amount of money as the guy down the hall that has a paper MCSE and plays solitaire all day? Why would you want your salary dictated by a union rather than your personal performance?????

          Sure it’s great for the schmuck who is below the curve but what about the guys that go above and beyond? Why should I pay part of someone else’s salary?!!?

          In my book working in a union is like living in a communist country. Think about it, I live in the USA for a reason…

        • #3132739

          Why I would NEVER live in the USA

          by tech ·

          In reply to Are you nuts?

          And there you have the reason I would never live in the USA. Too many of you have the most misguided view of unions, and this underlying concept that your way is the only right way. No concept of the responsibility of the society to support the individuals who make up that society. Its every man for himself. Pathetic and sad. You need a social conscience as a country. You need to look at the peopel who are starving in the wealthiest country and supposedly the leader of the free world. Heck – just look at the travest that New Orleans disaster exposed to the rest of the world. You need unions more than anyone I think.

          Yep – I know this is inflamatory – but open your eyes people and look at the reality.

        • #3132663

          People Complain but . .

          by techiemikee ·

          In reply to Why I would NEVER live in the USA

          Enormous distruction in the gulf region but I think the expectations of the releaf effort were unrealistic not that the releaf was inadequate. A normal human reaction in a crisis situation is to fight or flight the danger not simply wait for releaf. Sure some are incapable but there were far too many able and capable people taxing the time and resources of the releaf efforts which meant releaf was unavailable to those who truly needed them.

        • #3132654


          by corkymuldoon ·

          In reply to Why I would NEVER live in the USA

          Keep on chugging the Kool-aid!

        • #3132620

          Thanks be to God you don’t ….

          by startech ·

          In reply to Why I would NEVER live in the USA

          … and we don’t need you to tell us what our problems are! We already know. But at least we take care of ourselves and have since 1492! BTW, ours is the only way ( just thought I’d turn up the flame a notch ).

          We’re not a country without problems. But we know that our problems aren’t solved by unions. In fact, unions put us in the position we are now. You think that we’re all looking out for ourselves? Where do you think that ideology came from? It comes from every union worker out there that seems to think he (or she) is owed a living and ought to be paid $25.00/hour to install a ‘fricking screw. Give me a break PLEASE! Look at the cost of cars today. You can’t get a decent American car now for anything less than $30,000. All that for less than $2000 in material?

          I agree that it’s every man for himself — but you’ll find that everywhere in the world. Everybody wants to survive — and if you ain’t lookin’ out for yourself, you’ll soon perish. Somebody’s already said it but it’s Darwinism at its best. On the other hand, you won’t find a country that’s more generous than the US. That’s right — look at all the sacrifices WE have made on your (the world’s ) behalf. And, without thanks for it I might add! I don’t know what country you’re from, but how many of your people have or are dying to protect the world’s right to be free. Talk about having a social conscience? You have no clue!

          So, let’s open our eyes and look at the reality of it — shall we? It’s people who think like the original poster that will bring this country down. “Oh, we’ve got to unionize because I’m not being paid fairly….” Stop whining and find yourself another job. You’re being paid what you’re worth. If you’re whining about unionizing, then I bet you’re whining on the job too. And, your employer is seeing that and is saying you’re not worth investing in! Period! If that’s not true, then I dare you to post your resume and go live somewhere else.

          I’ve been in IT for a very long time. It’s had its ups and downs. I’ve loved every minute of it. I’ve come up the ranks by paying my dues, endless learning (BTW, life is an endless learning adventure — you got to keep up to stay up), and a positive attitude. I’ve changed jobs only three times in my life. But, I’ve always been willing to move up, or try different things. Some I liked more than others, but keeping a positive attitude has always moved me forward. No, I’m not in management, I’m a Techie. But, management is not out of the question anymore (it was at one time).

          Unionizing is not the answer! There are many jobs out there that pay you what you’re worth. Are you worth $50.00/Hr.? Really? Are you sure? Forcing your employer to pay you $50.00/hr when you’re only worth $10 (and you are if you’re a whiner) is going to hurt you, the company, and the country in the long-run.

          BTW, I am an American — naturalized! Am proud to be an American, and have served this country — in the military — for over 21 years! I loved every minute of that too. And, I am still serving this country through the skills I have learned over the years and the knowledge I posess and keep refreshing. Am I worth $50.00/hr.? You bet I am. Am I worth even more? At least double that! I don’t need a union to tell me what I should be paid.

          To hell with unions! And God Bless the USA.

        • #3132605

          Flame it up more!

          by tonyackerman ·

          In reply to Thanks be to God you don’t ….

          You forget your history. You live in a nation that from it’s very inception is the union of states that comprise it. The reason for this union is that the founding fathers realized they had no chance, NO CHANCE against the military might of England unless they banded together to see their grievances addressed.

          If you’re as good as you say, then prove it. Unions bring the standardization levels that show to a company that this individual meets these criteria and must be justly compensated. Otherwise it’s your word against the kid from geek squad and then it’s a matter of salesmanship.

        • #3132593

          your word?

          by davew ·

          In reply to Flame it up more!

          Why would your word have anything to do with your Track record and Professional experiance?

          If you dont have professional experiance your entry level, thats all there is to it.

        • #3132554

          I don’t need a union to speak for me — I speak for myself

          by startech ·

          In reply to Flame it up more!

          Frankly, I let my resume speak for me. I then re-enforce those statements at my interviews. But, I haven’t had too many interviews to speak of. I’ve received favorable replies after my very first interview with each of them.

          Regardless, the reason I’m against unions is that they lower standards — not raise them. In IT, I don’t need an idiot who’ll do only what the unions tell him to do — or even less. I need someone to be innovative, find a way to do something better and faster, reduce costs, willing to learn new things, and move up the ladder because of his knowledge and leadership abilities not because he’s had 10 years “screwing in a bolt.” I’m tired of seeing union members put in their 9-5, go home and live the good life as a couch potato, or spend endless hours at the local pub drinking with other losers, only to repeat the same old crap the next day. No desire to learn or make the company better, so that it too can make a better product, make more money and pass it down to its employees.

          If people are as good as they want to be paid for, there are plenty of jobs out there. You just have to look for them. Yes, you may have to move. Yes, you may have to stand up for yourself and show the prospective employer you’re worth it. Yes, you have to sell yourself. If you can’t, then maybe you do need someone to do it for you. But then, again, employers are looking for people who can communicate well. So, if you can’t find something about yourself to sell — then maybe you’re not worth it.

          As for my history, perhaps you’re living in history. We had to do that back then because that was the tool of the time. Today, everyone has an equal opportunity to prove him/herself (largely because of our history). That doesn’t mean we have to use old tools to bring about change. Times are changing. Time to use new tools.

        • #3102462

          Totally Agree and furthermore

          by dawuf ·

          In reply to Flame it up more!

          The workplace that we know in today’s workplace came to be because there were unions that fought for them. Equal Employement, labor laws, child labor laws were created as result of people unionizing factorys in the late 19th and early 20th century. Things we take for granted.

          Think about it, folks!

        • #3100538


          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to Flame it up more!

          And the unions were a good thing THEN. They’ve shifted their purpose lately though from one of protecting workers to one of punishing business (of course, the businesses are not really being punished… as any costs they incur are ultimately borne by the consumer, meaning that union workers nowadays are shooting themselves in the foot).

        • #3100966


          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to Flame it up more!

          The additional costs, back when unins merely fought for safe and reasonable working conditions, were passed on to the consumers back then, too.

          But we don’t consider that shooting one’s self in the foot.

          The difference is to what degree is reasonable for the company to use it’s employees for profit before use becomes abuse.

          At the moment, I lean towards companies are using employees (which is OK) and unions are looking for a way to rationalize their continued existence.

          I beleive that, with current laws in place, MOST unions are no longer neccesary.

          It’s OK to disagree with me. It is not OK to make rude comments towards my position simply because of the disagreement. (Those of you to whom this comment was directed know who you are.)

        • #3132596

          Why even bother to reply?

          by davew ·

          In reply to Thanks be to God you don’t ….

          StarTech: I think you made my point better than I did..

          One thing that frustrates me is the responses about American policies, to American people, on American message boards..

          If you think that we are not doing things the right way vote with your mouse and find some local place to whine and complain.

          I dont know of any American that runs around other countries techy message boards complaining about the way they run their country..

          Things are really simple in our world folks, there are many many different countries and cultures, if you dont like ours then dont interact with us. Isn’t is kind of 2 handed to complain about the way that we run our country on one hand but take our money and provide services on the other hand?

          Come on wake up take a look in the mirror, If I dont agree with a particular countries policies I will simple discontinue my relationship with them be it purchasing goods and services or interacting with them.

        • #3132483

          “American Message Boards”

          by neilb@uk ·

          In reply to Why even bother to reply?

          Hey, pal. If you can’t take a bit of constructive – or even destructive – criticism then it doesn’t say much for your strength of character.

          You’re the one that’s whining! “Ooooo. Nasty foreigners saying bad things about us. What did we do to desrve it?” Why do you assume that any of us who aren’t American take your money? I don’t take any of your money! If you don’t like what I’ve got to say then [b]you[/b] go somewhere else.

          Now, you have a nice day. We, in France, know how to behave on the world stage. Americans? Pah! I fart in your general direction!

        • #3103420

          Reply To: Unionize IT Now!

          by davew ·

          In reply to Why even bother to reply?

          I cannot reply directly to you since the max thread level has been reached so here goes..


          Though your comments are amusing I dont understand the french. I visited france recently and I have to say of all the coutries that I have visited I was treated far worse in france than in any other country.

          We provide more aid to other countries that france on any given day, now france does provide some relief to others but it is no where near the scope of the US’s efforts.

          All I am saying is that we dont run over to french websites and blast your country, please show us the same respect.

        • #3103217

          Dave, don’t get upset.

          by neilb@uk ·

          In reply to Why even bother to reply?

          I just got a bit chewed up by the “American Forum” thing and decided that – as the discussion was (is!) merely in a repeating loop – I’d both cause and take offence at someone being told [b]not[/b] to post. If you – and others – didn’t like tech@whatever’s argument then you should have either ignored him or countered his points but to round on him because he was a non-American posting a valid viewpoint on an international forum was and is not really on even if it is a US organisation. It’s hosted on the West Coast for chrissakes. That’s more foreign than anywhare!

          Anyway, if you can’t take criticism – or even accept that there might be a different viewpoint – from outside of your borders then you really ought to get a few more firewalls! Check out how many of the TR peers are Canadian, Australian and – like me – British and if you don’t like what we say then feel free to kick back (hard, if you like) but you shouldn’t try to stop us posting.

          The French “farty” thing was a Monty Python quote, by the way, which you US sorts seem to like. I just said I was French because I know how much you (and we) all love the garlic-chewing b’stards and I wanted a reaction. StarTech provided me with one although I only found it by accident.

          You responded with a tad more dignity and I apologise for the wind-up.

        • #3103201


          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to Why even bother to reply?

          Though this is my second profile, I’ve actually been using this board since 1999. And gasp I am not American.

          This site may be hosted by a US company and the staff of TechRepublic may be based in the US, but this is the internet, it is advertsied and available to all. I believe I can say with some level of knowledge that in no way do the staff want this to be an American only forum.

          Don’t take it so personally. I have had Americans here call me a socialist, and make all kinds of nasty remarks about my country. Believe it or not, I now call some of those people friends.

          You aren’t the first to complain about this kind of thing. But think about it this way. What the US does, especially the actions of its government, affects the rest of the world. More than any other country, the US has a global impact, economically and politically. So naturally that inspires alot of discussion. But I have to say compared to most Democrats what we say is pretty mild. (humour alert).

          You say I have a choice whether or not to interact with the US. In reality, no I don’t. Every employer I’ve worked with over the past 16 years has some relationships either directly or indirectly with a US company or a US firm. Thats a fact of life for any medium or large business in Canada. My current employer is a US company. Sarbanes Oxley applies to us as well as our US counterparts.

          I was under the impression that the US favoured Free speech and open markets. It seems you may not agree with that.


        • #3132590

          examine this statement

          by giannidalessismo ·

          In reply to Thanks be to God you don’t ….

          examine this statement “look at all the sacrifices >we< have done on >your< (the world's) behalf." IE the US is SEPARATE from the world as a whole. 'Protect your right to be free'? Where exactly does this miraculous phenomenon take place currently? Before you accuse another of having 'no clue' per socail conscience study some history. Look at the news, and not the managed news, which is parallel to a fascist regime's version. Also gotta love assertions about someone else's situation, based on your ideological preference, and not much else, like 'blah blah blah PERIOD'. Darwinism and Amerkanism at its worst.

        • #3132585


          by cptnemo2 ·

          In reply to Thanks be to God you don’t ….


        • #3132545

          Right On!

          by oldjags ·

          In reply to Thanks be to God you don’t ….

          Could not have said it any better. Where do people get the idea that ‘society’ owes them something?? Aside from a safety net to protect the incompetent and disabled, everyone is expected to pull their own weight in this world. If you’re not contributing to the greater good by generating income and creating wealth, then you’re essentially a leech feeding off the hard work of others. Others that are struggling to make a decent life for themselves, which is hard enough without the burden of having to lug dead-weight like you around with them.

          The US has the highest per-capita rate of charitable contributions in the world, so don’t believe all that crap about Americans being selfish and materialistic.

          Socialism is a proven failure as an economic model. Why is it that federal tax revenues actually increase in the years following a reduction in the tax rates?? It’s because it’s removed some of the overwhelming burden that hard-working people and businesses have to bear, and allows the economic growth that in turn, creates jobs, which in turn increases demand and more jobs. The way out of poverty and misery is not more government projects and spending and higher taxes; it’s jobs and economic growth and capitalism!! Without capitalism, where do the tax revenues come from that the socialists want to spend on all their favorite projects??? And, who gets to decide what those projects are? I much prefer donating money to charities of my choice; where I know and support what the money is being spent for; than to give it to some government, involutarily I might add, to be squandered in some vast and unaccountable bureaucracy.

          The US has spent enough tax money over the years in the ‘War on Poverty’ to give every poor man, woman, and child in America a small fortune. And what do have to show for it?? Not much.

          Socialism is akin to drug addiction. Once you’re addicted to life on the public dole, it’s hard to cut if off and start taking care of yourself again. Every government project that gives somebody something they haven’t worked for and earned individually is just another addictive drug. A drug that I have to pay for!

          If you take a lion cub and raise him in captivity – feed him twice a day, pamper him, give him a nice warm, heated cage every day until he’s fully grown – then turn him loose in the wild, he’ll be dead of starvation within a month. Why is that?? A lion is the king of beasts, he should have no trouble catching and eating whatever he wants, but he’ll starve nonetheless.

          Why are people any different than lions? If we’re raised in a form of ‘socialist captivity’, then we’ll never be able to take care of ourselves out in the real world; we’ll always be back to feed from the hand that now controls us.

          America may be many things, but ‘perfect’ is certainly not one of them. It is, however, a place where your skills and ambitions and desires, or lack thereof, will take you as far as you wish to go. If you’re poor in America, and are neither mentally or physically challenged in any way, then you’ve got nobody to blame but that guy in the mirror.

        • #3102015

          Are you worth $50.00/Hr.?

          by richard ·

          In reply to Thanks be to God you don’t ….

          depends what a loaf of bread costs….

        • #3102014

          And then some …

          by startech ·

          In reply to Are you worth $50.00/Hr.?

          Let’s just say I make more than than now. Am I worth more than that? At least twice so.

          Do I ask for it? I think you answered this one in one of your other posts.

          The basic problem with America is greed. I may have my faults, but that’s not one of them.

        • #3101759

          Military vs. Union

          by boogaloodude ·

          In reply to Thanks be to God you don’t ….

          I’m a Nam Vet myself, and I can’t think of anything more closely related to a Union then the US Military, and you spent 21 yrs. in surprise me. Do you have any idea how long it takes to move up the ranks in the Union/Military? of course you do, you start as an E-1/Journeyman, and through time you aquire the skills to TEST your way up the ranks (Yes, Union workers have to pass a test to). They pay for your Health, Dental, for you and your Family, they have thier own Credit Union. They set you up with a retirement program, and even take care of you after you retire (Both the Union and the Military) What’s the difference? I’m not in a Union, but my brother is, and he’s a very proud Heavy Equipment Operator (those are the guys who build the highways we drive on), with a lot of specialty skills on a number of pieces of equipment. All you keep referring to are a “Bunch of Bolt Screwers”, and there’s a hell of a lot more unions out there then the AFL/CIO. Have you ever dated a waitress? I have, and she came home every night exhausted, and smelling like the catch of the day. She belonged to a Union (yeah, they have one for restraunt workers to), and I know for a fact that without a union, she never would have gotten her own Health/Dental, let alone put money away for retirement, it just wasn’t a priority for her, but like it or not, she had someone covering her ass (besides me) in case something did happen. Please stop waving the flag and calling Unions un-American, this country has it’s problems, but I don’t think they were caused by the Unions, it has more to do with the Elected Idiots!

        • #3132574

          No Collectivism Here!

          by the.erinyes ·

          In reply to Why I would NEVER live in the USA

          Actually, we do not want you here. This is America, a country founded on the principle that individuals make up the country. This means that we are free to compete for jobs from a price/productivity point of view. We are also competing globally and trying to protect/guarantee a particular wage will spell disaster for the US. Wages are already being driven by foreign markets such as China and India. These people can work much cheaper than most US IT workers. Low level programming jobs will always try to go to lower wage earning markets just like manufacturing jobs. In order to keep our job market strong across the board we have to quit belly-aching about how bad it is and work on productivity innovation which is our strong area and where we compete best with the rest of the world. Look at our automotive manufacturing companies being eaten alive by foreign competition and on the brink of going out of business. Guess what they are unionized and it is hurting their ability to compete in the world market. So is that what you want to do to IT as well, bankrupt it on the World stage? My advice is to quit complaining and start innovating so we can continue to compete, otherwise there will not be an IT sector to worry about; unionized or not!

        • #3272138

          automotive manufacturing companies

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to No Collectivism Here!

          were first cannibalised by the UAW, foreign competition is just snacking on the bones.

        • #3272056

          I watched mining and the steel industry

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to No Collectivism Here!

          die in the UK. Three forces pulled it apart. None of them could have done it on their own.

          Personal wealth creation.
          Cheaper labour overseas.
          Union leaders who believed in the former and refused to recognise the latter.

        • #3090355

          The Market

          by the.erinyes ·

          In reply to I watched mining and the steel industry

          Tony, I am not sure what you mean by personal wealth creation because in my mind that is a good thing (unless you are referring to people extorting money on the behalf of others).

          It is interesting that people will always try to protect what they have, in the hopes that market forces will not catch up with them.

          After WWII, when the free world rebuilt most of Japan and Europe (with the possible exception of rebuilding England) they used current technology (1945) while in the US and others were still using circa 1920’s technology. This was especially true in the US. Of course when given a huge technological advantage one would expect that over time their ability to compete would be better and we have witnessed that it made a great difference.

          Couple that with government meddling with the markets (we give you access, you do not reciprocate)then imbalances will occur because of the artificial constraints created.
          The market if left unimpeded by politicians is extraordinary at driving out inefficiencies which means a particular function (product/service) will always migrate to the most efficient/cheapest producer.

          From a nation perspective, can you trust those producers to look out for your national interests? Since the answer seems to be no most of the time, politicians stick their nose into the market from a protectionist perspective and create artificial constructs that will eventually fail, since in the long run you cannot bet against the free market.
          When this happens, you will see industries fail, workers displaced and generally bad things occur, which are then blamed on the “market”.

        • #3089447

          Personal Wealth Creation

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to I watched mining and the steel industry

          Otyherwise known as the ME syndrome.
          The same one that is driving US business’s to outsource IT to other countries so there more profit for them.
          What this does to your economy as a whole, the future of your economy or in fact the future, is immaterial when the guys in charge is ‘I got mine F’U’

        • #3132504

          We won’t miss you

          by tommy higbee ·

          In reply to Why I would NEVER live in the USA

          Sorry, but as much as everyone sometimes feels stepped on by management, unionizing just won’t work. The first thing that the company will do is outsource the entire IT department to an outside company, and unless you can get the government to FORCE the business to do otherwise, there’s no more jobs.

          I’m ignoring the ranting here about “people starving in the wealthiest country,” since it’s not true. As for social conscience, Americans give more to charity than just about any nation in the world. Why does that money have to be administered by a government bureaucracy before we get credit for a social conscience?

        • #3101634

          Whoa Dude!!

          by boogaloodude ·

          In reply to We won’t miss you

          Have you ever been to Downtown L.A.? I have and it ain’t a pretty site, on the other hand, the 7,000 homeless there don’t have to worry about Freezing to death like those in the Midwest, and the East Coast. Either way, there definitely IS a Huge Poverty Situation in the US, just because you can’t see it out your front window doesn’t mean it isn’t there. And as far as our government giving it’s fair share, I’m sorry, but I can’t even go there because it makes me so angry to read what you wrote that I might be kicked out for what I think about the ignorant rants!! YOU MUST BE KIDDING!!

        • #3101575

          Unions & Employer Groups

          by wagnernd ·

          In reply to Whoa Dude!!

          I feel sorry for those who seem to have such a limited grasp of just what a Union is. All a Union is is a group of individuals, with simular interests, who have baned together for the common good. It is a very democratic society. Very heavily regulated too.
          Your employer understands the importance of such groups. Just go into your Employer’s office some day and look around at all the plaques hanging on the walls there signifying all of the like groups he/she has joined to further their common good, and, to control you! john Wagner

        • #3100503

          Poverty Versus Unions

          by vlpresher ·

          In reply to Whoa Dude!!

          First of all I grew up in poverty. I am where I am today becuase I was unwillingly to sit back and let some knucklehead feed me a bunch of lies.

          If I can get ahead and then everyone else can to. Stop believing the lies passed on by the likes of Jesse (high)Jack(your company)son and get to work.

          We have the standard of living we have today in America because of the opportunities we have here.

          How many more people could be employed if Unions officials did not insist upon the unfair wages and benefits stolen from America’s coprorations.

        • #3272136

          there definitely IS a Huge Poverty Situation in the US

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to Whoa Dude!!

          Which has worsened terribly, steadily, since Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” swindle began. So the question to you is, are you willing to get the government out of people’s way and allow them to [b]earn[/b] a living in a free, productive economy (you cannot have one without the other), or do you want to keep socializing this already mixed economy, until there is no way for anybody to earn their living?

        • #3089453


          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to Whoa Dude!!

          A bureaucracy’s’ first mission is to ensure the survival of the bureaucracy. Some in government think it is in their best interest to keep some people down, so that they will ‘need’ the government.

        • #3089399

          adunlap, you’re like an encyclopedia audiobook

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to Whoa Dude!!

          “A bureaucracy’s’ first mission is to ensure the survival of the bureaucracy. Some in government think it is in their best interest to keep some people down, so that they will ‘need’ the government.”

          Try asking yourself “why” about some of these silly facts you insist on spouting. Then ask yourself “is that right” and “can I think of a better way to accomplish the same goal, or a more worthy goal.”

          The next time I read one of your posts, will be the one whose title is “I decided to begin thinking”.

        • #3089319

          re: Absolutely, adunlap

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Whoa Dude!!

          Correct me if I’m wrong, but . . .

          It looks like Absolutely said something, adunlap agreed with and expanded upon it, and Absolutely told him he wasn’t thinking.

          What did I miss?

        • #3089135

          apotheon & adunlap, Absolutely here, apologizing for his absent-mindedness

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to Whoa Dude!!

          I should stop reading Miscellaneous at work. Sorry, adunlap, I read a couple of your other posts this afternoon, and should have addressed ‘The next time I read one of your posts, will be the one whose title is “I decided to begin thinking”.’ to Boogaloodude, and thanked you for your agreement.

          I’ll do so now, while paraphrasing some words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: those who have (unjust) power seldom relinquish it unwillingly. I advocate withholding value (boycott, strike) and not the threat of force (terrorism, war of aggression, mugging, and laws that assign excessive recognition to collectives, including corporations & unions) to achieve social & political goals.

        • #3086016

          Reply To: Unionize IT Now!

          by pkr9 ·

          In reply to We won’t miss you

          You forget one of the major points in ‘unionizing’. If your job is outsourced, the unionized employees of THAT company will object, and your job will stay where it is.

          Unionizing will give you – the employee – the same power as business owners have.

        • #3087125

          Uh, yeah.

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Reply To: Unionize IT Now!

          Sure. ‘Cause unions are strong in India.

          Oh, wait, no they aren’t — and they won’t be in any way helpful to us in our working lifetimes.

        • #3102068

          Just another ant in the colony

          by stan20 ·

          In reply to Why I would NEVER live in the USA

          …another identical, replacable part, in the larger organization. And you prefer that?? Now thats pathetic and sad.

          Thats why I would never live in whatever country you are from. (no location specified)

        • #3102016

          I can agree with only half

          by richard ·

          In reply to Why I would NEVER live in the USA

          Most of your statement is correct, but we do not all think that way. One big part of the problem is greed, many of the youg are not educated well, they are taught to type setup and push a button, but they don’t see the big picture. Those that hire them tell them how smart they are and they believe it, while the give away their future.

          Yep – that is inflamatory – please keep it up, it helps.

        • #3101958

          STARVING? I live in N.O.

          by gometrics ·

          In reply to Why I would NEVER live in the USA

          No one starved, the poor were fed, clothed and provided shelter. The looting was stopped within two weeks. The jobs here are plentiful and the pay is fine…including IT. You can make $15 per hour flipping burgers in some places. Housing is still a problem but KATRINA WAS the worst NATURAL disaster in U.S. history. It has been less than six months. How long did it take to rebuild Europe after WWII? Wasn’t it years with some friendly help from the USA? That same helping hand is in N.O. too though not all appreciate it. We hardly live in a country where everyone is out for himself. The U.S. is #1 in charitable giving last I checked. Real poverty is having no food, no shelter, and no hope. That does not describe any place in the U.S.A.

        • #3101116

          The US as #1 in Charitable Giving

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to STARVING? I live in N.O.

          With respect, not by the numbers.

          In terms of Government assistance, the US ranked 22 out of 23 countries in terms of giving as a percentage of Gross National Product. Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Norway give far more of their wealth away.

          Its is true that US citizens are very generous privately, but even when you factor that into account, the US on the whole is not #1 as a percentage basis. In absolute numbers it is the largest, but it is one of the largest economies and a fairly large population as well.


        • #3102437

          Private giving counts…

          by gometrics ·

          In reply to The US as #1 in Charitable Giving

          And our large economy and population are not accidents. It based on free markets. People want to come here because of it. Private citizens are more generous because of it. Bottom line is the U.S.A. gives the most money. Compare us to other countries with large populations to be really fair. And don’t penalize us because our government doesn’t raise our taxes to give more so they can look more benevolent. You bet our government would give more if we had the tax rates of the countries you mentioned. May it never be. Luxembourg? The GNP is probably smaller than the smallest U.S. state.

        • #3103014

          If you read the site

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to The US as #1 in Charitable Giving

          They do some analysis to account for private giving as well. I don’t discount private giving, in fact the author of the study makes the case that private giving is more efficient than government, something I personally agree with.

          It isn’t the totals that count, its the % of GNP, or per capita if you prefer. If you compare similar economies, say Canada and the US,the US is roughly 10X more population wise, with an economy that is more than 10X in terms of GNP (Canada’s economy has been growing to close that gap). So it would be silly to compare Canada and US in terms of absolute $$, it makes more sense to look at it on a per capita or % of GNP basis. On that basis , Canada gives .27 % of its GNP in government aid, while the US gives .17%. The adjusted figures which include private giving show a % of GDP as .07 for US and .14 for Canada.

          I am not trying to say that the US should give more or that they give nothing, I am simply attacking this myth that the US gives more than the rest of the world combined that I hear repeated often.


        • #3103015

          If you read the site

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to The US as #1 in Charitable Giving

          They do some analysis to account for private giving as well. I don’t discount private giving, in fact the author of the study makes the case that private giving is more efficient than government, something I personally agree with.

          It isn’t the totals that count, its the % of GNP, or per capita if you prefer. If you compare similar economies, say Canada and the US,the US is roughly 10X more population wise, with an economy that is more than 10X in terms of GNP (Canada’s economy has been growing to close that gap). So it would be silly to compare Canada and US in terms of absolute $$, it makes more sense to look at it on a per capita or % of GNP basis. On that basis , Canada gives .27 % of its GNP in government aid, while the US gives .17%. The adjusted figures which include private giving show a % of GDP as .07 for US and .14 for Canada.

          I am not trying to say that the US should give more or that they give nothing, I am simply attacking this myth that the US gives more than the rest of the world combined that I hear repeated often.


        • #3103409

          Reply To: Unionize IT Now!

          by davew ·

          In reply to The US as #1 in Charitable Giving

          GNP is ridiculous, the countries that need donations care about raw dollars and the fact is OUR country gives more than others.

          Lets look at some facts:

          In 2001, the United States gave $10.9 billion, Japan $9.7 billion, Germany $4.9 billion, the United Kingdom $4.7 billion, and France $4.3 billion..

          The United States is the world’s largest contributor of foreign aid in absolute terms ($15.7 billion, 2003), and Private foreign aid donations in the United States are on the order of $35 billion a year (2003)

          what counts are bottom line dollars…

          The whole GNP argument is basically a feel good for other countries, GNP doesn’t feed the starving or house the homeless, RAW DOLLARS ARE ALL THAT MATTER…

        • #3103293

          I agree that to the needy, its the raw numbers

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to The US as #1 in Charitable Giving

          But what I have been tryign to say is that it has been asserted that because the US is the largest giver in raw numbers, that they are the most generous.

          Let me try a simple analogy. Homeless person sits outside a restaurant. Rich man comes out, opens up his wallet, and peels off a 20, gives it to the homeless man. Bus boy comes out and does the same. Which one is more generous?

          Much of this comes down to attitude. I have many American friends and coworkers, who I know to be reasonable people, but here on TR and elsewhere there are a few Americans who continue to boast and crow that their country is the most generous and other countries do little in comparison. I’m not suggesting you have that attitude.


        • #3103155


          by davew ·

          In reply to The US as #1 in Charitable Giving

          Please dont construe my comments as personal attacks, I might have gotten a little heated but that is the nature of this beast and the whole reason that we come here..

          Now let me get back on topic.

          The problem that I have with GNP is that it does not take into account the tax money that the government reimburses people for personal donations..

          I suspect that if you were to take personal donation tax deductions into account our GNP would look a lot more robust.

          We have a different system, This is what we are all about. Because of this difference I believe the GNP numbers for the USA to be grossly inaccurate.

          The US is a different system where the people make the decisions not the government (at least thats how it is supposed to be). This puts the power in the peoples hands which includes a large portion of relief spending.

          Your analogy about a homeless man further reinforces my stance on this issue.

          1: Rich man(the US government) gives homeless guy 20.00 and the rich guys clients(the us people) give the homeless man 35.00

          2: bus boy(some other country) gives the homeless man 20.00

          Where does he come out better?

        • #3101765


          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to The US as #1 in Charitable Giving

          Don’t worry I don’t take it personally.

          I would argue that you don’t have a different system than Canada, I will let peers from other countries talk to how it works there. Canada too provides tax relief for those who contribute to charities, including the charities that provide assistance. And in many cases, Katrina included, in addition to tax relief the government will provide matching funds. If a Canadian gave money to the Canadian Red Cross for Katrina victims, they got a) a tax receipt and B) the Canadian government matched that money dollar for dollar.

          So how is the US system different, other than fewer government donations.


        • #3101921

          Ignorance is bliss (for you)

          by rka ·

          In reply to Why I would NEVER live in the USA

          Socialism is dead. It is a system which supports ineffective and unproductive ways. Socialism props up the status quo with bureaucratic protections instead of looking for better ways to do things. That is why many inventors from outside the US leave their country to pursue their dreams in the US.

          You obviously have never been to the USA or you would NEVER say it’s “every man for himself”. This country and it’s people give more to humanitarian causes both home and abroad more than all other countries combined! The problem with you and those like you are that you choose to believe the liberal crap which is published in most main stream newspapers. The New Orleans disaster was due more to mismanagement than a lack of concern for the people affected. Get your facts straight.

          Get out from behind your newspaper and find out what real Americans are like. You might just find out we are not so bad.

        • #3101335


          by nyitdude ·

          In reply to Why I would NEVER live in the USA

          The concepts of a Union are good. Protect the worker from harm, decent hours and pay, etc. But here? They suck. I was in a union many years ago, they never helped anyone with what they said they would. But they sure loved robbing our paychecks every week. In Europe, what is the unemployment rate? 20%??? Well here it is under 5%.

          Now I WILL say that even in the IT field many are underpaid. Most of the jobs available are the likes of Wallmart, Home Depot, etc. But where else can you get a part time job with health insurance and still only pay around 2.50 per gallon of gas? In Europe you pay HOW MUCH???

          I love this country, I would not want to live ANYWHERE else. This is and always will be the greatest nation ever. Dont like that comment? Too bad. This still one of the only places where if someone works hard, stays honest, and really cares, good things will happen.

          I think people who put us down just because, are jealous. Yes we have problems, yes we are not perfect, but there is nowhere else I would rather live.

          Our problems? Stop illegal immigration, stop overtaxing the working class, and most of all stop liberalism… Just my 2 cents, no intention fo offending anyone.


        • #3102613

          A challange here ………..

          by dusterman ·

          In reply to HUH?!?!?!

          Just exactly where could you possibly be living in the USA , and not realize that the guvernment … once again …. has lied to you ?
          I’ll only do this one point as the list is really too long ……..
          POINT : The reported unemployment [ to the media , so that they will “verify” the guvments stats ] is a blatant lie and has been for a very long time [ there are those here that can probably tell you exactly when they started using the “favorable” system ] .
          A brief about the system ….. simple ….. when someone is no longer on the unemployment rolls ….. poof ! ! …… they mysteriously are no longer unemployed ……. what a wonderful and magical system !
          When I questioned a person [ from the guvment ] at length and got as loud as him ] the result was for me to be asked to leave …… for asking him for the truth ………
          FYI ……. later I was asked by someone [ still trying to convince me that I was wrong and to “preach” the wrong good news ] …… “how could you undermine the guvernment ….. they have been there for you and the other needy citizens for the hard times ? Why would you then tell a slanted tale such as yours ……… Hmmmm.
          Can you say subversion ………
          Please take your over paid [just guessing here ], over sized ass [ just guessing here ] to the rural counties in your own state [ NY ] and start asking how many people are really out of work and how many are working “day labor” just to put food on the table …… this doesn’t hold true for the wonderful NYC counties as much as the very , very rural ones ……….
          OH yea …… I grew up in one of those “poor” counties ….. hello , hello ….. is the miracle worker Hillary in the house ???
          Let me invite her to some folks houses where the meat of the day , week , month is venison ….. nothing wrong with that ….. I grew up to be a tall 6’2″ SWM 225lbs with a 56L jacket and a size 40 waist even at 55 yo ……. and still think that all you liberal wonderchildren need to be stranded in the “country” for a few weeks …….
          I personally guarantee that you will come back to your “wonder world” with a new slant on reality ……. the real one ….that there are millions of unreported poor …. some living in your area ….. people that will work [ not panhandle ] and work hard and only ask for a reasonable wage …… Hmmmmmmmm …..what’s that mr. employer …… oh you have an illegal that works under the table for $4/hr and if I want the job what will I work for ??????
          Unions { most } have had their time , it has come and went for the most part .
          They too ….. lie to their members [ voters ] they cheat their members [ voters ] and finally they too act in morally irresponsible ways [ citizens ].
          EX……. IBEW …… worthless in the early 70’s ….. God only knows if “he” let any of their worthless souls into heaven since !
          Sorry all ….. this guy just makes me realize what the guvernment has really baffeled most of our fellow country men into believing ……..

        • #3101568


          by boogaloodude ·

          In reply to A challange here ………..

          Wake up Dusterman, Mr. NYIT is just as much a Publickin as You are, problem is none of you realize that your on the same side cause some of you are Religous Fanatics, and some of you are anti-labor fanatics, and all of you are a sandwich short of a picnic. Damn Ditto-Heads

        • #3100523

          I suppose

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to A challange here ………..

          That’s better than listing a guy as a deadbeat dad … 12 years after he actually died! 🙂

        • #3076601

          Want to not Offend ?

          by it survivor ·

          In reply to HUH?!?!?!

          Close mouth and engage brain. Liberal or Conservative ? Just words that divide. Think first then speak.

        • #3101965

          Really, look at the UAW.

          by rka ·

          In reply to Are you nuts?

          Finally someone with sense! People obviously have not learned a lesson from what the UAW has been going through. “Why is my job going overseas?” they say. They just don’t understand that there are people willing to do the jobs for less!

          Better wake up those of you suggesting union representation. If you demand too much, there are others who would be more than happy to take your place and employers won’t hesitate to hire them.

        • #3132719

          Unions have certainly helped the auto industry…

          by icubub ·

          In reply to Fear & loathing of Unions is unfair

          Yep, look at how well unions have helped the auto industry. Jobs aplenty!

          Unions were good arounbd the turn of last century to help institute change in working conditions, fair wages, decent hours. We’ve done a lot of this with legislation, and as some people have pointed out, fair market conditions.

          Find a specialty, something you enjoy. Don’t go advocating something stupid like unions! They will only help commoditize (real word?) IT even more! IT people are professionals, like doctors, lawyers, engineers. Unionizing IT would put us more in the class of laborers, machine-shop workers, factory personnel.

          Let’s not cheapen our image even more so…

        • #3132624

          You are labor

          by richard ·

          In reply to Unions have certainly helped the auto industry…

          Well maybe not since your description says
          Executive IS/IT Management

          So what do we have here a sheep in wolf clothing?
          You are still probably labor, I doubt you are a large investor and owner where you work.

          Stupid is thinking that unions kill the auto industry. Let me say that there are things wrong with unions. Members need to participate.
          However what killed the auto works was politicians.

          First there is nothing wrong with machine-shop workers and factory personnel. They are Americans with families and deserve to make a living. I don’t think it is “fair market conditions” when you move the factory to Mexico or somewhere even less developet, polute the environment, pay the lowly labor 25 cents per hour or less. Then politicians quoting fair compitation and fair market conditons remove import tariffs so your neighbors can compete for the 25 cents per hour.
          this is politics and oppression. Those same politicians also get into the unions and cause their damage there. What you don’t even know, mister Executive IS/IT Management is that you are already indirectly benefiting form unions and you may tink about this. When business gets real bad, who is more expendable you or the guy who can actually make IT work?

        • #3132607

          A bit sensative are we

          by techiemikee ·

          In reply to You are labor

          The days of starting a job down at the factory and retiring 30-40 years later are gone. Companies go under, they consolidate, they merge and they make these decisions based upon the demands of share holders.

          If you have a corporate merger, one work force is union the other workforce isn’t who are the shareholders likely to keep?

          It is public knowledge that corporations have shut down entire divisions and moved to other cities because they could not operate profitably or compete with the competition in a unionized shop.

        • #3132493

          Keeping which side

          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to A bit sensative are we

          I wouldn’t determine which work force to keep or let go (if those are the only options I have) based solely on which one is unionized or not.

        • #3102034

          it is a political problem

          by richard ·

          In reply to A bit sensative are we

          you need a union and you need to vote.
          I don’t disagree with a thing you said.
          if we don’t want to compete with those who make 25 cents an hour or a day we have to have labor laws, import taxes. At home we need fair labor laws. They come and they go. I will be the first to admit that it is not simply this way or that. Those who think that they don’t have to produce because they are in a union are those that kill the union.
          What ever happened to a fair days pay for a fair days work?

        • #3102027


          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to it is a political problem

          If you don’t get paid fairly, move on or affect the situation.

          But I don’t think unions for IT will positively affect the situation.

        • #3101348

          Depends on what you mean ..

          by peter.kelly ·

          In reply to it is a political problem

          Depends on what you mean by fair. A free market has no concept of fair, only in supply and demand. If your skills are in high demand then you get high pay. Is that fair?

          Is it fair that production jobs have dried up or that 55 year old metal worker is no longer employable, because his trained for a job no longer exists?

          I don’t know, but I think the questions are worth thinking about.

        • #3271964

          Okay, Peter, I’ve thought about your questions.

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to it is a political problem

          Here are the answers.

          Peter Kelley: “If your skills are in high demand then you get high pay. Is that fair?”

          Absolutely: Yes, because “high demand” means that the value of my skills is high as defined by [b]the market[/b], which means people who are free to choose what is best for them. At least, that is what “the market” means in a free, “market economy”. In a command economy, which is the only alternative — “mixed” economies only have some free industries and others controlled by the government, and are no “third way”, but a mongrel — “the market” is determined by the Fuhrer, commissar, party chairman, or whatever the most vicious thug chooses to call itself, until it’s stabbed in the back and replaced by the next thug.

          The individual or collective that employs me does so because it chooses, rationally, that the value it receives from my work is sufficient to validate the expense incurred. That is [b]exactly[/b] the logic employed by rational employees, and that’s what dealing fairly with other people means — pursuing self-interest rationally, and giving those with whom I deal the same choice, to decide whether dealing with me is beneficial. If it is not [b]mutually[/b] beneficial, neither of us has the right to compel the other to interact at all.

          Peter Kelley: “Is it fair that production jobs have dried up or that 55 year old metal worker is no longer employable, because his trained for a job no longer exists?”

          Absolutely: Not so fast, pal. Is it fair that production jobs have dried up? Of course. The market is demanding something different than it did before those jobs “dried up”. The market is composed of all of us. So, rephrase your question in the literal terms of the [b]cause[/b] of the phenomenon of “dried up” jobs. “Is it fair to allow you and everybody you love to spend their money on what they judge is best [b]for themselves, and those they love[/b]?” I hold this truth to be self-evident: yes, you are free to choose to spend your money on things that benefit [b]you[/b], as long as you leave everybody else free to do likewise for ourselves.

          It’s a lot of little people who compose the market, but it’s always the superlative achievers who are expected to pull the weight of the little people who are trained only for the demands of yesterday’s market, which means the desires of yesterday’s little people. Is [b]that[/b] fair?

          Separate question: “Is it fair that … 55 year old metal worker is no longer employable, because his trained for a job no longer exists?”

          Again, of course. When she trained for that job, he did so because the market did demand it. The desires of the market changed. That’s the way free markets work, and free markets are perfectly fair [b]because[/b] they allow each individual to decide her own standards of happiness and pursue them to the best of her ability. The 55 year old metal worker has the right to pursue happiness, not to stagnate the world economy so that her happiness can be given to her.

          Artists take this risk all the time, and most of them work in menial jobs while they hone their art, or move forward through effort and talent in a profession that isn’t what they love, but they do their jobs well because they are motivated by the pursuit of something they do love.

          They pay their bills, so can a 55 year old metal worker, unless she has made unalterable financial commitments based on an assumption related to her employment, which is alterable. Employment at will [b]is[/b] fair. Slavery is not. Laborers are not their employers’ masters, they are their employees, and doing your job well is only half your responsibility. The other half is maintaining your own ability to do work whose worth [b]to the market[/b] is what you want to be paid. I’m still working on that myself, but I’ll never ask somebody else to pay me more than my productive ability is worth in the free market.

        • #3088340

          Need to change my profile…

          by icubub ·

          In reply to You are labor

          No longer in management, so you can stop the socialist revolution!

          I just think of IT as a profession, much like doctors, lawyers, engineers. Was an enginner for 10 years, enjoy IT much better now. I think we are cheapening IT more down to the level of an assembly line worker (and there’s nothing wrong with assembly line workers either). But some of us have worked long and hard to get where we are in our careers, and don’t appreciate the effort of some to lessen the importance of IT!

          Now to climb off the soapbox…

        • #3132642

          Management Deserves Unions (and vice versa)

          by johnnysacks ·

          In reply to Fear & loathing of Unions is unfair

          Be careful what you ask for. The easy perspective is to view unions as insuring that the hard working backbone of any profitable company is adequately compensated rather that treated like animals by the corporate machinery running this country (world). Look at Verizon, benefits galore, time and a half for overtime, double on Sunday, striking because they work too much overtime. Try a job at Wal-Mart on for size please.

          The reality of any old school union shop is that a significant percentage of the workers are protected by seniority. The utter lack of motivation and competiveness of some of these people with regard to their primary jobs is mind boggling.
          Their highest motivation is involvement in labor negotiations to obtain as much compensation as possible for performing as little extra work as possible.
          Every single task has a negotiated time allocated to it and the goal of the union is to maximize this allocation.
          I’ve seen young workers come in from the real world and knock out 3 hour jobs in under an hour without breaking a sweat and with ABSOLUTELY no reduction in quality, even going so far as to point out problems and areas of improvement. Needless to say they are quickly instructed that that’s not the way things are done.
          The pipe-fitter needs a helper to hold up the other end of a couple pipes for an hour – don’t you DARE ask the floor sweeper to give him a hand, need to hire an apprentice pipefitter. Every single insignificant task you and I take for granted is mired down in this ridiculous beaurocratic morass.

          The problem is that there is nothing more deserving of unions than the incompetent narcissistic sociopaths in corporate management.
          Look at GM – management and engineering can’t put together a car that people want to save their sorry assed lives. Every police department and taxi fleet in the country buying Caprices, what do they do, cancel production. (A big thank you from Ford) Every bell and whistle piece of bling turns to malfunctioning crap after three years with Honda and Toyota dancing around them in the end zone. What was their flaming a-hole in charge Roger Smith doing when small cars were killing us? Re-engineering the biggest car maker in the world to produce the highest quality cars in the world… No, buying GI-Joe action adventure toy companies during the Reagan years.

        • #3132575


          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to Fear & loathing of Unions is unfair

          I threw out a 25% rate as something so over the top you wouldn’t take it literally. But you did anyway. I don’t know everyone’s dues rates, and I won’t guess at an average or even a median.

          That said, I’d rather negotiate my own pay. I’m above average, and I expect to be paid a wage commensurate with my abilities. I work hard at my job, and I like it. So I don’t mind a few extra hours, and I might be paid less than my true value ack to the company. But that’s OK. I enjoy my work and it pays enough to support what I enjoy outside of work.

          A set union wage doesn’t allow me that flexibility. And I don’t want to pay someone else to tell me when to strike, or what part of the job I am allowed to perform.

          See, I like computer stuff, and I like helping people. So I get a nontangible reward in my job. Try to set that across the board for all employees.

          Also, if I’m striking, I’m not helping people who need it.

          If you’d rather strike than do your job (for whatever reason), then find a job elsewhere! If I ever feel like I’m being taken advantage of, I’ll leave. It’s a mobile society. You have the freedom to work when and where you want. Exercise it!

        • #3101977

          re: inflection

          by cathleen301 ·

          In reply to Inflection

          I’m happy for you that you work for a company that cares about its employees!

          I’m also above average and expect a wage commensurate with my abilities. What if the “set union wage” you are talking about is something you negotiated?

          When we ratify a contract, we know for the next 3 or 4 years just what our wages will be and when to expect our raises. You see, we negotiate the pay rates, raises and benefits with the company. If we are not happy with the proposed rates or benefits, we don’t ratify the contract!

          I’m glad you don’t mind working for less than your true value. You’re lucky that you have an employer that won’t take advantage of that, or else what’s to stop them from deciding that the less you are so willing to work for is your true value? I?m glad you get paid enough to enjoy what you do outside of work. Does that include all the necessities for your children, grandchildren and retirement?

          I, too, find the intangible rewards very important. I love what I do for work and I?m good at it! I also help others by participating in my Union as a steward, or executive board member, or officer or just by going to the membership meetings to be the voice of those members who aren’t able to attend.

          Who would pay someone to tell them to strike? Do you even know what goes on before there is even the thought of a strike? Our union works hard to negotiate contracts – we haven’t had a strike in the 19 years I’ve worked there. No one would prefer to strike than to do their job. We take pride in the excellent work we do – which is why we can negotiate contracts without striking.

          I, too, do not like not being able to do all the work that I am capable of doing. So, rather than whining about it I work to make changes in the contract. Just as I?m sure you?ve made some tweaks to the computer stuff that you love to do. Unions aren?t perfect. But the people who are union members have the option of working to make them better.

          Let me know when you are 50-70 years old how mobile you are; how easy it is for you to just up and leave if your employer takes advantage of you. And, what about your pension? Family members that depend on you?

        • #3101967


          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to re: inflection

          I’ve never had a company tell me they would pay a pension. I get 401k contributions, but that’s it.

          Here’s a newflash for you: Anyone who works in a capitalistic society works for less money than they are worth. Else, the employer wouldn’t make a profit.

          I negotiate my own salary. I chose a company that offers benefits I like.

          I believe that my good decisions now will allow me to work until I chose to stop working, and by then I will have enough money for everything mportant to me.

          And if you think your pension is safe, you haven’t seen anything in the news for the last few years.

        • #3132569

          Stupid question.

          by noyoki ·

          In reply to Fear & loathing of Unions is unfair

          How is it that you are STOPPING companies from laying off all of their employees and outsourcing?

          I suppose you can take the example of a union near me, (this is all hearsay as I was in the IBEW of a borough ‘next door’.) If you were a non-union jobsite, expect to find your gangboxes thrown out the window, tools stolen, sites wrecked… Would you do that?

          You could picket, hold out a rat I suppose… Would it make a difference? Are the secretaries going to strike with you? The reason that striking works is that if you have union electricians, carps, laborers, and tilers, however, non-union steamfitters… If all the unions on that jobsite struck, the site grinds to a halt.

          I work in a lawfirm now. Are the attorneys, secretaries, and paralegals going to strike with me? I doubt it.

          I have no idea how you think that creating unions will STOP outsourcing. If you can’t compete with india, you need a new set of skills. Not a union.

        • #3132487

          Silly-arse question

          by nicknielsen ·

          In reply to Fear & loathing of Unions is unfair

          Which jobs will be taken away to outsourcing companies? Anything that involves a hardware interaction _can’t_ be outsourced. It’s awfully hard to troubleshoot a network outage or change a power supply over the telephone. I can hear it now:

          Help Desk (accented): Now you have cover off, disconnect power cable from component.

          User: Which ones are the power cables?

          Help Desk (accented): Power cable are wire connect at power supply.

          User: Where is the power supply.

          Help Desk (accented): Is box in back.

          User: Box in back of what?

          Help Desk (accented): Box in back of PC.

          User: There’s no box connected to the back of my PC.

          Help Desk (accented): The box the line cord plug into.

          User: That’s the PC!

        • #3132485


          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to Silly-arse question

          Ever called a major PC manufacturer for tech support?

        • #3273808


          by noyoki ·

          In reply to Hah!

          Too right.

          Btw, I absolutely love that icon dpetrak. 🙂

        • #3101901

          Time to buy yourself a clue

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Fear & loathing of Unions is unfair

          Go ask the 30,000 FORD Union employees that will be out of a job in the next few years how stable the Union made their lives.

          By demanding more money than the job is worth, they priced cars out of competition with imports.

          Have you ever worked union? I have, and the only thing lazier than a Union employee is a government employee. that is why they can’t compete.

          I will NEVER work union again.

        • #3102592

          agreed Time for you to buy yourself a clue

          by richard ·

          In reply to Time to buy yourself a clue

          if you think that is what happened to the auto workers. You shoud beg for a clue

        • #3101887

          Unions happily screw over non-union peers

          by edwards ·

          In reply to Fear & loathing of Unions is unfair

          I worked at PacBell for 11 1/2 years. The unions
          really screwed the non-union, non-management
          employees by confiscating union dues from their
          paychecks and preventing them from moving freely
          between various departments in the company.

          When the contracts expired every 3 years, the CWA
          employees routinely lost 2 to 3 weeks of pay while
          walking the picket lines. Much more lost than was
          ever recovered in the new contract. The union
          bosses drove past the picket lines in big
          Cadillacs. The “strike benefits” were a very small
          return of the union dues extracted.

          Unions are attractive to the inept and the incapable who hope that collective bargaining will
          get them a better deal than their own paltry
          performance warrants.

          The cost of employee retirement benefits built
          into the cost of every GM automobile exceeds the
          cost of the steel required to build it. The
          non-union produced automobiles easily undercut
          the price of union made vehicles. GM and Ford
          are both in the toilet as a consequence.

          Unions are an anachronism that flourished when the
          United States was the only global manufacturing
          power on earth. It isn’t that way anymore. There
          is plenty of competition around the globe. The
          days of being able to make demands at the
          bargaining table that can’t be financially
          supported in the marketplace are over.

        • #3101803

          oh give me a break

          by tech ·

          In reply to Unions happily screw over non-union peers

          You seriously think the way collective bargaining and unions are run in the US is how it is done in the rest of the world? That yours is the ONLY system out there? That YOU have the best place to live on the planet?

          I dont know whether to laugh or cry at the complete lack of understanding of the world beyond your borders that shows through in so many people’s posts here.

          Your automobile industry isnt in trouble because the workers were paid too much. Its in trouble because your cars frankly arent worth buying. I suppose theres a view that if everyone were given a bowl of gruel a day in exchange for working themselves to death then the US auto industry would be flourishing?

          I maintain that each person in a society has a mutual obligation to the others in the society. Thats why we have shared infrastructure. Thats why we don’t kill and eat the guy who lives next door. The principles are the same in both cases.

          But then – how many of you vote? If you don’t vote, frankly you have no right to complain about what your Govt is doing. You have no right to complain how they are spending your taxes. Because obviously you dont care enough to participate in the process in the first place.

          Democracy (NOT a US invention, which may come as a shock to some of you it seems) is a wonderful thing – a country gets the sort of government it deserves for the amount of interest it shows in selecting that government.

          Unions are no different. They are a social institution created by people for the benefit of people. They can be good or bad depending on the people who are in them and how those people take them. I’m proud to have been in a related union in whatever job I’ve been in for all my life.

          My employer does well from my work. And I do well from the salary they pay me. They don’t own me though. If they choose to ship my job OS, then so be it. If I choose to leave, then so be it too. It seems to me the ones who are making the most noise about jobs going overseas are those who are opposed to unions anyhow.

          It must be terrible for them to live in a constant state of fear of their futures – whether it be if they will have a job, or how will they survive post retirement.

        • #3101791

          You are so full of yourself aren’t you?

          by startech ·

          In reply to oh give me a break

          When you look in the mirror, are you brown? Does your shit stink?

          It’s people like you that give the US a bad name. Are you really so envious of the way this country has come to be that the only thing you can do is bash? For crying out loud, there’s still room for you here — come on over — and stop bitchin’.

          Our cars do stink — not all — but most. If you want one that doesn’t, you have to pay for it throught the nose. You’re right! They’re not worth buying. That’s because they cost too *^&^%$* much due to an a-hole on the assembly line asking for 45.00/hr for doing nothing.

          You’re right again. Each person in a society should have obligation to the others. That’s why we (the US) help ourselves and _others_ throughout the world when in need. That’s why we sacrifice our lives so you can live freely. That’s why we give more per capita than all the countries in the world combined.

          I completely agree with you that if you don’t vote, you don’t have a right to complain about what happens to you or what the Gov’t is doing. BTW, I bet 99% of the people on this post are voters. Don’t go making vague generalizations.

          Maybe in your country you need a union. Are the labor conditions really all that bad there that you need a union?

          My employer too does well from my work and I’m very well compensated for it. I ask for no more even if I do think I’m worth more. And if they do ship my job elsewhere, I have more than enough experience and fortitude to be able to land on my feet anywhere. I don’t need a union to protect me.

          What you don’t seem to realize is that the US is made up of innovators and realists. What scares us most is people like you that want to stifle innovation and put everyone on the same playing field. I do live in a constant state of fear — that unions will continue to evolve and erode the very fabric that’s kept this country together.

          Honestly, there’s still room over here. Stop whining and buy a plane ticket!

        • #3101365

          oh give me a break

          by tech ·

          In reply to Unions happily screw over non-union peers

          You seriously think the way collective bargaining and unions are run in the US is how it is done in the rest of the world? That yours is the ONLY system out there? That YOU have the best place to live on the planet?

          I dont know whether to laugh or cry at the complete lack of understanding of the world beyond your borders that shows through in so many people’s posts here.

          Your automobile industry isnt in trouble because the workers were paid too much. Its in trouble because your cars frankly arent worth buying. I suppose theres a view that if everyone were given a bowl of gruel a day in exchange for working themselves to death then the US auto industry would be flourishing?

          I maintain that each person in a society has a mutual obligation to the others in the society. Thats why we have shared infrastructure. Thats why we don’t kill and eat the guy who lives next door. The principles are the same in both cases.

          But then – how many of you vote? If you don’t vote, frankly you have no right to complain about what your Govt is doing. You have no right to complain how they are spending your taxes. Because obviously you dont care enough to participate in the process in the first place.

          Democracy (NOT a US invention, which may come as a shock to some of you it seems) is a wonderful thing – a country gets the sort of government it deserves for the amount of interest it shows in selecting that government.

          Unions are no different. They are a social institution created by people for the benefit of people. They can be good or bad depending on the people who are in them and how those people take them. I’m proud to have been in a related union in whatever job I’ve been in for all my life.

          My employer does well from my work. And I do well from the salary they pay me. They don’t own me though. If they choose to ship my job OS, then so be it. If I choose to leave, then so be it too. It seems to me the ones who are making the most noise about jobs going overseas are those who are opposed to unions anyhow.

          It must be terrible for them to live in a constant state of fear of their futures – whether it be if they will have a job, or how will they survive post retirement.

        • #3272415

          Global Economy, and death of the middle class

          by too old for it ·

          In reply to Unions happily screw over non-union peers

          Ok, so other than drop the minimum wage to zero, meet India and China slum for slum, and have our kids eating out of trash cans because dad can’t make enough to feed a family of 3, any suggestion on the future of the American middle class? Retrain and redeploy into knowledge jobs sure was a bust.

        • #3101874

          What Unions Insure

          by rgoode ·

          In reply to Fear & loathing of Unions is unfair

          The only thing that Union involvement insures is that big companies will find any way possible to outsource the jobs to avoid their involvement. Workers can watch out for themselves through class action when a labor issue arises, but I do not want the involvement of a loose cannon with an agenda when it comes to my representation. I have been a part of class action representation which has successfully watched after my coworkers, and it didn’t cost me a monthly payment. Furthermore I never had to worry about my money going to political candidates I did not approve of.

          A free market means that an employee or prospect has the right to represent himself. If he or she does not like the salary or terms they can go look elsewhere. Unions typically have fostered resentment and confusion with an occasional success story, but they are a bad idea in the modern IT world.

        • #3101107

          We are the union and we will take care of you.

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to What Unions Insure

          sound familiar? 🙂

        • #3100591

          What’s really unfair

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to Fear & loathing of Unions is unfair

          Is that the union protects the mediocre and lazy worker, while forbidding management to reward the guy that’s doing their work. They can’t give the better worker a raise because they’d have to give the other ones a raise too, and they can’t create a new position because the lazy ones would get it because of seniority.

          It’s the unionist mindset that is the very reason for a big part of the disparity of class in this country, and the reason other countries are going to catch up to and eventually overtake our economy. You can’t compete with genius and innovation on a level field, so you band together to drag the achievers down, and you pat yourselves on the back and call it a success. You’ve lowered the bar (now every kid gets an award in school, don’t you know, and aren’t there tens of millions of cars running around with those “My child is an honor student at …” stuck to them?). You’ve stifled work ethic, (why go the extra mile if you’re not going to gain from it? and will other employees hate you if you outperform them and make them look bad?), and punished innovation (If I discover this better way of doing things, how many people will it put out of work?). You think laurels are something you get when you graduate from college with a degree, and that they are to be rested upon for the rest of your lives.

          What have you achieved. Medical insurance? Bull, the companies who offer paid medical do so at your expense. They could be giving you that money, or, better yet, reduce the cost of their products or services. You wonder why medical care is so expensive. Well maybe it’s because the medical workers have to pay more for the products and services they need because those companies raised their prices to cover the cost of medical insurance their employees’ unions demanded. Higher wages? Yes, and higher prices, higher taxes, and union dues. It’s a spiral without end.

          And at what cost this ‘achievement’? Well, lots of companies are downsizing. In order to meet the increased payroll costs, they had to let one of your buddies go (what’s your union doing for him now?). Not only that, but now the rest of you are doing his work in addition to your own (uh oh: more stress, more illness, more medical bills, higher insurance premiums, ad infinitum). Or the company decides to set up shop in another country where labor is less expensive, and now EVERYBODY is looking for a new job. And lets not forget the retirement plans that were hit because they were invested in these companies that went belly up (what’s your union doing for the retirees who are taking it on the chin?), and these people end up dragging down the one’s who didn’t get directly hit.

          Yep, you’ve done it all right … achieved through compassionate ([b]not![/b]) solidarity. Congratulations.

        • #3272420

          CEO’s in Outsource Nation

          by too old for it ·

          In reply to Fear & loathing of Unions is unfair

          CEO’s in Outsource Nation never move their trophy shopaholic wife or Muffy & Buffy, the fashion conscious teenage daughters over to Bangalore to live.

          Before the fall of the Taliban, I always wanted to be there to watch the reaction of the local social vanguards to a couple of stuck up mall rats who were pissed that they had to be “in ocuntry” with daddy, the CxO of OutsourceCo.

        • #3272419

          CEO’s in Outsource Nation

          by too old for it ·

          In reply to Fear & loathing of Unions is unfair

          CEO’s in Outsource Nation never move their trophy shopaholic wife or Muffy & Buffy, the fashion conscious teenage daughters over to Bangalore to live.

          Before the fall of the Taliban, I always wanted to be there to watch the reaction of the local social vanguards to a couple of stuck up mall rats who were pissed that they had to be “in country” with daddy, the CxO of OutsourceCo.

      • #3132804

        You think $12/hr is bad?

        by 50kilroy ·

        In reply to You think $12/hr is bad?

        When you say, “Do what you love. Work hard at it. The money will follow”, you are absolutely, 100% WRONG.
        I was in the I.T. field since 1975 and only last year grew onions enough to move on to electronics research, which pays what the job is worth.
        In my 25 years in I.T., I have been paid what the job is worth (up through about 1985), then the Windows babies took over. With the advent of Windows, every Tom, Dick, and Harry began to think that he was a computer expert, which thought was reinforced by the toilet-paper MCSE programs. I have heard so many times from a 16 year old ‘hi skooler’ that he/she was an ‘engineer’ and therefore should be paid as an engineer.
        Back to your question, YES, $12/hour is bad. Bad, bad, bad. An I.T. professional should be paid a minimum of $35.00/hour, but that isn’t going to happen; not without organization.
        What a union could do for I.T. is to strenghen the field and exclude those ‘engineers’ with the Microsoft toilet-paper certs in favor of us who have hard experience.
        Sure, the tests have tough questions, and there are many MCSE ‘boot camps’ which will, for about $1500, drill a kid in the answers.
        Answers do NOT make an engineer.

        • #3132641

          Kilroy – your ok

          by richard ·

          In reply to You think $12/hr is bad?

          The big problem is that those who need a Union the most are those that don’t want it.

          When I say union I mean an organization similar to a trade union. I see so much reinventing of the wheel, this not only holds back and individual it holds back the industry…

        • #3132479


          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to You think $12/hr is bad?

          What do we know about the position that was advertised in the paper? It was for a “LAN tech” and paid $12/hr in Boise, Idaho.

          If this were for an entry level position at a small(ish) company, in a low cost of living area, you think $24,000 a year is bad?

          We don’t know if they required anything more than a High School diplaoma for this position. It might be that the LAN Admin needs an assistant, and wants someone he (or she) can train. Perhaps this person is biased against college educated people or simply prefers someone completely new and doesn’t want to “untrain” bad habits.

          If no one wants the job, they will either go without filling it, or they will raise the offered wage. It’s that simple.

        • #3272392

          Really? Really!

          by 50kilroy ·

          In reply to Really?

          Oh, they will fill the position all right enough. some “hi skooler” with a giant golden book of networking will take it at substandard wages and drive wages into the dirt for everyone.
          UNIONIZE NOW!

        • #3273716


          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to Really? Really!

          Then someone willing to work at that wage, who is worth exactly that wage, has a job.

          You probably wouldn’t want to work there anyway.

        • #3271974

          Well said.

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to Good!


      • #3132763

        Unions, huh? Looks like they’ve done great in the auto industry…

        by acavasin ·

        In reply to You think $12/hr is bad?

        First read dpetrak’s reply. Even though he doesn’t articulate it as well as he could, he gets it.

        Sure, go union and jack the wages up to $50.00/hr. demand double time for overtine, no- hell- demand triple time for overtime. Then you can start bitching about working conditions, idiots behind the keyboards, dust on the server, whatever. Management will piss you off and then you can go out on strike. Three weeks later the first boatload of Indian or Pakistani or Malaysian IT replacements will arrive….

        Check out the auto industry, the steel industry, the rubber industry and the construciton industry,
        then make your decision about unions…

        • #3132685


          by ed woychowsky ·

          In reply to Unions, huh? Looks like they’ve done great in the auto industry…

          Two words: Bethlehem Steel.

          Look what the unions did for those employees. Where are they now? The last one that I spoke to was stocking shelves in a supermarket for $8.50 an hour.

          Alright, that’s more than two words.

        • #3102024

          yes because

          by richard ·

          In reply to Agree

          his own government removed the import tax that was designed to give him a fair chance against a 25 cent per hour worker.
          did he vote, did he challenge this?
          even a large company can’t help alone. If Ford or GM decided to be different they would simply cost more then the guys who pay 25 cents per hour. You have to have a union and labor laws, they have to be fair, the company needs and deserves a profit.
          they don’t deserve to pay 25 cents per hour and dump oil into the river. Not every company is against unions. Many like to hire good trained help.
          Id you are a programmer at, say Microsoft, do you really profess to know what one of your hours is worth in the grand scheme of things? I think you don’t. I do think you know if you know how many hours a week you will work and how much you will be paid and how much per hour that comes to, OR do you really know.
          Or are you a “professional” “exempt” = translation, fixed fee, open ended supply. You give as much as I demand when I decide but I don’t owe you more for working more. Sounds pretty stupid doesn’t it.

        • #3102022

          two words

          by richard ·

          In reply to Agree

          Japanese imports

        • #3102020

          more words

          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to two words

          Which american companies made hybrid cars more than 2 years ago?

          So, if I wanted a hybrid, what should I have done?

        • #3101714

          American Hybrid?

          by raintree ·

          In reply to more words

          If you want an American Hybrid car, you can buy one that has an American Manufacturers name on it but the guts of it still comes from Japan.

        • #3100965

          Since when?

          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to American Hybrid?

          Not back when I bought mine. NOW, yes, you can buy american-made hybrids. The technology and parts might not all be from the US, but the workers who performed the final assembly might be here…

          But that’s my point.

          (And the saddest part is, the technology isn’t from here.)

        • #3087795

          Wrong target

          by pkr9 ·

          In reply to two words

          The reason is not that japanese workers have low wages, they just produce better cars.

        • #3087516

          Without doubt

          by raintree ·

          In reply to Wrong target

          There are two (at least) reasons why the Japanese produce better cars. Their employees are interested in dong quality work and management is interested in produding a quality product. They both get compensated well for what they do because they are not building in their own obsolescence factor (into their cars or into their jobs).

        • #3102036

          Gets your facts correct

          by mignered ·

          In reply to Unions, huh? Looks like they’ve done great in the auto industry…

          Unions do not make the strategic decisions that drive growth and productivity.
          Toyotas and Hondas are built in the United States and many of the workers are represented by a union.
          Unions helped to build the great American middle class.

      • #3132680

        Paper MCSE’s = Interns

        by techiemikee ·

        In reply to You think $12/hr is bad?

        Paper MCSE’s are like interns so don’t compare an entire industry to someone just trying to get their foot in the door.

        If you were around the industry during the late 90’s then you are familiar with how over inflated the salaries were, and then what became of those over inflated salaries.

        Don’t assume all companies are low balling people. If the company or region you live in is under compensating then move on, that is the most effective way to get the message across. A union puppet walks the line and the employer has someone to negotiate with but if an employer leaves and finds a company they are better suited for, there is no negotiation and the former employer is forced to make drastic changes to keep the rest of the employees or to attract new ones.

        I personally welcome $12-$16 hour folks into the industry cause when they screw up–and they will screw up–then it usually wakes the management up to how much money down time costs them and the will gladly pay the premium rates it takes to get a veterans in there who can avoid the costly mistakes made by the rookies. $12-$16hr job listing means to me that I need to follow up with that company in 3 ? 6 months, because it will take 3-6 months for either the employer to get fed up with their new hire or the new hire to find better compensation elsewhere.

        • #3101821

          Reply To: Unionize IT Now!

          by whistl3r ·

          In reply to Paper MCSE’s = Interns

          AND that’s the problem… Management throwinig a wet towel around “thinking” they know how to properly staff the IT department then wonder why they have sooo much downtime. With these incompetent cert boy’s floating around you are bound to have problems.

          IT / IS involves an individual with a formal (college) education, not someone who took a two week crash course. We don’t see two week crash course surgeon’s do we, now?!

        • #3102478

          Actually 40 hours of training on a laproscope

          by x-marcap ·

          In reply to Reply To: Unionize IT Now!

          Thake me from General surgeon to a certified laproscopic surgeon…

        • #3102477

          Actually 40 hours of training on a laproscope

          by x-marcap ·

          In reply to Reply To: Unionize IT Now!

          Take me from General surgeon to a certified laproscopic surgeon…

      • #3132669

        YES $12/hour IS BAD

        by cathleen301 ·

        In reply to You think $12/hr is bad?

        Which unions are you referring to that take 25% of your earnings for dues? My union takes 2% of my earnings – a small price to pay. Especially since our contract, which has expired, mandates that we keep the same standards until a new contract is agreed upon.

        What do you think you’re worth? If everyone who does the same type of work that you do accepts $12/hour maybe your employer will decide not to increase your salary and because no one else is paid more than $12/hour maybe he’ll feel that he’s paying you too much – how much of a pay cut are you willing to take to do the same job that you are doing now and then some?

        Or, maybe your employer will freeze your wages yet double or triple your insurance co-pay and deductibles and weekly contributions. What percentage of your earnings are you paying or losing to your employer for health coverage? A union contract can protect you in that area.

        Maybe your employer will decide that IT “professionals” should work 50, 60, or 70 hours per week and aren’t eligible for overtime. What if your $12/hour is derived from a set 40 hour per work week salary, and your employer keeps the salary the same yet increases the number of hours to 50, 60, 70 per week?

        With a union contract your employer can not do this to you on a whim. The contract ensures a standard, and changes to that standard would have to be negotiated by BOTH parties. A union contract protects your self-respect and your right to fairly negotiate your value to your employer. A union contract will also establish a safe working environment, protects your job if a family member is ill and you are their caregiver; or need a maternity or paternit leave.

        Is a union contract perfect? No. For instance, there is work that I know how to do, have gone back to school to learn how to do – yet it is work that is in a higher classification than my job. The company will not train me to do that job, because I would have to be paid that classification’s rate of pay. But at negotiations, I can bring this to the attention of the negotiation committee and maybe the new contract can be tweaked. At the very least, I can try to make a change, I don’t have to just sit there and stew in frustration.

        For me, the union contract has more benefits than drawbacks. The job, wage, safety and working conditions protection that it gives me allows me to focus on being a productive employee.

        There are still a lot of unions out there, I’m sure IT workers can fine one that will meet the criteria that they establish.

      • #3132647

        You are blind

        by richard ·

        In reply to You think $12/hr is bad?

        or perhaps inexperienced.
        you should abide by your logo.

        You can through stones if you want but.. this is what happened to me in the past.
        I as a member of a trade union, I was a forman, I liked running jobs but the pay was not keeping up with inflation.
        Others in my trade did not support the union, they did not want to work together and did not want to pay dues. At a uninon meeting I tried to tell the those who speak lik you that they need guys like me and they needed their union. They did not listen and when the last company in our trade, in Miami, Fl went non union, I had to sit in the office for 3 days, I was the only one on strike.
        As a forman I made $1 over the rest. I was on strike to another $1 for going non union. After 3 days I got the measly $1 and went to work. I watched as their were no more raises and others worked for what I would not. Well the $2 over scale was not enough and I went into IT make $90k a year and the kind of benifits package that you hope for…. I have not always made this much, it is demanding, and sometimes I wish I could find another way. I have no job security and am racing toward retirement hoping I will be able to continue live on what I have.
        Not only do you need a Union to help you, those of you who think you don’t need it the most. I am an over producer, If need be I will pay a large sum to learn what your employeer needs and build it in my $100,000 computer lab. When times are tight I may take your job!….
        I think there is a better way, I would like to have more of a life other then IT. I would like to have some kind of working conditions other then reactive poor planning overtime. I put my job on the line often when told what I will do, when and for how much. I don’t think employers owe me anything other then a fair deal and my fair cut of the pie. I know that I will always give more then the minimum that I am required. That’s how you make a win win.
        Bring on a Union NOW, We all need it, perhaps you more then me.

        • #3132586

          Neither blind nor inexperienced

          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to You are blind

          Actually, I have an old college degree in Economics, so I know plenty about this topic.

          Unionizing a field where the work is so easily moved to another sector is a terrible idea.

          But a lot of firms actually don’t mind having unions! The total cost of the labor force actually decreases when you have a completely unionized labor supply. And you don’t have to negotiate every hire, because the costs are known and set. Thus, you save money on the cost of labor.

          So, the original poster wants more money. Unionizing isn’t about money. If you want more money, negotiate for it.

          Let’s take the original statements and look at them:

          “I just saw an ad in the paper here for a lan tech for $12/hour!”

          So what? Maybe they are looking for an entry level position. Perhaps they need a lan tech helper, not an architect. We don’t know the whole story, just a factoid and some angry venting.

          “When I first started in this industry I was making very good money. I had a new cert and a master’s degree.”

          Again, so what? You mean you’re being paid less now? Perhaps the cert and the degree, both paper products, indicate a level or proficiency higher than what you actually prove to have. The jobs won’t last long!

          “I say we apply rules of work that apply to a 40 hour work week and serious overtime.”

          If your employer is failing to pay you overtime, check your state’s laws on the topic. You might have a case!

          Personally, I have a 35 hour work week and get paid for overtime (above 40). The other 5 hours are paid straight time. This is a common setting for positions in my firm where overtime is not rare. (We get paid double time only on holidays.)

          “I say we demand $50/hr for any IT related work, as a minimum.”

          I know many ‘techs’ who aren’t worth that much. Most aren’t, in my opinion. How did you come up with that number? Is it just what you wish you made? Is it based on some data?

          Go ahead, people – rip me one for this. But unionizing IT ain’t a great idear…

      • #3102069

        you have no clue

        by ssl648 ·

        In reply to You think $12/hr is bad?

        I dont even know where to begin. To suggest that any union would ask 25% of its members salaries is asinine. The actual cost of union membership is 1) about 1.5% of salary and 2) the freedom of negotiating directly with your company. Which means no more used car salesman approach to promotions for the underqualified, and no more low balling for the ambitious. Which can definately be bad if fall into either of those categories. But the point here is that IT has become the labor industry of the 21 century, we are where manufacturing was 40 years ago. If you feel that unions are bad for the labor industry then they will look just as bad here. On the other hand, when was the last time you bought something that was ‘Made in the USA’, now think about how easy it is outsource IT functions vs manufacturing.

        • #3102035

          Made in the USA

          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to you have no clue

          First, I mentioned in an earlier repost that the 25% is meant to be so extraordinary that you don’t accept it as reality. I’d take more flack from more people if I stated 2% and someone had 1.5% and another had 1%. How dare I double it!

          Next, you have no clue if you think buying everything “Made in the USA” actually ensures you a job. There’s a little concept called “Competitive Advantage”. If you don’t know it, take a few international economics courses.

          Perrsonally, I’m worth more than most other people in this field. I don’t want my wages lowered because of some sliding scale limiting me to X dollars over Y years. If my value to the company is not proven, they can fire me. If they don’t reward my efforts, I leave. THAT is a free market.

          I buy things no matter where they are made. I weigh the cost, quality, and how it fits to my needs and desires – and then I make my decision.

          Quite honestly, if the US only makes crap I won’t buy it.

          Then again, there’s that “competitive advantage” concept again… All unionists should be forced to take econ courses…

      • #3101997


        by flowahpla ·

        In reply to You think $12/hr is bad?

        You seem to be malinformed, or perhaps fearmongering?
        Even worse case scenario, any union I have ever heard of doesn’t operate at that level with respect to dues!
        There are dues, of course, but most are in the low single digits with respect to percentages.
        As far as strikes go, there is no way around it. They suck.
        But they suck for the employer as well, and in most cases serve as a deterent to both parties involved. There is strike pay, but it is minimal to say the least.
        Unions have their pros and cons, just like anything else, but to be taken seriously, you need to first get real.

        • #3101960

          Getting real

          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to Surrealistic

          That’s the point. I’m not going to quote a specific number for dues (as everyone will vary) so I came up with a number that was obviously not accurate. This was intended to make the point without committing to an actual number.

          If I said 5%, people at 2% would be mad. If I said 2%, people at 1.5% would yell.

          So try to reread it again – jsut add your own numbers where appropriate.

      • #3101922

        Why show your total misconceptions?

        by sailor39 ·

        In reply to You think $12/hr is bad?

        dopetrk, I will answer each of your allegations/misconceptions with my knowledge of unions.
        First, a union does not hire people, the company with the union contract does. If the union wishes to keep the contract, it will send as many qualified IT applicants as it can find.

        Secondly, no union I am aware of charges dues of 25%.
        The norm is more like 3% to 5%, and it is certainly worth it because not only hourly wages will be great, but more importantly, you are protected from unfair work rules like 50 to 60 hours/week with no overtime, late nights after midnight and early calls the next morning, even to protecting you from “outsourcing”. I can see a tremendous need in the IT field for the able assistance of a union.

        Oh Yes, if a union wishes to strike, one of the things needed is a majority vote of the membership in the venue in favor of the strikeIf you stop and think about, there are very, very few strikes these days. Just abolut everyone agrees that a strike is absolutely the final resort.

        Disclaimer – I currently do not work in the IT field, but as the old saying goes…I know many who do. jack

        • #3101905

          In turn

          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to Why show your total misconceptions?

          “First, a union does not hire people…”

          Actually, they negotiate how many people work there. The negotiate the necessary standards for the hired personnel. They, in effect, do the hiring. (Granted, contracts vary.)

          “Secondly, no union I am aware of charges dues of 25%.”

          Me neither. The number, as I’ve explained a few other times, was meant to be outrageous enough to not be taken literally, but easy enough to make the point. Feel free to read the other posts.

          “…not only hourly wages will be great, but more importantly, you are protected from unfair work rules like 50 to 60 hours/week with no overtime, late nights after midnight and early calls the next morning, even to protecting you from “outsourcing”.”

          My hourly wages are great. I work overtime and get paid for it. (They try to make sure no one abuses this, actually.)

          It’s my company. I take responsibility for it. I work hard and I’m compensated accordingly. I would hate a union boss to tell me I can’t work if I want to. That I can’t let a 15 minute call slide if I want to.

          I take care of my company, and my company takes care of me. A union would simply get in the way of that.

          If you work for a place that doesn’t treat you properly, leave it. If they break the law, report them.

          And as for being protected from outsourcing – At the rate we’re adding remote offices, I am more of an outsource to the remote sites sometimes than I am a local worker.

          If I couldn’t do my job, I’d be fired. When the company can’t pay me or be flexible enough for my life, I’ll fire them.

        • #3103012

          You are obviously locked into a small company…

          by questor1 ·

          In reply to In turn

          You are obviously locked into a small company where you seem to be happy. You are probably underpaid for the quality and quantity of IT work you perform to the clients satisfaction. I hope you get satisfaction from this contracting gig because it can change from good to bad in a moments notice. What recourse do you have if the client company abruptly terminates you or your contract? If the company you work for changes its mind for any small or unknow reason, you can be out on the street in a heartbeat.

          As I stated in my original post, “Fear and loathing of Unions is unfair” – you have not address that fact that non-union IT staff have no job security (they are considered “at-will) and are subject to the subject to unfair and irrational management conditions. I have seen this done to people and it is not a pretty sight.

          Unions offer social stability to represent employees to management with a unified voice of concern. Unions enable IT staff to work with management in confidence and realize that IT workers do have a voice in the company that cannot be easily ignored.

          Small IT shops that you seem to work at may not have exposed you to many of the IT issues experienced at larger companies. Try working at a large company IT department for an extended period of time and you will see the office politics that often burnout employees. IT Unions help members provide a measure of fairness and enable union members to work with office politics that often burn non-union IT staff.

        • #3103195


          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to You are obviously locked into a small company…

          Obviously not!

          You don’t know where I work, and you won’t. So you’ll have to take my word for it that it isn’t small. Granted, I’ve worked in much larger places, and smaller.

          But so what if the company fires me? I’m good enough to find another. My state is an “at will” state. I can leave whenever I want, and likewise, they may terminate me whenever they want. C’est la vie.

          I can talk to management. If I can’t at some time, my boss will relay the concern. I have no worries there.

          I don’t fear or loathe unions. I just believe they shouldn’t affect my wages.

          It sounds more like you fear and loathe business without a union, though. And that I find unfortunate. Not that it bothers me, as I can then negotiate my wages higher than yours. Thanks.

      • #3272468

        100% agree

        by scifiman ·

        In reply to You think $12/hr is bad?

        Get paid whatever you want. Remember the good old days in USSR and some other countries (maybe still?). You were given a test in 10th grade or whatever. The outcome determinied if you were allowed into college and what your career in life would be.

        Also, I’m on the tail end of the baby boomers. All those older than me will be opening up slots in the coming years, making tons of opportunities for me and the youngsters. Plus, since the dot com crash, fewer folks when into IT so there will be some nice worker shortages in the future. I’m looking forward to it.

        Read The Automatic Millionire, save a portion of every dollar you earn. If we aren’t ignorant consumers that NEED piles of STUFF and live within our means, you’re all set to retire early and live comfortably. There, now we don’t need unions. Problem solved. My work here is done.

        • #3272403

          Smart consumers

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to 100% agree

          Thoreau said it best. “The man is richest whose pleasures are cheapest.”

      • #3090483

        reply to dpetrak

        by bigbadfish63 ·

        In reply to You think $12/hr is bad?

        unions also provide pension plans not 401k which a employer only contribute upto a certain amount of what they feel is worthy, also they can provide disability insurance, morgages at a cut rate,auto insurance discounts, medical benefits, dental,optical, with minemal cotributions if any from the employee, stop overseas out sourcing,yea free trade only befits other countrys, we need to take care of our own people first! wages whithin reason not like the UAW!RIGHT TO STARVE NOT RIGHT TO WORK IS WHAT IT SHOULD BE CALLED!Fair wage for a fair honest days work. there are pros and cons to unionization, thats why i stated if it is run correctly, not the UAW, U Aint Workin.

    • #3252343

      Unionize now and find your job outsourced

      by jamesrl ·

      In reply to Unionize IT Now!

      I’m an experienced IT Manager and Project Leader with 20 years in IT, and with the market in my big expensive city, I can’t charge the equivalent of $50 US an Hour.

      If you want your salary to go up, provide more value to the company you work for, or find a company who will appreciate your skillset and hard work.

      I know that if my workspace unionized, the company would simply move the work to a non-union area.

      And don’t think you rule the world because you have an MCSE. I have a couple of staff members with 20 years experience each, who support a bunch of MCSEs. Neither of them has an MCSE. Both of them are far better at the ins and outs of MS servers/networking etc, than the MCSEs that they support. They provide docs and training to the MCSEs.

      Microsoft clearly makes money from the Certification process – how do you think a union would be able to get them to change their process?


      • #3132814

        incompetent / uneducated management…

        by whistl3r ·

        In reply to Unionize now and find your job outsourced

        “If you want your salary to go up, provide more value to the company you work for, or find a company who will appreciate your skillset and hard work.”

        I hear this every day, colleagues complaining of poor management and the skills and knowledge management lacks. Simply put, ANYONE with a master’s degree “SHOULD” be making six figure at least, regardless of what effort is being placed into the company, chances are they are the backbone anyhow.

        The NUMBER 1 problem is, most corporation’s and business’ hire unintellectual people and follow a bureaucratic process. Case in point… two people apply for an IS/IT engineering position; one of which holds a graduates degree, the other 20 different certifications, no formal education AND a minority, who will get the pick of the draw? Chances look good for the minority.

        Second problem is, management needs to remove there head from their rear side and hire compitent employees providing exceptional benefits. Management also needs to LEARN to keep their employee’s happy… after all THESE employee’s whom you hire make YOU the money. Companis do not make money just because they exist, companies exist becuase of your dedicated employee’s who sweat and bleed while the executives sit in their padded leather chairs, believe me I know (I own my own business).

        Sooner or later all IT will walk out the same door they walked in.

        You think outsourcing will resolve your issue… incorrect. The market would severly panic, there would be a likelihood of a 500% salary spike.

        I guess you are not aware that hiring your copmlete IT staff offshore to replace the American labor market is illegal and will most likely land you below the curb.

        However, i do agree with the rest of your points… just because you have a cert does not mean you know anything. What do some companies expect for these assembly line certified techs, 2weeks of training and they already know how to setup a server, heh. You can blame management on that one.

        • #3132800

          I’m not advocating outsourcing

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to incompetent / uneducated management…

          And I take issue with your idea about legality. Dell is one example where they took entire groups offshore, and I worked for a Fortune 100 company which entirely outsourced their IT department of thousands of people. Outsourcing is not necessarily offshoring.

          Personally I don’t think that outsourcing is the answer in most cases. My point was that unionization often rewards the mediocre, and I can tell you that I managed two teams, one unionized, one non-unionized, that did the same job. The morale, competancy and performance of the non-unionized group was far better. The union made it almost (but not quite) impossible to get rid of the dead wood.


      • #3102032

        Job longevity circa 1870’s

        by dlyons ·

        In reply to Unionize now and find your job outsourced

        In the late 1800’s one of the highest paying jobs in the US was telegraph operator, you know MORSE code, dots, dashes. etc. That was the equivalent of today’s IT. Alexander Bell spoiled the whole thng. As we’ve all seen, much of the work we IT people do today is replaceable, almost low skill level. Anybody who ever setup up a WINCHESTER hard drive in the 1980’s, complete with entering the error map, knows the changes that have occured.

        • #3102017

          Things keep rolling along

          by cactus pete ·

          In reply to Job longevity circa 1870’s

          I’m glad we aren’t still relying on just telegraph technologies.

        • #3101858

          Reply To: Unionize IT Now!

          by whistl3r ·

          In reply to Job longevity circa 1870’s

          And… new technology is born into the market on a daily basis, it’s not only the fastest growing market in the world it’s the most crucial market in the industry.

          So, Who’s responsibility is it to keep up with the times? Who devotes their time for such businesses to continue floating?

      • #3272389

        Unionize now and find outsourced job returned

        by 50kilroy ·

        In reply to Unionize now and find your job outsourced

        Unions do often cooperate with each other. For instance, should a large IC manufacturer not be paying a decent wage, that company might find itself without any raw materials due to the Teamster freight haulers not crossing a picket line. Should they hire non-union haulers, other companies might find that Teamsters have initiated a ‘sympathy’ strike. So, as you can see, a union can have wide ranging effect. The problem is that companies are so forceful in quelling union talk that folks are afraid to organize.
        Could a strike affect Microsoft? You bet it could.

        • #3272274

          Microsoft strike?

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Unionize now and find outsourced job returned

          Why would employees of Microsoft ever strike? They’re well-paid, with plenty of vacation time and benefits. They have no interest in joining any unions.

        • #3272896

          Microsoft strike? NO!

          by 50kilroy ·

          In reply to Microsoft strike?

          Microsoft employees would not have to strike for MS to feel the heat.
          Teamsters move their product.
          Postal workers move their product.
          Cafeteria workers cater their onsite food provision.
          Electrical workers provide power.
          Union members do not cross picket lines.

          MS product sitting in a truck, undelivered, on the outside of a picket line, makes 0 dollars for MS.
          0 dollars for MS makes for fewer workers at MS with wage cuts.
          An electrical failure at the MS complex could halt production if IBEW were on sympathy strike.

          Get the picture now?


        • #3272880

          you don’t get it

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Microsoft strike? NO!

          There’s no reason for IT workers to unionize because the only IT workers who could benefit don’t need it. Strikes only make any difference the strikers consider positive when the employer is a major corporation, and the major IT corporations pay their IT employees well, give them good benefits, and so on.

          Get the picture?

        • #3272871

          Response to unionization attempts

          by tonythetiger ·

          In reply to you don’t get it

          Make everybody management 🙂

        • #3086907

          I get it fine..

          by 50kilroy ·

          In reply to you don’t get it

          I _do_ work for a “major corporation”. It has over 10,000 employees, over 200 sites worldwide, and a multi-billion dollar bottom line.
          That’s pretty major.
          They also pay their I.T. people like entry level “hi-skoolers”….no, worse that that.
          Average in our dept (for those who actually do something) is $30k. Manglers, otoh, are making 6 figs. The dept mangler is knocking down $250K, and is not now, nor has she ever been, a computer or I.T./MIS person of any kind. She is, by education, a musician but she does pos