RE: Technical Writing Union

Subject: RE: Technical Writing Union
From: "Domaschuk, Rob" <Robd -at- datalogics -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2001 10:04:40 -0600

Union? Yeah, I have an opinion!

I am paid well, in a profession that seems strong for the moment (the thread
on this profession in the next 20 years notwithstanding), am treated as a
professional, get to mandate how I work. All a union would do for me is
provide me with a place to send a part of my paycheck with no real hope of a
payback. Kinda like Vegas, although the odds of a payout are better in

The original mandate of any union is two-fold: first, ensure that its
members are not being treated unfairly by the company and secondly to ensure
that the company is provided with skilled, trained workers. Having been in
this profession for a while, I am certainly in support of the second option
(seen too many "tech writers" hired without any skill or aptitude). As for
the first, if I feel that I am being treated unfairly, then I can always
look for another job. In an economic downturn, that may be difficult to do,
but belonging to a union will not make it any easier (probably will make it
harder considering the reputation of unions lately).

These days unions are nothing more than another business, unwilling to put
in writing what they'll offer people for their support. Higher wages? Sure
I'd like that, but frankly, a union will not get me more money that a
company is willing to pay, and then I just end up with higher union dues.
Unions will also apply restrictions to protect all of its members. That
means no more free-lancing on the side (taking work away from a union
brother or sister!), no more cross-training in the workplace (I am paid to
write, not to learn code), and so forth.

<tongue-in-cheek mode ON>
Here is a better idea - figure out what your union
dues will be, send me *half* of that instead. That
way I get richer, you don't pay as much in dues as
you would've, and you are no further behind. I then
take the money to Vegas, and I will split the
winnings with you - I promise!
<tongue-in-cheek mode OFF>

No thanks! :-)

Rob Domaschuk | 312.853.8337 - t
Technical Writer | 630.430.4162 - m
Datalogics inc. | 719.623.7431 - f

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