RE: Technical Writing Union

Subject: RE: Technical Writing Union
From: "Dugas, Andrew" <ADugas -at- eTranslate -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2001 08:58:41 -0800

The perception of unions today has become disconnected from their more noble
roots. It is not absurd to argue that US factory working conditions (wages,
benefits, number of days and hours worked) would resemble those in Jakarta
were it not for the valiant efforts of the original labor unionizers 100+
years ago.

One of my favorite bumper stickers said something like, "Have a nice
weekend? Thank the Labor Movement." There a lots of things like that we take
for granted today. Who ever wonders about the origins of the eight-hour day
or the 40-hour work week. How about that lunch break you feel so entitled

Of course, unions have become victims of their own success. TWs have had it
pretty good in the US, so unionizing holds little attraction in the way of
protections and benefits (or so the perception goes). Unions provided a real
benefit when a captive underclass (young children included) was forced to
work in appalling conditions for long hours, day after day.

Corruption in union leadership and overexaggerated mob ties have only
further hurt the public image of unions. Mysteriously, corporate corruption
("crime in the suites") of government and university research doesn't rankle
as much, though one could easily argue that the damages are greater and more

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Wednesday, October 31, 2001 8:29 AM
Subject: RE: Technical Writing Union

I think this sentiment is due, in part, to the perception here in the US
that unions are associated with organized crime, and with illegal activities
on the part of members. For instance, when most Americans think of union
members on strike, I 'd wager they think of violence and death-threats
directed against those who "cross the picket-line." I don't know how
accurate this perception is, but I think the perception exists. I gather
this is not the case in the UK?

> -----Original Message-----
> From: pkingston -at- nomadsoft -dot- co -dot- uk [SMTP:pkingston -at- nomadsoft -dot- co -dot- uk]
> Sent: Wednesday, October 31, 2001 11:17 AM
> Subject: Re: Technical Writing Union
> I must admit, I find this anti-union sentiment from across the water
> fascinating. Is there any historical reason for this with respect to
> Technical Communications?
> Kind regards,
> Peter Kingston

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