Re: Technical Writing Union

Subject: Re: Technical Writing Union
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2001 10:36:21 -0800 (PST)

> Washtech is a technical workers union that protects our rights as
workers in
> the state of Washington. We have a couple of small companies in our
> (Boeing and Microsoft) that practically own our state legislature. For
> example, a few years ago Microsoft pushed through a law that says
> workers cannot ask for time and a half for overtime. A recent proposed
> change in the unemployment law would require a laid-off consultant to
> continue to contact their former agency, even if the agency made no
> of work in the future (this has to do with Microsoft's one-year limit on
> temps).
> Washtech lobbies for us, keeps us abreast of the latest workplace news,
> provides discounts on training in high-tech fields. It only costs $11 a
> month...well worth the cost.

Of your job? Do you realize what this kind of lobbying does? It hurts
EVERYBODY'S chance at work.

People wonder why they can't get independent contracting jobs? This is
why. Lobbying and pressure from unions has so terrorized companies that
they won't work with independents any more. Furthermore, the year-cap on
contract work was put in place to stop people from suing over benefits. So
now, instead of a nice $35 or $40 an hour, 40 hour a week job for years
and years. These contractors have NOTHING. Thanks to the hard lobbying
work of unions, the people they purport to protect are being laid off in
droves. Their new set of benefits are UNEMPLOYMENT benefits! Whoo hoo,
have $235 a month to live on.

Union activity has also pressured contract agencies. Wonder why all your
agencies are offering contract work at pathetic rates? Well, they now have
to hold tons and tons of insurance on top of mountains of bureaucratic red
tape. Thanks to the hard work of unions pressuring state legislatures -
wages are getting pushed down and jobs are drying up. Thank you, unions!

Unions are merely attempting to usurp the natural tendencies of a free
market. What is better? A job for 5 years at $35 an hour and no benefits?
Or no job at all? Because that is what is happening. Companies are simply
not hiring as many contractors because union activity has made it too
difficult and costly to contract people any more. Because a few people
couldn't figure out how to call Kaiser Permanente and get their own
health-care coverage and put away some money into a IRA - we know have 1/3
the contract jobs we used to have.

What is even worse is that many of these contractors had a good thing. $35
an hour, working full-time is equivalent to $70000 a year. These people
would be lucky to get 1/2 that in a salaried position. If they had used
their money wisely, purchased their own benefits, and negotiated smartly,
they could have made more money and lived better in the long run.

Companies are not going to lose money. Unions are trying to force
companies into arrangements where they would lose money contracting
people. So the answer is simple - contract less people. Now how did all
that union pressure help anybody?

Andrew Plato

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