Re: Technical Writing Union

Subject: Re: Technical Writing Union
From: Peter <pnewman1 -at- home -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 01 Nov 2001 05:43:28 -0500

Bruce Byfield wrote:
> Third, no matter how friendly your bosses are - and, incidentally, I
> have always got on well with mine - their interests aren't yours. As an
> employee, your interests are a living wage, interesting work, and
> perhaps the chance for career advancement. Your supervisors have some of
> the same interests, but they are also interested in profit and the
> company's survival and growth.

A good employee will have the same goal. the company is not a fountain
that magically provides money. One must work to make the company

Low profits = layoffs

>This difference means that, sometimes, no
> matter how much they like or value you, they're going to make decisions
> that aren't in your personal interest. Sometimes, they are right to do
> so, but, at other times, they are arbitary and unfair - and it's at
> these times that a union comes in useful.

And employees are never unfair to the companies they work for? While you
may not be, many are. Unions have certainly been a valuable aid in
helping to create the type of economy we now enjoy. (despite the down
How is production from tech writers supposed to be measured? Strict
seniority or quality? Teachers have an active and vocal union. Perhaps
we should look at what happens when a school board tries to fire (gasp,
I used the f word,) an incompetent teacher. The paper work necessary to
document the case is so overwhelming and subject to challenges that most
school boards simply ignore incompetence, while highly motivated and
skilled teachers are simply part of the pack. I can see managers
spending even more time documenting performance than processes. Do you
really want this for tech writers?
Sam may have no clue about a new technology, while John is really into
it. Yet if a layoff is about to come, John my very well get the ax
because Sam has Seniority.
Yeah! I know, office politics sometimes rears its ugly head. We don't
live in an ideal world. I am not sure though that unions are the
answer. For true professionals, they may very well cause more problems
than they solve.

Mailto:peternew -at- optonline -dot- net

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