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> I used to work for a company that expected overtime, weekend-time, any
> holiday-time. Nobody stood up for themselves because they
> were all too worried about getting fired, and had low self-esteem about
> getting another job. When you met a fellow employee in the hallway
> on a Saturday or heard that they were sent to a seminar on Father's Day,
> the running joke was that we had to pay for the owner's kids' braces and
> college funds. If the owner wants to neglect his family on Father's day
> fine, but that doesn't mean all the employees have to?
No, but as a professional - I accept the fact that I may be called on to
work extra time to get a job done, please a client (or an employer), and
keep my career alive.
Furthermore, it is perfectly legal in some states (like Oregon) that as an
exempt employee (sometimes called a "professional" employee) you can be
required to work overtime by your boss. If you don't like overtime work,
then get a job at a firm that does not require it.
We all make choices in our lives. Some people are happy making $29,000 a
year and living in a cheap apartment, driving a 10 year old car. Some
people, like myself, want more.
The problem is that unions can ruin it for the rest of us. Union
activities have driven up prices, wiped out entire industries, and
relocated work overseas. 5 years ago, you could get an independent
contract with Microsoft, Intel, Oracle - all sorts of big technology
firms. One of my first clients was Microsoft when I was still a tiny
little independent consulting firm.
Today - not on your life. Microsoft (among others) won't even talk to you
unless you're a huge, established agency. Thanks to litigation from
unions, these firms have drastically tightened their contract staffing
requirements. This has led to less jobs and lower rates for all contract
If a company mistreats you - LEAVE! Nobody is forcing you at gun point to
work there. If you are worried about feeding your children - GET EDUCATED!
Get some skills that will make you more employable. I don't know of very
many starving, homeless college graduates. There is a reason for that -
brainpower is marketable.
If you want benefits, BUY them. When you make $50 an hour, you budget your
money and put some into medical benefits and savings. And if you chose not
to do this and blow all your money, then why on earth should the company
have to pay? Why do we need laws to protect the irresponsible and
The best protection from exploitation is education, skill, and
determination. In the absence of that, I guess a union is your only
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