Re: Like long hours?

Subject: Re: Like long hours?
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 07 Aug 2002 13:47:41 -0700

Richard G. Combs wrote:

An employer has no choice except to trade money for the labor needed to keep
the company operating. But an employee has the power of deciding who gets
his/her labor. As a result, employers often feel the need to keep their
valued employees happy because they are nervous about the difficulty and
expense of replacing them.

You're oversimplifying.
Yes, an employer is constrained by the need to exchange money for labor. However, an employer has considerable power in exercising that constraint. Not only can an employer choose whether to make that exchange, but an employer also has considerable choice over whom to make that exchange with. In bad economic times, an employer's power becomes even stronger than usual.

By contrast, although not be completely powerless, an employee has far less power of choice. An employer may decide against making the exchange (that is, not to fill a position), but an employee needs to make the exchange to survive. An employer may decide with whom to make the exchange, but an employee can only agree to the offer of an exchange. True, in good economic times, an employee may have a choice of more than one offer, but that's usually not the norm. Nor, in the long run, does the employee have the choice of turning down every offer.

Neither employers nor employees have absolute power. But, within the constraints of their circumstances, an employer has relatively more power. If that isn't so, why are there so many rules governing how employers treat employees, and so few governing how employees treat employers?

I simply observe this fact. I'm not suggesting that employers are naturally evil because of it, nor that anything an employee does is right because of it. But I do suggest that seeing the relation in its full complexity is more useful than distorting it with over-simplification.

Bruce Byfield bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com 604.421.7177

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Re: Like long hours?: From: Andrew Plato

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