Re: Unionizing?

Subject: Re: Unionizing?
From: Andrew Plato <gilliankitty -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2002 23:50:24 -0800 (PST)

"Mike Bradley" wrote...
> I just heard a story on the radio about Southwest Airlines, the most
> successful US airline AND the most unionized one. Relationships between
> labor and management and the unions are exemplary. This results in
> satisfied customers.

All airlines are unionized. Ever flown America West? They have unions too and
the service is beyond awful. I get better treatment on TECHWR-L then from those

And consider the general hatred of airlines, I wouldn't suggest using them as
an example of fine union capabilities. I could tell 1000 stories of glaring
incompetence and borderline cruelty to animals (humans that is) at the hands of
union-working airline folk.

> I agree. The need for a union is starkly highlighted when management
> forgets this, as they did at Enron.

Just remember, forever Enron there is are huge masses of lazy, ineffectual,
greedy, bums who honestly in the depth of their hearts think they are doing the
world a favor by doing a crappy, half-assed "this isn't in my job description"
kind of job.

Don't believe me? Start a business and incorporate in the State of California.
I GUARANTEE you that your attitude about business, unions, and people will
fundamentally change in about 6 months to a year.

> This part of your argument started with your claim that we're
> overwhelmingly technologically advanced compared to the rest of the
> world. In selected industries, yes, but we've also lost our heavy
> industries, we have no consumer electronics industry except for
> computers, most of which are made overseas, our roads are full of
> pot-holes, our public transit system is a joke, our overall quality of
> life is somewhere in the middle teens instead of first. In other words,
> it's a mixed bag and trumpeting us as number one in everything is just
> plain wrong.

The US has the strongest, most diverse, and most flexible economy in the world.
That isn't an opinion, that's a fact. It got there because our economy is based
upon fundamental freedoms and innovation. Small businesses make up the bulk of
that economy. Small businesses that could NEVER operate in many European

> Legislatures can't raise taxes so they put pressure on tax agencies to
> find new revenues through enforcement and reinterpretation of existing
> law. One result is that the agencies keep whittling away at the ability
> of clients to use contractors. The agencies suspect contractors of
> misreporting their income and believe they can collect more taxes from
> employees. I've talked with the client staff enforcing policies that
> require temp writers to be employees, and the reason is never lawsuits;
> it's always the client's fear of failing an employment tax audit.

Well, its a mixed bag there. Companies fear tax problems as much as they fear
lawsuits. This is why there is a lot of pressure for companies, especially
large ones, to avoid independent contractors and stick with agencies. Agencies
cost more and the contractors make less, but they carry the burden of tax
reporting - not the company.

The other issue is the death of 1099 contracting. Many independent consultants
do not understand taxes and liability. So they run off and spend their entire
1099 pay and give nothing to Uncle Sam. When the tax man cometh, these folks
naturally refuse to take responsibility for their greed and stupidity so they
try to bounce the problem back on their employer. This is about the time they
call the NWU and demand that somehow they were mislead. Naturally, somebody
finds a questionable clause in a contract and before you know it, our stupid
contractor is free and clear and his tax bill is dumped in the lap of the

Fortunately, the courts seem to be wising up to this and sending the tax bill
back to the individual. Companies are also getting smarter and tightening up
their contracts to ensure they are indemnified from tax disputes.

Andrew Plato

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