Tech Writer Lawsuit; STC position? (take II)

Subject: Tech Writer Lawsuit; STC position? (take II)
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: techwr-l List <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, Dan Goldstein <DGoldstein -at- riverainmedical -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 21 May 2008 10:32:44 -0400

Dan Goldstein wondered: <<Even if they *weren't* in financial
trouble, would STC help establish technical writers' legal rights?
Maybe they just don't want to be that kind of professional

Just to clarify: I was in no way advocating that STC should step in
as a lobbyist; in this particular case, it's not clear whether
advocating to promote paid overtime is a good thing (i.e., it defends
the rights of technical writers) or a bad thing (i.e., it gives
companies one more reason to cut costs by offshoring). Companies
could jump either way, and it would be a bad thing for STC to be seen
as promoting a position that leads to more offshoring if they guessed
wrong. That's probably the real reason why STC is staying clear of
this mess.

Being one of them left-leaning socialist (commie!) Canadians, and
thus an enemy of the U.S. state <gdr>, I predictably have more
sympathy for protecting exploited workers than I do for the
companies. My _guess_ is that companies that understand the value of
hiring locally and of our work won't be pushed into offshoring by
such a legal precedent, whereas those that are already
enthusiastically offshoring won't do anything they aren't already
doing. But I could easily be wrong, and wouldn't willingly advocate
for my position when the results won't affect me in any way but could
dramatically affect my American colleagues.

Instead, I'd like to see STC serving as an amicus curiae (assuming
that's the correct term). Such a role specifically places STC in the
role of an "expert witness" that can provide clarification of the
true roles and importance of the profession. It would provide lots of
favorable publicity and establish a precedent in which STC is seen as
a credible authority that should be consulted in such situations.
That could come in very useful in future cases that are less
politically fraught: if STC is seen as credible enough to provide
this kind of advice once, they'll be asked to do so again in the
future, possibly in cases where a more active advocacy role would be

-- Geoff Hart
ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca / geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com
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RE: Tech Writer Lawsuit; STC position: From: Donald H. White
Tech Writer Lawsuit; STC position?: From: Geoff Hart
RE: Tech Writer Lawsuit; STC position?: From: Dan Goldstein

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