Re: Should we unionize?

Subject: Re: Should we unionize?
From: Rick Lippincott <rjl -at- BOSTECH -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 10 Jul 1995 09:43:16 EDT

>Twice now I have watched as most of my fellow writers were laid off from large
>groups,
>only to be brought back as contractors to the same offices and the same tasks,
>but lower compensation packages (i.e., no benefits).

In theory, the compensation should have been about equal: although
the benefits package was missing, the salary rate should have been
higher to allow you to buy your own benefits.

In theory. Yes, the reality of this situation was most likely that
having hit the tech writers all at once, while they were still dazed
an in shock the employer could then make a half-baked offer, knowing
that many would accept. ("Well, it's either this or hit the street...")

A company that does something like this is behaving unethically, knowing
that it can cut salaries in this way. That's the type of behavior
that lead to the formation of unions in the first place.<HR>

I've never quite followed the logic of assuming a contract writer
would somehow save the company money, yet I've worked in places that
have been laying off employees while retaining the contractors. ("We
have to reduce headcount," said the managers "and since the contractors
technically are not on the headcount, it doesn't do any good to let
them go.")

This line of thinking was fairly well summarized in yesterday's "Dilbert."
I still don't understand the logic, but at least now I realize I'm
not -supposed- to follow it.

Rick Lippincott
Boston Technology
Wakefield, MA
rjl -at- bostech -dot- com


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