re: Should we form a labor union? VIEW POST


No thanks here. It seems I'm not facing the problems you describe, so adding more bureaucracy to the situation does not seem desirable. And if I can be utterly frank, we're talking about office jobs with above average pay. Such measures should be reserved for work where life and limb are at risk and extreme forms of exploitation. (One that comes to mind is the traveling salespeople. You know, those people that ring your door on Saturday. Many of them are paid next-to-nothing, legally, because their work crosses state lines. And they might essentially be held hostage with the threat of being left wherever the crew happens to be if they quit. Many of them are from disadvantaged backgrounds, so the threat of being left homeless in an unfamiliar place is very real.)


No one is proposing taking resources away from those in need. Over the past 5 years I've personally experienced or know someone who has experienced every problem I described. I'm sure others can too. I'm not saying the situation is desperate (maybe for some people living paycheck to paycheck it is on the brink), but the situation could be way better.

Who do you think is going to ensure women are offered an equal wage?


Re-edited this first part, since what I quoted originally isn't there.

Who do you think is going to ensure women are offered an equal wage?

I think you have to be careful about how this question is taken. I'll assume you mean: what can we do to fix the pay inequity among different genders (and other attributes)? Lending privilege is a great start.

No one is proposing taking resources away from those in need.

Resources are finite. You can't have more without taking it from somewhere. That includes an inflated cost of goods and services for industries with unions. But in cases where people can literally die or be extremely exploited without them, it seems worth paying more to prevent that. So, who do you propose pays for the software union overhead? (Not the dues, but the addition process road blocks it will put up before people can do the work.) The consumers of software who probably make less than the engineers who create it? That's ultimately where the money will come from. Business just passes it on to customers in the price of goods and services.

I will just have to respectfully disagree. I'm not meaning to put words in your mouth.

You don't have to take a union away from someone to give a union to another. That is just too simplistic.

But you also haven't answered my question. How are people who are disadvantaged in technology (either because of their gender / race or because they are simply a lower class of employee: a contractor) supposed to get some representation without a union?

It's almost 2020 and women aren't paid as well as men and contractors don't get the same kind of benefits most of the time like paid vacation, sick leave or health benefits. I expect better for these people.

I think if there were an easy universal answer that I could write in what fits here, then it would already be a solved problem.

For me personally, the answer for most of the concerns would be that I would find a different job. And as I just indirectly stated above, that strategy won't work for all situations everywhere. And neither will unions fix all situations everywhere. But they will certainly increase the overall cost to develop software.

It's not that simple for most people to just find a different job. Even when they do its a gamble and the situation can be far worse. I've worked in places where there were amazing benefits to places that only hire contractors and don't give them any benefits. I would like to see some evidence that a labor union would drive up the cost of developing software. It just sounds too easy to be true.

I will Wally-reflector your Wally-reflector. :) I would like to see evidence that introducing labor unions maintain or lower the price of goods and services. :)

By the way, I'm keeping it light here. I mean to imply no angry feelings or anything like that. Just expressing thoughts. Best wishes to you and your family. Seriously!

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