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Thread: Labor conflicts

  1. #1
    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
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    Labor conflicts

    I was torn on whether to start a new personal thread, or start a general discussion about it. There's nothing else on this yet, so new discussion it is.

    This week, the US Supreme Court decided to back up the vulture funds (or the Manhattan court that backs them up) against Argentina. This week we had two strikes at work. Welcome to the Third World, where a butterfly flaps its wings in the US and we get a hurricane.

    Supreme Court backs vulture funds ---> Black Monday in Argentina ---> Prices start climbing fast ---> People remember their salary's shit ---> Strike

    They were two 5-hour strikes, one yesterday and one today, or strikes disguised as assemblies. Our wage hike in January is below the percentage that is being obtained by practically every other industry. The govt line is to maintain salaries low so as not to feed the wage-price race in a time of rapid inflation, so Kirchnerist unions have been very moderate in their demands. But I think ours takes the cake. While the kirchnerist ones are settling for about 25%, all the others (and they are many, because Cristina has done the very un-Peronist thing of breaking with its traditional tradeunionist "spine") are getting over 30%. We got 18%, in parts, not even all at once. So, people are pissed. Here's the weird thing. The kirchnerist guys who negotiated our wage hike don't even have the legal standing to sign that agreement. Our traditional union bureaucracy never signed. Now the bureacracy decided to sweep us up into action. Basically a scenario where there are no good guys.

    The company has been boycotting the negotiations at the Labor Ministry, and there is a new one on Wednesday. Many employees expressed their desire to strike until then. We've never done a goddamned thing and now they want to burn everything down. It's weird being the moderate voice in any group. I was basically the only one who argued against a strike, saying that if we use the most extreme measures before the negotiation, we will be left with nothing if it fails, we will have lost. And what the fuck are we going to do then, go on a hunger strike? I said we need to let them think we're willing to strike if we don't get a favorable reply. Our little "assemblies" have already gotten the message across. If we push too hard, the company will use our infraction as a negotiating card on Wednesday and we could be threatened with mandatory conciliation.

    But at the same time there's a little voice in my head thinking, "What if they're right and you're wrong, and the time is now? What if the company recovers from its surprise next week, intimidates everyone, and we will have lost some window of opportunity and unity? What if we have to take our strongest stand during the World Cup (it's a Brazilian company)? Am I actually a centrist?" But then another voice asks what kind of conflict goes all the way before a negotiation even takes place. It makes me feel kind of sick to my stomach having had any influence over this. The union bureaucrat, who likes me very much for some reason, later came up to me, rubbed my shoulder and said that my restraint was "valuable". Uhhhh.

    So that's the situation we're in. Ever been in a labor conflict? What did you do?
    Last edited by Madrigal; 06-21-2014 at 02:06 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    Heh. We've been here years now.

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    Mens bona regnum possidet ferrus's Avatar
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    No, because I've never worked in the public sector. In the UK, like the US, the private sector unions were effectively annihilated in the 80s. My sister has been on strike once before though, but that's because she's a teacher.
    Die Logik ist keine Lehre, sondern ein Spiegelbild der Welt. Die Logik ist transcendental. - Wittgenstein

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    What's a union?

    In short, no. My parents were in a union, though, IIRC. Nothing terribly working class, though.

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    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prometheus View Post
    No, I've never been put in that position before, since I was 12 or so my primary modus of operation has been to make money; as I was raised among oil barons, my family sent me to a private school where I witnessed what money can truly buy.
    To paraphrase the Rolling Stones, money can never get me what I want, only sometimes what I need. And my needs are too modest to spend my life chasing dollars.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    Heh. We've been here years now.

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    a cantori Perdix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madrigal View Post
    To paraphrase the Rolling Stones, money can never get me what I want, only sometimes what I need. And my needs are too modest to spend my life chasing dollars.
    Money can get you what you want, or at least help facilitate the acquisition of your desires.

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    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
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    Well, this is weird. My friend is friends with the pro-govt union delegate who negotiated our 18%, and I think I might have to see her at a meet-up with my friend. But I repudiated them at the assembly because someone at the assembly said the pro-govt union (boycotting the meeting) was telling workers they could face sanctions. I think everyone was surprised at me because I interrupted the informer mid-sentence and went on a vehement rant about how unacceptable it is for any delegate to act as a conveyor belt for company threats. Nobody ever saw me mad before.

    This is gonna be awkward.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    Heh. We've been here years now.

  7. #7
    Limber Member floid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prometheus View Post
    TLDR: Don't put yourself in the position to get screwed by a corporation, form your own.

    AKA: If you can't do something to fix things then do your damnedest to make them worse.
    Society is like a stew. If you don’t stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top.
    -- Edward Abbey

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    a cantori Perdix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by floid View Post
    AKA: If you can't do something to fix things then do your damnedest to make them worse.
    For your own benefit, yes. There is no such thing as right and wrong in my opinion, they are merely constructs which humans form to live cohesively. Extrinsically defined ideologies are by default fallacious due to the observably random nature of causality.

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    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
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    OH MY GOD. The pro-govt union sent an email to all of their members (which is most of the employees) with a copy to the company saying that our assemblies were a "covert strike" without "due warning" and that they hope that the union calling them will support the employees that participated (which is practically everyone).

    I am shaking with rage right now I can barely type.

    I'm switching unions tomorrow and I'm telling everyone else to do the same. This is going too far. They're giving ammunition to the company to sanction everyone who's trying to get a decent raise after they totally fucked us over with that 18%. What kind of scum does that???
    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    Heh. We've been here years now.

  10. #10
    Limber Member floid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prometheus View Post
    For your own benefit, yes. There is no such thing as right and wrong in my opinion, they are merely constructs which humans form to live cohesively. Extrinsically defined ideologies are by default fallacious due to the observably random nature of causality.

    There are no such things as brick walls either, only atoms with mostly nothing but empty space between them.
    But run into one and you'll still injure yourself.
    Society is like a stew. If you don’t stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top.
    -- Edward Abbey

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