Sunday, August 07, 2011

"Atlas Shrugged" was a Warning, not a Manual: You're not going to take our loot!

45,000 Verizon employees, who for years have been paid middle class or better wages for what is essentially skilled labor, are pissed that the company no longer wishes to be looted. They are currently on strike.

I would hope that Verizon would teach them a "sucks to be you" lesson, but I doubt that it will happen. Verizon is a publicly owned company. While an owner or a small group of owners might do it, a company in which the ownership is widely distributed has no real core that can say "Enough is enough!" Those who are in charge live in fear of lawsuits, either from the union or shareholders. So they will simply strike some sort of bargain that will keep the status quo going a while longer.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just curious about your work skills......

The Freeholder said...

In my current incarnation, I work in information technology as a working IT manager. I do big picture work, along with riding herd on my staff, my servers and my network.

In previous incarnations, I've ran cash registers, worked in land surveying and worked large-scale construction starting as unskilled labor and ending up as a machine operator.

I've been fortunate enough to see all sides of the table, from the point of view of the guy with dirt under his fingernails to that of the guy running the show.

That answer the question satisfactorily?

Anonymous said...

kinda skilled labor, huh?

The Freeholder said...

Now, yes. Very skilled. Then, no. Using a shovel or cutting brush is unskilled labor.

Now, if you have a point, kindly make it.

Anonymous said...

The point is: why are you entitled to middle class wages as a skilled laborer and the communication workers are not??
Perhaps the monied class has convinced you that you are more important than you really are. They will never accept you for you are only "skilled labor". Come out from under the fog.

The Freeholder said...

First, you make an unwarranted and inaccurate assumption about my salary. While the Freehold is middle class in aggregate, I unfortunately make considerably less that the national and regional averages for my type of position in my type and size of employer.

Second, it isn't about wages. To quote the NY Times, it's about "a pension freeze, fewer sick days and far higher employee health contributions". (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/11/technology/sagging-verizon-landline-division-is-at-the-heart-of-strike.html)

Third, even it it was about wages, I'm going to have a hard time feeling too sorry for semi-skilled laborers who make $60,000+/year, plus overtime, unlimited sick leave and free health insurance. (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/08/06/national/main20089137.shtml)

Fourth, they are semi-skilled laborers, not skilled labor. I've known more than a few phone installers and call center workers, and what they do for a living is not skilled labor by any reasonable definition.

Fifth, they work in the landlines division, which is bleeding business as people ditch landlines for cell phones. I'm sure the buggy makers thought it horribly unfair when those damn horseless carriages showed up and blew up their gig.

So feel free to cry me a freaking river for those poor, mistreated Verizon workers. I'm not buying it.

Anonymous said...

I' get back with you in a day or two on your last response..been busy. By the way, have ever read any book other than "Atlas Shrugged"?

The Freeholder said...

Plenty. One of my favorites on the subject of economics is Henry Hazlitt's "Economics in One Lesson". You might try it sometime. He has some very interesting thoughts on the subject of unions.

Anonymous said...

My, it seems that you have assumed that I am a union member.........I'm not.Not a communications worker either.

The Freeholder said...

I have assumed no such thing. I assume that you need some education on the effect of unions on prevailing wages.