Re: What Happens When Temps Organize

Subject: Re: What Happens When Temps Organize
From: "Jeanne A. E. DeVoto" <jaed -at- jaedworks -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 2 Jul 2000 17:01:48 -0700

At 7:58 AM -0700 7/2/2000, bbatorsk -at- nj -dot- devry -dot- edu wrote:
>I don't get it. It doesn't sound like a dilemma. I don't know a lot about
>this, but it seems on the face of it if MS didn't want to do this before,
>then it must be to the advantage of the workers. I'm rather simple, but if
>the temp worker had to work for MS anyway, how can it be bad (or
>antiworker) to force MS to provide benefits, etc.

The problem is that the decision made companies reluctant to hire
contractors, even through agencies, for fear that those contractors would
be declared their employees after-the-fact, whether or not the client or
contractor wanted an employee relationship.

It also made life as an agency contractor harder, as companies started
enforcing policies to make a strict separation between contractors and
employees. For example, contractors have been excluded from project
meetings (because "See, they didn't go to the same meetings as the
employees!" could be used in court if necessary to prove the contractor
wasn't an employee), and needless to say this makes their jobs harder to
do, limits their visibility among their peers, etc. Contractors are
sometimes denied offices and placed two-or-more-to-a-cube in companies that
have an "employees get offices" policy, again to make the differentiation

This even goes down to piddly things; I was once explicitly "uninvited" to
a beta party because I was a contractor and the company policy, responsive
to this decision, required that only employees be invited to team
functions. This sort of thing obviously doesn't have a huge impact on work,
but it's not pleasant.

>Are the taxbreaks so good? Is the freedom that secure? In my personal
>experience an organized workforce is always better off.

If you want to be subject to a union as well as a corporate employer, and
considered by the people you work for as one component in a "workforce",
you're welcome to be. (Seriously - unions do provide some benefits along
with the serious drawbacks.) But please recognize that not everyone shares
that preference, whether because their situation in life is different or
simply because they don't have the same priorities you do.

jeanne a. e. devoto ~ jaed -at- jaedworks -dot- com

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