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Temp Workers Rights Bill

By elenchos in MLP
Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 11:43:11 AM EST
Tags: News (all tags)
News

WashTech, the union that recently won a $97 million settlement from Microsoft in the so-called permatemp case, and is attempting to unionize Amazon.com and others, has helped put together a temporary workers bill of rights, introduced in the Washington State Legislature today, by Sen. Darlene Fairley (who would probably not really hold you prisoner in a secluded mountain cabin and force you to write another potboiler). Washington State has an ever growing number of temporary workers, and as part of the general trend of many high tech companies growing rapidly, but unpredictably, and finding it advantageous to not put workers on the payroll permanently.


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Poll
Unions are
o good. 18%
o evil. 39%
o Nature's way of punishing companies gone bad. 24%
o not something I ever think about. 17%

Votes: 79
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o WashTech
o $97 million settlement
o Microsoft
o unionize
o Amazon.com and others
o bill of rights
o Sen. Darlene Fairley
o growing number of temporary workers
o Also by elenchos


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Temp Workers Rights Bill | 28 comments (4 topical, 24 editorial, 0 hidden)
Some good story material (3.25 / 4) (#7)
by onyxruby on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 01:56:39 AM EST

I gave it a +1 since I think this is an issue that effects a great number of those in the IT force. Could use some retouch though and a resubmit though. I followed the WashTech link and could not find this bill of rights, just something about the right to know your bill rate bill. Over half of those in the IT industry are contractors, this has got to be relevant to a good chunk of the k5 audience.

Interesting topical note about the co I just started my latest contract with. All of the "real" employees just found out that they are being outsorced to a contract house and may or may not have their jobs with the contract house when they take over. For me as a contractor, who knows, I'll probably become a subcontractor of the contractor. Even those who don't want to be contractors are discovering that their options are.. limited.

The moon is covered with the results of astronomical odds.

When I Was A Temp... (3.66 / 3) (#8)
by Seumas on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 02:24:11 AM EST

I wasn't a temp for long, but when I was, I was just thankful to have a job. People who are thankful to even be employed don't push issues, even important ones, because they would like to continue being thankful (eg, employed).

In this industry, I see a lot of temporary workers/contractors who are hired by the bunch. They can be hired three or four at a time, for the same salary that I make already. The only difference is that while they get the same holidays as I do, they don't get paid for them. They don't get the benefits that I get or the comp-time.

They're treated like a direct employee of the company when it comes to expectations and productivity, but they're often treated like a parasite when it comes to corporate functions and appreciation.
--
I just read K5 for the articles.

rights??? (1.50 / 2) (#9)
by www.sorehands.com on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 04:07:30 AM EST

Regular employees do not have that much protections.

At most companies, you work as an employee at will giving no protection from walking in the door at 9:00 am and being fired for driving a yellow car.

Even as a temp, you are still protected by the anti-discrimination laws.


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obligatory complaint about poll options (4.50 / 6) (#12)
by Anonymous 242 on Wed Jan 17, 2001 at 09:14:11 AM EST

I would have made this an editorial comment like I usually do with complaints about poll options but I think what I have to say has a large bearing on the discussion.

The poll falls into the trap of the excluded middle. The only real options in the poll are that either unions are good or bad. The truth is that they are both. Not only are there good unions and bad unions, but some unions are both good and bad to differing degrees.

Having a union doesn't automatically protect the rights of the workers. There are a tremendous number of unions that are either completely run by the company that they supposedly represent the workers at or are completely self-representative (meaning that the union represents itself, not the workers that belong to it). I'd name a few, but I think that might put me at risk for some bricks coming in through my windows. We need to keep in mind that unions can be (and have been and will be) abused and cause problems for both workers and corporations.

On the flip side, there are also a tremendous number of unions that do represent their workers. This is especially true in third-world countries that do not have as many labor laws as the US. We would also do well to bear in mind what working was like in the days before unions. If it wasn't for organized labor, I doubt I would have my well-paid non-union job with such nice benefits. If nothing else, the spectre of unionization helps keep companies a bit more honest in their relations with we grunts. If unions were entirely bad, true unions wouldn't be outlawed in totalitarian communist societies. Remember that it was a union movement, Solidarity, that brought down the totalitarian government in Poland.

Temp Workers Rights Bill | 28 comments (4 topical, 24 editorial, 0 hidden)
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