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[P]
Janitors on verge of strike in Boston

By winthrop in News
Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 04:10:01 PM EST
Tags: News (all tags)
News

In Boston, Massachusetts, more than eleven thousand janitors of the Service Employees' International Union (SEIU) local 615 (formerly local 254) are on the verge of launching one of the largest strikes in recent city history, threatening to effectively shut down Boston's downtown. The strike, set to begin September 30, is part of the SEIU's nationwide Justice for Janitors campaign, which has had successes in Los Angeles and around the country.


The strike targets major downtown Boston buildings serviced by contract cleaning agency UNICCO, though organizers are considering extending it to other buildings. The union's main demands revolve around health care, full-time employment, and wages. Under their current contract, janitors must work twenty-nine hours per week in order to qualify for health care. However, only one in four janitors are full-time workers. This is due to a deliberate policy of maintaining workers below the minimum necessary to accrue benefits, according to John Shea, political director of SEIU local 615. He says one UNICCO official described himself as "ideologically opposed" to full-time work. Cynthia Kain, spokeswoman for the Boston Justice for Janitors campaign and employee of local 615, says the union will only negotiate if management puts forth an offer that increases the number of janitors with health care.

Shea says that the strike is the result of a change in the leadership of the local. Ed Sullivan, the former leader of then-local 254, did not represent the membership, Shea says. About a year ago, the local was taken into receivership by the national SEIU leadership. When it emerged from receivership a few months ago, it was more aggressive and, according to Shea, more responsive to the membership. One of the clearest indications of this is the presence in union literature and demonstrations of the Spanish language, which along with Portuguese is the prevailing language of the immigrant-heavy union. The most common rallying cry of the union is now "Sí se puede!" ("Yes, we can!").

The strike has drawn support from many different sectors. According to Kain, major unions like the Teamsters and the Communication Workers of America (CWA) have promised not to cross picket lines, meaning many of Boston's offices will be unable to receive FedEx or UPS packages (or packages from any other unionized delivery agency), and telephone repairs or installations will have to be performed by telephone companies' management or not at all. Demonstrations [1], [2], [3], [4], some of which have featured mild, choreographed civil disobedience, such as occupying street intersections for brief periods, have drawn members of the CWA as well as anti-globalization protesters, who say the policies of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB) are the reason so many of the janitors had to flee their countries for low-wage jobs in the US. United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) organizers expressed solidarity in a recent organizing action at a local supermarket by purchasing food for the soon-to-be striking workers.

The strike has also drawn support from the Boston Student Labor Action Project, which grew out of student-led campaigns for a living wage for workers at Boston-area universities, especially one at Harvard University, which featured a three-week occupation of Harvard's administrative office by the Progressive Student Labor Movement. The campaign has drawn a favorable editorial from one major Boston daily newspapers, the Boston Globe and a moderately favorable one from the other, the Herald.

Barring a miraculous turn of events, "Sí se puede" will be heard throughout the city, starting on Monday.

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Janitors on verge of strike in Boston | 162 comments (143 topical, 19 editorial, 0 hidden)
Questions (4.25 / 4) (#4)
by bobpence on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 02:36:47 PM EST

Please give us more details. What has management offered?

You say, "only one in four janitors find themselves consistently scheduled for full-time work" (emphasis mine). Were these folks hired for full-time work or part-time work? The logistics of getting health insurance are such that a worker is not insured one week and not the next. What will you think if the solution to having three guys each working less than 29 hours per week, plus one working 29 or more, is to lay off one of the four so that the remaining three can all work 29+ hours?
"Interesting. No wait, the other thing: tedious." - Bender

I think that's the point (5.00 / 1) (#7)
by inadeepsleep on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 02:53:44 PM EST

Business frequently hires more people than they need, so that they can be part time and not have to pay for insurance. The janitors are probably working 2 jobs, and that means that they are actually working full time hours. Just not for the same company.


[ Parent ]
Sorry, no details :( (5.00 / 1) (#8)
by winthrop on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 03:09:26 PM EST

I don't know exactly what management has offered, nor have I read it anywhere else. However, from interviews, I believe it's pretty much a renewal of the current contract.

Regarding the part-time work, John Shea, the political director of the SEIU said one UNICCO official told him that UNICCO was "ideologically opposed" to full-time work, so I imagine they were hired as part-time. I will try to make this more clear.

Regarding layoffs, I don't really have an opinion, and I wouldn't dream of telling the janitors what their opinion ought to be. But their main focus has been health care and full-time work, so I think they're prepared for layoffs if it means most of them get full-time jobs with benefits. I don't have an official position, though. Sorry. :(

[ Parent ]

What happened... (none / 0) (#100)
by bobpence on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 09:44:48 AM EST

... to the Massachusetts law that part-timers get health insurance? Or at least I though that was the law. I know that before Jordan Marsh converted to Macy's, Federated gave bennies to part-timers, and I doubt that Federated would do so out of the kindness of their heart. Unions are on a store-by-store basis, and I recall this being a statewide or chainwide thing.
"Interesting. No wait, the other thing: tedious." - Bender
[ Parent ]
I'll look into it (none / 0) (#101)
by winthrop on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 10:14:36 AM EST

Now that you mention it, I think I've heard of something similar. I probably won't get any information in time to post something relevant here, but in case the question ever comes up again.

[ Parent ]
Yes (none / 0) (#48)
by Weezul on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 05:40:30 PM EST

Yes, laying off one out of four is exactly what the union wants (with your numbers).  The point of unions is to let workers manage the availablity of works so as to improve negotiations.  You can call the union monopolistic if you want, but that is the whole point.
"Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini
[ Parent ]
National Health Care in the US (3.11 / 18) (#10)
by steveftoth on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 03:39:41 PM EST

Besides that fact that they obsiously want more money, these workers are entitled to health care no matter how many hours they actually work.  As is everyone else in this country.  We need to get a national health care plan started.  Everyone should have a basic level of health care in the US.  If we only spent LESS money on the military and instead on our health system, then it wouldn't even require a raise in tax money.

But with the current stupidity of the general public in the US it will never happen.

You mean, socialised health care? (4.00 / 7) (#14)
by Mr Incorrigible on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 03:55:41 PM EST

I was taught to treat my health as my own responsibility, not to foist that responsibility onto others. Whenever somebody proposes "national health care", they either assume that the necessary money will come from legitimate expenditures like the military or that the necessary funds will magically come from "somewhere".

Providing these janitors with a "right to health care" entails forcing others to pay the bill. The janitors do not have a right to violate other peoples' rights in order to get their "right to health care" -- there's no such thing.

--
I know I'm a cheeky bastard. My lady tells me so.


[ Parent ]
Why is that a problem? (3.88 / 9) (#17)
by dhul fakdr on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 04:12:54 PM EST

Your argument, such as it is, against universal health care is not particularly compelling. Of course such a system would have to be funded; that much is obvious. What is not obvious, though, is that requiring individuals to pay for other's well-being is wrong.

In fact, many would hold that the well to do have a moral imperative to assist the less fortunate. Your apparent selfishness is abhorrent to such people. Rather than nakedly asserting that we have no such responsibility to the impoverished, perhaps you should endeavor to explain why many people's intuition that we do is incorrect.

[ Parent ]

Is it only intuition? (2.71 / 7) (#25)
by Mr Incorrigible on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 04:41:54 PM EST

I have never been one to rely on intuition; it is a faulty compass at best. I'll keep my reasoning simple: if I have to expend my resources to care for strangers, then those resources are not available to me to use to take care of myself and the people I love. Furthermore, requiring those who earn their way in the world to "take care of" those who do not earn their living reduces the competent to the status of a tool to be used by others.

Men are not tools. Because a man is capable of thought, no other man has the right to enslave another and use that person for his own purposes.

--
I know I'm a cheeky bastard. My lady tells me so.


[ Parent ]
Spare me the Randroid rhetoric. (3.80 / 5) (#29)
by dhul fakdr on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 04:59:39 PM EST

No one is suggesting that you undergo significant hardship to care for others.

Contrasting those who "earn" a living with those who do not is disingenuous because everyone who succeeds does so largely because of luck. Hard work and talent are undeniably important, but both come to naught without luck. A man who supposes himself entirely self-made is indeed nothing more than self-deluded.

Accidents of birth, station, and opportunity all play a significant role in shaping one's economic well-being. Why should you suppose it your right to cling to what chance has granted you while others suffer?

No one is suggesting that competent men be reduced to tools. I am merely asking that the fortunate grant some of their bounty to the unfortunate. The wealthy are still free to live their lives as they see fit, minus a fraction of their riches. To term such an arrangement slavery is a gross affront to the horror of real slavery.

[ Parent ]

If you don't like my answers... (1.00 / 2) (#34)
by Mr Incorrigible on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 05:07:08 PM EST

then don't be stupid enough to question me. If I wanted to be a real Randroid, I'd be calling you an irrational parasite because you don't worship Rachmaninoff as your musical god.

--
I know I'm a cheeky bastard. My lady tells me so.


[ Parent ]
You are forgetting one thing. (3.66 / 3) (#41)
by dhul fakdr on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 05:21:59 PM EST

I heard your answers after I asked the questions, not before.

Some nerve you have, calling me stupid.

[ Parent ]

Nerve? Just living up to my name. (1.00 / 2) (#44)
by Mr Incorrigible on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 05:25:15 PM EST

I call myself Mr Incorrigible for a reason, you know.

--
I know I'm a cheeky bastard. My lady tells me so.


[ Parent ]
you misspelled (5.00 / 2) (#76)
by dr k on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 10:53:54 PM EST

incomprehensible.


Destroy all trusted users!
[ Parent ]

I only got it half-right in my diary. (none / 0) (#109)
by Mr Incorrigible on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 12:33:28 PM EST

You need to get stuffed too.

--
I know I'm a cheeky bastard. My lady tells me so.


[ Parent ]
Subject (2.00 / 2) (#57)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 06:22:42 PM EST

Helping people is good.

Being forced, at the point of a gun, to help people you may or may not want to help, is bad.

Government should not be charity.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

Role of government. (5.00 / 2) (#68)
by cdyer on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 09:22:50 PM EST

Government should not be charity.

Forgive me if I'm mistaken, but isn't one of the roles of American (at least) government "to promote the general welfare. You may denigratingly call it charity, but our government is here to make life better for American citizens (not taxpayers -- citizens). If government should not be a charity, should they refrain from building roads, putting out fires, convincing other governments not to conquer us, and make sure that we get an education?

A government that engages in no charity at all is a frightening thought.

Cheers,
Cliff



[ Parent ]
uh-hu (none / 0) (#161)
by parasite on Thu Oct 03, 2002 at 01:12:22 AM EST

>No one is suggesting that competent men be reduced to tools. I am merely asking that the fortunate grant some
> of their bounty to the unfortunate. The wealthy are still free to live their lives as they see fit, minus a
> fraction of their riches.

In fact, last time I check EVERY SINGLE ONE of your kind was looking for just that. This is
why the government FORCES us to pay up. No one is arguing that charities shouldn't be allowed
to exist, no one is debating that. You say you are interested in "the well off granting a
portion of their bounty to the less fortunate" -- but you aren't interested in THEM granting
it, you are interested in granting it to the less fortunate YOURSELF, with someone else's money.

[ Parent ]

You do it everyday. (5.00 / 3) (#67)
by DeadBaby on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 08:08:15 PM EST

If you drive a car, you're being kept alive thanks to the safey systems HUMANS designed for other HUMANS.

If you fly on a plane you're being kept alive because of the tight saftey regulations HUMANS designed to keep other HUMANS safe.

If you eat food you're not getting sick because of regulations HUMANS designed to keep other HUMANS safe.

If you hurt yourself on a faulty product, you will be compensated becuase our legal system values the suffering of HUMAN beings.

"Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
[ Parent ]

Do you have Health Insurance now? (4.00 / 1) (#137)
by 0xA on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 06:29:47 PM EST

Really, when people start going on about stuff like this I just have to giggle. All "Socialized" health care can be explained as national insurance programs.

I'm Canadian, we have universally accessible health care, part of our taxes go to it. I also pay preiums to my provincial health care system. It's not perfect, there is a lot of changes happening now as the population ages, things are getting expensive. I imagine that comercial insurance programs are faced with the same problems in the U.S.

You said:

if I have to expend my resources to care for strangers, then those resources are not available to me to use to take care of myself and the people I love.

Is the idea of pooled risk really at odds with your statement? I take it that you have no commercial health care insurance or home insurance then?

[ Parent ]

Actually not (3.00 / 8) (#18)
by rhyax on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 04:17:33 PM EST

Providing these janitors with a "right to health care" entails forcing others to pay the bill.

Actually, these janitors pay taxes which go to funding of a lot of medical research and subsidies for the pharma industry. This industry then goes about pricing their drugs in a way which makes them unaffordable to the same janitors that funded both their research, and often much of their marketing.

It's nice to think that everything works well, and that we are in a functioning capitalist society, but that is not the case. Large corporations have a lot of influence, and with that influence comes funding from tax dollars. To say that we should have socialized health care does not imply taking from you, since that seems to be the prime fear many republican-conservatives. There is no need to worry that you will have to help in any way those less fortunate than you, or of a minority; don't worry, there is no need for you to sacrifice for the greater good at all. We are all already paying for much of the medical/pharmaceutical industry though taxes, we just aren't getting anything for it.

[ Parent ]

kuro5hin (2.20 / 5) (#22)
by rhyax on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 04:28:57 PM EST

Are people on kuro5hin now so inarticulate as to be unable to form responses? That's upsetting.

[ Parent ]
Voting system deals inadequately with factions (4.00 / 1) (#40)
by pjc50 on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 05:21:32 PM EST

I presume that most of the people who modded your post down did so because they disagree with socialised healthcare on principle. I can't understand them, and presumably they can't understand you. There are some people around here who are so attached to their property that they value every last dollar of it more highly than another human life. They scare me. They'd round us up and put us in extermination camps without a thought - except for the fact that no two of them could cooperate long enough to do that.

But they _can_ all, independantly, decide to vote down people who say that the Emperor's fly is unzipped and there are some failings in the capitalist system.

[ Parent ]

I would not round up others (1.50 / 4) (#47)
by Mr Incorrigible on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 05:36:40 PM EST

and put them in extermination camps. I am not a Nazi; "Nazi" as a contraction of National Socialist, not "National Capitalist". No; I'd just leave you alone unless you tried to take by force my life, freedom, or property -- then I'd kill you.

--
I know I'm a cheeky bastard. My lady tells me so.


[ Parent ]
That's his point exactly (none / 0) (#120)
by greenrd on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 03:10:04 PM EST

Surely that justifies sending Communists to extermination camps?


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

Yes (none / 0) (#149)
by rhyax on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 01:01:52 AM EST

I agree the k5 voting system is flawed, a vocal minority has way too much influence. I like the idea, but not the implementation so much anymore.

[ Parent ]
Health care is expensive (3.00 / 5) (#20)
by Nick Ives on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 04:25:22 PM EST

It's really simple. Health insurance costs more than low payed workers are able to pay, hence they get it as part of their job. Sucks when they get ill between jobs though.

Being a low payed worker means you can't afford to save and can't afford separate medical insurance. If you catch a serious disease, you're effectively dead. That's why the private sector should be forced to offer workers health insurance. Whether the funding comes from the government or by mandating the private sector to offer workers health insurance the end result is the same: those who can afford it pay more for their health care than they would if poor people simply shut up and died.

Now, health insurance is really a different beast compared to the right to health care. You insure against risks whereas the right to health care means you should have that right whatever your risk. The insurance industry doesn't insure against things that are certainly going to happen and as such medical insurance companies have no interest in insuring people who have or are certainly going to develop a serious illness.

Now to tie all this up because reading this back it all seems a bit random so far, I believe that every human life has an intrinsic value. We should do our best to preserve human life simply because of that reason. When you condemn a person to die simply because of some illness they developed naturally and there is a cure for that illness or at least a way to reduce their suffering you don't just kill that person but you also ruin entire families and communities. Socialised health care saves lives, it brings people back from the brink and gives them a shot at a normal existence.

So yea, you're effectively arguing that human life has no intrinsic value and it doesn't matter whether or not people die in large numbers just as long as they don't clutter up your driveway whilst they are doing it.

--
Nick
I'm moving on Saturday. Oh god.

[ Parent ]

There is no such thing as intrinisic value. (3.00 / 6) (#24)
by Mr Incorrigible on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 04:38:31 PM EST

At least, the code of morality I chose for myself does not recognise the concept of "intrinisic value" as a valid one. I know damned well that I am valuable to people only if I have something to offer. Likewise, other people are valuable to me only if they have something to offer me. If they have something that I want, and I have something they want, then we can do business. Otherwise, I stay out of their way and expect them to stay out of my way.

Quite frankly, I value my property and my rights (to my life, my property, my liberty, and my right to pursue my own rational self-interest) much more highly than I value the lives of strangers. And if a stranger should threaten my rights, then they are no longer of any value, but a threat to be eliminated. If I threatened your life, you would not waste time pondering my intrinisic value: you would either flee from me or fight me to the death.

I do not value my friends and my lover because of some "intrinsic value"; I value them and am willing to help them because they bring happiness into my life. If I did not enjoy their companionship and took no pleasure in their existence, I would not concern myself with them.

Yes, health care is expensive. Much of the cost can be blamed on excessive regulation (the Hippocratic oath kept the profession in line for a good long time, excepting abuses here and there), outrageous malpractice awards, and an emphasis on saving lives at any cost instead of saving lives only when the odds are good and easing pain where death is close to certain. The fact that health care is expensive does not change the fact that every man and woman is resonsible for their own health, not for the health of others. The only exception applies to children: a person is responsible for the health and well-being of his children, and to shirk that responsibility is an unforgivable crime. However, an adult should be held responsibile for his own health: take care of yourself or die--it's that simple.

--
I know I'm a cheeky bastard. My lady tells me so.


[ Parent ]
Again, what about inherited defects? (5.00 / 2) (#49)
by Nick Ives on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 05:58:33 PM EST

You say that an adult should be responsible for their own health, but what about inherited problems that only manifest themselves in adult life? Make it early adult life, say in the 18-20 age range (which is conveniently when a lot of schizophrenics start to manifest symptoms) when it's reasonable that someone might not have proper health insurance and would be outside their parents health insurance cover (as I imagine most parents would buy health insurance plans that automatically covered their children).

After all, I imagine market forces would work to make all health insurance schemes cover permanent illnesses such as schizophrenia as long as there were no indications of it before joining the insurance scheme, which means people who manifest symptoms in later life would be OK. I imagine market forces would also work their magic to cover lifelong disabilities that affect children whilst they are covered. That still leaves lots of people out in the cold though, especially people who are psychotic and therefore might not really be in a state of mind that makes them think rationally about their personal health needs. Of course you've already as good as admitted that such people, as they are very likely to be a net drain on society and therefore your budget over the long term, might as well just die because you don't believe in the intrinsic value of human life.

That's all I'm getting at really. I think that most people, the vast majority in fact, have the capability (either physically, mentally or both) to produce far more during their lifetime then they could ever need or want and therefore think that we simply owe it to the minority of people who are or become seriously disabled a chance at a normal existence.

We have socialised health care here in the UK and whilst it's not very good I do get a sense of happiness and security knowing that whatever happens, the NHS and disability benefits will always be there for everyone, whatever their circumstances. Admittedly that isn't how it works in practice, but at least its widely understood to be the principle behind the system.

So yea, society benefits and that makes us all happy, so I suppose there is more to it than intrinsic value after all. Now don't go and do a Maggie on my and say "There's no such thing as society" =).

--
Nick
new house

[ Parent ]

No, I won't do a Maggie. (2.00 / 1) (#51)
by Mr Incorrigible on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 06:05:48 PM EST

Though I might have enjoyed doing Maggie in the 80s; she looked pretty well-preserved back then.

Yes, society exists, but I will not hold myself accountable to society. Nor will I concern myself with the well-being of every member of society; I utterly refuse to accept responsibility for the welfare of strangers.

Again, these "inherited defects" you mention are not my problem. They're not your problem either, unless you willingly choose to make them your problem. Me, I have responsibility enough just taking care of myself and my woman -- why in the name of all the demons ever worshipped by Man should I take responsibility for others?

I am neither my brother's keeper nor my brother's slayer. And I only have one brother.

--
I know I'm a cheeky bastard. My lady tells me so.


[ Parent ]
Health care for children of janitors (5.00 / 1) (#52)
by winthrop on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 06:07:21 PM EST

The only exception applies to children: a person is responsible for the health and well-being of his children, and to shirk that responsibility is an unforgivable crime.

Yup. This is one of the things the janitors are fighting for. Yesterday, I met a janitor whose two kids lived in the Dominican Republic. He came here to work so that he could afford to "take responsibility for the health and well-being of his children." He doesn't make enough money to do that on his current, part-time, no-health benefits salary if they came here to live with him right now. That's why he's going to strike in order to get health benefits for himself and his family, so his kids can come live with him and be healthy and well-fed.

[ Parent ]

Other people's children (1.60 / 5) (#55)
by Mr Incorrigible on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 06:12:42 PM EST

aren't my problem. They're not yours either, so why not find a more interesting pastime than feeling guilty over the plights of strangers?

And before anybody asks -- no, I do not possess compassion; it's beneath me.

--
I know I'm a cheeky bastard. My lady tells me so.


[ Parent ]
Great logic (2.66 / 3) (#66)
by DeadBaby on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 07:55:31 PM EST

Oh yes, of course because we all know poor people don't have kids. Oh what? They do? Wow. We must take care of that huh? Maybe we can only allow rich white people with blue eyes to breed. I mean come on now... the poor deserve to die right?

Your ideas are so just and beautiful. You should grow a funny little mustache and lead this country to the arian glory land where poor sick people are shot in the face and their kids are sent to labor camps so they can afford 2nd rate health care.

GOD BLESS AMERICA.

"Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
[ Parent ]

Your argument is impeccable (5.00 / 1) (#113)
by Mr Incorrigible on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 01:44:24 PM EST

and so very elegant in his simplicity: everyone who disagrees with you is a Nazi.

--
I know I'm a cheeky bastard. My lady tells me so.


[ Parent ]
Hah (3.00 / 2) (#111)
by PhillipW on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 12:48:58 PM EST

At least, the code of morality I chose for myself does not recognise the concept of "intrinisic value" as a valid one.

And the code of morality that some whacko chooses for himself sees nothing wrong with killing you and your entire family, and then dumping them into a river. Don't push your morals on him!

-Phil
[ Parent ]
I don't push morals on killers. (none / 0) (#114)
by Mr Incorrigible on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 01:45:01 PM EST

I just make crow food out of them.

--
I know I'm a cheeky bastard. My lady tells me so.


[ Parent ]
So then (1.00 / 1) (#121)
by PhillipW on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 03:18:15 PM EST

We need no government to enforce anything. We can live in a completely lawless society, and you would have no problems with that. Gotcha.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
No, we still need laws. (none / 0) (#125)
by Mr Incorrigible on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 03:32:20 PM EST

But if you think I'm going to call 911 and wait 20 minutes for the cops to save my ass instead of protecting myself then you've got another thing coming.

--
I know I'm a cheeky bastard. My lady tells me so.


[ Parent ]
And by the way (1.00 / 1) (#123)
by PhillipW on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 03:21:46 PM EST

I think it's very noble of you to rate comments that disagree with you to 1, and then post replies. You truly are a good man!

-Phil
[ Parent ]
If you don't like it, complain to Rusty. (none / 0) (#124)
by Mr Incorrigible on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 03:31:17 PM EST

I'm sure he'll say something if he disapproves of me modding down and replying.

--
I know I'm a cheeky bastard. My lady tells me so.


[ Parent ]
Modding [OT] (none / 0) (#128)
by upsilon on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 03:57:22 PM EST

Hey, personally I'd rather be modded and get some sort of explanation as to why, rather than just get modded down. But that's just me.

But then, I'd also like to see posts get modded based on quality of argument rather than substance of argument.

Oh yeah, and a pony. I want a pony!
--
Once, I was the King of Spain.
[ Parent ]

Not in your control (2.33 / 3) (#23)
by bayankaran on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 04:35:13 PM EST

Yes, health is your responsibility. But most of the times it is not in your control.

Look around...you will find hundreds of examples.

[ Parent ]
Control the things you can control, (2.00 / 1) (#26)
by Mr Incorrigible on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 04:43:22 PM EST

let everything else take a flying fuck at you, and if you've got to die, then die fighting!

No, I cannot control others or control Nature. But I can control myself; I am a man, not a beast.

--
I know I'm a cheeky bastard. My lady tells me so.


[ Parent ]
Obligation to care for the sick (1.60 / 5) (#36)
by pjc50 on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 05:09:14 PM EST

It's right there in the Bible. It's one of the things of which Christ says, "When you do this for anyone, you do it for me."

And BTW, yes I am going around modding all your posts as 1. You're a selfish troll and I've just come back from Mass.

[ Parent ]

I do not answer to Jesus of Nazareth. (2.25 / 4) (#45)
by Mr Incorrigible on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 05:34:06 PM EST

And if he has a problem with that he can get his almighty ass down here and express his disapproval in person. And when he does, I'll tell him to go back to Hell where he belongs!

Yes, I am selfish, and I am proud of my selfishness. Of course, my pride is probably another reason for you to mod my posts to 1. As far as the Bible is concerned, I consider the ravings of Aleister Crowley to be a far more credible guide to morality than the ravings of an incompetent carpenter with a Messiah complex. If one must receive moral instruction from mystics, at least the Mega Therion keeps it simple: an it harm none, do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Well, I guess I gave you another reason to mod me down. As for you coming back from Mass: don't take it out on me just because you had to waste part of your day sitting in an uncomfortable chair listening to some blithering idiot in bad clothes mutter meaningless incantations.

--
I know I'm a cheeky bastard. My lady tells me so.


[ Parent ]
I see your mouth, but no money. (1.00 / 2) (#50)
by Mr Incorrigible on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 06:00:03 PM EST

You know, I haven't seen any of my unrated posts being modded to 1. Aren't you going to mod me down? You said you would. I guess I'll see you in Hell since you've said you'd do something and then didn't do it. I'll see if I can get you a date with my great-aunt Lilith, or maybe my cousin Gamaliel if you prefer men.

--
I know I'm a cheeky bastard. My lady tells me so.


[ Parent ]
It's hardly christian to go around (3.50 / 2) (#53)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 06:08:33 PM EST

modding down people you don't like.


--
Once one sock is sucked, the other sock will remain forever unsucked.


[ Parent ]

Touche! [n/t] (none / 0) (#56)
by Mr Incorrigible on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 06:14:28 PM EST


--
I know I'm a cheeky bastard. My lady tells me so.


[ Parent ]
He's not a troll (none / 0) (#85)
by kholmes on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 01:47:52 AM EST

He's a Liberatarian. Like a Socialist, only backwards.

Maybe he is a troll :)

If you treat people as most people treat things and treat things as most people treat people, you might be a Randian.
[ Parent ]

Yea well... (2.00 / 1) (#65)
by DeadBaby on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 07:50:28 PM EST

Guess what; not everyone can deal with their own health care, especially since the cost of health care in the US is insanely high. There are lots of very stupid, unqualified people, in America who will never have a job good enough to provide them with proper health care. Are you telling me these people deserve to get sick? Maybe even die? That's basically what anti-health care nuts are saying.

If we can devote trillions to killing people, we can devote trillions to keeping people alive. If not we're a barbaric joke of a country who would be lucky to nuke ourselves back to the stone age -- since we seem to be so found of it.

"Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
[ Parent ]

You have yet to explain (none / 0) (#115)
by Mr Incorrigible on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 01:47:52 PM EST

why the plight of others is my problem. And, no, quoting the tenets of Christianity does not qualify as an explanation.

--
I know I'm a cheeky bastard. My lady tells me so.


[ Parent ]
You have yet to explain (none / 0) (#126)
by greenrd on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 03:34:04 PM EST

why the "plight" of you having to pay a bit more in tax should concern me.

It cuts both ways. Neither of us is likely to be able to convince the other, it seems.


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

It's not just me that has to pay more. (none / 0) (#130)
by Mr Incorrigible on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 04:23:12 PM EST

The taxman is giving you the shaft too; and people get fucked harder by the taxman in Europe.

--
I know I'm a cheeky bastard. My lady tells me so.


[ Parent ]
I don't care (3.00 / 1) (#132)
by greenrd on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 04:41:04 PM EST

I'm not voting for lower taxes. I accept tax as a social obligation.


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

What do taxes fund? (none / 0) (#136)
by Mr Incorrigible on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 05:46:37 PM EST

Do taxes fund government operations that benefit all citizens, like national defense (consult a dictionary for a definition of "defense" in this case) and the enforcement of just, objective laws that protect the negative rights due to all individuals by virtue of their nature as beings capable of thought and free choice? Or do taxes fund "social programs" that benefit some people at the expense of others?

If a tax funds an operation that is demonstrably beneficial to all citizens, then I will support it. But I cannot, in good conscience, support programs like socialised health care (as implemented in Canada and Britain), the US' Social Security program, or any program that "redistributes" wealth, as it sets one group of people against another.

--
I know I'm a cheeky bastard. My lady tells me so.


[ Parent ]
I just have to answer this (none / 0) (#145)
by pyramid termite on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 09:49:36 PM EST

But I cannot, in good conscience, support programs like socialised health care (as implemented in Canada and Britain), the US' Social Security program, or any program that "redistributes" wealth, as it sets one group of people against another.

I wasn't aware that government was necessary to set people off against each other. Do you really think that in a Pure Capitalist System TM, that the rich and poor wouldn't be against each other? In fact, it could be quite a lot worse than it is now - look at the poorer parts of the world for examples.

Social programs and redistributive programs do not create conflict, they manage it. Whether they manage it effectively is debatable at times, but I'm sure you'd rather pay taxes to keep the poor docile and reasonably quiet than to pay taxes to keep them from overthrowing the government.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Free clue, Mr Incorrigible (none / 0) (#70)
by pyramid termite on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 09:30:04 PM EST

Hospitals don't turn away people if they have to have medical care; nope, they're treated and then they're given the bill. At this point, the government might pay all or part of it - but if the recepient's not eligible? Well, then they bill him, and a good part of the time, the bill's never paid. So, how does the hospital make up the difference?

Why, they just bump up everyone else's bill to compensate. And so, the debate isn't whether we have socialized health care - in effect, we do - no, the question is whether a better system couldn't be devised that would be more cost-effective and provide better care.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Not entirely true (5.00 / 1) (#72)
by winthrop on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 09:45:52 PM EST

Hospitals do turn people away; just not if they have an immediately life-threatening situation. This is something Local 615 organizers have been emphasizing: it's common for janitors to not be able to see a doctor until they're quite sick, which means that instead of having any kind of preventative care, all their care is reactionary.

[ Parent ]
Depends on the hospital ... (4.00 / 1) (#73)
by pyramid termite on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 09:50:28 PM EST

... public hospitals really don't have much choice - although they might make you wait a long time. I know from personal experience that a seriously ill person isn't even going to be asked about how they're going to pay for it until much later. In any event, reactionary care is much more expensive than preventative care, and insured people end up paying for it.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Yes, the US needs socialized health care (none / 0) (#150)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 01:19:30 AM EST

Exactly, the US spends the most money on health care, but is ranked 37th in terms of quality. We should copy the methods of countries which are more successful in this regard. This is how successful businesses operate.

By the way, our military spending is far higher than legitimate. Our military spending really amounts to corporate welfare. Our military is generally used for aggression rather than defense.

Who cares if your forced to pay their bill? Should the government stop building and maintaining roads and libraries, too? I do not believe in laissez faire capitalism. Really. I do not think it exists or could exist. Socialized health care would be good for the country as whole, so I don't see why we should be slaves to dogmatic capitalism. As stated before, I just don't care how high your taxes are and I don't see why I should.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]

employers' opinions (4.00 / 1) (#38)
by winthrop on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 05:13:17 PM EST

If more of these actions by organized and unorganized labor are effective in gaining health care coverage from employers, employers may start agreeing with you, if they see national health care as a cheaper alternative to effectively mandatory employer-sponsored health care.

[ Parent ]
only rich people deserve health care (none / 0) (#141)
by turmeric on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 08:42:36 PM EST

otherwise you are simply subsidizing poverty. if people are not cratching and scrawling their way out of a rat pit in order to get basic human services, then really, how do you expect to propel technological progress in this country?

[ Parent ]
Suggestion to management: hire other people. (2.60 / 10) (#15)
by Mr Incorrigible on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 03:57:53 PM EST

If the union workers aren't willing to work on your terms, then hire people who are willing. Nobody has a right to a job at somebody else's expense, and the unionists have no moral right to demand more from you than you are willing to give them.

--
I know I'm a cheeky bastard. My lady tells me so.


would provoke bad results for company (4.20 / 5) (#16)
by winthrop on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 04:12:26 PM EST

Ignoring the moral element and your opinion on the rights of workers for a minute, I want to layout the likely effects of trying to break an 11,000 person-union with strong community support. For starters, the city and the state wouldn't stand for it, as that's 11,000 people (or 5,000 if you assume that management can turn half of them) who will suddenly need state and city help, and UNICCO will probably never have another contract with the city or the state. Union workers will refuse to service UNICCO-serviced buildings with packages, telecommunications, etc.; how long before the property owners jettison UNICCO and find somebody who other union workers will accept? In a pure power game (like all strikes are), the union holds a lot of cards.

[ Parent ]
Classic Battle: Power vs. Property Rights. (3.00 / 4) (#21)
by Mr Incorrigible on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 04:26:54 PM EST

And it always seems to be property rights that get trampled. Now, what exactly are the "rights of workers"? Do they have a right to work? Yes, but they have no right to force people to hire them or keep them on the payroll. Just because they're selling their labor doesn't mean that anybody's obligated to buy it.

As for the government: there is no reason for them to support 5000-11000 unwanted workers at the expense of productive taxpayers. Of course, I haven't a chance in hell of obtaining public office of any kind: politics is no place for a man with an steel backbone and a heart of diamond.

--
I know I'm a cheeky bastard. My lady tells me so.


[ Parent ]
Property rights beat human rights with sticks (none / 0) (#31)
by pjc50 on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 05:02:06 PM EST

Are property rights more important than the worker's ability to feed themselves?

[ Parent ]
In a word: yes. (3.25 / 4) (#32)
by Mr Incorrigible on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 05:04:43 PM EST

The workers don't have a right to feed themselves at other's expense. If they can't feed themselves because their work isn't valuable enough to others, then they should find another line of work.

--
I know I'm a cheeky bastard. My lady tells me so.


[ Parent ]
So, in other words ... (none / 0) (#71)
by pyramid termite on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 09:37:01 PM EST

... either the office workers have to help clean after themselves, or you have janitors who are starving to death on the job.

If these janitors aren't making enough money to live on, SOMEONE's making up the difference. Who? The government, probably. In effect, the government's subsidizing low wage jobs for the companies that pay them - no welfare, no workers who can't live on that wage.

It's amazing to me that few people see this - they're already feeding themselves at your expense due to corporations taking advantage of the government's willingness to take up the slack. So much for a free market ...

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Or they can feed themselves (none / 0) (#84)
by kholmes on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 01:36:45 AM EST

They just need some land and a whole lot of seeds and they can grow their own food and not bother anyone's property rights at all.

Unfortunately, the good land is all used up. (property rights and all)

So yeah, we're all slaves to the upper class, who are reigned by the government, who are slaves to us. It seems to be working, we have one hell of an economy.

If you treat people as most people treat things and treat things as most people treat people, you might be a Randian.
[ Parent ]

The rights of workers (none / 0) (#33)
by borderline on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 05:05:33 PM EST

The workers have no other rights but the ones the employers are giving them. And since giving your workers as little as is absolutely possible has often been profitable, that's what employers often have done.

The workers can, however, organize and fight for whatever they feel are their rights. This can be everything from being able to go take a leak without noticing it on the paycheck, to complete ownership and control of the workplace in question.

What is generally considered to be the "rights of workers" is not static. It depends on the general political climate, and the actual power of the sides in this, as you say, classic battle.

(This classic battle, by the way, is often referred to by some as the "class struggle".)

[ Parent ]

Taking a leak without getting docked... (3.50 / 2) (#37)
by Mr Incorrigible on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 05:10:21 PM EST

I'd cover that under property rights, as a person's body is his own property. As each person owns his own body, nobody else has the right to interfere with the functions of another person's body. I agree with you that docking a person's pay just because he had to take a crap during business hours is unfair.

--
I know I'm a cheeky bastard. My lady tells me so.


[ Parent ]
You're missing my point (5.00 / 2) (#46)
by borderline on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 05:36:00 PM EST

I'm not arguing whether it's fair or unfair that workers can take a crap without getting less pay.

I'm saying that if employers can increase profits by not giving workers this "right", they probably will. They probably aren't evil bastards or anything, it's just that their competitors' workers never go to the can, and they want to stay in business. (Workers have no doubt been denied this "right" before.)

I'm also saying that if the workers are not allowed by their employer to take a crap during work hours, but they feel it would be a nice right to have, they can organize and fight for it. (Workers have no doubt fought for and won this "right" before.)

You might argue that taking a crap once every six hours is a universal right of workers everywhere, for whatever reason. I might argue that workers do not have the right to take crap during work hours, because that's what my god told me.

If the workers are actually able to take a crap depends on how organized and willing to fight for this "right" they are.

[ Parent ]

"steel backbone and a heart of diamond" (5.00 / 1) (#58)
by akb on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 06:39:59 PM EST

LOL.  Thank you for existing.

Collaborative Video Blog demandmedia.net
[ Parent ]

You're welcome. (none / 0) (#59)
by Mr Incorrigible on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 06:45:45 PM EST

I'm sure you're being sarcastic, but that's OK; it's still a free country.

--
I know I'm a cheeky bastard. My lady tells me so.


[ Parent ]
no (5.00 / 1) (#82)
by MrLarch on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 01:12:38 AM EST

I'm not being sarcastic when I second the former diamond-studded emotion.

[ Parent ]
Is that really what you believe? (5.00 / 1) (#30)
by pjc50 on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 05:00:25 PM EST

the unionists have no moral right to demand more from you than you are willing to give them

So, according to you, they have no right to negotiate; no right to even ask for more than what their masters offer them.

You are also implying that the masters are somehow morally better, as they are not demanding more from the workers than they are 'willing' to give. Do you really think they are not demanding as much from the workers as they can physically extract, then a little more to keep them in line?

[ Parent ]

Did I say they had no right to negotiate? (3.00 / 3) (#42)
by Mr Incorrigible on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 05:23:34 PM EST

No, I didn't. All I said was that that they have no right to force management to negotiate with them. Negotiation isn't possible unless all parties are willing to negotiate; one does not reason with others under duress.

And, yes, I stand by every word I post.

--
I know I'm a cheeky bastard. My lady tells me so.


[ Parent ]
One flame war I can never resist (none / 0) (#106)
by perdida on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 11:02:25 AM EST

Force? The bosses used it first.

Don't believe me. I'm a socialist. Instead, just read about worker exploitation of you damn geeks, on slashdot..

You're the one who has to watch what you put on your insurance so the boss won't know you're nuts -- that is, if you have insurance. When you walk in to work you get nearly Gattaca-grade scanned, and you get your own creative intellectual property stolen.

It's a war. You are, when you go to work, being attacked by an entire system designed to engineer you, breed you and brainwash you into making maximum profit.

Capitalist work is about putting creative fires in glass sconces. If people are herds of wild boar, workers are just like the brood sows that make the pigs that we eat. These sows are kept in a tiny box for their whole lives, made sick, injected with hormones and slaughtered when they fail.


The most adequate archive on the Internet.
I can't shit a hydrogen fuel cell car. -eeee
[ Parent ]

So (none / 0) (#116)
by roam on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 01:51:54 PM EST

Why are people going to do any work if there's no fear of being "slaughtered when they fail"?

___
Are they like hamsters?
Specifically, can I tape up a chinchilla, slather him in axle grease, and shove him up my ass? - Patrick Bateman


[ Parent ]
Is this a free society or a death camp? (nt) (none / 0) (#129)
by pyramid termite on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 04:16:21 PM EST


On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Hmm (none / 0) (#133)
by roam on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 04:54:19 PM EST

If people are herds of wild boar, workers are just like the brood sows that make the pigs that we eat. These sows are kept in a tiny box for their whole lives, made sick, injected with hormones and slaughtered when they fail.

Perdida is making an analogy that workers are "just like the brood sows". So, if you follow the analog (which you're obviously not), why would a brood sow do what you want if there were not penalties and ways of making the sow do the work?  That's my question.

___
Are they like hamsters?
Specifically, can I tape up a chinchilla, slather him in axle grease, and shove him up my ass? - Patrick Bateman


[ Parent ]
She would be in a niche in the environment (none / 0) (#143)
by perdida on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 09:22:01 PM EST

among a population of boars. She would have children far less often, when she could support them. The piglets would grow up and intermingle with the other boars in the woods, etc.


The most adequate archive on the Internet.
I can't shit a hydrogen fuel cell car. -eeee
[ Parent ]

Your analogy is a little off (none / 0) (#147)
by roam on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 10:08:16 PM EST

/If people are herds of wild boar, workers are just like the brood sows that make the pigs that we eat. / If people are herds of wild boar, then who are the "we" who eat the pigs, boars eat their own kind in this analogy?

___
Are they like hamsters?
Specifically, can I tape up a chinchilla, slather him in axle grease, and shove him up my ass? - Patrick Bateman


[ Parent ]
You're right, the grammar is unclear (none / 0) (#153)
by perdida on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 11:21:47 AM EST

we should be replaced with humans in the analogy. If ordinary working people are the pigs, the capitalists, of course, are the ones eating the pigs.


The most adequate archive on the Internet.
I can't shit a hydrogen fuel cell car. -eeee
[ Parent ]

Ahh ... (none / 0) (#146)
by pyramid termite on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 09:56:19 PM EST

... it's Bob Evans down on the farm then. Whorehouse or slaughterhouse?

Forget it. Neither one of you is talking about workers as if they were people. I'll let you guys argue about who's for breakfast and I'll just find something else to do.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Um (2.50 / 4) (#127)
by PurpleMicrodot on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 03:46:41 PM EST

Weren't you going to kill yourself?

[ Parent ]
The 'masters' have something the workers want (4.25 / 4) (#63)
by scatbubba on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 07:26:46 PM EST

and if the workers don't like the terms, they can go somewhere else and leave the jobs for someone who is willing to accept the terms. 'Union Busting' is just a stupid phrase to describe 'Shopping around'. Imagine if you had to deal with car dealership x, and going to car dealership y was called 'dealership busting'. boo fuckin hoo.

[ Parent ]
You're missing the point. (4.00 / 1) (#110)
by luserSPAZ on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 12:44:35 PM EST

Unions are primarily focused on unskilled labor.  See, anyone could do that janitorial job.  That's the problem.  Unions are formed so the employers can't just fire all their workers and hire new ones whenever they have a disagreement.  Sure, this is interfering with standard capitalism.  But so is the minimum wage.  Should we do away with that too?  Some amount of regulation is needed in employment matters.  It's not as simple as saying "just quit your job and find a new one."  That doesn't always work.

[ Parent ]
re (none / 0) (#142)
by scatbubba on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 08:44:22 PM EST

So, in trying to understand your point, i will re-state it as i understand it. You believe that in the case of unskilled workers, employers should lose their right to hire which ever workers they choose. I'm not sure why you feel this is morally justified. The employer is as human and worthy of fair treatment as the unskilled employees. Consider for a second what the opposite to your point is. Suppose the unskilled employee was forced to work for that employer and unable to quit freely. You know, to protect the employer from all his employees quitting whenever there is a disagreement. I find your idea to be equally insane.

[ Parent ]
No (none / 0) (#152)
by luserSPAZ on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 10:14:23 AM EST

The employer loses their right to *fire* their employees whenever they choose.  They can hire whomever they want.

[ Parent ]
you are wrong (none / 0) (#158)
by scatbubba on Wed Oct 02, 2002 at 12:10:38 AM EST

if there is a union involved, the company will have no say in who is hired. They will be able to provide a job description, that's it. The union will staff the job with whoever they want.

[ Parent ]
Fair enough (none / 0) (#159)
by luserSPAZ on Wed Oct 02, 2002 at 11:10:45 AM EST

I concede.  It becomes a tradeoff between workers' and employers' rights.  Personally, I would side with the workers, because I think they tend to need the protection moreso than the employers.

[ Parent ]
Mob rule? (2.10 / 10) (#19)
by SanSeveroPrince on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 04:25:03 PM EST

sounds like mob rule to me. A lot of workers don't get what they want, so they go on strike, paralyzing an entire city in the process.

There are other ways to accomplish things, and they include talks, legal action and partial strikes.

Fifty years ago, when the rich classes trampled all over the working class' rights, perhaps this kind of power in the hands of unions was justified.
These days, it's just getting abused. Goes to show, people really can't handle power. When does 'Slavery NOW' come out?

----

Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think


What choice is there? (2.50 / 2) (#27)
by dhul fakdr on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 04:44:22 PM EST

It would simply be unacceptable to force individuals to work. Forbidding the free association and communication required to organize a strike would be a egregious violation of Constitutionally-assured rights.

Other's exercise of their freedom can be inconvenient sometimes, no doubt, but there does not appear to be a better alternative available.

[ Parent ]

No picket lines (3.50 / 4) (#64)
by docvin on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 07:33:00 PM EST

The strike itself is morally acceptable. The picket lines are not. A picket line is a form of blockade, and a blockade is a form of violence.

Personally, if any of my employees ever went on strike, I would sack them immediately. Unfortunately this is illegal here in Australia, where the unions control one of the major political parties. I'm not sure about the legal situation in the US.


[ Parent ]

means (4.00 / 3) (#81)
by MrLarch on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 01:10:45 AM EST

Forbidding the free association and communication required to organize a strike would be a egregious violation of Constitutionally-assured rights.

Right. Just like "forbidding the free association and communication required to" steer planes into a big building "would be a egregious violation of Constitutionally-assured rights." It's what comes of it that makes the difference, and you're allowed to associate no matter what. In this case, it's a few steps better than my example.

Other's exercise of their freedom...

You mean "Others' exercise of their freedom..."

[ Parent ]

Clarification (4.50 / 2) (#28)
by winthrop on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 04:44:32 PM EST

Not saying that you disagree, but I just want to make this point clear. The union's power doesn't come mainly from their ability to withhold their labor; the building managers would, like Mr Incorrigible suggests, simply hire other workers. The union's power to shut down downtown Boston stems from the massive solidarity which other working people have shown for them. The union's leverage in negotiating a contract with the cleaning agency comes from the community support, in the form of activists who will protest and picket, city councillors who will censure and drop contracts, etc. and generally make the company's life extremely difficult if they don't agree to the janitor's demands.

[ Parent ]
Unions (4.00 / 1) (#92)
by DarkZero on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 03:50:49 AM EST

What's the point of a union that can't strike? It takes the teeth out of anything that you do. A union demanding better treatment without the threat of a strike is like a cop telling someone that's pointing a gun at an innocent person "STOP or... uhhh... I'll yell louder! And in a very mean tone of voice!". Both the gun and the ability to strike might seem like overkill, but they add the element of power to all of the other actions that the cop and the union take.

Besides, this company deserves it. What they're doing is a blatant manipulation of a previous agreement. By hiring an extra worker and keeping as many workers as possible under the health care minimum, they're deceptively reneging on the previous agreement by putting it into a new context that suits their side better. The spirit of the agreement was that a set amount of workers would get health care and thus they're going against that agreement by abusing an unintened loophole within it.

[ Parent ]

There's this thing... (none / 0) (#93)
by SanSeveroPrince on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 04:20:10 AM EST

..called communication. Look it up, and you'll realize that since the human race decided to come down from the trees, we have found many a valid substitute to violence (both a gun and a strike are a form of violence).

Some are far nastier.

Oh, and if you don't like the rules of the game, GO WORK SOMEWHERE ELSE.

----

Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think


[ Parent ]
Violence, Rules (5.00 / 2) (#96)
by DarkZero on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 06:51:56 AM EST

(both a gun and a strike are a form of violence)

A work stoppage, which does not necessitate anyone getting hurt in anywhere but their wallet, is a form of violence? That's the most insane warping of the word "violence" that I've ever seen in my life.

Oh, and if you don't like the rules of the game, GO WORK SOMEWHERE ELSE.

Striking, according to the law, is part of the rules of the game. It is considered no less valid than civil negotiation in the eyes of the law, just as a slam dunk is considered no less valid than a standard throw in basketball.

[ Parent ]

It's not my fault, (1.00 / 1) (#99)
by SanSeveroPrince on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 08:31:49 AM EST

if you've never considered things from other people's point of view.

Imposing your will on people who have nothing to do with your strike IS a very real form of violence.

If even only one UPS parcel goes delivered because of grievances with your boss, then you are doing violence to UPS, to the sender, and the person who's supposed to be receiving the parcel.

Please remove yourself from the bible's definitions of words... there is so much more out there.

----

Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think


[ Parent ]
UPS deliveries (5.00 / 1) (#103)
by winthrop on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 10:21:22 AM EST

If even only one UPS parcel goes delivered because of grievances with your boss, then you are doing violence to UPS, to the sender, and the person who's supposed to be receiving the parcel.

I assume you mean undelivered; if not, then I don't understand your statement and would appreciate you clarifying.

I just want to clarify that the UPS deliverymen themselves are choosing not to cross the picket line out of class and union solidarity with the janitors. If they chose to cross, they probably could, although they'd certainly get an earful. Forcing them to cross would probably take an act of violence in itself.

[ Parent ]

-1 US-centric (1.53 / 15) (#35)
by Djinh on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 05:09:07 PM EST



--
We are the Euro. Resistance is futile. All your dollars will be assimilated.
Not only that (5.00 / 2) (#112)
by wiredog on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 01:13:48 PM EST

Northeastern US centric.

Earth first! We can strip mine the rest later.
[ Parent ]
-1 ... ugh .. dull. (1.57 / 14) (#54)
by dvchaos on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 06:12:02 PM EST

If your job sucks that much, then go get a better one. simple.

--
RAR.to - anonymous proxy server!
so how long have you been (1.00 / 1) (#74)
by dr k on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 10:35:50 PM EST

a sociopath?


Destroy all trusted users!
[ Parent ]

Thanks .. (5.00 / 1) (#79)
by dvchaos on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 12:40:15 AM EST

for providing the greatest laugh I've had in a very long time.

--
RAR.to - anonymous proxy server!
[ Parent ]
Shut down Boston's downtown? (4.50 / 6) (#60)
by docvin on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 06:49:32 PM EST

I fail to see how a janitor's strike could shut anything down. If your building's janitor stops coming, your office gets messy. If it gets too messy, you have to clean it up. If the strike goes on and on, then businesses will start rostering their existing staff to do cleaning jobs, or else hire their own non-union janitor. Besides, surely there must be other contract cleaning companies in Boston anyway, who will be only too happy to pick up the extra work. So in summary, I see this as a problem for UNICCO and their employees, but I fail to see how it's anything other than a minor inconvenience for anybody else.

some hyperbole, more than messy offices, scab work (5.00 / 1) (#61)
by winthrop on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 07:01:36 PM EST

Sure, that's quite a bit extreme. It won't shut down any of the shops or the trains. Much of Boston will just go about their regular life. But it will prevent alot of downtown offices from getting any normal business done.

Some of the reasons are in the article: downtown businesses rely heavily on receiving services from union shops, including but not limited to package delivery (FedEx/UPS/etc), electricians, telecommunications workers, etc. Other workers, even non-union ones and maybe some of the ones who actually work inside the buildings, will refuse to cross the picket line.

UNICCO will probably try to get scab workers to clean, and the businesses might end their contract with UNICCO and get other scab workers themselves, but it's a non-trivial task to sneak enough scab workers past the picket lines to clean the giant buildings downtown.

[ Parent ]

Scab power! (4.20 / 5) (#62)
by docvin on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 07:22:48 PM EST

Oops, I didn't read about the picket lines until after I'd read the article.

I've often thought of starting an agency of highly motivated, multi-skilled non-unionised workers whose role is to provide scab labour for companies disadvantaged by strikes. We would wear cool black uniforms with sunglasses, drive big-arse armoured vehicles with cow-catchers ( for breaking picket lines ) and work for, say, twice the going rate until the strike was broken.

On further thoughts, there might not be enough money in it for us to be able to maintain the cool armoured vehicles. But there needs to be some sort of organised scab recruitment agency. Personally, I'd gladly take some time off my PhD to work as a janitor, or a bus driver, or a coal miner, just to take my revenge on the union movement for all the times they've inconvenienced me over some petty pay claim.

[ Parent ]

Such things exist (5.00 / 1) (#69)
by Otto Surly on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 09:26:36 PM EST

(without the cool armored vehicles). For example, nurses.

--
I can't wait to see The Two Towers. Man, that Legolas chick is hot.
[ Parent ]
you go right ahead (5.00 / 1) (#75)
by dr k on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 10:42:55 PM EST

Maybe you could hire a bunch of robots to do the work.


Destroy all trusted users!
[ Parent ]

bull (5.00 / 1) (#77)
by MrLarch on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 11:20:38 PM EST

Isn't it just like another union, almost an anti-union union? What? You don't like competition between unions? You like monopsonies, but not monopolies?

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

[ Parent ]

absurdities (none / 0) (#78)
by dr k on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 11:52:01 PM EST

Anyone is welcome to hire a group of "highly motivated, multi-skilled non-unionised workers" to do whatever they wish. But they are just as likely find a bunch of robots to do the work as well.


Destroy all trusted users!
[ Parent ]

why? (5.00 / 1) (#80)
by MrLarch on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 01:06:41 AM EST

Is the technology that good, or are currently non-unionized workers that poor? If the latter, then why? Because a new union wouldn't be able to get all that terribly great talent from the unions into it? Or is it that the mob would prevent real competitive talent from joining?

If the former, then where can I get one?

[ Parent ]

Wait (5.00 / 4) (#83)
by kholmes on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 01:28:47 AM EST

You don't think they deserve health care?

If you treat people as most people treat things and treat things as most people treat people, you might be a Randian.
[ Parent ]
well.. (none / 0) (#155)
by EriKZ on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 04:23:12 PM EST

No, not really.

Low paying jobs SUCK.

[ Parent ]

please, for the love of god, do it. (5.00 / 4) (#89)
by turmeric on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 02:34:20 AM EST

maybe after a few days as a coal miner (assuming
you and your unexperienced phd buddies die
from a collapsing pillar b/c you have no
experience or knowledge) you will lose
your haughty holier-than-thou attitude.


[ Parent ]
Excellent (2.33 / 3) (#91)
by Katt on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 02:56:45 AM EST

That's the coolest idea for a new business that I've heard lately. If you did this in one of the larger cities (New York, Los Angeles, Boston...), I bet you could make a fortune.

All those wacky union members might put a bounty on your head, but hey, comes with the territory.

[ Parent ]

haha (none / 0) (#139)
by fhotg on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 07:49:49 PM EST

You won't be the first one beaten to a bloody mess trying to cross the picket line. Good luck, get health insurance first.

[ Parent ]
Yep (none / 0) (#156)
by John Miles on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 07:26:12 PM EST

The union credo in a nutshell. When you're in the wrong and things don't go your way, there's always violence.

For so long as men do as they are told, there will be war.
[ Parent ]
worse than you think.... (5.00 / 2) (#87)
by interrupt on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 02:13:20 AM EST

It's not quite the same thing, but imagine a garbage collector's strike. You'd think that everyone would try to produce less waste, but if the garbage collectors strike, you soon see heaps of trash bags rotting on the side walk. It smells bad. Really really really bad.

I'd imagine you could see something similar with janitors on strike. Suddenly that take-out your co-worker threw in the trash last night is still there in the morning, and your office smells like bad chinese food for a week (even after you throw it out). People adapt eventually, but not as quickly as you'd think.

[ Parent ]

have you ever heard of explosive shitting (3.28 / 7) (#88)
by turmeric on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 02:28:25 AM EST

because some fuckhead seems to enjoy doing
it in public bathrooms. im not sure if its the
same person everywhere, or if its some kind
of undergroudn scat porn gang (probably
people from adequacy.org and trollaxor.com)
but the only people who will battle these demons
on behalf of civilization are the janitors.
a week without janitors and the number of crap
stalls filled with feces would grow geometrically
i reckon as the mystery shit-stormers
unleashed a torrent of maldigested fastfood
byproducts onto the corporate ceramic tile
that carries away the result of all that
calorie-burnin' world-runnin' those fortune
500/think-tank types of folks do all day
in downtown.

[ Parent ]
Health Care costs.... (4.50 / 6) (#86)
by Blarney on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 01:58:50 AM EST

The employers of the janitors may well not be able to afford to provide health care for their workers. Medicine is a strange anomaly in the American economy.

Let's take a look at the other necessities of life! Cheap imported clothing is widely available, and in fact is identical to expensive clothing except for the status-symbol branding, even produced in the same Chinese factories. Shelter isn't beyond the reach of low-wage working people, provided that they are willing to live in somewhat crowded conditions with a few "roommates" - which many do. Food is really cheap provided that one is willing to eat chemically preserved foods which get all their vitamins from chemical additives and factory-farmed meat - I don't know what you guys eat, but I eat $1.25/pound chuck roast and rice most of the time. As an Indian coworker once said to me when I admitted that I only ever bought fruits when they were cheap and in season - "Food is so cheap here in the US, you don't even know! You have a few dollars, you can get food. You have a few rupees - no food for you." Even with wages falling, most of the necessities of life are still affordable.

But health care - it costs ALL your money. If you walk in uninsured and the hospital is willing to treat you, you can expect to pay anywhere from 2x to 10x the amount that a health insurance company would pay. Why? Because you have no bargaining power, you can accept the service or die! And suppose now that a janitor making $8.00 an hour falls ill, is saved, and is billed $70,000 for a couple weeks in the hospital. This price is absurd - no insurance company would pay it - but it achieves the goal of liquidation of the janitor's meager assets and garnishment of his wages for the rest of his life so that the hospital can receive every penny which can be squeezed out of him.

The main difference between food and medicine? If I go to the grocery store, there is a price on each food item, and that price will let me buy it. I don't have to haggle at the counter, don't have to buy into some "food insurance" scam to get more bargaining power, don't have to apply for "financial aid" so that my $500 weekly grocery bill can be reduced to a more reasonable $200, I'm not ransoming myself from starvation by giving up the last dollar that I have. It's a market - and medicine is not a market, it's a racket.

janitors seeking health insurance, not health care (none / 0) (#104)
by winthrop on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 10:23:41 AM EST

Point of clarification: the janitors' demand is for more of them to be given health insurance, which has a relatively fixed rate, not for them to pay for each medical problem out-of-pocket.

[ Parent ]
why is it expensive? (1.00 / 1) (#135)
by Lenny on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 05:20:08 PM EST

Hungry? Grow your own food. That is REALLY cheap.
Sick? Cure your own illness. Go to medical school. Specialize in every field there is (because you never know what illness might befall you). Grow and make your own medicine. Start your own lab. Research your own cures.

Which is easier to do? Which is cheaper to do?


"Hate the USA? Boycott everything American. Particularly its websites..."
-Me
[ Parent ]
If the janitors could go to med school, (5.00 / 1) (#151)
by derek3000 on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 08:27:17 AM EST

I'm sure they would. Are you 5 or something?

-----------
Not too political, nothing too clever!--Liars
[ Parent ]

The difference between food and medicine (none / 0) (#138)
by fhotg on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 07:43:03 PM EST

Food is in principle the same than 500 years ago, just cheaper, because meanwhile industrially produced.

If you are a medical emergency, it would have probably killed you, some time ago. Today you get the service of highly trained specialists in the world's most advanced applied science, handling the most advanced equipment and prescribing the latest wonders of the pharma-industry. That can't be cheap. If you insist that (at least in principle) everybody should get the best possible health care, there is no way around an application of the solidarity principle, the rich pay for the poor, the healthy for the sick and the young for the old. That's no racket, that's a contract inside society which agrees on certain humanitarian values.

[ Parent ]

Or.. (5.00 / 1) (#144)
by Kintanon on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 09:26:33 PM EST

You get to wait for 4 hours in an EMPTY emergency room, then have an intern poke you in the leg a couple of times and tell you that you have a torn muscle in your thigh, stay off of it for a few days. And then charge you 100$.  I *KNEW* I had a bloody torn muscle in my thigh, I wanted them to at least give me some kind of BRACE or something to keep me from hurting it further and help it heal! Now I have a permanent pain in my left thigh whenever I do splits. It's been 14 months since my injury. My chiropractor says he knows some tricks that might help loosen it the rest of the way up though, and I've finally begun to feel the stiffness receding. But did I pay that 100$? Hell no. At the time I had no health insurance and was making dirt nothing working 60hrs a week to pay my rent and buy food.  I sure as hell wasn't going to give some dickhead 100$ for telling me something I already knew.

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

i like it (5.00 / 1) (#97)
by 5pectre on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 07:53:34 AM EST

"Local global justice activists" is a much clearer way of describing this group of people rather than "anti-globalisation". I'm going to use it in future.

"Let us kill the English, their concept of individual rights might undermine the power of our beloved tyrants!!" - Lisa Simpson [ -1.50 / -7.74]

Janitors Union (5.00 / 1) (#98)
by gleesona on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 08:30:13 AM EST

I was going to comment that it was too Boston-centric, but then I noticed the unions name:"Service Employees' International Union"

Does that mean that this union has members in other countries and they will strike too?

Perhaps they mean International in the same way as baseball's 'World Series' ;)
______________________________________________

In short, a German spy is giving away every one of our battle plans.
You look surprised, Blackadder.
I certainly am, sir. I didn't realise we had any battle plans.
SEIU (5.00 / 1) (#107)
by winthrop on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 11:09:53 AM EST

According to their webpage, the SEIU spans the US, Puerto Rico, and Canada.

As far as I can tell, the Justice for Janitors' campaign has been US-only. Another area it's hit that people might be interested in here is Silicon Valley: see Boo Hoo Yahoo!.

[ Parent ]

The silicon valley folks (none / 0) (#117)
by aphrael on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 02:37:47 PM EST

are far more worried about the port workers' dispute with management, which has led to a lockout that has shut down every port in the western united states.

There's your double-dip recession coming.

[ Parent ]

More hours, less jobs (3.00 / 2) (#122)
by czth on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 03:21:34 PM EST

Alrighty, they want more workers to work > 29 hour per week. No problem: suppose there are 1000 working 25 hours (nice round number) per week: 25 000 hours. Fire 375 of them and set the rest to work 40 hours. Heck, fire half of then and the others can work 50 hours a week, to better amortize the cost of the insurance, which one assumes is fixed per worker (on average, anyway, with variations for disease history, smoking, etc.).

Everybody wins - 100% of the workers will have health insurance, and there's just as many hours being worked so all the buildings get cleaned.

Oh, wait, there are those 500 unskilled labourers without jobs now....

Nothing's free. If the union squeezes one end then the pressure has to balance out somehow. "Oh, well then they should set the required miniumum hours for health care lower" you say; and where, pray tell, is the money going to come from (I hope they have a colour copier in their basement somewhere)? With the above "plan" at least they can spread the cost over more hours, and reduce other fixed per-worker costs by employing fewer people. Too bad about the ones that get screwed.

czth

I'm sure they can find the money somewhere (none / 0) (#131)
by pnadeau on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 04:35:53 PM EST

You make it sound like the companies that hire these janitors are non-profit organizations with zero excess cash.


"Can't buy what I want because it's free, can't be what they want because I'm..."  Eddie Vedder


[ Parent ]
transform it slowly (none / 0) (#140)
by turmeric on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 08:39:32 PM EST

take the temp worker students with very little experience. they will quit soon anyways, simply do not rehire them instead give their hours to a current-part-timer with more experience who wants to stay on longer. and maybe some people will get fired, that would suck. it is best to change things slowly so the disruption to people's lives is minimized. but keeping things current, that in and of itself is disrupting people's lives.

[ Parent ]
The call of the looter (2.00 / 2) (#154)
by tarpy on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 12:39:56 PM EST

(Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's a Randian title :) Sure they could find more money in their profit margins, but why SHOULD they? These companies are there to make a profit...if they can get away with paying workers less (legally) they're going to do it. Why do we act so surprised and outraged when companies play by the rules that society sets for them?

God knows janitors don't get paid nearly enough (IMO)...but the fact of the matter is, the marketplace will bear them making what they make....instead of trying to coerce companies into giving them more in wages (the first unintended consequence of any living wage ordinance/law will be mass firings, I bet), use moral suasion to bring the employers around to your viewpoint.

Hell, sit them down, and have them read Nickeled and Dimed...that'd do more than all your bleating.


Sir, this is old skool. Old skool. I salute you! - Knot In The Face
[ Parent ]

coercion (none / 0) (#157)
by aphrael on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 08:31:42 PM EST

how is it coercion for the employees to get together and say 'we will not work for you unless you pay us more'?

sounds like haggling to me.

[ Parent ]

You're right...and wrong :) (2.00 / 2) (#160)
by tarpy on Wed Oct 02, 2002 at 02:05:11 PM EST

I guess I should have been more clear about what I meant.<g>

Strikes ARE moral suasion. And they are haggling...what I object to are living wage laws...they will do, in my opinion, much more harm than good (for the reason I outlined abobe).


Sir, this is old skool. Old skool. I salute you! - Knot In The Face
[ Parent ]

Grow up, right wing morons (3.00 / 4) (#134)
by pnadeau on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 04:54:29 PM EST

If it wasn't for unions past and present, we'd all be shackled to a rock at our places of work where we could gratefully do 80 hours of work a week for just enough money to feed ourselves.

Are there abuses, sure? So the fuck what? It's a necessary counter pressure to the almost irresistible pressure of capitalism to squeeze ever increasing levels of productivity out of all of us.

It is a system is implacably designed to do that.

Most of us posting today are on the winning side of that system. I guess if any of us get cancer between jobs we can die happy knowing we were part of that.


"Can't buy what I want because it's free, can't be what they want because I'm..."  Eddie Vedder


Update (none / 0) (#148)
by winthrop on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 11:47:12 PM EST

I missed the big rally today due to a combination of work and a meeting I had to attend. However, I spoke with a woman from the SEIU communication team who told me that the janitors had pulled 1,200 workers from 14 to 16 buildings today. Tomorrow and everyday the strike goes on, they will escalate.

I passed by one of the picket lines. Everybody was speaking in Spanish. (Literally everybody; I didn't hear one English word my whole time there.) Many, many of the workers had children there, as they couldn't afford or find health care. They were pretty inexperienced at the picket lines; I saw a few of them cross by the entrance to the garage they were picketing, and absentmindedly stop the picket line to allow a car to go in because they're not used to asserting themselves. On the other hand, it was a very very loud, boisterous crowd. It felt much more like a celebration than a confrontation. Many of the children had whistles, like at a soccer match, and they were shouting and chanting and singing.

The building had private security in addition to a phalanx of police officers, though there wasn't a whole lot of confrontation.

SEIU is a cult (none / 0) (#162)
by christfokkar on Fri Oct 18, 2002 at 06:40:24 AM EST

you people are so f*ing sad.  "corrosion" is right.  this guy drops noam chomsky's name at every turn and you guys give him 5's.  open your fucking eyes.

"Hi all,

I've long thought about the underrepresentation that ordinary people have in our working society.  Socialists, unionists, are often marginalized for having essentially democratic values.  Chomsky has a theory about this, he says that socialist values are often a threat to mainstream capitalist behaviors and institutions.  But of course, a healthy capitalist system benefits all workers, right?  There is something we can do about this, we can come together, and through solidarity we can fight the forces of oppression.  The SEIU is doing this right now by organizing a massive janitor's strike in Boston.  The janitors are fighting for health benefits, better working conditions, and a living wage.  And in Wichitaw, Kansas, 1,500 janitors joined the SEIU to help further this cause.  We call it Janitors for Justice, and it is sweeping the nation as we speak.  By the way, I was at Fenway Park the other day, and we organized a counterclockwise wave.  Working together! hint hint"

bye, morons.
 

Janitors on verge of strike in Boston | 162 comments (143 topical, 19 editorial, 0 hidden)
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