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Employment Obligation?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Commodore, Jun 1, 2014.

  1. Tarquelne

    Tarquelne Follower of Tytalus

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    You're not supposed to reply. You're supposed to report his post to the moderators.

    Let's party like it's 1935.
     
  2. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    As warpus seems to imply, it's probably a matter of what other workers are achieving.

    If, like me, a worker arrives consistently late, hides in the toilet for 75% of the day, and would obviously rather scratch his arse than do anything productive, it seems likely that they aren't going to be producing as much as those who arrive on time, don't take unreasonable breaks, and have something approaching conscientiousness to work in general.
     
  3. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

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    Yeah, proper economics doesn't ignore any of that, but it also knows that technological advancement has never lead to permanent increase in unemployment. And the result of has always been an increase in overall living standards. If you read proper research, and not terribly researched books full of bad and outdated data such as Capital (and it's important source, the Conditions of the Working Class in England), you'd know that this has been ever since the first industrial revolution.

    My point is that your opinion on the value of my economic input is irrelevant, because you're irrelevant. The market values it well enough, so it's worth something.
     
  4. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    But as I said, that assumes to begin with the reasonableness of the employer's demands. If nine workers are breaking their backs, and one workers insists on going at a healthy pace, it's hard to argue that this worker is guilty of a poor work ethic.* Averages without context don't mean anything, and there's no obvious reason that we should simply assume without empirical verification a context the employer finds favourable.

    (*Or at least, if you you believe that the work ethic is a genuine ethic, that it amounts to more than internalised discipline presented as virtue as an awkward way of reconciling the servility of bourgeois society with the individualism of bourgeois ideology. Which it's probably clear, by this point in the paragraph, I don't.)
     
  5. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

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    Calling someone irrelevant is not an offense. Grow up.

    Is that date supposed to mean something?
    The first canned beer was sold that year, a triumph of progress no doubt. Other than that a rather silly remark.
     
  6. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    I think a lot comes down to the economic climate of the times.

    If the climate is unfavourable (to both employers and workers, btw), employers demand more work for less money because, according to supply and demand (provided we assume that labour is a commodity - which I take it that you don't; and I'd agree), workers are in excess supply.

    If the climate is favourable, the workers are in shorter supply and so can get away with working less hard for more money.

    Actually, it doesn't work like this in practice, workers in a certain location work according to the prevailing norm*. And it's very hard to shift them out of the habit, I think.

    *which is your point, I guess: how we determine whether this norm is valid or not? I certainly don't know.

    I don't know how you'd determine it in the absence of employers entirely.
     
  7. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    That's why all this needs to be counterbalanced with proper protections in place for employees.
     
  8. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    How is it proposed that these protections are put in place? As this thread have demonstrated, there's a strong tendency among liberals to reflexively assume the viewpoint of the employer.
     
  9. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    How about more participation of workers in management?
     
  10. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    That's the social democratic solution, but it's always depended on a robust and independent trade union movement, or it's nothing more than another branch of management. Is that something that we can except liberals to throw their weight behind?
     
  11. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    Don't know. Probably not, if by liberals you mean American liberals.
     
  12. Willem

    Willem Deity

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    Not necessarily. If Company A decides to make worker participation part of their management structure, and becomes more productive because of it, then Company B will follow suit in order to be competitive. Ultimately it boils down to upper management deciding to try something new, and doesn't have to involve a trade union at all.
     
  13. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus Retired Moderator

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    Unfortunately it's something of a given that giving workers a decent standard of rights and conditions nearly always involves sacrificing some degree of efficiency - otherwise, companies wouldn't have to be forced so bitterly to allow it.
     
  14. Terxpahseyton

    Terxpahseyton One. And many.

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    On the one hand: Exactly. Balancing output and the cost of input in terms of actual experienced value for the individual is something where the praised free market is absolutely horrible. In this instance one can not even speak of market-failure. It is just not part of the job description. If there is no political or collective social solution for it there will be none.

    Though that said: it also not quit as simple. Because profit and productivity are not the exact same thing.

    There are success-stories of business with different approach. An example on my mind is some business in the Basque part of Spain where things are incredibly incoporative. Workers basically own the company and it works. And it isn't a small company. I am not confident that this company is less productive, but investors would probably see a smaller margin of profit. So the infamous "capitalist class" exploiting the workers is also part of it I think.
     
  15. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    That is my concern. If private firms, or for that matter public institutions, stand to benefit from workers' participation, then why has their historical tendency been to exclude workers from administration whenever possible? Even the much-lauded social democratic "compromise" of the postwar era was in practice an ongoing struggle between managers and trade unions, if a more polite and bureaucratic one that it might otherwise have been.

    It's a staggeringly enormous "if" that Willem is asking us to accept, and one with very little historical support that I'm aware of.
     
  16. Terxpahseyton

    Terxpahseyton One. And many.

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    In theory.
    In practice, those protections seem all too often to fall short from what I gather.
    People being threatened to be laid-off when they want to exercise those rights or if they can not be laid-offed being basically bullied out off the company seem to be pretty common. Mostly, because the consequences of not getting through with it tend to be a lot smaller than the times when one gets through with it.

    Those rights still mean something of course and are also often enforced or respected. But I find it important to point out that there appears to be a significant difference between law and reality.
     
  17. Tarquelne

    Tarquelne Follower of Tytalus

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    No, the first was a silly remark: He stated you'd said something harmful with regard to a poster - you - and I reminded him to report rather than reply.

    I think you should be thanking him. He's got your back. (And, frankly, I don't think you should have to put up with the sort of thing you're saying with regard to yourself, either.)

    The 1935 date was in reference to:
    a) the Prince song.
    and
    b) The Great Depression, one of many examples of how benefits don't magically spread themselves out more or less evenly.

    There's been a trend upward, but not simply because productivity = better. A few hundred years - if not longer - of hammering out the current Western-style social contract/economy played a role, too. There's no magic that maintains it either. What has been gained can be lost if you scuttle enough of it in the name of things like "productivity," "privatization," or "tort reform."
     
  18. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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  19. BvBPL

    BvBPL Pour Decision Maker

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    That's not true.
     
  20. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    Employee-owned and employee-administered aren't the same thing at all. In most large employee-owned companies, "worker" and "owner" are two different roles filled by one individual, which in practical terms is very form an employee owning company stock. Indeed, a common criticism of the model is that giving employees a direct stake in profit-margins allows management to even more effectively shut out workers, but workers become willing to leave the administration of the company to "experts".

    Actual employee-administered companies are very much a minority phenomenon and overwhelmingly limited to small companies, so at a social level my point stands. I'd be happy to see a world in which the typical company looked like Mondragon, but let's be realistic, that simply isn't on the cards.
     

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