Thursday, May 8, 2008


DOG EAT DOG WORLD?: The news of the apparent excessive show of force of Kaua`i Police Department in the Dayne Aipoalani arrest has reached the Ka`a`awa shores as reporter and blogger Ian Lind reports
today with a headline saying “Kauai police over react”.

He writes: There’s disturbing news from Kauai regarding major police over reaction to Superferry opponents who are also sovereignty advocates, apparently in official circles now considered a dangerous mix. What in the world is going on over there?

But the day before Lind mentioned the continuing mistreatment of Honolulu advertiser reporters and staffers saying under the banner of “Advertiser staffers withhold video, and Gannett drops the word ‘newspaper’” describing how, after a first of it’s kind bloggers’ strike earlier this year the victims of Advertiser parent company Gannett’s “cost cutting” are now engaging in a “video strike” saying that they won’t do the apparent unpaid extra work until contract negotiations resume May 19.

The article is really informative as to the horrible way the staff and in fact all employees are treats these days but some of the comments were of the usual “blame the victim” anti-worker, pro greedy scumbag bosses type even by those who don’t necessarily hate unions because they see “regular” working people as the unwashed exploitable commodity to be casually discarded when they are used up.

Lora says : What’s the other side of the story, I wonder? What are the ramifications to the company if the union gets what they are asking for? Are they being unreasonable or fair, given the conditions of the newspaper industry as a whole and our economic environment? If I were in the union, I’d be concerned they were going to negotiate me out of a job — unless these questions were addressed.

The usually astute Charles chimes in: No union would negotiate a company out of business. Bad for them since it would mean they would have no members.

There is a mutual self-interest in keeping a business open. That’s why unions in the airline industry give concession after concession.

But we begged to differ saying: Sorry Lori and Charles but I don’t buy it. Unions that think that way have joined the other side.

There are only two reasons a business can’t pay it’s workers a living wage and good benefits- either they have a bad business plan or they are maximizing profits at the expense of their workers. Either way we’d be better off as a society if all those bad business people went out of business and let people who have a business plan- one that includes treating workers fairly- step into the void. The current collusion between union heads and management doesn’t serve the union workers and when it’s across the board then the fear of “no job” is real.

But if all the business people who have no business being in business were forced out of the picture by united workers who will not settle for less than a living wage, those “good” jobs would exist along with good business plans and smaller reasonable profits. If reasonable profits were all that were available (because workers will not settle for less) business people would be required to accept a lower reasonable profit margin if they were to do business at all.

But the collusion with management is a self-fulfilling diminution of the workers’ worth and as long as workers see their fate as tied to that of an individual badly managed company- one that seeks to make more profit by paying workers less- we won’t get to the root of why workers are being ripped in every negotiation with management

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