- McJobs and Workers -

TD : The High Plains Drifter ?

Posted by: Quincunx ( IWW ) on August 10, 1998 at 08:50:41:

In Reply to: Dry flat, and away from sources of heat ! posted by Trolley Dolly on August 07, 1998 at 10:41:26:

TD: What kind of dangerous situations ?

Qx: How about black-listing, privacy invasion of various sorts such as having mercenary labor management companies build up files on individuals and passing them on to other companies. Also, a few shit-kickings in the dark of the night along with a few cryptic phone calls is the common form of labor management relations in many places. Is that dangerous enough or should there be an obituary list to type out also?

TD: And why are other unions wary of you ?

Qx: Ooooh. TD or DT . You really should read up or on labor history. The evidence is rather compelling when we (the IWW) are dealing with labor unions of the AFL-CIO variety in which their their top brass makes salaries that average ($i00,000+) per year and we haven't even got one paid field organizer. The fact that we have no bureaucracy is very appealing to workers who would rather not deal with "business agents" who have nice offices and rent the best hotel rooms whenever they come into a town to convene with local union members. The contrast in our styles scares some other folks who have lived off of the exorbitant dues paid by unionized workers who (many times) never even see their union reps. We're right there when asked and come hell or high water we're on the worker's side in human form and not ensconced in a three-piece suit.

TD: Do they feel threatened because the IWW is a subversive organisation ?

Qx: For them we are "subversive" and recently we were red-baited by the IBEW and painted as Stalinists. It's the typical style but red-baiting is increasingly known as ridiculous and the people who orchestrated that campaign make the big buck as union bosses. It kinda figures don't it?

TD:I get the impression that many ordinary unions (in the UK) actually have quite a cosy relationship with the companies they are involved in. Unions here don't seem to have many teeth. (That's just the impression I get)

Qx: I've gotten that impression also just from reading up on the TUC and the histories of the Coal Miner's Strike in the early Eighties and the more recent Liverpool Dock Workers lock-out. The labor skates that could have lent even a smidgeon of support melted away into their offices and seem to forget the origins of the labor movement by hiding away in big bureaucracies.

TD: I'll give you guys credit - you seem to be a lot more go-get than others. (There you are - it wasn't too hard to say !)

Qx: Thanx.

TD: But I still think there is a fundamental difference in mindset between you and the workers.

Qx: That really depends on the individual worker. Some feel that workers and management have a common bond but ignore the fact that corporate practices have effectively neutered worker's ability to make effective changes unless a responsible union comes in.

TD: I know that ! If some mystery benefactor dumped millions into the IWW bank account (presuming they have one) it would help them to be more effective wouldn't it ? Yes or No ?

Qx: Sure it could but a large amount of money could also sour relations internally within the IWW and so there's a whipsaw effect of sorts. Large donations could potentially have a very damaging effect on a group that has traditionally been cash strapped for a very long time.

TD: I mean, the USA might be different, but in the UK, internet access is still quite limited to those who can afford a PC, i.e. the moderately comfortably off. PC's, internet access and the phone bill don't come cheap. So trying to reach the low paid, most disadvantaged through this medium is missing the boat a bit.

Qx: Sure it is. Even with the IWW website it's estimated that only 10% of the IWW has Internet access. Which could be a good thing because I personally feel that face-to-face communication works the best.

TD: Come on, if you had access to McD's advertising budget, your publicity and adverts would be everywhere ! There be one on every corner, so to speak....

Qx: Actually I could see many a billboard company adamantly refusing to even consider something along those lines. Television and radio time is not even considered open for unions except in very rare circumstances. I recently viewed a commercial for the AFL-CIO in which workers at a Harley-Davidson plant were cameoed as an example of "Today's Unions". It was a thirty second blurb with lots of flash and not much content. It was also something that the IWW simply wouldn't do.

: : Qx: I guess I'll have to take your word for it. After all, this is the Internet.

: Thank f**k for that ! But you don't have to be so grudging with it !

Qx: It's good to be grudging. There's no way I'm just going to be taken for a patsy.

: : Qx: I actually do more of it and since you addressed the IWW you should expect more than just a response from me.

: And what a civil response this one has been! Now you are convinced I am not the enemy, I am no longer being roasted on a daily basis ! Although your titles still contain a few cryptic digs...

Qx: What's wrong with a few cryptic digs? I have fun with them as much as any right-winger does.

: : TD: And our points of view are hardly likely to drown out everyone else - there's only a few of us who dare speak out !

TD: As much as 40% ? I thought you'd be the dahling of the McSpotlighters ! You must have said some pretty evil stuff !

Qx: I think it's the software glitches more than anything else that has led to these circumstances. The evil stuff seems to emanate from whatever any one person considers evil. Fairly abstract stuff when even censorship can be considered evil.

TD: And I'm not pro, or anti anything in particular. It varies.
: What I meant is that your previous verbose style was very intimidating, and I'm sure that there are many people a bit too scared to take you on ! Now you have put away the thesaurus and are no longer trying to stun me with your intellect, I feel I can discuss things in a civil way, just like we are doing now. The way you got on before used to really wind me up ! I think the word is pompous.

Qx: I don't know if I can really consider this to be genuine. I don't use a thesaurus and you're assuming a lot and reading into my postings way too much by descibing them as pompous. It's called personalizing and it's the bane of Internet communications. If you're stunned by anyone's intellect then you should sit back and relax a bit. It's been known to help.

: : Qx: Sure . Go ahead and fire a salvo.

: : Qx: Hey! Be careful about the booze will ya? Many an accident has happened at the deep fat friers.

: I don't have a deep fat fryer in my house ! Why would I want to eat fried food after looking at it all day ?

Qx; I was talking about at McD's.

: : Qx: Uh.....okay then...this is a collective entity we're dealing with.

: You still don't seem convinced !

:Qx: Time will tell.

TD: I don't give a shit about being identified by the paramilitaries ! It's being recognised by McPeople that will be my downfall. McD's is gossip city, you can't keep anything a secret - it's so incestuous !!

Qx: OK. be careful out there then. It's known to be a jungle.

: : Qx: It's understandable. You seem to be somewhat critical of McD'sso anonymity could be very preferential. After all, I do it myself so who am I to tell someone else to quit using a nom-de-guerre? Trolley Dolly is easily identifiable so why not use it?

: OK TD it stays. (And less of the DT's, eh ?)

: : Qx: Please tell us about the differences. Joey Stalin and Bengt have talked about some things along those lines but it would be helpful to throw some light on the subject.

TD: There is no "company culture" (other McD people will understand this)

Qx: I don't agree.

TD: There is no hierarchy above you. You work for an individual businessperson. This situation is a benefit because it's easier to negotiate and share ideas.

Qx: You just contarcdicted yourself here. Working for an individual businessperson is a heirarchical social situation. there's no way around it by saying it's not.

TD: The franchisees spend a lot of time bitching about the company, and they don't seem to trust them. How's that for starters ?

Qx: Keep on please.

: : Qx: Ok. You're probably right about this being more than time. Education can go a long ways too. Not the education of mass corporate media but from other sources as well. Type out consumerism on any search engine and I'm sure you'll find quite a few sources to draw from.

: I'm in shock. Someone get me a stiff drink. Qx said I was probably right !!! Did it hurt to write that Qx ?

: This is the first exchange with you I've enjoyed. Can we now drop the attempts at one-overism, and have a debate ?

: Till the next time,

: TD

Qx: Have fun.

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