- McJobs and Workers -

You can say that again !

Posted by: Trolley Dolly ( Northern Ireland ) on October 16, 1998 at 10:38:33:

In Reply to: It's about time posted by Quincunx on October 14, 1998 at 19:14:49:

Wow - Qx, this is kind of weird ! No flames. But fair enough. Now you have elevated me to an even playing field, I will give it a go. You theories are thought provoking, to say the least.

: Qx: And how does this compare in your personal experience to what Boas and Chain have written in their book. BTW, The "Behind the Arches" book by John F. Love doesn't even mention "rap sessions". Could you have any idea as to why?

I'm afraid I haven't read the book by Boas & Chain, although I have had a brief skim through Behind the Arches. From what I can remember it was a celebratory mutual back slapping exercise. Not very investigative, and written from the viewpoint of hero worship. Although it was about 5 years ago, that is what I remember thinking at the time.
Maybe he didn't want to acknowledge that there could be any crew who might have a grievance ! If McD's was a perfect system, how could anyone fail to thrive ? Well, you and I both know that isn't the case at all, although you are slightly more vehement about it than I ! Or maybe Rap Sessions are a relatively new phenomenon, and didn't happen when the book was written ? I don't know when they were introduced, but even calling them "Rap Sessions" has an eighties naffness about it !

: Qx: You assume that I see this as only a polarized situation. The real danger with management and workers being together is that many times this was not the intended way of representation originally planned by the workers who do not have the power to fire and hire and who originally voted for union representation. Oftentimes a back room deal is done (which I've witnessed) in which managers are suddenly taking part in the voting for union certification. That's not ethical and is certainly reprehensible.

I can se your point. Maybe the differentiation should be hourly paid / salaried. No hourly paid manager has hire/fire authority, yet in my opinion, they are really no better off than crew - they just get paid slightly more to take on some responsibility. However, once you are promoted to management, you become ineligible to attend a rap session. I have never attended one myself, because I was promoted through quickly. A similar avenue exists for managers, and it is called a "communication day". The thing is, when you reach the level I'm at in the organisation, the complaints are not about the fact that the TV in the crew room might not be working, or that the meal policy is unfair. So I suppose, in theory, managers have different grievances to crew. But we still have 'em ! I think they are a waste of time, especially if, at management level, the complaints are about the way the corp and it's representatives operate. I refer you to Donna's post at the top of this page. What is the point of complaining about the people you are complaining to ?

: If management wants a union then they should form one for themselves exclusively. The talk of management unions is flourishing within white-collar circles and I do recall floating the idea somewhere around some time back. I also know of an assistant manager at McD's who believes there should be a management union. She feels that it would put a stop to some of the current work routines that are seen as frivilous by some managers. At least she knows that those who are hired and fired should be separate from the ones who do the firing and hiring. She would rather not do any hiring or firing but leave that to those higher up.

Is the IWW supportive of managers wishing to form a union ?

: The notion that workers (those who get hired and fired)and bosses (those with the power to fire and hire) have the same interests is a nice notion if one has a hankering for seeing human society in an idealistic and very unrealistic view for holistic purposes. It utterly disregards the fact that we are living in a capitalist system and that the dominant organizational form is that of the corporation.

: That doesn't mean that workers want to destroy a company if they feel that way. What it does mean is that the company and the workers simply do not have the same interests even though they do need each other in this current situation called capitalism and that class differences are recognized.

: Tha corporation is by it's own nature not responsible to anyone. Even though in theory the "shareholders" are the ones who decide. The fact is that corporate officers more often than not call the shots in the name of the often very numerous and oftentimes too remote shareholders. The fact that corporations have legal personhood is a result of an number of U.S. court decisions that culminated in the landmark Santa Fe Railroad vs. Santa Clara County decision (1886).

I actually know of a situation where some shareholders caused quite a flurry of activity amongst the top people in USA. I will tell all Qx, but not JUST yet. My reasons will become apparent at the end of this post. Although I understand your point.

: The pseudo-conservatives who claim to be conservatives in the USA are blind to these (and other facts) and the "libertaians" are blindest of all it seems at times. Take Mike Bacon's argument that the recent court rulings against the tobacco companies is a violation of First Amendment rights. He seems to not know about the acrimonious struggle in American legal history and the hostility many Americans felt towards corporations from the beginning of colonization and the quest for unlimited charters that was finally realized by big business interests in 1886. So the saying "What are corporations but people?" is hardly enlightening after all.

Corporations are more than people, but people make them grow, evolve, and survive. I mean the corporate culture - a shared set of philosophies and ideals. These only exist in peoples minds.
: The fact is that they are "legal persons" and they form the dominant form of governance today. The recent judgements against the tobacco comapnies hardly challenges the form of these "corpses" but that they are as liable as any other company to litigation is now in the current limelight.

: Which takes us to McDonald's and the fast food industry. The point being that McDonald's cannot have it's corporate charter revoked due to the fact that as a "legal person" it is also immortal by the grace of business oriented judicial authorities. I would like to see the revokation of McDonald's corporate charter happen. If you can find any judicial argument counter to what I've cited and if it really holds up to close scrutiny then let me know.

One of my managers is a law student. I'll ask him if he knows anything, but I doubt he'll know much about American law !

: Qx: Long story but also in constant 90F to 100F temperatures with lots of Pakistanis and Iranians who feared that their false IDs would be found out and that McD's would rat them out if they organized.

Little did they know eh, Qx ?

Back to my little teaser further up the page. Like I said, I will post some more, but right now, I'm off to negotiate salary, terms and conditions with a NEW employer ! Now even you can't fail to be pleased about that piece of news !

You heard it here first.


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