- McJobs and Workers -


Posted by: floyd ( Amazed!, Unit Shifters Anonymous ) on October 21, 1998 at 01:25:51:

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

Somebody call the Vatican, I think I just witnessed a miracle! TD and Qx got through two posts and acted civil the whole time!
The idea of a "management union" is pretty intriguing. I worked at a chain bookstore for a while and was promoted to "store manager". In exchange for the "increase" in salary (and a mandatory minimum 45 hour work week, for a net loss in pay per hour) I was required to take the bus (I had no car) way across the county for mandatory meetings. My favorite (this is me being sarcastic) were the mandatory management morale meetings (whirlwind of alliteration!).
I never quite figured out the point of a mandatory morale meeting, but that's another story.

I suspect that I wouldn't have been classed as a true "worker" since I did have the "power" to fire one guy (he was lifting money from the till). Still, if he'd filed a greivance, he could have contested even that. Later that year, I was fired myself, for putting too much "fringe" literature on the shelves (and I was not permitted to file a greivance, as no policy existed).

Was I really a manager, or really a worker? I had limited powers to fire (although hiring was less restricted) in that certain offenses were deemed "fireable" but I had no avenue to redress my own greivances.
I suspect that my case is not unique, or even particularly uncommon, and the whole manager/worker dichotomy is less clear than classic marxism, or even classic capitalism would have us believe. If this is so, then maybe a "management union" is necessary in some cases and not others? Maybe sometimes store-level management are sufficiently similar to "workers" in their mutual struggle against corporate folks, even though at other times there are differences between the two "classes"? I don't know, frankly, I suspect that a case-by-case analysis which considers individual variation to be as meaningful as group tendencies might be useful.
(I do know that I've never taken another management job since, and hope to never do so in the future!)
My two cents.

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