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posted by Fnord666 on Sunday July 02 2017, @06:33AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the unionize-now dept.

Computing is notorious for not having a worthwhile professional association. Some practitioners join the IEEE, the IET or the ACM. However, membership typically costs hundreds of dollars per year and offers little practical help to computer professionals working in small companies. If you're working for government or a large corporation or you're a super programmer in a well funded start-up then you probably have a union or you don't need a union. However, if you're the sole techie in a small business, appreciation for your dedication is just the start. What happens when you're asked to do something unethical or illegal? Where do you turn when a job goes sour? How do you avoid the problem? How can you avoid really toxic employers?

Rather than paying hundreds of dollars per year for talks and conferences, you require local experts who have first-hand experience of local employers and local employment problems. How can this be achieved reliably and cost-effectively? This is where our expertise should shine. Firstly, union entry should be at least as stringent as the conceirge union. Secondly, there should be a web-of-trust within each metropolitan region (and ideally between regions). In the best case, the network distance between all members should be four or less. Thirdly, an obligatory website should incur less hits than SoylentNews and therefore an upper bound for costs can be established for a volunteer effort. Essentially, it should be possible to run a union from donations of US$3000 per year or significantly less. Indeed, the major cost to members would be food and drink expenses when informally meeting other members.

So who wants to join a computer professional union with sensible fees and obligations?


Original Submission

Related Stories

Why No One Trusts Facebook 37 comments

Selena Larson writes at ReadWrite that Facebook has a perception problem, which is largely driven by the fact it controls huge amounts of data and uses people as fodder for advertising and just can't shake its ultimately flawed nature and gain the trust of consumers.

"Perhaps the largest driver of skepticism towards Facebook is the level of control it gives users-which is arguably limited. Sure, you can edit your profile so other people can't see your personal information, but Facebook can, and it uses your data to serve advertisers says Larson. "Keep in mind: This is information you provided just once in the last 10 years-for instance, when you first registered your account and offered up your favorite movies, TV shows and books-is now given tangentially to advertisers or companies wanting a piece of your pocketbook."

Another thing people hate about Facebook is that when the time comes for someone to abandon the social network, whether over privacy concerns or frustration with the company, Facebook intentionally makes it hard to leave. "Even if you delete your account, your ghost remains. Your email address is still tied to a Facebook account and your face is still recognizably tagged as you, even if the account it's associated with has vanished." Even when you die, Facebook continues to make money off you.

Facebook has many exciting projects, but it won't have an audience left unless it addresses its perception problem says Larson. "Trust is paramount, especially on the Internet, and people need to know that Facebook is making things to improve the human experience, not just spending billions to make even more billions off our personal information," concludes Larson. "Prove to us you don't just care about money, Facebook, and perhaps we'll all realize how much you really have grown in the last 10 years."

Only Able to Use Windows? You're Fired 51 comments

It seems likely that everyone here has heard the old saw "No one ever got fired for buying|using Microsoft". Well, times change.
The government of the Italian province of South Tyrol wants to save money and, noting Munich's savings of over 10 million euros, it sees Free Software as a solution. (The freedom thing isn't lost on them either.)

Governor Arno Kompatscher says "We've started to review our license costs. If there are free and open source alternatives, and where the costs and risks of changing are justified, we will switch to these." The new policy is meant to reduce IT costs. Should this fail, the region must resort to reduce its workforce, in order to balance the region's budget.

Did you catch the nuance? If you are a gov't employee and they can't change software because you aren't adaptable enough to use something other than Windows, you can plan on being the first one out the door. Hat tip to Robert Pogson for just the right spin on this story.

Big Data's Dirty Secret - The Privacy Invasion Nightmare is Only Beginning 57 comments

http://www.cio.com/article/2977027/intel-reveals-big-datas-dirty-little-secret.html

The article is entitled "Intel reveals big data's dirty little secret" but I read it a little bit differently.

From the article: "Companies are spending billions on tools and engineering to analyse big data, though many are hampered by one little problem: they still don't know what to do with all the data they collect."

This means that, of all the egregious breaches of personal privacy that companies regularly perform (the Target-knows-you're-pregnant-when-your-parents-don't story comes to mind), they have still only scratched the surface of making sense of your information, and using it effectively. Which means that, as Big Data gets people who actually know what they're doing, the more frightening the possibilities become, which is probably only a matter of time.

How would you feel about getting a bunch of targeted spam from divorce lawyers because your wife/husband's personal details were in the big Ashley Madison data leak, before you even heard about it? What if you were the guy who got drunk and put a profile up one time after a big fight but never followed up on it? This is why I don't have a Facebook account.


Original Submission

Does Your Email Provider Know What a "Joe Job" is? 48 comments

Peter N. M. Hansteen asks the question, "Does Your Email Provider Know What A "Joejob" Is?" in his blog and provides some data and discussion. He provides anecdotal evidence which seems to indicate that Google and possibly other mail service providers are either quite ignorant of history when it comes to email and spam, or are applying unsavory tactics to capture market dominance.

[Ed Note: I had to look up "joe job" to find out what it is. According to wikipedia:

A joe job is a spamming technique that sends out unsolicited e-mails using spoofed sender data. Early joe jobs aimed at tarnishing the reputation of the apparent sender or inducing the recipients to take action against them (see also e-mail spoofing), but they are now typically used by commercial spammers to conceal the true origin of their messages.

]


Original Submission

Choosing Microsoft Windows for Your Organization Should get you Fired 133 comments

Bryan Lunduke at Network World calls out what other mainstream media have been too timid, or bought out, to call out. He starts by pointing out that choosing Microsoft Windows for your organization should get you fired and that if you haven't already replaced Windows, across the board, you absolutely stink at your job.

There. Finally the topic is broached in mainstream media and a proper discussion can now start among decision makers who can arrange complete migrations to GNU/Linux, Chrome/Linux, one of the BSDs, or a combination of them.

As Microsoft security problems continue to escalate since even the pre-networked, MS-DOS days, managers and front-line grunts will find themselves increasingly culpable for selecting unviable software, such as Microsoft Windows. If they wish to pay big bucks for maintenance, there are plenty of companies around to participate in the money. Canonical, Red Hat, M:Tier are just a sampling.

[Ed. Note: I debated whether or not to run this story — in some respects it's just the Windows vs *nix argument all over again. Also, there are proprietary programs which are critical for certain industries which currently only run on Windows. On the other hand, gaining a mention like this in the more mainstream media, does that mean we are approaching an inflection point? Witness the increased displeasure with Windows 10's telemetry and the difficulty in completely blocking it. What programs do you use that are only available on Windows? What keeps you from moving to another OS? --martyb]


Original Submission

San Francisco Tech Company Fired Software Engineers Seeking to Unionize 61 comments

The San Francisco Chronicle reports

A San Francisco technology company laid off a group of software engineers as they were trying to join a labor union, according to a complaint filed with the National Labor Relations Board.

The Communications Workers of America [CWA] claims Lanetix, which makes cloud-based software for transportation and logistics companies, violated federal labor laws by cutting 14 software engineers in January in San Francisco and Arlington, Va.

Most of the engineers were fired [January 26], about 10 days after they filed a petition seeking union representation, according to the complaint filed by the CWA's Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild. A hearing to determine a date to hold the union vote was scheduled for [February 1].

[...] While unions have made inroads in representing Silicon Valley bus drivers, security officers, food service workers, and custodians, the Lanetix case could break new ground because union activity is still unusual for software engineers, who are generally highly paid and in short supply, labor lawyers said.

[...] there are [reasons other than gripes about pay, whereby] unions can attract higher-paid tech workers, including "if you feel mistreated by the company or if you feel there's favoritism going on or lack of job security", said labor law attorney Steve Hirschfeld, founding partner of Hirschfeld Kraemer of San Francisco.

"There's a myth that if you're a highly paid employee, you either can't join a union or wouldn't be interested", Hirschfeld said.

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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @06:43AM (9 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @06:43AM (#534104)

    As an admin, I have worked in union-driven environments.

    I have been in large utilities, manufacturing firms, and other unionised environments.

    I have never seen a union that struck me as worth the bother. However, I have seen union stewards violate the law with impunity, I have seen open abuse of non-union personnel (again, with impunity), I have seen flagrant misappropriation of union funds (again, impunity). I have even (although this wasn't universal) seen open mafia activity in concert with the union.

    If, starting tomorrow, every union I come across is scrupulously run, devoted to the welfare of the members, and upright in dealings with all others, in six or so months I might be willing to change my answer.

    But let me be clear: the unions that I have worked with have, without exception, done more to convince me of their undesirability than anything ever said by any management organ. And after decades of this crap, I am very concerned that unions will need to be entirely reinvented to serve their intended purpose once more.

    Footnote: this is in the US. Maybe other countries have it figured out (although my internationally based employers gave me no reason to expect this).

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @05:50PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @05:50PM (#534189)

      the unions that I have worked with

      It doesn't sound at all like you "worked with" the union.
      It sounds like you laid back and let things happen.

      ...and if you don't like what the union officers are doing, VOTE THE BASTARDS OUT.
      (If your ideas are so much better than what's happening, it should be a cinch to get yourself elected.)

      I have never seen a union that struck me as worth the bother

      ...because standing alone against management and their advisors and their lawyers makes so much more sense than a unified opposition with aggregated funds to fight back. /sarc

      -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

      • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @06:16PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @06:16PM (#534200)

        So GPP should have voted against the mob's chosen stewards, and run against the mob's chosen stewards... and this would make his life better, more comfortable and longer how? Your ideas fascinate me, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

        Oh, and when the aggregated funds are split between mobsters and the democratic office of Clintonia, I'm sure that money will be dedicated to the welfare of the worker on the line. Hah!

        Go look for suckers elsewhere, gewg. Try middle school.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @06:32PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @06:32PM (#534203)

          The binary world inside your head is boring.
          It seems to indicate a limited intellect.

          -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03 2017, @03:49AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03 2017, @03:49AM (#534328)

          your argument goes from "unions bad" to "unions baaaaaaaaad" try to join next time and if it sucks, maybe the next one won't

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @05:51PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @05:51PM (#534190)

      Obviously, Cafebabe shouldn't have used the trigger word “union.” (OMG unions! Fees! Corruption!… hmm… gonna have to work on that one.)

      Doctors are licensed and have the AMA. Lawyers are licensed and have state bar associations. These aren't blue-collar people. We aren't blue-collar people. The knowledge we need to do what we do is comparable to a doctor or lawyer. I've personally seen more than enough times that it is simply not possible for somebody to go “I wanna be a programmer!” who has been convinced by the media (especially when management has likewise been convinced by the media) that all they need is an hour of code to be able to do what I do and succeed.

      A professional association is what we need to establish to the public that we are experts with years and decades of experience, and that somebody cannot expect to be at the skill level of most here after an hour of code—they themselves will need years and decades of experience themselves. I also feel that for the person who does go “I wanna be a programmer!” but actually has some dedication, having a clear image in the public eye that gaining proficiency at what we do takes years and decades will help them understand just how dedicated they must be.

      Of course, the minute we create something like that, the media will begin lobbing nukes our way. The misogynerd narrative will go absolutely fucking nuts, because like fucking shit anybody can make the cisfemale programmers precipitate out of the æther if I can't. We have to be prepared for it and stand firm. We have to absolutely dispel the notion that there's some secret that all assigned males, in a global conspiracy involving 3.5 billion people acting as a hive mind, that we refuse to reveal to cisfemales because we just “hate women.”

      …we do have one nuke we can lob back at the media. I'm not the only very talented (and good looking!) trans woman out there. (Brianna Wu doesn't count, especially since she seems to have completed some kind of magickal ritual to become cisgendered.) Forcing the media to recognize that trans women do just fine in our field ought to cause them to attempt to divide by zero in an “ohshi—” moment. I suspect they'll side with TERFs, but that leaves them wide open. What other field can point to a profusion of trans people in their ranks?

      Eh, but what the fuck am I thinking. It'll never happen. Sooooo many reasons it'll never happen. Good luck, misogynerds!

      • (Score: 2) by Joe Desertrat on Sunday July 02 2017, @09:46PM (1 child)

        by Joe Desertrat (2454) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 02 2017, @09:46PM (#534262)

        Your first three paragraphs were spot on and had you stopped there your post would probably be modified +5 insightful or such by now. After that you wandered off into some sort of confused rant that seems to reveal some deep personal issues or something. Hopefully you feel better having gotten that off your chest.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03 2017, @03:08PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03 2017, @03:08PM (#534450)

          That's the part where he admitted some support for unions as a concept and it triggered you.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by ledow on Monday July 03 2017, @09:11AM (1 child)

      by ledow (5567) on Monday July 03 2017, @09:11AM (#534384) Homepage

      Unions are a way to pay someone to fight your battles for you.

      I don't understand that. If I have a genuine grievance, pretty much anyone professional will help me fight that battle - from outside agencies to lawyers to the relevant ombudsman. Sure, maybe the union has more resources, but I'm paying for those resources - on average - anyway. The average benefit from a union will be less than - or at most equal to - the contributions anyway, or it wouldn't be able to operate.

      I find that a union is the same as any other large corporate entity. Wrapped up in red tape, more worried about bottom-line appeasement than my cause, and subject to the same administrative overhead necessary to get out of helping those it should be helping.

      To be honest, I have also had any number of discussions with employers along the lines of: I negotiate my own pay and conditions. I don't just accept whatever the union accepts. I end up with the same - or greater - benefits without having to pay union fees or generate problems for my employers.

      Unions often operate on the "all members equal" policies - where one employee at a certain level should be earning no more than another employee elsewhere at the same level. I disagree immensely with that and such a policy would have cost me nearly 1/3rd of my current salary over the years. I'm often operating on an unofficial "don't tell the others" policy with regards to my pay because of it. If the unions get wind, they will demand that for everyone, including the idiot that can barely do his job but they can't get rid of "because he's union and it would be too expensive".

      And I work in schools. Almost every teacher is a member of one union or the other. I steer clear of such things. I don't see how it's prudent to lump everyone into a box and negotiate wholesale unless you are operating below-average anyway. And if you think you need a union to represent your interests against your employer, in legal or ethical terms, then really you need a new workplace, not a union.

      To me, unions are the antithesis of finding the middle ground. They are either far too powerful (e.g. London transport worker unions who strike more days every year than I get holiday allowance), or completely powerless. And I end up doing a much better job myself, including through some quite serious employment disputes and pay. I have reported my employers to relevant government departments before now who invoked their wrath upon an employer (when they were clearly doing illegal or highly dubious things), resulting in replacement of the entire management team. At no point did I need a union. And worst case, I would have just hired a lawyer.

      Either you're in the right, or it's not worth the effort to chase. A union can't change that.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03 2017, @09:36AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03 2017, @09:36AM (#534392)

        Unions are a way to pay someone to fight your battles for you.

        That may be what unions devolved to, but it is not what unions originally were about. Unions were not supposed to be organizations providing a service to the workers, but the union were supposed to be the workers. Basically, in the original idea, it's what you get if workers unite to fight together instead of against each other (guess where the word originates from!).

        Of course, like any sort of organization (note the origin of that word, too) it is prone to bureaucratisation and becoming a separate entity.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @06:56AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @06:56AM (#534105)

    No union for you. Work 100 hours per week for peanuts and get laid off as soon as you turn 30. Shut the fuck up whining you replaceable cogs!

    More H1B!

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by kaszz on Sunday July 02 2017, @07:36AM (12 children)

    by kaszz (4211) on Sunday July 02 2017, @07:36AM (#534110) Journal

    Unions seems like a good thing and they are created to protect salaried personnel from abusive employers. The catch is they are almost with certainty predestined to become a sour deal.

    Otoh, there is the problem with abusive employers. Which might need some solution. But unions may not bee that solution.

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by c0lo on Sunday July 02 2017, @07:43AM (2 children)

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 02 2017, @07:43AM (#534114) Journal

      But unions may not bee that solution.

      Can you remember a time a union wasp a solution?

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
      • (Score: 2) by JNCF on Sunday July 02 2017, @02:46PM (1 child)

        by JNCF (4317) on Sunday July 02 2017, @02:46PM (#534166) Journal

        Before unions, construction workers didn't even have yellow jackets!

        • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Sunday July 02 2017, @11:56PM

          by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 02 2017, @11:56PM (#534289) Journal

          Yeah, but they did have the masonic lodge.

          --
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Azuma Hazuki on Sunday July 02 2017, @07:46AM (5 children)

      by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Sunday July 02 2017, @07:46AM (#534115) Journal

      The solution is a large industrial shredder and a live TV feed. Once a few abusive employers end up getting turned into gory confetti in the real-life equivalent of a Mortal Kombat arena deathtrap--and several million people see it live--there will be some change.

      --
      I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Sunday July 02 2017, @08:38AM (1 child)

        by kaszz (4211) on Sunday July 02 2017, @08:38AM (#534120) Journal

        I'll see the silent IT worker avengers in the works ;)

        • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Monday July 03 2017, @08:41PM

          by kaszz (4211) on Monday July 03 2017, @08:41PM (#534572) Journal

          IT worker sees evil PHB incarnation walking the earth. Grabs his joystick to control the bot that grabs the PHB and tells him roboticly, "You will.. be shredded". "Must shredd.. shredd.." only to see the shredder valve open and suck him in while all the coworkers look in horror at the bits coming out. :p

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @08:39AM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @08:39AM (#534121)

        More likely, President Camacho will empower Brawndo Corp. to use said shredder on troublemakers.

        • (Score: 3, Funny) by realDonaldTrump on Sunday July 02 2017, @02:04PM (1 child)

          by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Sunday July 02 2017, @02:04PM (#534158) Homepage Journal

          President Camacho sounds like a very smart cookie. I'd like to meet him ASAP. Please ask him to call me at 202-456-1414. #MAGA

          • (Score: 2) by UncleSlacky on Sunday July 02 2017, @03:27PM

            by UncleSlacky (2859) on Sunday July 02 2017, @03:27PM (#534172)

            I'd take Camacho over Trump any day - at least Camacho genuinely cared about his people and country, even if he had no idea how to do it himself.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @09:30AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @09:30AM (#534128)

      The mere threat of a class-action lawsuit prevents all sorts of shit.

      Sadly, lawyers have figured out that they can just demand that you waive your rights. No waiver means no deal, and everybody is demanding the waiver.

      This is thus something you shouldn't be able to waive. To prevent pretending, insertion of known-unenforcable contract language should be grounds for interpreting the contract severely in favor of the other party.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Joe Desertrat on Sunday July 02 2017, @09:54PM

      by Joe Desertrat (2454) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 02 2017, @09:54PM (#534263)

      The catch is they are almost with certainty predestined to become a sour deal.

      The same reason that politics does not work for most people. Such things as unions and representation do not mean you get to sit back on your ass and enjoy the benefits of others working to protect you and your rights. Quite to the contrary, because of the money and power involved, it is imperative that at least a significant majority makes the effort to stay informed, to contact their representatives on important issues, to attend meetings and to vote. If not enough do this, the system will invariably evolve to be responsive mainly to the few significant money players involved, and corruption will be the order of the day.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @09:38AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @09:38AM (#534132)

    Mixing normal union behavior with typical Bay Area politics, 99% of union dues would go to people like Feinstein. Say, how did she get $200 million on a US rep salary? Maybe unions?

    Some of us aren't down with that. We oppose unamerican activities. MAGA!!!

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Ethanol-fueled on Sunday July 02 2017, @08:40PM

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Sunday July 02 2017, @08:40PM (#534238) Homepage

      Dianne "Fifth-columnist" Feinstein will be going bye bye from state politics soon, as even her own party members view her as a neocon.

      I can only hope that, Californians being retarded as they are, another hoary Barbara Boxer-like Jew won't be voted into office in Feinstein's place.

  • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Sunday July 02 2017, @10:10AM (11 children)

    by aristarchus (2645) on Sunday July 02 2017, @10:10AM (#534139) Journal

    There is a rather lot of theory on "professions" and the idea of what was considered a "trade" becoming a profession, something that has happened with nursing, for example. I could provide a skeletal outline on what it would mean for IT to become a profession, if anyone is interested. The key always is, expertise, that and a social good. But like I said, offer stands.

    --
    Someone please explain to Hemo that my AC posts never get moderated because no one understands them. (Stolen AC sig. )
    • (Score: 2) by turgid on Sunday July 02 2017, @04:23PM (9 children)

      by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 02 2017, @04:23PM (#534176) Journal

      How do you define "trade" and "profession?"

      --
      Don't let Righty keep you down.
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by aristarchus on Sunday July 02 2017, @08:41PM (8 children)

        by aristarchus (2645) on Sunday July 02 2017, @08:41PM (#534239) Journal

        Well, cafebabe said the "U" word, so any rational discussion, as usual, is going to be lacking. But in brief.

        A profession is a "calling", a self-identification. Of course, just hanging out a shingle is not enough
        A professional is possessed of specialized knowledge and/or expertise, that is not easily available.
        This expertise serves individual clients, but also through them a greater social good.

        But it is the organization, such as cafebabe seems to be calling for, that defines an actual profession. An actual profession sets, for itself and for society, standards of practice and professional ethics (NOooo, don't say CoC!!!!). It also takes responsibility for training and education of new members. And here is the important part: in order to function in this way, the profession, as an organization, must have a monopoly.

        Trades do not have quite the same features, although skilled trades come close. There is a class distinction as well. Tradespeople are usually commoners, where professionals are Freiherrs, free people as opposed to servants or serfs. (Usually meaning post-graduate education in the profession.) But it comes down to the distinction between "work-for-hire" and "services rendered". A carpenter may be very skilled, but in the end he builds what his employer desires. An Architect or engineer does not do whatever his client wants her to do, instead they are hired precisely to tell the client what they should do. A profession has control over the ends to which its expertise is put.

        The question of whether computing can be professionalized is rather up in the air. No doubt there is expertise, and even some ethical standards, but the lack of organization, control of entry and certification, and inability to enforce standards of application. Some professions have similar problems, however. Engineers should refuse to compromise safety, say, in favor of cost-saving. But if they stand up for the standards of the profession, they are likely to lose the gig, will the scumbag capitalist will just shop around for an engineer who has gotten hungry enough to do whatever they are told for money. This is the kind of thing cafebabe was suggesting that programmers need protection from.

        And, as you probably already concluded, organization in the service of social good is something not likely to go over well in a trade that is full to the gills with gun-toting libertariantards!

        --
        Someone please explain to Hemo that my AC posts never get moderated because no one understands them. (Stolen AC sig. )
        • (Score: 2) by turgid on Sunday July 02 2017, @09:04PM (4 children)

          by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 02 2017, @09:04PM (#534251) Journal

          Lucid as ever. I conclude that professionalism is of a bygone era. Modern management actively seeks to crush it. I think I almost achieved it once. Funnily enough, that's when the Company was most pleased with the quantity and quality of my output. Bah!

          --
          Don't let Righty keep you down.
          • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Sunday July 02 2017, @09:25PM (3 children)

            by aristarchus (2645) on Sunday July 02 2017, @09:25PM (#534255) Journal

            I conclude that professionalism is of a bygone era. Modern management actively seeks to crush it.

            Sadly, this is probably true. Of course, the entire concept only goes back to early sociology, and once something like this is being studied, it is already in a jar of formeldahyde. The medical profession has been increasingly squeezed by the "Health Care Industry", and the autonomy of faculty (one of the "oldest" professions, since they call themselves "professors") is under attack by something called "assessment" that is being imposed by amateurs (tradespeople). So it is not surprising that former professions are being reduced to having to form unions out of self-defense, and to defend the good of society.

            I think I almost achieved it once. Funnily enough, that's when the Company was most pleased with the quantity and quality of my output.

            Not strange in the least. The point is that when a professional provides a service for a client, they have a fiduciary responsibility to do what is in their client's best interests. The difficulty is that what is in the client's best interests may not always be what the client thinks it is. But a client smart enough to know why they have retained a professional will be smart enough to defer to the professional's superior judgment on precisely that question.

            [Hypothetical instance: The President, as the amateur in chief, decides he wants to fire the Special Prosecutor, so the investigation of his administration will go away. His Attorney General, as a legal professional, would advise against this, both from the point of view of the President being really stupid if he thinks this will work, and the point of view of the nation's interest in the rule of law. If the President insists, the AG cannot comply, he must resign. And the same professional responsibility would fall on the Deputy AG, now acting AG, so he would also be forced to resign, if the President did not relent. And so it would go, until we get Borked. Bad lawyer, no ethics, not even professional ethics.]

            --
            Someone please explain to Hemo that my AC posts never get moderated because no one understands them. (Stolen AC sig. )
            • (Score: 2) by turgid on Sunday July 02 2017, @09:42PM

              by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 02 2017, @09:42PM (#534260) Journal

              I was brought up watching M*A*S*H. Corporal Clinger was always trying to get out under a Section 8. He had the right idea.

              When I went to secondary school we had a debating society which I joined (and became the Useful Idiot) run by the solitary Classical Studies teacher. We dipped our young toes into Classical Studies and it was most enlightening.

              Theses ancient Greeks were on to something, you know. If only they'd discovered electricity...

              Modern Western business, and society, wants to fail. The loonies are in charge and they're wilfully ignorant.

              Or something.

              --
              Don't let Righty keep you down.
            • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03 2017, @05:17AM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03 2017, @05:17AM (#534349)

              The president can not fire the vice president, anybody in the judicial branch (does not include the Attorney General or FBI), or anybody in the legislative branch. This isn't very much. There are some security guards, people to give supreme court tours, etc.

              He also can't literally fire contractors, but the distinction isn't terribly important. Federal contracting rules are very 1-sided against the contractors. Getting rid of contractors is easy.

              For everybody else in the federal government, he sure can go on a firing spree. He might prefer to fire via subordinates, but he doesn't need to. With one executive order, they could all be gone. Every last federal employee, aside from the few listed above, could be made unemployed with the stroke of a pen. That includes the EPA, the military, the FBI... everything.

              I don't know where you are getting this idea that the president isn't the boss, but it is very wrong.

              Hiring is slightly limited. There are a few dozen positions for which congressional approval is required. Of course, it is easy enough to work around that limitation in most cases. Simply hire a person at the rank below, leave the desired rank empty, and let the desired person be the "Acting Secretary of X".

              • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Monday July 03 2017, @09:31AM

                by aristarchus (2645) on Monday July 03 2017, @09:31AM (#534389) Journal

                With one executive order, they could all be gone.

                As would you, fuzzy arsed AC! Just Loving the Unitary Executive, are we? Ah, Dick "Dick" Cheney, the gift that just keeps on giving. But, you completely miss the point. Lawyers have professional ethics, not presidents. Some presidents even grab people by the genitals, but, um, that is wrong. You know this, right?

                --
                Someone please explain to Hemo that my AC posts never get moderated because no one understands them. (Stolen AC sig. )
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03 2017, @04:55AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03 2017, @04:55AM (#534344)

          Client: Hey engineer, what should I do?

          Engineer: Build a sex dungeon studio suited to make child rape/snuff video.

          Client: Hey carpenter, the engineer says to build a sex dungeon studio suited to make child rape/snuff video.

          Carpenter: As you desire!

          Client: Woah there, I'm just the messenger. My engineer tells me what I should do.

          Carpenter: I notice this thing isn't according to code. It has joists supported on duct tape. The walls are bare styrofoam, totally flammable.

          Client: Shut up. You aren't an engineer. One more insubordinate outburst like that and you won't be leaving my sex dungeon alive.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03 2017, @09:47AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03 2017, @09:47AM (#534396)

          A professional is possessed of specialized knowledge and/or expertise, that is not easily available.

          So it is not enough that he possesses the knowledge, he has to be possessed by it? In that case, I'd prefer not to be a professional. ;-)

          • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Monday July 03 2017, @04:59PM

            by aristarchus (2645) on Monday July 03 2017, @04:59PM (#534492) Journal

            not enough that he possesses the knowledge, he has to be possessed by it?

            Yes, this is an important aspect of being a professional: it is what you are, not just what you do. A profession is not just a job. Part of this means you are never off-duty, and another part means you can never really quit, you can only become non-practicing.

            In that case, I'd prefer not to be a professional. ;-)

            Exactly, professions are not for everyone. And since the training (what is sometimes termed the "Déformation professionnelle" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%C3%A9formation_professionnelle [wikipedia.org] ) can be an investment of years, it takes quite a bit of commitment, and washout rates can be high.

            Daniel Day Lewis nailed it in a little known movie, "Eversmile, NewJersey". A motorcycle riding itinerant dentist is being seduced by whore in an Argentinian bar. But he says, "But I, am a Dentist!"

            --
            Someone please explain to Hemo that my AC posts never get moderated because no one understands them. (Stolen AC sig. )
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @05:54PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @05:54PM (#534192)

      The nurses' unions kick ass.
      There's no better example of how to do things union-wise.

      -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by turgid on Sunday July 02 2017, @12:31PM (13 children)

    by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 02 2017, @12:31PM (#534148) Journal

    Unions in the UK got a very bad reputation in the 1970s and 1980s. I remember news reports of the Miners' Strike [wikipedia.org] in the early 1980s where the unions were often portrayed as being violent, unfair and unreasonable, intimidating innocent workers who didn't want to strike and being awkward to the point of intransigence in negotiations. Their leader, Arthur Scargill [wikipedia.org], was a Communist but had a fancy car and a luxurious home. Apparently he is leader of the Socialist Labour Party (distinct from the Labour Party).

    When I entered the world of work at an industrial site, there were a number of unions for different occupations. I (an Engineer) joined the Engineers and Managers Association. I was very reluctant initially because of the historical portrayal of trade unions in the media, their links to Communism and the fact that many of them support the Labour Party [labour.org.uk] financially. I did not want to fund any particular political party, and I've never been a Communist.

    That particular work environment was very old-fashioned and had a Victorian class system in place, very much "us and them" from the view of the management. There was a pecking order, with the industrial staff, cleaners and caterers at the bottom, followed by the clerical staff, then the engineers and finally the managers at the top.

    I soon became very glad that I joined the union. Over the next few years, changes were made to working conditions (hours etc.) and the union was able to represent us fairly and rationally. Contrary to the militant far-left unions I'd seen in the media as a child, this one was thoughtful, rational, reasonable, calm, even-handed. There was one particularly absurd case where management wanted to "harmonise" the working hours across site (the idea of flexi-time was completely two centuries too far ahead to even consider) and the industrial staff were to get a one-off payment of £750 for their inconvenience, but us engineers were to get nothing because we were "professional." The union soon sorted that out.

    The EMA later amalgamated with several other unions to become Prospect [prospect.org.uk] and I'm still a very happy memeber, over 20 years later. I have kept up my subscription and the union has been able to provide me with legal advice on a number of matters over the years including when I was being transferred to an Indian outsourcing company by my American employer, in the UK.

    The USA appears to have some very strange laws regarding unions. Here in the UK you're allowed to be part of whatever union you like. The unions are not all militant-left/communist, they exist on a political spectrum and they don't all contribute to political parties. Closed shops, I think, are now illegal. One union is not allowed to force out others in a particular work place. A union may only represent you officially if a certain percentage of your fellow workers are also members at your work place, however that does not stop them from being able to give you formal legal advice. Any union decisions on industrial action (eg strikes) have to be taken by secret ballot among the members and their are rules about quorums and majorities. Finally, even if your union votes for industrial action, you do not have to take part legally if it goes against your own conscience, for example if the union votes to strike and you don't want to take part. You are protected from recriminations under the law.

    I'm not a lawyer so take the above with a pinch of salt, but unions have had a very bad press in the last 30 years or so. They're not all the same.

    --
    Don't let Righty keep you down.
    • (Score: 4, Informative) by The Mighty Buzzard on Sunday July 02 2017, @12:56PM (6 children)

      Yeah, that is far more sane than the union situation in the US and something I might even be agreeable to. Here, unless you are in a "right to work" state, pretty much every unionized shop is a closed shop with only one union present; you either join it or you don't work there. Unions routinely contribute to political parties, (Excuse me, political party. It's always the Democrats.) and are synonymous with corruption, strong-arm tactics, and actual mob ties once you get above a local level. Most of the laws in place throughout the nation are in place to protect unions and allow the corruption to continue, though "right to work" legislation has recently started gaining ground in some states.

      --
      Dog: Woof
      Cat: Meow
      Sheep: We need common sense gun control
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Joe Desertrat on Sunday July 02 2017, @10:07PM (5 children)

        by Joe Desertrat (2454) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 02 2017, @10:07PM (#534267)

        Here, unless you are in a "right to work" state, pretty much every unionized shop is a closed shop with only one union present; you either join it or you don't work there. Unions routinely contribute to political parties, (Excuse me, political party. It's always the Democrats.) and are synonymous with corruption, strong-arm tactics, and actual mob ties once you get above a local level. Most of the laws in place throughout the nation are in place to protect unions and allow the corruption to continue, though "right to work" legislation has recently started gaining ground in some states.

        Nice that you ignore the long history of abuses of "right to work". "Right to work" means, union or no, that you as an employee have no rights other than what an employer chooses to grant you, for only as long as they choose to grant them. It is pretty much a turn back towards the days when employer abuse brought about the formations of unions in the first place. These things go in cycles I suppose, and conservatives tend to have a short memory of history, dooming us to repeat it over and over.

        • (Score: 1, Troll) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday July 03 2017, @01:16AM (3 children)

          No, my socialist friend, what it means is you cannot tell anyone who hires on at your shop "Nice job you got there. Be a shame if something happened to it." Unions in the US are largely nothing but an extortion racket arm of the DNC.

          --
          Dog: Woof
          Cat: Meow
          Sheep: We need common sense gun control
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03 2017, @09:43AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03 2017, @09:43AM (#534395)

            Inability to understand legislation like this pretty much ensures you will never be able to retire as middle class. Almost deserved.

          • (Score: 2) by Joe Desertrat on Thursday July 06 2017, @10:10PM

            by Joe Desertrat (2454) Subscriber Badge on Thursday July 06 2017, @10:10PM (#535908)

            No, my socialist friend, what it means is you cannot tell anyone who hires on at your shop "Nice job you got there. Be a shame if something happened to it."

            Except this is exactly what happens in "right to work" states. One minute you have a job, the next you do not. It does not matter how good you are if you run afoul of the wrong person, some manager is having a bad day and wants to take it out on (or scapegoat) an employee, someone wants to put a friend in your position, management does not understand what you do, whatever. You have no recourse, no ability to protest the decision, no one to help you should you be wrongfully fired, you are out the door without a second thought.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @03:32AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @03:32AM (#534669)

          Right to work means a lot more than that. Right to work means that no third party is supposed to be able to insert themselves in a willing employment contract. It also means that employees can tell employers to take the job and shove it, and that unions can't extract money from unwilling participants.

          Footnote: this depends upon actual enforcement of things like RICO.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @06:13PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @06:13PM (#534198)

      Unions in the UK [...] in the 1970s and 1980s

      The era of Thatcher and union busting.

      the Miners' Strike

      Thatcherism writ large.
      Ronnie Raygun copied her methods with the mass firing of PATCO workers.
      (Reagan had been a union president. Total piece of shit.)

      [union leader] was a Communist

      A lot of people and political parties adopt names that are inappropriate WRT to their actual actions.

      Someone who is Communist would be working diligently to make natural monopolies publicly-owned.

      ...and this would be -after- a huge percentage of workplaces were Socialist (worker-owned).

      Socialist Labour Party

      See "inappropriate" (naming), referenced above.
      See also "worker-owned".

      The USA appears to have some very strange laws regarding unions

      The Wagner Act of 1935 was gutted by Republicans (and Blue Dog Democrats) shortly after FDR died.
      The Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 fundamentally neutered workers' rights.
      In the subsequent 7 decades, neither of the Big 2 parties has made an honest effort to reverse this.
      28 states now have anti-union "Right to Work" (For Less) laws.
      The 2 establishment political parties in USA hate The Workers.

      About 40 percent of eligible voters didn't cast a ballot in 2016.
      A party that is pro-worker (e.g. the Green Party) should have gotten those votes, but Lamestream Media in the USA doesn't serve The Workers either, and fails to inform them about candidates and issues, concentrating on the "horse race" instead of the track conditions.

      .
      WRT "Computer Professional Union" in the page title, we had a story about a Socialist workplace that relates:
      Swedish Worker Cooperative Software Development Company Has No Boss [soylentnews.org]
      (When the owners and the workers are the same people, there's no need for a union.)

      -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

      • (Score: 2) by turgid on Sunday July 02 2017, @07:41PM

        by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 02 2017, @07:41PM (#534221) Journal

        Unions in general were portrayed very badly in the mainstream media during that period. That was one of the reasons that I was so reluctant to join one at first.

        --
        Don't let Righty keep you down.
      • (Score: 2) by turgid on Sunday July 02 2017, @07:54PM

        by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 02 2017, @07:54PM (#534225) Journal

        Co-operatives are a good idea. I'm a member of "the Co-op" and do a fair bit of shopping there
          I've bought two laptops from them (AMD CPUs, great prices) and a washing machine. I don't understand what this obsession with "us and them" capitalism is, with shareholders revered above all else (workers, customers, the environment). It doesn't make any sense. It's unsustainable. But what do I know, I'm just a naïve lefty idealist :-)

        --
        Don't let Righty keep you down.
    • (Score: 1) by purple_cobra on Sunday July 02 2017, @08:25PM (2 children)

      by purple_cobra (1435) on Sunday July 02 2017, @08:25PM (#534232)

      The history of unions in the US and the UK looks markedly different from the little I've read about them, with the former being more aggressive and "closed", for want of a better word. With hindsight, Scargill went too far but when their opposition was a right-to-hard-right Conservative Party who were pretty explicit in their desire to crush the voice and influence, however limited, of the working class, it gets that little bit more difficult to paint him as the worst of the bunch. I've mentioned the Battle of Orgreave previously in a couple of comments on this site and it's still worth reading about now; the ruling class mindset that arranged what appeared to be an act of paramilitary violence against a picket line is the same one that gave us the blaming of Liverpool fans for Hillsborough and will, no doubt, try to pin the blame on anyone but themselves for the tragedy at Grenfell.

      The German approach - recognising that employees and their unions have a vested interest in the company succeeding - seems to work better all round, but replicating that here in the UK is unlikely to happen in my lifetime.

      • (Score: 2) by turgid on Sunday July 02 2017, @08:54PM (1 child)

        by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 02 2017, @08:54PM (#534248) Journal

        I agree. I've recently read two books of Alexei Sayle's biography which give quite an insight into British politics in the second half of the 20th Century. I was a young child when the miners' strike and Hillsborough happened, and I am shocked at the arrogance and brutality of the Establishment even in those days. This is why free speech, a multi-party democracy, free press and an engaged electorate are so important
          Keep voting!

        --
        Don't let Righty keep you down.
        • (Score: 2, Informative) by purple_cobra on Tuesday July 04 2017, @09:13PM

          by purple_cobra (1435) on Tuesday July 04 2017, @09:13PM (#534934)

          I suspect we're a similar age then; I was 9 when the miners' strike started and while I have little in the way of memories of Hillsborough, I have read about it since. I'm Welsh, so even at that young age the strike had an impact as it felt like the state was trying to crush our little country, to bring it to heel. As I grew older, it became apparent that it wasn't just us; there remains a certain type of person who feels that the feudal system was the apex of societal organisation and that the working class should know their place and bloody well stay in it. Hyperbole, perhaps, but the ruling class certainly seem to have a vested interest in keeping us agitated and distrusting each other.

          I'll add Alexei Sayle's biographies to the ever-growing reading list. :)

          Funny you should mention "an engaged electorate": I got an e-mail earlier from the local Labour Party asking for expressions of interest to become a local councillor. That's interesting to me in terms of seeing the nuts and bolts of local democracy - how the sausage is made, if you like - but as I've already resolved to leave the area then it wouldn't be a sensible (or fair) thing to do.

  • (Score: 2) by UncleSlacky on Sunday July 02 2017, @03:24PM (1 child)

    by UncleSlacky (2859) on Sunday July 02 2017, @03:24PM (#534171)

    They are "a union for all workers", after all: https://iww.org/ [iww.org]

    • (Score: 2) by a-zA-Z0-9$_.+!*'(),- on Sunday July 02 2017, @09:32PM

      by a-zA-Z0-9$_.+!*'(),- (3868) on Sunday July 02 2017, @09:32PM (#534256)

      Worthless, mostly. Strained and alienating rhetoric, combined with militant sloganeering ensures that no sensible person would join.

      Most people interested in joining a union want to do so for one primary reason: bad management. The same reason, not coincidentally, that people quit their jobs (the only recourse you have without a union).

      In terms of dealing with bad management working people tend to want a contract. This contract would have a grievance procedure against said bad managers. It might also have collective bargaining over wages and work conditions.

      And to be effective a union must not concede the right to strike in a "no strike" clause. It must also strike in an intelligent way, and not in stupid ways.

      To allow workers to have confidence in strikes as a tactic there must be a union strike fund. Which means dues, which means a closed shop, which means some people who are anti-union will not want to pay these dues.

      And so it goes.

      --
      https://newrepublic.com/article/114112/anonymouth-linguistic-tool-might-have-helped-jk-rowling
  • (Score: 1) by Beau Slim on Sunday July 02 2017, @05:02PM (9 children)

    by Beau Slim (6628) on Sunday July 02 2017, @05:02PM (#534183)
    Yes, we've all seen out-of-control union leadership go a little nuts and make unrealistic demands and end up having companies shut down plants. And corruption (or even mob involvement) steal funds. This is nothing compared to all the good unions have done. The 1% has been trying to convince people that unions = socialism, but the american labor movement has always been about fair wages and has never been about "control of the means of production". If you look at the history, unions brought us the 40 hour work week, paid overtime, and health benefits and created the middle class as we know it. (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1912_Lawrence_textile_strike [wikipedia.org] -- my grandfather was there at the age of 12) Wiith the middle class shrinking fast, soon there won't be anybody left to buy anything. Labor organizations need to be looked at again. Sadly, the software industry is probably one of the most difficult to unionize, and nothing can happen while the H1B foreign-worker insourcing continues to allow employers to replace entire departments in one blow.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @05:44PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @05:44PM (#534188)

      Unions are worse than you have been told. When I was young, I worked in a non-union sawmill across a creek from a union sawmill. When they went on strike, we would have mysterious fires in the middle of the night. Also, we would start to find metal spikes in the logs. Fuck unions and fuck union members who would trade my life for a 20 cent an hour raise.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @06:45PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @06:45PM (#534206)

        mysterious fires

        ...whose cause you can't identify with any certainty.

        metal spikes in the logs

        ...whose source you haven't identified with any certainty.
        Your "evidence" wouldn't hold up in a court of law.
        This is commonly called "slander".

        -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @06:09PM (5 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @06:09PM (#534197)

      american labor movement has always been about fair wages and has never been about "control of the means of production"

      Wrong. You need to read your deep union history. Especially pre-WWII there was a substantial marxist undercurrent, and it's hardly surprising when you remember that in those days it was kind of cool to be a socialist.

      After WWII, the mob figured out that the special union protections (such as immunity to antitrust legislation) were a really great way of extracting cash.

      Unions need to be completely redefined to be useful in the USA. The reason union membership is dropping like a rock? Very little to do with evil management snake oil merchants, and a hell of a lot to do with blue collar workers giving them the collective finger.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @06:29PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @06:29PM (#534202)

        1) No serious action to repeal Taft-Hartley.
        2) Additional anti-union legislation at the state level.
        3) Companies moving to The South, which doesn't have a history of union activity.
        (Southerners identify "union" with the army that swept through their area in 1865 and destroyed everything it could find.)
        4) "Trade deals" that disallow tariffs and enable easy offshoring of jobs.

        Your simplistic explanation ignores all the big stuff that has happened post-Reagan.

        -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

        • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Sunday July 02 2017, @07:50PM (2 children)

          Southerners identify "union" with the army that swept through their area in 1865 and destroyed everything it could find.

          If that wasn't a bit of tongue-in-cheek snark, you are epically uninformed and should STFU now before you further embarrass yourself.

          --
          Dog: Woof
          Cat: Meow
          Sheep: We need common sense gun control
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03 2017, @02:40AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03 2017, @02:40AM (#534315)

            One assumes your hometown wasn't on Sherman's route.
            Mine was.
            A century later, the work "Yankee" wasn't heard without it being preceded by "damned".

            The word "union" definitely has a related foul connotation to this day.

            -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

            • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday July 03 2017, @10:27AM

              Context, my gradeschool-failing friend, context. Even southerners are capable of using and understanding it.

              And, yes, Yankees should be preceded by "God damned, carpetbagging, snare-drumming". Unless you're talking about the baseball team.

              --
              Dog: Woof
              Cat: Meow
              Sheep: We need common sense gun control
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @08:13PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @08:13PM (#534229)

        Wrong. You need to read your deep union history. Especially pre-WWII there was a substantial marxist undercurrent, and it's hardly surprising when you remember that in those days it was kind of cool to be a socialist.

        And it's cool again! Feel the Bern!

        Unions need to be completely redefined to be useful in the USA. The reason union membership is dropping like a rock? Very little to do with evil management snake oil merchants, and a hell of a lot to do with blue collar workers giving them the collective finger.

        Read history, you say? You will find that after WWII, it was not just Wall Street, but Madison Ave and the Mad Men who went after Unions. I am always amazed at idiots who have been so brainwashed with the fake history that is appearing on this site that they will give themselves the finger, individually, and wonder why wages are static or falling and the middle class is dead in America. Cool story, bro! Good luck with that!

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @08:07PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @08:07PM (#534226)

      Yes, we've all seen out-of-control union leadership go a little nuts

      No, we haven't. Some have been conditioned by the capitalist class to see such things, where the working class has seen threats of plant closures, off-shoring, Pinkerton thugs, and the National Guard. Who was it who was a "little out of control"? Pharma bro, that you?

  • (Score: 2) by a-zA-Z0-9$_.+!*'(),- on Sunday July 02 2017, @09:40PM (7 children)

    by a-zA-Z0-9$_.+!*'(),- (3868) on Sunday July 02 2017, @09:40PM (#534259)

    First start with existing unions and identify what options are available. The Communications Workers of America have unionized some of the IT people in Seattle (iirc), but not in other cities, like San Francisco. Why not?

    What about more militant unions who are not in IT but are looking to expand?

    Identifying what existing unions provide, their strengths and weaknesses and how they might be leveraged would be a good start.

    Coming up with a new union out of whole cloth may be necessary - it's obvious the current model is in decline at least here in the US - but that's not a good starting point.

    The be effective a union must strike. To have effective strikes the union must be recognized by other unions and so must in turn recognize other unions strikes & boycotts.

    The cost of running a website is absolutely irrelevant to unionizing. What is more critical the is the quality of leadership. Or better still, come up with an app-based membership model, with an AI run bot leadership that makes pre-programmed decisions. The programming logic can be democratically decided by members (what triggers the robo-overlord to call for a strike?).

    --
    https://newrepublic.com/article/114112/anonymouth-linguistic-tool-might-have-helped-jk-rowling
    • (Score: 2) by cafebabe on Sunday July 02 2017, @11:58PM (6 children)

      by cafebabe (894) on Sunday July 02 2017, @11:58PM (#534290) Journal

      I expect techies in large companies to belong to an amalgamated union. This is for someone who is "the computer person" in a 10 person company. There is no collective bargaining for many of the computer professionals in this situation because the remainder of the company (secrataries, sales representatives) are oblivious to the situation.

      It isn't about strikes and strong leadership. It is about good people getting worthwhile jobs. Equally, we should ensure that union scabs only get hired by scumbag employers. I hope all of this is decentralized and can be achieved off-line by people who really know each other.

      However, for an isolated techie, an introverted techie, a tele-working techie, a disabled techie, a collective memory of untrustworthy employers would be useful. It would have to be resistant to infiltration and false information. For that reason, every piece of information should be vouched by mutliple active members.

      --
      1702845791×2
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03 2017, @02:28AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03 2017, @02:28AM (#534312)

        AC #534190 and aristarchus have said that the word "union" has folks off on a tangent.

        Some terms that occur to me:
        Professional association
        Guild
        Fraternity
        Athenaeum
        Society
        Collective
        Cooperative

        -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @03:38AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @03:38AM (#534672)

          Doesn't matter what you call it in its title. Is it a union under US law? Is it functionally a union with respect to things like collective bargaining and dues and rules and all that stuff?

          If it is, you might as well call it a union. At least two thirds of techies are smart enough to be able to figure out what it is.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @03:47AM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @03:47AM (#534676)

        "Equally, we should ensure that union scabs only get hired by scumbag employers."

        See that? That right there? That's precisely why a lot of us don't care for unions (read: fucking despise unions). They want to dictate the goodies for themselves, and interfere in working relationships between parties utterly unconnected with themselves. It's a power play.

        Anyone in tech is pretty used to getting dicked over by power-hungry investors, reality-averse project managers, lying vendors and utopian idiots with fat boilerplate CoCs. Now someone comes along and says, in effect: "Let's make them all dance to our tune, and fuck them over REALLY HARD if they don't!"

        Or are you just that unaware that you really think that techies who've seen companies screw customers, vendors screw companies, politicians screw everyone in reach and then have all of the above screw the techies, would really cry out for one more savage cornholing?

        • (Score: 2) by cafebabe on Tuesday July 04 2017, @03:30PM (2 children)

          by cafebabe (894) on Tuesday July 04 2017, @03:30PM (#534812) Journal

          If you regularly under-pay people for services rendered then I have a right to not associate with you. I also have the right to tell others why I do not associate with you and I would like to do so in a manner which is understood by a court of law.

          If you infringe privacy then I have a right to not associate with you. I also have the right to tell others why I do not associate with you and I would like to do so in a manner which is understood by a court of law.

          If you spam people then I have a right to not associate with you. I also have the right to tell others why I do not associate with you and I would like to do so in a manner which is understood by a court of law.

          If you sell a product which is dangerously defective then I have a right to not associate with you. I also have the right to tell others why I do not associate with you and I would like to do so in a manner which is understood by a court of law.

          If you wish to associate with such people then I have a right to not associate with you. I also have the right to tell others why I do not associate with you and I would like to do so in a manner which is understood by a court of law.

          If information is power then I wish accurate and pertinent information to be propagated more widely. If that raises standards and eases my conscience then I would do it whether it raised or lowered my salary.

          --
          1702845791×2
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @06:43PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 04 2017, @06:43PM (#534877)

            Ok, great. Freedom of speech. The first amendment provides all of the above.

            What does this have to do with "union scabs" only being hired by "scumbag employers"? What if a fantastic employer wants to hire someone who doesn't happen to be in a union? Do you want to wring your hands on a picket line because oh noes, teh scabosaurus rex is taking yer jerbs? If that's as far as it goes, more power to you. Picket all you like.

            But if you try to interfere in the contracts of third parties unconnected to you, you're just one more damned powerplayer trying to dictate to the rest of the world, and you'll get all the love and respect as such that you deserve, like other would-be tyrants.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 05 2017, @06:43AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 05 2017, @06:43AM (#535066)

              Gawd, you are stupid.

              The first amendment says the THE GOVERNMENT can't lock you up for e.g. calling Trump a worthless piece of shit.

              if you try to interfere in the contracts of third parties unconnected to you

              Since you didn't provide a real-world example of something that actually happened which illustrates your "point", I'm going to call you stupid once again.

              It's sad that 11 year olds get to post their ignorance here.

              -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

  • (Score: 2) by VLM on Sunday July 02 2017, @11:24PM

    by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 02 2017, @11:24PM (#534283)

    Rather than paying hundreds of dollars per year for talks and conferences

    What if that isn't a lot of money to you, and you like socializing like that?

    I'm just saying, looking at the costs of attending cons and trade shows and certification costs someoone asking a kilobuck for a union would be a rounding error and I wouldn't care as long as the buffet line is decent and the bar is open for awhile and the talks don't put me to sleep.

    I went to the HOPE conference in NYC one year, figure in total expenses and lost income it cost me about $3K, it was fun but I don't think I got $3K out of it.

    I guess I'm saying something like I make enough money that if the union is doing anything worthwhile its worth a hell of a lot more than say $5K/yr to me, so billing me $1K/yr would be met with shrugs. If they bill me less than a ARRL radio club membership about $50/yr then I'd guess I wouldn't get more than 10 to 100 times that value back, which frankly is a fraction of my salary and therefore not worth my time to participate.

    Or rephrased if they can go "good" at $20/yr because its a big deal to me why wouldn't I join a group that does 10x good at $200/yr?

    offers little practical help to computer professionals working in small companies.

    In my experience you can leave off everything after "help". I've never bothered with those groups. I was in IEEE when at uni, some student deal, pretty worthless. Its value wasn't negative, at least.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @11:35PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02 2017, @11:35PM (#534286)

    How about a union that you just use an app to join, and an app to vote, and just hire yourself out as the lowest bidder? You know, a disruptive, Millennial, hipster kind of updated version of a union, where we can all play Pokemon Go!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03 2017, @09:42AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03 2017, @09:42AM (#534394)

      That would be discriminatory to all non-owners of smartphones!

      Wait, I've got the solution: Free smartphones for all! :-)

  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03 2017, @03:12AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03 2017, @03:12AM (#534320)
(1)