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posted by cmn32480 on Monday March 12 2018, @09:08AM   Printer-friendly
from the violating-federal-law dept.

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.

The Lanetix case is "significant because it is a tech company and they're well-paid engineers", he said. "That's still a rarity today for that group of employees to be organized. (But) the feeling among many tech workers is that they're viewed as being expendable."

[...] The Lanetix engineers signed union cards to join the CWA's Washington-Baltimore News Guild. (The Pacific Media Workers Guild, which represents some San Francisco Chronicle employees, is also affiliated with the CWA.) According to the complaint filed with the board, the union said Lanetix began "threatening and coercing employees" for engaging in union activities starting in November. The complaint said one engineer was fired for participating in group discussions on Slack, an internal messaging service.

The union filed a petition with the board on Jan. 16 to represent the workers. The company terminated "all engineers and senior engineers in retaliation for demanding recognition", the complaint said.

The engineers were called into a meeting and told of layoffs due to the company's lackluster fourth quarter performance, CWA organizer Melinda Fiedler told Bloomberg Law.

"By the time they left that meeting, their computers were gone", Fiedler said.

Cet Parks, executive director of the Washington-Baltimore News Guild, said the workers were told the company was moving engineering offices to Europe.

Previous: The CPU [Computer Professional Union]
Public University Lays Off 79 IT Workers After They Train Outsourced Replacements
Swedish Worker Cooperative Software Development Company Has No Boss


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  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by cocaine overdose on Monday March 12 2018, @09:40AM (5 children)

    On one hand, unions are bloated cliques of the mediocre looking to be lazy and well-off. On the other hand, so are most "SaaS" tech companies.

    It's a complicated feeling. Like seeing an arab stone a negro. Or a jew swindle an arab.

    It helps no one that the company's lead faces [lanetix.com] look like a swatch palette of all the different ways your mother can fuck up during pregnancy. Or that when you cut out those 14 engineers, you're left with mostly women.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12 2018, @09:46AM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12 2018, @09:46AM (#651271)

      And your point is?

      • (Score: 0, Troll) by cocaine overdose on Monday March 12 2018, @09:52AM (3 children)

        Everyone involved has either one mental handicap (the delusional and autistic engineers) or another (the dumb and inbred crack-children that are Lameshitx execs). There's no use in root cause analysis of two downies fighting over a twinkie.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12 2018, @10:12AM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12 2018, @10:12AM (#651281)

          And the relevance of it to TFA is?

          • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12 2018, @12:26PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12 2018, @12:26PM (#651306)

            You're the fucking downie who didn't get the goddamned twinkie? Doesn't matter how many times your mama told you that you're special, you're still a retard.

            • (Score: 3, Touché) by DannyB on Monday March 12 2018, @04:26PM

              by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 12 2018, @04:26PM (#651401) Journal

              And this helps Twinkie farmers how exactly?

              --
              You can not have fun on the weak days but you can on the weakened.
  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12 2018, @09:45AM (32 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12 2018, @09:45AM (#651270)

    "No, you can't update the build system for that new file. You're an application software programmer. Union rules require that build system programming be done by build system programmers."

    "Our only database programmer has to be laid off. He doesn't have seniority. We're discontinuing the Windows Metro support, so we no longer need a programmer for that, but our Windows Metro programmer has seniority. He gets the database programming job now. No, he doesn't know SQL or really anything about databases, but he'll manage."

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by AndyTheAbsurd on Monday March 12 2018, @12:02PM

      by AndyTheAbsurd (3958) on Monday March 12 2018, @12:02PM (#651302) Journal

      Well, both making sure that people aren't put into jobs that they aren't qualified for and making sure that training (or re-training, if desired) is available are things that unions should do. Unions that run strictly on a seniority basis are only going to useful to workers in fields where the needed skills can be taught to a new employee in no more than a handful of days - and given the robotization of manufacturing, there are fewer and fewer of those available.

      Which is not to say that you don't bring up good points - but they could and should be addressed in the structure and rules of the union itself rather than just assuming that the union rules will be super-restrictive about who can do what and who gets fired first.

      --
      Please note my username before responding. You may have been trolled.
    • (Score: 4, Informative) by Runaway1956 on Monday March 12 2018, @12:41PM (19 children)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 12 2018, @12:41PM (#651311) Homepage Journal

      AC voiced a legitimate opinion, shared by many people - both union and non-union. At certain points in history, one union or another stepped up, and made a difference that made working people's lives better. Every literate American should be perfectly aware that some of the unions eventually grew too powerful, which attracted corrupt SOB's to "leadership" positions within the unions. Other unions are mere shadows of what they ought to be, and fail to better anyone's lives significantly.

      In the late 1800's, and early to mid 1900's, unions were good, overall. Sometime after the "Greatest Generation" returned from war, the unions largely went to shit. Unions share a great deal of responsibility for the steel industry moving offshore. The auto makers eventually went bankrupt, due in part to unsustainable pensions.

      I'm modding AC as "informative", and I hope a couple other honest moderators will do the same.

      --
      Your private safe room in the back of your mind? Trump pooped in it.
      • (Score: 5, Informative) by Thexalon on Monday March 12 2018, @01:54PM (5 children)

        by Thexalon (636) on Monday March 12 2018, @01:54PM (#651324)

        Unions share a great deal of responsibility for the steel industry moving offshore.

        The idea that the union per se was what moved the steel industry offshore is basically a myth. Even without the unionized US steelworkers, steel companies had plenty of other reasons to leave:
        - Even if US steelworkers had been getting minimum wage and no benefits or retirement package, wages would be cheaper elsewhere.
        - Other countries have far fewer pesky environmental and labor laws, and many of those that have those laws don't enforce them as vigorously as the US (i.e. at all).

        Regardless of what the unions did, as soon as the protectionist tariffs on steel were gone, there was absolutely no reason for companies to stay in the US. And once the "free trade" agreements like NAFTA, GATT, and our low-tariff trading with China were the highest law of the land, manufacturing businesses were gone.

        The auto makers eventually went bankrupt, due in part to unsustainable pensions.

        Which bankruptcies are you talking about here? Ford, GM, and Chrysler went bankrupt in 2009 for mainly the same reason many other companies were going bankrupt, namely the global financial crisis. All 3 of those companies make most of their income not from cars but from the loans to buy their cars new, so the financial crisis hit them badly. And they'd already moved out of the US in the 1990's for all the same reasons mentioned for the steel industry above.

        And it wasn't unsustainable pensions that really caused a lot of balance sheet problems, so much as the cost of health care for their retirees. One of the many reasons our for-profit health care system is bad for the country as a whole. It's also worth noting that management is constantly trying to weasel out of pensions and retirement benefits because the main incentive they have to pay them is to avoid being sued by retirees - they won't get any more work out of the retirees, and in many cases they've already busted the union that negotiated them in the first place.

        --
        The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
        • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12 2018, @02:05PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12 2018, @02:05PM (#651331)

          Ford did not go bankrupt.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Monday March 12 2018, @03:34PM (1 child)

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 12 2018, @03:34PM (#651367) Homepage Journal

          Healthcare? So - healthcare doesn't count as part of the retirement package? I think that all payments and benefits negotiated by the union counts as "pension". But, you do make a point that our healthcare system is so very screwed that even the strongest corporation can be brought to it's knees by healthcare costs.

          --
          Your private safe room in the back of your mind? Trump pooped in it.
          • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Monday March 12 2018, @07:36PM

            by Thexalon (636) on Monday March 12 2018, @07:36PM (#651486)

            "Pension" usually refers to a regular fixed payment to retirees. They're somewhat a relic of the era when the normal plan for blue-collar men was "Learn a trade in shop classes. Get an entry level position at $COMPANY out of high school. Work there for about 40 years. Retire."

            The health insurance benefits weren't seen as a big deal when they were originally negotiated. Now, the cost of the health insurance is frequently much larger than the fixed payment.

            --
            The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
        • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Monday March 12 2018, @05:52PM (1 child)

          by DeathMonkey (1380) on Monday March 12 2018, @05:52PM (#651446) Journal

          The idea that the union per se was what moved the steel industry offshore is basically a myth

          The US is still the fourth largest producer of steel on the planet. [wikipedia.org]

          The idea that the US doesn't produce steel anymore, regardless of the cause, is itself a myth.

          • (Score: 2) by realDonaldTrump on Tuesday March 13 2018, @02:22AM

            by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Tuesday March 13 2018, @02:22AM (#651632) Homepage Journal

            "No one remembers who came in second." -- Walter Hagen

            Whether it’s producing steel or building cars or curing disease, I want the next generation of production and innovation to happen right here on our great homeland, America.

            We're making much more steel than we used to. Because of my Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross. He's the king of bankruptcy. He bought up so many of our steel mills that were going bankrupt, he turned them around. He did so much, no thanks to the Obama administration! And we're going to do much better now, because of my big, beautiful tariff. IF YOU DON'T HAVE STEEL, YOU DON'T HAVE A COUNTRY!

      • (Score: 5, Informative) by Grishnakh on Monday March 12 2018, @03:04PM (7 children)

        by Grishnakh (2831) on Monday March 12 2018, @03:04PM (#651353)

        They still have strong unions over in western Europe, and it seems to work out well for them. Germany is one of the world's two 2 exporters and a manufacturing powerhouse, despite not being a cheap cost-of-living place.

        Over here, unions are generally responsible for high costs and terrible product quality, through stupid policies like what the OP was writing of (one employee not being allowed to do another employee's job when necessary, or job responsibilities being stupidly divided up to create more jobs unnecessarily).

        It seems that the problem is that America is just plain dysfunctional and has a huge problem with corruption. It's just like trains: Germany and Japan have great trains that work well, are on-time, are very high-speed, and don't crash, and we have Amtrak. When there's anything political, we're simply unable to do it well. So we can make smaller companies and come up with brilliant high-tech products and services, but we can't keep our bridges from falling down, we can't make a decent passenger rail system, we can't come up with a healthcare system with reasonable costs that covers everyone decently well, and when we do build stuff that's government-connected or paid for, it costs an absolute fortune (even compared to countries like Germany).

        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by PartTimeZombie on Monday March 12 2018, @10:17PM (6 children)

          by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Monday March 12 2018, @10:17PM (#651549)

          I sometimes wonder if the US problems stem from the amazing propaganda industry you guys have.

          You seem to have a huge amount of brainwashing going on, from school kids chanting that creepy oath of obedience every morning before school, to the Nuremberg rallies at football games during the "salute to service" round of games.

          Gods forbid anyone should say anything critical of the military. That's a lesson they learned very well from Vietnam.

          The anti-union comments in this thread show the ignorance of what unions are and what they could be, but the fear of any collective action is a weirdly American thing.

          The fact you can only manage to muster two political parties is another weird thing to those of us who live in democracies. There are 320 million of you, and you agree with each other so much that there are only two points of view needing to be represented?

          Weird.

          • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Tuesday March 13 2018, @01:27AM (5 children)

            by Grishnakh (2831) on Tuesday March 13 2018, @01:27AM (#651613)

            The anti-union comments in this thread show the ignorance of what unions are and what they could be, but the fear of any collective action is a weirdly American thing.

            What they could be, and what they have been doing for the post half-century, are two extremely different things. Just read some of the anecdotes, like the guy who couldn't replace a light bulb at a trade show because he had to pay a big fee for an electrician to do it, because some union at the convention center got that rule put in.

            I'm guessing that unions in Europe aren't this corrupt and dysfunctional, so of course you're scratching your heads about why Americans hate unions so much. It'd be nice if we could have useful unions that actually served their members well, but also helped the manufacturers be productive, instead of driving jobs out of union states or out of the country, but for some reason, we Americans simply are not capable of this. Why is this? It's like asking why Zimbabwe can't have an efficient, functional government.

            The fact you can only manage to muster two political parties is another weird thing to those of us who live in democracies. There are 320 million of you, and you agree with each other so much that there are only two points of view needing to be represented?

            This one is a little different. The problem here is that it's mathematically impossible to have more than two parties when you have a first-past-the-post voting system. It necessarily devolves to two dominant parties. So to have more than two parties, you need a different voting system, like approval voting, which I understand is popular in Europe. Well, we can't have that. I'm quite sure if you took a poll of Americans asking if they'd like to switch to (insert voting system here--approval, Condorcet, Borla, IRV, etc.) they'll vote "NO". Again, this is just like asking why Zimbabwe can't have a good government: the people here simply can't understand. When you have a populace that has no real education, and can barely do long division (actually I'm doubtful of this now), you're not going to get political action to change a voting system.

            • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Tuesday March 13 2018, @01:45AM (4 children)

              by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Tuesday March 13 2018, @01:45AM (#651623)

              The problem here is that it's mathematically impossible to have more than two parties when you have a first-past-the-post voting system.

              This statement is wrong, and easily disproved, as the UK currently has 8 parties in their Parliament, under first past the post voting.

              You are correct, proportional voting is how you wind up getting proper representation, but every time I argue this point on the internet, I get some American telling me it's "impossible" and that no matter how the electoral system gets reformed, it will just wind up with two dominant parties.

              They sometimes even argue that that's how things ought to be, which brings me right back to propaganda.

              No one does it better than the US does, so you've wound up with a nation of unthinking patriots.

              • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13 2018, @02:33AM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13 2018, @02:33AM (#651640)

                The odd thing is that you don't know what the parties will be composed of as you vote. The parties don't even exist until well after the vote.

                I gather you call the parties something like "The Government" and "Her Loyal Opposition".

                Those, effectively, are your parties. They are created in dirty backroom deals. The voters have no say in this.

              • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Tuesday March 13 2018, @03:57AM (1 child)

                by Grishnakh (2831) on Tuesday March 13 2018, @03:57AM (#651673)

                This statement is wrong, and easily disproved, as the UK currently has 8 parties in their Parliament, under first past the post voting.

                You're going to have to explain yourself on this one, especially in light of the other responder's post which seems to be saying that your party system doesn't really work the way ours does. I've read mathematical analyses claiming that, with our party system, FPTP necessarily leads to having two dominant parties, and that it's basically impossible to have more than 2: you just end up with what we have, which is "third parties" that people don't want to vote for because it's basically like not voting at all, and can effectively help the party/candidate you hate the most. I can't imagine how any other country's system can get around this if you have a slate of candidates to choose from.

                You are correct, proportional voting is how you wind up getting proper representation

                Yeah, we don't have that. Our election systems make no allowance for that.

                We actually do have other voting systems, but only at local levels. In Tempe, AZ, for instance, they use runoff voting (not the instant kind) for electing city council members and the mayor. They also disallow any party affiliation to be advertised; you just get a ballot with people's names on it. If there's 3 or more names, and no one candidate gets at least 50% of the vote, then they toss out the candidate with the fewest votes, and then hold a follow-up election with the remaining candidates. This way, you can vote for whomever you want without "wasting" a vote, but if your favorite pick is the least popular, you get another chance to pick between the more popular candidates, so you can keep the wrong lizard out.

                You are correct, proportional voting is how you wind up getting proper representation, but every time I argue this point on the internet, I get some American telling me it's "impossible" and that no matter how the electoral system gets reformed, it will just wind up with two dominant parties.

                It IS impossible, I've already explained why. It's the whole "wasted vote" thing, which is very real: if you voted for Ralph Nader in Florida in the 2000 election, you were missing a chance to keep George W Bush out of office. Those Americans are absolutely right; maybe you shouldn't assume that you know more than all the people who live here under this system. However, if the electoral system were reformed with a better voting system like IRV, Condorcet, etc., then no, it would not necessarily wind up with 2 dominant parties (and even if it did, it would be *much* easier and more frequent for different parties to get into those 2 dominant positions), so anyone who says that is wrong and doesn't understand voting systems and math.

                They sometimes even argue that that's how things ought to be, which brings me right back to propaganda.

                No, it's not propaganda; we don't have any propaganda telling us that first-past-the-post is sacrosanct. Americans, by and large, really aren't even aware that there are other voting systems in existence. And any that argue that "things ought to be this way" are just stupid. Possibly, they're people who believe the Constitution is some kind of holy document passed down by the all-wise Founding Fathers, and that we must never deviate from it, when in fact the Constitution does not specify a particular voting system (the whole Electoral College thing is silly, but it does not require FPTP; states can have whatever kind of election they want to choose their Electors, however the election that those Electors vote in at the Electoral College is a FPTP election. Also, Maine and Nebraska do use a different system to allocate electors proportionately). But mostly it's because of sheer ignorance.

                • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Tuesday March 13 2018, @09:15PM

                  by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Tuesday March 13 2018, @09:15PM (#652007)

                  I think you've missed the point.

                  The UK has first past the post voting, exactly the same as congressional districts and they have managed to elect 8 parties in their current parliament. This is not unusual for them and disproves the "mathematically impossible" bit.

                  I am well aware that you don't have proportional voting, and I am also aware of how the US system works.

                  I would be prepared to bet a whole dollar that I know a whole lot more about the US system of government than the average US voter (probably not you however).

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12 2018, @03:33PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12 2018, @03:33PM (#651366)

        What about that lawyer's union, what do they call it?, a Bar Association or something?

        And that doctor's union, American Medical Association? Total scam!

        Yeah, techies should never unionize! We'll get the respect we deserve from employers one day without organizing, maybe, probably!

        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12 2018, @06:11PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12 2018, @06:11PM (#651455)

          Ask an economist sometime about something called rent-seeking behaviour.

          Yes, bar associations and so on are scams - they're just scams with a veneer of respectability and a plausible cover story.

          For society, they're very expensive solutions to problems that don't justify that sort of lock-in.

          • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Monday March 12 2018, @07:46PM

            by Thexalon (636) on Monday March 12 2018, @07:46PM (#651490)

            For society, they're very expensive solutions to problems that don't justify that sort of lock-in.

            Really? You think it's a bad thing that there are organizations out there that make sure that doctors, lawyers, engineers, and other people doing difficult jobs with human lives at stake know what they're doing? That seems like an important societal function, and for those kinds of functions either you need a private organization to take care of it, or you need a government bureaucracy to take care if.

            As far as the option of doing without some sort of organization with examinations and continuing education and such, that doesn't seem like a great idea when you have 3 hours to get your appendix out and you're too busy being in pain to worry about looking over the resume of all your potential surgeons to check on their competency. Or somebody you had zero say in hiring decides to set up a tower crane near enough to your house that it could easily kill your family if they screw it up.

            --
            The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by TheRaven on Monday March 12 2018, @05:02PM (1 child)

        by TheRaven (270) on Monday March 12 2018, @05:02PM (#651424) Journal

        The problem with unions in the US is that you allow them to be monopolies. In the UK, you usually have a choice of unions, or at the very least you have the ability to start a second union at any time. Importantly, all employees (union or non-union) must be offered the terms negotiated by the union. This means that a union only thrives as long as it represents the interests of its members. If there's no benefit from a strong union, people quit the union. If there are few union employees and a bad employer, people start a new union that's better at negotiating.

        In contrast, in the US it's common for there to be a single union that prevents hiring of non-union staff. Everyone has to join the union if they want the job and so there's no incentive for the union to do well: they get dues from all employees, whatever they do. You end up with a large bureaucracy whose incentive structure is closer to the company than to the employees.

        --
        sudo mod me up
        • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Monday March 12 2018, @05:58PM

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 12 2018, @05:58PM (#651448) Homepage Journal

          I think you've nailed it. Thanks for your perspective, TheRaven!

          --
          Your private safe room in the back of your mind? Trump pooped in it.
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Thexalon on Monday March 12 2018, @01:35PM (10 children)

      by Thexalon (636) on Monday March 12 2018, @01:35PM (#651320)

      That is certainly an image of union shops that has been created in the popular imagination. But let me present another scenario for you:

      Boss: "So I'll need you to be here at 9 AM Saturday. We've lost a few people and we need to catch up."
      Programmer: "So you'll be paying the $1000 schedule change bonus, plus giving me an extra vacation day, per our union contract."
      Boss: "Never mind."
      Programmer: "Good, that way I won't have to break my promise to be at my kid's baseball game."

      The union rules are whatever the union members and management agree to in their contract negotiations. If the union rep and management have any sense at all, they won't be making the kinds of ridiculous rules you've described.

      --
      The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
      • (Score: 5, Informative) by fyngyrz on Monday March 12 2018, @01:55PM (9 children)

        by fyngyrz (6567) on Monday March 12 2018, @01:55PM (#651325) Journal

        If the union rep and management have any sense at all, they won't be making the kinds of ridiculous rules you've described.

        Found the problem with your post.

        So, I signed us up to a(nother) computer show in Chicago. We set up a nice booth, nice curved backdrop liberally salted with our software and demo images, a couple computers to live demo, a couple of technically sophisticated lovelies, and were all ready to go, except one of the bulbs on the backdrop was burned out. This not being our first rodeo, we had brought spares. As I was reaching up to unscrew the bad bulb, a fellow approached from the floor and told me to stop what I was doing. He then informed me that as replacing the bulb was an "electrical task", one of the union electricians would have to do it, and the fee would be a one-hour minimum, which was $75 at the time. I gave him some argument, because (obviously) this didn't require an electrician, but he insisted, and in fact said that if we would not comply, we would be removed from the show. So I capitulated; but we never went back to Chicago, and I try to find the time to recount this... adventure... whenever someone tries to paint unions in a positive light.

        I also led a life as a rock musician for a while; played a lot of bars, etc. I have lots of union stories from those times, too. None of them good.

        My middle kid is an engineer (train driver) with Burlington Northern. He's a union member. He has absolutely nothing good to say about their union, either.

        A good friend here works for the local telephone co-operative in the field, basically deals with POTS and Internet service issues. His anecdotes of what their union does are not encouraging.

        My general feeling – gained entirely from my own direct, personal experience, and that of those people I know well – is that unions are inherently of a nature that tends to make them corrupt on the one hand, and leads them towards using inappropriate leverage (often compounded by being for the wrong reasons) on the other. I'm reasonably sure there are exceptions, but in my 60 years, I've never personally run into one, which I find somewhat chilling.

        You're welcome.

        • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12 2018, @03:43PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12 2018, @03:43PM (#651376)

          For your one story about shitty unions. Which I have heard before, not sure if that means chicago trade shows are a disaster or you're repeating something someone told you. For this one story I won't make it to the end of my day without encountering someone who is getting absolutely shit on by their crap work while the money rolls in.

          • (Score: 2) by fyngyrz on Monday March 12 2018, @06:16PM

            by fyngyrz (6567) on Monday March 12 2018, @06:16PM (#651457) Journal

            I can assure you that is my own story, about my own company.

            It is not, however, the first time I have told it.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by remoteshell on Monday March 12 2018, @03:59PM

          by remoteshell (3182) on Monday March 12 2018, @03:59PM (#651385)

          I was a grad student with the CompSci department teaching assembler language, and joined the union. I got a job offer with the Clinical Psychology department to build human physiological instrumentation.
          My department head told me I couldn't take the Clin Psych job, because I could only work for one department according to a rule that he probably made up.
          I said "tell it to the union rep", and he backed down.
          Oh, and there were actual women in the Clin Psych department.
          Of course, in private industry, I never once saw management with arbitrary demands and restrictions, so unions are irrelevant there ;-)

        • (Score: 2) by hoeferbe on Monday March 12 2018, @04:33PM

          by hoeferbe (4715) on Monday March 12 2018, @04:33PM (#651407)
          fyngyrz [soylentnews.org] wrote [soylentnews.org]:

          As I was reaching up to unscrew the bad bulb, a fellow approached from the floor and told me to stop what I was doing. He then informed me that as replacing the bulb was an "electrical task", one of the union electricians would have to do it, and the fee would be a one-hour minimum, which was $75 at the time. I gave him some argument, because (obviously) this didn't require an electrician, but he insisted, and in fact said that if we would not comply, we would be removed from the show.

          A similar thing happened to me at a Detroit trade show back in the late 1990s.  We were not allowed to plug our 3 desktop/workstation computers into the power outlets provided by the convention center since we were not electricians.

          If I recall correctly, we had to note how much power we'd need in the booth & what kind of equipment we were bringing when we rented the space from the convention center.  We had to sit around twiddling our thumbs for about an hour while waiting for a `qualified` union member to come by and plug our computers in for us.  Did he check to make sure the computers would draw only the power we had requested?  Nope.  Just reached down, plugged our powerstrips into the wall and collected his fee.

        • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Monday March 12 2018, @04:34PM

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 12 2018, @04:34PM (#651408) Journal

          FYI . . . I remember similar union stories from MacWorld trade shows in the late 1980's early 1990's. The show was held in both Boston and San Francisco. In this case, it wasn't about a light bulb, but about moving some largish container from one spot to another.

          --
          You can not have fun on the weak days but you can on the weakened.
        • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Monday March 12 2018, @04:57PM (1 child)

          by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 12 2018, @04:57PM (#651420) Journal

          Exactly.
          Unions need to be intelligent and work with management (and management needs to be intelligent and work with its employees so they DON'T need a union, or work WITH the union if there is one).

          My story is of a Jamaican man in a union, delivering products (I heard this from one of his disgusted co-workers). He did some of his deliveries, then stopped at his girlfriend's (on company time) for some shtupping.
          This delayed his deliveries until he was in overtime.
          The company had someone follow him and take note of why he was consistently getting overtime and BAM, got caught and was fired.

          The union fought it because it was 'racism' and he was reinstated.

          What the union SHOULD have said was "Yup! He's GONE...but someone has to be hired to replace him." And then they should reinforce to the union members that STUPIDITY will not be tolerated.

          Unions WERE VERY important in the past, but STUPIDITY has made them a joke (reminds me of that BBC show On the Buses.)
          Unions need to go back to intelligence and relevance.

          --
          --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12 2018, @05:51PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12 2018, @05:51PM (#651444)

            Protip: unions have been on the side of the capitalist ruling elite for some time now. The function they serve to the ruling elite is to intimidate workers to prevent them from striking and to force workers to accept shit deals.

            http://www.wsws.org/ [wsws.org] has been covering this for a few weeks now.

            This is the reason for all those union horror stories above. The unions are trying to give unions a bad name, because the ruling elite knows that workers organizing is very bad for their sociopathic bottom line. These "unions" do not represent workers.

            The workers need to organize independently of these so-called "unions." The price of not having the ruling elite's boot stamping on your face forever is eternal vigilance.

        • (Score: 2) by Snotnose on Monday March 12 2018, @05:49PM (1 child)

          by Snotnose (1623) on Monday March 12 2018, @05:49PM (#651442)

          Similar story for a Bay area trade show in the 80s. We needed a couple power strips cuz we had a dozen things to plug in and only 2 outlets. We were plugging everything in when a guy comes over and told us to stop, a union guy had to do that. Boss argued a bit, we eventually let the union guy do it.

          Never went to another trade show in the Bay area. Except for Siggraph, but my company didn't participate.

          --
          The dishes in the sink are giving me dirty looks again.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13 2018, @01:39AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13 2018, @01:39AM (#651621)

            And what are the chances these draconian turf wars came about because of management's continual attempts to get more and more tasks classified as non-union. I'm sure it rounds to 0%, right?

  • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12 2018, @09:49AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12 2018, @09:49AM (#651273)

    Bad bad bad to not trust companies in full citizen.

    All companies are benevolent benefactors.
    All government programs vile steal your money boondoggles.
    All unions support vile evil steal you money boondoggles that government creates.

    Now you have the memo. Please remember pee breaks during clock in are allowed every 9 hours.

    MAGA!

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12 2018, @10:30AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12 2018, @10:30AM (#651284)

      It would be useful if those making these claims would link to a map which identifies the location of the utopia where this is true.

      All unions support vile evil

      Unions attempt to protect *jobs*.
      If we're gonna stick with Capitalism, that's about the best to expect.
      (Don't count on buggy whip makers to be happy in the end.)

      The (Socialist) Mondragon worker-owned cooperative attempts to protect **The Worker**.
      With housing starts being down, their appliance division was getting fewer orders as well.
      They shifted worker-owners around a bit, everyone worked just a bit less each week, and everyone still got enough income to continue their lives without major disruption.

      A Capitalist operation would, of course, have laid off workers.

      -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12 2018, @06:18PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12 2018, @06:18PM (#651460)

        ... and they cheerfully exploit the hell out of non-owner workers.

        ... and their actual long-term success isn't really all that remarkable, taken by sector.

        ... but at least they have cool hats!

  • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday March 12 2018, @10:01AM (4 children)

    by c0lo (156) on Monday March 12 2018, @10:01AM (#651276) Journal

    Gamasutra on a 2004-2014 study (PDF) [squarespace.com]

    As we indicated in a previous article for Gamasutra [gamasutra.com], a significant number of game developers are dissatisfied with their working conditions. We have documented many challenges such as: long hours, overtime compensation, arbitrary treatment, workforce diversity, restrictive NCAs and NDAs, recognition of intellectual property, job insecurity and lack of protection against employment risks.

    A developer we interviewed summarized working in the game industry this way:

    Yeah... Everybody’s like : “Hey! videogames, cool!” but the psychological profile to get into and remain in this is very mean, honestly. Many are leaving, I’d say 20 folks per week, have to leave just like: “I can’t stand it, it’s over”. Many seniors move to teaching, management, things like that. Many just can’t stand it. It’s human, I think. Everybody gets a sense of “Hey! videogames are gonna be cool, as in the movies!” then you reach in and reality is totally different. It’s not that jolly. It’s very cheerful but there’s as much bad as good, it’s quite even. When they step in, there’s plenty of: awesome but then there’s the bad, they can’t endure.
    ...
    When asked whether they would like to see the developers in their studio unionized, following the trade union model dominant in North America, game developers support for this form of unionization rose from 35% in 2009 to 48% in 2014. As well, in 2014, a third of respondents (33%) thought that a union certification vote wouldn’t carry (due to a lack of perceived support of their co-workers); while close to another third (29%) thought it would—nearly twice as many as in 2009.
    ...
    Developers seem aware of this distinction as a sector-based model won the support of a clear majority (64%) of developers in 2014. That is 16 percentage points greater than the support for a union that would represent the VGDs from a given workplace (local union). With this point of view, two-thirds of developers suffer a representation gap because they wish to be part of a union without being so.

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday March 12 2018, @10:10AM (3 children)

      by c0lo (156) on Monday March 12 2018, @10:10AM (#651279) Journal

      2016–17 video game voice actor strike [wikipedia.org]

      The 2016–17 video game voice actor strike was a strike started in October 2016 by the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) union against 11 American video game developers and publishers (Activision, Blindlight, Corps of Discovery Films, Disney Character Voices, Electronic Arts, Formosa Interactive, Insomniac Games, Interactive Associates, Take-Two Interactive, VoiceWorks Productions, and WB Games) over failed contract renegotiation terms that had been in discussion since February 2015. Principally, the union sought to have actors and voice and motion capture artists that contribute to video games be better compensated with residuals based on video game sales atop their existing recording payments, while the industry companies asserted that the industry as a whole eschews the use of residuals, and by giving the actors these, they would trivialize the efforts of the programmers and artists that are most responsible for the development of the games. In exchange, the companies had offered a fixed increase in rates and a sliding-scale upfront bonus for multiple recording sessions, which the union had rejected. Other issues highlighted by the strike action include better transparency in what roles and conditions actors would perform, more safety precautions and oversight to avoid vocal stress for certain roles, and better safety assurances for actors while on set.
      ...
      On September 23, 2017, SAG-AFTRA and the video game companies came to an agreement, effectively ending the strike.[36] The agreement crafted a new three-year contract with the companies to start after ratification by SAG-AFTRA's board of directors, expected to occur within a few weeks from the agreement. The agreement does not include residuals as SAG-AFTRA sought for, but does include a sliding-scale bonus payment for each recording session a voice actor participates in, starting at $75 for the first session, up to $2,100 for ten or more sessions. Keythe Farley, the chair of the SAG-AFTRA negotiations committee, said that these payments "are significantly larger now than what we had 11 months ago" and praised the new structure.[37] Video game companies must provide additional transparencies for roles voice actors are to perform under the new terms; while they do not need to name the game or character to maintain confidentiality when offering roles, companies must provide actors with project code names, gameplay genre, if the work is based on an existing franchise or character, and whether the work will include profanity, racial slurs, obscure technology terms, sexual or violent overtures, or physical stunts.[37] The agreement also will have SAG-AFTRA and the video game companies continue to work on addressing issues related to vocal stress within recording sessions

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
      • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Monday March 12 2018, @05:06PM (2 children)

        by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 12 2018, @05:06PM (#651426) Journal

        I've NEVER gotten that: why pay big names to voice your game or animated movie?

        I really don't give a damn if Sir John Gielgud is the voice of Naruto, or Fonzie voices Maddox in Supreme Commander (running on wine, spank you).

        Why should anyone give a shit: if the game sucks, I don't care who does the voices, and if it's good I don't care who does the voices!

        Do kids care if Ray Romano is doing the voice of a mastodon?

        I say get a no name with an odd voice if you want an odd voice and save the fecking cash and pass on the savings!

        Ridiculous nonsense.

        --
        --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12 2018, @08:05PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12 2018, @08:05PM (#651496)

          get a no name with an odd voice

          I was just listening to The Frazer Smith Show last night.
          He's been a radio personality (on and off) and a standup comic since the 1970s.
          He has big shot Hollywood agent Barry Katz on every week.
          Barry repeatedly notes that the folks who succeed are the ones who keep plugging away at it.

          Fraz also has successful performers on who tell about all the wannabes who come up to them and ask how to make it in show biz.
          Every one of them has the same response: There are no shortcuts; get out there and WORK.

          So, after a bunch of years demonstrating that you will show up on time, hit your marks, and know your lines, you get a reputation as a reliable talent.
          THAT is why they don't hire just anybody:
          By the time the successes are successes, all the unreliable flakes have been weeded out out of the lot.

          -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13 2018, @12:18AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13 2018, @12:18AM (#651593)

          Not entirely. Christopher Lee as Lucan Delere in Everquest 2 was really good. People made evil characters just so they could speak to The Overlord of Freeport.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by looorg on Monday March 12 2018, @11:25AM (13 children)

    by looorg (578) on Monday March 12 2018, @11:25AM (#651294)

    Mostly when I think of Unions it ends up being like the part in Life of Brian when they sit around talking about what the Romans have ever done for them. More of less everything is unionized here, I can chose not be apart but at the same time it's usually a bad choice. They have clearly done a lot of good things, in the past. But what have they done for me lately? It usually tuns out that I can't really think about anything. Now they are just collecting their fee every month. If they do something it's usually some shit I don't care about or that really benefits me. So I'm constantly torn about being a member or not.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by janrinok on Monday March 12 2018, @11:59AM (2 children)

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 12 2018, @11:59AM (#651300) Journal

      But what have they done for me lately?

      It might be simply a case of employers are less likely to try to take advantage of you because the unions exist. So the unions might be achieving things from which you benefit without having to be visibly causing disruption in order to protect your rights.

      Now, I'm not saying that everything that the unions do is necessarily good for business, or even for all of their members. Perhaps you are not getting your money's worth from them - but only you can decide that. It might be that the only time that you realise the benefits that you had when you were in a union might be when it is too late for you to turn to them for help.

      Most of my career I was not allowed to be in a union - I served in the military. And my experience of unions is limited to the UK and Europe. But I can see people benefiting from the rights that the unions have won on behalf of the workforce frequently and so think that it is not a simple black or white matter.

      • (Score: 2) by canopic jug on Monday March 12 2018, @12:59PM

        by canopic jug (3949) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 12 2018, @12:59PM (#651316) Journal

        And my experience of unions is limited to the UK and Europe.

        There's a big difference between the US and the EU style of unions. I wish that the US ones would become more efficient and beneficial like the EU ones were, rather than the EU ones becoming more like the US ones as has been happening.

        One old person talked of unionization in the US back in the early part of last century. His workplace eventually unionized but the union carved out an exception just for him since he did not want any part of what was going on. During the period leading up to the decision, there were countless times goons showed up at work looking to "talk" to him. However, he was 100% successful in scooting off on all fours under, around, and over the obstacles until they eventually stopped showing up having never gotten near him even once. There were also quite a few evening meetings where unions were discussed and the advantages praised. However, if any dared stand up and ask difficult questions or oppose the idea, the lights would flick out, there'd be scuffling and shouting and when the lights came on, that person would be gone from the room. After enough meetings like that, there was no longer any vocal opposition.

        Lately, it sometimes seems that many EU unions are now there more to enforce management policies and agendas than to work for improve/protect conditions or worker well-being.

        In some EU countries, it used to be that the unions would have a representative on corporate boards to try to exert a moderating influence on decisions and plans. It used to work rather well and usually was an advantage to the company over the long run even if it sometimes caused trouble for some of the other directors.

        Still, even with the decline there are advantages. Others can go on about weekends, sensible working hours, reasonable vacation periods, health care, parental leave, and so on.

        --
        Money is not free speech. Elections should not be auctions.
      • (Score: 1, Redundant) by looorg on Monday March 12 2018, @02:12PM

        by looorg (578) on Monday March 12 2018, @02:12PM (#651337)

        That could be the case. But it's problematic since nobody will ever know. It's hard to say either or in that case really. My main complaint is that they are basically charging for or living on past glory such as things that they fought for or won in large parts about 100 years ago such as the 8h work day. The five workdays per week is now almost 50 years ago since it was instituted. These things will change from country to country so they are not universal, but then neither is union membership. They might be working in something amazing at the moment, but I seriously doubt it and in case they are they are not making it known to the members (or anyone).

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by c0lo on Monday March 12 2018, @11:59AM (9 children)

      by c0lo (156) on Monday March 12 2018, @11:59AM (#651301) Journal

      But what have they done for me lately? It usually tuns out that I can't really think about anything. Now they are just collecting their fee every month. If they do something it's usually some shit I don't care about or that really benefits me. So I'm constantly torn about being a member or not.

      Absolutely!
      Now you got me thinking:
      - my house never caught fire, why am I paying those taxes for the firefighters salaries?
      - yes, the army protected the country against Japanese invasion in WWII. But that was quite a while ago, what has the army done for me lately?
      I'm sure the more I think, the more such cases I can discover. (like: what the hell those insurance parasites are actually doing for me?)

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by looorg on Monday March 12 2018, @02:02PM (3 children)

        by looorg (578) on Monday March 12 2018, @02:02PM (#651330)

        The point was that they have stagnated. They have done all this great things generations ago. But these days they don't seem to do anything worthwhile so they are in essence just collecting money for something already completed a long time ago. They are not pushing for anything new or improving things. Now they just want to collect.

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by IndigoFreak on Monday March 12 2018, @05:01PM (2 children)

          by IndigoFreak (3415) on Monday March 12 2018, @05:01PM (#651422)

          This is false though. The union protects rights. They enforce the policy that they put in place years ago. Just because they aren't writing new policies doesn't mean they don't do any good. Now if they stopped enforcing policy in place, that would be an issue. But you are acting like the only use unions have is to make new policy. If the union fell apart, the policy that was put in place would most likely no longer be followed. It's not some sort of federal law or human right once a union policy goes in place. When/If a company fails to follow through, the union will be there to make them. And just because I company follows union policy and the union does not need to make them, doesn't mean without that union there, the company will still follow those practices. The mere presence of the union is most likely enough to make companies comply with their past agreements. And from past examples, once a union goes away, worker conditions/benefits drastically change.

          • (Score: 1) by Sulla on Tuesday March 13 2018, @03:28AM (1 child)

            by Sulla (5173) on Tuesday March 13 2018, @03:28AM (#651661) Journal

            When I worked for state government I got to really dislike the union. When it came to striking and getting themselves raises and fighting for position like kids on student government they were top knotch, as soon as something actually important came up they side with management. A coworker and I were in a race one day to get a record on number of invoices processed when when we were behind due to am employee being out. We managed to pull off 500-600/day with 100% accuracy over the period of a week. One of our coworkers was not in on the race because they sat at the other end of the hall, this was just a friendly race between me an another guy to make catching up fun. We got written up because the third coworker couldnt beat 40 on her best day with 80% accuracy. This wasnt management getting us in trouble, this was the union having us written up for creating a unsafe work environment.

            I am generally for any union that is a legitimate trade or where you can get hurt/broken on the job in the short or long run, but when the biggest workplace danger your union wants you to be aware of is black lung from toner (not joking) then things are pretty bs.

            --
            Ceterum censeo Sinae esse delendam
            • (Score: 2) by darnkitten on Wednesday March 14 2018, @03:44AM

              by darnkitten (1912) on Wednesday March 14 2018, @03:44AM (#652141)

              I am generally for any union that is a legitimate trade or where you can get hurt/broken on the job in the short or long run,

              Also, maybe in a place or industry where cost of living routinely outstrips pay;
              or a job or industry where work requirements don't allow for quality of life, or any reasonable life outside of work;
              or in an industry rife with exploitation.

              I'm sure we can all think of examples of each of these, without much effort.

              but when the biggest workplace danger your union wants you to be aware of is black lung from toner (not joking) then things are pretty bs.

              agreed, but usually, those unions were originally intended to address other issues.

              Oft-times unions struggle to seem relevant in a world where no one remembers what they were originally intended to do and what they eventually gained through their work, and that their primary function now is to prevent the company/organization from reversing those gains and reverting to what went before...

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12 2018, @08:23PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12 2018, @08:23PM (#651506)

        For USAians, its army's aggression has gotten a good portion of the global population pissed off at you enough to want you dead.

        15 of the 19 on 9/11 were Saudi nationals who didn't want foreign military forces in their country.
        N.B. USA has ~1000 military outposts in 135 countries.
        How would you feel if another country had military bases in -your- country?

        -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13 2018, @03:13AM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13 2018, @03:13AM (#651653)

        All of this is available and actually used in the USA today...

        Exterior walls: concrete block or poured concrete, covered in stucco
        Interior walls: metal studs, plus drywall or cementboard
        Insulation: fiberglass
        Roof: Metal
        Floor: concrete slab with ceramic tile
        Pipes: copper and cast iron
        Wires: copper, in galvanized conduit
        Doors: glass and steel
        Doorframes: steel
        Cabinets: stainless steel
        Counters: quartzite, granite, or marble

        For the furnishings and more...

        Bed: waterbed with wool blankets
        Clothing: wool
        Table: glass top on steel legs
        Window treatment: steel miniblinds
        Kids toys: erector set, aquarium, steel/aluminum framed bicycle or unicycle, steel slinky, glass marbles
        Garden: ice plant, jade plant, aloe vera
        Food: canned, glass bottles, unwrapped fruit/vegetable
        Hair: removed (don't forget to shave pets)

        That should keep you safe. You won't need fire alarms at all. There is enough safety margin to add a propane turkey fryer.

        • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday March 13 2018, @03:28AM (2 children)

          by c0lo (156) on Tuesday March 13 2018, @03:28AM (#651660) Journal

          Bushfire in Australia: understanding ‘hell on Earth’ [csiro.au]

          The noise of an approaching fire, generated by the rapid cellular decomposition of vegetative matter and shockwaves associated with the gas phase combustion of the released volatiles, can be most frightening, particularly when the fire itself cannot be seen due to smoke and topography. It is often compared to the sound of a steam train at full tilt or the roar of a jet engine.

          If a cold front arrives during a bushfire, it generally brings with it gusty winds that change the direction of the prevailing winds and can turn the long downwind flank of a bushfire into a raging head fire. In most cases, the area burnt by a bushfire after the arrival of a cold front is much greater than the area burnt before the wind change.

          Inside the turbulent diffusion flames of a bushfire, the temperature of the reaction zone, where the volatile gases released from the thermally degrading vegetation mix with oxygen in the air and combust, can be in the order of 1600°C. The temperature of the flames themselves, however, is less than this adiabatic value, with the maximum temperature at the base of tall flames reaching approximately 1100°C due to mixing with ambient temperature air. The tips of flames are around 600°C.

          The radiant heat flux from a thick bushfire flame can reach 100 kW/m2. By comparison, the average radiant heat flux from the sun at midday on a summer’s day is about 1 kW/m2. The pain threshold for most people is about 2 kW/m2 and at this rate bare skin will undergo a partial thickness (2nd degree) burn in about 40 seconds. In the midst of a high-intensity head fire, radiant heat fluxes in excess of 150 kW/m2 have been measured.

          The convective energy released by a major bushfire provides enough buoyancy to lift the smoke many thousands of metres above the fire (sometimes greater than 10 km), often breaking through the tropopause and into the stratosphere, carrying the smoke around the world. The condensation of water from the combustion products can form pyro-cumulus clouds that can form rain and lightning, starting new fires downwind of the main fire.

          For comparison purposes: most of the steel melt at and below 1450C [wikipedia.org].

          In spite of that, I'm not going to relocate in US.

          --
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13 2018, @06:30AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13 2018, @06:30AM (#651708)

            All 3 plants I listed feature thick and juicy leaves. They are a bit like cactus, but without the sharp parts.

            The bush fire stops when it hits your garden. Make your garden as large as required. If you have neighbors, enlist them in your garden project. Other options include concrete, pools, and ponds.

            • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday March 13 2018, @06:45AM

              by c0lo (156) on Tuesday March 13 2018, @06:45AM (#651709) Journal

              Australia - gotta love it, be it only for the sheer number of way it tries to kill you.
              Among them - flash flooding [google.com.au]; can happen in the same areas as bush fires** - you imagine what a flood will do to your succulents garden or concrete or ponds.

              ** well, sometime it doesn't; but if there's noone to live through a bushfire or a flash flood, does it really happen?

              --
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
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