Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

SoylentNews is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop. Only 17 submissions in the queue.
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


Original Submission

 
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (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.

    Starting Score:    1  point
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

    Total Score:   2  
  • (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).