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comment by rjw
rjw  ·  951 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: U.S. Employers Struggle To Match Workers With Open Jobs

Why did they offer so little? Was the company just not making any money?

user-inactivated  ·  951 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I subscribe to the "companies have forgotten how to pay" take on this.

My employer turned a $3+ billion profit last year. $4+ billion the year before. They've been reduced to offering newhires a $125 bonus each week in exchange for actually showing up to work every day. That's all. Clock in five times a week: make $125 extra.

And here I am, making a killing in forced overtime every day because they can not get staffed. Why?

    You can't find good candidates if a you can't match barista wages.

Newbies start off at $10 an hour. Newbies have to wait a year to get benefits. The job is just part-time. The schedule isn't fixed, making it hard to plan another job around. Even with the bonus: why would they stay?

Corporate is in a position where every new person they hire sucks. Because they can only get people who haven't done the barista math. And all their old hands don't give a flying fuck, because the company oh-so-wisely decided to leave them in the cold with those retention bonuses.

It is a trainwreck that everyone could see coming a mile off as the unemployment rate fell. But nobody did anything about it, because properly compensating labor is tantamount to sharing profits.

rjw  ·  951 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Aaaaaand this is why we need unions.

snoodog  ·  951 days ago  ·  link  ·  

No unions are part of the problem. They are constantly negotiating down wages for new employees to help those that have retired in place or are near retirement. Look at all the tiered compensation schemes they negotiated where new guys can never earn as much as a legacy employee. Or all the benefit reductions for new hires. In some places unions actually negotiated for wages lower than local min wages because Fuck the new guy.

user-inactivated  ·  951 days ago  ·  link  ·  

We are union. I'm proud to be union. I work where I do because of the union. That said:

Business unionism sucks. snoodog has some valid points. I know that as a low-ish seniority part-timer, the union as an institution doesn't give a shit about me. Individual people can be great. The institution? Fucking frustrating.

rjw  ·  949 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I agree with both of you in that regard. Whether a union acts in the interest of employees in general (including new ones) or in the interests of some privileged clique (e.g. senior employees, the business) is down to a number of political factors, the way in which the union is organised, etc. Iron law of oligarchy and all that.

user-inactivated  ·  948 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Somewhere there is an alternate timeline in which the Wobblies won the fight to organize labor in the 20th century.

I'd quite like to go there.