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Unionized software developers?

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  • User profile image

    First, let me state that I DO NOT endorse unions in any way, shape or form.

    This week during West Wing, there was a CWA  (communication workers union) commercial which featured their president speaking about the offshoring of tech jobs and what we could do about it.  Prominently displayed on the screen was this CWA sponsered web site link:

    So, what do you all think?  Will the CWA be successful in organizing a portion of the IT/software development workforce?  And, if the CWA showed up at your workplace, how would you respond?

  • User profile image

    I'm curious to know why you are so adamantly against unions.  Care to elaborate?

  • User profile image

    I think to a significant extent that unions are no longer necessary in the United States.  Back when unions started, there were signficant abuses in the workforce.  There are now laws on the books that protect the workforce from these abuses.

    To a large extent, unions have become political action committees.  Take a look at the NEA as an example.  It is my opinion that there is no greater hinderance to public school improvement than this union.  The NEA more or less has the Democratic party in their back pocket and as a result, you will NEVER see reforms like school vouchers used on a wide scale to give underprivileged children an honest shot at a good education.  Their solution?  Throw more money at public education and maybe, things will improve in several years.  Meanwhile, more children must suffer in inadequate public schools.

    Unions have also caused whole industries to leave cities.  Akron, Ohio used to be the rubber capital of the world.  But, after countless struggles between the unions and the tire companies, the tire companies decided enough was enough and moved south where unions are much less prominent.

    Bottom line is this.  If you prove to a company that you can do a particular job and do it well, you will more than likely keep that job and enjoy the benefits of doing your job well (raises/promotions).

  • User profile image

    I think that the important thing to take away from that West Wing episode is that even though American high-tech jobs are being out sourced to other countries, we will find a new way to earn a living. Think of it as freeing up our work day to work on the next great thing. There is a definate history of this happening in the past where the high paying job of thetime was offshored and we came up with a new way to make money. We just need to learn how to earn a buck while being competitive in the global economy.

    There will be a period of transition while we wait for the next Bill Gates or the next Tim Berners-Lee to show us where to go for that money.

    I agree that unionizing isn't the right answer, but I think that a person should have a license to own a compiler (not in the anti-piracy sense of the word). Maybe that would stop most of the viri and worms (I know we could just enforce the evil bit in TCP/IP).


  • User profile image

    Don't be so negative.

    Today is May Day - International Workers' Day.

    Relax and enjoy.


  • User profile image

    Disclaimer: This is not a slam on unions.

    It all comes down to who can do it cheaper.

    Unions, while they served a great purpose in the past and in certain respects still do, are now one of the reasons things like outsourcing happen, and I don't mean programmers unions since I don't know anyone that belongs to one.

    Are there unions in these other countries, or environmental standards for that matter? 

    No politician is going to stop outsourcing, regardless of what Kerry says. Did they stop manufacturing from going overseas?


  • User profile image

    Hello All, I agree that unions once had a purpose at the turn of 20th century.
    But for the last 50+ years been used as a political tool and infiltrated by communism and nowadays socialism.
    Look at the Longshoremen strike a year or two ago. Why did they strike?  They do not want to use technology to improve productivity.
    How can anyone blame companies for outsourcing to a less cost of doing business country.
    I'm not saying that all compaines are doing it for the good of the employees but shareholders and themselves.
    But I see companies driven overseas by trial lawyers, healthcare,taxes and public school educated workers.
    Other countries elevate education to the highest level of society.
    We put entertainment higher than education. If we paid teachers salaries of sports and entertainment figures what would we have?
    IBM was sued, Microsoft was sued and other companies that were and are successful in their industries. That is not a way to compete and thus ordinary workers and consumers pay the price.
    My rant and two cents.


  • User profile image

    I was actually in a SW Dev union at the last job I had and that is the very reason I left. Unions make sense for Truck Driver's or Auto workers where the skills are easily transferable, not for technical jobs.

    I was in a position where there were potential bumping because of a disolvement of a group and because I was low man on the pole some guy who knew nothing about my job or .Net was going to come in an take my job away. Oh and I paid dues so that he could do that, another added bonus. My boss was worried that all we had worked on for the last 2 years was going to be wasted because it would take at least a year to train the new person in .Net technologies since they would not have those skills.

    Look what the union has done for the Carnation dairy workers here in WA, they have been on strike forever and nothing has changed.

    ~ Knute

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