Sunday, November 02, 2014

And My Point Is Proven

From a comment on Friday's post The Inequality Chorus, "Staying off work for a day is one thing. Staying off for weeks or months and getting fired is another, and many don't want to risk it."

Indeed, we want our higher wages, but not if it involves hard work or risk. We want the government to secure those higher wages for us while we sit back and do nothing.

When steel workers wanted higher wages in 1965 my coworkers and I did not look to someone else. We walked out and barred the gate to shut down the plant. When they sent replacement workers we did not let them in. When they sent armed police we stood up to them. Risk? Indeed so. We risked our jobs, and we risked getting shot. We got higher wages because we made it plain that refusing us would hurt them.

"If you're by yourself, you're screwed. You could do that, make a statement and still do the work. but would that make the difference you want to happen?"

When I was driving a truck the company required drivers to pay our own fines if we were caught overweight at truck scales, despite the fact that we did not load our own trucks. The trucks were loaded by crews in the plant before we arrived to drive them, and all we did was chain down the load, tarp it when required, and leave. The first time I was caught with an overload on one axle I walked into the manager's office, handed him the ticket I had paid and told him, "When you repay me for this ticket I'll tell you where your truck is. If not, you'll eventually find it, but it won't be in one piece."

Yes, that made the difference I wanted to happen. I was far from screwed.
I got my money, they got a different truck driver, and I went to work for a better company. If you allow your employer to walk on you, you get little sympathy from me.

1 comment:

Bartender Cabbie said...

Again I think of the trucking industry here. More whining than a kindergarten from supposed "he man" truckers about pay, etc. etc. I have never seen more one at a time take a real stand.
You can guess where "the one" lone wolf found themselves. Blackballed and looking for another job.

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