"There's also a lot of programmers working 80 hours a week now. Too bad information workers have a genetic pre-disposition toward avoiding unionization."
or a back-bone. Nobody is forcing you to work 80-120 hours a week. If enough developers refused, the practice would stop. The problem is that there is always a supply of developers that will work those insane hours.
I personally detest the idea of Unions and I'm glad programmers have avoided them. In most unions, your potential raise is dependent on all the other union members in your department. You also don't negotiate raises, your union lawyers/reps do. No thank you.
A union is almost like a small version of a communist country. Everyone is equal.
All of my development jobs for the past 10 years have 40 hours with occasional work after hours. The one job I had that required more than 40 hours on a weekly basis, I quit.
If you have the skills, you will always find someone that wants you. If not, then a union shouldn't be propping you up or forcing a company to pay you a salary any higher than what you deserve.
The free market works both ways. It's not a businesses fault that most people don't have the balls to demand a raise or walk.
I'm a member or a union, I program for a living, and my union is nothing like your describing. They negotiate your minimum yearly pay rise, work out the overtime rates and rules, and bargain for your maternity/paternity leave, flexitime rules ect... and basically make sure my employer doesn’t shaft me. We are not all equal and its not a small communist country. When i want a pay rise I negotiate it with my manager. The union doesn’t force me to do anything. But then again I live in the real world not where ever you are.
"Who goes to the freaking OR for a simple broken arm?!?!"
ummm me. I've broken mine half a dozen times and i just go straight to OR, get it xrayed and a cast slapped on it. Its never directly cost me a cent either. Of course I live in Australia and we have public health.
And by the way I went to boy scouts but i don't remember the class on how to diagnose a broken arm.
I can assure you that that will not happen. I work for an Aussie bank and SWIFT is very tightly integrated into all our systems and the systems of our clients. Even if we wanted to leave we couldn't. I'm not even sure if there is a decent, viable alternative.
Take an astronaut to launch.