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Comment Re:Good for them (Score 1) 1008

I would be insulted if my employees had the nerve to insinuate that their pay had any correlation to my profit margin.

Wow, you know, you should really get that sentiment immortalised on some kind of motivational poster or something... Could be catchier though, like "Your pay has nothing whatever to do with My success". Maybe make it a company slogan, to be repeated every morning at the team huddle.

Comment Re:Good for them (Score 1) 1008

Nobody would say that investors should not get a good return if their risk pays off. But employees should benefit too. They also take a risk going to work for any company. If you work for a company that doesn't do well, your promotion and general career prospects suffer. Plus businesses always dump employees at the first sign of trouble, even so called "permanent" employees where the business made a commitment to look after, can get laid off to keep returns high in some companies.

Senior managers often make this case well for themselves, and award themselves big bonus payments payouts when their labour produces results. Its just often the case that they don't extend the courtesy to mid or lower ranked employees when they are unrepresented.

Comment Re:Good for them (Score 2) 1008

I don't think that's the whole story, for two reasons. Firstly, although of course getting higher rates of compensation is an important part of the role of a union, and they're very successful at doing that, unions are not just there to get higher pay. There are numerous other ways that individual employees can find themselves on the wrong end of bad employment practices, unfair management, harassment or other types of discrimination that aren't picked up by a company's internal processes. A good recent example in the news was the housekeeper that was allegedly assaulted by Dominique Strauss Kahn at the hotel she worked at in New York. No fault on the part of the employer of course, and I'm sure Sofitel pay isn't bad either. But, in a situation where a high profile and important client has allegations made against him, many hotel managers would be tempted to sweep it under the carpet, or worse, quietly let the employee go if she caused too much trouble, for some "other" reason of course. But because the housekeeper in question was a member of a union, the allegations had to be taken seriously, and she would have had access support from someone with expertise if there were any difficulty. The lesson there is, if you're going to assault a maid, don't try it on in a unionised hotel. Of course it would be better if all workers had that kind of support to help them.

Secondly, Apple Stores can pay higher wages than others because they're a successful business with high margins, and the actual stores themselves form part of that. That's great! Unions always like to see businesses being successful and generating income. It's not true to say that unions want business to be less successful or damage their business. But, it could be possible to query how the profit is shared out. Seems to me that whenever a company is making some big margins, and if it possible more of that is going back to the capital owners than to the employees, then that isn't as fair as it could be. I think from what you're saying, that you believe somone lucky enough to be working for a company that's doing well, should mean they get paid better than a business that doesn't do so well. Well that seems only fair. But there are definitely cases where employees working for successful, profitable companies aren't getting compensated in proportion to the success of their business, especially lower ranked employees. So I believe there is always a role for proper representation, if only to put that case.

Comment Good for them (Score 0) 1008

Well done Cory and best wishes for success. Unionisation is by far the most effective method of enhancing working conditions for all workers, regardless of industry sector. Too many in tech consider themselves "above all that" and allow themselves to be exploited by their employers. People should consider who really benefits from their labour before criticising a worthwhile venture.

Submission + - The Great Firewall of Europe (

Glyn Moody writes: "The Presidency of the EU's Law Enforcement Working Party wants to create [pdf] "a single secure European cyberspace with a certain "virtual Schengen border" and "virtual access points" whereby the Internet Service Providers (ISP) would block illicit contents on the basis of the EU "black-list"." Leaving aside the fact that this won't work for lots of reasons, how seriously can you take anyone talking about "cyberspace" in 2011?"

Submission + - Ubuntu 11.04 released (

tandiond writes: "Finally...
"Canonical today announced the upcoming release of the Ubuntu operating system on April 28, 2011 for public download. Ubuntu 11.04 introduces Unity, Ubuntu’s new interface, which is simpler, easier to use and more beautiful than previous editions of Ubuntu. This is the culmination of two years’ design and engineering effort by Canonical and the Ubuntu community. Ubuntu 11.04 stands out from its competitors as a genuine free alternative to Windows, allowing users to personalize their PC with free and paid apps in a way that’s proven hugely popular in the smartphone and tablet market."

It is a bit hard to download the iso image. Several attempts to click the link failed. Looks like The download link was loaded with enthusiast users already."

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