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Comment Re:Unions aren't the answer (Score 1) 715

Ah, I like this one.

If you're not as assertive as I am, you don't deserve protection!

Not everyone has as strong a personality as you do. That doesn't to my mind mean that they shouldn't have the right not to be exploited.

I'm betting that all it would take for your situation to change completely would be the wrong manager at the wrong time making it difficult to find a new job. It can happen to anyone..

Comment Re:Unions aren't the answer (Score 1) 715

Private health insurance?

That's great until you have another Maxwell style situation... or the money is invested in something along the lines of a sub-prime mortgage scheme...

Whoosh! Up in smoke.

Private pensions are just as risky as company pensions. They're neither much cop in the long run, but they're astronomically easier than sorting your own finances out for your old age. Which is fine. Just don't make the mistake of thinking that private pensions are any less likely to get screwed because they're operated by the same companies who operate the corporate pensions. The big difference? The private pension is paid for 100% by you, where the company pension is partially paid for by the company. i.e. you get more bang for your buck out of a company pension.

Not saying one is better than the other; just saying you're possibly not in command of all the facts regarding pensions.

Full disclosure; I work for a company that was taken over by "The Pension Corporation" so we had all this drilled into us back when they were trying to convince us that they weren't trying to raid our £3.5 billion (I think, not sure of the exact number of billions) pension trust fund.

Comment Re:Unions aren't the answer (Score 1) 715

"You" (collective rather than specific as I don't know what your situation is) are ptobably not as hard to replace. The company I work for has replaced people who are "highly trained, highly skilled" plenty of times. The fact that they're relatively highly paid means that they're first up for consideration when it comes to reducing the headcount in a situation where we still need feet on the ground. Unless you're in a position where you'd be making more as a consultant (in which case... why aren't you?) you're likely not to be as irreplacable as you think. The big difference between myself and those guys? I'm in a Union, I have the legal protection that offers me, I make it known that I know my employment rights (because I have a team of experts who I can call upon to answer questions if I'm unsure), and that I don't have to be able to afford to outlast them in court if they get rid of me without following the proper proceedures (which mean I'll come out of it with a lot of money anyway) since I've got union backing. What do I pay my money for? It's like having lawyers on retainer. In fact, it's not just like having lawyers on retainer; it is having lawyers on retainer. (I just share the cost with a whole bunch of other people) I won't be striking, because they don't happen to be the recognised union at my place of work (but if they were then I'd be quite pleased about it), but the lawyers are worth every penny. That's just the selfish part of the equation.

Comment Re:UAW (Score 1) 715

Absolutely agree. The unions in the UK are a lifesaver. They're why we don't have the absolute nonsense of people working 80 hour weeks and still living below the poverty line whilst the managers of the two or three companies that they work for make obscene proffits. I can't decide if unions are a force for, or a symptom of social responsibility, but I'm a big supporter. Of course you have to find the right Union, as there's a couple that are completely useless - Unite I'm looking at you! It always amazes me that it's in the US, where there's (comparitively) little in the way of workers rights that there seems to be so much more opposition to unionisation from the very people who would benefit from their work, but that's an outside impression, not based on any personal actual experience.

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