Myths and Realities

American Technology Worker Associations – Washington Technology Alliance Of America, Programmers Guild Of America, Bright Future Jobs and NOSTOPS are partners seeking reforms to the work visa programs ! … Read our joint Press Release here

Myth: Labor Organizations are for blue-collar workers.

Reality: The problems facing IT workers aren’t so different from other parts of the work force – long hours, poor benefits, limited job security and limited career mobility. The number of white collar professionals in Labor Organizations globally has been increasing steadily over the last several decades.

Engineers at Lockheed-Martin and Boeing, researchers with advanced degrees at the University of California, and professional airline pilots are some examples. Even medical doctors have started their own Labor Organization, to act collectively in negotiations with HMO’s.

As the high-tech economy slumps and megamergers are on the rise, high-tech workers need the collective power of a Labor Organization to make sure their interests are represented. IT Labor Organizations find common cause with other trade Labor Organizations across the country, and work together to fight for the rights of all employees.

Myth: Knowledge Workers are already protected enough by the legal system.

Reality: Without a Labor Organization or a bargained contract, Labor laws of certain countries consider all workers “At Will” employees. Simply, stated, an “at will” worker can legally be fired at any time and for no reason … totally at the will and mercy of the employer. Only a bargained Labor Organization contract gives you the same “due process” rights at work even while overseas you have as a citizen generally.

Myth: Labor Organizations regularly force workers to go on strike.

Reality: Strikes are actually very rare. The chances that you’ll go on strike over any given contract are about the same as the chances of the space shuttle blowing up at any given launch. (1 to 2%) The chances are much, much greater that you will end up with a fair contract. The only reason strikes leap to mind is that business’ stress the fact that they could happen in order to scare employees, the media loves to cover them, and the labor movement glorifies them. The real work, negotiating and signing contracts, may lack the drama, but is more important to workers and their families.

Myth: Labor Organizations are corrupt.

Reality: Corporations are far more likely than Labor Organizations to be guilty of corruption.

Myth: Labor Organizations force companies into bankruptcy.

Reality: Labor Organizations do not ask for more in a contract than a company can afford. They know that the worst possible disservice that a Labor Organization could do to its membership is to drive the company they work for out of business. In fact, during hard financial times, most Labor Organizations will do everything in their power to help companies stay in business. As a matter of fact, NOSTOPS regularly engages in speaking engagements with its corporate partners regularly

Myth: Labor Organizations give workers another boss to answer to.

Reality: Actually, management reserves all “boss” functions (management’s rights) in a contract. So you won’t have to check with “the Labor Organization” to go on vacation, justify being late, or any hiring or firing situations. What the Labor Organization does do in these situations is to advocate for you if you feel that management’s decisions are unfair. For example, if you aren’t given a vacation you deserve, the Labor Organization will do what it can to rectify the situation working with management. The process by which they do this is spelled out in the contract.

Myth: Labor Organization dues are a hardship.

Reality: Labor Organization members set their own dues amounts so together you can effectively insure that gains in the contract will have greater value than the amount paid year in dues. It’s your Labor Organization, and you can have a voice. Look around at your working conditions, pay, benefits and job security without a Labor Organization. Your lack of satisfaction in those areas is the “non-Labor Organization dues” you already pay to your employer. Labor Organization representation brings negotiations over wages and benefits into the open, and helps ensure that employers rely on objective factors–skill, effort and responsibility– to set pay rates. Labor Organizations markedly boost wages for all represented workers, especially for those most likely to encounter discrimination in pay or other employment terms.


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