Monday, September 16, 2013
Thoughts on Industrial Relations - Arrogance makes Stupidity redundant
Besides writing, I work for a trolley car company. True, they are much bigger and faster than the average trolley car, and they run on one thousand volts, but it's still just a public service and nothing to justify anything but a pragmatic attitude toward the work.
We recently had a strike and are headed toward another. During the week, we carry about 400,000 people a day. When the system shuts down again, those people will have to use the roads and traffic will snarl.
The way I see it, management had a big win during the last contract when labor accepted 4 years without a raise. Now, management wants another win and labor wants a raise.
Naturally, management took the case to the press and beat the drum. Workers are stupid. Workers are lazy. Workers are overpaid. No one in the press asks, "If this is true, why haven't you managed the situation? If they are lazy and stupid, why can you not manage the situation?"
Here is my point; these jobs come with pensions. These pensions have not yet been corrupted as has happened in so many industries.
The average worker retirement age is 62. The average years of service for these retirees, I don't remember, but it must be more than 20.
So, during the upcoming strike, how many mechanics, electronic technicians, train operators and station agents will just choose to retire?
Nobody knows. Yep, management is hot for a strike, but hasn't considered the possiblility that enough workers may retire, amid the name-calling and turmoil that, post-stirke, it will be difficult if not impossible to return to normal service. You can't fix stupid.
And with Arrogance, you don't even need actual Stupidity.