The US labor status

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bykfixer

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All things considered, this could be the best time in a long while for the leverage of the average worker in the US. But for how long?
Between robots and regulations job numbers may be cut soon.
:popcorn:
 
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idleprocess

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The pressures that resulted in the tables tilting towards the employee have been trending for decades - the pandemic seemingly just raised awareness of these trends.
 

Hooked on Fenix

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John Deere employees went on strike. General Electric employees are walking out because of the V.M. About 30% of people across the board seem to be doing the same. Didn’t the PPP loans that businesses got as well as the airline bailout require retaining their employees? Doesn’t that mean they are breaking the terms of their loans and could lose their loan forgiveness and have to pay back the full amount? I think the workers have plenty of power right now to organize and fight for better wages and working conditions, but employers aren’t budging on that one thing. Most that have been fired recently are just biding their time and waiting for it all to blow up in the employers’ faces before making their move. The employers will likely end up paying up big time, the ones that survive that is. The question is what jobs will be left after the dust clears?
 

jtr1962

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I think the workers have plenty of power right now to organize and fight for better wages and working conditions, but employers aren’t budging on that one thing.
And they're not going to. Do you know the kind of legal liability not having a vaccine mandate opens a company up to? If an employee catches covid and dies their next of kin have a multimillion dollar lawsuit. Besides, do you want to end this pandemic or not? I know I do. The sooner enough people get vaccinated the sooner it'll be over. I can't believe how people are in this country. In places like India they're lining up for hours to get vaccinated. Over here we've prolonged the pandemic by months, and caused thousands of needless deaths, for no good reason.

I'm glad workers are finally able to get a better deal. But in return for those higher wages employers still have a right to impose terms of employment. Workers can ask for more flexibility in terms of hours and remote working, but no employer is going to compromise work place safety. A workplace where everyone is vaccinated is part of that.
 

jtr1962

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All things considered, this could be the best time in a long while for the leverage of the average worker in the US. But for how long?
Between robots and regulations job numbers may be cut soon.
:popcorn:
Automation was inevitable even before workers got more leverage. And honestly I don't see it as a bad thing. It'll get rid of the most repetitive, monotonous, and sometimes dangerous jobs first. Jobs that honestly no person should be doing. Yes, in the long term this will likely mean not enough full-time jobs for everyone of working age but again, I don't see that as a bad thing. The greater productivity automation enables will mean higher wages for those who work. That in turn means more families can get by with just one primary wage earner. Or perhaps both people working, but part-time. Either way, more free time is a good thing for lots of reasons. Long term, as automation puts more people out of work, we'll probably have to implement a universal basic income. Again, not a bad thing. We'll have people working at jobs they enjoy as a result, not being forced to work lousy jobs they hate just for basic necessities. Arguably, the stimulus money we gave out during the pandemic was like a test run of universal basic income. The end result of giving people some money is that they're able to hold out for better working conditions. This is exactly what happened.
 

idleprocess

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I don't think covid has anything to do with this discussion.
Yeah, COVID kicked all this off, but its role is shrinking.

The pandemic and subsequent furloughs, sudden work-from-home edicts, or essential-but-we-still-abuse-you roles have forced many to re-evaluate their place in the economy. Those on the margins previously-steady employment reduce to either a pink slip or an imperative to work under hazardous conditions. A huge slice of those that did continuous work from home for the first time came to greatly value it, many of whom decided they didn't need to live in an expensive city to be within commuting range of the office.

I suspect that a number of the industries struggling with hiring have simply failed to acknowledge the weakness of their value proposition to employees. A 15% bump in wages for someone that has to hold down 2 part-time food service jobs with chaotic schedules and live with 3 roommates doesn't much move the needle. Retail was miserable before the pandemic - now it's likely verging on insufferable being asked to enforce COVID protocols against customers for whom they're already positioned as expendable punching bags.

Even in the white collar world there's been an awakening. Return to the office mandates have been met with open revolt. The idea that employees are supposed to practically live their lives on call is meeting new increasing resistance.

And throughout this, employers **** and moan about the talent shortage. I hear about service sector positions staying open for weeks or months despite dozens of applicants. I've personally seen numerous white collar jobs go unfilled because the job req is clearly hunting for the elusive purple squirrel a county away from the extreme limits of their seasonal range out of season.

How long will this last? Who knows. But employers need to take a real look in the mirror before casting blame elsewhere - the market of employment was a buyer's game for decades and has shifted towards being a seller's game and the same old same old isn't going to cut it any more.
 

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And they're not going to. Do you know the kind of legal liability not having a vaccine mandate opens a company up to? If an employee catches covid and dies their next of kin have a multimillion dollar lawsuit. Besides, do you want to end this pandemic or not? I know I do. The sooner enough people get vaccinated the sooner it'll be over. I can't believe how people are in this country. In places like India they're lining up for hours to get vaccinated. Over here we've prolonged the pandemic by months, and caused thousands of needless deaths, for no good reason.

I'm glad workers are finally able to get a better deal. But in return for those higher wages employers still have a right to impose terms of employment. Workers can ask for more flexibility in terms of hours and remote working, but no employer is going to compromise work place safety. A workplace where everyone is vaccinated is part of that.
Yes I want the pandemic to end as soon as possible and get back to normal. The problem is when you allow the government to restrict your rights, you never get back to normal. We didn’t have to make a category of second class citizens to solve this problem. I’m vaccinated. I was before the mandate. The fact is you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Forcing people into it has caused a countrywide backlash that didn’t have to happen. You think I don’t want people to get vaccinated to save their lives? You’re dead wrong. There are better ways to get people to comply than threatening their livelihoods. How they are threatening the Navy Seals is despicable.

Do you understand the legal liability employers have from denying reasonable accommodations for medical and religious reasons? How about violating contracts? Businesses are put between a rock and a hard place. This is going to have serious consequences no matter what happens now.

Until this resolves there will be continuous bottlenecks in production, shipping, and essential services. This didn’t have to happen.
 

vicv

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One question? I'm a truck driver? I feel I should be allowed to drink while making my deliveries. That's my choice. I like drinking so much it's religious for me. How dare the government gets to decide on my autonomy to drink and drive.
And what? My employer now decides that I'm no longer allowed to drink while driving? How dare they that's my right!
If I could just drink I would be happier. I could drive faster. And I would be able to get my shipments to where they need to be delivered faster.
Oh. And my drinking and driving is also contagious and will cause other drivers to drink
 

bykfixer

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I like my job. I'm in a unique situation where the people I work with are like family. Not the crazy Uncle Bob nobody wants to see at holidays. The kind you hope to see next year when you return to that annual vacation spot.
But I'm also a realist and fully understand my company is a farm team for many. So often times I train my future bosses. We often hire people in the budding days of their career so I end up saying "so long" way more than I prefer.

The company is big on hiring folks with college degrees entering the work force. They do not seem to understand just how much extra $ it costs them to train folks wanting much more than we offer in the long run……over and over. In essence we hire people who have higher aspirations, pay them an entry level wage then wave bye bye after providing them the skills and education to reach their goal elsewhere.

Where I have found success is finding people who do what I do at a lower level, pay them 50% more than they are used to then provide perks too. Having the experience helps me greatly, paying them a much higher wage than they are used to helps them greatly.

It's kinda like the movie "moneyball" in a way where the superstars and talented rookies move on to greener pastures and odd balls or has beens end up making a pretty team overall.
 

jtr1962

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Do you understand the legal liability employers have from denying reasonable accommodations for medical and religious reasons? How about violating contracts? Businesses are put between a rock and a hard place. This is going to have serious consequences no matter what happens now.
Most, if not all, employers will have accommodations for valid medical reasons, as they should. Remember though that only a tiny fraction of the population can't get vaccinated due to medical reasons. There should be no religious accommodations. For starters no major religion is against vaccinations. And the virus has no religious exemptions, so neither should we.

We already tried other methods to get people vaccinated. We calmly explained to them why they should. We offered monetary incentives. We gave them time off in case the vaccine had them feeling under the weather for a few days. None of it worked well enough to get the numbers of people vaccinated who needed to be. When all else fails you resort to mandates. I don't like it any more than you do but I dislike the alternative of the pandemic never ending even less. I want to get back to normal. I'm tired of masks, I'm tired of not going out beyond trips to the grocery store, I'm tired of not having people over, I'm tired of supply chain problems, etc. You're right that this didn't have to happen. If people just followed the advice of medical experts, we would have been over this months ago. China returned mostly to normal last year, before there was even a vaccine. So did a lot of other countries. The protocols work, but they have to be followed rigorously.
 

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One question? I'm a truck driver? I feel I should be allowed to drink while making my deliveries. That's my choice. I like drinking so much it's religious for me. How dare the government gets to decide on my autonomy to drink and drive.
And what? My employer now decides that I'm no longer allowed to drink while driving? How dare they that's my right!
If I could just drink I would be happier. I could drive faster. And I would be able to get my shipments to where they need to be delivered faster.
Oh. And my drinking and driving is also contagious and will cause other drivers to drink
No. Driving is a privilege, not a right. When you do paperwork to get your liscense, you have to agree to follow the law which includes not driving drunk. You have to pay liability insurance so if you get in an accident, the other party will be compensated.
Breathing, freedom of assembly, freedom to buy essentials you need to live, freedom to work, those are rights. These should not be taken away unless you did something wrong (broke the law). A law is one of those things passed by the House and Senate and signed by the president. Treating people as guilty and punishing them until they do something is counter to our entire justice system. You could argue taking away rights of the unvaccinated is a bill of attainder as it punishes a specific group of people. Either way, we punish drunk drivers after they break the law. We are punishing unvaccinated people when no law has been broken.
 

jtr1962

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Yeah, COVID kicked all this off, but its role is shrinking.
But it was instrumental because for the first time since perhaps they were off for summers when they were schoolkids people had lots of free time. And they loved it. It also gave them time to think. Many came to the same conclusion. My life is too short to have an employer essentially dictating how I spend my life, along with not having any real blocks of time for myself until I retire. So many wanted to continue working from home. Some in families with two or more incomes realized they could quit some of those jobs if they reign in their spending a little. Still others ran the numbers, realized that with child care expenses they weren't ahead by much, if at all, working. So they opted to be full-time parents instead. Some decided to strike out on their own. The common theme though is people have had it with being owned by employers, having one or two lousy days off a week, and never being able to take more than one week's vacation at a time because their employer won't allow it. That's not even getting into soul-draining commutes or toxic work place environments.

My only question is why did it take so long? Over 30 years ago I thought about my life, and came to the same conclusions. Time is more important than money. I'd rather make less money and have more time for myself. The robotic demands upon my time in a traditional work environment were killing my soul. Under what is the new normal, people may have less money for things but they'll be way happier. Work-life balance is what's important. You work to live, not live to work.
 

vicv

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No. Driving is a privilege, not a right. When you do paperwork to get your liscense, you have to agree to follow the law which includes not driving drunk. You have to pay liability insurance so if you get in an accident, the other party will be compensated.
Breathing, freedom of assembly, freedom to buy essentials you need to live, freedom to work, those are rights. These should not be taken away unless you did something wrong (broke the law). A law is one of those things passed by the House and Senate and signed by the president. Treating people as guilty and punishing them until they do something is counter to our entire justice system. You could argue taking away rights of the unvaccinated is a bill of attainder as it punishes a specific group of people. Either way, we punish drunk drivers after they break the law. We are punishing unvaccinated people when no law has been broken.
They're not being punished. They have the right to the choices they're making. But choices have consequences. I can choose to be a jerk to someone. I may get punched in the mouth for it though
 

jtr1962

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They're not being punished. They have the right to the choices they're making. But choices have consequences. I can choose to be a jerk to someone. I may get punched in the mouth for it though
Also, their choices affect other people, which is really the primary justification for the mandates.
 

Hooked on Fenix

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They're not being punished. They have the right to the choices they're making. But choices have consequences. I can choose to be a jerk to someone. I may get punched in the mouth for it though
I suggest you look at the policy for the Navy Seals if they choose to not get vaccinated and resign or ask for a religious exemption instead. Religious exemptions are allowed under military and federal law. No benefits, no pension, no GI Bill for education, no veteran services, no benefits for their family, oh yeah, and they must pay back money for their training, about 2 million dollars. Their families are also banned from travel until they get the vaccine. These are the people who risk their lives for us daily in the worst places imaginable and they are treated like that. Don’t you dare tell me the unvaccinated aren’t being punished. When did we become so callous that we refuse to treat our military and veterans with even a shred of honor and dignity?
 
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jtr1962

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If true that's a bit harsh. Just honorably discharge them from the military if they refuse a vaccine and let them keep whatever benefits they would get under an honorable discharge.
 

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