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Worker Rights Extend To Facebook, Says NLRB 340

Posted by timothy
from the ends-at-my-nose dept.
wjousts writes "American Medical Response of Connecticut had a policy that barred employees from depicting the company 'in any way' on Facebook or other social media. The National Labor Relations Board has ruled that this policy runs afoul of the National Labor Relations Act, which gives employees the right to form unions and prohibits employers from punishing workers for discussing working conditions."
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Worker Rights Extend To Facebook, Says NLRB

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  • Freedom of speech (Score:2, Insightful)

    by JeffSpudrinski (1310127) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @08:26AM (#34184720)

    Sure...you can say/write whatever you want.

    If you write that you hate your boss...in a public forum...with your name...don't expect your boss to buy your lunch for you. ...and don't expect them to forget about that when it comes time to pick employees for layoffs.

    You can say/write whatever you want...just be ready to accept the consequences.

    -JJS

  • Oh look (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sakdoctor (1087155) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @08:30AM (#34184758) Homepage

    Another slashdot story that takes an established event/concept/thing and makes a big deal about it because somehow facebook/twitter/social-net-dujour is involved.

    I always wonder if these stories have organic origins, or bubbled up from some PR department.

  • by Manip (656104) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @08:35AM (#34184796)
    Frankly I'm a little surprised - since in my experience employees are more or less slaves in the US. The entire legal structure seems set up for whatever is easiest and cheapest for employers to do whatever they wish. Employees can sue, and that is often the de-facto suggestion whenever anyone in the US has a problem, but frankly a lot of situations could be avoided if they had a strong legal framework like every other developed country.

    No holiday time, no sick leave, no maternity leave, no restrictions on hours worked, no mandated breaks, few health and safety regulations, can be fired without notice or reason, can legally discriminate, etc. It is like working in the third world. Between this and health care the US is low on my list of places I wish to work.
  • by jarrettwold2002 (601633) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @08:35AM (#34184798)

    Independent of the legal view, for me this entirely depends on the forum it's conducted in. If you have a public facing social networking account, and you go "My boss John Doe is an incompetent asshole", that for me is very much the same as driving around with that as a bumper sticker on your car.

    On the other hand if this is conducted on a private facing social networking account, and you say that outside of it being libelous or slander and not in violation of any criminal laws. That cannot and should not be touched. It doesn't matter if a co-worker who was on your facebook shares it with your boss, that was demarcated as private.

    As we expand communication, it's absurd for people to say "I didn't know that x person would look at y comment and z would happen". This is an old problem that's being brought to a new medium, and people gasping in false shock.

  • by contra_mundi (1362297) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @08:36AM (#34184802)
    With that logic, North Korea has freedom of speech.

    "You can say/write whatever you want...just be ready to accept the consequences."

    The consequence just happens to be capital punishment or forced labor for years.
  • by Corbets (169101) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @08:44AM (#34184856) Homepage

    No holiday time, no sick leave, no maternity leave, no restrictions on hours worked, no mandated breaks, few health and safety regulations, can be fired without notice or reason, can legally discriminate, etc. It is like working in the third world. Between this and health care the US is low on my list of places I wish to work.

    Spoken like someone who's never worked in the US.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @08:47AM (#34184882)

    Spoken like someone who's never worked in the US.

    Spoken like someone who's never worked somewhere better.

  • Re:Oh look (Score:5, Insightful)

    by T Murphy (1054674) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @08:55AM (#34184932) Journal
    It's not Slashdot that is giving Facebook-related stories undue weight, the ambulance service in the story specifically had a rule about Facebook and social networking (the article is unclear if they added 'Facebook' or if the rule explicitly mentions it). It seems people out there (making dumb rules) really do think something is exceptional because it happened on social networking sites.

    It is often mentioned how rules and laws have to catch up with technology, but in the case of social networking, the old rules generally apply perfectly fine- except it seems people don't understand that. If anything, Slashdot's angle here isn't "it's interesting because it's on Facebook", but interest in how society has trouble adapting to technology.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @08:56AM (#34184942)

    No holiday time, no sick leave, no maternity leave, no restrictions on hours worked, no mandated breaks, few health and safety regulations, can be fired without notice or reason, can legally discriminate, etc. It is like working in the third world. Between this and health care the US is low on my list of places I wish to work.

    Huh? I live and work in the US. Never heard of anyone not getting holiday time or maternity leave. Sick time, I'm not as sure about.Agreeing to the hours worked and what you'll get paid for them is part of the hiring process. There are mandated breaks where unions are involved, outside of that, everywhere I've seen or heard of no one cares if you go out and take a smoke break or grab some water at the cooler or whatever once in a while. You're combining laying off with firing (which do have different legal implications, though I'm not sure exactly what they are, except that firing is far worse to have on your record). They cannot legally discriminate. Health and safety regulations are significantly higher than the third world, hence why so many companies want to outsource to India, China, etc. I mean, sure, maybe if you're working part time pushing baskets at the supermarket (or working through a contract in Michigan, like me), your benefits are going to suck. But "suck" is not the same as "You are forced to work 14 hours a day for almost no pay with no benefits at all ever!"

    Health insurance is screwed up here. Health care is fine, in fact, excellent, as long as you don't go to Dr. Bob's Illegal Corner Surgery or something. Costs are high, yes, but that's partially because of idiots abusing the system, and partially to help pay for the medical research and advancements that help the health care to be good enough to keep everyone living a long time despite the obesity and stupidity epidemics among the general populous.

  • by silentcoder (1241496) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @08:59AM (#34184972) Homepage

    >Spoken like someone who's never worked in the US.

    Yes we foreigners know that you get to try and negotiate such things in contracts - and if you're lucky enough to be going for a rare job you may get decent ones. We also know what it's like to have sane levels of these things set out in LAW, and negotiate for extras ON TOP OF that.
    My country requires every employer to give employees at least 14 days a year of holiday time. But I have 21 - I got to start negotiating above that, but even the factory janitor can at least get his 14 days.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @09:08AM (#34185050)

    - Is an employee considered property, or an 'asset'?

    An asset. They cannot sell me to a different company without my consent.

    - Can an employee be forced to do labor?

    If it's part of their contract and "forced" here means "or you'll be fired"? Yes. It's called being expected to do the job you were hired to do. Not a difficult concept.

    - Does an employee who does not want to do said labor walk away?

    They can. But part of real life is sometimes having to do things you don't want to do.

    And now consider these questions knowing that the majority of people can't just quit his/her job (the ob(li)vious answer)... If 'running away' and living on the street is your only escape you are a slave by my definition.

    Everyone can "just quit" their job. Many choose not to because they need the money. Those who do not like their job? They search for a new job, and when they find one, quit their old job and move on. Seriously, what the heck do you want from a job? The ability to do whatever the crap you want, regardless of your contract? Sounds like you either want to live off the welfare system or in the auto worker's union.

    Also, while we're at it, a definition of slave:

    Slavery (also called thralldom) is a form of forced labour in which people are considered to be the property of others. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand wages.

    If I have to explain why that doesn't apply to employees, you're hopeless.

  • by node_chomsky (1830014) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @09:20AM (#34185132)

    But then, Europeans never seem to complain about "welfare moms,"

    Because they know 'welfare moms' are basically a myth. People like that do exist, but it is extremely rare (as in much smaller than a minority), even among people who are forced to live off of welfare because the circumstances of their life were not as ideal as that of others. I work with disadvantaged children, and I meet lot of people that tea-baggers and mean-spirited conservatives would instantly describe as 'welfare mothers' because they are poor, and may even live off welfare. But among them, I have never met one who seemed to think welfare was something they wanted out of life, and when you have 3 children with severe disabilities due to birth defects or post-natal factors (like an auto accident), you hardly have time to take care of your children, much less hold down gainful employment in one of the coldest and most professionally unforgiving nations in the world. Welfare isn't the source of any problems, it is a symptom of a much bigger problem. It's not that a person having disadvantages is owed anything by anyone who didn't contribute to those problems, it's that being big boys and girls means that we have to use a metric that involves more than our own comfort as standard. Basically, people who think the biggest waste of tax-money is social welfare need to grow up, because the logic behind their reasons for that is typically something found on a pre-school playground more so than in a college level class.

  • by vlm (69642) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @09:25AM (#34185162)

    - Is an employee considered property, or an 'asset'?

    An asset. They cannot sell me to a different company without my consent.

    You are mostly correct, with this exception that I LOLed at. With very few exceptions, no employee consent is ever required as part of a merger/sale/takeover/bankruptcy.

  • by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardpriceNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @09:29AM (#34185188)
    Bollocks, none of what you have said is true. An employer cannot simply sell you to another company as an asset (without selling the entire company to new owners, so the asset here is again not you). An employer cannot force you to do any labour, you can refuse at will - depending on the terms of your contract, that could even mean your employer has no recourse if the work he is requiring you to do sits outside that of your defined role (I as a web developer cannot be made to clean the toilets, I could refuse and if my employer took any action against me whatever then a tribuneral would rule in my favour and award me damages, my position back and other things). An employee who walks away could be sued for breach of contract, but this would take a particularly vindictive employer, and in any case the employer would be highly unlikely to win if the work requested falls outside that of the job you are employed to do.

    Your last statement is the most ludicrous of all - just because you cannot walk into another job and thus are unwilling to quit your current one does not remove that option from you, and thus you are not a slave.
  • by buckadude (926560) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @09:36AM (#34185224)
    I believe one of the aspects the NLRB is protecting here is the right to complain and collaborate via email or other electronic means. collaboration is key here. You would not be protected in speech based on saying something like "My boss John Doe is an incompetent asshole" because there is no collaboration there... its just a statement. I could be wrong here, but as I understand it, you would need to add in something to the effect of " my boss john doe is an incompetent asshole and would anyone like to start a group or get together and talk about it?" The reason goes back to some basic things like the right to form unions with out being fired, threatened or physically stopped (this used to be very common (Pinkertons)). This is not a groundbreaking decision here... any labor lawyer could tell you that... the real headline here is that this is how it should be and soon the Congress will most assuredly do everything they can (short of blowing up the NLRB) to stomp this out of existence.
  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @09:40AM (#34185242) Homepage

    Spoken like someone who's never worked in the US

    ... in a white-collar office job like yours.

    If you want a significantly different picture from your own employment experience, read about what was going on in the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia before the big accident. Or the many workers who are killed or maimed in preventable industrial accidents. Or the retail workers forced to work longer than the hours they put on their time card. Or the workers fired for trying to unionize. Or the workers fired for complaining about safety regulation violations. Or even better, get to know some blue-collar folks and hear about their life on the job.

    Assuming you're a techie of some sort, your job probably involves sitting comfortably in an office thinking, typing, and discussing. Most jobs are nothing like that.

  • Yes, they are. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sethstorm (512897) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @09:42AM (#34185264) Homepage

    - Is an employee considered property, or an 'asset'?

    Disposable property unless C-level. See employment laws and attitudes towards compensation in the US in that matter.

    - Can an employee be forced to do labor?

    Yes. See the forced training of offshore replacements.

    - Does an employee who does not want to do said labor walk away?

    The cost is made high enough that they can't walk away. See our current economy.

  • by wjousts (1529427) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @09:47AM (#34185304)
    Wrong. There are laws to protect whistle blowers. If you blow the whistle and are later downsized, you may have a case for a lawsuit unless the company has documentation to show your consistent poor performance made downsizing you more logical than downsizing somebody else.
  • by bigstrat2003 (1058574) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @09:48AM (#34185306)
    I believe that he cannot actually hold that against you (at least, not openly). He can ask you to refrain from expressing your political views at the workplace, and he will probably be looking for a good legal way to get rid of you, but I seem to recall that it's illegal to discriminate based upon political beliefs.
  • by silentcoder (1241496) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @09:50AM (#34185330) Homepage

    >If employers have to provide more benefits to lower-level employees, that means they are spending less elsewhere. That displacement will likely come out of taxable commercial expenses, thus both taking tax money from the government and damaging the growth potential of that organization (reducing future taxable income).

    I've heard this argument advanced and I have two problems with it. Problem one: you are thinking like a typical American who believes the purpose of the economy is wealthy corporations. It's not. The purpose of economy is wealthy citizens. Now let's see what is the average country ratio of employers to employees ? 1 to 1000 doesn't sound unreasonable - which group should the government be protecting here ?
    Secondly - it's a false argument anyway. It's wrong on two levels. Firstly there is the mistake that if companies spend more on employees that's bad for the economy - it's not, it's not even bad for the company (except in the very short term) - increasing the buying power of employees means you have increased buying, consumption, purchasing- when all companies do that, they all benefit from each others employees buying their products more. Henry Ford understood that, and took it further making it a corporate policy to ensure that every single employee he has (including the damn janitor) can afford to buy his product. Result -damn near all of them did, that alone meant enough sales to cover the costs of those higher salaries, every sale there-after was a bonus. Sadly FORD forgot that lesson. The other reason is this: most of these other benefits are scientifically proven to increase overall productivity so in fact, they don't cost the employers anything, they all pay for themselves in increased production. Sadly that reimbursement doesn't show up on a balance sheet -well it is there but it's very nearly impossible to quantify and prove, which is why shortsighted management tends to ignore it. After all - by the time the productivity and morale hits an all-time low due to horrible working conditions, the employees are unionizing and you end up giving it to them anyway to stay in business, I won't be CEO anymore anyway - I'll have long since retired with more money than God.

    >Jobs like janitor/fry cook/night stocker are all great jobs for teens and college kids. They're terrible places to find yourself at 40.

    Not it's not -but not everybody is smart enough to get better. Like it or not - we don't all have the talents to be anything more than menial laborers, even if we did - education cost money - if your parents didn't have it, chances are you aren't going to have it either.

    > I wouldn't want to be part of society that encouraged people to spend 40 hours a week doing such menial labor when they're older.

    Of course it's good to encourage and promote education and reduce the number of people in that position - but a significant number of people will never have the option - they just aren't that smart. How would you reach this panacea you dream off ? Some kind of final solution to the idiot problem ?!?!?!

    >Lastly, severance benefits in the US typically amount to unemployment pay. I personally know people in the US who have been living off of unemployment for over 2 years. This is exactly the kind of thing you are arguing in favor of here, and the kind of "welfare mom" I feel is an unnecessary burden on the government.

    That happens here too - but why on earth are you taking ONE SINGLE labor law and then dismissing ALL labor laws because of the problems with that one ? How is making sure a pregnant woman can take maternity leave and have a job to come back to not GOOD for keeping people employed? How is making sure that if your child gets sick you can take time off to care for him in the same category ? How is making sure that before you're fired over bullshit you get a chance to explain your actions with council and a fair hearing remotely similar ?
    You're just throwing the baby out with the bathwater now.

  • by Twanfox (185252) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @09:56AM (#34185372)

    Unless my memory is faulty, holiday time and sick leave is an optional benefit that a company MAY provide, but is not required to. I'm not sure if maternity leave is codified into law, but there is the FMLA which allows for some UNPAID time off. To be honest, there really isn't any restriction on time worked. If your hourly, the company doesn't want to pay you overtime, but you could work it if they paid it (or if they're breaking the law and requesting it off-hours). Salaried folk I don't believe have an upper limit, and this is routinely exploited by employers. I was going to say mandatory breaks are set into law, but just a quick google search tells me that it isn't federal if it is, so it may just be my state. That and my state is an 'at-will' state of employment, which pretty much means yes, I could get fired for any reason (except for the rare case where you can prove discrimination).

    I hate to say it, but most of those points are actually accurate. Most of those things are not law, just common practice to provide. If an employer desired not to offer them (usually for factory-style positions), then they won't be held accountable in court for doing so.

    So did you actually work in the US too, or are you just assuming the benefits given to you are actually guaranteed, and not something nice the employer offered?

  • by Notquitecajun (1073646) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @10:00AM (#34185412)
    Seeing those labor laws, I bet it's rather a big factor in unemployment. I know SA has a ton of other issues that are going to take decades to get out of, but some of those rules would be a BIG headache for an entrepeneur who cannot afford the overhead.
  • by Notquitecajun (1073646) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @10:08AM (#34185476)
    Ummm...forced to do labor? What the heck am I getting paid for? Wait, not posting on slashdot...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @10:10AM (#34185502)

    >Spoken like someone who's never worked in the US.

    Yes we foreigners know that you get to try and negotiate such things in contracts - and if you're lucky enough to be going for a rare job you may get decent ones. We also know what it's like to have sane levels of these things set out in LAW, and negotiate for extras ON TOP OF that.
    My country requires every employer to give employees at least 14 days a year of holiday time. But I have 21 - I got to start negotiating above that, but even the factory janitor can at least get his 14 days.

    By and large, we don't have contracts. See, we're not slaves, we can quit at will, so as soon as a better employer pops up (for whatever definition of "better" you like) we can go there at the drop of a hat.

    Competition works pretty well most of the time.

  • by IWannaBeAnAC (653701) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @10:15AM (#34185528)
    In virtually all Western Democracies, the state can't legally kill you either.
  • by Twanfox (185252) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @10:37AM (#34185706)

    How nice that your employer lets you take a vacation day when you have a migraine so bad that you can't even see the light of day. Tomorrow you'll be fine, but today, it's vacation. Get out and enjoy it!

    The reason for doing that is because they know that people will sometimes be down with a day or two illness, but be fine later. If they can burn up that pool of vacation time then, then they won't have to worry about the employee taking that time off later. The net result? I'm sure you probably have more people in your workplace with contagious diseases than would otherwise be if they were allowed to stay home that day and not infect the rest of the workplace. Great call on the employer's part. Now, instead of being down one person for a day or two, now they'll be down several people for several days as the illness runs its course through their workforce.

    While that scenario is overly simplified, it is probably far more common than to have someone need to take sick time for long enough that a doctor needs to be called.

    My employer has a different simple solution. They call it sick/personal time. You can use it at your discretion, but if you use it for personal days and then get sick, you get to take it unpaid, and that's really no fun. It allows us employees to meter when we need to take a day for our mental welfare and become productive again. It also has that hefty drawback that we, as employees, try to avoid.

  • Re:Oh look (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @10:38AM (#34185718)

    But it's important. Don't you get it? Companies routinely like to throw their weight around and establish policies as they see fit. This is an article about a federal act that precludes a particular company from randomly controlling the free expression of it's employees. The fact that its facebook or some other social networking site is a random occurrence and has nothing to do with the gist of the story.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @10:44AM (#34185780)

    I really hate people who completely fail to understand what freedom of speech is. It means the government can't arrest you for your speech. It does NOT mean you are immune from the consequences of your speech by anyone else.

  • by Improv (2467) <pgunn@dachte.org> on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @11:07AM (#34186036) Homepage Journal

    Screw those entepreneurs. The chance to use lower-cost workers may inspire them to hire people in poorer nations, but that should not be confused with allowing a race to the bottom when it comes to working standards. The whole world would be better off if rules like that were global. Let competition be over other things, with good standards for working conditions. Anyone, entepreneur or not, who runs a factory with inhumane working conditions belongs in jail.

  • by delinear (991444) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @11:09AM (#34186056)
    What, allowing your employees to take holidays and regular breaks, taking responsibility if they get injured on the job and not being able to arbitrarily fire them without demonstrating poor workmanship or behaviour on their part? Yes, that must be really onerous. Hate to tear down your strawman, but we have all those rules in the UK and we don't have 43% unemployment (the last time it even hit 10% was almost twenty years ago, during the recession). Treating your employees with some respect does not, contrary to what appears to be popular belief amongst certain people, lead to the downfall of society.
  • +5 Insightful! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by contra_mundi (1362297) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @11:09AM (#34186060)
    I hate people who don't share my point of view too. :)

    Perhaps you only define freedom of speech as a legal term (and only in the US legal system and only as it appears in the constitution) but you cannot deny that the concept is much bigger than that. Society can restrict freedom of speech in unlegislated ways.
  • by sethstorm (512897) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @11:17AM (#34186142) Homepage

    You might have no problem, but things are generally against the person who seeks work. For the rest of us, large problems exist in finding/keeping work.

    The amount of people looking for work is used against both people at work and people looking for work.

  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@yBLUEahoo.com minus berry> on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @11:34AM (#34186348) Homepage Journal

    "A distinction that's lost on many people is that "freedom of speech" in the US legal system applies to the government, not private entities. "

    That is a lie that has been propagated for years by people who don't want you to talk about your business.

    Anyone who has bothered to study the subject and read the papers and letter of the foundered knows full well the intent was that all people* have freedom of reasonable speech at all times.

    So study the fuck up before spreading that damn lie.

    To some up: it's well within your rights to bitch about your boss.

    *Yes, even people in other countries deserve to enjoy the freedoms outlined in the constitution. That is why rendition is a slap in the face to ALL Americans.

  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@yBLUEahoo.com minus berry> on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @11:55AM (#34186568) Homepage Journal

    An entrepreneur that can'tr treat it's employees well might as well be driving a slave ship for as far as I am concerned.

    I have worked with many small entrepreneur , and with out exception that all renigged on promises, broke contracts, and in one case 'went out of business' moved to another state started a new corporation and then sold the technology 3 of us developed. He made millions.

    So FUCK any entrepreneur that whines about having to treat employees like human beings.

    For the record, if you have made a home loan i the past 12 years, watched a TV show or drive a car you have used technology I developed or was on the team the developed it. I have nothing to show for it.

    So yeah, I took a job that is 40 hours, I get decent vacation and great insurance. It's nice to be treated as an equal and to have a life.

    The American dream require that all parties be honest and upstanding.

  • Re:Oh look (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DerekLyons (302214) <fairwater@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @12:35PM (#34187252) Homepage

    If anything, Slashdot's angle here isn't "it's interesting because it's on Facebook", but interest in how society has trouble adapting to technology.

    That's Slashdot's angle. The OP was coming from the "oh look, it's popular with the masses and as a Slashdotter I'm too cool for stuff popular with the masses" angle. The Slashdot hivemind positively loathes anything popular with the unwashed, uncool, ungeeky masses.
     
    The Slashdot editors are correct in posting these stories, because Facebook (and MySpace, and Live Journal, and other such sites) are part and parcel of the 'net and are technology... The OP is an idiot.

  • by KhabaLox (1906148) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @01:51PM (#34188138)

    Competition means that the job goes to the lowest bidder.

    While I generally agree with the notion that employers hold the upper hand in non-union labor negotiations in the US (due to their monopsony status), that does not mean that the job goes to the lowest bidder. If that were true, then I would be an engineer at Google.

  • by s73v3r (963317) <[s73v3r] [at] [gmail.com]> on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @01:59PM (#34188228)

    The corporations consider these fines just a cost of doing business.

    And that's the problem. If they don't want to do it, and if they can afford it, they just won't do it. Meanwhile, the workers suffer.

  • by ultranova (717540) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @02:03PM (#34188256)

    I know SA has a ton of other issues that are going to take decades to get out of, but some of those rules would be a BIG headache for an entrepeneur who cannot afford the overhead.

    If your business can't survive with this "overhead", then it never was profitable in the first place, except by shifting its externalities into the society at large - which made it a net loss for the economy, so good riddance. That's what this "overhad" is: the costs resulting from your business. It's only fair that you should pay it, and also a requirement for working markets.

  • by s73v3r (963317) <[s73v3r] [at] [gmail.com]> on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @02:11PM (#34188332)

    You know, I constantly hear this argument when talking about strengthening labor laws in the US. Fuck that shit. If you, as an entrepreneur, can't afford to give your workers adequate working conditions, then stay the fuck out of business.

  • by Improv (2467) <pgunn@dachte.org> on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @05:25PM (#34190362) Homepage Journal

    That's a false choice (between no work and low working standards). It's harmful competition that leads those areas that insist on reasonable standards to lose out to those that don't. Solid rules on an international scale prevent that.

    I don't expect everyone to start everyone in the middle class. That doesn't even make sense - even in the western world we don't have complete egality. What we do have is labour standards, won through difficult struggles by labour movements. These are not prizes we can afford to hoard for ourselves - they are inefficiencies that we treasure because they're the right thing to do, and by pushing other nations to adopt similar measures we both prevent them from hurting us in competition and better the lot of people everywhere.

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