Sunday, September 7, 2008

Should IT (Information Technology) form a Union?

Fight the Power
-Special thanks to Chris Jack, Dave Hudson, and the fabulous Spike Lee-

When will the Democrats develop a spine and start fighting this war on America’s middle class? You would think that after eight disastrous years of Bush, that Obama’s approval rating would be soaring by now. But noooo…

A new SurveyUSA poll “shows Sen. John McCain leads Sen. Barack Obama, 49% to 44%, among respondents who were asked if you were placing bets today who do you think will be elected president?”

Technology professional Rob Oak of answers the following question posed in this week’s InfoWorld article Should IT form a union?". And his answer is, of course, “yes”!

Why shouldn’t technology professionals have an organizing body to represent, arbitrate and negotiate compensation plans and labor laws on behalf of its professional members with corporations? After all, technology professionals, in considerable numbers, invest heavily in their educations as do lawyers and doctors. But there is something “blue collar” about trade unions, which have traditionally been the respectable domain for carpenters, electricians, plumbers, steel mill workers and the hospitality sector, which suggest wages not commensurate with the advanced study and economic investment required of many computer scientists and engineers at advanced levels.

Despite the need for techies to have formal representation such as a union, Kim Berry, president of the Programmers Guild, a nonprofit that works to advance IT issues, best explains how unionizing IT professionals is unrealistic:

"The diversity of employers and job skills makes unionizing IT workers unrealistic, other than within certain large employers. But clearly IT workers need a voice to level the playing field against the powerful industry lobbying groups, like ITAA, Compete America, and NFAP."

For the past twenty years, computer science and engineering professionals have watched their industry’s wages plummet as corporations continue to outsource/insource these once lucrative jobs to third world, cheap foreign workers. Add to that soaring numbers of unemployed and underemployed techies, one has to wonder why the Democratic candidate, Obama, has taken the voracious oath to sell out the nation’s high tech professionals by raising and/or eliminating the H-1B visa cap instead of denouncing this “legalized cradle-to-grave labor management system.”

But just when you thought there was power en masse as the commenters in this WSJ article Government Quietly Changes Rules on Foreign Tech Workers demonstrate, the U.S. government is not only quietly changing the rules on how fast and furiously it can flood the corporate world with cheap labor from the third world and legally get away with driving down wages and not hiring American workers, but it has also quietly changed hands as to who executes the program – none other than Michael Chertoff, head of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Isn't that the organization that is supposed to protect us from the evildoers? Since when did the American tech professional get assigned enemy status?

So how can our nation’s techies stand up to these corporate welfare queens to fight the power? WSJ article author Dan Tynan suggests an alternative, subtle yet important distinction for techies to unionize, per se. Instead of computer science, engineering and IT professionals forming a union, Tynan instead recommends that techies follow ABA and AMA models to establish the professional credibility and respectability necessary to fight the power and heft of the corporate world which is hellbent on driving down wages and kicking American technology to the curb.

When it comes to fully understanding how both candidates, McBama, have pledged their allegiance to the expansion of central control over American techie plummeting wages and labor standards, commenter Vicky Davis offers valuable insight into how the DOL and DHS are colluding to against the American middle/upper middle class professional and where the bodies are buried:

“This administrative rule change is actually an implementation of the Guest Worker program. When fully implemented, it will allow central planning and management of the U.S. labor market.
You can find the design of the program (National Human Resource Development System) by doing some research on Marc Tucker of the NCEE. The system is a cradle-to-grave labor management system. They will be able to control the price of labor by controlling the supply. They will be able to control “behavior” by controlling the ability to obtain a job. (I’m not making this up - I’m a Systems Analyst - not a fiction writer).
Initially, the Labor Department was to have been the manager but apparently DHS has taken over the function. The SAVE Act - once it passes will be the control. Employers are required to participate and it will be illegal to hire anybody who the DHS disapproves.
Welcome to the NWO and virtual slavery."

Who are these DHS people, specifically, who decided that “they were the arbiters of public policy” on using our technology professionals as nuclear proliferation bargaining chips with the Indian government?

With less than eight weeks until the presidential election, where’s the righteous indignation and activism to fight the power from the Left? Obama has said that the election is not about him, it’s about us. Whose “us”, Barry?



Citizen Carrie said...

Thanks for the heads-up about Vicki Davis' comment. I remember Rob Sanchez talking once about a national job bank that was being developed (although for some reason I think the work stopped. I'm not sure). Dearie us, our work is never done with our sleuthing.

prezdumas said...

I'm still trying to make it through this hysterical video..........................................
I hadn't realized that DHS took over the visas. Disturbing. Anyway, I must agree with Berry that unionizing would be difficult. My PhD in CS doesn't translate into the same job category/economic classification as an IT person. Want to piss off programmers? Call us "IT" workers. The label covers a whole range of variably skilled positions, many at the entry level end of the spectrum with degrees from diploma mills which are, sad to say, increasingly being considered competitive. What I don't understand is why Washtec is endorsing Obama (not that they would MCain.)

2Truthy said...

"NCEE is committed not just to research, analysis and advocacy, but also to following through on its recommendations by creating the training, professional development, technical assistance and materials that professionals in the system need to implement the proposals we make. Our programs and affiliates are essential to our successful realization of these goals." NCEE;jsessionid=aE9GgN_p-N6f?setProtocol=true


I know you'll enjoy these links, particularly the combined years and wealth of experience these *leaders* bring to the table. As always, be sure to click on "leadership".

The National Institute for School Leadership

prez, I understand your view on no union. But how do a bunch of tech professionals whose wages and status keep plummeting at the hands of this centralized bureau possibly obtain similar guild status of the AMA or ABA? Maybe in Dubai -- but I don't see it here. No, that train has left the station along with the sell out Democrats it pulled in on.

BF said...

Answer: yes.

There is no other alternative to this corporate free for all on looting them.

SalemOh said...

Will ya lookie lookie here.

Do unions bust up the big crap tables like these guys play at?

Jeremie said...

If every IT professional/programmer stopped working, what do you think would happen? Look at how unions started for the Hospitality/Trade Skills.. They walked off the job and said do it yourself or treat us right!! Sitting here talking about it will do nothing unless we stand up for our lives and make them see what they are up against. The animal that is the most dangerous is the one in the corner, time to fight back!!!

2Truthy said...


I don't know about striking. It looks like it's not working out so well for those Hyatt workers, but maybe that will change. Perhaps if everyone just stopped buying any more iPhones, Crackberries, iPads, etc. might be a place to start...

The unsustainable human flood of imported cheap labor must be halted in order for educated American citizens to regain lost jobs and labor arbitraged compensation.

How can Americans maintain strong unionization policies within any US industry (IT, Hospitality, Education, Healthcare, etc.) when its own government sells out to the cheap foreign labor lobby? For every decent, educated American citizen looking for a job, there are 747s flying in thousands of dubiously "skilled" scabs from India DAILY to take them. THAT, my friend, is what must change.

Can you imagine what an IT union would look like around here with a bunch of imported guest workers and green card holders demanding the SAME compensation packages as local educated Americans? Since Big Business wants middle class, educated Americans to believe that their deplorable slovenly worth is no more important than the third worlders they bring here to take your job anyway, the whole idea of forming an IT union becomes basically moot (you want to work for ten bucks an hour, "be my guest" so goes their thinking.) THAT is the friendly lesson of One World Labor Arbitrage 101 - Educated Americans Are The New Global Niggas.

21st Century Branding Message for Educated Middle Class Americans:


Pittsburgh Pussies said...

Hell yeah they should form a union and stop bringing in all these frauds to wreck all the IT and infrastructure software that our public and private entities develop!

Anonymous said...