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International Business Machines Corporation Message Board

  • bboru11 bboru11 Feb 15, 2001 12:46 PM Flag

    IBM employee news at:

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    • "Positive news would be the disbanding of the union effort."

      The best way to disbanding union effort is for this company to invite UNION EFFORT to call for Employees VOTE for one. If it is true, like many here want to believe, that few employees are interested, the vote to form UNION will be very low, thus the law will NOT alow UNION organizer to return for several years! Not only that it also one of the best PUBLIC RELATION action!


    • It's not up to IBM to call for the union vote, it's up to the union organizers to do that.

      I've asked the organizers repeatedly when that vote will happen and they refuse to provide a date.

      Reading their message boards, a union vote is not even a consideration.

      So the question isn't what IBM is afraid of. More properly, it's what are the union organizers afraid of?

      Maybe that nobody will show up for their vote?

    • ######
      So the question isn't what IBM is afraid of. More properly, it's what are the union organizers afraid of?

      Tell me then Ironman Why did this company fight so hard to for one and a half year over where or not employees can display UNION sign on their cars? I cannot think of any reason other than this company afraid of UNION....

    • Because parking lots are company property, so they should have the right to restrict what advertising/solicitation/etc takes place on that property. Once they permit one kind of activity, they open the door being forced to allow all kinds of ads/etc.

      Same idea as the 'no soliciting' signs at your local shopping mall.

    • ######
      Same idea as the 'no soliciting' signs at your local shopping mall.

      So you say this company haveing problem when employees put a POLITICAL candidate on their car? How about company sign? How about OLIMPIC sign? How about STOP SMOKING sign, how about PROLIFE/PROCHOICE sign, how about I VOTED sign? how about the sign on the car say "DODGE DURANGO" "FORD F150".... So employees of this company does not have FREE SPEAK when they are on company properties? can employees of this company talk about Bill Gate at work? how about the stick say "Mr Gerstner Save IBM"?

    • If it's company property, the company generally has the right to restrict speech as they see fit, as long as they do it equitably (all employees are restricted or none are).

      It's a common misconception that the constitutional right to free speech guarantees you free speech anywhere any time. According to what I've read, that right is only guaranteed in the context of dealings with governments.

      Private businesses generally have the right to impose consistent restrictions on what happens on their property.

    • Ironman: I only have this observation to offer for your consideration:

      I live and work in 4 countries, and I have contact in some other countries that I have not find my way there. Ameria is by far the best country (don't get me wrong because there are thing wrong in Ameria too), and I believe we are, as the nation, where we are because of the people here have the most freedom to express them self, thus there ideas are not limited to only those that are "political correct" ideas, but almost any ideas can be expressed without consequences.

      Using the same arguement, I think companies that maximize their employees freedom to express themself at work, on parking lot...etc... will be a candidate for most successful company. Unless you truely believe that the leadership at your company DO NO WRONG then my argument doesn't hold together; if that the case then your company only need worker bee, and don't really need opinionate people!

    • There is a similar antisolicitation policy with regard to email. A number of employees in IBM GSB, following the IBM acquisition, were told to stop posting to internal mailing lists information about their choir presentations, toastmaster meetings, and art shows in which their wives were participants.

      The rationale was that the postings were solicitations, and that if they were permitted to post solicitations, in order to ensure that they were antidiscriminatory, other groups would have to be permitted to solicit in the same forum. There was a similar corporate backlash against solicitation for the purchase of Girl Scout Cookies by parents, which was a common practice everywhere I've ever worked, including Novell USG (formerly USL). Do I believe that IBM was engaging in too much CYA with this policy? Yes, but it's their 'A', and they should be permitted to 'C' it as much as they feel is prudent.


      In my personal opinion, unions became unnecessary as soon as the Fair Labor Relations Act was passed. They serve only to artificially inflate costs above and beyond the fair market value. I believe that the large scale migration of manufacturing jobs to third world countries, and the slow move to automation of U.S. facilities at a rate competitive with Japan and other countries, can be laid squarely at the doorstep of the unions. Unions are inherently luddites, and it's not worth $18/hr for someone to put lug-nuts on a wheel, particularly when the job can be done more reliably and safely by a robot.

      That said, when a company becomes so large that it can deflect enforcement of the Fair Labor Relations act, either through legal delaying tactics, or other economy of scale based tactics, then unions might again have a place in keeping them honest. You may have legal recourse, but it might be prohibitively expensive for an individual to seek it.

      As far as the pension stuff is concerned, most of the people I know who were close to retirement, including several at least three years out, were permitted to "bridge" and remain under the old pension plan, rather than being forced into the new one. So far as I can see, the pension "issue" is not an issue, and is merely being used as a scare tactic.

      Personally, I would not want Jimmy Hoffa in charge of my pension plan (or Jimmy Hoffa Jr., either). Historically, unions have shown themselves to be poor or even corrupt custodians (not the ringing condemnation you'd expect it to be, if you also look at the track record of governments).


      As for the rules governing unions, the union must have signatures of at least 30% of the workforce at an installation on a petition to the National Labor Relations Board in order to be permitted to hold a vote on whether or not to unionize, and after achieving that, must have a majority (of the workers, not of some smaller quorum of those present) in that vote in order for the union to go forward. This was all covered very nicely in The New Republic article on the attempts to unionize Amazon:


      I don't believe the pension change justifies unionization, since it's a matter of choice as to whether or not it affects you, for those who are most at risk; whether or not scare tactics based on the (admittedly, crappy) pension change will be sufficient to create a tide which lifts all boats, remains to be seen. Probably, it won't.

      I rather suspect that they have not moved forward, either because they lack the necessary signatures (which must be verifiable), or because they have the signatures, but have insufficient confidence that they will win, if put to a vote. In other words, "do not fight a battle you do not know you can win".

    • If you knew about Unions, you would know that the company does not call for a vote - they can't. The Union has to. I hardly think they will as they know they can't win.

      On signs being posted, e-mail policy, etc... Once any company allows one organization to post something anywhere in their facility - they have to let all people post what they want. I personally wouldn't want to wade through the mess in the halls to get to work from what opening a policy like that would cause.

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