You Have Nothing to Lose But Your Options

by on May 11, 2006 · 8 comments

Joe at TechDirt debunks a reactionary column about the need for tech workers to unionize:

Historically, a powerful union tool has been the ability to exclude non-members from the workforce. This is why unions are so vehemently against “right to work” laws, or these days, outsourcing labor overseas. Closely related to this is opposition to technologies that reduce the need for human employees, like in the example of the plumbers that were against waterless urinals. Though such a mentality is completely anathema to the tech world, it’s not surprising to see it at a column called The Luddite–the fear that technology would take jobs away from humans was the same fear that the original Luddites had. Even more important, perhaps, is that the delineation between labor and management–central to the union ethos–doesn’t hold at most technology companies. Often, company equity is part of an employee’s compensation package; so even if their wages seem to stagnate due to competition from Indian programmers, they benefit when their company saves money.


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