Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Fifth and last propaganda session: the more sessions, the more they stay the same

You are smart: you have patiently and politely listened to the repetitive arguments trying to make you believe not trying to change anything is the best choice.

I should not worry or doubt one second your capacity to see through this attempt and in fact I don't. 

It's more my own frustration of having been forced to listen silently because I know better than wasting energy in useless debates. 

Therefore I'll resist the temptation to go on and on when our daily reality is the best antidote.

Please excuse the few remarks I cannot prevent myself to make: at least you are not obliged to read them and thank you if you do with all my apologies for not being the best advocate I'd like to be for our own common interests.

As I think about what we heard today and what I am trying to summarize now I feel it's like closing arguments in a trial.

During those 5 sessions Lionbridge has tried to convince us they are on our side and that our best interests are better taken care of by dealing with them on a one on one basis.

They have to convince us of that so that we decide and vote against our own interests: our best interest is not aligned with Lionbridge's best interest, at least the way LB is presently managed. 

LB only wants to maximize it's profits by giving us as little as possible. 

This situation is best defended by preventing us to organize and present a united front. 

They have to convince us a union is a bad idea that is against our own interests while of course the exact oppose is true.

If they have been able to make you believe the present balance of power is the most favorable to your interests they'll win. 

I am always amazed when people vote against their own interests but it happens very often.

Such is the power of the dominant ideology: the ideas that are the most frequently expressed, that represent the dominant interests, dominate.

In our case LB's dominant self interest is to keep paying us as little as possible, as they have managed to do and as they kept telling us they would continue to do.

Bottom line: whom do you trust as having your best interests at heart?

A few points they made:

LB seemed concerned about union dues. As mentioned earlier our proposed goal is $2 per month, $10 for this year if you agree about this rate. Is it excessive? You are not obliged to join the union, even at this rate.

It was ironic to hear again Obama care trumpeted as a benefit to come thanks to Lionbridge's generosity when it's a legal obligation and it's not even clear their proposal will be more interesting than what you eventually already have (through your spouse/partner for instance) nor how much we would have to pay anyway.

Is having a union going to be very time consuming?
To the point where you don't have time for your kids or for any leisure? 

You could almost cry at this argument if it was not coming from a company that does not provide any paid time off, no paid family time, nothing.

It was a bit much but how revealing of how out of touch they are (while they -of course- do have paid time off for themselves).

On our side, this whole election process did not require one big meeting: almost everything happened during short conversations during breaks and lunches with an extensive use of email and the blog.

Who would remain focused on physical meetings when one can use the net?

Of course we remained completely available when someone wanted to talk.

We are a small group of people who have been in the same boat for quite a while and we can relate on a different level than what can be shared with management.

Asking for basic benefits is not rocket science and who is not for it?

It's true we have been through many changes except for remaining classified as temps and not gaining any raise or real benefit like paid time off of any kind for 2,5 years: no paid sick leave, no paid family leave, not one cent, not one day.

Can you believe you have any chance to get anything of this kind by yourself and only for yourself?

The 12+ people who signed the cards asking for an election did it because they believed it was the right thing to do to defend the interests we all share that Lionbridge has been refusing to address with the one on one individual system they want to maintain.

You have already been subjected to too many propaganda sessions, just remember the text of the notice Lionbridge was forced to email to each of us: we have the right to organize. Why not exercise this right?

Thank you for your patience

Take good care

PS: yes I did not comment on the lack of unions in the high tech industry. 

It would take too long but as v-dashes at the bottom of the lab scale we know all about the discrimination and the huge inequalities created by the high tech industry that would like the public to believe all the employees are treated like royalty. 

You know better. 

It's true that creating a union in such an environment would be quite a change. 

A good change.

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