mercredi 11 mars 2009

Union betrayal

Any lingering doubt that the unions are, at source, social police is dispelled upon reading their reaction to the 10% pay cut workers at Toyota are going to enjoy. They cravenly argue that at least the workers who make this sacrifice will still be in a job "when the upturn comes".
Wishful thinking on two counts at least. The upturn, seriously might never come. If 'never' means in ten years time. Which has been the Japanese experience. Secondly, the workers could all be fired anyway (like these poor bastards who gave up 20% of thir income and were sacked by their laughing bosses a month or so later) if, as seems increasingly likely, the recession transforms into a depression and there is no one to buy all those surplus cars the system keeps churning out.
And it is there where the crux of the matter is. It would be a mistake to support one side or the other here - the car worker or the car bosses. The question, instead, is does the world really need all those cars in the first place. There are jobs that need doing that aren't being done - resources could be allocated in far more efficent ways than producing the latest Lexus D series or whatever. But that would be to question the assumptions of the chaotic and wasteful system that we are forced to endure. As lefties, one must empathise with the workers at these plants, but in reality, there is far more important and useful work needed to be done than putting wheels on unneeded cars. Then again, it would have been better if they'd actually stood up to their greedy bosses and gone on strike instead of meekly accepting their pay cut.