Article 43


Thursday, October 20, 2005

Rising Of The Telecom Underclass Part 4

In CINDERELLA THE CONTRACTOR I witnessed how contracted telecom techies like me are respected by the people we report to at our assignments.  Today, as I prepare to take a few unpaid days off (the only kind we have) to board up my home in preparation for HURRICANE WILMA, the same thoughts are running through my head. 

In the good old days at AT&T when everyone treated everyone else with dignity and respect - the boss would insist we leave early to prepare our homes, and be with our familes. The company would support us financially with money, supplies, and time off, and emotionally with wellness programs.  In contrast - MY EXPERIENCE AS ONE shows temps and contractors are treated like things to be USED AND ABUSED - nothing else.

Even with a catastophic hurricane about to hit - the DIVIDER between workers is striking and the pervasive message is temps are LESSER people.

Over here at Sprint Engineering, a mass email was circulated to everyone at the office today - giving employees three paid days off if the building we work at is closed, or if those poor souls just need some time off to attend to personal matters brought on by the storm.  Us slaves don’t enjoy equal kindness or compassion from the staffing companies SELLING US and our skills, or the folks we’re working hard for.

And God forbid if I fall off a ladder or get hurt some other way boarding up my windows - because needing medical attention and/or not being able to work would mean immediate and certain financial collapse, since luxuries like paid time off, MEDICAL AND DISABILITY INSURANCE, are things us American casualties of FREE TRADE and the GLOBAL ECONOMY can’t afford, and don’t have.  Similar issues face Americans living in POVERTY. We’re nothing but worthless SERFS.  It’s demoralizing and shattering to one’s spirit.

Being in an unloving environment (anywhere - not just at work) and treated with indignity as worthless objects, instead of human beings, may eventually turn us former middle-class telecom techies into unloving individuals, perhaps psychologically (besides financially) scarred for life as our hearts gradually turn to stone from exposure to insulting attitudes of indifference.  And - our NUMBERS ARE GROWING, along with the NATIONAL POVERY RATE since 2000. 

Having these two classes of people working together doing the same job with it’s socio-economic DISTINCTIONS, may have a DIVIDE AND CONQUER effect, and may backfire on all of us, should us have-nots organize into a collective possibly turning MILITANT, or start acting out of ill-will towards our fellow human beings.

If current trends of THIS COUNTRY’S and the WORLD’S labor policies continue - there may be a lot more serfs, a lot more stone hearts, and a lot more friction.

At least Cinderella had a good ending. But that was a fairy tale. Exploitation and rotten treatment of parts of the US and global labor pools, and it’s damaging effect on our well-being - isn’t.

Rising of the Telecom Underclass
PART 1 · PART 2 · PART 3 · PART 4 · PART 5 · PART 6

Posted by Elvis on 10/20/05 •
Section Telecom Underclass
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