|Unions Go Hi-Tech|
|Key Words||Immigration, illegal immigration, resources, worker shortage, recessionInternet employees, layoffs, stock options, workers, job security, pay, working conditions, unions, sick-out, raises|
Internet employees were once the millionaires or hoped to be in the future. However, as financing for dot-coms has dried up, so layoffs have increased, and stock options have diminished in value. Suddenly, workers in online firms care more about job security, pay and working conditions.
Some, especially support staff, are turning to unions. For example, at Etown.com in San Francisco, service representatives are voting on whether to join the Northern California Media Workers Guild. They say that promises of pay raises were not kept, that the employees were not listened to, and following a sick-out to protest, four were fired. Management claims that wages are competitive, the workweek is fixed at 40 hours, and that there is an open-door policy. At Amazon.com, 450 headquarters customer service representatives and 5000 workers at eight distribution centers are contemplating joining an affiliate of the Communication Workers of America because of the prospect of the distribution centers moving to low-cost locales, and the attendant job insecurity.
Some observers are worried that if unionization is successful, the same employee relations problems that occur in the Old Economy may begin to affect the New Economy.
(Updated January 1, 2001)
|Source||Jon Swartz, "Online firms may get a blast from past: unions," USA Today, November 30, 2000.|
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