Wednesday, August 5, 2009

"I think the interview went well..."

Workers at a South Korean auto factory are protesting over the loss of their jobs and have staged a sit-in with about 500 laid-off employees. Now, call me a tool of Big Business, but I've always been a little skeptical about this particular reason for labor action... it's one thing if the workers are protesting against unsafe or unpleasant working conditions, a lack of benefits, inadequate pay, etc. In general, I side with labor on that one, when their demands are reasonable.

But when the protest is about lay-offs, it's harder for me to see the labor perspective. Yes, I know that on occasion companies will try to increase their profits by reducing their workforce and forcing those who remain to work extra hours or take on an unfair amount of work, but I have to believe this is rare because it doesn't really benefit the company all that much to do this. Particularly in a weak economy, it seems to me that usually lay-offs are the result of shrinking business and the company either not having enough work for everyone, or not having enough money to pay everyone. All the protesting in the world won't make more money magically appear...

"Hey boss, are you hiring again yet?"
So I'd already be scratching my head a bit about what exactly these employees want from the company. They want the company executives to go back in time and not suck as much? Well, okaaay.... But what really makes the protesters crazy in this case is the following:

For a second day, police battled laid-off workers armed with metal rods and throwing projectiles.

Now, I know that in the early days of organized labor, physical confrontations were not uncommon. Still, it seems to me that locking yourself in and hitting people with metal rods is not the most effective way to get your job back. I mean, come on... Oh, and by the way, some of the projectiles they are throwing are firebombs. Um... I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that if Ssangyong was having trouble paying its workers before, the problem can only get worse now that these dickwads have torched the factory.

Sorry to side with big business, but violent protests against lay-offs are just plain retarded. Sometimes you get screwed over at no fault of your own, and there's nothing you can do about it. If every time any person were screwed over, they started lobbing firebombs at police...

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