Monday, January 21, 2008

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King Jr. Day was originally founded as a holiday promoted by labor unions in contract negotiations. After King's death, Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan) introduced a bill in Congress to make King's birthday a national holiday, highlighting King's activism on behalf of trade unionists.

As someone previously mentioned, Hudson has decided that instead of giving its contractors six paid holidays as it has in the past, they have decided to give only five. The holiday that they got rid of? MLK day. Many firms and agencies have followed suit. So, sad, but I guess it is a sign of our times.


Anonymous said...

Never had MLK off! Even my public school I didn't have it off. On one job they gave me the choice of either MLK or YOm Kippur off, unpaid of course, but not both.

I look at my friend in the govt with his: 8 paid days off, 40 hour workweeks, and 4 day flex schedule workweek. He has the nerve to complain about his job. He should try 2100 hrs of billable hours.

Anonymous said...

I would take away all the temp paid holidays. you are a bunch of ingrates and you'd still be slaves to the agencies without any whatsoever. no good will comes from paying it out to the temps. still a bunch of miserable fuc*ks.

Anonymous said...

I'm relatively young (26), and I don't remember ever having "milk" day off for school. Perhaps it always coincided with regents week or something.

what really bothers me is that hudson pretty much has no holidays in the first six months of the year. It jumps from New Years' to Independence Day. No Presidents' day, no Memorial day, nothing.

MLK doesn't bother me as much since we just had the whole xmas holiday and new years. I was on the train today, and a substantial amount of people had to go to work. The regional rail lines were even running on regular schedules instead of "holiday" schedules.

President's day would've been nice. I remember the good old days in the 80s/90s when there was lincoln's birthday and washington's birthday as separate days. and some people even linked the two into a "presidents' week." Schoolteachers have it so easy.

The Original Chimpy Einler said...


At it again, Sybil? Your little temper tantrums lead me to believe that years of being in the closet have made you quite unstable.....the sort of person who'd actually enjoy the blanket party you so deserve (followed, of course, by a "Clockwork Orange"-style session of being forced to watch a double feature of "Epic Movie" and "Meet the Spartans").

Anonymous said...

You were never off for MLK day? Where did you go to school? Ku Klux Klan prep?

Anonymous said...

Have to concur- where in the U.S. do they require students to attend on MLK Day since even wall street (hardly a liberal socialist bastion) was also shut down today? Sometimes the crazies who post on here are funny, and other times, such as now, they are just scary.

Anonymous said...

The world markets are in financial meltdown as we speak. The Dow will likely drop 500-1000 points tomorrow. Trust me when I say this, we have MUCH MUCH bigger problems than getting pto for MLK day, although that type of thinking by Hudson is what got us to this point in the first place.

Time to stock up on ammunition and food my fellow coders, even the big law associates will lose their jobs to the economic destruction that is occurring right now as we speak.

Anonymous said...

I have been on the phone with my broker all day trying to pull my money out of the market as soon as possible. I predict tomorrow will be Black Tuesday.

Anonymous said...

Look, lets ignore which holiday they got rid of, and focus on the fact that people who were working for Hudson got screwed. And the announcement came a mere 3 weeks before the PTO day that they stripped from contractors that were already on the job "under contract." Lets talk sick out. When should we do it? Can we get enough people?

"It does require some organization among the contractors on the job. If enough people call in sick on one day it is a show of power that organization may exist. If 300 people on one large project call in sick, it will effectively shut down the project for one day. Yes, the contractors will not get paid for that day. But a strike fund will not be necessary for such a move. The contractors will not be fired for such a move. What will happen is that the law firm and the contract firm will do is start digging and trying to find out whose idea it was. They might fire those that they suspect (which might be illegal as they are not allowed to fire someone attempting to form a union). The other thing that will happen is that they will try to figure out what they can do to prevent this in the future. This will come in the form of asking the contractors what they want.

To prevent the breaking of a fledgling union the answer is simple. Do not rat out fellow contractors, and respond to questions of what you want to change to prevent this with simple demands that relate to your specific job site. For Hudson employees it might be getting that sixth PTO day back, getting 7 or 8 PTO days a year instead of 5, or getting $5 more an hour. Or if you are on that job in Philly, getting the same pay as Newark. We are down here earning $30/hour and overtime does not kick in until 45 hours/week.

Simple demands that are realistic will work if they are echoed by everyone. Unrealistic demands at this point would be things like internet and cars for late night workers. Those are demands for a union to address. They are unrealistic because as the overpaid idiot associates who will soon be joining our ranks when the economy tanks point out they sound whiny and trivial. We are supposed to be working after all. These demands would not pass muster with our employers or the rest of the world.

You want someone to communicate demands to the law firm and/or contract firm, then use the lightening rods that you have. Use the bloggers to send e-mailed demands. Ask Tom the Temp, the Black Sheep, the Temp of the MyAttorney blog in DC to write them and tell them what you want. They could maintain their anonymity using their pre-established aliases. They might just be willing to do the messaging pre-unionization, after all they already give us a voice. If they are not willing, then I am sure that when people are questioned about the obvious sick out, all answers being the same will get the message across.

If one such sick out at a major doc review site could be accomplished prior to officially starting a union, then there would be little question in the minds of any contractor that unionization could occur on a larger scale, and you could formalize the union and rack up members like crazy. People won't even mind paying the union dues that would be applied to the strike fund. And as for the people who are happy with their doc review positions it will be a simple matter of why not join the union.

A show of power like this would be more effective then a union drive by a few people at a large job site. Especially when you consider the types of personalities you meet doing this sort of work at a large site. I cannot tell you the number of people who are fresh out of law school and happy enough just to be working at a place that pays them something close to what they think that they should be making. They trick themselves in believing they are happy for a few months. Or longer. It is not usually until they have been left out in the cold a time or two by a contract firm that they start to realize things are not going to get better for them. Even then some of them like it because they like mindless clicking and have no regard for their future career or future wages. You also have several of the type that are doing this while taking classes to find some other line of work (because they either do not like the law anymore, or they do not want to be mindless coders for the rest of their lives). You also have those that are winding down into retirement, who wouldn’t mind pocketing a few extra bucks. These people might all jump on the bandwagon if they know that there is enough momentum to accomplish results." From comments of Anonymous 1:41 AM on the Freelancer’s Union Post.

Anonymous said...

As funny as "ku klux klan prep" was, it is highly likely that most NY kids don't even notice MLK day because it does in fact fall within the regents week.

This year, MLK was the 21st. A quick scan of the NYS regents exams shows the following:

Tue, Jan 22nd: Global History in the a.m., English Part I in the afternoon.
Wed, Jan 23rd: English Part II
Thurs, Jan 24th: U.S. History, Math, Chemistry, Physics

the list goes on.

And since most kids tend to take the regents exams in June, they would have this week off. So before people start crying racism or whatnot, maybe there are alternate explanations.

Anonymous said...

In honor of MLK day I demand some fried chicken and watermelon!