This position assumes that everyone plays by the rules.
I busted my ass at my old job, like, SERIOUSLY. I once went three months working 12 hour days without a day off, I would come in when they called me at 3am to fix a server no one else wanted to touch. I took every training class I could and tried to get as much experience as possible on every piece of equipment I could get my hands on.
I took on special projects, traveled all over the country, and was the “go to” guy when it came to any kind of complicated electronic or computer problem, I asked for promotions and was constantly told “it was coming” right up to when I was laid off and replaced by a guy right out of college that they paid half of what they paid me. This was after I put up with wage freezes, the cost of my health insurance doubling and loss of profit sharing bonuses.
And yes, I looked for another job, even before being laid off. It was bullshit, there was nothing out there. After getting laid off, it took me eight months to get another job and what I was continually told every time I was turned down is that I was “over qualified” or that they “couldn’t pay me a wage that my experience would demand.” - That’s great for business and the bottom line, but it’s also part of the reason we are in the mess that the U.S is in now.
Of course unemployment is high, companies are expecting more from less people, work the employees more and if they bitch about it, damn near 9% of the population doesn’t have a job, it’s easy to replace you.
Of course the economy sucks, people are being paid the same adjusted for inflation that they were ten years ago, but now gas is damn near $4 a gallon, food’s gotten more expensive, everything costs more than it did before and people are feeling crunched.
Technically, yes, you are only entitled to the wages and benefits you negotiate for, but what if the wages everyone negotiates for are shit, no one’s willing to offer up a good living wage any more because they know every sorry motherfucker out there is desperate for a job.
When I first entered the corporate workforce in the mid 90’s, companies would call ME, offering me a job, I would say, “Well, so in so over at (other company) offered me $2 an hour more plus a company car”.
And they would say, “Well, we’ll pay you $3 an hour more, pay for your gas and pay you $200 a month extra to drive your own car”.
You try that now days, and they will say, “Next!” - corporations do owe us a fair and decent wage, if there is prosperity it should trickle down, not be concentrated at the top, this economic model isn’t sustainable.
It’s a race to the bottom, it’s like they feel they won’t be competitive until wages are comparable to a factory worker in a third wold country.
Is that REALLY what we want for our country?