Will Paula rouse the rabble (Was Kautsky parle)

james withrow withrow21 at webtv.net
Mon Sep 7 10:05:25 PDT 1998

Paula from Sat the 5th: "I have inquired of my bosses more humane, but willingly blind wife about gaining access to their retirement vehicle (didn"t mention anything about the match, just said I'd maxed out my IRA and needed other options. She referred to their financial planner, noting she didn't think it was possible. I said I read in the book by the PBS money lady that if they had a retirement vehicle that allowed for more than their $4000 IRA contribution (I know they do, their 28 year old restaurant & catering does quite well) then they must have such a plan. That was yesterday,

<<<snipetty snip snip>>>

Anyway I'm not sure what I should do about this pension-plan thing. I know he won't comply. What should my next step be? I work a short week for really decent money, that's hard to find, but..

<<<lotsa snipping>>>

I really need input from you union folk about this pension situation Thanks-Bye"

Here's my take on what you should do to win your coworkers a pension plan. But first, what's your motivation here? What's your primary goal? Do you want your coworkers to be covered by a pension plan or do you want to rouse the rabble? Both are excellent goals.

If you want to get the pension plan, I would start by talking to your inhumane boss one-on-one and pretend while you're talking to him that he's a real human being with feelings of noblesse oblige toward his employees.

Start by mentioning that a pension plan would be something the employees need desperately. Try to get him to imagine the impending prospect of all these people he's been supervising going into a retirement of poverty dependent on only Social Security (if there will even be a system left to depend on-- nod nod wink wink). A pension plan would make his employees more committed to his workplace and give him peace of mind, etc. etc. In fact, if you can pick out the most deserving employee to base this on, personalizing your plea, that could help. And then at the end you can always mention that part about the law. The point of this plan, of course, is to give him a way to save face.

Much of this turns on the law and enforcement of the law. If you're right about the laws surrounding pension plans, you should still remember that the law is worthless unless you can actually prove they have a pension plan covered under the law. And, how are you going to prove that? Unfortunately, in practice, due process laws apply to the wealthy more than to the poor.

If you want to rouse the rabble, to bring the spirit of a union into your workplace, that's a different matter. If you can prove that they're breaking the law, I'd suggest pulling the Alinsky birth control trick. Your workplace and your coworkers will never be the same again.

In any case, I suggest buying a copy of "Power on the Job" by our own Michael Yates. We've had running thread about the Left and its tendency to talk to itself in unapproachable jargon. Yates's book explains the options available to people in the workplace in clear, easy-to-understand language. He covers not only unionizing, but the many options of forming a union. (It should be required reading for all organizers. There's a tendency for the professionals to adopt one style of organizing and then to try to apply it to all situations.)

Paula, let us know what happens.

James in Philly

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