Working “Full” Time


Employers will always prefer to pay you cash instead of benefits. Benefits will ensure you are taken care of, cash is not so definite. When an employer pays cash only to full time employees, they only have an obligation to the pay rate- not to your needs. There is no guarantee full time employment for cash will support you. So what does “full” mean exactly? There are specified rules about the hours, both in contracts and government, but these are different everywhere. Even what we agree on socially as “full” varies depending on the population. “Full time” always means a different thing. There is no good definition of what it means to be fully employed, consequently its not something you can easily attach a cash value to.

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The vague nature of “full” puts workers at a great disadvantage. Full should be reciprocal. If I’m going to spend a full portion of my life towards your company, you’d better be providing me fully in return. What does that mean exactly? Here’s a fair benchmark: being allowed to reproduce, have medical access, own your own shelter and retire with dignity. Sounds like a fair trade right? A lifetime of labour in exchange for a humble comfortable life. . . . . I work with a part-timer who has 2 other “full” time jobs, ironically, he seems to be supporting only one family- go figure. ‘Full’ is somehow stack-able.

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Ever been to a coffee franchise at 3am? Its the same parents working 6-7 days a week! Makes you wonder whats going to happen if one of the parents has an accident; the child rearing operates on shifts as well.

Resources that could have been spent on wages are instead allocated to the wasteful, pointless pursuits of the wealthy. Consider the nanny who gives most of her attention to rich babies instead of her own kids. While the wealthy parents, who are rich enough to stay home 24/7, can’t be bothered to care for their own kids. Thereby managing to wreck two families worth of children thanks to golf, cocktails and vanity.

bronze-statues-of-kid-golfersBronze statues of children playing golf on a golf course . . .no children allowed.

Employers are using a basic marketing strategy: attach the same big word to an increasingly shrinking offer. The deal gets worse, but the grin remains strong. “Sorry everyone, we’re no longer offering eye care to full time employees. . . .You’re still gonna work here fully, we’re just not going to fully take care of your eyes anymore”. Pensions are disappearing, health plans, even company parties are in decline. Employers are becoming less obligated to take care of workers, its all being pushed down to money. We will pay you this much for this many hours of work, you handle your own affairs with the money we’ve given you. . . .This puts the worker at risk; with benefits there is no risk. If your employer is paying for your health, that’s that- its done. If you’re the one with the obligation to pay for your own health, well, there is no guarantee your budget will permit that. If I’m sick i’d rather someone take me to the hospital than give me some valueless slips of paper.

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Your needs are no longer necessarily taken care of through full time employment when you get paid in cash.

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16 Responses to “Working “Full” Time”

  1. ponch58 Says:

    As a self employed person, (I don’t work well with others) the only thing that would get me back “workin for the man” would be to receive benefits for my family. Health benefits should be commonplace and employers should be more accountable for the well being of their workers.

    I don’t usually go for all this union stuff, but employers providing health benefits for their employees only benefits themselves. How many studies must be done that prove how much more efficient a happy worker will work before employers realize the importance of giving back?

    I love that in a country where we have “free healthcare” the subject of health benefits through the workplace is a common conversation.

  2. remistevens Says:

    it is weird. i guess there’s health, and then there’s HEALTH. the gov picks and chooses what counts. you need a heart, but you don’t need teeth- go figure.

    Unions are an absolute necessity, someone needs to set the bar on how much workers deserve. Otherwise we’re all on cash only. Corporations employ us and sell us our needs, give you a raise, but jack up your medicine- better they just give you the medicine.

    If we were all in unions i promise you the world would keep turning. The advantage of using slave labourers would not exist, so paying your unionized workers would not put you at a disadvantage. If it was everywhere, no company would suffer from higher wages and good benefits. The real problem? Too many people are willing to be bitches so they can get a new swimming pool and a fancy car. It forces the rest of us, with less material pursuits, to either sell our souls or be in poverty.

  3. julescosby Says:

    Being involved in a public sector strike last year was pretty hard on me. The public sector, comparatively speaking, has great benefits compared to the private. There were no shortage of people who were only TOO happy to point this out.

    Of course, it’s funny when people state a ‘fact’ like ‘union x has so much already: THEY’RE JUST BEING GREEDY’. There is no mention of HOW they got those benefits, nor of the company’s logic of ‘restrict, restrict, restrict’. Everything is static to those who don’t care to think.

    If a free market truly existed, then no, we wouldn’t need unions. Everyone would have the power to sell their commodity (in our case labour) freely. Since no such thing has ever come CLOSE to existing, unions are an necessity.

    As much as it pains me to say, Remi, I absolutely agree with everything you’ve posted.

  4. remistevens Says:

    love you too man,

    As for “restrict restrict restrict” i just can’t understand why people think this is perfectly normal and necessary. A one way system is not sustainable. If you continuously take away from labourers, eventually they become slaves. The logic is incredibly simple. Keep draining the pool, it will empty, its absolutely guaranteed.

    People making crap wages without benefits gripping about how union workers get paid too much instead of trying to form their own unions. . . . . Was i absent the day they inoculated the entire middle class against common sense?

  5. remistevens Says:

    Just a clarification in my fancy graphs there as well- I’m expecting someone might point out that an employee’s benefit plan will cost the company the same amount whether he’s unlucky or not. Of course if many employees use up all their benefits, the company’s premiums will go up. Generally the overall usage will affect the company’s expense. This was probably not even worth mentioning and I’m sure it was uninteresting to anyone who made it this far.

  6. julescosby Says:

    Yeah really I’ve never understood that either. Instead of bitching about your neighbour making a union wage, JOIN A UNION. But I think you may have opened a valuable door of discussion with that appeal to common sense.

    ‘Common sense’ isn’t a neutral term. It can be pretty damned reactionary sometimes. If anything, ‘common sense’ is anti-union.

    I know it’s not exactly close to home, but I just saw more footage of a free health care clinic held in an American stadium (a STADIUM!) by altruistic doctors. These aren’t ‘the illegals’, this is the battered working class!

    I know it’s not quite so simple as everybody joining a union tomorrow. There are barriers upon barriers erected institutionally to prevent workers from doing so.

    Think of all the health-care dollars that are being spent in America so rich people can have whiter teeth, smoother skin and less fat. Then think of all those poor bastards waiting in line in the middle of the night to get their kid a simple check-up.

    I believe that if you earn your money, you should be entitled to spend it on whatever you want. But a society that puts liposuction for the rich ahead of basic health care for the poor is sick, twisted, and certainly not the ‘City on the Hill’ shining the Enlightened light of Providence down upon the shadowy savageness of the world – something the US has claimed for about 230 years now.

  7. remistevens Says:

    ‘Common sense’ was a bad choice. Its been used in so many stupid ways it has absolutely no meaning whatsoever. Common is whatever they’ve bombarded us with the most since thats what sticks in the general consciousness.

    But the barriers are more social than institutional. If %100 of your staff wants a union and you can’t get away with firing the lot- you’re going to have a union. If you do fire everyone, but all your new hires are equally interested in unionizing, you can either close up shop or get with the program.

    America was a good idea gone terribly wrong by way of a greedy elite; somebody call Karl Marx to make him feel better.

    Governments are completely infected by corporate money, we can no longer rely on our governments to stand up for us. You’ll have way more luck bettering your situation voting in a union than voting in your country. Unions are the last only hope for the working class and they are on the decline because most of the population is made up of morons. The rest are discussing African starvation over caviar and cocktails.

  8. lipbat7845 Says:

    How can you say unions are the be all, end all! I see unions tearing apart this country! The union is destroying the steel companies, the union causes road crews to stand around drinking coffee instead of working, the union keeps people too protected and comfortable in their jobs. It’s fear that makes humanity work! Without fear people will not work harder.

    Fear is the basic foundation in the armed forces. Without fear, our armies would be destroyed!! Don’t fall into the void! Be afraid! Fight for what is yours! Don’t just expect it!

  9. remistevens Says:

    Your country is being torn apart because corporations prefer employing slaves in Asia to paying fair wages in the US.

    You don’t need to be fearful. The US is not threatened by ANY foreign country. You waste trillions fighting pointless foreign wars instead of building your infrastructure.

    Your country is failing because too many people in your country don’t understand the world and are shitting their pants that some malicious force is coming to kill them. They close their brains and wait for someone else to figure out the solution. Your government sends its forces out to destroy countries so that American companies can make billions rebuilding it and claiming the assets. How much of that money do you think you get? Remember corporations wised up and went global 20 years ago, only the masses are dumb enough to still consider themselves nationalists first.

    Do you know what “consistency” means?
    Union members have what they’ve got because they fought for it.

  10. exuvia Says:

    “only the masses are dumb enough to still consider themselves nationalists first.”

    Ain’t that a bitch…

    Consumers are one; one big world of consumers. Hail the Organizations, the leaders and founding fathers of our One World nation.

    You are an Individual to yourself and a few people around you but not where it matters.

    Democracy as a game has been won by capital and it sure ain’t the size of your paycheck. Money-bought-knowledge-to-make-money has bought you OUT.

    Lets study the Grecian classics for solace.

  11. exuvia Says:

    The short cut in the game is called lobbying. Letting money flow to influence choice and decision making.

    Makes a regular 2 cents voter look a real fool.

  12. remistevens Says:

    Imagine the power the common man could have if we actually used our ability as the one consumer. Corporate got their shit together, what’s taking us so long. . . ..Instead they’ve got us trampling each other for plastic shit to celebrate our holidays.

    The thing with two cents is that its supposed to be yours. The regular voter hasn’t been able to bring his actual opinion to the table since scheming politicos bonded together and created partisan politics.

  13. exuvia Says:

    We would be it, only…

    In general they feed our senses and keep us from thinking about much more.

    We eat from Corporate, they have us down. They are sweet, enticing, promising and supply.

    Imagine a group of consumers gone cold turkey; a total threat to western values.

  14. remistevens Says:

    I own no cell phone, no car and buy clothing maybe once a year. Go figure, i’m still alive and working.

    Planning a post on the ‘feeding our senses’ thing. Creeps me out how there seem to be fewer and fewer flavours available. I remember candy and drink flavours when i was a kid that don’t seem to exist anymore. I know they’re just chemicals, but producing 1 thing will aways be cheaper than 5 kinds. Its in corporate’s best interest to ween us off diversity in our sense experiences. You won’t suffer any loss if you honestly don’t know what you’re missing- you know, like starving children in Africa not missing caviar since they’ve never tasted it.

    I’ll be eating cold turkey all next week.

  15. Jeff Ando Says:

    I was in a union for over 10 years.Unions are not perfect organizations by any means.I mean you still have a lot of nepotism.It kind of becomes a good ol boys network of its own.Kind of like a little government of its own.You have the union leadership that becomes the fat cats that are making sweetheart deals with the employers in order to get the contracts i.e. They will give in to the employer during negotiations of contracts in ways that may be detrimental to the average worker in order to keep their fat paychecks coming in in the form of union dues etc. Not to mention for the average union laborer there is a lot of politics on the job nepotism,etc that can even prevent you from getting jobs in the first place.In unions it comes down a lot of times that the rank and file member is pitted against the union leadership just as workers that work directly for corporations are pitted against the corporation as far as fighting for benefits working conditions etc..I mean it doesn’t matter if you pay your union dues every month as well as the union takes money out of every one of your paychecks ( A substantial amount (supposedly for your retirement etc..)I might ad) and the union at least the one that I was in does not guarantee you a pension. For example The union that I was in was a contract labor union They had rules governing who would be eligible for a pension or Pension eligibility requirements.They don’t sit you down and explain the rules to you when you get in the union.You’re just glad to have landed this great job.Well anyway the way my union worked I found out years later was You had to work at least a 1000 hours a year to be vested each year.But I found out after working as a contract laborer for these guys for over 10 years that there was a catch.You had to have at least five consecutive years of being vested.So to make a very long story short.With the way years over lap and living in hotels all over the place going from one job to the next.The union was able to break up my work in such a way that I was never vested.Meaning that all of the money that they took from me and thousands of other hard working Americans.I mean real hard work I was a steel worker.I won’t mention what union.All of that money is funneled into a slush fund that never gets distributed to the rank and file workers.The ones that actually earned it. By using tactics such as these. Among many other things of which I do not care to sit here and write about or am not privy to.This is just my observation from my little slice of this hell on earth. Wherever there is money involved people are going to find a way to work the system.It doesn’t matter if its union, non union corporation, Mafia, Gang I think that the problem is not so much a union verses non union problem.It is an inherent human problem.It is a distribution of wealth problem.From what I can see There is a certain status quo that will not soon change.

    • remistevens Says:

      Hey Jeff, really great comment thanks!

      You’re very right. Power is always going to corrupt, I’ve noticed the very same things with my union. It all creates an environment where the best potential leaders are reluctant to run for positions. Who wants to be chief when everyone blames the chief? Its a thankless job if you’re good, and it can be advantageous if you’re crooked. In fighting is more common than fighting with management. Its mostly politics and games.

      But you’ve still got to take the union over the corporate. As much as your “leaders” may have done to steal from you, union leadership is more your ally than corporate leadership. They’re going to want to keep good wages and benefits, things which benefit even the shortest term employee. The company’s position is naturally to pay you as little as possible to keep you productive.

      There is too much danger in negotiating alone, even if your only accomplices are crooks. 10 years of a good job was probably better than 10 years at Walmart.

      More importantly, consider the structure of your organization. Somewhere the documentation about getting vested was filed, they may have “forgot” to tell you, but the terms of your contract would have been available if workers requested it. As well, if you’re unhappy in a union, you can run for steward and do something about it. In a company the only way to move up is toe the line, there is no democracy. I’ll take a corrupt democracy over a dictatorship any day.
      Although i must admit, “fishy buisness” with even the voting process at my union seems prevalent. If things are bad enough democracy is lost even in the union.

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