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Monday, April 07, 2008

Workers' Rights: Paid Sick Time

Has it come to this? Businesses in California are lining up to oppose a bill introduced by Assemblymember Fiona Ma requiring paid sick leave for workers. The bill
guarantee[s] employees as many as nine days of paid sick leave a year to care for themselves or an ill family member. It also would apply to those recovering from domestic violence or a sexual assault.
This bill would apply to your average working person, blue-collar or low-level white-collar worker.

Executive level workers are usually given 10 days or more per year of paid sick leave. Of course, upper management gets, not just paid sick leave, but salaries averaging $600,000 and "other incentives," including paid vacation time, stocks, performance-linked and non-performance linked bonuses, et cetera, and those can add up. In fact, they added up to $11 billion for the top ten highest paid CEOs last year. From CNN Money, a brief snippet on executive pay compared to worker pay:
The report also compares the growth in average CEO pay – which was $11.8 million in 2004 – to the growth in the minimum wage. Had the minimum wage risen as fast as CEO compensation since 1990, the researchers calculated, it would now be $23.03 an hour instead of just $5.15. And the average production worker would be making $110,126 a year instead of $27,460.
So, the same companies that want to pay their CEOs millions a year regardless of how badly the company performs, also wants working stiffs to suck it up and show up at work even if they're sick as dogs or in pain from rape, beatings, assault, or whatever.

A sick worker is not a productive worker. We've all dragged our ass in to work when we were feeling sub-par. How much can you accomplish when your head is spinning, you're running a temperature, the words on your screen are blurry, you have to stop every few minutes to blow your nose or wheeze or cough or barf?

For $11 million a year, sure, we'd be happy to come in, sick or well. For five lousy fucking bucks an hour? Just kiss our collective ass, OK? The Sackamenna Bee article states, in part:
In the worst-case scenario, the mandate could lead to job loss or reduced work hours, said Denise Davis, a spokeswoman for the California Chamber of Commerce.

"In an already troubled economy, California should be seeking ways to stimulate job growth and avoid forcing costly mandates on employers," she said in a statement.

Ma said about 40 percent of the state's work force, between five million and six million workers, do not get paid when they stay home sick.

Her bill, which is scheduled to be considered Wednesday by the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee, would enable workers who had been on the job for at least 90 days to use paid sick leave accrued at the rate of at least one hour for every 30 hours worked.
You know what, Denise Davis? Why don't you just fuck off? You don't "stimulate job growth" by throwing away billions on CEO compensation and forcing the assembly line schmucks to show up hacking all over their fellow-workers and spreading disease, OK? Start cutting CEO compensation, if you want to cut labour costs. Give the poor schlemiels labouring in the bowels of your Metropolis a fair shake.

Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth the corn, motherfuckers. Or some day, like Pink Floyd's Sheep, those oxen will rise up and trample you under. My god, these bloodsuckers, living high on the hog, talking out both sides of their mouths, and wringing every last drop of blood out of taxpayers and working people.

Update: The NYT has a fine article on how CEO pay got to be so despicably high. Caveat: You need to register and log in.

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At 1:35 PM, Blogger Fade said...

you been blogrolled! Thanks for your visit-

At 4:43 PM, Blogger BadTux said...

"reduced work hours"... bwahahah! Look. Businesses *already* have as few workers on payroll working as few hours as possible. It's called "maximizing profits", and all businesses do it. Businesses are not charities employing people out of the goodness of their hearts, they're in business to make money, and they make money by minimizing costs as much as possible -- and the biggest cost of service industries is labor. So they're already squeezing the number of hours as low as possible while still being able to operate. They can't reduce work hours, otherwise there's not gonna be someone there to flip that burger or assemble that sandwich or whatever in a timely fashion and they'll lose customers.

Now, it can be argued that this will cause inflation because businesses will raise their prices to cover the additional costs. But inflation is already happening because of oil prices, this just happens to be a kind of inflation that puts money into people's pockets rather than takes it away.

In short, Denise Davis is blowing a line of reeking BULLSHIT, and she probably knows it, but has to spit the official Party jizzum out because, well, that's her job as a Party whore. I seriously doubt that she actually swallows that jizzum, you can't pay a whore enough to swallow something that venal, disgusting, and outright evil...

-- Badtux the Rude Penguin


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