We recognize that there is a fundamental difference between management and labor. Being part of labor means that, at least for right now, you are destined to make your way through life with a little less than you’d hoped for. Not quite enough education, not quite enough capital, and not quite enough influence to make things go your way. You are a member of the working class instead a member of the leisure class. An employee instead of an employer. A worker instead of a supervisor. You have heard it said, “It’s a dirty job but somebody has got to do it!”. Well, that somebody is you. You are the person actually doing the work, and while you care about getting the work done, what you care most about is your well being. Management on the other hand, is not doing the actual work. They are supervising and making sure that the work gets done. Making sure that you do the work. And while they may care about you, what they care most about is seeing that you get the work done. That is the fundamental difference between management and labor.
Sometimes what’s best for you may not be what is best to ensure that the work gets done. Sometimes management may act as if they couldn’t care less, as we all do at times, about whether you’re getting a fair shake or not. As long as the work gets done. After all, it’s your fault that you’re a worker isn’t it? You could have gotten a better education when you were younger, or saved your money and opened your own business. Isn’t that right? Then you could be the supervisor. But you’re not.
You have to ensure that you will be treated fairly and with respect, because you are the one who does the work. Here is how to do it. First of all, take pride in your work. Do the work you are supposed to do in return for what you are paid. Next, decide that , as far as you are able, you will not allow yourself or other workers to be treated unfairly or disrespected. Be bold enough to take advantage of the communication lines between labor and management. Don’t be quiet. File a grievance if you have to . Don’t leave it for the other fellow to do it. Finally, make a conscious effort to act jointly with your fellow workers to make sure that your place of work is a good place to work, where the needs of everyone are taken into consideration, as we all give our best effort to get the job done. There is a price to be paid for all this . It may mean having a conflict or misunderstanding with management. It may even mean finding another job. But if every worker will decide that their first loyalty will be to their fellow employees, we can have a work place that we can look forward to coming to every morning. When that happens you can be sure that all the work will get done and management will be happy too. Are you a member of the union? The real union? The one where the dues are paid in reputation, and backbone, and caring? Isn’t it time you joined? Isn’t it time you made it clear to your coworker that they need to join too? Then you’ll see what a union can really do.