The latest episode of Build for Tomorrow discusses the complex issues regarding the four-day work week.


Thought: Labor Unions are happening because we are all desperate to do something to fix this fucked up society. The structure and law of our government prevent us from having any meaningful impact Democratically beyond voting. Unionizing is perhaps the one way we can take some power into our own hands within the bounds of the law. And even if companies are treating workers well, I suspect we’re going to see the energy of our generation, and those younger, directed into unionization. It’s not a bad long-term deal as if we control many large unions, we can then eventually translate that into a larger influence on government itself.

The timing of it is just a shame. The right played the patient long game, and we can do the same. But when it comes to climate change and other issues, the long game might not be fast enough, even if it works.

Meanwhile, in Australia…

If you want the trains to run on time, you have to pay the engineers.

Dennis: I told you, we’re an anarcho-syndicalist commune. We take it in turns to be a sort of executive officer for the week…

Who knew Blizzard had offices in Albany, NY?

They used to be an independent videogame company called Vicarious Visions, but they got bought out by Activision/Blizzard and were merged into the Borg Collective.

The latest episode of Build For Tomorrow is topical and great.

The segment with Matt Plapp is absolute gold.

This could easily be a well-timed web scraping story, but I’m gonna put it in the labor thread for this quote.

One flight attendant said of the current situation affecting Sequence Decoder that they had “never seen a company go out of their way to make life harder for their workers.”

Was this flight attendant born yesterday?

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There’s a lot of issues going on here, but I want to focus mostly on the labor aspects.

This is not a public hospital. If public emergency services have to bail them out of a difficult situation, that shouldn’t be free. Imagine if someone runs a concert hall and doesn’t hire enough security. One day there’s a dangerous situation, should they be able to call the cops to get free help? Should they not be somehow legally liable for having that situation occur, even if in the end all harm was averted?

I say no. They should have a mandatory minimum staffing requirement by law. If they fail to meet it, they should be barred from operating. If they operate anyway, they should be held legally liable, even if there are no actual damages. If public emergency personnel must come to work for their private business because they failed to comply, they should have to pay for that. Taxpayers shouldn’t have to foot it, that’s for sure.

Even if it was a public hospital, this is a major fuckup. The fuckup was understaffing. Understaffing is the fault of the administration. They didn’t hire enough people. Whether that was due to lack of training, lack of planning, failure to attract new talent, that’s the fault of administrators. It’s not anyone else’s fault. Those administrators were absolutely home sleeping while the ER was a shambles, and they will likely face no real consequences. That’s some bullshit. The few staff that remain and get overworked shouldn’t have to suffer because someone else didn’t hire enough co-workers.

If you don’t have enough people, you’ll just have to provide less service. Be open fewer hours. Close some departments of the hospital and have those people work in the ER instead if they are able.

Of course, this just might expose the larger issue. Even if they do this, there just might not be enough medical resources available to provide for the number of patients. There just simply isn’t enough to go around. You can only squeeze so much extra from the staff that are there. They can’t magically expand their abilities to meet an infinite level of demand. Triage will not have to just decide who gets treated first, but who gets treated at all.

Could just be a sad and fucked up reality. Our society has failed. We failed to train and employ enough people to take care of ourselves. Perhaps the suffering we face is not a problem in need of a solution, but consequences to be faced.

The medical field as a whole has traditionally had some of the worst labor practices. There’s a famous doctor named William Stewart Halsted - Wikipedia. This guy was responsible for many great changes in medical practice we are thankful for. But one of those things was he largely defined the system of medical residency as it is today. He overworked the fuck out of his staff, and had people on call 362 days a year.

How did he work so much? Literally cocaine. We require our medical people to work at a pace of a cocaine addict, but without the cocaine. I’m not saying giving all the doctors cocaine is the answer. I’m saying we need to completely change the expectation so that they only work the same amount as people in other professions.

If the medical administrators don’t like it because they can’t afford it, good. Let’s end for-profit medicine. Instead, set a minimum level of staffing and care mandated by law, and entirely publicly funded. Have the entire hospital full of public servants at all hours, not just for one night when the ER is too busy.

Minor point: ER Nurse requires a particular set of skills and some specialized certifications that just being a regular nurse does not. You cannot simply shift nurses from other assignments into the ER and expect them to succeed there (also possible legal issue doing so).