Sunday, June 30, 2013

From GM to Microsoft, for a 'Treaty of Redmond'

In Who stole the American Dream, author Hedrick Smith tells (p.38) the story of GM and the Treaty of Detroit, how GM management negotiated with the United Auto Workers a 'grand bargain': shared prosperity for workers in return for labor peace. This 1950 deal was named 'Treaty of Detroit'.
Today what we need for the temps benefits is a Treaty of Redmond.
As Hedrick notices: 'Because the deal had the imprimatur of General Motors, it had a powerful ripple effect. It was soon matched by other automakers and then by major companies in other industries.' On could hope the same ripple effect would take place if, in reverse of what happened in 1999, Microsoft was taking the lead in promoting paid vacation (and other benefits) for the employees of the temp agencies they use. The difference with GM and 1950 (of course) is that there is no equivalent of the United Auto Workers and no strike.
Only what can be achieved with networking and the internet to hold Microsoft accountable to its Global Human Rights Statement.

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