Friday, December 03, 2004

Slashdot | EA Reconsiders Overtime Position

I don't support mistreating workers, but that doesn't mean I'm opposed to companies having positions where you work 80-hr week jobs.

Therefore you support mistreating workers. You can't have it both ways.

My grandfather worked in the textile mills in Lawrence, MA, circa 1905. You worked every day for 12 hours including Saturday, and you worked hard, and if you were sick and didn't show up or you didn't work as hard as you were supposed to, then they fired you, and there were a zillion immigrants standing outside shivering waiting to take your job.

You got paid by how much cloth you wove. If your loom broke, you sat there idle, thinking about how you were going to put food on the table that evening if the loom fixer didn't come by in time.

The foreman would actually walk up and down the line of weavers and put his hand on their backs to see who was sweating and who wasn't, and God forbid you weren't a sweaty bastard like the rest of the slaves, because you were gone instantly.

I have a problem with this. So should you. There is nothing conceptually different between the Lawrence mills and the environment people are describing at EA. Just wait for EA to open its "Bangalore technology center," if it hasn't done so already and I missed it.

That's why there are labor laws. That's why unions were formed. If you let businesses make people work like slaves, pretty soon everyone will be working like slaves, and then we'll all be slaves.

So it has to be stopped, and this HR asshole can whine all he wants about EA "discovering" that it is understaffing its projects and overworking its employees (after developing how many games, now? Come on. What a crock of shit). Anyone who didn't know whose side HR is on should read this guy's memo carefully. He promises nothing. He pretends surprise. He cajoles. He soothes. He's worried about the process. He's got great ideas for the future. The labor laws on the books are obsolete, and just don't apply to EA or other high tech jobs. Because high tech "creative" people are special. They need to work 80 hours a week. California should recognize this. It's a good thing, not a bad thing.

Yeah right. The guy makes me puke, as does every other HR asshole I've ever worked with, both in senior management and as a programming grunt.

Oh the horror!


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