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Monahans News

August 14, 1997

Monahan's Well

By Jerry Curry

These comments are not being made because the continuing national strike
by UPS drivers is costing this newspaper about $40 a month extra, which
to many of you does not seem that much. Those in the newspaper business
look at $40 as two twenty dollar bills. And two twenty dollar bills is
money in any community newspaper's language.
The UPS strike, stripped to its bare essentials, is not that difficult
to understand. In addition, it has brought a long forgotten word back to
the language of the average American. That word is "scab." A scab, in
this context, refers to those who line up with the corporation against
their fellow drivers. Strikers do not like scabs.
That is why a couple were knifed over in Florida the other day, which
is about the time I realized this strike was for real and that the
slaves finally had risen. We should quickly note here the slaves usually
lose. Check your history books. Don't take my word for it. Slaves
usually lose because other slaves (read that scabs) go to the wall for
their masters (Read that UPS bosses). But every now and then the slaves
do win and they haul out the guillotine.
The catch words in this squabble that is costing us 40 bucks a month is
not liberty, equality, fraternity. The catch words in this UPS slave
rebellion are "part time, out sourcing, down sizing." Just as there is
nothing amiss with liberty, equality and fraternity (unless carried to
extremes and guillotines), there is nothing wrong with "out sourcing and
down sizing" (unless carried to extremes. These little concepts carried
to extremes translate to throw away employees. For example, the master
, read that CEO, depends on slaves to make profits which they do.
Eventually the CEO thinks he can make more money if he doesn't pay the
slaves as much money and cuts their benefits which he does by demoting
them to part time status. Eventually the slaves realize they are doing
all the work and getting none of the gravy. Roll the drums here. It is
time for out sourcing and down sizing.
This is where the CEO down sizes (you could say down size is a synonym
for summary dismissal) and out sources (hires some other company to do
the work) the down sized worker used to do for him. Now it generally is
accepted at the Wharton School of Business that down sizing and out
sourcing is costing the company many more bucks than it costs if the
slaves are paid reasonably and kept happy with such sugar plums as
health insurance and pension plans. The fact that out sourcing and down
sizing bankrupts many previously solvent companies is never mentioned.
The executives throw a party and declare victory over the slaves.
Generally I neither favor the slaves nor the masters in these things.
Being who I am, I could not stomach being either master or slave.
That is the reason I am in this business.
In this business, you mess with some body they write columns and
everyone knows you messed with somebody. Hey, it is not a good ideal to
upset, an old editor once told me, somebody who buys ink by the barrel.
Right or wrong in this little fandango really doesn't matter all that
The only thing certain from my viewpoint is it is costing us an extra
forty bucks, two twenty dollar bills, a month and I do not appreciate it.
I really am not mad at anyone in this thing.
It is true I laugh a lot when I hear a couple of megabuck UPS executives
say their drivers work only three or four hours a day. I also notice
they're not out there behind the wheels of the UPS trucks that are
No the scabs are. I feel a lot of sympathy for the scabs. They can't
help it because when it's over, everyone of them will be down sized.

Copyright 1997 by Ward Newspapers, Inc.
Steve Patterson, Publisher
107 W. Second St., Monahans TX 79756
Phone 915-943-4313, FAX 915-943-4314

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