RE: ply to Grant

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Mon Feb 11 2002 - 16:57:44 GMT

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    Subject: RE: ply to Grant
    Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2002 08:57:44 -0800
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    >Subject: RE: ply to Grant
    >Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2002 13:03:28 -0000
    > <They're still fighting the management-labor wars in a world where
    >labor is rapidly becoming management through stock options and retirement
    >plans based on stock ownership.>
    > Ah yes, the illusion of being part of the bourgeoisie by owning a
    >couple of shares. Go tell it to the Maxwell pensioners or Enron small
    >investors. Oh... don't forget the sweatshop workers either.
    > Vincent

    In most companies that use stock options as part of income, the workers own
    more of the stock than the principles who run the companies. Crooks can be
    found anywhere, even in non-profit corporations. It wasn't the head of that
    Irish bank that blew all the money nor was the guy in Singapore who brought
    down the Queen's bank in England. They were both just day traders slaving
    away like anyone else.

    There are some 7 trillion dollars tied up in mutual funds that represent the
    retirement funds of workers in companies large and small in the U.S. and
    elsewhere. The Hewlett family doesn't own enough of their own stock to keep
    Carley Fiorina from joining HP to Compaq. It is these mutual fund stock
    holders who actually own the companies by exercising the control of stock
    and dictating who gets to sit on the boards of publicaly held companies.
    That power is mostly wielded by the fund managers, not the company managers.
      It is wielded in the name of the stockholders. If the employees could get
    together and vote their stock collectively, they could change just about any
    policy a company has.

    Even within large companies these days, it's professional managers, not
    owners, who decide policy from day to day. There are hired most often from
    other companies and most of them worked their way up from the bottom. By
    the time Lee Iacoca made it to the head of Ford, he had worked in just about
    every division of the company. His family were Italian immigrants. He went
    from Ford to Chrysler as a hired gun who was able to bring a sinking company
    back to profitability.

    The new trend in manufacturing is going to change even that. Now virtual
    companies are getting together on the Interner to create a single product,
    then disbanding and regrouping to get to the next project. The management
    and worker in this new environment are one. Each person in the chain
    decides what needs to be done and collects his/her fee for doing it.

    I've worked for a couple of companies that were owned by the workers through
    stock options. It wasn't the managers who drove them. It was the other
    workers who saw the value of their stock go down when somebody screwed up.
    They worked harder than regular wage slaves and were more demanding of each
    other. Management were the nice guys who settled conflicts between workers.

    So although there are a lot of the old hierarchical companies still doing
    the business of the world, the trend is moving in the other direction. The
    name of the game today is oursourcing. Let specialists do all the dirty
    work because they have found ways to do it cheaper, faster and better than a
    large corporation. This is what is changing the way work is done these days
    -- not marching in the streets shouting slogans.


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