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A Control Clock under the Christmas Tree and a Time Card in the Stocking
Trade Unions

A Control Clock under the Christmas Tree and a Time Card in the Stocking

Here is a nice little Christmas gift to Eurostat staff from its ever generous top management;
"On 29 November the DM took an important decision on time management in Eurostat, whereby a modern presence management system will be put in place in a stepwise approach.

As from 1 January 2012, time registration will be mandatory for all staff members, including senior and middle managers. For the vast majority of staff who are already on flexitime, time registration is nothing new, but for other staff this will obviously be a change. Practical details on how the time registration will be implemented will follow in the days and weeks to come.

As a second step an electronic badge system will be implemented as soon as technically and legally possible."

We in the EU Public Service have grown used to 1950s style management absolutism over the years. It is characteristic of nearly-absolute power that its holders announce their decisions to us proles at the last moment, just before it is time for us to carry out their orders. This style of last-minute communications sends us a clear message; those of us who passed an honest competitive examination for our posts are here for the sole purpose of carrying out uncritically the orders issued by political appointees and their appointees (who are exempt from exams).

This dangerous obedience school lesson has been learned all too well over the decades; how do you think it was possible to conclude that the Greek economy was strong enough to be rigidly linked to the German one via Monetary Union? (Can you even imagine Eurostat staff being that stupid?) Another bad example was how the list of candidates for Director General of Eurostat was kept secret from its staff. So was the short list. His name was announced after the decision had been taken. Since staff was not allowed to know who the candidates were, it could not even think, talk or write about them. Under those circumstances it was impossible to exert even the weakest of influence.

Very sad and very true; workers with no democratic rights (keine Mitbestimmung, pas de codecision) are wage slaves, One reason for cautious long-term optimism is that the movement against the much tougher old form of slavery has succeed in reducing it from a world-wide institution to a crime against humanity that affects two hundred thousand of the seven billion people on earth. Patient, subtle resistance does it.

There is a much stronger reason to keep hope a few decades longer. Germany and Austria have had effective systems of democracy at work in place since the 1970s, lifting their public and private sector workers up, out of wage slavery. While the struggle against old-fashioned chattel slavery began millennia ago, the very first attempts to obtain democratic Mitbestimmung occurred in Germany at the end of the nineteenth century. A group of telegraph workers (all of whom were army veterans by law) sent a petition to Kaiser Bill, of all people. They made slow progress in Reich II, Republik I, Reich III, but less than a century later Republik II gave German workers legally enforceable rights of co-decision.

If the Austrians and Germans can do it, so can the rest of the Europeans.

It seems likely that this system will be imported by other countries as workers learn about the advantages of being humans with rights rather than mismanaged robots. Take the case at hand; Article 75(3)17 gives our colleagues in the German federal public service the right to negotiate binding compromises when it comes installing time management systems;

§ 75

"(3) Der Personalrat hat, soweit eine gesetzliche oder tarifliche Regelung nicht besteht, gegebenenfalls durch Abschluß von Dienstvereinbarungen mitzubestimmen über
1. …
Einführung und Anwendung technischer Einrichtungen, die dazu bestimmt sind, das Verhalten oder die Leistung der Beschäftigten zu überwachen.

The reason why there is not already a huge demand for such rights is that few people from outside the country can read the German language well enough to understand that best of laws; the Bundespersonalvertretungsgesetz.

By reading your way to this point, you have begun to change that situation incrementally. Democratic rights are never found in the stocking or under the Christmas tree. Look for them on the picket line and in other places where patient subtle resistance is practiced.

Created by: admin last modification: Thursday 15 of December, 2011 [12:41:14 UTC] by admin

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