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Stromer Paper Mill, Nuremberg, circa 1390
Making a Difference.
I am sometimes asked if I think this web site is having any impact on the work place, and also, if I think I am making any progress in changing hearts and minds on the issue of two-tierism.

For me, the best and most encouraging barometer is the almost always positive correspondence that I receive from fellow workers across the North American continent.  So, I do believe that is changing hearts and minds.  But is that making a real difference in the work place?

Although NoMoreTiers is decidedly pro-union and pro-working class, I have generally endeavored to address the arguments contained in the web site to all parties, including not only union rank and file, and union officers but also non-union workers and people in management.  And I know that management people do read the site, including my own employers.

Just a short while ago I received an interesting email from a member of a management team that is responsible for running a fairly large (over 760 employee) industrial manufacturing operation in the USA.  He explained that his company has had a two-tier scheme in place for several years previous and that this system "brought people on board with no assurance of full-time status, reduced wages and significantly poorer benefits".

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Though this appeared at first to save the operation a few dollars, it also rendered the company significantly less competitive in the job market, and it became apparent that the company was being seriously crippled as they sought to work with employees who simply did not have the capabilities to operate at the same level of workers that they could attract for $20+/hour.

There existed therefore a predisposition to eliminate the two-tier system from the operation.  It turns out, that the content at provided sufficient additional ammunition to motivate a change.  It may sound too remarkable to be true, but it appears that this web site is helping to make an improvement to the efficiency and competitiveness of at least one large industrial operation, while at the same time helping to improve the wages, benefits and security of a significant number of employees.

So when I am asked if is making a difference, my answer has to be, yes I think it is, even if it is just one heart, one mind or one operation at a time.

In Solidarity,
John Barker

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July 2005