Dr. RTMark on Wed, 26 Apr 2000 17:03:20 +0200 (CEST)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

<nettime> Phone in sick on May 1 (or May 2)

April 26, 2000

May 2 elsewhere; holiday to protest corporate erosion of leisure

     Mayday info, Phone In Sick Day press, Andrei Codrescu clips:
         http://rtmark.com/sick/, http://gatt.org/sick/;
         contact mailto:sick@rtmark.com
     Decadent Action: http://www.underbelly.demon.co.uk/decadent;
         contact mailto:decadent@underbelly.demon.co.uk

RTMark, a U.S.-based corporation whose "bottom line" is cultural profit,
has acquired the three-year-old Phone In Sick Day from the Europe-based
Decadent Action group. 

The holiday comes with an impressive track record: it was considered
responsible for the "sickouts" of 2000 British Airways employees in 1997,
and of thousands of Irish policemen in 1998. 

Until this year, Phone In Sick Day was observed on April 6, the start of
the U.K. financial year. At the urging of its largest investors, RTMark
has moved the date to May 1 (May 2 outside the U.S. and Canada) for three
important reasons: 

1. To bring an important American holiday back home. 

Mayday commemorates ten Americans who lost their lives fighting for the
eight-hour day, and their sacrifice has been celebrated since 1889 nearly
everywhere in the world *except* America. As the U.S. is RTMark's primary
market, RTMark wishes to help rectify this imbalance.  (See
http://rtmark.com/mayday.html for more history.) 

2. To call attention to the loss of the eight-hour day and other
quality-of-life indices in America. 

Mayday heralds the approach of summer, a time that still means "vacation"
to those in most First-World nations. But substantial vacations, like the
eight-hour day, have passed into American leisure history. While the
average number of hours worked per year has gone down throughout the First
World, it has gone up in America, with Americans now working six weeks
more per year than they did in 1973 to achieve the same standard of
living. Phoning in sick en masse will function as a "mayday" distress call
by increasingly harried Americans. (Visit http://rtmark.com/sickday.html
to see Andrei Codrescu explain this most eloquently.) 

3. To call attention to the dwindling quality of life everywhere. 

The erosion of leisure is no longer limited to America. As European
countries are increasingly forced to dismantle social programs and adopt
American-style measures to benefit corporate health, we can be sure that
they will all go the way of the United States: two-month vacations will
shrink to two weeks, maternity leave will go from six months to five days,
etc. Therefore RTMark encourages Europeans, and other First Worlders for
whom May 1 is already a holiday, to phone in sick on May 2. (In the Third
World, of course, the effects of neoliberalism are unspeakably worse than
a mere erosion of leisure; it would be tasteless to suggest that phoning
in sick might accomplish anything there.) 

RTMark's primary goal is to publicize corporate attacks on the public
welfare. To this end it acts as a clearinghouse for anti- corporate
sabotage projects. RTMark's Phone In Sick Day takeover bid was accepted by
Decadent Action in part because of RTMark's greater rights as a U.S.
corporation, which permits it to pursue profit with fewer legal hindrances
than anywhere else. As Decadent Action spokesperson Kitty Banks says, "We
are pleased with the handover to RTMark, who are in a better legal and
geographical position to take the event to a global audience." 

                             # 30 #

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: majordomo@bbs.thing.net and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime@bbs.thing.net