Monday, February 27, 2012

For Calliope

**Law and Order **
From the Captain’s Private Log, September 14th 2065
            Appendix A of the Charter for the Solar Harvesters Union (SHU) was agreed on by all members (H. Antolosky, M. Cotman, W. Jackson Jr., P. Jones, D. Lechnar, M. Lechnar, T. Lopez, H. Mudd, R. Nixon, M. Pirrone, P. Richman, C. Rose, D. Rubin, S. Sanchez, J. Smith, D. Styer, H. Suzuki, A. Teasel, S. Trunzo, L. W. Wojohowitz) today.
            Wages: Minimum wage of crew members will be such that, after seven years of employment on one of the member ships, the member will have earned enough to purchase one sixth of the supplies and equipment necessary to build a 12 person solar airship. (The underlying assumption is that a crew member would only save half of their wages towards a ship, so that after seven years they could buy one together with eleven other like-minded people and have a full crew.)
            The undersigned commit that, should wages fluctuate based on an individual’s experience or skills, no crew member—up to and including the captain of the ship—shall earn more than ten times the pay of the lowest paid member of the crew. (Some discussion about other means of pay—bartering, etc. They even talked about dental benefits. Do I laugh and point out there is only one ship and we are its crew? Or do I encourage them to dream? They make me feel old. So grateful for Josie and Hansuke and their wrinkles.)
            For reasons of mutual aid and to foster a sense of community, if any one ship should earn a profit above wages and maintenance of the ship, one tenth of this profit will go towards a communal pool for emergencies. Profit can be defined by each ship’s crew monthly, but all budgets will be made available for all members of the SHU to examine at an annual meeting. Ships that fail to share reasonable profits—“reasonable” defined by 75% or more of the other ships’ crew members, through individual yes/no polling—will be put on six month suspension wherein the other crews will help define “profit” at mandatory monthly meetings. After that time period, if the questionable ship still wishes to be part of the SHU, it will be reinstated as a full member if 75% of the other ships’ individual crew members agree. (This seems like an awful thing to be thinking about, but I’m glad that they are talking about ways to solve problems before they appear. Even if this particular one never happens—they talk of making a profit! Oh, the dear lambs!—it does suggest a way of handling disputes that doesn’t make me—or any future captain—the bad guy. I can support that.)
            Recruitment: If there is room for another member on a ship, any crew member can suggest a candidate, but all the other crew members must agree and the potential member will have a 6 month trial period where they will get wages but not be entitled to access the emergency funds. (I am never going to live down Roger. He seemed like a good idea at the time. Oh well. I still claimed that I got grandfathered in, and can appoint crew members to my own ship since I’m paying for The Judys upkeep and all their wages at the moment. But they are welcome to have this rule apply to any future ships that want to join us. Poor lost kittens. Josie laughed at them, which I think may have made it worse. I <3 Josie.)
            (Then they talked about food, and I agreed that we could make a rule that peanut butter could not be served more than three times a week. But they would have to come up with alternatives that were as cheap, tasty, long lasting and vegetarian or I couldn’t agree. And since we had most solemnly agreed at the very beginning that this was a consensus or it didn’t happen… we get to have peanut butter whenever the duty cook likes. Sometimes winning feels like losing.)

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