“Oy, when is it going to let up?” Stella said.
Nigel looked over at her, a weak smile on his face. “What do you mean?”
“It’s just been crazy, all day. Finish one call, and there’s immediately another.”
“Yeah, I hate days like that.”
“We should demand breaks,” Stella said with a grin. “We’ll unionize and demand more breaks through the day.”
“I think we can take a break whenever we want,” Nigel replied, turning back to his screen. “Besides, unions are the worst.”
Stella’s grin dropped. “What?”
Nigel glanced at her, then went back to staring at his screen. “Unions. Not good. They’re always making things difficult.”
“According to who?”
“Not exactly a definitive response, but how do they make things so terrible?” Stella leaned forward in her chair, a fire in her mind demanding to be fed. Her own father had been rather anti-union, and they had discussed it many times, at length.
“Well, you know, they make it hard on small businesses, demanding higher wages. They make unreasonable demands on business for time off and benefits, they’re always trying to influence politics. And you have to pay union dues and stuff, so it’s not exactly good for personal finances, either.”
Stella shook her head. At least her father had more incisive, cogent arguments. She took a breath, then started, “All right, for your last point – as opposed to corporate heads, who never try to influence politics? And you understand why the unreasonable demands are made, right? To balance the unreasonable requirements of business? Like, occupational health and safety, refusing any breaks, twelve- or fourteen-hour days, no weekend, all that stuff? You know those were severe problems, and still are in some cases? And what’re the stats for unionization in small business versus large business? When you can point that out to me, I’ll give you that one.”
“No need to get so bitchy about it,” Nigel said. “I’m just saying, they have a history of being bad for everything.”
“Bloody hell,” Stella muttered under her breath, turning back to the screen. She knew Nigel wouldn’t change his mind, and wouldn’t engage in a proper argument. That his only response was an insult was telling enough, and she left his comment to hang in the air, making a note not to joke about unions with him again.