There was an interesting article in the New York Times today about the "permalancing" concept so popular in the US which I wrote about in my blog entry last week about the new EU protections for temp workers. "Permalancers" are people who work regular full-time hours, but are classified as "freelancers" by their company so they don't have to give them benefits.
Yesterday a large number of freelancers at MTV networks walked off the job to protest the company's cuts to healthcare benefits for the 'permalancers.' The permalancers already have an extreemly low level of healthcare coverage and the new cuts whittle them down to almost nothing.
I have a number of friends who work for MTV as 'freelancers,' one friend has worked there full time under thsi status for 4 years. But they're all tucked away with visions of sugar plums dancing in their head right now so I can't ask if they took part in the walkout. But what's really interesting about this is that it seems to be the first instance of people working udner this status undertaking collective action.
Incidentally, no MTV office in Europe has anything even resembling the "permalancers" system, I'm told.