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Should translator have a day of strike?
Thread poster: xxxwonita
xxxwonita
China
Local time: 15:47
Oct 22, 2007

The German locomotive drivers have been on strike on and off for a few months. Though The German railway promised to raise their salary by 20%, they still insist on a raise of 50%. Just wait and see what happens in the next few months.

Would it be a good idea for translators on this site too, to set up one day or another, on which all job posts are responded with a minimum rate of, say, 0,10 Cent per word?



[Edited at 2007-10-22 18:56]

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2007-10-22 20:16]


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:47
English to German
+ ...
Who sets that price? Oct 22, 2007

Hi Bin,

Would it be a good idea for translators on this site too, to set up one day or another, on which all job posts are responded with a minimum rate of, say, 0,10 Cent per word?

And who says that this is a 'good' price?

Best regards,
Ralf


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Aline Canino  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:47
Member (2007)
Chinese to French
+ ...
When there is no boss Oct 22, 2007

Hi Bin,

I agree with Ralf, 0,10€ is maybe a "good" price for one translator and a "bad" price for another one.
We have got no real "boss", and we can decide of our own rates, let's say it's a chance, no ?
Of course there are outsourcers, but nobody will force you to accept a work with a "low" rate and you won't be fired if you refuse it.
Sometimes I see job offers with very low rates, I just don't answer. This is my way of being in "strike" !

Nice to meet a colleague,

Aline


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MariusV  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 22:47
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
LOL Oct 23, 2007

Well, it could be a good idea to make an automated email reply "I AM ON STRIKE FOR MY RATE INCREASE! Your email has been received, but your job proposals will not be considered till you do not raise the rates by 50 per cent" Another idea is to block a motorway (just like farmers do) and demand subsidies for each translated page

[Edited at 2007-10-23 02:23]


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Piotr Bienkowski  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 21:47
Member (2005)
English to Polish
+ ...
But... Oct 23, 2007

MariusV wrote:

Well, it could be a good idea to make an automated email reply "I AM ON STRIKE FOR MY RATE INCREASE! Your email has been received, but your job proposals will not be considered till you do not raise the rates by 50 per cent" Another idea is to block a motorway (just like farmers do) and demand subsidies for each translated page

[Edited at 2007-10-23 02:23]


If we block the road with our computers, they will be simply run over by big TIR trucks... ....


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Oleg Rudavin  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 22:47
Member (2003)
English to Ukrainian
+ ...
We'll have strikebreakers Oct 23, 2007

Bin Tiede wrote:

Would it be a good idea for translators on this site too, to set up one day or another, on which all job posts are responded with a minimum rate of, say, 0,10 Cent per word?



We'll have strikebreakers who wouldn't want their personal rates to go down as low as 0.10

Cheers,
Oleg


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Gianni Pastore  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 21:47
Member (2007)
English to Italian
... Oct 23, 2007

Ralf Lemster wrote:

And who says that this is a 'good' price?

Best regards,
Ralf


This should be enough for anyone to refrain from posting for the 1.387th times a thread such as "look, another 0.01$/w job just closed".

Best
G


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:47
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Solidarity Oct 23, 2007

Strikes don't work unless there's near-complete solidarity among the strikers, however justified their claim. As there's no way of achieving solidarity among self-employed freelance workers, the only way we can "strike" is to turn down job offers that are unacceptable to us individually and to say so (politely). The rate of pay we consider acceptable depends on many factors, all related to our personal circumstances.
So, although I sympathise with your suggestion, I don't think it would work for us freelancers.
Regards,
Jenny.

P.S. Would someone please tell me what the abbreviation "LOL" stands for? Not "lots of love", surely?


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Zamira*****  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 22:47
Member (2006)
English to Uzbek
+ ...
- Oct 23, 2007

Jenny Forbes wrote:

P.S. Would someone please tell me what the abbreviation "LOL" stands for? Not "lots of love", surely?


Jenny, it is for "laughing out loudly"

Zamira


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Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:47
English to Dutch
+ ...
LOL = Laughing Out Loud Oct 23, 2007

AFAIK - Jenny, I trust you do know this one...

Lots of love,

Margreet


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Michele Johnson  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:47
German to English
+ ...
Price fixing legal? Oct 23, 2007


Would it be a good idea for translators on this site too, to set up one day or another, on which all job posts are responded with a minimum rate of, say, 0,10 Cent per word?


Wouldn't this amount to price fixing? I think that's generally illegal in most jurisdictions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_fixing
Price fixing is an agreement between business competitors to sell the same product or service at the same price. In general, it is an agreement intended to ultimately push the price of a product as high as possible, leading to profits for all the sellers. Price-fixing can also involve any agreement to fix, peg, discount or stabilize prices. The principal feature is any agreement on price, whether express or implied. For the buyer, meanwhile, the practice results in a phenomenon similar to price gouging.

Methods of price fixing can include selling at a common target price; setting a common "minimum" price....


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Marcelo Silveyra
United States
Local time: 12:47
Member (2007)
German to English
+ ...
Price fixing / solidarity Oct 23, 2007

Michele Johnson wrote:

Wouldn't this amount to price fixing? I think that's generally illegal in most jurisdictions.



Not really. The reason why "price fixing" is illegal is because of antitrust laws, but this really wouldn't fall under antitrust legislation issues. In fact, it's more like what guilds in the U.S. tend to do for independent workers and what unions normally do for employees (these, of course, are broad generalizations).

Anyhoo...what Jenny said (wrote) was actually the first thing that came to my mind when I saw this thread. I wish we could pull it off, really, but I'm afraid it's impossible to do a general worldwide translators' strike.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:47
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It's not a matter of getting a 'good' price Oct 23, 2007

Ralf Lemster wrote:
Hi Bin,

Would it be a good idea for translators on this site too, to set up one day or another, on which all job posts are responded with a minimum rate of, say, 0,10 Cent per word?

And who says that this is a 'good' price?
Best regards,
Ralf



The aim is not to ensure a good rate to every translator in the world. The minimum wage in Brazil is around US$ 200 per month because the dollar has gone down a lot here lately. Not too long ago it was closer to $ 100. But this is usually for unskilled menial labor. Our case is translation, so the goal is to set a minimum rate for professional work. Above that threshold, it will be a matter of quality and/or specialization.

A minimum rate of USD 0.10 would work on two ends:

- It would significantly reduce the profits of in-betweens that outsource translations at lower than 10¢ rates, and resell them at 15-20¢ or more.

- It would significantly improve the overall quality of translation worldwide, as nobody will hire an unpromising wannabe for 10¢ or more.


In other words, the 10¢ could become the borderline between professional translators and amateurs. Anyone charging less than that would be implicitly 'authorized' and expected to deliver a sloppy job.


The strike then would involve only the professional translators being offered less than 10¢/word. Amateurs would be free to work any time, for any rate. The cultural impact of this whole movement would be to automatically "rubberstamp" as amateur any translator accepting less than 10¢.

For instance, I could be an amateur in three other languages I don't work with professionally. Why not?
Probably because the "amateur" label might leak to my working pair, e.g. Why can't you translate from EN at the same rates you use for FR or IT?


Another issue is the payment term. Unless I'm grossly mistaken, most agencies that adopt payment terms longer than 30 days are either secondhand work outsourcers, or just leveraging their cash flow at the translators' expense. I'd suggest professional translators demand 30 days max, and no more. Amateurs would accept to be paid... whenever the client has some peanuts to spare.


Finally, this is not price fixing. I'd remain a pro at 5¢/word, if the delivery date were set as "whenever you get it finished". I could do such a job in times of low demand, just to fill in the gaps.


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OlafK
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:47
English to German
+ ...
But JH, it's already like that! Oct 23, 2007

The amateurs work for tuppence and to very tight deadlines and most of them are fully paid-up Proz members because that's where they find those jobs.

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Juliana Brown  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 15:47
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Thanks Jenny! Oct 23, 2007

Jenny Forbes wrote:


P.S. Would someone please tell me what the abbreviation "LOL" stands for? Not "lots of love", surely?


I apologize for diverting the thread from its true purpose, but I spent months whether it meant "Lord Oh Lord"!

As for the strike, I am in agreement that one needs a lot more solidarity than usually manifests itself...I recall one university strike in which the dreadful behaviour of some colleagues made me question the future of humanity...

[Edited at 2007-10-23 22:55]


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