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Great comment on HN:

> As a thought experiment, what if companies are made to pay for commute time? How would that change the labour market? Would they hire local? Provide better transportation? Work with cities to reduce congestion? Encourage more remote work? Decide it's too expensive to hire workers and cut hours? Work towards more inclusive housing?

news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2

@cadadr IKEA here built a bunch of apartment buildings right by their place because they had a difficult time getting a workforce that could make the commute and work for the offered salaries.

@cadadr shit, yes! You want me on site, pay for my transportation, fuckers.

@drq @cadadr I want those to be the answers, but I feel like the answer would be "only hire people next to their office, and pay INCREDIBLE costs to avoid paying employees for their commutes"

@cadadr thats a surprisingly good take from hackernews

*read the first comment* oh yeah this would totally be unfair to the companies, think about their profits

@kensanata @cadadr the single most environmentally sound mode of transport, cycling, would be banned by the companies. And a work day would be lengthened by employers trying to reduce overhead per hour worked.

@resist1984
Sounds like a bit of a stretch to me honestly. Good policy would minimise abuse.
@kensanata

@cadadr @kensanata i recently worked for an employer who refused to allow anyone to work part-time b/c their daily overhead of reading e-mail and fetching coffee would be fixed while their productive time would lessen. Now imagine adding commute overhead to that same employer.

@kensanata @cadadr I put it to the test & gave an ultamatim: give me part-time or I'm gone. (I left)

@cadadr @kensanata I would like to see pressure on employers to reduce /car/ commuting, but converting the commute to paid time for all workers is too blunt of an instrument. But suppose we impose the commute time cost on employers of sole (non-carpooling) non-handicapped car drivers? I'd probably endorse that.

@resist1984 I managed to reduce to 60% per annum (don’t work on Fridays and about 17 weeks off). It took me a few years to get there, though. I see more people at the company doing things like that these days so I have hope for the future.
@cadadr

@kensanata @resist1984 @cadadr If I could cut back to part time I'd feel thrilled and probably wouldn't be in a huge hurry to retire either, but can't do that right now as I need the money to cover the insane rents.

@bamfic I hate rent, too. Luckily, after applying for many years, we finally made it into a building coop here in Zürich and now rent is affordable again. 😅
Politically, however, the initiative trying to push for more coop support on the housing market just got rejected. Where’s my middle finger emoji. ☹️
@cadadr @resist1984

@cadadr Don't be silly. They'd obviously lower the wages.

@cadadr Cynical me:

Or force workers to live on "campus". Hackernews obviously thinks about "knowledge-workders" when crafting such a comment.

But what about factory-workers? Farm-labour? When the workers have little or no rights, they'll be forced to do whatever saves the employers' most; if that means being forced to sleep in barracks: that's what will happen.

@berkes yeah that's a possibility. Good policy would help with that.

Having one's little roof over their head tied to their job is dangerous. I recall hearing bad stories regarding worker's visas in US, for example, where people can't change jobs bc they'd be repatriated. Not exactly the same thing, but still.

A partial welfare state sucks bc you get some benefits but they're denied to most as companies walk around the law. It needs to be a comprehensive *package* of improvements.

@cadadr This happens in EU with seasonal/agri workers too. Where e.g. Polish or Romanian workers in the Netherlands cannot quit their jobs because it leaves them homeless.

@cadadr
In my place the main challenge is that public transport beyond the city borders is as good as not existing. (Romania) The schedules are like 2-3 times a day or you are not guaranteed to get a place. So you MUST live within the city to get a well paying job or have your own car...

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