Exploitation

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Sep 29, 2012
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MarkvW said:
I'm having trouble understanding why you are bringing up wage theft in the world outside cycling. What argument are you trying to develop with it?
You must really struggle in forums then. I responded to a post made by someone else. All subsequent posts were part of that conversation. If you can't follow that conversation, I can't help you.
 
Sep 29, 2012
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Scott SoCal said:
I chased a dream. I was paid zero salary, was "given" bikes/parts and some expense money. I had passion, no plan "B" and I worked my *** off for nearly 10 years attempting to "make it" in my chosen profession. There were some great results and some not-so-great.

I understood exactly what was happening and nobody held a gun to my head to continue - it was entirely my decision to carry on and when the time came, it was my decision to stop.

I was never exploited just as the scrubs in cycling aren't. Free will and all that.
Either your definition of exploited is a new one, or you don't know what the word means.
 
May 18, 2009
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You've got your work cut out in here DW. First you gotta line up the OP on what his thread is about, now educate Scott on the definition of exploit. His definition is the same as mine, so I look forward to learning something.
 
robertmooreheadlane said:
Equally you dont want to pay extreme school fees and go to the best school and get a top degree dont expect to get a job at goldman sachs,

Dont want to work 20 hours a day for 5 years dont expect to get to the top of the legal profession

Dont want to work 70 hours a week getting abused and spat on and assaulted dont expect to get past being a junior doctor and making it in the medical profession
I agree with the F1 analogy. The rider has to be their own source of revenue. Somehow.

But, the MD/Lawyer thing is not the same. They are mostly getting paid very well. They went to school with the reasonable expectation there's a paying gig at the end of all the training and it mostly works out that way.

I find Scott's views very interesting. I can see how he feels that way. Maybe another way to say it without using the word "exploited" is Scott wasn't permitted to capture his entertainment value from racing. The UCI's gets paid first, promoter second, riders are way down at the bottom. The porta-potty contractor has a much greater chance of being paid.
 
Nov 8, 2012
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Dear Wiggo said:
Either your definition of exploited is a new one, or you don't know what the word means.
Ok.

I was a teenager, turned professional in my sport and my parents were my sole support.

I was approached by a manufacturer to represent them (by contract) racing their motorcycles, lending input testing prototype and pre-production motorcycles and representing them in a positive manner at publicity events. In exchange I was given a set number of motorcycles to use throughout the year, I was given a dealer code so to be able to order parts from the manufacturer within a given budget, had a pre-set budget for approved expenses (mostly travel), given an agreed per diem for testing and consultation and had result based opportunities at "contingency" money at selected events - all published, all of this by contract. It was entirely my choice to sign the contract and I did.

Now, I was delivered everything I was ever owed by agreement. There was never a time I was promised anything by contract that was not fulfilled (so that's different than not being paid/contract violated).

There were a handful of us across the country under the same contract. Our job was to get the best results possible and we all CLEARLY knew we would not advance in our career unless we were able to go faster than the "factory" salaried riders on a consistent basis.

I had a similar arrangement with the manufacturer for nearly ten years. I was never able to go faster than the salaried riders CONSISTENTLY.

I knew what I was getting into. I followed my dream. I had ups and downs. I didn't get it done. I moved on.

There was no exploitation whatsoever and I'm aware of the word's meaning.
 
Sep 29, 2012
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I would say you were - being a buyers market, but the deal sounds better than what you originally posted, agreed.

They didn't pay you because they didn't have to, not because they couldn't. To me that seems unfair, and therefore exploitation.

But language is open to interpretation, and I am happy to agree to disagree.
 
Nov 8, 2012
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Dear Wiggo said:
I would say you were - being a buyers market, but the deal sounds better than what you originally posted, agreed.

They didn't pay you because they didn't have to, not because they couldn't. To me that seems unfair, and therefore exploitation.

But language is open to interpretation, and I am happy to agree to disagree.
Our difference is in how we each define what is or isn't "fair."

I signed the deal knowing I would not be paid unless I provided enough reason, or value. I didn't. Could the manufacturer have paid me? Sure. But that wasn't the deal.
 
Mar 27, 2014
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Dirty works
My point was that in every field there are people who will make mega bucks and those people are usually the ones who will make the sacrifice to get to where they want to be

Now your point about the expectation of a reasonable job is ok to a point but if you want to make QC or supreme court then there are very few slots as with all professions the very top takes a lot of work and sacrifice and you generally know at the outset what it takes to get there

I think that is relevant as I suspect that by the time riders reach their early teens they probably have a good idea of what goes on in the professional peleton and sooner or later what it is going to take to get to the top. If they are happy to be amatuer riders racing for a local team that is different.
I would also say that SoCal was also in a different position we are talking about pro riders in the pro peleton these would be the factory riders he mentions - he was supported but not fully pro and therefore not open to as much exploitation as a factory rider would be. I would equate his example to that of a horse racing journey man jockey vs a retained jockey

Some will agree that sacrifice to their body and potentially their liberty is acceptable to make it into the pro peleton ranks but some will not.

Just like in any other profession.
 
Aug 10, 2010
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robertmooreheadlane said:
Dirty works
My point was that in every field there are people who will make mega bucks and those people are usually the ones who will make the sacrifice to get to where they want to be

Now your point about the expectation of a reasonable job is ok to a point but if you want to make QC or supreme court then there are very few slots as with all professions the very top takes a lot of work and sacrifice and you generally know at the outset what it takes to get there

I think that is relevant as I suspect that by the time riders reach their early teens they probably have a good idea of what goes on in the professional peleton and sooner or later what it is going to take to get to the top. If they are happy to be amatuer riders racing for a local team that is different.
I would also say that SoCal was also in a different position we are talking about pro riders in the pro peleton these would be the factory riders he mentions - he was supported but not fully pro and therefore not open to as much exploitation as a factory rider would be. I would equate his example to that of a horse racing journey man jockey vs a retained jockey

Some will agree that sacrifice to their body and potentially their liberty is acceptable to make it into the pro peleton ranks but some will not.

Just like in any other profession.
If the UCI is going to be laissez-faire and allow teams to treat riders as abusively as the market will permit, then it ought to abandon its unenforced rules.

I believe that if riders were treated decently, the UCI would furnish a better product.
 
Sep 29, 2012
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robertmooreheadlane said:
I would also say that SoCal was also in a different position we are talking about pro riders in the pro peleton these would be the factory riders he mentions - he was supported but not fully pro and therefore not open to as much exploitation as a factory rider would be. I would equate his example to that of a horse racing journey man jockey vs a retained jockey

Some will agree that sacrifice to their body and potentially their liberty is acceptable to make it into the pro peleton ranks but some will not.

Just like in any other profession.
Paid factory riders were being exploited more than unpaid non-factory riders?

Is that what you just wrote?
 
MarkvW said:
If the UCI is going to be laissez-faire and allow teams to treat riders as abusively as the market will permit, then it ought to abandon its unenforced rules.

I believe that if riders were treated decently, the UCI would furnish a better product.
Spot on:

1. If you make rules, enforce them.
2. I think that is the underlying issue in this thread: treating the riders decently as you put it. The CPA is a joke, there needs to be a union, a collective bargaining agreement, to provide riders with decent wage and to protect them against the practices described in the thread. Who knows, a retirement/pension system as well, similar to the NFL (maybe ?). Assorted with rules that would disqualify you from getting benefits/pension if you get caught doping.

It may seem like asking the inmates to run the prison, and this point may be off-topic, but it's The Clinic after all: there won't be clean cycling without massive support/participation from the riders. Hence the union idea, provided that it's well thought of, not a AFL/CIO union. No need to replace a mafia with another.
 
Oct 19, 2014
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42x16ss said:
[...I don't think an athlete who competes for a living should be allowed to live in a situation where they can be struggling for their next meal, especially when their capacity to carry out their chosen occupation can be directly effected.
This is a strange way to look at it. To me, if a rider can't make enough money to live, then by definition he is not competing "for a living". The only thing making a rider a 'pro" and not an "amateur" is that he gets paid money to ride. There is nothing to say that that he has to be paid so much that he doesn't have to get a job in the offseason.
 
Oct 19, 2014
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Dear Wiggo said:
I would say you were - being a buyers market, but the deal sounds better than what you originally posted, agreed.

They didn't pay you because they didn't have to, not because they couldn't. To me that seems unfair, and therefore exploitation.

But language is open to interpretation, and I am happy to agree to disagree.
Exploitation requires a limitation of choice that pressures people to do things then less than what they deserve. Just because a company can pay more does not make them exploitative, it makes them capitalists.
 
hegemon said:
This is a strange way to look at it. To me, if a rider can't make enough money to live, then by definition he is not competing "for a living". The only thing making a rider a 'pro" and not an "amateur" is that he gets paid money to ride. There is nothing to say that that he has to be paid so much that he doesn't have to get a job in the offseason.
Why is that strange? Once a rider gets to Pro Conti and above they are being employed. I don't know about you but to me that means that riders are working for their team.

This isn't a group of mates riding Cat 4 together on the weekend or even Conti level riders. These are people who are expected to dedicate the bulk of their time to cycling in the same manner the rest of us are expected to go about our careers.

IMO teams are ripping themselves off by expecting Professional dedication from their riders without giving them the backing they need to be able to perform at the required level, especially the biggest teams with their highest paid 1 or 2 riders earning close to 1 million Euro a year. I'm not saying that all riders deserve equal pay or that the minimum wage should be anything huge, just that Pro riders should be allowed to:

1. Keep their wages
2. Earn enough for money to not be a massive issue in their daily lives

If the riders form a union to insist on their teammates being paid a living wage and the UCI clamps down on things such as wage refunding then we may see more talented riders being retained
 
Scott SoCal said:
Our difference is in how we each define what is or isn't "fair."

I signed the deal knowing I would not be paid unless I provided enough reason, or value. I didn't. Could the manufacturer have paid me? Sure. But that wasn't the deal.
To be fair, the deal that you had sounds very similar to what a Continental level rider would expect in terms of sponsorship and support and in terms of results, you would have had to perform at a high level consistently to move to the next level.

Had you moved to the next tier of riders and started receiving a salary, would you have accepted a contract if it involved you refunding your salary to the team/manufacturer?
 
May 27, 2012
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ChrisE said:
So, the choice is between bike racing and politics? I seem to remember more career choices than that....I luckily fell into one of those other choices else I would have been forced to ride a bike and dope for some pittance. Luck of the draw, I guess. :rolleyes:

No, I do not think big business is as corrupt as professional bicycle racing. You are putting up a strawman about capitalism 'rorting the planet', somehow trying to equate that to a choice somebody makes to become a professional bike racer.
Big banks are more corrupt...it isn't even close. But the money is much better, so nobody who works there p!sses in the soup very often.
 
May 27, 2012
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Scott SoCal said:
Ok.

I was a teenager, turned professional in my sport and my parents were my sole support.

I was approached by a manufacturer to represent them (by contract) racing their motorcycles, lending input testing prototype and pre-production motorcycles and representing them in a positive manner at publicity events. In exchange I was given a set number of motorcycles to use throughout the year, I was given a dealer code so to be able to order parts from the manufacturer within a given budget, had a pre-set budget for approved expenses (mostly travel), given an agreed per diem for testing and consultation and had result based opportunities at "contingency" money at selected events - all published, all of this by contract. It was entirely my choice to sign the contract and I did.

Now, I was delivered everything I was ever owed by agreement. There was never a time I was promised anything by contract that was not fulfilled (so that's different than not being paid/contract violated).

There were a handful of us across the country under the same contract. Our job was to get the best results possible and we all CLEARLY knew we would not advance in our career unless we were able to go faster than the "factory" salaried riders on a consistent basis.

I had a similar arrangement with the manufacturer for nearly ten years. I was never able to go faster than the salaried riders CONSISTENTLY.

I knew what I was getting into. I followed my dream. I had ups and downs. I didn't get it done. I moved on.

There was no exploitation whatsoever and I'm aware of the word's meaning.
Dear Wiggo said:
I would say you were - being a buyers market, but the deal sounds better than what you originally posted, agreed.

They didn't pay you because they didn't have to, not because they couldn't. To me that seems unfair, and therefore exploitation.

But language is open to interpretation, and I am happy to agree to disagree.
Scott was "exploit[ed]?" Tell that to this kid:



But dang chocolate is yummy!
 

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