Citizens' Issues
Pity the Overworked Athlete
This author loves sports, and the bias may show. Professional sports were historically looked down upon. The British institutionalised them, classifying the amateur cricketer, usually a rich man’s son, as a ‘Gentleman’, and the working-class chap, earning a few pennies, as a ‘Player’. Talk of caste systems!
 
Next came the Olympics. Professionals were pariahs, paid trainers disallowed, the best athletes banned. Iron Curtain dope-filled ‘sportsmen’ were taking home the ‘gold’. India had sports-persons who did not know where their working desks were. They got salaries, promotions, special rations, equipment—the best and for free—special leave, the works. They were still called amateurs! There were no legal remedies.
 
Times change. Distinctions and barriers were erased. Reports flaunted the money earned. Legal suits followed. Professionalism in every sport, from cricket to kabaddi, brought legal heads to TV channels and promoters.
 
Welcome to the wide, wonderful, world of sports litigation.
 
America has major league baseball and minor league softball games. There is money; top guns make big bucks, marry film stars. The minor leaguers struggled to go ‘up the ladder’ with long hours, hard work. As with wage-earners of the ‘jitna daam, utna kaam’ persuasion, they felt that they were overworked and underpaid. They trooped to court.
 
Their grouse was that their employers had run afoul of the California Fair Labour Standards Act. This law presupposes two things. One, only those below a certain salary can claim overtime and only for certain nature of the work. ‘Cerebral’ activity is excluded, as opposed to ‘manual’. It does not recognise artists, music composers and inventors, who work with originality, talent or creative features. That left the labourer, the clerk, the slogger, the run-of-the-mill worker, within the pale.
 
The ball-players insisted on overtime pay. The issue was critical. Come December, the cut-off salary was due to almost double, bringing in many other claimants, including the better-paid minor stars. The bosses countered, “Nothing doing, the players are not labourers.”
 
You be the judge. On which side would you lean and why?
 
Which category did the baseball-players fit into? Was their work manual or creative? Would a ‘touch artist’, like Ramanathan Krishnan, be excluded, while a slogger, like McEnroe, be eligible? Which player would be better qualified for relief, a smart pitcher or a solid batter? Finally, had the honourable judge ever played baseball to sufficiently understand the nuances?
 
Then there was that can of worms. Other support staff would follow the players. The ball-boys (and girls) in tennis, the mechanics in motor sports, the horse-handlers, the pitch curators, the rain-cover guys, the markers in snooker and billiards, maybe even the twelfth man who runs up with the drinks.
 
The judge rejected the plaint. He based his decision on the argument that there was no basis of a commonality of the collective-action claim. The leaguers could not approach the court as class-action plaintiffs. While this would mean that individual athletes could ask for damages, each case would have to be filed, argued and determined separately. What you cannot get collectively, you may get individually. More suits, more time spent, more fees collected. Wonders never cease.
 
The matter was now pregnant with problems. To stymie a slew of court cases, the legislature is working extra hours to introduce special legislation for the Minor League. Whether it will work for other sports is to be seen; but, in the meantime, who will look after the interests of the lawmakers? Having burnt midnight oil, are they not also eligible for overtime pay?
 
It all depends on whether they admit that their work is non-cerebral. Most voters may agree.

User

Microsoft told to compensate after Windows 10 'affected' PCs
A British consumer watchdog has told technology giant Microsoft to compensate customers whose computers have been adversely affected by the Windows 10 upgrade.
 
Last year, Microsoft rolled out a free Windows 10 update to all its customers. However, the widely accepted new operating system did not come out as good as people hoped it would.
 
Since Microsoft's Windows 10 update became available, consumer watchdog Which? received hundreds of complaints about the software, including repeated pop-ups regarding updates, various problems regarding printers, WiFi cards, working of speakers, files being lost and email accounts no longer syncing.
 
Many have complained about being "nagged" by Microsoft to install the new update and despite declining notifications, Windows 10 installed itself anyway, Mirror Online reported.
 
Which? said there have also been complaints about poor customer service from Microsoft when users contacted the company about the problems they are having, the report said.
 
Of 2,500 people surveyed, who had upgraded to Windows 10, more than 12 per cent said they ended up rolling back to their previous version of the operating system.
 
More than half stated that this was because the upgrade had adversely affected their PC.
 
"We rely heavily on our computers to carry out daily activities so, when they stop working, it is frustrating and stressful," Alex Neill, Which? Director of Campaigns and Policy, was quoted as saying.
 
"Many people are having issues with Windows 10 and we believe Microsoft should be doing more to fix the problem," Neill added.
 
Which? is now calling on Microsoft to improve its customer service and compensate its customers where appropriate.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

 

User

COMMENTS

Simple Indian

2 months ago

A free OS like Linux can be a good alternative to Microsoft Windows for all Govt owned / managed IT setups, yet GoI has inked deals with Microsoft (thanks to Bill Gates' good relations with the powers-that-be in Govt) to push its own products. Linux with Open Office (Liber Office now) is sufficient for most govt staff's use. Could save lakhs of crores spent on IT if Govt would shift to the Linux ecosystem.

KARNAM PRABHAKAR RAO

2 months ago

Our PC system is also affected due to upgradation to Windows 10

KARNAM PRABHAKAR RAO

2 months ago

Our PC system is also affected due to upgradation to Windows 10

KARNAM PRABHAKAR RAO

2 months ago

Our PC system is also affected due to upgradation to Windows 10

KARNAM PRABHAKAR RAO

2 months ago

Our PC system is also affected due to upgradation to Windows 10

KARNAM PRABHAKAR RAO

2 months ago

Our PC system is also affected due to upgradation to Windows 10

KARNAM PRABHAKAR RAO

2 months ago

Our PC system is also affected due to upgradation to Windows 10

KARNAM PRABHAKAR RAO

2 months ago

Our PC system is also affected due to upgradation to Windows 10

KARNAM PRABHAKAR RAO

2 months ago

Our PC system is also affected due to upgradation to Windows 10

KARNAM PRABHAKAR RAO

2 months ago

Useful article.

Somnath Bharti arrested for damaging AIIMS property
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislator Somnath Bharti was arrested on on charges of damaging AIIMS property and misbehaving with its security guards, the police said.
 
Bharti was arrested from his residence and was taken to the Hauz Khas Police Station. 
 
The Delhi Police had registered an FIR against Bharti and his supporters on September 11 following the complaint of All India Institute of Medical Sciences' (AAIMS) Chief Security Officer R.S. Rawat. 
 
Rawat, in his written complaint said that Bharti, around 9.45 a.m. on September 9 "provoked the mob to damage the fence of government property (AIIMS)".
 
Rawat had further alleged that Bharti gave permission to unauthorised persons with JCB machines to get access inside AIIMS from Gautam Nagar Nallah road side and misbehaved with security personnel. 
 
In the complaint, it was also alleged that six security personnel were injured while trying to intervene and stop Bharti and his supporters from damaging AIIMS property. 
 
Bharti and his supporters were booked under Sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapons), 186 (obstructing public servant), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act. 
 
Bharti, however, had termed the allegations "wrong". 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

 

User

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