The questions in this poll seem to filled with a large portion of circumstantial bias directing the results to one conclusion. Not much direction to positive outlook options that I can see, but only "what is in it for me". I think a lot of us have been there at one point or another.
Part of the solution is to become pro-active, not reactive.
As to training:
I attempt training for anyone that is willing to ask for assistance. On or off the job. What good are my skills that I have gained via other generous souls, if I don't pass them along to someone else. To confuse the question of compensational "self worth" to training others "on the job" is on the side of compulsory dissatisfaction with what the employer has already offered as his idea of fair trade. I can't imagine finding any satisfaction withholding my skills because there is nothing "extra" in it to benefit me. I fear underlying tones of this type of selfish mindset, can show effects in other areas of ones life. Ultimately, the one that loses out the most is the trainee. :frown:
I don't care what I am asked to do, either I am on the team or not, as long as I get paid what I determine as an acceptable compensation package for my skills. As long as no one is complaining that something else isn't getting done. Finding the environment unacceptable is when it is time to raise the white flag, start looking for the next level of opportunity to step up or a leap onto the same ride this employer is on. You don't have to become them, you just have to survive. Then in retrospect, think of all the hours you will be training noobs for a minimal return when they walk once skilled because you can't or don't want to afford to pay them what they are really worth.
As to wages:
What always gets me about requesting a raise is like a major offense to an employer. Yet if you try to moonlight with your own equipment on the side, you now are competition. The brass tacks of this dilemma seems to be, as has been mentioned, a control freak issue. It is to their greater benefit to keep costs down and grow, regardless of whether there is any benefit left over to hand to the employees as last on the list. They have plans for that money you helped generate and that may not include you!
Many, many years ago, I recall one past employer whom consider he OWNED and CREATED me and my measly net worth. Telling us all that from time to time to pamper his own inflated ego. Who and the hell did I think I was, asking for more than I already over pay you(1980 at $7.75/hr was 60% the going rate for Machinists). Nearly constant public ridicule and intimidation was the tone he set, so no one else would even question his authority. The order of the day was that no one else is going to hire you punks, so you need me more than I need you. Not ALL employers are like this, but if they try to CONTROL your prosperity in the slightest way......you can fire them on the same terms. No love lost with this jerk either!
The way I see it, business owners either pay the going rate for the facility and materials they need to stay in business or they are in trouble. Going elsewhere is not always an option. When an owner/employer raises their prices, it is in effect so they don't lose money out of their own pay check. To put an employee in the hot seat or brow beat them for even suggesting they need to be raising their price is hypocritical IMO. If you don't walk when they say no, then they still win. Do their suppliers or landlords give them a choice? Everyone has the take it or leave it option on the table. The victor is usually the one that had proven the loser had less leverage to go elsewhere. Don't think for a moment that they cannot survive without you. Chances are, they will find another sap(or 2) to take advantage of, possibly at a cheaper rate than what they paid previously.
So, to keep peace in the shop/office the only choice is to silently market those services in the experience you have elsewhere. Competition is fine, but sometimes the loss of key people may make them suffer on the cheap for a short term. Of course every job market has its wage limit. If you can prove you are worth more, don't expect the moon and the stars. Similarly, if they over price the products produced compared to the remainder of the market. Sales go elsewhere to boot!
As I have been told, there is no real money as a shop floor worker. The real money is in management. The more you can manage, the more compensation there is, whether you own it or not. Working with small shop owners that squeak when they walk will never change. If the shoe were on the other foot, I'm sure we would fall into the same step!