Personally, I've read, that the engineer path is sooooo much better and things like that, however, when I pick it, it never works out.
I built only a faulty generator with workers once, with only 3 deaths, and then made a complete one with engineers with over 400+.
For some reason, Collective Bargaining seems like a better option to deal with strikes, than Strike Busting. It hurts no one, and you can get away with a lot.
Also, while convicts need to be supervised and can cause a game over, with Abolotion of Priviliges, you basically get about 300 semi-decent engineers, because anyone can work anywhere.
However, I do agree, that the fact that the only ability the Labor Union gives is "Food for Workers", which in my eyes isn't really worth it, since it only lowers the strike risk, and with Collective Bargaining, you can take care of that, too.
The only good thing about engineers are the facts, that convicts are cheaper and eat less, and if you're willing to be Hitler's young apprentice, then Roundups and Servitude can speed up the work, but without those, the only positive about engineers is that the Factory Inspectorate raises Workplace Safety and that you can get a few engineers immediately, instead of having to wait till they arrive.
Also, on the Worker path you got the agitators which raise motivation, and considering that Forced Labour kills people, while most of the Workers' abilities raise motivation without harming anyone (Official Doctrine lets you have only good decisions, Selfless sacrifice only lowers it by two, as opposed to Forced Labour's 3, Abolition of Priviliges takes the meaning away from engineers etc.) Basically the only laws that can kill people are People Militia, Terror, and the occasional event, where they want to publicly execute engineers, which can be countered by promising to sign Terror, but not delivering.
While on the Engineer path, right after Security Outposts, you have the Penal Colony, which costs a lot to maintain, and those suckers can't even work, when they aren't supervised, Roundups raise discontent way too much, and Servitude can kill your people by the dozen, people that you need to replenish.
Rationalised Healthcare is mostly pointless, since if you have the health economy, then signing it just makes you a dick, if you don't, then you shouldn't have imported that many people, anyway.
On the other hand, Terror kills one person every day, so even if we compare the two laws, a doubled efficiency rating isn't necessary a good thing, when the people dying are the people who work, while after signing Terrpr, only Engineers are exectued (how they use steam from an incomplete Generator is beyond me, though), so you don't lose most of your workforce, and motivation applies to everyone, while Forced Labour only applies to convicts, and if you want to utilize it, then it takes a lot of time to round all of them up, if you don't want to cause a General Strike, which you have to use Strike busting to deal with, which kills even more people.
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