Friday, October 19, 2007

How Companies Treat Workers

So one of my brothers works at a company related to one of the US auto companies. They do contract work. He's a CAD type designer. I think. He does technical stuff about which I am clueless. As you can imagine, it's not exactly a field full of job security. He's been out of work as long as a year, I think. But he's good at what he does and is usually held on to until the last possible lay off.

He called my dad this afternoon, needing to release some tension. As they were talking, company security was moving from desk to desk, informing people that they were being let go. Those let go were then allowed to clean out their desks before they were escorted from the property.

THIS is how we treat our workers, our employees? What a lousy way to lay someone off. What a lousy way to treat a human being. My brother is a very conscientious worker. He does his work and he does it well. He is this kind of guy who always focuses on doing the best job he can. I know this because I know my brother. He's smart, focused and a hard worker. Always has been. He doesn't deserve that kind of treatment. Nor does anyone else.

Would affording a small amount of dignity to employees be such a difficult act for employers to accomplish? Would it be a whole lot of skin off their collective million dollar parachute protected noses to speak privately with each individual as they let them go? Deliver a private letter to each of their desks? Gutless wonders.

And does the deed have to be done by security, branding those who are let go as possible criminals who might somehow rape and pillage the company on the way out? Or is it simply that the management of these companies doesn't have the nerve to fire people face to face? Again, gutless wonders.

Today, my brother was one of the lucky ones. He still has a job. His dignity? Maybe not so much.



Blogger Suna said...

Yeah. Just went through that at our house. Lee trained some people in India to write assessments on training materials. He then took a week off to work on our house. The day he came back, he didn't even get to sit at his desk. They just showed him out. The Indians are doing his job now. Ironically, he is now back at the same place, doing the same work in a different department, as a contractor making a third again more money. Hmm.

I was heartened a bit to hear that last week this same place did have a meeting with a department to brief them all about what will happen during lay-offs, so they have a wee bit of warning to start looking.

This place is laying off 10% of its staff worldwide, to show the very rich owner they are "doing something." What they are doing is replacing those people, whose work still needs to be done, with more expensive contractors with even less investment in the company's success and equally poor morale.

Every single person in the department I worked at is looking for work elsewhere. So I am glad to have any kind of contract at all. No benefits, no paid days off.

Lovely to be in the USA these days.

8:26 AM  

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