Merry Christmas for Some But Not You
We all know what the top dogs of major corporations do after they cause a companies coffers to nosedive: Give themselves massive bonuses. But what happens to the workforce? They Nip/Tuck:
A growing number of employers, hoping to avoid or limit layoffs, are introducing four-day workweeks, unpaid vacations and voluntary or enforced furloughs, along with wage freezes, pension cuts and flexible work schedules. These employers are still cutting labor costs, but hanging onto the labor.
And in some cases, workers are even buying in.
You'll forgive me if I'm not moved by that last sentence and this graf from the Times article:
At some companies, employees are supporting the indirect wage cuts — at least for now. The downturn hit so hard, with its toll felt so widely through hits on pensions and 401(k) retirement plans and with the future so murky, that employers and even some employees say it is better to accept minor cuts than risk more draconian steps.
I know someone who had their wages cut 15% and I can guarantee its out of necessity: 85% is still better than 0%. I know people who have had their company bought out and had to sign contracts giving up their vacation and sick time they have accrued. No vacay for you...suckers. In this job market getting screwed is a lot better than losing your job. Its not that people "support" these measures, its that they have no damn choice. "Draconian steps"? That's right, you mean losing their job. Check. But you got to love the euphemism!
People are already hurting and these "supported" measures are making things worse. I wish that the awesome awesomeness of Obama will magically heal the world but I woke up on 11/5 and the world still sucked. And it has done nothing but gotten worse. Since I don't believe in the power of hope and words, what can we do to make sure we are all OK? As we enter the new year, that is the question I will be asking myself over and over.