Posted by Al Lewison January 28, 2012 Workplace /
It’s a long, hard road for a woman to sue her employment for sex discrimination.
Lorelei Kilker persisted in her claim against Western Sugar Cooperative, where she worked for nearly a decade as a chemical analysts. The settlement she won would have been victory enough, but she was also lauded as a champion for women’s rights on a national stage.
Posted by Al Lewison September 26, 2011 Workplace /
You’re hearing the old efficiency mantra now more than ever: Do more with less. Raleigh, N.C. -based Workplace Options calls it “worker intensification,” and Americans are doing a lot more of it these days.
Workplace Options, an employee benefits provider, says 62% of the American workers it surveyed say their employer is trying to get more work out of each employee, typically with no prospect of any kind of reward. Click here to read the survey.
“In times of economic uncertainty a lot of the burden falls on workers,” said Dean Debnam, chief executive officer of Workplace Options. “Employers are forced to make ends meet with fewer resources and turn to their staff for help.”
Of those surveyed 51% say the increased workload has negatively affected their well-being and 37% said they won’t be able to sustain their current workload in the long run.
It’s a grim story for unions with only 14.7 million members now, compared 17.7 million union workers in 1983.
Why do Americans shun unions at a time when they may need them the most? We are all so easily discarded with unemployment stuck at over 9% for more than 20 months.
Many unions represent public employees and better-paid public employees can mean higher taxes.
There’s also the perception that unions helped destroy many of the companies that employed their members, including GM and Chrysler. That’s going to be a hard one for unions to shake.
And then there’s the corruption factor. Many union leaders, as they gain power, become just as self-dealing, manipulative and dishonest as the executive teams they challenge. They’re not looking out for the people. They’re building fiefdoms, like all the other power-crazed maniacs that run the world.
Unions should be welcomed as legitimate players in the market. Collective bargaining could be a way to efficiently organize labor. Somebody needs to put the brakes on out-of-control CEO pay and the shipping of American jobs overseas. But it should be pretty clear by now that the unions have failed.
Folks at Bank of America’s mortgage office in Greenwood Village, Colo., decided they’d wear wacky hats in observance of “Spirit Day.”
One of them wore a white hood over his head.
Lisa House, who worked in the office as a contract mortgage closer, didn’t find it funny. She says she was terrified and reduced to tears by the sight of a team leader running around in what looked to her like Ku Klux Klan garb. And when she complained she got less than a sincere apology.
She quit, and is now taking her story public with the help of black community activist Alvertis Simmons.
Click here to read my column on House’ and the white hood that ruined Spirit Day.
And see this report by Jon Bowman who first reported the story on Fox 31 in Denver.
Posted by Al Lewison September 30, 2010 Workplace /
Why do are we working longer hours? Maybe it’s too many distractions in the workplace.
According to a recent survey by Raleigh, N.C. support services company, Workplace Options, 42% of workers say they are coming in early or staying late in order to avoid distractions.
And what is so distracting at work?
* 24% said personal chatter involving office romances, water cooler gossip, etc.
* 23% said technology involving emails, phone calls, social media, internet glitches.
* 12% said meetings and lunches.
* 6% said surroundings – loud coworkers, music or television noise, or lack of privacy.
* 4% said celebrations for birthdays and baby showers or sports.
In its news release, Workplace Options said American businesses lose about $650 billion a year to workplace distractions, citing research by Jonathan Spira, who authored a report called “The Cost of Not Paying Attention: How Interruptions Impact Knowledge Worker Productivity.”
Of those surveyed, 22% reported seeing something that I’ve never seen happen: Someone fired for wasting time, disrupting other employees and partaking in other distractions. In the news business, this is known as creative space. And in many other businesses it is also referred to as management.
Posted by Al Lewison June 11, 2010 Workplace /
We are nearly three years into the worst recession of our lives, and the job cuts keep coming.
We keep hearing the recession is over – although not yet officially – and that what we are in now is a long, hard slog.
That slog, unforntunately, has not included very many new jobs in the private sector. And the economic damage of nearly 10% unemployment over a long period of time is not something economists often talk about.
Meanwhile, improvments in technology, outsourcing, the search for new efficiencies and consolidating companies continue to eliminate jobs, on top of what the economy is doing to the workforce. If you are one of the more than 1,200 people laid off at Solo Cup Co. this week, the last thing you want to hear is that the cup is half full.