The 'above-all-else' drive to increase profits often leads to decisions involving outsourcing, subcontracting and privatization. We're faced with it ... and we have to deal with it.
Every month it seems like there's a new management scheme introduced to the workforce. Like hula hoops, these fads come and go, but some have been around for awhile now. Even though many of these terms refer to manufacturing, a good number have been adopted for use in the service sector:
Here are two situations that have occurred at UE workplaces.
- Privatization is just another way to cut jobs and pay.
- At least one major study has found privatization means poorer quality services, demoralization, increased discrimination, loss of citizen control, decreased efficiency and higher - not lower - costs.
Imagine this. The personnel manager calls a meeting with the union committee one day and makes the following announcement:
Jose Martinez works in the accounting office of the Town of Westmoreland. One day his supervisor approached him and said, "Jose, there's a new policy the mayor has put out. Starting next week everyone has to be on the public service desk for 2 hours a day. This will rotate, so everyone has to do their bit."
- When tough times hit your workplace, there are alternatives to consider to either avoid layoffs — or soften their impact.
- Not all of these suggestions will work in every situation, but they're worth checking out.
The (few) protections for workers facing plant closings
- There are not many protections for U.S. workers facing a plant closing. Stewards and union officers must be familiar with the few that are available - especially the WARN act and similar state laws.