Monday, September 5, 2016

It's a PEU Labor Day

Workers might have a sinking feeling in their stomach this Labor Day.  We've experienced stagnant pay and declining benefits for over a decade.  We've seen executives profit disproportionately for the work we've done.  Many have watched private equity underwriters (PEU) load our company with debt, mine it for millions in management fees and dividends, then flip it.  The truly unlucky have experienced this multiple times.

Corporate chiefs and boards turned their backs on retirees, sending them to private health exchanges to flounder under complexity and suffer financially as prices soar beyond their new defined benefit.  Executives turned their back on the longstanding commitment to retirees.  Top execs stand to be personally enriched by shunning retirees, as the move shifts costs to the former worker.

Executives set hard targets for productivity and profit, such that managers below them lie, cheat or steal to meet the number and save their job.  Targets are more important than following the law.  Hourly workers are ordered to work "off the clock", a direct violation of labor law.

Fortune reported:

“Chipotle routinely requires hourly-paid restaurant employees to punch out, and then continue working until they are given permission to leave. Turner said she was told to work overtime without pay and tell her subordinates to do so as well so that the restaurant could meet its budget goals.
The company's defense:

“Chipotle has argued this is a few rogue managers who aren’t following policy.
A few rogue managers over 10,000 workers?   This brings to mind the series of BP executives, Lord John Browne and Tony Hayward who blamed underlings (when not claiming ignorance) over the Texas City refinery explosion and the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster. 

Rogue describes the state of management in our country today.  Selfish leaders prioritize image over substance, money/profit over people and blind obedience over principled service.  The sickness is widespread in business and government, where both are intertwined in a sick symbiotic relationship.