The one thing both sides refuse to admit is that Labor & Management needs each other.I’m a strong proponent of better wages & benefits, but workers in general needs to work harder, improve their attention spans & earn the higher salaries. Too many of these conversations are one-dimensional. Having been a worker and run my own business, I understand there’s a lot to be desired from both management and labor.
Labor & Management Needs Each Other
To produce higher wages, we need a better overall workforce. Remember at least half of all small businesses and many large ones too, are also barely surviving. The solution is a better labor force that produces greater profit and receives better benefits & wages that come as a reward. The two go hand-in-hand, and both sides have an obligation to make it work for both sides.
LABOR & MANAGEMENT BOTH BOTH RECEIVE “D” GRADE
Practically every worker in America claims that management and business have become ruthless.
- Businesses have stagnated wages the past couple of decades.
- Businesses have reduced or done away with retirement & other benefits.
- Management is also widely accused of treating individual employees like irreplaceable cattle or robots.
On the other hand, management always complains about how difficult it is to find good workers anymore. Among the complaints, they claim most employees are:
- Easily distracted (some with every silly text or notification).
- Too many have never done an honest day’s work their entire life (I know some managers like that, too).
- They’ll rob you blind (Again, I know a few managers who will, too).
- They are fundamentally dishonest (Really, coming from management?).
FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH
I agree with management that labor must do better, and with labor that management must stop treating workers like indentured servants. Let’s start rewarding managers and employees by merit and performance, and allow those who deserve a bigger piece of the pie to get it.
SETTLE DOWN ALREADY, UNION ACTIVISTS (All four of you, bless your heart)
We need to bring back the Unions stronger than ever. Workers need real representation in the workforce. But, don’t start your celebration just yet, my four Union organizer friends. Here are some things we don’t want again from unions:
- We don’t want the mafia and criminals involved in any way.
- We want retirement funds protected for workers’ retirement.
- We want you to get back to training union workers to be the best workers in America.
- We want you to make businesses function better, and not give them glaring examples of unions fighting for things that piss off management and gains nothing for workers. Keep it focused on a balance between more profit for businesses and a bigger share of the pie for union workers.
- Get back to making union workers the best damn option in America.
Did unions get squashed because management and businesses bought off politicians and played dirty? Of course, but Unions also shot themselves in the foot with the above issues and others. If Unions rise again, we need better than Jimmy Hoffa and people that make us hold our nose and agree with management.
YES, BUSINESSES, I WANT TO BRING BACK THE UNION
Besides offering real rewards to your best employees based on merit, I ask that you:
- Help bring a rebirth to the unions by not fighting their rise.
- Stop rewarding CEOs and management millions of dollars to run companies into the ground. Base their salaries on merit, too.
DON’T CHOKE, BUSINESS TYCOONS & WANNABES,
Before my business friends toss your shoes at me, let’s take a look at the workplace since you tossed the unions out. You’ve done little but complain ever since about the decline of the American work environment. Modern distractions are responsible for part of the change, but Big Business also caused a lot of it by destroying every union in sight, even those that were good for both labor and businesses.
As you can see from my messages to labor, I oppose many of the same things you do about what unions had become. But, workers need fair representation, and you need a better-trained workforce. Unions are the best and the only option to serve both purposes.
WHAT IS RIGHT FOR YOUR BEST WORKERS IS GOOD FOR BUSINESS
Business needs to allow unions back, and both unions and companies need to focus on doing what is best for the best employees, which also happens to be best for business. If we reward those who are the best employees, it provides a powerful incentive for workers to be more than average. As it is, your regular title-oriented promotions only go so far. If you want employees to bust their asses for you again, you need reliable, honest, well-focused unions as much as labor does. Haven’t you noticed nobody has bragged about the quality of American goods since the decline of the unions? That “Made In A Union Factory” label used to represent quality in this country. Not since you killed the unions!
FOCUS ON MAKING BUSINESSES & EMPLOYEES MORE MONEY
Frankly, some of the petty squabbles between labor and management during the union era had little or nothing to do with workers, costs or profit. Too often, you people just didn’t like each other and went out of your way to make each other’s lives more difficult. Both businesses and employees need better out of both of management and labor this next go-round.
SHARE IT, BABY!
A percentage of profits past a certain profit margin perhaps should be shared with employees as a bonus and incentive. Surely there are ways to develop encouragement for better labor that produces more profit for businesses and better pay for workers. Why do the two sides always have to be on opposite sides? Let’s get beyond the quagmire of the status quo and create a work environment that is more rewarding and positive for labor and management. There doesn’t have to be two hostile sides if both sides give a frog’s ass about logic and the common good.
BEYOND LINING UP AND LABELING THE OTHER SIDE EVIL
I’ve tried to shape this discussion in a manner that shifts the debate to better benefits for both sides of the labor dispute. It’s ridiculous to pretend just raising the minimum wage would solve even the problem for the lowest workers, since half the small businesses in this country are hanging by a thread. Many big corporations are also already teetering towards disaster.
Labor and Management, like Americans and people in general, must learn that working together for the common good is our best and only solution. Every decent person on any side cares for their family, friends, local community, the nation. Labor and Management could help all these things we hold dear if they would work together for the common interest.
I’m tired of hearing about how much smarter the businesses are in other countries, and how workers are better just about anywhere but the United States. The way it’s going now, both labor and business are heading towards disaster. If you need a reminder, think back to 2008 when President Obama took office, only to handed a broken country and economy. While the president’s done an admirable job of picking up the pieces and keeping the country moving for seven years, Congress has done nothing to fix the problem. They only bailed out corporate monstrosities Congress deemed too big to fail. Congress has made them even bigger.
We need honest businesses to help prevent the next disaster, which will be much worse than 2007/8. Test my theory. Hold workers to a higher level of expectation and pay them accordingly. If you don’t get the right unions to help, the next Great Recession might flatten your business like a pancake. And, this time, the people might not allow Congress to bail you out of a mess you helped create.
Let me close by telling unions that just because I focused much attention on business doesn’t mean I don’t have equal contempt for what unions became. You were workers’ savior, and you blew it with greed, corruption, and petty disputes. If you get another chance, you best make it work this time, Or else, by my calculations, it will be about 2999 before anybody thinks seriously about giving you another chance.
I’m placing it on Business and Labor to save this nation. You’ll only accomplish it by working together. The sides might not like it, but Labor & Management needs each other.