Article 43

 

Workplace

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Training Repayment Agreements

image: job application form

Is your company charging you for training?

The buzzwords are EMPLOYER DRIVEN DEBT and TRAINING REPAYMENT AGREEMENTS.

If so, the government wants to hear your story.

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) is charged with monitoring markets for consumer financial products and services to ensure that they are fair, transparent, and competitive. As part of this mandate, the CFPB is SEEKING INPUT FROM THE PUBLIC on debt obligations incurred by consumers in the context of an employment or independent contractor arrangement. Areas of inquiry include prevalence, pricing and other terms of the obligations, disclosures, dispute resolution, and the servicing and collection of these debts.

Employer-Driven Debt

The CFPB has identified a potentially growing market of debt obligations incurred by consumers through employment arrangements. These debts (referred to here as employer-driven debts) appear to involve deferred payment to the employer or an associated entity for employer-mandated training, equipment, and other expenses. In this marketplace, the users of these financial products and services are workers or job seekers and the firms offering or providing these financial products or services are employers or associated entities.

Though they may take other forms, employer-driven debt products appear to include:

· Training Repayment Agreements that require workers to pay their employers or third-party entities for previously undertaken training provided by an employer or an associated entity if they separate voluntarily or involuntarily within a set time period. These trainings may have been required in order to obtain a job or a promotion and may be of dubious value outside of the company-specific setting. These agreements generally require payment when workers leave their employment arrangements.

· Debt owed to an employer or third-party entity for the up-front purchase of equipment and supplies essential to their work or required by the employer, but not paid for by the employer. These products might be common in employment relationships in which workers are outsourced or classified as independent contractors. Workers may also owe deferred payments related to maintenance of equipment and supplies.

Risks to Consumers

Employer-driven debt, like other debt, could pose risks to consumers, including overextension of household finances, errors in servicing and collection, default, and inaccurate credit reporting. As with other debt, errors and misinformation can create heightened risks of consumer harm at each stage of the debt life cycle, from origination through servicing and default or payoff. The CFPB understands that, in addition to these general risks, employer-driven debt may also pose additional risks to consumers: consumers may not understand whether these arrangements involve an extension of credit, whether they have the ability to comparison shop for credit offered by others, or whether entering into the debt agreement is a condition of employment. Additional risks specific to the employment context may include whether default on the debt threatens continued or future employment, or whether the status of the debt is impacted by a decision to seek alternative employment. These risks might limit competition and transparency in this market for consumer financial products and services.

Risks to Consumers

Employer-driven debt, like other debt, could pose risks to consumers, including overextension of household finances, errors in servicing and collection, default, and inaccurate credit reporting. As with other debt, errors and misinformation can create heightened risks of consumer harm at each stage of the debt life cycle, from origination through servicing and default or payoff. The CFPB understands that, in addition to these general risks, employer-driven debt may also pose additional risks to consumers: consumers may not understand whether these arrangements involve an extension of credit, whether they have the ability to comparison shop for credit offered by others, or whether entering into the debt agreement is a condition of employment. Additional risks specific to the employment context may include whether default on the debt threatens continued or future employment, or whether the status of the debt is impacted by a decision to seek alternative employment. These risks might limit competition and transparency in this market for consumer financial products and services.

Request for Comment

This request seeks information from the public on how employer-driven debt has impacted consumers. The CFPB is particularly interested in hearing from consumers, worker organizations and labor unions, employers (including employers trying to compete with other employers using employer-driven debt), social services organizations, consumer rights and advocacy organizations, legal aid attorneys, academics and researchers, small businesses, financial institutions, and state and local government officials.

The CFPB welcomes the submission of descriptive information about experiences faced by people participating in the market, as well as quantitative data about employer-driven debt. The CFPB is interested in receiving comments relating to debt incurred to an employer or an associated entity, taken on in pursuit or in the course of employment. Commenters need not answer all or any of the specific questions posed. The CFPB anticipates analyzing this information in the service of better understanding the relationship between labor practices and the market for consumer financial products or services and identifying priority areas for future action.

You may submit responsive information and other comments, identified by Docket No. CFPB-2022-0038 by any of the following methods:

· Federal eRulemaking Portal: FEDERAL ERULEMAKING PORTAL. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

· . Include Docket No. CFPB-2022-0038 in the subject line of the message.

SOURCE - FEDERAL REGISTER - PDF

Posted by Elvis on 09/21/22 •
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Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Rise of the Temp Workers Part 14 - Uber’s Crony Capitalism

image:

WHAT MOST OFTEN AILS THE LABOR MARKET is the typical corporations off-loading of lower-wage workers (and therefore any responsibility to treat them properly) onto another, usually smaller company. That frees both businesses to concentrate on core strengths. For the corporation, that’s producing Product X or Service X.  For the subcontractor or franchisee, thats skirting Labor Law Y or Labor Law Z.
- Rise of the Temp Workers Part 13 - How the Economy Got Restructured to Screw Workers

Corporate chieftains (backed by the economists and politicians they purchase) are creating what they call a workforce of non-employees for one reason: Greed. It directly transfers more money and power from workaday families into the coffers of moneyed elites.
- Rise Of The Temp Workers Part 9 - The Gig Economy

The structure of the labour market has fundamentally changed, and what we used to think of as unemployment has been replaced by mass part-time work, much of it unwanted.
- Unemployment is low only because “involuntary” part-time work is high - Business Insider, December 2019

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Former Uber Executive Comes Out As Leaker

By Julia Mueller
The Hill
July 11, 2022

Mark MacGann, Uber’s former head of public policy for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, has come forward as the whistleblower who leaked the “Uber Files,” more than 124,000 internal documents revealing evidence of the ride-hailing giant’s misconduct.

MacGann, who leaked the files to The Guardian, said in an interview with the outlet on Monday that he did so because “I am partly responsible” for what he believes to be unethical and illegal activity from the company.

“I was the one talking to governments, I was the one pushing this with the media, I was the one telling people that they should change the rules because drivers were going to benefit and people were going to get so much economic opportunity,” MacGann said.

“Uber attempted to carve out space for itself by battling taxi drivers and regulators in more than 40 countries, sometimes persuading government officials to join the fight,” MacGann said.

The company approach in these places was essentially to break the law, show how amazing Uber’s service was, and then change the law. My job was to go above the heads of city officials, build relations with the top level of government, and negotiate. It was also to deal with the fallout.

MacGann said he bought into Uber’s “dream” but eventually realized “we had actually sold people a lie.”

Uber spokesman Noah Edwardsen said in a statement that MacGann only had “praise for Uber” when he departed the company in 2016. “We understand that Mark has personal regrets about his years of steadfast loyalty to our previous leadership, but he is in no position to speak credibly about Uber today.”

Edwardsen claimed MacGann was recently paid 550,000 euros in a settlement with the company. It is noteworthy that Mark felt compelled to “blow the whistle only after his check cleared.”

The “Uber Files,” which The Guardian shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, show that the company also EXPLOITED VIOLENCE AGAINST ITS DRIVERS to garner sympathy and enhance its persuasion efforts.

After taxi driver protests against Uber in the Netherlands led to attacks against four drivers who used the ride-hailing company, executives discussed ways to “keep the violence narrative going for a few days and pump up publicity.”

“Excellent work. This is exactly what we wanted and the timing is perfect,” wrote MacGann after the incidents in communications from the leaked files.

Now, MacGann said, “I regret being part of a group of people which massaged the facts to earn the trust of drivers, of consumers and of political elites.”

SOURCE

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Uber Files: Greyballing, kill switches, lobbying - Uber’s dark tricks revealed

By Nassos Stylianou, Becky Dale and Will Dahlgreen
Uber Files Reporting Team
BBC
July 11, 2022

In just over a decade, Uber has revolutionised how we move around our cities. The ride-hailing app was a game-changer: you just tapped your phone and a cab would find you. You even paid through the app.

The Californian tech company helped define the gig economy, where workers were seen as self-employed. Uber now has millions of drivers all over the world, and takes billions of pounds in fares.

Uber often described the regulated taxi industry it was trying to “break into as a cartel.”

But the company has been rocked by scandals. Uber drivers are fighting for their rights. And now a whistleblower has revealed the dark tricks Uber used to break into lucrative European markets

Mark MacGann used to be one of Uber’s top executives. He was the company’s chief lobbyist, meeting senior members of government and heads of state in over 40 countries.

“People were almost falling over themselves in order to meet with Uber and to hear what we had to offer,” MacGann told the Guardian in an exclusive interview.

It was extraordinarily easy to get access to the highest echelons of power and decision-making. It was intoxicating.Ӕ

Now he’s turned whistleblower.

Thousands of documents were leaked to the Guardian, who shared them with the INTERNATIONAL CONSORTIUM OF INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISTS (ICIJ) and media partners around the world, including the BBC.

The Uber Files are an unprecedented insight into how one of the world’s most notorious tech companies lobbied at the highest level to assist its aggressive expansion into Europe.

Uber raised billions in investment, using funds to attract drivers and passengers and challenge the rules. But Uber needed political support to disrupt the taxi industry.

The leak reveals how undeclared meetings, high-level lobbying, and backroom deals helped Uber to get leading politicians to back their radical plans. The leaked documents cover the years Uber was trying to break into Europe and they show how much Uber was prepared to spend to get close to power. In 2016, its lobbying and public relations budget was $90 million (75 million).

They also expose the shocking detail of how extensively Uber used secret technology to avoid justice and showed just how ruthless the company was prepared to be. The company’s steamroller tactics were evident in just about every European city it launched in, but nowhere more so than Paris, Amsterdam and London.

Read the rest HERE

Posted by Elvis on 07/12/22 •
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Sunday, July 10, 2022

We’re Still Outsourcing Big Tech

image: unhappy i.t. guy

In April 2003 Kevin Flanagan TOOK HIS LIFE in the parking lot of Bank of America’s Concord Technology Center, on the afternoon after he was told he had lost his job . . .  It was “the straw that broke the camels back,” his father said, even though the 41-year-old software programmer suspected it was coming. He knew that his employer, Bank of America Corp., like other giant corporations weathering the economic storm, was cutting high-tech jobs. He knew that Bank of America was SENDING JOBS OVERSEAS. He had seen his friends and coworkers leave until only he and one other person remained on the last project Flanagan worked on.
- Bad Dreams, Bad Truths

Tens of thousands of I.T. professionals have felt the sting of layoffs and outsourcing over the past six years. Joblessness among I.T.  professionals became acute after the dot-com bust in mid-2000, and the economic fallout of the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001 made it a double whammy.”
- Life After Layoff, 2006

Later I wrote my boss an EQUALLY ALARMING and ignored letter about outsourcing the Network Operations Center to COMMUNIST CHINA, POVERTY RIDDEN INDIA, or anywhere off American soil. Soon after I think the company OUTSOURCED I.T. WORK TO IBM - many of those folks in India - now with possibly full control of network and computer operations of the planet’s largest, and (maybe still the) most technically advanced telephone infrastructure.
- The Athens Affair, 2007

The world’s largest IT services company is attempting to boost its creative cost-cutting techniques with a patent application number 20090083107 at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office - for a “method and system for strategic global resource sourcing.” (Yes, “resource sourcing.") In short, IBM wants to patent its math for deciding where to offshore staff.
- IBM Seeks Patent For Offshoring Jobs, 2009

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Companies That Outsource Their Services To India

By Outsource Accelerator
June 3, 2022

There is now a growing number of companies that want to outsource their work to India. As more companies seek a cost-efficient and effective way of running their businesses, many TURN TO OUTSOURCING companies to SAVE ON OPERATION COSTS.

India has been one of the LEADING OUTSOURCING DESTINATIONS due to low costs, 24/7 service, a highly-experienced workforce, a vast talent pool, and continuous support from the government.

Based on studies, the majority of companies in the West are already outsourcing to India. This trend of partnering with an outsourcing company has been EXPECTED TO INCREASE DURING THE PANDEMIC. Cutting costs and business continuity are some of the reasons for these businesses to outsource.

However, the outsourcing world brought both benefits and disadvantages to small and large businesses alike. Many companies can learn from what these businesses did right and what went wrong with their handling.

Here are some of the top companies that outsource their services to India and benefit from it.

Microsoft

Firstly, Microsoft is one of the largest technology corporations in the world. It takes advantage of outsourcing companies to save on labor costs. In 2004, the company started delegating software development and customer support services to India.

In 2010, they have increased their outsourcing efforts by partnering with one of the biggest Indian outsourcing companies Infosys.

To strengthen the security in their outsourced business processes, Microsoft has also increased its investments in cybersecurity for the country in 2016. This is in light of the rising cybersecurity issues in Indian companies that year.

Ford Motors

Starting with back-office tasks, Ford has expanded its outsourcing services to India due to the country’s reliable services at a low cost. In a bid to cut costs, the company OUTSOURCED ITS SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT ENGINEERING AND I.T. in 2013. This helped them manage their e-commerce store and provide 24/7 support to customers around the world.

Ford has even amplified their partnership with outsourcing companies recently. Just last year, FORD SIGNED A DEAL WITH MAHINDRA which will handle most of its BPO operations in the country. This is in line with their efforts to improve their vehicles as they have also set a deal with Volkswagen to develop self-driving cars.

Cisco

Cisco has relied on OUTSOURCING TO THE COUNTRY for its operations. The technology company opened its manufacturing facility in India in 2006 and has CONTINUED TO INCREASE ITS INVESTMENT over time.

Aside from outsourcing software development, Cisco had also established its second-largest research and development center in the country, which employs over 1,600 employees.

Aside from the low costs and service quality, Cisco’s outsourcing venture with any outsourcing company in India also allows them to benefit from the perks given by the Indian government to foreign bodies.

For instance, they get to train their service provider easily by sending their in-house employees through an HB-1 visa.

Amazon

Amazon, meanwhile, has followed in Microsoft’s footsteps in outsourcing to India. In 2015, the company STARTED ITS OUTSOURCING EFFORTS TO INDIA by delegating customer support services to the country. This has helped them save a lot on labor and resource costs compared to setting up an in-house team in the US.

As a part of its continuous expansion in India, Amazon also hired captive call centers in 2018 to be able to accommodate more local and international customers and sellers.

Hiring outsourcing companies in India has also become a part of their “customer obsession” in providing speedy and convenient call center service to their customers worldwide.

Google

Being the largest search engine company, Google is not a newbie when it comes to outsourcing to India, as well as other parts of the world.

Following Apples example, the company started to outsource AdWords phone and email support services to call centers and contact center service providers all over the world, including India, in 2011.

In 2016, Google also EXPANDED ITS IT OUTSOURCING EFFORTS EFFORTS TO THE COUNTRY. They have signed a deal with Cognizant for their IT services. Over time, the company has also changed its strategy in outsourcing, delegating more non-core business processes such as software development and network management.

Google has also become one of the known businesses to transfer its outsourced services to in-house employees. Just last year, they announced that they will be HIRING MORE EMPLOYEES IN SEVERAL COUNTRIES, including India.

IBM

Despite its effects on the business, IBM continues to partner with outsourcing companies in India to make their business process easier.

The company started outsourcing its back-office and technology centers to the country in 2009 and has expanded its efforts ever since. Nowadays, it is believed that THE COMPANY HAS MORE WORKERS IN INDIA (around 130,000) than in the United States.

However, unlike the former ones, entering the outsourcing market has minimal to no effect on their operations. Worse, the quality of their services has continued to decline as they only looked for low labor costs over the work and service quality.

IBM’s experience has become a cautionary tale that companies should be aware of before hiring any outsourcing company that could assist their organizations.

American Express

The financial industry is no stranger to the global outsourcing industry. American Express, one of the largest financial centers in the United States, has been practicing this since 1994.

They have continuously delegated their outsourcing services to India and the Philippines, with software outsourcing company Infosys being one of their close outsourcing partners.

However, since they started earlier, risks are still bigger and regulations have yet to be in place then. In 2011, the company, along with the Bank of America, was SUED FOR OUTSOURCING CUSTOMER SUPPORT SERVICES TO INDIA.

According to several filed lawsuits, the outsourcing market poses a threat to the data privacy and security of their customers.

This has become a lesson for companies that act as third-party service providers in strictly complying with the data security standards and business operations practices in the United States.

Dell

Dell is also one of the earliest companies in the IT industry which have decided to try outsourcing software development and customer support services to India. They started in 2001 in Bangalore and expanded to Hyderabad in 2002.

Though they are still delegating their customer support to the country, the company took back some of its business functions to the United States in 2004.

Cultural rift has become a major factor in its operations, which caused an increasing volume of customer complaints. At that time, Dells Indian call center operations team couldn’t handle the high volume of calls from customers and was not able to handle their concerns properly.

On the bright side, by hiring an outsourcing partner, Dell GAINED A LARGE MARKET OF INDIAN CONSUMERS IN 2011.

Hewlett Packard

Along with Microsoft, Hewlett Packard (HP) INCREASED IT’S OUTSOURCED SERVICES TO INDIA IN 2004. From years of handling accounting, bookkeeping, and payroll services, they have also delegated back-office support, like data entry, to Indian companies.

This was due to their confidence that the country’s vast talent pool will provide the best for the company and its customers.

Through their outsourcing efforts, HP has seen an increase in business growth through their outsourcing partners and profit over time. From here, they have decided to expand their operations to support the demand from their increasing number of clients across the

AT&T

Lastly, telecommunications company AT&T also has its share of the story in hiring an outsourcing partner in India. Starting in 2011, the company has shifted its in-house call centers to outsourcing companies in top countries, including India.

Despite DRAWING FLAK FROM THE MOVE, AT&T continues to expand its services through outsourced service centers to improve their services for their clients.

Why do companies outsource to India?

As mentioned above, companies have similar reasons for hiring an outsourcing vendor in India. This includes the following benefits:

Savings of up to 70% on labor costs

Being able to provide 24/7 service

Highly-experienced talents

World-class technical supervision

Government support in the industry

More and more US companies are also outsourcing to India instead of building an in-house team from scratch because of its technology centers. The country has a vast talent pool of tech experts who are knowledgeable in a wide array of services.

Most outsourcing companies in India offer not only back-office solutions but also software development, web and mobile development, technology development enterprise, custom software development, application development, data conversion, business analysis, data analytics, and other digital solutions afforded to foreign clients.

Aside from this, hiring INDIAN COMPANIES help foreign firms increase their web research efforts and market, such as the case in Cisco.

However, outsourcing to India - or any other technology center worldwide - also has its risks and challenges. There are a number of companies that had issues with data security and decreased quality services due to hiring an outsourcing firm just to cut costs.

To avoid this dilemma, businesses must learn how to dodge these risks and turn them into advantages that will help them to be successful in the long run.

How do outsourcing companies in India stand out?

India has slowly emerged as a top outsourcing destination for large corporations worldwide. Some of the best outsourcing companies in the world are born in the country - such as Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Infosys.

Its growing IT industry has pushed India’s name into notoriety in the global outsourcing sector. Their outsourcing workforce has also been a relief for most foreign companies, especially in these times when there is a shortage of tech talents.

Indian tech professionals are known to be experienced in handling different tasks such as software development, web development, mobile app development, application development, data entry, generating custom software solutions, live chat support services, data management, data security, payroll services, and bookkeeping services, among others.

India has emerged as the favorite outsourcing destination for companies planning to shift their business processes outside. Although countries like the Philippines, China, Mexico, and Ireland are also making waves in business process outsourcing, India remains to be in the top.

So, how do you know if outsourcing to India is right for your company?

If getting the best quality service while on a tight budget is your requirement, partnering with outsourcing companies in India would certainly be the best approach. The cost of any outsourcing venture to India is much lower compared to several other countries.

Moreover, the quality of enterprise solutions, the technical expertise, and the skills offered by any outsourcing company in India are unmatched. It enables you to scale and offers complete flexibility and agility that might be restricted if you go for offshoring or nearshoring.

The country’s other technology and financial center are welcoming of clients from other countries - even if it is from a different timezone. Outsourcing companies in India are also well-trained to cater to the needs of their client no matter where they are across the world.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 07/10/22 •
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Tuesday, February 08, 2022

Simple Sabotage Field Manual

imageL simple sabotage field manual

Read the CIA’s Simple Sabotage Field Manual: A Timeless Guide to Subverting Any Organization with “Purposeful Stupidity” (1944)

Open Culture
December 1, 2015

I’ve always admired people who can successfully navigate what I refer to as “Kafka’s Castle,” a term of dread for the many government and corporate agencies that have an inordinate amount of power over our permanent records, and that seem as inscrutable and chillingly absurd as the labyrinth the character K navigates in Kafka’s last allegorical novel. Even if you haven’t read THE CASTLE, if you work for such an entity - or like all of us have regular dealings with the IRS, the healthcare and banking system, etc.you’re well aware of the devilish incompetence that masquerades as due diligence and ties us all in knots. Why do multi-million and billion dollar agencies seem unable, or unwilling, to accomplish the simplest of tasks? Why do so many of us spend our lives in the real-life bureaucratic NIGHTMARES satirized in the The Office and Office Space?

One answer comes via Laurence J. Peters 1969 satire THE PETER PRINCIPLE- which offers the theory that managers and executives get promoted to the level of their incompetence - then, DAVID BRENT-LIKE, go on to ruin their respective departments. The HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW summed up DISTURBING RECENT RESEARCH confirming and supplementing Peter’s insights into the narcissism, overconfidence, or actual sociopathy of many a government and business leader. But in addition to human failings, there’s another possible reason for bureaucratic disorder; the conspiracy-minded among us may be forgiven for assuming that in many cases, institutional incompetence is the result of deliberate sabotage from both above and below. The ridiculous inner workings of most organizations certainly make a lot more sense when viewed in the light of one set of instructions for “purposeful stupidity,” namely the once top-secret SECRET SABOTAGE FIELD MANUAL, written in 1944 by the CIA’s precursor, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS).

Now DECLASSIFIED AND FREELY AVAILABLE on the CIA’s website, the manual the agency describes as “surprisingly relevant” was once distributed to OSS officers abroad to assist them in training “citizen-saboteurs” in occupied countries like Norway and France. Such people, WRITES REBECCA ONION T SLATE, “might already be sabotaging materials, machinery, or operations of their own initiative,” but may have lacked the devious talent for sowing chaos that only an intelligence agency can properly master. Genuine laziness, arrogance, and mindlessness may surely be endemic. But the Field Manual asserts that purposeful stupidity is contrary to “human nature” and requires a particular set of skills. The citizen-saboteur “frequently needs pressure, stimulation or assurance, and information and suggestions regarding feasible methods of simple sabotage.”

You can read and download the full documentHERE. To get a sense of just how timelessӔ- ACCORDING TO THE CIA ITSELF - such instructions remain, see the abridged list below, COURTESY OF BUSINESS INSIDER. You will laugh ruefully, then maybe shudder a little as you recognize how much your own workplace, and many others, resemble the kind of dysfunctional mess the OSS meticulously planned during World War II.

Organizations and Conferences

“Insist on doing everything through channels.” Never permit short-cuts to be taken in order to expedite decisions.

Make speeches."Talk as frequently as possible” and at great length. Illustrate your points’ by long anecdotes and accounts of personal experiences.

When possible, “refer all matters to committees, for further study and consideration.” Attempt to make the committee as large as possible never less than five.

Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible.

Haggle over precise wordings of communications, minutes, resolutions.

Refer back to matters decided upon at the last meeting and attempt to re-open the question of the advisability of that decision.

Advocate “caution.” Be “reasonable” and urge your fellow-conferees to be “reasonable” and avoid haste which might result in embarrassments or difficulties later on.

Managers

In making work assignments, always sign out the unimportant jobs first. See that important jobs are assigned to inefficient workers.

Insist on perfect work in relatively unimportant products; send back for refinishing those which have the least flaw.

To lower morale and with it, production, be pleasant to inefficient workers; give them undeserved promotions.

Hold conferences when there is more critical work to be done.

Multiply the procedures and clearances involved in issuing instructions, pay checks, and so on. See that three people have to approve everything where one would do.

Employees

Work slowly.

Work slowly.

Contrive as many interruptions to your work as you can.

Do your work poorly and blame it on bad tools, machinery, or equipment. Complain that these things are preventing you from doing your job right.

Never pass on your skill and experience to a new or less skillful worker.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 02/08/22 •
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Thursday, November 18, 2021

NWO - Union Lockouts During Covid

image: union lockout

Q. How does the PRO ACT fit in with the two issues below going on now?

A. It may do something to STOP employers from LOCKING OUT or replacing striking workers.

“Kellogg’s turn toward using scabs to break strike. This will test whether a resurgent labor movement will win or be repressed. Will labor’s allies help? Deep stresses are rising to challenge and change US capitalism.”
- Richard Wolff 11/18/2021

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Kelloggs reportedly hiring to replace workers on strike after a failed negotiation

EcconoTimes
November 15, 2021

Kellogg’s, the American food manufacturing company headquartered in Battle Creek, Michigan, is allegedly hiring new workers that will replace those who are on strike. They are still protesting after the negotiations between the union and the management failed.

At this point, no additional negotiation meeting has been set between Kellogg’s and the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union. While the strike is ongoing, the company is said to be actively hiring so it can immediately replace at least 1,400 plant workers who have not returned to work yet and still protesting.

ACCORDING TO FOX BUSINESS, because of the ongoing protest over contract deals, the company said late last week that it has resorted to “tapping our global manufacturing network and expertise” and currently hiring to fill in roles at Kellogg’s four factories located in Battle Creek, Michigan; Memphis, Tennessee; Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Omaha, Nebraska.

While the new hiring begins, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union workers are still on the picket lines. Some of the employees receiving hourly pay and salaried ones have also begun to work and restarted the productions at the affected plants.

The union members have been on strike since early October and Kellogg’s was forced to continue operations at its facilities by depending on “other sources” to avoid any disruptions with the supply.

At any rate, Kellogg’s has sued the striking workers at its cereal plant in Omaha. In the lawsuit that was filed last week against the union, the company accused the striking union members of intimidating workers at the Omaha, Nebraska facility who are not part of the union. The company added that the workers also blocked vehicles from coming in and out of the factory.

With the actions, Kellogg’s said in the suit that the company is suffering and will continue to suffer irreparable damages. Moreover, the cereal maker is asking the court for an immediate order of prohibiting the conduct described.

“We sought a temporary restraining order to help ensure the safety of all individuals in the vicinity of the plant, including the picketers themselves,” Kris Bahner, Kellogg’s spokeswoman, told Business insider. “As Kellogg continues to conduct business at the plant, we are concerned about dangerous and unlawful behavior, such as blocking plant access, threatening violence against individuals entering the plant, and damaging property, to name a few.”

SOURCE

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Massachusetts nurses strike faces collapse due to unions isolation of their struggle

By Ben Oliver
World Socialist Web Site
Novermber 15, 2021

Roughly 600 nurses are still on strike in Worcester, Massachusetts, as they fight to defend their working conditions and the safety of their patients at Saint Vincent Hospital. A full year into the pandemic, on March 8, 2021, they forced the hand of their union, the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA), to call an open-ended strike. It is now the longest nurses strike in Massachusetts history. Despite nurses’ commitment and sacrifice, their struggle is in danger of collapse due to the role of the unions and their subservience to Democratic Party politicians.

With the fiduciary duty to maximize returns of its private stakeholders, executives expect this move to render double-digit returns within three years, as Tenet seeks to derive more profit from less capital intensive, lower cost-of-care settings. Offsetting these purchases is Tenet’s divestiture from inpatient care. In June 2021, four months into the nurses’ strike, it announced the $1.1 billion sale of five hospitals in Florida to Steward Healthcare.

According to a December 2020 article in the Dallas Morning News, while then CEO Ron Rittenmeyer claimed that CARES Act money was not used in Tenets December purchase, the $2.5 billion Tenet received protected investors from pandemic losses, as did deep spending cuts and furloughs of 10 percent of Tenet’s workforce.

With Tenet making fundamental changes to its business model and Saint Vincent management weighing the possibility of making service cuts permanent, even the MNAs Marlena Pellegrino cannot maintain the same hollow confidence that once inspired the insipid slogan “one day longer, one day stronger” pathetically echoed by union bureaucrats and Democratic politicians at a June rally marking the strike’s 100th day.

In response to CEO Jackson’s calls for a poll of striking nurses to determine their willingness to return to work, Pellegrino refused, saying, “They just need to offer us our jobs back, and then they will see whos coming back. I think they will see that many Saint Vincent nurses are coming back.”

In reply to a Reddit post by a nursing student concerned about conditions in their hospital and the prospect of a union-led strike, one worker responded:

Google “St. Vincents nurses strike, Worcester Massachusetts.” Those nurses have been striking for over 8 months. They have had nothing good come out of it. They are all taking travel contracts to work at local hospitals in the area, while the hospital is offering well below par care with the newly hired travelers ...

A recent headline on wgbh.org of Boston, quoting Pelligrino, read: “‘There actually is no shame in this corporation’” says St. Vincent’s nurse on strike.” When the Democratic congressional delegation from Massachusetts recently penned a letter to Tenets CEO Saum Sutaria, decrying its ғviolation of the ԓlong accepted standards of doing business between capitalists and the labor bureaucracy, Sutaria was able to respond in similar style, replying that ԓbringing in permanent replacement nurses, while certainly not our first choice, was a necessary step to ensure continuity of care and to preserve access to the most critical services for our community.

In the Saint Vincent strike, there is no end to empty rhetoric because it is in the interest of the Democratic Party and the MNA apparatus to conceal the objective dimensions of the class struggle and derail the mass opposition of nurses. They are rewarded with salaries that secure them membership in the upper middle class.

Stifled by the MNA, and isolated from other health care workersԒ struggles, the Saint Vincent nurses strike is headed for what one academic commentator called a natural death,Ӕ with enough nurses being forced to cross or abandon the picket for jobs elsewhere.

The agreement reached between the MNA and Tenet in August, which was scuttled due to Tenets refusal to give nurses their jobs back, included concessions on nursesҒ central demand: a staffing ratio of four nurses to every patient on medical-surgical floors. That agreement was reached five months into the strike. Since then, Tenet has continued to hire permanent replacements, offering thousands of dollars in bonuses. Meanwhile, the striking nurses have run out of unemployment insurance and receive nothing from the coffers of their union.

Under siege and abandoned, save for fake shows of solidarity, charity, appeals to the capitalist state in the form of pending Unfair Labor Practices complaints, and the odd scolding letter from labor bureaucrats and politicians to Tenet, the nurses of Saint Vincent Hospital have been left with nowhere to turn, except to their allies in the working class, both national and international.

The first step to building this movement is for nurses and health care workers - along with teachers, autoworkers, meatpackers, Amazon workers and others - to form RANK-AND-FILE COMMITTEES to take direct control of their struggles and to join the INTERNATIONAL WORKERS ALLIANCE OF RANK-AND-FILE COMMITTEES.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 11/18/21 •
Section Revelations • Section NWO • Section Dying America • Section Workplace
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