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Posts Tagged ‘workers’

     I don’t know about you…but, I find it heartbreaking that businesses here in the US are dropping like flies.  Today, it was announced that Circuit City has gotten the go ahead to liquidate their assets, since they were not able to secure a buyout or a refinancing plan.  

     Five hundred and sixty seven Circuit City stores in the US are involved; and, that means that over 30,000 employees are now going to be unemployed soon.  The thing is that the merchandise will now be liquidated and it will unleash an ongoing picking of the bones of merchandise; until that merchandise is sold off to help offset Circuit City’s debt load.  There are always those who will take joy or glee from someone else’s misfortune; or find a way to benefit from it.   Just this past week, Osama Bin Laden released a tape where he appeared to gloat at the United States’ financial chaos.  That just doesn’t sit well.

        I hate to even hear about liquidation sales.  In theory, I don’t like the fact that people will flock to those stores to get “great deals” that most of them really can’t afford; but, can’t seem to resist since the prices are at “rock bottom”.   Often, they really aren’t…it is all in the perception.  Still, those kinds of sales feel like vultures are picking the bones of a carcass on the side of the road to me.   

     I’ve often thought to myself…if all of those people who flock to those liquidation sales would have shopped there previous to the liquidation sales; then, maybe they wouldn’t have had to file bankruptsy, and gone out of  business in the first place.  That might be a bit judgemental…but, it is my opinion…nothing more.    On the other hand, the stuff has to be sold to “help” Circuit City meet the financial demands of their creditors.  Therefore, the liquidators are providing a service to the owners and operators that is badly needed.

          It is still sad though that the stores involved in these situations, often even look like skeletons.  They have the heavy environment of sadness and depression.  The workers that stay- -stay because they need every day on the job that they can get, in this economy; before having to pound the pavement looking for a replacement job or filing for unemployment.  The stores begin to take on the appearance of a person who is terminally ill; but, is fighting to survive no matter the cost.  The shelves are bare in spots and the products are often sold without their boxes or original packaging; and, off of display shelves…meaning they are sold as is…with or without instructions, adaptors, cords, or add-ons.  It is terribly sad.  Eventually, there is nothing left to sell but display racks, shelves, registers and lighting. 

     All in all…it ups the pressure on those trying to steer the economy of the US, as it struggles to regain a foothold on the slippery slope to financial stability.  This sad news will add another 30,000 job seekers to the already saturated job market…and, add burdens to those families who are fearful and struggling to survive the financial woes of our country.   It is bad news to those who hoped that 2009 would be the beginning of  a financial recovery period for those who are trying to earn an honest living.   I wish them well.

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       Labor Day is celebrated traditionally on the first Monday in September every year in the United States.  The original idea came about in 1882; it is a bit of a controversy who came up with the idea but most agree it is one of these two men, Peter J. McGuire a carpenter or Matthew Maguire a machinist brought the idea to the American forefront.  The reasoning behind a Labor Day was to celebrate the men and women in this country who work so hard to contribute to the infrastructure of our country by the manual labor and the sweat of their brows.  This Day is to honor them by giving them a day off from work and to recognize all that they do for their families, their employers, and their communities.

        It has become a national holiday, that over the years …the reason for the celebration has been diluted by the activities surrounding it.  There are picnics, festivals,tele-thons, fireworks, cookouts, parties and get-togethers…all of which are wonderful.  However, the reason for the Labor Day needs to once again be brought to the forefront; as people work harder than ever to build businesses, products, and services…but, seemingly the American Worker gets farther and farther behind in their earnings and their savings.

         Today, it was announced in the news that personal incomes dropped by 0.7% in the month of July alone…this is the most noteable drop in income, in over three years.  This comes as a disappointment as the government had issued those tax incentive rebate checks that were supposed to stimulate the economy.  It just goes to show that the fine balancing act that is the American economy, is more than just a little off kilter.

          The American worker works longer hours, and has more financial burdens than they need; and, are saving less than ever before.  The uncertainity of job security hangs over everyone’s heads as corporations and businessess outsource work to citizens from other countries, or outright move their businesses overseas to save money.  It costs more to do business now just as it costs workers more to exist. 

            The cost of living seems to be raising the stakes as workers struggle with rising gasoline, food prices, health care, education costs, home heating fuel and fluctuating mortgage payments, foreclosures, and bank failures. 

            Business companies and workers alike need to come back to the idea of the solid  American work ethic and the celebratory rewards from their employers for loyalty of service to their employees by investing back in the American economy.   CEOs and Administrators need to stop demanding and expecting so many perks and rally up behind some sacrifices that pump some new lifeblood into the network of reliable work histories of the American people.  Workers need to work hard to build up the assets of their employers.  We can learn alot from our forebearers in how they earned, saved, and how this country was built from the ground up.  The American worker who went before, often worked in unsafe working conditions. 

              We have come a long way in making working conditions safer due to labor unions and the worker creating an awareness about those issues, as well as child labor laws.  We can learn from both the good and the bad.  People who work hard and are reliable and trustwory as well as dependable; should be rewarded with job security, appropriate income, and benefits.  Companies who value their workers and develop stability should be praised and encouraged.  Together they are what this country needs to get the balance back where it needs to be.  We need to encourage more teamwork between employers and employees.

               So this weekend, as you celebrate your well earned time off to spend with your friends and family with a variety of R & R…let’s keep our priorities straight.  Celebrate and honor the traditions of those who came before and helped to trailblaize for the American worker of today; when you work…work hard and give your best quality.  Companies…if you have workers who don’t do their jobs and don’t give of the appropriate level of work…let them go…there are plenty of workers out there who will. 

                America has become a bit off balance.  There are those who work hard and are proud to do so…and there are slackers who are proud to be slackers.  There are companies who struggle to provide good products, and services who honor their workers with appropriate rewards and there are companies who don’t.  Unions sometimes will get behind a worker who shouldn’t necessarily be backed up if they are in the wrong.  There are occasions where it is hard for a company to dismiss a worker who isn’t working up to the appropriate standard of employment…don’t back up the worker who is in the wrong…it costs the company money, it costs the laborers in morale and it takes jobs away from workers who really want to work and would work hard for what they earn. 

                The next American President needs to create more opportunities for workers to have jobs and not just in the large metropolitan areas…there are plenty of potential employees who live in the suburbs and in the country areas who need good paying jobs.  We need to teach our young people how to work, how to take pride in a job well done and how to respect those in authority over them so that they learn how to be a good employee.  Maybe the next American President could take a page out of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s legacy and create something like the CCC or Civilian Conservation Corps which created an environment of employment, did amazing things for our environment, provided for families, and built a generation of dedicated hard working individuals who gave something meaningful to their country and their communities.  That would be amazing!

                We want to celebrate the best of the best.  Whether you are an executive, a laborer, a clerk, a stock person,a doctor, professor, janitor, or a truck driver, etc…it doesn’t matter, it is about the quality of person that you are; your integrity, and the willingness you have to earn what you are paid for. So what does Labor Day mean to our country today?  It could very well mean the difference between building up our economy or the total collapse of the very infrastructure that this country was founded on.  Buy American… Happy Labor Day weekend!

           

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     I don’t know about you…but it really upsets me to hear about companies that keep cutting retirement benefits for those who have worked all those years for those benefits.  I really believe it should be illegal to change the benefits, due to a retiree.  I think whatever benefits were in the contract at the time of the worker’s retirement should be enforced until death.  A retired worker lives on a fixed income provided by the pension and benefits afforded them at the time of their retirement…taking that away or lessoning what they receive is at the very least immoral in a world that we all know is getting harder and harder to make ends meet.  Reducing the income of a person who based their decision to retire on what they were promised at the time of the retirement just feels wrong.  How can we expect them to survive in a world that the cost of living is rising disproportionately to the amount of money they receive on a monthly basis; reducing that amount should be considered criminal. (more…)

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