Thursday, March 27, 2008

Workplace Bullies: Bill Gates & Tech Lobby Abuse America's Middle Class

American White Collar Professional (L) and Bill Gates (R)

Meet the Work Bully

“The playground bully has grown up and gotten a job.
Workplace bullying, which can include everything from belittling comments to excluding someone from an important meeting, may be tougher on employees than sexual harassment, according to new research.” –Tara Parker-Pope

On behalf of the Tech Lobby and Compete America , Bill Gates went to Congress this month demanding more H-1B visas to further displace American white collar professionals for cheap, foreign labor.

In her 21 Gun Salute for H-1B Visas" Citizen Carrie provides an excellent chronicle of the highly organized great labor shortage myth/propaganda that is setting us up for a fall come April 1. Does billionaire Gates (and ilk) care at all about the millions of educated, unemployed white collar workers whose lives have been and will be ruined by their greedy desire to kick their neighbors to the curb? No. What prompts a human being to treat their neighbors with such contempt and disdain for another person’s well being? For the millions of working Americans (fortunate enough to even have a job these days) subjected to a laundry list of hateful, aggressive and abusive behavior by workplace bullies, is it any wonder why it is so rampant in this country when the “thought leaders” of corporations are incivil, greedy bullies themselves and set the standard?

Speaking of worker abuses, does Cohen & Grigsbygate come to mind? When a country full of lawyers team up with corporate executives to take away white collar jobs from citizens and hand them over to foreign workers for a lucrative fee, where are the people of this country to rise up and just say “no”? Where are the journalists and authors and celebs and PETA people to speak out against these unspeakable acts of aggression?

Can we create a Department of Labor-like Humane Society for people just like we do for animals? A true oversight organization specifically designed to manage hiring practices and treatment of workers? In her telling March 11th New York Times article entitled Meet the Work Bully”, Tara Parker-Pope reveals the astonishing truth behind the perfectly legal, abusive treatment that workers have no legal recourse to protect themselves from. Pope cites recent findings presented at the Seventh International Conference on Work, Stress and Health, which highlight the difficult problem of workplace aggression. While most workplaces are sensitive to complaints of sexual harassment and employees have avenues to seek help, “workplace aggression, however, isn’t illegal and victims often must fend for themselves,” said lead author M. Sandy Hershcovis of the University of Manitoba. There is such an abiding sense of anti-community in the workplace that every citizen ought to be asking themselves “why do we allow this? Why do we have laws against leaving our dogs in the car on a hot day but none whatsoever when it comes to our own welfare?”

The study looked at worker stress and anxiety, job turnover and worker satisfaction, among other things. The outcome of such abusive behavior not only has severe consequences for the worker but also on the company’s bottom line. So why is it so prevalent? Two short answers: When the boss is a mindless sociopath anything goes AND most decent people don’t want to sound like cry babies:

“The problem with work bullying is that it is insidious and difficult to complain about, note the authors. For instance, if one employee consistently ignores the requests of another worker, it can make it difficult to do the job. But employees often are reluctant to raise such an issue with their bosses, because saying “He’s ignoring me,'’ makes the victim sound petty.”

Pope’s article drew such an enormous response that she wrote a follow-up article this week which includes over 300 comments from people struggling to survive the workplace. But if Gates gets and the Tech Lobby get their way, many of these commenters will no longer have job stresses to worry about. Oh well.

They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?



Citizen Carrie said...

You can really tell the caliber of management in place at a corporation by how they handle the workplace bully. I can't understand why we have all of these employee handbooks that say "the company can terminate anyone at will" in huge bold letters, yet management will prefer to let everyone in a department quit before they find a reason to terminate the bully.

2Truthy said...

Yep, and when the Number 1 Bully in the company is the boss, one coping mechanism is to affect the same behavior (identification with the aggressor) in order to 'blend in' or to 'feel invisible.' I have seen this in full swing in companies, the revolving door/lack of employee retention that asshole managers loves. Must have something to do with the accounting, looking good on paper when there's always a couple of open req's here and there?

warren m. spuchs said...

Billy Goats and his outsourcing/insourcing regime are dedicated to the global transfer of our national wealth.

The US government after Bush now has even less (surprise surprise) democratic restraints and its czars, an enterprising lot who are not working for our middle class but for themselves and their foreign patron$ -- laugh at whole the concept of rule of law. It is now rule of corporate greedsters.

Corporate globalization has exacerbated the gross inequalities that already exist in oligarchic and dictatorial countries and the US government has been hijacked by the mindless and terribly greedy corporate morons who are responsible for turning our once great country into the ultimate 21st century fascist playground for elites.

Anonymous said...

What's NOT bullying about the fact that U.S. human resources departments at the behest of their CEOS are taught to not hire Americans? \snark