Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Layoffs Wreck Lives
A recent interview with Louis Uchitelle, author of The Disposable American: Layoffs And Their Consequences, should open the eyes of every working American. Uchitelle reminds us that job security was once good for American business, as it kept experienced people on the payroll. Layoffs became a response to overseas competition during the seventies, but the initial rationale behind them was that they would be temporary - and that the laid-off workers would be hired back when the economy improved. But in the last two decades, contends Uchitelle, there has been a "paradigm shift" in the attitude of management. Layoffs are now simply a routine tool for boosting profits, a cheap and easy tactic that has become the "route of least resistance" for corporate leaders not imaginative enough to offer more constructive solutions. American workers are now traumatized and dehumanized out of fashion rather than necessity, irrespective of the state of the economy. Foreign outsourcing and the amoral juggernaut of globalization only aggravate the situation. According to Uchitelle, 4 percent of full-time employees in the United States are laid off every year. When you factor in more covert methods of forcing workers out - like the pressure to take early retirement, business relocations, and pay cuts that cause workers to quit - the real figure is closer to 7 percent. And that's annually. Read more at the link below.
Interview with Louis Uchitelle from YaleGlobal Online