Employed workers declare their jobs are stressful. For most, the employer no longer makes a commitment to the employee. Job security is a thing of the past. Real wages are shrinking, as are benefits. In contrast to previous employment regulations, employers are now allowed to contract with consultants and avoid the responsibilities of employment altogether. Years back when I counseled for the employment service, employers were not allowed to sidestep their roles by contracting. Contracts were allowed of course, but separation between contracting for services and employing workers was carefully delineated.
Workers today are bullied into accepting less across the board. If one is lucky enough to obtain employment, the pattern is one in which the one with the power (the employer) uses that power to scare employees. It goes something like this; “if you don’t do what I want, I’ll make it worse for you”. We see that in the movies when the villain threatens the hero. Now we’re seeing it in the workplace, leaving employees as helpless victims pleading for fairness. Union workers who reject a contract they feel is unfair, represent a rare instance of courage and willingness to accept risk.
Unfortunately, workers in this country are going to have to get up off their knees and recognize they may have to fight for fairness, just as workers did in the early years of unionization. Begging for fairness is not a winning strategy. Today unions are too often willing to accede to the employer’s demands. It appears our unions won big in the ’30’s and ’40’s and then sat back and raked in the cash. In the process too many unions bargained away their workers’ rights little by little. It worked in the short run, but now we’re seeing the result.