Archive for Monday, September 3, 2012

Job satisfaction

Especially in difficult economic times, Americans should recognize and appreciate the importance of working and earning a wage.

September 3, 2012

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These days Labor Day is mostly celebrated as a federal holiday that comes with a three-day weekend and marks the unofficial end of summer, but it’s still an appropriate time to ponder the significance of work and American workers.

The value of work has taken on new significance in recent years as unemployment lingers a little above 8 percent in the United States. Americans who don’t have jobs know better than anyone else the importance of working and earning a wage.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the holiday “is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.” Those achievements certainly are worthy of celebration. Throughout our history, Americans have labored in many industries that support both their families and the nation’s economy.

Much of Americans’ sense of pride and identity is tied up in the jobs they hold. Sometimes those jobs are physically demanding, even dangerous. Sometimes, they are necessary but not particularly fulfilling. Yet, most workers have a sense of pride in the jobs they do and the ability those jobs give them to earn a living, support a home and perhaps have a little something left over for recreation.

The fact that unemployment rates remain stubbornly high is a matter of concern to all Americans. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, after hitting a decade low of 4.4 percent in 2007, the nation’s unemployment rate rose to 10 percent in October 2009. There has been an overall downward trend since that time, with July unemployment at 8.3 percent, but the jobless rate and the desire to create more jobs still is a top focus of current election campaigns at all levels. Whether they are running for mayor or president of the United States, candidates are quick to promise they will create more jobs and put more people to work if they are elected.

Those promises resonate with voters because they know the value of work. It not only supports the economy, it builds self-esteem and national pride. It upholds the promise of the American dream that those who work hard will be successful.

On Labor Day and every day, it’s important to honor the value of honest labor and the workers who do it.

Comments

Peter Macfarlane 2 years, 8 months ago

Your editorial conveniently ignores the fact that most of the gains in wages and quality of life for American workers have come about as a result of the unions, and not because of the charity or social responsibility on the part of American business.

chootspa 2 years, 8 months ago

It's a magical marketing coincidence that union workers get paid more. Gotcha.

deec 2 years, 8 months ago

Service and Food Workers Union, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, United Farm Workers et. al. would be surprised to learn they don't exist.

Coal miners and other workers formed unions because wages were low and conditions extremely dangerous. Capitalists responded by using the government and private armies to slay strikers.This is still occurring on a global scale. Just recently striking miners in South Africa were killed by police. Then the government attempted to charge the other strikers with their deaths.

chootspa 2 years, 8 months ago

Deec never made that claim, but nice try at moving the goalposts again.

Phillbert 2 years, 8 months ago

Productivity and wages became decoupled several decades ago. Productivity has risen far faster than wages for workers. http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/28/where-the-productivity-went/

chootspa 2 years, 8 months ago

Please show us your Nobel prize in economics, since they apparently hand them out to discredited hacks these days, and that means you're qualified.

Phillbert 2 years, 8 months ago

The vast majority of American workers have had essentially no real growth in family income since the 1970s, while Dolph and the rest of the 1% have seen their income skyrocket and their tax rates fall. Our system now rewards wealth, not work, and Dolph's friend Mitt would make that gap even wider.

gbulldog 2 years, 8 months ago

Political correctness and union membership have harmed the workplace in many instances. As an example, a deputy was caught surfing porn on a county's computer during work hours. The county suspended him, but the union (FOP) faught for the the deputy and won because the situation was not handle according to union rules. Employees should know that they do not be surfporn sites unless it is part of their assigned duties.

How many times have you had to work with a "politically correct" employee who is not qualified. Makes work much harder, because you will be blamed it they do not perform. Great working on teams isn't it?

deec 2 years, 8 months ago

So you're upset because the police department failed to live up to their contractual obligation to follow a specific procedure in firing the guy?

jafs 2 years, 8 months ago

Apparently so.

Also, I wonder what he means by "politically correct" employee - sounds like code for minority, female, etc. to me.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 8 months ago

I agree with your interpretation for politically correct. That's exactly the way I read the statement.

However, I must disagree with deec on how the union handled this matter. First, the union is not obligated to defend every member, right or wrong. They make a choice to defend it's members. But as I read the post, it seems the officer in question was out of line and deserved firing. That the city made procedural mistakes in unfortunate, but they were trying to do the correct thing. Which is to fire an officer for doing something that he should be fired for. As deec describes, the city failed to live up to it's contractual obligation, yes, sometimes complicated legal documents can be very difficult to follow. And the city made a mistake. But as I read it, it was an honest mistake when trying to do the right thing. Unfortunate, yes. But not at all equal to the actions of the officer, who did not have to suffer the consequences of his actions. That proceeding, not being in a court of law, means the union could have chosen to just sit back and let the process proceed, let the officer hire an attorney to represent his interests. But by backing the officer, they become complicit with having an unfit officer on duty.

chootspa 2 years, 8 months ago

The only reference I could find to a case that sounds anything like what the poster described has the union doing the exact opposite of defending the guy.

http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/news/crime-law/warren-county-settles-suit-with-porn-watching-de-1/nM3XR/

deec 2 years, 8 months ago

"Yet, most workers have a sense of pride in the jobs they do and the ability those jobs give them to earn a living, "

Facts beg to differ. "Only 19% said they were satisfied with their jobs. Another 16% said they were “somewhat satisfied.” But the rest, nearly two-thirds of respondents, said they were not happy at work. Twenty-one percent said they were “somewhat unsatisfied” and 44% said they were “unsatisfied.”

http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2012/05/18/new-survey-majority-of-employees-dissatisfied/

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/05/02/475090/rising-debt-inequality/

deec 2 years, 8 months ago

It's pretty bizarre, too, that this editorial comes from a corporation that has eliminated many jobs in the last few years so the owner can make more money by selling off assets and cutting labor costs.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 8 months ago

Happy Labor Day to all the people that have taken responsibility for themselves by working for a living and not depending on someone else. You did build it! And Happy Labor Day to our Warriors that put their lives on the line day in and day out so we still have freedom to do so. And to the Ticks in this society, get a freekin job!!!

deec 2 years, 8 months ago

If you're off work today with holiday pay, thank a union member.

deec 2 years, 8 months ago

If you have an education so you can get a job, thank the government.

deec 2 years, 8 months ago

No, unemployed Americans can blame the capitalists who moved their jobs overseas to avoid paying a living wage. The unemployed can blame the capitalists who are sitting on 21 trillion dollars rather than creating jobs. The unemployed can blame the financial industry for collapsing the housing market and taking down the global economy.

Armstrong 2 years, 8 months ago

Good, blame everyone but yourself for not being able to accomplish a basic life skill

paulveer 2 years, 8 months ago

Dolph talking about work and pride. HA!

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 8 months ago

Job satisfaction? Most people would be satisfied just to HAVE a job that pays a living wage! The luxury of actually liking your job no longer exists. It's called survival. The ability to actually have a career has gone the way of the dodo. Well, unless you're the scion of a one percenter, in which case you have a career handed to you that you don't really need because, like Mitt, you're a trust fund baby to begin with.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 8 months ago

You might try a bath and covering your tattoos? Just a thought.

riverdrifter 2 years, 8 months ago

You got to love ol' Mitt. He wants to outlaw labor union PACs, which allow union members to contribute toward the election campaigns of labor-friendly lawmakers and leave in place the ability of employers to spend unlimited amounts of covert money supporting anti-union candidates. Mitt has no understanding of the common working person because he can't conceptualize 'common' or 'work'. {Labor} Day means nothing to him for the same reason.

Armstrong 2 years, 8 months ago

Barry seem to lack a great deal in conceptualizing the working theme too.

James Minor 2 years, 8 months ago

Maybe the article should have been titled "For those that have a job - Be Thankful" to those who read the article and can't see the forest for the trees!! The unemployment rate is at 8.3% and whoever believes that --- should sit in the invisible chair and ask Mitt and Clint to sit on your lap. America needs to bite the bullet and project the real unemployment numbers which is around 11%. President Obama has struggled with reducing unemployment, but due to the financial meltdown, European economy, lean manufacturing, corporate greed, and the Bozo Republicans who can't see the forest for the chair --- it could be a lot worse if Mitt were in the chair!!!! Americans better be more knowlegable of the election race and the fallacies the Republicans say they will improve.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 8 months ago

The current regime will never announce the real unemployment numbers.

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