Workers as Liabilities….

In the old days, I’m talking about pre-Reagan, a company’s workers were considered an asset but it seems like today they have turned into a liability.  I read an article recently (I don’t remember the source right now so I can’t give it to you here 😉 ) that basically said that many companies can’t find adequately trained people to fill their jobs and won’t hire someone and then train them for that job. It seems they would rather complain about not having skilled workers than actually training someone to do the job.

I can almost remember when I was turned from an asset to a liability by the “major communications company” I worked thirty years for. Indeed it was in the early 1980’s. This was about the time that telecommunications was being deregulated by Mr. Reagan’s clan so I thought the change was a result of that action but looking back on it now it was a broader thing than just the deregulation.  It was happening across U.S. industry.

What caused this to happen? Part of it was of course the Reagan White House. The guys he had around him never met a regulation that they thought was really needed or a company CEO they didn’t love and respect. We were all told that we should leave our future totally up to the benevolence of the corporate structures. They knew what was best for us and that was all we needed to know. Another part of this change was caused by the newly invented MBA degrees. That is “Masters of Business Administration”. All of the professors teaching at these schools had suddenly declared that “Greed is good” and that workers are liabilities.

With all these things coming to a head at the same time I was now treated like a cost that my company would rather do without but couldn’t figure out how to totally do that.  Of course, I watched over the years as my wages became stagnant, my benefits constantly shrink and my workmates constantly disappearing for one reason or another. Every time someone came up missing I was told I had to do “more with less”.  Every time another benefit was taken away I was told it was to give me more “choices”. Those words became the mantra for the next 15 years until I was  finally downsized and retired.

Will this type thing ever swing back to where the workers are treated with respect and given their fair share of the company profits?  We can only dream of that day but I kind of doubt! Now instead of deregulation, Reagan, and the MBAs they blame it on globalization. It’s all the same thing; the company want to squeeze blood from you their turnips. As long as we let them nothing is going to change.  Where is Norma Ray when we need her??

But what do I know….