Friday, February 18, 2005

Loyalty Is A Two-Way Street

Since the start of 2005, we have seen workers fired for activities
outside of work. We have had cigarette smokers fired for smoking in the privacy of their own home. We have had a Delta stewardess fired because Delta didn't think some of her postings on her personal web site were appropriate. Microsoft fired a contractor who dared to post pictures of Apple machines arriving at Microsoft's Redmond HQ.

Most recently, Google and Miller Brewing, (see links below), have joined the growing list of companies who believe they have a right to tell their workers just what they can and can do outside of the workplace. If any of these activities were even faintly illegal, one might be able to see some logic to this dangerous trend. The fact is that in each of these cases the employees were strictly within the law and on their own time.

[Have a blog, lose your job?]

[Beer Choice Costs Man His Job]

There was a time in America where a person stood a great chance of working for the same company their entire working career if they wanted to. Employees and companies had mutual respect and loyalty for each other. But those days are gone. Now they fire or 'downsize' employees for no other reason to make their bottom line appear to be better for the investors or to improve their chances to sell the company and pocket the profit. Rather than actually sell more product, they choose to slice away the fat - the employees. Or maybe they diminish the value of the benefits or cut benefits to retirees. And yet they expect loyalty from their employees.

Our question is simple: "do businesses which treat their employees like any other piece of disposable property deserve our loyalty?"

Hell No.

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