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Posts Tagged ‘EMPLOYEES’

PUNISHING CORPORATE TREASON–PART THREE (END)

In Bureaucracy, History, Politics on May 16, 2011 at 11:13 am

It is long past time to hold wealthy and powerful corporations accountable for their socially and financially irresponsible acts.

This solution can be summed up in three words: Employers Responsibility Act.

If passed by Congress and vigorously enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice, an ERA would ensure full-time, permanent and productive employment for millions of capable, job-seeking Americans.

The provisions of a nationwide Employers Responsibility Act would include—but not be limited to—the following.   (The first three were listed in Part Two of this series.)

(4) A company that acquired another—through a merger or buyout—would be forbidden to fire en masse the career employees of that acquired company.

This would be comparable to the protection existing for career civil service employees. Such a ban would prevent a return to the predatory “corporate raiding” practices of the 1980s, which left so much human and economic wreckage in their wake.

The wholesale firing of employees would trigger the prosecution of the company’s new owners. Employees could still be fired, but only for provable just cause, and only on a case-by-case basis.

(5) Employers would be required to provide full medical and pension benefits for all employees, regardless of their full-time or part-time status.

Increasingly, employers are replacing full-time workers with part-time ones—solely to avoid paying medical and pension benefits. Requiring employers to act humanely and responsibly toward all their employees would encourage them to provide full-time positions—and hasten the death of this greed-based practice.

(6) Employers of part-time workers would be required to comply with all federal labor laws.

Under current law, part-time employees are not protected against such abuses as discrimination, sexual harassment and unsafe working conditions. Closing this loophole would immediately create two positive results:

(a) Untold numbers of currently-exploited workers would be protected from the abuses of predatory employers; and

(b) Even predatorily-inclined employers would be encouraged to offer permanent, fulltime jobs rather than only part-time ones—since a major incentive for offering part-time jobs would now be eliminated.

(7) Employers would be encouraged to hire to their widest possible limits, through a combination of financial incentives and legal sanctions.

Among those incentives: Employers demonstrating a willingness to hire would receive substantial Federal tax credits, based on the number of new, permanent employees hired per year.
Employers claiming eligibility for such credits would be required to make their financial records available to Federal investigators. Employers found making false claims would be prosecuted for perjury and tax fraud, and face heavy fines and imprisonment if convicted.

(8) Among those sanctions: Employers refusing to hire could be required to prove, in court:

(a) their economic inability to hire further employees, and/or
(b) the unfitness of the specific, rejected applicant.

Companies found guilty of unjustifiably refusing to hire would face the same penalties as now applying in cases of discrimination on the basis of age, race, sex and disability.
Employers would thus fund it easier to hire than to refuse to do so. Job-seekers would no longer be prevented from even being considered for employment because of arbitrary and interminable “hiring freezes.”

(9) Employers refusing to hire would be required to pay an additional “crime tax.”

Sociologists and criminologists agree that “the best cure for crime is a job.” Thus, employers who refuse to hire contribute to a growing crime rate in this Nation. Such non-hiring employers would be required to pay an additional tax, which would be earmarked for agencies of the criminal justice system at State and Federal levels.

(10) The seeking of “economic incentives” by companies in return for moving to or remaining in cities/states would be strictly forbidden.

Such “economic incentives” usually:

(a) allow employers to ignore existing laws protecting employees from unsafe working conditions;
(b) allow employers to ignore existing laws protecting the environment;
(c) allow employers to pay their employees the lowest acceptable wages, in return for the “privilege” of working at these companies; and/or
(d) allow employers to pay little or no business taxes, at the expense of communities who are required to make up for lost tax revenues.

(11) Employers who continue to make such overtures would be prosecuted for attempted bribery or extortion:
(a) Bribery, if they offered to move to a city/state in return for “economic incentives,” or

(b) Extortion, if they threatened to move their companies from a city/state if they did not receive such “economic incentives.”

This would protect employees against artificially-depressed wages and unsafe working conditions; protect the environment in which these employees live; and protect cities/states from being pitted against one another at the expense of their economic prosperity.

(12) The U.S. Departments of Justice and Labor would regularly monitor the extent of employer compliance with the provisions of this Act.

Among these measures: Sending undercover agents, posing as highly-qualified job-seekers, to apply at companies—and then vigorously prosecuting those employers who blatantly refused to hire despite their proven economic ability to do so.

This would be comparable to the long-time and legally-validated practice of using undercover agents to determine compliance with fair-housing laws.

(13) CEOs whose companies employ illegal aliens would be held directly accountable for the actions of their subordinates. Upon conviction, the CEO would be sentenced to a mandatory prison term of at least ten years.

This would prove a more effective remedy for combating illegal immigration than stationing tens of thousands of soldiers on the U.S./Mexican border. With CEOs forced to account for their subordinates’ actions, they would take drastic steps to ensure their companies complied with Federal immigration laws. Without employers’ systematically hiring illegal aliens at a fraction of the money paid to American workers, the flood of illegal job-seekers would quickly slow to a trickle.

(14) A portion of employers’ existing Federal taxes would be set aside to create a national clearinghouse for placing unemployed but qualified job-seekers.

PUNISHING CORPORATE TREASON – PART TWO (OF THREE)

In Bureaucracy, History, Politics on May 16, 2011 at 10:46 am

For 50 years–1920 to 1970–organized crime flourished throughout the United States.   Individual Mafiosi were sometimes arrested, tried and even convicted, but there was no national effort made to attack organized crime on a comprehensive basis.

Then, in 1970, Congress passed the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).  It provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization.

RICO focuses specifically on racketeering, and allows for the leaders of a syndicate to be tried for the crimes which they ordered others to carry out.   This closed a loophole that allowed the man who ordered a murder to be exempt from prosecution because he didn’t commit it.

The result has been the shutting down of  thousands of  criminal networks.

Yet when it comes to recognizing–let alone combating–the crimes of major corporations, America remains mired in the same mindset that long handicapped law enforcement agencies trying to combat the Mafia.

The most powerful men in the Democratic and Republican parties know that millions of willing-to-work Americans are still desperately searching for employment.  And they also know that U.S. corporations are still refusing to hirewhile they sit on nearly $2 trillion in cash.  

Yet not one of these officials has the courage to step forward and propose a realistic, workable solution for it.

Republicans, of course, have trotted out their knee-jerk solution to unemployment:  Give even greater tax breaks to mega-rich corporations.  And this has been tried–time and again.

But this has not persuaded corporations to stop “outsourcing” jobs or start hiring Americans in significant numbers.

While hugely overpaid CEOs squander corporate wealth on gifts for themselves or their mistresses, millions of Americans can’t afford medical care or must depend on charity to feed their families.

But America can end this national disaster–and embarrassment.

The solution lies in remembering that the powerful never voluntarily surrender their privileges.  Americans did not win their freedom from Great Britain–-and its enslaving doctrine of “the divine right of kings”-–by begging for their rights.

And Americans will not win their freedom from their corporate masters–-and the equally enslaving doctrine of “the divine right of employers”-–by begging for the right to work and support themselves and their families.

A policy based only on concessions–such as endless tax breaks for hugely profitable corporations and their disgracefully overpaid CEOs–is a policy of appeasement.

And appeasement only whets the appetite of those appeased for even greater concessions.

It is, in short,well past time to hold wealthy and powerful corporations accountable for their socially and financially irresponsible acts.

This solution can be summed up in three words: Employers Responsibility Act.

If passed by Congress and vigorously enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice, an ERA would ensure full-time, permanent and productive employment for millions of capable, job-seeking Americans.

And it would achieve this without raising taxes or creating controversial government “make work” programs.

An Employers Responsibility Act would simultaneously address the following evils for which employers are directly responsible:

• The loss of jobs within the United States owing to companies’ moving their operations abroad—solely to pay substandard wages to their new employees.
• The mass firings of employees which usually accompany corporate mergers or acquisitions.
• The widespread victimization of part-time employees, who are not legally protected against such threats as racial discrimination, sexual harassment and unsafe working conditions.
• The refusal of many employers to create better than menial, low-wage jobs.
• The widespread employer practice of extorting “economic incentives” from cities or states in return for moving to or remaining in those areas. Such “incentives” usually absolve employers from complying with laws protecting the environment and/or workers’ rights.
• The refusal of many employers to provide medical and pension benefits—nearly always in the case of part-time employees, and, increasingly, for full-time, permanent ones as well.
• Rising crime rates, due to rising unemployment.

The provisions of a nationwide Employers Responsibility Act would include—but not be limited to—the following:

(1) American companies that close plants in the United States and open others abroad would be forbidden to sell products made in those foreign plants within the United States.

This would protect both American and foreign workers from employers seeking to profit at their expense. American workers would be ensured of continued employment. And foreign laborers would be protected against substandard wages and working conditions.

Companies found violating this provision would be subject to Federal criminal prosecution. Guilty verdicts would result in heavy fines and lengthy imprisonment for their owners and top managers.

(2) Large companies (those employing more than 100 persons) would be required to create entry-level training programs for new, future employees.

These would be modeled on programs now existing for public employees, such as firefighters, police officers and members of the armed services. Such programs would remove the employer excuse, “I’m sorry, but we can’t hire you because you’ve never had any experience in this line of work.” After all, the Air Force has never rejected an applicant because, “I’m sorry, but you’ve never flown a plane before.”

This Nation has greatly benefited from the humane and professional efforts of the men and women who have graduated from public-sector training programs. There is no reason for the private sector to shun programs that have succeeded so brilliantly for the public sector.

(3) Employers would receive tax credits for creating professional, well-paying, full-time jobs.

This would encourage the creation of better than the menial, dead-end, low-paying and often part-time jobs which exist in the service industry. Employers found using such tax credits for any other purpose would be prosecuted for tax fraud.

PUNISHING CORPORATE TREASON – PART ONE (OF THREE)

In Bureaucracy, Business, Law, Politics on May 16, 2011 at 12:42 am

In the 1983 political thriller, Gorky Park, Detective Arkardy Renko seeks the aid of Professor Andreev, a brilliant forensics expert, to solve a triple murder. But the expert wants nothing to do with the case–until this exchange:

RENKO: Professor, too many people in our society disappear without trace.

PROFESSOR ANDREEV: Oh? Why is that?

RENKO: They fall into a chasm.

PROFESSOR ANDREEV: What sort of chasm?

RENKO: The one between what is said and what is done.

What was true for the Soviet Union remains equally true for the United States–at least where major corporate employers are concerned.

Millions of highly-qualified, willing-to-work Americans continue to fall into an unemployment chasm–a chasm between what employers claim to value in an applicant and the actual reasons why they hire.

Thousands of non-hiring employers continue to blame the unemployed for the nation’s high unemployment rate:

“You just don’t have enough experience for us.”

“You’re too experienced for the level we’re hiring at.”

“We’re looking for someone with a more specialized background.”

“We’re looking for someone we don’t have to re-train to do this job our way.”

“Your resume could use more work.”

If you add the number of unemployed

14.5 million

to the number of those who are under-employed (part-time workers who can’t find fulltime work or are overqualified)

11.2 million

the total of Americans who are looking for work is:

25.7 million

or 1 in 6 workers.

At the same time, U.S. corporations sit on nearly $2 trillion in cash.

Among the monies they sit upon are those that could be used to hire those millions of qualified, willing-to-work Americans who can’t find fulltime, permanent work.

An article in the March, 2011 issue of Reader’s Digest gives the lie to the excuses so many employers use for refusing to hire.

Entitled “22 Secrets HR Won’t Tell You About Getting a Job,” it lays bare many of the reasons why America needs to legally force employers to demonstrate as much responsibility for hiring as job-seekers are expected to show toward searching for work.

Among the truths it reveals:

TRUTH NO: 1: Once you’re unemployed more than six months, you’re considered unemployable.

TRUTH NO. 2: As you’ve always suspected: It’s not what but who you know that counts.

TRUTH NO. 3: If you can, avoid HR entirely and seek out someone in the company you know. If you don’t know anyone, go straight to the hiring manager.

TRUTH NO. 4: Don’t assume that someone will read your cover letter. Many of them go straight into the garbage can.

TRUTH NO. 5: You will be judged on the basis of your email address–especially if it’s something like “Igetwasted@aol.com.”

TRUTH NO. 6: Don’t assume you’re protected against age discrimination just because it’s against the law. If you’re in your 50s or 60s, leave your year of graduation off your resume.

TRUTH NO: 7: Don’t assume you’re protected from unemployment just because it’s illegal to discriminate against applicants who have children. Many managers don’t want to hire people with children, and will go to illegal lengths to find out their parental status–like checking an applicant’s car for child safety seats.

TRUTH NO. 8: It’s harder to get a job if you’re fat. Hiring managers make quick judgments based on stereotypes.

TRUTH NO. 9: Many managers will assume you’re a loser if you give them a weak handshake.

TRUTH NO. 10: Encourage the interviewer to talk–especially about himself. Ego-driven interviewers love hearing the sound of their own voices and will assume you’re better-qualified than someone who doesn’t want to listen to them prattle.

Polls indicate that Americans continue to blame President Obama for the nation’s high unemployment rate. But no President can hope to turn unemployment around until employers are forced to start living up to their responsibilities.

And those responsibilities should encompass more than simply fattening their own pocketbooks and/or egos at the expense of their fellow Americans.

For more than 50 years, Republicans have hurled the charge of “treason!” at anyone who runs against them or disagrees with them. In short: at anyone who dares to exercise their Constitutionally-given rights to vote and speak and believe as they choose.

It is past time for “treason” to be re-defined–as a deliberate action that harms the nation.

Employers who enrich themselves by weakening their country–by throwing millions of qualified workers into the street and moving their plants to other countries–are traitors.

Employers who set up offshore accounts to claim their American companies are foreign-owned–and thus exempt from taxes–are traitors.

Employers who systematically violate Federal immigration laws–to hire illegal aliens instead of willing-to-work Americans–are traitors.

America is currently at war with Afghanistan and Iraq–and may soon be at war with Pakistan. Traditionally, in times of war, the penalty for treason has been death.

If that seems a heavy price for those who sell out their fellow Americans, there is an alternative: Mandatory minimum prison sentences of at least ten years for those who engage in such behavior.

As Niccolo Machiavelli, the father of modern politics, warns in his masterwork, The Discourses:

All those who have written upon civil institutions demonstrate…that whoever desires to found a state and give it laws, must start with assuming that all men are bad and ever ready to display their vicious nature, whenever they may find occasion for it.

If their evil disposition remains concealed for a time, it must be attributed to some unknown reason; and we must assume that it lacked occasion to show itself. But time, which has been said to be the father of all truth, does not fail to bring it to light.

Where the crimes of corporate employers are concerned, we do not have to wait for their evil disposition to reveal itself. It has been fully revealed for decades. We need only find the courage to redress the costly outrages we see every day in the workplace.

HOW TO CREATE JOBS–PART TWO

In Uncategorized on January 9, 2011 at 12:58 pm

The provisions of a nationwide Employers Responsibility Act would include—but not be limited to—the following:

(1) American companies that close plants in the United States and open others abroad would be forbidden to sell products made in those foreign plants within the United States.

This would protect both American and foreign workers from employers seeking to profit at their expense. American workers would be ensured of continued employment. And foreign laborers would be protected against substandard wages and working conditions.

Companies found violating this provision would be subject to Federal criminal prosecution. Guilty verdicts would result in heavy fines and lengthy imprisonment for their owners and top managers.

(2) Large companies (those employing more than 100 persons) would be required to create entry-level training programs for new, future employees.

These would be modeled on programs now existing for public employees, such as firefighters, police officers and members of the armed services. Such programs would remove the employer excuse, “I’m sorry, but we can’t hire you because you’ve never had any experience in this line of work.” After all, the Air Force has never rejected an applicant because, “I’m sorry, but you’ve never flown a plane before.”

This Nation has greatly benefited from the humane and professional efforts of the men and women who have graduated from public-sector training programs. There is no reason for the private sector to shun programs that have succeeded so brilliantly for the public sector.

(3) Employers would receive tax credits for creating professional, well-paying, full-time jobs.

This would encourage the creation of better than the menial, dead-end, low-paying and often part-time jobs which exist in the service industry. Employers found using such tax credits for any other purpose would be prosecuted for tax fraud.

(4) A company that acquired another—through a merger or buyout—would be forbidden to fire en masse the career employees of that acquired company.

This would be comparable to the protection existing for career civil service employees. Such a ban would prevent a return to the predatory “corporate raiding” practices of the 1980s, which left so much human and economic wreckage in their wake.

The wholesale firing of employees would trigger the prosecution of the company’s new owners. Employees could still be fired, but only for provable just cause, and only on a case-by-case basis.

(5) Employers would be required to provide full medical and pension benefits for all employees, regardless of their full-time or part-time status.

Increasingly, employers are replacing full-time workers with part-time ones—solely to avoid paying medical and pension benefits. Requiring employers to act humanely and responsibly toward all their employees would encourage them to provide full-time positions—and hasten the death of this greed-based practice.

(6) Employers of part-time workers would be required to comply with all federal labor laws.

Under current law, part-time employees are not protected against such abuses as discrimination, sexual harassment and unsafe working conditions. Closing this loophole would immediately create two positive results:

(a) Untold numbers of currently-exploited workers would be protected from the abuses of predatory employers; and

(b) Even predatorily-inclined employers would be encouraged to offer permanent, fulltime jobs rather than only part-time ones—since a major incentive for offering part-time jobs would now be eliminated.

(7) Employers would be encouraged to hire to their widest possible limits, through a combination of financial incentives and legal sanctions.

Among those incentives: Employers demonstrating a willingness to hire would receive substantial Federal tax credits, based on the number of new, permanent employees hired per year.
Employers claiming eligibility for such credits would be required to make their financial records available to Federal investigators. Employers found making false claims would be prosecuted for perjury and tax fraud, and face heavy fines and imprisonment if convicted.

(8) Among those sanctions: Employers refusing to hire could be required to prove, in court:

(a) their economic inability to hire further employees, and/or
(b) the unfitness of the specific, rejected applicant.

Companies found guilty of unjustifiably refusing to hire would face the same penalties as now applying in cases of discrimination on the basis of age, race, sex and disability.
Employers would thus fund it easier to hire than to refuse to do so. Job-seekers would no longer be prevented from even being considered for employment because of arbitrary and interminable “hiring freezes.”

(9) Employers refusing to hire would be required to pay an additional “crime tax.”

Sociologists and criminologists agree that “the best cure for crime is a job.” Thus, employers who refuse to hire contribute to a growing crime rate in this Nation. Such non-hiring employers would be required to pay an additional tax, which would be earmarked for agencies of the criminal justice system at State and Federal levels.

(10) The seeking of “economic incentives” by companies in return for moving to or remaining in cities/states would be strictly forbidden.

Such “economic incentives” usually:

(a) allow employers to ignore existing laws protecting employees from unsafe working conditions;
(b) allow employers to ignore existing laws protecting the environment;
(c) allow employers to pay their employees the lowest acceptable wages, in return for the “privilege” of working at these companies; and/or
(d) allow employers to pay little or no business taxes, at the expense of communities who are required to make up for lost tax revenues.

(11) Employers who continue to make such overtures would be prosecuted for attempted bribery or extortion:
(a) Bribery, if they offered to move to a city/state in return for “economic incentives,” or

(b) Extortion, if they threatened to move their companies from a city/state if they did not receive such “economic incentives.”

This would protect employees against artificially-depressed wages and unsafe working conditions; protect the environment in which these employees live; and protect cities/states from being pitted against one another at the expense of their economic prosperity.

(12) The U.S. Departments of Justice and Labor would regularly monitor the extent of employer compliance with the provisions of this Act.

Among these measures: Sending undercover agents, posing as highly-qualified job-seekers, to apply at companies—and then vigorously prosecuting those employers who blatantly refused to hire despite their proven economic ability to do so.

This would be comparable to the long-time and legally-validated practice of using undercover agents to determine compliance with fair-housing laws.

(13) CEOs whose companies employ illegal aliens would be held directly accountable for the actions of their subordinates. Upon conviction, the CEO would be sentenced to a mandatory prison term of at least ten years.

This would prove a more effective remedy for combating illegal immigration than stationing tens of thousands of soldiers on the U.S./Mexican border. With CEOs forced to account for their subordinates’ actions, they would take drastic steps to ensure their companies complied with Federal immigration laws. Without employers’ systematically hiring illegal aliens at a fraction of the money paid to American workers, the flood of illegal job-seekers would quickly slow to a trickle.

(14) A portion of employers’ existing Federal taxes would be set aside to create a national clearinghouse for placing unemployed but qualified job-seekers.

HOW TO CREATE JOBS–PART ONE

In Bureaucracy, Business, Law on January 9, 2011 at 11:59 am

On January 7, 2010, ABC’s “World News Tonight” gave its viewers a quick lesson on America’s unemployment crisis.

According to the latest “Jobs Report” released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

• In 2010 the nation added 1.1 million jobs.
• 103,000 jobs were added in December, 2010.
• The unemployment rate dropped 9.4%–mostly because half
a million frustrated job-seekers stopped looking for work.

The January 7, 2010 Jobs Report showed the most growth in December for the following job categories:

the Leisure and Hospitality Industry:
47,000;

Health Care: 35,700; and
Temp Work: 15,900.

If you add the number of unemployed

14.5 million

to the number of those who are under-employed (part-time workers who can’t find fulltime work or are overqualified)

11.2 million

the total of Americans who are looking for work is:

25.7 million

or 1 in 6 workers.

At the same time, U.S. corporations are prepared to report their most profitable fourth quarter in 19 years–while they sit on nearly $2 trillion in cash.

Giving even greater tax breaks to mega-corporations has not persuaded them to stop “outsourcing” jobs. Nor has it convinced them to start hiring.

While hugely overpaid CEOs squander corporate wealth on themselves, millions of Americans can’t afford medical care or must depend on charity to feed their families.

But America can end this national disaster–and embarrassment. The solution lies in remembering that the powerful never voluntarily surrender their privileges.

Americans did not win their freedom from Great Britain–and its enslaving doctrine of “the divine right of kings”–by begging for their rights. And Americans will not win their freedom from their corporate masters–and the equally enslaving doctrine of “the divine right of employers”–by begging for the right to work and support themselves and their families.

A policy based only on concessions–such as endless tax breaks for hugely profitable corporations and their disgracefully overpaid CEOs–is a policy of appeasement.

And appeasement only whets the appetite of those appeased for even greater concessions.

It is, in short, time to hold wealthy and powerful corporations accountable for their socially and financially irresponsible acts.

This solution can be summed up in three words: Employers Responsibility Act.

If passed by Congress and vigorously enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice, an ERA would ensure full-time, permanent and productive employment for millions of capable, job-seeking Americans.

And it would achieve this without raising taxes or creating controversial government “make work” programs.

An Employers Responsibility Act would simultaneously address the following evils for which employers are directly responsible:

• The loss of jobs within the United States owing to companies’ moving their operations abroad—solely to pay substandard wages to their new employees.
• The mass firings of employees which usually accompany corporate mergers or acquisitions.
• The widespread victimization of part-time employees, who are not legally protected against such threats as racial discrimination, sexual harassment and unsafe working conditions.
• The refusal of many employers to create better than menial, low-wage jobs.
• The widespread employer practice of extorting “economic incentives” from cities or states in return for moving to or remaining in those areas. Such “incentives” usually absolve employers from complying with laws protecting the environment and/or workers’ rights.
• The refusal of many employers to provide medical and pension benefits—nearly always in the case of part-time employees, and, increasingly, for full-time, permanent ones as well.
• Rising crime rates, due to rising unemployment.

To discover how such legislation would work, read on.

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