Ever since Arthur Andersen was deployed by corporates to eliminate jobs by the thousands, there has developed a kind of immunity for corporate executives to trash workers who have worked diligently and honourably and conscientiously without the protection of their unions (because none were permitted) and without the protection of their federal and provincial governments because they were too frightened of the lobby created by those corporate executives.
An American corporate consultant, in the early part of the first decade of this century once informed me: "People are nothing more or less than another commodity like iron or steel in the production process or in the service-generating process...all in the name of corporate profits and greed."
When Mike Harris cut the funding for Wheel-Trans, that part of the TTC in Toronto needed by the physically and emotionally challenged to get to work and to school, in his trash-and-burn government, we have all known that the American "culture" of commodifying people, as my consultant said, has come to Canada to take up permanent residence, at the peril of all Canadian workers.
When that notice, "position terminated because of redundancy" is first opened by any worker, but especially by those who have made sacrifices and made adjustments to go beyond the minimum level of performance, and have even provided leadership and vision where there was neither, (only to offend their weak, sniveling mindless and spiritless superiors) it is as if the former KGB have invaded the home of that worker, for no legitimate reason, and have carted that worker off to the gulag, for what? For being too committed and too enthusiastic and too threatening to the mediocrity that existed for far too long in the organization.
We need a new union of workers who have had the indignity to receive and to open such a notice of termination to march through the streets of our towns and cities and demand from their governments new laws against the rape of the worker, not the sexual rape, but the rape of the worker's dignity, and the rape of the worker's honour and the rape of the worker's value, with impunity.
And let's not be seduced by the big houses and the BMW's and the fat bank accounts of the corporate executive class who have squeezed every last "redundant" worker out of his/her position without so much as a "thank you" for your service.
Workers who have provided ideas, and know-how, and communication between and among co-workers whose workplace had little if any of these necessary ingredients, and have in the process naively engendered the revenge and contempt of their very insecure "superiors" whose shoddy work habits and shoddy attitudes and deflated expectations and whose virtually total compliance with the kind of administration that regards workers as exclusively a "cost" and not a "benefit" to the business, in a posture that can only be described as a "sell-out" of those very workers who have made the organization more profitable and more humane and more imaginative and more sensitive than it ever would have been under the "greedy" grasp of the corporate execs...these are the most likely recipients of those "termination for redundancy" notices.
And when the greedy, grasping, selfish and unchallenged hands of those executives have stripped all of the humanity from their organizations, and left virtually only those workers who offer complete and utter compliance, in the face of the fear of their own receipt of such a notice, then what will be left of our organizations?
They will have become nothing more than the signatures of the ego's and the selfish greed of their managers and when those managers attempt to deceive themselves, their clients and their workers that the organizations put the needs of those clients and workers first, we will all know that such a charade is a lie and that such a charade is nothing more than a gallopping gulping machine to which those corporate executives and their compliant workers have become slaves.
And then we will all face the spectre of a health care budget that cannot cope with the ravages of such an approach to humanity, and the law enforcement system cannot cope with the marches in the streets because those necessary (but costly and therefore evil) workers will lose their meagre benefits, and only the rich will be able to afford what has come to be considered a right to excellent health care.
The signs are everywhere in front of our eyes. Greed is NOT GOOD! And while money may never sleep, it is also possible that money and the greed for it will hopefully consume those executives and professionals whose utter depravity and contemptuous insecurity drove them and the rest of us off the cliff and into the canyon in a crash that would make the 2008 bubble-burst look like a picnic.
We are being led by people who consider their social responsibilities as nothing more than tokenism and another marketing opportunity. We are watching the triumph, not merely of the will, as was the case in Hitler's Germany, but the short-term triumph of greed, at the expense of human beings and their families and their dignity and their honour and their self-respect. And while those rich and vaccuuous executives fill their illegal Swiss Bank Accounts with their ill-begotten wealth, we will all pay the price for their insatiable appetite for more money...and such an approach is not restricted merely to the corporates that make cars or sell insurance. It is, like an unstoppable virus, tearing apart our service sector as well.
And it will take more than a vote of workers to bring in the Service Employees International union to bring the ship back on course and upright in the face of this tornado that is sweeping across the North American continent.