Thursday, September 27, 2007

UAW and GM: Unions Wonder Why Membership Has Decreased

The news about the United Auto Workers and General Motors has been in all the newspapers and we all know that the strike of one day is over with and that an agreement is pending. Here is a good article on the website for The Detroit Free Press summarizes the agreement.

I don't know about the rest of you, but wouldn't it be nice to get a $3000 check for refusing to do your job for a day???

Also, it was hard to be sympathetic to a group of employees making $58,000/yr. (at a minimum) for assembly line work.

Read the article and see what you think. Ready to join the union?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Department of Homeland Security Mad at Illinois

Back in May on my blog called "Catching Up" I wrote an item about the employment verification system the Federal government was going to require all employers to use when they hired someone. It is currently required of government contractors. Well, apparently in response to this, (the announcement, not my blog) the State of Illinois passed a law barring businesses from using the system until the system's databases become faster and more accurate. Because the program requires employers to fire employees within 8 days if they are not verified the State of Illinois argued this subjected employees to unfair treatment under the federal government's flawed program.

The Justice Department, on behalf of Homeland Security, filed a civil suit to stop the enactment of the Illinois law, with Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff saying "This is about as bold an anti-enforcement measure as I've ever seen," and further calling it a " assault on the federal law."

This will be interesting to watch.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Warm Chair Attrition

I was reading a newsletter called the Herman Trend Alert today, an older issue on the subject of fear and the paralyzing effect it can have on employees. In that discussion they talked about something they called "Warm Chair Attrition". They describe this as employees who are unhappy, but "... these employees still collect paychecks, take up space, and infect their fellow associates. It would seem to be good news for employers: their workers will not leave. However, bottom line, disaffected employees are not particularly productive."

Do you have workers like this? I have met some. They don't leave for several reasons, such as fear of not being able to find another job, fear of having to move, fear of the unknown, laziness or a lack of motivation. Our task as managers and human resources professionals becomes to help identify these employees and either turn them around or move them out.

How have you done this? Or have you? Is this something your company lives with because it is easier to get some work out of them than it is to try to find someone to replace them?