Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Kiss "Em Goodbye

On Monday, workers at two Aberdeen Weyerhauser mills showed up for work to begin another shift. I'm sure for most of them thought it would be a typical workday. However, at 2:30 p.m., they all learned that they were out of work. The timber giant had decided to close both locations.

The official reason for the closures has something to do with "weak market conditions". In today's teetering economy, I don't doubt the company's reasoning. Most industries are having problems and layoffs are being announced daily.

What infuriates me to no end, however, is the manner in which it was done. The announcement was made abruptly during one of the shifts. There's no way in the world you're going to convince me that Weyerhauser officials made this decision on Monday morning or even over the weekend. Obviously, they've been mulling over this decision for some time and, at some point, made up their minds.

If you respect the people in your employ, the ethical thing to do is give them some warning. The workers are counting on their usual paychecks to pay their bills. Now those paychecks are history and there are going to be a lot of people hurting.

What's even more galling is that big corporations like this (and, of course, it's not just Weyerhauser) often exact big tax breaks from state, county and local governments to come to and remain in a locale. It often takes the form of legal extortion -- Give us x amount of a tax break or we'll take these jobs somewhere else!!

So, governments bend over backwards to make sure the honchos of these big companies don't get their feathers ruffled and yet, this is the kind of payback we receive time and again -- They simply pull the plug without notice and glibly tell their workers not to let the door hit their backsides on the way out.


  1. Well, otherwise the workers might, you know, fight against their decision. We can't have the peasants sticking up for their rights, now can we?


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