PSE changes reflect working changes
October 3, 2008 · Updated 1:43 AM
Last week's news that Puget Sound Energy might subcontract and subsequently lay off a good chunk of its workforce came as no surprise here. Corporate America, whether we like it or not, is far
more concerned about the bottom line than the people who have made them
what they are. It is a trend that Boeing is now wrestling with and has the potential
to further the crevasse between company management and its labor force.
Why would a company take such drastic action, so as to disrupt their
employees to such a great extent? Well for one, competition, and in the area
of electricity, it's likely deregulation. PSE appears to be reacting to the
potential changes brought about by deregulation. Ultimately, large publicly held
companies have to answer to the stockholders. And many times, the average
worker bears the brunt of any changes brought about by shareholder value.
I'm not saying it's the right thing to do. It would seem a more logical
approach would be to bring in the unions and employees and explain the
nature of the changes. It's possible that instead of laying off its work force, PSE
could ask the workers for concessions. Hey, it all boils down to trust, and if the
trust is there, the right things will happen.
But in the case of Boeing, it appears that one-half of the work force is
more important than the other. The IAM-represented employees saw a CEO
named Phil Condit ride into negotiations atop his trusty steed and pull out all the
stops to make sure all parties were happy. The same cannot be said for his
involvement in the SPEEA negotiations. Seems he is playing favorites and if it's all
in the taste of competition, then things have spoiled a bit.
So corporate America is changing and the employee, who once
commanded his own wages, benefits, etc., is under attack once again. In the future,
training and marketability will be the key and loyalty will quickly go out the window.
To those PSE employees who face drastic changes in their lifestyles,
thanks for all the hard work in keeping us plugged in. For employees in other
large corporations, remember, you're the only one watching out for you.