Tuesday, September 8, 2015

A White House forum for your whiny employees? Yup, this is a real thing, and you should pay attention.

Does your workplace have that employee who complains about everything? Is there that one person, who, no matter what you do, it’s never good enough? Lucky for you, the White House now has a forum for this pain-in-your-butt.

The White House has announced it’s “Summit on Worker Voice”. According to the White House:

On October 7, 2015, the White House and the Department of Labor will bring together workers, labor leaders, advocates, forward-leaning employers, Members of Congress, state and local officials and others to highlight the relationship between worker voice and a thriving middle class.

The White House Summit on Worker Voice will provide a historic opportunity to bring together a diverse group of leaders—including workers, employers, unions, organizers and other advocates and experts—to explore ways to ensure that middle class Americans are sharing in the benefits of the broad-based economic growth that they are helping to create. We want both seasoned and emerging leaders from across the country, who are taking action in their communities to lift up workers’ voices—to be active participants in this conversation.

The White House is looking for your employees to nominate workplace “voice leaders”, those who:

  • Join with coworkers to discuss common workplace issues in a constructive and productive way.
  • Support workers in seeking workplace policies that better respond to worker needs and concerns.
  • Seek feedback—for example, through surveys—from employees to learn what really matters to them.
  • Open a dialogue among workers, managers, and supervisors about what works best in your workplace.
  • Create dialogue with coworkers and employer leadership about ways to expand voice in the workplace.
  • Reach out to workers who have never had a voice in the workplace to let them know that they are not alone and broaden the conversation on the future of the workplace.

In other words, the White House is looking for employees to join together to discuss wages, hours, and other terms and condition of employment, a right that the National Labor Relations Act guarantees to your employees.

The Obama Administration, through the NLRB, has made it a whole lot easier for labor unions to form. The NLRB has implements it’s expedited, ambush election rules, and has held franchisors, staffing agencies, and contractors responsible as joint-employers for the bargaining responsibilities of their independent subsidiary entities. Now, the White House has gone a step further by opening a forum for employees to understand their rights to complain and grieve. This administration is bending over backwards to bring up the working and middle classes. And, if you are not implementing progressive wages and policies for your workers, the White House is sending a strong message that it’s more than okay for them to complain, or, worse, form a union to collectively bargain for those rights.

I’ve said before that there is a war brewing between the working classes and corporate America. One battle line is the minimum wage. Another is the labor movement, and the White House has clearly chosen it’s side.

Dilbert 9-8-15