Posts Tagged ‘labor’

T’ain’t What-cha Pay

November 3, 2013

The lyrics of a 1939 popular music hit said that “T’aint what you do, it’s the way how you do it” also apply to paying people for the work they do, according to a group  of Harvard professors.  A study they conducted showed that simply paying people more did not increase their productivity.  The best results came when employees percieved the increase to be an unexpected gift with no strings attached. They felt they were being payed more simply because their employer chose to do it. They reciprocated by increasing productivity.

You can read the Harvard Gazette story by going to this  link.

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Looking to China for how Unregulated Corporations Provide more Jobs

January 17, 2012

I recently did my bit to help the American consumer-driven economy. I upgraded to an iPhone 4 and I love it, especially the 5 mp camera with a flash. But, after watching the Daily Show with Jon Stewart last night, every time I look it now, I’ll think about the factory worker in China who made it. According to the report, which got its facts and video clips from a MSNBC program, he or she – some as young as 13-years-old – got 32-cents an hour, lives in a company-owned dormitory room with seven other people, works up to 35 straight hours, and sometimes becomes so stressed out and depressed that  he or she jumps off the top of the dormitory building.  So many have jumped that Foxconn, the Taiwan-based largest manufacturer of electronics in the world, has put up nets to break the jumpers’ falls.  Most of the company’s manufacturing plants are in mainland China.

Why does the union allow this to happen to workers?  There is no union.  Trying to organize one can get you twelve years in the clink.

Last night’s report was prompted by Rick Perry’s repeating of the Republican mantra about bringing jobs back to America by fewer regulations and more tax breaks for corporations.   Perry made the statement during the Republican presidential primary debate in South Carolina.

There was a time when many American factories were almost as immoral, paying starvation wages, providing shoddy company-owned houses, and  using child labor. Regulations got us away from that.  Do we really want to go back to that in order to compete with communist China?  Do we really want to ramp up our march back  to the Gilded Age of the Robber Barons? Can’t we find a way to provide jobs without destroying the American middle class?

HOPE for Georgians Seeking Work?

December 7, 2011

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler

  There is a labor shortage in Georgia. Really. There is. But, what about the more than 9 percent unemployment rate?  Georgia has that, too.  You see, the problem is a lot of people could have good jobs if they had the skills in demand.  And if Georgia doesn’t get off the pot and start re-training workers for the skills in demand, the state will fall behind those that are doing that.  That was the picture painted by Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark  Butler, who spoke to the Rotary Club of Columbus today. One solution is to change the HOPE scholarship program to make tuition available  to Georgia laborers who need to retrain. He plans to try to get the Georgia Legislature to do just that.

Why We Have Labor Day in the United States

September 5, 2009

While I know most people won’t be thinking about it, the United States got the idea for Labor Day from the Canadians.  They had the first one in 1872, and labor union workers in New York City followed suit a few years afterwards, but the holiday was not official. It became a national holiday in 1882 , 6 days after troops clashed with Pullman  strikers in Chicago leaving  some people dead.  President Grover Cleveland, who had called out the troops to put down the strike, decided reconciliation with labor was his top priority and pushed Congress to make Labor Day a national holiday.  The vote was unanimous. You can read all about it by going to Wikipedia.

So as you have fun with family and friends, you can reflect on why you are on holiday.  When was the last time you heard anyone comment on the fact that Congress made Labor Day official because of  the bloody Pullman  strike in Chicago?

“Let Children be Children” is Coming to the Columbus Museum

October 13, 2008

  There was a time when you simply had to go to Atlanta to see Broadway musicals, plays, museums, or go to concerts featuring nationally or world famous performers. Not any more.  You can get it all right here in Columbus now. 

  Take the Columbus Museum, for instance. It’s loaded with intriguing exhibits and they keep changing. For instance, one is coming up on October 26th that looks interesting. It’s called “Let Children be Children: Lewis Wickes Hine’s Crusade Against Child Labor.”

National Archives and Records Administration)

Child Laborer, Newberry, S.C. 1908, Photographed by Lewis W. Hine (Courtesy: National Archives and Records Administration)

 Hine was a sociologist who used the camera to document the conditions in which young American children worked in the early 1900’s.  Some of those pictures were taken right here in Columbus, Georgia, because Columbus cotton mills did indeed employ children in the early 1900’s.

National Archives and Records Administration)

Child Laborers in Indiana Glass Works, Midnight, Indiana. 1908. Photographer, Lewis W. Hine (Courtesy: National Archives and Records Administration)

  You’ll be able to see some of his work, including those Columbus pictures starting October 26th and running through December 14th, 2008. And if you are a member of the museum, you’ll be able to be able to attend a reception celebrating the opening of the exhibit and hear Dr’ John Lupold’s lecture “Child Labor and the Columbus Textile Industry, on Thursday, October 30th, 2008.  If  you can’t make it, you can rprobably ead about what he said on this blog, because I plan to go.  But, it’s best to be there so you might want to join the museum. It’s not real expensive and certainly worth the dues.