Wednesday, May 1, 2013

All for this matter(s)! - The struggle of workers then and today

What significant value does an employée have these days, and what makes a "good" employer? In regard to the actual event, the international labor day, I would like to address these questions.
What we actually celebrate, or why we are allowed to dedicate this day to our family, friends, house or garden instead of our regular job. Do you know? Well, I looked it up: May 1st 1886, Chicago, took a demonstration of the labor movement place. Workers stood up for better labor conditions, fighting for the implementation of the 9-5 day. While the protest many people were killed, hundrets hurt, due to a bomb attack. At founding congress of the Second International in 1889, May 1st has been announced as a memorial and public holiday.
Man companies have noticed quickly that happy employées deliver a better performance and stay calm. With the intention of keeping and binding employées in the long-run, at best their whole life long, Social Insurances such as Healthcare, 401K-fund/Retirement and others have been introduced and implemented. Bigger companies even built their own workers district close to the company facilities. Here employée could move with their entire family to live close by to work. The principle: Employées are supposed to run the system and in the system smoothly and they were then to be en- and insured. Benifits for both parties were provided. Employées felt devoted and commited to the company and its founder; the company commited itself to its workers/employées.
Does this kind of benefit-balance exist today still? No! The demand for securrity is omnipresent, still. But an active demand for self-fulfillment and for a counterbalanced work-life balance has been added. However, companies feel more obligated to their investors nowadays, the own employées are too often set within the last spots of priorities. The main goal for every company is a maximization of profit, not of employée satisfactory; resulting in the promise of security getting broken.
Meaning, applicants are systematically and regularly lied to. After all, in most job-ads it says "We offer a secure job". In order to keep their part of many promises, employées are working  hard. Well, we still have our hopes in finding a long-termed secure job place. However, pledges as such cannot be kept by the companies due to the changed conditions they are confronted with themselves. Since a life long working contract cant be promised anymore, companies should keep their target on a long-termed binding  and most important of all keep and protect their focus on the humane capital.
The employer pledges will have to be adjusted. Only with authentic and realistic promises, which can be kept, companies have the chance to become an "Employer of Choice", resulting in employers and applicants who want to bind themselves to also. Today as well, employées fight for good labor conditions - currently for meaningfull and sensible work, variety and freedom for private matters.

It is reasonable we celebrate this very labor day, having the chance to express our demand for security, self-determination and fun. And now enough work done for today, it is public holiday after all. Now comes the balancing. Have a sunny and relaxed May Day! RJ

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