Thinking about inflation, layoffs and fighting back

You will hear a lot about inflation and layoffs this year. As anyone who buys gas or groceries knows, the prices of essentials are skyrocketing. Spoiler alert: Our economic gurus expect workers to absorb the effects of economic change, from rising prices to disappearing jobs. The traditional corporate response to inflation and other forms of economic disruption is to lay off workers. This is a move that is often rewarded, at least temporarily, by the stock market. (However, as many pro-capitalists have learned, the link between layoffs and improved profits and performance isn’t as strong as it seems. More on that later.) January In the first three weeks of , Google’s parent company, Alphabet, will cut 12,000 jobs worldwide, and bloodshed is set to break out in Canada. Incorporated plans to cut him 18,000 worldwide. Similarly, Microsoft expects to lay off 10,000 employees this year. Canadian tech companies have also cut jobs in the first few weeks of the year, with hundreds of jobs lost at Lightspeed Commerce, Hootsuite, Culiaco and Syncphic. Overall, more than 70,000 tech workers have been laid off in the past year, including his 3,700 jobs lost in the bloodshed at Twitter’s slaughterhouse.

And it wasn’t just the tech industry that saw significant job cuts. From an iron mine on Baffin Island to a food delivery app in Winnipeg, Canadian workers have already been notified of layoffs this year as management seeks to increase profits by cutting labor costs. The corporate slogan is “Thank you for using us. Please screw it up now. Because the situation is so serious right now and the use of layoff tactics is so common, luck Magazine, one of the iconic business-class journals, recently published a lengthy article on how to best implement employee layoffs.One Helpful Layoff Tip luck It was suggested to top management that local laws should be followed. Fortunes President reader!

So what does this have to do with New Year’s union strategy? The answer is simple: organize, organize, organize! You are protected from violent layoffs and have a better retirement package. Also, the protections and benefits negotiated by unions for their members tend to boost the wages, protections and benefits of local unorganized workers. As recently discussed in an Atlantic Council paper, unions provide direct benefits to their members and indirect benefits to the larger economy and employers.

As noted above, it has long been assumed in ruling class circles and the business press that the best response to a company facing challenges is to lay off employees and “lean” their operations. I came.However, some interesting studies have been reported harvard business reviewMay-June 2018,

Mass layoffs are often not only cruel and heartless, they are also stupid, suggesting that they fail spectacularly to achieve the ultimate goals they set out to achieve. said:

“Other data on layoffs should give companies pause. In a 2012 review of 20 studies of companies that experienced layoffs, Deepak Dutta of the University of Texas at Arlington found that found that stock prices had a neutral to negative impact on stock prices for several days.Datta also found that many companies suffered from declining profitability after layoffs, and related research found that The decline in profits lasted three years, and a team of researchers from Auburn University, Baylor University, and the University of Tennessee found that companies with layoffs were more likely to file for bankruptcy than those without. We found twice as high: Survivors had a 20% decline in job performance after layoffs.”

same harvard business review Researchers describe a strong trade union-led backlash against layoffs at a German factory run by mobile phone company Nokia. When the company announced massive layoffs at its factories in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, unionized workers fought back with mass demonstrations and consumer boycotts. Workers persuaded the German government to repay Nokia for previously given subsidies, which according to the author, earned 700 million euros in sales and €700 million in profits in 2008 and 2009, according to the author. He lost 100 million euros. Fighting back doesn’t always win, but surrendering always loses. And unions are an important way for workers to fight back.

Sadly, the transition to a globalized economy, the rise of right-wing authoritarian regimes, and sophisticated anti-union ideologies have targeted and too often weakened trade unions. Strikes are broken, labor law protections are undermined, and slimy, filthy doctrines of stubborn individualism are fostered. Collective effort is despised in contrast to Neo-Hobbesian warfare. It’s not an easy time to become a unionist, but building and protecting unions remains important.

The challenge of building, expanding and protecting independent and radical unions is global, but workers face different obstacles in different jurisdictions. Union activity in Canada, for example, is in dire need of renewal and expansion, but it is far stronger than organized labor in the United States.

Trade union density in the United States is at its lowest level since record-keeping on this important issue began in 1983. Union membership is down from more than 20 percent four decades ago, and he makes up only 10.1 percent of the American workforce. Union densities are also declining in Canada, but not as dire as in the United States: In 1981, 38% of the Canadian workforce was unionized, a figure he By 2022 he has dropped from 9% to 29%. So while Canadian workers start in a better place than Americans, we still have a lot of work to do. We want a union movement strong enough to fight back what our business class masters have in mind for us.

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