We assist businesses of all types and sizes across the country with their protection every day. It never ceases to amaze us how the “security” mindset has permeated business thinking today. By “security” mindset we mean a couple of things.
First, it’s the idea that you can hire anyone, trained or untrained, usually through a local, regional or national Security company, slap on a uniform and badge and post them somewhere on site and then feel safe.
The second is that companies relate to security as an expense to reduce.
With this thinking in place, we find that many of the facilities we survey have dangerous breakdowns of physical security management with systems that actually increase vulnerabilities to potential threats, not reduce them. Best practice systems are the exception, not the rule, unfortunately.
Here are some examples of what we see all the time:
Fence & Gate Systems that are poorly maintained or installed, with gaps, holes, broken “fabric” or overgrown with brush. Some fences have posts that are loose, misaligned gates and even gate arms that are too short and easily breached.
Surveillance Camera Systemsthatare unmonitored and inadequately or improperly designed with equipment that either doesn’t or can’t provide the coverage needed.
Exterior Light Systems that are not functioning properly can actually empower persons to enter company property undetected for the purposes of theft, violence, or other illegal acts under the cover of darkness.
Overall, most of the “systems” we see were assembled in piecemeal fashion overseen by multiple managers often over many years with the net result of wasted capital assets and systems that don’t fulfill their intended purpose.
Does this sound familiar to you?
What do you see?
Blog Post Coming Up:The Business Case for Protection Pt. 1
Fake Bomb Got Past NJ Airport Screeners – Updated March 8, 2013 A New York congressman called for an extensive security review at Newark Liberty Airport after a newspaper reported Friday that a simulated explosive got past screeners.
Cyber Attacks: The Complexities of Attacking Back - March 12, 2013 As digital malefactors continue raiding U.S. businesses for their most valuable corporate secrets, some in Washington are wondering whether companies should test the limits and cyberattack their cyberattackers.
Union Reaches Tentative Deal with Verizon September 19, 2012 More than a year after 6,000 Verizon Communications Inc. employees in Massachusetts staged a contentious two-week strike, their union representatives struck a tentative agreement with the communications giant Wednesday for a new three-year contract.
September 18, 2012 …BTU president Richard Stutman told The Huffington Post that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s personality made a strike there hard to avoid. “If we in Boston had to deal with someone as provocative as Rahm Emanuel, we too might have been out on strike,” Stutman said…
Businesses Fret Over Bruins’ Delayed Start September 17, 2012 Businesses near TD Garden are bracing for losses as a player lockout by the National Hockey League threatens at least the start of the Bruins season and the millions of dollars in related consumer spending…
“During the 1970′s, an average of 289 major work stoppages involving 1,000 or more workers occured anually in the United States. By the 1990′s, that had fallen to about 25 per year. And in 2009, there were no more than five.”
The strike has nearly disappeared from American life and for some that may seem like a good thing. Rhomberg believes that:
“For the sake of our economic and political future, however, America would be better off if we had more strikes.”
So, what do you think? Would America be better of with more strikes? Let your opinion be heard and we’ll post the results soon! You can follow us on twitter @MADICORP or “like” us on Facebook and we’ll provide updates as results start to come in. You can comment directly on our Facebook page as well.
“…working families are being attacked and scapegoated like never before. Public employees are being blamed for bad economies. Pensions and health care benefits are demonized as excessive perks of the past while the richest among us enjoy tax rates that are some of the lowest in our nation’s history.”
“It is meaningless for elected leaders to deliver empty rhetoric about working people’s contribution on Labor Day – or any day – without using their power in Washington to create an economy that works for all… They want their elected leaders to move away from the soaring rhetoric and work for them. They want their contributions to be valued beyond Labor Day, and they want politicians in Washington to have depth of understanding of hardworking families’ everyday lives.”
“This is a…week that begins with Labor Day. For that reason, it’s a time when Republicans will be falling all over themselves to compliment American workers — well, except unionized workers, who Republicans hate and who Republicans would like to exclude from their party, along with those gays, poor people and women using birth control. This week, Republicans will ever so briefly share some credit for the greatness of America with white, male, non-union, blue collar workers — the ones Republicans believe they can convince to vote for the quarter billionaire they’ve nominated for president. Next week, however, the GOP will be back to claiming Republicans built it all by themselves.”
“ This year, there is ample reason to rekindle the courageous spirit that helped bring the first Labor Day into being. The right to organize, the right to bargain and the even right to vote are all under attack like never before.
It is disheartening but necessary to highlight the agenda of right-wing extremists willing to use the ongoing recession to promote animus against unions and union members. Amplified by corporate campaigns and fueled by countless millions, the anti-union movement seeks nothing less than to harvest the financial foundation of the American middle class.”
“And our union is meeting this moment with a new vision of unionism: solution-driven unionism. It’s an approach that is relevant and appropriate to the 21st century. An approach that is creative and visionary. An approach that advances solutions that unite the people we represent and those we serve—our students, our families and our communities.
We must bring people together around agendas that serve all kids, all workers and all communities—to restore the middle class, strengthen our public schools, and invest in, not destabilize, communities.
We must counter polarization and anger with ideas and innovation. It’s what AFT members and leaders are focused on across the nation”
I have been closely following the Occupy Movement’s relationship with labor unions since the Occupy Oakland General Strike took place on November 2nd. In response to conversations with clients and discussions in Unionized I have decided to create a blog series around the Occupy Movement/Labor Union relationship, so stay tuned!
To kick things off, let’s start with some videos I found today:
This afternoon I came across an article on BigGovernment.com titled “Unions: Future of the Occupy Movement?“. The article written by Accuracy in Media provided two videos that I thought our readers will find very interesting. The first video is of Benjamin Johnson from Accuracy In Media driving to “Our DC” and interviewing the protesters to find out why they are there, what union members are part of the Occupy DC movement and who paid for the signs, hats, t-shirts, etc. The second video is of Ben at a the Nurses Occupy Wall Street rally:
I hope that this series — Occupy Movement & Labor Unions — will be a great resource for you. Have you been following this topic at all? What are your thoughts? I invite you to share your opinion and experiences in the comments below. Don’t forget to add our blog to your RSS feed and/or to your favorites list!
Our Linkedin Poll “Do You Think the UAW will Strike Ford?” has officially ended, however, a new collective bargaining agreement has not been ratified as yet. Ford and the UAW have reached a tentative agreement but the membership must vote it in. If the contract is turned down, there is still a possibility that the UAW could strike Ford Motor Company. To see what union members are saying about this proposed contract, check out the the UAW Ford Department’s Facebook Page. The fan page was updated with a brief summary of the proposed contract earlier this week because their website, uaw.org, had been down due to heavy traffic volume. A couple quotes from the update on Tuesday:
“Bottom line is we are lucky to be working in this economy, and no matter what we do it’s not going to change Mullaly and mr. Fords bonuses they give themselves, because we don’t own the company. If we strike at this point we are just hurting ourselves. When the economy is weak the union is weak. When the economy is strong the union is strong.”
“Before taxes VOTE NO. After taxes VOTE NO. No cola, pay raise, the res of the concession’s not restored as promised in February of 2009 VOTE NO. You don’t like what I post kiss my ass and VOTE NO. The UAW is supposed to be for the hourly workforce not salaried employee’s VOTE NO. I guess what I am trying to say is simply this….THIS CONTRACT SUCKS SO EVERYONE PLEASE VOTE NO.”
Some of the comments on these Linkedin Poll’s circulating throughout different Linkedin groups are interesting, so I thought I would share some with you:
“Of coarse they will. The unions job is to have the interests of its members in mind and always work towards getting them more. The more its workers receive the more the union receives. The UAW has shown time and time again that they do not look at the effects their negotiations have on the rest of the country or even the Automotive industry.”
“I certainly hope not! It would put Ford at a hiring standstill and that would not be good for the Michigan economy. There would be a lot more jobs on the line then just the unions and it upsets me that the UAW is selfish in that way. Look at all of the “concessions” they have received in comparison the large quantity of the non-union workforce that the OEM’s employ. Buy some stock at these dirt cheap prices, let the company make a profit for once and be profitable for a few years, you will receive your reward!”
“Yes I think a strike will happen, I hope I am wrong……The unions are becoming less and less significant today and they need to make a splash…a strike will make that splash. Besides Ford walked away from the stimulous program and that did not make some people happy…..”
“If the UAW was “smart” they would not even think about a strike. Ford has done a great job to stay in the game but they “hocked” everything to stay out of court. My experience says the UAW is not smart enough to positively support the company going forward. They have historically been too focused on short term gains and non-productive work rules.”
“Unions are a gigantic waste of money and have long outlived their usefulness. If the Ford employees were smart they would realize that their dues aren’t actually getting them anything of substance. Its too bad that Ford can’t just get rid of the union.”
“I believe that this will happen. And the outcome? The general population will be hurt again.”
As always, I welcome the conversation to continue here on our Blog – so please feel to leave a comment if you didn’t vote in our original Poll!
“United Auto Workers at five of Ford’s biggest plants have overwhelmingly voted this week to authorize a strike. The lowest rate of affirmative votes at the five plants was 97 percent… Ford is the only Detroit automaker vulnerable to a strike. Chrysler and GM workers gave up the right to strike in this round of talks as part of the 2009 U.S. government bailouts of the two companies”
The current Collective Bargaining Agreement is set to expire on September 14, 2011, so we are just one week away! Please take a moment to vote in our Linkedin Polland feel free to weigh in on the subject and leave a comment. I will be posting this Linkedin Poll in the following Linkedin Groups:
As a long standing provider of Labor Dispute Management Services, our team at MADI is always combing media and the web looking for issues and trends regarding Labor Disputes, Human Resources, Labor Laws and Regulations and the like.
Over the past weekend, LaborUnionReport.com‘s Peter List tweeted about this article in the Star Tribune (Minneapolis) that caught our eye:
As you may be aware there is a labor dispute taking place at American Crystal Sugar’s Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa plant locations and Strom Engineering (a competitor) is supplying services during the work stoppage.
It might seem a bit unusual but in defense of Strom there appear to be a number of what to us are erroneous assertions were made in the article that deserve mention, since Strom’s CEO John Radick did not counter.
First is this quote in the article by Mark Froemke, president of the AFL-CIO’s West Area Labor Council. “To us, Strom is basically an outfit that hires mercenaries to basically go in and destroy communities.”
Makes a great sound bite, but nothing could be further than the truth about the prominent companies in our industry.
When a business finds itself in a position where it cannot remain competitive, jobs are often lost. That is the problem. The reality is that with all that is going in the global and US economies right now, many companies can no longer, unfortunately, sustain the costs negotiated in previous collective bargaining agreements.
I think no one would blame unions for not wanting to give up gains won over the years, but are they sustainable? This is the reason why service providers like MADI and Strom have and continue to exist. It is too simplistic to suggest that we are hired guns that destroy communities. In fact, MADI helps to level the playing field and restores balance during the collective bargaining process that in the end protects jobs and protects communities.
A couple of other comments in the article also note attention.
In a quote attributed to Robert Michael Smith, Professor of History at Sinclair College in Ohio, “…many firms have adopted high tech ways to intimidate unions, such as videotaping their activities.”
Labor disputes can be hostile, by definition. Can there be any doubt that unions are adept at using technology as well? Is it fair that with so much riding on success unions would want to exploit any and all means they can to further their bargaining positions? We know first hand that they do, often with no thought of safety and the rules of law.
MADI’s clients, most of which are very well known publicly traded and privately held companies, do not lightly place their reputations and brands at risk. They also understand Local, State and Federal regulations require the highest standards of corporate conduct and compliance during the Collective Bargaining Agreement process; with stiff penalties for any infraction.
Ironically it can be argued it is the unions who most often push the envelope and challenge these laws and regulations. MADI’s presence and robust documentation practices alone often help to neutralize danger, enforce safety and keep the focus on the business at hand, which is to negotiate a contract. Is this intimidating? We offer this up for you to be the judge.
As far as Strom’s alleged business practices noted in the article, such as hiring ex-convicts, sending out improperly skilled or trained replacement workers, invoking a 12-hour “no bathroom” policy and “driver panic” on the picket line… we are not in a position to comment directly.
However these comments appear to us to foster a misleading perception regarding Professional Labor Dispute Management Services as being akin to “strike busting” and hooliganism that we at MADI certainly do not, have not, and will not tolerate.
We would also argue this assertion also does a disservice to the companies, and associated entities that we serve.