Monday, February 13, 2006

Quality of Work Life - A Study

Michael Kinsman, a fellow with a column that runs in the business section of the “San Diego Union-Tribune” now and again, wrote an article on the balance between work and pleasure in our lives.

It was entitled, “A workplace culture valuing balance boosts retention,” and it can be found here:

This topic piques our anarcho-syndicalist leanings for the possibilities of leisure it proposes.

The greatest and most successful libertarian and communal organization ever was the Spanish Confederación Nacional del Trabajo or National Workers Confederation (see photos of textile workers’ council), a trade union of the 1930s...there was an old joke that its initials CNT, stood for “compañero no trabajes” or “comrade don’t you work.”

They're here:

This group is portrayed through the vaguely disguised Iberian Syndical Federation in the scribe's novel, "Vedette" which you can get by clicking on the pretty flamenca girl at left. That's her, Vedette.

Enough said.

The basis for Kinsman’s article is a recent survey done by the Key Group

a business consultant based where the Pittsburgh Steelers play. It found high rates of dissatisfaction in the American workplace and a labor force bent on changing things “to bring a better work-life balance to their lives.”


The Key Group’s Chief Executive Officer Joanne Sujansky is quoted as saying, “I see this as an early warning of a huge turnover issue soon to face the U.S. Many companies simply don’t have a culture that emphasizes work-life balance. There’s a prevailing attitude among employers that employees are there to work and their personal life, or lack thereof, is irrelevant.”

Boy is there ever.

But the strain of CNT running through the scribe is not buying Sujansky’s prediction.

It does not account for the concentration of industries, the decline of labor unions (and hence, labor leverage) the insecure and short-term nature of work today, and the move (or push) toward independent contracting without benefits and other perks associated with belonging to a larger organization.

But one can dream.

More from the article: “You hear that companies say they have to compete in the global marketplace and that they have competitors breathing down their necks. That translates directly to the workers who are expected to do more.”

the scribe forgot, why did we get into this global economy thing?

And we’ll close on this final quote from Key Group’s boss and wish it to you as an adieu.

“But the demands of companies are always going to be consuming. It’s up to individual workers to take a stand and put boundaries on how much of their lives they will devote to the job. The companies won’t do it for you.”

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