There appears to have been a spate of stories emerging in the past day or so that reveal the many everyday problems that most if not all workers face. They range from trivial matters to outrageous practices. The first of these stories is about Ryanair recently introducing a ban on employees charging up their mobile phones in working hours - the reason for doing this is because charging phones constituted a breach of their employees work ethic. Ryanair claim that the policy has not been a problem despite claims made publicly in the Daily Mirror newspaper. I suspect that Ryanair's employees continue to charge their phones, but are probably more smart about getting caught. Moreover, managers and team leaders probably charge their own phones up at work and see spying on their subordinates as petty and are likely ignore the phone charging policy once the fuss dies down.
RYANAIR BANS WORK PHONE CHARGING - BBC NEWS
An article about workers being subjected to abuse by customers appeared on the BBC News website today. It is based on a survey of retail workers. It highlights a growing problem for 'front line' staff and how they are abused by irate customers increasingly buying into the rhetoric of a 'consumer-driven society'. See My worst call for a true life acccount of this phenomenon. However, what the article missed out on concerns the fact that businesses do not do enough to protect their employees against customer abuse. If anything they encourage it by directing disgruntled consumers towards their front-line staff when in reality front line staff rarely have the authority to act on most problems. What is more, front-line staff are often warned not to 'escalate' enquiries to more senior staff for fear of reprisals. Who needs a tall hierarchy if you have a long line of front line staff coerced into believing they are responsible for all the company's ills and in effect become little other than corporate buffers.
SHOP STAFF 'BULLIED BY CUSTOMERS' - BBC NEWS
Some other stories of interest include reporting on research into the effects of split shifts on workers' health. Apparently, split shifts increases the risk of heart problems and makes us more tried and inattentive.
SHIFT WORK LINKED TO HEALTH RISKS - BBC NEWS
Further stories include the arbitrary treatment of MG Rover employees (or should it be ex-employees now?). In this case the handout from the government doesn't make it to showroom staff.
ANGER OF UNPAID SHOWROOM STAFF - THE GUARDIAN
Lastly today we have a story about the misbehaviour of senior employees at a subsidiary of ABB (a Swedish multi-national corporation supposedly renowned for its approach to business ethics). In this instance two managers are accused of being involved in bribery to secure contracts in the Middle East and Latin America. The bribes were worth around £300,000. Whilst ABB must be praised for acting on this discovery it does however question their ability to prevent 'unethical' practices in the first place. In other words, the two managers who were dismissed have been made to be the scapegoats when it was the corporation that failed to stop it from happening in the first place.
ABB SAYS US PAID BRIBES TO WIN BUSINESS - THE GUARDIAN
I have also added a link to Labourstart (work-related news from around the world that is regularly up-dated) after the links to blogs. For anyone who is thinking about responding to my questionnaire on work-related blogs I have deleted all entries so far from the on-line survey and any new entries will be deleted as soon as I get them.