Corliss Olson on workplace bullying — WMTV interview

Corliss Olson, director of and professor at the University of Wisconsin’s School for Workers, has been a long-time supporter of the anti-bullying movement. This week she was interviewed about workplace bullying and the need for the Healthy Workplace Bill by Madison’s WMTV NBC15. To watch her interview, go here. [Update October 2010 — the interview is no longer available.]

During her interview, Corliss shared a brief piece of a conversation with a boilermaker who observed that when it comes to the workplace, we’ve gone from “lean and mean” to “anorexic and vicious.” It struck me as a sadly apt characterization of what the Great Recession is doing to too many workers.

By the way, UW’s School for Workers is one of a dwindling number of university-affiliated labor education programs. I’m a big fan of these schools, as they help to counterbalance the overwhelming management presence of business schools and MBA programs. You can learn more about the school and its programs from its website.

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Hat tip: Wisconsin Healthy Workplace Advocates

2 responses

  1. The article makes several excellent observations in reference to “what the Great Recession is doing to too many workers.”

    Workplace bullying can be very insidious or blatant. Even when the economic situation returns to “normal”, many employers will continue to hide behind a “smokescreen” that the economy is still bad.

    The standard corporate speak will continue to be, ” You should be glad to have job”. This mindset is designed to intimidate employees into believing they are economic indentured servants with no options. The corporate environment will become even more conducive to bullying, anti-whistle-blowing and retaliation.

    In reference to, “UW’s School for Workers is one of a dwindling number of university-affiliated labor education programs.” accounting for the growing lack of employee advocate institutions. This is evidenced by this statement, “…help to counterbalance the overwhelming management presence of business schools and MBA programs.”

    Until the U.S. Congress acts to make workplace bullying illegal it will continue to be an ever growing problem. That is one reason every career seeker and employee should Learn Basic Employee Rights now more than ever!

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