Working Notes: Disaster preparedness, UMass takes on workplace bullying, and Labor’s Plan B

Several items of interest to start off the work week:

Workforce Management on Disaster Preparedness

In the aftermath of destructive tornadoes in America’s heartland, the always helpful Workforce Management gathers information on disaster preparedness:

Sometimes there is warning, other times disaster strikes unexpectedly. What are best practices on an issue like this? The following stories from the Workforce archives as well as several related Forum Discussion posts offer perspective on how to cope when a disaster hits.

I wish it wasn’t so necessary to do contingency planning for disaster. But as the Marathon bombings in Boston last month and the powerfully destructive tornado in Moore, Oklahoma remind us, being prepared can save lives.

University of Massachusetts Takes on Workplace Bullying

Over the years, I’ve heard from a lot of University of Massachusetts employees about workplace bullying. That’s why I’m glad to see this development, as reported by Scott Merzbach for the Daily Hampshire Gazette:

Saying he wants the University of Massachusetts to do better, Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy has launched a campaign to address workplace bullying.

In a memo sent to faculty and staff Thursday, Subbaswamy wrote that the university will be taking steps to deal with the bullying at UMass that came to light in a survey released in September.

“While the numbers were consistent with those found at workplaces of all types throughout the country, this is clearly an area in which UMass Amherst aspires to be something much better than average,” Subbaswamy wrote.

Labor’s Plan B: Self-Organizing at the Grassroots

Abby Rapoport writes for the American Prospect about a new initiative to create a resurgent labor movement :

A week ago, labor-rights group Working America launched  . . . The website is yet another attempt by the country’s once-powerful union movement to connect to workers in an increasingly hostile national workplace.

“We also are trying to find new ways for workers to have representation on the job,” writes Working America spokesperson Aruna Jain in an email. “We want to train and educate people on how to self-organize, and to learn collective action—the single most effective way of improving their working conditions. This is one way we can start that process.”

The site, which is being rolled out slowly and in stages, is meant to give workers the resources they need to organize themselves and demand changes—regardless of whether or not an actual union comes together.

American workers are under assault, and this will continue so long as they believe that rugged individualism, supported by benevolent employers and the HR office, will provide them with good, secure jobs and decent working conditions.

One response

  1. Sounds hopeful! We could use alll the help we can get as far as employee rigts and representation are concerned.

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