Why Fortune 500s are Corporate Gangsters
By Digvijay Kothari
Unemployment has always been a global issue and even before the global outbreak of COVID-19 unemployment worldwide stood at 190 million. The situation during the outbreak has become gloomier and according to the International Labor Organization (ILO), 25 million people are now expected to lose their jobs worldwide but the ground reality is even worse.
The COVID-19 crisis has already left countless without cash, food, and the ability to support their families. All because of the ‘hire and fire’ policy and the capitalistic mentality of the corporate sector.
Do companies really care about their employees?
The COVID-19 situation has undoubtedly unveiled the darker side of the corporate world. It has brought the spotlight on the vulnerability of employees at times of such emergencies and calamities.
Many corporates are directly and indirectly forcing their employees to be at work against all the warnings from the authorities, without offering them proper safety measures. Many are working in the fear of being laid off as their colleagues were, at the beginning of the crisis. They do not know what to expect and what tomorrow holds for them. The fear of losing their jobs is real and without proper policies to protect employees, the psychological and emotional torment on job holders will continue.
A very good example of this would be the JP Morgan scandal. The company with a net worth of 266.05 billion dollars as of April 17, 2020, forced its employees to commute to work daily amidst the outbreak, resulting in 24 of them catching the virus and leaving 65 of them in quarantine. There were even reports that the traders who had been told to report to work, broke down in tears, but their plight went unheard.
This is just one example there are countless other incidences like this happening across the world. The need to put profits first is very concerning as it shows how employers are ignoring the present situation and forcing their employees to risk their health.
Employees seem to have no rights because their voices are silenced with threats and corporate bullying. Companies seem to be on a rat race to showcase their swift adaptation plans on social media, however, in reality, their hypocrisy shines through as many of them still haven’t let their full force of employees to work remotely.
Do employers care about their employees? Why are corporates bullying and harassing their employees?
According to experts, C-level management in many companies even under the present circumstance is unwilling to be truly employee-centric. Their priority should be the health and safety of their employees instead of profit generation and maximization.
“Employees are the wheels of any business and if they are removed the cart cannot move”, but on the contrary, the corporate world thinks that “Everyone is replaceable”, the dilemma here is what should a good corporate look like in such situations? To find the answer I broke down the conversation into three main focus points.
Threat of spreadibility
Employees who have to still commute to work on public transportation are also at high risk of contracting the virus. The threat does not just end there but continues to hover over their heads throughout the day, as some employees may be asymptomatic and may spread the virus unknowingly as no tests are performed to ensure the present health condition of the employee.
Just by providing gloves and facemasks to travel to work will not resolve the high-risk of infection these people have to face every day as the improper use of gloves and masks could result in cross-contamination and the person getting infected anyways. Most offices disinfect their premises at night, which may kill the virus present there but it does not stop it from spreading the next day as someone with the virus may contaminate the surfaces, hence spreading the virus.
Similarly, social distancing, at a workplace is next to impossible to meet the social distancing requirements.
Companies are posting amazing appreciation blogs and articles on the employees working from home tagging them as heroes! Are they the true heroes? Or is the work-force traveling to work every single day while putting their healths and families at risk, the real heroes?
It’s more like forcing a bunch of civilians to go to fight a war while the experts sit at home taking selfies.
“Corporate C-level’s” are forcing their employees to go to work and generate revenue for them by putting their lives at stake while they are indoors with their families, SAFE!
Employees in the BPO industry have been the hardest hit as they are forced to report to work and are not even receiving incentives for their efforts. Since the entry and mid-level employees in these types of industries have relatively low pay, long work hours, high-density work stations and relatively basic or no health packages at all.
What if an employee is quarantined or worse dies? What aid will the company provide to the family of the victims?
Under the present circumstances, it is important to ensure that every employee traveling to work everyday have a medical package that covers the whole family and benefit packages for their families in case something happens to them. This should be made mandatory if the company want to risk the lives of their team members during such a crisis.
Similarly, the salary and incentives for the people who have been asked to report to work should also be higher than for those who can work from home.
These decisions have to be made by the management before even asking employees to report to work. There should be a clear mode of communication, threatening employees to ensure that they come to work will only affect their productivity at work and in the long run hamper the reputation of the company itself.
Increased Corporate Harassment
Corporate harassment is taking a toll on the psychological health of the employee, who are scared that they will lose their source of income during these difficult times. As, when they ask questions, there is no proper panic response in place and managers resort to threats like- “if you don’t come to work you will be fired, even if you produce a medical certificate”.
How is it not a crime to bully employees, when you do not have an answer to their rightful questions and concerns? How is it any different than any criminal gang operation?
Are there any rights for the employees in any corporate house or is it just a jungle rule with the CEO being the godfather and his Pawns in the management continuously bullying and harassing the entry and mid-level employees.
Sadly, It leaves me confused and hanging in the middle of nowhere! What do you think?
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