Disposable Workers Consuming Disposables
A couple of years ago, the business press began talking about “disposable workers.” I guess that the language was too revealing. Now comes Northwest Airlines, which takes this one step further — disposable workers are advised to consume disposable trash.
Anon. 2006. “Northwest Advised Workers to See Treasure in Trash.” Reuters (15 August).
“Bankrupt Northwest Airlines Corp. advised workers to fish in the trash for things they like or take their dates for a walk in the woods in a move to help workers facing the ax to save money. The No. 5 U.S. carrier, which has slashed most employees’ pay and is looking to cut jobs as it prepares to exit bankruptcy, put the tips in a booklet handed out to about 50 workers and posted for a time on its employee Web site.”
“The section, entitled “101 ways to save money”, does not feature in new versions of the booklet or the Web site. Northwest spokesman Roman Blahoski said some employees who received the handbook had taken issue with a couple of the items. “We agree that some of these suggestions and tips … were a bit insensitive,” Blahoski told Reuters.”
“The four-page booklet, “Preparing for a Financial Setback” contained suggestions such as shopping in thrift stores, taking “a date for a walk along the beach or in the woods” and not being “shy about pulling something you like out of the trash”.”
“The booklet was part of a 150-page packet to ground workers, such as baggage handlers, whose jobs will likely be cut after their union agreed to allow the airline to outsource some of their work, Blahoski said.”
“Prepared with the help of an outside company, the booklet encourages employees to manage their money better and prepare for financial emergencies. “If you have saved some money, pat yourself on the back — you deserve it,” the booklet reads. “Take out only what you need and spend prudently”.”