Strategic realignment

28 01 2011

So this week has seen yet another massive upheaval in my corporation.  I saw one of these in 2003.  Another in 2005.  One in 2006.  Another in 2008.  And now barely into 2011, still another.  How I’ve managed to survive the cuts every time is a mystery to me, because I see people with huge talents, tremendous skill sets, being told that their services are no longer required. 

And the things driving these cuts are business.  And finance.  And “lean manufacturing”.  It’s all ever so much rampant bullshit.  Know why American plants aren’t “lean,” why we have all that excess manufacturing space?  Because some financial genius decided to move one product overseas, and then another, and then suddenly there aren’t enough products to fill the manufacturing capacity we had here all along… but someone was sure able enough to find the financing to build an entire damned plant halfway around the planet, weren’t they?  Because according to some arcane twelve-dimensional chess – or, as it’s called here in the business world, “financial analysis” – it’s cheaper to make overseas, thanks to some combination of monetary exchange rates and tax benefits and… thank you, Republicans, for making it so very very beneficial for American corporations to move their jobs overseas. 

I’ve seen things in the last year that don’t pass the red-face test.  I saw the Chamber of Commerce claim that a bill eliminating those overseas tax breaks wouldn’t help American corporations.  And you know what?  They’re right!  But you know what else?  I don’t give a rat’s ass about helping American corporations.  What I want to help is the American worker.  Businesses and business organizations don’t even make the pretense of civic responsibility any more.  Not even a charade of being committed to the workers in the countries they have headquarters in. 

My own company told us straight out, when we asked them if they could make a commitment to help American workers when we were looking at a recession – “We are not an American company.”  Really.  When I’m sitting at a world headquarters site?  In the middle of the United States?  If we’re not an American company, then what are we?

Oh, I forgot.  We’re a multinational.  We’re global.  Boy, those things sound so good in the abstract. 

How many of us work for companies that say something along the lines of “our people are our most important resource”?  They’re apparently thinking of resources like coal.  You know, the kind you can burn up and go find more.




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