“Since then it’s been decreed that the sun is highest at one o’clock.”
“Who decreed that?”
“The Soviet government.” –One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Alexander Solzhenitsyn
When an absurdly pompous government creates tragic circumstances for its citizens, one healthy response is to make jokes about it. Solzhenitsyn has Buynovsky doing just that, implying that the Soviet government believed itself so powerful that it could change the very laws of nature.
We’re going to need to joke a lot here in America as well. As many of you have commented on our past coverage, “The American Worker is going to be the one to bear the brunt of this overhaul”.
But if there’s one thing that I truly admire about Americans in comparison to the people I knew in the Soviet Union, it’s that we don’t just joke. We fight. We fight for freedom. We fight for workers. And we don’t take crap from out of control government bullies.
And the right thing for the staffing industry to do today is not hang up our hat and say that the government made it too hard for us to do business. It’s morally wrong to let go of workers, and we should do whatever it takes to not let that happen. Even if that means violating the spirit and yes the letter of the tidal wave of laws that threaten to consume us.
Example? Under the new health care act, companies will be required to provide health care to full-time employees by 2014. As many of you in staffing know, that will make it uneconomical to employ the vast majority lower end workers on a full time basis. Solution? It starts with creative measures like limiting workers in your employ to less than 30 hours and partnering with competitors to keep those same employees in a different job to make up the hours.
I know a lot of the Huffington Post types will read this and say hey Gregg that isn’t ethical, that all I really care about is staffing industry profits.
Let me tell you something about ethics. You don’t give a hungry man a stone and tell him how beautiful houses are made of it. You don’t give the freezing widow ice and tell her how great it is in hot weather. You don’t fire the temp worker and tell him how righteous it is to obey employment laws.
In America the staffing industry will not give up. We will not lament as Solzhenitsyn did that “Writing letters now is like throwing stones into a bottomless pool. They sink without a trace.” We will fight for what is right.