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A study of over 100,000 businesses in Oregon uncovered some unsettling news about worker conditions.
- A study of over 100,000 Oregon-based businesses found companies are incentivized to ignore worker safety.
- As states begin to reopen, 17 states are seeing increased numbers of coronavirus cases.
- The biggest outbreaks are occurring at cramped and unsanitary meatpacking plants.
Amazon Employees Speak Out About Workplace Conditions | NBC Nightly News<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="09a90e82ade8730ab9e32bdd505d1d2e"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/tvdyxXhVNRE?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>Common sense has it that safer working conditions should result in reduced need for self-protection and greater commitment to the organization. Business owners weigh worker safety against overall productivity, however. Larger companies are willing to gamble. The team explains:</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Organizations that do not provide a safe workplace gain an economic advantage by avoiding burdensome costs and being more productive, which may explain why even proponents of 'it pays to be safe' provide evidence that numerous organizations are not safe." </p><p>The researchers pored over disabling claims provided by the Oregon Department of Consumer Affairs. Those claims include workers who had taken at least three days off from work as well as those claiming a potentially permanent disability. As can be expected, serious claims are more expensive. </p><p>Here's where it gets counterintuitive: Companies <em>with</em> worker injury claims survive up to 56 percent longer than companies without claims. The researchers say that is in large part due to lack of regulations: "Our results imply that the regulations of a developed economy are not enough to incent the elimination of poor safety." </p><p>That's right: Companies with the most resources to ensure worker safety are the least incentivized to do so. </p><p>In 1906, Upton Sinclair opened the nation's eyes to the horrors of wage slavery. "The Jungle" began as an exposé in a socialist newspaper; Sinclair spent seven weeks working undercover in Chicago meatpacking plants. Though President Roosevelt initially called Sinclair a "crackpot," he assigned two employees to investigate these facilities. Sinclair wasn't exaggerating. The Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act resulted from his reporting. The latter act inspired the creation of the Bureau of Chemistry, today known as the FDA. </p>
A sign for The Smithfield Foods pork processing plant in South Dakota, one of the countrys largest known Coronavirus clusters, is seen on April 20, 2020 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Photo by Kerem Yucel / AFP<p>In "The Jungle," Sinclair artfully describes how the main character, a Lithuanian immigrant named Jurgis Rudkus,<em> should</em> feel after being hired by the mammoth Durham's Pure Leaf Lard, a corporation employing 30,000 people.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"All that a mere man could do, it seemed to Jurgis, was to take a thing like this as he found it, and do what he was told; to be given a place in it and a share in its wonderful activities was a blessing to be grateful for, as one was grateful for the sunshine and the rain."</p><p>On May 16, <a href="https://www.texastribune.org/2020/05/16/700-new-coronavirus-cases-amarillo/" target="_blank">700 new coronavirus cases</a> were reported at meatpacking plants in the region of Amarillo, Texas. Alongside nursing homes and jails, these plants are hotspots for the coronavirus. The combination of cold temperatures, long working hours, and cramped, unsanitary conditions have made <a href="https://www.wired.com/story/why-meatpacking-plants-have-become-covid-19-hot-spots/" target="_blank">these facilities extremely dangerous</a>. The pandemic has exposed how little has changed since Sinclair's muckraking. </p><p>According to the Oregon study, businesses providing safety measures <em>and</em> improving competitiveness are few and far between. That's because "treating compliance as a cost, and trying to comply, is more expensive than not complying and having accidents." Governmental agencies predominantly let businesses self-regulate given their hamstrung inspection teams. The team concludes "the costs of preventing all harm is higher than the costs of not doing so."</p><p>Makes you wonder who really wants to reopen America so badly. They will most likely not be on the assembly line. </p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a> and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a>. His next book is</em> "Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</p>
Three questions for the designer of a video game in line with the times.
The computer scientist’s group has designed a game that gets players to reflect on sexual misconduct in the workplace.
Why do people have the same fights, over and over again? That's the repetition compulsion, a deeply ingrained psychological phenomenon—but not so deep that it can't be beaten.
Sigmund Freud initially thought humans operated on the 'pleasure principle'—that we run toward pleasure and run away from pain. However, this didn't quite align with what he saw in his office. There, he worked with people who escaped abusive relationships only to end up in a new relationship with the same dangerous dynamic. Many of us have the same fight with a coworker or a loved one, in different forms, over and over again. This led Freud to a turning point in his theory: he dubbed this phenomenon the repetition compulsion, a psychological trap where we repeat the same dysfunctional behavior or fall into the same traumatic circumstances, over and over again. In the video above, Harvard professor Dan Shapiro explains that there is a way to break this cycle of dysfunction and have healthier relationships. It's not easy, but it's worth doing to live a happier and less stressful life. As Sam Harris describes in his book, Waking Up: "My mind begins to seem like a video game: I can either play it intelligently, learning more in each round, or I can be killed in the same spot by the same monster, again and again." Understanding the way that you fight, and what your conflict triggers are, will stop you living the same destructive patterns on a loop. Dan Shapiro's latest book is Negotiating the Nonnegotiable: How to Resolve Your Most Emotionally Charged Conflicts.
Businesses have been adopting more diversity programs since the 1990s, but do they actually work?
Diversity programs have become commonplace in the professional world, but do they actually work?
A new study suggests you should show "sportsmanship" instead of complaining about problems at work.
Complaining about work-related problems actually cements their impact, says a new study in the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology. The results suggest practicing "sportsmanship" instead.
Researchers Evangelia Demeroutia and Russell Cropanzano asked 112 employed people in various industries to write diary entries – one in the morning, one in the afternoon – for three consecutive days. At the end of each workday, participants reported how much they had complained, focused on negative events, and blew situations out of proportion.
If someone reported low levels on these items, it meant they had practiced “good sportsmanship,” which the researchers defined as something like the willingness to tolerate the annoyances and inconveniences of organizational life without complaining.