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Friday, June 04, 2010

Another step in the systematic and deliberate elimination of the middle class
Posted by Jill | 8:03 PM
If the teabaggers would stop getting their views from Fox News and Glenn Beck and look at what's around them, they'd see that the very corporations they defend under the Rich People Create Jobs Doctrine are the ones actually screwing them over.

In August 2008 I walked out the door for the last time of a job I'd held for eight years; one I'd hoped to remain in until I retired. It's not that it was a dream job; my boss had issues with me for reasons I will never understand, particularly since on that last day he said "I wish we could have done right by you." But it was close to home, the pay was good, and the benefits were fantastic. I was 53 years old. It was the scariest day of my life.

For the rest of that day, I teetered between exhilaration at what would certainly come next and sheer terror. After all, I might be 53 and fat, but I write a mean resume, I have "soft skills" up the wazoo, a master's degree, drive, guts, and moxie. On the other hand, I was a 53-year-old web developer without ASP or C# or PHP.

When I interviewed for my current job, I didn't hide that I'd been laid off. When you work on grants, if the grants run out, heads get chopped. My references were impeccable, and I actually made money on the deal, since I started work 4 weeks after my last day at the old job and had been hoarding vacation time for three years so I'd been paid for six weeks of unused vacation.

I was lucky. If I were in the same situation today, I probably wouldn't be so lucky, becauae now companies seem to be deciding that no matter why you are out of work, no matter if it wasn't your fault, no matter if your employer's management ran the company into the ground, or if the grants weren't renewed, or the company just couldn't weather the downturn, these companies don't care. To them, you are untouchable:
Still waiting for a response to the 300 resum├ęs you sent out last month? Bad news: Some companies are ignoring all unemployed applicants.

In a current job posting on The People Place, a job recruiting website for the telecommunications, aerospace/defense and engineering industries, an anonymous electronics company in Angleton, Texas, advertises for a "Quality Engineer." Qualifications for the job are the usual: computer skills, oral and written communication skills, light to moderate lifting. But red print at the bottom of the ad says, "Client will not consider/review anyone NOT currently employed regardless of the reason."

In a nearly identical job posting for the same position on the Benchmark Electronics website, the red print is missing. But a human resources representative for the company confirmed to HuffPost that the The People Place ad accurately reflects the company's recruitment policies.

"It's our preference that they currently be employed," he said. "We typically go after people that are happy where they are and then tell them about the opportunities here. We do get a lot of applications blindly from people who are currently unemployed -- with the economy being what it is, we've had a lot of people contact us that don't have the skill sets we want, so we try to minimize the amount of time we spent on that and try to rifle-shoot the folks we're interested in."

There are about 5.5 people looking for work for every job available, according to the latest data from the Labor Department.

Sony Ericsson, a global phone manufacturer that recently announced that it would be bringing 180 new jobs to the Buckhead, Ga. area, also recently posted an ad for a marketing position on The People Place. The add specified: "NO UNEMPLOYED CANDIDATES WILL BE CONSIDERED AT ALL." When asked about the ad, a spokeswoman said, "This was a mistake, and once it was noticed it was removed."

Ads asking the unemployed not to apply are easy to find. A Craigslist ad for assistant restaurant managers in Edgewater, N.J. specifies, "Must be currently employed." Another job posting for a tax manager at an unnamed "top 25 CPA firm" in New York City contains the same line in all caps.

Most of the jobs created last month were census jobs -- temporary jobs. Businesses are just not hiring. It's not that their taxes are too high; George Bush cut taxes on businesses for eight years. It's greed, plain and simple. They are either working their existing employees to death or outsourcing the jobs to other countries. It's all part of the plan to restore this nation to what it was at the turn of the 20th centuries -- a small, preposterously wealthy "elite", and the rest of us all rabble, scrambling around for scraps.

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Blogger jurassicpork said...

If these people were "happy where they are", they wouldn't be applying to your shitty company, peckerhead!

Is this why all my resumes are going into the black hole?

Blogger jurassicpork said...
Another point, Jill:

Many companies are also going through temp (er, excuse me, staffing) agencies, even though it winds up costing them more than it would to hire them directly.

Up until about 10 years ago, temp jobs used to pay pretty well but now more and more of them are getting greedy and offering minimum wage with no health care benefits or plans so prohibitively expensive that no one making $8 can afford them.

They have such a horrible reputation that half of them don't even other identifying themselves as such. By the time you find out they're temp agencies you're already on the phone with them.

I'm at the point now where I'm flagging every temp agency ad I see on CL as spam/overpost. That's a lot of work since they've pretty much co-opted virtually all of them, especially the ones for manufacturing.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I'm pretty sure this would violate EEOC blatantly. If they have any military contracts and violate EEOC, it's the kiss-of-death for them.

Anonymous Ted said...
It's not at all clear to me that "employees" acquired through "staffing" agencies are more expensive than full time permanent employees.

Right now I'm a "contributor" instead of a "manager' [Thank god! You can have "management"] but I did my share of hiring over my career. When you consider all the "intangible" costs of an employee, I'm not convinced that "temps" aren't substantially cheaper. Especially if you're a company that doesn't want or expect "loyalty". And I've worked in companies that have had 25-year "temps". I'm never sure who's the strangest in that relationship!

You pay the temp agancy maybe a 25% "upcharge" over the $10 rate they pass on to their "employee". No benefits! No vacation! No paid time off. And usually no paid holidays [the company doors are closed, temps don't get a dime!]. No hassles if you want to dump them tomorrow afternoon. [Well, maybe you have to pay the agency a fee if you haven't met some minimum, but if they want your continued business they won't complain much!] You don't have to "tell them sh*t" about your operation. And no temp would ever dare talk back.

As for "Anonymous", I wasn't aware that "current employment status" was a protected class under EEOC. As long as you can show that the ones you _aren't_ talking to aren't overly representative of one of the protected classes... The government and military may give you "goodie points" if your workforce is well "diversified" and if you can demonstrate you don't exclude "qualified" candidates. But you set the qualifications, not them. You merely need to provide the goods or service per contract.

But there are many companies that for whatever [in my opinion, idiotic] reason prefer not to seek government contracts and they can truly set any employment requirement they want! "Candidate must be capable of holding breath under water for 10 minutes!" And there are always more temps where these came from. I am reminded of the old, bad joke: "Floggings will continue until morale improves!"

PS: A bigger issue for most military contractors today is the need for employees to have DoD security clearances. Harder to find those people and it's sometimes a hassle to have the clearance of the unemployed reinstated quickly. Thus you're more likely to steal currently cleared employees from some other defense contractor.