Wednesday, April 19, 2006

My New Favorite Restaurant

While I haven't eaten there since high school, I just may have to make a trip to the nearest Applebee's in support of the recent firings of three employees who ditched work to attend a rally.

What's interesting to me is that the debate has surrounded whether or not they deserved to be fired in the first place. This, then, leads into a debate about lying to get out of work, taking sick days or using personal days, etc. I think the fact remains that when staging a walkout, the goal is to show the employer how much they need you. These guys could have had ten personal days and they probably wouldn't have given ample notice. The very object of a walkout is to not give the establishment time to scramble together a tentative workforce, but rather for the establishment to suffer so as to learn just how valuable a particular group is to the overall success of the organization.

As such, I think the bigger point here is the message that Applebee's has sent to the rest of the nation: unskilled laborers can be replaced.

It's one thing when the truckers strike, or when teachers unions strike. The reality is, those positions can't necessarily be filled overnight. In the case of dishwashers, however, the same is just not true.

The fact that Applebee's fired these men points out a serious flaw in the structure of the recent illegal immigrant walkouts: Walkouts only work when the employer cannot exist without you.

There are plenty of college students, I'm sure, who would be happy to upgrade to a job that pays $10.50 an hour. What's more, there are plenty of unemployed Americans who have the skill set it would take to fill their positions. In the plain language of economics, these workers are not vital to the success of an organization. America can do just fine without them.

All the same, at least the three fired employees will be taken care of: "Meanwhile, funds have been started to assist workers who did lose their jobs or pay because of participating in the rally." Kinda like welfare, I guess. I wonder how long it's going to take before the people who donate to this 'cause' decide the jobless people they're supporting should go out and get another job or go home. That's a dangerous position: They just may end up sounding like Republicans after awhile.


At 7:35 AM, April 21, 2006, Blogger Billiam said...

It's not just that unskilled labor can be replaced. It's that you're expected to show up for your shift. If I don't show up, I'd be fired too. As it should be.

At 9:01 AM, April 24, 2006, Blogger *Belle* said...

That's how it was back when I worked in food service. They rarely gave second chances for a "no call-no show"


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