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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Boss tells you how to vote?

   
Author Topic: Boss tells you how to vote?
Darth_Mauve
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Dear Boss.

I was informed that several of the largest corporate masterminds have taken the time from their important schedules to inform us workers the importance of this upcoming election. I was impressed with their caring, informing us that lower pay, longer hours, and possibly even termination would result from an Obama victory. They were so nice to warn us of that danger.

Its with that same kindness that I must warn you that if Governor Romney were to win I am afraid that I would have to Unionize. Don't get me wrong. You have done nothing wrong personally. Its just that many of the basics I count on in my daily life will be threatened if not immediately removed under a Romney Presidency. Things like Healthcare. If his version of Emergency Room Healthcare as the standard come to pass, I would face bankruptcy after the first major illness. Things like College Education, Retirement, Job Security, Workplace Safety, even Child Labor have all been ridiculed and threatened by certain members of the Republican Party and its Libertarian allies.

Medicare and Social Security is up for dismissal by the time I retire. At best it will be a minimal voucher decided upon by state officials that will need major supplements from me, and I can only get and save those supplements if I earn more money, which means I will have to unionize in order to get you to pay me more money.

As those other bosses have mentioned, this comes down to the takers and the makers. There are poor folks who just take and take. Then again, there are rich folk who have mastered the art of taking and taking. You can tell they are the masters of taking, because they have taken so much. The makers? The small business owners who create new products and services are makers, and they are under assault by the big bosses. The employees, who used to be called workers because they produced good work, are now called takers because they take their small pay. We are the true Makers, those who produce and work, whether a factory lineman or a farmer in the field or the owner of a small business. The takers are those politicians and owners and money men like Bain Capital who look at what we've made and find fancy ways to take a profit from it. It is to compete against those Takers that I must Unionize.

So again, this is just a friendly warning. I hope you don't see this as a threat.

Thank You. Your worker, laborer, and the one who makes you a profit.

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SteveRogers
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Regardless of anyone's opinion, I take umbrage at the idea of any boss essentially threatening their employees if they don't vote a certain way. I don't think that's right.
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Hobbes
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I'm interested to hear a lawyer's opinion because I'm pretty sure that's actionable. Maybe it depends on exactly how it was phrased...

My work has done some hinting around in corporate e-mails but they've been careful to keep it to lobby groups, specific legistlation and general impacts on our sector (as opposed to: "if so-and-so get's elected you get fired").

Hobbes [Smile]

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Samprimary
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for reference of course

CEO: "If Obama gets elected, all 7,000 of you are fired, (maybe?)" says CEO.

Koch Industries president Dave Robertson implicitly warning that "many of our more than 50,000 U.S. employees and contractors may suffer the consequences" of voting for President Obama and other Democrats in the 2012 elections

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Orincoro
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Well, these are freedom loving, liberty having Americans, clearly. Right?

Anyway, I'll take solace in the fact that fewer people have lost their jobs *because* Obama has been President. And the arrest of unemployment growth (even at 8%), keeps wages from falling and benefits from being cut. And these companies work off those numbers- not gut feelings about what will pass if Obama remains President.

It's funny that if you actually do the weird a-moral math here, a lot of stable and profitable companies benefit enormously from high unemployment. They have an excuse to lay off workers, and they have an employment environment demanding lower wages and decreased benefits. It's win-win for them, in the short term. Of course, later the bottom falls out of the economy, but these people are old, so there's no reason to be concerned.


(ETA: love the idea that 50% of the guy's profits go to taxes. More like 14%, probably, but really, that's a minor detail.)

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ScottF
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"...as your employer, I can't tell you whom to vote for, and I certainly wouldn't interfere with your right to vote for whomever you choose. In fact, I encourage you to vote for whomever you think will serve your interests the best."

Its a dumb email, but that kinda sounds like the opposite of threatening to fire employees if they don't vote a certain way - unless we're not reading the actual...words. If that kind or correspondence is "actionable", we're in trouble.

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Rakeesh
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That's an excellent job of finding the part you liked, and behaving as though that was all that was said. You actually start quoting immediately *after* he warns specifically that another Obama term is a threat to their jobs. Frankly that omission makes it seem very much like you did some overt cherry picking.

Unless you're talking *only* about whether it's actionable or not, and it doesn't sound like you are. It sounds as though you don't think the email is in any way intended to apply any sort of pressure, threat, ultimatum, or what have you. Of COURSE he's not going to demand a vote for Romney as a condition if employment-aside from it being illegal, he would have no way of checking. He can say he might need to fire them in the event of an Obama apocalypse, though. He would regret it of course, but people need to learn to be 'lean and mean' like him.

He'll keep building his enormous mansion, though, with elevators and marble floors. Which, of course, perfectly legal and I would oppose any sort of head nod towards making that actionable either-but he's treating his employees like they're stupid-and you, since you apparently buy his line, ScottF-when he insists the economic situation will be SO terrible he'll have to close down...his business, not his mansion building. That's a choice too.

Hell, Scott, did you even read the email, or just stop when you had a line you could quote? He's evaluating a reality show about him, but in the email where he literally sings his own praises, he speaks as though every second of every day is entirely about his company-and that most of his employees don't know what it's like to live with his sort of sacrifice and discipline. That he deserves something special, something better. He speaks as though he's a victim, when of course the truth is as his business has prospered, so has he-enormously. Which is fine, except that he extends it into the fantasy that success in business also implies some other virtues than hard work and discipline are present. That he is somehow a *better person* than the people he employs.

He very well may be, but his successful business isn't a sign of that. It's a sign that he is a *better businessman* than his employees-no more, no less. It's fascinated me for some time how skillfully GOP candidates can pivot from reverence for the successful pursuit of wealth back towards the good old time religion, whose supposed messiah had quite a lot to say about that himself.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Unless you're talking *only* about whether it's actionable or not, and it doesn't sound like you are. It sounds as though you don't think the email is in any way intended to apply any sort of pressure, threat, ultimatum, or what have you.
"It would be a real shame if something were to .. happen to your job 'cos of an Obama presidency, isn't that right, Rocko?"

"Yeah, I'd be heartbroken if it fell down an elevator shaft onto some bullets, Bugsy. Keep in mind, dear employee, that this is only a statement implying regret for any such ...potential event, not an actionable threat, so nbd"

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Jeff C.
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Wow the absurdity of telling your employees who to vote for is beyond belief, and yet there it is.

Good job, America.

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kmbboots
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"The owner says he's sad to see that things have got so bad,
But the Captains of industry won't let him loose,
He still drives a car and smokes a cigar,
And still he takes his family on a cruise,
He'll never lose."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dt9Iqa79vfU

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ScottF
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Rakeesh, I read the email - which is why my first comment about it was that it's a stupid email. I was replying mainly to the idea that it was legally actionable, whatever that means.

CEO's are allowed to be rich douche bags. They're also allowed to write idiotic emails to their employees stating their opinions.

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Hobbes
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As I recall, it was ruled that a media corporation, airing what basically amounted to a movie version of an attack ad right before an election was not legal. Reading the OP (which, FWIW, was not itself referencing the e-mail linked later) implied to me that the boss was saying he would fire employees (or some similar plan) if Obama was re-elected. The two are similar in my mind because it's a person or corporation with access to greater authority and ability to reach people than a normal individual to basically bully people into voting the way they want. Maybe it's not actionable, but I would say the threshold for actionable manipulation of voting rights better be more stringent than just "well, the boss didn't follow anyone into the voting both and fire them if they checked the wrong box so it's fine."

Hobbes [Smile]

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kmbboots
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http://projectvote.org/voter-intimidation.html

"Economic voter intimidation also exists, where an employer or supervisor threatens a person’s job if he votes for a particular candidate or party against the wishes of the company or union."

Beyond just this incident, I think it would be a good thing for all of us to take a look at that site and see what we can do to help this insure a fair election.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by ScottF:
"...as your employer, I can't tell you whom to vote for, and I certainly wouldn't interfere with your right to vote for whomever you choose. In fact, I encourage you to vote for whomever you think will serve your interests the best."

Its a dumb email, but that kinda sounds like the opposite of threatening to fire employees if they don't vote a certain way - unless we're not reading the actual...words. If that kind or correspondence is "actionable", we're in trouble.

I used to teach elementary school. One of first things the kids learn is tht it's okay to say whatever you feel like, a long as you say, " no offense." I think you know where I'm going with this.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by ScottF:

CEO's are allowed to be rich douche bags. They're also allowed to write idiotic emails to their employees stating their opinions.

Actually, they're not allowed to write idiotic emails, if those emails constitute an attempt at voter intimidation. Just as a point of order. I'm not claiming that this email does such. I think it does, but I am not a lawyer, nor a jury, nor versed in the precedents for this type of case.

But you know very well, as we all do here, that this is not just n email stating an opinion.

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King of Men
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
(ETA: love the idea that 50% of the guy's profits go to taxes. More like 14%, probably, but really, that's a minor detail.)

He may be paying 14% of his own personal income as taxes, certainly. That's distinct from the pre-tax profits of the business. Out of that number comes a federal tax of 15 to 35 percent, state corporate tax of up to 10%, payroll taxes, social security taxes, and Medicare. Sure, the big corporations have 500 lawyers to game that system; the small and medium-sized ones don't. Half the profit in taxes sounds pretty reasonable to me.
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BlackBlade
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CEO(s) now telling employees how to vote.
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Samprimary
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Romney tells your CEO's to tell you how to vote
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AchillesHeel
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This is disgusting and un-American behavior.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Romney tells your CEO's to tell you how to vote

Well, more accurately he tells your CEO to tell you how the CEO thinks you should vote.
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iglee
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The unions have been telling workers how to vote for years. I'm surprised it has taken companies this long to do the same. What a world! What a world!

Didn't Joni Mitchell write a song about this? "I'm gettin' conned from both sides now . . ."

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Rakeesh
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The unions don't hire or fire people, and if you think employers just this election started this sort of letter writing, I don't know what to tell you.
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