Everyone thought that the 200 plus workers at a Chicago door and window factory were so quaint, staging an old-fashioned sit-in in today's all-about-me cyber age. But they got what they wanted baby -- the severance and vacation they were owed.
Maybe it's time for employees in the banking sector and the auto industry to stage their own national sit-in.
The deal to give loans to the Big Three automakers has failed, and Bank of America, the nation's biggest bank, announced plans to slash up to 35,000 jobs.
It's a tragedy that rank and file employees continue to be the ones that suffer because of stupid or corrupt moves made by the leaders running the largest companies in this country.
Life isn't fair when it comes to how the "little people" are treated in the business world and in politics.
The financial sector is in a tailspin because a bunch of greedy people decided being moderately rich wasn't good enough so they invested in risky investments with little regard for the long-term consequences.
U.S. auto industry executives, long seeing the environmental hand-writing on the wall, did little to make more alternatives to gas guzzlers and it's come back to haunt them. And a loan that would help shore up the struggling industry and save millions of jobs failed in Congress because Republican Senate leaders wanted more blood from a stone -- the autoworkers. These men in power decided not to do the deal because middle-class workers wouldn't agree to slash their pay further.
The workers who are the backbone of all these companies are the ones that pay the price for bad management. Thank goodness people who work hard to make a living, typically the rank and file, are strong enough to weather the bad times. They can pick themselves up and do what they have to to support themselves and their families.
But we have to start expecting more from the leaders in this country.
There's a hopeful opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal this morning by former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina where she takes some shots at this country's corporate leaders and how they've lost the respect of their own workers.
Business leaders must use these difficult times as an opportunity to restore our credibility with the American people. We must be prepared to step up to new levels of transparency and accountability and to recalibrate our own role in an increasingly competitive world.
She continues with a key point:
In a fast-paced, hypercompetitive, technology-driven world, common sense, good judgment and ethics matter more than ever. The American people expect leaders to have sufficient wisdom and perspective to buck the crowd and defy conventional wisdom when necessary, even if it isn't popular at the time. Quarterly earnings and share price cannot be the singular purpose of business or metric of success for CEOs. Shareholders are not the only constituency a CEO and board serve. Businesses have equally important obligations to employees and customers. A CEO's job is to balance the competing requirements of all of these constituencies.
She says businesses have obligations to employees. Yes, employees. They are not just line items on a balance sheet, they are "flesh and blood," as business consultant Jamie Showkeir, coauthor of Authentic Conversations: Moving from Manipulation to Truth and Commitment, told me recently.
It's time we all started demanding integrity from our leaders.
Sit-in protest anyone?
Follow Eve Tahmincioglu on Twitter: www.twitter.com/careerdiva