Thomas Perez is the US Secretary of Labor, and given the significance and timeliness of the Labor Day holiday, he wrote an op-ed piece in Saturday’s Boston Globe. In Fair labor practice helps us all, he speaks to the need for employers to recognize their responsibility to make sure that prosperity is shared.
He points out that companies like Ikea, Costco and Ace Hardware pay well above the minimum wage, while Goldman Sachs and Facebook have a generous time-off policy for employees who welcome newborns to their families. He also lauds Kip Tindrell, CEO of Container Stores, who “has built an employee-first culture”, and explains that he gets “three times the productivity for a relatively modest increase in labor costs”.
As one might expect in a Labor Day editorial, the Secretary lauds the moral compass of responsible employers, but also points out that “corporate interests and elected officials seek to crush unions and hollow out the middle class”. He makes a compelling point. Demonstrating that ¼ of part-time college faculty and 1/3 of bank tellers rely on safety net programs points to a real problem in the American workforce.
The right for workers to collectively bargain is an American birthright and is something that can never be bargained away. In fact, the holiday we recently celebrated would never have been possible were it not for the Labor movement, which was established as the first Monday in September by President Grover Cleveland in 1887. However, the reality is that the typical American worker is not protected by a union since many work for small businesses who would not typically have worker protections offered by a union.
One way for a small business owner to aspire to the leadership qualities of companies like Container Stores, et al. is to partner with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO). PEOs affords progressive thinking business owners to offer their employees first-class employee benefit programs while taking advantage of the human resource expertise. It just makes sense. In fact, studies have shown that employers who partner with PEOs, Help Small Businesses Grow and Thrive and Keep Turnover Low and Survival High. That’s good news for those who work for these companies as well.
The American labor movement is rightly honored by the holiday we recently celebrated. As for Genesis HR Solutions, we are proud to work in lockstep in support of American worker and the small business owners who employ them.
For more information on this topic, please reach out to Genesis HR Solutions at AskUs@genesishrsolutions.com or 800-367-8367.
Genesis HR Solutions is the premier PEO provider for New England based businesses.