In your opinion should employers tell their employees that if they don’t vote for a particular candidate in an upcoming election, their jobs will be threatened?

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  • mewabe

    Yes perhaps in China, but not in America…

  • Berry Gargan

    In South Africa that practice is called intimidation. That is not to say it doesn’t happen… but as with all ethically questionable behaviours, it is a practice most employers would prefer to keep under wraps so it is difficult to prove. What is the immediate result? An insecure, quietly rumbling workforce which may erupt at any time, and an environment of fear, secrecy, agendas… No, in my opinion, don’t do it. Employers, your business will be the biggest loser.

  • Buzz

    Employers can tell employees anything they like. If the company fires an employee for actions at the ballot box that’s a wrongful dismissal suit asking for attention. If an employee requires medical attention for psychological stress unduly placed on an employee as a direct result of corporate intimidation, the company must pay or face an occupational health and safety lawsuit which could quite easily become a class action by several employees. But they can still say what they like. They must be willing to accept the possibility of the consequences of such actions, and any major corporation will have run a risk reward analysis to weigh financial benefits of such actions against legal costs and lawsuit payouts. In fact, corporate law (especially in US) requires!!! that all public companies perform such analysis in order to represent their shareholders interests, and to act according to the analysis results regardless of conscience!!!!! Watch the film “The Corporation” for supporting evidence and other examples of this behaviour

  • Beat

    Well, employers should, of course, be allowed to tell their employees anything they deem appropriate. But the more interesting question is: how are the employees going to deal with this?
    My proposal (one among many possible solutions) is the following:
    First of all, I would thank the employer for his or her concern about the company and its future. Both employer and employees have a common interest in this. And a common interest is always a good basis for a dialogue. From his point of view, the employer is acting with the best intentions. We would do well in honestly acknowledging this (which has the positive side-effect that we have to give up our ego-based I-am-goddam-right position).
    As a next step I would raise the subject of fear. The employers try to use fear as a means, which reveals that they are fear-driven themselves. They may “succeed” insofar as some of the employees actually are going to vote for the proposed candidate. But each step on the path of fear is leading us one step closer to hell on earth. Both sides should take a close look at their fear. If we face our fear, we have the chance to find out what lies behind. Fear always wants to avoid something. But avoiding unhappiness does not automatically create happiness. What I am trying to tell here is, that there is always something positive at the root of fear. There must be some profound desire; something deeply connected with our real self. And we can use our fear(s) as a tool to find out what this underlying desire is.
    I would take the question of the week as an invitation to thoroughly discuss the subject of fear. I am sure such a discussion could be a valuable basis for a constructive cooperation between employers and employees.
    It can be as simple as this. Not that it would be easy, don’t be mistaken. 😉 But mayhap this is part of our problems: we often look for an easy way out instead of applying a simple (yet temporarily uncomfortable) solution.

  • Buzz

    I agree Beat

  • Mark Webber

    Certainly not. In fact, though I am not completely certain, I have feeling that is actually illegal in this country (UK).

  • mewabe

    It is also illegal in America (I think) except in the case of corporations, because corporations are persons here (and have “free speech” rights…bullying employees is called free speech)…isn’t that a riot?

  • Buzz

    Plz provide legislation reference that allows employers to bully specifically. Companies have been separate legal entities (persons) in most western countries for centuries. Since when have the rights of employees been trampled? Did they take the bill of rights to the rodeo? There are still workplace relations laws, right?

  • mewabe

    You can call it whatever you want…such as the employers “giving information” to their employees.
    The fact is, it is a form of intimidation and everyone knows it, except those who want to play with words in order to get into endless “dialectics”.

    Lawyers could argue endlessly here too, as well as in court, as to whether this is crossing the line or not. Until a Judge says it is, and another says it is not, and the Supreme Court pulls a decision out of its collective hat.

    But none of the above makes it right…an employees knows and senses when pressure is being exercised by management upon him or her, and this is what really matters, whether this creates a hostile work environment. Everything else is hot air.

  • Buzz

    This site is called The Global Conversation. It exists so people can converse. This must by definition include listening (reading) the point of view of others and responding to those points. Are you here to have a conversation or preach your brand of truth to potential converts? Or are you willing and able to respect other opinions, put aside your enthusiasm for your brand of truth, open your mind and address a subject matter with an ounce of humility the way Neale does?

  • Buzz

    A genuine dialectic will end when all parties are in agreement

  • mewabe

    And this is precisely why, Buzz, I see no point in debating with a person whose views are diametrically different…it is a waste of time because I not only know that we will not agree (the aim of a conversation should not be agreement but an exchange of views), but we will not even come close to understanding each other’s perspectives.

    We cannot, because your beliefs and my beliefs are opposite. Your beliefs are rooted in materialism (no experience exists outside of the physical brain, that’s a scientific belief, your belief), mine are rooted in spirituality, that by definition cannot be scientifically “proven” in a lab while torturing mice.

    As far as the intimidation of employes, you zeroed in on the word “bullying”, trying to divert the conversation into legalities. I cannot address corporate law and the intricacies of workplace relations laws, not having gone to law school lately. But I know that intimidation is intimidation, that pressure is pressure, and that whether it is legal does not make it right. Right and legal are two very different things.

    About humility…why should I be humble? Was XL, whose sexist diatribes you admired, humble? Not exactly…arrogance is okay in those whose views one supports, yet people demand humility in their opponents. haven’t you noticed?

  • Charlotte

    I can with certainty say NO – an employer should never tell an employee who to vote for. Some agencies have a “ethical policy” when it comes to major elections such as the President of the United States. Employees are reminded to not discuss their views or if they do to not insult someone else because of their view.

  • Buzz

    Nice try at pigeonholing me Mewabe, but I’m not that easy. Firstly, riff you Wikipedia Materialism you’d see it’s old science, replaced with physicalism.

    Secondly, I don’t consider mind and spirit to be matter. I see the illusion of our physical reality. I don’t live as a spirit form though, and neither do you. To become wrapped up in one of the two can send a person insane. A materialistic consumer is shallow and flippant. A spiritualist (when taken to the extreme), exists at a level so deep within themselves the physical world seems irrelevant and superficial and pointless. A conversation becomes an arduous chore, like “not another unconnected person to deal with.” The wise one adapts for dual existence, internal and external.

    XL was rude and arrogant to everyone, even me. He was anything but humble. I did not, minor do I now, admire him or support him. I respected him for his right to be sexist, and some very intelligent ideas about human nature. He is a physicalist, not I. I do not demand respect or humility from you. I only ask you to decide what sort of person you would rather be: humble like Neale, or arrogant like XL?

    As for intimidation laws, a humble person would have been comfortable simply saying “I don’t know.” Neither this, nor anything I have said so far on any thread, has been intended as a personal attack on you. I will often find ways to challenge you, and this is my way of motivating you and others beyond their comfort zone so you may experience growth and the expansion of your contextual field of awareness. Most people hate me for challenging them, as though anything beyond their comfort zone is off limits and motivating someone to try is cruel. I don’t care if you hate me too. I am fulfilling my role and challenging myself every day, heck every minute, as a result. I have learned to find comfort outside my own comfort zone (very dangerous and difficult, don’t try this at home kids), because my peace source is rooted in spirituality.

  • mewabe

    Buzz, did not you state that there was no experience apart from the physical brain? No experience on the “other side” in disembodied form? I do not want to get into a discussion on this, I just want to clarify, because if this is accurate, then we do disagree.

    I did not feel attacked, and of course I do not hate you (or anyone for that matter)…I appreciate your efforts to challenge me, but trust me I challenge myself, and life challenges me constantly. Even thought I share a lot of opinion and ideas here, I am not attached to any of them…I could change some of them overnight, because I can always see both sides of the same coin…the yin and yang…day and night…these opinions only have a (temporary) role to play in the field of relativity.

    I am much more interested in feelings than in thoughts. Intellectual discussions do not interest me…some people attempt to display their brilliance by using their mind in a way that is totally disconnected from feelings. But the way I see it, the only intelligence that is worthwhile is the one that is connected to the heart and soul. Everything else is just words, mental gymnastics, and is irrelevant to me.

    Do you understand where I come from? I do not have a need to expend any concepts through the mind, because I expend them through my heart and soul. I feel them…I come from in sight, literally, from going within. There is no other source for me, except what could be called the universe. And I live through my intuition. What is true for me may occasionally be true for you, and vice versa…but it does not need to be. It doesn’t matter at all.