Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A heartless corperation

I'm referring to the New York Times, a souless, miserly corperation (by the myopic standards of the NYT)that pushed aside its cafeteria workers in favor of Restaurant Associates, "a nationally recognized leader in the restaurant and food services industry."Gawker has the full memo, but a big hat tip to Clara at LIBERTY BELLES who alerted me to the story.

Being an advocate for the working masses, however, the NYT is not without regrets in reallocating these human resources:

"Regrettably, this transition necessitates having to bid a very fond farewell to several of our cafeteria and executive dining room staff who have, for many years, done an exemplary job as cooks and servers extraordinaire. We are pleased that a few familiar faces will remain; yet, others will no longer serve in food operations, so please join us in wishing them all the best for a very successful future."

Of course, this is done every day by countless companies. Costs are cut, profits are maximized (or losses staved off), and resources within our robust economy are reallocated. It causes dislocation for some, though rarely permanent loss of employment.

What makes this NYT employee memo so interesting is that the Times and its readers are insufferable when it comes to lambasting businesses in America for their "greed" and "insensitivity" with regards to cutting costs. That a company which doesn't cut costs is threatened with losing its market share, or worse, going out of business altogether, is often lost on tolerant wise men (and women) of The Times.

Why, pray tell, are the jobs of these "exemplary" cooks and servers less important than other (often less exemplary) workers laid off from other industries?

I'm reminded of the incident with WGBH Boston, the PBS flagship station. When the city put a day laborer site near the station, WGBH complained. They wanted the largely Hispanic workers waiting for day labor to congregate somewhere else. Perhaps the Spanish-speaking day laborers interfered with the PBS employees rushing to work to expose corperate greed and stick up for the working class.

Do as I say, not as I do.


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