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Unfair labor practices and bullies in the workplace

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By Roger Mattingly
Guest columnist

I believe there is a lot of injustice going on here in Marion County. The injustice I'm speaking about pertains to the way that many employers are treating their employees in our work force. It's past and long overdue for someone to speak out about these types of issues.
Employees deserve to be treated with respect, dignity, fairness and non-discrimination practices. They need to be treated like people instead of animals or robots. Employees need to be listened to, whenever they have a legitimate complaint.
Employees need not be told to hit the door if they don't like the way they are being treated. This is the philosophy behind communism. Employees should not be expected to reach unreasonable quotas, especially when it affects their health. Profit and dollar figures need never to be considered a priority over people's health. This is a violation of human rights.
Employers need to keep in mind that many factories are given special tax incentives to relocate here in our county. If they can't see this as a great incentive to reduce their cost and up their pay scales, then they're not deserving of them. Now, I'm not saying that the people responsible for bringing industry into Marion County aren't doing a great job. They most certainly are.
Besides tax incentives there are other incentives. In the past, you hear on the news about disgruntled, angry persons killing innocent people. Many of these people have been treated unfairly and employers fail to listen to their complaints until it's too late. If employees complain, they're accused of arguing.
Employees have the same needs and rights to receive equal pay and equal benefits in the work force. This certainly isn't being done. Many employers are hiring through agencies that take a portion of the employee's pay. Companies need to do the hiring themselves. This is absolutely ridiculous, non-professional and unfair. There are factories in Marion County that have these different pay seals, fringe benefits, etc. Companies expect the same amount of work from their employees. Companies expect this out of all employees, regardless of differences in pay, sometimes less than 50 percent. If temporary, part-time workers don't perform like their coworkers they aren't called back after layoff. Some of these companies' net worth is over a billion dollars, but yet they refuse to pay their employees equally. Some of the employees don't receive holiday pay but yet they're expected to do the same amount of work. Some employees don't receive any insurance, and yet they're doing the same amount of work. This is discrimination in its ugliest form. This is a disgrace to all workers worldwide. We fought a Civil War so that all people are treated fairly, equally and not discriminated against. We have fought in two World Wars to insure these God-given rights. We have also fought in other wars to insure one's constitutional and God-given rights. We certainly don't want communism here in our country. It's time for a change. It can be done if we all do our part. This is where unions are so beneficial for the employees.
Remember that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. President Roosevelt made this quote back at the start of World War II. The greatest mistake a man can make is to be afraid of making a mistake. If we want our rights, our freedom, our health, then we need to stand up and say so. It seems that this is the only way to make some companies understand why unions are necessary. Existing and new companies need to understand that employees want to be treated with dignity, respect, honesty and fairness. Many employees I personally know myself receive disability due to carpel tunnel. This is the result of being rushed, threatened, humiliated, etc., to reach unreasonable quotas set by companies here in Marion County. Companies are more interested in profits than employees' health.
Employees need to voice issues to their employers and not be intimidated by management. Employees have every right to see their work record and to ask questions for their dismissal. Employers need not call law enforcement to escort an employee from the premises unless an employee becomes unruly. I would like to suggest to employees to ask to see their work record and what they contain.
My name is Roger Mattingly. My phone number (270-865-4106) is available to any employee. It's also available to management, etc.
The employer, not temporary services, is responsible for asking questions. No employee should be forced to sign any paper that states that the company can dismiss you at any time it desires.
Folks, it's high time we consider voting for union representation. I'll help anyway I possibly can. All conversations, phone calls, etc., will remain anonymous. Again, my phone number is (270) 865-4106.
Editor's note: Roger Mattingly is a resident of St. Francis in Marion County.