Archive for the ‘Commentary by G. Namie’ Category
Thursday, March 6th, 2014
By Nancy Fischer
News Niagara Reporter
The Buffalo News
March 4, 2014
NORTH TONAWANDA – Bullying has gotten a lot of attention among schoolchildren, but hostile work environments and bullying behavior in the workplace are now being addressed by a bill in the State Legislature.
In advance of the proposed legislation, the North Tonawanda Common Council unanimously adopted its own measure Tuesday, updating its 2009 Workplace Violence Prevention Policy with specific language to address bullying.
The Council did not discuss the policy, but Mayor Robert G. Ortt said after the meeting that bullying is a “real deal” that goes beyond schools, even to the case involving the Miami Dolphins in the National Football League.
“I think if you are going to ask kids to behave a certain way, there’s no reason not to expect adults to behave in the same manner,” Ortt said.
“You want people to be able to come to work and do their job in an environment that is professional. Without that, morale goes down, people don’t do their jobs as well, and there are health-related issues that are additional costs to the employer, which in this case is the city and ultimately the public.”
Assistant City Attorney Katherine D. Alexander said prior to the meeting, “We are just trying to be as prepared as we can here. If something were to happen, there will be steps an employee could take.”
Like the law being proposed in the State Legislature, the city policy gives employees the definition of an abusive workplace and provides for specific consequences. The policy also requires a system for reporting incidents of aggressive bullying.
The city now has a “zero tolerance policy” regarding reports of an abusive work environment.
According to the new city policy, after an investigation by the supervisor and the city attorney, any employee who is found to have committed a violation may be disciplined – which could include discharge, and criminal or civil prosecution.
Tuesday, February 18th, 2014
Evidence mounts every week that the American “have-nots” suffer new economic indignities. In our very unequal America (please hold off on the ‘American dream for everyone’ speech), wealth becomes might. The extremely wealthiest 1% benefited from the global recession of 2008. Of the wealth accumulated since then, the 1% won 95% while the bottom 90% of Americans grew poorer.
A disgusting aspect of our new Gilded Age (term coined in the late 19th century by Mark Twain) is the shamelessness of the uber rich. A case in point — Tom Perkins, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, is making news with provocative (read hate-filled) comments that taxation is persecution of the rich by progressive akin to Nazi persecution of the Jews and, for extra effect, voting should be the privilege earned only by those who actually pay taxes. The latest outrageous comment was made at the ostensibly “serious” and credible San Francisco Commonwealth Club event titled: War on the 1%
Really? Really? The exploiters are victims??? Sounds like the bully’s faux lament.
Matt Tiabi regularly reports on new financial scams that generate obscene gobs of cash for the inventors while screwing employees of affected companies, and of course, the public.
Tags: class warfare, gilded age, income inequality, Mark Twain, Tom Perkins, wealth
Posted in Commentary by G. Namie, Fairness & Social Justice Denied, The New America | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment (
Tuesday, February 11th, 2014
Join supporters of privacy and internet openness. See the 13 Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance: including legality, necessity, proportionality, transparency and public oversight.
Call or e-mail your legislators easily from the campaign’s website.
Tuesday, February 11th, 2014
They came by the hundred thousands. You might think this is about the 750,000 Seattle Seahawks fans clogging the streets of Seattle to greet their NFL team coming home triumphant from the Super Bowl (pictured on the left). In a way, they make the point for me that it took the NFL to get people to take to the streets. But it was a feel-good parade that few could argue with. And note that the parade’s participants outnumbered the population of Seattle. Some converged on the city from far away. WBI lives 100 miles north and there were two busloads and untold car pools who made the trek. So this is what it takes to move people to act, to stand in the frigid air to make a statement of some sort.
Why don’t Americans protest in the streets? Robert Reich wrote that despite the economic pain suffered by the poor — underpaid workers, the underemployed and the unemployed — we Americans are afraid to protest corporate greed and government indifference lest we lose our jobs. He also believes that our cynicism about government, now commonplace thanks to an unrelenting message from the right for over 40 years, keeps us in our couches.
But hope springs eternal. A bit of background. North Carolina is one of several states where rabid right wingers (don’t call ‘em conservatives) control the state legislature and the governor’s seat. The politicians who seem to hate citizens have run amok, trampling voting rights, undermining public education and seemingly re-segregating the state as was done after the Civil War (or War of Northern Aggression) via Jim Crow laws. Bill Moyers produced a mini-documentary on the recent setbacks for North Carolinians.
In N.C., Rev. William Barber, pastor, PhD in public policy, State NAACP President, and organizer extraordinaire, has led what he called “Moral Monday” protests. They began with a half dozen people at his church. Barber, the smart organizer staged an event on Feb. 8 in Raleigh (see poster) that included activists for multiple progressive causes. In fact, the event had a 14-point agenda. On Sunday, the crowd estimated at between 80,000 and 100,000 marchers took over Raleigh.
Moral marchers modeled for other Americans one week after the Super Bowl that other things matter beside the NFL: quality public schools, livable wage, health care for all, increased access to voting, affordable housing, end of the death penalty, immigrant rights, and redress for North Carolina’s racist past. It was heartening to see the successful event. It should remind us of our rebellious history, that our nation was forged by protest. Too bad the corporate media kinda ignored it all.
WBI salutes the Moral Monday movement in North Carolina and around the nation.
Tags: environmental justice, Fairness & Social Justice Denied, moral march, moral mondays, NAACP, North Carolina, William Barber
Posted in Commentary by G. Namie, Good News, The New America | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment (
Wednesday, January 29th, 2014
Tuesday, January 28th, 2014
January 27, 2014 a great flame went dark … the good don’t always die young
he’s a sailor
a bumbling, crafty, thoughtful, dreaming
a brightly colored creature
a root that knuckles through the soil
to reach you
a sculptured banjo body
shedding humane thoughts
on careless scraps of paper leaves
a voice of fiber bark
tender as an April bud
a raging, flaming, autumn fire
bending in the breeze, but growing
natural as wood
a shady place
for all these children of the son
(From Songs and Sketches of the First Clearwater Crew; North River Press, 1970)
More relevant than ever…WWII vet Pete on the Vietnam-era Smothers Brothers shut down by timid CBS executives …Pete sings Waist Deep in the Big Muddy…warning to not follow the Big Fool who commands us to push on…sage advice to all of us in contemporary America…let’s remember when we recognized the power of singing together with one voice…Pete would like that
Pete Seeger testified before the kangaroo court known as Congress’ House Unamerican Activities Committee in 1955 during another time of intense fear replacing leadership in this country. Then, it was communists, now it’s terrorists. Read how bravely Pete stood up and proclaimed his love of country, not the HUAC-crazed country that turned friends against friends, but the USA to which we and Pete aspire.
Sunday, January 26th, 2014
Just recently the CDC established conditions for a universal definition of youth bullying in schools. Newcomers to the adult Workplace Bullying movement clamor for a uniform, common definition. But back in 1997, when we were beginning, there was a very active listserv among the international academic community striving to find commonalities. They finally agreed to not force a common definition.
Workplace bullying, as a documented research phenomenon, is not new. It is quite “mature,” contrary to what newbies may believe. For example, here are the properties that all operational definitions share:
• the loathsome conduct is negative or offensive to a rational person
• it is aimed at one or more individuals, personalizing the assaults
• perpetrators act either alone or in concert with others (mob)
• perpetrators attack from any and all levels in organizations — top-down, horizontal (peers), and from subordinate positions
• when perpetrators outrank their targets, it is an abuse of authority
• regardless of perpetrator rank, there exists a power differential, real (titular) or perceived (in the mind of the perpetrator)
• acts of omission (withholding) are included with acts of commission
• deliberateness and intentionality are less important than the fact the mistreatment happened
• tactics may be overt or covert, most likely subtle and behind closed doors
• though there is a singling out of certain targets, bullying transcends status-based (illegal) discrimination, ignoring gender, race, age, etc.
• repetitive, a chronic pattern, not single-shot emotional explosions
• unwanted, uninvited, unprovoked by targets
• harmful to targets — health (from distress), psychological integrity, self-esteem
• harmful, or at least disruptive, to witnesses and coworkers
• bullying toxifies a productive work environment, undermines work itself
• employers bear the responsibility to prevent and correct
Thus, there is a great deal of conformity across various definitions. There are huge public education goals facing the movement in 2014.
Tags: abusive conduct, definition, Gary Namie, psychological violence, workplace bullying
Posted in Commentary by G. Namie, Fairness & Social Justice Denied, Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment (
Thursday, January 23rd, 2014
Currently, re-inaugurated New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is being investigated for dubious conduct. The media have gravitated toward calling him a “bully.” It could be said that Christie’s troubles could help the workplace bullying movement with such a high profile perpetrator. But politics may be a much different playing field than the workplace.
Political opponents do not often have the same employer-employee relationships that keep workplace bullied targets trapped by economic need.
On the other hand, the misconduct between parties often involves a power differential. One person is stronger than the other and can exact revenge and retribution simply to demonstrate what things can be made to go wrong for the less powerful player. This is often true in workplace scenarios.
The fact that much of Christie’s method is to demand fealty, loyalty and obsequiousness does fit the pattern found in workplace bullying among adults. Bullies seek others to be subservient to them. The bully, lacking a level of personal comfort in her or his own skin, can derive pleasure from exacting pain on those who want to remain independent and outside the bully’s band of sycophants. Christie seems to show a pattern of first courting prospective allies, next demanding reciprocated loyalty, then crushing those individuals who don’t want to make sacrifices just to bask in his embrace. Just like a workplace bully.
So, that leads us to the next WBI Instant Poll. Wondering what you think. Also feel free to comment.
Thursday, January 2nd, 2014
Washington State Governor Jay Inslee was once a liberal democrat as Congressman. Now he fawns over one of the state’s two large employers — Boeing — as if he was once an executive there. After McDonnell-Douglas merged in 1997, Boeing became the only surviving American aircraft manufacturer. Its 787 Dreamliner model was fraught with problems when launched. It’s newest commercial project is to build the wide-body 777X model. Assembly is scheduled for the Seattle area. But before starting, Boeing decided to alter its contractual relationship with a big part of its laborforce — the machinists. The corporation is behaving as an unscrupulous monopoly.
Boeing moved its corporate headquarters from Seattle, its home since William Boeing bought his first airplane factory site in 1910. It settled contentious strikes, especially with its machinist employees (the IAM, Local 751 in Seattle) the most recent contract expires in 2016! However, negotiating for changing terms began in 2013. Boeing demanded more “givebacks,” concessions, by the union.
Tags: Boeing, contracts, employer abuse, IAM, IAM Local 751, Machinists
Posted in Commentary by G. Namie, Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things, Fairness & Social Justice Denied, Unions | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment (
Friday, December 6th, 2013
Dr. Gary Namie provides clarification about three fundamental themes of the social movement against workplace bullying which are commonly misunderstood or mischaracterized:
1) It’s about bullying, not bullies or their personalities.
2) Employers act irrationally and irresponsibly about bullying, which itself makes no sense.
3) Being “anti-abuse” is not the same as being “anti-corporate”
Tags: anti-abuse, employer behavior, Gary Namie, ingratiation, Podcasts, taboo, workplace bullying, Workplace Bullying Institute
Posted in Commentary by G. Namie, Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things, Fairness & Social Justice Denied, Podcasts, WBI Education | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment (