Archive for the ‘WBI Education’ Category


Torture & Workplace Bullying: Similar Abusive Tactics

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

At WBI we consistently draw the analogy between domestic violence and abusive conduct at work (the most serious forms of workplace bullying). Our rationale is based on the following commonalities shared by these two forms of abusive relationships:

• The abuser has more power to wield over the abused person
• The abuser unilaterally controls when, where and what method
• Abusers objectify, dehumanize and show contempt for victims
• Society tends to blame victims for their fate
• Victims are expected to solve their problem themselves
• Witnesses rarely intervene
• Institutional responses are delayed, inadequate and not helpful
• Root causes, often embedded societal values, remain unexplored

Advocates working to end domestic, or partner, violence described the myriad of tactics used by abusers using the 8-factor Biderman “chart of coercion.” Albert Biderman interviewed US Air Force pilots who had been captured and tortured during the Korean war. The Chinese taught interrogation techniques to the North Koreans. The piolots described their experiences and Biderman distilled the range of techniques to eight fundamental methods designed to break the will of, and brainwash, the pilots. In 1957, Biderman published his report “Communist Attempts to Elicit False Confessions From Air Force Prisoners of War.” [Note that Biderman recognized that torture produces false confessions. The 8-factor report became the model for US torture of prisoners at Guantanamo.] That article was the origin of the Biderman Chart of Coercion.

Domestic violence and child abuse advocates use the Biderman Chart to describe abusers’ tactics in their specialty domains.

Therefore, it is logical for us to apply Biderman’s Chart to workplace bullying, given the parallels with domestic violence. In its most extreme forms, bullying is torture. See the chart below.

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NFL’s new Personal Conduct Policy

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

Poor (salary $44 million) NFL Commissioner Goodell. He has been castigated for his inconsistency of applying standards across teams and individual players, plagued by accusations that team owners interfered with criminal investigations, and hounded, and eventually reversed, by critics for overstepping his authority when leveling draconian punishment against domestic abuser Ray Rice. His incomplete response to the Miami Dolphins bullying scandal was to mandate a lame 1 hour “education session” held in each team’s locker room about respect. Half-ass solutions seem to be the NFL’s history.

In the aftermath of a spate of domestic violence incidents by NFL players and the assembly of a team of external experts in DV prevention comes a new NFL Personal Conduct Policy.

As the expert called in to assist Jonathan Martin’s legal team and to advise Ted Wells, the NFL’s investigator of the abuse levied by three of Martin’s teammates, I heard repeatedly the NFL mantra of “Protect the Shield.” The NFL logo is a shield of sorts and everyone affiliated with the NFL knows that the league of owners takes extraordinary steps to protect its commercial brand, often at the expense of its players without whom there would be no league.

Guided by the “Protect the Shield” principle, NFL commissioners and executives historically ignore player safety for the sake of the game. Witness tthe 2014 settlement of the lawsuit with thousands of former player-plaintiffs accusing the NFL of ignoring known neurological health hazards to which they were exposed causing them to suffer CTE. The settlement temporarily silenced complainants and allowed the NFL to roll into the 2014 season without the cloud of litigation overhead.

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Posted in Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things, Related Phenomena, WBI Education | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



Progress by workers against McDonald’s for higher wages

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

The NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) ruled that McDonald’s, the corporation, acting through its franchisees, violated the rights of its workers who were protesting for higher wages, specifically a $15 hourly wage.

Fast food workers have increasingly and visibly been conducting protests for higher wages and better working conditions for the past two years. Local owners of McDonald’s franchises have retaliated against those workers with punishment by reducing hours, threats, surveillance, interrogations and restrictions on talking with union organizers, and terminations.

Advocates for the workers filed 291 charges against corporate McDonald’s. The NRLB found merit in 78 of them while others are still under investigation.

Corporate McDonald’s claims it has no control over what local owners do. It wants to dodge responsibility for the denial of workers rights. However, the NLRB agreed with groups like Jobs With Justice that the corporation dictates to franchisees very detailed operating standards to maintain consistency across various McDonald’s locations.

So, when a local McDonald’s punishes workers for protesting peacefully and acting together to improve their work lives it is now assumed that the local owner is acting as an agent for the corporate McDonald’s. The NLRB ruled that the franchisees are joint owners.

Regional hearings are set to begin in early 2015 with a settlement deadline of March 30, 2015.

You can find the list of actual cases here.

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Let’s Talk with Kalola: Target Called 911-Bully Arrested

Monday, December 15th, 2014

Dear Kalola,

I was working in a trucking and logistics company, as a winery yard supervisor in California. From my first day on the job, I heard stories of our former supervisor and dispatcher who had been demoted to 'truck driver.' Word on the docks was that this guy was #1 workplace abuser who repeatedly threatened my coworkers and forced people to quit. Not on my watch.

His name was "X" and he quickly became my abuser. He was known to be very, very disgruntled for having been demoted, and everybody knew him as a ticking time bomb. But rather than submit to his abuses, I took them head-on and took an assertive and confident approach to him. All of my coworkers were afraid of him, walked on eggshells for him, and submitted to his abusive and angry whims. Not on my watch.

We began clashing from the first day on the job, when I did not listen to "his" instructions when I was the boss. He began to yell at me, point his finger in my face, and threaten my job from day 1. I filed internal complaints, and immediately experienced retaliation by his buddies in a satellite office of the company.

Over the period of three weeks, I filed internal complaints by writing and verbally, and this caused the ticking time bomb to explode. One evening, "X" was acting very paranoid, jittery, agitated. I sensed something bad was about to happen. He started to instigate our winery forklift drivers by saying that I was not "doing my job," and I confronted him by trying to "have a talk with him." He began to scream at me and use profanity, and I told him straight that he was not going to come down here and harass or bully me, or my coworkers. This set him off. The abuser quickly rushed me, got in my face, and punched me in the jaw. I called 9-1-1. He was arrested and is currently being prosecuted for workplace violence.

The fallout from this event has been particularly damaging to my career. We had heard all along that we could not tell our corporate office of this man's workplace abuses, because we would be 'forced to quit.' Yet I violated this workplace taboo and did exactly that, and took it a step further by having the criminal justice system step in and prosecute the known abuser.

Almost immediately, I have experienced workplace retaliation, demotion by our supervisors--who just happened to be his buddy--and have been told to drop the charges a number of times. I got OSHA and the US Department of Labor involved, and they have enough to charge my supervisor with a Whistleblower Retaliation charge in violation of Section 11(c) of the Federal OSH Act. The federal whistleblower protection program has been my only source of comfort in this whole mess, and I look forward to watching my abuser fry in a courtroom very soon.

California Worker


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Holiday buttons & magnets from WBI

Monday, December 8th, 2014

Click on the images to purchase.

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Woman-on-woman bullying: UK tech Destiny mag

Monday, December 8th, 2014

Beef With Bullies
By Mariam Isa, Destiny Connect (UK), Dec 4, 2014

The prevalence of woman-on-woman bullying in the workplace is surprisingly high and, in many instances, is spiraling out of control in the absence of legislation or company policies to curb it. We look at what is behind this insidious trend

Lillian Karuri-Magero, Sourcing Executive for Africa at Barclays Absa, is successful, confident and assertive. She began her second job in the IT industry full of enthusiasm and energy, but ended up leaving prematurely after being bullied by a woman senior who deliberately alienated her from the office environment.

“She publicly humiliated me many times, using her rank to belittle my work. She deliberately withheld information that would have made my working life more efficient and my outputs quicker and better. She called meetings without including me and her behaviour towards me was blatantly rude – no ‘good morning’ or ‘goodbye’, barking orders and things like that – which, to me, are outright bullying. It made my ability to function almost impossible,” Karuri-Magero says.

Eventually she decided to confront the bully, but it only made things worse: the woman began calling her into her office and behaving more belligerently than 
she would ever have dared to do in front of her own manager. So Karuri-Magero approached the company’s HR department for help. That also failed, as the bully, who had been in the company much longer than she had, blatantly lied, making it her word against her victim’s. At that point, Karuri-Magero resigned, feeling helpless.

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Guest: The Lived Experiences of Bullied Teachers

Monday, December 8th, 2014

By Deidra A. Sorrell Ed.D., NCC, LPC

Summarizing her newly completed doctoral dissertation …

The research examined the lived experiences of elementary school educators facing workplace bullying within public schools.

The researcher recruited six elementary school educator-participants from WBI volunteers. All participants were female and over forty-years-old. All of the participants experienced bullying after taking medical leave due to preexisting health issues, which caused more stress and anxiety. As a coping mechanism, all of the participants found the teachers union ineffective in solving their disputes. The educators were interviewed at length to gain extensive descriptions of their experiences.

Three major themes emerged from the data. The themes included: (a) experiences with workplace bullying, (b) coping, and (c) environmental factors contributing to workplace bullying.

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Posted in Fairness & Social Justice Denied, Guest Articles, Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



Holiday Deals from WBI: Univ & DVD discounts

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Discounts for Holiday sales. Act before midnight Friday Dec. 26.

DVD for employers: Workplace Bullying & Abusive Conduct: The Other Harassment

New for 2014. Dr. Gary Namie explains the essentials in a 20 min. production.
Streamable for online delivery or for in-person viewing.

Was $499. Only $399 until midnight Dec. 26. Order today.

Watch the preview.


Workplace Bullying University®

The only immersive training for professionals in all aspects of workplace bullying/abusive conduct offered in the U.S. and Canada. Three full days with Drs. Gary & Ruth Namie. Train the trainer for unions and organizations. Diversify a consultant’s portfolio. Specialize in the topic for mental health clients. Choose a new career path for entrepreneurs.

Jan. 16-18 in Bellingham, Washington
Jan. 23-25 in Houston, Texas

Regular tuition: $3,100. $2,600 if deposit paid before Dec. 26 ($2,500 if prepaid in full by Dec. 26). Register today.

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Univ of Minnesota: Graduate student bullying

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

Grad and Professional Student Bullying Rises
By Christopher Aadland, Minnesota Daily, November 24, 2014

University of Minnesota surveys show peer-to-peer and faculty-to-student bullying has risen since 2007.

From verbal attacks to threats, graduate and professional students are increasingly experiencing harassment and bullying at the University of Minnesota, according to surveys.

“… I’ve lost all desire for research because of the continual harassment and hostile environment I’ve experienced,” an anonymous student said in a recent survey. “I never thought I would give up on research, but I guess anything’s possible. I’ve given up.”

For the past decade, Jan Morse, director of the University of Minnesota’s Student Conflict Resolution Center, has noticed an upsurge in graduate and professional students coming to her office looking for relief from bullies.

And despite work over the last six years by a group of school administrators, faculty members and students that aims to tackle bullying, this year’s survey still shows graduate and professional students are increasingly experiencing harassment.

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Posted in Media About Bullying, Print: News, Blogs, Magazines, Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education, WBI in the News | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



New WBI Instant Poll to complete: Holidays & workplace bullying

Monday, November 24th, 2014

Year end holiday season and workplace bullying. Were (are) they connected for you?

View Results

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